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abbydancer

Live report from the Reflection

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I'm so sorry. Sad thing is much is written, so it will get done.

 

Things have been crazy - lots of family stuff etc.

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Since there are no pictures with the sea day, here it is...

 

 

 

Our second, and final sea day. Honestly? I missed sea days on this cruise. Maybe that's why I sail the west coast so much - lots of sea days there.

 

Prior to the cruise, we'd booked the backstage tour excursion for 12:30. We'd done the ultimate ship tour on Princess, and thought we'd enjoy this as well. Once on the ship, I realized the timing of the tour meant that we'd miss lunch at all venues, including the full lunch at the buffet. I'd gone to the Shore Excursions desk to try to change it to the 10:30 tour, but that was full. They also wouldn't let me waitlist it. I then asked the Michael's concierges to try to get me on the waitlist, but they actually got us on the tour.

 

So after breakfast, we headed to the shore excursions desk, where we checked in for the tour. We'd actually been told it was at the Passport bar, but there was no one there. A gentleman sitting there said that if that's why we were there, we had to go to the Shore Ex desk next door. We did, and found the check in. We were given a lanyard and an ear piece.

 

Right around 10:30 our guide appeared, a shore ex representative from Germany (I'm not sure I ever had her name right). She explained that she was our escort, and that commentary would be done by the crew members at each venue. She also explained that we will have body scans before the bridge and the control room (I guess nobody cares if you ruin the laundry or poison everyone).

 

Off we went - first stop bridge. Wand scan, and in we went. One of the bridge officers took us to one of the wing bridges, the main bridge was roped off from us (I've been on the bridge of 4 Princess ships and have always been able to walk the whole bridge). We learned the function of some of the instruments, got some questions answered, and then went off to our next venue.

 

Following the bridge, we headed to the crew area of the ship. Our next stop was the laundry, but on the way we went through the crew dining room, and bar, and headed down the main corridor, dubbed Highway 95. There were all kinds of announcements, activities, and accolades posted. In the process, we waved at some of the Luminae staff (they mentioned seeing us at lunch and seemed happy that we'd seen their digs).

 

The laundry master explained the workings of the laundry machines, and it was kind of interesting to see all the automated folding machines, etc. I did look for my shirt while I was there, but there was a lot of things there. (To end the suspense - it was delivered when we got back - Celebrity 1 Princess 0 on finding lost laundry).

 

Following the laundry visit, it was the engine control room, and another body scan (since we'd been together and not out of sight of our guide, I'm not sure what they were looking for). Lots of dials and security cameras there. I think Glen liked that part, partly because he'd worked on power turbines and he could see the monitors for the ship's turbines.

 

 

Following that we went to the environmental control area, and mostly it seemed to be about recycling bins.

 

Then onto provisioning - the stores of food items, all temperature controlled. We also saw where food is loaded onto the ship. Carlos, the head of provisioning, was the only presenter who didn't need to use the microphone.

 

From provisioning we went up to the galley, and pretty much got the same tour we did on the public galley tour on the Equinox.

 

We exited through the dining room. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to go into the wine tower. They took back the earpieces but we did get to keep the lanyard. Cool. On Princess, we got robes, snacks, stationary, chefs jackets and pictures, but that cost 3x as much. Overall a good tour, and worth doing once.

 

From there, I went to the mega sale to try to find small Kipling backpack. I did find one, but not as small as I would have liked and not on sale as much as I would have liked. However, since we had a lot of on board credit, I went ahead and purchased it. Glen texted me that my missing shirt was in the room. I then went back to the room to drop off the backpack, get Glen for lunch and get reunited with my shirt.

 

As mentioned earlier, some of the staff at Luminae mentioned seeing us on the tour. Today, we ate in the back room of the restaurant - there are two rooms, and the back has the large tables, so we were usually seating in the front because it is somewhat quieter.

 

After lunch we relaxed in the room for a while, did some reading and I worked on the blog - at that point about 3 days behind (as opposed over a month behind now). Following that, back to the stores to use up the OBC and get enough back for Vat. With jewelry for me and sunglasses for Glen, I accomplished both.

