Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by dsuder: Infinity a let down after Solstice cruise
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Infinity a let down after Solstice cruise
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Celebrity wants you to believe that you will have the same experience on the Infinity as on the Solstice. Did not happen for us. We cruised on Solstice this past May in Europe, then on the Infinity this fall, so the differences were readily apparent.
First and foremost: The food - We have cruised on a half dozen lines. After being on the Solstice, we decided that Celebrity had the best cuisine (excluding true luxury ships like Oceania). The specialty restaurants were great, but even the main dining room was really awesome night after night. We're truly picky because my wife cooks practically gourmet at home, so the bar is pretty high for us when we dine out. Solstice did not let us down. BUT - Infinity was significantly below the bar night after night. I often ordered two entrees and end up eating maybe half of each. Dry fish, undercooked lamb, steaks that were tough. The menu choices were not enticing like on the Solstice, and we ended up eating at the buffet for More dinner several nights (which was really good by the way - sushi, stir-fry, Indian food, pasta bar). I don't think we ever missed a night in the dining room on Solstice (12 night cruise).
Royal Caribbean was our favorite before this because of the perks that suite quests receive (concierge lounge, pool seating, etc) plus the food was good. We had a suite on Solstice, but found out that Celebrity has few such perks, so we decided not to spend the extra and settled for Aqua class this time, figuring we could eat regularly at "BLU" specialty restaurant included. Blu made us blue. After the second night we stopped going there too. Uninteresting menu, not real great tastes. Boring. Not sure if it was better on Solstice because we did not try it there. Won't pay extra again for Aqua class, Blu is not really work the extra money. Aqua gets a few small bottle of water daily and a few small extra perks, but not all worth the extra in my opinion.
Big Positive: Celebrity has beverage packages, which take care of all your drinks, even bottled water at night and leaving the ship in port days. Cappuccino in the mornings or at dinner, great fresh squeezed OJ at breakfast, sodas, and all your alcoholic beverages for one fixed price. Makes the cruise "all-inclusive". On Celebrity, get a regular room and buy the beverage package.
Mold in bathroom: we had to deal with nasty mold smell the entire cruse in the bathroom. They tried to fix, but they either could not determine the source, or did not know how to remedy and kill the mold. We at first thought this was just a problem in our room, but when we were offered another room, that bathroom also had a mold smell, although a but less (we noticed under the sink that repairs were done, the same ones they tried in our room). It seems that the showers leak into the walls and cause mold under the sink cabinets (ours had that). We own rental houses, and we have done mold repairs more than once, so we were not imagining this - we are all too familiar with the smell of mold. So we gave up - why move to a room that also has the problem? They really need to get someone to figure this out and be able to fix it. It was really a big disappointment to have that smell smack you in the face every time you walk into the bathroom. of course Solstice is new, so no chance for mold yet (maybe the designed those bathroom better and it will not happen to those newer ships).
Pool: Has a sign that says "No glassware or food in pool". Makes sense, wouldn't want broken glass in there. It does not say "no drinks". I therefore assume I can bring by drink in plastic cup. Get yelled at by staff and an officer, NO DRINKS IN THE POOL!! Feel embarrassed because I read the sign and was following the sign rules. I ask why. He says that they would have to drain the pool if a drink gets spilled in there. I did the calculations: spilling 5 oz in a 6,000 gallon pool is equivalent of two eye-dropper drops in a bathtub. So even if 10 people spill, that's 20 drops in a bathtub. Really? Are they claiming the filters cannot handle .000013 dilution of drink impurities, but is able to filter all the body lotion, sunscreen, soap, and urine that these pools receive daily? I'm on vacation here, and I can't bring a beer (97% water) into the pool? The Solstice staff NEVER gave us grief about this, we we took drinks in there daily. We're 50+ year-olds, not party animals howling and splashing around all drunk and spilling drinks everywhere. Just trying to cool off with a beer in the pool for a few minutes.
Entertainment: good in the Celebrity Theater, but if you want to dance a bit at the pool or before dinner or just hear some rock and roll, good luck. Solstice had way more bands, etc. Maybe they figured this 15 day cruise was going to attract the folks (70+) who just don't care about the music? The average age of this cruise was significantly higher that our Solstice cruise. (no offense to those folks, just the way it was).
Good stuff: staff very nice and attentive, ship was physically updated and looks great. Martini bar was great. Food at specialty restaurant "Qsine" was awesome. Lots of excursions available, easy to book. Buffet had poached egg bar so your eggs Benedict were not all dried out.
Conclusion: we really did enjoy our cruise and we had fun, even though I harp on the negatives. I will only go on the newer Celebrity ships from now on, because the food was such a letdown after Solstice. I am guessing that the newer ships of all the cruise lines and their "A" teams on board; best chefs, etc.. I noticed the newer Carnival cruises had good food too, which surprised me (not a big Carnival fan, had to go on a few with a group). Less
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