Celebrity Reflection Postcard #4 Santorini – A tender port

Last nights formal evening was well attended and I have to say I did not see one person entering the dining room that hadn’t made the effort. All three boys on our table attended too and were also dressed for the part. Alex even wore one of my bowties just to finish off the look, his mum was really proud of him however as soon as the main course was over he was off to get into something a little more comfortable.
We arrived back to the cabin at the end of the evening to find a towel penguin sitting on the bed along with chocolates on the pillow.

Our towel Penguin

This morning we were still at sea and arrived at Santorini and just after 1:30 where the local tender boats were soon off loading the passengers who had booked ships excursions. We had decided not to get off and the ship and very soon had the ship nearly all to ourselves. Also anchored at Santorini were MSC Fantasia and the Splendour of the Seas so like our last visit here the cable car would have been really busy reinforcing our decision to stay on board and enjoy the ships hotel facilities.

MSC Fantasia and Splendour of the Seas at Santorini

I reckon there were around 100 or so people left on board when the tendering had calmed down and the announcements had stopped. We virtually had the pool deck all to ourselves which was in complete contrast to yesterday when you would have found it difficult to find somewhere to stand even.

Celebrity Reflection Pool all to ourselves
Celebrity Reflection Pool all to ourselves (well nearly)
Celebrity Reflection Pool all to myself!

Not only was the pool deserted but the rest of the ship was virtually deserted too. A big plus was the buffet was also deserted and we could easily wander round and select what goodies to eat for lunch and also finding a seat in our favourite area at the aft to eat today wasn’t a problem.

Celebrity Reflection Oceanview Cafe open seating area

We don’t set sail until 10:00pm tonight so I am hoping to get some really nice sunset photos. Santorini is apparently very good for that sort of thing.

This is as near as we got to Santorini today

While I think of it, the kids club has been a bit of a disaster where Alex is concerned, the first night he attended the main item on the agenda was of all things dancing! To scarper would be a too insignificant a word to describe Alex’s exit from the club. Fortunately for him he has struck up a friendship with one of the other boys on our dining table and they seem to be getting on really well. They both went back to the club yesterday to see what was happening only to find they were playing a table tennis competition which again drew a blank. I think once you get to a certain age it is difficult to entertain youngsters of their age, especially boys.

Tomorrow is another sea day which will mean the ship will be busy again so we will try and find some space up on the Solstice deck out of everyone’s way and catch some sun.

Celebrity Reflection Postcard #3 A Sea Day

I will carry on from where I left off last night, after unpacking the cases we went off and did a little more exploring. Alex had decided that he would give the kid club a go at 8:00 where there was a sort of welcome party going on. This meant he wouldn’t be joining us for dinner so it was just the 2 of us that went last night. As you would expect being the first night it was very busy with lots of people not knowing where their table was. What surprised me was how many people did not even know their table number. We have ended up on a table of 9, three lots of three except there were only 8 of us last night. It is basically three couples with their sons. Both the other couples are from Manchester and we had a great laugh on our first night so it does bode well for the rest of the cruise.
Our waiter goes by the name of Alfred and is from India and he is assisted by Roland. Our sommelier is from Croatia and goes by the name Dragana and if ever there was an apt name then she fitted the bill on our first encounter. I put it down to first night stress because when we spotted her on duty in the buffet early this morning she was all happy and smiley and her fire seemed to be out! 

The Opus Dining Room on the Celebrity Reflection
Our table for 9 in the Opus Dining Room

After dinner we climbed the stairs passing the atrium tree to deck 15 to walk dinner off and the pool looked amazing all lit up at night. After a few laps it was back to the cabin for our first night on board the ship.

Celebrity Reflection's Tree which on this ship has roots!
Celebrity Reflection Pool Deck at night

The clocks moved forward 1 hour over night and I was again awake for work, this time though it was 8:30 and not 7:30. Wandering out to the balcony I noticed we were just about to enter the Messina Strait so I promptly popped out to the coffee machine to get a couple of cups so we could sit and enjoy the transit from our balcony. 

Entering the Messina Strait

Because it was a sea day we had anticipated the buffet would be busy and we were not wrong. It might be too early to tell but I think the extra deck and passengers on the Reflection could well of been a move to far. On our last 3 cruises on this class of ship they have all had their busy moments but none like the scrum we had this morning. Another factor could be there are a lot of youngsters on board so many of the cabins could have 3 or 4 people in instead of just 2. Even the pool decks seemed to be much busier than I can previously recall them being in the past. Lets hope its just a blip and things will settle down in due course.
Much of the day was spent up on the Solstice Deck lying in the sun, the only interruption being a break for lunch.
On our way back to the cabin we stopped for some Gelato which does have a cover charge but is well worth it in our opinion.

