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11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise Photo Review - Celebrity Reflection


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39 minutes ago, hcat said:

Can you give more info about this little  beach ( sorry if I missed it).

Also the pier to the right..Is that a restaurant?

Might be easy for folks who just want to get off the ship and put a toe in the water???

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That little beach was just to the left, when we came off the tenders, so a very short walk. I didn’t pay much attention to the beach. Didn’t look as if it had any amenities but better than nothing. The pier you see was part of a restaurant. I’m not sure if it was the one we stopped at or just before the one we went to. 
Maris

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1 hour ago, awhfy said:

Maris, I look for your review every morning with my coffee, can you just continue it?  I’m not ready to have your voyage (that we were also on) end. 

I know. Me too. I’m starting to feel a little sad. Next stop Fort Lauderdale. Let’s hope it won’t be too long before we can get out there again. 
 

Maris

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35 minutes ago, Marvy Mare said:

That little beach was just to the left, when we came off the tenders, so a very short walk. I didn’t pay much attention to the beach. Didn’t look as if it had any amenities but better than nothing. The pier you see was part of a restaurant. I’m not sure if it was the one we stopped at or just before the one we went to. 
Maris

Thanks... we usually do not get off at this port..but  we never say never!

After my gallblader surgery one, yr we booked a bargain cruise.. Could not do very much so we signed up for the pirate tram excursion....a bit hokey but there was a stop a bit past this area with a nice view and a  beach similar to this..( local trams are good for those who can't walk far..they offer them in many ports   like GC, Key West etc.)

 

Will be sad when the review ends..maybe you can pist sime of tge great photis on the post your fav photo thread on main X board,

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9 hours ago, Marvy Mare said:

 ... It's 32F here this morning. Hardly any snow left on the ground though. I had to mention this as I noticed that you live in Florida. I imagine you are having warm sunny weather, but as it's 4:20am you won't be up yet.

Thanks

Maris

 

Yes, it's 82 this afternoon with white puffy clouds on a pale blue sky!  My kind of weather.  We even go South in Winter - on a cruise ship to the Caribbean or Mexico!

Donna

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Hi, Maris. Still following. I have and am enjoying every entry you have made. I have followed from the very beginning. Maris in all sincerity - your writing is eloquent, entertaining and plain lovely. You are an amazing photographer, truely gifted. Yours are some of the best pictures anywhere on cc. I am hoping as I am sure others are too, that you will continue to make daily entries after your cruise blog portion wraps. Just on anything  you may have to contribute maybe with pictures included. Possibly also about your fur babies.  A daily distraction from the grim reality of the present would be so welcome. Once again thankyou, greetings and also to your fur babies. Linda

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8 hours ago, Marvy Mare said:

That’s right. You told me that about Gatineau. I was just wondering if I saw Tim taking photos on board. 
 

Maris

Well he was probably the only one with an Olympus.  I don’t know how they stay in business as he seems to be the only one who uses them 😊

 

He didn’t take many photos on the ship this time around, certainly not as many as usual. He mostly shot in port.  Beautiful places for great photos as we can see from your photos.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Lindagop said:

Hi, Maris. Still following. I have and am enjoying every entry you have made. I have followed from the very beginning. Maris in all sincerity - your writing is eloquent, entertaining and plain lovely. You are an amazing photographer, truely gifted. Yours are some of the best pictures anywhere on cc. I am hoping as I am sure others are too, that you will continue to make daily entries after your cruise blog portion wraps. Just on anything  you may have to contribute maybe with pictures included. Possibly also about your fur babies.  A daily distraction from the grim reality of the present would be so welcome. Once again thankyou, greetings and also to your fur babies. Linda

Hi Linda

 

Wow. Thank you so much. I'm almost speechless (I'm not sure what the term would be when applied to writing). I've been milling over how to respond. I'm so happy that you have enjoyed this. I planned to do this review, long before we went on our vacation. I even started making notes in advance, read over my old review and others (like Norris's) for inspiration.

 

I didn't say anything about doing this to anyone that we met on the cruise (except Lorie and Angus). As our cruise drew to a close, I began to debate about doing a review at all. Would people really want to read about and see pictures of a cruise, in this world? If we mention to people that we were on a cruise, they back up to 8' away rather than the requisite 6.

