Our first Postcard Jar Friends Group Cruise on the Celebrity Reflection was such a blast! Here are a few highlights from our inaugural group cruise to the Eastern Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises.
Arriving in Fort Lauderdale
All 58 sailors in our group arrived in Fort Lauderdale at least one day before our cruise. After chatting in our Facebook group and seeing each other on Zoom calls, it was so nice to finally so many friends in person the day before our cruise.
Embarkation day for our group cruise on Celebrity Reflection
After anticipating the Postcard Jar Friends Cruise for more than a year – embarkation day was finally here! We got on board as quickly as possible and delivered customized door magnets and lanyards to each cabin in our group.
Our thoughtful travel agents at Dream Vacations also made arrangements for chocolate covered strawberries and wine to be delivered to each cabin as a welcome gift.
Everyone made their own arrangements to get to the ship and we all met onboard that afternoon near the Sunset Bar for the sail away from Fort Lauderdale. Several of our cruisers purchased Postcard Jar Friends Cruise t-shirts so we could easily recognize people from our group.
A few people from our group took advantage of the embarkation day spa specials and treated themselves to a luxurious facial or relaxing massage that afternoon.
Dinner in Opus (main dining room)
Each night, everyone had the option of meeting others from our group in the Opus main dining room (MDR) for dinner at 6 p.m. Most of us gathered to enjoy relaxing dinners at long tables designated for our group. We all got acquainted as we enjoyed appetizer, entrée and dessert courses each night. On a cruise, the fare includes all of this, so no bill at the end of the evening!
Dining together gave us a chance to meet new people or enjoy a meal with friends or family who traveled together. It was also an opportunity to try new foods, like the escargot that Kayla and Shari tried (below). Those who did not want to dine with the group were also welcome to have dinner at their own table in the MDR or just with their friends and family.
After dinner activities
After dinner, some people enjoyed cocktails (they were included with the cruise fare, after all) at one of the nine bars onboard, while others went to the nightly show or listened to live music in one of the many lounges.
Several of us gathered that first night for Silent Disco, which was so entertaining! It was a perfect way to break the ice on our first group cruise on Celebrity Reflection.
Everyone put on headphones and tuned in to one of three different music channels. Participants danced (and sometimes sang) to whatever was playing on their channel. Such a riot!
Day 2 – Nassau, Bahamas
We spent Day 2 in port at Nassau, Bahamas.
Postcard Jar Friends Cruise guests could spend the day however they liked. Some slept in and enjoyed breakfast in bed while others worked out in the fitness center.
There were lots of organized shore excursions on land (like a dolphin experience) and plenty of on-board activities, as well.
Trivia was a very popular on-board activity for our group. We often gathered together for trivia and formed teams made up of people from our group.
Day 2 was also one of two evening chic nights. Guests had the option of dressing up a bit for dinner, if they liked. If not, the regular dinner attire (smart casual) was just fine.
Some of us had dinner together in the main dining room and others chose to dine at one of the six specialty restaurants on the Celebrity Reflection.
Murano seemed to be a favorite venue among our group. It is a French inspired restaurant that serves French favorites such as châteaubriand and flambéed lobster prepared table side.
Day 3 – At sea!
There was no shortage of things to do on our first sea day.
Some of us lounged in the hot tubs or by the pool. Others relaxed at the onboard coffee shop, Cafe al Bacio. (Specialty coffee was included in the fare, as well!) Several friends of Postcard Jar started their sea day with a complimentary meditation class at the Lawn Club, followed by some casual stretching led by Ann.
It was so nice to be outside on the real grass lawn with sunshine on our faces breathing in the fresh ocean air.
Other cruisers enjoyed breakfast in the buffet, putting together puzzles in The Hideaway, or just relaxing on the pool deck or in the Solarium (an adults only indoor pool area) with a good book.
Private events just for our group
In the afternoon, we were treated to the first of several complimentary special events. The private events were arranged by our travel agents at Dream Vacations and were exclusive to our group.
We were all able to participate in a Tiramisu demonstration and tasting led by the pastry chef on board. It was so interesting to hear from the chefs and see the time and effort that goes into making all of the delectable sweet treats on the ship.
A few of our guests, like Kathy (pictured above) were even able to participate in the demonstration.
At the end of the demonstration, we all got to sample the tiramisu, which was absolutely divine.
Later that night, some of our guests got involved in game shows like “Deal or No Deal.” In fact, one of our cruisers, Gloria, won a FREE cruise playing “Deal or No Deal.” Now, that was exciting!
Others tried their luck at the casino, had family photos taken, or did a little duty-free shopping in the shops on board in the evening.
Another popular gathering spot after dinner was the World Class Bar. Since the classic drink package was included in our cruise fare, some guests upgraded their packages and delighted in the well-crafted cocktails made with premium spirits there.
There were also plenty of options for dancing, listening to live music, or attending a production or comedy show each night. As you can see by all of the smiling faces, our Postcard Jar Friends Cruise was off to a great start!
But wait, there’s more
That’s right. In fact, there’s so much more that we can’t fit it all in one blog post. You can read all about the second half of our journey by CLICKING HERE. Wishing you’d been there? Good news! If you’d like to join us on our second Postcard Jar Friends Cruise, we’d love to have you.
We’ll be sailing to Alaska in May of 2024 on the Celebrity Edge. As of 2/19/23, about half of the 50 cabins we reserved are already sold. You can secure your spot on our Friends Cruise with a $500 (per room) refundable deposit, so don’t delay. You must book through our travel agent using THIS FORM. For more information and pricing for our Friends Cruise to Alaska in 2024, CLICK HERE.