This honest review of our Celebrity Reflection Eastern Caribbean cruise will help you decide if this ship and itinerary is right for you.
In this post, we cover our cabin, the ship, itinerary, favorites, and what we think could have made our experience even better. Finally, we’ll share what you won’t want to miss when you book a cruise on the Celebrity Reflection. This was our 18th cruise and is not a sponsored post. We paid for this cruise ourselves.
Overview of our Celebrity Reflection review
In April 2022, we took an Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection. We last sailed aboard the Reflection in 2018 in the Mediterranean. This time, my wife, Ann, and I hoped to reacquaint ourselves with the ship before hosting a group for the first-ever Postcard Jar Friends Cruise on the Reflection in January 2023. As of this publication in June of 2022, we still have a few rooms available and we’d love to have you join us!
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About the ship
The Celebrity Reflection is among Celebrity’s largest ships. At 1,047 feet long and with 16 decks, she has space for more than 3,000 guests. There were about 1,600 on our sailing. Any honest review of the Celebrity Reflection will tell you the decor on the ship is upscale with furnishings in good condition, albeit a bit dated. That said, the ship is scheduled for a routine dry dock with some remodeling and updates in the fall of 2022.
The Reflection offers 12 restaurants catering to all tastes from a buffet and poolside grill to an Italian steakhouse and fine dining French-themed restaurant. With 10 bars on board, there are plenty of places to wet your whistle. Whether you’re thirsty for a frozen daiquiri by the pool or a carefully crafted cocktail at the World Class Bar, there’s a place for you.
The lido deck has a large outdoor pool surrounded by several hot tubs, as well as an adults-only solarium with indoor pool and hot tubs reserved for guests aged 16 and older. There are no water slides, go-cart tracks, or ropes courses, though Celebrity does offer children’s/teen programming that we hear is very much liked by participants.
The Reflection is perfect for wellness travelers. It has a full-service spa, salon, and well-equipped fitness center.
For more information on a wellness-focused cruise aboard the Celebrity Reflection, watch this video:
The ship also offers a casino, meeting space, as well as large and small theaters. In addition, she has shops featuring beautiful jewelry, cosmetics, duty-free liquor, and souvenirs.
Finally, no review of the Celebrity Reflection would be complete without a mention of the crew and the impeccable service they provide. While on board, every single staff member bent over backwards to make sure our cruise vacation was the absolute best experience possible.
We honestly don’t know how they do it, but every day we received top-notch service from these incredible people.
Dining review of the Celebrity Reflection
Celebrity has a reputation for good food and the Reflection lived up to that reputation. As suite guests, we were assigned to Luminae as our main restaurant. It’s an elegant setting and offers delicious, interesting dishes and impeccable service. If you’re a seafood lover, the halibut on sticky rice with spinach is amazing.
In addition, we had a dinner one night in Blu, a restaurant reserved for AquaClass guests as well as suite guests on a space-available basis. The venue is gorgeous, service was great and we enjoyed the clean cuisine, as well.
The Oceanview buffet is one of our favorite dining venues on any Celebrity ship. With much higher food quality than a typical buffet, we love the variety of foods (including 300 types of breads) as well as the vast quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables on board.
Because we were in a Royal Suite, we also had access to unlimited specialty dining during our cruise. As a result, we tried most of the specialty dining restaurants. We’d rank them as follows: Our absolute favorite was Murano, the French-inspired restaurant. We adored the goat cheese soufflé appetizer and the Grand Mariner soufflé for dessert. Entrees were exquisite without being overly rich.
Next, we liked the Lawn Club. With a relaxed atmosphere and casual, yet upscale menu, we enjoyed its grilled entrees. Then, we’d recommend Italian-themed Tuscan Grille which serves up steaks, pasta, and lots of infused oils and vinegars with bread. It also offers the best view for dinners on board since it is located Deck 5 Aft and has huge floor-to-ceiling windows.
In last place is The Porch. We ate dinner there, though it is probably better suited for lunch. Service was slow and the food wasn’t up to Celebrity’s typical high standards. While we didn’t eat a meal at Sushi on 5, we did have takeout sushi from there and found it to be wonderful. Note: We didn’t eat in QSine as we’ve been to venues offering Le Petit Chef twice before. While a fun concept, we feel like we have “been there, done that.”
A look inside our Royal Suite
We initially booked a Sky Suite cabin for our cruise, but won a bid to upgrade to a Royal Suite two days before setting sail. Our cabin was much larger than a normal suite and included a kitchenette, dining room table, living room, and a huge bathroom with tub and separate shower. It also had an additional half bath near the entrance to the suite.
