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The Panama Canal has been on my bucket list for over 30 years. Before I proceed, I want to comment that we are experienced cruisers (Celebrity Elite). and this is the 3rd time we have sailed the Infinity. We have delayed because I am not a big fan of the tropics, hate heat and humidity, and memories of Vietnam come creeping back in these environments. Fortunately there were few "critters" flying about. The Cabin: We figured it was now or never and took the cruise. It became, understandably, warmer and warmer as we proceeded. this we expected. Unfortunately our room AC was not up to the task in our Aqua class cabin. 3 complaints, 1 cabin attendant, and 2 to guest relations, failed to resolve the erratic temperatures. Temps cycled from nearly 77 to 68 on an erratic basis that seemed to have no apparent reason. The 77 seemed to be the "norm", which was far too warm for us. The thermostat was left in its lowest setting and never moved up. the 68's while welcomed, came and went. the hallways on deck 9 varied similarly. I suspect the environmental systems people were struggling with keeping the entire ship cool and were cycling the various decks. Changes in deck temps were quite noticeable as you went up and down the decks. Our mini bar never cooled below 55 degrees despite have it changed 3 times. Is this the norm for minibars? We expected it to be cooler. The beer was warm - ugh (If you are wondering where I am getting these temperatures, I carry a small, calibrated, infrared thermometer when we travel.) The ship experienced 3 power failures in 1st 3 days we were aboard. Fortunately all were around noon and were barely noticed unless you had an inside cabin. The first time the Ocean View Cafe and decks 9 and 6 were affected. It was off about 10 minutes, came back on for about the same amount of time, and then went back off for about 5 minutes. There was a harried announcement over the ships intercom from the bridge about issues with "the ships ageing electrical system". Something I certainly would never have said. The last power failure was the following day and lasted only 2 or 3 minutes, again about noon. The elevators all continued working during these events. Our embarkation went perfectly. A very smooth event. On a more positive note, we found the ships WiFi much improved over last year. The tech actually understood android systems also, a great improvement over the "I don't know" of years past. The food was generally very good but we found ourselves eating more and more in the Ocean View Cafe, particularly as the voyage progressed. We missed more and more the small touches that make up our diet. Steak is great but we missed having it flame grilled. A whole different taste. The gravies/sauces tended to be bland. Mexico was about what we expected. We felt Cabo St Lucas was a tacky tourist trap with over priced trinkets and a beautiful harbor. Its mostly fishing based place and most of the harbor area is devoted to this. The Disney Wanderer was there when we arrived and this made for some confusion and crowding. But not for long as many people got off, looked around, and went back to their ship. The harbor views were much better from there. Puerto Vallarta was much better but just not much there of interest once you have taken in the magnificent views around the harbor. We enjoyed the ships tours, The coffee plantation in Costa Rica was most interesting and we really enjoyed it. They spoke not only of coffee but the life cycle of bananas. There were some unexpected insights leading to a far more interesting day than we had expected. The city tour in Guatemala had a long bus ride which was mostly why we took it. The craft brewery portion was just a tasting with some tasty snacks. There was great WiFi also. In Panama the entire 1st day was spent transiting the locks. VERY interesting and the whole point of this adventure. The 2nd day we docked at Colon where we took a Distinctive Voyages tour provided by our travel agent. We really enjoyed this as we again made a long bus ride (we wanted to see the countryside) went to the canal Visitors Center (ok, but we could have passed on it) and then did a walking tour of old Panama. A side note, Colon Panama is a VERY (as in the words of our guide) "rough area" and we were strongly advised not to go there. After driving through it, I can certainly see why. Dirty, crowded, with decaying building propping each other up. Many looked as if they were painted last in the 19th century, if then. The inhabitants scarcely looked better. Ugh The final stop on the cruise was fabled Cartagena, Columbia. The city fabled in tales of the Spanish Main and a jewel of the Caribbean. Our time here was all too short, but then again the heat and humidity were over the top. I was quickly drenched in my own perspiration and my t-shirt took 2 days to moderately dry out. The old colonial areas are being restored and much of the charm of that era still remains. But we were hurried by the short shore time. Dora Tours maximized our time there and we were able to view the city from “La Popa” its highest point. The road up is currently closed to all large tour buses but our mini bus was permitted. The view was magnificent. The port area had the best visitors arrival center of the cruise and an extensive shopping area as well as a large aviary full of parrots and other jungle exotics. Just not enough time to take it all in. The disembarkation in Ft. Lauder Dale was a marathon of endurance. It took over 3 hours to get through customs. 4 agents for 2000 passengers. What a goat rope!!! The Celebrity bus transportation was a confused mess as they were attempting to use the same buses to embark and disembark passengers. The luggage got mixed, people got separated from their luggage (separate buses), and we changed buses 3 times before they got it right. We were not being separated from our luggage. No faith in the process at this point. I am quite sure many people missed their airline connections. Ours were fortunately late in the day at 3:30. We believed that we had plenty of time to kill at the airport. WRONG. We were group 23 of 25 getting off the ship. On arrival at the customs area we were confronted with what appeared to be the entire ships compliment of passengers in 2 massive lines, (please keep it 2 abreast please – no idea why). The lines inched forward interminably. Ugh We finally arrived at airline check in with about 30 minutes to spare. The whole process took almost 5 hours from the time we started down the ships gangway. Not a good final experience.

A Ship Showing its Age - Cabin 9127, Aqua Class

Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by bill_carole

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
The Panama Canal has been on my bucket list for over 30 years. Before I proceed, I want to comment that we are experienced cruisers (Celebrity Elite). and this is the 3rd time we have sailed the Infinity. We have delayed because I am not a big fan of the tropics, hate heat and humidity, and memories of Vietnam come creeping back in these environments. Fortunately there were few "critters" flying about.

