Considering a cruise vacation? Read this post first! With so many cruise lines to choose from, it may be difficult to pick just one. Are you looking for a party at sea? What about a quiet retreat? Maybe a little of both? Our Twins Traveling Mom experienced a rare getaway, sans kids, and was blown away by her first experience on a Celebrity Cruise. Learn what to expect on Celebrity Reflection, the cruise line’s newest ship.
What to Expect on Celebrity Reflection
Celebrity Cruises is a premium cruise line brand that began its life in the late 1980s. In 1997, it merged with Royal Caribbean International to become Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. operates Celebrity, Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises and CDF Croisières de France. If you’re familiar with any of those other brands, you will know exactly what to expect on a Celebrity cruise.
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Celebrity’s newest ship Reflection launched in 2012, and it is the largest Celebrity Cruise ship currently in operation. So what can be expected on board? Read on to find out exactly what to expect on Celebrity Reflection.
First, you will most likely notice the luxurious accommodations right away, and I don’t just mean the staterooms. A glass of champagne greeted us upon embarkation, and the tone was immediately set for our cruise.
Celebrity Reflection is one of five “Solstice Class” ships. What makes the Reflection different is it’s the largest ship in the Solstice Class. It contains one more deck than other Solstice class ships, and it can accommodate 3,069 passengers, more than any other ship in the Celebrity Cruise Line fleet.
Our veranda stateroom was spacious! The view alone makes the upgrade worth it. Staterooms are significantly larger than the previous classes, with 80% having a veranda. If a veranda is a must for cruise travel, definitely consider the Solstice class ships.
Secondly, a unique feature of Solstice Class ships is The Lawn Club. I thought it was just a fancy name for another area of the ship, but lo and behold, there is actually a real, live lawn on deck 15!
The Lawn Club has plenty of free areas to stretch out and relax, but private alcoves are also available to be reserved. These comfortable, somewhat secluded retreats offer a brief respite from the sun guests will most likely experience on the open air deck.
Personally, my favorite area of the ship was the Solarium. Designed as a quiet space for ages 16+, it was very easy to be lulled into a nap while resting on a cushioned deck chair! Of course, there is also a cool pool and two warm, jetted Jacuzzi on either side of the Solarium if sleeping isn’t on the itinerary!
Included in a Celebrity Cruises fare are access to the main dining room, Opus, and large buffet, Oceanview Cafe. I would encourage venturing outside the box to try other dining options. On board the Reflection, there is The Porch, The Lawn Club Grill, Qsine, Blu, Murano, Tuscan Grille, Sushi on Five and more.
Our short, four-day cruise wasn’t nearly enough time to try them all! Specialty restaurants charge a cover fee, but once paid, order anything and everything from the menu (save alcohol, which is an additional fee without a beverage package)!
My favorite experience in the specialty dining restaurants was the Tuscan Grille. Outstanding food and even better service were exactly what we received. Sushi on Five was my favorite a la carte experience. Fresh, hand-rolled sushi and beautiful views make this restaurant a worthwhile stop.
What’s there to do on a Celebrity Cruise? A lot or a little, depending on your style! I’m usually not much of a shopper on cruise ships. The Galleria Boutiques on deck 5, however, were too beautiful not to take a peek in! From Kate Spade handbags to designer cosmetic and fragrance brands, there was a lot to choose from. Interested in a game of chance?
The Fortunes Casino hosted several card tournaments. Slot machines and other table games are also on board for additional fun. If the casino isn’t your thing, don’t miss the performances in the Reflection theater.
My husband and I really enjoyed the performance entitled “Broadway Cabaret” on the final night of our sailing.
In addition to the expected entertainment, Celebrity Reflection also has an expansive fitness center and spa.
There is also an entertainment area for children 17 and under. The X Club, for youth 13 to 17, is the perfect mix of hip and cool. Teens will love the areas for XBox gaming, karaoke, ping pong tournaments and more. Fun Factory, for children ages 3 to 12, is divided into three smaller areas to fit each grouping (ages 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12).
Because this was an adults only trip, we did not take advantage of the kids’ clubs. My husband and I took this trip as a chance to make our own schedule, and we often took the easy route of lounging in various areas of the ship!
Overall, Celebrity Cruises give the traveler a distinct impression of luxury at sea. From the expansive staterooms to the classy bars and restaurants to the peaceful overall atmosphere, Celebrity knows exactly who is its clientele. This cruise line is a perfect getaway for young couples, honeymooners, or empty nesters. The vibe throughout the ship is one of mature elegance that really caters to an adult crowd. Our first Celebrity Cruise left a lasting impression. We can’t wait to sail with them again!