Fabulous Ports of Call: Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by happyjomama

Celebrity Infinity 5
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Fabulous Ports of Call

Sail Date: October 2011
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My husband and I are Americans in our 40s, Caucasian, non spanish speaking, slightly overweight but love to walk/hike, not real big shoppers. Not hard liquor drinkers but do like wine, beer and typical cocktails (margarita, pina colada, etc.). This was our 4th cruise.

* The average age on this trip had to be 62, and I'm not exaggerating! My guess is that most people have to be retired or nonworkers to take this much time off work so you don't get the younger crowd.

* There really wasn't an "upbeat" vibe on the ship (although Steve, Luisa and Valeria were great) and my guess is that with the age group of the passengers, that the folks move at a little more relaxed pace. The music entertainment throughout the ship was more relaxed as well (piano, light jazz, quartet. There was one show that had an entertainer that played some rock music which I was so excited to hear!!!

* Fresh fruit was limited to oranges, apples, cantaloupe, pineapple, More watermelon and honey dew. I didn't understand how you can stop at Costa Rica that exports strawberries and not have an abundance of at least that or mangoes or coconut. I did find a nectarine once but it was under ripe.

* Their dessert extravaganza was a disappointment. We stayed up until 11 pm to attend and it was basically the same stuff that they had at the special brunches.

* Celebrity is supposed to be known for their food but other than eating in the dining room, the buffet section got real monotonous. The same foods almost daily with very little variety. Also their buffet is set up funky. I couldn't tell if I was supposed to dish myself up or if the staff were. In a lot of cases the dishes were too far for me to even reach to scoop up the item I wanted. Very frustrating.

* They have speakers throughout the cruise to give special talks which I really enjoyed but their presentations on the big screen were either blurry or the left hand side was cut off - couldn't believe this couldn't get fixed!

* The photo gallery was too expensive. $20 for a picture. Overpriced in my opinion.

* Their drink packages were outrageously priced. We didn't do any of the packages and took on board 8 bottles of wine without issue (2 in each suitcase and carried on 2). Even with the cost of the wine along with our drink tab on ship we still came out better than the ship's packages. We are mostly beer drinkers (even though we brought on a bunch of wine.)

* The disembarkment from the ship was a disaster. The protocols were totally ignored and the staff just shrugged their shoulders. I can't believe that after having so much experience with the process they haven't perfected it. To me, it's simple, you get kicked out of line if your number is not up - but I guess they don't want to tick off all the rich people who seem to think that the rules don't apply to them.

* Loved all the ports!!!!! Lots of excursion options!!!
* Because of the age group of the passengers, few kids to hog up the pools and scream and yell
* The Aqua Spa was fantastic! It's an indoor hot pool/whirlpool that you can just lay in to relax
* Loved the entertainment on the ship - the shows were all fantastic! Especially Kimtka! We only missed one show they were that good. There was good variety too, singers, dancers, acrobatics, comedians, variety shows, vegas-type shows, etc. The strange thing was that even though the ship has older passengers, the majority attended the later show! Weird.
* The Hi-C quartet were fantastic. It was 4 younger gentlemen who would sang throughout the ship at random times. We basically stalked them around the ship to listen to them.
* The ice cream bar became a daily mandatory stop...hand made ice creams along with soft serve...yummy! Peanut butter being the best!
* The cruise director, Steve, is fantastic!
* Loved the little game room they had. They also have a library where you can check out books.
* The cruise staff are outstanding and friendly!! I only had one bad experience with a guy serving at the buffet who was rude. One side of the Aqua spa wasn't working so I found someone walking by to see if they could find the right person to talk to. He hunted down the right person and then took the time to find me to tell me that it was getting addressed right then.
* The cruise offered various speaker presentations (Squid presentation, Identity Theft presentation, baseball presentation, etc.) which were fantastic. I didn't attend them all, but the speakers were awesome - especially Dr. Clyde Roper with the Smithsonian. I really enjoyed this aspect of cruising.
* I've only been on 4 cruises in my life and loved that they enlarged the shower space!

Loved Guatemala! Note that we were on a guided tour however so never did see the "real" Guatemala other than driving by depressed areas. We did the Pacaya Volcano Hike which was spectacular. A bit of a drive (over 2 hours). When you arrive at the drop off location for the hike, you are surrounded by little kids "renting" you a hiking stick for a dollar. The sticks are literally just branches. Nothing special. If you decline then they respond with "dollar for me?" You can tell that the parents are peddling these poor kids! So sad. They also have horses that you can rent to take you up the mountain. However, we were there to hike. Now this definitely met the strenuous criteria!!!! I would say it was a couple of miles up. Note that it was a little chilly for us at the start but once you get hiking you warm right up. There are bathrooms but for the woman - bring your own toilet paper and don't expect the toilet to flush!!!

If your tour is during the day, you will not see lava. However, you will see steam vents, lots and lots of them. They let you walk on the hard lava rock and in fact you get to walk into a steam vent if you want. Like a sauna. It was absolutely wonderful and spectacular.

I highly highly highly recommend!!!!

Afterward, they take you to a restaurant - the food was really good in my opinion, chicken breast, potato, guacamole and salsa. And a beer!

At the port there is a ton of vendor shopping available. If you like funny t-shirts, they have them that say "Guat's Up!!! Guatemala" Cracked me up. There is also a stand where you can get a fresh coconut with coconut milk and you can add rum! Soooo good! Lastly, this is a good location to mail postcards.

