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GoodScout

Currently on Reflection - Great First 3 Days

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We're currently on Reflection and enjoying their 11-Day Southern Caribbean tour. 

 

I apologize we're not as dedicated as some past reviewers, but we don't spend as much time online during our trips as others. But thought we'd give a few observations, especially since we were on Equinox in November and a lot of people have asked questions about differences between the ships. 

 

EMBARKATION DAY

Check-in was smooth through the new Terminal 25 (except I left my sunglasses in our Lyft!). We arrived about 10:15am, despite being told our check-in time was noon-12:30 (we knew this was just a suggestion). Conceirge check-in was easy, and we waited for about 20 minutes before they allowed us to board. On Equinox, we just sailed right through without a wait. Guess there were a few people who really didn't want to leave the last trip!

 

Since this wasn't our first S-class experience like last time, we chose this time to just set up on the pool deck. We'd worn swimsuits under our cloths and our carryon had lotion, etc., so we were all set. Funniest moment was when another arriving guest set down near us and asked if we were B2B cruisers. Coming from snowy Vermont, we were so white I couldn't imagine how they thought we'd just spent a week on the ship!

 

Lifeboat drill was its usual dull half-hour (we did learn not to rush down there but to take our time so we were the last to arrive and first to leave). 

 

Dinner was at Tuscan and our waiter was extremely nice. A nearby lady from New York was driving him crazy with demands, and then another lady in a scooter knocked over their ice bucket, sending ice everywhere, but he managed to keep from being too, too rattled. We assured him we were the most low-maintenance guests he was going to experience all week, and everything was great. 

 

DAY 2 - SEA DAY

A nice sea day. I will say that there are fewer chair-hogs on Reflection than there were on Equinox, and there seem to be less crowds on the pool deck overall. Maybe fewer sun worshipers on this ship. Although Reflection holds 800 more people than Equinox, this cruise seems to be no more crowded. 

 

Cruise Critic social was great at the Cellar Masters. Big group. Gift exchange was great. We gave away a ½ gallon can of Vermont maple syrup and a copy of Darren's novel. We received a Jersey Shore Christmas ornament from a lady from New Jersey. 

 

Dinner was at Qsine (we ordered a 4 dinner package) and we hadn't seen the show before. We thought it was cute, and if we go cruising with our grandchildren in the future we'll be sure to take them here. 

 

First show of the trip was called Broken Strings, and featured a vague love story and lots of popular current songs. Singing was good, especially the lead singers, and the dancing was excellent. The sounds system was having some hiccups, and that detracted a little bit. 

 

DAY 3 - GRAND CAYMEN

With a 1-hour time change and a 7am CDT arrival, we ended up being one of the first tenders off the ship. We grabbed a cab to the Royal Palms Beach Club and spent the day there. The first 2 hours and last hour were enjoyable, but it was way too crowded and loud the rest of the time. With a huge Carnival ship in port, the beach was filled with lots of loud people and screaming children, which detracted somewhat. My advice is try and go to a resort further down Seven Mile Beach. Cabs want to take you to this one since it's closest to the dock and they can run more people there faster. 

 

Performance was Soul Sisters, three ladies with great pipes, and a great repertoire of diva-sung soul classics. Music was great. 

 

Late dinner at Murano, which is always great. Waiter Mark from the Philippines was charming, and my lobster prepared table side was great. I love eating out, but my wife doesn't, so for the next few days we'll be doing the buffet and room service routine. 

 

Some observations/tips: 

 

  • Quality of food seems the same as Equinox. Quality of tableside service is great.
  • Room service is a big miss, though. They've been late the two days we used them for breakfast, and both times the food was lukewarm to cold. 
  • Bartenders as Passport know how to make my special cocktail (French Sunrise) so I'm happy. I upgraded to the premium package three days before boarding just so I could have it, and am glad I did. I don't drink a lot, but it's nice to get the vodka I like and the multiple-liquor drink I like. 
  • Internet service on Reflection is much slower/weaker than Equinox. We're going to have to go to Guest Relations and make them reverse our charges down to the lower-speed package, because the higher-speed streaming service just isn't what's promised. 
  • Sunset Bar on Reflection is much nicer looking than on Equinox, but this must be where they send their new bartenders and bar-backs. Very slow and substandard service here, but the views make up for it. 
  • Ordered Sushi to go at Sushi on Five. Great to enjoy on the pool deck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for review.  I am on this ship in November on western Caribbean route too for 11 days.  I am flying into Ft Lauderdale a day early since I use to live down there and want to go to 15th Street Fisheries.  Im at a tossup on eating at Qsine, I did buy dinner pkg and will use it at least twice for the The Lawn Club, loved it on Silhouette.  Try some of the drinks at the World Class Bar always love them there. 

