Update: This post has received recognition from the venerable South Florida Daily Blog as it is Post of the Week; what that means, it’s a good one! [originally published on December 5, 2012]
“Winner: South Florida Food and Wine’s posts are always neatly arranged and informative so it’s no surprise that Celebrity Reflection Sets Sail from Miami is that. What sets this post apart from the others, however, is its depth and the way everything just comes together and flows so well for the reader. There’s plenty of detail and [pun alert!] a boatload of images that accompanies the narrative and makes the post so illuminating and interesting. Okay, I’ve run out of adjectives. It’s a superb example of blogging that I want to recognize with this week’s Post of the Week honors.”
“X” marks the spot of modern luxury on Celebrity Cruises and the fifth and final Solstice Class ship, Reflection who made her US debut this weekend in Miami is certainly no exception and has actually raised the bar with regards to standard modern luxury. I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek experience of this beauty on her maiden US voyage.
Let’s begin with the all-a-buzz “Reflection Suite” a 1,600+ square foot suite that accommodates six. The Reflection Suite is Celebrity’s first two-bedroom suite, complete with a unique ocean-view bathroom with a floor to ceiling glass shower that projects out over the edge of the ship. This glass shower gives guests the illusion of floating above the ocean. The shower has been outfitted with a special glass for privacy. The ‘smart glass’ or electrochromatic glass is powered with technology that converts the glass from clear to opaque. Showering with the fishes yes, peek-a-boo paparazzi no. And ladies, the lighting in the bathroom is beyond flattering, you and your makeup will be luminous.
Five Signature Suites accompany the uber-glam “Reflection Suite” on the 14th deck in the stylish and private wing of the vessel which is accessed only by a private pass key for further exclusivity. This fashionable annex includes a shared 24/7 butler service. The Signature Suites boast 441-square-feet with a 118-square-foot balcony along with the wonderfully requisite floor-to-floor ceiling windows highlighting what appears to be your very own personal view of the sea. Each of the Signature Suites accommodates up to four guests. This au courant group of suites can host a family or group of 26 guests traveling together.
AquaClass Suites captures the spa experience and translates it into in-room service starting with spacious staterooms and verandas. Various spa-like amenities, such as bath products and bedding and services provided by the cabin steward are offered as a part of the AquaClass.
Pricing Note: these prices are based on double occupancy, and this particular sailing is a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing on February 2, 2012 out of Miami. - Reflection Suite (holds 6 guests in total) First two guests: $10,799.00 per person. Each additional guest : $949.00 per person. – Signature Suite (holds 4 guests in total) First two guests: $3,749.00 per person. Each additional guest: $799.00 per person. - AquaClass Suite (holds 2 guests in total): Guests: $2,299.00 per person
And for those….
-who simply cannot go off-the-grid, you can check your email, tweet, facebook, and pin all about your Celebrity-style vacation on Reflection in the Celebrity iLounge.
And for those….
-who simply must make multiple cruise-wear outfit changes daily, the staterooms have modular closets and under-bed storage, so pack until your hearts’ content, and dress fabulously! Oh and if you forgot the smallest of accessory, the Worth Avenue-esque shopping should appease your packing faux pas.
-whom beer and wine just won’t do, the Molecular Bar is the place to go for off-the-hook cocktails with equally as entertaining mixologists who woo you to the other side for libations such as the Violet Hummingbird, Coming up Roses and the Dragonfly. Molecular mixology has found a home on Celebrity Reflection as cocktails are made with a pomp & circumstance of foams, ice spheres, and liquid nitrogen; the fancy edible cocktails are, muddled, layered, shaken, whipped, and stirred with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. My favorite, Coming up Roses, it is as tasty as it’s pretty.
And for those….
-who have a wanderlust for dining, Reflection has restaurant swagger with twelve dining outlets, five of them classified as specialty restaurants. Guests are able to dine at them for an additional fee.The specialty restaurants are:
- Murano-Continental cuisine; stunning food in a stunning setting.
