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Celebrity Reflection Caribbean - Small Details Questions

Celebrity Reflection Caribbean - Small Details Questions

Feb 4th, 2015, 03:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,377
Celebrity Reflection Caribbean - Small Details Questions

ok. we've booked this cruise. our only other cruise was on the (amazing) pandaw out of vietnam. Just wondering a few things about how the details work.

standard drink package--
this includes drinks up to a certain price. how does one know if one has ordered a martini that exceeds the price. do they tell you this when you order?

does the drinks package include room service? for instance, could we order the aforementioned martini to drink in bed with dinner without an extra charge?

do we assume that any specialty area (like a specialty coffee shop, if it exists) will be extra for espresso?

they make a big deal about their big tv's... and i can't imagine having time or inclination to watch tv during the cruise... but just wondering. is this tv really only for their excursion information and renting movies? is there actual tv, or will any movie cost money?

gratuities included--
do the workers actually get that gratuity that is 'included' or does it sort of mean they don't actually get one?? i know we can add to this, but would hate to think that by having gratuities included, the staff wouldn't get their hard-earned tips??

upgrades... i have often heard that cruise ships upgrade customers to better rooms as the sail date gets closer. is this a practice we can half expect or not on this line.

thanks much. anyone who has gone on this, or a similar, cruise, would love to hear any input. you can probably tell that i just can't stand surprise up-charges... just a pet peeve. want to go in with proper expectations so i won't be bothered!
kawh is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 12:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,723
We are social drinkers and we never purchase any drink package as we never find the deals to be that good. (Exception: Princess's coffee cards.) So, I can't tell you anything about the drink packages and how it works in detail.

As to the TV, we don't spend much time with it but it came in handy as it is a "smart" TV. You can check your cabin folio details on the TV so you don't have to go to the pursers' desk and ask to see the bill.

They usually showed movies in certain venues throughout the entire cruise. All those movies were all available on the TV throughout the cruise in varies time. They were free, and on a schedule. I won't call the movies first or second run; the best way to describe them would be movies you might see on the plane 3 to 6 months earlier.

They have a web cam on the bridge and it is a channel on the TV. If you have an inside cabin, that's the channel to be on 24/7. On our cruise through NZ on the Solstice, part of the cruise was "scenic cursing" and they have a naturalist on board talking as we sail through the sounds. It was broadcast through the ship's PA but it is muffed in your cabin if you are enjoying the sights on your balcony. The TV would carry the voice live so you can hear what was being said more clearly.

From my perspective, I really don't care how big the TV is the way we utilized it.

Gratuities: the amount is added to your ship board account and it was distributed based on a formula. The distribution for Celerity ships is below:

"$11.50 to $15.00 per person per day depending on state room class broken down as follows. Waiter: $3.65 p/day Assistant Waiter: $2.10 p/day Butler (suites only): $3.50 p/day Dining Room Management: $1.00 p/day Stateroom Service: $3.50 p/day Stateroom Service (Concierge Class): $4.00 p/day Other Service Personnel: $1.25 per p/day. Children pay full tip even when sharing cabin with parents. For bar service, a 15 percent service charge is automatically added to all beverage tabs, including minibar purchases and beverage packages. A 15 percent service charge is also added for spa services and gym classes."

We usually give extra tips to the cabin steward as soon as we arrive after we gave him/her our special instructions such as: fresh ice daily, extra towels, cleaning time, bath robes etc. At midway point of the cruise, if everything we asked for was done and then some, we tip extra the second time. Nothing extravagant, just $20 or so each time.

We do the same in the dining room if we like our service on the first night. Since we liked anytime dining and never wanted to be tied to a "fixed" seating time, it could be challenging to get the same service staff every night.