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I asked for a French Sunrise on Equinox last Sept.at Sunset Bar. No one seemed to know what it was. Just off Reflection. Sorry I didn't try to get one there.

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4 hours ago, GoodScout said:

We're currently on Reflection and enjoying their 11-Day Southern Caribbean tour.. We gave away a ½ gallon can of Vermont maple syrup

 

Too bad I wasn't there.  That maple syrup goes great with Celebrity waffles.  😋

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Thanks for taking time to do report, enjoy your cruise.

Kand J

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I am on Reflection for the third time in November...wonderful memories of my last two cruises!  Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and glad you are enjoying your cruise less your sunglasses.  I hope you were able to purchase some onboard!

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We were on Reflection in November... agree Sunset bar has incredibly slow service.  I actually liked the setup of the aft bar on Equinox better (to each their own!) as it was convenient to dining at the patio tables from the OVC.

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Thanks for your 3 day review of your cruise.  It sounds like you are enjoying the ship!

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, GoodScout said:

 

Although Reflection holds 800 more people than Equinox, this cruise seems to be no more crowded. 

-----

Assuming that each stateroom is occupied by two people--some travel solo, other cabins are occupied by more than two--Equinox accommodates 2850 guests and Reflection accommodates 3046 guests [+ 196 guests].

 

On Equinox [as well as on Solstice, Eclipse and Silhouette], the pool is located on Deck 12 with Oceanview Café on Deck 14 Aft.  On Reflection, the pool was relocated to Deck 14 with the Oceanview Café adjacent on the same level; most of the increased guest capacity resulted from the addition of staterooms on Deck 12 in the expanse occupied by the outdoor pool area on the earlier Solstice-Class ships.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Xport

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Goes to show how every cruise is a bit different....We found the deck areas much busier on Reflection than on other S class ships but service at the Sunset bar excellent....

 

So pleased you are enjoying your cruise, we loved lunchtime dining at the Porch...

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Yes but you havent eaten in the MDR yet!

Would love to hear your experience with that, after doing only upscale dining.

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1 hour ago, chemmo said:

Goes to show how every cruise is a bit different....We found the deck areas much busier on Reflection than on other S class ships but service at the Sunset bar excellent....

 

So pleased you are enjoying your cruise, we loved lunchtime dining at the Porch...

 

I'm confident that service will soon return to Celebrity's usual/consistent high standards but for now--with the introduction of Edge about four months ago--I expect that they are going through growing pains fleet-wide...  They have recently hired a significant number of new crew members in all job categories for all ships who are still "learning the ropes" under the guidance of experienced crew members who have transferred between ships--including Edge--so as to maintain a constructive "hands on" training environment.

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Well, I'm down here this morning at Cafe al Bacio getting some work done on my laptop while the wife sleeps (don't mock me, we own our own business and hey, you gotta pay for the vacation, right!) 

 

Here's the next few days notes, and some observations and comments at the end:

 

DAY 4 - SEA DAY

Rougher seas as we head further south toward the coast of South America, but nothing horrible. Lots of whitecaps and slightly bumpier and rockier ride as we woke up in the bed this morning. All good. 

You're right about the MDR - amazingly we haven't eaten dinner there yet! We sort of went berserk with our 4-specialty package! We did eat breakfast at the MDR, after giving up hope that we'd get a hot breakfast from room service on Reflection. The wait for a table was almost nonexistent, and we did ask for a table for two. The food was much better of course, and I had the eggs Benedict and my darling bride of 19 years had an omelette. We shared a yogurt frittata since we serve a frittata at our B&B and wanted to see if they had us beat (they didn't). My wife says she'd like to show them how to make omelettes here - they whip the eggs way to much to put air bubbles into them. It looks fatter, but it kills the taste of the eggs, especially when they add a lot of milk to the mix. My eggs Benedict was fine (also I think I do a slightly better job with the Hollandaise sauce since I make mine from scratch). I'd never tried English bacon before, so I ordered some. My take: It's essentially Southern Country Ham without all the salt. But I liked it a lot. 

