Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Celebrity Reflection

Glass Shower in Reflection Suite
Ben and I were privileged to sail on the two-night inaugural of the gorgeous Celebrity Reflection in December. The final ship in the line’s acclaimed Solstice Class, the Reflection seems to shine a little brighter in every way and make you yearn for much more than our little cruise to nowhere from Miami.  

Truth be told, the basic ship design and public areas are the same as previous Solstice Class ships. The biggest change for the Reflection is the addition of some incredible new suites. Topping the list is the sprawling Reflection Suite, Celebrity’s very first two-bedroom suite featuring a corner sea-view bathroom with a cantilevered, all-glass shower that extends out over the edge of the ship. (We were assured no one can see in at night!) Like a lot of space in your stateroom while cruising? Will 1636 square feet work for you? The veranda adds another 194 square feet for your relaxing pleasure. This suite will accommodate six people in two bedrooms and a sofa sleeper, but there is a huge dining table with 10 chairs. Add butler service, a premium mattress with a “sleep system,” a private whirlpool soaking tub on the deck, and an iPad to control not only the mattress elevation and massage features, but also the lights and TV in the suite...and you’ve got some pretty awesome accommodations. The five Signature Suites aren’t too shabby, either. They each sleep four (with sofa bed) and feature the same bedding and butler service as the Reflection Suite. Both suites are located at the front of the ship on Deck 14 in a private area accessible with special cardkeys given only to guests who book them. Ready to sail in one of these?   

Tuscan Grille with Italian Meat Slicer
As with other Solstice ships, there is a Penthouse Suite, Royal Suite, Celebrity
Suite, and Sky Suite, along with a deck of AquaClass suites with special spa privileges, and Concierge Class staterooms with “suite amenities.”

But for most of us who might be resigned to booking more basic staterooms, this ship still has some amazing features. Celebrity isn’t about zip lines and ice skating rinks, but focuses instead on The (very innovative) Lawn Club—a half-acre of real grass featuring random areas of relaxation and activities and rentable Alcoves, a live glassblowing studio, a frosted-top Martini Bar (one of 13 bars onboard), and no less than 10 dining options.

Speaking of dining, Celebrity has long been a favorite of mine for providing delicious dishes, from tasty soups to elegant desserts. You don’t have to eat in one of the specialty, extra-charge restaurants to savor some of the best food at sea; but Qsine, Silk Harvest, Tuscan Grille, and Murano receive especially high marks for creating excellent cuisine.
 
Martinis...on ice!
Celebrity has kicked production shows up a notch, as well. We only made one of them
on our brief and busy two-night cruise, but it was an eclectic mix of rock music, dancers, acrobats, and Cirque-like performers in a nonstop, well-choreographed show. Bravo.

Celebrity’s famed Aqua-Spa continues to enhance body treatments with more variations on the basic massage that could ever have been imagined. The price has risen accordingly. Sigh. Sometimes I yearn for the return of a nice $99 basic massage without all the stones, poultices, bamboo, and seaweed...and not just on port days, either.     

If you have never sailed Celebrity before, or haven’t sailed on a Solstice Class ship, you must treat yourself to this wonderful cruising experience. Now is a great time to do just that! Book an ocean view or higher stateroom on any Celebrity cruise between now and January 27, 2013, sailing between February 2013 and April 2014, and you can choose one of three special offers: Free Beverage Package, Free Gratuities, or Onboard Credit. Book a Europe cruise and choose TWO of those items! (Restrictions apply.)  
Lawn Chair a la Edith Ann

And no matter whether you book Celebrity or another cruise line, always watch for special incentives for booking a future cruise while sailing. For instances, on Celebrity, book a 3-5 night cruise and receive $50 per cabin onboard credit; for a 6-9 night cruise, it’s $100; 10-13, $200; and for a 14+ night cruise, receive $300 per cabin in onboard credit. Sweet. Other cruise lines have similar offers.

Wishing you a wonderful 2013 filled with health, happiness...and travel!


 

1 comment:

Ali said...

Wow is just the simple word that may explain that how much I liked it. It was nicely stuffed with the material I was looking for. It is great to be here though by chance.
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