Leaving from Seattle was great because my husband and I left from Charlotte 2 days before sailing on July 30th in order to take in Mt. Rainier National Park and we are so happy that we did. Majestic scenery in the park at every turn. Be sure to drive all the way up to Paradise Inn. It was a couple of hours drive from the airport in our rental car, which we only kept for 24 hours. More than enough time and stay at Paradise Inn, not for the accommodations, but for the scenery up at the tree line.
Stay at the Marriott Waterfront Seattle which is right across the street from pier 66, where the dock is for the Infinity. Their bellmen couldn't have been any nicer to get the whole family's luggage to the dock. We also stayed there after returning from the cruise to take in more of the sights in Seattle.
The embarkation was the best that my husband and I had ever experienced on all 5 cruises that we have taken by several cruise lines. Celebrity's process was outstanding and everyone was so friendly and no rush. Easy check-in if you have everything printed at home ahead of time and all necessary documentation. My whole family got through by 12:00 noon.
The cabin was the only small disappointment compared to other ships. The sofa was really a chair that converts into a bed, and we like a sofa that both of us can sit on. Some cabins have real length sofas, so be careful that you know which one you get. The sofa/ chair bed was fine for our mother. The balcony was a little smaller than the newest ships.
Celebrity has always had a good reputation for it's cuisine and we were not disappointed. Every meal was terrific! Pizza bar was great,too. The specialty restaurant USS United States was so romantic and the food melted in your mouth. My husband and I both enjoyed that dining room and it was worth the $35 extra fee.
Entertainment was not lacking aboard this cruise. Every act and show was top notch and we wish we could have been in every club at the same time not to miss anyone performing. From the dancers, singers, magic illusions, comedian, string quartet, to the club entertainers, everyone was terrific and my whole family agreed. Even if you missed a show for some reason, you can see it the next morning on the ship's channel in your stateroom. Brent Nixon was very informative during the passage, especially in the Tracey Arm Fjord area.
What to pack? That was a challenge, but remember a heavier jacket (not flimsy), a sweater, athletic shoes, 2 nice outfits, 4 smart casual, 5 daytime, swimsuit, they had robes, and layer yourself off of the ship. When we were cruising during the wee early hours of the morning through the fjord (spectacular), we wore over our PJ's a robe and jacket, hat, gloves, scarf and were glad we had them for the 3 hours of seeing magical landscape. We didn't look pretty, but we were warm enough to enjoy being on the balcony. They had an umbrella in a drawer over the refrigerator bar area.
Everyone aboard was very friendly and helpful except the photo gallery clerks. They seem to be overwhelmed and not as knowledgeable as previous cruises as to photo packages, etc. They did take super pictures!
The excursions were so much fun. We did the Lumberjack Show (Ketchikan), the train (Skagway) up White Pass to B.C. with the extravaganza (take mosquito repellent)at Liarsville where they had lunch and a show, and definitely do Harv and Marv on your own in Juneau for whale watching. They were outstanding and Captain Shawn was so knowledgeable about whales (had a degree on the subject). You have to contact them to make a reservation ahead of time and don't wait. They are not with the cruise line. They are #1 in the area and well worth the money for a fantastic experience. Captain Shawn picked us up right at the dock area and whisked us off to the harbor where our family had our own private boat for the 3 hour tour. Did we see any whales? We sure did and it was truly awesome!! Sharing it with our family alone made it even more special.
Would I take another Celebrity cruise? Absolutely. We have been pleased with Princess in the past and now Celebrity is on equal par for sure, since we had this wonderful cruise to Alaska. The money was well spent and worth every penny! We will never forget this marvelous trip.