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11 Night Ultimate Caribbean Cruise Photo Review - Celebrity Reflection


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February 25

 

Count down was really on. Our son arrived for final instructions. We were leaving our dogs at home with caregivers coming in. First our son, then his in-laws, our son again and then a hired sitter. When we cruised 2 years ago, we came home to find our older dog, who had been in a kennel really suffering. He had lost a lot of weight and could hardly walk. We felt that he had little time left. So we booked a cruise for 2 years out thinking that sadly, we would only have to worry about care for one dog. As Ken would say, to make a long story short, on the suggestion of friends, we tried a chiropractor for our older dog, Dexter. We were sceptical. We don't use chiropractors ourselves. Rachel came to our house and treated Dexter; weekly at first and then every six weeks. His recovery was amazing. He is still with us, walking a couple of km. a day.

 

They were predicting a snow storm for the next day. 

 

We had stocked up on Lysol wipes and I had my Dog Slobber hand sanitizer packed. So far Coronavirus was on our radar but not a serious concern for us. 

I'm catching up on photos. I edit in Lightroom and then transfer them to Flickr before posting. Our rural internet is really slow. I'll go for a spin on my indoor bike and then get back to this with photos of our dogs, the snow we got & Fort Lauderdale to start. 

 

 

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First photos of the dogs. 

 

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Dexter and Stella

 

February 26

It snowed all day but the snowfall was fairly light.

 

February 27

During the night it was very windy and we had at least 18 inches of snow. We shovelled for at least 6 hours. Keeping fit though. I put 10k on my Fitbit. 

 

 

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February 28

 

We were driving to Mississauga in the afternoon and still weren't finished with the shovelling. We had to have spaces clear for people coming in for dog care. Ken managed to flag down a passing farmer with a Kubota tractor. He wasn't interested in the job until Ken offered him $50 cash. 

We finished packing and headed to Mississauga at about 2pm. My brother and his wife were putting us up for the night and then he would drive us to the airport in the morning. Bright and early for our 7:45 am flight.

 

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1 hour ago, Marvy Mare said:

We did love the itinerary. Hope to do it again some day.

 

Maris

 

We love the Reflection (have sailed on her 7 times). 😊 We are booked on the April 13, 2020 sailing doing the same itinerary that you enjoyed. Your beautiful pictures bring mixed emotions right now. We were so looking forward to the cruise, but at the moment are very doubtful that we will actually be sailing. So I am following along, enjoying your narrative. Thanks for sharing.

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23 minutes ago, C-Dragons said:

We love the Reflection (have sailed on her 7 times). 😊 We are booked on the April 13, 2020 sailing doing the same itinerary that you enjoyed. Your beautiful pictures bring mixed emotions right now. We were so looking forward to the cruise, but at the moment are very doubtful that we will actually be sailing. So I am following along, enjoying your narrative. Thanks for sharing.

 

Life is Good - Unlikely you'll be sailing. You must be so disappointed. At the beginning of the cruise I couldn't understand why anyone would cancel. Then the Sh.. hit the fan. We were all glad to get off the ship & head home. I was more afraid of the airport and plane. 'Avoid crowds'

 

Maris

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2 hours ago, Marvy Mare said:

Hi - Were you on WestJet at 11:45am. I was surprised by the lack of checking too. Glad to be home.


we were on the 11:50am airtransat flight. One day of self isolation down 13 more to go! 

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February 28 (continued)

The drive to Mississauga was harrowing. Ken & I share driving duties well. I hate city traffic. I didn't get my license until we moved from Mississauga to Lindsay (a small town). I enjoy highway driving generally. Unfortunately the snow started again. Blowing snow across the highway with whiteouts and snow covered roads. 'Get me out of here'.

By the time we got close to Neil & Elaine's the snow had stopped. A nice cold beer and warm dinner soothed my nerves. We were exhausted and very excited. In bed 'reading' by 9pm and ready for our 4:30am wakeup call. I set my alarm, though I knew that I wouldn't need it.

