We sailed Infinity to Alaska 8 years ago and were looking forward to an enhanced trip after her update. I'll start my review with the very few positives:
We always choose Concierge for the better cabin locations and slightly better service. Because we wanted to spend as much time on the balcony as possible sailing Alaska, we choose an aft cabin on deck 8, which was by far the best location for this itinerary. It has an extra long covered balcony which kept us dry in rainy Alaska, but when the weather cooperated, we were able to get panoramic views out the aft of the ship. The wake was amazing! For those considering aft cabins, choose this deck. Deck 9 gets noise from the ocean grill directly above and is not private. Deck 7 is too close to the family suites below on 6. The room feels spacious and the closet is huge! Storage was very good for two people.
The other advantage to Concierge is the preferred debarkation. The ship tenders in Juneau and because of the late More
arrival if you don't have preferred debarkation you risk missing your excursion. And getting off on the final day is almost pleasant because you wait in the SS United States dining room with coffee and pastries. So for those two perks, I would recommend Concierge class.
As others have mentioned, the late afternoon snacks are awful, the fruit plate is average, and the "flowers" are tiny and only changed twice. Our cabin attendants were prompt to clean but very slow for all other requests. We received a gift of two bottles of RED wine when our children had ordered WHITE. It took 4 days to get these exchanged. It took 3 days to get down pillows, and the mattress topper that would have made the bed tolerable was no where to be found.
The absolute best experience we had was in Qsine! Do not miss this specialty restaurant. We had an enjoyable FOUR HOURS of tasting all kinds of food, and sat at the window watching the inland passage of Alaska pass by. A TEN!
Our itinerary was amazing, even though we had dreary weather. Tracy Arm is hands down so much better than Hubbard Glacier (saw that in 2006). And a big thumbs up on the ship's excursions. Even though they were expensive, they were worth the money for us (train in Ketchican and misty fjords float plane in Skagway). We took an unsponsored excursion in Juneau that was given rave reviews on these boards. Captain Larry - Orca Whale Watching. Very disappointed - we did see whales but he kept his boat very far away from the pod where other boats were almost close enough to touch the whales.
We found the staff to be hot and cold. Our dining room servers were rushed and not personable. The bar servers were rude. But the shining example of good service and attitude was Cafe Al Bacio. Hats off to that whole staff! We had lots of specialty coffees here and their little sandwiches for lunch were perfect!
And the absolute best experience was Brett Nixon's talks and narration throughout the cruise. Don't miss one!
On the down side (very, very down), our experience at the SS United States was abysmal. If you decide to have dinner here, take note: When you are seated for dinner, they will bring a cart by with 4 bottles of Champagne and ask if you'd like a glass. The way they presented, it seemed it was complimentary so even though we're not huge Champagne drinkers, we accepted only to find a charge of $27 per glass on our bill! I ordered chardonnay and was served pino grigio in a red wine goblet. We were a party of four. One ordered lobster, which was prepared table side. Two others ordered dover sole, again a table side preparation. The last order was for rack of lamb. The lobster was prepared first, and then whisked away to make room for the sole preparation. Those two dinners were prepared and left UNCOVERED for ten minutes while we waited for the lamb to arrive so they could do the great unveiling of all 4 meals at once. So . . . the lobster was overcooked, the fish was cold, but the lamb was perfect! 1 out of 4 meals at $40 each?
Continuing our culinary disappointment, the food in the main dining room was awful! We ended up either sending most of it back for something else or not eating at all. Celebrity has always been known for its upgraded cuisine but something awful has happened. I heard good things about Blu, the Aqua Class restaurant. Wish we had chosen that. The dining room breakfasts were always good but room service was terrible. Because of the ports, we ate most lunches off ship. Tried the crepes (Bisro on 5) twice but not really impressed and there is a $5 cover.
Although we enjoyed the mini (3/4 hour) music performances in the cafes and bars during the day, the evening entertainment was really bad. I guess we got spoiled the past two years on Royal Caribbean's Oasis and Allure. But on the upside, we loved that the crew got involved and thoroughly enjoyed "Dancing with the Stripes" and the culinary challenge.
I mentioned how effortless debarkation was. I have to say a few words about embarkation. Even though it was a little expensive, we were happy to stay at the Marriott Waterfront because it was right across the street from the pier. We just got a hotel porter to wheel our luggage over. But that's when the pleasantry ended. If you are not a seasoned cruiser, you would not know the first thing about where to go or what to do. No one there from the ship to direct you. The bellman knew who the porters were, but if not for him, I would not have felt comfortable giving my luggage to someone who did not have any form of identification and was just on the sidewalk no where near check in. Check in itself was long and disorganized. You were given a token champagne or mimosa after that procedure, but had to gulp it down and leave your glass BEFORE boarding the ship. No big fanfare or welcome.
So there's my highs and lows. I'm sorry, but I just can't recommend the Infinity right now. But do yourself a favor and GO TO ALASKA! Less