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22 Celebrity Infinity Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America

This is one of the most amazing cruises I have ever been on. Everything could not have been better From embarkation to disembarkment Arrived st port 11:00 was on the ship eating lunch at 11:30. The cabin was a little small compared to ... Read More
This is one of the most amazing cruises I have ever been on. Everything could not have been better From embarkation to disembarkment Arrived st port 11:00 was on the ship eating lunch at 11:30. The cabin was a little small compared to other cruises, but that is the only negative. The staff, the food, the entertainment all weregreat. There are times when it was hard to find a seat in the buffet area. The only real negative, which is a problem on all ships was the seat hogs at the pools. It might help if there was a towel person to remove towels from chair that haven’t been used for awhile. We watch many couples hold several chairs 2 in the sun, 2 in the shade. One other problem was the smoking areas were set up in very odd areas. If you weren’t a smoker you got to smell second hand smoke while sitting along the pool. It seemed as if these areas should have been away from the general area. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall the experience of a lifetime. The Infinity is showing her age a bit but very well maintained. We are not excursion people, nor are we fitness buffs so have nothing to report in these areas. All ship staff we encountered offered a ... Read More
Overall the experience of a lifetime. The Infinity is showing her age a bit but very well maintained. We are not excursion people, nor are we fitness buffs so have nothing to report in these areas. All ship staff we encountered offered a friendly greeting whether they were on task or in passing. Stateroom attendant Chico was outstanding. The buffet offered a wide selection of very good offerings. The MDR was always very good. Delicious food well presented. Waiter Artika and asst waiter Imam very competent and efficient, and a lot of fun. Weather was acceptable most of trip. Could have used a bit more sunshine through the canal, will have to talk to Celebrity about that next time. Entertainment throughout the entire cruise was excellent, whether provided by headliners or staff singers, dancers, or orchestra. My biggest disappointment is with the sound board in the main theatre. Most performances were simply too loud, out of balance, and way too much echo/reverb. Not all programs are Rock concerts! A major rethink on the usage of the sound board is needed. This did not prevent us from seeing all shows, and certainly did not detract from our enjoyment of the entire trip. Hopefully we will be able to do it again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This “Eastbound Panama Canal” cruise on the “Infinity” beginning on October 8 was our 24th on Celebrity among more than fifty overall for my wife and me. This was the second of our B2B cruise after doing the “Pacific Coastal” ... Read More
This “Eastbound Panama Canal” cruise on the “Infinity” beginning on October 8 was our 24th on Celebrity among more than fifty overall for my wife and me. This was the second of our B2B cruise after doing the “Pacific Coastal” cruise starting on October 1. We've also posted our review for the first one and some of those comments are repeated here. We very much enjoyed this cruise as the very good food and great service from your staff and crew members continues to be top notch. We are also happy to now be “Elite Plus” with the additional perks like the 240 minutes of internet and even more laundry options. We continued our stay in Cabin 3104 which was comfortable and quiet, even though it was very near the Grand Foyer atrium and the Guest Relations desk. Our housekeeper, Edi, did a great job keeping our cabin neat and clean while being “invisible” while we were relaxing there. That approach is perfect for us. The Guest Relations staff members were very professional and helpful. We were pleased to see GR Officer Garmen Zhang whom we met on our B2B2B cruises in Asia a year ago. Melissa was also accommodating. Our OBC from Celebrity and CruCon, our travel agent, was immediately posted on our account which helped us to plan how to spend it. On other cruises, it took four or five days so this was the fastest ever. Cruise Director Luigi and Activities Manager Nacho were OK, but nothing special. After a few nights, we got a little tired of Luigi’s introductions at every show requesting the increasing tens of thousands of “holas”. They seemed more suited to a different cruise line as other CDs and AMs on Celebrity have been classier. Others seemed to like them so it's just a matter of personal taste. We had been in “Select Dining” during the first cruise. We appreciate that Celebrity has many tables for two for that option, but most of them are so close together that you might as well be sharing a table. We talk to many other guests during the day and later in the evening, but we prefer to have some “down time” from these conversations at dinner. Also, my wife has trouble hearing which can make these interactions difficult. So, we switched to a table for two at “Early Fixed” at the 6:00 time for this one and our private table worked out much better. The food and service in the “Trellis” MDR continued to be excellent. Our waiter, Mega, and her assistant, Anthony, did a great job quickly taking care of us each and every evening. Our sommelier, Mercy, provided helpful advice for our wine choices. Rodman always had our bottled water ready for us at our table. So, we were very happy to have the same group of servers rather than being at different tables with different servers each night with “Select Dining”. We usually order our favorite dishes from each menu, but we tried some new ones this time and they were also very good. The Oceanview Café provided many options during the day and late into the night. We particularly liked the Indian/Asian selections and fish and chips. We also enjoyed the hot/cold drinks and desserts in Café al Baccio. The bartenders in the lounges were efficient even when they were very busy. DeJean in the Rendez-Vous was particularly helpful and made the best Grasshoppers we’d ever had. Adi Putra and Willie provided excellent service in the casino, Constellation Sky Lounge and other venues. We were pleasantly surprised that the Classic Beverage Package was now allowing up to $9 for beer, wine and liquor drinks. In the past, the beer offerings under $6 were mostly lagers and lighter brews so it was nice to be able to have Guinness, Boddingtons, Sam Adams and other more robust options. The downside was that Bailey’s, Amaretto, Frangelico and most other liquors are now priced at $10 which seemed a little petty. We spoke to the Beverage Manager about that on the first cruise. Sorry I don’t know his name, but it was not Anti from the second cruise who is very personable. He was a bit abrupt when we asked him about that saying “it’s been like that for months”. He didn’t bother to explain that you can now pay the difference if it’s over $9 as we’ve done when we’ve had the Premium Package. We didn’t find that out until much later in the second cruise when one of the servers, Rodman, told us about it. Another odd twist was that you can’t get cans of soda even though some venues open a can in front of you and pour it into a glass. We suspect that it’s a cost-saving measure, but we’re not sure what this change really accomplishes for such an inconvenience to your guests. Unfortunately, this sort of thing contributes to people’s perception that Celebrity is “nickel and diming” them. That’s certainly not the image that they’d like to present so we hope that they reconsider this policy for future cruises. We continue to support “Evening Chic” with my wife in her dresses and me in my suit or tuxedo. We understand that other guests aren’t as interested in doing this as we are, but it’s nice to see some still like it as much as we do. We often joke with other guests who feel the same way that we need to keep “Evening Chic” alive! All three production shows were very good as usual and the singers and dancers were quite talented. We really enjoyed the “Swing@Sky” show in the Constellation Lounge. The entire cast kept up the high level of energy for a very long time, even though the waves were high and the ship was rocking. We saw it during the first cruise and both times it was the very best of that type of event on all of our cruises. This was the final cruise of that cast's contract so they will all be new on the subsequent cruises. The “Duo Destiny” show with the acrobats Goncalo and Kinga was unbelievable. Among the guest entertainers, we particularly liked Hard Day’s Night (Beatles tribute) and Mike Price (“Rock Star Juggler”). We were very lucky on this cruise as both bands were excellent. We saw Take 5 on our B2B2B cruises in Asia a year ago year so we were happy to see them again. They were great then and are even better now that their keyboard player is back with them. The singer and their other members are very friendly and approachable. The Bryan James Band was terrific, especially since they were billed on this cruise as a “dance band” rather than “house band” or “party band”. Bryan has a great sense to humor and his band can play a wide range of music depending on the audience and the venue. Mr. H often played the piano with them on some songs. The last night of the cruise, someone requested that Bryan’s band play “Blurred Lines”. They said that they don’t do that one, but members of Take 5 know it so they joined them on stage and played that song. It was nice to see them and the audience really enjoying their collaboration. We hope that Celebrity keeps both bands under contract for as long as they can. We’ll just miss Take 5 on the “Constellation” by a few weeks as we’re on a B2B2B starting in November and ending just before Christmas while the band will start in January. We asked Bryan if they had booked their next gig with Celebrity and they are very interested in the “Eclipse” next spring in Europe. We are doing a B2B2B2B starting in May so we are really hoped that they can get that itinerary as it would be great to see them there for 42 nights. We hope that Celebrity can keep them both! We always appreciate the live orchestra as that really separates Celebrity from other cruise lines. The solo performers, duos and string players are also a nice change from the usual music on other lines. About the only complaint that we’d have is that DJ Annet always had the volume in the Constellation Lounge cranked up to ‘11’ like “Spinal Tap”. I play my music very loud at home, but we had to leave every time she was there (as did many others). I wished that I had my decibel meter with me to see how earsplitting it was! Since we were visiting countries in Central America, we did ship’s excursions in all of the ports to ensure that we’d make it back onboard on time. In Cabo San Lucas, we did “CSA2: Chileno Bay Deluxe Snorkeling” where we saw a decent amount of fish. In Puerto Vallarta, we did the “PVB4: Half Day Sailing and Sightseeing” cruise which went along the coast the Los Arcos and was very relaxing. We particularly enjoyed the “GQ14: Guatemala Highland, Panajachel and Lake Atitlan” excursion as we were able to see many volcanos and a lot of the countryside. In Puntarenas, Costa Rica, we did the “CR25: Pacific Train, Boat and Bus Adventure” and saw some interesting scenery, but also some desperately poor areas. In Colon, Panama we did “GCM4: Portobelo and Aqua Clara Locks” which gave us more information about the Panama Canal system and allowed us to see the new locks. We also got a glimpse of the very poor areas just beyond our dock. Finally in Columbia, we did the “CA09: Best of Cartagena” which provided a good overview of that city as we visited the Inquisition Palace and Saint Peter Claver’s Sanctuary plus quite a bit of walking through the streets. Even though it was very hot in some locations, these excursions were worth doing despite some discomfort. In our earlier review of the “Pacific Coastal” cruise, we noted that one area which could use some improvement was the B2B process and it’s worth repeating it for this cruise. At other B2B meetings, someone from the MDR was there to allow guests to select their tables for the next cruise, but that didn’t happen. As part of these past meetings, there have been drawings for prizes, offers of complimentary specialty restaurants, discounted excursions and/or coupons with codes for additional internet minutes in order to fill out the survey from the first cruise. The only “perks” this time were a 30% off a restaurant (only on the embarkation evening) and a card to get into the “Trellis” MDR 15 minutes before the newly boarding guests. We were given the impression that this process wouldn’t take too long. We were told to gather at 9:40, but we were not able to disembark until about 10:40 after everyone else was onshore. We then exited the ship and had to wait almost another hour to get back onboard at 11:30. We suspect that due to regulations, there was no chance for anyone to board before that time. It would have been better to know ahead of time that the local authorities require this timing so we could have planned for these delays. We and most of the other guests have done quite a few B2Bs so all of us were surprised that it was much more inconvenient it this time. We also had some difficulty getting extra internet time to do our survey from the first cruise of our B2B. On other Celebrity ships, the IT staff added 30 minutes to our allotment which works well. This time, we had to check with IT and Guest Relations to get a code. After several days, we got the code, but it only worked for one of us. We finally got another code later on, but you couldn’t use it if you had minutes left without having IT disable that session, log back on using the code to use the new minutes and then re-enable the old one. With this approach, there’s a lot of time wasted by Celebrity’s staff and for the B2Bs. Next time, we’re hoping that these things can be dealt with more easily at the B2B meeting. Overall, we always have a great time on Celebrity and encourage our friends to try that line. After this Panama Canal cruise, we have twelve more booked with you in the Mediterranean, Middle East, India, Caribbean, Northern Europe and Transatlantic in the next year. So, we’ll look forward to having 135 more days to enjoy Celebrity's welcoming hospitality and excellent service! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The infinity is a great ship, very friendly staff, and meals are excellent. We did the Panama Canal from LA to Fort Lauderdale....fantastic. Never been on celebrity before, only cruised with Royal, your status from Royal transferred ... Read More
