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CHICAGOPAUL - LIVE!!!!!!! CRUISE BLOG - November 5th Celebrity Reflection!!!!!!!!!

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18 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

 

Good Question. So I’m not sure exactly what is behind it. Here is my experience. Elite Plus and Suites typically receive an invite. Concierge class will also typically receive an invite. I think a lot depends on number of ports and guests on board. For the past handful of cruises we’ve always been invited. My suggestion is if you’re interested and you’re in Captains Club (regardless of status) as your captains club host and say you’re interested. If you’re in concierge class ask your concierge. And if you’re in a suite you’ll more than likely receive an invite but just ask your Michaels Club host / hostess. 

 

 

Of course I remember! Taz is currently on the Edge. We’ve been in touch on Instagram. He’s happy to be there and it’s busy. I believe he gets off the edge at the end of January. I’ll check with him to see if he has a new assignment for a new contract. 

 

Thank you so much & I will look forward to hearing from you & keeping my fingers crossed that Taz will be on Reflection when we go! 

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9 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

Dinner last night was in Luminae. Everything went smoothly and we enjoyed the food. Specifically I thought the corn soup was fantastic. I liked the pork and thought it was pretty good but no major wow factor. Edward had the linguine and wasn’t too impressed. The sauce looked watery and wasn’t sticking to the noodles. Dessert was the chocolate sphere last night which is set on fire. One of our favorites. We usually see a lot of people order it but last night only saw a few order. 

 

 

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LOVED the Chocolate Sphere

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Hi Paul love your review of the Reflection..I have been in an aft Sky Suite and loved all the space, the only thing that was annoying was  the window washing equipment outside the porthole.  I have a favor to ask who are the bartenders at the Martini Bar and will they be on in January.  Thanks again for a great review.

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Hi Paul, did you by any chance manage to get a photo of the guys in the Martini Bar? I know it might be difficult if the bar is as busy as you say so I understand if it hasn't been possible. Enjoy your last day onboard!

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Good Morning from the very windy Sunset Bar. We have very strong winds and the boat is rocking but thankfully not strong enough to close the decks. It’s partly cloudy. Temps are very comfortable around 78/80 I’d say. They’re saying a high of 86 today. 

 

Here is today’s Daily 

 

 

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Hi Paul.... Great job on painting a picture of "Life on the Reflection" !!

 

We are getting on Reflection as you depart, just wondering if they ever got the satellite TV fixed during your voyage ? Was hoping to catch the Bears game Sunday night.

 

Thanks for all the info the last week +

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42 minutes ago, cruise often said:

Hi Paul.... Great job on painting a picture of "Life on the Reflection" !!

 

We are getting on Reflection as you depart, just wondering if they ever got the satellite TV fixed during your voyage ? Was hoping to catch the Bears game Sunday night.

 

Thanks for all the info the last week +

 

Unfirtunately it has not been fixed but it appears to only be the news stations. ESPN, Travel Channel, etc still appear to be working. 

 

They said some parts had to be ordered so they could resolve the problem (even though the problem appears to be with their provider). Hopefully it will be fully corrected in Miami. 

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1 hour ago, chicagopaul said:

Here is the Porch menu! 

 

 

D1465DFD-CA08-4E05-B2C4-682A6A8CEC77.jpeg

 

Oh man, I'm so glad that you posted this, we were planning on going to lunch here based on the menu on the app, but everything we were going to order is gone. 

 

I hope your last day is a blast and looking forward to hearing about your dinner in Luminae (we're in AQ, love Blu but living vicariously 😁). 

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On 11/4/2018 at 7:41 PM, GrazieMommy said:

 

As you may know, and I’ve mentioned this before, Celebrity has reciprocity with MLife, MGM Resorts & Casino loyalty program. Our Elite Plus gets us Platinum with MLife which has some nice perks. Now, here is where it get interesting. In searching we found out that if you’re Platinum with MLife you also qualify for Explorist (2nd highest tier level) for Hyatt Hotels. Typically if you get status through reciprocity, you usually cannot use that reciprocal status to get another reciprocal status. But we figured we’d put our MLife numbers into the Hyatt system and see what happens. Turns out they gave us Explorist What does that get us? Well it gets us some small stuff like free water, early & late checkout, club floor passes (if there is a club floor) upgraded free internet, etc. However, the nicest feature is that when you book with points and are Explorist or higher you do not have to pay any resort fees. Depending on the hotel this can save you between $20 to $40 per night.

