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83 Celebrity Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

Our cruise started off on the wrong foot during the lifeboat drill. Several elderly passengers were in our group, which our muster point was the photo viewing area. We were told to line up 5 deep close together. One elderly man ... Read More
Our cruise started off on the wrong foot during the lifeboat drill. Several elderly passengers were in our group, which our muster point was the photo viewing area. We were told to line up 5 deep close together. One elderly man accompanying his wife who was walking with a cane asked the young man in charge of our group how long the drill would take and was told, "how ever long it takes for everyone to follow directions and get in line." He asked for a chair for his wife and was told none were available during the drill and the gentleman pointed to another group whose muster point was in the lounge and said, "but they have chairs and can sit." The Celebrity employee rolled his eyes and that pretty much set the tone of the entire trip. We were in stateroom 9068 having selected an Aqua Class Balcony. The first day the room was okay. On the second day there was a slight sewage smell, but this was overtaken by a powerful different smell. On day two we returned to the ship, stepped into the hallway and were greeted by a could and overwhelming chemical smell. You literally could not see past two cabin doors, they were spraying a disinfectant. We, along with other passengers were all hacking and coughing, Celebrity stated this was a standard cleaning procedure to spray the ship in this manner. The employees had respirators on, we did not. By day three the sewage smell was overwhelming. We complained about the smell and was told they could spray something to freshen it up. The next day we noticed the carpet was completely soaked. We complained and were told in Aqua Class, the tiles in the shower can become broken allowing water under the floor. We noticed the bathroom floor had broken tiles that when stepped on, water would squirt through.We were told they knew this was an issue, they would dry the floor so they brought in someone to fix the tiles and dry the floor. The other possibility mentioned was shifting and broken drains, I am horrified it may be sewage, but there were no answers, only changing stories. The maintenance guy comes in and the tiles are "fixed" in less than 5 minutes. Then the drying blowers were brought in which succeeded in super blasting the stench around the room. The next morning the floors were soaked again and we did not use the shower. At this point we moved to another room that was not Aqua Class, and the bathroom floor had broken tiles as well that when stepped on water would squirt through. The new bathroom smelled like rotten potatoes instead of sewage so it was an upgrade. The balcony on the replacement room had a pipe coming down the outside wall that leaked goo that resembled and smelled like spoiled milk. We were told by guest relations this was a known issue with the ship and nothing could be done...so Celebrity is charging people for an Aqua Class room knowing this is an ongoing problem that is not being fixed. For all the issues we were given $150 certificate toward a future full priced cruise. No concession was given for the fact we were in Aqua Class but moved to a lower level of room. As for other reviews, they are accurate, the ship's main dining room is completely understaffed and overwhelmed. Servers can't be friendly, they are too busy running back and forth. We felt truly bad for them and did not complain about cold food and missing items. Qsine was well done and the service there was outstanding. As for documentation procedures, the staff is clueless and several people were upset over incorrect customs information. The ship did not manage to dock on time at any port. It was always an hour or so later than the published time for people to be able to get off the ship causing several people to miss activities they had prebooked so be sure to account for this when making plans. The one great thing about the ship was the kids program. The main dining room was so overburdened we ate several diners at the Oceanview Cafe. My husband's parents were traveling with us and could not eat with us at Blu because they did not book Aqua Class (thank goodness with all the issues). At Oceanview Cafe we ended up sitting near the Adventure Oceans participants who were cared for by the most unbelievable lady who reminded me of a British style nanny with a big umbrella. So there were six kids each time, the lady in charge and an assistant. The food for the kids was set up at a little group of tables in stainless steel serving trays. The kids would be led in, seated and then the leader and assistant would don gloves and plate the children's food. Once the kids finished eating they were given a small treat. The interaction with the kids was absolutely amazing, it's everything a parent would want in someone taking care of their child. Where Celebrity found this gem, I do not know, but she was a case study on how kids should be cared for by someone other than their parents. Truly outstanding, even when dealing with that "one kid" who always has to be a clown and will not sit still. And the kids were having a great time and on the last night they were all saying how sad they were it was their last night and how much they would miss the leaders. Although we didn't have kids on this cruise, at least Celebrity seems to have gotten that part right. Overall, I would take a hard look at Celebrity, I was so disappointed the known issues were not addressed and the next guests in those rooms won't have any different experience. They can't fix the issue until dry dock so rather than taking the rooms out of service, they just let guests deal with the stink. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We boarded the Infinity for the first time out of San Francisco. The weather was lovely the entire cruise but unseasonably hot in Santa Barbara and San Diego. We have sailed only one other Millinium ship, the Summit and I would say the ... Read More
