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48 Celebrity Infinity Senior Cruise Reviews

My wife, daughter, and I have been on a dozen plus cruises. Timing and only flying one way were the reasons for booking this cruise. I had read that embarkation in San Diego was not always smooth. We received an e-mail saying our ... Read More
My wife, daughter, and I have been on a dozen plus cruises. Timing and only flying one way were the reasons for booking this cruise. I had read that embarkation in San Diego was not always smooth. We received an e-mail saying our arrival time was 12 noon. We parked in an offsite long term lot and the driver dropped us a little after noon where he always dropped off cruisers. However, no one was there to take our luggage. We had to walk across the drop zone by the parking lot. Then started a 45 minute plus process of walking thru a maze of lines. I never understood what the problem was. But, soon we had mimosas in our hands and we were ready for our adventure. I had read that the dining room would be open for lunch so we went there first. Alas, being Select we were ushered to the buffet as only suite occupants and elites were being served. This was the first of several occurrences (for us) where seats in the theater, tables in the buffet, and dining room locations were reserved. It is nice to have loyalty perks - but I was disappointed. Another disappointment was the buffet. No matter what the time, the buffet was shutting down and closing. And there was little or nothing for midnight munchies. So we ordered room service - but there is now a charge for room service after 11 PM. And there are fewer free choices. I admit I need to lose some pounds, but that was not why I was on this cruise. Further, the Oceanview buffet had the same selection every day and it wasn't very good. Some days I'd settle for pasta or eat a lot of cheeseburgers - often bringing extras into the buffet for my wife and daughter. With so many port days when lunch is not served in the dining room, these were the choices - or head to the cabin for a club sandwich from room service. This was very disappointing. The other disappointment with food was Cafe al Bacio. Don't get me wrong - The food is great: cookies, pies, and cakes. The team behind the counter wanted to focus on making drinks so if the line got too long they'd ask people to sit and wait for the server to ask what they wanted. The servers usually avoided my family and I until we waved ridiculously and hopped in front of them because we wanted the free stuff - cookies, cake, and pies. We didn't want wine or coffee. I guess that means we should get ignored. We had our meals in the main dining room (breakfast and dinner). Our wait staff of Hamza and Ismail were excellent as were our table mates. Always ready with suggestions and they learned of my sweet tooth quickly. Overall, we felt there were fewer menu choices. The menu 80% of the time left you going for one of the everyday items. Thank goodness there was a steak option so my family and I had a lot of that. Hamsa always came over to our table at breakfast to say hello. On every cruise I've been on, at least the Assistant Maitre D' goes through the dining room on the first night to welcome everyone. We had made a special request a few times with our waiter for souffles, a request we were able to get one night on the Celebrity Transatlantic cruise. It was probably the 3rd or 4th night Amir our Asst Maitre D' came over with the pastry chef and said we'd have to go to the specialty restaurant for that. No exceptions. We had also requested cherries jubilee which he said was the next night. Normally in customer service, you follow-up with people. He knew we wanted cherries jubilee and we ordered it so wouldn't you have expected Amir to swing by and ask if we enjoyed it? Shouldn't he have at least said goodbye on the last night? As it turns out, he was the same Maitre D' on the Alaskan cruise we took last year on a Solstice class ship. He was rude then and made our trip miserable. I blame myself for putting up with it then - and I'm disappointed I was unable to retract all his tips from us on this trip - I missed the deadline for that. And the Cherries Jubilee were the worst I have ever tasted to add insult to injury.:). This is a dish that is supposed to have alcohol (brandy, cognac, etc) added then flambéed. While they cant flambé in the dining room, apparently they can't in the kitchen either because there was no alcohol added. It almost tasted like cherries in cough syrup . We had excellent cabin stewards (Winston and Roberto) as well as excellent dining team (Hamza and Ismail). They were always prompt and courteous and engaged in conversation. They'd even make sure the room was ready before we returned from breakfast and the show before dinner. The pool bars on previous cruises had the best burgers, brauts, turkey burgers, etc. But not on the infinity. Burgers, hotdogs, and fries were still available and turkey burgers if you were willing to wait. No brauts. One of the reasons I choose Celebrity is because they pay a little more attention to their jobs for extraordinary service and perks. I like walking around the ship and always see it being worked on (painting, cleaning, repairs, etc) because it means the crew values cleanliness and keeping up its pristine appearance. This was consistent with the Infinity and most of the crew was very friendly. On another line I will never forget the vision of crew in hazmat suits cleaning up messes from ill passengers in the dining room. We saw the Captain at the Captain's Welcome. On some cruises I have found the captain and his senior officers to be very visible. However on this cruise, we rarely saw him or his senior officers. . The backstage tour and wine tasting for captain's club members was also a nice touch. Unfortunately I did not receive an announcement for the Cruise Critic gathering. The celebrity singers and dancers were the best group I have seen. Try to get to their performances. Disembarking in Vancouver was easy to get off of the ship - Only to join a 60 minute plus cab line. We have lived on the west coast for 40 plus years and knew the ports well. However, there is much to see since our visit a few years back. I would have preferred overnighting in Seattle as there are many things to see and do. Even with all the food disappointment, we are still considering booking another cruise. Unfortunately for us Californians, Celebrity doesn't really go out of or return into Los Angeles/San Pedro or San Diego. It is too bad there isn't a roundtrip CA to Hawaii cruise available (just one way cruises). We also considered Panama Canal, but the timing doesn't work. With just a little more attention especially with the food - this would have been a great cruise instead of just a good cruise.:) Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This cruise was a curious mix of very good and not so good. The staff was the most friendly I have experienced yet on Celebrity in five cruises. The dining room staff was beyond all expectations. The food in all venues was excellent. We ... Read More
This cruise was a curious mix of very good and not so good. The staff was the most friendly I have experienced yet on Celebrity in five cruises. The dining room staff was beyond all expectations. The food in all venues was excellent. We might not have liked all of the choices in the Main Dining Room, but what we did choose to have was excellent. We also dined in the Tuscan Grille and QSine. Both were worth every penny. Entertainment was, for the most part, quite good. We thought the running commentary during the Panama Canal passage was fabulous, and getting a certificate for crossing was neat. The shore excursions were well run and interesting. The room was the usual Celebrity room, kept clean and tidy by our cabin staff. One ‘perk’ of Concierge Class that was really welcomed was waiting in the Main Dining Room on debarkation day instead of the mob scene in other parts of the ship. We all sat and had coffee, tea, pastries, etc available. I would pay for CC just for that. We used the Celebrity transfer to the airport for the second time and would never do anything else. After Customs, we were waived over to a waiting bus, our luggage went underneath, and off we went to our departure point at the airport. A relatively small price to pay for not having to hail a cab, etc. Now to the not so good. This was our first time in Concierge Class. We were not informed of the CC lunch in the Main Dining Room. We heard about it two days later from a friend who remarked that she did not see us there. We never saw the afternoon hors d’oeuvers although we always had fruit available and the evening chocolates on our pillows were a nice touch again. We saw a person smoking on his suite balcony one afternoon. Celebrity sent an officer up to confirm it. Two days later he was smoking on his balcony again. Customer Relations did not seem to have any knowledge of the earlier incident. Please enforce this (see Princess fire, 2006). The required Emergency Drill was, for us, held in a lounge on deck 4 that had very little seating. We are 74 and 76 and there were many older and less fit than ourselves who had no seats available. We were encouraged to “sit on the dance floor”. WHAT? We know that this is required, but to stand for well over ½ hour for us and many others is just not very comfortable anymore. The buffet had a couple of strange positions for food. Gravy was at the carving station; mashed potatoes were never there but always somewhere else, anywhere from 50 feet to the other side of the ship. ??? Some egg prep stations and toast stations were quite a distance apart, so either your eggs got cold waiting for toast or your toast got cold while waiting for eggs. Some group had rented out Blu for sea days, so the normal bridge routine ended up being a sometimes effort in the Buffet, aft with a lot of noise around us and the usual 6-8 tables down to 2-3. We heard rumors about Norovirus, but I don’t know how. Crew was cleaning everything all the time and you could not go anywhere without having a crew member ‘giving you a squirt’. The railings were often damp from whatever they were using for disinfectant. I know, this sounds like we were complaining the entire time. We were not; we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. We are simply pointing out things that we think could be a bit better or, perhaps, more sensible. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
As is true with most 3-5 star lines, this cruise was a mixed bag, mostly good. Start with entry, long line at 12 pm with no differentiation after a half hour we go around the corner and things go smoother, concierge benefits and we ... Read More
As is true with most 3-5 star lines, this cruise was a mixed bag, mostly good. Start with entry, long line at 12 pm with no differentiation after a half hour we go around the corner and things go smoother, concierge benefits and we move quickly and efficiently thru lines... B+ Cabin was good not great (c2)... Unfortunately unlike 75 percent on our floor, the upgrade fairy did not visit, we got what we paid for so no whining. B+ Quine...fantastic a- Tuscan grill ... Bad meat quality, like a bad sizzler (never again)..when informed they didn't even apologize f or worse. Entertainment...cheesy vegas but I've seen worse Cruise director activities...pleasantly good although match activity to time would be a plus Shore excursion...they haven't been to Brazil for 8 years and that was their excuse for everything Dont show up...c above Bad excursion...c above Poorly represented .... C above Bad attitude by staff... C above We had 4 excursions canceled by them in 7 days...not sure that we've had 4 excursions in 200 days of cruising. BAD BAD BAD! Better buffet food than most especially made to order stations Outstanding crew overall even with an undercurrent of management harassment. Took it for the itinerary and it was well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Positives Overall we enjoyed the journey. The ship, cleanliness and service were excellent. Staff all friendly and engaging. Ports of call were great and we enjoyed all the stops. Entertainment was varied and of high ... Read More
Positives Overall we enjoyed the journey. The ship, cleanliness and service were excellent. Staff all friendly and engaging. Ports of call were great and we enjoyed all the stops. Entertainment was varied and of high standard. Food - lots of choices although the buffet could look at changing options more often as we found it was often the same. We had the anytime dining option and enjoyed this as we always had the option of the day of choosing when to eat and if we wanted to dine alone if we chose to. We had the classic drinks package and although we are not big drinkers we thought this worked well and used it for bottled water, fresh orange juices, specialty coffees and the odd cocktail and wine for dinner. Negatives The embarkation at San Francisco was poorly organised. No system at all with hundreds of people lined up to personally give over their bags to one porter and one trolley. No sail away parties or sailing in commentaries to ports. It would be nice to know before leaving the ship what the current weather was. Constellation lounge closed early most days for elite guests and not available to others. This infuriated guests who were there and told to leave. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Celebrity Infinity, #8108. Built 2001, Last Drydock 2014 ~90,000 Tons 2,170 to 2,604 passengers Modern Luxury Theme is an oxymoron when their WIFI, to quote Mr. Spock from City on the Edge of Forever, “is worse than stone ... Read More
