BACKGROUND - this cruise was to celebrate my Mother's 80th birthday. My Mother, 2 sisters and myself left our families at home and headed for Miami for the 15 night girls trip.
SHIP INFO - the Celebrity infinity is in fine shape. Embarkation was the quickest we had ever seen, we arrived at the port about 1:30pm and walked right on - not one line! The only part of the refurbishing that we weren't thrilled with was the Martini Bar as it seemed to be set up for couples not groups, so there was never an area for us all to sit together since Mom couldn't sit up to the bar.the average age on the ship was probably late 60's to early 70's. The balcony cabins were great, and once again Celebrity finds ever nook and cranny for storage.
ACTIVITIES- with 9 sea days the inboard activities were very important. We ended up going to the on board art seminars and art auctions (came home with 8 new artworks between us) but they were fun and very informative. The cooking shows were also very good and very we'll attended, you needed to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead to get a decent seat.
SERVICE - once again, the Celebrity service was fantastic with special mentions to the staff at Bistro on Five for making Mom's birthday one to remember.
PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS - we picked up a private tour in Cartagena which was very good value for the $15/person rate. Saw the city sights and took a walking tour throughout the old town and them time for shopping, With a special stop for emeralds. We didn't do antsy thing in Panama as that was Mom's birthday and we didn't want to tire her out. Costa Rica we did a private tour of the rain forest. Quite interesting, but much more strenuous than we were lead to believe. Mom made it through (barely), but had to go to bed as soon as we returned to the ship. In Guatemala we took the ship's Auto Chapin Safari tour which was a huge disappointment. We all thought we would transfer from the tour bus to smaller open vehicles to drive through the zoo, but we stayed on the bus and the windows didn't open so you are trying to take photos through the bus windows. The market set up at the port had some great stuff but the vendors were very aggressive. In Puerto Vallarta we simply caught a cab at the port and headed to the malacon and wandered and shopped. In Cabo, my sister and I did the ship's tour Camel Ride and Mexican Outback which was very good and very informative if you want to learn something about the Baja. They will even teach you how to properly drink tequila!
CABIN - we had side x side balcony cabins (6068 & 6070). The cabins were great, plenty of storage, great unobtructed view from the balcony, and the room stewards took great care of us, especially Mom!
DINING- this was my third Celebrity cruise and although the food was good it wasn't as good as the last two cruises. The staff in the dining room were very good, especially our wine steward Prince. We didn't frequent the buffet very often, but it was always crowded and sometime there were no seats to be found. Our favourite spot for breakfast was Cafe al Bacio and the teas and coffees were definitely worth the price of admission. The subset bar was a favourite for before dinner drinks, as the staff were attentive and the view was amazing! The only speciality restaurant we went to was Bistro on Five and the chicken Cajun crepe is to die for!
ENTERTAINMENT - the entertainment was tremendous. Our favourite was comedian Fred Klett, family friendly and so funny. We were are the theatre almost everyight for the show and were only disappointed once and that was the celebrity stars.
DISEMBARKATION - simple enough and fairly smooth. Unfortunately, San Diego was having a torrential downpour and we all go absolutely soaked getting to the cabs.
SUMMARY- all in all it was a fantastic trip and Mom had "the best birthday ever"! For me personally, a 15 night cruise with only 6 ports is just too long for me. I either need more ports or a shorter cruise.