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Sail Date: October 2014
First off, there was nothing in the end that would put me off going back on Celebrity This was number 5 with Celebrity and we noticed a slip in a few areas. ll staff were very friendly, smiling and cordial. Our room attendant was on the ... Read More
First off, there was nothing in the end that would put me off going back on Celebrity This was number 5 with Celebrity and we noticed a slip in a few areas. ll staff were very friendly, smiling and cordial. Our room attendant was on the ball and the food overall was good. Dining: Select: We selected this as we wanted the ability to eat later than 6 but not at 08:30pm. Most meals were good or very good. My wife sent back one meal as is was semi warm to cold. we know the waiters can't send it back even if they suspect it. If you are select stay on the select floor. We were sat once on the first floor an felt like fill in's. The Sommelier argued with us when we asked for Anton Bauer, did not think it was by the glass( we had premium package) and suggested it was pronounced Antonini Bauer. She then returned with it saying good pronunciation but it was hard to find. ( we had been drinking it the last two cruises and the previous 2-3 sittings). We sat upstairs the rest of the time. On the formal night we waited over 20 minutes to be served and we were drinking wine before the bread and water came. I am not sure the reason but the system in place in the dining room seems to have changed from the first 2 cruises we took and it is being reflected in longer wait times. Loungers: not enough. Apparently some on order. Same story on people saving chairs for other people who never show or throw their stuff on them and coming back three hours later. Very hard to control. People can be in pools, at the bar, getting food.. But one guy complained someone had taken his seats... he had gone to the casino.... Other people leave but leave their towels on the loungers instead of putting them in the bin making people think someone is coming back. Bottom line is the guests need to respect each other and quit being selfish and the ship needs to have more than enough loungers. Bistro at 5... Now $7 cover. but still love it. On Board entertainment. The On board Dance and singing Troupe was the best we have seen. They are done on Nov 19th. Love to see them on another cruise ship. D'Revelations the house band were very good with their lead singer knocking it out of the park. Note: some people would like to here some Caribbean music while around the pool.. The Dj didn't play hardly any. People showing up on Formal night with out a jacket were being provided with one.... Thanks. I like not wearing one every night but it is Celebrity not another cruise line. So bring a jacket, tux or suit. Most Wives appreciate it. Cafe El Bacio.. Every day.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
This was our very first cruise, and we were not disappointed. We flew from Heathrow to Miami, stayed our first night in the Sheraton in Fort Lauderdale, and were taken down to Port Everglades the next morning. It was all very new to us ... Read More
This was our very first cruise, and we were not disappointed. We flew from Heathrow to Miami, stayed our first night in the Sheraton in Fort Lauderdale, and were taken down to Port Everglades the next morning. It was all very new to us -- the waiting to be called row by row but was very organised. Once on board it was wonderful. Our stateroom was wonderful with balcony. Our luggage arrived very quickly. Then we went on deck 10 for the sailaway from Fort Lauderdale -- that was great with music and dancing. We then went back to our room to unpack. We went along to the Trellis restaurant and shared a table with six other people -- all Americans as you would would expect. We all got on well. I won't go on about the ports we visited -- it would take to long, but we enjoyed the whole experience. The service was outstanding from our stateroom attendant to the bar staff to our waiters at dinner. Us coming from Britain are not use to good service, so we were overwhelmed. We would go on another cruise, maybe we will try another cruise line just to compare. If we do, hope we won't be disappointed Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
Let me start off by saying that this was mine & my husbands first cruise so we dont have anything to compare it to. That said, it couldnt have been a better experience for us from beginning to end! We flew into Fort Lauderdale ... Read More
Let me start off by saying that this was mine & my husbands first cruise so we dont have anything to compare it to. That said, it couldnt have been a better experience for us from beginning to end! We flew into Fort Lauderdale Sunday morning and were met by extremely friendly & helpful greeters who guided us in the right direction. After we had all assembled together we were herded out to a bus where we had a quick 10 minute drive to the port. My parents (who were also traveling with us) had filled out the paperwork online so they went to the express check-in. My husband & I forgot to fill out the paperwork online so we went to the other line. Much to my parents chagrin, our line was MUCH shorter & moved MUCH quicker! So much for express check-in! And then, within one hour of our plane landing, we were onboard having our first drink of champagne! Ahhh& the relaxation began! We checked into our stateroom a little bit before 1:00 & were greeted by our stateroom attendant, Rene. We only made one request of him throughout the cruise but it was answered promptly. My husband & I wondered if there was some hidden camera in the hallway somewhere because it seemed that wed just leave our room for less than a half hour in the morning & wed come back to a cleaned room! He & his attendant were both great & so swift!!! We were extremely impressed with our stateroom. We had expected much smaller with no storage space. It was a beautiful room with mirrors all along the wall which made it appear larger. We had a balcony which we thoroughly enjoyed & will never have a room without one! So much storage that we didnt even use it all  and we WAY over packed!!! Our first day at sea was wonderful! We decided that our at sea days were actually our favorites. We were so relaxed & enjoyed many of the activities planned by the staff. We especially enjoyed the activities by the pool. We were blessed with awesome weather so we didnt want to have to be inside at all. We spent most of our days laying on the deck above the pool which was a great place enjoy everything that was going on, but not be in the middle of it. We also had a WONDERFUL server at the pool, David Lawrence from Jamaica, who took care of us all week. At one point someone even asked if he was our own personal bartender! It sure felt like he was! Our food, of course, was exceptional. We enjoyed eating the breakfast buffet every morning  usually omelettes and waffles. We had hamburgers & French fries every day for lunch from the Oceanview Grill. They were delicious!!! My husband & I are still craving them after coming home. My husbands favorite time of day was 5:30 when wed head to the aft for Sushi. I had never even tried sushi, but grew to love it on this cruise! Once again, our bodies seem to be craving sushi every day at 5:30! Dinner in the Trellis was always wonderful. Our waiter, Sandor, and his assistant, Menino, made dinner a very enjoyable experience. We were usually one of the last in the dining room so we were able to talk with them & get to know them. Martin, our Maitre d' was an absolute hoot & we always looked forward to his visits to our table. The ONLY thing I would change about our cruise was the dinner