 

Today was the test of how busy we were as we headed to the pool deck for the day. Crowded but we lucked out and found 2 chairs right near the performance stage. Fewer chair hogs than back in November, but when I had came up at 6am for my morning stroll, I'd already seen some setting out personal items. Just wow. 

 

Drink service at the Pool Bar here is much faster and a little friendlier than Equinox. I would have to say overall the bars here are a tad better (with the exception of the Martini Bar on Equinox, whose bartenders were amaze-balls!) 

 

We chose to have lunch at Sushi on 5 after attending their free sushi-making presentation. I'd seen it before on Equinox, but couldn't help myself. Only difference was on Equinox they shared the product with the audience - I think they would have done it here too if the chef had thought of it or someone asked. 

 

The singers who frequent the public areas and pool during the day and evening are very nice, and very talented. I think a little stronger than the small groups on E but very appreciated. 

 

We were tired so we just did a quick dinner at the Oceanview buffet and then made it an early night. Missed one of the singers in the Theater.

 

DAY 5 - CARTAGENA

I was looking forward to this stop, since I speak a smattering of Spanish (whatever I haven't forgotten from high school and college), and had never touched South American soil before. We had booked the Dora tour that so many rave about on the CC Excursions board. We had had some difficulty connecting via email in the months leading up to the tour, and found out upon hitting the docks at 7:15 (the Mrs. wasn't crazy about the early arrival) that they didn't have our name on their list. They added us to their fifth tour group which had room, and had us wait in the EcoPark area next to the dock for about an hour while the rest of the groups showed up. After that, we piled into a 12-person air conditioned bus to fight our way through rush-hour traffic into the city. 

 

Our guide spoke English well, but her accent made her hard to understand some times. I don't make a big deal of it, because I know I evoke the same reaction when I speak Spanish with a Southern US accent. We toured the monastery on the mountain overlooking the city of 1.2 million, and then stopped at the walled fort before heading into the walled city. At every stop you are mobbed by vendors, and if this is something that bothers you, you will HATE Cartagena. It is nonstop. At first, I kept saying "No, Gracias" and "Nadia," but by the end of the day I just gave an angry hand-wave. They all sold the same stuff: Crappy jewelry, cigars, selfie sticks and water. 

 

Our problem with the tour came when we got inside the walled city. We walked atop the outer wall and barracks and through a couple of streets, and then our guide couldn't get our driver on the phone to pick us back up. We ended up for the next two hours walking through random streets in 92-degree heat as she alternated between pointing out irrelevant houses and hotels and trying to hail our driver on the phone. After two hours of nonstop hiking, battling hucksters and desperately trying to find Cokes that weren't sugar-free or water that wasn't seltzer for my wife, we were spent. My spouse's desire to shop for Emeralds at the end of the walk was gone. She just wanted to pile back in the van and head back to the ship. 

 

After a quick Oceanview lunch and a dip in the pool (and 3 drinks for me!) we were revitalized, and spent the rest of the afternoon poolside. 

 

Lynne got collared outside Oceanside by someone who talked her into going to the Grill, so our streak of unintentionally avoiding the MDR continued. (For the record, we LIKE the MDR, although you certainly couldn't tell it this trip). 

 

We watched Michael Paul, and stand-up comedian and ventriloquist, who was nice, and then watched an improv/comedy game show with Eddie and the events staff that was quite funny before turning in. 

 

Today's observations:

