February 2016 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean Getaway (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Reflection
this was our ninth cruise with most of the others being on Royal Caribbean. We found this ship to be very nice and relaxing but did not find Celebrity to be an upgrade over RC except in dining.
For the most part, we are not big fans of the Centrum designed ships where several floors are linked together through one opening and each has it's own bar/lounge areas. Whatever is happening on one level directly affects the others and the music is extra loud so that multiple levels can here it. Also, it was the same band there every night with hardly any seating that wasn't obstructed by stairways or columns. Overall, the music throughout the ship was repetitive.
We ate at the upscale restaurants 5 of the 7 nights and found them to be excellent! The main dining room was equivalent to other ships in food choice and quality. The Oceanview Cafe (casual dining) food choice and quality was far above what we have experienced elsewhere.
We found Celebrity to be similar in service to RC and much removed from the glory days when everyone worked hard for their tips. Now, cruise ships are a microcosm of socialism. ALL tips are put in a general bucket and distributed equally. What this leads to is slow, disinterested service everywhere except the upscale restaurants. We cashed tipped those who provided great service and will consider not doing the prepaid gratuities in the future!
We found this cruise to have far less going on than other ships and with a LOT of wasted space. Several rooms/areas never were used that we saw and there were bars that looked like they were closed (and in one instance was closed!) in the evening...again, the focus was at the Centrum. Perhaps this is more a reflection of the patrons than the ship?!?!
St. Martin and St. Thomas are beautiful and have a lot of choices for things to do. We went over to St. Johns to snorkel at a far cheaper price than the excursion. San Juan was of little interest to us. Even having a relative from Puerto Rico did not help us to find anything interesting to do other than the fort (which we saw many years ago).
We had priority embarkation...just like everyone else as this line was the longest but still took only about 30 minutes. Disembarking was fast and easy.