 

Anyway (there's that favourite word again) I decided to go ahead. I haven't shared any vacation photos on Facebook. Doom and gloom and a few jokes are mostly what is shared there these days. We, have in the past had neighbours in and tortured them with vacation photos in exchange for food and drink. Can't do that anymore.

 

So here we are. Not quite done yet. It does seem that a number of people have really enjoyed reading this. I do love photography. It's tough to take a bad vacation photo. A little bit of editing and straighten the horizon and you're good to go. As for writing, I'm more of a reader and am mainly able to write early in the morning (no distractions) . I have always been an early riser, but 3:30 is ridiculous. 

 

Thanks again, so much Linda. I'm so glad you are enjoying the trip.

Maris

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March 12 - DAY 11 - At Sea

 

We were almost home. It was another perfect day. Day after day of 30 C or almost 30 C and sunshine is not hard to take.

The night before, we were directed to turn our clocks 1 hour forward. Back to Eastern Daylight time, which had happened at home while we were away. I 'slept in' until 6am (Eastern Daylight Savings Time). I know that's not sleeping in for some people but for me it's amazing. And I had been 'reading in bed' by 9pm the night before, so a long night rocked by the waves.

 

Still the same routine, up to the Oceanview for coffee. Still the regulars plus a few more as it was 6 but may have felt like 5. Our internal clocks, and my external were all out of whack. Finally, though my phone and my Fitbit read the same time, the current time. I put in an extra long walk on the track that morning (6,300) steps. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (well not trains) the next day. 

 

The seat savers/chair hogs were out in full force, so we headed up to guard our regular seats by our friends Angus and Lorie, up above the pool. I tried to emulate that woman I mentioned before who was teeny tiny and walked 30,000 steps a day. I would get up and regularly make the walk around the whole deck. I didn't manage 30,000 but got in almost 18,000. More than I get at home. And, bonus; despite all the amazing food and beverages I feel as if I lost a bit of weight on the cruise. Imagine, a cruise as a weight loss plan. Maybe they could use that in their advertising to get customers back.

 

Of course by now there was a lot of talk about Coronavirus. We realized that it wasn't just media exaggeration. On this trip, we met more people than on our last two (and only other) cruses combined. Partly because of the active Cruise Critic Roll Call and mainly because of the situation. I'm so glad we had that opportunity to socialize with so many wonderful people. Ken was quite amazed at my friendliness. I'm kind of an introvert and if I don't like someone, I can't be bothered talking with them. Ken is very polite. He'll carry on long conversations with someone that he really doesn't want to talk to while I will walk away. I don't think I walked away from anyone on this trip. Everyone we met was so nice and I enjoyed their company. There may have been a few exceptions but I don't remember them. Best forgotten and as I mentioned earlier, we witnessed a bit of bad behaviour, but I'll be kind and attribute it to stress.

 

It's only 4:40am and the dogs are asking for breakfast. I haven't even put up a photo yet. I didn't take any until later in the day on this trip so I will get back to this after the dogs are happy, we've read the paper and had our two coffees. It's also our dreaded shopping day. 

Til later

Maris

 

Edited by Marvy Mare
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Thank you so much for this review Maris. It’s been a comfort in a confusing and sometimes difficult time. We were on Koningsdam from 4-15 March and came home to Belgium just in time to be confined. My sister’s neighbours in Australia were on the Ruby Princess. Sadly, one neighbour died last week after contracting Covid-19 on the ship.

 

We love cruising, but are now reaching a full realisation of just how fortunate we were not to get caught up in any of the possible consequences (sickness, flight cancellations, etc).

 

Your review has allowed us to dream a little and visit places we have never been. So thanks again and safe cruising to all, whenever you all return to sea!

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14 minutes ago, Belgian fry said:

Thank you so much for this review Maris. It’s been a comfort in a confusing and sometimes difficult time. We were on Koningsdam from 4-15 March and came home to Belgium just in time to be confined. My sister’s neighbours in Australia were on the Ruby Princess. Sadly, one neighbour died last week after contracting Covid-19 on the ship.