We boarded the Infinity for the first time out of San Francisco. The weather was lovely the entire cruise but unseasonably hot in Santa Barbara and San Diego. We have sailed only one other Millinium ship, the Summit and I would say the Summit appearance was better last December. The service was excellent on both. We gave up on the entertainment early but we did enjoy the ship Naturalist Milos. He gave a lively presentation and it was well attended. The ship was clean although ready for the upcoming dry dock in a few areas. It felt more tired than actually appearing this way, maybe it was just weary from rainy months in Alaska. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze for us in San Francisco, as good as any ever and we have cruised 12 times to date. We dined in Luminae and enjoyed it. The food was excellent and the menu was a source of entertainment itself. For example we were never quite sure what to expect. One day I ordered the Arugula expecting a salad but it was a pizza with Arugula on it. Another day I ordered the Cobb salad expecting a salad but it was a quarter portion of lettuce with two bacon strips on it and sprinkled with blue cheese with a full filet Mignon next to it. There are various plates presented. A hard boiled egg is served with a sample egg cut in half to show you how it is cooked, an unpeeled hard boiled egg, half a tomato and mushrooms and asparagus. It is a beautiful presentation but perhaps you could end up with more plates than the table can handle. If I would suggest one change, besides a menu edit, it would be more vegetables. We enjoyed Luminae quite a bit and look forward to returning to it in a couple of months. We also ate in Qzine and it was good and the service excellent. What did get our attention was the SS United States. The meal and the service were flawless. We are very impressed. We took three tours on this trip. A private whale watch in Monterey which we lucked out getting into as someone no showed. We saw about fifty whales and a few hundred dolphins. It was wonderful. We took it with Chris's Sport Fishing. Next we went on San Diego whale watch which was also excellent we saw hundreds of dolphins and assisted looking for hammerhead sharks afterwards as many boats are participating in studying the new influx of these sharks to the area. Our third trip cost twice as much and it unfortunately was a ships tour in Catalina for a dolphin excursion. While the other boats told us what they had been seeing all week before we bought it turned out our excursion had not seen a dolphin in a week and while the staff was nice and the boat was good a two hour tour watching sea lions on the coast and looking for hammerhead sharks was simply not worth the fee. In the future I will book these with folks who are publicly showing what they are seeing. In all fairness no boat guarantees sightings but I would say the odds are up if they have been spotted recently. Celebrity offers shore excursions and very high end excursions. It sure would be nice if they would invest in something in between and make sure what they send people on are up the standards they could get privately. I did call and suggest they publicize for the guests recent sightings and to not book a boat looking for sharks. This was a pricer cruise than normal for us but i would say it was wonderful and we both really needed a break. The waters were calm and think San Francisco is a beautiful place to catch a ship. The bridges, they bay, the islands are amazing compared to the larger industrial ports. I hope in the future Celebrity does more from this port. There was a lot more tendering than normal. A few times the tenders seemed rather crowded with all of the heat. The solution is to go to the upper deck where you can get breeze. I would certainly do this cruise again and am glad we were on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our 8th cruise overall, 7th with Celebrity, all but one on Millennium class. It had been 4 years since our last cruise. We are a couple who is over 55 and under 60. We work hard and a cruise is a luxury expense for us. As you ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise overall, 7th with Celebrity, all but one on Millennium class. It had been 4 years since our last cruise. We are a couple who is over 55 and under 60. We work hard and a cruise is a luxury expense for us. As you can tell we have very little experience with a different line so a comparison is not possible. We have high expectations when paying for services but that being said we are easy to please and understand when small mistakes happen. We felt the price for this particular cruise was high but it worked into our schedules for work and we liked the idea of getting away for 9 nights. Embarkation at Pier 27 was smooth with no line. We are Elite members so had a special check-in. We looked at the regular check in line and each station was no more than 2-3 deep. We have never seen short lines like this. Because this ship stayed overnight in SF we walked by this area a few times and never saw a long line at any station. Our cruise was part of a 1-2-3 Go promotion that included pre-paid gratuities, classic beverage package, and a $300 onboard credit. Had it not been included on the promotion the beverage package would have been a whopping $55 per person per day! On past cruises our bar bill for the entire cruise for 2 has never exceeded $75. We used the package on this cruise for an after dinner cocktail each evening, bottled water, one glass of wine with dinner one night , and coffee beverages in the Coffee cafe. As we think back on this if we had to purchase these items separately we would most like have only purchased the bottled water, cocktails once or twice and coffee beverages once or twice. This makes the beverage package of no value to us in the future. The pre-paid gratuities are a plus and we used the on board credit for excursions that we would typically have purchased any way. We did enjoy the Coffee cafe. Beverages were excellent and area was clean and generally quiet. Staff was accommodating to our likes regarding drinks. We used this once to twice daily because it was included in our beverage package. There was a nature specialist on board. Not sure I have his name quite right but something like Mikos. His talks were informative, entertaining and easy for the standard person to understand. Do not mistake this as him not being highly knowledgeable. He was extremely intelligent but an excellent teacher and knew how to present complicated topics for general public without it being "dummied down" for those who had some knowledge of the topics. I would not want to miss any talks he would give if on board with him again. We attended the shows each night. The entertainment was enjoyable but not outstanding. On other cruises the Celebrity dancers and singers had a theme that seemed lacking this time. The guest entertainers included a comedian who was ok, a zxylo??? player who was good, a male vocalist who was very enjoyable and a female vocalist who sang 1940 hits that we had never heard before. Entertainment out and about on the ship was ok but not like in the past. Celebrity used to have small instrumental groups and acapella singers that we liked. Not this time. We found it difficult to sit and listen to the singers and usually moved on