Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
DocJohnB

Reflection Review - 18 Feb - 1 March

Recommended Posts

I have not cruised on the Reflection; but DH and I cruised on the Silhouette last month to the ABC islands. We had not sailed with Celebrity since 2002.  We had taken a couple of Princess cruises the last couple of years.

 

Based on our less than satisfactory experiences with anytime or open dining in the MDR on Princess, we booked an Aqua class cabin on the Silhouette.  We are so glad we did!  Service, ambiance and food was first rate in the Blu dining room on the Silhouette. It translates into paying an upcharge for a dining experience that was similar to (actually a notch above) the MDR on Celebrity more than a decade ago.  After experiencing Aqua class dining, I would find it hard to go back to the MDR on Celebrity.  It may mean cruising less often, but for us, that’s a trade off we are willing to make.

 

I can’t comment on bar service since our alcohol consumption is mostly a bottle of wine at dinner.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Won’t comment on any part of this thread except the OP’s complaint about Martini bar service (pre-dinner) and Anytime dining wait times.  He had a very large group most evenings—-of course they would have to wait for table space—-just like at any land based restaraunt that don’t accept reservations!  Or, if they do take reservations, would have limited dining times available when booked mere days beforehand!  

As for a place to meet for drinks before dinner, a group should seriously consider the underutilized CellarMasters.  On a packed Reflection Christmas week cruise, my daughter and I found it a delightful place for predinner drinks and with charming service provided.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Stumptowngal said:

After experiencing Aqua class dining, I would find it hard to go back to the MDR on Celebrity.

I did a quick (Very basic) check on the similar cruise next year on Reflection comparing a verandah to Aqua.  As I mentioned previously I normally book single.  Using that parameter a verandah for myself was $4,000.  Aqua was $5,000.  A 25% increase.  I have only heard of the positives of Aqua dining, but just not sure it is worth roughly $100 per day for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, tbugstwo said:

Won’t comment on any part of this thread except the OP’s complaint about Martini bar service (pre-dinner) and Anytime dining wait times.  He had a very large group most evenings—-of course they would have to wait for table space—-just like at any land based restaraunt that don’t accept reservations!  Or, if they do take reservations, would have limited dining times available when booked mere days beforehand!  

And, I agree . . . . however what about the two and foursomes I mentioned.  These should and would be accommodated  much quicker in most land based restaurants in much less time than they were on our cruise.  And this interminable wait has NEVER been experienced by our group on Celebrity or other lines in the past (even eightsomes were accommodated MUCH quicker).

 

28 minutes ago, tbugstwo said:

As for a place to meet for drinks before dinner, a group should seriously consider the underutilized CellarMasters.

But we did (at least we looked at it).  Cellar Masters just could not accommodate (comfortably) a group of up to 15 people.  Sometimes, it was even much quicker just to wander down to the Cellar, get a drink and go back to the group.  The only logical place was in the Martini Bar area.

Edited by DocJohnB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Arno. said:

 

 

On one of the voyages we are in a concierge cabin.  I ask the "Concierge" can I change this bottle for a wine instead?  The answer "No".  Has anyone ever heard the captain or cruise director say at a meeting: "If there is anything we can do for you"?

 

I go the guest services.  We do not have tips included on one voyage so I ask if they could make a single entry on our account to include the tips for the week.  The  answer "No".  I go to Michael's and Alex takes care of it.  Why "No"?

 

The ship is sailing through the NFL playoffs.  I ask if the playoff games can be shown in Michael's even if there is no sound.  The answer "No" only after 9 pm..

 

As top cruise we have our picture taken at the Captain's Club Celebration.  It took repeated requests for three weeks to get our pictures for the previous three cruises... and were notified  that the Captain's Club hostess left suddenly for family reasons.. ie.  Celebrity speak for she was fired.

 

The top cruiser on any voyage gets a picture, a bouquet of flowers and occasionally a good bottle of wine but most significantly a free invitation to a specialty restaurant of your choice.  That benefit ended on our third voyage when we were suddenly presented with the bill even though the reservation was made by the Captain's Club hostess..

 

On other Celebrity ships, Zenith and top cruisers were usually invited to a Senior Officers table for dinner in a specialty restaurant sometime during the voyage.  It never happened in 9 weeks we were on board.

 

That's what I recall for now.. I'm dealing with bookings made onboard that have become an absolute nightmare.

Incompetence and lies, new booking numbers, changed cabins and prices $100's more than on the initial booking.  That will be a new thread soon.

 

 

 

 

"Thank you for your business, we appreciate your loyalty. Not!!"

Very surprised and disturbed with the treatment you received. I would expect better in general and especially given the loyalty that you have shown X and also that you had booked out 9 weeks. In many of the cases you noted "No" definitely should not have been the answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yikes!  We'll be on the Reflection in about two months... hoping things get sorted by then.   Gave up on the MDR on Celebrity several years ago... found the quality of the food there not worth the calories consumed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, tbugstwo said:

Won’t comment on any part of this thread except the OP’s complaint about Martini bar service (pre-dinner) and Anytime dining wait times.  He had a very large group most evenings—-of course they would have to wait for table space—-just like at any land based restaraunt that don’t accept reservations!  Or, if they do take reservations, would have limited dining times available when booked mere days beforehand!  