Celebrity Infinity, #8108. Built 2001, Last Drydock 2014 ~90,000 Tons 2,170 to 2,604 passengers Modern Luxury Theme is an oxymoron when their WIFI, to quote Mr. Spock from City on the Edge of Forever, “is worse than stone knives and bear skins.” The reservation process with this cruise was very frustrating. Onboard, they told me that the room was 205 square feet, but when we returned home, Celebrity.com said it was 191 square feet. She also stuck us in a room with a very tiny irregular balcony. Basically, it should have been demoted to a regular Veranda room, not a Concierge Class 2 that we paid for. The sales agent told our TA that we could keep an existing $300 OBC in addition to the promotion, but the very next day she denied it. After hours on the phone, our travel agent spoke with a new person that gave us another $100 OBC and a coupon book. But the original sales agent shouldn’t have changed her story. Very small room. We did a Back to Back first on the Star Princess in a Mini-Suite, post night, then on to the Celebrity Concierge Class. Basically, we liked the floor plan and the 100 extra square feet better on Princess, and preferred the amenities in Celebrity’s Concierge Class. Great way to compare two lines. From the floor plan perspective, Princess has a huge advantage for us because they offer mini-suites, on Celebrity, they don’t offer Junior/Mini Suites, and we must pay a whole lot more to move up to a Sky Suite (considerably more expensive (but smaller) than the Junior Suites on Royal Caribbean, but you get a lot more amenities with the Sky Suite). Celebrity maintains their equipment a lot better than Princess. We had working elevators the entire cruise! And believe me, walking into that small Concierge Class room after two weeks on a mini-suite on Princess was a shock! We’ve been in only one other Concierge Class room, and that was even smaller than on Infinity. Another point in Celebrity’s favor. Free meclizine We got the Concierge Class, annoying tiny balcony room but with benefits: priority embarkation while not much good since we didn’t embark until 3:00 pm, fruit in room, welcome sparkly, rose on formal night, real luggage tags you order! Television was faced at right angles to the sofa, so the least uncomfortable way to watch television was sitting on the corner of the bed. But the huge problem the first night was no mattress pad on the bed. Talk about uncomfortable! After struggling with the problem for hours, we called Guest Relations about 2 AM! Housekeeping Night Staff appeared and fixed us up with some mattress pads. We also saw the much welcome return of turndown chocolates! Our cabin steward did a fine job! She found us two tempurpedic pillows. Somehow, the Norovirus procedures must have stopped the ice we requested. Strange since Princess also had norovirus procedures and managed to get us the ice. We had the worst embarkation in 23 cruises! While we got six voice mails telling us of the late embarkation, we arrived the usual time and had to stand in chilly weather outside the terminal for 30 minutes. Part my fault, since I didn’t check my cell phone until we arrived at the terminal. Note to self, check voice mail, if delay, grab a sandwich before heading to the terminal. While checking my voice mail in the bathroom, someone stole my phone case while my back was turned. I’d placed my phone case on the bathroom sink while washing hands, and turned my back, when I reached to pick up the case, it was gone. We went through the gauntlet and got our seapass cards. Then we found some seats in the terminal and waited for three more hours. Good thing we arrived at the normal time, because there were not enough seats in the new pier to hold all waiting passengers. Around 2:30 pm, we heard an announcement about a delayed embarkation, and suggesting we leave the terminal to eat lunch. But there were no restaurants nearby! Also, we’d have to hassle with security again. I don’t understand why they couldn’t provide sandwiches from the ship. I’ve seen cookies and danish provided in the embarkation lounges before. But this time only water, maybe more norovirus hassle. They let us in our rooms around 4:30 and had the muster drill at 5:00 pm. After a long tiring day, at least we could do muster drill inside. Room service - nice selection on their breakfast menu, but don’t ask for anything not on that menu, because you won’t get it. Elite Breakfast - Very slow service at first. But they got better after we tried to troop out. They grabbed me by the arm and led me to a table. We had norovirus Celebrity and the also on the Star Princess we’d disembarked the day before. They did things pretty much the same, serving food, no salt and pepper, etc. The only big difference was that they did not close the library on our Princess cruise. On Infinity, the library was closed and the books removed when we boarded. We got permission from guest relations to use the library as a reading room, and since it was right outside our stateroom, it became our place to hang out. Even after they lifted some of the norovirus restrictions, I saw a man going through the library and cleaning our stuffed furniture. They forced antibacterial gel on us the whole cruise. The only person that wasn’t forced was a lady pushed into the dining room in a wheelchair! If they force this antibacter Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We have travelled on Celebrity many times and are elite status. On this cruise we booked a suite but were disappointed with the administration on board. We did not get the welcome letter therefore missing out on the early cruise ... Read More
We have travelled on Celebrity many times and are elite status. On this cruise we booked a suite but were disappointed with the administration on board. We did not get the welcome letter therefore missing out on the early cruise 'elite' functions and had to go to guest relations and ask on day 3. We also attended the officers afternoon tea to be told it had been cancelled and we would be notified of the new time and they even took our cabin number. We were not told and missed that event as well. The suite needed maintenance (in particular the shower head) and eventually was seen to. We were anytime dining and on more than one occasion when arriving on time had to wait and on another two occasions we were taken to tables which were not ready so had to stand in the dining room while it was sorted out. The cruise was good and the ports interesting and of course the Panama Canal was our primary reason for selecting this cruise. The food was up to the usual high Celebrity standard both in the dining area and the specialty restaurants. Our feeling was a general decline in the standard even down to trivial things like no bedtime chocolates. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Overall Impressions- A very good itinerary on a very good ship. we have been on Infinity several times and she has been well maintained. Service levels were very good in all bars and dining facilities. Cabin was excellent and we had ... Read More
Overall Impressions- A very good itinerary on a very good ship. we have been on Infinity several times and she has been well maintained. Service levels were very good in all bars and dining facilities. Cabin was excellent and we had the advantage of getting an excellent price. Spent 3 days in BA pre cruise even tho we have been there several times. It is a fascinating city that I never tire of. We were hampered on this cruise because both of us got a very violent flu. Heather says she got it from someone who sneezed in the elevator and did not bother to cover it. Naturally I got it several days later. Both felt very weak for much of the cruise but still very much enjoyed the drive by of Antarctica which is why we dis the cruise in the first place. Buenos Aires- Transfer to the ship-Take a taxi. The ride to the ship cost us about $4. from the Hotel Gran Buenos Aires. On the return the taxis outside the cruise terminal were asking a firm $20. We walked across the street and hailed a street cab and the cost was $5.00 with a tip. Hotel as mentioned we stayed in the Gran Hotel Buenos Aires on both the departure and return. We have used this well located hotel several times in the past and have always received great service(very late check outs, early check ins, great concierge service and a really good breakfast buffet included in the room price of approximately $80 per night double) Hotel is located less than two blocks from Florida Street which is the main shopping promenade. If shopping for leather use some of the shops on Avenida Alvear(hotel street) as they are cheaper than Florida street but just a s reputable. Leather is a great bargain. Always plan on spending at least 3 days in Buenos Aires. Tango Shows and Estancia visit are must dos. Ushaiia- By the time we reached Ushahia we we both not feeling well so just walked around the center of town. Found it to be pricy but had lots of interesting architecture. Falklands- Had been before and still not feeling well so again just wandered around town, Fortunately we had been there twice before. It is interesting to me because the people are friendly and quite willing to stop and have a discussion about the Island Medical Facility. Because of my Flu I eventually went to the Medical centre where for the usual fee I received excellent service in a timely manner from the Ships South African doctor. He did a very good check up and spent sufficient time with me to get me sorted out. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
First, we had a basic inside room on deck 2. I like sleeping in the dark. The room, although small, had plenty of storage spaces and was very clean. It did not looked worn at all. We appreciated the slightly larger sized shower and the ... Read More
First, we had a basic inside room on deck 2. I like sleeping in the dark. The room, although small, had plenty of storage spaces and was very clean. It did not looked worn at all. We appreciated the slightly larger sized shower and the handheld shower head. We kept finding little nooks to store our stuff. The bed was a little hard for me, but otherwise comfortable. There is a 2 drawer night table by each twin bed. The ship itself is in good repair and kept clean and tidy. Our cabin attendants and our dining room waiters were very nice and very efficient. Almost everyone on board was friendly and helpful. I never noticed anything worn. The windows could have been kept cleaner. They were so dirty at times, you couldn't see anything from them. Our biggest disappointments were the food and the entertainment. If you like herbal tea, bring your own. They only had peppermint and that could be hard to find. The tea and coffee were generally lousy. The food was disappointing. There was nothing from the local region, salads were not all that fresh, the food was mostly heavy and starchy with large portions of meat and very few vegetables. The vegetarian options in the dining room usually had no protein in it. The bread was very good and the bread sticks were a big hit at our table. The cafeteria was a pain. The hours were very limited and it was often hard to find a table. The servers and waiters were a mixed bag. We spoke to several wonderful people, but several of them were not so friendly and not helpful. The cafeteria food was bland and not great. Some added herbs would have been nice. The best thing I ate there was from the pasta station which I found had pesto sauce and extra garlic. While the pasta was not cooked to order, it was warmed in water and was not mushy. The fresh fruit (honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, and watermelon) were nice for the first 10 days. I don't understand why they didn't have drink stations around the ship where you could get water, tea, or coffee. I was sick of going to the cafeteria to get something to drink. No wonder it was so crowded all the time. The entertainment was often so boring, I brought a book to read. There were a couple highlights. Milos Radakovich, the Naturalist was funny and informative at the same time. He spoke on many different topics and we did not miss one of his lectures. Also, the Pampas Devils, a sophisticated dance foursome were amazing and had a great show. But mostly, everything else was pretty boring. A lot of the entertainment on board was geared toward making Celebrity extra money, like Bingo games that were almost impossible to win. The movies were played at 10pm -- too late for us early risers. On sea days there was rarely anything interesting to do in the afternoon. We tried using the concierge who has a desk in the tiny library. He was not there during his limited hours and when we asked for him to be called, he was very unfriendly when he finally arrived and very very unhelpful. The itinerary is interesting although the Magellan Straits and the fjords were not as pretty as I expected. They're big hills covered with trees that all look alike. We also had a lot of fog, so that didn't help. Punta Tomba near Puerto Madryn, Argentina was our best excursion. There were still fluffy grey baby penguins that were just starting to get their adult feathers in places. There are thousands of Magellan penguins as far as the eye could see and you are very close to many of them. Stay away from the Otway Penguins excursion which is a big rip-off. There are almost no penguins there.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Friends who might be taking the Valparaiso to BA cruise asked me for my notes and suggestions. We left Valparaiso January 18, 2015 on Celebrity Infinity South American Trip: Here are some of my thoughts regarding our trip: * * Find the ... Read More