 

Maris

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We are booked on your exact cruise for next March, so I am escaping into your review. Need to get away from thoughts about my June cruise to Alaska, which has not been officially cancelled by Celebrity yet, although it should be. We have cruised the Caribbean, but have always wanted to do the ABC islands, so I love your pics. I see that you are a retired teacher, as are my husband and I. We have always cruised the S class on Celebrity. I liked your line "We just didn't get it" until you took your first cruise. I too was reluctant and had to be talked into my first in 2009! Looking forward to reading your review. 

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8 hours ago, Marvy Mare said:

It is a beautiful ship. Where did you cruise to?

Our Ultimate Caribbean Cruise ports were Georgetown, Cartagena, Colon, Puerto Limon, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Fort Lauderdale. 
 

Awww, beautiful dogs.

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1 hour ago, frteach said:

We are booked on your exact cruise for next March, so I am escaping into your review. Need to get away from thoughts about my June cruise to Alaska, which has not been officially cancelled by Celebrity yet, although it should be. We have cruised the Caribbean, but have always wanted to do the ABC islands, so I love your pics. I see that you are a retired teacher, as are my husband and I. We have always cruised the S class on Celebrity. I liked your line "We just didn't get it" until you took your first cruise. I too was reluctant and had to be talked into my first in 2009! Looking forward to reading your review. 

 

1 hour ago, frteach said:

 

I think I messed up here. Anyway, I'm sure you will get to enjoy your cruise in March. So many people disappointed by cancelations but it's a difficult time for all, especially the travel industry. 

Maris

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February 29 - The day we had been waiting for

 

I was awake at 3:15am and read for an hour, so I didn't wake Ken. I have always been a child at Christmas. I'm up early anyway but Christmas even earlier. It's not exciting for me now, but we have grandchildren. I don't even like shopping but it's fun to shop for them. I'm just as excited before a vacation. My first flight ever was when I was in my 50s. I went to South Korea. I think it was 24 hours before we got to our destination. When it was daylight I was looking out the window. I still want the window seat, but it isn't such a thrill to fly anymore. The worst part is the airport. We would drive to Florida if we didn't have dogs at home waiting for us to return (though I think this time they were so enamoured by their caregivers, they didn't miss us at all). 

Anyway, we showered, grabbed a couple of cups of coffee and were out the door shortly after 5. 

I like taking pictures of every step of our vacation, including at the airport. We usually have lots of time to kill. Not this time. We were at the Toronto airport around 5:30. I had printed our boarding passes at home and with the help of a friendly WestJet agent, we printed and attached our bag tags. Mine was just below the 50# limit but we made it without additional charge. 

Then the fun starts. A fairly normal line up through a room to go through the sensor. I didn't take my shoes off and not one asked me to. I'd forgotten about the bottle size & my new sunscreen was confiscated, but the agent let me keep my non- aerosol hair spray. I think he saw the price and gave me a break. Then there was another twisting line through another room for nothing. Maybe this was all an add for NEXUS. The NEXUS people breezed through. Then a really long line snaked through another room and lead to a virtual agent, who checked our passports again and asked all the same questions. Really nothing much about health. Finally another line - the longest of all to meet a real agent. Same questions again.

We met some nice people over the 2 hours. And some not so nice. Behind us, fortunately not right behind us there were two little boys ( about 6 or 7). They kept running away and opening all the ribbon enclosures. Security had to follow them around and close them. Their parents weren't.

Finally we had time to run to the bathroom and right on to the plane at 7:40 just as the gate was closing. Fortunately the boys ran by to the Orlando flight. Brave parents if they were taking them to Disney World. 

OK - Enough whining. On with the trip. 

Edited by Marvy Mare
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February 29 - Fort Lauderdale

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale ahead of schedule. It was before noon. Got our bags without a wait and called our driver. We had arranged for a pick up before we left home. 

It was well before our scheduled arrival when we got to The Elita. It was a small boutique hotel that we had noticed on our previous visit to Fort Lauderdale. Of course our room wasn't ready, but the nice girl on the desk stored our bags. 