And, because it was a suite, we also had the services of a personal retreat host (butler). He took care of everything from shining my shoes and filling our minifridge to booking reservations for us.
Linens were soft, luxurious and the furniture comfortable. We really liked the chaise lounger on the balcony and fell asleep there a few times.
Because our room was so large, we were even able to host a cocktail sail away party in our cabin for some new friends we met on board. Our personal retreat host told us he would handle everything–all we had to do was invite the guests. As you can see, we had a great time!
For a full tour of our Royal Suite (#1624), watch this video:
For more information on Celebrity Cruises’ “The Retreat,” click HERE.
Nine-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary
The cruise for this Celebrity Reflection review was a nine-night Eastern Caribbean cruise which set sail from Fort Lauderdale. Our first full day on board was a sea day, as were the last two days. We did make five calls to ports during the cruise, listed below.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic: Here we got off the ship and explored the beautiful, recently constructed port area. Then, we took some time to lounge by a pool with a cold (and reasonably priced) drink. The port was full of shops, pools, bars, and restaurants–all within an easy walk from the ship. The pools there are complimentary, so you’ll want to wear your swimsuit when you leave the ship.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas: We took part in a Celebrity Shore excursion that included a bus trip through the city followed by a catamaran trip to the nearby island of St. John. On St. John, we had some time at a beach and a chance to go snorkeling. We even got to swim alongside a sea turtle! The format of the excursion gave us time to make some new friends, and they’re the ones we invited for the cocktail party in our room.
More on our itinerary
St. John’s, Antigua: After two busy days in port, we decided to spend a day on board enjoying the beautiful ship and resting. As you can see from the photo below, Ann had no issues relaxing in a canopy near the solarium.
Rousseau, Dominica: We got off the ship and explored the port area. Due to Covid restrictions, we could not leave the port area unless on a specific excursion. Still, we got a taste for this small Caribbean nation and the wonderful people who live there. One day, we hope to return and spend more time on this beautiful island.
Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis: We went ashore early in St. Kitts and met a friend there. She’d arranged for a private taxi to take us on a tour of the island. We had so much fun exploring and learning about the island during our excursion. Because it was private tour, we could stop and take photos as we wanted.
A real highlight of the day was our visit to Reggae Beach, a favorite of locals. There, we sipped an ice-cold locally-made pop while enjoying the sights and sounds of a pristine beach. Then, we capped the day off with a stop at a local grocery store where we bought some treats to bring back on board with us as gifts for crew members.
What would make it better
We tried a number of the specialty restaurants on board The Reflection and genuinely liked them all except for one. To be frank, The Porch fell short of expectations. Service was a little chaotic (maybe a training day), and the food did not meet our expectations.
Review of our Celebrity Reflection favorites
The Celebrity Reflection, like all Solstice-class ships, has a Lawn Club with real grass (they even mow it) on the top deck of the ship.
It’s is a great place to watch a movie, play some Bocce Ball, or just to sit back, stretch, and relax. Also available for an up charge are alcoves offering comfortable seating, and beautiful sea breezes. Attendants provide food and drink service throughout the day.
Each morning, we loved having coffee and a muffin on our veranda–we call it first breakfast. Ann really loves the bran muffins she’s had on Celebrity ships. We think this is the perfect way to start the day before heading off for some exercise (followed by, of course, second breakfast).
A few more of our favorite things
The Spa Café, located in the solarium, serves up a great complimentary light lunch. With small-sized portions of salads, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and even smoothies, it offers a meal that won’t break the day’s calorie budget. My wife especially enjoyed the quinoa and chicken salad with whole grain bread stick.
We loved the experience in Michael’s Club (the suites-only lounge) aboard the Reflection. It’s a smaller venue than on Edge-class ships so we found we got to know some of the other passengers a bit better. We also enjoyed the live music there.
The buffet on The Reflection offers a fantastic array of food, but we really like the Indian offerings. We love Indian food in general and find the flavors on board to be very authentic–which makes sense as so many of the chefs hail from India.
What you don’t want to miss
- Be sure to head to the World Class Bar early in the cruise. Order one of the craft cocktails from the menu or ask the mixologist for another one of your favorite classic cocktails. The drinks at this bar are a step above those found at most bars at sea–or on land. Take your time and savor the experience. And if you have a chance to take a mixology class on board – do it!
2. If you don’t want to be around people, escape in The Hideaway. It’s a quiet spot on deck 7 with lots of cozy seating options as well as a complimentary coffee station.
3. At least one time during your cruise, set an alarm and get up early to watch the sunrise. It never disappoints when your view is from a ship at sea.
