Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Scuba_Tom

LIVE BLOG - First time Celebrity Cruiser - Reflection 1/31-2/10/2020

Recommended Posts

It’s Cruise Day!

 

Just sitting down to enjoy some coffee.  Elle and I crashed for about 10 hours last night. We woke up feeling like a million bucks and we are excited to start our first day!

 

We’ve repacked our bags so that we can lighten up our carry-ons a bit but still keeping the essentials.  Our friend lives a short ride away from the port so we will grab an Uber and head over in a couple of hours.  

 

As I’ve said before, this is only my second cruise ever and I am beyond excited for thIs. I feel like that kid who is about to walk into Disneyland for the first time.  Part of my excitement is actually doing this live blog and I’m so happy so many of you are enjoying it.  I’ve got my notepad and pen all ready to take notes as we go along so I don’t forget anything!

 

I’ll probably post a little bit later about the check in process and lunch!

 

-T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to sunny South Florida!  We are all prepped and ready for the Super Bowl . Be glad you missed Downtown Miami . Its a mess.

 

You may want to try the Cellar Master Dinner . Im not sure if they have it on the Reflection, but my daughter and I tried it on the Summit in July . 

 

The wine pairings were amazing . Montaudon Reims for course one . A Bertani Pinot with course two.  My favorite was the Valpolicella Ripasso Tommasi with our soup and a Chateau Mont-Redon for our main course.

 

My husband and I were on the Reflection in May for the Ireland/Iceland cruise . Great crew.  Beautiful ship.

 

Bon Voyage !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, fellow diver!  Bon voyage!

Enjoy your celebrity experience.  We were hooked from the first day.  Looking forward to sailing Summit again in...let me check the countdown clock...43 days.  Planning dives in Aruba and Bonaire.

 

That's me diving in St. Maarten last year while sailing on Oasis of the Seas.  Would love to pick your brain about liveaboards. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are on the ship!  I am enjoying a martini courtesy of the Martini Bar as I type.  Overall, the boarding process was simple, easy, and uneventful. Let me dazzle you with the specifics. 

 

Boarding

 

We requested an Uber at 9:57 from our friends place.  Uber driver picked us up at 10:06 and we were dropped off at the port (Terminal 25) at 10:19.  No lines for security and pretty standard screening for those that fly (x-ray and metal detector).  There were no lines for any class when we checked in and we were sitting in the waiting area by 10:29.  When we boarded, the general boarding and elite desks had short lines but that was about it. Announcements were a little spotty because of the PA system and came across like “Welcome...Lines.  Please...seat...area. We...process...and call...ready.” So...you know we understood perfectly that we had to sit and wait till our boarding group was called.  

 

At 10:53, concierge class was called first and we were onboard the ship at 10:54.  Being greeted with a glass of sparkling rose as we boarded was a nice surprise for me (Apparently Elle knew this was a thing). The wine was on the sweeter side, falling towards the realm of a demi-sec.  It was also a bit flat with very few bubbles bouncing around. Never one to waste alcohol, down the hatch it went.  

 

We made our way to Murano to book our specialty restaurant reservations.  We have 2 nights at Murano, 2 at Lawn Club, and 1 at Tuscan. We also reserved spots for the Veuve Clicquot dinner, which will be the night of our Barbados port day.  We then grabbed drinks at the Ensemble Bar (you know, because it was just RIGHT THERE so why not?): Kir Royal for Elle and an Elderflower Fizz for me. Both were tasty!

 

Lunch

 

As you all probably already know, concierge class has embarkation lunch in the MDR.  We were seated at a table for 2 right at 11:30am along with about 50 others. Elle had the caesar salad and short rib and I the soup and salmon.  The salad was refreshing and the soup was rich and tasty. The short rib got 7 forks out of 10. It was a tiny bit overdone, but teetered on the edge of not needing a knife to cut it up.  The flavor of the cous cous was amazing. The salmon was flavorful, flaky, and a perfect temp. The skin was thin and crispy. The mashed potatoes were a little lumpy for my preference, but the flavor was decent.  8 forks out of 10. For a mass production type environment, as the MDR is, I thought lunch was done well.  

