Celebrity Reflection Review

Celebrity Reflection Over-Sized Chairs

Real grass, real class. Sitting tall in over-sized chairs at the Lawn Club, featuring a real grass lawn on the new Celebrity Reflection. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

Sister to Celebrity Solstice, EquinoxEclipse and Silhouette, Celebrity Reflection joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in 2012.

Like her sisters, Celebrity Reflection features Qsine, Martini Bar & Crush, the iLounge Internet center, the Lawn Club and veranda views in 85 percent of staterooms, but there are also a few things that are new to Reflection.

Also see Upon Further Reflection: Thoughts About Celebrity’s ‘Modern Luxury’ & The Final Solstice Class Ship

What’s New On Celebrity Reflection?

Celebrity added a deck to the existing Solstice-class design to accommodate a new series of suites on Reflection. The most remarkable of the suites is the Reflection Suite, and you won’t find anything like it on any other Celebrity ship.

Signature Suite, situated Deck 14 Forward Portside. Courtesy Celebrity Cruises.

The Reflection Suite is Celebrity’s first two-bedroom suite, with a distinctive sea-view bathroom extending out over the edge of the ship, a veranda tub with rain shower, and panoramic views from a wraparound veranda. Measuring 1,636 square feet, the Reflection Suite can accommodate up to six guests.

The beautiful Reflection Suite, situated on Deck 14 Forward Portside. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises.

The Reflection Suite’s bathroom. Photo courtesy Celebrity Cruises.

Reflection Suite. Courtesy Celebrity Cruises.

Deck 14, the new deck that was added, also features 32 new AquaClass Suites and five new Signature Suites (plus the Reflection Suite). All of these suites offer 24/7 butler service. Modern luxury indeed.

The new Signature Suite on Celebrity Reflection. Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.

Celebrity Reflection Staterooms

In contrast to the suites, the smaller staterooms are certainly adequate.

In all, Celebrity Reflection offers private balconies on 85 percent of her cabins, and each is big enough to fit two deck chairs and a table. Inside, in each standard stateroom, one wall bulges outward to give more maneuvering room around the foot of the bed, whose mattress is designed with rounded corners to make moving around it even easier. Beds are also higher than normal, allowing more luggage storage beneath, and are surrounded at the wall by a tall headboard that has an unobtrusive little cabinet that’s perfect for purses and other small items.

In the bathrooms, the shower stalls are larger than the cruise ship norm and have little foot rails that make it easier for women to shave their legs. There’s also a nice collection of little drawers, cabinets, and other nooks for storing toiletries.

Family Ocean View Veranda Stateroom. Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.

In addition to the new suites mentioned above, additional suites range from the 300-sq.-ft. Sky Suites, which are larger versions of the standard 194-foot veranda cabin, to the 1,291-square-foot Penthouse Suites, each of which has an enormous living room, wrap-around balcony with whirlpool tub, and palatial marble bathroom.

Aqua Class Staterooms. Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Between her standard stateroom categories and her suites, Celebrity Reflection offers a middle ground in the form of her 130 adults-only AquaClass staterooms, which promote a “wellness” experience through things like special music/sound and aromatherapy options, jetted bodywash showers, pillow menus, and perks like free use of the spa’s Persian Garden aromatherapy steam room and relaxation room and access to the wellness restaurant Blu.

Dining On Celebrity Reflection

Like its Solstice sisters, Celebrity Reflection offers a range of experiences from the main dining room to multiple, themed venues such as the whimsical Qsine to fine dining in Murano.

My favorite venue may just be the Lawn Club Grill, where I tossed flatbread with friends and colleagues for our starters, and with the help of a friendly chef, grilled thick cuts of filet mignon — a fun experience.

Grillin’ and chillin’ at the Lawn Club Grill on Celebrity Reflection.

The Lawn Club Grill is situated up at the top of the ship at the forward edge of the Lawn Club. Guests can grill their own meats and seafood and make their own pizza along with Celebrity’s professional chefs, or sit back and have the chefs do all the work, washing it all down with bottles of beer or a pitcher of sangria. Worth the $30 per person fee? For dinner, yes. It’s a fun and memorable experience. The Lawn Club Grill is also open for lunch on port days, also $30 per person.

Celebrity Reflection‘s main restaurant is the Opus Dining Room, designed as a dreamy crystal fantasy by celebrity designer Adam Tihany. Another Tihany design, the Tuscan Grille, is an upscale steak-and-pasta venue.