 

 

Thanks for this tip - how do we get MLife Status?

We are also Elite Plus and , while the MLife status probably won't beneift us , the Explorist in Hyatt will!!!

 

EDIT: Just signed up for MLife and called to upgrade our status to Platinum.

As soon as that's done I'll call Hyatt.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR  THIS HINT!!

Edited by chamima

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21 minutes ago, chamima said:

 

 

Thanks for this tip - how do we get MLife Status?

We are also Elite Plus and , while the MLife status probably won't beneift us , the Explorist in Hyatt will!!!

 

EDIT: Just signed up for MLife and called to upgrade our status to Platinum.

As soon as that's done I'll call Hyatt.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR  THIS HINT!!

 

 

EDIT#2

I see that you added your MLife status on line without having to call.

I can't seem to find anywhere to do that on the Hyatt site.

Do you remember where exactly you did that?

Thanks again!

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My wife and I were on the TA just prior to your cruise. This is probably getting to you too late, but if you have the opportunity, please tell Wida, one of the servers in Luminae, that Charlie and Carol said "hello" and we really appreciated her.

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Good Morning Everyone. Well, we are back in Port Everglades. Edward and I are sitting in Michaels Club killing some time before disembarking. We’re heading to South Beach for one night before flying out if MIA late afternoon tomorrow. 

 

I know given the new mobile site and the internet on the ship my blog was not up to what I usually post. However I’ll have that all corrected in the next day with my full recap, additional photos, and video that I took. I do have photos and video of everyone at the Martini Bar so I will have that posted first since I know many of you wanted to see that. 

 

To all thise boarding the Reflection today, I hope you have a wonderful cruise! 

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We decided to sit in Michaels until around 9:15. We walked off the ship without a problem. Suites and zenith luggage are located closest to passport control so straight ahead and to the left once you enter the baggage area. We found our pieces without a problem. There is also a deducated entry way from the suite luggage area to get in line for passport control. It took less than a minute. 

 

We we decided to order a Lyft XL because of our large luggage. Waiting for rideshare drivers here is easy. Follow the signs and you’ll just turn to the left as you walk outside and that’s where they pick you up. The drivers are not allowed to wait in port so it might take them 5 or 10 minutes to arrive as they go through port security. 

 

The lyft xl was roughly $85. A regular Lyft would’ve been half the price. A taxi would be roughly 85/90 or so. This was to South Beach the Hyatt Centric at 16th and Collins. 

 

We are now strolling around with some coffee before lunch. It’s cool here today, maybe 68ish right now with a slight breeze. 

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On ‎11‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 9:01 AM, ecslady said:

 

Glad I'm not the only one this is happening to.

Been experiencing the same.    I've found that if I refresh the page it shows me signed in without having to sign in again.   Worth a try. 

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5 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

Been experiencing the same.    I've found that if I refresh the page it shows me signed in without having to sign in again.   Worth a try. 

For me, I just have to wait about 15 seconds.

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On ‎11‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 11:42 AM, Sadebud said:

Hi Paul.  I've followed you before, but normally I am a "lurker".  I am following this one as we have friends aboard.  If you see Roy and Jennifer from Manchester, UK, tell them hello from Tracy and Tom.  They are elite plus too, and can be found in the Martini Bar often!  

 

Bon Voyage!!!

 

Tracy

We just got off the Reflection as well and did meet your friends but at Sunset rather than the Martini Bar.  We enjoyed the conversation with both Roy and Jennifer.  Plus it was a great trip to visit the Sunset Bar regularly.

 

Jeff

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46 minutes ago, wave rider said:

We just got off the Reflection as well and did meet your friends but at Sunset rather than the Martini Bar.  We enjoyed the conversation with both Roy and Jennifer.  Plus it was a great trip to visit the Sunset Bar regularly.

 

Jeff

Roy and Jennifer are a delightful couple.

