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This cruise was from San Antonio, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and it was our second Celebrity cruise. Our first cruise on a Celebrity ship was last year (Jan 2017) from Sydney to Auckland on the Solstice where we had a Sky Suite and we liked it a lot. So we found out about this South America cruise and thought we would try it out. It ended up that we paid extra to upgrade to a Celebrity Suite. We saw that this was on the Infinity and that the ship was a Millennium class ship launched in 2001. I had a little apprehension about the age of the ship. Our travel agent told us that the ship was refurbished and "Solticized" in 2011 so we decided to go with it. Overall it was a great cruise. The service onboard was great. The nightly shows were high quality. The ports and shore excursions were mostly good, with a little variance both ways. The itinerary gives you a wide contrast in scenery and experiences. The Celebrity Suite cabin was roomy but it had some maintenance issues, see the cabin review for details. We boarded the ship in San Antonio, Chile. This was not the original embarkation port. Originally we were supposed to board in Valparaiso, Chile. About three weeks before departure Celebrity notified us by mail that they changed the embarkation port to San Antonio. They did not say why. Some of the other passengers said there were political demonstrations in Valparaiso so it was a safety thing. San Antonio is not much of a city and the ship docks are mostly commercial with a lot of cranes etc. Pretty un-scenic actually, but it worked out OK for checking in and boarding. Ship plusses 1) Public areas looked good. The furniture and carpets were not worn. For the outside areas the paint looked fresh and the wooden rails were mostly varnished well. 2) In our cabin, both the furniture and the carpet were in good shape also. 3) The casino did not smell of cigarette smoke. 4) The ship has a solarium. 5) The suite-guest restaurant, Luminae, never had a waiting line to be seated. 6) All facets of the ship’s service were great. Ship minuses 1) No self service laundry and the ship laundry charges are sky high. 2) The outdoor smoking areas on decks 10 and 11 port side are VERY intrusive for nonsmokers like me. For example, the smoking area on deck 11 is right along the jogging path, you can't avoid the cigarette smoke as you jog. 3) Getting a lounge chair in the Solarium was next to impossible. The area is just too small for the number of people on board. 4) The Oceanview Cafe - the buffet area - was so crowded at breakfast that I could not find an open table in the whole area one morning. On the ports and shore excursions, I will not comment on every port - there were a lot of them. I will share some highlights and impressions and leave it at that. 1) Punta del Este, Uruguay was a highlight. It's a developing small city where rich people go for the beaches. It's a fun place with things going on. It was the only port where we saw jet skis and a lot of sailboats in the water. There is a hotel/museum a little outside of town called Casapueblo that is a very scenic place. It is a complex of buildings built on a steep hillside next to the sea, and all the buildings have a lot of spires and gingerbread house trim. It reminded us of Park Guell in Barcelona on a smaller scale, except all the buildings are white. You should take a tour that goes there. 2) Buenos Aires - I have to say we were disappointed with the tours we took here, and with the look of the city in general. First I should say that the ships dock in an industrial section of the port, so after you walk off the ship you take a complimentary shuttle bus to the cruise terminal, a seven minute ride past mostly cargo containers and cranes. And when you exit the terminal, you still are not close to downtown. There is a large amount of construction and renovating going on all over. So we took a bus tour of the city and one of the stops was Plaza de Mayo, the city center, a large plaza that covers probably six city blocks. The whole square was fenced off due to construction and renovation going on in the square. Why did the bus even stop there? Recoleta Cemetery was another stop. It's impressive for a cemetery, certainly. The bus stopped there so we could see the tomb of Eva Peron. It turns out, a large amount of people want to see tomb, so we stood in an hour long line to see it. We also booked a tango show in the evening. The show we went to, they pack people into the theater like sardines. We ended up on the main floor about three fourths of the way back. I could not see the dancers' feet due to all the people in front of me. I suspect that all the tango shows are like this. The dancers and musicians were really good. So if you book a tour for one of these shows, see if you can get a seat close to the stage or maybe the first row of the balcony. I don't know how to do this though, maybe you can find a way. On the brighter side, there is a small area of the city called Caminito that is a few blocks of very colorful shops and cafes, and it looked like a lot of the local night life happened there. Be sure to see it.