to a different area to relax. In general we found them a little loud and did not sing music to our liking. We love a balcony cabin and chose one on this cruise. We are questioning this choice and plan to try an inside room or ocean view on the next cruise. We spent most of our time out and about the ship and did not use the balcony for more than an hour or two the entire trip. Towels were thick and not worn, bath amenities included lotion, shower gel, shampoo, cotton balls and swabs, emery board, face soap, body soap, and shower cap. The room in general was up to date and not worn. Everything was in working order. Our cabin steward (Clyde) was awesome. Most of the time we did not see him but his work was evident in our room. When we did need something he seemed to magically appear. He always greeted us by name and with a huge smile! The size of the room was fine and exactly what we expected. The chairs on the balcony were different than we remembered and more comfortable. We have high expectations in the dining room due to past good experiences. Our waiter was efficient and accurate with our orders. He asked our entire table on more than one occasion if there was anything we wanted and if his service was what we expected. The food was good and we enjoyed what we ordered. There was one night when the menu featured Chef at sea that had no appeal to us when reading the items. Once the waiter explained the entrees we decided to follow what others ordered at the table and ordered the flank steak. This was an excellent choice. What I am trying to say here is make sure ask your waiter questions about the menu. We would have passed up a wonderful meal and had something from the menu that is featured everyday. Deserts were good, generally not over sweet and just the right size portions. When talking about portion size, I have read many comments about portions on Celebrity being small. We find the portion size to be consistent with european portions and to be just right. If you want more it is easy to order a double portion. We dined once in Qsine and found it to be enjoyable to do once. It was a whimsical experience but now that we have experienced it, will not do again unless we are trying to spend onboard credit. We also tried Bistro on 5 twice. There is $10 per person surcharge. Our evening table mates had been raving about this for lunch so we were excited to try it. The first time was at the compliments of the Captain and the Captain's club hostess for my husband's birthday. We received a gift card in our room and found this to be a nice touch. We ordered the Beef Stroganoff. The meal was ok. The waiter was not very helpful or attentive. We ordered and it was served. When it came time for dessert we had to ask if there were toppings. We knew about the toppings from our table mates. We left a bit underwhelmed. We tried it a second time at the urging of our tablemates and to use up onboard credit. The second time we ordered a hamburger and a Mediterranean crepe. We waited over an hour for our food. To his credit, the waiter kept checking in with us assuring our order would be coming soon. We were polite and understanding and did not complain at all. Soon the manager came over and told us our order had been lost and he would be comping our meal and offered us wine or drinks as well. After an additional 15 minutes our order came and we enjoyed it but did not find it worth the $10 surcharge if we had been paying for it. In general the Bistro did not seem to be able to handle a full area even with many waiters around. Must have been a problem in the kitchen. We booked 2 excursions through Celebrity. The first was a Muir Woods tour. The tour guide was 1/2 late due to traffic that she did not expect. We are from Colorado and knew that Bart was doing maintenance before we left on our cruise. We find it a bit hard to understand that a tour guide from San Francisco would be so uninformed as to not be able to anticipate and plan for this and arrive on time. The tour was ok and accomplished our goal of seeing the redwoods. The second tour was a dolphin seeing tour at Catalina Island. Unfortunately we did not see any dolphins but truly enjoyed being on the water in a small boat with 6 other people that felt safe and fun. We attended a few of the "cheesy" activities offered by the activities team. We found them humorous to watch. We also attended the 3 classes offered by the watercolor artist. I was impressed with the quality of the beginning kit supplied to use for the classes. This was enjoyable on the sea days to attend. In general we found the ship in good condition for the age of the ship. Disembarkation went well until we got to the pier. We liked being able to be in the Trellis restaurant while waiting for our color to be called and enjoyed this Elite Captains Club perk. When at the dock to pick up our suitcases there seemed to be quite a bit of confusion. We were getting different directions from several different workers. Each one did not seem to know what the other was directing us to do. Confusing but not unmanageable for us, but what about those who are older or less experienced with disembarking? Overall we loved our cruise and will most likely sail with Celebrity again. The perks offered with our Elite Captains Club status are a part of future cruising decisions. I believe this is true of most who seem loyal to the brand. If perks are good you will continue to have us as customers. If they are not or are reduced, we will try other brands. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Background Information: We are a retired couple from the San Francisco bay area -- mid-fifties & early sixties -- that cruise extensively on most major lines. This was our 46th cruise overall, our 14th on Celebrity and our 3rd ... Read More