seating. We had chosen the late seating so that we wouldnt feel rushed to get back from any excursions. What we realized, however, was that after our 2 hour dining experience each night, we were almost too exhausted to do much else. (My husband & Dad fell more into that category, while my mom & I were ready to hit the dance floor regardless!) It worked out great when there was a 7:00 show, but sometimes they wouldnt start until 11:00 which was too late for the men in our group! We found that we left the ports (with the exception of one) before the first seating so it wouldnt have been any problem to be back on board & ready for dinner. We were pleasantly surprised by the on board entertainment. We were so impressed with the Celebrity singers & dancers!!! We thought that their shows were top-notch. The comedian, Thien Fu, was okay. He was a little hard to understand & wed heard most of his jokes before. His juggling was much better than his jokes. We didnt see the other two shows, but heard they were wonderful as well. Ports of Call: Dominican Republic  We chose to not leave the ship here. After hearing some other feedback from some passengers, we decided that wed made the right decision. It was kind of nice to be on the ship when it was less crowded. San Juan  We had planned to take a walking tour on our own, but after heading out, we decided that a bus tour would probably be better. We were so right! We had a great tour guide, Joey, who gave us so much information & made it very enjoyable. He dropped us off in the shopping district which wasnt too far from the port. We had lunch at the place were the Pina Coladas were first invented  they were wonderful! I cant remember the name of the place, but any tour guide should know where it is. The shopping area is beautiful with lots of diverse shops. I wish wed done more shopping there. (one note: when you leave the ship, there will be lots & lots of tour services trying to get your business. They range in price from $20 down to $5. We paid $10 per person & got a lot for that.) St. Thomas  We had been to St. Thomas years before so we decided that instead of doing a ship excursion that we would head out on our own. We took a taxi to Sapphire Beach ($10 per person) where we rented snorkel equipment ($5/hour). We saw lots & lots of pretty fish, a big sea turtle, and a stingray. Well worth $5! The weather turned pretty cloudy so we decided to head back to the ship where we changed & then headed to downtown to do some shopping. This was probably our biggest disappointment of the whole trip. We had heard about the wonderful shopping in St. Thomas so we didnt do much shopping in San Juan because we thought wed wait. That was a mistake. Unless youre shopping for jewelry or liquor, there isnt much else down there. We really just wanted to find some cool souvenirs to take back to our kids & some friends. After walking around for quite a while & being approached by countless people to come into their shops, we finally found one souvenir store. One point worth noting  it is a very easy walk into downtown from the ship. A taxi only costs $3/person but traffic is so heavy that you can actually walk to town faster than taking a taxi! Its only about a 15-20 minute walk. We had actually decided to take a taxi back to the ship after shopping because my back was hurting. We hopped on the bus & after sitting in traffic for over 10 minutes, we paid the driver his money & hopped out & started walking. We beat him back! My parents decided to do their shopping at the Havensight Mall right there at the port & Id recommend that instead of heading downtown. No one tried to persuade them into their stores & it was much less crowded. We found one souvenir shop there as well & lots more jewelry & liquor stores. Nassau  We hadnt planned on leaving the ship, but as we arrived the water was so incredibly beautiful that we couldnt resist. We decided to try to join an excursion to a private island (I think it was Blackbeard Cay), but all of the excursions were full. So we got into a taxi & headed to Cable Beach ($10/person on the way there, but $15/person on the way back. Hmm&) It was obviously spring break for many colleges so the beach was packed. A beautiful place, but after a while we were wishing we were back on the ship. We were missing our personal bartender at that point! J We could see across the water to Blackbeard Cay & it looked beautiful over there. If we were to cruise there again, I think Id definitely go there. Our disembarkation was an absolute breeze. The only thing that took any time was waiting for our color to be called. We were told to be in the Martini Bar at 9:20 but didnt actually get called until after 10:00. We were astonished at how quickly it all went after that. No problems whatsoever. We boarded a bus to head to the Miami airport (due to spring break, there were no flights available out of Fort Lauderdale). This was the worst part of the trip, but had nothing to do with Celebrity. There were 2 accidents on the way so we sat in 2 separate traffic jams. So what should have taken about 30-40 minutes ended up taking over 2 hours! There was no bathroom on the bus so the ride got to be very uncomfortable for many of us whod had too much coffee that morning!!! Our flight wasnt leaving until 6:00pm so wed planned to rent a car & head to South Beach for the day. Since our bus ride took so long (as did checking in at the chaotic airport!) we decided to hang out at the airport. Not the best way to end our vacation, but at least we were extremely relaxed! The high note of the Miami airport is a Bacardi Restaurant where we ate lunch. The food was excellent. Be warned, however, that the drinks are $10 each which they dont list on their menu. And we thought the drinks on the ship were expensive!!! The only downfall of the trip that we experienced at any point was that one night the smell on our balcony smelled like sewage. We couldnt figure out why, but it was very unpleasant. We enjoyed sleeping with our door wide open each night so we were so disappointed when we couldnt even keep it open a crack that night. I explained it to Guest Services the next day, although I wasnt sure what theyd be able to do about it. Somehow the smell disappeared the next day & we never smelled it again. Overall, we couldnt have been more impressed with Celebrity. From the extremely friendly staff to the ease of embarkation & disembarkation to the delicious food, we were more & more impressed every day! The service was incredible, the ship was extremely clean & very well maintained & everything seemed to be so well run. I am so hooked on cruising now that Ive already booked our next cruise! We will be traveling on the Century over Thanksgiving with our children. Im already counting the days!!! Great job Celebrity! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2006
Just returned from our 7 night EC cruise aboard the Celebrity Infinity. Traveled with my husband and our 13 year old son. Embarkation. Absolutely flawless. Due to an early flight we showed up at about 11:00 - although boarding time ... Read More
