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3 Celebrity Infinity Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Antarctica

I would like to describe our (my wife and me) cruise experience in some details. I hope it helps people to select, or not, this specific cruise itinerary, cruise ship and even the cruise line for future trips. Just a trip overview, we ... Read More
I would like to describe our (my wife and me) cruise experience in some details. I hope it helps people to select, or not, this specific cruise itinerary, cruise ship and even the cruise line for future trips. Just a trip overview, we booked a veranda cabin, deck 8, in the Celebrity Infinity, for the Buenos Aires > Puerto Madryn > Ushuaia > Antartica (Paradise Bay and Elephant Island) > Falkland Island > Montevideo > Buenos Aires itinerary. It was a somewhat expensive itinerary if compared to other cruises in the region, so our expectations were high. We planned this trip for almost a year. The cruise left Buenos Aires on 21th Jan 2018. About a week before the departure date we received an email from Celebrity Cruises informing the Puerto Madryn stop was canceled. Copy and pasting their own email message: "Due to a technical issue with the ship’s propulsion system, as a precaution, we will have to reduce our maximum speed by a few knots. We assure you, there is no safety issue with the vessel; however, due to the speed reduction, we have to modify our itinerary. Some ports of call will have shortened visit times, while some will have more time. We also had to remove our visit to Puerto Madryn, Argentina from the itinerary. Due to the cancellation of this port of call, we are issuing each guest a refund in the amount equal to one day of your vacation." My wife and I planned to dive in Puerto Madryn with the sea lions. All our scuba gear was already packed to go and the dive package reserved at a local PADI agent. You can imagine our frustration... We embarked on the 21th as planned. About Celebrity Infinity, despite some review we read, it is not falling apart. It is indeed an old ship, somewhat worn out. Stained carpets, peeling paint, scratches here and there are visible, but we consider those minor things. I noticed, however, some other not so minor problems, like leaking plumbing in several places (that left wet spots on the carpets), air conditioning failures (that left some friends in internal rooms overheating), external doors hard to open/close, and massive temperature changes in the hot/cold water supplies. There were also some smaller annoyances in our stateroom, like loose tiles in the bathroom floor and leaks in the shower hoses. We usually ignore these small things, but as you see ahead, events stack up. About the food, it was nice and plentiful. All restaurants we went to were nice. Particularly I would say that some dish on the main dining room, Trelis, was somewhat small (especially the ones with expensive ingredients) and with unexpected component mixes, but this is a matter of taste. The buffet on Deck 11 always had food for any taste. About the entertaining, it was ok. Some shows were really nice while some other were somewhere below passable. The daily activities were plenty, somewhat focused on luxury activities (like art auctions, jewelry sales, Fabergé egg showcase and sales, liquor tastings, and so one). It perhaps makes sense for the overall target audience, mostly senior guests. One of the highlights of this cruise was the presentations from the destination experts. The presentations were really interesting and made de experience must more enjoyable and immersive. The presentation themes included wildlife identification and behavior, destination highlights, geographic features, historical events and even a recent rescue mission to Antartica from the Argentinian navy. There was much effort to provide the same presentations in English and Spanish, so most people would benefit and enjoy all given information. It is also important to note the crew was always friendly and eager to help. Our stateroom attendant and some other personnel we had more contact with during the cruise were very professional and cordial. After few days on the sea, we reached Ushuaia. We visited Escondido/Fasano lake and the experience was really memorable. Since we did not stop at Puerto Madryn we were able to stay in Ushuaia for a few more hours. We headed to Antartica, our main and most anticipated destination. The weather was really good during our stay and the visibility was great. We had the luck to get some snow while entering Paradise Bay. It was quite a spectacle. It is really difficult to describe in words the beauty we saw. While it looks a desolated region, it is full of life. We could see whales, penguins, many different types of birds. The icebergs are also a show apart, featuring beautiful shapes, textures, and colors. We also stopped at Elephant Island, the second sightseeing place. After Elephant Island, when heading back to Falkland Island, a major storm formed in our way and the captain had to deviate our corse, missing Falkland port of call. His decision was the correct one due to the bad weather, however, no one was able to explain why the next port of call wasn't changed to Puerto Madryn. Apparently, the route would be even safer than going straight to Montevideo and, we had the time since Falkland stop was completely skipped. It was really strange and until now I got no answer from Celebrity guest relations about this. On the memo we received in our stateroom: "We would like to inform you that our call to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, has been canceled, due to adverse weather and high winds. (...) Tomorrow, January 31th, the Celebrity Infinity will be at sea, since weather conditions and distance to alternative ports will not allow us to call an alternative port. In an effort to avoid the rough seas, we are traveling directly to Montevideo through an alternative route, as your safety is our top priority. We will be arriving in Montevideo at 6:00 am on February 3rd" We understood the situation and weather changes are a risk involved in all Cruises, however, this port miss and strange deviation from Puerto Madryn just stacked up on our frustration pile. We then faced many days at sea, finally arriving at Montevideo. It was a nice stop, however, I (and many other guests I spoke with) would rather stop in other ports then in Montevideo. Montevideo is really close to Buenos Aires and you can easily go by car, bus or even boat in a couple hours. Puerto Madryn and Falkland Island, on another hand, are much harder and expensive to get to. In the end, the trip left really good memories about Antartica sightseeing experience and a bitter taste for itinerary changes and other smaller annoyances. We felt only half of the trip was actually delivered since we could not stop at Puerto Madryn and Falkland Island. Looking in retrospect, if we could changes things, we would rather flight straight to Ushuaia and book a cruise on a smaller ship just to experience Antartica. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
