Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review
Newest of Celebrity's fab five, Reflection seduces in many ways, but a few evolutionary changes were disappointing
Located on Deck 15, X Club was the place for teens to hang and activities were scheduled throughout the day and till late at night, including teens-only dance parties, scavenger hunts and dodge ball in the adjoining basketball court. In addition to ample games and activities on offer, there was a coffee machine and ice cream maker.
Also on Deck 15 and designed for kids age 3 to 11, the Fun Factory was open from 9:00 a.m to 1:00 a.m. each day of the cruise. Activities included karaoke, crafts, treasure hunts and talent shows. A few activities carried an additional charge of $6 per hour, such as the dinner party and slumber party. The venue has a private entrance to the Basketball Court, where kids can burn off energy during supervised games.
Galleria Boutiques was about 10 interconnected shops found on the starboard side of Deck 5. We can only say “about” because the shops blend from one to the next—only the signs out front distinguish one from another. Starting from the end closest to the Reflection Theatre, Adagio and Jasmine sell fragrances for women, with a small section in Adagio devoted to men’s colognes. Most of the tops lines are represented, with the main focus on Chanel and Estee Lauder products. The Showcase features women’s handbags, mainly leather, and primarily from the Fossil and Guess labels. This flows into Moda, where colorful purses by Mary Frances and dresses by Canadian designer Joseph Ribkoff are displayed, along with showy necklaces and some swimwear. The Men’s Shop sells resort wear by Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Bahama, which segues into The Collection and Pieces of Time, where watches by Marc Jacobs, Citizen, Rado, Tag Hauer and the Joseph and Thomas Windmills line from England. At the Artisan Studio and Exquisites we found larimar pieces from Marahlago and H Stern jewelry; Boutique C had a collection of inlay jewelry by Kabana of India.
Just downstairs, the Shops on the Boulevard was another series of interconnected venues flanked on one side by the casino (perhaps to capture some of your winnings?). Less upscale than the Galleria Boutiques upstairs, this was the place for informal cruise mementoes and sundries. Starting from the forward end, Spirits and Such sells liquor, cigarettes and Dominican cigars; note that merchandize purchased here is held until the conclusion of the cruise. Next door, Glitz sells cultured pearl jewelry by Honara, crystals from Swarovski, glass jewelry from Antica Murrina of Venice, and baubles from the Guess and Fossil brands. Serendipity had odds and ends ranging from drug store sundries (sun block, toothpaste, razors, tampons, etc.), snacks, stuffed animals and sunglasses. Last in the line is the Eclipse Shop, where Celebrity Reflection logo merchandize—caps, T-shirts, etc.—can be purchased, along with Samsonite travel gear.
Next to the Casino was the small Art Gallery. Art auctions were conducted on most days of our cruise, but we didn’t see much that merited a bid.
Also in this area is the Photo Gallery. Photographers roam the ship, particularly during designated events (like gangway and embarkation), taking photos of cruisers. Portrait studio photographers are also available for formal sit-down shots. The photos are displayed on racks and available for purchase—$19.95 each for any size up to 8×10. A DVD of the voyage was also available at the end of the cruise, for $34.95.
Mac users will feel right at home at the Celebrity iLounge, a computer lounge with more than two dozen iMacs available for passenger Internet access. The lighting is fairly bright here, cast by wall-size screens marketing Apple products—it’s not a very relaxing place for web surfing.
In order to access WiFi with our own laptop, Celebrity requires a stop by the iLounge to obtain an access code. This is a hoop we don’t have to jump through on most other cruise lines. The basic price for WiFi service—using computers in the iLounge or devices from home (including PCs)—was.75 per minute. Packages brought the price down to $24.95 for 38 minutes (.65/min), $49.95 for 90 minutes (.55/min), etc.
Three different classes were offered in the iLounge, all of them focused on iPhone and iPad. The classes were $20 each and attendees were expected to supply their own devices. Similar classes are available for free at Apple Stores. There were also a couple complimentary demo sessions with the latest iPad. A small selection of iPads and MacBook Air and Pro models was also available for purchase.
A daily newsletter, Celebrity Today, was delivered to our cabin each evening. There was a lot of content, and some of the activities scheduled were easy to overlook amid all the small, dense type.
The captain’s daily greeting included good geographical and geopolitical information about the areas we were cruising through. Most announcements were provided in multiple languages that could be heard (though not loudly) inside cabins; in addition to English there were translations in Greek, French, Spanish. It wasn’t excessive or obnoxious, but the crew certainly made sure the bases were covered!
Dress on Celebrity Reflection was fairly casual by day, but suits and cocktail dresses came out on formal nights, usually two nights of a seven-night cruise.
For Celebrity, formal is a cocktail dress, gown or pant suite for ladies and a tux, suit or dinner jacket with slacks for gentlemen (full or partial tuxes can be rented from guest relations). On other nights, after 6:00 p.m. “smart casual” is the minimum: Skirt or pants for ladies with sweater or blouse, pants with sports shirt or sweater for the gents. T-shorts, swimsuits, robes, bare feet, tank tops, sports caps and pool wear were not allowed into the dining room or specialty restaurants at any time.
There were no self-service laundry or ironing facilities available on the ship, but dry cleaning was offered at the usual inflated prices, with next-day turnaround; same-day service incurred a 50 percent surcharge.
General Health & Saftey
A muster drill was held just prior to embarkation the first day. Cabin keys were scanned as we arrived for the safety briefing, which was presented on a video screen at excessive volume (our station was in one of the restaurants). We were not required to bring life jackets from our cabin to the drill.
A medical center was located on Deck 2 and was open daily from 8 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. A doctor and nurse were also on-call for emergencies at all hours.
Celebrity Reflection had a fairly restrictive smoking policy in effect on our cruise. No smoking was allowed in any interior areas, including all cabins and their balconies. Smoking was not allowed in the casino. We did not observe violations of the policy during our cruise.
Smoking was permitted only in a few specific open-air sections of the ship: on Deck 5, port side; on Deck 14 by the pool, aft and port side; and on Deck 15 aft, on the port side at the Sunset Bar. Cigars were permitted only at the Sunset Bar, and stogie aficionados congregated here.
The crew on Celebrity Reflection was solid, and services were handled efficiently. Waiters were engaging and well-trained, wine stewards savvy with the wine list, and bartenders quietly efficient. One pool waiter was a little over-enthusiastic about selling buckets of beer, and there was a big push to attend wine seminars and other surcharge events—at a number of points we felt like the crew had upsell targets to meet, and the number of pitches got old.
Before re-boarding the ship at ports of call, ice water was offered next to security—it was a good way of handling the line when a large number of passengers decide to board at once.
For information on Celebrity Cruises’ tipping policy, see here.
For information on Celebrity Cruises’ alcohol policy, see here.
For information on Celebrity Cruises’ loyalty program, see here.
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