The Cabin: We figured it was now or never and took the cruise. It became, understandably, warmer and warmer as we proceeded. this we expected. Unfortunately our room AC was not up to the task in our Aqua class cabin. 3 complaints, 1 cabin attendant, and 2 to guest relations, failed to resolve the erratic temperatures. Temps cycled from nearly 77 to 68 on an erratic basis that seemed to have no apparent reason. The 77 seemed to be the "norm", which was far too warm for us. The thermostat was left in its lowest setting and never moved up. the 68's while welcomed, came and went. the hallways on deck 9 varied similarly. I suspect the environmental systems people were struggling with keeping the entire ship cool and were cycling the various decks. Changes in deck temps were quite noticeable as you went up and down the decks.

Our mini bar never cooled below 55 degrees despite have it changed 3 times. Is this the norm for minibars? We expected it to be cooler. The beer was warm - ugh

(If you are wondering where I am getting these temperatures, I carry a small, calibrated, infrared thermometer when we travel.)

The ship experienced 3 power failures in 1st 3 days we were aboard. Fortunately all were around noon and were barely noticed unless you had an inside cabin. The first time the Ocean View Cafe and decks 9 and 6 were affected. It was off about 10 minutes, came back on for about the same amount of time, and then went back off for about 5 minutes. There was a harried announcement over the ships intercom from the bridge about issues with "the ships ageing electrical system". Something I certainly would never have said.

The last power failure was the following day and lasted only 2 or 3 minutes, again about noon. The elevators all continued working during these events.

Our embarkation went perfectly. A very smooth event.

On a more positive note, we found the ships WiFi much improved over last year. The tech actually understood android systems also, a great improvement over the "I don't know" of years past.

The food was generally very good but we found ourselves eating more and more in the Ocean View Cafe, particularly as the voyage progressed. We missed more and more the small touches that make up our diet. Steak is great but we missed having it flame grilled. A whole different taste. The gravies/sauces tended to be bland.

Mexico was about what we expected. We felt Cabo St Lucas was a tacky tourist trap with over priced trinkets and a beautiful harbor. Its mostly fishing based place and most of the harbor area is devoted to this. The Disney Wanderer was there when we arrived and this made for some confusion and crowding. But not for long as many people got off, looked around, and went back to their ship. The harbor views were much better from there.

Puerto Vallarta was much better but just not much there of interest once you have taken in the magnificent views around the harbor.

We enjoyed the ships tours,

The coffee plantation in Costa Rica was most interesting and we really enjoyed it. They spoke not only of coffee but the life cycle of bananas. There were some unexpected insights leading to a far more interesting day than we had expected.

The city tour in Guatemala had a long bus ride which was mostly why we took it. The craft brewery portion was just a tasting with some tasty snacks. There was great WiFi also.

In Panama the entire 1st day was spent transiting the locks. VERY interesting and the whole point of this adventure. The 2nd day we docked at Colon where we took a Distinctive Voyages tour provided by our travel agent. We really enjoyed this as we again made a long bus ride (we wanted to see the countryside) went to the canal Visitors Center (ok, but we could have passed on it) and then did a walking tour of old Panama. A side note, Colon Panama is a VERY (as in the words of our guide) "rough area" and we were strongly advised not to go there. After driving through it, I can certainly see why. Dirty, crowded, with decaying building propping each other up. Many looked as if they were painted last in the 19th century, if then. The inhabitants scarcely looked better. Ugh

The final stop on the cruise was fabled Cartagena, Columbia. The city fabled in tales of the Spanish Main and a jewel of the Caribbean. Our time here was all too short, but then again the heat and humidity were over the top. I was quickly drenched in my own perspiration and my t-shirt took 2 days to moderately dry out. The old colonial areas are being restored and much of the charm of that era still remains. But we were hurried by the short shore time. Dora Tours maximized our time there and we were able to view the city from “La Popa” its highest point. The road up is currently closed to all large tour buses but our mini bus was permitted. The view was magnificent. The port area had the best visitors arrival center of the cruise and an extensive shopping area as well as a large aviary full of parrots and other jungle exotics. Just not enough time to take it all in.

The disembarkation in Ft. Lauder Dale was a marathon of endurance. It took over 3 hours to get through customs. 4 agents for 2000 passengers. What a goat rope!!! The Celebrity bus transportation was a confused mess as they were attempting to use the same buses to embark and disembark passengers. The luggage got mixed, people got separated from their luggage (separate buses), and we changed buses 3 times before they got it right. We were not being separated from our luggage. No faith in the process at this point.

I am quite sure many people missed their airline connections. Ours were fortunately late in the day at 3:30. We believed that we had plenty of time to kill at the airport. WRONG. We were group 23 of 25 getting off the ship. On arrival at the customs area we were confronted with what appeared to be the entire ships compliment of passengers in 2 massive lines, (please keep it 2 abreast please – no idea why). The lines inched forward interminably. Ugh We finally arrived at airline check in with about 30 minutes to spare. The whole process took almost 5 hours from the time we started down the ships gangway. Not a good final experience.
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Cabin Review

Aqua Class
Cabin A2 9127
Cabin AC cycled from 77 to 68 f. too warm for the tropics. Mostly 77. You could go to bed with it being 68, you'd cover up and in the middle of the night you'd wake up and it would be 77 and you'd be sweaty. Don't need this.

Our various mini bars never cooled below 55. Warm beer... ugh
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews