Last month my husband and I boarded the Celebrity Reflection in Civittavechia, Rome’s cruise ship port. Launched in October 2012 the Reflection is the newest member of Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class luxury cruise ships.
We boarded the Celebrity Reflection one day after disembarking from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s newest mega ship Harmony of the Seas. A world of difference between the two ships!
Stepping on board the Reflection was like going home. We’ve been on many Celebrity ships including the Reflection’s sister ships the Equinox and the Silhouette, so we’ve come to love and expect the best from Celebrity. From the welcome glass of bubbly to the sumptuous buffet, the comfy seating areas to the great service, Celebrity usually meets or beats our expectations.
After an exhausting week searching for a comfy quiet spot on the Harmony of the Seas I was elated to find the familiar nooks and seating areas on the Reflection.
In fact I was so happy I didn’t know where to sit and relax first! The comfortable seating areas on board all the Celebrity cruise ships I’ve been on is just one of the reasons Celebrity is one of our favorite cruise lines. But that’s not all! Let me tell you all the things I love about the Celebrity Reflection, it’s pretty much all the things I love about the entire cruise line.
One of the things I love is the spacious showers and cabins with lots of storage space.
We usually book at least a veranda cabin, it’s really quite spacious for 2 people. The cabin is equipped with a twin/queen bed (very comfy), night stands on either side, a sofa and coffee table, a desk, flat screen TV, and a minibar. The veranda is large enough to fit 2 reclining deck chairs and a small table. Storage spaces include the closet on one side of the bed, the night stand drawers, 2 compartments above the bed, and drawers by the minibar and under the desk. Then of course there’s the cabinet in the bathroom.
Unlike the teeny shower stalls on many cruise ships the circular showers on the Celebrity Reflection are very spacious. A pleasant addition are the travel sized toiletries provided. No bath gel/shampoo/conditioner dispenser mounted on the shower wall here, but lovey tubes of toiletries from Gilchrist & Soames!
Cabins are serviced twice a day. which includes a turn down service complete with a yummy chocolate on each pillow. Of course the cabin attendants are awesome. From the minute you step in to your stateroom to the day you sadly disembark, the cabin attendants are available to make your cruise memorable. If you ever need something, the attendant is either in the hall going about his or her duties, or is just a phone call away.
Oh, I almost forgot. You’ll find bathrobes, a handy umbrella (you can take it on shore), and a tote bag (it’s for you to keep!) in your room when you arrive. The Reflection crew thinks just about everything!
On embarkation day cabins are usually available by 1:00 pm. If you’re on board before then you’ll have to hang out at one of the public areas. Actually most cruisers head to the Oceanview Café, the ship’s buffet.
There are many restaurants on board the Celebrity Reflection. But the most popular is probably the buffet, just about everyone ends up here for a meal or snack during their cruise. And oh what a buffet it is!
The Oceanview Café serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. It features multiple action stations that change depending on the meal.
For breakfast there’s an egg/omelette station, toast station, poached egg station (you can get eggs benedict cooked to order here), and a carving station along with regular breakfast fare including bacon, cereals, fruit, and cold meats.
These stations convert to a pizza station, pasta station, grill station, and sandwich station for lunch and dinner. And don’t think they serve the same thing everyday!
The buffet offers themed meals through out the cruise, sometimes feature the cuisine of the countries you’ll visit during the cruise.
On our cruise there was a Greek night, Italian Night, Turkish Night, as well as seafood and sushi nights and lunches.
I was so happy with the buffet that I refused to eat anywhere else for the first 3 days of the cruise!
Other complimentary dining venues include the Mast Grill for fresh grilled burgers and dogs, Café al Bacio (pastries and sandwiches are free, coffees, teas, and other drinks are charged per item), and the main dining rooms.
The main dining room serves sit down breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast and lunch are strictly walk in. Dinner would depend on the dining option you chose, traditional fixed seating (early or late) or anytime dining.
If you choose traditional fixed seating you will dine every night at the same time and at the same table. For anytime dining you are responsible for making nightly dinner reservations, or you can walk in as long as you don’t mind a waiting in line.
Dinner at the main dining room is about a 2 hour affair. The menu changes nightly but does offer some standards every evening. It’s pretty much fine dining on sumptuous gourmet selections including French onion soup, escargot, beef Wellington, and crème bruleé.
My favorite is Lobster Night! Your waiter pretty much serves you all the lobster tails you can eat, and you can end the meal with a yummy baked Alaska!
For Aqua Class guests there’s Blu serving complimentary breakfast and dinner to guest who’ve booked Aqua Class rooms. Suite guests can have all their meals at the exclusive Luminae.