Mostly good with a few glitches

Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by joelkmcw

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2018
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Celebrity Suite
This cruise was from San Antonio, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and it was our second Celebrity cruise. Our first cruise on a Celebrity ship was last year (Jan 2017) from Sydney to Auckland on the Solstice where we had a Sky Suite and we liked it a lot. So we found out about this South America cruise and thought we would try it out. It ended up that we paid extra to upgrade to a Celebrity Suite. We saw that this was on the Infinity and that the ship was a Millennium class ship launched in 2001. I had a little apprehension about the age of the ship. Our travel agent told us that the ship was refurbished and "Solticized" in 2011 so we decided to go with it.

Overall it was a great cruise. The service onboard was great. The nightly shows were high quality. The ports and shore excursions were mostly good, with a little variance both ways. The itinerary gives you a wide contrast in scenery and experiences. The Celebrity Suite cabin was roomy but it had some maintenance issues, see the cabin review for details.

We boarded the ship in San Antonio, Chile. This was not the original embarkation port. Originally we were supposed to board in Valparaiso, Chile. About three weeks before departure Celebrity notified us by mail that they changed the embarkation port to San Antonio. They did not say why. Some of the other passengers said there were political demonstrations in Valparaiso so it was a safety thing. San Antonio is not much of a city and the ship docks are mostly commercial with a lot of cranes etc. Pretty un-scenic actually, but it worked out OK for checking in and boarding.

Ship plusses

1) Public areas looked good. The furniture and carpets were not worn. For the outside areas the paint looked fresh and the wooden rails were mostly varnished well.

2) In our cabin, both the furniture and the carpet were in good shape also.

3) The casino did not smell of cigarette smoke.

4) The ship has a solarium.

5) The suite-guest restaurant, Luminae, never had a waiting line to be seated.

6) All facets of the ship’s service were great.

Ship minuses

1) No self service laundry and the ship laundry charges are sky high.

2) The outdoor smoking areas on decks 10 and 11 port side are VERY intrusive for nonsmokers like me. For example, the smoking area on deck 11 is right along the jogging path, you can't avoid the cigarette smoke as you jog.

3) Getting a lounge chair in the Solarium was next to impossible. The area is just too small for the number of people on board.

4) The Oceanview Cafe - the buffet area - was so crowded at breakfast that I could not find an open table in the whole area one morning.

On the ports and shore excursions, I will not comment on every port - there were a lot of them. I will share some highlights and impressions and leave it at that.

1) Punta del Este, Uruguay was a highlight. It's a developing small city where rich people go for the beaches. It's a fun place with things going on. It was the only port where we saw jet skis and a lot of sailboats in the water. There is a hotel/museum a little outside of town called Casapueblo that is a very scenic place. It is a complex of buildings built on a steep hillside next to the sea, and all the buildings have a lot of spires and gingerbread house trim. It reminded us of Park Guell in Barcelona on a smaller scale, except all the buildings are white. You should take a tour that goes there.

2) Buenos Aires - I have to say we were disappointed with the tours we took here, and with the look of the city in general.

First I should say that the ships dock in an industrial section of the port, so after you walk off the ship you take a complimentary shuttle bus to the cruise terminal, a seven minute ride past mostly cargo containers and cranes. And when you exit the terminal, you still are not close to downtown.

There is a large amount of construction and renovating going on all over. So we took a bus tour of the city and one of the stops was Plaza de Mayo, the city center, a large plaza that covers probably six city blocks. The whole square was fenced off due to construction and renovation going on in the square. Why did the bus even stop there?

Recoleta Cemetery was another stop. It's impressive for a cemetery, certainly. The bus stopped there so we could see the tomb of Eva Peron. It turns out, a large amount of people want to see tomb, so we stood in an hour long line to see it.

We also booked a tango show in the evening. The show we went to, they pack people into the theater like sardines. We ended up on the main floor about three fourths of the way back. I could not see the dancers' feet due to all the people in front of me. I suspect that all the tango shows are like this. The dancers and musicians were really good. So if you book a tour for one of these shows, see if you can get a seat close to the stage or maybe the first row of the balcony. I don't know how to do this though, maybe you can find a way.