Background Information: We are a retired couple from the San Francisco bay area -- mid-fifties & early sixties -- that cruise extensively on most major lines. This was our 46th cruise overall, our 14th on Celebrity and our 3rd time on the Infinity. Our first time on the Infinity was not to be outdone until our second time on this ship, which we also felt could not be matched and then....this cruise, which exceeded all expectations and was our favorite of all times. Boarding Process: We were given a ride directly to the pier by our neighbor, which was a treat as we planned on taking the BART train and walking to the pier (about 1 mile from the Embarcadero station). We packed in carry on luggage only to make that transfer to the ship a bit easier. We arrived at Pier 27 around 11:15 and went through security and then off to check in. We were booked in a concierge cabin and are elite on Celebrity so pretty much walked right up to the check in, although the lines were short everywhere. The check in clerk was having a lot of trouble getting it to accept our passport numbers with our credit card. I finally motioned a supervisor to come over to help as it was taking a long time and still without any success. The supervisor got it done pronto and we were guided right over to the line for boarding. Along the deck on which we boarded, there were tables set up for booking any dining or beverage packages for the cruise. We took care of our dining needs and were on our way to be greeted with our glass of champagne. Our staterooms were not yet ready so we took a seat up by the martini bar to relax and enjoy our champagne. Since we still had our carry on luggage, I went down to guest relations and was able to change my stateroom to a wonderful aft cabin which had been placed on hold the previous evening. What a fabulous way to begin our most wonderful trip. I kept this little surprise from my spouse until we received notification that our staterooms were ready. In the meanwhile, we went up to deck 10 and found a nice day bed to enjoy the sunshine and fabulous O and O duo. We also ordered a bucket of ice cold beer from Darron from the mast grill. Since I couldn't spring out our new stateroom key card in front of my spouse, I went up to order the beers and Darron promised to keep my secret and deliver them to us. So nice of him to help me with my surprise. Stateroom Information: We heard the announcement for our stateroom and made it down to deck 8. For once, my spouse surprisingly knew our stateroom number so had to do a little maneuvering to get him to the starboard side. When I pulled out the new keys, he knew immediately that I made a major score! The cabin door, which has a doorbell, opens into a long hallway, the end of which has another unlocked door into the stateroom. The stateroom had 3 full closets, one of which housed a small safe, a couple of shelves and 6 drawers. I needed no extra hangers for the first time ever. Across from the closets was the bathroom -- which I believe is standard for that ship. The shower may have been a bit larger but everything else seemed to be what we found on other cabins on this ship. The bathroom was surface clean but could have used some retiling or re-grouting at the least. There were hooks on the bathroom door for the provided bathrobes. There did not seem to be any wall hooks available in this room other than those in the bathroom. The showerhead was a hose fastened to a long pole and water pressure was decent but there were constant temperature fluctuations throughout each and every shower we took. It really wasn't too bothersome, though and I am sure all staterooms were effected much the same. From the wall with the closets, there was a long desk extending the length of the bedroom area, with a small flat screen tv and a small refrigerator / mini bar, which our room steward emptied for us to store beverages. Along this long desk were many areas of shelving and an inlet for a desk chair. The mirror also extended the length of the long desk but there was no full length mirror in the room. This was a non-issue. The bed was extremely comfortable with nice linens and 4 pillows. I requested a feather pillow and our room steward found one for me along with an extra blanket. Each side of the bed has a 2 drawer dresser as well as a table lamp. On the far side of the bed was a frosted windowed wall / door that led into the living area (extra sleeping area) which contained two full sized pull out sofas and a coffee table. There were also 6 more drawers, table lamp and tv in this area, which could be cordoned off from the bedroom area by the middle sliding door. Opposite this side of the room was the sliding door out onto the huge balcony which housed a dining table with 4 chairs and a smaller table with two cushioned loungers. Most of the balcony was half covered and enclosed with steel walls but the outside section had some railing which left nice ocean breezes onto the balcony. We lived out on our balcony -- only going to the indoor pool area once during the cruise. We had many of our meals out there and got some amazing sunset pictures. This was by far the best stateroom we've ever had in our 46 cruises. It made our cruise very special indeed. Our room stewards did a pretty good job with a couple of misses but all in all, most of our major needs were met. We aren't super demanding after our boarding requests (extra pillows and blanket, extra box of tissue, emptying of the mini bar, wine glasses) but did have dirty dishes in our room almost daily and we rearranged the balcony furniture a lot to dodge the direct sun. Ship information: I had seen many comments about the state of disrepair on this ship and I just didn't see it except in the indoor pool. They should note that resurfacing here would spruce things up immensely. The Constellation Lounge, MDR, the Theater and Q-Sine were all in great shape as was the Rendezvous Lounge. SS United states was lovely although you can see a bit of disrepair of the shutters which, in theory, add quite a sophisticated look to the room. For us, this was also a non-issue. The carpeting in some areas does need to be replaced (especially on the stairs) but overall, the Infinity is in good shape for her age. We did not see any stained or ripped upholstery on the furniture. All elevators seemed to be in working condition. Activities and Entertainment: The cruise director, Patti Honoki, is incredible at arranging everything and brings a spark to everything onboard. We've sailed with her before and are amazed at her energy level. She is a great talent and set up everything without flaw on this cruise. We enjoyed the bands onboard (O and O were fantastic) as well as the dancers. They all seemed to go out of their way to be friendly and chat with the staff whether they were performing or out to get a bite to eat. The Reigning show was so much fun as well. The production staff made sure everyone that wanted to be involved were welcomed. Milos was also incredible. Although we didn't make it to any of his presentations, we could watch them on tv after the fact and always enjoyed them. We spent much of our sailing time in the casino. Dimi, the casino host, as well as Gianna and Christina, who worked in the cashier cage, were all just outstanding. Always a smile and a friendly greeting for us! They made losing money not quite such a bad thing. The machines in the casinos were paying off for some and a very little bit for us on the last day. Many machines did have buttons that stick, though, so those need a bit of work. I loved the raffles and tournaments they organized in the casino, even though we didn't win. I must also note that I truly appreciate the mlife relationship with Celebrity as we did