Fun cruise but disappointing entertainment
Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Review summaryLet’s start out by saying that we had an excellent time. Even with the negatives you will read about we had lots of fun. FLIGHTS- We had a couple of minor delays in Chicago. On the flight in there was lightening so we could not pull into the gate. The flight to Miami was delayed because they stopped all south bound flights. No weather related problems on the way home. We did have a bit of delay in Chicago while we waited for one of the crew members. CROWNE PLAZA MIAMI- We stayed at Crowne Plaza for 2 days prior to the cruise. If you don't eat at their restaurant and do not mind paying $6 for a beer, this is an excellent hotel. Fortunately there is Latin Cafe across the street, which serves a really good breakfast for half the price, right across the street. Also, there is a Catch Of The Day restaurant for dinner. The service and the rooms were excellent. We have no problem recommending Crowne Plaza if you need a place to stay in Miami. It has free wi-fi and a nice pool. Rooms are clean and comfortable. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKING- Our chartered mini-bus was late so we did not get to the pier until about 1:30. Embarkation was a breeze. Disembarking was also easy. Miami has a carousel for the baggage, making it easy to find. No problems with customs, either. CABIN- The cabin was very nice and more spacious than other ships we have sailed. The bathroom, particularly, was well designed, with plenty of storage space. It was an obstructed view cabin because of the lifeboats outside our balcony, but we did not expect it to be as obstructed as it was. The cabin was very clean and we enjoyed it. CABIN STEWARD- Our cabin steward was Lordes, and she is one of the better ones we have had. Very friendly and attentive. She kept our room clean and the ice bucket full. SHIP LAYOUT- We thought the ship was very well laid out. Most of the activities are aft, which made it convenient for us. We did not check out all of the areas, like the library or Hideaway. Some of the art was a bit weird (Like a deer head with antlers on top of a pineapple painted on a wall), but the layout of the ship was pretty good. BARS- Our favorite bar was Entertainment Court Bar, but it did not open until 6:30 pm. We also liked the Passport Bar and the Mast Bar. The Mast Bar is outside, so we did not spend much time there. In fact, for the most part, only the outside bars were open before late afternoon. For all the hoopla about how good the Sunset Bar is, we did not find it so. Even had it been inside, it would not have mattered. Usually we spend more time in the bars on a ship because this is where the entertainment is, but there wasn’t much lounge entertainment that we were interested in. BAR SERVICE- Bar service depends on which bar and if you are sitting at the bar or in a chair. For the most part, service at the bar was fine, service away from the bar was not. Bar snacks were available only at certain bars and were nothing special. As you might expect, our favorite bartender was at the Entertainment Court Bar, and our second favorite one was the one that replaced her on breaks. On most cruises we find at least two or three bars that we really like, with bartenders that deserve an extra tip. This time, only one. We had the Classic Drink Package as one of our perks. That was a good deal! I didn't drink more than normal, but it was neat to never have to sign a slip. ENTERTAINMENT- Most of the main entertainment was Celebrity staff, and most of that was musical, so whether you would be pleased with it or not depends on your interests. Starting with the cruise previous to ours, Reflection is making a push to younger cruisers. The average age on this sailing was 64, and they want to target the 20s to 40s age group. So no, we did not care for most of the main entertainment. The lounge entertainment also reflected this change, so we did not particularly like that either. Lots of people did, though. The piano in the atrium was used only to hold equipment for other functions, and there was no piano bar. Again, the lounge musical groups only played the contemporary music Reflection is switching to. There was no deviation from this. No variety of entertainment. MDR- We ate supper in the main dining room 5 of the 7 nights. We did not have assigned seating so we could sit wherever we wanted. We really liked the table location and were able to be seated there every night. The waiter (Roger) and his assistant (Jonny) were good, but not great. We had one of the best bar stewards (Branco) we have ever had! Very important. For the most part, the food was excellent. One side of the menu offered the same choices every night, so if the Chef’s Choice didn’t appeal to you, there was always something good. Escargot was available each night. They go through 100 tons of it each week! We didn’t eat at any of the specialty restaurants, so can’t compare the quality of the food, but probably what you would be paying for is the atmosphere of the specialty restaurant. BUFFET- The food in the buffet was very good, but we basically only ate there for breakfast and lunch and it was the same options every day. If you wanted pizza, it was good, but it was only an option of pepperoni, cheese or veggy, every day. It's saving graces were the omelet station, which was never that busy (except for the last sea day) and the ice cream. It was available most of the day and they had 8-10 flavors at a time. For hamburgers and hot dogs you could go to Mast Grill, one deck up. There was always a line, but worth the wait. We never had any problems finding a place to sit, even when it was quite crowded. There was nothing special about the wait staff in the Oceanview, which we found to often be lacking. An advantage to having islands is that there were never long lines for food. There were drink stations on both sides. Coffee and juice were available 24/7. The overall bakery selection was not as good as other ships have been. They didn’t even offer donuts for breakfast. PORTS- The ports were Old San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maartin. We did not book any excursions as we have been to these ports before. Old San Juan is a pretty town and easy to walk. St. Thomas, of course, has its shopping and there are excursions that would be worthwhile for those that have not been there before. In St. Maartin, there is a vendor we like that sells Tagua nut carvings. The Tagua nut is called vegetable ivory. IN GENERAL- This was a large ship with around 5,500 people it never seemed that crowded. Lounge chairs were always available for those that wanted to be by the pool. The staff and crew were friendly and helpful. Overall, while we probably would not seek to sail Celebrity again, we would book a cruise with them if the situation was right. Cabin 6178 CABIN- The cabin was very nice and more spacious than other ships we have sailed. The bathroom, particularly, was well designed, with plenty of storage space. It was an obstructed view cabin because of the lifeboats outside our balcony, but we did not expect it to be as obstructed as it was. The cabin was very clean and we enjoyed it. CABIN STEWARD- Our cabin steward was Lordes, and she is one of the better ones we have had. Very friendly and attentive. She kept our room clean and the ice bucket full.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
The comments about the entertainment, apparently no longer aply