Celebrity Infinity Review
- Pro: Indoor solarium and pool ideal in bad weather
- Con: A variety of dining options, but most for an additional fee
- Bottom Line: A comfortable way to cross the Panama Canal or sail into some sun
Celebrity Infinity Overview
The 90,940-ton, 2,170-passenger Celebrity Infinity debuted in 2001 as the second ship in Celebrity Cruises' four-vessel Millennium-class series. Like near-identical sister ships Celebrity Millennium (2000), Celebrity Summit (2001) and Celebrity Constellation (2002), Infinity debuted with a bevy of once-novel features, including a retro ocean liner-themed alternative restaurant and a lovely bank of glass elevators that offer sea views. These days, however, the Millennium quadruplets have been surpassed in size, amenities and technical innovation by Celebrity's grass-covered, partially solar-powered Solstice-class ships.
To that end, Celebrity has invested heavily in refurbishing the series. Celebrity Infinity has a slew of Solstice-class dining venues, including Qsine (international comfort food), Blu (Mediterranean spa cuisine) and Sushi on 5 (Asian), an iLounge computer lab and balconies, as well as more than 100 spa cabins. As a result, the ship also got more crowded -- 60 new cabins were added in 2011, bringing the double occupancy up to 2,170. Congestion is most noticeable in the Celebrity Select section of the main dining room and at peak times at the buffet; the theater and pool deck can fill up, but they don't seem much more crowded than any other big ship.
Much has changed for the ship in the form of decor and onboard features, but Infinity's most visible alterations focus on the Decks 4 and 5 social hub, which forms a two-floor, shiplong link between the main dining room (aft) and theater (forward). The focus is on casual food and drink options. The old Martini Bar has been replaced with a new version, with a shaved ice-topped bar and juggling bartenders. Cellar Masters, a wine venue with a self-service dispensary system, has replaced the original, staid Champagne Bar. Infinity's old coffee bar has been redone, and the line has added a gelateria.
Despite these significant alterations, the ship still retains much of what has made it a fan favorite, stylistically, for more than a decade. The whimsical art, use of natural woods and lots of glass, especially in the stunning Solarium, have always lent Celebrity Infinity and its sisters an elegant, contemporary air. Those touches remain. So too does the high passenger-to-crew ratio, which has earned the line high marks for service. It's a ship for people who like to linger over dinner, sip a drink in a comfy lounge while listening to music (or doing a bit of ballroom dancing), take in a show or lounge by a pool; high-octane partying and crazy outdoor activities (waterslides, surfing, ropes courses) are not Infinity's hallmarks.
At 2,170 passengers -- compared with 2,850 on the Solstice-class vessels -- those looking for a more intimate Celebrity experience will do well to consider the "mid-sized" Millennium Class. While you give up the Lawn Club area and slightly larger cabins and public areas, you're also not overwhelmed with a dizzying array of extra-fee restaurants (six on Silhouette to Infinity's three). And with Infinity's port-intensive itineraries, sometimes it's nice to have a ship that complements, rather than competes with, the destination.
Celebrity Infinity Fellow Passengers
Celebrity Infinity passengers tend to be sophisticated, well-traveled adults, ages 45 and older. While Celebrity passengers are typically North American, Infinity's itineraries lend themselves to a more international crowd. Long cruises around the U.K. and to the Norwegian Fjords have a British majority, followed by Americans, Canadians and Spaniards. On South America cruises, Latinos from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela are the majority, followed by Americans, German and French. During summer and winter school holidays, more families will come aboard; expect 200 to 400 kids (17 and under).
Celebrity Infinity Dress Code
During the day, dress is resort casual, but Celebrity passengers tend to dress up for dinner -- typically button-down or dressy Tommy Bahama-type sport shirts and slacks for men and dresses or smart-casual pants for women. Formal night on Celebrity has been replaced by "evening chic" in the main dining room. This means that men can ditch the full suit and tie in favor of a sport coat and collared shirt, with designer jeans. Women can wear cocktail dresses, sundresses or designer jeans or nice pants. In the buffet, almost any form of dress is allowed except swimwear, flip-flops, spa robes and bare feet.
Celebrity Infinity Gratuity
Tips aren't included in the cruise fare, but suggested gratuities are automatically added to your onboard account at a rate of $13.50 per person/per day, if you're in a standard cabin; $14 per person/per day, if you're in a Concierge Class or AquaClass; and $17 per person/per day, for passengers in suites. If you would like to adjust the gratuities, you can make do so through the Guest Relations desk. An 18 percent charge is added automatically to all beverage and minibar purchases as well as spa and salon purchases. You can't remove these gratuities but can add to them.