(Wasn't too happy about seeing the military with large weapons throughout the area.) Less

Published 11/01/11

Cabin review: 04 Ocean View 4

I actually liked my cabin. I was on the 3rd floor with a bigger window, no balcony. There was a little glass table in the room which I wished we could have stored away as it took up space. I liked that the shower was bigger than I remember from cruising although the shower curtain comes down flat instead of like the hotels these days were it curves out and doesn't touch you. I did not like that you could see from the bed into the bathroom. Our room was across from the crew space and noisy at times but only one time was it a problem.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Again, we didn't do a guided tour. After discussing with many people, we decided to get ourselves to Lover's Beach/Pelican Beach. You cannot access by road or foot. Got off the ship, stopped at info desk, who steered us to the water taxi that could get us to the beach. Since there are no facilities whatsoever at Lover's Beach, the guide hooked us up with some beers with ice!!! Took the water taxi over and they literally drop you off in the water at the beach. We explored the island and it was spectacular. Depending on the high tide you will not likely be able to get to the arch. We risked our lives waiting for a wave to recede before running around the rocks! A little dangerous - especially with a camera that isn't water proof! There are also seals in that area. Although we had pre scheduled for our water taxi to pick us up at 1:00, at 1:15 they still hadn't showed up! Had to call! It's only 5 minutes away but kind of annoying that we had to place a call. I tell you this so that you don't cut it close to get back. There are a lot of other company water taxis going back and forth so worse come to worse I guess you could catch another one and pay. The good part of going to this beach is that the number of solicitors is dramatically reduced! Our friends did the yacht trip and got to see a whale! Tons of shopping and restaurants here! The port is EXTREMELY busy!

Because of the turmoil in Columbia we decided to stay safe and book a guided local excursion instead of just exploring ourselves or taking a tour out of town. We did the Deluxe City Tour which consisted of visiting the fort, walking through the town to see the church and the town. The fort is really interesting and you are allowed to walk all over it and in it. The peddlers were annoying though. Walking through the church and town resulted in some beautiful pictures. Really impressed with the iron works displayed outside near the church (i.e., person sewing on a sewing machine, two people playing a game). I did not know Colombia was known for its iron works. Never felt unsafe or scared. Lucky for us it was overcast that day so didn't have issues with the heat/humidity. Make sure to walk to the cruise terminal at this port - they have an area with a bunch of parrots that you can hold for free as well as some other misc animals (iguana, flamingo). You can also mail postcards here. There's also a store to buy souvenirs. Our friends ended up just going from the tour bus to the ship and totally missed out.

Loving to hike, we did the Nature Hike and Canal visit. Unfortunately the nature hike was not much of a hike at all. Under a mile and taken so slowly that we couldn't even claim we got exercise. But if you are into really learning about birds and plants, etc., it was probably good for that. However, we were expecting more of a hike. Nevertheless, we did get a great bonus because of some howler monkeys that were in the trees that the driver saw so we stopped and got off the bus to take pictures. On the nature hike, we did walk underneath a three-toed sloth!!! Afterward we got to stop at the locks which I could watch for hours! We lucked out as a cargo ship and cruise ship were going through. Our guide was nice enough to allow us to stay longer to see the lock lower/rise.

We decided not to do any of the guided tours. We walked around by the ship area for a little bit trying to figure out how to get to the beach - which is about a block away. We never felt unsafe. We ended up catching a cab and he took us to an exclusive beach area (Mismaloya) about a hour away (he said it was only 20 minutes, but the traffic is ridiculous and realistically was more like 40 minutes away!) This beach area has a bunch of condos, a resort, and a local beach area/restaurant which was outdoors and awesome. I had the mexican chili (which had no beans) and it was fantastic. You can rent a boat, jet ski, etc. here. We just didn't have the time. I wished we would have known and just gone directly there from the ship. However, in hindsight, although the beach was spectacular we only had an hour at the location because of our uncertainty of what to do/see. After driving through downtown, i would recommend heading there instead if you are unsure about what to do. There are ton of stores, had a safe vibe, and I never noticed the peddlers. You can tell they are fixing up the beach area to improve it. Note that the beach resort at Mismaloya is one of the excursion packages. Much cheaper to get there by taxi... Tons of shopping right at the ship area. Vendors are aggressive. There was a place to have a beer but we didn't have time.

I was so excited to go to Costa Rica after my son had visited a couple of years ago and fell in love with the place. However, we did the LaPaz Waterfalls trip which was supposed to be strenuous. The bus ride was 2-1/2 hours which we expected but over all the trip wasn't worth it. The LaPaz Waterfalls are beautiful, don't get me wrong, and the resort is spectacular with a butterfly pavilion and hummingbirds and various other caged animals (monkeys, pumas, birds, snakes, etc.) You basically climb down a bunch of steps to view the falls but they rush you along so fast you barely have time to take pictures. At the bottom, they shuttle you back to the top! So much for the strenuous part. They then feed you a buffet which was good. However, I'd rather have had a map that showed where I was at with the falls and for them to say that afterward I could walk up to the buffet but needed to be done by a certain time. I had too much time at the buffet and not enough time at the falls. Too structured. Whatever you do - don't forget rain gear!!! It's a rain forest!!!!! Our friends did the Skywalk and loved it. There was a market with a ton of vendors but we didn't get to visit it because it was raining so heavily so I cannot comment on it. Our friends walked on the "black" beach right by the ship.

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