Just returned from our 7 night EC cruise aboard the Celebrity Infinity. Traveled with my husband and our 13 year old son. Embarkation. Absolutely flawless. Due to an early flight we showed up at about 11:00 - although boarding time wasn't until 1:00 - and were onboard in minutes. Our room wasn't ready yet, so we ran about checking out our new home and scouting out our table assignment. Lunch was available by noon, and our room shortly thereafter. We were concierge class, but I'm not sure that made a difference. Everything was just very efficient. The Room. The room was nicely appointed with a King and a sofa bed for our son. The comfy robes and down pillows and duvets were outstanding. The balcony was a little disappointing. I thought it was very small in comparison to our last cruise ship and since we were on the deck below the pool, there was an overhang that blocked the sun and sometimes the sunset. The bathroom was much better than expected though so I guess it all works out. The Emporium & Casino & Spa/Gym. We found the jewelry and perfume in the ship store to be cheaper than in St. Martin. My husband picked me up a little Valentine's bauble and we saw the exact same item in St. Thomas...but the lowest I could get the salesperson to was $200 more than on the ship! While we don't use a lot of money, my husband and I love the blackjack tables. We had a great time in the casino. Everyone was friendly and we FOR ONCE ended up winning more than we lost, not a ton, but enough to feel good about it. I had a pedicure in the spa on the second day. Probably the worst $60 pedicure on record. The spa services in general are way overpriced. Wish I'd taken care of those toes before we'd left. I don't mind paying more for a fabulous experience...it wasn't. The Persian Gardens was neat though. For $18, you get a real sensory experience in the steam, sauna and shower paradise. Much better than the pedicure! My husband spent time most mornings in the gym and felt it was well appointed. The ship is decorated beautifully with artwork, and the art auction is worth attending. The Dining. Upscale- big shrimp, thick cuts of prime rib, fabulous lobster tails and very personal service - the whole dining experience is like going to the opera. It is very rehearsed, and felt special. The specialty restaurant (SS United States) was an absolute dream. When you meet the maitre d', ask for the wine room....we did for our second night and it was so special. You are sitting at a table in the wine room attended to hand and foot. Unreal! We actually ate there two nights, once on Valentine's with our son and then again on the last evening by ourselves in the wine room. On Valentine's they had a special 7 course menu that was great, but I think we enjoyed the regular menu as much or more. The cheese course was really fun. We had fun dressing up on this cruise and even our son was in a tuxedo. In the dining room, we were seated with another threesome and they were delightful. The buffet was great at lunch although a bit repetitive. Salad bar, pasta bar, pizza bar, burgers every single day. The breakfast was the only part of the trip that I almost dreaded! The worst eggs, raw bacon yuck. I stuck with bagels. They had salmon on everything possible which I thought was interesting...omelets, pizza, pasta. The sushi bar was a wonderful treat in the evening. The room service was great too - our favorites, the petite steak, tomato and avocado quesadilla and the burgers! We ordered several times for lunch. We had the late seating so I loved having a nibble at 6:00. We brought several bottles of wine aboard and don't mind paying the corkage fee to do so. The wine on board is rarely less than $30 for the worst bottle.....and I love wine too much to limit myself to the worst bottle. The Ports. We visited Casa de Campo where we did a snorkel excursion that was very nice. There is also a little artist village that was a nice visit. San Juan was a great place. We'd never been and were very impressed with the people, the beaches and the shopping. St. Thomas was a great day. We started off by going to the beach (wish we'd done that in San Juan before the afternoon clouds). We went to Magen's Bay for a few hours and then took the bus back into town to shop. Fabulous shopping! We were only in Nassau for a few ours so we shopped there too....seeing a trend? Got a great deal on a watch for my hubby. He'd been dying for one since Puerto Rico and I finally caved. Picked up some yummy rum cakes. Debarkation. We were assigned to leave the ship at 8:50am and found that too to be very efficient. I found the tipping procedure to be a little bit of a hassle. We had to run all over the ship chasing folks down with the little envelopes since we didn't eat in the dining room on the last night. It was awkward. Couple of other things.... We felt (in our mid-30s) that we were about the youngest people on the Infinity by about 25 years. It didn't bother us, but it was notable. The jewelry show by the pool was also interesting. I don't mean jewelry for sale, I mean women are wearing tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry to lounge by the pool! I found that odd. I'm a little less glitzy of a gal than that. There were also very few children on the cruise. My son did finally find a couple of boys to play basketball/table tennis with. I knew it wouldn't be packed with kids like Carnival, but I'd hoped there would be a few more so that he could have enjoyed more freedom. Without a pack around him, we didn't feel comfortable having him leave us very often - to his chagrin. This is only my second cruise, and I don't pretend to be an expert, these are only my personal observations. In selecting my next cruise, if I want relaxation - I probably won't choose Celebrity. I'll go with a more casual line like Norwegian. However, if I'm in the mood for glamour - I'd rebook with Celebrity in a second. I think it just really depends on what you are looking for each time. It was a fabulous trip and made me feel like a princess. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2006
This was our third cruise on Infinity in 14 months. We have previously been on a 14 day transcanal cruise in November 2004 and a six day repositioning cruise from Vancouver to San Francisco in August/Sept 2005. Upon our arrival in Ft. ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Infinity in 14 months. We have previously been on a 14 day transcanal cruise in November 2004 and a six day repositioning cruise from Vancouver to San Francisco in August/Sept 2005. Upon our arrival in Ft. Lauderdale, two days prior to the cruise we had rented a car. On the morning of the cruise we packed and headed to the airport to drop off the car. We had originally hoped that I could drop off my bride at the port with our luggage but when we arrived there at 9:30 we were told we were too early and had to come back after 11. So off we drove to the airport and returned our rental car. We were able to catch a quick cab that dropped us right back at the ship in less than 20 minutes. (Total cab to cruise port with tip was $20) Once we arrived (it was about 10:40) we saw the sign that said, "boarding begins at 1:30." We weren't fooled. We made quick friends with Mike who works there, who we had met last year when we left for Panama and sure enough our luggage was whisked away by porters and within 20 minutes we were on board and dropping our carry on luggage in our cabin. Once on board we went directly to the United States alternative restaurant to verify our Valentine's Day reservation. We were greeted by Christian who recognized us right away from having served us many times before on Infinity. Sure enough he had us in his book and we were good to go. He did tell us that he was already booked solid before the cruise even left for Valentine's Day. We later found out that they were pretty much booked solid all week long. Grabbed an X burger for lunch. X has good burgers. And their fries have improved tenfold. Crisp and hot! After lunch we stopped by the spa to get our Persian Garden membership for the rest of the cruise. If you have not used the Persian Garden, make sure and check it out on the spa tour on the first day of your cruise. For us it is true relaxation. We do need to mention here that this cruise we have been disappointed. One of the steam baths, the Turkish, has been WAY TOO