I recently had the opportunity to sail aboard the Celebrity Reflection for our annual TPI Conference. I had cruised with Celebrity once before in 2004 aboard the Celebrity Millennium and it was a phenomenal experience so I had high expectations this time around. Celebrity Cruise lines always ranks high among my clients and being on a newer ship, I knew I was going to be in for a real treat. And of course, I was definitely not disappointed.
Our itinerary started in Miami where I completed some hotel inspections (The Miami EDITION is my top fav). The day of our embarkation was the ship’s first port back in the USA after sailing in Europe for the summer. As a result, I *heard* that this created some congestion at boarding time. However being a seasoned traveller, I decided to spend the day in Miami and didn’t board the ship until about 3 pm. As a result, boarding the Celebrity Reflection was so quick with no delays or queues.
Celebrity ships are known for their modern decor, luxury, and innovation and this Celebrity Reflection did not disappoint. Everywhere you turned there was a fabulous and unique space to explore. I found the whole ship extremely easy to navigate, with no dead ends or confusing hallways making it very easy to orient myself.
As this was a work trip, I shared a cabin with a roommate so we had 2 single beds. Our cabin on the Celebrity Reflection was a Deluxe Ocean View Verandah Cabin 6199 (category 2D) on the 6th deck and it was extremely spacious and well-appointed. It offered plenty of room for the 2 of us to get around, a sufficient amount of storage, and a large balcony. Our view was obstructed by the ship’s lifeboats which were unpleasant however since this was a business trip, it didn’t bother me. If this was a leisure trip, I would definitely upgrade to an unobstructed view.
Most of the meals I experience abroad Celebrity Reflection were in the main restaurant or buffet and they did not disappoint. There was always a variety of options to choose from include light fare to steak and lobster. I did have the opportunity to enjoy the specialty restaurant, Qsine. This one-of-a-kind restaurant featured some very unique items on the menu including Disco Shrimp, “Popcorn” Fish N Chips, Sushi Lollipops, and Trescerviche. It was definitely an amazing experience that any foodie-lover would enjoy.
My favourite part of the ship was the multiple lounges and bars. I loved sailing away and the view from the Sunset Bar. Catching up with a supplier at Cafe al Bacio, meeting with a co-worker at the Hideaway, a pre-dinner drink at the Martini Bar, and an after-dinner drink at the Sky Observation Lounge. There was always a great space to meet up and enjoy some time.
Although I didn’t cruise with my children this time, I did check out the kids’ entertainment. I have to say they looked pretty awesome. Children aged 3-11 were at the Fun Factory for age-appropriate activities. X-Club Teen entertainment had something new every day and the Toddler area for the little ones was a perfect, learning, and enriching activity space. I did take some time to speak to the children on board and they all said they loved the kid’s programs (and, so did the parents). I did find that the overall ship was definitely geared towards adults and therefore not a lot of children on board.
I also had a chance to squeeze in a 90-minute massage at the Canyon Ranch Spa Club. After a full week of in-class sessions, networking opportunities, working dinners, resort inspections, and late nights I can say that I fully enjoyed a few minutes of relaxation as the ship swayed and I had all the kinks in my shoulders worked on. A tip that I learned on this ship is that after 5 pm they offer a 20% discount off of services. So next time you are cruising be sure to ask about any late-day discounts!
Overall, I would give the Celebrity Reflection an 8/10 for the overall ship, amenities, and food. I took off points for the service as I did find the ship short-staffed at times. I am sure that it was due to the fact that the ship just returned to the USA and many staff contracts ended and many started up again. I would also not recommend this ship if you are looking for adventure (ie. surf simulator, rock walls, etc) as this ship is not about action-packed activities but more about luxury, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
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