Last month, my mom and I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.
We are both celebrating milestone birthdays in 2018 – she turned 60 in August and I am turning 30 in November. To reward ourselves for these accomplishments, we decided to take a vacation.
In the initial discussions, we thought about doing a Europe trip but kind of put it aside because we were running out of time to plan an adventure of this caliber. Our ideal window for this trip was in mid-August, when she would be in Chicago and we could leave together from O’hare or Midway. Next, we talked about a trip to Martha’s Vineyard or San Juan Island, somewhere in the states. Then my mom had the brilliant idea of doing a cruise.
I’ve never been on a cruise and she’s been on a handful, mostly around the Caribbean. She’s never been to Europe, and I’ve been to England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Belgium (just to name a few).
If we could find a cruise to take us around Europe in our time-frame at a decent cost, we were golden.
Enter Celebrity Cruise!
We found a six night cruise with Celebrity around the Mediterranean, then enlisted the help of a family friend who is a travel agent to help us book flights, the cruise, accommodations, etc. He was able to get us a room with a balcony and a $300 credit to use aboard the ship. The beginning of May was when we officially booked it all.
My mom and I were set to sail on the beautiful Celebrity Reflection on August 15th. We had three months to figure out what we wanted to do at each port and how we wanted to use the credit, but I will save that for another post(s).
The ports included: Rome (Civitavecchia), La Spezia, Villefranche (Nice), Corsica, Cagliari, and Naples. We didn’t have any full days at sea, so every morning we woke up in a new city and had a full day to explore. That was amazing.
I was very impressed with the Celebrity Reflection. I have nothing to compare it to, but the ship was massive and there was so much to do. I believe I counted twelve bars, two pools, five speciality restaurants, one entertainment auditorium for bands and comedians, one casino, and seven shops. All with the nicest and most helpful of staff members.
If you’re thinking about doing a Celebrity Cruise, I hope these photos from the Reflection ship help you in your decision:
The food was good! I wouldn’t say amazing and I wouldn’t say bad. We had solid meals every night on the ship. We mostly ate in the dining room and the menu had a plentiful amount of options every night. One night, we ate at the speciality Italian restaurant and it was great to have a different setting. They sat us at a table for 10, but we were the only ones to show up most nights. At least we got the window seat!
My mother wanted to spend every night at the casino after dinner and our after dinner drinks (I can hear her yelling at me for writing that, but it’s true Cynthia). Luckily they had a decent amount of penny slots to keep us occupied for a while until we ran out of money for the night.
The ship’s balconies were great places to relax and watch the sun go down. It never felt too crowded on the ship, and we were always able to get a good spot.
Like I said, there were at least twelve bars on board Celebrity Reflection, so we never got bored. Our favorite was the properly named Sunset Bar, an outdoor bar at the very back of the ship. Our next favorite was a bar that mostly served as a winery. We had a funded card that we could use to pour our own wines!
This Celebrity Cruise had a main pool with a few hot tubs and an 18+ pool which was more quiet. We only went to the pool twice, each time for just an hour or so, since we spent most of the days exploring.
The ship had a lot of funky wallpaper in certain areas and spots perfect for some photo-ops!
Our cabin had a great amount of space and storage – a lot bigger than I thought! We had enough room to unpack all our clothes and toiletries. Sorry the bed is a bit messy in this pic.
I wasn’t sure if I’d like a cruise just because of the time crunch you have at each port, but it was a great way for me, and my mom especially, to see a lot of Europe without the worry of how we were going to get from Point A to Point B.
I would definitely do another Celebrity Cruise. I am trying to convince my boyfriend to do a European cruise with me, but he isn’t on board… yet! He’d rather drive around the beautiful countrysides, and I totally get that side too.