The Family Cruise

On December 28 we boarded the #1-rated cruise line in the world, Celebrity, for a 7 day cruise from Miami to San Juan to St. Thomas to St. Maarten and then back to Miami.

Pictured above (left to right) is Kathy, JP, Randy, Betty, Dede, Andy, Ellie (friend of Lizzi), Santi, and Lizzi.

Our ship was the Reflection, the newest ship in the Celebrity fleet. It took 4 years to build in Germany. We were on the 50th voyage of this incredible vessel. Some facts about this amazing ship:

Occupancy: 3,046 guests
Tonnage: 126,000
Length: 1,063 feet
Beam: 123 feet
Draught: 27 feet
Cruising Speed: 24 knots
Guest to Crew Ratio: Just over 2 to 1 (yes, for every two guests there was nearly one crew member)


Here we are with Betty checking in. Plenty of paperwork is required to take a cruise.  


Kathy and Randy at the very back of the ship with Miami in the background. So excited to set sail.


Betty, Kathy, and Dede excited to leave Miami.


Cruising through the port of Miami on our way to San Juan. We enjoyed cruising for two days before arriving at our first port of call.


The port of Miami is a major embarkation point for cruise lines. Two Carnival ships are seen docked.


Kathy and JP enjoy the views of Miami. No turning back now!


The staterooms were narrow but very comfortable. The shower was the best ever.


This was a typical view from our stateroom deck.


Betty and her kids enjoy breakfast outside at the ship's largest buffet restaurant.


We stayed on the Concierge's deck 9. Every room had champagne waiting on ice. We disposed of it properly.


The outdoor pool. This area was packed on cruising days. An indoor pool was also available if the weather was bad...but it never was.

Seating and lounging areas covered two floors around the outdoor pool. It was fun to explore the huge ship for the first few hours after leaving Miami.


There were many shows and other entertainment every night on the cruise. The Reflection Theater was the largest venue.


Betty, Josh (Evan's son), Santi, Kathy, and Randy wait for a show to begin in the Reflection Theater.


Comfortable seating was abundant on the ship. The ladies enjoy an ice cream while watching the waves go by.


One show we attended was the Newlywed Game. We told the hostess when entering that we had been married for three weeks (had to make something up, right?) We were picked to compete against two other couples that had been married 22 and 38 years. You would think we would be at a disadvantage! 


The men left the stage first while the host asked the ladies four questions. The idea is not to answer the question correctly but rather answer the question as you expect your partner to answer. Kathy laughs at an answer given by one of the other ladies.


When the men returned to the stage, we had to answer the same questions the ladies were asked. Here is Randy giving an answer in hopes it matches what Kathy said.


Guess what? We won! On all eight questions (four each), our answers matched! The host told me that a perfect score had never been achieved on a show he hosted. Here we are proudly wearing our medals. For the remainder of the cruise, other guests would come up to us and say they enjoyed watching us. The show was also recorded and played on the Celebrity Activities channel on all stateroom televisions. 


Before we started the New Year's Eve party, we gathered together in front of a Christmas tree for a family photo. Evan was working so he is not visible.


Great family photo. Kathy is wearing a Beatriz Essential A-Line dress from Herve Leger. 


Since the cruise spanned two years, we enjoyed the added bonus of celebrating New Year's Eve while sailing. The ice sculpture reveals we are still partying in 2013.


The live band kept the 80's and 90's tunes cranked up for dancing. Champagne was free flowing.


Lizzi and Elli danced like they were possessed. 


Kathy, Evan, and Dede looking great at the party.


We made it! We were happy to welcome in 2014. 


I think we started kissing with a few seconds to go in 2013 and just carried it over into 2014. 


Kathy appears a little shorter in this picture because with all the dancing we did, the heels came off! 


One breakfast was served buffet style in the main Opus dining room. The food was plentiful and really delicious.  


Some of the food was artwork!


Even more of the food was artwork!


Some chefs are seriously talented!


Look at that creativity!


Three dinners were scheduled as formal evenings where everyone dressed up. Not sure where the rest of the group was hiding, but we took a great picture anyway. Since you are going to ask anyway...Kathy is wearing a Herve Leger Linden Ombre dress in bright raspberry combo from designer Max Azria.


JP consulted Randy's tie-tying expertise. Look at JP smile in the mirror. It is clear he cannot believe what he sees. We all cleaned up nicely. 


Santi looked like Rico Suave.


Lizzi and JP sat next to each other at dinner one evening. 


Jeremy took a great picture with Betty.


Josh and Lila lean in for a photo. Look at these kids all looking so dapper. For many of them, ordering duck or lamb or escargot was a first-time experience. 


Santi and Josh looking very grown up.


Landon and Randy looking cool in white shirts and blue ties.


Melinda was one of our servers. She was from Indonesia and kept us puzzled with nightly brain-teasers to figure out.  For example, make three toothpick movements to convert four squares to three. I guess you had to be there to understand.


The two Elizabeths get their picture taken with Melinda. 


Nobody played harder on the cruise that Landon. Sometimes at dinner the day caught up with him.


Landon is so good at sleeping that he can do it standing up while riding an elevator.


We took one evening to celebrate Kathy's January birthday.


Could not resist taking this great photo of Kathy and JP. For this formal dinner, Kathy wore Herve Leger Eva Signature A-Line dress in cobalt from designer Max Azria.


Santi thought it would be a good idea to get him photo taken as well with the best-looking Mom on the ship. 


On our final formal dinner evening, the entire wait staff paraded through the dining room. We twirled our napkins in the air as recognition for a job very well done. The service and food every evening was 5-stars. The picture is green because strobe lighting of every color flashed throughout the dining room during the performance.


On some lazy afternoons, Kathy and I chose to hang out on our deck and watch the water go by while munching on fresh fruit, crackers, vegetables, and cheese. 


The cruising part of our vacation was wonderful, and now we are hooked. 


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