Thursday 21 March 2013

New Years Eve on Celebrity Reflection

So before I leave for my first trip, I figured I should play around with Blogger and figure out how to include photos and such in posts. It is easy using my MacBook, but I only plan on taking my iPad while away, so some learning was required. This post will play sound with formatting and such - and I will use photos from a cruise I recently took at the end of December, start of January.

The ship was the Celebrity Reflection - Celebrity Cruise Lines newest ship.
It was a nice ship, very new with different features then I am used to on a cruise. One of the most noticeable changes was the speciality restaurants. In my cruise history the main dining room and the buffet tended to be the main places to eat. That's not the case anymore. The ship had a whole bunch of speciality restaurants that you could dine at for a fee. There was Italian, Japanese, Steak and Seafood, French, A Bistro and others. My husband and I tried the Bistro, which was very nice. But I am not sure how I feel about this new type of environment. It it definitely different from the old style all-inclusive type environment cruising tended to offer. I also wonder if the main dining rooms quality will start to suffer as a result. But it seems like all ships are going this way, so I suppose it's here to stay.

While it was my fifth cruise, it was my husbands first. Brian was a little apprehensive about the prospect, as he is more a go out and explore traveller. He also burns easily and isn't a beach person... So a cruise was more my thing then his. We went with my family, and we all had a great time. Brian found that cruising wasn't his new favourite type of travel (he's much more a fly to Paris and explore type), but he enjoyed it. He loved the balcony, and the mornings we ordered breakfast to the room. He also enjoyed exploring the ship after dark - wandering the decks, going swimming under the stars, and being able to get off in various ports and see new things. I am not sure if Brian and I will ever do a cruise just the two of us because it still isn't his first choice, but I can see him going again for a family trip or with a group of people.

There were some definite pros and cons to the trip. The ship was aimed at adults, which was great for us because there were no children. But families with children were getting very annoyed at the fact they were only allowed in one pool (out of three). The pool area was small, so you were really jammed in there - as it was a cruise over New Years, it was at capacity. The shops were nice, but very high end. More a place to browse then actually shop. The on-board photography was horrible though. We didn't buy one photo, when normally I buy them all. The staff were a mix of both positive and negative experiences. Some were rude, but maybe that is due to the large number of passengers. Others were great and willing to go above and beyond to make your stay fantastic.
My biggest complaint was the New Year's Eve celebration. I had heard amazing things about cruises and New Years and this was awful. It was on the lido deck on a rainy, windy night.
There wasn't enough room for everyone so it was packed. Glasses were breaking, people were tripping over each other - it was a mess. If you wanted any fancy New Years celebration, you could pay 300.00 for your dining room tale to be decorated. That was it. The ice sculptures were awesome, but that was really the only thing.

Definitely would not recommend this line for anyone over a holiday period. I think it's just too crowded to really be able to enjoy, and there isn't any real reason to go.

The ship went to San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Marteen. Brian and I got off at all ports, and did a Dolphin swim excursion which took us over to BVI. It was enjoyable. In St. Marteen, my mother and I spent the day laying on the beach. Very relaxing and enjoyable.

Below is a link to some photos from the trip. Overall it was a very relaxing weekend spent having fun and spending time with my loved ones!

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