Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by 2saskguys: Ship needs help
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Ship needs help
Our 14 day round trip cruise from Buenos Aires to Paradise Harbour (with ports of call: Port Stanley, Ushuaia, Puerto Madryn and Montivedeo)was excellent ONLY because of the ports of call.
Before I talk about the ship can I just ask is it too much for a supposed 'luxury cruise line' to get some DECENT COFFEE ON BOARD...across the ship (including the $4.00 coffees at Cova) were universally tasteless and bland.
The motto for Celebrity must be HURRY UP AND WAIT because that's what we did ALL the time...from a hellish tendering scene at the Falkland Islands (up to 5 hours to get off the ship after being told to wait in the Rendez Vous lounge when we were 'absolutely' ready to get off the ship) to the doors for the 8:45 dinner seating seldom being open at 8:45 to being told to disembark the ship when no buses were ready (and port security unimpressed with our standing around) there was no end to the times when we were needlessly waiting for something that was already More supposed to have happened.
Poor Infinity, she needs to get to dry dock immediately...from the pill-ed bedding to the rusty balcony everything about her (from state rooms to all the public area) seems tired and worn out. Notes and Links don't exist anymore they are just empty rooms where they used to be and judging from the book in the room The Conservatory has stopped being an 'oasis' and is now just an overpriced flower shop...come on Celebrity update your website so we know what exactly is on the ship!!
The caveat to this statement is the art collection (it's AMAZING) and is certainly worth taking the self guided audio tour.
The food was quite good (and some of it, like the soups, were uniformly excellent). The menu included a lot of lamb and duck and seemed more adventurous than some of the other ships we've been on. The portions are generous (and in the SS United States stupidly big)...at times dessert was a chore because the first courses were so large. Running out of mushrooms and spinach within the first week of the cruise seemed unusual and don't order the lobster on the last formal night...and the parade of the baked Alaska seemed to embarrass everyone in the dining room...waiters, sommeliers and dining guests) The sushi bar was a huge HIT and often resulted in 'sushi madness' at 5:00 when it opened...people they aren't going to run out there is NO NEED to push!!
Our dining room waiter was very polite and professional but the dining room itself always felt chaotic...service generally was well intentioned but often didn't hit the mark (our sommelier would be running all over the place throughout the meal and while we understand that there was a LOT of wine being drunk on the ship Celebrity needs to come up with a way to make the life of the sommeliers easier during meal time). The chaotic service was not just restricted to wine service but seemed to be a hallmark of the dining room (or at least the dining room during the 8:45 seating). Our assistant waiter was always disappearing for long stretches of the meal which meant our waiter sort of did two jobs...our assistant was unfailing pleasant and polite but usually 10 - 15 minutes behind in his service to the tables...
Our cabin steward and assistant were very friendly and always efficient (and when something needed to be replaced or brought to the cabin they it was always done within minutes)...it's not their fault that the 2 beds don't really fit together anymore so the 'queen bed' has a big crack down the middle which makes it difficult to sleep for 2 weeks and the bedding, sofa, drapes and most other furnishing have lived well beyond the expiry date.
As I said the ports of call (including the cruising days in Antarctica) was the reason for taking the cruise and for good reason. The programming for the 'days at sea' become (almost) mind numbingly repetitive...the lectures by the on board naturalists were (generally good and extremely well attended) but that was about it. There are only so many wine tastings one can attend (although the walk around the world wine tasting was enjoyable) but there did seem to be a lack of imagination when it came to daily programming.
If you are looking for peace and quiet the Persian Garden is certainly worth the price...although there seemed to be a number of cruisers who didn't understand that a steam spa is meant to be quiet and relaxing...but when they weren't there (talking at full volume) it was great.
The in-house shows were good (the Celebrate the World show on the last formal night was excellent) BUT what was up with the rest of the 'entertainment'...the French juggler was an interesting oddity to watch but really...a juggler!! Anyway to our dismay we ended up skipping a number of the shows because of repetition and quality...the Azure Quartet were very enjoyable but what was up with the a cappella group that kept on interrupting other musical sets (and quite smiling so much it's fake and disturbing).
The ports were amazing but the cruise itself was only fair and I'd only recommend Celebrity to friends with reservations and would only sail with them again if it was a truly unique itinerary and it would take a lot to get us back on the Infinity. Less
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Cabin review: Celebrity Infinity Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Veranda Vista Deck (7)
8161 - great balcony (in that it's larger than most around it and hard for others to see into it) but not great balcony in that it doesn't get sun (or at least in South America) until LATE in the day because of the way the casual dining alcoves stick out over the ship). Deck 9 got NO sun on our cruise but being lower (even deck 7) or at the front of the ship guaranteed more sun for a greater part of the day. Room is fine...not as much storage as some ships and the 'queen bed' has a big crack in the middle which we hadn't experienced on other ships before.
Port and Shore Excursions
Getting off the ship was pure hell...they have to come up with a tendering system that is less chaotic. This is the one port where doing a shore excursion with Celebrity seems rather necessary (otherwise you sit and rot on the ship...up to a 5 hour wait).
The town is charming and the Islands have a lot of history. If you get off the ship early enough there are men and women who can drive you to various penguin colonies...have US $ (upwards of $250/person although some will do it for less) but the gift shops prefer British pounds...
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