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11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise Photo Review - Celebrity Reflection


Marvy Mare
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24 minutes ago, emdmistycc said:

Enjoying your review. Reading because I was supposed to sail on Reflection in July, sadly I don’t think that is happening.

Congratulations on your new granddaughter 🧸.

 

stay safe and healthy

elaine

Thanks Elaine - Yes, we were looking forward to camping in July. We have a trailer that we take to Provincial Parks. We have bookings, but we are also booking in September and hoping and praying that all will be well by then.

I'm guessing that your cruise was a Mediterranean one. Maybe things will be settled in Europe before here. 

 

Maris

 

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March 9 - DAY 8 - Kralendijk, Bonaire

 

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Janet with the water toys. Did you bring them in your luggage? Never thought to ask. 

 

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A sign about the slave huts build in Bonaire in the 1850s. Headroom in these huts has about waist height. Up to 6 people could be housed in these tiny dark structures. They originally had thatched roofs but have been replaced with plywood.

 

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Our next stop was Kiteboarding Bonaire the '#1 Kite School in the Caribbean!"

 

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Our youngest son, Mac is a Kiteboarder. Since the season is short here in Canada, he enjoys the sport here in the winter out on the ice with a snowboard or skis and he does wear a helmet. Our lake can be pretty crowded with boats in the summer, so other than skidoos and cars during a really cold winter he has the lake to himself.

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Mac would love Bonaire. Quite a few years ago, our boys bought their first sail. They were practicing with it in our yard and the kite got stuck up in a tree. Wouldn't happen in Bonaire  Anyway, they had to pay to get a tree service to climb up and get it down. That was before or middle guy became a Hydro Lineman. 

 

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Rescue boats for sailors who sail too far out to sea. 

 

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The school is currently closed - like schools all over the world.

Edited by Marvy Mare
correction
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It looked like a beautiful beach too, where you could actually walk into the water, though you might get run over.

 

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I noticed when editing that I had two photos of the same guy. Mmmm! 😎

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The resident dog. He was having a great time.

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On 3/28/2020 at 12:01 PM, Marvy Mare said:

Cartagena was fascinating and beautiful. I highly recommend the ABC islands. Unlike Cartagena, we weren't harassed by hawkers on any of those three islands. Definitely a bonus though I would love to go back to Cartagena as well. 

 

Maris

 

 Hello, Still here and loving your report.

 

 I meant to comment on your Cartagena comment re "hawkers".  Prior to our 2017 visit to Cartagena the most aggressive peddlers we experienced were at Dunne River Fall Jamaica. Then when we visited Cartagena wow! the peddlers in Jamaica had nothing on the very aggressive annoying peddlers in old town Cartagena. It is too bad because that is the one thing that sticks out in my memory of a very beautiful and historical location.

 

Regards,

Kevin Reid

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Hi Kevin

Nice to know that you are still here. Yes, the hawkers were definitely an issue. Mostly, they did go away if you said, No. Being Canadians, we said No Thanks, but there were 10 more behind each one. The rappers that followed that one couple were the worst. 
 

Maris

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47 minutes ago, FRMPEI said:

 Hello, Still here and loving your report.

 

 I meant to comment on your Cartagena comment re "hawkers".  Prior to our 2017 visit to Cartagena the most aggressive peddlers we experienced were at Dunne River Fall Jamaica. Then when we visited Cartagena wow! the peddlers in Jamaica had nothing on the very aggressive annoying peddlers in old town Cartagena. It is too bad because that is the one thing that sticks out in my memory of a very beautiful and historical location.

 

Regards,

Kevin Reid

 

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Also still following...Bonaire is a special port. On our first visit, we took a  bus tour ( air conditioned) but the  bus was less than half full.   Enjoyed all the sights..esp the flamingos. Fav  place to have lunch there is Karels..

