Good morning from the beautiful Celebrity Reflection. We departed Venice last night and are steaming towards Dubrovnik, Croatia for a noon arrival. Dubrovnik, the first of many European ports on our 14-night itinerary, will represent my first visit to Croatia.

We arrived in Venice via Trenitalia and proceeded outside the station. If you turn right, and walk across the bridge towards the Piazza di Roma, you will see signs directing you to the People Mover. For 1 Euro per person, you can then ride the People Mover (which is simply a tram system), to the Maritima Cruise Terminal stop. From there, it is a 5 minute walk to the terminals. It was raining the day we arrived, so we elected to wait for the Celebrity provided bus to transport us the remainder of the way to the ship. If I had it to do over, I would have walked in the rain and avoided schlepping onto the bus with the 50 other people….rain or not.

In any event, we were in front of the terminal soon enough. There was a small line to drop off your luggage, and then we entered the terminal. Once upstairs, it was obvious that we were not the only ones to have arrived early. It was a bit of a chaotic scene as the queues were jam-packed with people. I’m not certain if they were late beginning check in because the Italian immigration authorities were slow to clear the ship’s disembarking passengers or not, but it did appear that way.

We were directed to a sitting area, where we remained for about 15 more minutes before the check in lines began to move. Once they did, we were processed fairly quickly, and then went on to security. There was a bit of a wait as the gangway was backed up with passengers, but I would estimate the whole thing took no longer than 10 minutes. And we finally stepped onto the ship. I found my previous Solstice Class experience to be very impressive. Simply put, these ships are beautiful, and Celebrity Reflection continues that tradition. Elegant, stunning, and cool. Three words that don’t necessarily fit in the same sentence, but all of which accurately describe Celebrity Reflection.

Celebrity Reflection, the last of 5 Solstice Class ships rounding out the Celebrity fleet represents a few firsts as well. In comparison to earlier ships, Reflection is one deck taller. And most important to me, Reflection also introduces Celebrity’s first Aqua Class Suites. This is important because I booked one of those suites for MrsMJ and me.  🙂

I would say the biggest difference between the Suite and a standard Aqua Class room is the size. Our room is noticeably more spacious than the standard Aqua Class room we enjoyed on our Celebrity Equinox cruise in the summer of 2010. We have a full-size sofa, ample closet space, large bath with tub, and a butler. Yes, a butler. Not sure what how we will use a butler, but I am sure we will figure it out! Here are a few pictures of the room.

Our itinerary included a night in Venice. In other words, we boarded on Sunday, but did not depart until Monday evening, so we had a day to enjoy Venice which I will cover in a separate post. So far, I am very impressed with Celebrity Reflection. Warm and caring crew, top notch service, and excellent entertainment are the rule here. I am really enjoying our cruise. One of our favorite features of the Aqua Class staterooms (suite or standard) is dining in Blu. Suffice it to say that experience has not disappointed, and has earned a blog post all it’s own as well. I will be blogging as close to daily as possible during this trip with details about the cruise, and specifically our port days as we have a really phenomenal series of ports in store.