Friends who might be taking the Valparaiso to BA cruise asked me for my notes and suggestions. We left Valparaiso January 18, 2015 on Celebrity Infinity South American Trip: Here are some of my thoughts regarding our trip: * * Find the thread on Cruise Critic for your cruise. Passengers on your trip will be putting together private tours and have lots of information on reciprocity fees and visas if needed. See what Merrell and Alan have to say – they were great! the January 18, 2015 thread. If you think you want to take a future Celebrity Cruise, research it in advance and go to the Future Cruises area on the ship at the start of the cruise to get prices and promotions. 1. BEYOND THE PODIUM!!!!! Absolutely go to Mickey Live’s talks in Celebrity Theater. Beyond the Podium began on the first full sea day on the ship. His input and information will totally enhance your experience on this trip. Do NOT miss it! BEYOND THE PODIUM Snap Shot Rally – find out about and do this! Also BEYOND THE PODIUM with Milos is great. AND Mickey’s wife Jelena is also full of information. 2. The ILearn Classes about Ipad, Iphone etc. were fabulous. On most sea days. They were free. They were popular so get there early! 3. Penguins- MUCH IN ADVANCE – check the Piratour in Ushuaia. The experience is phenomenal. They only allow 20 people per group and 5 groups a day to go to this special island where we saw King, Gentoo, and Magellan penguins. Only 1 or 2 of their times will work with the ship schedule. Our guide was incredibly good! Check them out on line AND find out about their cancellation policy as ships do not always make it into port in Ushuaia. Celebrity was able to dock, but the Princess ship did not. Your backup to see penguins is to go to Tombo out of Puerto Madryn. See below Ushuaia. 4. Clothing: It was COLD on deck when on the water – even near Valparaiso. We had beautiful weather – but I wore a polartec jacket at least 10 of the days of the cruise. You need a totally waterproof jacket (with a hood), gloves, baseliner (silk undershirt) and long sleeve shirts. I never used my linen pants nor my sleeveless linen tops. Windy and cool/cold on deck until Punta Del Este. 5. Flights: we flew LAN non-stop from Miami to Santiago and returned home from BA to Sao Paulo to Miami on TAM. BOTH airlines were great. They have a nice Business Class Lounge at Miami Airport., BA airport and Sao Paulo. Santiago/Valparaiso Pre-cruise: I WOULD ONLY GO IN 1 OR 2 DAYS EARLY and investigate STAYING IN VINA DEL MAR. We were 3 couples and we had a guide pick us up at airport, give a walking tour of old Santiago, stop at Emiliana Organic Vineyard (our favorite was the COYAM). Michael then took us to our hotels in Valparaiso. The next day he picked us up and we went down the coast to Quintay and ate at Miramar restaurant. Fresh fish was great. We wanted to go to Neruda’s house, but it was too crowded. We stopped at Casa Bosque Vineyard in Casablanca Valley for a tasting, we toured Vina Del Mar, had dinner at La Concepcion in Valparaiso sitting at a 2nd floor table overlooking the view. The next day Michael gave us a walking tour of Valparaiso then shuttled us and our bags to the port for check-in for the cruise. Our impressions were that Santiago and Valparaiso are not exceptionally safe, not easy to walk around at night, and we would have been happy with our visit to the Casablanca Valley and a brief tour of the cities – could easily happen on arrival day of the flight and the next day before boarding the ship. Only 1 hotel night in the area. Check out Merrell’s tour from airport to ship on the January 18, 2015 thread. We had a terrible experience at Gran Hotel Gervasoni in Valpo. 6. Shore Excursions: check out the January 18, 2015 Cruise Critic thread for posts from Princess Lucy - Merrell put together tours and you could read what she and her groups did which were not ship tours. Sunday January 18, boarding the ship Valparaiso: Concierge and Elite lines were longer than regular checkin. Luggage was slow to be delivered to the room. Over 2 hours for Concierge. Monday January 19 at sea. SHOW: Broadway was really good – singers and dancers –“Stars of the Infinity- one of the best of the entire trip. There were Tango Dancers teaching the tango during the day. Do not miss Mickey Live. Andres has a fun Aerobics around the pool. I found the Fitness Center classes to be very crowded, the space very small, and they charged for Zumba, Yoga and several others. Tuesday January 20 Puerto Montt Chile. We went with 2 other couples on a “tours by locals “ see their website- to Frutillar, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt. It was OK. Better choice would have been Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Petrohue Falls, Osorno Volcano in the National Park. Wednesday January 21 Cruise the Fjords - remember I Learn classes and Mickey Live on the sea days.** Thursday January 22 Strait of Magellan - BEYOND THE PODIUM: Snap Shot Rally Photo Collection with MickeyLive – check this out! Friday January 23 Punta Arenas We took the ship tour by Ferry to Magdalena Island. It was a about a 2 hr. boat ride, starting at about 7 AM we had 1 hour on the island. There were about 60,000 breeding pairs with their chicks. There is a roped walkway, but the penguins cross it and walk around you. You are “with” the penguins. Take a warm hat, gloves, and warm coat! A group did the inflatable boats with SOLO tours and were able to go and had a great time. The ships do not always make port in Punta Arenas and if too windy, SOLO tours can not go, so find out their cancellation policy. ABBA Sing Along was terrific – 10:15 PM Constellation Lounge get there early! Saturday January 24 Ushuaia: This was our favorite TOWN, and our favorite tour! You are docked “in town” There is post office on the dock for mailing postcards. Buy a Beagle Beer in one of the gift shops, it is local and good. We did Pira Tours trip to Harberton Ranch and it was fabulous! Ranch is 50,000 acres, with private island of Martillo penguin colony and the Marine Mammal museum and research facility. Reserve FAR in advance- timing is limited for the cruise ships and only 20 people per visit to the island. It was VERY windy and Princess Ship did not make port. People who went on the ship Beagle Canal tour were sick because it was so rough. People who went to the National park said it was VERY disappointing. Sunday January 25 Cape Horn: we were up at 5:30 AM for sunrise around Cape Horn. Passenger John Meyer, from Fairbanks Alaska played his bagpipes at sun rise and around the horn. It was great! Beyond the Podium, ILearn class, Snap Shot Rally Monday January 26 At Sea Beyond the Podium, ILearn class, Snap Shot Rally Tuesday January 27th Puerto Madryn: two choices here – Peninsula Valdez or Punta Tombo Penguin Colony. Research says this is a good place to see the penguins. We did Peninsula Valdez with Nievmar Tours. I think a Better choice would have been Tombo unless you were “penguined out”. I asked to go to Punta Norte on Valdez and guide would not take us, but others went and saw many elephant seals and sea lion breeding colonies and much more wildlife. SHOW: The Pampas Devils Gaucho show with tango etc was good. Wednesday January 28 at Sea: SHOW: Boogie Wonderland with the Stars of the Infinity was good. ILearn Class, Beyond the Podium Snap Shot Rally. The Infinity’s Got Talent Show was pretty good. Thursday January 29th Montevideo, Uruguay. We did a private tour with Ryan Hamilton “The Wine-Experience”. Email: Ryan@unlocksouthamerica.com. We visited Castel Pujol, Bodegas Carrau. Reallyl liked 2013 Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc Sur Lie. Then went to town to the Mercado del Puerto and El Peregrino restaurant for amazing BEEF. Absolutely have to have the Crepe with Dulce De Leche filling for dessert!!!!!!! If not a big wine fan, do a city tour and eat at the Mercado del Puerto before going back to the ship. Friday January 30 Punta Del Este, Uruguay; Finally warm!!!! Resort Town totally upscale and surprising. Some people took a bike trip around the island and really liked it. There is a beach – do not know who you contact to use it, but it was pretty. We went with Ryan Hamilton – The-Wine-Experience and visited NARBONA Vineyard and tasted the Narbonna Savignon Blanc 2012 AND the Tannant Roble 2011 Michel Rolland wine 2011 Roble won world award for best 2011 Tannant. 2011 Narbona Luz de Luna Tannat was good had lunch at Playa VIK - amazing hotel. Saturday January 31 Arrive BA Spent night on the ship: We did a Buenos Tours walking guided trip with DON from North Carolina of the Old Town. Gran Café Tortoni – the one coffee place you must visit. Founded in 1858 I had hot chocolate with Churros others had medialunas (yumm) and coffee with milk. Bit touristy but historic and fun to see. We went to Silvia and Mario leather shop where we purchased with dollars but at a very favorable rate. www.silviaymario.com Sunday February 1: Disembark: It was a zoo! Get off the ship as early as possible if staying in BA. We used Buenos Tours who picked up 3 couples plus luggage and took us to the Intercontinental Hotel on Moreno. The Intercontinental was nice, but in an OLD part of town and we did not go out at night. I would see about staying in the Recoleta or Palmero area with cafes, parks and night life. We had a Buenos Tours walking tour with Jessica (from New Jersey) of La Boca and San Telmo with the Sunday market. We stopped at Bar El Federal for a rest –the restaurant was OK and very slow. We lost a lot of time there. Best Thing we did in Buenos Aires! The Teatro Colón (Colón Theatre) is the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world. They have English guided tours starting at 9 am on the hour. FANTASTIC! One of the best things we saw in BA. Our guide even sang “Don’t Cry for me Argentina “ to demonstrate the acoustics! Private Driver: Buenos Aires We had a private driver who picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the airport. He also gave us a brief tour of Recoleta, Palmero and areas on the way to the airport. Gabriel Lazzari used to live in Miami and was very knowledgeable and arrived early to meet us. If I were going from the ship to the airport and had extra time, I would consider hiring him for several hours OR a day of touring before going to the airport.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Celebrity specified evening dress for the formal nights so I brought my tux along, my wife one of her cocktail dresses. We were quite disappointed when we observed one guest dining in his bib overalls and t-shirt and there was NO ... Read More
Celebrity specified evening dress for the formal nights so I brought my tux along, my wife one of her cocktail dresses. We were quite disappointed when we observed one guest dining in his bib overalls and t-shirt and there was NO enforcement by the maitre'd or ship staff. OK, so the overalls looked new, but certainly NOT formal attire unless that's what he wears at hog slopping conventions. All other aspects of our cruise were excellent; great entertainment, educational programs = WOW, especially Brent Nixon and Fred Saxon, clean cabin, clean ship, excellent food, courteous staff, fine shore excursions and the price fit the nature of the cruise. We will cruise Celebrity again when the opportunity presents itself. Even though I rate this cruise excellent in all categories except dining, overall gets only four dots because the formal evening dress code was not enforced [why?]. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
MY MAJOR ISSUE!! We had 2 suitcases. We rec'd my husband's around 2:00. At 6:00 we called about my suitcase and were told they were still delivering. We wanted to get dressed to go to the show in the theater at 7:00, and then ... Read More
