After 11 nights onboard the Celebrity Reflection it is time to look back with some observations and a brief review our voyage. We had a great cruise and although the weather wasn’t at its best at a couple of the ports it didn’t spoil anything.
From day one the ship was very busy and this could be because it was peak holiday time and also because there are an extra 77 cabins on the Reflection compared to her sister ships. For example the Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Ships has these figures for comparison.
- Celebrity Reflection – (lower beds/all berths)…..3030/3323
- Celebrity Silhouette – (lower beds/all berths)…..2886/3179
Now it could be that we have experienced the previous cruises at a much lower capacity and the latest one was getting close to capacity but either way we thought the public areas when the ship was busy were not as functional. Our waiter told us there were over 3000 passengers onboard but I am not sure how reliable that information was. The upper decks on sea days were very busy and if you left it too late then you would struggle to find a bed let alone 2 together. Either way we found the ship to be not as free and easy as the others in her class mainly because of the space issue.
Embarkation was relatively smooth as we were able to use a designated channel for Elite and Select members of the Captains Club which allowed us to be on the ship very quickly considering the amount of passengers arriving at the same time as ourselves.
Our cabin was pretty much the same as our previous ones on this class of ship although the cabin doors now open out and we had a door to the adjoining cabin facing the bathroom door. Nothing really new to report about the cabin other than that. Here are some photos taken before our cases arrived. The cabin never ever looks the same after that first day!
Our steward Ozy was quick to introduce himself and was always on hand to see if there was anything we needed. He was assisted by Alexander who from what I witnessed seem to do the bulk of the work in our cabin.
For eating onboard we tended to use the Oceanview Cafe during the day and the Opus Dining Room in the evening. Breakfast always seemed to be very busy no matter what time you went unless you were in port and there were loads of tours out. We like to eat out in the open area at the rear of the ship and always seemed to be able to find a table even at the busiest times.
We were given some OBC and did consider using one of the speciality restaurants but in the end we used that on other things and ate in the dining room every night where we were on a table of 9. Our fellow diners on table 248 were such was the good company and the food was excellent so why bother going elsewhere? The only thing I can grumble about is the lack of presence from our Maître D, not once over the 11 nights did he visit our table. I am not sure of the reasons for this but we have become used to seeing one at least a couple of times on previous cruises and being as this was a Celebrity ship you would have thought that he would have made an appearance. How else would he know if our waiters or the food was meeting our approval?
We also purchased a water package and a soda package for Alex and I am pretty certain that on both accounts we made the right decision. Drink prices did seem a little higher than last time and this cruise was the first one where I didn’t treat myself to a cocktail.
The entertainment on the ship differed greatly from previous trips and instead of A cappella groups, string quartets and pianists Celebrity seemed to be trying to appeal to a younger audience. Yes there was the usual house band which many people seemed to enjoy but we also saw another group made up of the ship musicians which played a more rockier set. Something that surprised me even more was the inclusion of a DJ who played poolside and also right in front of the Martini Bar in the evening. Also at various venues around the ship there was an acoustic guitarist by the name of Danny who we spotted on few occasions and according to the Celebrity Today a Jazz Quartet who we seemed to have missed completely. We never bothered with the theatre at all except for when walking past one night we heard them singing a Four Seasons track so went to investigate, the show was Production Cast doing songs from the shows and we just happened to be walking past when they were doing the Jersey Boys bit.
We don’t use the ship excursions and were amused to read in the Celebrity Today how they were trying to hook the vulnerable passengers who are not confident about making their own way while ashore. These are their words printed in the programme.
- Guaranteed first off the ship – Guests on our tours enjoy priority departure in port
- No cancellation policy – A change in plans is hassle free. If you decide to change your mind the evening before your tour, you just need to bring your tickets to the shore excursions desk and we will cancel your ticket.
- Guaranteed return to ship - If your tour is delayed, we won’t sail without you. We are always in contact with the guide and local tour operator.
Our muster was conducted in the dining room in front of some drop down screens and I would say that I would be very surprised if 70% could actually see the screen. Yes you could hear what was being said but without the pictures or previous knowledge then you have to question how much use it actually was.
Something I haven’t seen before was the Thriller Flash mob who performed on the last evening in the Grand Foyer. Made up from passengers and a couple of the dancers they rehearsed and danced the routine from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. I only managed to catch the end of the dress rehearsal and the end of the actual performance and from what I saw they did very well. There are some of these on YouTube if do a search they are easy enough to find.
All the usual cruise stuff was there like the Bella Perlina Charm bracelet sales and the mega bingo but we just ignore that and focus on what appeals to us. As you will have read from the daily posts we don’t sometimes get off the ship opting to make the most of a deserted ship and its hotel facilities. We will most likely cruise Celebrity again in the future but I don’t think it will be on the Reflection, she just doesn’t seem to have the same soul as her sisters.