Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by joshcruising
- Sail Date: June 2018
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Ocean View 7
Whilst the list of amenities available is indeed impressive and the service provided was generally very good/excellent, I feel Celebrity Cruises can refine some of the services they provide to be more inclusive as there was definitely a feeling that many of these were tailored towards passengers willing to put their hand in their pocket further on the cruise (Add Ons).
My first issue was the pushy sales oriented nature of the cruise, we had barely stepped onto the ship when we were accosted about drinks packages, a waiter handed us a glass of champagne as we boarded then moved to take it from me while asking if we had purchased a drinks package, a simple check of our card would reveal we had already purchased a mid-range 'classic' drinks package which was our choice, but this was obviously not enough as we were pressured to upgrade to the premium package several times in the opening couple of days. This appeared to be a sales driven tactic, in order that certain crew members might pocket commission? A cynical view perhaps but thats how it appeared to us. The way this was approached left a bad taste in the mouth. Also, some of the Level 10 bars glasses were worn and dirty and some staff were inconsistent about what was and what was not included in certain drink packages. The most absurd thing I heard was that the 'classic' package did not include cans of coca cola but instead the customer should receive a glass of coca cola poured from a bottle. This was more often than not flat, as a result. Also certain cocktails were provided which were missing specific ingredients, a French Caribbean arrived with no Malibu! Poor show!
My second issue was the frankly scandalous internet prices offered onboard. When you pay a small fortune for a ticket for the cruise, the last thing you expect is to get absolutely no internet / wifi provided free of charge or even for what might be viewed as a bargain. I can understand the need to cap access to a certain extent, however a basic free or low cost internet package should be provided in this day and age when social media is available to share this experience with family and friends. If guests want to stream movies or use large amounts of data for personal or business purposes then a charge would seem appropriate but for basic internet use, checking emails, social media and web pages this would use comparatively little data. The hourly / daily and weekly rates were excessive in the extreme and anyone willing to pay the fees must have pockets deeper than the oceans we were sailing on.
Along the same lines was the excessive prices for spa treatments. In the UK and probably United States / Canadian high street the same treatments can be purchased for a 1/3 of the cost they were on the ship and this will only put people off. It would be a far more attractive amenity if the prices were more realistic and in line with the prices on land with maybe a few pounds mark up and catered for everyone and not just the elite. It was simply a rip-off.
Other (probably well intentioned) amenities like the photography, filming, art auctions, casino etc. had a cash cow feel to them.
The cabin was small and a little bit of a letdown but it was adequate for the amount of time we spent in it. It had dirty exterior windows (porthole) making it difficult to see out of it, I understand the difficulty in keeping these clean due to the sea spray etc but it would have made a better impression on leaving port to a clean window to look out of. The ship is in need of some soft refurb in key areas particularly the cabins, as cabinets and furniture was dated and had worn finishes.
There was a huge list of events and functions which had something for everyone so I give credit to Luigi and Lauren and the gang for this. The Shows we saw were excellent, professional and the two comedians superb. The Naturalist, Milos was a scream, a very funny man who made the subjects he lectured on even more interesting than they might have first appeared. We saw him at every opportunity. Give that man a fresh contract I say!
Excursions were very good if overpriced (tourist fees which is kind of par these days), the only real gripe I have here was that the advert of seeing specific wildlife in many places should be based on the season travelling as some wildlife like Beavers, Moose, Orca etc was not seen as advertised and in some cases walks to see such wildlife turned into plant and tree discussions to fill the void.
The staff were on the whole very friendly and courteous, our room attendant was excellent and always left the place immaculate every day. Room service was prompt and friendly. Unfortunately there was noticeable evidence of staff intimidation where junior staff were told off / scolded in front of guests by senior staff. This should not happen in the company of guests. Our experience was that the more senior the staff member the less likelihood you would get any acknowledgment as we walked throughout the ship with officers in particular grumpy and disinterested.
The food we received at the Trellis Restaurant was very good, we only had one meal which fell below usual high standards. The only gripe with the restaurant was the offer of flexible dining, only to find that table space was at a premium whenever we tried to utilise this service, I think more thought should be put around what exactly is being offered here, dining is either fixed or flexible, it appears it cannot be both. The response to this on the busiest evenings was simply to offer guests a small discount at one of the pay extra specialist restaurants on board the cruise ship, yet another sales pitch! The level 10 ocean view buffet style diner was decent for breakfasts and lunches but it felt like running the gauntlet trying to find a table, hence why for breakfast we resorted to room service as it was too manic from 8-10am up there.
On the surface, Celebrity Cruises offers a shiny product but some of it's services and prices should be refined to be more inclusive of all customers. Celebrity Cruises should consider that they may lose customers for future cruises to competitors who fulfil the same services they do but in a fairer manner.
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