HOT! And the Sahara, our favorite room has been too cold. They need to get them evened off. One of the best new features on this cruise (in the Persian Garden) has been the new herbal shower. Really nice smell and very refreshing. After our muster drill and unpacking our unusually late bags (we have always had them by 2:30 when we check in that early. This time they did not arrive until 4:00) we headed up to meet the folks from our Cruise Critic group at the outdoor Mast bar. Only problem was, it was freezing outside. At least for those not from cold climates so only 8 our of about 50 showed up that day. We got to meet Host Miriam, her boyfriend Herb, SandyBeach and her husband as well as Chitown Christina and her husband. We got to meet the rest of the gang the next day at our Cruise Critic Connections get together. After our failed meeting we headed back to the room to change for dinner. We were surprised when we came on board that there was only one semi-formal night. We have four casual and two formal nights as well. That works OK for us but it was not what we had read we would encounter on a seven day cruise. After dressing we headed to our old haunt the Martini Bar. And there he was, the creator of the Dorothy straw, (from a previous cruise) Eliseo. He welcomed us back and got us our two favorite martinis and we were good to go. We were joined later by SandyBeach and her husband and Herb and Miriam. Spent a nice time with them before we headed to dinner. For the first time we were at a table for 10. And miracles never cease, six of our tablemates were actually younger than us. They were a group from New Jersey that included Jorge and Miriam (not to be confused with the aforementioned Host Miriam), Jill and Rich and Tracy and George. Jill and Tracy are identical twins but it was easy for us to tell them apart as Jill had a broken ankle and either needed crutches or a wheelchair to get around. Our two other tablemates were Romy (a gentlemen who spoke very little English but what he did say was always hilarious) from Toronto and his girlfriend Linda who was from Calgary. As we have learned on earlier cruises you can never have enough Canuck friends. Since I am doing this from memory and I am writing this paragraph on the 5th day of our 7 day cruise I want to rearrange my thinking somewhat. This being our third trip on Infinity in 14 months, I think the best thing I can do here is to compare and contrast things we are familiar with as to what is better, what is still excellent, what has always needed improvement and what is worse. What's better: The cruise director. Always good to start at the top. Nick Weir (brother of the famous Simon) is aboard as he told us as a "quick replacement" cruise director. We don't know who he replaced or why but we do know that he is WONDERFUL. We had often heard that a great cruise director can set the tone for the entire cruise and we never believed it. In the past our cruise directors have been nice but nothing special. Nick proves that theory perfectly. He is talented, hilarious, great to be around and more. I always felt that a cruise director should be someone you would want to be friends with in your personal life. Nick is that person. And I think his attitude is reflected in the attitude of the rest of the activity and entertainment staff and possibly the entire service part of the crew. Never have we seen a crew who is more friendly and happy in their jobs. The food in general is a step up from our previous two trips on Infinity or perhaps we just know what to ask for. I have always felt that X does a great job with certain parts of their food (appetizers, soups, desserts) but not such a great job in other food areas (entrees, salads, buffets) but this cruise I would say there is a marked improvement in many areas. The salads are still the worst thing they do but the entrees have come up to the levels of the desserts and soups. I still order an appetizer in the dining room and then have another when our waiter brings the salad course. Speaking of our waiter, Allen and his assistant Isidrio were both OUTSTANDING! Allen does tend to rattle off the specials and the desserts a little too fast but he is a busy man. The entire dining room staff has been great. Our sommelier has been just so-so on this cruise but we know there are better ones. Best meals I had in the dining room included shrimp, lamb shank and an enormous veal chop. All have been superb. Even the prime rib (I am not a big fan of prime rib) was very good. On Allen's recommendation I gave it a shot. Breakfast for us is almost always in the Aqua Spa cafe. Muselix and granola for Kathleen and lox, pickled herring and bagel for me. I never thought I would grow to love those as much as I do. And if this was our first time on Infinity, I am sure we would be trying for more of a variety. But since we have already tried so much of what they have to offer we usually head right to the Aqua Spa and have our regular. It is something we seldom (if ever) get at home. For lunch we usually just snack as we have often been off the ship. We always recommend the burgers (fries are vastly improved), the pizza or the ever popular (to us) Aqua Spa for salmon, chicken or roasted veggies. We did eat dinner on Valentine's day in the United States dining room. We wanted it to be very special. But we were disappointed. Don't misunderstand me, it was still some of the best food and service we have ever experienced but we felt rushed. We ordered the special six course Valentine's tasting menu. It included a smoked salmon and caviar appetizer, cream of red pepper soup, goat cheese souffle with a mesclun salad. For the entree we could choose either lobster or chateaubriand. We opted for the steak. And for dessert they brought petis fours as well as a chocolate souffle that had amazing presentation. At the urging of our sommelier we tried a 2002 Chapelet cabernet from Napa and thought it was the best cabernet we had ever had. She brought it early and after tasting it recommended decanting it and was she ever right. It was AWESOME! We can't wait to get home and buy another bottle. Hopefully it will be a lot less in the stores than onboard. (Note from home: our local wine shop carries it at $47 a bottle. X only charged us $76. That is amazing for a restaurant, less than 50% markup.) Why we were less impressed with the US than on previous trips? We have eaten there four times previously both alone and with friends. Each time, dinner was at least two and a half hours. There was always about 10-15 minutes between courses to discuss the meal with each other as well as our waitstaff. This time each course arrived before we had a chance to finish the previous course. We felt like the staff was rushing to get rid of us. We realize that it was Valentine's day but that is no excuse at a restaurant of this caliber. The couple across from us got to the US before we did and we left while they were still having dessert. And it is not that we did not eat fast enough. If we had eaten any slower we would have been eating cold chateaubriand. As it was, I felt it could have been a little warmer. I should add that the next day I wrote a note to the maitre d' who responded promptly with an apology and an invitation to join them as his guest on one of the two remaining evenings on the cruise but I had not written him looking for anything in return, just a note to help improve one of our favorite restaurants. Plus our table in the Trellis Dining room was so much fun we didn't want to miss the last formal night or last night with them so we thanked him and politely declined. The same (and still needs improvement): The aforementioned salads, The same (and cannot be improved on) The service. From our cabin