 

An aside:

Worst peddlers  that we have  ever encountered were along the walkway on the way to  the Field of Miracles & Tower of Pisa. They actually grab you and latch on  insisting that you buy even after  you say no.  These peddlers are not  true locals ( who have rented stalls),    and the hawkers push  items that are not made in Italy but random junk and knock offs.  Seems the local authorities  let them do their thing  and overlook it.  It does mar the visit but the vista once you get past them is truly amazing!

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On 3/30/2020 at 5:13 AM, Marvy Mare said:

March 8 - DAY 7 - Curacao

 

We headed back to the ship around 10:30.

 

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Who takes pictures of garbage trucks? Me. I thought it looked a lot nicer than our garbage trucks. They need something to empty those hundreds of cans that we noticed on our walking tour.

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We checked text messages back in our room. People asking if 'are you still out there?', quoting recommendations 'do not go on a cruise', and all kinds of encouragement. Ken wasn't the only one worried by this time. I answered that we were having a great time & didn't let on that we were concerned. Our kids, I'm sure were anxious but tried not to let on. Did some family FaceTime and then headed up to Deck 15 above the pool. 

I had noticed that the Solarium pool wasn't busy at all and decided to try to go for a bit of a swim. Before we had cruised for the first time, I posted a question on Cruise Critic. Can you swim in the pools? The answer was 'No'. They may have even mocked me. But I did notice people really swimming when the pool first opened in the morning. I never got there early (I preferred to walk) but this morning I headed down.  There was hardly anyone in the room. I put my towel and cover up on a lounger. Within an instant three people sat right next to me. I guess people are just naturally attracted to where others are. Anyway, I got in the pool and was able to swim up and down for a number of lengths. No splashing but I got my hair wet. The only time I was really able to swim in a pool on a cruise ship.

Back on deck, we enjoyed the company of our Peterborough friends and our new friends from Virginia. Ken & I made one more trip back on shore to look for gifts for our youngest son and his girlfriend (for dog care) but I didn't take the camera.

Turns out that it was International Woman's Day. There were beautiful desserts in the Oceanview and a cake in the Grand Foyer.

 

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We had dinner reservations that evening for Murano. I had tried to schedule our specialty dinners for sea days or at least not during sail away or sunset. It turned out that I had two dinners scheduled for the same evening. I'm not sure if it was my mistake or theirs, but we ended up at Murano around 6:30 that evening. Missed the sunset and sail away, but had a fantastic dinner.

Sorry no pictures, though I did save a copy of part of the menu, so I could remember what I had. Ken had been talking about his appetizer that he had at Murano on our last cruise - Warm Goat Cheese Souffle. One of the best things that he'd ever tasted. I couldn't wait to try it. 

I did mention before that I suspect Ken of being a 'super taster'. This confirmed it. The soufflé' was ok but not amazing. My main course made up for it. Dover Sole Veronique. I asked our waiter for recommendations before I ordered. I did want seafood. This was his recommendation. The wait staff really appeared to enjoy their jobs and seemed especially pleased to do table preparation. He expertly filleted the sole right at the table. Impressive and entertaining. And I really should have had my camera or at least my phone. It came with beurre noisette. I can't remember what that was but it was all good. Amazingly good. But the Piece de resistance (it's a French restaurant after all), was the dessert - Crepe Ballon Rouge. Again on the waiter's recommendation. It was prepared at the table. Balsamic strawberries, vanilla ice cream and Chambertin sauce. First he wrapped vanilla ice cream in a crepe and then made a sauce in the pan and heated the strawberries in the sauce. Then on a plate went the crepe with ice cream. It may have been heated a bit too. The strawberries were placed on the crepe and the sauce poured over everything. It was so so good. I think I may have been drooling and sighing as I enjoyed my dessert. Like in When Harry Met Sally people around us were saying "I want what she's having." And I really don''t like drawing attention to myself. I just couldn't help it. My best meal of the entire trip. We will be back.

We had walked a new record number of steps that day and after a few more steps to wear off a bit of dinner, we headed to our room. Celebrity Showtime was an Elton John Tribute. We'd just seen the movie.

