Cruise vacations are one of my favorite ways to travel. Other than a few incidentals here and there, you typically pay one price upfront and put your wallet away for the rest of the trip. After cruising with Carnival and Disney Cruise Lines in the last few years, I was excited for the opportunity to try Celebrity Cruises. While Celebrity paid for my travel expenses on this trip, all honest opinions are my own. Thank you to Celebrity for covering our expenses!
Celebrity Reflection Ship Review
I find it difficult to give an overall review of a cruise line based on my experiences on one ship. That said, I believe it will only take one Celebrity Cruises vacation to cement your feelings about the cruise line.
We knew this was no ordinary cruise vacation from the moment of embarkation. We were privileged to sail on Celebrity’s newest ship, Reflection, and our experience was incredible. Find out more below as you read my Celebrity Reflection ship review in its entirety.
One Company, Several Cruise Lines
Celebrity Cruises is a premium cruise line brand that began its life in the late 1980s. In the year 1997, it merged with Royal Caribbean International to become Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. operates Celebrity, Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, and CDF Croisières de France. If you’re familiar with any of those other brands, you will know exactly what to expect on a Celebrity cruise.
Celebrity’s newest ship, Reflection, launched in 2012. It is the largest Celebrity Cruise ship currently in operation. Celebrity feels like the top tier of the Royal Caribbean company (with Royal Caribbean International as a close second). I have not sailed with the other cruise lines represented, so I will reserve my judgment for them for another time. If high-class accommodations and experiences are necessary, Celebrity Cruises will fit that bill just right.
Luxury on the High Seas
Our first interaction upon embarkation was being greeted with a glass of champagne. Such a greeting really set the tone for the rest of our vacation.
Celebrity Reflection is one of five “Solstice Class” ships. The Reflection is different because it’s the largest ship in the Solstice Class. It contains one more deck than other Solstice class ships and can accommodate 3,069 passengers.
Our veranda stateroom was spacious! The view alone makes the veranda upgrade worth it. Staterooms are significantly larger than the previous classes, with 80% of the staterooms having a veranda.
Sarah’s Tip: You won’t go back once you go veranda. Upgrade your stateroom. Trust me. It’s worth it.
Shopping, dining, and relaxation were high on my list of “must-do” activities. Thankfully, there were plenty of options to choose from. I usually avoid shopping on a cruise ship because the merchandise selection always seems “ho-hum” to me, but the Celebrity Reflection was different. Some designer shops were available for Kate Spade, Tag Heuer, Michael Kors, and more.
Sarah’s Tip: On your final cruise night, several stores, including high-end brands, will have a sale. Score that Kate Spade bag you’ve been eyeing at close to 60% off!
Celebrity Reflection has nightly show offerings and a full casino with slot machines and table games. “Broadway Cabaret” was our favorite show. I’m sure it’s because I am biased and love all things Broadway musicals, but I wouldn’t miss this show. The songs, performances, and live music are very well done.
Where to Eat
Next on the must-do list was dining. The cruise fare price includes Opus, the main dining room, and Oceanview Cafe, the self-serve buffet. However, Celebrity Reflection really shines in the specialty restaurant category. Tuscan Grille (Italian fare) was our favorite dinner spot, and Sushi on Five was our favorite lunch spot.
Our four-day cruise wasn’t nearly enough time to try them all! Specialty restaurants charge a cover fee, but once paid, order anything and everything from the menu (save alcohol, which is an additional fee without a beverage package)!
Adults Only Areas
Another unique feature of Solstice Class ships is The Lawn Club. I thought it was just a fancy name for another area of the ship, but lo and behold, there is actually a real, live lawn on deck 15!
The Lawn Club has plenty of free areas to stretch out and relax, but private alcoves can also be reserved. My favorite area of the ship was the Solarium. Designed as a quiet space for ages 16+, it was easy to be lulled into a nap while resting on a cushioned deck chair!
Of course, if sleeping isn’t on the itinerary, there is also a cool pool and two warm, jetted jacuzzis on either side of the Solarium! Other adult-only areas include the Canyon Ranch Spa Club, Persian Garden, Sky Lounge (in the evenings), Fitness Center, and Fortunes Casino.
Sarah’s Tip: Purchase a pass to the Persian Garden at the beginning of your sailing for access to the spa and sauna areas for the length of your vacation!
If children are in your traveling party, there are places for them to go if mom and dad need a break. For youth 13 to 17, the X Club is the perfect mix of hip and cool. Teens will love the areas for Xbox gaming, karaoke, ping pong tournaments, and more.
Fun Factory is divided into three smaller areas for children ages 3 to 12 to fit each grouping (ages 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12). These areas for kids 17 and under provide great activities and fun experiences while parents enjoy some time away.
Celebrity Cruises gives the traveler a distinct impression of luxury at sea. From the expansive staterooms to the classy bars and restaurants to the peaceful overall atmosphere, Celebrity knows exactly who its clientele is.
This cruise line is a perfect getaway for young couples, honeymooners, or empty nesters. The vibe throughout the ship is one of mature elegance that really caters to an adult crowd. Our first Celebrity Cruise left a lasting impression. We can’t wait to sail with them again!