If we liked the service on the first night, we will request the same server with the Maitre'D. A small tip for the Maitre'D will secure the service of the server and a good table (a smaller table by the window) for the duration of the cruise. Once we know we have the server "booked", we advance tip the servers as well. It expedites service and special food requests such as double portion on the entree, faster service when you need to make it to a show on time or get in late, extra lobster tails, or make your own plate (steak and lobster) or order things not on the menu but you know they have it somewhere (example: escargots).

Typically, they will do it anyway, but the extra tip ahead of time makes the whole process much simpler. (BTW, we were not in the MDR at all, we had dinner in the "Blu" restaurant the whole time.)

As to upgrades, you got to pay attention to what is being offered. Some are great deals, and some are not so good. As an example: if it is a category upgrade on the same class of cabins (category is based on location) and you like where your cabin is, take a pass to the upgrade, even if it is free. From time to time, the free upgrades could be mind boggling.

We have been lucky enough to get a few free upgrades through the years, and some "minimal cost" paid upgrades which we thought was great value.

For free upgrades, we have moved from an ocean view to a top level balcony the day before the sailing for a Mediterranean cruise. We were also upgraded free of charge to a mini suite on our Panama cruise from a balcony cabin.

As to the "paid" upgrades, you have to consider what is the extra cost, and is it worth the extra money. Below are couple of examples that the upgrade was worth every penny and more.

For paid upgrades, we paid $199 extra per person for an Alaskan cruise and was upgrade all the way to a full suite complete with a Jacuzzi tub and all. We only paid $349 for an inside cabin to begin with so it was an extremely good deal. It was a LTO via email and I took it within a minute of opening up my email as there was only 2 suites being offered at this upgrade price, first come first serve. (You can read more on the "Alaska on the cheap" trip report, the budget was $1000 per person all in, not including airfare. I want to prove a point that Alaska can be inexpensive and you can do it cheaply without sacrificing. The upgrade cost was not part of the $1000 per person for the purpose of the trip report.)

On our cruise with Celebrity last December (to NZ), when we were booking the cruise, we were told we can upgrade to a Concierge class cabin with extra amenity and service for only $66 extra per person for the 12 day cruise, which works out to just over $5 per person per day which is not a bad deal. The price difference between a regular balcony and the Concierge class is usually anywhere from $300 to $500 extra so it was good value, if you can use the extra amenities and services.

Two days later, I called them up and I asked about the Aqua class which is the next level up. I was told I can upgrade from Concierge class to Aqua class for an extra $33 per person so it was less than $3 per day per person so we took that upgrade as well. Personally, I think they might have misquoted, it should be more like $33 per person per day based on the package.

For the extra money, we have priority boarding and disembarkation, a welcome bottle of campaign and chocolate; and on a daily basis, complimentary canapes, fresh brewed flavored tea, bottled spring water, fresh cut flowers, mini bar set up, and complimentary exclusive dining daily in "Blu", supposedly an extra fee restaurant. There is also a private entrance to the spa, complimentary and unlimited use of the Persian Garden and the relaxation lounge on the penthouse deck. Was it worth the extra money? Absolutely! However, if the upgrade cost is $300, we might have to think a bit longer and harder and may come up with a different conclusion.

The Reflection is a nice ship and you would enjoy it.
Eschew is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 01:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,377
eschew-- thanks much for taking the time for so much detail... and, in one short sentence, you painted a very clear picture of the movies we can expect!

will remember the tipping info... the whole idea of tipping ahead of service is a new one to me... i'm aware of it (from movies, really) but have never done it. i am getting that, even though gratuities are included, a nice extra tip for good service will be the norm.

from what you said (that a % is added to drinks for tips) it sounds like the drinks package, which came with our room, will cost us in tips added to the tab. i'm thinking that the 'included gratuities paid' do not include the drinks.???

i have read great things about aqua class, and will hope for a great upgrade offer... we'll see. the trip is a ways off.

thanks again- kawh
kawh is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,425
Your TV will have some movies for free as E mentioned and you will have some channels as well. On our last cruise in Japan we had some Japanese stations one of which showed to my delight Japanese pro baseball and had some US baseball playoff games too. There were also an Aussie channel or two and some CNN, BBC, ESPN and business channels. When we were on the Equinox there was one channel all about Celebrity news and information. You will have more than just excursion info.

