June 11th marked our 40th anniversary. We sailed on our actual anniversary date. It was my husband's 1st cruise; my 4th. He had always wanted to go to Alaska.
We arrived in Vancouver, BC in the wee hours of the 10th and spent the next day and 1/2 touring that magnificent city. We took a sea bus over to the other side of Vancouver and crossed the Capilano Suspension Bridge and took a cable ride up to Grouse Mountain and crossed back over and had a most delicious and atmospheric dinner at a Thai Restaurant in Gas Town.
The next day was our anniversary. We walked out the back door of our hotel and boarded a bus which took us right to Stanley Park where a chef made us a "special order" breakfast. Then we took a hose-drawn carriage ride around the park. Finally, it was boarding time. We took a cab to Canada Place where several ships were boarding. We were Concierge Class. Although the lines appeared long, boarding was a snap! We felt so special as we were escorted to More
our room which was more than ample and had our own deck. Our Concierge hostess greeted us with fresh flowers (even a rose in the bathroom too), fresh fruit, champagne, and wine. I have been on other ships and never received this kind of treatment. There were even plush terry cloth robes for our use. We asked for, and received, a table for 2 which was located on the upper level, overlooking the lower level, with the musicians "right there" next to us.
Our waiters were "outstanding". The food was "superb". Both were the best I had experienced in my 4 cruises. For our anniversary, we were treated to a chocolate cake and a song. What a nice touch! The only night we did not dine in the Trellis Restaurant was when our travel agent treated us to dinner at the U.S. United States, an exquisite dining experience. Breakfast and lunch found us in the Spa area where they had a food bar (more healthy offerings)and delightful seating with a view. The spa area was our favorite part of the ship. There was this soothing and relaxing pool for adults only. It was a "pool" the warmth of a hot tub with therapeutic attributes, plus there were 2 hot tubs besides. Then there were wooden chaises, some bordering the panoramic windows, with pillows and blankets for severe relaxation. All of this was sheltered with warmth. It was refreshing and delightful!
We are not big participaters, but we did so enjoy the nightly entertainment. The Celebrity Singers & Dancers were superb, the specialty dancers unbelievable, the comedian (Matilda from Jamaica)hilarious, and the pianist (Brooks Ahrens) stupendous. Yes, we were very pleased.
Let me tell you about the ports. We loved Ketchikan: My husband went fly fishing in a stream not far from down town. He did not want to fly in a small plane and he did not want to go salmon fishing. He had the time of his life with his 18 yr. old guide from The Hook Up (888-230-7267). Tom Carlin showed my husband undivided attention. Yes, my husband did catch several rainbow trout and salmon, but the "experience" was the true catch. This was not something I booked from the cruise. I found them on line and was so happy with the outcome. I also found, on line, Sea Wind Aviation. Steve & Leslie have a dedicated business of showing tourists a memorable time (877-225-1203). We flew over the Tongass Forest and lighted on a small lake where we set foot on a small island allowing us to take some unbelievable pictures(877-225-1203). I was co-pilot. Never have I been so impressed.
Our next stop was Hubbard Glacier, a magnificent piece of nature: It was a most beautiful day (probably in the 70's and sunny). Everyone was delighted with the spectacular view from every angle. You wouldn't believe the thunderous noise during calving. You have to see it for yourself.
Next was Juneau: The Red Dog Saloon is a must-see. There are jewelry stores "everywhere". It was then I noticed my amethyst was missing from the pinkie ring my husband had given me for my 40th birthday. I was sick. We tried to replace it with little success. Pushing it to the back of my mind, we boarded an old school bus and traveled up to Mendenhall Glacier, not as spectacular but very worthwhile seeing. Again, a most memorable experience. Finally, Sitka, the most beautiful of all the pots: After tendering in, we stopped at the Sitka Jewelers where we left my ring for an hour. After walking the town, we returned. The Jeweler had replaced the amethyst and one prong and only charged us $35.00 and said, "Happy Anniversary". We were so impressed. Then, we proceeded to the ship's shore excursion of viewing sea otters. Now, what's wrong with this picture? You leave a luxurious cruise liner, jump on a large puddle jumper, and spend 3 hours on the water for 3 minutes with the otters. It was a misuse of $234 (for the 2 of us). Doing it again, we would have spent more time in Sitka. Our excursion selections turned out to be far better than the ship's.
Disembarkment was somewhat of a bear, but we were not in a hurry because we were not scheduled to leave Vancouver until the next morning. After arriving at our 2nd hotel, we walked to Granville Island where we got the most spectacular views of the city. While there, we enjoyed the Farmers Market, shops, and street performers. Vancouver is an adventure in itself.
Yes, it was a most memorable anniversary and the Infinity an unbelievable experience. I can highly recommend this outstanding ship and its dedicated staff. Of the 4 different cruise lines I have sailed, Celebrity outshines them all and the Infinity a jewel of incomparable quality. Less