 

We love cruising, but are now reaching a full realisation of just how fortunate we were not to get caught up in any of the possible consequences (sickness, flight cancellations, etc).

 

Your review has allowed us to dream a little and visit places we have never been. So thanks again and safe cruising to all, whenever you all return to sea!

 

You did get home at a wild time. We were home on the 13th and things were quickly getting bad here. I think things were moving more quickly in Europe at that time. Lucky that you got home when you did. Travel restrictions were soon put in place. 

 

We only know personally one person, an extended family member who may have contracted the virus. It was travel related, but being a young healthy woman, she was only told to self isolate, never tested and has since recovered. This tells me though that there are a lot of cases that are never reported at all. 

 

There is a Long Term Care home in our area that has been hard hit. Almost half of the residents have died. A terrible tragedy. I hope things are starting to improve in Belgium.

 

Maris

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March 12 - DAY 11 - At Sea

 

I checked the Concierge Desk soon he opened at 8:30 and there was no one waiting. I rushed back to our room, got our flight information and returned. I only had to wait a few minutes to get our flight boarding passes printed. One less thing to worry about and a great service. We didn't have wifi on board, so we were unable to do it ourselves. 

 

As I mentioned, it was a fairly relaxed sea day. Ken still talks about the "Cloud hanging over us". It was but I can dispel the cloud sometimes. Especially with the help of those Frozen Margaritas. Just kidding. My beverages of choice are beer or white wine and sometimes Bloody Caesars, but the Caesars on the ship were long on the vodka and short on the mix. I don't usually enjoy those sweet mixed drinks, but those Margaritas were sooo good. Just the right mixture of  sweet, sour and salty. I limited myself to one a day. 

 

Our friends Janet and Gary from Virginia went to the Sunset Bar, late afternoon some days and for our last afternoon, we decided to join them. There were seats at the bar across from our friends. This is when things got serious, or not so serious. These gentleman below were still having a great time and happy to pose for a picture.

 

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Some of the people that were at the bar had access to the internet. The news came that the NBA had cancelled and then the NHL. Now that was really scary. And the drinks may have started to flow more freely. Not much we could do at this point. We had not idea what self-isolating was and avoid a crowd on a cruise ship? I guess it could be done but it wouldn't be much fun. I'm glad we were able to socialize but I guess we were all lucky. There have been no reports of any cases on our cruise that I have heard anyway.

 

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Janet and Gary enjoying a laugh. They were both very gregarious, especially Janet. Southern charm. Is Virginia considered the south? And I think Janet knew almost everyone on the ship. If you were there, you probably met her. 

 

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 The busy bartender. I think he did get some help later. He kept his cool though. 

 

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There, a few pictures to start the day. I do have more, but Ken persists on talking to me & I can't concentrate (lol) and we have to get the dogs to their walk in  park early, so we can get to the grocery store before there are more than 3 people there (run on sentence).The park that we go to is perfect for self isolation. A best kept secret. The gate is closed with a note on it to keep your distance from others. Kind of a joke I think. It's about 100 acres and we may encounter one at most 2 others 

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Thank you, Maris, for taking the time to do this review!!  😁   I am really enjoying it and all your photos too although I’m only on page 8 ( just found it yesterday).   Bringing back happy memories for me that is much needed in week 4 of being house-bound and I have no cruises scheduled right now.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, MissMap said:

Thank you, Maris, for taking the time to do this review!!  😁   I am really enjoying it and all your photos too although I’m only on page 8 ( just found it yesterday).   Bringing back happy memories for me that is much needed in week 4 of being house-bound and I have no cruises scheduled right now.

 

 

Hi MissMap

 

Glad that you found my review and are enjoying it. Were you on this cruise? This housebound thing isn’t fun. When it’s all over we are all going to need a vacation. 🤓

 

Maris

 

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No, unfortunately, I haven’t cruised for awhile, but I have cruised to most of your port stops, which I enjoyed.   I had a cruise on a “5 day courtesy hold” at the beginning of March right when cruising was looking iffy.  It was a late May repositioning from Florida to New England/Canada, cruising  to the Canadian Maritimes, Quebec and Montreal.  It was a bucket list trip for me.  So, it’s back on the Bucket List 😊!

