Background & pre cruise:
We’re 60 year old Australians with 14 previous cruises on different ships (and many different cruise lines) with which to compare. This was a B2B to a Panama Canal transit which was our first cruise with Celebrity.
As we were doing the B2B in a different cabin, we could not find information about when to shift. Finally after some confusion, both the old & the new cabin stewards assisted us. After we packed our luggage that was in the drawers, we realized that our numerous hanging clothes could not be hung on a rack for transportation as they had secure coat hangers – these had to be awkwardly carried by the cabin stewards.
Although we were staying on-board for the Transatlantic, we had to go ashore and join the long line to satisfy US customs. After this lengthy process, we found free internet & supplies across the road from the port at a shop for ship’s crew.
Built in 2001 and refurbished in 2011, the Celebrity Infinity was in a good condition.
Our balcony cabin had a reasonably comfortable bed under which the suitcases fitted.
A night light in the ensuite was handy for middle of the night visits; but, having all the cabin ceiling lights on one switch made night time difficult when one partner retires before the other. The space between the wardrobes and the ensuite could have been wider as the wardrobe doors could not be open when using the ensuite – we prefer the open style walk-in type robe.
We had no problem getting the contents removed from the small fridge supplied which kept our drinks just cool. Our cabin steward was very friendly and seemed efficient at his job.
Food & drinks:
Fixed-time dining enabled us to get to know other couples, one of which we sat with on the last cruise. While we found the standard of food in the main dining room to be excellent we had a waiter who was new to the ship and apparently it was his first time as the main waiter. To make it even worse, he didn’t have an assistant the first night! We felt sorry for him as he tried hard; but he struggled to cope for the whole cruise. The lobster on the formal nights was very enjoyable. Wine choices and price were similar to other cruise lines.
For breakfast & lunch, we used both the MDR and the Buffet. The freshly made waffles at the rear of the buffet were great for breakfast. We felt that the buffet was not as well laid out as RCI and often involved a lot of walking to find the food. The AquaSpa Cafe was a suitable alternative for a quick breakfast. The free ice-cream (not soft serve) in the buffet was very enjoyable.
The one off Grand Brunch in the MDR was a good idea but needed to be advertised better.
Although we didn't use Qsine and the SS United States specialty restaurants due to the excessive costs, we received negative comments from CC members who did.
Staff and service on board:
Although we signed up for the Captain’s Club on-board, we did not receive an invitation to the celebration.
The ship has a full daily schedule of activities and a good selection of guest lecturers (much better than RCI on a later cruise). Through the roll call, we organised cards for every afternoon at sea. The rear port side of the Oceanview Café was available for card playing and cards were available if required from the Guest Relations desk. The gym was well equipped.
A 4 page daily newspaper printed for Australia as well as other nationalities was popular and much appreciated. The availability of having your account on the TV in the cabin was handy.
There are no coin operated launderettes on board and unfortunately the $20 laundry bag special is only available to Select & Elite passengers.
On cruises we enjoy the shows in the evening. The singers & dancers did a superb job – especially impressed with their Irish dancing in the final show, “Celebrate the World”. The guest entertainers were also good. The little revolving tables between every second seat were handy for drinks. Alejandro from Argentina, the cruise director was a real character and one of the best we've ever had.
Shore Excursions & Destinations:
We normally try to avoid shore excursions organised by ships as we feel that they were too expensive. The 3 private Cruise Critic tours that we joined were great; at Ponta Delgada (mini bus tour of Azores), Cherbourg (mini bus tour to Utah Beach), and Zeebrugge (shared taxi to Bruges).
Everything went smoothly at Harwich with us leaving the ship on time and taking our booked taxi to Ipswich.
Overall we enjoyed this cruise and found all areas to be above average.
As we had problems with this company during the booking process of our first cruise (refer to our review of our Celebrity Infinity Panama Canal & Central America cruise), we are unsure if we would cruise with Celebrity in the future.