Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by Trav100: One of the best yet!
Overall Member Rating
One of the best yet!
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: San Diego
I plan to give an all round honest review that I think will be reflected by the majority of passengers that we met on this cruise. We were a mixed age group of 45, 49, 71, & 72. We had two balcony cabins on Vista Deck which is quiet because it's only staterooms above and below. For information, our 7166 and 7163 staterooms have bigger balconies than normal so good buy!
Before sailing we read some negative comments about Infinity and thought we would be disappointed second time around (we sailed Infinity to Alaska about 6 years and had a great time) but it was quite the opposite, yes the ship is getting older but it is still elegant and very clean and well maintained and our all round experience onboard was just as good as the first time.
The best thing about Infinty that is consistant from our first experience is the high level of service and excellent food. Please don't listen to the negative reviews that can spoil your build up to boarding, all I can suggest is More that these reviews are written by people that are ultra fussy about things that don't matter to the majority (such as bridge games), maybe they should pay four times more and take other cruise options that will suit their needs better? We witnessed many rude people who spoke to waiters and servers as if they were second class citizens, the staff are superb and go out of their way to be helpful - these guys work really hard to make your holiday/vacation so try saying please for your eggs in the morning or thanks for your drinks!
Boarding at San Diego - not too bad (but not the best embarkation we have had), having checked in online beforehand helped speed the process. Very busy waterfront area. We boarded about 11.15 and were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine by about noon. We headed for (our local) the Oceanview bar at the back of Dec 10, we were able to have a buffet lunch and a cold beer (or more), the deck overlooked the US Midway Ship which provided entertainment.
Cabins - clean and so clever with use of space. TV. Minibar, etc. Umbrella and bag provided. Daily ice and water. Can use laundry services which are quite reasonable in price - or line in shower dries small items quicky.
Deck 10 - Oceanview Bar is where we met the best staff member without exception - his name is Umit - please say Hello to him from Lynn and gang if you go there, this guy is such a gentleman and he knows exactly what drinks will suit you. Every night before and after dinner the outside back deck became our local for fantastic cocktails under the stars - so much nicer sitting outdoors in the warm breeze than the indoor bars - try it, you won't be disappointed with Umits service - I miss it already and I just got home!
Food - we tried SS Restaurant on two nights which was a really nice experience ($30 cover charge per person), if you are wanting Lobster then I would recommend you order it here, as it was superior to the Trellis' last formal night when Lobster is served, which was okay but a little tough. We also tried the alternative Bistro upstairs ($2 cover) one night and it was good, plus if you don't want to dress formally you can get a nice meal here without the dress-up.
Trellis - Main Dining - we chose late 8.30pm which suited us as Europeans (the Americans like to eat early dinner). We had table 413 on Deck 4 which was a comfy corner table for 4 people by the window and we were served by the excellent Pasek and Catuk? and friendly Somilier, Maniche. These three guys couldn't have been nicer and more helpful - nothing was too much trouble - Pasek was very friendly but professional and Maniche was the nicest wine somielier we have met, he was down to earth and provided helpful advice.
We found the food we chose in the Trellis was between good and excellent every night. They have one side of the menu which appears every night (classic favourites) and the other side has new dishes on daily - from my experience the new daily options were more superior and varied.
A quick mention for Ricky McIntosh - a young Jamaican drinks waiter who was funny and cheeky and made us laugh with his moves and comments! Find him in the Rendezvous Lounge and up on the pool deck.
Buffet- there were two buffet brunches served in Trellis and the food was good but it was quite manic getting served with no obvious lines/queues. The Oceanview daily buffets were okay if you get there at the right time when food is hot and put out fresh - otherwise expect only warm food sometimes. Breakfast buffet options that we found best were the hot made to order omlettes,eggs or waffle station. Healthy options are served in Aquaspa Cafe and seem to be increasing in popularity now.
Breezes Grill - not bad for quick burger/hotdog, onion rings nice and also room service hamburgers and fries good (and hot).
Entertainment - older two of our party went to shows and said they were good. We tried Milos talks about wildlife, nightsky, etc. and these talks were informative and funny.
Tours - we didn't book any Celebrity excursions but chose to book our own locally, better tours and much cheaper. Remember though that if you book locally and are late getting back and you miss your sailing time you must find your own way to next port - so plan well for timings and it shouldn't be a problem. In all the ports there are local tours available within a short walk from the ship.
Ports - I loved the Mexican ports best of all and took local tours. Cartegana was an experience but I wouldn't be interested in stopping there again. Panama day we stayed aboard and were up really early, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Locks - even though it was suppossed to be the highlight, I thought I wouldn't be that interested - how wrong, I really enjoyed the whole day.
Weather - beautiful calm seas for most of the journey, hot humid temperatures in especially Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia - surprisingly dry days through the rainforest areas which was a bonus.
Disembarkation in Fort Lauderadale - is probably the worst I have experienced. We got off late 10.30 due to late flight and we thought the majority of crowds would be gone, big mistake. The queues were very long especially for non-US citizens, anyways got through eventually and it took about 20 minutes ($23 with tip) to FL airport. Tip - when you come out the door they are offering $11 per person shuttle minibus to airport, if you are alone thats good value but one or more passengers take a cab - cheaper and quicker.
This whole cruise has been fantastic and will definitely sail Infinity a third time if the chance comes up. Hope this review helps, please email if you have any questions that I can help with and hope you enjoy your cruise like we did? Less
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Cabin review: 2B7163 Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2B
We had Room 7163 with Adrana who was unobtrusive but efficient in everything, we are very happy. Our in-laws in Room 7166 had Santana who was not so helpful. He was not helpful in any way that was asked for simple requests although he was quite vocal with our elderly parents telling the what they should write in the questionaire i.e. how good he was, etc. They did feel rather bullied into putting stuff they didn't actually feel about Santana's service - in the past they have had extremely goos attendants but they wre5r not so happy with Santana's behaviour and service.Read All Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2B (2B) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Old town lovely area - lots of armed police keep area safe. Other areas very poor and very very persistant street vendors - don't make eye contact if you are not going to buy something they will follow you for miles otherwise trying to get you to buy. I found that out when I asked the price of a T-shirt.
Some poor beggars which I found hard to resist but was told to give to them nakes matters worse - still felt bad though.
Emerald shop which all the tours go through would have been really interesting except for about 30 female shop assistants who stalk you around the shop, you'll see what I mean when you go there?
If you go up the Monestry where the 14 Stations of the Cross are - be prepared for steep hilly roads - scary in those old vans - made it up and down okay though.
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