Celebrity Infinity - Alaska: Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by emilyb0303
Overall Member Rating
Celebrity Infinity - Alaska
Note: We took the bus from Seattle to Vancouver b/c flying to Seattle was so much cheaper. This worked out for us, b/c we got to explore Seattle a little on both ends of the trip. However, if we had it to do again, we might have just paid the extra to fly to Vancouver. We'd have to run the numbers, but we wonder if the extra cabs, etc. our trip from Seattle to Van. necessitated negated any savings.
Embarkation - We stayed in Vancouver at the Holiday Inn Vancouver Center, which is not the greatest hotel, but I got it on Priceline. Our documents told us not to arrive at the pier until 1:00pm, so we spent the morning before the cruise walking around Vancouver, More including to Granville Island. It was beautiful. We took the hotel shuttle to Ballantyne Pier and were onboard by 2:00pm. Waiting for customs takes some time, but not too much, and it's par for the course.
Cabin - We stayed in Cabin 3068, an outside cabin at midship on the same level as the Guest Relations Desk. It was a nice and relatively spacious cabin, and the bedding had been upgraded. Our cabin steward, Jose Dias, was very good and our room was always in great shape, but he was a little surly, at least to us. We joked to ourselves that he disliked us. He was really the only crew member we encountered who was anything but incredibly kind and friendly. Twice early in the cruise our entire deck lost the ability to flush the toilets, but this was resolved quickly each time. Also once our cabin lost hot water, so I had to go shower in the spa area. Once again, the problem was resolved quickly.
Food - We found the food to be very good by cruise standards. Indeed, I'd venture to say it was the best food I've had at sea (been on Celebrity, Princess, and HAL before). We ate breakfast every day in the AquaSpa cafe (lighter fare) and either ate there or at the main buffet or at the poolside grill for lunch. Dinner was in the dining room every night. We had a table for 2 (by our request - we were celebrating our 5th anniversary and were going for romance on this cruise!) and our waiter was Dwayne and assistant waiter was Filip. Both were excellent. We enjoyed the martini bar and the Constellation Club for before and after dinner drinks, respectively.
Activities - We did our own thing on this cruise, which I think is one of the best things about this cruise. You can always find a quiet place to sit and read. On sea days we used the gym facilities, which are really nice (clean, new Lifefitness cardio and weight machines and free weights), and the thelassotherapy pool.
Ports - In Ketchikan we did the snorkeling adventure excursion. There were only six people on this excursion, probably because a lot of folks think it is crazy to snorkel in Alaska! But with the wetsuits Snorkel Alaska provides, it really is quite comfortable. It was a really neat way to see some marine life and a good morning in a port I would otherwise not be too interested in (very touristy, lots of kitschy shops). After the tour we walked around a bit then headed back to the ship.
In Juneau we rented a car through Rent a Wreck, which I found out about on CC boards. It was the BEST day! The rental was about $50, the Rent a Wreck folks are super friendly and pick you up at the dock, take you to their office and send you on your way with a map. You can do so much more than with a traditional excursion, and the day in Juneau is a long one (7am-8pm). The cars are not the new models you usually see from rental companies, hence the name, but they are fine! We drove out to the shrine of St. Therese, which was beautiful, then to Mendenhall Glacier, which was also great. We walked right up to the waterfall near the glacier. On a recommendation, we ate fish and chips at the Sand Bar & Grill near the Rent a Wreck office. Do not let the look of the place scare you off - the fried halibut (hand caught the day before) was the best fried fish I've ever had. We then drove to the Alaskan Brewery, where we had the brief (free) tour and tasted six varieties of beer. Well, my husband drank and I tasted, so I drove after that! We took the car back to Rent a Wreck (at 4pm), they drove us back to town and we walked around downtown for a few more hours before reboarding the ship.
In ISP we had prebooked a private whale watching tour with Floyd Peterson of FISHES. It was a three-hour tour on Floyd's 35-foot boat. He has the best eyes in the world, pointing out all sorts of wildlife - sea lions, porpoises, humpback whales of course, and even a bear. It was a very good tour! Afterwards, we walked around ISP. It is obviously very touristy but we learned it was built and is owned by a native corporation (we wondered if it was owned by the cruise companies themselves!), and it is a beautiful structure and they have respected the historical character of the place. We enjoyed walking the trails.
Disembarkation - We were among the last to disembark b/c we had neither a flight out of Vancouver that day nor a transfer. Once we got off the ship and got our luggage (easy) we stood in line for an HOUR for a taxi. This was only irritating to us as we were not in a hurry, but for others it was probably more upsetting.
In conclusion, we didn't go to any of the shows but did enjoy some of the musicians throughout the cruise. One other thing I noticed on this cruise was a lot more smoking than on other cruise lines. Is Celebrity more lenient to smokers (I do not seem to recall as much rampant smoking inside and out on other cruises)? We do not smoke and personally are used to non-smoking restaurants and public spaces, so this was just a bit odd for us. We would seek out tables far from the smoke and it was not a big problem, just something we noticed.
Overall we had a great cruise, and my first-time cruiser husband is ready to go again. Less
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