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In our last minute search for a winter holiday, we wanted a destination that is warm and truly relaxing, preferably English-speaking. We did not want to do much sightseeing or shopping.  Cruising the Caribbean came up as the obvious option. It has been quite a few years since we last went on a cruise. Cruising the Mediterranean was an option but the climate is not really warm enough.


After wading through an ocean of choices on cruise ships, ports of call, cabin class, connecting flights and layovers, we decided on Celebrity’s newest flagship – Reflection. It came into service in Feb 2013.


Our itinerary was a 7-day cruise round trip out of Miami, with stops at San Juan, Puerto Rico, one of the US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, and the island of St. Martin.


We would have loved to do a 9-day trip since I (Chris) had the vacation days this year.


Chris’s mom and sis cruised with us that time also on a Celebrity ship – the Century.  It is now one of the oldest ship in Celebrity’s fleet and is sailing from the ports in the China seas.


The ship’s atrium.


There was a tree suspended in midair on the 7th floor above the ship’s atrium.


Other than making the ship longer or wider, they are getting taller. There are at least 15 levels that are accessible to guests, 12 of which connected by banks of elevators.


I counted 12 restaurants/eateries, 13 bars/cafes, 3 pools, and a host of facilities ranging from a casino, theatre, art gallery, library (see above picture) and at least ten shops.  There is also an indoor pool with an age restrictio


There are a few surprising innovations. On level 15, there is the Lawn Club Grill –  a patch of real grass with cabanas and in the middle of it is a restaurant where a guest can sign up to use the outdoor grills with the help of a grill master to cook a meal for friends and families.


I assume the cruise industry must be very competitive. They have to keep bringing back past customers, fend off other cruise companies and convert land/air tourists to cruisers.


In the spa, there is a Persian Garden which is a air conditioned room full of heated tiled loungers surrounded by a row of dry sauna, hamam, cold room, and themed showers. The idea is to go through the dry/wet/cold/hot treatment and doze off on the loungers in-between. It was nice but a bit overhyped.


The room shown below facing the bow is my favorite where I sunk into the chair and fell asleep while staring at the ocean.


There seemed to be plenty of treadmills, right ? Wrong, in the morning, it was impossible to find an unoccupied machine.


Of course, there is the nightly entertainment which was very competent and included some American Idol finalists.


Good times.



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