The infinity is a great ship, very friendly staff, and meals are excellent. We did the Panama Canal from LA to Fort Lauderdale....fantastic. Never been on celebrity before, only cruised with Royal, your status from Royal transferred across and you were treated like you cruised regular with them. All ports were Fantastic and the actual crossing of the Canal was out of this world, the shows in the evening were outstanding and one big plus was the size of the shower, plenty of room to swing a cat in there. If you are thinking of cruising the Panama Canal I highly recommend this cruise, I don’t think you could do better. The only negative I have is that embarkation was a long process in Fort Lauderdale, I think this was mainly to a lot of Europeans on board and everyone went through the same line, US citizens did not have a separate line, which would have speeded up the process. Otherwise no complaints. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise to see again the Panama Canal. The on-board commentator, Bill Fall (if I remember his name correctly) was fabulous. His knowledge of every single detail of the canal is awesome! The canal itself is a wonder to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see again the Panama Canal. The on-board commentator, Bill Fall (if I remember his name correctly) was fabulous. His knowledge of every single detail of the canal is awesome! The canal itself is a wonder to behold. To imagine such a feat being accomplished over 100 years ago is amazing. The activity staff was terrific...went out of their way to keep us busy! The cabin was, as always, perfect. We were fortunate to have almost perfect weather, with rain at nite and sun during the day. The entertainment was terrific, we went to a show every nite, and enjoyed them all. The ports we visited were all interesting. Especially Quetzal, Guatemala, where we traveled up to Antigua, a beautiful colonial city. The Captains Club hostess was outstanding, and we met new best friends forever! The ship, although getting on in age, was very clean, neat, and the Captain was very available and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Great cruise line and ship. Love the Infinity and the 180 degree lounge area on the 11 deck. The food was excellent and sowere all staff members. We have been on this ship twice, the most recent time was through the panama Canal from ... Read More
Great cruise line and ship. Love the Infinity and the 180 degree lounge area on the 11 deck. The food was excellent and sowere all staff members. We have been on this ship twice, the most recent time was through the panama Canal from Miami to San Diego. Instead of scenic excersions we used the internet to go on guided birding tours in 4 ports. One nice thing was that in Cabo San Lucas Celebrity used port and ship tenders so that was easier than we have experienced at other tendered ports. The shows were take you choice. We like singers and some other type shows. Do not like the big prodiuction shows as they are to standard. The main dinning room was frequently open for breakfast and lunch so you could have waiter service. The buffet was quick on excersion days and had a very good variety and quality of food. Some people just eat too much! On all cruise lines passanfers seem to camp out in the best seats/tables to nap, play cards or read. This is true in the coffee shop, dbuffet area and lounges. Cruise need to set up card rooms or areas (not allow it where food or drinks are served. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was only our second cruise and both with Celebrity. We just loved everything about it, from the shows, entertainment, activities, dining, comfort, staff, shopping etc. We cannot say enough about the staff right throughout the ship. ... Read More
This was only our second cruise and both with Celebrity. We just loved everything about it, from the shows, entertainment, activities, dining, comfort, staff, shopping etc. We cannot say enough about the staff right throughout the ship. Every one of them makes you feel welcome. This trip and our last (Alaska) is more for adults than children and this time as the last, there were very few children onboard. The entertainment and activities are mostly geared toward middle age and up but the muted disco nights at Martini Bar was good for anyone aged teenager and up, as were the disco nights in the Constellation. There are activities available for children too but to be honest, I'd be bored if I was an active kid on a cruise such as this. Obviously babies and toddlers wouldn't know the difference though. Captain Berdos was wonderful, personable and humorous and all his staff were fantastic, from officer status through to cleaning staff. Every one you passed acknowledged and greeted you with a smile. Our stateroom attendants Bartholome and Frank were fantastic - nothing was too much trouble. On both our Celebrity cruises, we witnessed constant cleaning and hand sanitising which ensures the safety and health of the guests. One lovely guy was constantly cleaning stairway railings and greeted everyone with a smile. Choice of dining was fantastic and every dish we had was fresh, tasty and served at the correct temperature. The buffet dining was excellent and they have a whole crew of cleaners to completely scrub every item before the next meal is put out. We renewed our marriage vows with the captain and the events coordinator Adriana was superb. She arranged everything so that we had a wonderful memory to take away. All the staff seem to be hand picked - incredible customer service right throughout our cruise and it never slipped once. We used to love the iced cold towels at the ship when returning from excursions in the heat and humidity, along with fresh fruit flavoured iced waters. We will always travel Celebrity because we can be sure of the standards. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We sailed this 17 night Panama Canal to San Francisco cruise, back to back with the next 11 night Alaska cruise. I'll review each cruise separately, but my overall impressions are based upon our total 28 night experience onboard the ... Read More
We sailed this 17 night Panama Canal to San Francisco cruise, back to back with the next 11 night Alaska cruise. I'll review each cruise separately, but my overall impressions are based upon our total 28 night experience onboard the Celebrity Infinity. We sailed with our adult daughter who has a physical disability, so one of our two cabins was an accessible cabin, 7137. Infinity is a Millennium Class ship, which from an accessibility standpoint, is not nearly as accessible as any of the Solstice Class ships. None of the public bathrooms have an accessible power door opener - so you have to wrangle the door open on your own which is very difficult to do if you're in a wheelchair. Whereas on Solstice Class ships, ALL of the public bathroom doors are equipped with an auto opener. On Infinity, very few of the doors that lead onto the decks are auto opening, whereas on Solstice Class ships, yes, you guessed it, all public deck doors are auto opening. Also on the Infinity as on all Millennium Class ships, there are innumerable metal stops or thresholds on the public deck floors, everywhere throughout the ship, including the cabin hallways - which are major barriers to those that have physical needs - you have to be constantly looking down, being aware, so as not to trip or get your wheels somehow stuck or impeded. The door to our cabin was also not auto opening, whereas, they are auto opening on the Solstice Class ships. And inside our cabin, the hinges on the bathroom door are on the opposite side of where they need to be to make access comfortable. My daughter uses a walker and she had to roll past the door, turn herself around, reach and swing open the door, then go in - it's hard to picture, but trust me, the planning was very bad - something that was rectified across the board, on the Solstice Class ships. For the ports of call, we primarily booked Celebrity sponsored shore excursions ahead of time. We are able to discern from our at home research, who the tour providers are that Celebrity contracts with to run the excursions, in the ports - we check prices and have always found Celebrity's prices to be in line with the prices the contractors charge, so there is no reason for us to not book with Celebrity. On the Infinity, as we have found in general on all of the ships, the Shore Excursion staff was exceptionally well informed and very helpful and sensitive regarding our daughter's physical needs. On this cruise, we were extremely disappointed that the port of Puerto Vallarta was cancelled. There was apparently a violent drug cartel uprising and it was deemed unsafe for our ship to dock, thus giving us an extra sea day. Since this itinerary was already sea day heavy, this was a disappointment, but the Captain's Club Hostess, Claudia, worked overtime to make sure passengers were happy - we for instance received an invitation to a tour of the Navigational Bridge, which we gratefully accepted. The Celebrity Life Activity Staff, led by the intrepid and uber talented Rachel Ball, also went into overdrive on this newly non-port day, coming up with lots of additional fun things to do. So, though Puerto Vallarta never happened for us, the crew worked hard to keep the passengers happy - as, in fact, they always do! The Panama Canal was the highlight of this cruise, no surprise! We docked in Colon for a full day, leaving the passengers free to explore the country on tours. Then, the next day, the ship made the transit through the canal. Bill Fall, a former Canal Zone resident and expert regarding the area and the Canal, gave several talks in the theater about the Canal, before and after transit day. And on transit day, he gave narration from time to time, along with a local Panamanian resident, about what we were seeing and experiencing. The Panama Canal is truly one of the 7 Engineering Wonders of the World, something not to be missed if you have the chance. We recommend reading David McCullough's book, "The Path Between the Seas" in order to fully appreciate this marvel. The Captain opened up the helicopter pad area at the bow of the ship to all passengers for the transit, which was terrific! We booked Select Dining, enjoying the flexibility you get with it. Our favorite actually is Aqua Class so we can eat in Blu, but there are NO handicapped accessible Aqua Class cabins on the Millennium Class ships so for us, Select was the next best thing. With Select, contrary to what some people say, you can always get a table in the server of your choice's station, if you want to, and request it when you book your table from night to night. You therefore develop a relationship with your server, they learn your preferences, etc. Our server in select, the wonderful Samson from India and his assistant server, Johnny, observed that our daughter needed help cutting her food - from that point on, Samson would serve her then immediately pick up her knife and fork and cut her meal for her - he was incredibly thoughtful and sweet. He also recognized that of the trio of hummus, butter and herbed cream cheese that is served with the nightly bread basket, that I had a strong preference for the hummus - so often, he would present me with my own personal ramekin of hummus! As far as the Oceanview Buffet goes, well, the food itself was pretty good, but, we do not enjoy the layout at all of the buffet on the Millennium Class ships. The lay out of the buffet on the Solstice Class ships is so much better - but, I know, it's because the ships themselves are bigger, allowing for a more spacious layout, a better traffic flow, less congestion. On the Millennium Class ships, we try to avoid the buffet at all costs as it gets crowded and frustrating - I find myself saying that I'm simply not that hungry, that the annoyance is simply not worth it. As far as specialty dining goes, we love Q-Sine, it is our favorite Celebrity specialty restaurant. Fleetwide, the absolute best lamb chops are to be found in the 'M Box' in Q-Sine - baby lamb chops, perfectly flavored, perfectly executed - moist, tasty, succulent! The service is excellent, we LOVE the side car cocktails, a great evening whenever we go. Lunch is now sometimes served in Q-Sine on sea