MY MAJOR ISSUE!! We had 2 suitcases. We rec'd my husband's around 2:00. At 6:00 we called about my suitcase and were told they were still delivering. We wanted to get dressed to go to the show in the theater at 7:00, and then head right for dinner. So here we are trying to get ready for dinner, and the only clothes I have are the jeans and t-shirt I was wearing, (which I've had on for many hrs during our 10+ hr flights and transportation to Harwich), and the dining room doesn't allow jeans. At 6:30 someone called us and told us my suitcase was being held on deck 1 because of a 3" pair of manicure scissors in my husband's shaving kit. Not only that, but the suitcase had been left sitting out on the dock in the rain the entire time since we turned it over to them at 10:30 am. Our clothes inside were soaked, and a brand new yellow evening jacket I had just purchased for the cruise, was stained with black marks because it laid next to something black. And now my brand new Travel Pro suitcase is also moldy. I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS AT ALL, AND REALLY FEEL CELEBRITY SHOULD MAKE SOME COMPENSATION. When I brought it up to the staff on the ship, all they said was "really?", and would not do anything. No offer to clean, launder, or iron any of our clothes. I CAN'T EMPHASIZE ENOUGH THAT THIS INCIDENCE IS THE WORST TREATMENT I'VE RECEIVED ON ANY CRUISE WE HAVE TAKEN. No one even said, "we're sorry". They made me feel like I was the guilty party for trying to sneak on a pair of dangerous 3" manicure scissors. They airline doesn't even make an issue of these. On this cruise, we opted for an inside cabin (1/3 the price of a veranda). With so many ports-of-call, we would rarely be in our cabin anyway. We have always had veranda/balcony cabins before, and our first impression was that the inside wasn't too bad, it was just fine. However, the first night there was awful noise from the utility area next to our cabin. Sleep was difficult if not impossible. I called guest relations and they said they would report it. Second night was better. Someone called the next day to see if the noise was better. I thought that was nice that they called, and thanked them for following up. Next few nights, the noise came and went. Then one night the noise was absolutely horrible. Even made the bed shake. Next morning I called guest relations again to report. I was told if I didn't call "while the noise was occurring" there was nothing they could do about it. Really??!! Were they serious!!! Next day the supervisor called and said they would let us sleep (sleep only!) in another room 5 decks below where we currently were .. so we could have a quiet night. OMG! Are these people for real? They wanted me to trudge down 5 decks in my pajamas to sleep in another room!! Later, the supervisor called us again, and offered to let us move to a different room. Hooray, finally a resolution. They must have realized the insanity of their handling of this situation. Granted, it was 5 decks lower than our original room, but it was quiet! And it had a window. I don't think the stateroom attendant for the new room was very happy about us moving there. She wasn't very friendly at all. But she warmed up later. Just loved our cruise director Alejandro .... best thing about this cruise! Entertainment was fabulous....really terrific. Nick Page, the Celtic Tenors, the piano player (Bruce ??), Kate Dowman, McDonald Brothers, etc, etc. Absolutely the best entertainment of any cruise we've been on. (Wasn't terribly excited about the "production shows". Way, way too loud. Too much of the same thing....loud, loud, loud. The drums were insanely loud. Singers literally screamed through most of the songs. Many other passengers were complaining. And a lot of the songs we had never heard of, and one of the songs was VERY INAPPROPRIATE for the audience!!!). Food was OK, nothing to rave about. Really didn't care for the food in the Oceanview Cafe (although the space is very nice). TOO MUCH CURRY!! Later found out the chef was Indian, so I guess that's why they served so much curry on this ship. They seemed to close awfully early, too. One afternoon about 1:30, after we got back from a 1/2 day tour, I went up to get a cup of coffee and something to eat. Everything was closed up except for left-over pizza, and pre-made sandwiches. I asked the girl behind the counter if I could have just a ham and cheese, and she said I had to choose from the "gourmet" sandwiches that already made. As for a drink, I was only offered a little bag of instant coffee because everything was turned off. Rene, our waiter in the main dining room, was always kind and brought something else if I didn't like a particular dish. His assistant, Mildred, was excellent, too. Casino was good. Lounge entertainment good. Slow drink service in the lounges. Took approx 1/2 hr to get a glass of wine. Our dinner mates had their seapass card mixed up by a waiter in the lounge. He finally got a new seapass card, but the other person charged some things on his card, and it took 4 days to get it straightened out. The guest relations staff are not the brightest bunch. As far as the Captain's Club goes, I didn't see much benefit, except a free scoop of gelato. But we were only "select" members, so perhaps there wasn't much for that lowly level. We are now "elite" so we'll see if that offers anything better. One issue on this cruise was the scheduling of events and shows. We loved the entertainment, and wanted to see it all, but too many things overlapped so we were unable to enjoy a lot of things. I really think Celebrity should take a look at this and come up with a better schedule. Excursions: most were excellent. Great guides and itineraries. Would highly recommend the Highlands and Loch Ness tour in Inverness, and the Edinburgh Castle tour out of Greenock. The only one I would not recommend is the Blarney Castle. First of all, the guide looked like she had just crawled out of bed. She literally had on a type of house coat and slippers, and her hair was a mess. She confused most of the time, and didn't really know what was going on. Then we only had 1 1/2 hrs at the castle, when it took 2 1/2 hrs waiting in line to get into the castle. They should not advertise this as a Blarney Castle tour because there is no opportunity to get into the castle. Such a waste of money and a half day of our vacation. We paid for something we never got. One nice thing was when the crew offered us FREE hot chocolate when we returned from tours on cold days. So appreciated. I must comment on the ramps to get on and off the ship when in port. They were really dangerous, and I saw several elderly people trip. Please change these!! Couple things I liked on Celebrity better than on Royal Caribbean were that the wait staff and state room attendants didn't beg for tips or high ratings. On RC it's totally ridiculous how the staff starts begging for extra tips and high ratings the last 2 days of the cruise. Also the photographers were everywhere but were not intrusive, and would back away if we said no thanks. I wish more cruise lines would offer all-inclusive pricing to include wi-fi, drinks, and a couple services in the spa. Cruising is becoming too expensive for ordinary families by the time you include these things. A small bottle of room temperature water was $6.00. We purchased a 90 minute wi-fi pkg, and each time we logged on, it would take 5-10 minutes to get a connection. So basically 1/2 your time (depending!) just logging on. Regular wi-fi rate is $.79 per minute. However, Infinity has a wonderful computer center (Apple) and I heard people were getting instant connection there. Overall, and despite all the negatives I've pointed out, we had a great time. The itinerary was busy as we visited 9 ports, and all of them were great. Many good memories. I hope Celebrity reads these reviews, as the Infinity has a lot of improvements that need to be made in the area of customer service.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Mixed Experiences on Celebrity Infinity We recently completed a two week cruise of the Norwegian fjords and the North Atlantic Ocean through to Iceland. Our experience was something of a mixed bag, some good and others not so good. ... Read More
Mixed Experiences on Celebrity Infinity We recently completed a two week cruise of the Norwegian fjords and the North Atlantic Ocean through to Iceland. Our experience was something of a mixed bag, some good and others not so good. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. There was nothing that was especially bad or unpleasant about the cruise - more a few relatively minor concerns plus a few on-going irritants we have with the RCCI brand. In no particular order these are: • Michael’s Club. From what was previously a very pleasant, if up-market, piano bar this seems to have been converted into a private club for the exclusive few - WTMB! On the one occasion we ventured into the room we were abruptly informed it was an exclusive venue to which we were apparently not entitled to use even though we are Elite members. It is situated pretty much in a thoroughfare adjacent to the casino and whenever we walked past it was generally completely empty so just for whom the venue is being exclusively reserved in anyone’s guess. It seems to us that it is a waste of valuable space and would surely be far preferable to revert to its original purpose as an albeit refined venue but open to all passengers. • Speciality restaurants. We went to Bistro on 5 for dinner one evening; we were the only patrons even though we spread our meal over a good one and a half hours. Again, this restaurant is very visible but it always seemed empty. In fact on the evening we patronised the place we were informed by the charming waitress that we were the first customers they had had that day! Although only a nominal USD5 is charged, we found the food to be of poor standard – overcooked, chewy crepes with far too spicy fillings for our taste. The obvious underutilisation and lack of popularity of the Bistro is similar to our previous experiences on the Constellation and the Eclipse. It occupies a relatively large space in a prime position on deck 5 which, in our view, could be put to much better use. For the first time on a cruise, we decided not to visit either of the other speciality restaurants, in this instance the SS United States and Qzine, which at USD45 a pop each are quite excessively expensive. Probably because most passengers feel the same way, neither venue ever seemed to be well patronised despite the daily hard sell and, towards the end of the cruise both were aggressively marketing two for the price of one offers as well as half price charges for a restricted luncheon menu on specific days. We strongly suggest Celebrity consider reducing prices in these establishments to make them more viable options for the average passenger. One other point – while the menu in SS United States provides an undoubted fine dining experience, it seems to be identical to the sister restaurants on other Celebrity ships (e.g. the Murano on Constellation), so loses some of its WOW factor as one knows precisely what to expect. • Entertainment. Real curates egg stuff, some pretty good, most mediocre cruise ship fare but entertaining enough. An operatic quartet, whom we encountered on a previous cruise, was especially good. The Celebrity orchestra was outstanding but some of the so-called Broadway type shows were distinctly ordinary despite a lot of energy from cast members. • Library. The library is relatively small and poorly stocked but, even then, some selfish passengers saw fit to abuse the facility. On one occasion we noticed a particularly inconsiderate passenger take out eleven books! • Condition of ship. As many other reviewers have pointed out, the Infinity is a bit run down and showing her age. But hey, she is almost 14 years old and, to our knowledge, has only been refurbished once since she was launched in 2001. While a bit tacky in certain areas she is on the whole, reasonably well maintained but, we suggest, should be scheduled for a dry-dock refurbishment before she gets in too noticeable a state of disrepair. • Cabin. Our cabin was a Concierge class balcony on the 8th deck, port side. Comfortable with adequate storage space. The only problem – it was an inter-leading room. Our neighbour seemed to be an insomniac and had the TV blaring until the wee hours of the morning on most nights. We found to our detriment that the inter-leading cabins on the Millennium class are most definitely not sound-proofed! • Embarkation. Pretty shambolic! There did not seem to be much organisation and, even though we were Concierge and Elite passengers, our queue seemed to be as slow as all the others. As we mentioned, nothing overtly off putting but concerns that perhaps Celebrity management should consider to maintain the status and marketability of its special position in the cruise industry. Now for the positives! • Itinerary. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and were not disappointed. We did not participate in any of the ship’s excursions, opting as is our wont to do our own thing in each of the ports visited. However, for people who have not previously visited the bigger cities of Oslo and Reykjavik, we recommend they consider doing one or other of the ship’s suggested excursions as most of the better attractions, for example for Iceland such as the Blue Lagoon, geysers and Gullfoss Falls, are some distance from the port. We had been to both these cities before and had experienced many of the recommended highlights so, on this occassion, we confined ourselves to exploring the respective ports and environs on our own. Each of the ports were uniquely beautiful and we easily found something of interest to do in each venue. Ports on this cruise were:  Oslo: We docked close to downtown Oslo, starting our walking tour by visiting the imposing opera house before making our way to the city centre. Oslo is a beautiful city, and is easy to navigate. We strolled through downtown marvelling at many impressive statues and beautiful gardens. There was a choir festival on the go during our visit so every 100 metres or so, we were entertained to some folksy Norwegian choral works. The grounds of the formidable, somewhat austere Palace and adjacent gardens were also worth strolling through.  