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

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7 hours ago, Eloise4Ever said:

Hi Paul, I am enjoying your review enormously as I always do. I love that you give so much information. I was wondering, if you get a chance, could you post a photo of Komang, I Made and Agung from the Martini bar please? (As long as they don't mind of course!) I believe Komang and I Made were working in the Martini Bar on Eclipse on our cruise from Southampton to the Canary Islands in September 2017 and I Made and Agung on our Eclipse TA and Norway cruises earlier this year. I would love to see a photo of them. They are all so different but great guys. I got to know Komang and I Made after I witnessed a guest speak very rudely to them last year. I tried to comfort them afterwards as they were quite shaken. I offered to tell their Manager their side of the story if anything was made of the incident. Fortunately, everything was ok. Boon, who you have mentioned before, was also in MB on that cruise. Another great guy.

 

I’ll definitely get a photo of or with all of them. They were on the Eclipse! We saw them last December. Were we on the same cruise? I think Nov 26th or somewhere around there? I remember one particular guy having an issue and filing a couple complaints about the martini bar at that time. 

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Sail away from our balcony today. 

 

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I spoke to our butler Walter today and he’s making our shire excursion reservation for Costa Rica. We’re going on a rainforest walk / tour plus a visit to the town of Puerto Viejo. 

 

We have also asked Walter to arrange an Indian dinner in our suite on the night of Costa Rica. He asked us a few questions about our preferences and he said he’d take care of the rest. He also remembered we had a bottle of Pinot Grigio given to us and asked if we’d like that put on ice for the meal. 

 

I owe you lots of food photos from the past couple of days plus a proper update so I’ll have that for you soon. Now it’s off to the Martini Bar as usual. 

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27 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

 

I’ll definitely get a photo of or with all of them. They were on the Eclipse! We saw them last December. Were we on the same cruise? I think Nov 26th or somewhere around there? I remember one particular guy having an issue and filing a couple complaints about the martini bar at that time. 

Thanks so much Paul. Rest assured I would definitely say hello if we were on the same cruise! The Eclipse cruise where the ”gentleman” was complaining was in September 2017 from Southampton to the Canary Islands. He was way out of line both in the nature of his complaint and the way he spoke to the guys.

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Good Evening Everyone - My apologies for lacking in content over the past couple of days. We’ve been going to bed late and with the lack of a cruise critic app or ability to use tapatalk it’s been more of a hassle to update daily postings from my phone. So now as I sit here in bed early with my laptop I figured I’d update you on some previous evenings and let you know how things are going on the ship!

As usual lets start with all the positives. As usual the staff has been wonderful, specifically we always fine the staff on the Reflection to be a slight cut above the rest and this cruise is no different. We’ve been very pleased with all the bar staff, security staff while leaving and arriving back on the ship, and the overall ship cleanliness.

 

Luminae: The staff in Luminae has been great. We’ve been very pleased with all of our tables as well as all the service staff. The sommelier is Andrea from Serbia. Our wait staff has been great (we’ve had 3 different waiters(es) in total). Kirk is currently working in Luminae as a waiter. On the first day Kirk saw us and came up to us and remembered us. He looked so familiar but I just couldn’t place him. It turns out that he was in Luminae on the Eclipse last December, but we never had him as a waiter. It was not until today that I remembered who he was. He was our waiter in Blu back on our 14night holiday cruise in 2013. He didn’t have glasses then and went by the nickname Captain Kirk. He was fantastic! It randomly popped into my head today while at dinner and we could not wait to tell him. It all came together and I’m gad we finally figured out how we knew him!

 

We’ve been happy with the food in Luminae as well as the speed of the delivery of the food. Given the increased amount of suites on the Reflection. Service has been quick and efficient. The first day at lunch was a little slow but after that everything sped up quite nicely. I forget the maitre d name at the moment, however, he has been great and stopping by each table throughout the night to check on things. He has been very present and I appreciate that.

 

Last night our entree was the lamb with lamb sausage which was excellent. Tonight we had the short ribs and they were very flavorful, cooked well, not dry or over done. We’ve been happy with the daily bread selection, 3 types each day. Our sommelier Andrea has been very attentive. While she is busy handling the entire restaurant we’ve never had an empty glass and she’s always been great at recommending wine for dinner. We routinely will have two different wines during dinner, one for apps and one for the entree.

 

As you know our mornings start at the Sunset Bar. Even today, on a port today, we have a drink there. Well today we arrived around 9:20, 10 minutes before opening time. We saw Milton and Richard stocking the bar so we just quickly said hello and walked over to the other part of the lawn to take pictures and look around at the Colombian port. It is a large industrial port and while many would prefer something more picturesque, I personally find these ports fascinating. Watching cargo ships get loaded, large cranes moving containers upon containers…it is fascinating. After all we all benefit from this so why should we be surprised / upset when we see it in person? Anywho, we’re standing there looking over the port and Richard shows up with our usual drinks (plus Pellegrino) on a tray. He said that him and Milton thought we shouldn’t have to wait to have our drinks and brought them to us. Fantastic. Such a very simple gesture, but greatly appreciated.