days, but that doesn't work for us, as you are prone to eat more than you should, and to do that at lunch, meh, that ruins the whole day. Save this experience for dinner, enjoy! The SS United States, we find to be too traditional. There had been problems the past several cruises on the Infinity, with the norovirus. There were several passengers on board this sailing that supposedly had it, so measures were in place, of differing restriction levels, to control it. Sanitization measures were extreme, from staff placed strategically in high traffic areas on the ship with squirt containers of sanitizer, to days when there were no salt and pepper shakers on the tables, etc. It was clear to us that the real problem is the itinerary - ships which sail the South American and Central American itineraries often encounter noro problems - people get off the ship, eat or drink something they shouldn't, get sick and spread it due to not washing their hands properly. Don't get me started on how many people I see ROUTINELY coughing into their HANDS. I find this appalling and 'so yesterday'. Where have these people been living with their heads in the sand?? I wish Celebrity would get aggressive about teaching people that you must cough into your elbow or a napkin - NEVER into your hand. Onboard on the in-room TV, there was a health info spot about washing your hands so as to not spread germs, which was extremely cute and fun to watch, with a catchy tune - but it did not include the message about coughing into your elbow - plus, I guarantee you that the message was generally lost, as I'm not sure how many people even watch the in-room onboard channels, sadly. I do think that especially on the South and Central American itineraries, that Celebrity needs to get overtly aggressive about spreading the message about washing your hands and coughing into your elbow, so as to avoid the ship turning into the SS Dysentery. No one likes extreme sanitization measures - aggressive health messages are superior, better to prevent the situation in the first place. There was no Top Chef At Sea on this sailing due to the noro concerns. We were told that because it involves food prep, they had to cancel it. We enjoy this activity, my husband competed and won it on another Celebrity voyage. Like no cloth hand towels in the bathrooms, the removal of which we thought was odd, this too fell victim to the noro restrictions. The cruise director, Kyle, was excellent. We would often watch daily spots on the Cruise Director Channel a few times, as they were so funny! He was fast paced, informative, clever, and when he would speak in the theater after the shows, he got right to the point, knowing that people wanted to get on with their evenings. He would deliver the info about the night, and port info for the next day when applicable, quickly, humorously and succinctly. I know that Kyle is a cruise director who fills in for the regular cruise directors so that they can go on vacation, so we were very lucky to experience him at work. He filled in for the regular Infinity cruise director, Esperanza - who actually returned from her vacation for our 2nd cruise, remember this was back to back for us. I was able to see why Kyle has this job of filler-inner, because you have to be adept and flexible, able to step in and take over, no time for a learning curve. Kyle has those skills. As usual on Celebrity fleetwide, we very much enjoyed the big shows put on by the production staff in the theater, as well as the musical groups that played throughout the ship, such as Ear Candy and the house band, D'Revelations. We also enjoyed the comedy and magic acts in the theater, but the individual musical acts that were brought on board to play in the theater left us pretty cold, as we felt like we were watching individual acts from the Ed Sullivan Show - but, that's just us - many people seemed to enjoy them very much! Our two cabins were very well maintained. Besides the awkward bathroom door hinge placement in the handicapped accessible cabin, we also found the cabin less spacious and therefore harder to maneuver in, than the handicapped accessible cabins on the Solstice Class ships. You may be asking yourself by now why we sailed on the Infinity at all, being a Millennium Class ship, since we obviously prefer the Solstice Class ships - because of the itinerary. The Solstice Class ships are too big to fit in the Panama Canal, and the Panama Canal is what we wanted to experience. Throughout the ship, we often saw ongoing maintenance being done, painting, cleaning, etc, which is a good thing. Disembarkation at Pier 27 in San Francisco was quite a mess. Being back to back passengers, we were not effected too much as our plan was to leave the ship to spend the day in San Francisco, and reboard Infinity in the late afternoon for the next cruise, to Alaska - nevertheless, we were supposed to be able to get off at 7:30am, but it was 8:10am before we were allowed off, spurring several phone calls between me and our day tour provider, causing him to have to readjust his schedule for his other customers. The big issue was how passengers who were leaving the ship for good, were not able to retrieve their luggage! Rumors were rampant, I still never got the full story - but the luggage wasn't able to be offloaded from the Infinity, something about it being low tide and the dock equipment wasn't able to get the luggage off! Many people had to fly home WITHOUT their luggage! It was a slow painstaking process to get the luggage off, it having to be lifted UP out of the holds of the Infinity, onto the pier. The other issue facing the debarkation process was that the CDC was onsite to inspect the ship due to the noro outbreaks. The crew - even the entertainment crew had to join in - causing huge delays for the next passengers to get onboard. Boarding didn't begin until 3pm! May 15 was a bad day for Celebrity, due to the luggage not being able to get loaded off as it should causing disembarkation delays, and the CDC health inspection causing the entire crew to engage in extreme sanitization measures causing embarkation delays. The ship left for the next cruise, to Alaska, over two hours late! But, having been a passenger on both cruises, I can say that the passenger experience was still excellent, and the cruises were both greatly enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
From Valparaiso to Fort Lauderdale is a very long way both in distance and in culture. The journey was fascinating. Embarkation was swift but access to staterooms was delayed due to extensive cleaning following an outbreak of intestinal ... Read More
From Valparaiso to Fort Lauderdale is a very long way both in distance and in culture. The journey was fascinating. Embarkation was swift but access to staterooms was delayed due to extensive cleaning following an outbreak of intestinal illness. For the whole of the trip there was constant cleaning by the staff and ubiquitous hand gel. We visited Arica - there is a big hill in the middle of town, Pisco - there are turtles and other creatures to see on a short boat trip during a half day visit, Manta- there is a small but interesting market with local crafts and lots of Panama hats, Colon - there is lots to learn about the Panama Canal, Cartagena - there is a hop on hop off bus which leaves from the quayside. There were lots of shore excursion possibilities in most ports but they were expensive and often ended up as a drive round the countryside. As usual, many people used local taxis or had prearranged tours using local firms. However, for my husband and me, as well as the other 2000 passengers, the highlight was the Canal - a superb, fascinating day-long experience which made the whole trip worthwhile. On board was an expert who provided an on going commentary - excellent! When we finally berthed in Fort Lauderdale we were in a shiny new world surrounded by vast cruise ships and 6 lane highways. Immigration took over an hour ( we have waited for far longer in the past ) and this curtailed our trip to the Everglades Park. We were thrilled by the boat trip but missed the alligator show because people had to be dropped at Fort Lauderdale Airport before we were taken to Miami Airport. Overall we really enjoyed the cruise. The officers and crew and staff could not have been more pleasant and helpful. Nothing was a bother - even when the sole of my husband's dress shoe came loose Guest Relations-who never sleep - arranged a repair. There was some scrambling for tables in the Oceanview Buffet Restaurant and confusing queueing but the Trellis Restaurant provided a most enjoyable ambience at all mealtimes and we were served by Vincent who had the patience of a saint. We loved the entertainment on board provided by the core group of singers and dancers and the fabulous trapeze pair, as well as the guest performers who came and went. The Cruise Director Esperanza was glamorous and energetic in making sure that everything went with a swing and high praise for Rachel the Activity Manager who never stopped and threw herself into everything ( including the swimming pool ) with gusto, leading from the front and remembering names impressively. There was something for everyone on sea days ranging from daft deck games to learned but entertaining lectures. Or there was the chance to do nothing but look at the sea while sipping the cocktail of the day. This cruise had been long anticipated and did not disappoint. Celebrity sets a standard which is hard to beat. We will be sailing with Celebrity again in the Fall from New Jersey to Quebec. Can't wait to get back on board!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This cruise was absolutely amazing! We were in a suite for the first time and were treated royally by the entire crew. Our captain was visible throughout the cruise, gave a great presentation at the theater on the operation of the ship (he ... Read More
This cruise was absolutely amazing! We were in a suite for the first time and were treated royally by the entire crew. Our captain was visible throughout the cruise, gave a great presentation at the theater on the operation of the ship (he even had a Q & A session afterward that ran overtime because he wanted to answer all our questions), and we actually looked forward to his morning announcements on sea days. He was friendly, informative, and funny - exactly what a cruise captain should be. Our concierge in Michael’s Club, Kimberley, was awesome! She greeted us with a big smile and bear hug every time we walked in and took care of our wants and needs throughout the entire voyage. She even checked us in for our return flight home and printed our boarding passes for us. Having breakfast there each morning and cocktails and appetizers every evening (all complimentary) was wonderful. It was a quiet haven for us away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the ship. We also met some great fellow cruisers there whom we hope to see in the future. We couldn’t have asked for a better butler than an outstanding young lady named Su. She answered each phone call, no matter what time of day or night we called, and also took care of anything we needed. She made room service a fun time and came by with treats each afternoon. She even made some special iced tea for us every evening and provided ice cubes twice a day for our cold drinks. Ken Williams was our Celebrity Life speaker, giving presentations and showing slides on the Panama Canal and all the countries we saw along the way. This was his 17th transit, and he was certainly an expert on the entire area. He presented the information beautifully and made us excited to visit these great ports and go through the canal. He was visible all around the ship and talked with us at length in Michael’s Club. A very kind and interesting gentleman, he should be on each cruise through the canal. We enjoyed the majority of our evening meals in the Trellis select dining room where our waiter, Cijan, made each meal an absolute delight. He got to know our wishes and brought us our favorite bread and hummus to begin each meal. He was always cheerful and enthusiastic, and he knew all about the entrees and described them to us. Our sommelier, Jasmin, brought our choice of wine without being asked after the first 2 nights. We really liked visiting with these young men who added so much joy to our meals. Rich, our cruise director, was enthusiastic and full of energy no matter when or where we saw him. He's exactly what every cruise director should strive to be. He always had time to visit with us, answered any questions we had, and was just the most fun at Liar's Club, where he dressed up as the perfect nerd! Dining aboard the Infinity was a real treat – the food was delicious and beautifully served. Whether in the Trellis, Qsine, the pool grill, or the SS United States, the food was perfectly cooked and seasoned – all the way from the steak filet mignon to the hot dogs and fries. Just one word of advice – avoid the lobster - order beef and pork and chicken instead. The lobster just wasn't a good quality at all. Our suite was spacious and for the most part, well furnished. The separate bedroom made sleeping in the total darkness possible, which helped us rest very well. The dining room table and 4 chairs were a comfortable place to enjoy our room service meals. We each had a spacious closet and several drawers in the bedroom and vanity area, and there were two sinks in the bathroom. The jetted tub was difficult to climb into and even harder to get out of with wet feet since it was so elevated. There was not a separate shower. In the living room, the sofa and one chair with ottoman were very old. The sofa was so low to the ground that we had a hard time getting up. The veranda was just big enough and the ceiling to floor glass windows and door provided a terrific view even from within the cabin. The standard of cleanliness wasn’t up to par with what we’re used to at home. The closet floors were dusty and my long black dress was soiled because of that. The insides of the drawers had little pieces of dirt and dust and hadn’t been wiped out. I don’t believe any dusting or vacuuming was done during our 15 days onboard, so the dust had started to accumulate. Since this was the only negative, rather than letting it spoil an otherwise fantastic trip, I just ignored it and didn’t let it bother me. Everything else more than made up for putting up with a bit of dust. The shore excursions were with the exception of Costa Rica very educational, informative, and full of beautiful scenery. We did a lot of walking tours and all of our guides were wonderful. My husband and I would highly recommend the Infinity and its captain to anyone wanting to transit the canal. Hopefully, Ken will be there to educate about the canal and surrounding countries. This was the trip of a lifetime for us and we totally enjoyed it. It comes highly recommended!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Our first Cruise on one of the Millennium Class Ships. I can see why they at a Favorite of veteran Cruisers. They have an Uncrowded feel and a very Understated Décor. The Great Service we have always enjoyed on Celebrity Ships and ... Read More
