Okay Alaska Cruise: Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by Troyer5

Celebrity Infinity 3
Member Since 2009
85 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Okay Alaska Cruise

Sail Date: September 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seattle
We were on the last cruise of the Alaskan Tracy Fjord on the Infinity in mid-September. I understand that the Solstice is doping these cruises next year. I was traveling with my mother. We flew into Seattle from Tucson via Las Vegas on Southwest. I had cruised to Alaska before in 1999 on the Statendam. Last time Seattle was a transfer point as that cruise left from Vancouver.
Before going further, mother is a RNC (retiring next year), I'm an associate of Wal-Mart stores Inc. It was her 6th cruise and my 14th. We left Tucson early and were in Seattle shortly after noon. The cruise line didn't have personnel in the airport directed you where to go nor were instructions given in our documents. You had to figure that for yourself. You had to show your documents twice before getting on the bus to the pier.
At the cruise terminal, you had to show documents to gain access to the building. Before getting to check-in hall, your carry-ons had to be x-rayed and you had to go through a More metal detector. Only Captains Club members who attained Elite status, suite guests, and handicapped got to bypass the lines. The rest of us had to endure what I would call a cattle chute. We had to go through a winding path of about 5 lengths of the hall before getting to the "Official" check-in desk. There you turned in your paperwork, showed your documents, filled of the health questionnaire, had credit cards scanned, and got your boarding cards.
When we finally got on board and dinged in, we were able to go to our cabin on the third deck [Plaza deck} as it had been 1.5-2 hours since we arrived. The cabin stewardess "Ellena" came in shortly thereafter and showed some of the features of the room. There is a clock on the phone, a small room safe in the closet, 2 twin beds, 2 end tables with lamps, a magazine rack, a small couch, a flat screen TV, a desk and mirror, a room cooler with wet bar, ice bucket, desk chair, and usual head. We went to the buffet.The area has trays but they were only available on one side, the plates were heavy and you only had room on them for a couple dinner plates. I prefer table service even though it was slow but mother wants food immediate [when I'm by myself I can do what I like], she also chooses tables that are far away but on embarkation day you don't have much choice. We ate and then rested a bit before the drill.
Our station {B1} was on deck 4 in the photo gallery, (you didn't have to bring lifejackets), just stand and listen to the talk. After that was sail away [I understand that the ship made circle before leaving as had to do their annual compass test before heading out]. Our luggage had arrived after the drill so I unpacked(mother had gone on deck for sail a way).The next day was a sea day.
The first sea day was the cruise connection party that Gary (geduffer) set up. It was held in Michaels Bar which was in the photo gallery. Ian Cresswell and the social hostess were there. On his way out, Ian made a snide remark when he saw my sign [I have a hard time speaking clearly so for your benefit have this made up. I can hear & understand] rather than offering help. After he left and was out of the area, we got up and left. The meet + greet on my last cruise was much better.
We were on first seating at table 206 near the window at a table for 10. Right next to us was a table for 14. Most nights we were one of the last tables to leave. This cruise was the first that the Head Waiter from our area [sometimes with guests] came to the table multiple times. This was due to the fact that one of our tablemates George & wife Pearl were on their 89th cruise (many with Celebrity).
When asked what he wanted, he replied "Chicken Mc Nuggets" and lots of dinner he wanted "Navy Bean Soup". They weren't @ the table the 1st & 4th night because 1 night they were @ the captain's table or as George put it "Eating with the crew". George also told a lot of jokes and entertained us while we were waiting. The second time they didn't come was because they had eaten lunch late. They live in Seattle and have been to Alaska many times. They also were on the Infinity in May. He frequently would get a baked potato and divide it with Pearl (she gets the entree and divided it with George).
The others at the table, 2 couples from CA and another couple from WA. One of the CA couples set it up with TA to have us at the Elite cocktail party on the last night. I wasn't feeling well so didn't go. Service was slow and every night he took my order last and some nights I had more than one item. A couple nights I had salmon, escargot has come back, grilled lobster tails were available one night, chilled soup [more like juice and bowls were stained ( my last cruise when served the waiter poured from a small pitcher)], several steaks, and other beef. George got his chicken nuggets one night when the head waiter found it on a children's menu. It turned out to be chicken tenders and fries (which George told me were no good). We ate at the Bistro on five for lunch once, service there was also slow.
The waiter for our table and 205 was Nasser and his assistant Angel. It seemed that the table and the large table near us got better service. The waiter and the head waiter were going to the Millie after this trip. One of the CA couples was staying on for the next cruise. The Executive Chef Stephen Joneau (called Chef Steve) was from the USA [LA I think]. He did a pizza cooking segment with Chef Marcel (puppet character) for the kids. I remember seeing it on the Century so it may have been distributed fleet wide.
The Trellis dining room is on decks 4 + 5, those on regular seatings were on four, select dining was on half of the upper and Blu was on the other half. We had to sit on deck five for the brunch (when was lovely). You were seated and then had to go down the stairs to get your food {it was wavy in this area of the sea}, the plates were heavy even when empty. I discovered this as on the day of the brunch (dining room is closed as they are getting ready) when we tried to enter on deck four we were instructed to go to five and went on that side. The guardian on that side when learning we were going to the brunch and were directed up here [apparently they don't know that when four was full, they use seating on this deck]. I also saw that outside of this entrance has much more seating than on deck four.I think that this itinerary would work better if it stopped in Victoria first. That way no matter what season, it would be visited in daylight. Also more would be open and you wouldn't have to rearrange eating schedules.
The activities we participated in were Trivias conducted by Mark of the cruise staff, challenge the officers, Eat That cooking demo with Head Chef Steven, a ship tour by Happy Hensal (your chocolate covered truth) he also did trivia hosting, a talk of the Boleros with naturalist Jacquelyn Miller, she also did a talk about John Muir, talk by 3rd officer on navigation, talk by Chief Engineer Konstantinos Zannikos, cooking challenge between cruise director Ian Cresswell and head of Food & Beverage Oswald Harbrecht, crew talent show, and we did somethings separately. I went to a 345 Express show by myself, the casino, and to the computer lounge. Mother went to trivias by herself, spa talks in an area near the shops. I won more than $150 on slots but gave it all back. The plans in the iLounge range in cost $24.95 to $399.95 for 38-1,666 minutes. Club members can fill out their coupons and leave it in a box and get discounts on all but the most expensive plan or you can pay .75 a minute. I purchased a $49.95 for 90 minutes and because I was a Captain's Club member got a 25% discount. You can also use the same plans for your wireless device. The Activities Manager Zach Miller also had that position when I was on the Century.
On the last sea day (at night) you were given a preliminary statement, customs card (you really only have to total purchases on the ship and those made in Canada [mother include purchases made in Skagway] that were leaving the ship), a survey, as well as what you normally get. The TV also has interactive channels where you can check on your account, order room service, excursions, see information. Unfortunately, it is not very secure as anyone in the room can see accounts (on the last CCL I was one, you had to input your folio # before seeing it). It should be noted that Dan H. was still listed as president/CEO on literature even though Michael Bayley had been in that position for at least two months.Some final comments before I list staff listed by Diane of Seattle [SEAGURRL](the only things that I changed were text color, eliminated some, and added Country if known). They want information they already have (transportation info after you leave the ship almost right after you board). A 50 page survey was sent to my e-mail address. Staff comments that are hard to forget, "They do let me, have hands in pockets" {Mark, cruise director staff from UK}. Happy Hensal (your chocolate covered truth) nickname {he was from USA I think}. That tour he gave, told us some things we didn't know. My cruise line preferences are RCCL, HAL, CEL and CCL. Now the staff list:
Master: Capt. Anastasios Lekkas [Greece]
Chief Engineer: Konstantinos Zannikos [Greece]
Staff Captain: Ioannis Kasimatis [Greece]
Guest Relations: Jeff Potts
HD: Ryan Kingston [UK]
CD: Ian Cresswell [Australia]
Food & Beverage: Oswald Harbrecht [Germany]
Exec Chef: Stephen Joneau [USA]