Gelato Celebrity Style

Tonight is a formal night so time to put the old diner suit on again, it will be interesting to see how well the other passengers will embrace the dress code being as the ship is so busy  and especially s there are so many youngsters on board. I would like to think it would be well attended.

Celebrity Reflection Postcard #2 Embarking at Civitavecchia

I was awake for work this morning, no alarm to get me just my body clock telling me it was time. Fortunately being in Italy meant we were an hour ahead so it wasn’t too bad  but it still wasn’t early enough to catch the ship coming in to port. We would have had a prime view but alas it wasn’t to be this time.
Breakfast was on the roof terrace at the hotel and a simple continental style buffet, nothing to elaborate but it did the job. The hotel has on offer a shuttle service to the ship for 10 euros each which we made use of today, in fact it was very busy with as many as 26 other people stopping at the hotel doing the same thing. We nearly filled the 40 seater coach and it was nice to arrive at the dock side  totally relaxed and ready to board.

Our first glimpse of the Celebrity Reflection
Roma Cruise Terminal Civitavecchia

Embarkation was a dream, different channels for different categories and as we are Select members we were able to board with the Elite members and we probably on the ship within 25 minutes. On first impressions the ship seems exactly the same as her sister ships but then you start to notice the differences.
They have added an extra deck to the Reflection but not all the changes are on one level. It is almost like there has been an earthquake and certain areas have been raised, widened and lengthened. Its not like we don’t know our way around but we have been caught out a couple of times already with the different deck locations of certain areas. As an example below, deck 15 which is the one above the pool deck now runs continuously from the lawn club, there are no stairs near the rear stairwell. You can walk straight across to the Lawn Club Grille which does seem really peculiar to start with.

Celebrity Reflection Deck 15

We were eventually allowed access to the cabins and it would seem the current trend is to have some of the cabin doors opening out which is what our does.

On a positive note the coffee machine in The Hideway is open from 7:00am and not 8:30am like it was the Silhouette. This is a bit of a result given the close proximity of the coffee machine to our cabin as you can see from the photo below.

Our cabin door to the left and the coffee machine to the right
The Hideaway Coffee Machine

The muster was at 4:30 and we set sail shortly after 5:00 heading for Santorini with a sea day in between.

Tonight the dining attire is Smart Casual and we are on second sitting which is at 8:45pm, we are on table 248 and will find out what the seating is when we get there. Not having specified anything I am curious to see what we have been given.

Right, time to test the WiFi out……..

Celebrity Reflection Postcard #1 The road to Civitavecchia pre cruise

It was a very early start for us today, leaving the house just before 2:30am for the drive east to Heathrow’s terminal 4. Our Alitalia flight to Rome  was late leaving by 25minutes but as usual when these things tend to happen to us we arrived on schedule. The big shock for us was the weather, we had anticipated that it would have been really nice and sunny but were very surprised to land and find it was very wet and extremely muggy.
Our pre booked transfer to our hotel in Civitavecchia was exactly where the instructions said they would be waiting and in no time we were making our way along the dual carriageway to the Italian coast and the port of Rome.


We arrived shortly after midday and although the booking document said the rooms would not be ready until 2:00pm the receptionist managed to find one which was ready and we were shown up to the first floor room which I have to say was beyond our expectations. Having recently read a few negative reports about the hotel I was a little  worried it was going to be a bit of a let down but the sun shined on us today. Our room has a large balcony which looks out to sea and this was made all the better when the sun came out shortly after our arrival and we have had glorious weather all afternoon.


After a really delicious lunch in the  hotel restaurant we left our young companion to have a nap and wondered off for a quick walk to the promenade to see what was around. Our walk took us up to the port gates where we could see 2 ships in port today, the Costa Favolosa and  MSC Musica which weirdly was the last ship Alex was on with us.



This evening we will again be eating in the hotels restaurant as there is a good chance we may not last the distance due to the long day and plus the food is fantastic. I am going to sign off now so I can have a shower before going out. Tomorrow we get on the ship!!!!

Celebrity Reflection – Ships in port with us.

With the balance all paid and with just 79 days to go until we sail, I have had a quick look to see what other ships we may come across during the cruise.
Among the list there are 3 MSC ships, Lirica, Fantasia & Armonia along with an old acquaintance the Costa Serena.

We should also see 2 Seabourn ships, the Sojourn and the Odyssey along with 2 RCI vessels, Splendour of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas.