 

It was late afternoon by that point, so we decided to get dressed for Evening Chic night early and go to Michael's. We hung out there until it was time to meet Claude and Carolyn for dinner. They eat earlier than we usually do, so we couldn't go to the 7pm show before dinner. Since Celebrity does two shows a night based on fixed dinner seating we knew we could go after dinner.

 

Tonight at dinner, I decided that Glen should see the butter dishes that the main dining room has (they have 3 sections with 2 or 3 different choices, such as different aiolis, etc). I asked our waiter for some, as well as a couple of breadsticks. I got the butter, and an entire bowl of breadsticks. Next cruise, I'll get the butter every night. Dinner was great with lively conversation. It was nice having friends to have dinner with a couple of times.

 

After dinner we headed to the show, called Broken strings. It was a boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets back with girl thin plot taking place in a bar. Not to the level of the first show. I was a bit disappointed that on this cruise there were only those two shows.

 

Following the show, we headed to the room to watch a bit of TV and get ready for our last day.

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Hi, Just wondering what the name of the tour service you used. Doing this cruise in September. Thanks, Donna

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Hi, Just wondering what the name of the tour service you used. Doing this cruise in September. Thanks, Donna

 

I'll have to dig that up. I know we used Karlito's Way in Malta, they were great. I didn't do the bookings, but I believe I have the info buried in email, so I'll try to find it.

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Please don't - I do promise to finish it. Naples is written, I just have to do a brief write up of the sea day after this.

 

Going on this cruise and read thru the whole thing to find out about Naples, lol.

Any chance of finishing it?

 

Thanks :D

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Here you go ... I probably won't have time to add pictures, though

 

 

Today was Naples, and our last stop before disembarking in Rome tomorrow. For this port, we'd booked our first ship tour in quite a while. We opted for that because all the private tours our friends were hosting were longer than we wanted. We (at least me, and I do all the booking) wanted Sorrento and Pompeii, but not the Amalfi coast. Celebrity had what they called a Taste of Sorrento with Pompeii - Small group. Since it was what we were looking for, and also had some tasting, I thought it would be a good tour for us. I picture about a dozen of us with personalized attention from a guide, much like all the private tours we do. Because it was before Celebrity changed their policy, we paid in advance (now you can use on board credit).

 

So, up early since we were supposed to go to the theater at 7:45. At 7:20 we went to Luminae, but they weren't open yet. We then thought we'd get the express breakfast in the dining room, but they weren't open yet either (with tours departing that early you'd think that the restaurant at least, would be open to accommodate them). So up to Cafe al Bacio for coffee and a pastry. At 7:45, we arrived in the theater to collect our (pretty much hated) stickers. The few times I've done ship tours recently it was for things like flights, so not a sticker thing. Oh well, I can suck it up for a day.

 

They called our tour and told us to go down to deck two. Down we went and off the ship. There was a line of buses there each with a number corresponding to the stickers. This I expected, but what I did not expect was that our small group was in a full size bus, not a van. It was too late for a refund, and I really wanted to see the sights, so I hoped for the best. We got in, as did 22 other people. Turns out their idea of small is 24. Mine is 12, no more than 16. oh well.

 

We headed out with the guide, Fabio, on a headset explaining what we were seeing. Our first tasting was a Lemocello store. They offered Lemoncello, candy, and olive oil tasting, and we're pretty sure it was simply a kickback store for the guide company. We were there with full bus tour 15 - same tour name, just without the Small group designation.

 

After a couple of tastes and pictures of the view and 10 minutes (of the allotted 20) we went back to the bus without buying anything. Our next stop was to be a farm to taste mozzarella.

 

We arrived at the farm and were escorted into a room that looked like a restaurant or a bar with table set up with a plate with 3 kinds of cheeses, bread, bread with a hot spread, and a couple of pieces of salami. Also on the table was white wine and water. About 1/3 of the room was set up for us. After we finished the tasting, we were ready for our tour of the farm, but Fabio was busy talking to other guides. We gathered him up, and watched a cheese making demo, and then got a tour. That was fairly enjoyable. We also did purchase some olive oil in the gift shop, because the sample was great.

 

From there we headed to Sorrento. The bus stopped in a square, and we thought we'd be on our way, but wait - there was a shop we were hearded into so we could learn about how wood inlay is done, and by the way, they ship free and today only the price quoted would be charged in US dollars, not in Euros.