Our first Cruise on one of the Millennium Class Ships. I can see why they at a Favorite of veteran Cruisers. They have an Uncrowded feel and a very Understated Décor. The Great Service we have always enjoyed on Celebrity Ships and outstanding Food and Entertainment. We were traveling with Friends and Relatives some of who were on their First Cruise. For once we never used any of the Cruise Excursions but just looked for a Local Van and Guide in each port. The Large Bus groups are always limited by the Slowest person in the Group and we found we could tailor our stops to our own needs and the prices were always fair. We were surprised how the Infinity's Captain spent a great deal of Time among the Guests and not just at the fancy Cocktail parties. One Morning at the Ocean view Café he was eating alone and when he finished he came to our table to ask how we were enjoying or Cruise and wanted our feedback on anything and everything! I have never experienced that on any other ship. Or Next Cruise will be on the Millennium in December. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My wife and I, along with five other couples recently completed a 14 night cruise from Valparaiso, Chile to Miami via the Panama Canal. The purpose of this cruise was to celebrate my 70th birthday. This was our 18th cruise and we have ... Read More
My wife and I, along with five other couples recently completed a 14 night cruise from Valparaiso, Chile to Miami via the Panama Canal. The purpose of this cruise was to celebrate my 70th birthday. This was our 18th cruise and we have Elite status. I mention this so that others realize we are not new to this game. We flew into Santiago four days early, staying at the Marriott hotel, in order to spend time in the city and take a day trip into the Andes. To reach Valparaiso we also hired a van at the hotel and toured our way to the ship. Boarding went very smoothly, and in less than 20 minutes we were aboard, and in our Aqua class cabins. Everyone in our group seemed more than pleased with the ship. the food, the crew, and just about everything connected with this cruise. Two of the couples having recently completed a cruise from Istanbul to Dubai on Regent, seemed especially pleased, so much so that they cancelled another cruise with the same line for this fall, and booked a Celebrity cruise instead. In fact four of the couples also booked a 14 night cruise with Celebrity for next March. The only negative was a small outbreak of Noro that reared up. Having said that, I must commend the ship's staff for keeping the outbreak under control by constantly cleaning, cleaning, and then cleaning again. It worked! The number of cases was held in check, the spreading of the virus was stopped and the cruise continued. Yes, it did cause some confusion and a bit of chaos in Oceanview, but I figure that so many crew members were wiping down the ship that some services suffered. A first world problem, really. I suppose that if one was confined to one's cabin, then the trip would suffer, but what other choice is there? As for ports on this cruise, I would refer you to other reviews. In general, I concur with what others have written. The passage through the canal was fascinating, and Cartagena was our favorite stop. We got off the ship right on time and were deposited quickly at the airport. That is another story for another time! Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
My husband and I are mid-60's. We have sailed all major cruise lines except Holland America in 10 cruises over the last 15 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise, our longest at 15 days and our first with friends--two other ... Read More
My husband and I are mid-60's. We have sailed all major cruise lines except Holland America in 10 cruises over the last 15 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise, our longest at 15 days and our first with friends--two other couples which added a lot of fun and comraderie. The ship seemed very well run and friendly--a tone set by the ship master--Michael Sympouras. We saw him more times around the ship than we have ever seen the captain. It was the 11/22/13 cruise out of San Diego through the Panama Canal ending in FLL. We knew this was an older ship with a few signs of wear and tear but nothing that hindered our enjoyment. The size of the ship also made it easier to find each other. Phoenix was being deluged with rain as we headed to the airport--first rain in 75 days! I had broken my rule of getting to the embarkation port a day early because of the short flight to SD but was questioning the wisdom of that as we sloshed to the airport. The port of San Diego seemed a bit disorganized and it was raining as we embarked. Once we left San Diego, we encountered almost no rain which we had wondered about since it was the tail end of the rainy season. Overall, we were very pleased with both the food and service on Celebrity and would rank them both the best of the cruises we have taken. Mario (Mendez) and Stefan took excellent care of us in the dining room and gave us tips on the best items of the night. We did "assigned" dining which worked out very well for 3 couples. Being a "foodie", here are a few more details on the food. We thought Celebrity did a very nice job on their meats. Steak or prime rib ordered medium or medium rare was usually right on and quality was very nice. Slow cooked items like Osso Bucco, braised beef and chicken were very tender and succulent. Veggies were crisp-tender and presentations were nicely done. If there was a weakness or unevenness, I would say it was in the pastries. American standards like strawberry shortcake, chocolate chip cookies and pineapple upside down cake tended to not be very good. There were some desserts that were excellent--chocolate cake with leche was top notch. A special Grand Marnier soufflé was yummy. Bitter and blanc bread pudding on Carnival remains my favorite cruise dessert. Many of the desserts in Café al Bacio were very good--we loved the Coconut chiffon cake, the chocolate/coffee cake and several others. I would also say morning buffet pastries were about average. Princess has the edge there. A lovely touch was being offered an afternoon chocolate while we were relaxing in Café al Bacio. We also thought it was a very nice part of the Captain's toast to receive a glass of champagne and a truffle as we entered the theater on the first formal night. We ate at the buffet most mornings. It is true the selection is nearly the same every morning but that does not bother me. There is such a wide variety of items I could personally have breakfast for a year with those items and be fine. The eggs benedict station was very good. Lox and bagels were good and red onion, tomato and capers were handy. Omelet stations were quite plentiful and toast was made to order and nice and hot--always a plus. We also had crepes at Bistro on Five ($5 pp.) twice and that was a nice addition although they seemed a little understaffed. The dessert crepe with nutella, pistachios, and whipped cream is not to be missed. We had one breakfast and one lunch in the main dining room and they were nicely done. The ice sculptures and food at the Brunch was a nice change of pace but it was on Canal crossing day which was a plus or minus depending on your viewpoint. Buffet lunches were good. Salads were interesting and Indian curries were good. Hamburgers and hot dogs on deck were very good and the French fries were hot. You lose on this one Guy Fieri--French fries on the Breeze were bad! We dined at Q-sine one night. We thought the food presentations were very memorable and fun and most were tasty. You definitely have to be open for a brand new experience. Certainly a unique Thanksgiving dinner for our group. We did them for $30 pp. which is a fair price. I feel the Celebrity specialty restaurants are over-priced at $45 but they are often offering specials to fill them. We had an inside cabin which was fine. Beds were a bit firmer than we prefer but OK. Our steward Frank took good care of us. Nice flat screen TVs and a settee were nice. I liked the weight of their coverlets on the bed--not too heavy. Space under the bed ample for storing suitcases. There is a clothesline in the shower which came in handy. I liked the soap, shampoo and hand lotion. Good control on the temps. Entertainment on the ship was very good. We really liked the various groups playing around the ship and they were very appropriate for the demographics of the older crowd on the ship, We found ourselves pleasantly surprised by the Finkel brothers--who would have thought a xylophone virtuoso could be so much fun? The comedy of Rich Ceisler had us in side-splitting laughs. The production shows were very well done and we really appreciated the Celebrity orchestra, singers and dancers. The loss of live music is a big downside for us on some cruise lines. The weakest link here was the juggler Steve Carte in our estimation. Cruise director Pete was a man of few words but did a very good job and the man could sing too. We really enjoyed some of the Celebrity activities. My husband attended several of the lectures. I thoroughly enjoyed the culinary talks though a bigger venue to avoid SRO would be better. Watercolor class and the trivia were lots of fun. I gave my first Zumba class my best shot. Many activities involved the officers which was entertaining. We thought running the Nova documentary on the Panama canal was very nice but earlier than 10:30 pm might have been a better choice. The commentator that came aboard for the Canal crossing did an excellent job. Ports on this cruise are fairly weak. The big event--the stunning Panama Canal crossing--is what makes it worth it. We had been to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta a couple of times previously so skipped them. Guatemala and Colon also did not have much to offer and safety is an issue in those ports. We did a independent tour in Costa Rica with Gio tours. Chris did a great job of showing us around his country and did a good job of improvising when a land slide made doing one of our activities impossible. We would recommend Gio as others on Trip Advisor and CC have. We took a ship tour in Cartagena but it was in the 90s with equal humidity levels which certainly impacted how much we enjoyed the tour. We prefer to do independent tours when possible. This was a super cruise and we hope to sail again. Our cruises depend on the cost of itineraries we want to do and we are not loyal to just one line, but Celebrity certainly won us over on this one.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Our Group: 3 retired couples, ages 62-68 - 1st time for us traveling with others. Two of the couples were from Phoenix and the other couple from Washington state. Made a big difference in the cruise, especially on multiple sea days, plus ... Read More
