A Great Cruise to Alaska on Celebrity’s Infinity, July 30th to August 6th, 2017
This was an especially good cruise, one of our best. Celebrity does it right with a relaxed atmosphere; good service, ... Read More
A Great Cruise to Alaska on Celebrity’s Infinity, July 30th to August 6th, 2017
This was an especially good cruise, one of our best. Celebrity does it right with a relaxed atmosphere; good service, dining and entertainment.
We were a party of two, my wife and I, both senior citizens. This was our twenty eighth cruise since 2001 so we consider ourselves experienced and savvy cruisers. This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity having sailed to Bermuda on the Summit in 2015 and 2016 and the Silhouette to the Caribbean in its inaugural season of 2012. We’ve also cruised on Holland America, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean lines.
We had booked the cruise as Concierge Class passengers and as such received amenities including daily fresh fruit and canapes in our stateroom, a sizable on-board spending credit, gratuities included and various complimentary shipboard events.
We had previously arrived by plane from New York City and toured Vancouver, BC several days ahead of the cruise. We then arrived by limo at the cruise terminal in Vancouver, were checked-in and boarded at about 1:00 pm. Concierge Class passengers were treated to a welcome-aboard luncheon in the main dining room. Our stateroom was ready following lunch and our luggage followed shortly thereafter. The stateroom attendant introduced himself in a very pleasant manner and was very informative.
Following the mandatory safety drill we set sail for Alaska’s inside passage and Sitka, our first port-of-call.
The Infinity is an older ship, in service since 2001and refurbished in 2011. Her gross tonnage is 91,000. It’s 965 ft. in length and 106 ft. at the beam. She carries 2,170 passengers and a crew of 999. Top speed is 24 knots. The infinity presently sails to Alaska in the summer and South America in the winter. The ship was spotless inside and showed very little evidence of wear and tear. However, on the outside, especially at the balcony-- there was evidence of rust and –painted-over rust not normally seen on cruise ships. We did not consider this a serious problem. There was a large amount of public space with a lot of comfortable seating available. Prominent locations included the pool deck with two pools and several hot tubs, a solarium with a heated shallow pool and small buffet, several restaurants which will be described later, a large boutique area, casino, gym, rooftop terrace and sports deck. The public rest rooms were maintained spotlessly and featured cut fresh flowers and cloth hand towels. Sailing was extremely smooth.
Celebrity offers two optional, extra-cost, passenger classes; Aqua and Concierge.
Aqua Class cabins add spa-themed perks and amenities to the standard balcony cabin experience. The rooms are each enhanced with a fancy spa shower, plush bathrobes and slippers, an aromatherapy diffuser, pillow menu and extra toiletries (shower gel, lip balm and facial spray). Passengers can take advantage of a spa concierge who can reserve spa treatments, as well as complimentary tea, an expanded room service menu, some wellness programming on your in-cabin TV and free passes to the spa's thermal suite (Persian Garden) and relaxation room. Plus, Aqua Class passengers can dine for free in Blu, an exclusive dining venue featuring light fare, for breakfast and dinner
Concierge Class passengers receive priority seating at on-board restaurants and access to a special lounge on embarkation day, where they can wait in comfort to board the ship. In-room amenities include a welcome bottle of sparkling wine (which we did not receive), pillow menu, afternoon canapes, daily fresh fruit, special toiletries, an upgraded spa shower head and use of binoculars and a golf umbrella. These balcony cabins are often located in more desirable locations on the ship (upper decks, often mid-ship) than the standard balconies. Despite the name, Concierge Class passengers also have access to a personal concierge.
Our stateroom was located on Deck 8. The room was about the same size as what we were used to on other ships. There was sufficient closet and drawer space. A king size bed, flat screen TV, mini-bar, wall safe and hair dryer were provided. The bathroom was the smallest we’ve ever had but had a good shower. The housekeeping staff was friendly, efficient and timely, quickly adjusting their duties to our schedule. For our upcoming wedding anniversary the concierge presented us with roses and a cake and the stateroom attendant followed with kissing towel swans.
Complimentary (no charge) venues:
• Trellis Restaurant
• Oceanview Café
• Pool Grill
• Spa Café
• Blu – Aqua Class only
Specialty (extra charge applies)
• Tuscan Grille
The Trellis Restaurant, situated on decks 4 and 5, and the Oceanview were the two main complimentary restaurants. The Trellis featured a standard dinner menu and also a special dinner menu each day. Breakfast and lunch were served there daily. The food was very well prepared, tasty and portions were adequate. We never had to ask for seconds. We rated the food as very good to excellent depending upon the menu. The room however, holding more than a thousand diners, was crowded and the tables, especially those for two, were very close together. In spite of the conditions, the service was courteous, friendly and efficient. We did not make reservations but were usually seated at our desired dining time immediately or within fifteen to twenty minutes.
The Oceanview buffet style restaurant was situated on Deck 10 aft of the pool area. It extended to a small outdoor section. It was available for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between. Except for early morning and afternoon “coffee and”, we did not dine there. Coffee, tea and juices were available there twenty four hours a day.
There was also the Pool Grill featuring hamburgers, franks and sides outdoors on the pool deck.
We dined in the specialty venue Tuscany Grille twice. Tuscan featured a primarily Italian menu; homemade pastas, pizza, fish, chicken fish and steaks. The food and service were very good to excellent. We also had a special Alaskan king crab luncheon which was simply amazing. The Tuscan wait staff also presented a cake and sang “Happy Wedding Anniversary” to us.
On our recent cruises we have essentially ignored the evening shows, having seen most of them or similar shows several times. However, we did attend several of the shows and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the productions, especially by the Infinity troupe. A female singer Karen Grainger who impersonated other popular female singers was well received and gave a second performance.
We didn’t participate in any of the poolside, evening or parlor games.
In general, the shore excursions were quite pricey. We did however book excursions in Sitka and Juneau. The Juneau excursion included a trip to the Mendenhall glacier and waterfall, truly beautiful and amazing sights. The Sitka excursion included an injured raptor hospital and rehab site, a performance by Sitka Native American children and a national park.
We were able to view the Hubbard glacier from the ship which drew as safely close to it as possible.
Since we had a late evening (red-eye) flight home on disembarkation day we stayed as long as possible on the ship. We then stored our luggage at a nearby hotel and toured the local Vancouver area until leaving for the airport.
WHAT WE LIKED AND LOVED:
We loved the relaxed atmosphere. We liked and loved the food and service.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:
There wasn’t much we didn’t like, and the little that we didn’t like is hardly worth mentioning here.
We highly recommend the Infinity for the Alaska cruise. We also recommend visiting Vancouver prior to, or after the cruise, or both.
Maria N. & Marco J. Caputo
Any questions? Email us at email@example.com
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