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Celebrity Reflection - Feb 21 – 28th 2015 This was our first Celebrity Cruise. We signed on wanting a new cruise ship experience and liked the 1-2-3 incentive at the time we booked. Yes we paid a bit more for this sea-day heavy and ports-we-had-already-visited-cruise but with the 1-2-3 (classic drink package, free gratuities and cruise credit included) the cruise was a good deal. We are platinum Princess and have done 3 NCL’s so my comments on this cruise will be reflective of past experiences on other ships. In a few words, I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 days and found many things superior to Princess but my wife would say the experience was not up the Princess standard. We had an oceanview room on the 3rd level not far from centre ship. I loved the location. We almost always do inside cabins so having an ocean view was a step up but for the extra one pays, I do not mind insides if the extra money saved allows us to visit the upscale eateries or do a few extras aboard. The room was typical with a little larger washroom and efficiently designed for storage. We had a minor issue with the shower not draining properly but it was fixed as soon as reported. We noticed a room a few doors away must have had a water issue because for a full 24 hours they had a fan and dehumidifier in the hallway absorbing water. A little feature that is appreciated on Princess that Celebrity does not offer is laundry and ironing on each floor. Being Platinum, we have come to enjoy the internet perk, so this was missed. I refuse to pay the fees expected for internet on board any cruise ship. I had purchased an American phone and internet package for my device. It was good for Miami, San Juan and St. Thomas. As it turned out we missed San Juan. Missing San Juan was a big issue for many aboard our cruise. It was not for us. Our ship was to arrive at 3:30 pm on Day 3. That would not have presented many opportunities to do much in port. Our previous memories of San Juan were not the best so with extra time aboard a new ship and a premium drink package, this was no big deal. We were quite pleased that Celebrity held the ship for 400 fellow Canadians who were late getting into Miami. Five years prior, we remembered taking 42 hours travelling through 8 airports to catch a B2B Princess from San Juan. Our ship, the Crown Princesss, was to have left at 11 pm but waited for us and another couple until midnight. We still recall fondly getting aboard through the crew entrance with no luggage and the service and welcome given us by Princess after the two day travel nightmare. We dubbed the experience our AMAZING RACE. A first cruise on a new line gave me a chance to compare food and eating places. I thought the MDR menus and fare were excellent. Actually better than Princess. We had four breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners in the MDR anytime. We enjoyed sharing tables and found Celebrity do their best to accommodate sharing. Escargot is on the menu every night. This was a positive. Lamb was superb and offered a few ways. Actually the lamb shank at lunch one day was excellent. I found the desserts mediocre. We decided to only do one specialty restaurant and picked Tuscan. While not quite as enjoyable as the Princess Crown Grill, it was very good. If we had been travelling with friends, we probably would have tried Qsine. We did lunch one day at Bistro on 5. While good, we would have enjoyed the MDR just as much. Service is both Tuscan and Bistro is excellent. Having the classic drink package meant we enjoyed multiple glasses of wine with each meal and a Baileys with dessert. I did find it annoying that we did not get asked if we would like wine until we were seated for at least 15-20 minutes. Eventually, we just made sure we brought a wine into the MDR with us from the bar. We really did not get to know any of the MDR staff as we chose varied times each evening to eat. We did not have any waits to get in and willing to share tables gets you in a little faster. We found going to the 7 o’clock show to our liking and leaving the theatre just before the show finishes puts you ahead of the dining crowd. We only visited the Buffet on 14 a few times. It was fine but found it crowded and the food mediocre. Entertainment was excellent, evening shows a good length (55 minutes) and the theatre was never crowded. The Beatles (4 Lads) was especially good. We arrived at the Port at 11 am and were aboard by 11:30. In all our cruises it was the smoothest and fastest embarkation. Rooms were not available until 2 so we had to haul our carry-on luggage with us as we had lunch and toured the ship. We were given a 8:45 am disembarkation and were called at 8:47 am. However there was a long wait to clear customs and we waited another hour to get our shuttle to the car rental agency. We managed to get our car and to the I-95 just as the torrential rain began. The weather for our entire cruise was sunny and warm with strong winds during the first few days. Our pre-cruise vacation in Florida had been very cool but a far cry from winter and snow at home. We had been a member of the Cruise Critic thread prior to the cruise. Unlike Princess, the Connections gathering is organized by Celebrity rather than the thread leader. We were led to believe we would hear when the Connections party was to occur and would get a note in our room or see it mentioned in the daily newsletter. On Day 3 when I checked, we were told it had already happened on Day 2 and all the ship had done was post a note down at Guest Services. Concluding this review, I will give the cruise a very good rating with a hope to return sometime soon for another on Celebrity. We will no doubt look for a more interesting itinerary though.  

