We had never cruised before cruising the Celebrity Century to New Zealand last winter. We were hooked, and made a (for us) last-minute decision to take a cruise on the Celebrity Infinity to Alaska. Late July and early August is a good time of the year to trade Texas for the far north.
We enjoyed being a larger ship this time, with more space to move around on days that were too chilly to walk around on the deck.
The Infinity's public areas are immaculately maintained, and our stateroom was in good shape except for a sour smell from the shower drain. Our attendant worked and worked on this, and improved matters a bit, but really, it was only a matter of leaving the bathroom door ajar, to air out a bit. I do appreciate that the Infinity has diagonal bars on the bathroom doors so they will stay open despite the movement of the ship.
Having found the bed on the Century too hard, I asked for foam padding this time around. Despite getting an e-mail before the trip saying this would be done, the stateroom attendant told us there were no foam pads. He did completely unmake the bed and add a second duvet beneath the bottom sheet, which was a big help.
The cruise director from the Century, Ian Cresswell, is now on the Infinity, and is as sharp and energetic as always. We particularly appreciated Brent Nixon, the naturalist who gave highly entertaining and highly informative programs on the history of Alaska and especially on its animals.
I want to commend Celebrity for providing experienced and environmentally aware naturalists for its ships.
The rest of the staff was amazing, friendly and helpful in every way. There's a good variety of food in the buffet and the main dining room always offered something interesting. We kept intending to try one or more of the specialty venues but just never did.
We enjoyed the stops in Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, and Victoria, even though we were sorry to have to tender in to Juneau. I can only assume that we arrived there so late, after viewing the Fjord, that other cruise ships had the slots at the docks.
We took one shore excursion organized by the ship, "Lighthouse, Totems, and Eagles" from Ketchikan, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We also saw whales and seals, and heard some very informative anecdotes about the area.
I had a spa treatment, and had a problem with the masseuse trying to sell me over-priced lotions and such, but thanks to Cruise Critic, I knew to expect it. A couple of firm no-thank-yous finally turned off the spiel.
I can hardly blame Celebrity for the rain and cold weather in Ketchikan and Juneay, but then, I can't credit them for the amazing display of a breaching whale, either. Or for the sight of a full moon rising over Victoria on a beautiful clear evening.
All in all, this was every bit the wonderful holiday we expected.
I wish we hadn't had to tender in to Juneau. Celebrity ran everything as smoothly as possible, but we still had to wait over an hour to get to land, which cut short our expedition to Mendenhall Glacier.
Crowded but very well-organized. Getting onto the ship was a breeze. Getting off the ship and to the airport took a bit longer, but the bus driver was an entertaining character and we arrived with plenty of time to spare.
We went on an excursion from an independent company called Discover Skagway and thoroughly enjoyed it. The guides were knowledgeable, helpful, and enthusiastic.
A beautiful city and a well-managed port. Friends picked us up and brought us back again after dark. I almost froze waiting on the ramp to get back onto the ship---there was an icy breeze off the water---and wish Celebrity had had two ramps open instead of one. But no harm done.