As for a place to meet for drinks before dinner, a group should seriously consider the underutilized CellarMasters.  On a packed Reflection Christmas week cruise, my daughter and I found it a delightful place for predinner drinks and with charming service provided.

I guess you missed an earlier post in which the OP said his party usually sought seating for groups of four.

 

Cellar Masters is indeed charming, but I have always found the service pace glacial, even for a group of two. I’d not consider dropping into it for pre-dinner cocktails if I had a large group.

 

The OP has a valid point. The ship, including bars and dining venues, should be adequately staffed with properly trained management & staff. Said management & staff should know how to follow contingency plans to accommodate the ebb and flow of passengers through the venues. 

Edited by Silkroad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree that the review has us a little concerned. We're scheduled for the same tour on Reflection starting April 1. 

I discount some of the bar and restaurant criticism (showing up with huge parties and expecting no delays in service is a bit much), but some of the other comments seem to have merit. 

 

Our last X cruise was on Equinox and it was flawless. We've been worried since Reflection has an additional deck of suites and many more guests, the fact that our cruise seems very full, and that Reflection seems to have smaller common areas than Equinox. 

 

Will watch and report in April. If our experience suffers in comparison to our Equinox journey, then we may have to chalk up Reflection as an example of X trying to squeeze out extra $$ by overstuffing their ship with passengers without a corresponding uptick in staffing and space. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, tbugstwo said:

As for a place to meet for drinks before dinner, a group should seriously consider the underutilized CellarMasters.

Whoops - in a previous post I said that it sometimes quicker to grab a drink at Cellar Masters - I meant the Passport Bar on Deck 3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, GoodScout said:

I discount some of the bar and restaurant criticism (showing up with huge parties and expecting no delays in service is a bit much), but some of the other comments seem to have merit. 

 

GoodScout if you will, I am not talking about showing up at the Martini bar with a huge party.  However I am talking early on in the evening when 5 or 6 or 7 of us would be there, but the Bar had a whole lot of folks and one or two servers to "serve".  The long wait time I mentioned earlier happened a little before 5 p.m. and there were only 6 or 7 in the group at that time.  All 14-15 never showed up at once.  Quite simply, the ship did not provide the number of servers necessary to comfortably take care of the patrons.

Edited by DocJohnB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DocJohnB,

Thanks for the review. Scary that seasoned cruiser Arno had a bad experience on Reflection. I realize we are talking about Reflection here but we were on Silhouette a year ago with 8 family members. Didnt have an issue getting seated in MDR but agree with others and Ive written a review after that cruise that my biggest gripes were the lack of bar staff especially at the Martini Bar. I witnessed many disgusted cruisers waiting belly up to the bar to try to get the bartenders attention. Then walk away disgusted after not getting a drink. Really at least 2 bartenders short behind the bar at peak times, such as pre dinner cocktail times.

I couldnt imagine not being seated or standing next to the bar and trying to get a cocktail. Seemed like most bars were like this. 

Celebrity really needs to add more servers and bar tenders to their staff. They sell or should I say include with a higher fare the drink packages but then do not provide enough staff to deliver what they sell. They would make a more pleasant experience for cruisers.

Just my 2 cents!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like it’s time for certain cruisers, even loyal ones, to try another Cruise Line.    There is no sense wasting vacation time and dollars on a cruise line that doesn’t meet your needs.

 

I also wish that cruising standards were the same as when I began cruising in 1961.    Cruising is no longer the elegant, top shelf experience it once was but cruising is much less expensive.   This was before Lidos and buffets, except for the daily midnight buffet.   Staterooms were much smaller, we even sailed twice with only a sink in the cabin.   The bathrooms and showers were down the hall!

Cruises are now mass market and have fallen to that standard on the popular lines.   Best not to expect anything better unless you pay for Suite class.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, cruising princess 1964 said:

We were on the same cruise and yours sounds much different than ours.

We found anytime dining to be great.  Maybe with a large group fixed seating would work better.  Our waiters were absolutely wonderful and efficient.  

We also went to the martini bar every evening for pre dinner cocktails   Yes it was busy but we had no issue getting served.

We loved our cruise ( this is our 20th cruise) and booked for another one on the reflection

 

Remember, these experiences are very subjective and many facts need to be considered when writing a review

Questions: 1) Did you make advance reservations for ATD before leaving home?  If you didn't, then you were at the mercy of "no shows" where seats were held for them  for`1/2 hour or so that had decided to eat elsewhere but failed to cancel their reservation.  Then they opened up for "walk ups."  What time did you eat?  If you didn't mind eating at 5:30 or 8:30, there was no problem.  2) were you in the Martini Bar between 5 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.?  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Stumptowngal said:

  Service, ambiance and food was first rate in the Blu dining room on the Silhouette. It translates into paying an upcharge for a dining experience that was similar to (actually a notch above) the MDR on Celebrity more than a decade ago.   

