November 2015 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Getaway (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Reflection
Second Cruise on Celebrity
We took my Mom on a cruise for her 80th birthday. She had never been on one, so I was very comfortable with taking her on Celebrity as I had cruised almost the same itinerary on the Caribbean about 8 years ago. I was very surprised to see how much had changed since that last cruise with them. My first cruise on Celebrity was with an older, more mature crowd, this one, Not so much.... I do not know if I will ever cruise Thanksgiving week again. There were a lot of kids on board and the parents were no where to be found. They ran up and down the hallways from early morning until late at night, and, some were caught trying to put large chairs from the third level on the elevator, they would run past you and almost knock you out of the way to get on the elevator. Needless to say, that was beyond annoying. Security was quick to respond when needed, but there is only so much they can do.
The shows were good and the group was very talented. The content of the shows were geared more toward a much younger crowd and contained a lot of today's rock/rap music.
If you plan to buy jewelry in the islands, I would strongly suggest you attend the presentations and stick to the stores recommended by the cruise line. Thankfully, we did and we did have an issue with the honesty of the manager of one of the recommended stores. We got Neil, the jewelry director on board involved, and he was able to go to the owner of the company and make things right in the next cruise port.
The food in the main dining room was good, the specialty venues were excellent, but be prepared, they are VERY expensive and even if you buy the Premium beverage package, it will not help you out on the wine by the bottle in those. Yasar, our server in the main dining was wonderful!
Now, for the beverage packages, if you purchase the Classic, or Premium, that does NOT apply to anything they have stocked in the bar in your room...NOT even the bottle of water. We did not know that until we received a bill in our room the next day, Guest relations took it off, but they will only make that adjustment one time. If you pay to upgrade to the Premium beverage package, make sure you see the bar pour your drink or your wine, there were many times we caught them pouring the bar wine and liquor. With the Premium package, the only time you will get the 20% discount on the wines by the bottle is in the main dining room. You will NOT get it in the specialty restaurants.
If you do not want to deal with those tacky little tip envelopes the last night at sea, I strongly recommend upgrading so you can pay those up front.
Celebrity has by FAR, the best disembarkation process we have experienced. We paid the fee to have them check our luggage with the airline and bring our boarding passes to our room and we did not have to deal with any luggage except our carry on. It was wonderful! They brought our baggage tags to the cabin and picked the luggage up late in the evening of our last night, and we did see it again until we arrived at our final destination. Well worth the fee!!
House keeping was great. The rooms were very well maintained and the staff was very friendly and attentive. We requested a bucket of ice one time and from that point on, we had fresh ice every morning and evening.
My personal recommendation is to avoid the cafeteria altogether. The food there was awful and most of the passengers who were dining there, were rude, run over you to get to the food, gross. (Unfortunately, Celebrity does not have this uniquely unto themselves.) I will say, be sure to watch the times for the main dining if you wish to avoid this experience!! :-)
We will consider traveling on Celebrity again, but I would seriously consider upgrading several levels up from what we did. We did upgrade to the Concierge class and were under the understanding that it would allow us expedited check-in. It does not, you may have a shorter line, but you will be in the line none the less. You will not get expedited check-in unless you are in one of the Suites.
Overall, the staff was very courteous, and were very responsive should one run into an issue.