receive some freebies through that. We didn't see all of the entertainers as we always seemed to be enjoying the elite captains lounge or dinner during the shows. We did see the comedian, who was just ok and the newlywed game, which was fall down on the floor funny. I do miss the hypnotists onboard as of late. Not sure why these no longer seem to be arranged. The captain's club events are outstanding. A huge shout out to the entire guest relations staff, with the Captain's Circle Host, Alexandra, being the best we've ever met with that position. She was incredible in making each and everyone feel quite special. She sure enriched our cruise experience many times over. We were invited to sail away at the helipad -- which was a most memorable experience. We also were invited to dine at the Captain's table (first time ever) and when we explained that we hadn't packed formal attire due to our transportation issues, Alexandra sent a perfectly fitting jacket to our stateroom so we could attend. Unbelievable and that topped it off to make it a number one cruise. Dinner with Captain Theo and Environmental Officer Maria was just beyond incredible. Our table mates were so nice -- they could tell we were newbies to this experience. Staff and Crew: A very special thanks to Rodrigo, Elena and Marija from the guest relations staff was earned. What an incredibly wonderful and cohesive group to ensure we had the most impressive cruise experience. Besides the casino staff, the guest relations staff, the cruise director and the Captain's Club Hostess as mentioned above, others that made our cruise extra special were: Andrew and Trevor from the oceanview café Imade, Aneka and Wilfredo in the elite lounge Tari and Marta in the morning coffee house Mario, Marko, Milan, Milos, Oleg and Savo in the SS United States and QSine Marija at the main dining room I know there are others whose names escape me -- but feel like everyone worked so well together to make everything extra special for their passengers. Dining: We dined in the MDR 5 times, including the one captain's table dinner and 2 breakfasts. All dinners there were great with fabulous service, with extra special food, wine and service at the captains table. One breakfast was also great in both service and food while the 2nd one was on disembarkation day. That meal was a fail but to be expected as it was chaotic at best and certainly not representative of the entire cruise prior to that. We ate one meal at Q-Sine and the service was phenomenal as were a couple of the dishes we ordered. The Chinese food was way too salty but the lava crab was a huge winner. We had two dinners at the SS United States and both had a superior menu and outstanding service. We also enjoyed the buffet at the coffee house in the morning and never got a meal didn't just love at the oceanview cafe, mast grill or aqua spa cafe. On a cruise, we like to eat light and only when we are hungry. The buffet lends itself to this very well. They would sauté up some veggies for me at the Stir Fry or Pasta stations and I wouldn't have to add the heavy pastas to it. I also tried to stay away from that awesome bread that they bake onboard as well as those world's best fries. Between that and taking the stairs instead of the elevator, I think we warded off any extra pounds that could have easily been added. Port and shore excursions: This itinerary was unusually hot and humid for the coast of California. We absolutely love sailing out of and returning to our home port of San Francisco. We are so disappointed that Celebrity does not have any future sailings out of this port after this week. :( San Francisco did not have its typical weather -- it was sunny and warm, even when we sailed under the Golden Gate bridge on 9/5, it was windy but warm. What a delightful experience. We were going to hike up to the top of Coit Tower but toured the Hyde Street Pier on our own and it was quite interesting. We were tired from all the heat and walking by the time back onboard so didn't head back out again. By the time we got to Monterey, it was getting hot but the warmest weather was yet to come. We booked a walking tour ahead of time through a discounter. We walked into town on that beautiful walking trail that Monterey put in and met by Cannery row in town. The tour was ok, we had a hard time hearing the guide due to the larger number of people included. Much of the tour had us stopping in the hot sun so we left the tour a bit early and caught the free shuttle back to the ship. Since it was a holiday weekend, the town of Monterey just exploded in numbers so the shuttle was standing room only by the time they made a pick up at the Aquarium. Ensenada was our next port of call. We only went into the little shops at the pier, the ones by the Carnival ship being a little better than where we docked. I was able to find just the right little piece of silver jewelry that I was looking for at a vendor that I have purchased from previously. We also purchased some bottled water for our stateroom as we didn't have the beverage package. We've visited Ensenada many times in the past so had no desire to go any further into town. There was a most horrible odor at this port which we had never experienced before. Otherwise, the grounds were manicured quite nicely...just don't know about that smell. Their was a brief downpour we noticed on our balcony shortly after sail away, complete with thunder, lightening and a rainbow. I got some fabulous pictures of the rainbow. Our next stop was San Diego where we planned to go to the zoo. One step outside told us that would not happen. Not only was it unusually humid, the temperature was over 100 degrees. We caught the free shuttle down to Seaport Village but made only about 30 minutes before we stopped in a nice bayside restaurant for an ice cold beer. There was at least one convention taking place nearby so the shops were empty but the restaurants down there were packed to the gills. We walked back to the ship from there so enjoy some of our stateroom air conditioning and a shower. At sail away, we enjoyed the most gorgeous sunset from our balcony. It cooled down a little bit by sundown -- so was doable to sit out there with the nice but warm breeze. The next day we were anchored out near Catalina Island but decided to stay onboard by the indoor pool as it was again very hot and humid. We have visited Catalina Island many times before and were going to go play miniature golf only. We figured we would save our tolerance for the heat in our next port. This is the one and only day we went to the indoor pool -- it was amazing. We had some of the best views of Catalina from our little spot by the pool and enjoyed our day immensely. Our final port was Santa Barbara, again, a hot and humid