We sat by the pool for a few minutes to catch our breath before we went for lunch. 

 

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The air was coolish but there were kids in the pool. Must have been from Canada.

 

_DSC4106

 

Edited by Marvy Mare
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Maris, I'm glad I caught this in its early stages!

I'm settling in for a nice long read and to enjoy your stellar photos.

Have at it!

Norris

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4 minutes ago, Bimmer09 said:

Maris, I'm glad I caught this in its early stages!

I'm settling in for a nice long read and to enjoy your stellar photos.

Have at it!

Norris

 

Thanks Norris. I think I have all this figured out, thanks to you. I got some advice from Kevin (FRUMPEI) earlier too. Check to see if you can get the Flickr info on my photos? I know it wasn't working on my last review. Pretty simple settings for most of my photos. Our weather was amazing. 30 C and sunny every day. We had less than 5 minutes of rain on one sea day and I missed it.

 

Maris

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We stayed at the Elita for a few days a couple years ago after it first opened. Very nice rooms, pool area and friendly staff. Got to meet the owners who were very excited and proud of their new boutique hotel.

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2 hours ago, Marvy Mare said:

 

Thanks Norris. I think I have all this figured out, thanks to you. I got some advice from Kevin (FRUMPEI) earlier too. Check to see if you can get the Flickr info on my photos? I know it wasn't working on my last review. Pretty simple settings for most of my photos. Our weather was amazing. 30 C and sunny every day. We had less than 5 minutes of rain on one sea day and I missed it.

 

Maris

 

Yes, Maris, I clicked on a photo and it took me to your Flickr page and the camera, lens, aperture, focal length shutter and ISO info is all there as is the EXIF link for the ultra-inquisitive. All good!

 

I looked at the webcam for FLL beach at the Marriott Courtyard yesterday and at that time the Police (2 on horseback and more on beach vehicles) were dispersing a crowd but it may have been for misbehavior.

Norris

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Thank you for your review and pictures.

We are supposed to be doing this exact itinerary on 4/13 but pretty sure that is not going to happen.

Will just enjoy your pictures and the story that you have to tell.

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17 hours ago, Marvy Mare said:

Thanks Kevin. And thanks for the information about making corrections. Beautiful photo. Where is that? How are you feeling these days? How disappointing for you. My brother his wife and my cousin had a trip booked, for early April that they canceled while we were out to sea. I see that Fort Lauderdale declared a state of emergency on Friday the 13th; the day we left. You wouldn't know it from the airport or cruise port. Not temperature testing, only a few basic questions, a quick look at our passports. Same thing in Toronto. We had to make a declaration on a computer and have another terrible photo taken but it had nothing to do with our health.

 

 

Today was a tough day especially seeing how beautiful of a day it was in Fort Lauderdale and seeing Silhouette docked via web cam and us not on it. This is our second cruise that we missed out on since 2016. 

 

That 2018 picture of Reflection was taken from the 17th St Causeway Bridge in Fort Lauderdale which is my second favourite cruise watching spot. Of course my favourite watching spot is here in Charlottetown.  Keep safe in Ontario.

 

Regards,

Kevin Reid

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9 hours ago, pixiedust777 said:

Thank you for your review and pictures.

We are supposed to be doing this exact itinerary on 4/13 but pretty sure that is not going to happen.

Will just enjoy your pictures and the story that you have to tell.

It was a great itinerary. Follow along. You'll be there in the near future. 

 

Maris

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5 hours ago, FRMPEI said:

 

 

Today was a tough day especially seeing how beautiful of a day it was in Fort Lauderdale and seeing Silhouette docked via web cam and us not on it. This is our second cruise that we missed out on since 2016. 

 

That 2018 picture of Reflection was taken from the 17th St Causeway Bridge in Fort Lauderdale which is my second favourite cruise watching spot. Of course my favourite watching spot is here in Charlottetown.  Keep safe in Ontario.