First cruise with Celebrity and the last. We have been cruising for the last 35 years and never struck issues like these - even in older ships and much heavier weather. 6 days before we were due to board, the itinerary was changed due ... Read More
First cruise with Celebrity and the last. We have been cruising for the last 35 years and never struck issues like these - even in older ships and much heavier weather. 6 days before we were due to board, the itinerary was changed due to 'technical issues with the propulsion system". The issue had also been present on the previous cruise so why weren't we told earlier ? As a result, the itinerary was changed and one of the ports (Puerto Madryn) was to be skipped. We were told that we would be reimbursed the cost of 1 day - however 4 weeks later we still haven't received it. We now know that the issue won't be repaired until April, but the cruises will go ahead - presumeably with last minute itinerary changes. I know at least 1 person who has just been sold one of the trips - with the original itinerary. We were very late into Ushuaia and finished our land tour in the dark (10.00pm) - despite it being rushed and cut short by 1 hour. We were unable to visit the museum as it was now closed. We were told it was due to tides (?!) and winds - well the winds went heavy enough to worry a boat with an operation propulsion system! We then didn't stop at the Falklands supposedly due to 'bad weather', we were told the evening before. In reality, the visit had been cancelled much earlier in the day, as some passengers had been contacted from shore by 3:00 pm in the afternoon. It seems likely that with slightly heavier weather, it was necessary to bypass Port Stanley in order to get to Montevideo on time. So we missed 2.5 of the scheduled 4 ports. Embarkation procedures in Buenos Aires were a complete shambles with crowds milling around, no structure, no signs, and a large inoperative loud speaker system. Disembarkation at Ushuaia, was held up because of bunkering on the wharf. Initially, we didn't have hot water in our cabin and a light bulb was out. The cover on one of the beds was torn. At Montevideo, we could disembark from about 7:15, we gather, from watching people go off. However, no announcement was made - so you had to guess. The excuse was that they didn't want to wake people up ( However, they can prevent the announcement from being made in the cabins - so this is another piece of deceit). We had several incorrect bar items on our account as did other travellers - so watch your bar bill like a hawk.Two items that the desk had reversed when I queried them, reappeared 2 days later, as new bar items. We were also charged for higher priced drinks than we had ordered, probably to maximise the gratuity. There were 4 of us and we had booked a table of 8 in the second dining in order to meet other people. This was checked with them several times. However, we were put on a table for 4. When we complained, we were dumped on a table of 10, on our own. The second sitting dining usually took 2.5 hours. Eventually, we requested a change to open seating, and the service, etc improved dramatically. The juice and coffee machines in the Ocean Cafe frequently, ran out. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The venue .... Antarctica..... lured us to this cruise and it was everything we imagined and more. Embarcation was a near disaster as we waited in Buenos Aires port with hundreds in an un-airconditioned, chaotic facilty, where the ... Read More
The venue .... Antarctica..... lured us to this cruise and it was everything we imagined and more. Embarcation was a near disaster as we waited in Buenos Aires port with hundreds in an un-airconditioned, chaotic facilty, where the computer system failed. No Celebrity staff were present to let us know what was happening. Disembarcation was normal. The ship was well-done with a fair amount of wood, modern sculpture, but lacked the "wow". The 3rd to 4th floor atrium was about it. The cabin was average size with enough storage space.. Apart from the excellent service (Cabin staff and restaurant management and staff were super efficient, polite and anxious to please),marketing was at every turn. Buy this upgrade that. All restaurants incurred a minimum of $35-65 per person plus the 18% tax...plus the corkage on a bottle of wine of $30. It seemed all nickle-and-dime : bottled water (had to be purchased for 2, if you were two) came to $32/day; drink package at $65 pp did not included any drinks over $7..such as martinis for $15 extra. he gym charged extra for yoga and pilates classes, amongst others. Many of the dinners in the Trellis dining Room were fine, but the same old green beans and smashed potatoes appeared nightly...not too creative. We found the desserts "OK", but usually ended us with our safety - ice cream. The Baked Alaska was our biggest disappointment, having had it on our last cruise on a different line. Special events such as sail-aways, did not offer a glass of champagne or a drink. There was no Captain´s dinner..unless you were a member of the special class...nor was there a Captains/plus crew welcoming party, as we had experienced on other lines. The Entertainment Director, Alejandro (the great), from Buenos Aires, saved the day. There were some good shows, not all. And the ports were beautifully explained by a pro, "Ranger John", who would meet anyone in private/on deck and explain almost every animal species. Ports were good - Antarctica was excellent. Shore excursions were pricey - more than 2X-3X what the locals were charging for the same tours. The Ushuaia excursion was offered at about $200/ pp, but we found a similar one, with a local taxi driver for $80 per couple, for 4 full hours. Very few children on this (or any long 14 day cruise). Would probably not return to this line or ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Celebrity Infinity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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