steward to our waiter to every member of the crew we have ever met, they are the friendliest, most attentive, most incredible crew one could ever ask to sail with. X does this better than anyone. Their advertising says they treat you famously and they truly do. Actually I changed my mind. Believe it or not, the service as actually better than on previous trips. I am not sure how you get better than we have had in the past but it just was. Everything was outstanding! Needs improvement: Little things seemed to get lost on this cruise. Example: on four different days there were no clean towels in the T-pool. Now I know that sounds petty but it is just not up to X's standards. We have never seen that before. And when I went to look for someone to ask about it, no one could be found. On Friday there were also no towels in the Persian Gardens or either locker room. At least clean ones that is. Special note here (Let the flaming begin): This cruise seems to have two decidedly different set of pax aboard. Seriously. There was a decided Carnival bent to about 20% the crowd. Loud, obnoxious, feeling like they should be waited on hand and foot, insulting the crew, leaving their trash everywhere, smoking in areas clearly marked non-smoking, an abundance of chair hogs and more. (I am not sure what is worse; chair hogs who reserve seats or those who leave for the day but don't take their dirty towels with them leaving you to wonder if they are coming back or not.) You know the type, those who think the world revolves around them and that they are the only ones in it. The ones who would wear shorts to the dining room on formal night. Then there was the other crowd. The X traditionals. Those who were well mannered, treated the crew like family and we have to say really dressed up. I am sure I saw more tuxedos and truly beautiful gowns on women on this cruise than on either of our previous excursions on Infinity. The same thing was true in the Persian Garden. We have used it every day we have ever been on board so I would say we are pretty much experts by this point. On the first day one of the steam rooms (the Turkish Bath) was UNBEARABLE! It was well outside the safe range for heat I am sure. Even a man we met who said he uses a Turkish Bath at his gym said he can normally sit in one for 15-20 minutes but this time 3-5 was his max. 30 seconds was about ours. These improved during the week but not until Friday was the Turkish bath tolerable. Saturday intolerable again. The second room (the Sahara) is supposed to provide a dry heat. Not one day yet has it been hot. The first day it wasn't even warm. Each day we would let them know and by the next day nothing had been done about it. No improvement in 7 days when we are bringing it to their attention each day is just wrong. We both wondered if this inattention to detail had anything to do with the fact that the ship was at capacity. On neither of our previous cruises on Infinity had we been completely full. And it showed. Today (our second and final sea day) there is not a single deck chair to be had anywhere other than far forward or on deck four. Both pool areas were completely filled by 11 am. We have never seen this before. The dining room has been jammed. On both our previous cruises we would often note entire tables empty but not this one. Just about everyone was there and eating during early seating. In hindsight, I would think twice again before booking a cruise that included Valentine's Day. Update: I wrote the previous paragraph on Friday morning. After writing it we attended the cooking demo and went up to the T-pool. We could not find a single place to sit anywhere on the deck (not just in the T-pool) and we had had the same problem during trying to find a place to sit to each a snack at 12:30 anywhere on the entire 10th deck. It was PACKED. I definitely do not like this ship when it is full. Going ashore: This cruise had four ports of call. The first was Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. Casa de Campo in english means "stay on ship". (I cannot tell a lie, I stole this line from the ship's comedian.) We didn't translate that and got off to look around. First, there is nothing to see anywhere near the port. You do dock at a pier but must take a shuttle to either the marina area (a huge waste except Kathleen found a nice pair of earrings that I got her for Valentine's Day) or to the small village of Altos de Chavon. The village is an "artist's colony" according to the maps but I can tell you that "artist's colony" means a bunch of guys trying to twist your arms into buying something. We did find Kathleen a larimar bracelet and picked up a small piece of art for our travel room gallery at home. After that it was back on the shuttle and back to the ship. Our second port was San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ship docked at the base of Old San Juan so we just got off early and walked. And walked. And walked. Saw historical stuff. Saw statues, saw forts, saw hundreds of shops. Found Kathleen some beautiful jewelry with red stones called bloodstones in a store downtown. If you have never seen Old San Juan it is worth the walk. And the weather was very nice. A little warm for us Seattleites but around 80 with a nice breeze. We also found some great art and then once again back to the ship. The next morning we awoke in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This was probably the most beautiful port we were in on this cruise. And we had a wonderful ship-arranged shore excursion to go on at noon. We were off the ship and downtown to check out the shopping (a $4 each cab ride away) early and then back by noon to join the shore excursion. Which brings me to one of the big highlights of this cruise for me. As most of my friends know, I love to cook. It is truly my favorite hobby. Well this cruise was part of X's "Savor the Caribbean" series. On each of six cruises they invite a chef from a restaurant located in one of the ports of call to come along on the entire cruise and each day to a cooking demo. Then when they reach the port that the chef has his restaurant their is a shore excursion (limited to 20 people) who go to his restaurant, watch him cook a meal, taste rums and then eat the meal. On our cruise was chef Brian Katz from the Old Stone Farmhouse restaurant on St. Thomas. We had gone to his demo/class on the first sea day to make sure that he was a good person to listen to (so often chefs have a lot of technical skills but can't convey it to their audience because they are BORING!) and we were thrilled with Brian. He is a born teacher. A lot of fun and really knows his subject. And the trip to his restaurant (not counting the minor traffic accident on the way back when our driver backed our open air bus into a tree and the side of the mountain) was wonderful. We left the ship at noon and it took us about 30 minutes to cross over the hills to the other side of the mountain to the Old Stone Farmhouse restaurant. Brian had a superb menu prepared to teach us. His sommelier was there to explain the rum tasting and then we had a fantastic lunch. It was wonderful. His restaurant (which he has since sold as he is building a new one in downtown Charlotte Amalie) was gorgeous. I believe he will really miss it when he opens the new one. One of the really "fun" parts (insert sarcasm here) of the trip was the minor traffic accident we had in the "bus." First it is important to note that way they may call a bus or a taxi on St. Thomas is actually pickup truck that has had three or four rows of seats built on top of the rear truck bed. A good use for a giant Ford F-350 but not when you are sitting in the last seat going up a very steep hill and the driver stalls the truck