day. We booked the 11 AM trolley tour from the ship. The trolley seats were so uncomfortable and they jammed an additional couple onboard which made it really tight. There was a metal bar poking me in the back the entire tour...plus, no air conditioning. The tour guide extended the tour by an additional hour thinking he was doing us a favor when I believe that everybody just wanted to go back to the ship. The highlight of the tour for us was Mission Santa Barbara, which allowed us to get off the trolley for a short while. The heat and crowded conditions on the tour most inevitably effected our enjoyment (lack of it) on this tour. We actually learned of places we would like to visit in deeper depth next time we visit that lovely city. Ah....finally a gorgeous sea day which was taken up by packing and some time at the casino. We visited some newly made friends up in the elite lounge to say our good byes and then our final fabulous dinner at the SS United States to celebrate our anniversary. Disembarkation: We were sent a questionnaire in our stateroom with check off disembarkation times listed. We requested to disembark at 9 AM and we were walking down the ramp into the terminal at exactly 9 AM. Since we went through customs as we arrived in San Diego (the immigrations officer was a grump -- noticeably not a Celebrity employee), we grabbed our luggage that we checked in the night before and were outside waiting for our ride to BART by 9:05. Score!! We did take the train back home which was a breeze. Plus, the weather was more typical for our beautiful city and today it is just a perfect 67 degrees and I am loving it!! Summary: Aside from the heat, this was the most amazing cruise where we met some of the most amazing fellow passengers. Most of all though, the staff and crew made this cruise so very special for us. I would go again on the Infinity in a heartbeat although I don't think this cruise can be outdone. Five plus stars awarded!! We just wish Celebrity would reconsider dropping SF as one of their embarkation ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We are definitely back in the Celebrity family. Although the Infinity is showing signs of age in that the pools are still salt water and need refurbishing, it was a delightful journey. The food was very good with a wide choice. The ... Read More
We are definitely back in the Celebrity family. Although the Infinity is showing signs of age in that the pools are still salt water and need refurbishing, it was a delightful journey. The food was very good with a wide choice. The cleanliness was outstanding and I can see why they have garnered 100% in their ratings. The entertainment was beyond all expectations. Ukrainian and Romanian aerialists, Tibi and Vika have to be seen to be believed. The shows and special talents brought onboard were excellent and varied. Our first experience with a female cruise director, Patti, was enormously successful and we would join her crew again anytime. Having been "Elite" with Princess over the years, we will be leaving that line. Where on Princess we could get appetizers in our stateroom on sea days only, Celebrity, with their Concierge Class program, delivers every single day of your journey. Each day gave us a different and varied array of beautiful appetizers. No checklist of the same tired choices. All the staff on Celebrity seemed real and very happy to be there which has disappeared on the other line. Impressively, when a San Diego tour turned out to not be what was promised due to the tour company, Celebrity quickly gave all a full refund and apology. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Just returned from sailing on the Celebrity Infinity Pacific coastal with port stops in Monterey, Ensenada, San Diego, Catalina Island and Santa Barbara. Wonderful port stops, and even though we had to tender the majority of the timing, ... Read More
Just returned from sailing on the Celebrity Infinity Pacific coastal with port stops in Monterey, Ensenada, San Diego, Catalina Island and Santa Barbara. Wonderful port stops, and even though we had to tender the majority of the timing, the tenders were quick and always available, no lines. :) We were surprised there was not a whale watching excursion in Monterey, but right off the port we booked our own excursion on Chris' Whale Watching and were not disappointed. Saw over 40 whales up close and personal. fantastic! If you have a port stop in Santa Barbara highly recommend renting a car and driving to Reagan Library and Air Force One in Simi Valley. Takes a little over an hour to drive there but well worth the drive. We took a watercolor painting class which was great fun! highly recommend I had never painted in my life and I would say the majority of the class were newbies, and we all were impressed with the final results. The entertainment was outstanding. Don't miss the shows! Liked every show we saw - Dean Gaines, comedian, David Meyer was OUTSTANDING. What energy! Lou ___ from season 2 of American Idol was the best singer I have ever heard on a ship. Really enjoyed the aerialists from Romania and Croatia (a husband and wife to-be team). There is a 3:30 pm snack time. This is really afternoon tea with scones and teas and sandwiches and desserts. Liked this a lot as you don't have to sit in a main dining room, you can just get your scones and tea and enjoy at your leisure. Also loved that they have free ice cream 4 flavors and sorbets, 3 or 4 flavors on Deck 10, Oceanview Cafe. Plenty of choices. We had great dinners in the main dining room and a wonderful group of servers. DO NOT MISS going to the large outside pool on Deck 10 near the Canyon spa. This was another highlight of the ship. There is not a charge to use this pool and it is fantastic! Not to be missed. The water is warm and wonderful and water is salty. My husband likes a cool pool but I loved this pool!!! Cruise director Patti was great and was also a fantastic singer, Overall rating -- 9+ I would have rated this cruise a perfect 10 had the TV in our room been better and movies been available on the ship. If you are thinking about seeing California coast, be sure to book this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Cruise review Celebrity Infinity Sept. 4 to 13, 2015 Let me begin by saying this cruise in many ways met or exceeded our expectations, and was a very nice vacation. We appreciated our more experienced Cruise Critic friends who gave us ... Read More