The MDR's on all the several lines we have gone on is average at best.   This post sums up one of the reasons we take Celebrity.   They  are all driving people out of the MDR's so you pay a higher fare and/or buy the specialty eats.   It is what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DocJohnB said:

And, I agree . . . . however what about the two and foursomes I mentioned.  These should and would be accommodated  much quicker in most land based restaurants in much less time than they were on our cruise.  And this interminable wait has NEVER been experienced by our group on Celebrity or other lines in the past (even eightsomes were accommodated MUCH quicker).

 

But we did (at least we looked at it).  Cellar Masters just could not accommodate (comfortably) a group of up to 15 people.  Sometimes, it was even much quicker just to wander down to the Cellar, get a drink and go back to the group.  The only logical place was in the Martini Bar area.

On three occasions my husband and I did "walk up" in the MDR and asked to share.  First night, sharing request ignored, table for two was provided in 1/2 hour to 45 minutes around 7:30 p.m in a horrible location which probably had been refused by others before us.  Second time, asked to share again, (just two of us) and it was 1/2 an hour or longer.  Third time, asked to share again and told 1 1/2 hours by the hostess handling the reservation line as the walk up was not open yet but, when it did open, we decided to try that line and was told it would be no longer than an hour and called in 20 minutes.  Some in our group had a reservation but still had to wait 20 minutes or longer for them to be honored.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the same cruise as you. This was our 2nd time on Celebrity and on Reflection. The anytime dining -- like you said -- was a joke. 1 1/2 years ago we had no problem at all with having our dining time and same seat each night. Not sure what happened between then and this past Feb. They do keep the ship very clean and we thought the crew/staff was mostly top notch. It did seem like they were understaffed. The same drink in different bars were not made the same. They need some consistency there. Overall though, we enjoyed ourselves and booked Reflection for next May for another adventure 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2019 at 11:22 AM, DocJohnB said:

While there were more unpleasant things on this cruise individually or collectively “RUINED MY WHOLE CRUISE”.

 

 

While re-reading my OP this morning I noticed this glaring ERROR.  It should read:

 

While there were more unpleasant things on this cruise, NOTHING individually or collectively “RUINED MY WHOLE CRUISE”.

Edited by DocJohnB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

DocJohnB   Thanks for the review. I think the cruise line lost sight of the anytime, select dining or your time or what ever you want to call it. When it first started you couldn't reserve a time you just showed up when you wanted and wait a few minutes and got a table. Next they started letting people reserve time for the whole cruise so they all started picking times around the main seating for the entire cruise., Kind of defeats the purpose we think. A couple of cruises ago we would walk down and be giving a pager on Princess and go sit at the closest bar, Usually in 20 minutes would be called. When we get in, there were dozens of tables open. Asked Maitre D about it and he said they are reserved but no shows and he has to wait 20 minutes before filling them.  .    

Decpl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Decpl said:

 

DocJohnB   Thanks for the review. I think the cruise line lost sight of the anytime, select dining or your time or what ever you want to call it. When it first started you couldn't reserve a time you just showed up when you wanted and wait a few minutes and got a table. Next they started letting people reserve time for the whole cruise so they all started picking times around the main seating for the entire cruise., Kind of defeats the purpose we think. A couple of cruises ago we would walk down and be giving a pager on Princess and go sit at the closest bar, Usually in 20 minutes would be called. When we get in, there were dozens of tables open. Asked Maitre D about it and he said they are reserved but no shows and he has to wait 20 minutes before filling them.  .    

Decpl

I think you nailed it. Allowing reservations for Select dining has killed it. If people want to dine around the same time each night they should choose "Fixed" dining. Same menu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am of the opinion that the days of the MDR are numbered. At some point, you’ll have to pay extra for that type of service or you’ll get the buffet.

 

The MDR is understaffed, the food is fairly repetitive night to night, and select dining is horrible. What’s the point of “dine anytime” if you have to make reservations? It seems like there is an effort being made to drive people away from the MDR. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, bkbarrym said:

I think you nailed it. Allowing reservations for Select dining has killed it. If people want to dine around the same time each night they should choose "Fixed" dining. Same menu.

The problem with "fixed" dining is it is either 5:30 or 8:30--too early or too late for a lot of people.  A lot of  people want to eat around 7:00 give or take a half hour which gives them time to get dressed and have a pre-dinner drink(s).   Late seating puts them around 10:00 leaving the dining room which is past some people's bedtime (lol). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Tucker in Texas said:

The problem with "fixed" dining is it is either 5:30 or 8:30--too early or too late for a lot of people.  A lot of  people want to eat around 7:00 give or take a half hour which gives them time to get dressed and have a pre-dinner drink(s).   Late seating puts them around 10:00 leaving the dining room which is past some people's bedtime (lol). 

It's funny in that we generally sit down for dinner between 6-6:30P at home.  However, we have become quite accustomed over the years to the Traditional dining late seating. We find that we like to wind down after long port days and relax without rushing off to dinner. We catch the shows before dinner to fill the gap. Besides, I don't think that we would want put up with the queues and aggravation that seems to be happening with the select dining. I guess it's a trade off that works for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...