The other dining venues on board the Celebrity Reflection are the Tuscan Grill, Murano, the Porch, the Lawn Club Grill, and Qsine. All these are specialty venues and have either a cover charge or alá carte pricing.
We had lunch at the Lawn Club Grill on afternoon. The Lawn Club Grill serves Kabobs, and other grilled dishes for dinner. On sea days they open for lunch to serve gourmet burgers. They sure were delish!
To go with your burger you can get fried potato wedges and onion strings. You can also help yourself to the salad bar while waiting for your burger.
One of the nice touches at this restaurant are the blankets provided for all the diners. The restaurant is located on deck 15 and is pretty much open air. The blankets come in handy!
It’s hard to enjoy your meal when you’re shivering and your teeth are chattering!
Cost for the Gourmet Burger lunch is $10 per person. Dinner is $35 per person. Neither costs includes drinks.
The Tuscan Grill is an Italian Steakhouse.
Here you can order flatbread pizza and/or crab cake for your starter. They serve steaks, chops, and seafood, including ribeye and filet mignon.
For dessert tiramisu!
Cost for this venue is $45 per person not including beverages.
Murano is the elegant French restaurant with a modern twist. I love the Lobster that’s sautéed tableside.
One thing to remember if you plan to dine at Murano, it’s adults only. Whenever we cruise with the grandkids we take them to the Kid Factory all night slumber party on the night we adults dine at Murano! It’s actually a nice date night restaurant.
Cost is $50 per person excluding beverages.
With all the dining options on the Celebrity Reflection I’m sure you’ll find something to tickle your taste buds. But if there’s anything you want or have food allergies just let them know and they’ll find a way to accommodate you.
A couple of years ago we cruised aboard the Celebrity Equinox with my then 9 month old grandson, Jett. He has a lot of allergies. To accommodate him one of the chef would call my daughter every evening and ask what they should prepare for him the next day. Then every morning they’d deliver 2 large bowls of whatever my daughter requested, and had something ready when we went to dinner. Now that’s excellent service!
I know I spent a lot of time talking about the dining venues, but that’s a big part of cruising. The bars and lounges are too! The Mast Bar next to the Mast Grill is the best bar to hang out in on sea days and in the afternoon after a day out on port. The service is friendly and the bar well stocked.
The Ensemble Lounge is our go to lounge for pre-dinner drinks and the Martini Bar is fun. The bartenders will gladly entertain you with their flair techniques.
Other things I love about the Celebrity Reflection is the Canyon Ranch Spa.
The Persian Garden with heated tiled beds is perfect place for relaxing and the spa services are second to none. What a better way to unwind after a day at port than a massage in a room with a view?
The salon is located in the same area as well as the fitness center.
If you don’t want a massage you can hang out in the adult only solarium pool or on the comfy deck chairs and loungers located by the pool. There are also hammocks on the lawn on deck 15. Lots of places to just relax and practice the art of doing nothing!
Or you can indulge yourself by renting one of the alcoves, and exclusive hideaway on the lawn.
If you’re the more active sort you can play Bocce on the lawn. (We’re not that active while on vacation, but we do picnic on the lawn.)
You can also jog around the ship, play ball at the court, join a zumba or dance class, or other activities. Just check you daily newsletter for activities, locations, and times.
On board entertainment is pretty good, but not as good as the shows on RCCL’s Harmony of the Seas. But we enjoyed some of the shows in the main theater as well as a couple of shows at Celebrity Central.
Another thing I loved about this ship is the fast wi-fi. I purchased a package that gave me 24/7 wi-fi for the whole cruise. Prices will vary depending on cruise length. I paid just over $200 for 11 days of wi-fi, but that’s including the 30% discount I got as a perk of my Elite Captain’s Club level.
That’s another thing I love about this cruise line. Their loyalty level. They have wonderful perks including a free bag of laundry, a free item dry cleaned, and free or discounted wi-fi.
Elite members and higher also have the option of having continental breakfast at the Tuscan Grill which includes Mimosas, Bellinis, Smoothies, and specialty coffees.
There’s also the nightly cocktail hour where you get free drinks and appetizers, and the Captain Club party.
You’ll have to check your Captain’s Club fliers for time and location.
There’s also the Elite Elegant Tea at the Blu Restaurant. The date and time will be on the Captain’s Club flier and the hostess will contact you for your RSVP. Believe me it’s worth the time to attend!
The Celebrity Reflection, or any of the Solstice Class ships for that matter, is a great ship for those who want to relax in luxury. It’s great for couples, singles, and families.
If you’re traveling with kids, they don’t have as many exciting activities that other ships do, but they do have a Kids’ area and work hard at keeping kids of all ages entertained.
What’s your favorite cruise ship? Share your experiences with me!