On the brighter side, there is a small area of the city called Caminito that is a few blocks of very colorful shops and cafes, and it looked like a lot of the local night life happened there. Be sure to see it.
joelkmcw’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Celebrity Suite
Cabin CS 7140
The cabin is on deck 7 midship starboard, a good location. It has a lot of elbow room and a lot of storage. In fact there were cabinets and drawers left over after we unpacked. The cabin has three rooms - a main room, a separated bedroom, and a bathroom off the bedroom. That separate bedroom was really nice for us. My wife gets up earlier than I do, so she would go out to the main room, and with the bedroom door shut she doesn't worry about disturbing my sleep.

We found a couple of downsides to the cabin though.
1) The balcony is wide but not very deep. I had to step over one lounge chair to get to the second one.
2) The light switch for the bathroom is not in the bathroom. It's on the bedroom side of the bathroom door. This meant that when I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I could not turn on the bathroom light without disturbing my wife's sleep, so I ended up getting along with just the nightlight in the bathroom.
3) The bathroom did not have a clothesline.

Now for the stuff that went wrong that required maintenance work...
1) The floor-to-ceiling windows had venetian blinds. Two out of three of the blinds were off their tracks and hanging crooked - like the bottom left side was about 6 inches higher than the bottom right side of the blinds - and this was our first impression as we walked into the cabin for the first time. We asked our butler to get it fixed and it got fixed later that day. But it made me think - the butler and the cabin steward are in the cabin every day and they never bothered to say anything about it for who knows how long before we got there. It was a pretty bad first impression.
2) The blind that was not crooked - the first time my wife tried to raise it, it completely fell out of the top of the window sill. It did not hit my wife on the way down, fortunately. Some maintenance people came within about 10 minutes and fixed that.
3) Then there was the foamy stuff that bubbled up from the bathroom floor drain. It happened twice and they said they fixed it twice. Then on the third time that it happened, I was pretty unhappy when I talked to Guest Relations about it because it looked to me like Maintenance didn't have a clue how to fix it. They insisted that they could fix it for sure the third time. We went out on a shore excursion all day and when we came back they in fact fixed it by putting a one-way valve into the pipe below the drain. In the process the hotel Suite Manager was informed about the situation and he came to the cabin personally and apologized for the trouble and offered us a substantial credit that we could use for a future cruise on Celebrity. That did smooth my feathers.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Recoleta Cemetery
    We booked a city bus tour through the ship. Recoleta was the first place we went on the bus so that's what I checked in the list above. There was not a "City Bus Tour" in the list. Anyway...

    Recoleta is a cemetery for rich people. It's full of very fancy tombs and it covers several city blocks. It's an impressive place once you get over the idea that it's a cemetery. It's big claim to fame is, the tomb of Evita Peron is in Recoleta. When our bus tour stopped there, we got into a very long line which was all the people wanting to see Evita's tomb. When you get there, you can't see the coffin, but the outside of the tomb has a nice dedication to Evita and lots of flowers.

    The rest of the bus tour went by the Pink House, the Plaza de Mayo. and some neighborhoods. The tour ended at a place that turned out to be our highlight, a district called Caminito (as in little Camino, little street). It's actually about three streets, each one about three blocks long. The buildings are old, but they are all brightly painted with yellow, orange, red, blue, green... and a lot of the buildings have mannequins looking out of balconies, things like that. It's all shops and restaurants. It's very colorful with a lot of local energy. We only had about 30 minutes there on the bus tour. We took a taxi back to Caminito later that afternoon so my wife could get some decent shopping time.

    Aside from Caminito, our main impression of Buenos Aires was the contstruction was everywhere. Road improvements, park renovations, etc. We could not walk through Plaza de Mayo - it was fenced off due to construction in the park. Most of the roads the tour bus went on, we were driving by road construction.

