Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by Jeff Betz
- Sail Date: May 2017
- Destination: Pacific Coastal
- Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom 10
This cruise departed San Diego and ended in Vancouver BC with a great itinerary including Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco (two days), Astoria OR, and Seattle. There were three stops in Canada as well. Overall the cruise should be considered only average however.
Boarding in San Diego was terrible and perhaps even unhealthy and dangerous because of overcrowding and lack of sufficient staff and security stations. Two ships, ours and a Disney were being processed in the same building at the same time so roughly 6000 passengers had to go through four security screening devices. The line was out of the building and the process took two hours. Older people and families with small children had to stand in line for two hours. It was the worst boarding situation we have encountered. Our ship made no announcements, explanations or apologies for this disaster.
The staff on the ship was very good. They almost all seemed friendly and they all were hard working and effective at their jobs. Our room steward, Garfield was the best we have ever encountered. The wait staff was very good as well. We used select time dining (show up when you want) and had only short waits.
Food in the main dining room for breakfast was quite good every day. Service was excellent and staff worked hard to please the passengers. We did not have breakfast in the buffet. Lunch was served only once or twice in the MDR but the food ranged from terrible, inedible to only bad, there and in the buffet. Dinner in the MDR was also just plain bad and at times inedible. For example, steaks that were so fatty and full of gristle that they couldn’t even be cut and just rolled around on the plate. Gross. Salmon was warm but raw. Escargot was tasteless (tasteless snails have little to recommend them when you think about it). The wait staff was cheerful and we didn’t blame them for the poor quality food. The cruise line is responsible. Almost every passenger we discussed this with agreed. Some thought Celebrity was trying to push passengers into the up charge restaurants which we hear were excellent. Could be I guess. The benefits for Elite and above customers were cut back so that the breakfast area was serve yourself except for beverages. The fresh squeezed orange juice wasn’t. When we asked the server if it was fresh squeezed he asked us, “Does it look fresh squeezed, does it taste like fresh squeezed?” Our answer was of course; “No” He just shrugged and walked off. The cocktail party required that each guest use three drink coupons and pay for any drink in addition to that. The manager of the bar patrolled the area like a drill sergeant enforcing this rule. Passengers who embarked the ship in Fort Lauderdale said the coupons only started after San Diego when more Elite level passengers boarded. They boarded the ship with one level of benefits and debarked with a lower level. Could it be that the cruise line is creating a higher, better level of service and perks for suite and higher level guests and reducing benefits for the frequent cruisers? It seems that way. This could be a new business model that will come back to bite them.
Entertainment was acceptable by today’s cruise standards. Nothing was exciting or special. The production cast did display a lot of talent and enthusiasm during their last show. It’s no longer surprising when even the weakest performers receive standing ovations. Have you noticed? Cruise performers routinely ask for applause. Clap for the band which had only one hour to rehearse. Every outside performer on every cruise gets only one hour for this rehearsal and it always works well. What’s the big deal? “Clap for the lights and sound guy, for the cruise director, for music fans out there, for yourselves, etc. etc “ Why not entertain and earn the applause?
Celebrity is marketed as an upscale level of Royal Caribbean but it no longer is better than RCL and, in fact, isn’t nearly as good anymore. Don’t pay more for Celebrity if RCL has similar cruises. We won’t use Celebrity in the future unless the price is very low. To use a nautical metaphor, Celebrity has been coasting for a while but is now slowing down, losing headway.
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