Our Group: 3 retired couples, ages 62-68 - 1st time for us traveling with others. Two of the couples were from Phoenix and the other couple from Washington state. Made a big difference in the cruise, especially on multiple sea days, plus we were able to get a dining table for 6 in the MDR together. We have done 5 prior cruises, all on RCI so were anxious to try Celebrity for the 1st time. As platinum members on Royal we were made Captain's Club members at the select level, a nice benefit. My wife and I drove from Phoenix the night before, stayed in a motel and boarded in the morning. Utilized a one day one way rental from Alamo which was reasonable and handled all the luggage for both Phoenix couples, the other Phoenix couple flying in on departure day. We all brought the allowed 2 bottles of wine on board as well as water and soda. This is all acceptable and a real money saver for the customer. Embarkation in San Diego - could have been smoother and better with more communication. Once inside the terminal building having received our sea pass cards we were seated and assigned group number 21 at 1020am (we arrived early). Group 1 was boarded at 1130am, then groups 2,3,4,5 with our group 21 going after group 5. The ladies broadcasting the group numbers were yelling at this mass of several hundred people, no signage, no megaphones. Our group boarded at 1240pm, we ate and entered our interior cabin at 150pm. The ship left at 600pm, one hour late. Dining: we had a table for 6, 600pm dining. All evening meals except one were taken in the MDR with Mario and Stefan as our waiters. Food quality was the best we’ve had on any of our cruises, service was very good as it has always been on RCI. One half of the menu was the same each night, the other half changed and provided a good variety of appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts - generally every item served was good to outstanding. Thanksgiving night was the only time our group ate in a specialty restaurant, the Qsine on deck 11. This is an very unique experience with the menu and ordering done via I-Pad, some of which did not work at all or work properly. Food in Qsine varied; mostly good to very good, some very unusual. Presentation and serving in Qsine was very unique too. We received a discount off the $45 price with discounts seeming to be available regularly depending on the night. My opinion - worth trying once. During our transit of the Panama Canal the dining staff went all out for a brunch in the MDR complete with many ice sculptures. A tremendous presentation and experience as we rode through the canal. This brunch is not to be missed. One of our snack favorites was the Café Al Bacio on deck 5 with complimentary sweets in the afternoon; the coconut cake was the best !! Our group also did a breakfast of crepes in Bistro on 5 one morning, nice atmosphere but the service seemed slow with only three tables being served. We did find the placement of the tables in the MDR a little too close, could have been further apart. The Ship: 11 decks but a few options to go higher on a limited basis. The Infinity had a make over several years ago but has been maintained well and is kept clean. It has a short walking track open air on deck 11. The ship does not have all the glitz bells and whistles of the brand new ships but is very comfortable, attractive and a good ship with sufficient venues for music and bars for drinking options. Gym area seemed adequate, we used it one time, spa, casino, large theatre for the evening events. The ship was large enough to provide the customer what was needed but not too large. As compared to RCI: many fewer ship wide announcements, this was good. One daily Captain’s message at 10am. As this was early December, Christmas decos were put up by contractors who boarded the ship in Colon and left the ship before leaving Colon. INTERNET & PHONE: Outrageous as expected; internet packages could be purchased that provided some savings. Using a coupon as a result of being Captain’s Club Select I purchased 38 minutes for $24.95 minus a 25% discount, which was still a very high net cost per minute but was useful. Internet speed generally slow to very slow. 4500 total Nautical Miles covered in the 15 days. A bonus for us as non-smokers: very limited areas for smoking and the casino was a no smoking zone the entire trip - all of the time. The Infinity cruiser on this sailing: Almost entirely adults, perhaps 25 children were spotted. Guessing the average age to be 60-65. Mostly US, Canadians, UK and Aussies with Asia being well represented as well. Entertainment: I did not have high expectations for a ship this size but was surprised by the consistent strong to outstanding performances and variety we were provided with each night. Of all 15 nights of performances I would say only one was weak. The Infinity musicians were also tops. Cruise Director Pete mixed it up and did a great job of choosing some very good entertainers for our enjoyment each evening. The different lounges frequently had music of varying types so everyone could find something to like at a given lounge. Bar drinks came with the usual 15% add on but we found happy hour pricing, 4-5pm and 4-6pm provided good options for regular inexpensive drinks of martinis and wines, some as low as $4 and martinis at $5.50 each. So a good option to avoid a large bar tab for the cruising customer. We did not find this many options for low priced drinks on a regular basis with RCI. Ports/Itinerary: We chose this cruise primarily to experience Celebrity and do the Panama Canal. Other stops, in order, included: Cabo San Lucas, Puerta Vallarta, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, Puntarenas, C.R., Colon, Panama, Cartagena, Colombia. We did only two shore excursions; one through the ship in Colombia and an independent one with our group of four in Costa Rica in our own mini van with Chris of GioTours. Otherwise we walked off the ship at each port and did only the shopping near the port area. Having done Costa Rica with only 4 of us plus driver and guide Chris I would say no comparison with the ship’s product we took in Colombia. Now I know why we try to avoid the ship’s tours and it’s not just because of the normally higher cost involved utilizing the ships product. One exceptional thing Celebrity did as we transited the canal on December 2nd - we were provided with an ongoing live narration by a lady working for the canal as we traveled through it from 715am until 445pm when we exited. This narration was throughout the ship and really added to the crossing. I understand some lines do not provide this narration and it made all the difference as we traveled. Being this close to the equator, our southernmost point being 7 degrees north latitude, I expected it to be hot and I was not disappointed. Being in the sun was at times brutal but Cartagena took the award for the very hottest and most uncomfortable. Also, be prepared for regular, sometimes relentless hawking by the local vendors, even if you are in a large tour group you are fair game, this is at all ports. My opinion - all of the ports were worth seeing once - though we did greatly enjoy our 7 hour tour with GioTours in Costa Rica. This cruise had a very good balance of sea days, never more than two in a row, mixed in with regular port stops. The Crew: One thing I really appreciated about this cruise was the high profile and access to the Captain and his senior officers. The Captain could be seen almost anywhere on the ship and was easy to talk to - I spoke to him at least four times. On some cruises you never see the Captain and seldom even hear from him so this made this Captain and this sailing outstanding. The waiters, pool butlers, housekeeping were from all over the world. I would say they were friendly and helpful as a rule. At times listening closely was necessary to fully understand what they were saying. We had only one day of 80 knot winds (per a senior crew member) so the decks were closed off and the ship was not level as it traveled, but we did not get sick. This high wind condition lasted 10 hours or so and occurred off the coast of Acapulco. On the open sea windy was the norm and somewhat bumpy - generally up on deck 11 in the open, winds were 30 mph and seas were 1-2 meters high. I appreciated the fact that events, dining, docking and leaving ports always seemed to be on time, as scheduled, with the exception of departing San Diego. Being on time seemed to be important to Celebrity. Thank you! Departure in Fort Lauderdale - we chose the 1st departure time of 815am, got to the Celebrity Theatre at 810am. At 850am we were instructed to move to the departure ramp, cleared customs, claimed our bags and walked outside to a long line for taxi cabs. The wait for a cab was about 20 minutes. Four of us shared one cab, it was cozy but the least expensive way to go. Fare to the Ft. Lauderdale airport was $15 plus tip for 4. Arriving at the airport at 945am we found long lines outside to do bag checks with Southwest and a long line inside as well. We chose inside to avoid the outside heat. Though the line was long it moved along and in 20 minutes we were at the ticket counter. After the ticket counter we moved to the security line with another short wait as we were designated TSA PRE SCREENED. Once inside the secure area we tracked down something to eat. All options were very busy by this time, 11am, and there were generally lines at the four or five choices. Was hard to find a table to sit at, all being occupied so we shared. Gates were all packed, you were lucky to find a seat. When 10 or so cruise ships all unload on the same morning a person must expect the airport to be packed and it was. I give credit to the airline employees, airport employees and TSA for handling all of us as efficiently as they did, there is just so much that can be done with crowds of this size. For us I will try to avoid using the FLL airport for departing in the future on a Saturday or Sunday if at all possible. Perhaps West Palm Beach or Daytona Beach should be considered. Overall a great experience that can be highly recommended. We have already pre-booked our next Celebrity cruise for August of 2014 to take advantage of the on board reduced deposit and OBC just as Royal provides. Thanks to the staff of the Celebrity Infinity for doing such a good job on our first cruise with you.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We arrived at 11:30 a.m. for boarding and found it to be very efficient unlike a few of the other reviews. We were greeted warmly with a mimosa and moved on to the Oceanview Cafe for an early snack. It was not busy and it was efficient. ... Read More
We arrived at 11:30 a.m. for boarding and found it to be very efficient unlike a few of the other reviews. We were greeted warmly with a mimosa and moved on to the Oceanview Cafe for an early snack. It was not busy and it was efficient. We were allowed in our rooms about 2 or 2:30, but really didn't worry about this as it is usual. The ship was very clean and well staffed as far as we could see. Dinner was typical cruise food. It obviously isn't what it was 10 years ago, but deal with it, it's food, it is well cooked and presented. Our wait staff went out of their way to get to know each one of us. We had a table for 12 which they had to take down every evening as we must have been the only ones that requested one of this size. Leaving the port was very interesting as was the abandon ship drill. Funny, everyone was told YOU DO NOT NEED YOUR LIFE VEST. Despite this, there were a bunch that didn't listen and said they needed to have them. I would recommend they do it out at the lifeboats instead of in the various venues, but this is the way it was done. Our stateroom staff were great and so efficient that as soon as we left our stateroom in the morning and evening it was made up. Great job, Cruz and Dwayne. Dining was great, Anak and Roldolfo were efficient and attentive. Stateroom was great other than the fact that it could never keep a constant temperature, it was either too cold or too warm. Theater - some of the shows were good, others, well, we just opted to not go and not complain. The shows are getting to be a little on the aged side. Food - it was cruise food, get over it, it isn't as good as it was 10 years ago, but then nothing is the same as it was 10 years ago. Bars - The Mast Bar (Agus - aka - Goose), was our favorite afternoon hangout. Goose knew what everyone was drinking unless we changed out mind. The Rendezvous - was our evening hangout, after we tried Michael's Club and a few other places - Trace Gordon was our waiter and couldn't wait for us to arrive every evening. Yea bartenders and wait staff. The ship its self - clean in my estimation - didn't notice any worn areas. The bathrooms were always clean and well take care of. More people should thank this staff member. They are trying to keep a "dirty place" cleaner than you keep your own bathroom. Great job ladies and gentlemen. You should be awarded for this effort. Pool Butlers - ha ha...love it. They don't let people hoard the lounges. I wish every cruise line did this. Hey RCI. Give your Pool Butlers a chance to make others happy.All in all, it was a great trip and I would recommend this to everyone wanting to see the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Sept 18 & 19: We left home around 1:00 pm to drive to Portland, ME. Stayed at the Marriott Sable Oaks, our favorite hotel in Portland. We stayed overnight, and left our car there for the duration of the cruise. At 4:00 a.m. we took ... Read More