and it is sliding backwards down the hill and he also loses his brakes. That is what happened to us. To stop the truck/taxi/bus he decided to put the back corner of the truck into the side of the hill just about where I was sitting. No major injuries occurred but it did scare the hell out of us and wasn't real good on my already injured rotator cuff. I think what really ticked me off was that once he got going again he did not stop to see if everyone was all right. Nor did he even mention it when we stopped to look at a view a few minutes later. Did get some great shots (will post a link in a few days) and saw two large, lounging iguana (love that fauna) and then back to the ship through a very crowded downtown. I realized last night (Friday) that I had not yet touched on the evening entertainment. I think the big reason I tended to overlook it is that we had seen most of it before. The first night aboard was the big rock and roll show (already saw it twice--the first time in 2004), the second night was the Broadway show. The one introduced by an on-film Joel Grey (already saw this twice as well--the first time in 2004). The third night out they had two wonderful dancers/aerialists who were almost Cirque de Soleil quality, a comedian and a superb jazz number by our very own cruise director. The comedian is Asian (makes him hard to understand at times), tells some old jokes, juggles but is very fun (as opposed to very funny). The fourth night was the Cole Porter/Irving Berlin extravaganza. Now I love both those composers but we had already seen this show twice (THE FIRST TIME IN 2004) and we decided to skip it, watch the ship leave San Juan from the Sunrise deck and then go back to our cabin and watch a DVD. (No X has not added DVD players to rooms, we watched it on my laptop.) On the fifth night we had a xylophonist/pianist. Watched about five minutes at the end of second seating's early show and decided he was not our cup of tea either. Back to the cabin and watch another DVD. The sixth night finally brought us a new show--Celebrate the World and I have to say, X has outdone themselves with this one (as ocean-going extravaganzas go). The sets, costume and music were outstanding as the cast took us on a musical tour of the world. Very well done. They incorporated the aerialists into the show and after this performance we decided they were truly Cirque quality. As to the cast of all these shows, we have seen better singers do the same shows. Especially on our first trip when we had the best set of singers we have seen at this level. No wonder they are gone. They have probably moved on to bigger and better things. The dancers on this trip were excellent. Very hard working especially in the very demanding (something like seven major numbers with big costume changes for each) in the Celebrate the World show. Great endurance. The singers on the other hand were pretty much just OK except for one tall male singer who should be tossed overboard immediately. He did a Billy Joel number in the opening night rock and roll show that was so bad it helped us to decide to miss the Broadway show as I would have climbed up on stage and killed him if he had done anything from Phantom or Les Mis. And in the Celebrate the World show he has an Italian opera aria that was truly one of the worst sounds I have ever heard. Something akin to the sound a cat makes as you neuter it without anesthesia. X needs to send him on his happy way. What I would give see him on American Idol just to have Simon get his hooks in him once. Tonight's show (I am writing this on our verandah at 6:00 am on Saturday) will feature the aerialists, the comedian, the xylophonist and we hope Nick singing again. More on that tomorrow. Final entertainment report: The final night was a kind of amalgamation of all the acts other than the singers and dancers. The xylophonist played, his equipment malfunctioned, he played again, it malfunctioned again and he finally got it right and we were all still awake---amazing. Then the band did a number with Nick that we had seen him rehearsing earlier and were really looking forward to. I think the xylophonist kind of soured the entire show because the rest of the show was kind of a letdown. The aerialists did a beautiful act and then our comedian came back out and was fairly funny. All in all, not the greatest show in the world. We are looking forward to a nice (but crowded) day in Nassau. According to the Cruise Cal website (http://www.cruisecal.com) there will be eight ships in Nassau today including three of the Carnival and RCL megaships. Our shore excursion (a jet boat tour) was cancelled due to lack of participation so we will just leave the ship to walk around and possibly shop. I wonder what kind of jewelry Kathleen will find here. She has certainly found some wonderful and different items in every port. Well the Bahamas are Casa De Campo 2. Should have stayed on board. What a complete tourist trap. We have decided that the only port we would want to return to is St. Thomas and I am not really sure that if we hadn't done the cooking class with Brian that we would want to go back there. There were at least five other ships that we could see all parked at the same pier so the crowds were ENORMOUS. And the Nassau pier is nutso. One door to funnel all but the shore excursion disembarkees through. And of course it is like running the gauntlet of tour guides, taxi drivers and worse. We went out, walked down three blocks to look at the Straw Market. Decided that the very last thing we wanted to do was go into it. Walked up a hill about three blocks, took pictures of a couple of historic statues and buildings, walked back downtown and about six blocks in the other direction, took pictures of a traffic cop directing traffic (the absolute highlight of Nassau) and then back on board to hit the T-pool and Persian Garden. Dinner was very nice and our final chance to laugh it up with the group at our table. Saw the show, packed, hardly slept, got off the ship right on time and made the airplane with hours to spare. I am writing this on our layover in Chicago. We made it home tired but happy. We booked two more cruises on X while onboard. We are back on Infinity in June to see all our friends who crew her. We have to say that they are the finest crew at sea. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
GTS INFINITY Review Eastern Caribbean 08 January  15 January 2006 This was our third cruise and due to ship shuffling our second time on Infinity. We were originally booked on Millennium. We had a coveted aft balcony on deck eight. ... Read More