Cruise review Celebrity Infinity Sept. 4 to 13, 2015 Let me begin by saying this cruise in many ways met or exceeded our expectations, and was a very nice vacation. We appreciated our more experienced Cruise Critic friends who gave us so many valuable tips before we even began. We have cruised on Crystal, Disney, Princess, and NCL as well as Celebrity, but it has been several years. We felt that it was a privilege to be able to go, and we were happy to be able to make the trip to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Embarkation was a breeze. Directed into San Francisco’s spacious new Pier 27, we walked right up to a Celebrity representative, presented our documents and passports and obtained our Sea Pass cards. Celebrity Infinity’s décor was classy and calming. The itinerary was delightful, the seas were calm, and the captain and crew were very efficient and approachable to guests. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. The entertainment was impressive and occasionally surprising. Everywhere surfaces were being constantly cleaned. We did not have to wait for anything; not for a table for dinner, or tenders to shore. There were always plenty of lounges by the pool area with fresh towels. We always had our choice of seats in the theatre for shows, even just before curtain. Our Cruise Director, Patti, was helpful and informative. She was at her best when she performed, as she has a lovely singing voice. Wait staff were polite and professional. The seamen manning the shore tenders knew their business and gave a steady and strong grasp of our elbows getting in and out of the boats. The shore crews greeted us going and coming back with ice water, cold punch, and icy cooling towels. This was especially appreciated because of the very warm weather. It was hotter than expected in every port! Our cabin was Concierge Class 2, a balcony on the starboard side, 8088. It was quiet, having staterooms above and below us, though as we were midship, we did hear some early morning sounds as they opened the hatches and prepared the tenders for launching. This was OK with us; it was interesting to watch the process from our balcony. We liked being close to the ship’s library on deck eight, with cozy chairs for reading. We could not have had better or more attentive stewards than Raphael and his assistant Antonio. The cabin was small, and we had to walk single file around the end of the bed, but the bed was spacious and comfortable. I liked the soft leaf designed night light in the bathroom, the open shelves for our things, and the roomy shower with grab bars. There were built in hooks on the inside of the bathroom door and a set on the cabin wall. There were plenty of wooden hangers in the closet. Raphael surprised us one night with two swan towel animals kissing and red rose petals scattered on our bed! Lovely! Now I would like to give readers, (including Celebrity Corporate), a heads up about things that were upsetting and need to be improved. The first disappointment came moments after we stepped onboard at the shore excursion desk. We had a fixed amount of onboard credit and had budgeted it carefully for excursions, specialty dining, and photography, obtaining the prices from Celebrity’s website. Our Sausalito & Muir Woods tour we expected to pay $69.75 each for, was now $89.75 each. The Avalon Scenic & Botanical Garden price listed on their website was $39.75 each; onboard it became $49.75 each. We went to the concierge desk the following day and asked about the discrepancy. We were told that it was a common complaint and that nothing could be done. Perhaps assertiveness or asking again for clarity of policy for my upcoming online review made an impression, but we were extended the difference of $60.00 in OBC as a, “courtesy.” Another problem that we encountered right away was water. We had the Classic Beverage Package, and were assured many times by Celebrity and our travel agent that it included all water, soft drinks and some alcoholic drinks onboard. We don’t drink, so we already knew that we were not going to cost the ship much with our consumption. We had the stewards clean out the mini bar right away, leaving some ginger ale and bottled water. We asked them to just fill it with liters of water. Imagine how surprised we were when they started leaving checks for each bottle of Evian, $5.50 per bottle, .98 cents gratuity, 48 cents tax, total $6.97 for each bottle! When we objected they sheepishly explained that we would have to get and sign for our water at one of the bars, (liter bottles of Crystal Geyser were covered by the beverage package, Evian delivered to our room was not), and bring it down to our cabin ourselves! Really? This policy is just silly and annoying. It put us on our guard and made us feel that instead of relaxing we had to be checking our bill constantly. We had to request, leave sticky notes, and we tipped extra, to get ice in our bucket every day. So, here is a suggestion: Make money on the casino, art auctions, shops, classes, and spa treatments. Treat your guests graciously and put carafes of ice water in our cabins daily. The most disturbing ongoing problem came with the photography department. I had waited on hold forever pre cruise to get the word from a Celebrity representative what it would cost for the whole photography package: all prints taken, a CD, a written copyright release, and the souvenir DVD of the voyage. We were told it would be $255.00 for everything, and we planned for that, getting our picture taken as often as we could. When we approached the photo people, they claimed that we could definitely NOT get any of the prints, and a CD for that price, and they refused to give us a paper copy release, saying it was unnecessary. They took some wonderful pictures of us; they are good photographers, but we were required to search every night for our pictures in the gallery, and hand them over to them for our “packet.” We got none of these prints. We paid $234.99 for one CD of our pictures and the DVD. All of our prints were left behind and destroyed. I was very sad. So, my advice would be to get an e-mail from Celebrity stating what the cost will be for your photo package before you go. Then you will have it in writing. By the way, they relied heavily on previous footage for the souvenir DVD. Muir woods was shot at least a year before the drought by the look of the water in the creek. Avalon footage was charming, until the ship was shown anchored in the bay, “Celebrity Century.” Oops! The footage of San Francisco could have been our voyage, but they spelled Wharf, “Warf.” C’Mon, guys!! Footage shot of the Sizzle deck party was not included; why not? Was it too much trouble to edit it? Entertainment was very good. We especially enjoyed David Meyer on his xylo-synthesizer. Amazing energetic performance! We bought his CD. Ukrainian aerialists Tibi and Vika were jaw-dropping artists and athletes. Comedian Dean Gaines made us laugh with his jokes and presidential impressions. We attended his G-rated show. Colleen Williamson was