 

The above is how our entire cruise has been going. We walk up to the martini bar and the bartenders just confirm our drinks by putting two fingers up in the air. Even though we’ve barely been in Michaels Club, Riz (from the Philippines) knows our order already.

 

Now with all this being said I realize I need to be as critical as I can be. After all no matter how wonderful something is there is always room for improvement. So let me critique things a little bit.

Cartagena was great today. I looked up taxi info and port info on my phone. Celebrity gave some basic info, but it would be nice if they could give some additional information on transportation. More than likely the info is limited because it then encourages you to book a tour. We had internet 24/7 plus I used my Verizon account in Colombia so I was able to navigate without a problem, but a little more port info from Celebrity would be nice, especially considering Cartagena is a port that is not frequented by many cruisers but one that is very interesting.

 

Today in the Ocean View cafe was a Taste of Cartagena. It was a limited selection with regard to the Colombian food, but what they had was very good. It should have been better marked, however. When we were in Spain for instance they made a big to do about Spanish food at the lunch buffet and Spanish flags marked the stations where the food was.

 

TV signal. So I saw someone post on Cruise Critic that the TVs have been out on the Reflection. All news stations are out (MSNBC, CNBC, FOX, BBC) but ESPN, Food Network, Travel Channel, and of course the basic ship channels are still working just fine. A bit annoying and probably more annoying if I did not have the internet to keep up with current events. As much as I like to disconnect while I travel, given our current political climate and unfortunate random events (shooting in CA) staying up to date is important. They’ve kept us updated on the situation. It is apparently not a hardware issue but rather some sort of signal issue. A specialist was suppose to jump on the ship today to troubleshoot but didn’t make it. They should make it on tomorrow in Panama. It’s not the end of the world. Honestly, I don’t care. But I realize how some do and like I said if I did not have the internet package I probably would care a bit more.

 

But if the few above issue are my largest concerns I’d say I’m having a pretty damn good vacation. The people on this cruise have been wonderful. Fellow passengers are talkative, but still all appear to be experienced travelers / cruisers which is very nice.

 

Tomorrow is Panama. Our plans are uncertain, but I know I’ll have plenty of time to update you all with more photos tomorrow and I can get fully caught up on my review. Thank you all for following along and for bearing with me the past few days with the limited amount of content.

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Hi Paul

 

Wonderful review as usual.  Did you precook your tour in Cartagena or get it at the pier?  Thanks.

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Thanks for the information on ship personnel can't wait to meet them in 2 weeks.  I remember Captain Kirk from Blu also, not sure what ship.  Who are the suites manager and Michael's Club concierges?

 

I like watching the activity with the containers.  We stayed on board last cruise and just sat on our balcony one day watching them move containers with the large cranes.

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Edited by CHEZMARYLOU

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23 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

Good Morning from Cartagena! I’m having my morning drink with Milton and then we will head out and take a cab to the old city. Though the new city area with all the high rises on water looks quite appealing. Very excited to check this city out but my goodness is it warm. The humidity is incredible! 

 

We plan to walk around the sites, check out the walled city area in the old city. We’re going to grab a drink at the Santa Teresa hotel which should have great views. Then we will find a place in the old city area for lunch. 

We’ll be doing this itinerary (after our MardiGras 2020 cruise). Any & all recommendations for Cartagena (especially old city) greatly appreciated. As always, love curling up with a Paul & Edward review. 

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Good Morning from Colon Panama. It’s not as warm as yesterday but it is humid. There is a nice light breeze. It’s cloudu and lightly raining on and off. As of now the rain has stopped. We arrived in Panama at 9am today. It was interesting to be able to watch them dock from our balcony as we’re on the corner. 

 

Internet is slow so I have to resize the daily photos. In the meantime I’ll start answering some past questions of yours. 

 

 

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On 11/5/2018 at 2:37 PM, brockmom said:

 

We are following you again Paul.....we board Dec 7 th....and can’t wait.

love Milton ! 

Would you please do me a favour and ask Milton if Damien from Jamaica is on board.

thank you so much 

looking forward to reading your daily posts 

cheers

Brockmom

 

I asked Milton. Damien just left! He was working Mast Bar and Sky. 

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On 11/5/2018 at 6:33 PM, minnie mommie said:

Chicago Paul could you find out if Milton will be on in January. I am enjoying you reviews very much just wish I didn't have to wait til January.

