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Celebrity Reflection
Not A Mirror Image


Celebrity Reflection Atrium

Part One

by Linda Coffman

December 2012: With four godmothers to name her—all employees of Celebrity Cruises whose lives have been touched by breast cancer—the fifth and final ship to be introduced by in the line's Solstice class adds a bit of glamour and distinctive style to the design.

It's no surprise that the final "sister" ship in Celebrity Cruises' Solstice class series is as impressive as the first. As expected, each of the five ships is similar in layout, with a few innovations added as the series evolved. Cruisers who have sailed on previous Solstice class ships will find unique additions on Celebrity Reflection as well as favorite signature features. The aft-facing Sunset Bar and the adjacent Lawn Club have been expanded, and an additional deck offers more space for lounging and relaxation. The spa has been redesigned with new treatments added to the menu, and the Persian Garden relaxation suite has been expanded to include a cold room and a Turkish-style Hammam. A conference facility/banquet space ideal for wedding receptions and meetings replaces the dance club found on previous ships.

While not the world's biggest cruise ship, at 126,000 tons Celebrity Reflection is the largest ship in the Celebrity fleet and larger than the other ships in her class, yet her designers have retained the intimacy found on all of them. From any spot in accommodations passageways you can see no more than a third of the length of the ship. Aboard Celebrity Reflection you’ll find signature spaces that define the identity of Celebrity Cruises as well as some “South Beach” style elements, such as the draped alcoves and trendy furnishings in the Martini Bar. Modern works of art throughout the ship combine fine pieces from established as well as mid-career artists in a harmonious blend, with surprises around almost every corner.

One of the first things you'll notice, even before boarding, is Celebrity Reflection's abundance of balconies. A whopping 85% of all outside accommodations feature spacious private balconies. My AquaClass balcony on the "bump-out" on Deck Twelve was deep enough for two chairs with adjustable backs, matching footstools, and a dining table.

AquaClass stateroom 2148 on Deck 12

To get in touch with their feminine side, Celebrity planners tapped five well-traveled women to advise them on the layout and design of staterooms for the Solstice class ships. While their suggestion to expand the size of the bathroom wins kudos, the sliding shower door is the biggest plus, as is the abundant bathroom storage.

While the standard cabin itself is 15% larger than other Celebrity ships, it has a space problem. One wall is slightly bowed out into the adjacent cabin, which gives more floor space to walk around the foot of the bed, which is fine; however, it means that the opposite bow into the cabin makes the area housing the vanity/refrigerator cabinet/drawers on one wall and sofa facing it a bit too narrow to comfortably navigate, especially with a coffee table taking up floor space between them. In my cabin, the bed was situated on the far end by the balcony door, with the sofa and cabinetry closest to the entrance; in the adjacent cabin, the position of the furnishings was reversed and that layout appeared more spacious. Which leads us to the closet—it has sliding doors and is located in the cabin, not in the entrance passageway. That's a positive, but there isn't much room to get into the closet because the long sofa is in the way. There's more room to access the closet in the layout that has the bed closest to the entry, with the sofa next to the balcony door.

AquaClass Bathroom
A balcony spacious enough to spread out on &
even a table appropriate for dining

Once you do access the closet, you'll notice the shelves and safe are no longer the space hogs they were on Celebrity Solstice. The shelves are gone and the safe is in the cabinetry by the vanity/desk. Retractable bars fold down for hanging short garments and now there's more hanging space for ladies' longer dresses. Drawer space is a big negative and we found it too skimpy for what my husband and I pack on a longer cruise—our preview sailing was only two nights and the drawers were barely adequate for us. A storage cabinet above the bed wasn't very useful as it's difficult to access and ours was filled with extra pillows.

Accommodations on Celebrity ships have traditionally featured numerous amenities and the line continues to provide Celebrity Reflection passengers with staples such as hairdryers, small refrigerators, 32" LCD interactive television (larger screens in suites), telephone with voice mail and caller ID, a personal safe, and robes for use throughout the cruise. Beds are dressed in 100% Egyptian cotton and have posh fluffy pillows. Bathroom towels are 100% cotton terrycloth. Real conveniences for passengers who must remain in touch with family or the office are ship-wide WiFi and cell phone connectivity. A highlight of Solstice-class ships for families is a unique "interlocking" system that connects adjacent accommodations—instead of a door-in-the-wall to connect two staterooms, the staterooms connect via a folded door in the passageway that becomes a single cabin door when in use.

Two "upgrades" to standard balcony accommodations are ConciergeClass (194 sq ft) and AquaClass (194 sq ft). While they are the same size as all other Ocean View Staterooms With Veranda, they feature special appointments. ConciergeClass passengers are greeted with a special check-in counter and welcome aboard champagne and find amenities such as express luggage delivery, daily deliveries of fresh fruit and canapés, shoeshine service, expanded room service breakfast, an extra hair dryer, Hansgrohe massaging showerhead, dining preferences, personalized stationary, a Celebrity tote bag, pillow menu, and the use of Frette bathrobes, a golf umbrella, and binoculars during the cruise.