Great cruise but next time a better itinerary

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by jdavid

Trip Details
Celebrity Reflection - Feb 21 – 28th 2015
This was our first Celebrity Cruise. We signed on wanting a new cruise ship experience and liked the 1-2-3 incentive at the time we booked. Yes we paid a bit more for this sea-day heavy and ports-we-had-already-visited-cruise but with the 1-2-3 (classic drink package, free gratuities and cruise credit included) the cruise was a good deal.
We are platinum Princess and have done 3 NCL’s so my comments on this cruise will be reflective of past experiences on other ships. In a few words, I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 days and found many things superior to Princess but my wife would say the experience was not up the Princess standard.
We had an oceanview room on the 3rd level not far from centre ship. I loved the location. We almost always do inside cabins so having an ocean view was a step up but for the extra one pays, I do not mind insides if the extra money saved allows us to visit the upscale eateries or do a few extras aboard. The room was typical with a little larger washroom and efficiently designed for storage. We had a minor issue with the shower not draining properly but it was fixed as soon as reported. We noticed a room a few doors away must have had a water issue because for a full 24 hours they had a fan and dehumidifier in the hallway absorbing water. A little feature that is appreciated on Princess that Celebrity does not offer is laundry and ironing on each floor.
Being Platinum, we have come to enjoy the internet perk, so this was missed. I refuse to pay the fees expected for internet on board any cruise ship. I had purchased an American phone and internet package for my device. It was good for Miami, San Juan and St. Thomas. As it turned out we missed San Juan.
Missing San Juan was a big issue for many aboard our cruise. It was not for us. Our ship was to arrive at 3:30 pm on Day 3. That would not have presented many opportunities to do much in port. Our previous memories of San Juan were not the best so with extra time aboard a new ship and a premium drink package, this was no big deal. We were quite pleased that Celebrity held the ship for 400 fellow Canadians who were late getting into Miami. Five years prior, we remembered taking 42 hours travelling through 8 airports to catch a B2B Princess from San Juan. Our ship, the Crown Princesss, was to have left at 11 pm but waited for us and another couple until midnight. We still recall fondly getting aboard through the crew entrance with no luggage and the service and welcome given us by Princess after the two day travel nightmare. We dubbed the experience our AMAZING RACE.
A first cruise on a new line gave me a chance to compare food and eating places. I thought the MDR menus and fare were excellent. Actually better than Princess. We had four breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners in the MDR anytime. We enjoyed sharing tables and found Celebrity do their best to accommodate sharing. Escargot is on the menu every night. This was a positive. Lamb was superb and offered a few ways. Actually the lamb shank at lunch one day was excellent. I found the desserts mediocre. We decided to only do one specialty restaurant and picked Tuscan. While not quite as enjoyable as the Princess Crown Grill, it was very good. If we had been travelling with friends, we probably would have tried Qsine. We did lunch one day at Bistro on 5. While good, we would have enjoyed the MDR just as much. Service is both Tuscan and Bistro is excellent.
Having the classic drink package meant we enjoyed multiple glasses of wine with each meal and a Baileys with dessert. I did find it annoying that we did not get asked if we would like wine until we were seated for at least 15-20 minutes. Eventually, we just made sure we brought a wine into the MDR with us from the bar. We really did not get to know any of the MDR staff as we chose varied times each evening to eat. We did not have any waits to get in and willing to share tables gets you in a little faster. We found going to the 7 o’clock show to our liking and leaving the theatre just before the show finishes puts you ahead of the dining crowd. We only visited the Buffet on 14 a few times. It was fine but found it crowded and the food mediocre.
Entertainment was excellent, evening shows a good length (55 minutes) and the theatre was never crowded. The Beatles (4 Lads) was especially good.
We arrived at the Port at 11 am and were aboard by 11:30. In all our cruises it was the smoothest and fastest embarkation. Rooms were not available until 2 so we had to haul our carry-on luggage with us as we had lunch and toured the ship. We were given a 8:45 am disembarkation and were called at 8:47 am. However there was a long wait to clear customs and we waited another hour to get our shuttle to the car rental agency. We managed to get our car and to the I-95 just as the torrential rain began.
The weather for our entire cruise was sunny and warm with strong winds during the first few days. Our pre-cruise vacation in Florida had been very cool but a far cry from winter and snow at home.
We had been a member of the Cruise Critic thread prior to the cruise. Unlike Princess, the Connections gathering is organized by Celebrity rather than the thread leader. We were led to believe we would hear when the Connections party was to occur and would get a note in our room or see it mentioned in the daily newsletter. On Day 3 when I checked, we were told it had already happened on Day 2 and all the ship had done was post a note down at Guest Services.
Concluding this review, I will give the cruise a very good rating with a hope to return sometime soon for another on Celebrity. We will no doubt look for a more interesting itinerary though.
 
jdavid’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3120
We had an oceanview room on the 3rd level not far from centre ship. I loved the location. We almost always do inside cabins so having an ocean view was a step up but for the extra one pays, I do not mind insides if the extra money saved allows us to visit the upscale eateries or do a few extras aboard. The room was typical with a little larger washroom and efficiently designed for storage. We had a minor issue with the shower not draining properly but it was fixed as soon as reported. We noticed a room a few doors away must have had a water issue because for a full 24 hours they had a fan and dehumidifier in the hallway absorbing water. A little feature that is appreciated on Princess that Celebrity does not offer is laundry and ironing on each floor.
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