Celebrity did not win me over: Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by Mayfaere

Celebrity Infinity 3
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Celebrity did not win me over

Sail Date: March 2012
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Other
The Infinity re-positioning from Valparaiso to Fort Lauderdale was a second chance for us with Celebrity. An earlier cruise about ten years ago left us wondering and we hoped for something better this time. It didn't happen.

I'm not going to write a blow-by-blow. Other reviewers with more time can do that. But briefly,

The ship is fitted with attractive public areas, and our cabin (8045) was comfortable (and included an oversize triangle shaped balcony--very pleasant). Our cabin service attendant did everything we asked, and the cabin and bath were always well cleaned and supplied. No complaints. However, there are signs of wear (like rust in the shower and on the balcony) that we expected the recent refurbishing would have covered. It didn't.

We don't do shore excursions, ship photographer pictures, or onboard shopping. We cruise for rest, good ports, good food, and good service. This cruise (Valparaiso to Fort Lauderdale) had a few good ports, More mediocre food, good service, and plenty of rest.

For us, the food is important. Waiters and assistants were good, and we used the open seating option so we had a range of them to evaluate. Celebrity's provisions included meats that were frequently tough even though described as medallions (pork and veal in particular). What was described on the menu as braised short ribs of beef was suspiciously like chuck roast. Shellfish was often "fishy". We sent veal medallions back, and asked for the everyday strip steak to replace it. It too was tough. Beef tenderloin dishes were usually good. However, a medallions of beef dish late in the cruise had a texture that made us think the beef had been tenderized. Why?

The buffet on deck 10 was adequate but not exciting. Fifteen days of Infinity dining became tedious and even repetitive as many menu choices made encore appearances before two weeks had passed. Evening on the buffet line is grim, and it provides no real alternative to the dining room.

Entree choices from the specialty menu in SS United States appeared on the regular menu too (although preparation is individualized with different recipes in the specialty restaurant). The cover charge in SS United States is $40/person. For that amount, the menu should be unique to that venue. It wasn't exactly.

We felt assaulted by merchandising and "nominal charge" events at every turn. The normal round of activities seemed limited in comparison to wine and beer tasting, etc. The singers and dancers are good; the other entertainment is ok.

Port choices are limited. Valpo as a departure point is best left behind quickly (Vina del Mar nearby is good for a day's visit for upscale shopping and dining). La Serena, Arica, and Manta are limited attraction cities. Colon, Panama offers almost nothing--best option is a trip to distant Panama City. Cartagena and Lima are good ports for a day. Panama Canal is fascinating.

I can only give this cruise and ship three stars. Sorry it isn't better; we'll go back to Princess next time. Less

Published 04/01/12

Cabin review: C28045 Concierge Class 2

Good balcony; larger than usual triangle shape. Concierge class has some nice extras. Good access to forward elevators. Convenient to Celebrity theater (Deck 5) and Constellation Lounge (Deck 11) using those elevators. Long walks to aft section where dining facilites are located.

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