By the time you’re reading this, Celebrity Reflection will have made her departure from Meyer Werft and be on her way down the River Ems (backward, mind you) and out to the North Sea.
Yesterday was an exciting day for me. I arrived at Meyer Werft on Sunday around 9 a.m., and with it being a bright sunny morning, Celebrity Reflection shone just as bright.
It was great to see Nick Weir at the gangway as I boarded the ship. Nick and I have known each other since Celebrity Solstice, when he was our first Cruise Director on our Solstice Class ships. Nick has been filming for us during the building of Celebrity Reflection. Once produced, we’ll share some snippets with all of you.
On Sunday morning, I made my way around Reflection and posted some updates and photos on the Celebrity Cruises Facebook page. I was able to catch the Lawn Club getting her first mowing. The greens keeper was thrilled that we were going to be leaving the yard, as certain parts of the lawn were not getting sun while docked.
While on the Lawn Club, I was anxious to see the changes made to one of my wife’s and my favorite places – the Sunset Bar. Upon first glance, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed. Our new build and design team made a great spot even greater. An elliptical bar is now in the center of the aft deck with all seating having great vistas. As before, the Sunset Bar will provide some of the best “Kodak” moments for our guests.
View from the River Ems lock at Meyer-Werft
After walking around the ship, I ventured off to the narrow lock that Celebrity Reflection needed to pass to start her journey from Meyer Werft. So many people had come from all over Germany to see her off; I even met a couple who had driven 400km (250 miles) from Frankfurt just to witness the event. While at the lock, you could see that the water had risen several feet since the morning and we were getting closer to departure.
Many of us went up to the aft end of the Lawn Club to take it all in. Above us, we saw our friend, Nick Weir, on scaffolding hanging from a crane, getting some final filming from a bird’s-eye view (a cuckoo bird’s, if you know Nick).
Around 3:30 p.m., the excitement began to build as those visiting were told to leave the ship. Around the same time, the tugs arrived outside the locks. The event was about to begin.
The locks lowered, the tugs tied up to Celebrity Reflection, and we began our conveyance. I positioned myself down on Deck 5, right at the aft of the ship in Tuscan Grille. It was like sitting behind home plate. The tugs lined the ship up and we began to “thread the needle” of the lock. In roughly 30 to 45 minutes, the tugs had safely taken us through the lock and we began our journey up the River Ems. The crowds cheered and, in the early evening as we progressed, we were greeted by the town of Weener, where a train bridge had been disassembled for the ship to come through. We then continued through the bridge in the beautiful town of Leer as I ended my day.
The photos here are but a few. We’ve posted many on our Celebrity Cruises Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/celebritycruises, and we will continue to add more there, as I swap photos with my colleagues on the ship.
Today, it’s another sunny day. We have just passed the town of Emden and we continue to make our way to Eemshaven, The Netherlands. The tugs are no longer with us, and we’re being piloted out to sea.
Brian P. Powell
Associate Vice President, Marketing