GTS INFINITY Review Eastern Caribbean 08 January  15 January 2006 This was our third cruise and due to ship shuffling our second time on Infinity. We were originally booked on Millennium. We had a coveted aft balcony on deck eight. After spending a week in that cabin with that HUGE balcony I now understand why they are coveted. We are a couple in our late 30s traveling with a 2.5 year old daughter. Because we have sailed this ship before, I will be making a few comparisons between our Alaskan sailing in September 2004 and the cruise from which we just returned. I want to stress a couple of things at the beginning. Overall we rated the cruise as Good to Very Good. We are active members of a few boards where members post reviews of their cruise experience. Because of this, we know that we look at the entire experience with a more critical eye and maybe have higher expectations than the average cruiser. We also realize that everyone can have a totally different cruise experience on the same ship and same sailing. Please keep this in mind as you read any criticisms of our experience as anothers experience will be different. Some of our comments will be just observations, some suggestions and others downright criticisms. Pre-embarkation day Flying is never fun. Flying across two time zones from the west to the east is never fun. Flying with a 2.5 half year old is really never fun. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale and put a call into our hotel (Holiday Inn Express Port Everglades) and a shuttle bus was sent over. It took about 20 minutes from the time of the call to being picked up. The weather in south Florida was much cooler than expected and with the wind it was downright chilly. At least we had on jeans. I felt sorry for those folks in shorts waiting for their transportation. We were picked up by Kevin from the HI Express and headed off towards the hotel. We wanted to pre-mix some margaritas for the sailing and didnt want to fly with them across the country so we asked Kevin about liquor store close the hotel. There are actually two just a block away, but Kevin stopped at one for us and waited while my wife loaded up. She takes margarita mix, mixes it with Gold tequila and triple sec then pours it back into the plastic bottle. This hotel is also close to a Winn-Dixie and Publix. We like soda in our room and bought a few on board of our favourite brand not found on board. Yes we can drink water or juice, but this is our caffeine. I am not making excuses for going against the cruise line rules, just reporting our experience. The hotel itself was nothing special. In fact the water was yellow. I mean the colour of urine yellow. No smell or anything but we refused to do anything but take a quick shower in it. I know water meets certain standards and yellow does not mean non-drinkable but would you? Embarkation Day We were up and ready to head over to port by 10AM. There was a 10:30 bus for $6 a person, but the cab ride was only about $10 for all three. We flagged down one cab driver who actually turned down our business at about 10:20. He told us we did not want to go down to the port then because of all the traffic and disembarking passengers. He told us to wait another hour. He left and my wife and I discussed our options. She wanted to beat the shuttle bus leaving at 10:30 and we were both were ready to start our experience. We flagged down another cab, and off we went. Arrival at the actual Celebrity pier was a bit of a nightmare because of conflicting drop off locations given between port security personnel. However we were out of the cab and dropped our bags with a porter in no time. We went inside and sat in a row of chairs and just waited. We were then directed to another set of chairs because we were told we would enter in order we had been seated. We ended up sitting behind a couple from Australia from our Roll Call. I looked over and my wife was speaking with this couple and there they were. We were moved again and we ended up sitting back down across from another couple from our roll call thread. One difference noted at Port Everglades from our embarkation for our Alaskan cruise was the lack of pastries, sandwiches and coffee and juices we had experienced in Vancouver. When the doors opened at 11:30, it was more confusion as people got up from their chairs and headed to the doors. Back to sit down again. Finally we were through, turned in our Xpress Passes. Got our SeaPass and it was on past the photo and through security. On Board We were on the ship by 12:10. They made an announcement that staterooms would not be ready until after 1pm. As we had an aft cabin we headed to the aft elevators just to see if the fire doors were closed or not. As we passed through the Rendezvous Lounge we stopped to see the Maitred to ascertain our table location. We had table #487 which is a four topper by the window on the port side. We had decided to only do babysitting during the dinners if we had been seated at a larger table. It is just too disruptive to strangers you have just met for one person to be constantly getting up and down to keep a toddler happy. With that we headed up to Deck Eight, and, not seeing the fire doors closed, we headed back to our stateroom, dropped off our luggage and headed down to the specialty restaurant SS United States. We wanted to confirm our reservations we had made through the Captains Club 800 number and make an additional reservation for our long day at St. Maarten. While making the second nights reservation, our roll call friends from Australia strolled up. My wife looked at me and said shall we invite them to join us. We did and they happily accepted. We were so glad they did as getting to dine with another adult couple in such a setting was such a delight for those of us who consider any place without a drive through to be fine dining. Speaking of which, our next stop was guest relations to arrange for in-cabin babysitting which is part of what sold us on Celebrity. We arranged for sitting for three of the seven nights on board. We ended up having a babysitter for eight and a half hours which is charged to your SeaPass account at the rate of $8 per hour. Just note it shows up on your running charges as Guest Relations. I was getting dressed to go down to Guest Relations to inquire about the first charge when I realized why that charge had been so named. The Pluses We had a wonderful assistant stateroom attendant from India named Conrad. He was friendly and quite accommodating with our request to remove the contents of the minibar fridge as to keep little hands from opening small liquor bottles. He also took ownership of one of the minuses on our list and had it fixed the day he reported the issue. Running into our waiter Vernon from our Alaskan trip and seeing his face light up when I asked him if he still calls his son everyday. It is one thing for a waiter to remember you, but I think it means even more to have you remember something about them. Our assistant Maitre d' Katerina from the Czech Republic. She was able to see that we received our special requested desserts of White Chocolate Mousse (not just one night but the next night as well) and my all time favourite dessert on board Mohr Em Hend (sp?). We had that the last night of the cruise, and she even arranged to have some prepared for our mates from Australia. They shared it with their tablemates who told me later it was the best dessert they had had all week. I have to agree. Our waiter, Moises from Peru, in the Trellis had a small station and was quite open about life on board and his home country during evenings when not everyone was seated for dinner. His assistant, Natasha, from Serbia, who, despite her contract ending in two weeks, was very friendly to our daughter and always there to help with her plate of fruit or to fill her milk or juice glass. The new menus on board were a plus but also a minus as you will note later. I am sure frequent Celebrity cruisers will appreciate the new menu offerings. Dinner at the SS United States the first night was fantastic. This will also appear on the needs improvement or minuses part of this review as I will explain later. The random stateroom attendants whose names I missed who would always smile and say hello. The one stateroom attendant who gave her extra boxes of Cova Cafe chocolates so our daughter would smile or say something to them. Angelo from India in the SS United States restaurant. I know he misses his two daughters whose names I forget but I know they mean friendly and beautiful. His stories of life in India and how someone can come straight into the specialty restaurant as a waiter from the outside were very interesting. It is human nature to want to talk about yourself and your home. I think the crew members find it a pleasant surprise when a passenger wants to know about crew life than talk about