While a Celebrity cruise to Antartica is an affordable way to see this continent, I would think twice before booking. The first problem is Buenes Aires,the city where you catch the Celebrity Infinity. It's a dirty, dangerous city. American Tourists are charged a $160 fee which must be paid online before you get to the airport. On the two Antartic cruises in Feb. 2013, dozens of passengers reported being victims of crime in the few days before boarding the boat, mostly from pickpocketing. One Aqua Class passenger even had his camera taken during a Celebrity excursion by the bus driver and Celebrity wouldn't do anything to help the passenger get the camera back.
Buenes Aires is a crime-filled city with literally every building scarred by grafitti and every sidewalk has holes and disrepair. There are dozens of scams on the streets, even cab drivers try to give you change with counterfeit pesos or try to drive off with your luggage. Check cruise critic for other examples of crime on tourists. The biggest ones were squirting liquid on a tourist's clothes and then pickpocketing them while pretending to help clean their clothes. Others had jewelry or cameras grabbed while sitting at an outdoor cafe or walking in the street.
Boarding the Infinity was a nightmare. Two and a half hours of people pushing and no organization to set up lines and order. However, once you got on board, the ship was run very well.
Especially noteworthy was the entertainment and the master of ceremonies. MC Alejandro has an excellent sense of humor and did his best to bring great entertainment. The speakers about Antartica wildlife, climate change and other scientific subjects were fascinating, particularly Graham Sunderland who looks like Alfred Hitchcock and shares his droll humor. The documentaries about Antartic explorers were also fascinating. The dancers and singers were excellent and their productions were very entertaining.
Big complaint about the dining room seating. We asked to sit at a table to meet others. Instead we were the only diners at a table for six. After five days, we were forced to move to Select dining because we didn't want to sit alone. all around us at late seating were similar tables of two people at tables for six but no one thought to move us together. The sommelier also forgot to ask for wine orders several times or forgot to bring an ordered drink at the late seating.
The food was very good in the dining room but mediocre in the Ocean View grill on the 10th floor. The Quisine Specialty restaurant was a superb dining experience because of the quality and preparation of the food and the way it was presented. I would strongly recommend Quisine
One of the biggest disappointments was the fitness facilities. For the first five days, more than four of the eight elliptical machines were broken as were a number of other machines in the fitness room. The Infinity did not have the variety of fitness classes that other ships have. The supposed Zumba classes were not Zumba at all.
While the Feb. 17 sailing was blessed with terrific weather and calm seas, 14 days aboard the boat with only four ports was too much time on the seas for my taste. Even in the ports, many of the excursions required four to six hours of bus travel to spend one hour looking at penguins or other wildlife.
Antartic is a good experience if you don't do a lot of walking or like to explore. For the more active cruiser, I would think about spending my cruising dollars on a different destination especially one that embarks from a city that is more hospitable to tourists.