Updated July 2019
Sharon from our Concierge Team enjoyed an 11 night cruise onboard Celebrity Reflection. If you're thinking of cruising with Celebrity Cruises, be sure to read all about her experience below before you go!
We travelled one day earlier than the cruise departure date and stayed in Civitavecchia - the main cruise port for Rome where many cruises begin or end. We stayed in a local 4* B&B which had a great location, just three minutes’ walk from the train station and 5-10 minutes’ walk to port. We got the train from Rome airport and changed at Trastevere which was all very straight forward. It took us about 90 mins and cost just €11 pp. Having said this, I wouldn’t recommend the train back to the airport if your flight is before 14:00, or you are pushed for time.
Civitavecchia is a quaint little town where a wander down the back streets finds a few little hidden gems. We went to 80 FAME, a highly rated restaurant, and enjoyed an amazing meal with wine for around €25 each. I definitely recommend eating here. When it was time to head to the ship we were quoted €20 for a taxi, but found we could easily walk along the seafront and enjoy the view.
Check-in was seamless with lots of staff to welcome us; we were on the ship within ten minutes of arriving.
Once onboard my first impression was - WOW this ship is beautiful! Our balcony cabin was nice and spacious - balcony 2B on Deck 6, forward (very forward). I also got to look at 2C with a partially obstructed view on Deck 6, which in my opinion was fine with a good mid-ship position. They are just above life boats but the view to sea looked great.
Drinks Prices and Packages
When we arrived we were offered an upgrade on our free drinks package for just $10 per person, per day, which was actually cheaper than what I was quoted prior to sailing. The Basic Drinks Package is fine, giving you a range of choice of beers, wines, and cocktails, but if like me you like to sample every cocktail at every bar, then you need the upgraded package - as a lot of cocktails are $13 and free drinks include just cocktails up to $6. The World Bar (formerly known as Molecular Bar) and Martini Bar cocktails are $13-15 so the Classic Drinks Package means you can’t drink there, as you’d need to pay the full price of each drink as a supplement, or the difference above $13 if on Premium. If you upgrade to Premium you can have drinks including premium sake and port etc in the restaurants which we did and loved. Definitely worth upgrading especially if you have free spend or onboard credit.
There were lots of friendly Americans and Canadians onboard who were very sociable. In fact I found everyone onboard to be friendly, and the crew were great. We were relatively young at mid-40s, but I’d say the average age for this cruise was about 50. I didn’t see any kids other than a couple of teenagers. There didn’t seem like there would be a lot for them to do, but, if they are like my kids who are real foodies and like to chill, then it’s not a problem to bring them along.
Cuisine and Dining
Our dining package was $149pp, and enabled us to visit the below speciality restaurants, which were worth every cent.
Murano was my favourite speciality restaurant, we paid extra so that we could enjoy it twice! We had Silver Service with table side flambéed chateaubriand, lobster, dover sole, and more. The service was impeccable and the food was to die for. The cheese from the cheese trolley was the best I’ve ever tasted, the best quality on the ship. In my opinion this was the best restaurant I have ever visited and even better than some Michelin Star restaurants. The usual cost to dine here is $55 but 1 visit is included in dining packages at $149pp.
Sushi on 5 has amazing sushi and a relaxed informal atmosphere. Usually you pay per item here but because we were on the dining package they brought us all sorts just because they can! The sake was amazing, we easily finished off a few mini carafes.
Qsine - We had a fantastic experience in Qsine, you can pick from the iPad as many tasting courses as you like. They do everything and it comes out all weird and wonderful with little tubes of sauces. The dessert menu is presented on a Rubix Cube, and they also bring you chocolate covered strawberries in a grass box! Overall it was a bizarre yet fabulous experience and a close 2nd to Murano. Usually there is a supplement to eat here at $35pp.
Lawn Club Grill - This wasn’t my favourite of the dining venues but I can see how some enjoy the grill master experience. Here you can have starter, flat breads like pizzas, a salad buffet, and a wide selection of meats and fish from the BBQ. To dine here it usually costs $55 pp.
Tuscan Grille - The Tuscan Grille is a great speciality restaurant for anyone looking for traditional Italian/Mediterranean fare. You can enjoy freshly made pizza, pasta, and succulent steaks etc usually for a $45 supplement.
Buffet Restaurant - The food was fantastic especially on Gala Dinner days, with a gourmet buffet all day including lots of seafood. Afternoon tea was a great hit served every day at the buffet and the chocolate fountain was (unsurprisingly) always popular.
El Bachio Café is a lot like a highstreet coffee shop, but with the most delicious cakes selection. These are all free with the coffees which are covered in the premium drinks package.
Outside of the theatre most of the entertainment happens around the atrium where there are parties, DJ’s, and bands etc. The Martini Bar had a fantastic atmosphere with the bar-staff jumping on the bar and dancing to entertain everyone. It made for a great night. The World Class Bar has some unique cocktails for around $13-20 but doesn’t serve any other drinks like wine or beers so my other half had to bring his own from the other bars.
The Sunset Bar at the back of the ship is a great place for a cocktail when sailing away but there are lots of other bars dotted around the ship.
I had a wonderful experience onboard Celebrity Reflection. Overall it was a fantastic cruise and a lovely first experience of Celebrity Cruises. I can’t wait to return for a second cruise and take my two teenage daughters.
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