October 2017, Touristicogay goes aboard the Celebrity Reflection. The next 11 days we will visit beautiful cities in the Mediterranean and notice the gay friendliness of this cruise agency.
The ship and the cabins
Celebrity Reflection is a Solstice-class cruise ship and with more than 3000 guests on board it’s a floating city. One of the goals of Celebrity is affordable luxury… and they show that with the big X in their logo.
We recommend taking at least a cabin with a balcony. Enjoy the sunset or drink a glass of wine when you reaches one of the beautiful destinations. When you take the upgrade to the concierge class or suite class, the crew spoils you every day with snacks, drinks and special events like a sail away on the helicopter deck…. an incredible experience.
The cabins and bathroom are spacious, the beds comfortable and the sheets and pillows are blessed to sleep. Your personal attendant cleans your room 2 times a day and helps you with a smile when you have a question.
We only eat in the complimentary restaurants: buffet and main restaurant. The buffet restaurant is very spacious and a lot of different kitchens you can try. We were a little bit worried that after 11 days, we always would taste the same food, but the crew tried to bring every day something new. You also have different food stations… so no long queues.
The breakfast was varied and also here, many choices like eggs of your liking. They also had a healthy breakfast on the terrace.
The main restaurant is still with a first and second seating. If you are solstice class or higher, you can chose… but a reservation is necessary. Every day you have a new menu and we tried many of them. But many guests on the ship are American, the food too…
European’s have a different taste and sometimes you get crazy combinations like a shrimp cocktail with ketchup. In Europe we also have different kind of pastries and the European food was not always made like we know it. Is that bad? No, and the waiter will surely listen to the way you like your food on the plate. The same problem you will find in the buffet. Some European dishes are made the American way, so sometimes we had a strange taste.
If you like something special, just take one of the specialty restaurants. You get offers almost every day in your room.
If you’re staying up late, other companies serve food 24 hour, here only untill 1 am. So be sure you eat enough before partying.
The bars and entertainment
Celebrity is a modern luxury company, so no water slides here or big parties. Relaxing on the pool, enjoy the hot tub or the sauna, read a book or take a drink on the bar with live music. That’s why you go with Celebrity. We (and many other guests) liked the Martini bar (with an ice bar) where the Asian boys entertained the guest every evening with great cocktail shows. Loved it!
The most dance events took place on the floor of the grand foyer: special dance shows, parties, etc. The party goers can party at the sky lounge with a great dj and the theater is the place to be for wild entertainment.
Celebrity is not a party company, but despite that we had great shows in the theater and they even had their own productions. But… do not think you can party till 4 am. You are sailing with older guests, the bars close at 2am at the latest.. (maybe different during the summer holidays).
Every day you get a newsletter with the program of the day. Also here, you are not on a party ship. You find enough to do while at sea, but its smaller than for example on Royal Caribbean.
The LGBT friendliness on the cruise
Celebrity is mentioned as one of the most gay friendly cruise agencies in the world. LGBT people choose this kind of cruise because they do not like the big party cruises like ‘Atlantis’. They like to meet other LGBT people on the ship and enjoy a nice time either alone, with their partner or a group.
On the first day Celebrity organizes a LGBT social hour at the main bar. They announce it in the daily newspaper. The other days of the cruise you can find the LGBT social hours on the message board at guest relations. For sure, it’s a good idea of organizing this event to meet other LGBT people on the cruise… but the main bar is so crowded at that time that you not can socialize with other LGBT guests. You do not even know who is gay or not. Other cruise companies organize this event the first day with a member of the staff. Not everyone is so assertive to talk to strangers. A staff member can break the ice.
The gay-friendly destinations
But you chose this company for the destinations. And in this cruise many LGBT friendly cities to visit. We make a selection of it.
Spain has been known as a gay-friendly country. In our program was the beautiful city of Barcelona with an overnight stay. During the day you can enjoy the beauty of the city with the Ramblas, Sagrada Familia and the delicious food. But in the evening the city is known for its huge and vibrant gay life. Barcelona, a city that never sleeps!
A famous destination is Nice at the Côte d’Azur. You arrive at Villefrance. With the bus or the train you can visit the beautiful city in less than 30 min. Take a walk in the shopping street before you enjoy the hot weather at the beach and its nice boulevard. But before you leave to the ship go visit the tourist office and ask for the gay map. The next time you are in Nice you will definitely visit the vibrant gay life of this city. Also visit their website for the latest events.
Malaga has been known as one of the most beautiful cultural cities in Spain. For the short time you are there visit the house of Picasso and make a walk on the promenade. The next time you come back just take the metro and in 30 min you are in Torremolinos. This beach city has an amazing gay life and 2 gay beaches.
When you arrive in Cartagena take a tour to Murcia. The historical city is fascinating and known for its Casino and Cathedral. But try to come back for the nightlife. Many LGBT’s visit the city for the gay life.
Ibiza is a vibrant island during summer. When you are a party animal, come back! After summer you better take a tour to see more of the cultural part of this island.
Celebrity or Royal Caribbean?
Many people ask me which company is the best: Royal Caribbean or Celebrity? First, they are both LGBT friendly and Royal has been chosen as the most gay friendly cruise agency of 2016.
But it all depends what you like on your cruise. For partying, water slides, shows, big entertainment and a younger crowd Royal Caribbean is the number one cruise. They even have the biggest cruise ships in their fleet. But if you like a little bit more luxury, a long stay at the destinations and a great kitchen then Celebrity is the cruise for you.