    You should know also, the pier where the ship docked was a small part of a large dockyard that is mostly commercial shipping activity. There are shuttle busses that the city port authority provides at no charge to you. These busses drive by the ship every ten minutes or so and shuttle you to the actual cruise terminal. This is a 7 or 8 minute bus ride through the dockyards past stacks and stacks of shipping containers. Once you get to the cruise terminal you find taxi stands or catch a local bus to town. This is the only way to get to or from the ship, you have to do the bus ride past the mountains of shipping containers.
    View All 19 Recoleta Cemetery Reviews
  • Tango Show
    There are countless tango shows in Buenos Aires. The one we went to was about a twenty minute bus ride from the cruise terminal, it started at 9 PM, and when we got there we found that there were numerous tour groups that had arrived there before we did. They packed people into the place like sardines. The place has a flat floor that they pack with little round tables and chairs. It's not like a theater where the floor slants up from the stage. Somehow we were one of the last groups to arrive so we ended up in the back of the room and everybody's heads in front of us blocked our view of the dancers' feet. the show itself was pretty good, and the accompanying musicians were very talented too. But I have to say, don't take this tour unless you can figure out how to beat the crowds and get a seat close to the stage.
    View All 18 Tango Show Reviews
  • City Tour
    Montevideo is a nice city. I liked it better than Buenos Aires. It's big and crowded but it's clean and well maintained. The ship docks close to downtown. We did the city tour on a bus in the morning and walked into town on our own in the afternoon. The bus tour was nice, about the right length I'd say, we saw Independence Square and a few other parks and neighborhoods and landmarks and went up to the highest point of the city, a park that looks over the bay and back towards downtown. When we went walking on our own we started with the Port Market and continued as far as Constitution Square and then came back to the ship.
    View All 48 City Tour Reviews
  • Petrohue Falls
    A good tour, the falls are pretty scenic. They make for good video clips. The trails were pretty crowded.
    View All 30 Petrohue Falls Reviews
  • Puerto Varas
    You get a good view of Osorno Volcano. The town is pretty well maintained.
    View All 13 Puerto Varas Reviews
  • Punta del Este
    This place was the surprise port of the trip for us. And I mean that in a good way. We took the city tour and found that Punta del Este is where the rich Argentinians come to vacation. There were lots of yachts in the harbor, lots of tall buildings downtown, lots of stretches of nice beaches that were very crowded. The whole place was clean and well maintained. A couple highlights were 1) the sculpture of the fingers reaching out of the sand, and 2) Casapuebla, a hotel and museum that is built in a fairy-tale style on a steep hillside going down to the ocean.
    View All 35 Punta del Este Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Punta del Este Cruise Port Review
  • Island Tour
    First of all we went into town on our own in the morning. I'd say the town is underwhelming. The town square is OK. Get away from the town square and it gets run down.

    Got on the tour bus for Magdalena Island at 11:45 AM. (Note, when you come from town to the dock terminal, there are no signs to the tour busses. We had to do some bouncing around and asking questions to find the bus. You won't have this problem if you come to the dock on a ship's tender, there will be Celebrity crew to guide you.) You have about a 30 minute bus ride to the speedboat pier, and then about a 45 minute boat ride to the Island. The Penguin Reserve out there was a lot of fun. They told us there are about 100,000 penguins on the Island. I have a camera with a 300 mm telephoto zoom lens, and it was easy to get a lot of nice closeups of the penguins. One tip - I get down on my knees to shoot the penguin photos. I puts the camera at their face level and makes more interesting shots compared to looking down on them. We went in January, which is the middle of summer down there, but the Island was very windy and doggoned cold. There are no trees on the island so the wind does not get blocked. Fortunately we brought winter coats so we were OK.
    View All 9 Island Tour Reviews
  • Tierra del Fuego National Park
    We did not see much of the town itself except right around the pier where the ship docked. That area is nominal at best. The harbor has some old rusty stuff - barges or old boats I guess - that make it look like nobody cares for the place. We saw the downtown from a distance, it may have been better.

    We took the tour bus from the pier for a 30 minute ride to Tierra del Fuego and had three stops in the park. I'd say it was nice but not stunning. It's claim to fame is that it is "at the end of the world" as they say. There is a post office in the park and you will have a chance to send a postcard with an "end of the world" postmark.

    Note that Ushuaia is in Argentina. They call their money pesos - same name as Chilean money - but the exchange rate is quite different. My wife bought a notepad and a pen in a shop on the pier. She used a credit card to buy it. She found out later that in US dollars she paid about $20 when she thought she was paying about $5.
    View All 73 Tierra del Fuego National Park Reviews