engaging, as she was as good an actress as she was a singer. The Infinity orchestra was outstanding. The ship’s Production Cast singers and dancers were better than we have seen on other cruise lines. We just wished the choreographers in Florida who design the shows would have given them better material to express their talents. More storyline and less flashing their fannies in skimpy costumes would be welcome. They were fine young people and taught dance classes very well. Our shore excursions were OK, but Muir Woods was very crowded because of the Labor Day weekend, and people didn’t seem to know how to be quiet and reverent among the trees. In Sausalito we were just dropped off on the main street for 35 minutes and pointed towards the local ice cream place. Our Avalon Scenic and Botanical Garden on Catalina was an open air double tram with a good guide who drove us up the narrow roads to see the views. It was very hot! Without our cooling towels we never would have made it. The Botanical Garden was very disappointing, as the plants and shrubs were all encaged to keep protected wildlife out, and they were dying from lack of rainfall. We faced a long uphill climb on a dirt road to see Wrigley’s Mausoleum and decided to wait in the shade instead. The tour did not include the historic Casino Ballroom, and we thought that it did. Unfortunately it was too hot to walk there on our own in the afternoon, so we returned earlier than we planned to the ship, (and its air conditioning!) In Monterey we went to church and lunched with friends, in Santa Barbara we took the city electric bus up State Street and enjoyed the view of the city and the bay from the courthouse. Santa Barbara had loads of helpful guides to meet us onshore. It was September 11th and the Young Republicans from UC Santa Barbara made a display of American flags stuck in the beach for every life lost in the attacks. It was very colorful and moving. San Diego was Sea World on our own. Military folks, (active duty and retired), can enjoy four complimentary tickets. We got off the ship in Ensenada only to go to the dock market and buy Mexican vanilla. My husband bought me a pair of lovely silver and opal earrings. Food and Specialty restaurants: The Ocean View Café Deck 10 was a daily lavish buffet with something for every taste. Breakfast had four omelet stations, again reducing the wait time. I was particularly impressed with the salad bar, the four carving stations, (two on each side), the fresh breads, and the pasta station. Usually four or five choices of pasta were offered which were then heated while your sauce of choice was stir fried in a skillet with olive oil, artichoke hearts, garlic, or a wide variety of other meats and vegetables, then sautéed together and finished off with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Yum! The tables were kept bused and clean. The bar servers were always on hand to ask if you wanted something from the bar. The pizza was just OK, but the buttered garlic bread there was a daily temptation. The ice cream and sorbet bar was available from noon to 10:30 pm, and the sugar free flavors were good, too. There were juices, coffees, teas, and herbal teas to drink. They had all other non sugar sweeteners, but not stevia, so if you use it, bring your own. The only fault I found was the self serve glasses were only 4 ounces, so you had to keep getting up to refill them. Again, the water issue. There are signs on the machines asking you to not refill water bottles there. We got the dining package offered as soon as we boarded; 1 dinner in SS United States, 1 dinner in Qsine, and 1 meal in Bistro on Five, the crepe restaurant, for $85.00 per person. We dined the first night at SS United States, and had the Chateaubriand for two which was melt in your mouth beef! Service was excellent, extra tipping expected. At Qsine we wished the server would have warned us about the big portions. We had to scale back on what we originally ordered because we were stuffed. The food was delicious, particularly the Mediterranean kebobs and the meatballs. We had crepes on the last day for lunch at Bistro on Five. The flank steak and the chicken were both very good. The flaw here was the milkshakes. They are delicious, but the server has to run down the hall to the Café al Bacio Geleteria to get the ice cream, so they are often a long wait. We liked the Apple Store onboard and the classes were very popular. We learned a couple of new things. The Canyon Ranch Spa was overpriced of course, but Kusuma from Thailand gave an absolutely superior massage! Because we don’t drink alcohol we were offered to try the only alcohol free “wine” onboard, the red and white “Fre” brand. Now, granted we know little to nothing about wine tasting, but it was awful! Cellar Masters sommelier wouldn’t even talk to us about alcohol free juice, and dismissed us in a snobby manner. May I suggest that Celebrity can do better for its teetotaler guests by offering choices such as Gwurztraminer white and red grape juices bottled by Navarro Vineyards in Northern California. We discovered these at Club 33 at Disneyland and they are light, crisp, and delicious! Probably the Friends of Bill W. would appreciate it too. In summary, we felt that our TA offered us a good deal; the cabin we wanted, and the 1, 2, 3 Go promotion of: gratuities paid, classic beverage package, and $300 Celebrity OBC, in addition to the OBC they offered. We will probably go that route again. The unforgettable and thrilling moments of the cruise were kissing as our ship sailed under the Golden Gate, watching the sun rise at our tender ports, and meeting new friends from the UK. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The job done to update the Infinity was fantastic. May wife and I were very impressed. Having been on close to 20 cruises, this was a wonderful trip. Everything was excellent. We enjoyed every specialty eating venue. Each meal ... Read More
The job done to update the Infinity was fantastic. May wife and I were very impressed. Having been on close to 20 cruises, this was a wonderful trip. Everything was excellent. We enjoyed every specialty eating venue. Each meal was delightful. Q Sine .... Bistro on 5 (what a bargain) ... SS United States (super) The crew (some obviously new on the job) were top notch. There were three "tendered" ports. There were always two (or more) crew members there to help. This was an older group since we sailed after school was back in session. Polite, helpful and respectful describe this outstanding staff. I would highly recommend the Celebrity Infinity. We have already booked our next cruise on her sister ship the Summit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
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