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Thanks for your review Maris.  Informative and fun to read.  Loved your photos.  Since I’m not a morning person I especially enjoyed the sunrises.

 

Hopefully I’ll be on the same cruise March 2021.

 

I’ve been to Grand Cayman 3x, did the Stingrays each time: ship excursion (crowded), Stingray Sailing and Captain Marvin — all fun.  If I ever decide to skip Stingrays I’ll probably stay on the ship.

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29 minutes ago, raudacruise said:

Thanks for your review Maris.  Informative and fun to read.  Loved your photos.  Since I’m not a morning person I especially enjoyed the sunrises.

 

Hopefully I’ll be on the same cruise March 2021.

 

I’ve been to Grand Cayman 3x, did the Stingrays each time: ship excursion (crowded), Stingray Sailing and Captain Marvin — all fun.  If I ever decide to skip Stingrays I’ll probably stay on the ship.

Maybe we’ll see you there. Ken said he would love to do the same cruise again minus the worry. I’m not sure if he’s ready to get on a cruise ship a year from now, but we’ll see how things go. Which Stingray tour was the best? It does sound pretty cool. I’ve seen photos on cruise critic forums. 
 

Maris

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I liked Stingray Sailing best simply because I love sailing.  (I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay.)  We motored out to save time and sailed back.  They passed around plenty of squid to hand out.

 

I wouldn’t do the ship excursion again.  The boat was very crowded with a large group.  The water was crowded too.  The squid was mostly handed out by the guide.  I still had fun.

 

Last time I couldn’t get a reservation with Stingray Sailing so I chose Captain Marvin, recommended by cruise friends.  Ended up being quite the trip.  It was windy that day and the water was pretty rough. All the vendors except Captain Marvin canceled.  We were offered refunds but only a few people bailed. The boat ride wasn’t bad.  Splashy.  It was pretty remarkable to have just our little group alone with lots and lots of stingrays. It’s generally a mob scene with boats and people everywhere.  However it’s pretty relaxing once you get in. You stand in waist-deep water and hand out squid.  This time you had to keep an eye out for the big waves and hop up when one approached so you didn’t get dunked. I eventually got tired but I had plenty of stingray time.  I skipped the snorkeling, it looked too challenging for me. 

 

If I couldn’t sail, I’d go with Captain Marvin again.  Wouldn’t count on a private stingray audience though.😎 

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1 minute ago, raudacruise said:

Maris, I’d say your review is very popular:

15,608 views

Hi Mary Beth

 

Thanks. I have noticed that. Someone pointed it out to me because I was wondering if anyone was following. 
I will cut and paste your suggestions for Grand Cayman to my future cruise collection. It seems like almost every cruise stops there. We don’t get away a lot and though it’s tempting to stay on the ship I really like to explore. 
 

Maris

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March 12 - Day 11 - Sea Day

 

 

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Always smiling!

 

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Pretty quiet on deck 15 around 6pm. Almost like 6am. 

 

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There's Ken, walking ahead of me again.

 

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One last time around the deck. On our two other cruises we kept our morning routine, 2 coffee each, my early morning walk, and breakfast in the Oceanview. The next morning we would be walking off, as early as possible so I had to get a few more steps in.

 

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We did stop in the Oceanview, get our cookies and tip the Cookie girl. She was also the ice cream girl. That was another thing that I planned to do on this trip. Get an ice cream in the afternoon. Didn't happen. Next time.

 

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We also stopped and talked to and tipped the hand sanitizer girls. What a boring job that would be. One of the girls was alway pretty tired in the evening after her long day. She told us that she was very exited about the next cruise because her husband was joining the ship. I guess they weren't following the news. I hope she got safely back to Mexico.

 

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There we are. More proof that we were together. I'm not holding that camera very well. I'm thinking I may have had an extra Frozen Margarita that afternoon😁

 

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There's someone else who deserved a tip. The girl on the desk in the Opus. She was never frazzled. She was very good at her job too. We never had to use one of those awful beepers either on this cruise.