Kristianstad, Norway: A quaint little town but being a Sunday, most facilities and places of interest were closed save for a small food market. The main attraction, the fish market, was also closed on the day we visited.  Stavanger, Norway: We again just did our own thing opting just to walk through the town that has some lovely parks and fountains.  Torshavn, Faroe Islands: This was the only tender port but the tendering was very efficient and swift. Public transport is free circumnavigating the town and its environs on a regular basis with buses arriving promptly every twenty minutes. So, a good tip is to catch any Red bus - it will take you on a scenic tour overlooking the port and surrounding areas. If one chooses, the service can easily be used to “hop on, hop off” to visit some of the town’s attractions such as the cathedral and the ultra-modern grass covered Nordic House that houses a concert hall, theatre, restaurants and art gallery.  Reykjavik, Iceland: As mentioned, we had visited Reykjavik previously when we toured extensively taking in the geysers and hot springs, Gullfoss Falls, the thermal power plant and Pingvellir National Park where the fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates that is gradually tearing Iceland apart, is clearly visible. If one has not visited these attractions then a ship’s excursion or private tour is almost mandatory. We therefore stayed in Reykjavik itself for the day plus we were docked there. The first day we opted to do a walking tour through the downtown area visiting, inter alia, the shopping district, the impressive cathedral and the infamous phallic museum (which, had it not been for the pensioner’s discount we received on the admission fee, would have been a complete rip-off!). We then purchased tickets for the hop on, hop off bus that offered a scenic drive around the city, the most notable attraction of which is the striking Pearl Observatory, comprising the observatory, a number of restaurants and a conference centre, that offers majestic views of the city and surrounding areas. The next morning we followed the crowd and ended up doing a delightful walk from the ship along the shorefront to the city centre passing a number of unique statues, a restaurant and entertainment park made entirely of scrap metal, and an awesome sculpture of a Viking ship along the way. About a ten kilometre round trip but well worth the effort.  Lerwick, Shetland Islands: we really enjoyed this visit to a bit of Scotland in the middle of the North Atlantic! We walked our socks off through the town, its many gardens, flea markets, dockside attractions and the old fort overlooking the town.  Geiranger, Norway: Without doubt, the highlight of the whole trip. It is a majestic fjord. The sail in to the town of Geiranger takes a good four to five hours and one is gobsmacked by the beauty of the many waterfalls, snow-capped peaks and sheer majesty that greets one as the ship slowly meanders its way through the fjord. The famous Seven Sisters waterfall is everything it is drummed up to be and the town of Geiranger itself, is so beautifully situated it literally takes one’s breath away. We docked using a “floating dock” which was interesting, unique and an attraction in itself. Our visit included a strenuous walk through the magnificent cascading series of mini waterfalls and then a bus drive to the two most scenic viewpoints on either side of the town offering awesome views of the town and the surrounding mountains. Surely one of the most beautiful places in our wonderful planet?  Bergen, Norway: Our last port of call and the only day of the trip where we had really bad weather being greeted by heavy rains as soon as we docked. Bergen apparently, is not called the rain capital of Norway for nothing! A complimentary bus service takes passengers from the port to the centre of town, returning to the ship at regular intervals throughout the day. The weather was pretty miserable but we still managed to get to see some of the sights of the city including the cathedral (currently being renovated), the famous fish/food market and the picturesque coloured houses one sees in all the picture postcards of Bergen. Fortunately, the weather cleared so, along with all the other tourists from the four cruise ships that were in town that day, we opted for the funicular ride up the mountain overlooking the city. The funicular ride is very efficient and quick so the formidably long queue waiting soon dissipated and we were soon on top of the mountain with great views of the city and surrounds. Well worth the journey. • Elite perks. This was the first cruise for which we qualified for Elite status benefits. These included some very welcome free internet minutes, complimentary laundry (wash and fold), an evening “happy hour” with complimentary drinks and snacks, as well as an exclusive continental breakfast venue serving a range of smoothies, fresh fruits and speciality coffees in addition to the usual range of breads and pastries, cheeses and yoghurts. • Captain’s Club. Marlene, the vivacious Captain’s Club hostess on board the Infinity was quite simply the best, most efficient and hard-working we have yet experienced on any of our previous Celebrity cruises. Highly visible and on hand to attend to Captain’s Club member needs she invariably gave the impression that nothing was too much trouble. • Staff visibility. One or other senior staff member, be it the Hotel Director, Staff Captain, Executive Chef or the Master himself, were noticeable around the vessel on most occasions, while virtually the entire senior officer contingent were on hand during functions such as the Captain’s Club reception. • Service standards. We have always been impressed with the quality of staff training within the RCCI organisation. Staff, with very few exceptions, are invariably well trained, approachable, friendly and courteous always seemingly willing to go the extra mile. Our experience on this cruise was no exception. Our cabin attendants, Luciano and Francisco (two native Indians from India!!) were especially attentive and efficient. We had pre-arranged a ship’s excursion to Windsor Castle that dropped us off at Heathrow well in time for our return journey to South Africa. As such we had priority disembarkation so we did not experience the frustrations many passengers apparently had regarding lack of transport from Harwich. The trip to Windsor was interesting and gave us a good insight into this historical town. We recommend it to other passengers seeking a seamless transfer to the airport but who have a few hours to kill before their flight. All in all, we had a great cruise. Indeed, despite the few irritations one experiences on any holiday, what is there to really complain about when one has the good health and good fortune to even be able to cruise anyway, and to be able to see so many unique and beautiful places with cruise ship ambience and convenience? Life is good!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Antarctica, Sailing on Celebrity’s Infinity February 16 to March 2, 2014 Plus Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls February 10 to 15, and March 2, 20a4 This is a wonderful trip and a great experience, and if this is on your bucket list, ... Read More
Antarctica, Sailing on Celebrity’s Infinity February 16 to March 2, 2014 Plus Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls February 10 to 15, and March 2, 20a4 This is a wonderful trip and a great experience, and if this is on your bucket list, GO! But, before you book you must keep in mind: Buenos Aires and Montevideo are lovely cities, however one must be prepared for poorer sectors, graffiti, litter, and crime. Many do not speak any English, i. e. Taxis, shops, restaurants Weather: Tropical hot and humid, mosquitos, damp chilling winter cold with high winds, snow, rain, and sun causing severe sun burns. Due to weather be prepared for: missed ports, itinerary changes, and heavy seas This trip was booked in March of 2012 as a cruise tour with Celebrity. After looking at prices, we found that we could do six days instead of three at the same price. We dropped the tour with Celebrity in April of 2013. Discovery Uruguay, Diego Kraidelman handled all of our ground arrangements. The price, and arrangements included all entry fees, English speaking guides, ground transportation, hotels, airline tickets to and from the falls, and dinner with tango show. We were very extremely pleased with all, and we personally would highly recommend Discovery Uruguay. Prior to booking with Diego, we had done extensive research via books and the net, and we knew we wanted to stay in the Recoleta area in a high quality hotel and we knew what sites we wanted to be included in the tours. We sent Diego a list and a suggested itinerary. Between our list, and his recommendation, we came up with the final itinerary. I would highly suggest you research prior to booking, and know what you want to see and visit, and what you are getting for your monies. One couple while in line at the Pink Palace, ask me, why we were going into this building. Another gentleman thought he should be on a private tour. Doing your research, which takes a lot of time, will avoid disappointments and afford a wonderful experience. All tours were set up as small group tours which meant that we would have groups no larger than twelve. We were only two on some days, 4 on other days, 8 on one day, and 12 at the falls. Private tours can be arranged at an additional charge. All guides spoke English. The transportation drivers do not speak English. We would highly suggest getting a translator app for you mobile phone. One couple was left at the pier due to lack of communication. Please note: that Taxi drivers also do not speak English. We reconfirmed all of our tours and excursions prior to our departure, and all went as planned. Our Trip: February 9th: United Airlines from Orlando to Houston, and then nonstop to Buenos Aires. Arriving on the 10th. Caution, United has a very unusual boarding procedure, and Economy Plus, although paying additional fees, gets no boarding priority. February 10th : Arrived in Buenos Aires. Driver was waiting outside of customs with sign. Taking us to Buenos Aires Grand Hotel. The Grand is only a year old and was wonderful. Staff was outstanding. Room was great! Caution, they do not provide tissues or wash cloths. At 1:00 PM in the pouring rain, we were meet by our guide Sebastian for a three hour walk of the Recoleta Area. Tired and wet, we had dinner at the hotel. February 11th: Meet by our guide Sebastian at 1 PM. We were off to Evita’s Museum. We would say, this is a must. Our guide’s family has lived in the Recoleta Area of Buenos Aires for many years. He gave us a fantastic insight on the life and style of Evita. We were also to see Carlos Gardel Museum, however when we arrived it was closed. We went instead to a special library which used to be a theater with outstanding murals. A library is actually a book store. We had empanadas in a local eatery, and went to a fantastic leather shop, Los Corrales. We had dinner that evening at an Argentinian Steak House, recommended by our hotel, La Cabrera. It was just OK! February 12th: At 2PM we were off to Iguazu Falls with another couple. Stored some of our luggage at the Grand. We were picked up promptly by our driver and taken to the local airport. We arrived at falls about 6 PM, and again our driver was awaiting our arrival. Our hotel was the Panoramic Hotel. It was OK, but in hind sight, I would have upgraded to the Grand. It did have a great view of three countries; Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. February 13th : At 7:30 AM our van arrived to take us to the falls. We had a full day tour of the falls with 10 other person. We were accompanied by an English speaking guide. We were able to see all three trails. It is indeed spectacular and should not be missed. Be prepared for a lot of walking and getting wet viewing the falls. February 14th: We again picked up at the hotel at 7:30 AM. We went back to the falls and did a boat ride in the river and under the falls. We upgraded to a longer boat ride at the falls. In hind sight, we do not know if this was necessary. Caution, you get soaking wet all over including you shoes. They do give you a wet sack to place your personal articles in. If you want to take photos, advise a water proof camera. Getting up and down to the boats is a lot of steps and sometime areas have no hand rails. It also rained that day, the walk ways were slippery, and we had two people fall in our group. At 2 PM our driver took us directly from the falls to the airport. Fortunately, we had a complete set of dry clothes and shoes to change into. We flew back to Buenos Aires that evening, our driver again was waiting at