Next stop, Bonaire. Best day of our cruise and there is never a bad day on a cruise.Well maybe the last day. But on this cruise by the last day, we were anxious to get home.

That is a Les’s absolute favorite dessert!  He was moaning while eating it as well 😂. I had the chocolate soufflé which was amazing too 

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I am really enjoying this review, Maris. Thank you for taking the time to write it up and post your photos.  We were on this same itinerary in 2018. 

 

It's very easy to take a taxi into Old Town Cartagena from the port; in fact, our taxi driver offered to be our driver and personal tour guide for the whole day.  We only wanted to see the walled city, not the fort, but we agreed on a pick-up time and location when he dropped us off. Sure enough he was there right on time and shuttled us back to the ship.  We paid him $20 each way, for the personal service and promptness.  I loved the little bird sanctuary right at the port. When we were drinking coffee on our balcony that morning I told my husband that I could hear peacocks.  He humored me, but I'm sure he was thinking, "Cuckoo, Cuckoo", just like that man in the theatre. Guess who had the last laugh when we got off the ship only to find tons of peacocks wandering around! 

 

Unfortunately, our cruise for this year has been cancelled by Celebrity.  We would have been embarking next week.  I do hope your summer camping trips happen.  Lots of State and National Parks have been closing in the US. Our cruise got cancelled, our late spring/early summer camping reservations have  been cancelled; we've really been striking out with our trips lately.  C'est la vie - Gives us something to really look forward to later on in the year.  

 

Congratulations on your new grand daughter!  

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Congratulations on the arrival of your granddaughter.

 

We ended up on an excursion in Bonaire, booked last minute, on the morning of and really enjoyed it.  Our guide, Jeanette, was very good and full of information.  The contraption you weren’t sure was for on the previous page (does this make sense?) is used to move the salt to the ships for transport. 

 

Yes, the water was much more pink in person and we also weren’t quite able to capture that colour.

 

Bonaire was a nice surprise.  We weren’t expecting a lot from this port and quite enjoyed it.  

 

Great review Maris and wonderful photos!

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14 hours ago, hcat said:

Also still following...Bonaire is a special port. On our first visit, we took a  bus tour ( air conditioned) but the  bus was less than half full.   Enjoyed all the sights..esp the flamingos. Fav  place to have lunch there is Karels..

 

An aside:

Worst peddlers  that we have  ever encountered were along the walkway on the way to  the Field of Miracles & Tower of Pisa. They actually grab you and latch on  insisting that you buy even after  you say no.  These peddlers are not  true locals ( who have rented stalls),    and the hawkers push  items that are not made in Italy but random junk and knock offs.  Seems the local authorities  let them do their thing  and overlook it.  It does mar the visit but the vista once you get past them is truly amazing!

Hi hcat

Those hawkers in Italy sound scary. Even grabbing onto you. When we went on a walking tour in Jamaica on our first cruise, the tour guides kept people away from us. On the Cartagena tour the guides just ignored the hawkers and did nothing to keep them away. Probably a loosing battle. There was none of that in the ABC islands. I'm guessing it's due to a high standard of living. 

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13 hours ago, awhfy said:

That is a Les’s absolute favorite dessert!  He was moaning while eating it as well 😂. I had the chocolate soufflé which was amazing too 

Awhfy

Ken would probably like the chocolate soufflé' too.

 

Maris

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12 hours ago, Mike981 said:

Thank you for sticking with the great review. More importantly, congratulations on the new addition. Only the best for all.

Thanks so much Mike. We had a family video chat yesterday to meet Matilda. Though we all live within 30km of each other, it's the only way we communicate these days.

 

Maris

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10 hours ago, Summer1961 said:

Congratulations on the arrival of your granddaughter.

 

We ended up on an excursion in Bonaire, booked last minute, on the morning of and really enjoyed it.  Our guide, Jeanette, was very good and full of information.  The contraption you weren’t sure was for on the previous page (does this make sense?) is used to move the salt to the ships for transport. 

 

Yes, the water was much more pink in person and we also weren’t quite able to capture that colour.