 

I slept in this morning (4:30pm). I know, that's not really sleeping in, but if I want to get anything done on this it is. It's 5 now and the dogs are calling for breakfast followed by coffee and cookies in bed. 

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It's pouring rain here today, so probably no yard work. I will probably be able to wrap this up and move on to new projects. Just have to figure out what they are. Certainly not baking. Apparently it's a very popular activity these days. Along with toilet paper the local grocery store has difficulty keeping flour and yeast in stock. I only bake at Christmas and do a lot of it. Then I'm cured for the year. 

 

March 12 - DAY 11 - At Sea - Last day

Before our cruise, when people asked when our cruise was, it was easy to remember. We sailed on March 2, my birthday and returned on Friday, March 13. 

 

Thinking back to the people that we thanked with a tip at the end of our voyage - the list could have been almost endless. The room steward Michael and our waiter in the Opus, Renil. We were on the cruise for 11 nights and had our dinner in the main dining room 6 of those nights. We had 4 specialty dinners and one dinner outside the the Oceanview. 

 

Probably one of the worst jobs on the ship is the bathroom person. Imagine spending your day inside the bathroom, cleaning. The best kept secret bathroom was on the 15th floor just before the steps up to the Solstice Deck. There was rarely ever a wait to get in there and the doors to get in were all automatic for accessibility. At this time no touch is appreciated by all. On a couple of occasions when there was a wait and no-one needing the accessible cubicle I used it. There was even a sink right inside the cubicle. With the 20 second handwashing edict we were all acutely aware of other's hand washing habits. I would wash my hands in the cubicle and if there was anyone else in the room (usually at least the cleaner) I would wash my hands again, just so people wouldn't think I was unclean.  Carrying a bit of cash for the under appreciated bathroom cleaners would have been nice. My brother, the cruise connoisseur, tipped them.  We still have a lot of small American bills to get rid of. No one wants cash anywhere these days and even the bank wouldn't take our money back. By the time we are free of this virus, the Canadian dollar may be at par. 😂

 

Edited by Marvy Mare
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More proof that we were here together. You can get a better look at my nice top in this photo. Ken bought it for me for Christmas in anticipation of our upcoming cruise. He does a great job shopping for gifts for me. We have some great stores in our little local town. Fashions for 'mature' woman, because our community has a mature population. 

 

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There I am.Even kind of in focus and you can see our shadows and Ken's reflection.

 

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As I mentioned earlier, Renil was waiter, assistant waiter and sommelier, though we did meet Oliver a couple of times. Renil carried those huge trays up from the kitchen and poured our wine as well as serving our dinner and providing great conversation. He seemed happy most of the time, though observing him at times, I thought he looked worried. He was to be heading home after the next cruise. Hope he got there.

 

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Renil and Ken in happier times.

 

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As usual, we had a great dinner in the main dining room. No food photos again. I can see another advantage of food photos; you can recall what you ate. If you are into food photos and are not already following along there is another ongoing photo review. It's by someone called Noreen, who was on the Celebrity Silhouette and returned to port a few days after we left. She seems to be much better organized than me, an experienced cruiser and a good food photographer. Check it out. She goes into more detail too and is only part way into her cruise.

 

 

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As we were leaving after our dinner there was a parade of dining room and kitchen staff. I hadn't seen a parade like this on our former cruises, but maybe we just missed it. I had noticed staff gathering during the day in different areas of the ship. I guess there is always a bit of a staff turn over after each cruise. I don't know how much the staff had been told at this point. The Reflection did go out again but returned shortly back to port. I wonder where all these crew members are? I hope that they got home safely and in good health. 

 

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Look at those happy faces. I love that guy's smile. Unfortunately, most of these happy people would soon be out of work. I don't imagine that most cruise employees do the job because they love it. They do it out of necessity. They leave their families at home for months at a time.

 

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More happy faces.

 

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The same happy face. I'm guessing the coloured ties mean something? Any idea?

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There's Oliver, our sometimes sommelier.

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Edited by Marvy Mare
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Reviews are like your children.  Different (perspectives and interests), but you love (reading) each the same.

 

  BTW, I'm reading yours and Noreen's as written, back and forth, refresh, refresh.  Different windows.  Carry on and THANKS!

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