We flew into San Diego on Saturday and took a cab to Hampton Inn. Since check-in wasn't until 4:00, we left our bags and took a tour around the city and Coronado. When we got back, we checked in and reserved two places on the 11:30AM shuttle to the pier.
The next morning ate their complimentary hot breakfast and then walked three blocks to Rite Aid because I had forgotten my cosmetic bag. We checked out around 11:00 and took our bags outside. We left at 11:15 and took the short ride to the pier where we got an unhappy surprise - the Infinity had been delayed until afternoon because of an emergency medical evacuation. We then gave a porter all our bags, including carry-on, which had cabin 2106 tags on them.
We then went into the terminal and were directed to an Express Check-in line. When we got to a representative, we showed our passports etc., and she said that our key cards were for cabin 6047 - - Yippee, the upgrade fairy had visited us!!!!! (this was our second time on Infinity, and the second time we received an upgrade from outside to balcony)
We decided to stay at the terminal instead of taking another tour. Celebrity had finger sandwiches, desserts, and beverages. We found a seat and people watched until we finally got to board at about 5:30. On the way up the platform to board, the ass't Maitre 'D was handing out tickets for early or late dinner for that evening. We took early, were taken to our cabin by our ass't steward, Sydney. (our steward was also named Sydney) We washed up and headed for the dining room. When we got back we explained to the Sydneys that we had been upgraded and gave them our former cabin number. As the evening went on, we kept checking outside and checking back with Sydney when we saw him -- but no luggage. We were exhausted, so went to bed early. The next morning, still no bags, so hubby & I schlepped down to 2106 where, presto, there were our bags. We took three up and informed Sydney that the other three were still downstairs.
FOOD: We ate all breakfasts and lunches at the Oceanview Cafe. Good variety and always very palatable. We ate all dinners in the dining room at table 404, where the waiter was Dwayne, ass't was Rafin. The dinners were good to excellent. I can't say enough good things about our tablemates, Denise and Jim from Canada, and Sheila and Kevin from the U.K. We closed the dining room most nights, and laughed so much our sides were sore!
ACTIVITIES: There were two Cruise Critic parties, because the first had been scheduled for 10:00 a.m. and the muster drill was at 10:30 a.m. There were all kinds of activities all around the ship every day. We attended lots of trivia sessions which had more people participating than on any of our previous cruises. Since I am an avid reader, I read five books during the two week period.
ISLANDS: (MAUI) On Friday, we tendered at Lahaina Maui. We had not booked a ships tour, so just off the pier, we noticed Sean of Coastline Limousine, and booked a three hour tour, which lasted four hours, probably because Sean, the owner, was our chauffeur. He is very informative, and we had a great time and learned a lot about the island, culture, and prices of housing etc. Would highly recommend him!!!
(KONA side of big island HAWAII) On Saturday, we tendered into Kailua-Kona. No tour, so we walked and shopped.
(KAUAI ISLAND) On Sunday, we docked at Nawiliwili, no tour booked again. We decided to walk instead of taking the shuttle. We walked, and walked, and walked -- no town -- along a dangerous highway with no sidewalks. We finally found Hilo Hatties and took their shuttle immediately back to ship.
Once there, we saw the rep. for helicopter tours on the dock. We decided to do an hour tour with Island Helicopters. WOW, WOW, and WOW!!!! Our first time on a helicopter. The scenery was amazing. Waimea Canyon is breathtaking. We were taken into the dormant craters, right up to the wall before turning around and heading out.
(OAHU)On Monday, we docked at Honolulu. We had a ships tour to the Arizona and City tour. The Arizona is awe-inspiring. After all these years, the bubbles coming up, and being the final resting place for 1200 men, really mind boggling.
(HAWAII - big island) On Tuesday, we docked at Hilo. We had a six hour ships tour of Volcanoes National Park. Our bus driver was "the Big Kahuna". We had a great time with him. He is very knowledgeable and has a good sense of humor, and makes a long six hour trip enjoyable.
We stopped first at Mauna Loa macadamia orchard and candy factory, where we had to buy a box lunch, since there was no other place to stop for food. We also stopped at an orchid nursery and gift shop before we went to the National Park. After the park, we went to the Punch Bowl, and then out to the lava flow site that looked like a scene from Hell with the steam and black lava devastation. We finished the tour with the stop at Rainbow Falls.
SAIL OVER & BACK -- The first three days very choppy with up to 40 mph winds. Many passengers were seasick and confined to their cabins. The last day at sea and the trip back were fine.
OVERVIEW - This cruise was absolutely fantastic. Infinity and all its crew members are as wonderful as when we sailed her in 2001. Since we had such great tablemates, we couldn't wait for 8:30 to arrive each night. We enjoyed each of the islands, and they were all amazing in their own way. We would certainly like to return some day. I would be happy to answer any questions.