the Airport, and again we stayed at the Grand. It was Valentine’s Day, the restaurants were booked. We just had a sandwich at the bar. If you’re going to be there on Valentine’s Day, make sure you have a reservation. February 15th: We were off (4 in total) to a full day tour of Buenos Aires, Cemetery, and La Boca with our private guide Patricia Kanelson. It was a fantastic tour. We were supposed to go Puerto Madero but our group spent far too much time taking photos in the Cemetery and we ran out of time. One of the highlights of the day in addition to the cemetery was La Boca where we had lunch in a local restaurant that featured a tango show and more. La Boca is a great area to pick up gifts, however be very watchful of your pockets, and pocket books in this area, and do not wonder off. That evening we went to a tango show. We had some Great difficulties. The driver was late and did not appear to know where he was going. It took us forever to get to the restaurant. They wanted to seat us in a corner and we refused the table. After a few words, we got a good table. The tango lesson was a bit of a joke. Dinner was good, and the show was outstanding. We were in a small intimate restaurant, not the typical theater which holds a couple hundred people, like the ship’s tour. The show was the story of the tango, and the stage was close to our table. The performers actually danced in the aisle next to our table at times. Diego’s people booked this for us, however all of the arrangements were made by the tango restaurant, such us pick up etc. Make sure you get a contract name, number and the name of the restaurant so if you have a problem you can call. February 16th: 12 PM off to the port two meet 4 of our friends who we were sailing with, and again our driver was there awaiting out departure. February 16th and 17th: We were at sea. The beyond the podium lectures were very good. On the 17th we had the 1st of our three night dinner package in the SS United States restaurant. It was outstanding. February 18th: We were informed of our first itinerary change due to adverse weather conditions. We were not going to Ushuaia on the 20th but going on the 23th. We were skipping Elephant Island, however we adding a port in Argentina. Instead of arriving in the Falklands on the 25th, we were arriving tomorrow. This announce was made at 1 PM. We immediately left lunch and email Patrick Watts whom we had a private tour with in the Falklands to Volunteer Point. He emailed back, and stated due to another ship being in port, he could no longer accommodate us. Shortly thereafter, we got another email stating he managed to get a few vehicles, and would accommodate us and our friends, because we were his first bookings. He took 18 out of a group of 68. Advice, double book early with Patrick, and the ship. The ship also had to cancel many reservations because of lack of available vehicles. February 19th: We had a great trip to Volunteer Point with Patrick Watts. Would highly recommend. We saw hundreds of Penguins including the King’s. Windy and cold—need warm clothes, hats and gloves. Plus the drive is long and bumpy. February 20th: At sea with another itinerary change. Overnight in Ushuaia, added sailing the Beagle Channel, and Elephant Island is back on. Puerto Madryn is cancelled along with the added port. We now have no port days after Ushuaia until the March 1st in Montevideo. A fuel tanker hit the Infinity while refueling in the Falklands. It damaged a davit for a life boat. We were about 9 hour late leaving the Falklands. This was the reason for the new itinerary. February 21st & 22nd: Beagle Channel, this AM which was fantastic. Viewed from our aft cabin, however it again was very cold. Ushuaia, arriving on the 21st at 10 PM and staying over until 8 PM the following day. Again, all of the tours were fouled up. We had again another ship in port. Again, if you’re doing a private tour, I would double book. Our in Celebrity Tour (Ushuaia in depth) which was to leave at 9:00 AM, left at 7:00 AM. It was a waste of monies in my opinion. It was very cold and the bus windows were all fogged up. It was primarily a bus look and see. Lunch at a local restaurant was interesting. We had dinner at Qsine’s this evening which was wonderful, however the restaurant was freezing cold. Make sure you book this restaurant in warm weather. It actually closes while in Antarctica because of the cold. It is on deck 11 in an all glass area. February 23rd: Sailed around Cape Horn which was fantastic. Again extremely cold and windy. February 24th: Schollart Channel, and Paradise Bay. Paradise Bay was spectacular. Again very cold outside. Dressed in layers, viewed from our balcony on the aft coming in often to get warm. Even are friends from Wisconsin were chilly, and had warm clothing on. We had about 2” of snow on our balcony. February 25th: Elephant Island. It was very over cast and foggy, we had virtually no visibility. Just as we were leaving the fog and clouds cleared so that we were able to get some photos. February 26th to February 28th: We were at sea with no sights. On one of these day, we had extremely high seas. Ship at bags all over; stairs, elevators, restrooms, etc. On the 27th we had the last of our specialty restaurant. We ate again in the SS United Stated, and had an outstanding meal. March 1st: Montevideo, Uruguay. Went on a private wine tour with Ryan Hamilton. The vineyards, tour, and tastings were nice. The grounds of the vineyards were beautiful. Lunch was very good in a restaurant near the beach in town. This tour was almost $200 per person. We and our friends felt it was extremely over priced for what we got. After the tour we roamed around the market area. We found the market area very run down as you started up the hill. We were warned to stay with the crowds, and not wonder down empty streets. I would highly suggest a tour out of the city to see the country side. March 2nd: We disembarked the ship and our driver picked us up at 9 AM. This was part of our package with Diego. We were then deposited at the Obelisco Hotel, our day hotel. This hotel is less expensive however we would not want to stay there for an extended period. We had almost wished we had spent the monies to upgrade, although we were only in the room for a short time. At 10 AM we were picked up for our walking tour by Sebastian our guide. We had a tour of the Pink Palace, which is only open to the public on Sunday. Then we were off to the San Telmo flea market. What a treat! Blocks and blocks of tables with all kinds and sorts to goods; from junk to valuable antiques. This too is only open on Sunday. It is very crowded, and has lot of pick pockets so you must be very careful. We were accompanied the entire time by Sebastian our guide, who bargained for us, and also paid in pesos so we did not have to show are American dollars. There were eight in all. The streets are cobblestones and at times walking is somewhat difficult. At 3 PM we started back to our day hotel, and ran across a couple doing the tango on the street. We arrived back at the hotel with our Wisconsin friends in time to shower, and change for our long flight home. At 5:00 Patricia Kanelson who arranged all of our ground arrangement, a personal friend of Diego’s, stopped at the hotel with driver who was taking us to the airport. She made sure the driver new which Air Lines we were headed to. We caught our 10:30 PM flight home, and arrived home in Melbourne, FL at 3:00 PM on March 3rd. In conclusion, we were extremely happy with the arrangements made by Diego through Discovery Uruguay. Throughout the planning process, which was entailed, Diego was extremely gracious and helpful at every turn. I would highly recommend Discovery Uruguay. The disappointment that were encountered by others in our group, we found to be from lack of understanding of what they were to receive. They appeared to have no idea as to what they were doing, or what they had paid to visit. Although, we had some private tours, this was not promised. Private tours can be arranged. Patricia Kanelson who arranges all for Diego is wonderful. You can confirm all prior to arrival with Patricia at pkanelson@yahoo.com In ending this was a special and wonderful trip. Antarctica is truly a special place. Cruising on the Infinity was great, however this is a truly different experience, and cannot be compared to any of our past sailings. Patricia and Sebastian with Discovery Uruguay were outstanding, and tried to please all. I would highly recommend Discovery Uruguay. Please feel free to email if you desire additional information at jim816@aol.com Johnny and Sandy   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
1. We booked our own transfers as we arrived in London two days early and our return flight was earlier than allowed by Celebrity for its transfers. We used BATransfers, as they were the least expensive and most flexible we could find. We ... Read More
1. We booked our own transfers as we arrived in London two days early and our return flight was earlier than allowed by Celebrity for its transfers. We used BATransfers, as they were the least expensive and most flexible we could find. We shared transfers from LHR to London, London to Harwich, and Harwich to LHR. Bottom line: Great Company. On time, polite, efficient. Will use again if I need similar transfers. 2. Cabin: Veranda cabin quite nice, reasonably spacious, and contained adequate storage space. 3. Service: Cabin cleanup was very good. No complaints. 4. Food: uneven in the dining room. Fish dishes not great; Beef less than tender at times. Lamb was good, however. Service here was good, as well. Buffet: Fairly decent as buffets go. Breakfast the best choice. 5. Excursions: Typical ship impersonal, superficial types. Our highlight was viewing the Bayeux Tapestry. The absolute lowlight was a "cruise" on Loch Lomond - deadly dull. Advice - book your own excursions. 6. Recommendation: Cafe Bacio is a nice place to hang out, particularly if you have a drinks package. 7. We played Trivia and found the "moderators" charming and personable - would have been better if we won more often.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
It started with the plane ride. We had a 6AM flight (booked thru Celebrity) which which got us into Miami at about 8:30 AM. There we waited for 3 hours in the baggage claim area of the terminal for the Celebrity transfer. There were ... Read More
It started with the plane ride. We had a 6AM flight (booked thru Celebrity) which which got us into Miami at about 8:30 AM. There we waited for 3 hours in the baggage claim area of the terminal for the Celebrity transfer. There were between 8-10 seats in the baggage area. Picture some 60 senior citizen types perched on the edges of the baggage carousels. I felt sorry for the people who arrived at 6 AM on the red-eye from LAX and had to wait 5 hours for the transfer. This could have been managed better. At 11:30 AM we were taken by bus to port in Ft. Lauderdale where the Infinity was docked. I have always thought that Celebrity's check-in was top notch. Not so this time. At the port terminal, with the line winding outside for two city blocks, the check in took two hours. Then another 30 min wait for the ship to open. Once on board, another 3 hr wait to get into rooms - this because of extra cleaning due to a stomach virus. Now nobody wants to get sick, but a rolling room cleaning, in which each floor is opened up as cleaned, would have alleviated the overcrowding in the public areas. But then we were off! The itinerary is a good one. The pity is that Peru and Chilean immigration authorities are not helping tourism. Before landing in Manta, Peru, we were informed that the Peruvian authorities would want a face to face inspection of the passports. We arrived the evening before our scheduled time. The face to face inspection of the passports never occurred. When we arrived in Arica, Chile, we were told that another face to face inspection would occur and that we would not be cleared until 3 p.m. As it turned out, we were cleared around noon but the longer excursions had to be canceled. The Arica Tourist Board, however, was first rate-- and provided dockside entertainment for an hour before we left. In La Serena, Chile, which was a port where we were tendered ashore, was in my mind a disaster. It took us over an hour and a half to get ashore. Our Celebrity shore excursion, delayed by an hour, raced along but managed to finish on time for the return tender. It need not have hurried, because we had to stand in line for 2 hours to get the tender back. As far as the cuisine was concerned, it was up the standards of previous Celebrity sailings except in the area of refreshers and desserts. The sorbets that were served were about half melted and the Baked Alaska was also partially melted. However, the evening entertainment was superb. The Celebrity production shows were the best I've seen on any ship so far. The singers and dancers were particularly good and the production shows were very well choreographed. Both the wait staff and the cabin attendants were also exceptional - very professional and courteous. They could teach a course on customer service . OK and the pool in the covered spa area --wow! It is toasty warm. Loved it. We have scheduled two more Celebrity cruises this year. Hopefully this trip was just an aberration.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We are retired seniors from western Pennsylvania. We learned of this cruise from a friend who booked through AAA. We were able to get it at a discount, but without their perks. In addition, we were able to get very good airline prices ... Read More