 

They didn’t have the white wine that was listed on the menu (chardonnay), but they provided a reisling instead.  Honeysuckles and freshly cut garden hose on the nose (yes, that is a thing). Taste was slightly sweet, with notes of melon.  It was good and went well with the salmon. Elle had the Celebrity Vintages cabernet sauvignon with her short ribs, which was smoky and tobacco-y on the nose.  The wine was very light, almost pinot noir like with hints of tobacco and black cherry. Elle, who doesn’t prefer super strong or earthy cabs, enjoyed it.  

 

After lunch, we walked around the ship and stopped at the Martini Bar to enjoy a drink.  Looks like our rooms are ready and we are going to stop in and check it out! Pictures will follow in another post!

 

-T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You are a really great writer, with an engaging style and a really fun sense of humor. 

 

I'm a bit of a wine-o, too (WSET Level 3 Advanced Certification as a hobby), so I am really looking forward to hearing more about the wines currently on board. Especially interested in knowing what is available by the glass with the Premium Package.

 

I don't know if they still do this, but on my previous cruises they had a night where all bottles of wine were offered at 50 percent off! Needless to say, I went ultra ultra high end. Was great! With any luck, they still do this. 

 

If you have time, would you mind posting some of the wine lists, primarily by the glass, but also by the bottle?

 

Something tells me you are probably going to do this anyway (just a hunch), but if you could, the wine lovers would really appreciate it.

 

Bon voyage and cheers to you both!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Scuba_Tom said:

They didn’t have the white wine that was listed on the menu (chardonnay), but they provided a reisling instead.  Honeysuckles and freshly cut garden hose on the nose (yes, that is a thing). Taste was slightly sweet, with notes of melon.  It was good and went well with the salmon. Elle had the Celebrity Vintages cabernet sauvignon with her short ribs, which was smoky and tobacco-y on the nose.  The wine was very light, almost pinot noir like with hints of tobacco and black cherry. Elle, who doesn’t prefer super strong or earthy cabs, enjoyed it.  

So much yes to the wine notes! I'm cruising X for the first time (Edge) in two weeks and need the inside scoop on what they're stocking and pouring on board. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, maitlandmom said:

You may want to try the Cellar Master Dinner . Im not sure if they have it on the Reflection, but my daughter and I tried it on the Summit in July . 

 

 

Thank you for the recommendation, we will ask around and see!

 

4 hours ago, PKB said:

Hello, fellow diver!  Bon voyage!

Enjoy your celebrity experience.  We were hooked from the first day.  Looking forward to sailing Summit again in...let me check the countdown clock...43 days.  Planning dives in Aruba and Bonaire.

 

That's me diving in St. Maarten last year while sailing on Oasis of the Seas.  Would love to pick your brain about liveaboards. 

 

Absolutely, be happy to help you out.  Feel free to ask questions on here or DM me on Instagram for contact info (CF_Coach_Tom). 

 

Bonaire is on our short list of dive locations.  Enjoy the trip!

 

2 hours ago, TorontoSailor said:

 

You are a really great writer, with an engaging style and a really fun sense of humor. 

 

I'm a bit of a wine-o, too (WSET Level 3 Advanced Certification as a hobby), so I am really looking forward to hearing more about the wines currently on board. Especially interested in knowing what is available by the glass with the Premium Package.

 

If you have time, would you mind posting some of the wine lists, primarily by the glass, but also by the bottle?

 

 

 

Thank you for your kind words...and the recommendations.  Nice job on the WSET lvl 3, Going for that lvl 4 diploma? 🍷😂.  

 

Happy to post those wine lists for you.  Stay tuned!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick update before dinner:

 

Concierge Class room, nothing out of the ordinary.  Our stateroom attendant stopped by to say hello and introduce herself.  We asked for our fridge to be emptied because otherwise I would drink everything.  The Concierge also left a VM with an introduction.  Bubbles are in the room, which we have not tried yet.  Looks like a French sparkling produced in the Charmat method (wine undergoes fermentation in steel tanks instead of the traditional method of in the bottle) so I’m curious to try it.  