We have never had a drink package but I imagine this info is on your,card so when you present this to the bartender they should know when they swipe.

You may or may not get a free upgrade. Let's put it this way. Of all our 12 cruises we had one upgrade so I would not expect it.

I am not sure if specialty coffees are included in your drink package. I would call yiur TA or X.

We were on the Equonox which is a sister ship to the Reflection and it was the nicest ship we have ever been on. You should enjoy it.

Bon Voyage! Larry. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
Unfortunately, I was ill for part of my last Celebrity cruise so tried to watch some television. I do remember watching "Saving Mr. Banks", free and relatively new at the time. The resolution was terrible, not just for that film but for everything, HD, not. Let's face it, they don't want you hanging in the room and I didn't want to be there either!

We're sailing again on the Reflection in April, 16 nights from Miami to Rome with stops in Tenerife and western Europe ports.

We're looking at, but probably won't purchase, one of the non-alcoholic drinks packages. We like the coffee bar on deck 5 but while the lovely pastries are free, the coffees, including espressos, aren't! I can't drink enough alcohol to justify one of those packages. But, best thing is to talk to one of the reps, I find the descriptions of the packages very vague on the website. As much as I like Celebrity ships, the website, imo, is dreadful.

By committing early we think we have a good price on a suite. I enjoy the extra space, the pampering, etc. We ate in Blu most evenings on two previous cruises, apparently a new restaurant for passengers in suites is opening in April. Seems Celebrity is moving a bit toward the Cunard model.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Feb 6th, 2015, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,676
If you have the 1-2-3 GO package, your drink tips are included. We often leave a little extra, like at the Martini Bar where they do all their tricks, but it is not expected
rncheryl is online now  
Feb 6th, 2015, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,723
Larry, must be luck of the draw. We received upgrades quite frequently, probably 1 in 3, and often, people travelling with us got upgrades as well.

to Kawh, based on what I know, if you receive free gratuity as an enticement, that's only the $12 per person per day. The 1-2-3 Go is a promo and if you receive that promo for free, gratuity is included in the Promo. But you buy a package, gratuity is extra.
Eschew is offline  
Feb 7th, 2015, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,425
Well E like the Rod Stewart song "some guys get all the luck" .
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 10th, 2015, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,611
On Celebrity, they have the Classic drink package and the Premium drink package - both in non-alcoholic and alcoholic permutations. The Classic (alcoholic) is the one that is offered as one of the perks of the 1-2-3 Go promo. If you received the Classic as part of a promo, you can pay to upgrade to the Premium.

The Classic package covers drinks up to about $8. (These limits have changed over the years, so check to make sure) If you order a drink above that amount, you will have to pay for the drink in its entirety.

The Premium package covers drinks up to about $12. If you order a drink above that amount, you pay only the difference between the $12 and the cost of the drink. However, unless you order something specifically quite expensive, everything will usually be covered by the Premium package.

I always get the Premium package because I don't want to have to worry about the cost of what I'm ordering and if it's covered. I just returned from a cruise last month on the Equinox and I saw multiple times at the Martini Bar where people ordered martinis that weren't covered by their drink package and the bartenders had the unfortunate task of informing them as such. Most times they would let it go the first time, but advised them that in the future their drink package didn't cover (regular sized) martinis.

If you have the Classic package, I would either look at the bar menu to make sure your drink is covered under it, or advise the bartender when you order which package you have.

Both alcoholic packages also cover non-alcoholic drinks, but there are other restrictions regarding things like premium vs. non-premium water brands, etc. that I'm not familiar with.

Although the tips are built in to the drink package, I always tip extra each time. Ensures good service when the bar/lounge is crowded.
chepar is offline  

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