We are retired seniors from western Pennsylvania. We learned of this cruise from a friend who booked through AAA. We were able to get it at a discount, but without their perks. In addition, we were able to get very good airline prices traveling on the days of embarkation and debarkation. If you are a conservative like myself, take note. Celebrity does not permit the carry of pocketknives of any length on their ships (it got on-board in my carry-on luggage). Mine was confiscated at the security point on return from an excursion; and returned while disembarking. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale just after 12:00 pm, and used a local shuttle to get to the port, arriving at the port about 1:15 pm. Porters took our bags quickly and we were able to begin processing immediately. There were the usual lines, but no undue waits; shortly we were given seats to await boarding. We were able to board at approximately 3:00 pm; once on-board we were told we could access our staterooms. The stateroom was clean, and in good condition; not perfect, but more than just satisfactory. I cannot praise our stateroom stewards enough. The room was attended to religiously. Sometimes, their efforts seemed to be magical; you'd leave the, return within 15 or 20 minutes and they had already tidied up, made the bed, cleaned the bathroom, and moved on. The ship itself was in nice condition. There were some issues noted, but the crew were doing maintenance on a daily basis. Some of the minor issues I noted early during our cruise were corrected by the time we disembarked. I did not note any evidence of gross negligence on the ship. Please note, if you decide on a room on deck 2, starboard. The hallway on this side of the ship is very uneven. From high spot to low spot there must be around 10 inches total height difference. There are a couple low spots up to 3 to 4 inches, and a few rolling high spots almost high enough for steps. These are not marked, although we noted one low spot had a stain which appeared to be a coffee stain shortly after the beginning of our trip. We ate most evening meals in the Trellis dining room. I found my meals to be very good and tasty. Some might have had larger portions of the side dishes, but were adequate. There seems to be some issue with "presentation"; apparently now it is "in" to present all the food on the plate piled into one large pile in the center of the plate. Most meals came this way. We normally do not eat breakfast or lunch in the dining room; the only exception on this trip was the brunch served on our second Saturday. The Oceanview buffet is on deck 10. I found breakfast selections very good. They usually had two American breakfast lines and two English breakfast lines. In addition, they made omelets to-order, and had a separate line for pancakes, waffles, and blintz's. There were numerous drink stations around the buffet area, with regular & decaffeinated; and also punches, orange juice, and water. Lunch selections were varied daily. The food tasted good, but was mostly a little bland. The evening selections I found downright repetitious. Even more so than the lunch selections, the evening selections were very bland. Stick with the Trellis for dinner, even if you eat off the Americanized side of the menu daily. The only good things about the Oceanview for dinner was the pasta bar; pizza bar; and fresh, made-to-order bar in the back. One issue concerning the Oceanview buffet. Celebrity insisted on serving all entree`s. This, along with insufficiently assigned servers created slow line movement. I don't remember having this on any other cruise line. As with all cruise lines, the Infinity had a daily activities sheet. We found this to be quite full, and varied. We found plenty to keep us busy on our days-at-sea. The Cruise Directors staff were very good. They were articulate and personable; we quickly became comfortable with all of them. The service on-board was very good, except in the Oceanview buffet. We were told that there were a lot of "new" crew members brought on-board for our cruise. Apparently they were new hires, and all sent to the Oceanview. It was utter chaos at meal time. Otherwise, service staff was attentive and efficient. Celebrity relies on both cruise line staff entertainers and contracted entertainers. They provide a nice mix of venue this way and keep the entertainment from becoming repetitious. We were not completely satisfied one evening with the entertainment, but that was due more to our taste than to the performance. There was one port not listed on the excursion poll; Puerto Quetzal. At this port, we elected to tour the drive-through zoo. Although we were supposed to have SUV type vehicles, we were picked up by a full-sized bus. The tour guide identified that the vehicles and guides slated for the tour were delayed due to weather induced landslides on their route to the area and other arrangements were made. These were functional, but not truly satisfactory for the tour. Celebrity made a refund for the shortfall, but I would wager only to those who complained about the issue. Disembarkment went well. Lately we have elected to walk off ourselves. Although Celebrity does not officially offer this feature, I am aware of a few people who did such. Since there was no passenger self-laundry facilities, we each had two suitcases, as well as a carry-on; and therefore let Celebrity get our bags to the port building. They have a good, orderly process for getting people off the ship, it worked well. I believe we were off the ship, picked up our bags, went through customs, and into a taxi in little over an hour. Even with apparent heavy San Diego traffic, we were at the airport nearly three hours early for our flight. 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Sail Date October 2012
Overall, I'd say we had a wonderful cruise but there is a lot of room for improvement. Positives: Room with veranda was great with adequate storage and great views. Cabin attendants came when we were gone every time. Towels, robes, ... Read More
Overall, I'd say we had a wonderful cruise but there is a lot of room for improvement. Positives: Room with veranda was great with adequate storage and great views. Cabin attendants came when we were gone every time. Towels, robes, etc were appropriate. Food was excellent and plentiful. Entertainment was surprisingly good. Brent Nixon was entertaining and a talented educator. I was interested in things I'm not usually interested in and learned a good deal. Lots of things to be involved in. Scenery was beautiful and no picture can capture it for you. You only have to unpack once and not check in and out and there is no way to see all of the places we saw otherwise. Negatives: Communication was poor. No information about boarding was given, not even the location of the ship. I found that on the Internet. We were told to be there by 3 when I called, but the ship was taking on passengers at noon when we got there. They served lunch at 1:00. We never got a map of the ship to review so we could find things. Internet was very expensive and slow. The selling never stopped. Why would you go to Alaska to buy jewelry? Children were unattended and running around. Service was slow in the main dining room. We were given wrong information from guest services after being on hold for 15 minutes.Written communication came every night but so much more needed to be there. Maybe if you've done this several times, it's not needed but we weren't the only first timers. We talked to people who missed the Brunch because they didn't know what it was (excessive amount of food). Things happened in the dining room downstairs and we could here it, but not see it. Strange. Shades were closed in the dining room on formal nights. Why would we not want to see the sights as we went by if we were near enough to a window? Looking for luggage and getting a bus to the airport was awful. The bus driver for Gray Lines was good (Chuck). We got a tour on the way to the airport. It would have been nice to know that the tendering to Juneau would take almost 2 hours. We gave up and didn't get off the ship. We were told 3PM but our number was called at 4. And knowing about tendering in advance would have been a great idea. The 545 Express singers and the illusionist on board need to learn some manners. Talented yes, but insulting people is not a talent. Making fun of people is not a talent and if they want to know why people didn't applaud, they need to review the tape. TV was never explained so we discovered that lots of information was there on our own. We will cruise again, but with more information.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was our third cruise. Our previous 2 cruises were with Royal Caribbean and we enjoyed them. We thought we were taking a step up with Celebrity, but everything was identical to the Royal Caribbean experience, down to the smallest ... Read More
This was our third cruise. Our previous 2 cruises were with Royal Caribbean and we enjoyed them. We thought we were taking a step up with Celebrity, but everything was identical to the Royal Caribbean experience, down to the smallest detail. They have a solid formula. Checkin was well-run with many supporting staff at the pier. We boarded the ship to complimentary champagne. Within an hour we were in our stateroom. Two hours later we had our luggage. The buffets were well-run with good diversity of choices, including vegetarian which is our preference. Evening dinner service was excellent with good selection of meals. Entertainment was predictably campy and enjoyable. We were able to ballroom dance nightly which made the trip very nice. The fitness center was well-equipped. The thalasotherapy pool was delightful. Since my wife won the jackpot on a poker machine we came away big winners! De-boarding was, again, well-run. Our criticisms are few: missing fresh fruit at the buffet (strawberries, blueberries), tuna steak at dinner that was tough, sidetrips were expensive although enjoyable. Best side-trip was the Skagway 7 mile hike to the Lawton glacier - if you are fit, it is not to be missed. Ketchikan side-trip of jeep and canoeing was only fair - expensive with little to see. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
I'm normally not that fond of cruises (went on a couple other family cruises to the Caribbean). Now I can't wait to return to see more of the Inside Passage and do more excursions. Tons of stuff to see from my balcony (p.s. get a ... Read More
I'm normally not that fond of cruises (went on a couple other family cruises to the Caribbean). Now I can't wait to return to see more of the Inside Passage and do more excursions. Tons of stuff to see from my balcony (p.s. get a balcony!!!). The food was pretty good in the main dining room, but it takes awhile to get all the way through dinner. The buffet line is more chaotic and the food was often not hot or flavorful. The shows were good, but not great. The activities like water coloring and nature talks were really nice. The service was good, like other cruise lines. We had very calm seas due to the inside passage. Make sure you use the outdoor jacuzzis at least once while under the mountains. It's a gorgeous view. Remember to bring a rain jacket. I wish I had. An umbrella is a hassle, and all the locals use a light-weight rainproof jacket instead. Embarkation in Seattle was a zoo and difficult for the elderly. You wait outside to check luggage, so you better hope it's not raining. There's nowhere to park, so don't expect to be able to help elderly people easily. A closeby hotel seems to have a package that expedites your luggage check in and embarkation. Definitely worth looking into. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I would like to discuss the good and bad points of our cruise. First of all, the entertainment offered was A+. All the performers were extremely professional, the variety of acts offered was excellent and all in all, we could not have ... Read More
I would like to discuss the good and bad points of our cruise. First of all, the entertainment offered was A+. All the performers were extremely professional, the variety of acts offered was excellent and all in all, we could not have asked for more. Our cruise director was very good. The ports of call were what we expected with the exception of Huatalco, Mexico. We were not looking forward to this port and did not expect much other than beaches. The experience we had was far beyond that. Through Cruise Critic, we joined four other cruisers on a river rafting trip that turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. Huatalco is a modern, lovely port. The only issue we had was in the main dining room for dinner. The food was definitely not up to par. It was inconsistent, where one night we had a very good entree and the next two or three nights they were mediocre with an occasional inedible entree served. This was a major disappointment as we had been led to expect outstanding cuisine on Celebrity (this was our first Celebrity cruise). Overall, a nice cruising experience. Going on Cruise Critic and knowing a group of people when we got on board definitely added to our enjoyment of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Overall we really enjoyed this cruise, the ship, and the people. The food and the ports had pluses and minuses. We arrived in Seattle the day before the cruise, and stayed in the Hilton, which is centrally located for in town activities ... Read More
