Celebrity Infinity - Buenos Aires- Valparaiso - January 3-17,2010
My wife and I have traveled extensively but this was our first cruise and we were apprehensive - unfortunately some of our concerns proved correct! Our flights - arranged through Celebrity had us flying from Toronto- Washington(Dulles)- Buenos Aires. There was just over an hour between connections and as most travelers know,these days with security etc.- that is not enough time. We tried to change the departure to an earlier flight ( there were seats available)but neither Celebrity nor the airline (United) would agree. So as anticipated we missed our connection in Dulles. We had to re-book our flight to Buenos Aires for the following night and so wasted a whole day at a Dulles Airport hotel. We phoned Celebrity and were assured that a representative would meet us on arrival at Buenos Aires - but no such representative showed up ( Celebrity even gave us the wrong terminal to meet and we spent a lot of time running back and forth between both). We finally took a taxi - had to wait half an hour for an'official' taxi. There was no Celebrity representative at the dock so we had to haul our luggage through a shed ( my wife had a nasty fall) - on to a bus and finally get to the ship. We were not expected so security had to call up for someone to come down and get us - more hassle.
ON BOARD: Cabin was comfortable- we had a veranda. Cabin stewards and all of the staff were cheerful, friendly and efficient.
FOOD: Good, with a number of eating areas. Fixed seating at dinner was disappointing ( we should have requested a change)
BAR: Expensive - particularly with the extra gratuities ( we also had to pay $22 per day for general gratuities).
ENTERTAINMENT: Generally good
OUTDOOR POOLS: Too cold to swim - indoor hot/tub small pool - crowded.
Our biggest disappointment is that Celebrity has not truly acknowledged the hassles we encountered the first two days. Missing our connection was the result of poor planning by Celebrity and the fact they would not change our flights compounded the problem. We booked this cruise not only to see something of South America - the only area we had not visited - and we particularly wanted to see Buenos Aires.
We have written twice to President of Celebrity - Mr.Dan Hanrahan -but we were informed by one of his assistants that he does not read such letters. We did receive a letter of apology from Corporate Guest Relations- but that was it!! With so many cruise lines to choose from it is highly unlikely that we will ever travel on Celebrity again.
Puerto Madryn - Argentina. We took a trip to Punta Tombo Penguin Rockery- the largest penguin breeding grounds in South America. This the highlight of our trip. It was fascinating to get up close to so many penguins, the guide was excellent. A really worthwhile adventure