Qsine is a playful, imaginatively designed space serving food from an eclectic international menu, with an emphasis on creative presentation. Murano serves continental cuisine in an elegant, romantic setting, while Blu serves light and healthy menu items to a clientele that’s drawn almost exclusively from guests booked into the ship’s spa-oriented AquaClass staterooms (plus suite guests when there’s availability).

The Porch. Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.

The Porch is touted as a breezy, casual dining spot offering sandwiches, coffees and captivating views of the sea and the lawn. The cost is $5 per person for breakfast or lunch.

Public Rooms On Celebrity Reflection

Inside, Celebrity Reflection feels like a spread in an upscale lifestyles magazine. Her Grand Foyer is designed as an homage to grand ocean liner cruising, while 50 feet up a full-size, 20-foot tall tree sits suspended in a planter, adding a hint of surrealism.

Opposite the tree, The Hideaway was designed to be like a treehouse for adults, a place to go where you really want to get away from it all. There’s super-comfortable seating for just 30 people, plus two raised “nests” for the lucky guests who get there first.

Your private retreat: The Hideaway. © 2012 Ralph Grizzle

Other rooms onboard run the upscale gamut, from the Napa-inspired Cellar Masters wine bar to the fashion-world Martini Bar and Crush — the former with a perpetually frosted bar, the latter with an ice-filled table from which bartenders dispense sample pairings of vodka and caviar.

Michael’s Club, a staple aboard Celebrity’s ships from the beginning, has been re-imagined here as a gourmet beer and whiskey bar, serving a menu of more than 60 international beers, plus fine whiskeys, scotches, and cognacs.

Heated chairs in the AquaSpa. Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

The ship’s AquaSpa is done in beautiful minimalist style, all clean lines and soothing colors. Besides massages, facials, and other traditional treatments, the spa menu includes acupuncture, teeth whitening, Botox wrinkle treatments, and other trendy options. For a different kind of trendy option, guests can surf the web, buy the latest iPods and laptops, or take a class from an Apple-certified professional at the iLounge, a sleek, modern technology space developed in association with Apple.

For kids, Celebrity Reflection offers a large, light-filled children’s center and separate teen center near the very top of the ship.

Celebrity Reflection’s pool deck is one of the most serene and resort-like in the cruise industry, its two pools surrounded by 25-foot A-frame canopies that have luxurious day beds at their bases and large cantilevered awnings up top, providing shade for chaise lounges spread out along two decks.

Forward of the pools is a glass-ceilinged, adults-only Solarium offering a lap pool, cushioned teak lounge chairs, and a super-relaxing atmosphere. We like this area a lot. There’s also a small Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast and lunch (no charge), which we enjoy quite a lot.

Evening Entertainment On Celebrity Reflection

After dinner, guests can head forward to the 1,115-guest theatre, which was designed with a stage that thrusts out beyond the proscenium, bringing performers closer to the audience, plus complex gear up above that lets aerialists fly out over the audience’s heads.

Just down the corridor, the smaller Celebrity Central is a performance venue for late-night comedy shows, films, and other entertainment. For a quieter vibe, you can hit the Ensemble Lounge, which offers after-dinner jazz, or Cellar Masters, a Napa-inspired space that does wine tastings by day and casual relaxation by night.

Our Thoughts About Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships are some of the most beautiful and distinctive megaships ever built, offering super-modern styling, sophisticated spas and relaxation areas, a wealth of fantastic dining options, beautifully designed staterooms and suites, and a vibe that feels much more upscale than you’d expect, especially given Celebrity’s competitive pricing.

Launched in 2012, Celebrity Reflection is the fifth and final of the Solstice-class ships and, in our opinion, the best of the bunch. Measuring 122,400 gross tons and carrying 2,886 guests at double occupancy, she’s a huge but exceptionally well laid out vessel with an interior design that really flows from room to room, creating a unified feel.

In fact, Celebrity’s Solstice Class vessels rank among our favorites. In 2008, we gushed over Reflection’s sister in an article titled Celebrity Solstice: Celebrity’s Newest Ship Breaks The Mold. Simply put: Celebrity’s Solstice class ships are attractive and variety-filled vessels that are certain to please almost any palate.

