Neither Robyn nor I slept very much so we decided to get up and take a walk through South Beach for some exercise. After stopping at Starbucks we all got ready to head to the Pier to board Celebrity cruise lines newest ship Reflection.
I need to preface my entire cruise review with how poorly trained the staff on this cruise was. I will note this a lot through the review. We had heard about how Celebrity was a step ahead of other lines, how they were willing to go the extra mile, how they could accommodate food allergies, etc etc etc. Come to find almost every staff member was new and this was their training session. Sadly we definitely suffered and all voted this our worst cruise ever. In face Celebrity devotees stated to us that there was a noticeable difference between this cruise and all of their other cruises they have enjoyed with Celebrity. In addition to this their was a large group booking on this cruise. We have no complaints about the Pied Piper group at all. We met so many nice people and enjoyed watching some of their parties. However it appeared Celebrity was ill prepared for the number of people on this ship. I don't understand how you run out of ingredients when you know before hand how many people will be on the cruise, how many people are partaking in the drink package, and
where activities will be taking place.
The traffic heading to the pier was pretty bad. Miami is the most congested pier we have yet to visit. We went through security, headed towards the Aqua Class line, signed our documents and headed to the gangway.
Upon boarding the ship we were offered Mimosa's or a glass of Champagne. Naturally we accepted a glass each. We wandered around the ship looking at all of the sitting areas, restaurants, bars, etc. With our food allergies (mine dairy and Robyn's gluten) we were very limited to choices for lunch. Bistro on 5 makes crepes which aren't dairy free (apparently they do have a gluten free version but we never saw this). The Porch has sandwiches (bread and cheese) so that was out too. We decided to go to the buffet even though it's our least favorite place on a ship. Eating at the buffet was acceptable but tricky. Nothing is labeled for food allergies and when you ask the staff about the ingredients they have no idea what you are talking about. Supposedly others have talked to the Maitre d off the buffet but none were apparent to us.
Side note: This is the first cruise that I didn't gain any weight from food. Thanks to my dairy allergy and Celebrity's lack of food allergy knowledge I hardly ate on this cruise.
Our rooms were delayed a bit and around 2:00 pm the announcement was made that they were ready. We headed down to our rooms 1521 and 1519. The room was well laid out, our bed in 1519 was closest to the bathroom. The bathroom was large and the shower was adequate but does have an amazing shower head! The couch and vanity area were nice and the balcony was of good size. The downfall to the Aqua Class Room is definitely the storage space. I've read how others brought collapsible cubes for the top shelves (above bed) but even so who wants to live out of cubes for a week. More drawers please!!! Our stateroom attendant Paz knocked on our door to introduce herself. She told us about the canapes that would be coming, the Champagne on Ice, Complimentary 2 waters per day, and the fresh brewed tea daily. Paz is very nice and very efficient (but a lack of training was discovered in a few days - more later).
We ventured back out for some drinks thanks to our Premium Beverage Package. Finally it was time for Sailaway. Then things turned downhill for me. With a storm over Cuba, a storm over the Caribbean, and rough currents all along the Florida coast our ship was rocking and rolling! This was the first cruise I have ever been sick on! I was pale, green, cold, shaking, and dizzy. I had to cancel drinks and dinner plans with our friends. I headed back up to bed. I took two Bonine's (thank god I brought this as a precaution), drank ginger ale, and ate a few french fries. Our friends dined in the Qsine specialty restaurant and stated that some of the items were good but nothing was memorable. After a good nights sleep I finally felt better in the morning. The next day Paz also had a tip that a Green Apple will help with the seasickness.
Side note: the ship definitely rolled a lot all throughout the entire cruise! I took a Bonine at least once a day sometimes twice and Robyn also had to start taking them half way through the cruise. We heard from a staff member that the Captain only put the Stabilizers out on the first day as to not use too much fuel.
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