 

Once we could escape, we wandered around for a while and grabbed a pizza. We then went back to our meeting point, stopping at a grocery store to get some lemon candy for Glen's work. (We got some for us too - yummy!)

 

Next stop - Pompeii. The road in was full of campgrounds, hotels, restaurants, etc and looked totally like a tourist trap. We parked in one of the many lots and walked to the plaza in front of the site. Our guide led us to the cameo store, and told us to go in, take the brief tour while he got the tickets. So, we had to learn how they make cameos. We got out as quickly as possible. When Fabio caught up with us, he had some people with VR headphones for us. Those were cool once we were inside. Armed with a bottle of water, we went in.

 

We visited several sites within the sites, although I would have preferred more time there, and less time at stores. I sent Celebrity an email about that after the cruise. Got an apology and that was about it.

 

Once we finished there, back in the bus and back to the pier. On the whole, I thought the excursion had been misrepresented, and I remembered why I don't do ship excursions.

 

At Michael's club later we ran into to Claude and he said that their private tour went to the Lemoncello stop too, so maybe it's standard.

 

Dinner, and then packing. It was a great trip and we will be back on Celebrity again.

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Thank you for your review. A good reminder why we don't do ship tours... I think small is 8 people, lol...

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Thank you for your review. A good reminder why we don't do ship tours... I think small is 8 people, lol...

You are most welcome. For me, up to about 12, maybe 16, is small.

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We also had Arun as our butler April 2016 on Reflection. Such a nice man. We also had a piece of laundry lost. He tracked it down and returned it (unwashed!)

Thanks for the great review.

PS we love those lemon candies too, haven’t found them anywhere else.

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Thanks.

Yes, they look similar.....says they’re sold out though.

Looks like they have the orange ones (also good) and the 6 pack.

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Abby, I have been waiting for ever for the ending of our trip.....I am glad it all turned out well....It looks like we had a good time.

 

Trust all is well with you and Glen.

 

Cheers, Claude.

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I found this info somewhere.... I think we are tendered, so does that mean we are in old town? Is there a way to find out?

Mykonos, Greece

Tendered 7:00am to 6:00pm

Cruise ships dock at the Port of Tourlos, about a mile north of Hora. Larger ships may tender. A shuttle bus between the port and Hora is provided.

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Thanks so much. We just booked this trip for September and you made me more excited.

 

We booked this also last year when we were aboard a Caribbean cruise. See you aboard.

 

Dan & Ro from NJ

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Here you go ... I probably won't have time to add pictures, though

 

 

Today was Naples, and our last stop before disembarking in Rome tomorrow. For this port, we'd booked our first ship tour in quite a while. We opted for that because all the private tours our friends were hosting were longer than we wanted. We (at least me, and I do all the booking) wanted Sorrento and Pompeii, but not the Amalfi coast. Celebrity had what they called a Taste of Sorrento with Pompeii - Small group. Since it was what we were looking for, and also had some tasting, I thought it would be a good tour for us. I picture about a dozen of us with personalized attention from a guide, much like all the private tours we do. Because it was before Celebrity changed their policy, we paid in advance (now you can use on board credit).

 

So, up early since we were supposed to go to the theater at 7:45. At 7:20 we went to Luminae, but they weren't open yet. We then thought we'd get the express breakfast in the dining room, but they weren't open yet either (with tours departing that early you'd think that the restaurant at least, would be open to accommodate them). So up to Cafe al Bacio for coffee and a pastry. At 7:45, we arrived in the theater to collect our (pretty much hated) stickers. The few times I've done ship tours recently it was for things like flights, so not a sticker thing. Oh well, I can suck it up for a day.

 

They called our tour and told us to go down to deck two. Down we went and off the ship. There was a line of buses there each with a number corresponding to the stickers. This I expected, but what I did not expect was that our small group was in a full size bus, not a van. It was too late for a refund, and I really wanted to see the sights, so I hoped for the best. We got in, as did 22 other people. Turns out their idea of small is 24. Mine is 12, no more than 16. oh well.

