Hi, we're just back off the August 31 Italy and Greek Isles 10 day cruise on the Reflection. We are in our early 50s and very active. We generally cruise twice a year and have tried many lines. We've never had a bad cruise, but Celebrity is our reigning favorite. We always book a balcony cabin, but we were celebrating and decided to try a Sky Suite. I've been to Italy on several trips, but never to Greece. And my husband had never been to Rome. This was our first European ocean cruise also. We have done a lot in the Caribbean, New England, and a European river cruise.
We spent 5 nights in Rome ahead of the cruise and loved the city. We booked some private tours and had prearranged a lot there, and for our cruise stops ahead of time. We had a private transfer to the cruise port and arrived around 10:45. Since we were suite guests we were some of the first to board and we got to wander and explore with very few people around. Then, we popped into Luminae for lunch.
I won't give a play by play of our cruise, but I will highlight a few things. First, I did a lot of searching ahead of this cruise to see if a suite is 'worth it'. For us, it was a pretty awesome experience. We loved the roomy cabin. It felt about twice the size of a standard balcony cabin. We were on 12 in 2177. We also loved the larger balcony with the big table. We had a few breakfasts out there when we had early tours. We weren't sure we knew what to do with a butler, but Alex was super friendly and helpful. We had the premium drink package as a perk and it included sparkling water. We asked Alex for a few Pellegrinos in our cabin and from then on, he always made sure our fridge was stocked. Our room steward was also top notch. We did spend some time in Michael's club and found it welcoming and peaceful. We usually had a cocktail there each evening. We would also pop in to pick up a drink, beer or water randomly through the cruise. The bar staff and concierges there were all great. Luminae was a high point for us also. I've always enjoyed Celebrity's main dining rooms, but Luminae definitely offers a step above for both the food and service. How do they remember names and likes and dislikes? My husband likes ice in his water, and I do not - they always greeted him with a large glass of ice. These little things make a good impression. We had Rosebud as our waiter and requested him for each visit. We liked Luminae so much, we cancelled our reservation at Murano (my husband's favorite specialty restaurant), because Luminae felt just as special. My husband is a big 'ambiance' guy. At first, he didn't really like the look of Luminae and kept pressing me to go elsewhere, but by the end of the trip, he didn't want to eat anywhere else. The only missteps there for us were the fish dishes. We didn't care for any that we ordered. The pastas and soups were awesome. We also loved every other main dish we ordered besides the fish choices. So, we would definitely do a suite again for the right price. But we also won't hesitate to book another regular balcony cabin. In fact, we're booked for a 12 night British Isles cruise in 2019, and the cost of a Sky Suite is not justifiable for us. We'll probably wave fondly at Luminae while we head to Opus, but we'll still have a great cruise.
We did eat in one specialty restaurant - The Porch. We booked for dinner at sunset leaving Santorini. It was a beautiful dinner and we enjoyed the views. The food was okay. Good but not memorable. We also had a few lunches and breakfasts at the buffet, which we enjoyed. I especially like the outdoor seating there.
We went to a few shows and they were pretty good. We enjoyed some of the specialty acts, but didn't see them all. The Flyrights - they were so fun. Tre Amici were also super talented. We skipped most of the Broadway review type shows.
We do visit the casino regularly and I am not fond of the new Blue Chip club. I think I'm Onyx. I'm Gold with MLife and felt that I got better perks from that relationship in the past. We aren't high rollers, but do spend a few hours at the tables each day, usually with the minimum bets. When we checked in with the casino host at the end of the cruise, he wasn't able to offer us any comps, which was disappointing. I did have some luck in the casino and wound up ahead at the end of the cruise, but as much time as we spent in there, would have thought a dinner or something was warranted.
I'm a big planner, so I either booked a private tour ahead of the trip, or planned something DIY. The only ship's tour we did was a walking tour of Rhodes. We enjoyed it, and our guide was great, but the equipment was spotty and sometimes we had trouble hearing her.
Overall, we loved the cruise and think it was our best yet. The ports of call were fantastic. We'd like to go back to spend more time in Greece. We met so many nice people on board and the whole trip just exceeded our expectations.
Please feel free to ask any questions, happy to answer.