  • Caesar at the Passport bar is amazing. Always smiling, always remembers my special cocktail. 
  • Comment cards. I make it a point to always have a blank one with me from Guest Relations, and insist on finding something or someone to praise each day. It's usually not hard to find someone. 
  • Our room steward Romeo is always willing to go beyond, and will be scoring a big additional tip at the end of the trip, as will a few others. 
  • If you need cash for onshore trips, go to the ATM the night before. The morning of disembarkation there's always a line (I got this right!)
  • Time changes are maddening for people with Apple Watches and iPhones. They pick up time settings from the local cell network, so if you're onboard on a sea day or in a town where you don't have AT&T Cruise service, you have to go through the difficulty of manually changing it. On the morning of time changes I wake up in my room never knowing the real time. 
  • There's a Concierge arrival social on the helipad this afternoon. I actually will get to use our Concierge for the first time today, as I want to cancel our last two specialty restaurant reservations and will have her do it rather than the Maitre' D. 
  • The art for sale here is truly horrific. Just a personal opinion, but when I saw people bidding crazy amounts for it yesterday in the atrium, I was amazed. 
  • Lynne found the sales at the Tiffany shop much more aloof than they had the right to be. 
  • Donated one of my novels I wrote to The Library. If you travel on a future Reflection cruise, you can see if it's still there or someone took it home. 
  • Going to try and grab lunch at the AquaSpa Cafe today. Hopefully the healthy food won't be a shock to my system and kill me. 
  • Captain's Club social yesterday pointed out a major difference between captains. Captain Kate was everywhere on her ship. This was the first and only time we've seen the captain of Reflection. Just different styles, neither is right or wrong. 
  • Was funny yesterday when the ship cleared the coast of Columbia and tacked from a northwest to a due east direction. Sun shifted and we watched all the sun-worshipers on the deck in unison pick up their things and move across to the chairs on the opposite side of the deck. Ah the little things that amuse me.
  • We have a bump-out Concierge cabin (1138) and a couple of people have asked for photos to see how much bigger the deck is. I'll try and oblige on my next post.  

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GoodScout thanks for posting.  January will be our first cruise on Celebrity and it is on the Reflection.  Reading as much as I can about her.

 

enjoy your cruise!!

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We will be boarding as you are exiting.  Next Friday.  Can't wait.

 

Our kids will also be travelling with us 21 and 22.  Is there alot of them to do?

 

Thanks

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Following. Thanks for posting your live review. We’ve been aboard Reflection on a TA, and loved her. We’ll board her again in December for a Caribbean itinerary similar to yours (our first Caribbean cruise) so your impressions are especially welcome. I’ll definitely look for Caesar in the Passport Bar😁

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26 minutes ago, Silkroad said:

Following. Thanks for posting your live review. We’ve been aboard Reflection on a TA, and loved her. We’ll board her again in December for a Caribbean itinerary similar to yours (our first Caribbean cruise) so your impressions are especially welcome. I’ll definitely look for Caesar in the Passport Bar😁

SilkRoad, you may be boarding Reflection right after we  get off. We disembark on Dec 9? 10? something like that, It will be our first time on Reflection, but not first Caribbean. We are going with some good friends and can't wait!

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3 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

SilkRoad, you may be boarding Reflection right after we  get off. We disembark on Dec 9? 10? something like that, It will be our first time on Reflection, but not first Caribbean. We are going with some good friends and can't wait!

Yes. We board on the 9th😊 I’m sure you’ll have a great time. It’s always fun to cruise with friends. 

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1 hour ago, GoodScout said:

 

 

 

 

 

  • Comment cards. I make it a point to always have a blank one with me from Guest Relations, and insist on finding something or someone to praise each day. It's usually not hard to find someone. 

Cannot like this enough.

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We just got off Reflection when you got on! Say hi to Mark and Rowland at the pool bar from Anna and Dan. The Music in Ensamble at night is wonderful! Urbano runs that bar. Have a wonderful time.  We will be back on her in June!

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We will be boarding the Reflection in 2 weeks.  It is one of our favorite ships.  However, I have to agree with you about room service breakfast being cold.

 

Are you planning on having dinner at the Lawn Club Grill?  That is actually our favorite specialty restaurant on any ship we have sailed.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to review!!!

We will be boarding on Friday!

 

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16 hours ago, mnocket said:

Are you planning on having dinner at the Lawn Club Grill?  That is actually our favorite specialty restaurant on any ship we have sailed.

 

We did eat at the Lawn Club grill the night of our departure from Cartagena, and it was very good. Steaks were excellent (we passed on cooking them ourselves after our stressful day). Salad bar was very nice, and I was impressed the baked beans had a great flavor and Southern flair. We had passed on the flatbread opener, since the guest sitting across from us told us it was about the size of a full pizza, and we knew we weren't famished. We ended up taking our desserts to-go back to our room and having them after the show. 

 

If you're with another couple or group, definitely put this on your list. Loads of fun having a designated griller, and you can watch them do their thing on TV screens over the grills. 

 

We're pretty much done with specialty restaurants for the rest of the trip, although to round things out we'll probably have lunch at The Porch on a sea day if we can get in.

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