Cruise Review: Celebrity Infinity - Pacific Coastal Sept 2nd 2018: concierge class stateroom 8120 and 8118. This was my second cruise in recent years and I booked with my Mom, but, with concerns of privacy and having our own space, we ... Read More
Cruise Review: Celebrity Infinity - Pacific Coastal Sept 2nd 2018: concierge class stateroom 8120 and 8118. This was my second cruise in recent years and I booked with my Mom, but, with concerns of privacy and having our own space, we booked adjoining cabins at the solo fare for each, we had thought my dad or one of my friends might join in, but, their schedules did not allow it this time.
Why did you choose this itinerary?
We had a prior cruise booked through Celebrity to the Caribbean for this past fall, however as a result of the major hurricane the itinerary was shortened and changed. They gave us the option of a refund or to move the reservation if we wished. My parents and I had been to Vancouver and Seattle before and really liked the area but I had not been further south, so, it was good chance to see the west coast and California. So my mom and I moved the reservations and received a nice amount of onboard credit as well as a beverage package as our perks / incentive for staying. Good part on Celebrity for this.
Knowing we had a lot of luggage, we walked through the Canada Place terminal the day before to get our bearings. On embarkation day, at 10am we headed off with our luggage, down to where the signs directed us, however, we needed to really be a level lower for our checked bags drop off. Once that confusion was settled, it took about 20 minutes to clear customs and made our way to the cruise check in for our 10:30 embarkation time. When embarking, we came in the doorways on deck four in between the rendezvous lounge and the main foyer. The welcome champagne was a nice touch and we had about 30 minutes to kill before the lunch in the main dining room reserved for the concierge cabins. We lucked out in the solarium area in that the staff from the spa were doing 10 minute complimentary chair massages as part of the sales pitch to book a treatment. The concierge lunch afterwards was nice, they had a separate area where we could drop off our carryon luggage. The staterooms were ready about 2:00 and muster drill was around 3:00 with sail away at 4:00. The muster drill was quite a mess, we were in the rendezvous lounge with not enough seats and what could have been a 15 minute process was 45 minutes. It was stuffy and passengers were getting quite grumpy. My mom is nearing hip replacement and there were no available seats, so, she sat on a coffee table versus standing. We headed to our muster station as soon as the announcement was made, however there was only seating for about a third of the guests. This left a negative impression most certainly. The last cruise with Celebrity, we had the theater as our muster station and it was much better.
First impression of the ship?
I had cruised a sister ship three years before so the Infinity felt much like the Millennium but with different art and color choices in certain areas. Overall she was clean and in good condition. I noticed the outdoor wood hand railings were showing their age, sun bleached and not as new looking as the Holland ship that was also in port. Also, the glass partition of the balcony was dirty with salt spray and needed to be washed. I noticed this was cleaned on my balcony on the second day of the cruise, so, I think they stagger this each day. The interior of the ship seemed immaculate though from the start. Overall the ship was great, easy to get around and only feeling crowded on occasion. I enjoyed use of the solarium pool, the pool side bars, and watching a movie on the rooftop terrace. I think they have a tasteful offering of onboard amenities which fit their target audience. With only 20 kids on board, there wasn’t a need foe water slides or go-karts. This ship is about relaxation, music, imbibing adult beverages, and enjoying tasty food with new scenery every day.
What type of state rooms?
I booked a concierge class stateroom and my mom was planning on doing the same, so, we selected adjoining staterooms which had an interior door between the two rooms. The adjoining door was located next to the TV and swung into my stateroom (8120) so that the door would block the TV view. So we kept it closed mostly until we were about to leave to go out, however, that was really nice to have and made coordinating schedules easier. The balcony had a small table and two chairs, the cabin had a sofa which could be a fold out bed, a coffee table, dressing table and mirror, the beds joined together as one. They gave us a lot of hangers and two plush bathrobes per cabin for going to down to the pool or spa. The wall next to the dressing table had two hooks which could be used to hang your clothes for the day on which I thought was convenient. The bathroom had a rectangular shaped shower with a curtain and was big enough but did feel tight on either side. The shower had an adjustable shower head on a wand which could be turned to a massage type mode. Overall the bathroom was clean but could stand to be updated with tile and granite or marble, if they are going for the luxury line marketing. The concierge level meant we had a gentleman available to us in the Library just outside of our staterooms who could take care of guest relations type of concerns and worked to remedy some of our issues. Also as part of concierge we received a bottle of the Celebrity Brut Champagne per stateroom, afternoon canapés which were four little appetizer bites that changed each day and also there was fresh fruit of pears and green apples. The canapés were one of our favorite perks. Additionally we had an expanded room service menu for breakfast, a nice heavy duty zipper tote, the traditional celebrity tote and also use of umbrellas and binoculars. This sailing we did not have towel animals like our previous sailing, but, there were chocolates with turn down service. Our attendant Singh was very good, prompt and courteous when resolving some minor issues (my TV kept cutting out and loosing signal, and in my mom’s stateroom the safe did not work). Both issues were resolved before dinner the first night. There was twice a day service for the room where the bed was made in the morning, and folded down in the evening. Each time, empty drinks and dishes were taken away and the bathroom was cleaned and towels refreshed if needed. I felt our stateroom attendant did an excellent job, so, we left him an envelope with a nice note saying our appreciation and a bit of cash, this was on top of the cruise lines assigned gratuities.
Thoughts on dining options?