 

Luggage is unpacked.  Elle is great at this organization thing.  She got a few foldable storage cubes from the dollar store before our trip and we put them on the shelf above the bed.  She also grabbed some magnet hooks and a shoe organizer.  These hang on the wall/ceiling for extra storage.  We also put up some magnet clips that can hold the Dailies and other propaganda from the ship.  

 

Word of caution about the magnets, use them gently on the wall as they may cause damage, especially if they slide around.  A piece of paper should be sufficient to protect the wall.  

 

Muster Drill

 

3:15p was the alarm for muster.  Our muster station was D2, which was Qsine, and we at 3:17ish.  Briefing started at 3:25 with a life jacket demo.  We then watched one of the cheesiest safety briefings I’ve ever seen.  And by cheesy, I mean awesome.  Elle tells me that I’m the last to know about this video, but I have to give it to Celebrity - it was so cheesy that I had to watch and pay attention.  

 

The briefing concluded around 3:42p, which led to the worst herding of cats I’ve ever seen.  A thousand passengers were trying to cram their way through a space built for 50. It took a while, and bordered on ridiculous.  Individuals stopping in the middle of the walkway to have conversations and inconsiderate of other people trying to get out of the area.

 

Sail away gathering

 

Elle told me that there was an unofficial sail away gathering at the Sunset Bar so off we went!  Cruise critic friends identified themselves by wearing Mardi Gras style beads, which I put on in earnest.  The Sunset Bar was packed when we arrived a it took awhile (a LONG while) to get a drink.  We didn’t see a ton of “beaded” friends, but met a nice couple from Niagara Falls, CN and Liverpool, UK (Hi, friends!).  After a drink or two we returned to the cabin to finish unpacking and get ready for dinner!  

 

Pictures to follow!

 

-T  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We board Reflection on the 10th! You're quite the wordsmith! Love reading it! Thanks for the menus too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My preference for posting papers (and envelopes with shore excursion papers) is to tape to the mirror.  Always plenty of room left over.  Using the same tape dispenser from about ten years ago.  Magnets are heavier, and as mentioned may cause damage, the tape is easy to pull off the mirror.

 

A small paper cup actually holds small scissors, tape, pens, AA battery for the clock, and other miscellaneous stuff.  Gets wrapped in a plastic baggy and popped into the suitcase for next cruise.  Makes packing super easy as half my stuff never leaves the carryon between cruises.

 

Left home without a camera battery, now charge and make sure camera, battery and memory card are together before packing into a cube.  The packing cube sits on a desktop and keeps everything contained, including a small binocular- amazing how many times we’ve checked out wildlife, ships, and islands off to the distance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loving your review!

I am sailing on the Reflection in July out of Dublin.

Enjoying your style of writing....also love cats. Hope all is well with your kitties at home.

 

enjoy your cruise

elaine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love reading this!  Very entertaining and fun to read!  Aside from seeing Celebrity through your eyes as a new cruiser, I am very interested in your take on the wines.  Our experience has been hit and miss, with wines we would prefer not available....more times than we would think normal.  Even something like 20 year port, which my husband enjoys.  I hope you have good luck finding the wines you like and want to have!

Share this post


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

6FD2FFC6-BF92-4AF6-B3A2-76D19021DBA2.jpeg

Does Elle remember what size baskets those are?  They fit perfectly.  Loving your review.  Have a great cruise.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get start. We did 1st Celebrity cruise on Reflection last year. Have a great time. Happy Anniversary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, reallyhooked said:

Great start.  We did 1st Celebrity cruise on Reflection last year. Have a great time. Happy Anniversary.

Correction to original post

Edited by reallyhooked
Correction to original post

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are back in the room after a great day!  Our evening was spent at dinner, a show, and some music in the grand foyer.  Kitty update!!!  Our cat sitter (the MIL, aka “grandma”) reports that the cats are doing well and miss us, but Jasmine has been “acting out” by not wanting to go to bed at bedtime.  She is such a middle child!  