 

We headed out with the guide, Fabio, on a headset explaining what we were seeing. Our first tasting was a Lemocello store. They offered Lemoncello, candy, and olive oil tasting, and we're pretty sure it was simply a kickback store for the guide company. We were there with full bus tour 15 - same tour name, just without the Small group designation.

 

After a couple of tastes and pictures of the view and 10 minutes (of the allotted 20) we went back to the bus without buying anything. Our next stop was to be a farm to taste mozzarella.

 

We arrived at the farm and were escorted into a room that looked like a restaurant or a bar with table set up with a plate with 3 kinds of cheeses, bread, bread with a hot spread, and a couple of pieces of salami. Also on the table was white wine and water. About 1/3 of the room was set up for us. After we finished the tasting, we were ready for our tour of the farm, but Fabio was busy talking to other guides. We gathered him up, and watched a cheese making demo, and then got a tour. That was fairly enjoyable. We also did purchase some olive oil in the gift shop, because the sample was great.

 

From there we headed to Sorrento. The bus stopped in a square, and we thought we'd be on our way, but wait - there was a shop we were hearded into so we could learn about how wood inlay is done, and by the way, they ship free and today only the price quoted would be charged in US dollars, not in Euros.

 

Once we could escape, we wandered around for a while and grabbed a pizza. We then went back to our meeting point, stopping at a grocery store to get some lemon candy for Glen's work. (We got some for us too - yummy!)

 

Next stop - Pompeii. The road in was full of campgrounds, hotels, restaurants, etc and looked totally like a tourist trap. We parked in one of the many lots and walked to the plaza in front of the site. Our guide led us to the cameo store, and told us to go in, take the brief tour while he got the tickets. So, we had to learn how they make cameos. We got out as quickly as possible. When Fabio caught up with us, he had some people with VR headphones for us. Those were cool once we were inside. Armed with a bottle of water, we went in.

 

We visited several sites within the sites, although I would have preferred more time there, and less time at stores. I sent Celebrity an email about that after the cruise. Got an apology and that was about it.

 

Once we finished there, back in the bus and back to the pier. On the whole, I thought the excursion had been misrepresented, and I remembered why I don't do ship excursions.

 

At Michael's club later we ran into to Claude and he said that their private tour went to the Lemoncello stop too, so maybe it's standard.

 

Dinner, and then packing. It was a great trip and we will be back on Celebrity again.

 

We did a Celeb tour ( lg bus) to Pompei ..early bus arrival at the site, one of the best guides we ever had...great walking tour throughout the site and just enough time for souveniers and pizza in a nice garden cafe before we left. There was a short stop at the Cameo place which we enjoyed....did not buy anything. We were returned promptly with time to explore port area.. we usually try to focus one one area or stop...

 

Sorry your tour was not what you expected... sounds like too much shopping and a lazy guide

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Just a quick limoncello candy story and word of caution.

 

We bought a couple of bags of similar lemon candy filled with liquid limincello in Positano as gifts for friends on a tour after debarking from the Reflection. For some reason I packed them in my carry on (maybe I was worried they would melt?) and forgot about the liquid center.

 

We flew from Venice to Amsterdam and had to go back through security before boarding for our US flight. They scanned my carry on over and over and then opened it and went through everything. We had been delayed due to several lines, and then by this, so started worrying about making the flight. They mentioned seeing pockets of liquid and couldn't figure out what they were seeing. After going through everything again, they finally let us through.

 

When we arrived at the gate, they were boarding and we had to stand in line for boarding passes (they wouldn't give them to us in Venice). By the time we received them, we had to immediately board. When we got on the plane I noticed we didn't have the upgraded bulkhead seats I had booked many months before. They had sold them to someone else since they thought we were a no show. We were split apart, with my DH sitting in a broken middle seat and me in the last row on the other side of the plane next to someone who likely hadn't bathed for a while. It was a terrible 9 hour flight.

 

When we got home and I started unpacking, it suddenly hit me what the little pockets of liquid were - limoncello inside the hard candy. I still blame that horrible flight on that candy (and not my stupidity ;)).

 

Moral of the story: if you buy the limoncello-filled candy, pack it in your checked luggage. :D

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 I don't think our roll call was migrated (I can't find it) so I'll post this here - our cruise was on Rick Steves' Europe this week.  We were actually on the show, dancing at the full moon party.

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