Sept 18 & 19: We left home around 1:00 pm to drive to Portland, ME. Stayed at the Marriott Sable Oaks, our favorite hotel in Portland. We stayed overnight, and left our car there for the duration of the cruise. At 4:00 a.m. we took their free shuttle to the airport. Check-in was a breeze, so we had time for coffee and a bagel before heading to the gate. Flight went through Chicago, and we arrived in Seattle around 1:30 p.m. We grabbed a wheelchair to help Dick get to baggage claim, where we waited for 30 minutes before the luggage came onto the conveyor. We had to haul our suitcases up one level and across a sky bridge to get to the taxi stand...not the most convenient airport! We stayed at the Silver Cloud -- Broadway hotel. Very nice. They had a free shuttle to Pike Market and a few other tourist sites, which we took advantage of. Sept. 20: Visited Pike Place Market; ate lunch and dinner at two different Irish pubs. Bought some sweatshirts...was chilly and foggy in the morning! Sept 21: Chilly and damp. We breakfasted at IHop (behind the hotel) and left for the pier around 11:00 a.m. Smooth embarkation...we were on board by 11:50 a.m. and headed straight for our favorite spot...the Sunset bar on deck 10 aft. The weather was cloudy and chilly, but lots showed up for our Cruise Critic sailaway gathering at the Sunset bar. A young guitarist played for sailaway. Although scheduled time to leave was 4:00 p.m., we weren't actually under way until 4:30 p.m. Our stateroom was 1138...an Aqua Class aft balcony cabin. Very nice! Wonderful view. At 6:00 p.m. we went to Blu for dinner. I had the filet mignon, which was very good. The atmosphere in Blu is so nice...much quieter and more serene than the MDR, even when it's full. Got unpacked, and had an early evening. Sept 22: At sea. Clear and cool. We slept until 7:30 a.m. then Dick went to the gym while I said my Morning Prayer. By 9:30 we were hungry for breakfast! Ate in the Oceanview cafe...love the waffle station and the poached egg station. After wandering around the ship to see what changes were made during Solticizing, we went to Cafe el Bacio for an iced cappuccino. Took our Kindle and IPad and read for a while. The Westside Strings from the Ukraine were playing. They were wonderful, and became my favorite source of music for the entire cruise! In the afternoon, Dick hung around the Sunset Bar, getting to know the bar crew, while I went to a watercolor class. I'm so happy when they have watercolor classes on board...love them! Then I went to an Improvisation Comedy Workshop...great fun! It was led by Nancy and Marshall...a husband & wife team. They were terrific. I continued to go to both classes during the sea days on the cruise. This was a formal night, so we dressed up and went to Cellar Masters before dinner. After dinner we stopped in the Rendezvous Lounge for some music. Cellar Masters was destined to become our favorite evening lounge! Sept 23: We docked in San Francisco in mid-afternoon. But in the morning, we had our CC gathering in Michael's Club. Way too small for over 100 of us! We did a gift exchange...those who participated brought a small gift indicative of their home state/country. I received a gift of black lava sea salt and a tee shirt from Hawaii. I had brought some blueberry jam, chocolate covered blueberries, and some chutney, indicative of Maine. We disembarked for the night at 3:00 p.m. and got a taxi to the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf. Since we had a free Hyatt night that was soon to expire, we had decided to stay off the ship while it was docked overnight. Toured Pier 39, and went to Alioto's for dinner. Sept. 24: The next morning, we hired a town car to give us an overview tour of San Francisco. Dick had been their before, but I had not. We had a nice tour of all the highlights of SanFran. Actually got to see the Golden Gate bridge not shrouded in fog! Set sail at around 3:00 p.m. Sept 25: at sea. Overcast & chilly. Another mostly indoor day. Looking forward to warmer weather. Went to a watercolor class. Lazy day just doing mostly indoor things. Enjoy the sandwich bar in the Oceanview cafe for lunch. Their chicken salad was yummy! Sept 26: Overcast, but warming up! Another day at sea. We set the clocks ahead one hour the night before, so we slept a bit late. Watercolor class; gym; lazy day. We saw dolphins frolicking in the surf. Decided to eat on deck 10 aft tonight...Dick loves the stir fry and I love the pasta & salad bar. Also sushi! Sept 27: Cabo San Lucas. Rain! It rained buckets! Our ship tour on a yacht was canceled (thankfully), so we got a refund. That was nice, since it was an expensive tour. After lunch I left Dick on board and took a tender into town. I brought an umbrella, but still got soaked. I did some souvenir shopping, and was literally wading through ankle-deep water. On the tender ride back, there was thunder & lightening. We were in a local tender that had a roof but no sides...the rain was coming in sideways! We were all soaked...but laughing. We all looked like drowned rats! We heard they received the most single day rain in over 70 years! Dinner in Blu. Service is so good in Blu, no matter where we sat or who we had as waiter. The sommelier, Kris Rawoo, was great. After a while, I'd just tell him to bring me "a smooth red wine" or a "light white wine" or whatever, and he'd pick out just the right one. He is married to the sommelier at the Cellar Master...Elizma. They were both so nice. She is from South Africa and he is from Mauritius. Sept 28: Puerto Vallarto. Rain! Another warm and rainy day. We had a tour to an all-inclusive resort. Of course, the rain started as soon as we got there! Some folks swam anyway...why not? It's just water! We had drinks and lunch at a covered outdoor restaurant, overlooking the (deserted) beach. Coming back to the ship, we saw flooded streets and some rock and mud slides, with trees in the road. A monsoon! As we boarded the ship, the A/C felt cold since we were wet, but a crew person placed a warm towel around my wet shoulders. Nice touch! Dinner in Blu...I had lobster ravioli. Very enjoyable. Sept 29: at sea. Sunshine! 84 degrees! Took advantage of some ship activities. The sun turned to rain later in the day, but I got in some pool time first. I like the salt water in the pools on the M-Class ships. On the S-Class, it's fresh water. Also, on M-Class, the spa pool is a thalassatherapy pool, with jets and very warm salt water...love it. On the S-Class it's just an "adults only" pool. Sept 30: Sunny and in the 90's...! Day at sea. Good day to intersperse pool time with indoor activities like my watercolor class. Doing a lot of reading, as usual. Dick and I both love to read while at sea. Oct 1: Heavy rain in the morning, but partly sunny by noon and in the 80's. Another day at sea before we dock in Costa Rica. There are a lot of birds following the ship...not sure what kind they are. Oct 2: Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Partly sunny and hot. We had pre-arranged a private tour for 14 of us (through Cruise Critic) with Charlie Soto from OkeyDokey Tours. We used a wheelchair from the ship to help Dick get to the end of the pier where we were meeting Charlie. He was right there, and had a 16 passenger van waiting for us. They put the wheelchair in the back. Our driver, Carlos, and guide, Geovana, were terrific. Carlos was very attentive helping Dick in and out of the van. We had a 7 hour tour...fed Capuchin monkeys, went into the hills for some great vistas, stopped at a hotel with botanical gardens, helped juice sugar cane and had drinks made of sugar cane, ginger & lime, along with fresh papaya, pineapple and mango; had lunch at a restaurant near the Tarcoles River and then took a Crockodile Man Tour...where the boat captain, Jason, got in the water and fed the crockodiles by hand! Saw lots of beautiful birds and flowers. Towards the end of the tour, we stopped at a souvenir factory store and then at a supermarket, where Geovana helped us buy Costa Rican coffee and some salsa/sauces at a much better price than in a souvenir shop. We got back to the ship around 3:45 p.m. Oct 3: at sea. Another relaxing sea day. Went to watercolor and improv classes. Had a laughing good time in Cellar Masters after dinner with two couples from England. I discovered Prosecco on this cruise...love it! Oct 4: Through the Panama Canal today. As it always is in Panama, it was hot! Also overcast, which helped. They had someone from the Canal doing a commentary over the loudspeaker system and we traversed the various locks. Very informative and interesting. During the night we had a loud thunderstorm! Lots of lightening! Oct 5: Partly sunny. Docked in Cartegena, Colombia. We breakfasted in Blu (great place for breakfast...can eat hearty, or light & healthy.) We went ashore around 10:00 a.m. Didn't have a tour planned, but hooked up with a tour guide as we got off the ship and went with several other couples on a brief tour of the old town. I had been there before and done a walking tour, so this gave Dick a chance to see a bit of it. Since his walking is so bad, we just walked a short distance with the old town area and then stopped at a cafe while the rest of the group walked for about 45 minutes. We were soon surrounded by locals hawking their wares...we laughed...it's rather like the swarms of black flies we get at home in Maine during May! We actually bought a couple of things that looked interesting and were cheap...while dismissing the rest. One fellow had a comedy routine he did with a weird hat...and he was really funny. We didn't buy the hat, but did give him a tip. Had dinner in Blu. Found a bit too much repetition in the menu selections in Blu this time around. Maybe because it's a 17 day cruise. Oct 6: sunny and hot. At sea. Classes during the day. Today was Elizma (from Cellar Masters) birthday, so we helped her celebrate! We drank...she poured! Oct 7: Our last full day. Sunny and hot. Pool time; Sunset bar time; packing (ugh!) Oct 8: We docked at 7:00 a.m. We went to the United States restaurant to wait for our disembarkation time. We were Green 4 with a time of 8:10 a.m. Plenty of time to make our 11:00 a.m. flight. Or so we thought. There was a huge electrical storm that went on and on, and prevented them from using the fork lifts to offload our luggage. As a result, we never got off the ship until 10:25 a.m.! Needless to say, we missed our flight. Knowing we would, I called our T.A. before we got off the ship and she got us on flights the next day, as well as a room for the night at the Hyatt Pier 66. Our original flights were with United, and I had first called them. They wanted us to pay well over $1000 each for tickets from FLL to Portland, ME. Ridiculous! My TA got us on US Airways for $342 each. Submitted a insurance claim for flights & hotel...waiting to hear. Oct 9: Flew to Portland and drove home, arriving around 11:00 p.m. It was an interesting and relaxing cruise. Had a lot of rain, but it didn't really mar the cruise. There were lots of interesting things to do inside or outside on sea days. The Infinity is lovely...and as usual the crew was great. We loved Cellar Masters and Cafe el Bacio, as well as Bistro on Five. The aft Aqua Class balcony was bigger than a standard balcony, and the shower in the bathroom was very nice, with extra jets. They do need to do something about the fact that, even with shower doors, the water leaks onto the floor while you're showering. Must need a tighter door. Not a problem for us, but the room attendant obviously had to replace a soaking wet floor mat every day! Can't wait for our next Celebrity cruise...April 2013 on the Summit! Jane Israel Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We have been cruising with Celebrity for the last 5 years. I personally don't want to change cruise companies since everything we want on a cruise, they offer. The staff on the Infinity are amazing. They are friendly and cannot do ... Read More
We have been cruising with Celebrity for the last 5 years. I personally don't want to change cruise companies since everything we want on a cruise, they offer. The staff on the Infinity are amazing. They are friendly and cannot do enough for you. The ship is very comfortable and just big enough that it doesn't feel at all crowded. The food is great and plenty of choices. One thing that I ate a lot of were green apples since they help when you feel a bit queasy. We actually met a person that was our waiter about 1 1/2 years ago. He didn't remember our names but he did remember that my husband took fruity loops for breakfast. I must say I was really impressed. I would do this same cruise again in a moment. 17 nights give you plenty of sea days which I think are the nicest. Don't mind going ashore now and again but we prefer the sea days. The lectures are very informative and we try to attend them. If you are planning on going through the Panama Canal I would advise you to attend them since they give you a lot of good information. There is so much to do on the ship if you want to be busy, but we tend to do our own thing. This is the 2nd time we went through the Panama, it's interesting all the things that you miss the first time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My husband and I took the cruise with my sister and her husband. The food was amazing! Our waiter was great (although they seemed short-handed), and the food was the best we've had on a cruise. On other cruises we generally ate ... Read More
