It started with the plane ride. We had a 6AM flight (booked thru Celebrity) which which got us into Miami at about 8:30 AM.
There we waited for 3 hours in the baggage claim area of the terminal for the Celebrity transfer. There were between 8-10 seats in the baggage area. Picture some 60 senior citizen types perched on the edges of the baggage carousels.
I felt sorry for the people who arrived at 6 AM on the red-eye from LAX and had to wait 5 hours for the transfer. This could have been managed better.
At 11:30 AM we were taken by bus to port in Ft. Lauderdale where the Infinity was docked.
I have always thought that Celebrity's check-in was top notch. Not so this time.
At the port terminal, with the line winding outside for two city blocks, the check in took two hours. Then another 30 min wait for the ship to open. Once on board, another 3 hr wait to get into rooms - this because of extra cleaning due to a stomach virus. Now nobody wants to get sick, but a rolling room cleaning, in which each floor is opened up as cleaned, would have alleviated the overcrowding in the public areas.
But then we were off! The itinerary is a good one. The pity is that Peru and Chilean immigration authorities are not helping tourism.
Before landing in Manta, Peru, we were informed that the Peruvian authorities would want a face to face inspection of the passports. We arrived the evening before our scheduled time. The face to face inspection of the passports never occurred.
When we arrived in Arica, Chile, we were told that another face to face inspection would occur and that we would not be cleared until 3 p.m. As it turned out, we were cleared around noon but the longer excursions had to be canceled. The Arica Tourist Board, however, was first rate-- and provided dockside entertainment for an hour before we left.
In La Serena, Chile, which was a port where we were tendered ashore, was in my mind a disaster. It took us over an hour and a half to get ashore. Our Celebrity shore excursion, delayed by an hour, raced along but managed to finish on time for the return tender. It need not have hurried, because we had to stand in line for 2 hours to get the tender back.
As far as the cuisine was concerned, it was up the standards of previous Celebrity sailings except in the area of refreshers and desserts. The sorbets that were served were about half melted and the Baked Alaska was also partially melted.
However, the evening entertainment was superb. The Celebrity production shows were the best I've seen on any ship so far. The singers and dancers were particularly good and the production shows were very well choreographed.
Both the wait staff and the cabin attendants were also exceptional - very professional and courteous. They could teach a course on customer service .
OK and the pool in the covered spa area --wow! It is toasty warm. Loved it.
We have scheduled two more Celebrity cruises this year. Hopefully this trip was just an aberration.