Largest Celebrity cruise ship
Cool sophistication is the unmistakable vibe onboard Celebrity Reflection, the final - and biggest - of the five ships in the line's Solstice Class. Sure, the Solstice Class blueprint is still in place; you can't miss the Lawn Club, Solarium and themed dining venues found onboard all five ships. But Reflection, which debuted in October 2012, turns it up a notch. There's also the sheer size of the 126, 000-ton, 3, 046-passenger ship. It's bigger and about two feet wider - a change necessary to accommodate the additional weight. You might not notice the change in width, but Reflection is loaded with 89 more cabins and about 150 more passengers than its siblings.
With ample room, Reflection added 42 suites, including three new classes: the Reflection Suite, the Signature Suite and the AquaClass Spa Suite. While the Reflection Suite, with its cool all-glass cantilevered shower, gets high marks for creativity, the 32 AquaClass Spa Suites might be the most coveted among suite-lovers. Passengers booked in AquaClass and AquaClass Spa Suites receive complimentary access to Blu, a private dining room with a focus on light yet flavorsome "spa cuisine". Suite passengers also receive complimentary access to Blu, based on availability, as well as their own dedicated restaurant, Luminae.
This time around, the line did away with nightclub Quasar, replacing it with a conference center that can serve as a meeting center, conference room or banquet hall, but mostly it's used for art auctions. Night time activities have shifted to the pool deck and to the Grand Foyer, where entertainment ranges from low-key in the evening to full-throttle after hours, and the DJ is usually found in the Sky Observation Lounge.
It's impossible to miss the art, a multimillion-dollar investment, on Reflection. It's big. It's bold. And it's everywhere. Perhaps the most stunning piece is the Grand Foyer showstopper: a live tree that grows tall, while an illuminated aluminium tree hangs from the base. Celebrity calls it a tree reflecting on itself and, of course, reflection is the theme of the art onboard. Photography is also a feature with an eclectic range of images lining the stateroom corridors. You could spend hours trying to figure out how each piece expresses the theme, ranging from the grand to the puzzling.
Celebrity's famous Lawn Club onboard Reflection hasn't changed much from Silhouette's design, with its half-acre of grass, up-charge restaurants (the Lawn Club Grill and The Porch) and eight alcoves - private rentable cabanas for those who want shade and a little privacy but away from the pool area. Whereas the Lawn Club on Solstice, Equinox and Eclipse is wide open and has a real park feel, the later iterations feel decidedly more divided, with less space for playing bocce, enjoying lazy picnics or sunning.
Other old favorites return, as well, including Sky Observation Lounge with its stunning sea views and the Martini Bar, famous for its entertaining bar staff and elegant cocktails. Celebrity espouses the virtues of "modern luxury" and there are touches of that throughout from comfy chaise lounges with oversized cushions to the glass-enclosed Solarium.
Entertainment is a hit, from big production shows to more low-key options, such as a guitar and vocal duo. Service overall is warm and attentive however the widespread upselling of drink packages and specialty dining, particularly during the first 48 hours of the cruise, can be somewhat off-putting for those seeking a relaxing cruise vacation.
Reflection represents the evolution of the Solstice class, encompassing the best of each of its sisters, with tweaks here and there to make it stand out. And with the addition of new suite class benefits, this elegant ship is more attractive than ever.
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