Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by weatherman46: Not as good as the Eclipse and Norovirus
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Not as good as the Eclipse and Norovirus
This was a 15 night repositioning cruise from Valparaiso in Chile to Fort Lauderdale via the Panama Canal, from 17 March to 1 April, with one night hotel pre and post cruise stays.
After a long flight from London Heathrow, with a change at JFK, we arrived at 8am in Santiago Chile, and stayed for one night. Luckily our hotel room was ready, so we had a couple of hours rest before going out to explore the city. The hotel was within walking distance of many of the sites, and we really liked Santiago, and would like to return one day to see more.
The next morning we were picked up from the hotel and taken to Valparaiso port to board the Celebrity Infinity. The boarding process was very smooth and efficient, and we were on the ship about 45 minutes after arriving at the port. Our cabin was a concierge 8109 which was reasonably spacious with plenty of storage space. There was a connecting door to the next cabin, and unlike the Eclipse where the connecting doors are in the More corridor, this one was in the cabin. We will not book a cabin with a connecting door again, because we could hear noise from the adjoining cabin, such as people talking, the TV etc.
The ship was very nice, and for the most part the food and entertainment were very good. We were on select dining, and although we usually didn't have to wait to get seated in the MDR, the service was very variable with meal times ranging from 1 and quarter hours to an unacceptable 2 and half hours.
Whilst onboard I celebrated my 60th birthday with a visit to Qsine where the food and service were excellent, and the waiters sung happy birthday to me at the end of the meal. Due to it being my birthday we also had a complimentary meal in the 'Bistro on Five', which again was excellent.
The day after leaving Lima it was announced that some of the passengers had the Norovirus. This meant restrictions including not being able to serve yourself anything in the buffet restaurant, the library being closed, and constant cleaning around the ship. Due to this there were sometimes long queues in the buffet, especially at peak times. We don't think many passengers were affected by the virus as we never met anyone that had suffered from it, and luckily we never caught it.
The ship called at Coquimbo (Chile) for La Serena, Arica (Chile), Callao (Peru) for Lima, Manta (Ecuador), Colon (Panama), and Cartagena (Columbia). We didn't take any ships excursions, but went on several arranged through the Cruise Critic roll call, which were all excellent and gave us the chance to meet some nice likeminded people.
The disembarkation at Fort Lauderdale was chaos, with long queues to get through customs if you were not a USA or Canadian citizen, and it took us over 2 hours from meeting in the ships theatre to making it outside the terminal. We were told this was due to budget cuts by the US government leading to less customs staff being on duty.
We spent a night in a hotel in Fort Lauderdale before a direct overnight flight home from Miami to London Heathrow.
To sum up it was a good cruise, but was spoilt a little by the service in the MDR and the Norovirus problems. The service on the Eclipse last June, when we took a Baltic cruise from Southampton, was much better. Less
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Cabin review: Celebrity Infinity Concierge Class Panorama Deck (8) 8109
Our cabin was a concierge 8109 which was reasonably spacious with plenty of storage space. There was a connecting door to the next cabin, and unlike the Eclipse where the connecting doors are in the corridor, this one was in the cabin. We will not book a cabin with a connecting door again, because we could hear noise from the adjoining cabin, such as people talking, the TV etc.