Located on the same deck as the spa, AquaClass category caters to adult spa-lovers. With a "secret" staircase that leads to the spa a deck above, just think... roll out of bed, slip on your robe, and head straight to the spa without having to enter public spaces. Amenities include assignment to Blu Restaurant and plentiful stateroom goodies, such as Hansgrohe shower panels with multiple jets and a rainshower head, aroma scent selections, a pillow menu, daily delivery of bottled water and flavored teas, a spa concierge to handle appointments, Frette bathrobes and loofah slippers, unlimited complimentary use of the Persian Garden thermal suite and relaxation room, and spa toiletries. In the vanity drawer you'll even find a lighted makeup mirror.

More space and comforts are available to Penthouse Suite (1,291 sq ft) and Royal  Suite (590 sq ft) occupants, including separate sitting areas that feature high-end entertainment systems and bathrooms with whirlpool tubs and other luxury appointments. Their huge balconies offer occupants the opportunity to relax in private hot tubs with unparalleled sea views. Celebrity Suite (394 sq ft) and Sky Suite (300 sq ft) accommodations have  combination shower/tub in the bathroom and oversized televisions. Additionally, Celebrity Suites have a walk-in closet, surround-sound system, and the bedroom features a second television.

Reflection Suite Shower

With the addition of three suite categories, Celebrity Reflection also features more—and larger—suites than other ships in her class. The highlight is the Reflection Suite, Celebrity's first two bedroom suite that accommodates up to six guests in 1,636 square feet with a 194-square-foot veranda. The main bedroom's shower is a show stopper, and hundreds lined up on the introductory sailing from Miami to see it and step inside. Cantilevered outward from of the vessel with a transparent glass floor and sides, the glass is coated with reflective material that keeps the ocean view one-way from inside. A switch triggers a fogging mechanism for complete privacy.

The Reflection Suite is located on a private area of Deck 1 only accessible to occupants who have a key card for either the Reflection Suite or one of the Signature Suites also housed there. The five new 441-square-foot one-bedroom Signature Suites feature 118-square-foot verandas and accommodate up to four guests. Ideal for a large family group, the six suites can be booked together for a private home at sea.

Located near the spa are 32 new 301-square foot AquaClass Suites with 79-square foot verandas, which include spa amenities such as complimentary access to the Persian Garden and assignment to the specialty restaurant Blu, regarded for its healthy "clean" cuisine. AquaClass Suites, like the AquaClass Staterooms, accommodate only two in order to maintain the adult spa-like atmosphere.

Thirty accessible cabins are available in a variety of categories, including 12 with balcony, 12 ocean view, and 6 inside. For those who need some accessibility assistance, and who aren't in an accessible cabin, devices such as shower stools, transfer benches, and adjustable height commode chairs are available upon request.

 The dramatic rose mural in Blu Restaurant,
Reserved for AquaClass Dining

Opus Restaurant

Celebrity Cruises made their reputation on fine dining and exquisite service and Celebrity Reflection expands on the experience with no less than a dozen restaurant/cafe options.

  • Opus Restaurant is the main dining room where dinner is served in two assigned seatings or "Celebrity Select," a flexible dining program that offers an open seating option. Elegant in its crisp simplicity, Opus serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A decor highlight is the dramatic double-deck wine tower.
  • Blu, the dining room exclusively for passengers booked in AquaClass, serves "clean cuisine"—a lighter version of the main restaurant's fare. Blu is also open for suite occupants based on availability.
  • Oceanview Cafe & Grill is the casual buffet restaurant with wide open serving stations that reduce lines. Servers are on hand to provide assistance with seating and drinks from either the beverage station or a full service bar located at the restaurant entrance. Adjacent aft is the Oceanview Bar for refreshments and al fresco dining.
  • AquaSpa Cafe offers light, healthy breakfast and lunch selections in the tranquility of the bright and airy Solarium.
  • Mast Grill & Bar is the place to go for fast food options grilled to order in an ultra-casual setting overlooking the pools.
  • Cafe al Bacio & Gelateria features signature and specialty coffees, teas, pastries, chocolates, truffles, and traditional Italian gelato. The menu lists charges for individual items.
  • Bistro on Five serves a variety of specialty crepes complemented by soups, salads, sandwiches, paninis, and other light fare in a casual chic cafe setting. A per person charge is assessed.
  • Tuscan Grille diners enjoy Caesar salad prepared tableside, an antipasti bar, Kobe beef, and a variety of tempting steaks. A per person charge is assessed.
  • Qsine celebrates a blend of classic and contemporary favorites, presented with elements of surprise. A per person charge is assessed.
  • Murano blends the specialty restaurant style introduced aboard Celebrity Century with those of Celebrity's Millennium-class ships to produce classic and contemporary Continental cuisine in a warm, intimate setting with tableside preparation and exquisite service. A per person charge is assessed.
  • Lawn Club Grill, located adjacent to the Lawn Club is an interactive grill restaurant where guests can prepare their own pizzas or grilled meats with the assistance of the ship's chef, or let the chef do all the cooking. A per person charge is assessed.
  • The Porch is a complimentary Hamptons-style casual dining venue where breakfast and lunch menu items, such as fresh pastries, sandwiches, and salads are served lawnside.

If that isn't enough choice, there's 24-hour room service at no charge, although it's good manners to offer the steward a small gratuity for delivery.

Photos © Cruise Diva

More in Part Two --> Celebrity Reflection Ship Review

Cruise Diva's Celebrity Reflection Blogs:

  • Celebrity Reflection's North America Debut
  • After Celebrity Reflection, What’s In The Future For Celebrity Cruises?

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