Overall, we absolutely relaxed and enjoyed our nine-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Reflection. We’ll especially remember our time in the Royal Suite, meeting new friends, and our fun-filled day in Saint Kitts. We recommend this ship and will definitely sail aboard her again. In fact, if you want to sail on the Celebrity Reflection with us, you can! Join us (you must book with our travel agent) on our Postcard Jar Friends Cruise in January 2023!
For more for food, travel, and healthy living inspiration, join us on on social media @postcardjar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
We love the Reflection.
She’s a beautiful ship, indeed, Marilyn. And the crew is top-notch!
Worse crew line services ever ! DON’T BOOK A VACATION WITH THEM! Especially if you are a minority. Judge mental, racists crew members dealing with bartenders who can’t make drinks properly and pick and choose who/when they want to help you, but if your skin is white they want to be friendly with you and help get a drink for you pronto. They’ll also hit you with unexpected charges as well so be aware of that. I’m still onboard as well i can say this will be my first and last time booking with this crew line. I wouldn’t recommend it for minorities, for younger ages from 18-30 especially if you are people of colored.
So sorry you had this experience. We just got off a Celebrity cruise with our daughter, (who is black) and her friend (who is Latina), and they did not have those experiences. One of the things we enjoy most about Celebrity is the diversity of the crew.
This review was amazing. We are on the Reflection on a 9 night Italian Riviera cruise. We have a concierge Veranda, but already made a reservation up at the Lawn as a recommendation from you both. We leave end of September 2023 and cannot wait. We have always traveled on Royal Caribbean and am looking forward to this upscale ship to guide us through our first foray into Europe. Thank you for such a thorough review!
We’re so happy this review was helpful to you! And you’re absolutely right–the Reflection is a very upscale ship. Enjoy the Lawn Club Grille and have the cookie for dessert! 🙂
If you are not suite members it is difficult to get into premium restaurants even though you are paying extra . In many instances , a premium restaurant would be 30 % full and they wouldn’t let you in.
We’ve typically made reservations for speciality dining before our cruise. As for suite members getting into the specialty restaurants more easily then others – that has not been our experience. When the restaurant is at capacity (depending on space or staffing) we were not able to get a reservation, even when we were in a Royal Suite. We’ve enjoyed all our Celebrity Cruises and are always impressed with the high-quality service.
This review appeared in my Google news feed and I read it only because we have just booked a trip in April 2023 on Celebrity Edge. The review was excellent – carefully considered, well thought out and well phrased.
I’m going to dig through the internet including Facebook to look for some of your other posts.
I hope you will consider a request for future posts. My wife and I are ballroom dancers and are discovering that it is quite hard to get coherent information about ballroom dancing venues and opportunities on cruise ships.
The cruise lines give only vague generalities like ‘you can dance the night away’, ‘you can shake up your booty in the evenings’. The reality is somewhat different. NCL has some excellent sized and shaped venues with poor music. Princess seems to have small and sometimes cramped venues with better music. I’m hoping frequent cruisers like you will have a look at dance floors and what’s going on there and let us ballroom dancing enthusiasts know.
Anyway, thanks again for the excellent review
Thank you, Fred, for your kind words about our review! We, ourselves, are not ballroom dancers (though we are not opposed to learning), but will do our best to keep this request in mind. We have a couple of friends with whom we’ve cruised who are avid ballroom dancers and even enter competitions. We will see what we can do to pick their brains. In the meantime, know that they enjoy dancing on Celebrity’s ships. We have also seen ballroom dancers on many cruisers dancing to live music and they seem to be having a blast.
My wife and I were considering two of your December cruises. After reading about the riots on a Carnival cruise, what can you promise us as far as security from those riots which spanned at least 3 floors. We specifically do not go to large “blue” cities for this very reason.
We are not Celebrity Cruises and we are not affiliated with the cruise line. We’re travel bloggers who shared about our experiences aboard the Reflection on a cruise for which we paid. So, we can’t speak to anything other than our experiences. In 15 cruises aboard Celebrity, we have observed professional security officers and have felt safe at all times. In addition, Celebrity’s atmosphere tends to be more sophisticated than that of other cruise lines we’ve tried. Sure people enjoy a cocktail on Celebrity, but it tends to be quality over quantity.
If you’d like to chat with the cruise line, you can find contact information here: https://www.celebritycruises.com/company/customer-support/contact-us
Travel well! 🙂
We are headed on the April sailing and wonder how much you big to get your upgrade.
We bid just a little bit over the minimum. That said, we bid for that room in April of 2022 and there were only about 1,600 people on board. With more passengers now, we really can’t help with what might be a winning bid amount. Good luck!