 

Phil

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Cheers to everyone from the Centurion Lounge in Miami. We had a great time in Miami, albeit it was short. At home I'll have the videos put together, but I've started editing some photos from around the ship. I know a couple people were asking for ship photos so I'll post a few and I also took a video walk through of the Sunset bar area as well as the lawn club area since there are some differences on the Reflection compared to other S class ships.

 

I am also going to post a walk through video talking about the benefits and how you sign up for the MLife card and Hyatt program using your Captain's Club. I think it is a great way to maximize your Captain's Club program so why not. Even if you don't presently have a use for it you may in the future.

 

There have been a few posts about tipping recently. I know tipping is a personal matter and we all hail from different parts of the world where tradition is different, but I do know that some people are looking for some general guidance and the proverbial "tip what you feel is appropriate" can be quite vague. So I will let you know what I tip bartenders, wait staff, room attendants, butler, etc. I'll list these out just so you know what I do and you can make your own assumptions from there.

 

I saw someone on here asked who my TA is. Per Cruise Critic guidelines I cannot mention who they / she is. But I can tell you I first met them about 6 years ago when I transferred an onboard booking to them and kept using the same woman I spoke to. I usually do all the research myself (actually Edward does the research, I can't take credit for that) and we then just e-mail our TA and have her take care of it. Half of the time we book on board and keep those bookings. Other times we use an onboard booking and transfer (move) it to a new reservation.

 

So while I sit here at the bar at the Centurion Lounge and on the plane I'll get to work on a full review for all of you and then when I'm back at home I'll upload a dozens of photos on here and get video put together for you all too. Thank you again for following along and helping enhance my vacation. That is really what you all do by reading and commenting. Also please feel free to continue to ask questions.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Roy and Jennifer are a delightful couple.

 

Phil

 

I don't think I ended up meeting them by name, but I may have chatted with them. We were at Sunset every day but only in the morning. Only once up there at night but we sat by ourselves smoking cigars. Hope they had a wonderful cruise and Jeff I hope you enjoyed the Reflection as much as we did!

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3 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

 

I don't think I ended up meeting them by name, but I may have chatted with them. We were at Sunset every day but only in the morning. Only once up there at night but we sat by ourselves smoking cigars. Hope they had a wonderful cruise and Jeff I hope you enjoyed the Reflection as much as we did!

Hi Paul

We were at Sunset mostly in the afternoon which is when we met Roy and Jen.  We had a great time on Reflection.  Now that I have had a chance to do laundry, pay bills, etc I can catch up with your report and learn again how much fun we had!  Great to talk to you and Edward.  Hope to see you both again on another cruise.

 

Take care.

 

Jeff

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Paul, thanks for posting another amazing review. I always love living vicariously through you and Edward as you definitely cruise style as I do!

 

On 11/5/2018 at 11:12 AM, chicagopaul said:

We’re currently in the suite waiting area. The coast guard is conducting a drill and inspection so we just need to wait for that to complete. Hopefully it is soon! I want my drink at the bar! 

 

Were you able to check-in via the updated app?

If so, did you find the process any easier than handing over printed Xpress Passes? 

 

 

On 11/16/2018 at 8:16 AM, chicagopaul said:

Good Morning Everyone. Well, we are back in Port Everglades. Edward and I are sitting in Michaels Club killing some time before disembarking. We’re heading to South Beach for one night before flying out if MIA late afternoon tomorrow. 

 

I know given the new mobile site and the internet on the ship my blog was not up to what I usually post. However I’ll have that all corrected in the next day with my full recap, additional photos, and video that I took. I do have photos and video of everyone at the Martini Bar so I will have that posted first since I know many of you wanted to see that. 

 

To all thise boarding the Reflection today, I hope you have a wonderful cruise! 

 

Do you have any tips/hints that you've uncovered that might help with using the mobile site to run a Live Blog?

 

 

On 11/12/2018 at 1:06 PM, chicagopaul said:

So last night we had dinner in our suite. We asked our butler Walter to create an Indian dinner for us and did he ever. It was perfect. Notice how much we loved the fish! 

 

I was on the Summit in January and we had asked the Luminae Maitre'd to see if the chef could prepare us Indian food one night, to which he readily agreed. It was definitely one of the best experiences I've had on a cruise - glad that you and Edward enjoyed it!

