Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
ak1004

Reflection from Amsterdam to Barcelona: first impressions

Recommended Posts

We are now on the Reflection cruise from Amsterdam to Barcelona. This is our second cruise on the same ship within 3 months - we did Dublin to Amsterdam in June.

 

Some impressions/observations while it's fresh:

 

  1. Significant improvement in Internet speed which is very good news for us.
  2. The ship feels much more crowded, especially during breakfast and lunch in the buffet. On sea days it's a complete mess. Takes significant time to find a table, they don't re fill food on stations on time etc. But quality and quantity in the buffet is still pretty good in our opinion.
  3. Things in the MDR got worse, both food quality and service. They don't refill your water, don't provide steak knife etc. Small things, but they add up. Some days we just had to go to the buffet, the selection in the MDR was simply not good. They have an Indian chef (I believe he is new), and you can clearly feel it. Dishes are dry and too spicy.
  4. Activities are almost non existent, even on sea days.
  5. Entertainment is not bad, but production shows didn't impress. The orchestra has few new faces, Big Mike is gone, and the whole thing looks less professional.
  6. Previous cruise director Giuseppe is gone. He was very good. The new guy Dan - not so much.
  7. Overall service: they are trying, but I think with the full ship, it's a real challenge. In June the ship was probably not full, so it was easier, but now you can clearly see the difference. 

 

Overall, the experience is still good, but food and service in the MDR need a lot of improvement.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really interesting to read as we are sailing on Reflection at the end of October. One thing that puzzled me was your comment that the selection in the MDR was not good enough ..... maybe things have changed but I thought menus in MDR were pretty much fleet wide.  We were on the Silhouette TA in April so I understand about a busy ship.  How busy are you finding the bars?

 

Thanks for the feedback. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am on the same cruise and I agree that the ship feels very crowded; it reminds me that reflection is actually my least favorite S class ship and I only am on this one for the itinerary. It is difficult to get a seat in café al Bacio or Ocean view café. This is made worse by our cool and cloudy weather. As we move into the sunny Mediterranean I hope that more people will be on deck during the day.

 

My experience in the main dining room however has been very good. Every meal that I and my table mates have has has been delicious. Properly cooked to temperature, properly served. We have had steak knives. And our water glasses are refilled. I think perhaps the OP’s waiter is not up to par.  

 

I am also disappointed that big Mike is not here with the band. He was a real joy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Toftwood said:

Really interesting to read as we are sailing on Reflection at the end of October. One thing that puzzled me was your comment that the selection in the MDR was not good enough ..... maybe things have changed but I thought menus in MDR were pretty much fleet wide.  We were on the Silhouette TA in April so I understand about a busy ship.  How busy are you finding the bars?

 

Thanks for the feedback. 

 

 

Reflection and Silhouette are oceans apart (pun intended) where overcrowding is concerned. I reported a couple of years ago on CC how crowded Reflection felt in the Med during the summer months; as I stated then, it would have to be a really great itinerary for us to consider her again in this area during the busy peak summer period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a matter of fact I am re-arranging some upcoming bookings and will not be back on Reflection again unless there is some very unusual itinerary announced in the future.  

 

As I am sitting here in Caffe al Bacio I look around and realize that there is adequate space to add three more two tops. Even that would help. And on some ships they open the sushi place to be available for café al Bacio overflow.  But not on Reflection, which needs it desperately at peak times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am finding all these comments really interesting to read. Silhouette is the only S class ship we have used so far but have a Reflection trip coming up next month. I appreciate that different crew will create noticeable differences in service styles and standards  but I am puzzled about the crowding.  Does Reflection attract a different demographic mix or are there more children which would add to the feeling of being crowded .... or is it the itineraries.  Really curious to understand.  TIA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are not more children, at least on this particular cruise.  Reflection simply carries more passengers but the buffet, Cafe al Bacio etc are the same size as Silhouette.  It has an extra deck full of sleeping accommodations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had same problem with ships feeling over crowded on all of them when there is over cast n cooler temps. Once the pool deck is not being used sea days seem very over crowded. Cafe al back o I agree they should open up more seating. That point in the ship mid afternoons on all the celebrity ships is over crowded and under staffed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, cruisestitch said:

As a matter of fact I am re-arranging some upcoming bookings and will not be back on Reflection again unless there is some very unusual itinerary announced in the future.  

 

As I am sitting here in Caffe al Bacio I look around and realize that there is adequate space to add three more two tops. Even that would help. And on some ships they open the sushi place to be available for café al Bacio overflow.  But not on Reflection, which needs it desperately at peak times.

 

Having just been on the Silhouette with half of Sushi on 5 open to Cafe al Bacio it makes a real difference. Our cruise had 600 children on with a total of around 3500 guests so was hugely crowded, if you put that many children on the reflection with the increased amount of cabins that could mean around 4000 passengers. 

