Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by TahoeSierra
- Sail Date: September 2015
- Destination: Pacific Coastal
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2C
We have taken many cruises out of San Francisco, usually with Princess. We usually stay one night at the El Rancho Hotel in Millbrae. The next morning we have the hotel van take us to the airport where we catch the cruise ship bus to the pier. In the past, we have had the same bus driver each time. When we give him out bags, we tell him that we want the two carry-on bags back when we arrive at the pier. He puts them towards the front so he can retrieve them at the pier. The rest of the bags will then be taken to another location where they are unloaded and eventually delivered to our stateroom. The system works great and is very convenient. The driver (we have had the same man on each of our past trips) provides historical and other information about San Francisco during the drive to the pier. He is very knowledgeable about San Francisco.
This time the transfer was a disaster. We had a different driver that apparently did not speak English. I told the him that we wanted two bags back when we arrived at the pier and he looked at me like he had no idea what I was talking about. I guessed that he did not speak English and repeated the information. He just grunted and threw the bags in with the rest.
When were then told by the greeters that the people who were supposed to be there had a flat tire on the way to the airport and would not be available to help us. They also did not have our names on their list and asked everyone to write their names on a sheet to be checked later. Unfortunately, they waited until we got to the bus to do this and it created a line of unhappy people that wanted to get rolling. At this point, we were also told that we had to take any carry-on bags with us on the bus. This meant that I had to crawl into the storage area of the bus and retrieve our two carry-ons. We have never had to do this before. When we got to the ship, the driver and a helper started to unload all the bags in the parking lot. The passengers told him that he was supposed to take the bags to another location to be loaded on the ship and he just kept unloading them. Finally a greeter showed up that spoke his language and told him what he was supposed to do. He and his helper both expressed surprise as the finally understood what was supposed to be done with the bags. We all left, hoping that our bags would eventually get to our staterooms. Fortunately, they did arrive later that afternoon.
The check in process went very smoothly although the man helping us did have some difficulty with his computer. He processed my wife’s information in a minute or two but took several minutes to do mine. The person next to him finally came over and told him how to complete the process and we were on our way. It probably did not take more than 10 minutes. It helps to get there on the first bus from the airport as the lines are not as long as they will be later in the day.
We had stateroom 7047 on deck seven, port side.
Being only about 11 AM, our cabin was not ready and we headed for the Ocean view Café for an early lunch. At 1 PM we were allowed to proceed to our staterooms. Everything was in order when we arrived except the stateroom did not have some of the amenities that were shown in the photo at Celebrity’s website. In particular, an entire stand of shelves next to the make-up vanity was missing. Also, the closet had a safe and several drawers taking up one third of the storage area. This left only a small closet for the two of us to hang our clothes, but we had not brought that much so it worked out. Anyone bringing a larger assortment of clothing for a longer cruise would have a difficult time hanging all their items. We noticed the lack of an ice bucket and asked the room attendant about it. She said that ice was no longer furnished in the rooms unless we asked for it. I have to admit that I was stunned by this information as we have always had ice in our stateroom on our other 40+ cruises. My wife asked her to provide ice twice a day and she said she would. She or her assistant provided it most of the time.
The vanity had no drawers which did not make my wife happy. She usually depends on having drawers on both sides of the vanity for storage of all her necessary beauty aids. This vanity had doors with very small shelves behind them. It just was not as convenient as other ships we have been on. Strangely, we looked in on an inside cabin and it had the type of vanity that we are used to having. I did not understand why Celebrity would provide more in a less expensive stateroom.
The bath was nicely arranged and had the usual large shower that Celebrity is known for. It also had a hand held shower head that we both prefer. There was plenty of storage on a corner rack and under the sink area. The balcony was small but adequate for two of us.
We took most of our meals in the main dining room when they were open. We had what Celebrity calls Select Dining. That allows us to eat dinner whenever we wanted as long as we appeared during the serving hours. The food and service were both excellent in the dining room. I enjoyed all our meals there, but some of our table mates did not. On one night, I had an excellent salmon dinner, but several ladies at our table had veal, lamb and steak. They all had complaints about the quality of those meats. Celebrity is noted for having very good quality beef and we usually have that or fish. I usually don’t try any of the other meats, but did try the chef’s recommendation the first night. It was a breaded pork chop and it was also excellent. The accompanying potatoes and vegetables were usually very good except for the string beans which were always tough.
The Ocean view Café on Deck 10 had a very large assortment of ethnic food available at several different places around the very large room. Some of the serving areas had precooked food and others cooked to order. Unfortunately, I found that many of the ethnic foods had too much spice. I like soup and tried several of them. They were all over spiced. The foods that were not over spiced were somewhat tasteless.
The deserts in the Ocean view Café were of a quality that was far below what is served in the main dining room. This is not unusual and we have found this to be the case on most ships, however they usually have some good cakes or pies at some point during the cruise. I did not find that to be the case on this cruise.
On our last Celebrity cruise, we found that entertainment had improved somewhat over previous cruises, but it is never on a par with Royal Caribbean even though Celebrity is owned by RC. We had the usual selection of production shows accompanied by one comedian, a magician, two singers and a xylophone player. All except the comedian worked hard and were appreciated by the audience. There were also a couple of acrobats that were very good.
We only took one tour. That was a glass bottom boat in Catalina. The rest of the time we just walked to nearby attractions. In San Diego, we toured the aircraft carrier, Midway, which is docked less than a quarter mile from the cruise ship. In Monterey we waked through the area near the wharf, and then took the free trolley to the aquarium and back. At Santa Barbara, we took the downtown bus from the cruise ship dock to the end of the line on State Street, then toured the Presidio a couple of blocks off State Street. Then we took the downtown bus back to the ship. For seniors, this bus costs 25 cents each way. We had been to these places several times before and had seen most of the local sites. Also, the weather was very hot and the humidity was high, so we wanted to get back to the air conditioned ship as soon as possible. We stayed on the ship in Ensenada, Mexico and about half the passengers did the same.
We had to tender into Catalina, Monterey and Santa Barbara, but it was not a problem. Everything went smoothly getting on and off the tenders.
All things considered, it was a very nice cruise. We were looking for a relaxing time at sea after some stressful months at home and we were very satisfied with the experience. My wife’s only complaint was that the cruise was too short. We usually go for two weeks or more so I understand how she feels. It is difficult to get off a cruise ship.
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