My husband and I took the cruise with my sister and her husband. The food was amazing! Our waiter was great (although they seemed short-handed), and the food was the best we've had on a cruise. On other cruises we generally ate at the buffet, but not on this one! I have no idea how they did it, but it will be hard for another cruise line to measure up. We had our pictures taken on formal nights, but there was absolutely no pressure to do so. We ended up buying a few of them. The exercise room was in use a lot, but there always seemed to be machines available. I didn't use them because I sprained my ankle badly near the beginning (don't ask), and did a lot of hobbling for the rest of the cruise. The medical staff on the ship even x-rayed it. Our cabin was clean and nicely prepared each day, and the public rooms were well kept up. We found everyone on the staff to be very friendly, and they always greeted all of the passengers they came across with a smile not matter what their job was. This was the first cruise we've been on where we not only knew the names of our maitre d' and chief wine steward, but they came by the table each night to see if everything was okay. On other cruises they have introduced themselves only on the last night. A great effort and good training had been given to make all of the passengers feel pampered -- it worked! All in all, it was the best cruise we've been on! Here are some helpful hints to make your Panama Canal crossing more enjoyable: 1) Be sure to get a balcony! You can come and go at will and not lose your place as you would at the upper deck railing. They gave a blow-by-blow account of what you were seeing on loud speakers on the open decks, but they also ran it on the TV. If you turned it up and left the door open while you were going slowly through the locks and along the Canal, you could still know what was going on. 2) Some of the balconies are larger than others, so check reviews for sizes. Our balcony was one of the larger ones with a partial overhang. It held a table and upright chairs as well as two lounges and a small table. The one above us only held two upright chairs and small table. 3) For the morning you start passing through the locks, order a room service breakfast. We were on the eastbound trip and entered the locks at about 7:00 am (we started toward them before it was even light). I hear the buffet and railings get very crowded, while we lounged, looked over the side, and had a delicious, relaxing bacon and egg breakfast. 4) Bring binoculars. I'm not generally a binocular user, but there was so much to see! 5) Take the eastbound trip if you can. The westbound trip evidently skips the stop at the Gatun Locks where you can go on tours and see the locks at ground level and up close, and that was a highlight. Our Celebrity tour took us to the locks to watch them in operation from a viewing room, and also to Portobello, a town about an hour away. In Portobello we toured an old Spanish fort where the canons still rust inside the walls. 6) Bring a hat, even if you don't usually wear one. It is HOT along the Canal as well as at ports at both ends (especially Cartagena, Colombia). Also, tuck a highlighter into your suitcase to mark events and other things in the daily newsletter. 7) Read up on the Canal, how it works, and its history before you go. It's an amazing story, and you'll appreciate what you see so much more. Just the mechanics of it is a story in itself. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We had always wanted to cruise the Panama Canal, it was on our bucket list. We Chose This cruise for two reasons. We really enjoy Celebrity ships, they might not be the newest, or the biggest, or the most beautiful, but they are always ... Read More
We had always wanted to cruise the Panama Canal, it was on our bucket list. We Chose This cruise for two reasons. We really enjoy Celebrity ships, they might not be the newest, or the biggest, or the most beautiful, but they are always wonderful, and never disappoint us. The food is the best, the crew and staff on board are always there to not only fill your needs, but do it with a smile and a pleasant repoir. We love to play Trivia Games, and the amount of games and type of games is the best of any other cruiseline. And the team that runs the games, are all friendly and make the experience entertaining and fun. The other reason we chose this cruise was that it sailed out of San Diego. A very short taxi ride, and inexpensive, from the airport to the cruise port. Much better than San Pedro. We were fortunate the entire cruise.....the weather was wonderful, never a cloud in the sky, sunny the whole two weeks. I had read that it rains alot in the Panama Canal area, so we came prepared, but it was not necessary. The Panama Canal Cruise is one that I think everyone should experience, at least once. They had several lectures onboard that we attended. So by the time we actually reached the canal, we were well educated on what we were looking at, and during the entire sailing through the canal, there was a narration, to point everything out to us. So it was educational and enjoyable. Our cabin, was an inside cabin, but we learned long ago, that we love to explore the ship, and find different areas that are quiet, good for naps or reading, and of course, I have to play my trivia. There is always something to keep you interested and busy, if you want. The shows were very good, and we also enjoyed the other music going on, throughout the ship. There was not one negative thing that I can think of on the entire cruise. Seas were calm, sun was out, nice breezes, beautiful scenery, good food, nice people. It was the best two weeks, I think, that I have ever experienced in my life! So now we want to go to Hawaii, and chose another Celebrity Ship....the Century. If it is half as nice as last year, it will be great. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was the second leg of our back to back South American cruise. Since we made friends of many of the crew this turned out to be one of the best two weeks possible on any cruise ship. We had the opportunity to get off the ship in ... Read More
This was the second leg of our back to back South American cruise. Since we made friends of many of the crew this turned out to be one of the best two weeks possible on any cruise ship. We had the opportunity to get off the ship in Valpariso for a half day tour. The weather was perfect and we used the ship tour. It was a little overpriced but well organized. We opted to not go to Santiago on an all day tour as half the tour was a bus ride to and from Santiago. The cruise critic group had quite a few that were back to back but we picked up well over 50 new cruise critic people that got on. We had a nice cruise critic meeting the first sea day. The ship contact Matthew was very enthusiastic to assist us and arranged for a buffet lunch on a sea day late in the cruise. Our first port was Coquimbo Chile. La Serena is another name. We were able to determine that the coastal areas of South America were all on alert for a possible Tsunami from the Japan earthquake. It did not bother the ship as we were well out to sea when the wave passed under the ship. The coastal areas were evacuated but fortunately the water was not much higher than high tide during a storm. It did some flooding in low lying areas and all the ships were sent out to sea to ride it out so there proved to be minimal property damage. In Arica we took an all day ship tour to a mountain top lake with flamingos and two dormant volcanoes. It was well organized and the school teacher that was our guide was very nice. We won a couple of prizes (color postcards) by answering his trivia questions. It was a long bus ride up above 15,000 feet. One young woman did suffer altitude sickness and was unable to get out and walk around. We had cocoa leaf tea part way to the top and it seemed to help. I did experience a headache on the way back to the ship. We got there just as a hailstorm started. It was not large hail but the tours left early to be sure they were not on bad roads. There was all kinds of wildlife to see. Birds and ducks and flamingos and llamas and vicuna. The box lunch was not all that good but it was from the ship. We stopped to see a roadside souvenir stand and my wife took a little native boys photo she entered in the photo contest on the ship. We had a nice cruise critic group tour of Lima. In Manta we took a ship tour with a hike and a beach stop. Our guide was very knowledgeable. We saw howler monkeys and an archaeological site and lots of birds and exhibits. The beach stop was all too short but it was nice to take a dip in the ocean. Since we had been through the Panama Canal before we opted for the tour to Panama City to see the old city. It was a funeral of a past president so the area we planned to see was closed but we still got to shop and take pictures of the areas that were visible. We had much better weather than the people who stayed with the ship. They had rain. Our final port was Columbia. We opted for a ship tour to Rosario Island. It was more than we hoped for. We got to snorkel and visited a marine exhibit with a dolphin show and sea creatures on display that we had never seen before like tuna, tarpon, sawtooth fish, sea turtles and such. The high speed boat ride out and back saw a comfortable sea breeze unlike the heat and humidity in the city. All in all we got to see lots of new places. The weather was even better than we hoped. The shipboard activities were delightful. The food was exceptional. If you have not toured South America before this is the perfect way to see it for the first time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
When we flew to LA for our Panama Canal cruise on Infinity we tried not to have really high expectations because our previous cruise [back-to-back Alaska on sister ship Millennium May/June 2010] had been such a wonderful success that we ... Read More
When we flew to LA for our Panama Canal cruise on Infinity we tried not to have really high expectations because our previous cruise [back-to-back Alaska on sister ship Millennium May/June 2010] had been such a wonderful success that we were not convinced this ship could live up to that standard for interest and excitement. In a way things did not start well. When we arrived at San Pedro pier around 11.20am there were hundreds in line, and the side of the check-in area for Suites, Concierge and Elite was not open. But, the line moved quickly and we had checked in shortly afterwards - only to be shown after security, Xrays etc.into a large waiting area, clutching our Group 9 ticket for boarding. After about an hour, with the lounge filling fast and seats at a premium, a Pier Supervisor began to use a loud hailer to call group numbers to the barriers which lead to the ship. Groups were called quite quickly, and by 12.30pm we were on the stairs and escalators and on board - in the line for SeaPass photos. With mimosas in hand, we declined the offer of assistance to find our stateroom because we had the identical one to that on Millennium and knew the way. We toasted Infinity in our room at 1.10pm, dropped our carry-on bags and headed to the Ocean Grille for a light lunch. That day, and over the first days at sea, we heard many complaints about embarkation in LA. However by discrete questioning of staff we discovered a couple of things. Those on the ship have no control over the activities of pier personnel, and the perceived delay in the start of boarding was due to the slow processing of disembarking passengers because of the US Customs and Immigration staff on shore being very thorough with those arriving on the previous cruise [there were still 200 passengers left to disembark at 11.30am]. We found it strange that there were so many complaints when embarkation did start before the scheduled [and publicized in our e-docs] 1pm start time - if you arrive early expect to wait? We have sailed with Celebrity many times and their style of cruising suits us. We have found ways to enjoy the on-board dining by being careful with where and what we choose to eat. Breakfast in Michael's Club or Spa Cafe, lunch in Spa Cafe, dinner in a rotation of SS US (twice), the main dining room and the Ocean Grille. In the Trellis Dining Room we had opted to try Select Dining for the first time - it worked for us. We had made reservations on-line for preferred times before the cruise and soon found that Asst. Maitre D.' Ruby and the hostess Khadine at the door recognized us, remembered our names and our preference for a table for two. After two nights in two different sections we expressed a preference for Waiter Saul and Assistant Ardi, and Khadine placed us in this section [with Sommelier Ayhan] each night when we returned. Their service, advice, timing and friendliness made the dinners there very enjoyable. I consider the appetizers to be amongst the best dishes on the menu so I succumbed and ordered two quite often - we usually have soup and salad for lunch at Spa Cafe so we both skipped that course on most nights. Main dishes ranged from satisfactory to excellent - we found the pasta dishes with meat or seafood toppings to be overwhelming in terms of the toppings because we prefer our pasta with light sauces not a whole chicken breast or sliced sirloin. Some of the main courses were outstanding - the BBQ Sea Bass, Veal Cordon Blue Our Way, Coconut Thai Prawns and Veal Osso Buco and a couple of vegetarian dishes had us sending compliments to the chef. On the nights in the Ocean Grille we explored alternatives - pizza, sushi, stir fry, Indian foods - and the antipasto and salad bars - all worked well. Our dinners there were more like home cooking for us and very relaxing. However we must mention the fine service there from waiters who, when told we had some wine in the main dining room, managed to arrange to have the unfinished bottle brought up to the Ocean Grille without complaint or delay. We also appreciated the visits from the Head Waiter Joseph and Restaurant Manager Danuta. In passing through the Ocean Grille on their rounds of all dining areas they stopped by for a chat and offered to assist. Our experiences in the SS US were highlights of the cruise for us. Maitre D.' Oswald and his staff were attentive to every detail and both evenings the pacing was excellent, the presentation of dishes was camera-worthy and the flavours were intense. We appreciated the size of the dishes and managed to order five courses without feeling overwhelmed by the end of each meal [we chose just one cheese from the trolley though despite temptation]. Special mention must be made of the efforts of Sommelier Evgeny who kept track of the various wines we ordered for specific courses, and arranged to send some of the unfinished bottles to the Trellis for other nights and some to our stateroom for use on other