We flew into San Francisco one day prior to the cruise and stayed at the Tuscan Inn. The Inn is located at the Wharf, just steps from the cable cars, Ghirardelli Square, etc. A very quaint hotel, clean and extremely well priced. Cafe Pescatore next door was really good, atmosphere, espresso and good food were welcome after walking all day. Unfortunately the panhandling in the city was a huge negative. I was born in S.F. and raised just down the bay. I hadn't been home for years and was terribly saddened to see the filth and begging to the degree we experienced. Other cruise passenger's concurred on the begging to the degree that it spoiled a great old city.
We boarded the Infinity the following day to a champagne welcome. That was the last real hospitality we received. Our room had plenty of drawer space. However the bathroom was shameful. The white grouted tiles were black on the bathroom floor and the shower. The shower head was grimy, greasy black. The Shower curtain was always sticking to you - yuch. No magnifying mirror, horrible hairdryer that burned your hand after 1 minute. I did contact the front desk. Several times to no avail. Apparently I'm to nice and should have raised my voice. We met other passenger's with similar problems. They flat had shouting matches with the staff. Some did receive results. Saying I'm sorry for your experience and doing nothing is 5 star hospitality? I'm not even bringing up the dirty curtains, pill-ed bedding. The rough old towels that should have been retired. And our robes,one was stained with yellow spotches - disgusting. i truly believe the automatic tip has ruined good service. They used to work for it. I did go down and remove the tip from my account. Many other did also. That should give the line a clue shouldn't it?
The shows were better in high school, for sea days, bring a book or sit on your veranda and relax. The food was the worst,the coffee was bad. A consensus among everyone we ate with at various meals. The food, bland, lukewarm. A medium rare steak came well done. Mind you I'd ordered the veal. It wasn't available so without asking what they could get me they came up with a steak. We were first seating and always on time at the fixed seating. So the excuse there? I was promised by the asst. maitredumb creme brulee and received jello, shall I go on? Salmon served one of the last mornings was so off and salty I complained. The maitredumb came over (surprisingly) to ask about it. He tried mine after I didn't eat it and agreed it was bad. He also said that everyone that morning was complaining about it.....he said it wouldn't be served again, Score 1. Fish was always "well done" you could count on that. And the lack of good quality food in the cafeteria where they ran out of eggs 2 different morning, along with serving cold corned beef hash? 5 Star at a homeless shelter more like. The cafeteria was flat bad. And no help to carry your tray, or coffee, juice served by the staff like on Princess. The waitstaff was overworked. They ran at breakneck speed, no wonder so many orders were wrong. They were unfriendly in that they had NO time to chat at all with passenger's. Twice we paid $35.00 each to eat at the S.S. United States Specialty Restaurant. The food and service were excellent! But I had paying that much after already paying for our cruise. We did have several meals delivered to the room so we could enjoy the deck, food was cold, or sweaty from taking to long to deliver it. My impression of the non-smiling staff was boredom and under pressure. We also had a problem with someone in the Cova Cafe using our card for extra tips twice after we'd had expresso's. The staff was flip about it. Obviously someone was pocketing the money. And it took two tries to correct it.
The kayaking tour we booked via internet, Ketchikan Kayak Co. was excellent. Our first kayaking experience and now we want to buy our own. A seal, and plenty of starfish, bald eagles, just beautiful. The other tours we booked through Celebrity were all good. The Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest we've done before and was again fabulous. Brown bear, sea otters, whales, bald eagles, etc. Juneau, Whale Quest & Orca included lunch on a beautiful island. The tour got us up close to many whales.
We intend to continue cruising and return to Princess where the staff is welcoming, attentive, fun and the ship isn't dirty, with plastic flowers (NO fresh flowers anywhere) The Conservatory was full of dead plants, and the gift shop staff doesn't sleep walk while your asking questions on items for sale.