- Blu-“Clean cuisine” think spa food with substance
- Qsine-out of the box dining; imagine sushi lollipops, soupe & soufflé, and popcorn fish & chips
- Tuscan Grille Italian flair with steaks, dinner with pizzazz
- Lawn Club Grill- interactive grill restaurant (put your Top Chef toque on, you’ll be cooking for your supper here)
ps, I am completely smitten with Blu, the food was very good, the service equally so; I had wonderful dining companions, the conversation was lively and endless but it was the decor in Blu that swept me off my feet making my overall dining experience outstanding.
And for those….
-who are taken with amenities, you know, the little things that make a HUGE difference. I am one of those people who always takes notice of the little things. I stayed in a Concierge Class stateroom and quite frankly I would have been happy to stay locked in my stateroom and read the book I took out from the ship’s library. I had a balcony that afforded me unsurpassed views of the ocean, a book I did not want to put down and a steward who saw to it that my level of comfort was supreme. Really, what more could I want?
It all started with the Frette luxury spa bathrobe. (I have a thing for bathrobes). I sat on my balcony one night until 1:30 in the morning in my Frette robe checking out the stars and the moon with the in-room binoculars. I do believe I discovered a new planet and saw night fish…you know, fish that swim at night…..
We pleasantly had fresh flowers and fresh fruit delivered to the room, Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine upon arrival, a freshly brewed carafe of flavor-infused iced tea one afternoon.
A floral-scented aromatherapy diffuser which pleasingly wafted through the air (of which I taunted my roommate with); of course it doesn’t end there, I knew those sheets were just too fabulous, 100% pure Egyptian cotton linens, a fog-free mirror in the bathroom for those who take hot-steamy showers at the near boiling point of 212 °F, and now the best amenity of all, personalized stationery, I wish I was there longer than three days, because I’d be sending notes to everyone, especially those people up on the 14th deck inviting myself for cocktails and a shower. Everyone would be singing “you’ve got mail”.
What to do, what to do…
Even if you do nothing but sit in a chaise lounge and decompress, it’s time well spent if that’s what you need/choose to do but for those with more allocentric vacation tendencies Celebrity Reflection has pretty much got it covered.
For the quiet and competitive, board games have been reinvented in “Game On” where guests challenge themselves and others on 32-inch, interactive touchscreen tables.
If you’re seeking a muse, the Art Studio plays host to many aspiring artists who find interest in a variety of hands-on classes
Not just your ordinary day spa, AquaSpa by Elemis allows spa-seekers to create their own circuit of sensory experiences. Celebrity Reflection also houses a state-of-the-art fitness facility complete with classes to work off those multiple visits to the ship’s twelve restaurants; including boot camps and indoor cycling; yoga, pilates, zumba and body-sculpting classes. And for those double and triple dipping into the buffets the newly added TRX training, ChiBall, Spirals, Blast sessions, and Flywheel have been added just for you.
The Country Club-esque Lawn Club is where cruisers can play bocce ball, and cricket, go lawn-bowling and of course practice that perfect putt. And for the starry-eyed dreamer of being an NBA hopeful, a seaside basketball court is ready and waiting for your jumpshot.
The multi-million dollar artwork collection on Celebrity Reflection is inspiring and thoughtful. There is an art guide book in each suite and stateroom that offers a thorough explanation of each piece; I recommend you take it with you as you begin to amble about the ship on your self-guided art tour. Taking in the museum-like art and sculptures can fill a few lazy hours in your vacation day; extend those few hours even further with a stop at one or two of the dozen bars on the ship and sneak off into one of the many of romantic corners for that clandestine cocktail, which will be undoubtedly be one of the most memorable cocktails you’ve ever had.
Need to be entertained? Poet Theatricals puts on very unique shows featuring vocalists, physical comedians, acrobats and aerial artistes as well as song and dance spectaculars. Comedians and Karaoke, live music, DJs and a casino with live gaming excitement. The list goes on and on, it’s just up to you to decide how to fit it all in. I was not able to “do it all” and I really wanted to fulfill my “Queen of the World” moment. It just didn’t work out this time. I’ll leave you with this empty photo, until my next cruise, when I will have my ”Queen of the World” moment…..stay tuned.
Click here to view the photos of my time on Celebrity Reflection.
Visit the Celebrity Reflection website