 

Unfortunately he won’t be on in December 

 

On 11/6/2018 at 10:44 AM, AtlFirstTimeCruiser said:

Paul,

Thank you for the info you are providing in this blog... Looking forward to read more.

When you get the chance, would you please post pics of the wine list in Cellar Master, and Blu, if possible.

Thanks again

 

I’ve gathered the photos of cellar masters. Once I have a fast internet day I’ll get them uploaded 

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3 hours ago, vickykay said:

Hi Paul

 

Wonderful review as usual.  Did you precook your tour in Cartagena or get it at the pier?  Thanks.

 

We planned to take a taxi but ran into

someone selling the bus tickets at the pier so just decided to go with that! 

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On 11/2/2018 at 5:58 PM, Forever42 said:

I'm a big time lurker. We'll take her from you when you return! We're on the Nov 16th sailing and when I saw on your last trip that you'd be live posting the sailing right before ours, I was terribly excited :classic_biggrin:

 

Thank you! Definitely hoping to see wine and other drink menus. 😉

I’ve been taking menu pictures. Will have them uploaded in good quality as the internet gets better. 

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47 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

 

I asked Milton. Damien just left! He was working Mast Bar and Sky. 

 

Thank you for remembering to ask ! Very kind of you.

 Sorry to hear we will miss him and Milton.

They remembered us on our last visit and took good care of us. 

Nice to know they will be home with their families at Christmas .

i am sure you will enjoy the canal today !

cheers

Brockmom

 

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The internet has been painfully slow this afternoon on the ship. It’s been raining on and off most of the day with periods of heavy downpours. 

 

The rain is starting to break. Hopefully it is dry tonight as we have the ultimate bbq tonight at 6:30. I think after dinner we will catch the 9:00pm production show. 

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4 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

 

We planned to take a taxi but ran into

someone selling the bus tickets at the pier so just decided to go with that! 

Thank you again for such a wonderful blog! When you say pier, do you mean as you get off the ship or after you’ve gone through the shops? We’ve taken a taxi the last couple of times but this sounds much better for my mum. We just love this port and always buy coffee to remind us! 

Wendy

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27 minutes ago, wendyam76 said:

Thank you again for such a wonderful blog! When you say pier, do you mean as you get off the ship or after you’ve gone through the shops? We’ve taken a taxi the last couple of times but this sounds much better for my mum. We just love this port and always buy coffee to remind us! 

Wendy

 

My pleasure! I mean after you walk through the shops and the garden area. Once you pass through the garden area, follow the signs for taxis. There were people selling group bus transportation in a minibus. They speak English. The cost should be $10 round trip per person to the old city. The organizer we had was named Forrero (nickname was Pancho). He was very nice.  

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4 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

I’ve been taking menu pictures. Will have them uploaded in good quality as the internet gets better. 

 

Thank you! That's so kind of you.

 

I'm glad that you're having a great time! I love the pictures of Cartagena - it's so vibrant!

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33 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

 

My pleasure! I mean after you walk through the shops and the garden area. Once you pass through the garden area, follow the signs for taxis. There were people selling group bus transportation in a minibus. They speak English. The cost should be $10 round trip per person to the old city. The organizer we had was named Forrero (nickname was Pancho). He was very nice.  

Thank you so much - it always helps to know where to look especially as my mum walks a bit slower, well she is 84! That is so much cheaper than the $20 we paid for each taxi. Next cruise is very similar to yours in April so this is now on my spreadsheet and I love the look of the hotel you went to for a drink. 

Wendy 

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Hi Paul tanks for you reply about Milton however I will be on in January with my friends and wanted to know if he would still be there then.  We called him DR. JINGLES. TKS again.

 

 

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1 hour ago, minnie mommie said:

Hi Paul tanks for you reply about Milton however I will be on in January with my friends and wanted to know if he would still be there then.  We called him DR. JINGLES. TKS again.

 

 

 

Awe unfortunately he will not be. He’s leaving after this cruise. The plus side for him is it’s the first time in years he gets to be home for Christmas and New Years. I have some good video of him I posted on Instagram. I’ll compile it and post it to YouTube. 

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Just found the blog and finally caught up! I read your last one and enjoyed very much .You had said in your last blog you were on Nov 2 2019 we will be on the cruise right before and after looking at your itinerary which was a few stops we have not been to we added that one also! It will be our first b2b and since we fly from Ca. It just made sense ! And thanks for the extra insurance tip we just got the chase sapphire reserve card and were unsure how much medical it included.

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Loving your blog so far.   Really anxious to hear/see about the Ultimate BBQ.   Hope the weather is cooperating.   What is the price for this?  Thanks.

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Good Morning from Costa Rica. We have a tour planned today to Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo. Here is the daily for today! 

 

 

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