I really like Celebrity: Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by merv0007
Overall Member Rating
I really like Celebrity
Destination: Pacific Coastal
Embarkation: San Diego
Embarkation: It went pretty smoothly for us. We live in the San Diego area and that was the embarkation point. So we arrived by train (a 40 minute trip), got off downtown, walked across the street to the cruise port and we were there. Very easy (and inexpensive). There were the usual serpentine lines but it was not terribly objectionable. About 30-45 minutes to get on board.
We were booked as Concierge Class so there was lunch on embarkation day in the main dining room. There were maybe 3-4 entrees from which to select. Really quite good and I was thrilled to be able to escape the chaos that is always at the buffet in the Ocean View Cafe--the latter is just not my style.
Debarkation: Easy and smooth. Vancouver was the debarkation point. We got off, walked a couple of blocks to the Canada Line Sky Train, and for a couple of bucks arrived at the airport. Much better than the cruise More line bus but only for those who are willing to carry their own bags and be willing to navigate the streets and terminal on their own.
Ship: The ship has three specialty restaurants (unless you are suite or Aqua Class). However, the Sushi on Five does not serve what I eat so one more would be perfect. They actually have room to put one at the Wine Cellar as a lot of that space seems to go unused.
Service: Service was very good to great in most places on the ship. All the crew were extremely friendly. Our cabin steward, Elmer, was absolutely outstanding. Was it because of the $5 I gave him upon meeting him with a promise of another $5 when we debarked? Who knows. But he was great. Herve in Qusine is an absolute kick (I won't spoil the surprise for you but he was entertaining as all get out.) Jovel, the Maitre'd at Tuscan Grill simply could not do enough for us as is true of all of the staff there. And if you talk to these guys as people, many of them are very interesting.
Food & Wine: My wife and I are wine and foodie people and their specialty restaurants hit our goals. We attended the Chef's Dinner (3rd time we have done this)---great and memorable experience. We, along with some good friends traveling with us, were joined by two ship's officers. That was it, just the 6 of us. Dinner in the private dining room of Tuscan Grill. Pleasant conversation with the officers including a lot of behind the scenes information. Dinner was outstanding. Wine flowed freely and it was not the cheap stuff. We did Tuscan Grill twice (first night and deep into the cruise) and Qsine one time. And because we signed up for the chef's dinner upon boarding the first day,Tuscan Grill took very special care of us when we were there. We enjoyed all three of those dinners immensely. The main dining room was really poor the second night (many of the entrees were overcooked) but got better each night that we ate there after that. But even on that second night the appetizers were very good. We were on the any time dining plan. I'm not sure I would do that again as I like having a waiter/ass't waiter who knows what I want, etc. With any time dining, some of the wait staff was less attentive/quick than I would like. If that occurred with the 1st or 2nd seating I would say something to the supervisor and expect that the situation would improve.
Beverage & Wine Package: We both had this package as one of our perks. I wasn't sure it was going to be a better deal than the $150/person OBC offer. It was and I appreciated the fact that I didn't have to sign for each drink and hear (in my head) the cash register going off. Further, Celebrity had just changed their policy so with the classic package if you ordered a drink over the limit ($9 I think) you only paid the difference, not the entire tab. This is a much fairer approach.
Internet experience: It is definitely better than the old system which tended to move like molasses at times. They advertise you can use this for business web conferences and VOIP calls. Maybe at times but not at the times I tried. If a lot of people on the ship are on the internet at the same time then things slow down to too slow for conferences and VOIP. And since you don't know when that will be you can't schedule a web conference. So that was a disappointment.
Internet Options: We called before sailing and were told only option was unlimited at approx $200. On board there was, as I recall, a one hour, one day, 100 minutes, and unlimited options. Although the unlimited is expensive, and they do push that option, I'd still go for that as with the others you have to remember to log out or the time just keeps running.
Internet Hook Up: My laptop couldn't find the log in page. The web browser just couldn't find it. ILounge guru could not resolve the problem. Unfortunately I allowed him to tweak and change some of my computer settings as he tried to get the laptop to navigate to the log in page; that was a mistake as it significantly disabled my laptop for a while until I was able to back out his changes. We did get credit for half the unlimited charge. Easy solution: log in on phone and create hot spot for laptop. If they want to charge you for two devices, get special dispensation since the laptop won't hook up. Wish I had thought of that then rather than a day later.
Ports/Excursions: We rarely take the ship excursions, preferring to plan things for ourselves. I often put together walking tours of the ports we are in along with restaurants for us to stop for lunch. All of the ports were very enjoyable except Nanaimo. There is just nothing I can find to do there. In our pre-cruise planning we just decided to treat it as a "sea day," although we did get off for about an hour just to walk around.
This is the second Pacific Coastal Cruise I have taken (both on Celebrity) and I would do it again. Less
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