Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by Appinhighlander: Very Plesantly Surprised!
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Very Plesantly Surprised!
Although we have previously cruised on Cunard, Costa, and Carnival---this was out first experience with Celebrity. The Celebrity Infinity is a moderate-sized vessel, with something for everyone, and we were anxious to compare this voyage with other experiences. The boarding process was delayed for nearly four hours due to a modest outbreak of the norovirus during the Infinity's passage from San Diego, CA, to Miami via the Panama Canal. The extreme top-to-bottom sanitization required a delay in departure---and that was the only blotch on an otherwise wonderful experience. We reported to the ship around 2:00 pm as instructed, but were then left stranded in a very hot waiting area for several hours with thousands of other passengers. Once aboard the Infinity, we struggled (with others) to find a dining place in the buffet area, as this was the only area available for luncheon and was flooded with several thousand guests (overloading the seating capacity). We were finally able to access More
our cabins at approximately 6:00 pm.
After such a tumultuous beginning, everything for the remainder of the voyage was wonderful! Our inside cabin (a first for us) was roomy and comfortable, the entire ship's crew was courteous, attentive, and friendly, and the ship's facilities were very good. One of our chief evaluation criteria (aside from cleanliness and maintenance of the staterooms and common areas) is food . . . and we were not disappointed. Although dinner was the only "fixed" seating (time and location) in the Trellis Restaurant for our option on meals, we found even the open-seating breakfast provided a good selection of starters, main entrées, and deserts. The Oceanview Restaurant buffet provided a more relaxed and varied option for lunch and included several gems such as the sushi and Asian food selections. The open-seating lunch in the main Trellis Restaurant had a somewhat limited menu---but the entrées available were delicious. We were slightly disappointed that the ship did not appear to enforce any dress code for dinner . . . we are adults and do not mind "smart casual"---but flip-flops and swimming shorts with a T-shirt is too casual for the formal dining room. Gentlemen should have at least on pair of slacks or chinos, a collared shirt, and a sports coat or blazer (in my humble opinion). Thankfully there were no wet T-shirt contests or keggers on this voyage!
On previous cruises, we have been focused on the "us" factor and normally preferred to dine as a couple and not become involved in many of a ship's other activities and entertainment. On this sailing of the Celebrity Infinity, we dined regularly with two other couples and quickly became friends. We also attended most shows, participated in trivia quiz games, "battle of the sexes" competitions, and a shipboard "Newlywed/Not-so-Newlywed" competition---and we had a blast. My wife was able to form a writer's group with some other like-minded passengers, and I also made friends at the Martini Bar. All in all, our voyage was enriched by these experiences.
We did participate in an organized excursion in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and but took to our own initiative to explore Cobh (the Cork, Ireland seaport) and to have lunch with a close friend in New York City [out of sequence---sorry].
Disembarkation in Harwich, England, was relatively smooth and trouble-free.
FINAL VERDICT: A very enjoyable relocation cruise---extremely reasonably priced that exceeded our expectations and left us wanting more . . . so we will be cruising again with Celebrity Cruises.
NB: Soft-sided, floppy duffel-style luggage is at risk during the loading/unloading process due to the use of conveyor belts . . . so be aware! Also, the shore excursion in Halifax to "Peggy's Cove and the Titanic Cemetery" was pleasant, but needed to be one hour longer---not enough time a Peggy's Cove. Also, the beverage package is great if you are a heavy drinker of wines, spirits, etc.---but if you are not a 5-6 drinks/day person, skip this---you'll save money overall.
Tips: You can walk into downtown Manhattan from the dock, as also possible in Cobh. In Halifax, consider renting a car for the day and driving yourself to places of interest. Even with the fuel, this is much more economical for two or more people traveling together (car + fuel is less than cost for one shore excursion. Less
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Cabin review: Celebrity Infinity 3034
Stateroom was spacious (for an inside cabin), cheerful, well lighted, and comfortable. The cabin attendants were outstanding [shout out to Lezly and John Paul!]. A hair dryer is located in each stateroom, so no need to carry your own for shipboard use.NOTE: There is no onboard guest laundry facility, so either pack many daily consumables or be prepared to pay for laundering.
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