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5 Celebrity Infinity Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America from Los Angeles

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
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
I would like to discuss the good and bad points of our cruise. First of all, the entertainment offered was A+. All the performers were extremely professional, the variety of acts offered was excellent and all in all, we could not have ... Read More
I would like to discuss the good and bad points of our cruise. First of all, the entertainment offered was A+. All the performers were extremely professional, the variety of acts offered was excellent and all in all, we could not have asked for more. Our cruise director was very good. The ports of call were what we expected with the exception of Huatalco, Mexico. We were not looking forward to this port and did not expect much other than beaches. The experience we had was far beyond that. Through Cruise Critic, we joined four other cruisers on a river rafting trip that turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. Huatalco is a modern, lovely port. The only issue we had was in the main dining room for dinner. The food was definitely not up to par. It was inconsistent, where one night we had a very good entree and the next two or three nights they were mediocre with an occasional inedible entree served. This was a major disappointment as we had been led to expect outstanding cuisine on Celebrity (this was our first Celebrity cruise). Overall, a nice cruising experience. Going on Cruise Critic and knowing a group of people when we got on board definitely added to our enjoyment of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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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