Overall we really enjoyed this cruise, the ship, and the people. The food and the ports had pluses and minuses. We arrived in Seattle the day before the cruise, and stayed in the Hilton, which is centrally located for in town activities and close to the port. We spent the embarkation morning sightseeing, and went to the port a little before 2:00 PM. The security and check-in processing was completed fairly quickly. The size of the ship and the floor plans made it easy to get around. This cruise was sold out, but there was never a major problem with crowding, with the exception of the single performance of the Crew Talent Show in the Celebrity Theater. The number and placement of the lounges are good, with the Rendez-Vous being our favorite before dinner spot. We caught several movies in the Cinema, and there are ample quiet spots for reading. Lines in the Oceanview Cafe were not too bad, because they have a number of serving lines with different foods. The Oceanview Bar on the stern of the ship, is a great place to eat or have drinks and a great view. We had read a number of negative comments about general conditions of the ship and a need for updating. We agree that some updating would be good, e.g., they don't have flat screen TV's in the cabins and our wall mounted hair drier was an antique. Our balcony cabin was a little small, but there was ample storage, and the bathroom shower was larger than we have had on some bigger ships. Overall we thought the ship was in good shape and was well decorated. Our cabin service was very good and so was the service in the lounges, main dining room, and pool deck. Room Service with one exception, when they did not show up on our last morning, was always on time and they called ahead. The room service breakfast menu was a bit limited. Our key service complaint dealt with not being able to get accurate information about the ports. The Port & Shopping Guide person should not have the word "Port" in his title. He only knew about the shopping spots on his list. We had the same problem with the Shore Excursion Desk. If you want to know about taxi fares, on your own sightseeing, places to eat, etc., you are out of luck. Worse, in a couple of cases we actually got misinformation. We had the late seating for dinner, and would have liked it a little earlier than 8:30. The quality and presentation of the food in the Main Dining Room, was unimpressive to poor at the start. The good news is that it got better as the cruise progressed. Beef dishes tended to be a problem, except for a filet with the surf and turf. The steaks or veal were either not cooked properly or not cut properly. The staff was responsive to complaints, but you should not have to go through that. We ate one night in the specialty restaurant, the S.S. United States. It was outstanding in every aspect. Atmosphere, service, food presentation and food quality were so much better than the main dining room, that it was hard to believe it was part of the same Food & Beverage operation. Entertainment throughout the cruise was very good. We liked several of the bands and singers, and they had a good variety of events and activities. The Cruise Director, Damian de Lorenzis, did an excellent job. We should also mention that we saw the Captain and his senior staff more than we can remember on any other cruise. They would also talk with passengers and seemed willing to pose for pictures. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
My wife and I and several friends just returned home from the above noted cruise. While we enjoyed ourselves, I must say that we were very disappointed in many ways. We travel often, usually self-touring, and this was only our second ... Read More
My wife and I and several friends just returned home from the above noted cruise. While we enjoyed ourselves, I must say that we were very disappointed in many ways. We travel often, usually self-touring, and this was only our second cruise on a large ship (our first being on the Dawn Princess to Alaska in 2008). We chose Celebrity because it has the reputation of being a "notch above" Princess, and it offered us the itinerary we wanted for the Panama Canal. Quite frankly, we found our experience on Princess to be superior to our cruise on the Infinity. One couple traveling with us (the wife a former travel agent) who have gone on over twenty cruises, were very disappointed in this cruise. This cruise seemed to have one problem after another. Our boarding was delayed due to an alleged inspection. This delay translated into a two-hour boarding process, a late departure and a delay in arriving in Georgetown, GC. The marina was closed in Georgetown due to weather, so four ships had to share a small alternate pier causing delays with disembarking and returning to the ship, as well as great confusion ashore and cutting shore excursions short. Our time in Cartegena was reduced as the ship had to return to Georgetown because of an ill passenger (understandable, but one more thing on the long list). Our time in Cabo San Lucas was cut short by two hours due to an alleged engine problem requiring a longer cruise time to San Diego, yet we arrived in San Diego two hours early (so it's hard to believe the engine problem was the reason for our early Cabo departure). Then there was the water line break which really affected passengers on the seventh deck, but also affected all other passengers who were up (myself being one of them), as there was no water, no coffee, no water in the stateroom, and no information from 4:30 am until 7:30 am. The reported turn-around time of an hour and a half that was published on the ship was good spin, but not accurate. To top everything off, I tried to enroll in the Captains Club online once we arrived home, and was told that Celebrity's records showed that we had not participated in an eligible sailing. What's with that? We found the ship to be comfortable, but looking a bit worn and dated in many areas, including our stateroom. The overall maintenance of the ship appeared to be lacking as evidenced by very worn exterior wooden rails and fair amounts of rust. Our Princess ship had a crew constantly working on refinishing the rails and painting the ship. I only saw one man doing touch-up painting on the Infinity. Our experience in the dining room was varied. Juan (our server) and Miriam (his assistant) were superb. They were absolutely excellent in every way and everyone at our table loved them. Conversely, the maitre'd was unfriendly and quite full of himself and seemed to be just going through the motions of what was required from his office. The food was excellent at times, average most of the time and terrible occasionally. It was usually warm, but not hot. The fish was over-cooked and dry on most occasions, but was delicious when cooked properly. The steaks were varied, quite tough about half of the time, and great the other half (always ordered medium-rare). The beef Wellington, medium-rare (given to my wife) was outstanding, yet the piece given to me (medium-well) was terrible. The rack of lamb the first week was delicious, and the second week was very, very fatty. The veal cordon bleu was tough and lacked flavor. The escargot went from very salty to perfect depending on the day. The onion soup and butternut squash soup were delicious, while the other soups were average. The salads frequently came with wilted lettuce. The poached pear with gorgonzola wrapped in pastry and the duck leg appetizer were especially good. The desserts were varied and ranged from great to average. All in all, my wife and I and our friends who were also with us on Princess thought the food on Princess was consistently better. We thoroughly enjoyed the pool and the nice weather, but found the music to be very loud and bothersome for a relaxed atmosphere. We have no problem with the occasional pool parties and live music, especially later in the afternoon and evening. However, nice background music the remainder of the time would have been welcomed by us and many of the people we spoke with. The pool area decks were well maintained and clean, and the service was quite good. I bought a package to the Persian Garden, and several times during the cruise the steam was not working well or at all in both the Turkish Bath and the Herbal Bath. The first week the ladies in the Aqua Spa were barely civil and seemed more intent with looking and acting glamorous. They were much more friendly the second week, so I assume something was said to them. Our stateroom attendant was average. We never even saw him until the second night, and rarely after that. Our stateroom was always clean and left in wonderful shape for us, but we had little opportunity to develop any kind of relationship with him. I don't even know his name. We had pre-paid gratuities, and I can't help but wonder if he was giving his attention to those customers who had yet to tip him. Just a thought. The shore excursions ranged from excellent to poor. We have already provided feedback to the ship about our experience in Puntarenas (excellent) and in Huatulco (poor). My wife's Grand Cayman excursion was disappointing in that there were very few fish at the snorkeling site, and few sting rays at Sting Ray City. We've both been diving/snorkeling at Grand Cayman before, so we know how good it can be. The walking tour in Cartagena was great with the exception of all the street vendors who barraged us constantly throughout the tour. My wife's excursion in Acapulco was good, but rushed. We self-toured in Cabo, and would really have liked the extra two hours we were scheduled to have there. We really enjoyed the Panama Canal, which was the highlight of the trip. The disembarking process in San Diego was smooth and quick, once we received the clearance to go ashore. It would have been nice if coffee had been available during the LONG wait following breakfast. We have very mixed feelings about this cruise. As I said, we really enjoyed ourselves, but we both feel the cruise would have been much better without all the scheduling snafus, and with higher quality food, some better/longer shore excursions, spa equipment working properly (especially when extra money had to be paid for use of the facility), and so on. We do not expect perfection, but the cumulative affect of all the issues and problems leaves us both unsure of whether or not we would recommend Celebrity to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
We arrived at the port at 2:15 PM and went directly through to registration in no time at all. Been on other cruises and were in the initial wave of boarders at 1:00PM, later is better. The Infinity is an older ship but even if the decor ... Read More
We arrived at the port at 2:15 PM and went directly through to registration in no time at all. Been on other cruises and were in the initial wave of boarders at 1:00PM, later is better. The Infinity is an older ship but even if the decor is dated it is very well kept and all areas are clean. We had the concierge class and were satisfied with the cabin size and amenities. Had room service for breakfast every day-Excellent. We did not have the most pleasant experience with the dining. First, our table was on the 4th deck in the rear. Everything was all crammed together. The night when the baked alaska march of the wait staff & chefs was held we could not see a thing until our waiter came by our table. At the Seaday Brunch (crablegs galore) we showed up at 12:00 noon(it started at 10:00) and were told to go up to the next level dining room and go down to level four, get your food and bring it back up to your table. We complained, but were told that a lot of people show up for these brunches.Oh, there were available tables on the lower level, they didn't want to open that side. The dining room breakfasts were the same - jam everybody in the tables by the entrance. P.S. the food on this cruise was just average. The deserts did not measure up to Royal Caribbean or Princess. On a positive note, all the personnel on the Infinity were very courteous, helpful and pleasant. The entertainment was okaycomedian(so-so) magician(poor) lounge musicians(very good)Singer & Dancers shows( very good). The excursions to Butchart Gardens, the Duck tour in Ketchican and the Tram ride in Juneau are a must. The best new thing is Valet Luggage when leaving the cruise. Best $40. ever spent.The reason we rated the cruise down, we were always told by travel agents that Celebrity Line was a notch above the rest. We found that not to be the case. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
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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