Solstice isn’t quite in the league of the luxury vessels we write about here on Avid Cruiser, but it’s pretty darn close. Some have called Solstice, Crystal Lite, and indeed Solstice could be a contender to such luxury players as Crystal Cruises.

With Reflection, Celebrity began pushing the envelope of the original Solstice-class design, re-imagining some of the Solstice-class’s signature spaces and adding new venues to make the experience even more rich, modern, and beyond the ordinary.

Avid Cruiser Posts, Photographs and Videos Featuring Celebrity Reflection

Advertisement
  • Dane147

    There is no denying the ship has a very sleek modern design, though there is nothing
    groundbreaking here. The design reminds me of a Four Points Sheraton hotel clashing into an upscale shopping mall.

    Also, I never felt Celebrity’s “Modern Luxury” on this ship. Part of this came from the fact that there are so many people on this ship, that even the facilities that are meant to be low key feel hectic. One example is the serenity pool. This is a heated pool area inside an atrium with fountains and led lights. By the design, I can see that it’s mean to be a tranquil area. However, it is also a main walkway to access different parts of the ship, so there is always commotion from the constant parade of people walking by.

    Another example is the much touted Lawn Club. Except for a couple of activities on a week long cruise, this area is always closed.

    And one more example, the pool chaises are jammed right next to each other. There is literally no personal space to put a book or a drink or anything. And even with being crammed like sardines on the deck, there still are not enough chairs to accommodate everyone on the ship. By noon, there is a constant scramble of chairless passengers trying to search for their own piece of the sun, and if they want shade, forget it…they should have been out there by 8am!

    The service on this ship ranged from terrible to nonexistent.

    Starting with nonexistent. On this particular cruise, Celebrity offered a free drink passage as a perk to book. A high percentage of passengers had a drink passage. However, there were no servers to provide drinks. In one week of cruising, at no time did a server roam the decks asking people if they would like a drink. This required that passengers walk up to the bar to get their own drinks. But this also meant that there were huge lines at the bars, so getting a drink was often a 20-30 minute wait. Does this sound like “Modern Luxury”?

    Moving on to terrible service. I could provide a huge list of things that happened. At one point a bartender got aggressive with me because he made the wrong drink. I insisted on him making a new one. This was at the martini bar, which was swamped, but I waited 30 minutes to get my drink, and i was not willing to compromise after such a long wait. The pissed off bartender slammed my martini down on the bar sloshing half the drink out and walked away. I was so upset by the incident, I reported it to guest relations, but all they said was sorry. They made no offer to even talk to the martini bar manager about the incident. They really just did not care.

    Another incident happened when I asked a bartender to bring me my drink. I ordered my drink at the bar, and I was sitting 20 feet away, but was concerned I would lose my chair. He refused. At this point, there were two other bartenders at this bar, and it was quiet so I was not asking him to leave an unattended busy bar.

    During a lecture, a bar was being dismantled, disrupting the entire event.

    Dirty glasses sat in my room without being replaced.

    Soap and towels were never replaced.

    The gym was never equipped with cold towels, even though there was a box that said “cold towels”

    So many wrong dishes were brought out in the main dining room, we just stopped eating there.

    The food quality was so bad at the specialty restaurants, one of the waiters in Tuscan Grill apologized for the meager appearance of a steak I ordered.

    Shore excursions were disorganized. One sailboat trip required lining up on a hot pier with no shade for 45 minutes while the staff tried to get things organized.

    I could go on and on about similar incidents. Also, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m high maintenance, because I actually very easy going and friendly. I actually became friendly with many staff members from this cruise. Many of them told me how unhappy they were working on this ship for reasons ranging from ship management to corporate management.

    I reached out to corporate management about my negative experience on this ship. I heard back from Tanji Smith from the Office of Michael Bayley, President & CEO. She also did not seem to care about my subpar experience. She simply thanked me for my insights.

    There are many cruise lines that really do provide a wonderful, modern luxurious experience, but this is not one of them.

  • Tom Clancy

    Its looks great Celebrity really are one the best Cruise Lines out there planning a Mediterranean cruise is October, we got a great deal with Cruise Holidays. Really looking forward to it now.

  • lesa

    The family veranda room that you have a picture of do you know if this was on Deck 8 or Deck 7? We are leaving on the 16th and are booked in 7108 and no one can tell me if there is a window, how big the veranda is or anything. I can upgrade to a Sky suite but not sure I want to give up the space, your thoughts on these issues?