 

Regards,

Kevin Reid

Hi Kevin

I do watch those web cams. It was my brother who pointed out the one on Fort Lauderdale Beach yesterday. Nothing will stop those Spring Breakers. That photo of the Reflection must be from the last cruise that we were on. Beautiful.

 

Maris

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February 29 (continued) Fort Lauderdale

Just checking back to see where I left off. My notes, though improved from our last cruise, still leave something to be desired. You think that you will remember everything. Not at my age. We were at the hotel just after noon. Check in officially at 4, so we had some wandering to do. The first item of business was food. We hadn't eaten all day. When we travel in the morning, I usually grab a bite to eat at the airport. After the fiasco at Pearson I didn't get a chance. 

We went for familiar. Lunch on the 5th floor of the Hilton.

 

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We stayed at the Hilton when we were in town two years earlier. We got a great deal, so great that I was worried that it was too good to be true. Beautiful hotel and great location. We had a studio apartment with a view of the beach. My only complaint was that it was on the north side of the hotel and it was cool on the balcony. We have been to Fort Lauderdale on 3 occasions, or 6 if you count the return from the cruise and it has always been cool. Not cool winter in Canada cool, but disappointingly cool, when you want Hot, Hot, Hot! 

Back to lunch at the Hilton. I love food, but unfortunately don't do well with taking food pictures. I have one coming up somewhere. My only attempt at a food pic was on this trip. I will post it when we get there because it's so bad. I am not a cell phone photographer. My selfies look terrible and my pics are often not focused and have a finger covering part of the lens. I was going to borrow my daughter and son in law's small camera to try food photos but I forgot. Anyway, lunch was very good. Anything would have tasted good. I had a beef taco. The menu said hard shell but I asked for soft and they complied. I'm not sure what Ken had. Whatever, it hit the spot.

By the this time - early afternoon - we had been up for almost 12 hours. 

We walked down Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. people watching. Things were fairly quiet. It wasn't March yet. When people had asked me when were going on vacation, it was very easy to remember. Starting on February 29, (that extra day), sailing on March 2 (my birthday), and returning on Friday, March 13. You know what they say about Friday, the 13th. Put lots of steps on the fitbit.

We were just leaving CVS having stocked up on essentials - sunscreen to replace what was confiscated, motions sickness meds - just in case, junk food and beer and wine when my cellphone buzzed. I didn't have hands free to answer it. Too bad you can't do hands free when walking. I guess maybe you can, but anyway I figured correctly that our room was ready. We headed back to the Elita.

 

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The view from our balcony

 

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Bedroom, living room, kitchen.

 

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Kitchen

 

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 Bedroom

Our room was spacious and clean. Lots of windows, which I love and a private balcony. There were only 2 units on the 3rd floor and the one long balcony was divided with plant placement. There was no elevator in the building, so it was a bit of a chore getting up the the 3rd floor with our almost 50# suitcases, carry ons, camera bag, purse and shopping. It took a few trips. Not for the faint of heart. 

My only complaint about the room was the cooking facilities. There was a small sink, a fairly large bar fridge, a microwave and dishes and cutlery. There was no toaster or cook top, so all you could do was warm up food in the microwave. It would have been nice to toast a bagel in the morning, but I always enjoy going out to breakfast too. 

We were quite tired. I'd put in more than my requisite 10,000 steps. I got a Fitbit as an early birthday gift from the family so I was quite into keeping track, though an article I read lately said that 10,000 steps won't do much for you. Better than no steps as far as I'm concerned. We unpacked a few items and then relaxed on the balcony.

 

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I seem to remember that the last time I did one of these reports, I could only put 6 pictures per post. Does that still apply? I don't want to take a chance. 

Edited by Marvy Mare
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February 29 (continued)

My only other note about February 29 said 'Dinner, just take out from the Hilton.' And that's all there is about February. We were definitely early to bed. It was hardly dark before we were 'reading in bed', a euphemism for hitting the sack early.

 

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View of Fort Lauderdale out our back kitchen window.

Off to feed the dogs their breakfast (it's 5am now) and edit some more photos.

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