Celebrity’s New Reflection Reviews
CruiseDeals was fortunate to have a half-dozen of our team attend the inaugural of the new Celebrity Reflection in Miami. She is the newest and largest of Celebrity’s famed “Solstice-class” ships. While she retains many of the same characteristics that make Celebrity our hands-down favorite in terms of overall value, Reflection brings a few new things to the table as well. We’ve gathered up some of our first-hand observations below.
Kevin Weisner/Vice President and General Manager:
“The Reflection is further evidence of Celebrity’s commitment to a premium cruise that really leans into the luxury end of the market. It’s very clear to me that Celebrity’s ships and onboard experience are the most differentiated (in the best way) from any of the other lines in the premium category. I would be confident even recommending Celebrity to a luxury cruise veteran as I believe they would find a lot to love as well. Celebrity’s slogan is “Modern Luxury” and they’ve done a good job carrying that out in a way that’s different from traditional luxury. But it’s sometimes hard to explain so a good example would be Mercedes vs. Audi. Where Mercedes is the embodiment of traditional luxury, Audi is the more modern variation. Another good example would be Rolex vs. Breitling, or Ritz-Carlton vs. W Hotels. But the one thing cruise guests should also keep in mind is that unlike some of the brands just noted, Celebrity Cruises aren’t priced in the stratosphere. . .in fact, they are competitive with other cruises, even including those in the contemporary category. I like to say it’s the Audi experience at the Honda price.
“As I explored the ship, a couple of things emerged. First, for a ship that’s so huge, it never feels anything less than intimate and exclusive. Celebrity’s done an extraordinary job of meeting their objective (carry LOTS of guests to help pay for such amazing hardware) while preserving a sense of exclusivity and intimacy. There’s a wide variety of venues, but all are relatively modest in capacity, giving the ship an intimate feel, enhanced by sleek design with warm décor that doesn’t feel at all cold or sterile. The second thing that became evident is that the ship feels like it was “cut from one piece of cloth.” While each public area is unique, they all blend and transition so well that the feeling of luxury and exclusivity ‘travels’ very well on this ship. Nothing feels out of place. And there are some very cool venues—from the Lawn Club with its real grass, cabana and giant Adirondack Chairs to the Sunsets outdoor lounge cantilevered over the back deck of the ship.
“This is further carried into the staterooms where Celebrity didn’t take any shortcuts! There’s not a surface anywhere that felt utilitarian and this was especially true in the bathroom. Often, cruise ship bathrooms don’t encourage lingering, but Celebrity takes it up a notch. Ditto with the sleeping and sitting area. I have often heard from people, “the cabin isn’t important because I’m only going to sleep there.” That doesn’t work for me—while I personally don’t spend a lot of time in my stateroom either, I appreciate that it’s nice while I am there. I’ve also had a few cabins I could not wait to get out of and it did negatively affect my overall experience—but that’s just my perspective!
“I was fortunate enough to dine with Scott Steenrod, Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations, and got some terrific insider knowledge about dining. What Scott shared was that Celebrity has taken great effort to focus on “the center of the plate.” His point was that you can dress a plate up with sides, garnish and present it with flair, but at Celebrity they never lose sight of the quality of the main entrée. In fact, in the Tuscan Grille, our entrée was served without anything else on the plate to distract from the entrée. . . with that kind of isolation, it has to be good (and it was). Our service was impeccable and truly a complement to the evening.[box border=”full”]Click Here: 2013 Celebrity Reflection Cruise Deals[/box]
Martha Allen, Marketing Coordinator:
“I was immediately impressed with Celebrity, and the beautiful Reflection the moment I stepped onboard and was greeted by a smiling face holding a tray of refreshments (including Mimosas). From then on, my experience aboard the Reflection was filled with ease and a sense of laid back sophistication. Everything about this ship is well thought out, and very stylishly done- from the staterooms to the various bars and lounges and the diverse public spaces, you truly know what they mean when they say “Modern Luxury”.
Personally, what I look for most when I am on vacation is terrific food and a place to kick back and relax- and the Reflection definitely met those qualifications! I loved the ability to have a peaceful moment relaxing in an alcove in the Hideaway or taking in the view of the sea from a cabana at the Lawn Club.”
Kimberly Mann, Senior Cruise Consultant:
“The food was wonderful and plentiful. I was amazed that dinner actually was HOT … feeding 1000 people at one time food can tend to cool before it is received, each night I had a hot and delicious meal. One of the unique aspects that really stood out to me on the Reflection is the Lawn Club; it is a great spot to enjoy the exterior without having to sit by a pool or in a restaurant, a great quiet relaxing area to just enjoy the day.
Music in Celebrity Central was always changing and ‘right’ for the mood that was being set for the day/evening. For example there was a string quartet on the first evening, 80’s cover band on the second evening and other options during the day”
Eric Muhlitner, Senior Cruise Consultant:
“The staterooms were warm and cozy with comfortable linens and towels. There were plenty of nice added touches in the Concierge class balcony like the use of binoculars, fresh fruit plate delivered on the first night, pillow menu, and longing deck chairs with foot rests and a table!
Book the Aqua Class Balcony category to get the included use of the Persian Garden which includes the Relaxation Room with heated tile lounges, the Infrared Sauna, the Cold Room (my favorite), the Steam Room and the Aromatic Suite. If you were to pay for these services a la carte or as a package, it would probably cost more than booking the Aqua Class balcony. Plus, Aqua Class guests get first priority seating at the health conscience specialty restaurant, Blu”
Gary Whitehurst, Senior Cruise Consultant:
“The food venue options on Celebrity Reflection were outstanding. From Qsine, Murano, Tuscan Grill, Blu, and the Lawn Club Grill, that backs up to the Lawn Club on the top deck. The Ocean View Café was awesome as well with a lot of variety each day.
I have raved about the entertainment since my first Celebrity experience on the Eclipse in December of 2010 and the Reflection continued my stamp of approval. Having been in the entertainment business in some sort of fashion for thirty-three years I critique performances to the max. Celebrity is hands down goes above and beyond any cruise ship performances I have seen, including the Oasis of the Seas. From the choreography, lighting, aerial acts, to the costumes, it is superb.”[fblike]