Also, Brent Nixon wasn't on this sailing. The Naturalist was Jacquelyn Miller. Each naturalist seems to have their own topics for talks. Mr. Nixon sounds like he is better suited for talks in this area. I overheard that Capt. Lekkas doesn't like announcements about sightings that may have been interest to some guests.

When we got off the ship. We were in green group 5. It seems that customs was only interested that you had passport, signed declaration forms, and spent less than allowed. We did as no purchases were made on the ship or in Canada. For what we did on shore, you'll have to click that link. We flew from SEA-LAX on SW with a stop in Sacramento. In LAX we changed planes and had a 2.5 hour layover and the home. Less

Published 10/11/12

Cabin review: 11 Inside Stateroom 11

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Port and Shore Excursions

Tracey Fjord-while not an actual port that we stopped at, we did cruise there. Unfortunately the day was rainy/foggy and the master couldn't get all the way. I was on the pool deck and went back and forth to keep warm. We did get to see the results of some calving and saw some icebergs.
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Totem Bight State Park

At this port, mother purchased tickets on the pier. They waited to leave until more cruise ships were in. We were the 1st of 4 in that day. The guide was a native to this city and was in the Raven/Bear tribe. He gave a talk about how the town was constructed and stopped in a few places on the way. At the park we indepently walked and looked at the totem in one area. At that time the Carnival Spirit was getting in. At the carving shed he braided souvenir for the group while the carver was giving the talk. He took us into a house when free,there were 2 other tours there also. He told the story of Eagle Boy and fisher woman. On the way back to town he had some items that we passed around and he talked about. While waiting we looked around the pier around and walked Creek Street when back. A Princess and HAL ships were also in.

Yukon Suspension Bridge

At this port, I had made arrangements through Viator to have a city tour/ suspension bridge tour. Skagway had a designated lot and places to wait for tours. There were about 2 other ships in also. The driver just made sure everyone had their passports as we cross the border and while we didn't go far into Canada, your might need it getting back into Alaska. He first took us to the gold-miners graveyard where some took his optional hike. The rest of us were to go on and wait for them. While waiting we did See a group of streetcar tourists[I did that the last time], this graveyard & story of Soapy are standard. When the hiking group was done, our driver gave his talk and we went back to the van. We did go onto the the bridge. Along the way he did stop at lookouts, we stopped at the bridge, the welcome to Alaska sign. At the border crossing he just was asked what we did and they didn't board like they randomly do. We went back to town, stopped at a lookout and those who wanted to were left in town for shopping, the rest would be taken back.

Butchart Gardens

At this port, due to the lateness and we only had 6 hours, we just went to the gardens. Unfortunately since it got dark and there was lack of time, we didn't get to see all we wanted to. The gardens are about 1.5 hours away and we were allowed only 2 hours there. When we got back on ship, it was very windy.

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