occasions. We did some comparisons on this cruise with the back-to-back on Millennium in May/June. We were pleasantly surprised to find the outer decks and public rooms on Infinity even cleaner - we found the guest musicians On Tap (A Cappella quartet) and guitarist Anton to be more entertaining and more popular than their equivalents on Millie. We are not fans of the dumbed-down style or amplification of the entertainment in the Celebrity Theatre, so we either do not attend, or we go for a number or two and then retreat to the smaller lounges for more polished and quieter offerings. We did enjoy hearing soloists or small groups of the Celebrity Orchestra when they performed outside the Theater - some wonderful musicians! We attended lectures on board. We soon found that Mike Vecchionne appealed us, and his marine biology themed material was well presented with his slides. We found the other lecturer to be too 'once over lightly' and more focused on his take on ports than history and so we cherry-picked his material when re-played on TV in the stateroom. I attended some of the Oceans Ahead series - each one conducted by an officer and featuring aspects of cruise ships; navigation, environmental issues, propulsion etc. While some officers read their PowerPoint slides unnecessarily, the material was informative. We met some of the Senior Officers at various events and discovered a very interesting teamwork approach led by Hotel Director Leonie. She seemed to have a 'walk the talk' approach which meant she was very visible and her fellow officers all seemed always to have a smile, be quick to solve any issue we mentioned either in person or on an "attention to detail" sheet. I dropped off one of these sheets at Guest Relations early one morning to alert them to a slow draining basin and shower and then I went to the Gym. When I returned to the stateroom after a work-out, I discovered that the plumber had been, fixed the problem and left before I had a chance to warn my wife of the potential visit of a plumber! The piping in of a barrel of Beaujolais Nouveau and subsequent tasting was a bonus - and we enjoyed the different format of the Heartbeat of the Operation events which featured the very personable Master Chef Gerard and his staff - great demos and informative Q&A sessions. Was everything perfect? No. We experienced some annoying times on a Celebrity booked shore excursion to Pura Vida Gardens in Costa Rica because some other passengers had not brought rain gear or had not read the description and were too large or too out of shape to handle the stairs and paths in the hillside gardens. When it rained - and most of us pulled out ponchos and umbrellas - the unprepared guests wanted to cut the walk short and go back to the cafe. Our guide was torn between continuing the tour and being with the unprepared and unfit ones for safety reasons - we felt somewhat short-changed that Celebrity Shore Excursion staff had not warned ticket buyers of the weather and terrain. Our other shore excursion - horse drawn carriage ride in Cartagena featured an excellent guide on the bus to and from the ride, and some wonderfully relaxing time which produced some excellent pictures too. We found the piped music in the Ocean Grille and lounges generally and in the Theatre before events to be too loud and up-beat for two people trying to slow down and relax. This music mean we also found it difficult to find a quiet place to sit and read or write. Being a long distance walker - and avoiding the direct sunlight - I was annoyed at the frequent roping off of sections in the middle of both sides of the Promenade Deck which meant I had to walk up and back in handkerchief sized parts of the deck..... one side at a time would have been more to my liking. The transit of the Panama Canal was, of course, a highlight. Some reviewers have previously commented on stateroom selection - it is important. We had a forward-facing oceanview with a window. When the tropical rainstorm arrived as we headed under the Bridge of the Americas in Panama City and pointed at the first two locks this rainfall kept passengers indoors scrambling for viewing places. We had room-service breakfast, made our own mimosas and watched the passage through the first two locks while wearing our robes, and I have some great photos to prove it. When the rain stopped after the first two locks we ventured out on deck and enjoyed the views from upper decks, from the side and aft. We really appreciated the stateroom TV bridge-cam and the commentary from the Panama Canal Commission commentator which went with it. Fortunately the rain stopped before the Pedro Miguel lock and held off for the balance of the transit. The work being done on the duplication and widening of the canal is stunning to see. Disembarkation in Miami was remarkably quick and easy. We were directed from our lounge exactly at the time specified in the disembarkation letter, through Customs and Immigration to luggage [wonderful new carousels since our last landing here] to taxi in less than 25 minutes from the time we said goodbye to Tanushka [Captain's Club hostess] in Michael's Club. Maybe our enjoyment of cruising with Celebrity is enhanced by our positive attitude to travel - I know that being in an upper level of the Captain's Club provides some benefits which we really appreciate [after many years of complaining]. We enjoyed ourselves and Celebrity so much we headed to the Sales Office during the cruise and booked two more - for 2012. We are looking forward to our two cruises on Century in 2011. For photos see www.gallery.me.com/morefromles1 - more albums still to come. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
My husband and I are recent retirees and are always looking for good value cruises. Since we were also celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, we were also looking for something special. We found both in this 16 night repositioning ... Read More
My husband and I are recent retirees and are always looking for good value cruises. Since we were also celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, we were also looking for something special. We found both in this 16 night repositioning cruise (sort of) from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, traversing the Panama Canal. Celebrity is currently running this cruise as a 14 day from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale and back. The fare was $1050 PP for an oceanview cabin (cruise only). Obviously some paid more, some less, but this was a bargain for us. This was our third Celebrity cruise (36th overall), but it had been 10 years since we last sailed on Celebrity (Zenith and Mercury), so I was anxious to see if there had been significant changes. The ship is really very impressive; wonderful common areas with soft muted colors and decor. The environment is one of serenity and comfort and there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy the voyage. Embarkation in Seattle was fairly easy. We arrived around 11:00 a.m., dropped our luggage and checked in almost immediately. Since it was early, staterooms were not ready, but passengers were allowed on-board and met with Champagne and mimosas. Lunch was served on Deck 10 and we roamed the ship to see where everything was located. The Infinity offers a more than adequate fitness center, several outdoor pools and hot tubs, a two level library, a cinema, and several lounges and bars for entertainment. Celebrity also has the thelossotherapy pool area, which is covered and offers a spa like experience. It is a large warm water pool used for relaxing and jet therapy on those tired muscles. A nice touch. The deck chairs in that area are wood and quite comfortable and there are several curtained table areas for eating or cards, etc. Inside the pool area is a special "spa-type" buffet for those who want to eat healthier or lighter. As for food - Celebrity still excels at menu diversity, presentation and taste. Each day/evening offered meals to excite the palate, some familiar, some providing an adventure in trying new dishes. There are also "always available" items, such as chicken and steak, ceasar salad, shrimp cocktail, french onion soup, creme brulee' and cheesecake - just in case any particular menu didn't tickle your fancy. We were never disappointed. My only negative in the restaurant was an unfortunate incident regarding the sommalier. We had brought a bottle of wine on board to enjoy in our stateroom. (BTW, Celebrity's written policy on this is to allow passengers to bring wine on board only at embarkation. Spirits and/or wine purchased at ports of call were supposed to be confiscated and returned to passengers on the last sea day. Unfortunately, this policy was not consistent, resulting in some issues with passengers.) We had already decorked the bottle and wanted to share it with our new table mates. I asked the maitre-d' if it was ok to bring the bottle to the table uncorked and he assured me it was fine. Understand, Celebrity charges $25 to decork wine that is not purchased on board. When the sommalier came to our table, he was perturbed that we had brought the wine and proceeded to grill me as to where I got it, wanted my stateroom number, etc. Needless to say I was put off by his behavior and assured him I had asked first. We were not trying to get around the policy, since we purchased several bottles of wine during the cruise, but this was a wine not available on board and we wanted to share it. Celebrity also has a specialty restaurant, The United States, which looked elegant and quiet, but we didn't dine there, mainly due to the very high service charge ($35 PP). They tell us that is really for tipping, but I don't know many people who tip $70 for a meal, no matter how nice it is. The normal buffet food was as expected, good but not surprising, but the Infinity also has alternate choices; a pizza station, outdoor grill, deli (excellent sandwiches and wraps), a pasta station and Asian cuisine. There were two ice cream areas and I'm told Celebrity makes their own ice cream. Whoever made it, it was a hit, and flavors were diffferent and varied every day. Examples - You could get cinnamon, pear sorbet, blueberry frozen yogurt, raspberry and of course, vanilla, chocoate and strawberry. Soft serve was also available. However, it was not open 24 hrs, so "in between" meal areas could not always be satisfied with ice cream. Live entertainment was surprisingly good. I say surprisingly, because we have become used to "cruise ship" entertainers. Some are good, some are not, but usually the entertainment isn't memorable. However, the Celebrity singers and dancers were exceptional. First, there were more of them and the featured vocalists (2 men and 2 women) also danced and participated in the choreography. Although there weren't very many review shows, the three we saw were well planned, executed professionally and were very entertaining. Kudos to Celebrity! We also were entertained by a wonderful jazz violinist, a great male singer (more operatic, but provided a nice range of song styles), a female broadway singer, a pianist and magician (nice close up work). Not all entertainers were exceptional, but those that were, made the overall experience memorable. The cruise director, Allen King, and his staff were first rate, friendly, accommodating and funny. Ports of call - San Diego, California; Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco and Acapulco, Mexico, Puntarenas,Costa Rica and Catagena, Columbia. You could also disembark prior to going through the Canal for some excursions. Being frequent cruisers, with been there, done that experience, we did not book any shore excursions from Celebrity. Instead we hired vans with another couple at Acapulco and Costa Rica and enjoyed great tours for much less than similar tours offered on board. Highlights - cliff divers in Acapulco, Crocodile tour in Costa Rica and walking on the beach in Huatulco. As expected for this time of year, the Mexican Ports were hot and humid, so time spent outside could be uncomfortable. Cartagena proved a bit unnerving, since there were armed security and military personnel everywhere and the venders are extremely aggressive. We didn't feel unsafe, just uncomfortable. On board, there are several shops, the art gallery - hosting the pre-requisite art auctions, several wine tastings and seminars, movie showings throughout the day, and a number of life affirming lectures. Activities were subdued (not much around the pool), but lessons on water color, language (Spanish), and dance were available. Sea days brought trivia and TV type games (Family Feud, 1 Against 100,etc.) and of course, bingo. The casino was more than adequate, but this cruise did not have very many gamblers, so the casino staff was bummed. All in all, a great cruise vacation, with negatives very minimal. However, I wouldn't recommend it for honeymooners or families with young children. Although there was a children's area, this particular cruise was filled with more mature passengers and I would guess any young people would have felt the activities were lame and the fellow passengers not their cup of tea. BTW, one of the really nice perks - Celebrity believes in minimal intrusive announcements, so you aren't inundated with "sale" and "bingo" announcements every 15 minutes. Disembarkation was a piece of cake. Called by luggage tag color - we were off the ship by 8:30 and at the airport a little after 9:00 a.m. Read Less
Sail Date September 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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