Friday, 13 January 2017
David's Western Caribbean Experience with Celebrity Cruise
David our Cruise Manager was on Cruise to the Western Caribbean with Celebrity last December. He came back all smiles and with a beautiful tan. Obviously all of us back at the office were eager to hear more details about the trip.
The man of the hour started from the top:
“Checked in for my flight to Newark in Dublin with United Airlines, after I went to the Club Lounge to kill some time before I boarded. On board, the entertainment systems had a huge variety of new release movies, tv shows & music. Before me and the other cruise agents could realize we arrived in Newark, New Jersey. The 4 hour layover gave me plenty of time to shop at Jersey Gardens which was only 10 minutes’ drive from the airport. Shopped out, I then flew on to Miami where and transferred to the 4 Star Turnberry Isle Golf Resort & Spa. As a side note I highly recommend this hotel for a 1 to 3 night stay. Its build in a low rise design and has the most amazing tranquil atmosphere- perfect when arriving from a long flight. The rooms are exceptionally large and the bar & restaurant are stunning.
As we arrived at Miami Port the spectacular Celebrity Reflection revealed herself. Only 4 years old, 126,000 tons and accommodating 3000 guests, Reflection looked magnificent, sparkling in the Florida sunshine. Embarkation was ultra-efficient and the staffs were helpful and friendly. The interior design of the ship is luxurious, yet cool and contemporary. There is a great sense of space with plenty of deck space for everyone. Starting near the top, the Lawn Club is an amazing grassed area (yes real grass!) where you can throw down a blanket for a picnic or chill out with a drink at the sunset bar. Or even rent your own cabana for the day.
Decks 3 to 5 are the main entertainment hub of the ship. The resident band played in the Grand Foyer some nights and other nights there was a special guest artist. The Martini bar on deck 4 was a popular spot before and after dinner. The Reflection Theatre had early & late shows (to suit our dining time) with traditional variety style performances. Highlights were The Beatles tribute & The Tenors of Rock. We dined in the main restaurant Opus for breakfast and dinner. The food and service were excellent. We also had an amazing culinary experience in the speciality restaurant “Qsine”. It’s a must do, just leave your preconceived ideas at the door & tuck in! Celebrity Cruises have abandoned their "Formal Dress" nights in favour of "Chic" nights so no need for tuxes & gowns! As always the Ocean Cafe buffet is there for self-service dining. For late night revellers the Sky Lounge came alive from 11pm and a particular highlight was the Silent Disco night (you are given a headset playing 3 different styles of music).
First port of call was Cozumel, Mexico. If souvenir shopping is what you want then no need to wander past the purpose built port complex. 3kms down the road is the original port and the centre. Further afield, organised shore excursions will bring you to view Mayan Ruins, beach & snorkel trips.Me and the other agents spent the day unwinding on Grand Cayman’s legendary 7 Mile Beach. For $4 each way, hawkers will drive you to one of the bar & pool complexes along this stunning beach. Entry was $2 for the pool area and $35 for the beach with 2 loungers & an umbrella. A very popular excursion is Stingray Sandbar where you can feed, swim & snorkel with these beautiful creatures. Some guests made their way inland to a place called Hell. Just consisting of a post office, you can post card to you self or friends from Hell and say you have been to Hell and back! From Falmouth, Jamaica we did the excursion to climb the Dunns River falls. An hour and a half away but well worth it and afterwards a couple of hours at a beach club. Lunch included $99. Very popular too was the Bob Marley Experience excursion which will take you to the childhood home of the Reggae King.
Finally, Labadee, Hispaniola. It’s been 10 years since I have visited and was very impressed with how Royal Caribbean have developed it. Maintaining its natural look, but nestled away are beautiful beaches, the Dragons Breath Zip Line, Dragons Tail Coaster Ride and waterslides. We had the privilege of using Barefoot Beach – yet another benefit for the Suite Only guest on Celebrity Cruises.
Our last day of the cruise was completely at sea, where we enjoyed all the facilities the amazing Celebrity Reflection had to offer.”
Well he surely made all of us jealous.
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