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.
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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.
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, we loved her so much that we used her for our first ever Postcard Jar Friends Cruise! CLICK HERE to see how it went.