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 Thank you for another great review ! I do have a question we will be on the second half of the b2b next year that you two will be on in November!  we will be moving from a sky Suite  to an aqua class room and wanted to book specialty restaurants before the cruise I was looking at I believe three day package and my question is can we book those ahead of time ? I’ve been having trouble doing it online and was not sure if I needed to call or if it is something that we have todo when  we are on board ?  Will probably see you at the martini or the Sunset bar or two favorite places on all of this Celebrity  ships that we have been on !!

Edited by sdnich

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We were on the Reflection with you, but paths didn't cross. 

It was fun reading your blog and seeing the beautiful pictures. 

Happy cruising!

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12 hours ago, mit429 said:

Paul, thanks for posting another amazing review. I always love living vicariously through you and Edward as you definitely cruise style as I do!

 

12 hours ago, mit429 said:

 

 

Were you able to check-in via the updated app?

If so, did you find the process any easier than handing over printed Xpress Passes? 

 

We did not check in via the app, but we did our on-line check in on their website and we did upload our photos that we took at home so we could avoid that process at check in.  Our express passes were one page each, looking almost like a ticket to a movie. Different than we've had before. Nothing to sign at check in. They just had to swipe our passports, scan the express pass, and swipe our credit card. Very easy process. Looking forward to having everything fully on the phone including the sail pass card!

 

12 hours ago, mit429 said:

 

Do you have any tips/hints that you've uncovered that might help with using the mobile site to run a Live Blog?

 

 

I would recommend downloading an app that will quickly resize your photos. In the past TapaTalk and other apps that would work with the Cruise Critic app would resize the photos for you. The mobile site uploads the photos in full size up to 48mb and on the ships slow internet a 5mb photo would be hard to load and sometimes time out. If you can get your photos under 1mb that is ideal. Typically I'd resize the dailys to 1mb so they were still readable and other photos down to around 500k. I did not have an app instead I was using my e-mail to resize them and it was a hassle. If I had an app I would have had many more photos posted during the cruise instead of having to wait until now.

 

 

 

 

12 hours ago, mit429 said:

 

I was on the Summit in January and we had asked the Luminae Maitre'd to see if the chef could prepare us Indian food one night, to which he readily agreed. It was definitely one of the best experiences I've had on a cruise - glad that you and Edward enjoyed it!

 

We loved our Indian dinner! We were thinking of having it in Luminae but since our butler was Indian, and we have yet to have dinner in a suite on Celebrity we figured we'd have him arrange it. So glad we did and I think we will do that once per cruise moving forward.

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Martini Bar

 

The Martini Bar as you know is where we were every night. We knew three bartenders from previous cruises. Komang, Agung, and I Made. There are two others working the bar named Muni and the last I forget his name (it was a bit longer I want to say something along the lines of Nayoman? He was not there all the time and had a varied schedule).

 

Muni from India is heading home soon. Komang and I Made are there until end of March / April 1st I believe. The same goes for the person whose name I cannot remember but I'll post a photo below. He is tall and skinny, very very nice. Agung is scheduled to be on the ship until June (he just got on!) but his wife's due date is at the end of June and she is expecting twins so he wants to try to get home at least a month early since twins typically come a bit early!

 

Here is a video compilation from the Martini Bar

 

 

 

 

 

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10B2284C-6555-4C29-8FCB-0EF0E6D7932D.thumb.jpeg.89124ecf52723056e07cf4861d647ed8.jpeg

 

To the left is I Made. On the right is the bartender whose name I forget. Do you know him? 

 

2B08E52D-4F19-4104-AF3A-C3427C771DCC.thumb.jpeg.494e086b758d38b1481ab44a60efd0a5.jpeg

 

Left is I Made and right is Muni 

 

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Agung hard at work 

 

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Komang playing with balloon animals 

 

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A rare site, an empty Martini Bar. Taken at 9am. 

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1 hour ago, chicagopaul said:

 

 

We did not check in via the app, but we did our on-line check in on their website and we did upload our photos that we took at home so we could avoid that process at check in.  Our express passes were one page each, looking almost like a ticket to a movie. Different than we've had before. Nothing to sign at check in. They just had to swipe our passports, scan the express pass, and swipe our credit card. Very easy process. Looking forward to having everything fully on the phone including the sail pass card!