 

Bonaire was a nice surprise.  We weren’t expecting a lot from this port and quite enjoyed it.  

 

Great review Maris and wonderful photos!

Summer

That does make sense about the 'contraption'. That's kind of what I figured. Bonaire was great. We didn't get away from the waterfront on the other ABC islands, but I'm guessing the landscape was similar to to that of Bonaire. 

Thanks

Maris

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March 9, DAY 8, Bonaire

Bonaire is one of only four areas in the world where Flamingos breed. We were really excited about seeing Flamingos. The Pekelmeer (Salt Lake) Sanctuary is on the salt plains. The central area of southern Bonaire  is all a sanctuary. The road we followed encircled it. There were signs all along the roadway, warning that there was 'No trespassing'! Most of the area looked like you would't want to try to walk there, though it sure would have been great to get closer to the flamingos. Again my 200-500 lens would have been so fun. We had brought binoculars with us on the cruise. I know they provide a small pair in your room, but they weren't very good, so we did bring our own. We didn't even think to bring them with us on tour. 

 

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Flamingos. And this is really cropped. You probably can't see them if you are viewing this on a cell phone. I think eagle eyes Gary may have spotted these, though Ken is usually the eagle eyes in our family. When I get great photos of birds or wildlife at home, even though I'm always looking, it's Ken who spots them. 

 

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A little closer.

 

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I wonder if anyone who did the northern tour was able to get closer to the birds.

 

We drove around the southern tip of the island. There is a Lighthouse there but it wasn't too exciting. We did pass a group of people on bikes as we were heading back north on the windward side of the island. It was a guided tour. I don't know if there was anyone from the Reflection on this tour. I don't remember reading anything about a bike tour, but then maybe it was private. The south part of island is very flat, so the cycling wouldn't be difficult but it sure was hot and these people were of varying ages.I love to ride my bike but the open golf cart with a roof for shade seemed like a cooler option.😎 The group was followed by a van pulling a large bike trailer. I guess to rescue those suffering from heat stroke. Speaking of physical activity in the heat, did anyone see the Running Tour in Cartegena. There was a fairly large group of people who were running from site to site. And it was really hot, hot, hot there! I used to be a runner and did a number of 1/2 marathons & even one marathon. In Canada most, maybe all distance runs are held in the spring and fall. A much more comfortable and healthy time to put in all that effort. I guess if you are acclimatized it's different, but most of these people taking part in these activities were probably tourists.

 

We were trying to find a place where we could get to the water. We had passed a lot of rough beaches and saw a number of divers stopped in different places. 

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March 9 - DAY 8 - Kralendijk, Bonaire (cont.)

There was a place that the people at Bonaire Cruisers had pointed out on the map, Sorobon Beach. We weren't quite sure how to get into the resort. Through the entrance, I guess. We had picked up another couple of golf carts by this point, the English couple that were in some earlier photos, and Frank and Joann. Frank and Joann were from Long Island and they were our dinner companions way back at Passions on the Beach.

Janet lead the charge. We stopped for a moment to read the sign on the way in that said that people from cruise ships weren't welcome for 'the privacy of our guests'. I wish I'd taken a picture of the sign, but I we were pretending we didn't see it. I think that was the plan anyway. I don't know if there was anywhere else with a nice beach. 

The resort is on a huge lagoon. There were individual cottages for rent.  We didn't take  any loungers from the guests. Reading about the resort on Google, it looks like you can visit for the day. There was a beach bar a little further down the beach with chair rentals. We didn't walk down that far. If you had longer time in port it would be a great stop. I think that the sign just meant that they didn't take large cruise tours. A few people stopping in (like us) wouldn't be an issue. That's my guess, anyway.

 

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Look at the colour of that water.

 

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Anolis?

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There was a pier out into the water for access. It was rocky by the shore. The water was beautiful. You couldn't really swim here. Too many windsurfers, but it was a great place to cool off. 