 

A pre-dinner drink was had at the Ensemble Lounge.  I had a rum old fashioned and Elle had a glass of rosé.  The Summer Somewhere rosé was actually pretty good!  We had a slight disagreement over the scent: I said blueberry, Elle said strawberry.  That’s wine for ya -  it is always fun, but definitely subjective and everyone experiences it differently .  The flavor was slight berry, with a buttery richness on the back end and slight mineralality and acidity.  

 

Dinner

 

Dining was at Murano tonight and a great experience it was!  Wine first-

 

Elle started with the Montaudon champagne.  On first sniff there was a hint of pastry, and we both thought it had a hidden shower soap (think Irish Spring) smell.  It wasn’t offensive or anything, but it was definitely there.  Flavor was blackberry for sure with maybe a hint of hazelnut?

 

She paired that with the goat cheese soufflé.  This was not the typical punch-you-in-the-face goat cheese, but rather subtle and light but still delicious.  The champagne paired well.  

 

I had the William Fever petit chablis.  This was an excellent wine to drink, but hard to pull flavors from.  On the nose was honey and maybe cantaloupe?  Flavor was also honey, but not a sweet honey.  So hard to describe.  There was definitely some minerality, yet it was also rich.  It was a fun wine to drink.  

 

My appetizer was the diver scallop, Wellington style, with a black truffle emulsion.  The pastry was to perfection and the flavors were great.  The scallop was a little chewy but still enjoyable.  Sadly, the truffle was not even remotely noticeable.  The chablis was great with it and the scallop opened up some  sweetness in the wine.  

 

Main Course

 

We shared the chateaubriand and Murano lobster.  The lobster is cooked table side and the beef sliced at the table as well.  The amount of lobster was crazy, so much that I think that if that lobster was served he would have commandeered the ship.  Beef was cooked to a perfect temperature (medium rare).  Both of us got some sauce on the side (béarnaise and a red wine reduction), but honestly it wasn’t needed.  The meat spoke for itself.  

 

Elle got a malbec (Chateau Lafleur De Haute-Serre) and I got the Bordeaux blend (Chateau Amour).  The most I can say is that they were both good and paired well with the dish.  But honestly, the day of drinking and food had frozen my palate and my thinking and I just enjoyed the meal.  Oh well 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

 

Cheese Course

 

The cart of cheese, oh yum.  We asked our server to plate us his favorite, and his response was to give us a taste of all 7-8 options!  The cheeses were delicious but what made it extra special was the interaction with our server.  It was fun and good back and forth like we were all old friends.  Thanks Oswaldo!

 

For dessert we had the dark chocolate soufflé and the Valhrona chocolate cake. The soufflé was lovely and the cake had great flavor with hints of coffee, but was a little dry.  

 

The main course stole the show for dinner.  Overall, I’d give it 9 forks out of 10.  

 

Evening show

 

Tonights entertainment was a comedy show by Ralph Harris, which was pretty enjoyable overall.  Some parts were a little slow, but I was entertained.  That is my go-to rating system...was I entertained?  And the answer was yes.  7 microphones out of 10.  

 

Post-show

 

After the show it was to the Passport Bar for a drink and listening to the music in the foyer. Soon, those couches got the better of use and our eyelids got heavy so back to the cabin we went.  

 

Now time lay down my sleepy head...it has been a big day, after all!

 

Thanks for following along,

 

-T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Below are some diner pics and the menu for wines by the glass.  I have pictures of the full wine list but it is a lot.  Feel free to contact me if you’d like a look!

 

B14342EA-FCE0-4679-A5CD-68B61FF3E21C.jpeg

E1AB650E-DEED-4F08-802C-D4758506D190.jpeg

B8B839E0-29F8-4071-B6E9-3CFAEF705085.jpeg

4B7E22BB-F196-4242-A3D7-835614347EC2.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for such a great blog! I’m in your demographic (34, hubs is 35) and also a wine lover. My husband Steve and I are getting on on the Equinox today for a 7 day Eastern Caribbean so I’ll be following along with you as we experience own cruise. It’s both of our first time on Celebrity as well. We have two little kids but left them at home with the grandparents (mom and dad needed a break lol).