 

 

I would recommend downloading an app that will quickly resize your photos. In the past TapaTalk and other apps that would work with the Cruise Critic app would resize the photos for you. The mobile site uploads the photos in full size up to 48mb and on the ships slow internet a 5mb photo would be hard to load and sometimes time out. If you can get your photos under 1mb that is ideal. Typically I'd resize the dailys to 1mb so they were still readable and other photos down to around 500k. I did not have an app instead I was using my e-mail to resize them and it was a hassle. If I had an app I would have had many more photos posted during the cruise instead of having to wait until now.

 

 

 

 

 

We loved our Indian dinner! We were thinking of having it in Luminae but since our butler was Indian, and we have yet to have dinner in a suite on Celebrity we figured we'd have him arrange it. So glad we did and I think we will do that once per cruise moving forward.

 

I’ll definitely download a resizing app - thanks for the tip!

 

I’ve been tempted to do an en-suite dinner, but always unsure how it would be executed and end up just defaulting to Luminae or a speciality. Your review has definitely made me more confident that I’ll have to give this a whirl in the future

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Good morning, Paul, I was wondering, I have the Classic Drink Package, and I was wondering what the price is for the Martini and do you have to pay for the whole cost or just the difference?  Thanks in advance for answering 

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1 hour ago, AnJ said:

Good morning, Paul, I was wondering, I have the Classic Drink Package, and I was wondering what the price is for the Martini and do you have to pay for the whole cost or just the difference?  Thanks in advance for answering 

 

You just need to lay the difference. I believe for most martinis it will be $3 from what I overheard. 

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1 hour ago, mit429 said:

 

I’ll definitely download a resizing app - thanks for the tip!

 

I’ve been tempted to do an en-suite dinner, but always unsure how it would be executed and end up just defaulting to Luminae or a speciality. Your review has definitely made me more confident that I’ll have to give this a whirl in the future

 

I was worried too. Also worried that the butler would be in suite too long and make it awkward. But it was the opposite. He was barely there and had us call him when we needed the next course or told us he’d be back in 10 minutes with the next. It was exceptional service and the food was hot. 

 

If you do it don’t order off the menu. Just have them arrange whatever type of food you’d like and let your butler take liberties probably like you did with the Indian food in Luminae. It was quite fun. Though I think next time around we will try your advice in Luminae too and see how things turn out. 

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Paul, thank you so much for the Martini Bar video and photos. It was great to see Agung, Komang and I Made. Good news that Agung has twins on the way, hopefully I will see him onboard on the April TA. Thanks again for taking us along on your cruise.

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Hi!  Thanks Paul.

This was a great preface to my upcoming cruise on Reflection 11/26!  Did the Mardi Gras cruise 2/18 and loved the Reflection..   Looking forward to next Monday!

Bonnie

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On 11/18/2018 at 11:41 AM, chicagopaul said:

 

I was worried too. Also worried that the butler would be in suite too long and make it awkward. But it was the opposite. He was barely there and had us call him when we needed the next course or told us he’d be back in 10 minutes with the next. It was exceptional service and the food was hot. 

 

If you do it don’t order off the menu. Just have them arrange whatever type of food you’d like and let your butler take liberties probably like you did with the Indian food in Luminae. It was quite fun. Though I think next time around we will try your advice in Luminae too and see how things turn out.

Hey Paul..we too had a corner sky suite on Reflection last week and had Walter as our Butler...he went out of his way to suggest and bring us appetizers when were out on excursions all day..in addition he put together an in suite dinner for us....traditional fair but not off the room service menu...definitely was spoiled by his service... He told us he was flying back to India to visit family last friday but hoped to come back to the Reflection

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Hello Everyone - My apologies for the delay updating all of you with the correct recap of our trip. On Monday we moved into a new home and until everything is unpacked and set up exactly how I want them I cannot function. So, the past week (coupled with Thanksgiving) was spent organizing and getting everything into place. Now we're 100% settled and I can get back to my day job and fun things such as this.

 

Here are a couple links to some videos I uploaded.

 

Video 1  - Videos from Martini Bar, Sunset Bar, and World Class Bar

 

 

Video 2

 

Tour of the Lawn Club area and Sunset Bar

 

 

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