Might be an idea to raise this issue of seating unavailability in Cafe al Bacio with a comment card asking if they can do this on Silhouette, can they do it on Reflection too or raise with bar managers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just on the Reflection for the Baltic cruise and enjoyed our experience very much. Each day as I fought to get a seat at Cafe al Bacio, I would look over at the completely empty Sushi on 5 and think "what a waste of space!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To answer some of the questions:

 

We haven't seen any children on this cruise. The only way I can explain why it feels more crowded than in June is that in June the ship was not full - now it probably is. Cannot comment on the bars as we don't use them, but they seem crowded as well.

 

Dinner in MDR was very good today. So far it was hit or miss. Some days very good, some very average.

 

We are travelling with three couples, all of them big Celebrity fans (from elite to elite plus), and the all see big decline in MDR food quality, and also in entertainment. Of course those are our (subjective) opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For us Reflection was a one and done. We found it to be too crowded and did not like the layout compared to other  S Class.    Spa and Solarium are  on diff floors,,nightclub not spacious,  and the big round aft bar breaks things up too much...hard to enjoy music back there.  

 

Hope you enjoy the itin and things pick up a bit.  Are they showing movies in public spaces  and also  for free in the stateroom?  If so which ones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are enjoying the cruise very much. When not enough selection in MDR we go to the buffet. Not a big deal. No such thing as a bad cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dinners in the MDR continue to be hit and miss. We complained couple times, they brought the manager to our table, then the dining room chef, then the executive chef. They even offered to prepared special meals for us.

 

The problem in my opinion is the ingredients. When you buy a cheap meat, not much you can do about it. The rack of lamb was chewy, and the beef very hard. It's simply matter of budget which is constantly cut.

 

The production show yesterday was pathetic. Many people left in the middle.

 

Guest lectures are gone. Art seminars are gone. Most of the activities are bingo and trivia. No live music by the pool as it used to be.

 

But as someone mentioned, as long as the ship continue to sail full, they couldn't care less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ak1004 said:

No live music by the pool as it used to be.

 

I think maybe live music by the pool is seasonal because certainly on our last two Celebrity Cruises there was music out on the open deck at least once a day, sometimes twice and also often up at the sunset bar. I guess it would be nice if they could react to improvements in the weather they were expecting and respond with moving some live music outside,  but maybe there are more constraints than we realise.  We also recently had plenty of guest lectures.

Edited by Toftwood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2019 at 6:50 AM, cruisestitch said:

There are not more children, at least on this particular cruise.  Reflection simply carries more passengers but the buffet, Cafe al Bacio etc are the same size as Silhouette.  It has an extra deck full of sleeping accommodations.

Reflection's capacity is 3,046 vs Silhouette's 2,886.  The R is slightly larger than the S.  It's hard to believe that 160 more pax would have a noticeable difference.  We've been on the slightly older, slightly smaller Eclipse and don't recall any of these problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I dont find it hard to believe....especially on a cloudy or rainy sea day when everyone is forced inside

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I ask if there are still footstools on the balconies of concierge class?  Thanks.  We are on Reflection soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Toftwood said:

 

I think maybe live music by the pool is seasonal because certainly on our last two Celebrity Cruises there was music out on the open deck at least once a day, sometimes twice and also often up at the sunset bar. I guess it would be nice if they could react to improvements in the weather they were expecting and respond with moving some live music outside,  but maybe there are more constraints than we realise.  We also recently had plenty of guest lectures.

 

Definitely based on season and location as there was live poolside music on Silhouette on Friday in the Mediterranean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Scottygirl1 said:

Can I ask if there are still footstools on the balconies of concierge class?  Thanks.  We are on Reflection soon.

Yes, we have footstools on our cc balcony. I’m finding the cabin and especially the bathroom feels more spacious than usual. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To the OP sorry you are not finding the Reflection to your liking.   

 

We were on the Reflection's Baltic sailing at the end of June and found it to be one of our best Celebrity experiences ever. 

A very lively crowd where we all enjoyed the silent discos and sing a long Abba (the night we were in Stockholm) in the main foyer. People of all ages and demographics had a terrific time.

 

Was it busy?  Yes!  But we much preferred the liveliness of this sailing then ones where you can hear a pin drop after dinner on several Celebrity cruises we have been on.  

 

I do agree re Sushi on 5 being a wasted space.  We successfully found seating at Café Bacio each evening after dinner (our timing seemed to work)   I cannot comment on the MDR as we were fortunate to have an AQ cabin and had fantastic dinners and service in Blu.   Our only bad experience was on one of the last sea days where it took almost 1/2 hour to find a table for lunch.  That was beyond ridiculous.   

 

Am so sorry to read that Guiseppe is no longer the cruise director (or is he on vacation?) as he was the best cruise director in all of our cruises hands down and we do look forward to sailing on Reflection again. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2019 at 9:20 PM, haptrav said:

Yes, we have footstools on our cc balcony. I’m finding the cabin and especially the bathroom feels more spacious than usual. 

 

Thank you for that - fingers crossed they leave them there for us!  Sadly they are taking them away from other ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...