 

Cheers!

Share this post


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

Please tell us about the hat clips. I need them!


Ninth Five Swivel Swing Magnetic Hooks, 30lb Strong Heavy Duty Neodymium Magnet Hooks - Use for Home Kitchen Office Garage Outdoor Hanging(4 Pack) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N916JV8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_7WxnEbS9TTBEZ

 

14 hours ago, happicruzer said:

My preference for posting papers (and envelopes with shore excursion papers) is to tape to the mirror.  Always plenty of room left over.  Using the same tape dispenser from about ten years ago.  Magnets are heavier, and as mentioned may cause damage, the tape is easy to pull off the mirror.

 

A small paper cup actually holds small scissors, tape, pens, AA battery for the clock, and other miscellaneous stuff.  Gets wrapped in a plastic baggy and popped into the suitcase for next cruise.  Makes packing super easy as half my stuff never leaves the carryon between cruises.

 

Left home without a camera battery, now charge and make sure camera, battery and memory card are together before packing into a cube.  The packing cube sits on a desktop and keeps everything contained, including a small binocular- amazing how many times we’ve checked out wildlife, ships, and islands off to the distance.

 

excellent suggestions!  Forgetting items is the worst and it’s good to have a reminder mechanism

 

12 hours ago, GeorgiaPeach51 said:

I love reading this!  Very entertaining and fun to read!  Aside from seeing Celebrity through your eyes as a new cruiser, I am very interested in your take on the wines.  Our experience has been hit and miss, with wines we would prefer not available....more times than we would think normal.  Even something like 20 year port, which my husband enjoys.  I hope you have good luck finding the wines you like and want to have!


so far the wines have been acceptable.  We’ve mostly had them while dining and food can elevate mediocre wine.  But just to appease you I’ll go around and drink all the wine I can, for research sake 😂.  

 

10 hours ago, Want2Cruise 701 said:

 


Elle and I can’t remember the size exactly.  She recalls they were 10x11 or something similar.  Apparently the dollar store didn’t have a lot of options but these worked perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scuba_Tom said:


Elle and I can’t remember the size exactly.  She recalls they were 10x11 or something similar.  Apparently the dollar store didn’t have a lot of options but these worked perfect.

There are two lockers above the bed… each of them are 44.5 Inches Wide X 12 Inches High X 11 Inches Deep (so combined they span the whole 89 Inches across the headboard)

https://www.dollartree.com/essentials-brown-collapsible-storage-containers-with-handles/237498

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1493244-celebrity-solstice-storage-s-class-ships/

 

Love your wine discussion.  Lists would be nice.

 

Edited by Beba-Beba

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to hear you’ll take one for the team, Tom, and try all the wines you can possibly find! 🤣

 

Thanks for posting the Murano list. About four or five there by the glass I’d certainly be happy with! (Caymus 👍👏👏).

 

I’d love to see any other lists you’re able/willing to post/share....even full lists. 

 

Enjoying your evocative tasting notes, too!

 

I’ve considered WSET 4, but it’s a big expensive, two-year commitment. And a lot of stressful work. Instead, I tend to do master classes from time to time and go to tastings to keep current.

 

Do ask your sommelier if they still have that 50% night....and ask to see the “reserve list,” which has the really heavy hitters. There are some on there that at half price are probably cheaper than market rate. You’ll know what they are 😉....I’m not going to give away too many secrets but we drank a VERY famous world-class vintage for less than you would have been able to buy it for at a wine merchant on a couple of our cruises 😉 A real treat and one heck of a once-in-a-lifetime deal. 
 

I’ve had some very good and some very bad somms on Celebrity. Once they realize you’re serious, they sometimes turn things up a notch. On one cruise, without asking, our relatively inexperienced somm was replaced by the Cellar Master, who started serving us in Riedel glasses! Was fun. He was excellent. 
 

Oh, and with your premium package you can pay only the per glass difference for anything over $15 or get 20 percent off any bottle! 

Edited by TorontoSailor

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance w/ Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com June 2020
      • 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...