Date Port Ships in Port
4 August 2014
Civitavecchia, Italy Celebrity Reflection Depart: 05:00 PM
Costa Serena 9:00 AM – 11:59 PM
Ventura 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
5 August 2014
At Sea Celebrity Reflection
6 August 2014
Santorini, Thira, Greece Celebrity Reflection 02:00 PM – 10:00 PM
MSC Fantasia 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Splendour Of The Seas 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Tender)
7 August 2014
At Sea Celebrity Reflection
8 August 2014
Istanbul, Turkey Celebrity Reflection Arrive: 07:00 AM
Seabourn Odyssey Arrive: 1:00 PM
9 August 2014
Istanbul, Turkey Celebrity Reflection Depart: 01:00 PM
Seabourn Odyssey 6:00 AM – 4:00 PM
10 August 2014
Kusadasi, Turkey Celebrity Reflection 11:00 AM – 08:00 PM
Seven Seas Mariner 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Serenade Of The Seas 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Dock)
11 August 2014
Mykonos, Greece Celebrity Reflection 07:00 AM – 06:00 PM
MSC Armonia 8:30 PM – 11:59 PM
12 August 2014
Piraeus, Greece Celebrity Reflection 06:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Splendour Of The Seas 12:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Dock)
13 August 2014
At Sea Celebrity Reflection
14 August 2014
Naples, Italy Celebrity Reflection 07:00 AM – 06:30 PM
Regal Princess 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sovereign 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM (Dock)
15 August 2014
Civitavecchia, Italy Celebrity Reflection Arrive: 05:00 AM
Regal Princess 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Seabourn Sojourn 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
MSC Lirica 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM



Pre Cruise Accommodation – Hotel San Giorgio – Civitavecchia

After much research into hotels in Civitavecchia I have selected the Hotel San Giorgio  as our Celebrity Reflection pre cruise hotel.  All the hotel reviews I read seemed to have at least one person grumbling about something or other and you have to try and read between the lines when hearing what others have had to say about their own experience.
There were enough good comments to make me think this one is the one and so I duly made the booking. At the time of writing this, Tripadivser has it ranked #4 out of the 9 hotels listed in Civitavecchia with 237 reviews most of which were positive.

Hotel San Giorgio - Civitavecchia
Hotel San Giorgio – Civitavecchia

It is situated near the beach in the heart of Civitavecchia, and is close to Forte Michelangelo, Port of Civitavecchia,

Dining options at this business-friendly hotel include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Guests are served a complimentary breakfast each morning. Wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas (surcharges apply) and an Internet point is located on site. Business amenities at this 4-star property include a business center, a meeting/conference room, and limo/town car service. The staff can provide concierge services, tour/ticket assistance, and wedding services. Additional amenities at this Victorian hotel include a rooftop terrace, multilingual staff, and laundry facilities. For a surcharge, guests receive transportation including a roundtrip airport shuttle (available on request), a cruise ship terminal shuttle, and a ferry terminal shuttle. Guest parking is available on a limited first-come, first-served basis (surcharge).

Announcing Celebrity Reflection 4 – 15 August 2014

We have a cruise to look forward to at last. Following the disappointment of having to cancel our cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse I have today booked a cruise on one of her sister ships, the Celebrity Reflection. It is an Eastern Mediterranean itinerary which starts and finishes in Civitavecchia and has an over-night stop in Istanbul mid cruise.

We have again used an agent from the USA , not because it was any cheaper but because the promotions being offered on the other side of the Atlantic were much more favourable than the ones being offered by UK agents. We also love the fact the deposits are refundable up until final payment in the USA and given we have just lost £1000 on deposits here did sway the decision.

This cruise is perceived as being a holiday rather than an adventure and there currently no plans to go off and do lots of sightseeing. We will probably make the most of the ship and its facilities along with what should be some fantastic weather.


Day Location Arrival Departure
Monday, August 4, 2014 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 05:00 PM
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 At Sea
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 Santorini, Greece 02:00 PM 10:00 PM
Thursday, August 7, 2014 At Sea
Friday, August 8, 2014 Istanbul, Turkey 07:00 AM
Saturday, August 9, 2014 Istanbul, Turkey 01:00 PM
Sunday, August 10, 2014 Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey 11:00 AM 08:00 PM
Monday, August 11, 2014 Mykonos, Greece 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 Athens (Piraeus), Greece 06:00 AM 06:00 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 At Sea
Thursday, August 14, 2014 Naples, Italy 07:00 AM 06:30 PM
Friday, August 15, 2014 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 05:00 AM



Our cabin (7268)  is on deck 7 and is located on the starboard hump and is exactly the same cabin number we had booked on the Eclipse. This is becoming a favoured location for us as our last cruise on the Silhouette was also in the same location.

Celebrity Reflection Cabin 7268 Location