Overall we had a wonderful time and enjoyed sailing on Infinity. The high points were the service, the ship excursions and the awesome itinerary. We had wonderful weather and I'm sure that help ensure good spirits throughout the trip. We would recommend this trip to anyone, despite my few rants below -- Details:
I had heard horror stories about embarkation in San Francisco. We arrived right around the earliest embarkation time and other than needing a bit more (or maybe a bit less) organization with the baggage, (why would you have to stand in line to drop off bags, there is only one ship!) it was smooth and efficient.
Our balcony stateroom towards the front of the ship was quiet and comfortable although the air handling in the room seemed a bit stuffy. We just opened the veranda when we we were in port.
Dining was more hit and miss. This was my first experience with "tiered" dining and I must say I was not too happy with the changes. I am a foodie and for this reason alone, I will price the entire trip -- upscale dining on the ship, cruise price, transfers, excursions, drink packages and gratuities -- and see if a more luxury line with those items included may be a better value for me. I've heard RCL is very nice for food as well. I may have to try that line. This hurts me to say as I do love Celebrity. Observations: 12 days without decent cup of coffee is just torture, Veal for like 4 nights in a row on the menu in the main dining room?, no variation at all at the buffet for breakfast lunch or dinner (what does one do on a 30 day cruise), what happened to the grand buffet?, The flaming Alaska procession by the staff?, oh -- and many of the items in the main dining room were inedible. How about scallops, shrimp? And whoever thought we needed green peppers in every dish (breakfast beans and the shimp cocktail?) is just not in tune with what foodies need or want. Enough ranting on the food. I loved the old food, I guess I just have to add in the cost for the other restaurants next time and make a decision. sigh. FYI -- the shrimp cocktail, escargot and the creme brulee on the "standard menu" are all very good. One tip, if you want to order breakfast in your room, call and ask dining for the "breakfast menu" to order from -- it will be the most complete version and have everything possible and able to tell them exactly what you want. Don't use the little ones in the room, or the TV -- pretty much worthless.
The bar scene was nice. We found the Rendevous Lounge Bar and loved it. Everyone took very good care of us and we really enjoyed it. The Martini Bar had the vibe and I met some wonderful people hanging out there. The outdoor bars were fun but generally crowded but we liked hanging out in the slow times. I thought the drinks, on average were reasonably priced but the wine selection by the glass was limited. (Note: we had a drink package but I'm sure it was not good for my liver)
Service is beyond beyond great. Everyone happy to help and never looking for tips. They seemed really grateful when they were tipped on occasion.
Shipboard life: Having been on Celebrity with probably the best cruise director ever, I found this trip a bit disappointing. Loved the lectures, the opportunity to take water color painting -- all very nice. The entertainment was OK. There was one terrific guest singer I saw and one xylophone player that I heard was great that I missed. The aerialists rocked! I guess a bunch of it wasn't "my type" but I'm pretty narrow minded in the type of entertainment I like, so you would probably enjoy it -- but I will say my prior Celebrity cruise had great local talent brought in. As I said MickyLive and Milos were great. The rest of onboard life (besides trivia, bingo and other games) seemed to revolve around shopping and ship excursions. A channel dedicated to shopping and one for ship excursions. Where do you find the local color in port? The hidden gems -- oh how do we get into town? Maybe they said at the shopping seminars, but I missed those. They sure didn't cover it on the ship excursion channel. Summary: more information on the port themselves needed.
Disembarkation was fine as well. We did the "hop on hop off" bus and the transfer of baggage to the airport so we could enjoy the day in Vancouver. It seemed to take a long time to get through the process, but worked fine once we were disembarked. I heard the second debarkation for the same tour was a disaster.
Excursions were great. I hate group excursions as a rule, but I found ours to be small groups, excellent vendors and I really have to say while a bit pricy, they were excellent in every way. We went kayaking in Sitka (but would recommend the otter sighting as I heard that was great -- but we saw lots of eagles and we enjoyed it), Glacier helicopter flight and landing in Juneau (if I had to do over, I would have done whale watching as well -- have to go back!) Whale watching in Victoria (Orcas), and the Hop on Hop off in Vancouver which worked out fabulous for us.
Overall we loved our trip and the itinerary. We met some wonderful people at our dinner table and would not have changed anything, despite my rants above. Overall, with few reservations around food -- would recommend Celebrity again for the itinerary, the service, and the staterooms.
Hope this helps set expectations so you are ready to enjoy your cruise on Infinity to Alaska!
The cabin upholstery needs an update but I love the Celebrity staterooms. Plenty of room for storage in the bathrooms, plenty of hangars and hooks, the balcony furniture seemed to be upgraded a bit -- they were nice, clean and comfortable.
Had a great couple of days in San Francisco. Got a transportation pass for one day and rode the Cable Cars, buses and trollies all over. Loved the Legion of Honor (art museum). We did high style dining at Quisine (excellent -- expensive but excellent), and just walked the other districts until our feet fell off --even walked down Lombard St. We had done Muir Woods, Alcatraz and a harbor cruise prior and would recommend those activities as well. Don't miss the (free) Cable Car museum!
The guides were very nice and personable. Everything well run from the bus to the getting in and out of the boats. We didn't need much instruction on how to paddle, but the pace was very slow and not tiring at all. Lovely float. Saw lots of eagles which was one of our special experiences in Alaska.View All 13 Kayaking Reviews
Totally awesome trip! 4 people plus pilot in the helicopter. I had a window seat and they swapped out the middle back (worst) and front (best) seats for the ride home. Our pilot was great telling us what we were seeing and then pointing out great things on the glacier to look for and see. We just had an awesome experience with great guides.View All 138 Helicopter Tour Reviews
We rented a car and drove into the Yukon and Emerald Lake. It took about 6 hours and we saw lovely scenery, a bear, toured on the suspension bridge / nature park, had some soup in Carcross, White Pass was spectacular. Gave me an appreciation of the country. We then toured town which was very nice.
We really enjoyed this trip. We saw moose and eagle and the guide was local and loved the land and it really came through in the tour. She took us to a special lake area of the river and we just sat and enjoyed nature "the way it was". They had plenty of gear to keep you warm and I was warm -- but needed their jackets, earwarmers and blanket! Awesome morning on the river.View All 11 Bald Eagle Preserve Reviews
Loved the walking tour we took in Ketchican -- the Heritage center (finally, a good insight into the lives of and reasons for all of those wonderful Fist Nation crafts), out through Creek Street to the totem museum and back to town. Shipped home lots of salmon! Hope it gets here in time for my "grill party"! Oh -- we did Dolly's House and loved it. The house is as she lived there in 1914. Great collection of old things and neat surprises due to prohibition and her occupation!
We loaded/unloaded right at the docks so you could go back to the ship after to change for a trip into town. The staff were wonderful, explaining clearly what was to happen next and how to enjoy the experience. We went out on the first trip and saw 2 male Orcas. The second trip (afternoon) saw about 30. If you are interested, try for the later excursion. I say 2 Orcas is better than nothing! And the captain delayed our return so we could spend time with the Orcas as we had not seen anything else. Very nicely done.View All 53 Whale Watching Reviews