My mom and I each had signed up for a three meal specialty dining package on embarkation. Onboard there where three specialty up-charge restaurants offered: Q’Sine, Tuscan Grill, and Sushi in Five. Being that my mom doesn’t care for sushi, we skipped that and did one meal at Q’Sine and two meals at the Tuscan Grille. The Q’Sine was great, it had a fixed menu but that was because the table turned into a screen and projectors broadcast down onto the plates and table, a cute Pixar / Disney type animated show of the Petite Chef catching and preparing the ingredients for each course. After the animation stopped, the waiters would bring out the physical course portrayed in the animation. Tuscan Grill was the Italian steakhouse with pasta. The food and service there was exceptional. It is nice that they offer half sizes in the pasta, so you can order a steak and also a half size of your favorite pasta as well. The quality of the food in the main dining room was very good, the temperature was a touch cooler than in specialty dining but all the meals arrived warm. We ate in the main dining room 3 times, twice at a shared table and once by ourselves so we could sit by a window and watch sail away under the Golden Gate Bridge. Each time, the service was very lacking, drinks were never refilled before sitting empty for extended periods of time and we had to wait on the waiters. I’m more harsh on this as I eat all meals out at restaurants back home and have my usual waiters who know me by name. However, I think the servers onboard were running short staffed compared to my last sailing with Celebrity. I think we had just a waiter and an assistant, and it seems to me, a few years ago there was a waiter and two assistants. I could be wrong on this, but, regardless, they had too many tables to cover to properly address the customers. At the later seating, some of the wait staff were busy in their close down process and could have been helping with the guests. This area of service was a disappointment. Also, the maître d’ on our prior sailing would allow the any time dining guests to book reservations out for the length of the cruise. This sailing we were told we could only book one night at a time, so, we had to continually make reservations. The maître d’ was actually very short and rude to us on embarkation day, so, we did go down to guest relations to make a formal complaint. Next trip we will try and book the late seating and see if our issues are better with consistent wait staff and also to not have to deal with a rude staff member regarding reservations. Our final night to make the most of time with having to pack, we went to the lido buffet which was good. The pasta station was tasty and some other good choices on the buffet line and overall a much faster dining process than the main dining room. We chose select dining which was flexible, and in that we tried dinner before the shows a few times and also after shows as well. Going forward I will choose a fixed time late seating. I enjoyed seeing the show first and then having a leisurely dinner afterwards. Going to dinner first was stressful in regards to that I wasn’t sure that we would be through with the meal in time to get to the theatre and find a good seat.
How was the entertainment?
The entrainment on-board was outstanding! It was made a point that we were going to the show every night and we really enjoyed each show. There were two nights which were comedians during the 7:00 / 9:00 theatre show, but, they each came a second evening for a 10:45 follow up show. I made sure to attend all of these and it was great. Even the later night “adult” performances by the comedians were fun and were not vulgar or offensive. The musicians in the public spaces were out standing but the real shining stars for me were the lighthouse string duo. They had an electronic cello and violin I think, which they performed some pop and other well known songs and it was a great unique twist that I have not seen before. On the second formal night, there was a performer who climbed stacked chairs and combined it with balancing and headstands on top of the chairs which was on the upper landing of the grand staircase. That was really impressive while also nerve wracking! Celebrity does an outstanding job of putting together excellent shows that are just the right length. The shows run about 45 to 50 minutes and leave you pumped and wanting more. A critique of the late night club, it would be listed in the daily times of starting at 11:00 and going until late. Apparently late is deemed as midnight and so bar service at the constellation lounge shut down about midnight religiously and so the guests had to wander to find another bar that was open, typically, only the casino bar was open later than midnight. If the hours were to be 11:00 to 12:00, that is fine, my only request would be that they should have been printed in the paper that way is all. There were several of us who felt the party ended too soon on those evenings. The entertainers were spread out well between the various venues and they rotated venues so if you preferred to stay in one place each evening you would get a variety of shows or if you preferred a certain group, you had the variety of lounges and bar spaces to try out.
Itinerary of ports?
(Vancouver, Seattle, Astoria, sea day, San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara, & San Diego)
These were all outstanding exceptional places to visit. It was a great sampling of the west coast with each having a unique feel! I would happily visit any of these cities again. We booked shore excursions in all of the ports with Celebrity and also the full behind the scenes ship tour on sea day. This is where we used our onboard credit and only had to pay a little extra for all. Giving the tours the caveat that they only do this twice a year, the excursions were very good however not a polished or organized as excursions that are repeated regularly. If this itinerary was repeated regularly and had the tour providers offered these weekly I would be more harsh in my criticisms. For instance the Mission in Santa Barbara made us wait 30 minutes to verify the tour operator had purchased tickets, and we had a bus driver get lost as well. Overall we saw a lot and had a ton of fun with some great info provided by the tour guides.
We were staying extra in San Diego and so we requested the 10am disembark time slot to get us closer to the hotel check in time for dropping of our luggage. The concierge class stateroom meant we could use the constellation lounge for our debark waiting area. They provided coffee, juice, water and pastries in the lounge and we had a good view of San Diego. This was a pleasant experience and I’m glad we made use of it. I had time to relax and transfer photos off the camera and make some Facebook posts for friends and family. Once our time arrived, we grabbed our bags and headed to our Uber and were off to the hotel, much easier than expected.
My final thoughts, it was a wonderful vacation and I made memories that I will cherish forever. The other guests were all wonderful to visit with and I would gladly do it again. While there were some issues, Celebrity worked to improve and recovered in some areas. I would consider a suite next time so that I would have access to the suite restaurant Luminae or if not, then a fixed seating time to hopefully have better service in the main dining room. Despite issues, I have a lot of photos of my Mom and I smiling, so that’s what really matters, we had fun! Read Less