May 11 cruise on Infinity.
I wanted everyone to know it took us 1-1/2 hours to get on board. It took our son 2-1/2 hours. Shuttle people said this pier is really not suited for a quick embarkation. If you have a really nice room and special perks then you get in another line which is fast. This is our third time on Celebrity and we got no perks to get into a faster line. NO porters for us. They came out at 1 and did the buses. We had to carry our own luggage into security. WHAT A MESS. Not a way to start a cruise.
We were told back in October that all 12 of our reservations would be linked so we could eat together. Three of our party of 12 spent several hours (literally) talking to Celebrity and to travel agents to arrange for 2 tables of 6 next to each other and we were assured this was arranged. Nope! We were at 3 tables scattered around the dining room. We could not find anyone to help me the first night when we got on board. At dinner the first night, Carlos, the Assistant Maitre d', said he would solve this problem and give me a call by lunch time the next day. No call. Went to dinner 15 minutes early and found Carlos. He said to follow him. He had not done anything to get us a table. We stood while he talked to some woman and she told us she had to help others first. I asked if we could have a table in the anytime dining area and she said they were all full. I told Carlos he dropped the ball and he said nothing. I left after 25 minutes of no help. Later after we had ordered drinks he came and told us he found a table for us. The others had ordered food at their table so they did not join us. The third night all of us finally got to eat together. Carlos never apologized for dropping the ball.
They only serve Atlantic farm raised salmon. Here we are where they catch Pacific wild salmon and you can not get it or any other local seafood on any Celebrity ship. No comparison between wild and farm raised.
NOW FOR THE GOOD:
We had sun shine all but one day.
The food in the dining area was wonderful and served hot. Our waiters at table 411 were outstanding. They have not forgotten to serve the ladies first! Our new Assistant Maitre d', Johnny, was outstanding. He checked on us every night as well as the other tables. Mother's Day, he greeted every woman with a beautiful rose. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek as he said thanks for being a mother. He came with a birthday cake for me and an anniversary cake for my sister. What a wonderful employee! Our wine steward was wonderful also. One wine we told her was going bad. She took a sip and agreed with us and made suggestions on a better wine. She brought laughter every night to our table in one way or another.
Don't miss the galley tour, the best I have been on. They bake the bread 1 hour before it is served!
Formal night: Men, you do have to wear a coat. They will stop you and find a coat for you to wear.
Our cabin was spotless; even in the corners. Infinity was refurbished earlier this year but not in the cabins we all were in. Tables and chairs in some areas of the ship were scratched and looked worn out.
All of the staff was outstanding except Carlos. I was disappointed that at our CC meeting only the cruise director and one of other staff member was there. On NCL ships, we have all of the top officers and usually the captain also came to meet us.
It was great to not be hounded by photographers and bar waiters. Yes, they were there but not hounding all the time.
Don't miss Brent Nixon's talks on wildlife - 5 of them. He is humorous but really gets his point across. Brent will talk while going through the Tracy Arms Fjord. Make sure you are somewhere where you can hear him. Unfortunately you can not hear him outside.
We were 6 couples and we all took different tours. I did not hear one complaint about any of our tours. We all enjoyed every one of our tours. Yes, they were all expensive but they were very good. My favorite was the train ride. We paned for gold first and ended up with over $30 in gold flacks. They did a wonderful job of explaining how to pan for gold. The lunch there was very good. The bus to the suspension bridge was very informative. YOU MUST HAVE A PASSPORT WITH YOU. They come on board the bus and check every one. The Bridge was in the Yukon Territory. We were so very lucky because it was sunny, which is not common. We could see all peaks. Pictures will not even come close to seeing the beauty up there. The train trip back down was great. We stopped twice to pick up people. First were the snowshoers. Our son and daughter-in-law did this. Four hours of showshoeing in the Yukon. They said this was fabulous and the people who give this tour was well prepared and wonderful. They highly recommend this tour. Did not know the other people we picked up but they were hiking.
We saw Orca, sea lions, and seals and one bear on this cruise. I forgot to check with my cousin if they saw any hump backs.
In Juneau, we did eat at the expensive Tracy's Crab Shack. The legs were so fresh and good. I did not care for the crab cakes. I did not find any crab in the 6 we had.
Disembarkation went very fast and smoothly.
Here is a note for pre cruise. We stayed at the Best Western near the airport. Free shuttle to the hotel. You can get a shuttle to the port through them but is not free. What was really nice is if their shuttle is not real busy they will take to you restaurants, Safeway, Walgreens, and other places for free. We tipped each time they did this for us. Our favorite driver was Darrel. He kept us laughing. One couple was upset that he took a while to get them at the airport. He was on other runs. He made sure he picked them up from Dennys in less than a minute. He said I do not want anyone unhappy with his service. He tries really hard to make people happy. We 6 thought he was great. The hotel is trying to make it to a 4 or 5 star status and want to make everyone really happy and they did.