 

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A little further down the beach. That may have been the day resort. It looks like there is a beach on the point that may have been safe from the boards.

 

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Another spot our youngest son would love. As well as kite boarding, he windsurfs. Our older son used to windsurf but as a young father, he's graduated to sailing. They keep a 36' sailboat on Georgian Bay in Ontario. It's a beautiful area for sailing, but the season is short. 

 

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The resort was a perfect place to learn to surf. The water was very shallow and where it is that turquoise colour you could stand. Ken & I used to windsurf as well. He was much braver than me. My sailing career was cut short by fear, but a place like this where you could stand up to get on the board. I might just try it again. Just kidding. 

The dogs are calling again and it's that very scary day - our weekly shopping.

Until later.

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We went to the Sorobon resort and sat in the beach bar for a while. They did great smoothies. You are right about the windsurfers, they were having a great time. When we left we noticed that a blackboard had been put up outside saying “resort closed to cruise ship passengers”. It wasn’t there when we arrived so have to assume that we were probably the last ones admitted. Elaine

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Elaine

I wonder if it was to do with the Corona Virus then? Were you directed there by Bonaire Cruisers as well? Or maybe cruise ship passengers behaving badly.😁 Is wasn't us. Was it you?🤣

 

 

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March 8 - DAY 8 - Bonaire

After leaving Sorobon Beach, we headed back up by the other side of the lagoon and then cross country back to Kralendijk. There had been lots of signs on the ground of donkey activity. There is also a donkey sanctuary on the island but sometimes donkeys wander off. There were donkey crossing road signs, so we were on the lookout for them. 

 

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Looking back at the resort. Tiny sails in the distance.

 

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Not a donkey, but it was the Three Billy Goats Gruff. This one peeked at us. The other two hid.

 

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Typical vegetation. Not much going on in central Bonaire.

 

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Yatu Cactus

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Finally, a donkey. The only one we saw.

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Pretty skinny. It doesn't look like he has a lot to eat there. Someone may have thrown some food there on the ground. Maybe he should have stayed home in the Donkey Sanctuary.

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March 9 - DAY 8 - Kralendijk, Bonaire

I missed a few photos from Sorobon Beach. As if I haven't posted enough photos, but it was so beautiful. I'm getting near the end of our trip, but no point in rushing. I've got nowhere to go and people following along seem to be enjoying the diversion. No one is putting vacation photos on Facebook. We don't want to admit that we have been anywhere. 

In an attempt at levity people on Facebook have been asking others to post pictures of beaches. A number of people put up Caribbean beaches. Someone chastised them. 'Let's only see beaches in Canada. Somewhere you don't have to fly too.' Our waters are frozen in the winter. Sorry, I'll try to be totally miserable too.

Just kidding.

 

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Janet and Frank are standing at the edge of the pier just thinking of getting in the water.

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Looking back at the resort. 

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Sailboards as far as you can see and even in the distance the water still isn't over their  heads and Janet.

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Ken, Gary, Frank and Joann

 

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5 hours ago, Marvy Mare said:

Elaine

I wonder if it was to do with the Corona Virus then? Were you directed there by Bonaire Cruisers as well? Or maybe cruise ship passengers behaving badly.😁 Is wasn't us. Was it you?🤣

 

 

No. It definitely was not us, we did all our misbehaving on the previous cruise at Mardi Gras and no we weren’t directed there by Bonaire Cruisers. We just came across it on our travels. Not entirely sure it was related to Coronavirus. It’s quite a small resort so I don’t think they wanted to be overrun by cruisers. 

Edited by sandancer
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Elaine

I didn’t think you’d been misbehaving- lol. I didn’t get directions at Bonaire Cruisers. We just followed our friends but I think that’s where they were told we might be able to swim. 

Sure was a beautiful spot. 

 

Maris

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Huh..we stopped there on our X excursion on our ABC  nov cruise awhile ago.. place was empty..just a few windsurfers... no one swam.. used the bathrooms and bought a soda,,, Seemed kind of run down but the natural beauty and view were outstanding.

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