Despite Breeze, Time for Reflection

We had to make sure we heard right when talking to the young man in the elevator at the Marriott Miami Biscayne. On the way to the 30th floor, we had been talking about cruises, since that's what brought us to this hotel. On the way from the airport, we noticed several billboards that trumpeted the Carnival Breeze as "Miami's new hottest destination."

"So the Breeze is here," we said.

"Yes," he replied. "It sure is. It's so strong it can blow you right off the balcony."

Oh…that breeze.

A lot of people are coming to Miami to see — and ride — the other Breeze, the biggest cruise ship Carnival has ever ported here. With the billboards, strategically placed between the airport and the Port of Miami, you'd think everybody knew about it.

All of which makes it a little problematic for Celebrity to attract attention as it launches its new ship, the Reflection, soon to sail weekly trips to the Eastern Caribbean. Some of us are here to see — and ride — the Reflection, the fifth and most magnificent Solstice Class ship, all of which are magnificent. How it compares to the Breeze doesn't matter much to people who like to cruise, because the two have different demographics.

The Reflection has been sailing in Europe since its sail-out in October. It crossed the Atlantic in the middle of last month and has made a couple of short cruises into Caribbean waters as an introduction to travel agents, media and friends of cruise people.

So far, it's being viewed as a winner, and not just because it won't blow you off a hotel balcony. To people who are familiar with cruise ships, they know that by one word.

Solstice.

Note: We're also covering the North American debut of the Reflection for our colleague Phil Reimer this week. You'll find more from the new ship at www.portsandbows.com.


Norwegian Dawn
7 nights
February 3, 2013
Tampa (return): Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Inside: $449
Cost per day: $64
www.ncl.com
 

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