their own. Ricardo from the Martini Bar. Many who have sailed on Celebrity have seen him during the first days of the cruise on one of the video channels. He introduced us to Martinis and made special drinks for both of us before and after dinner. His wife Jennifer was also a delight. I hope she had a special birthday and enjoyed the present we gave to Ricardo. I know they both miss their daughter Nicole (daddys girl) very much. Forgive the spelling of this name, but I think it was Dmeltan from Bulgaria. He was a deck hand I noticed everyday changing out trash and cleaning up near the Aft bar area on deck 10. There are so many others like him who most would probably pay no attention, but he always had a smile for us and my daughter and was there everyday doing the grunt work his job entailed. While not as flashy as master of the vessel or maybe the cruise director, you have to admit the removal of garbage in an enclosed space is VERY important. Captain Kafetzis, the master of the vessel. He was very personable and lively. He had a great sense of humor. The Minuses Probably the most important one was the problem my wife had the last day at sea. The balcony door which had during the week remained in a locked position while all the way open slid closed and locked her and my daughter on the balcony with no way to open the door from the outside and no way to contact anyone from the outside. The handle was down yet it slid closed and when the door remained closed it locked. Fortunately they were only out on the balcony for about five minutes when I had returned and it was a cool day. It could have been far more unpleasant. We did report it to Guest relations, but maintenance had not come by our stateroom by the time we had disembarked. When we got to our stateroom, we noticed the tube from the hairdryer on the wall just hanging from the wall unit and not attached to the handle you hold that when removed starts the hairdryer. Concierge Class cabins have a separate hair dryer so this was not an issue, but we did report it our first day to Guest Relations and by day three it was still not fixed. It was only fixed on day four of the cruise as noted above because of our wonderful assistant stateroom attendant. Invitations to the Cruise Critic Connections party were never delivered. It was instead posted in the daily activity guide. Most from prior experience were expecting those invites and probably did not regularly consult the activity guide. I know the few that did come to the party missed it and only came because we had called those from our roll call. One couple from our roll call never got a daily activity sheet the prior evening only the Daily newspaper. Our stateroom attendant just performed an adequate job not just for us but for the other cabins he serviced as well. One day we also received no daily activity sheet in our own Daily. He never went above and beyond what was required of him. Our assistant stateroom attendant was always opening our door whenever he was around and saw us coming. Our main attendant only did it once on the last day when it was too little too late. Our provided binoculars in cabin went missing the first night. We mentioned it to our assistant stateroom attendant. There was no reason to ruin our cruise worrying about because the charge for replacement was not astronomical, but we did turn that room upside down looking for them. They mysteriously reappeared on the floor next to the mini-bar the next to last day of the cruise. We can make no accusations or explanations on what happened, but it was very strange. The removal of the Social Hostess position and replacement with a Captains Club hostess position is a HUGE MINUS in our opinion. It is much easier for someone who is able to roam the ship to approach a guest than it is for a guest to come up to someone sitting in a window for set hours. It just puts a barrier between guest and hostess than we feel is a big negative. The new menu introduction did not seem to include adequate time for training the wait personnel. I saw several waiters with several sheets of paper so they could explain just exactly what was involved in the preparation of some of the new dishes. Spelling and grammatical errors in the daily newspaper drove us batty. On the last day of the cruise, it showed the dress code to be formal. This lack of attention to details was just another example of the little things we felt have room for improvement. We do not think that it is worth it to dine more than once in the specialty restaurant per cruise. While the meal was fantastic, the meals in the Trellis were quite good. However, I noticed that one of our tablemates did not have her water glass refilled for at least five minutes. We were literally the last one dining in the restaurant, but for a five star dining experience this type of lack of attention to the details should never occur. She was certainly not going to die due to a lack of thirst, but I feel one should not have to ever request a refill of water in that type of dining environment. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS As a reminder these can be taken in any way the reader chooses. They reflect our experience and another cruiser on the very same cruise may never have noticed or cared. They are not all negative nor are they all the fault of Celebrity. The ones under the control of Celebrity however are listed first. It seemed to us that the crew on board was not in sync with each other. Whether it was because this was the first cruise of the routine of Eastern Caribbean then Western then Eastern or because the Hotel Director joined the ship four days before our cruise and the Cruise Director joined two days before we cannot say. There was a lack of attention to the little things that one would seem to think sets apart Celebrity from other cruise lines. Some may call these being overly picky, but they are just our observations. As examples: The map of the navigational route that sits on an easel by Guest Relations on deck three showed the route of the cruise the week prior. This was never changed throughout the week. The supports holding the canvas over the aft balconies are in need of scraping and painting and touching up of rust. The canvases are also in need of a good cleaning. Of course being exposed to the sea day after day and week after week tends to cause rust and show grime, it was such a difference from the inside and outside of the ship in several other areas. The male bathroom on Deck four just outside of the Trellis consistently had the smell of foul almost raw sewage odor. It seemed there were more slots added and the tables moved closer together which made for some uncomfortable moments around the tables. We requested room service for three the first morning and only received silverware for two. When we first awoke after being reminded to set our clocks forward an hour, we noticed the time on the bridge cam was still showing an hour behind. Talk about not being in sync!!! It was however corrected later in the day. Half of the time the bath rug that has the words Celebrity Concierge Class embroidered on it was placed upside down. I know this may seem petty, but it just typifies the little things or lack of attention to details we observed on board. The CD would record his daily update video the evening before and several times both he and his assistant would forget about which he was talking. It was almost painful to watch. There was no forecast sheet all week in the little card from Make-A-Wish placed on your pillow with the chocolates each night. I asked guest relations about this and never received an answer on if this policy had changed or it was something else our stateroom attendant was failing to do as part of his duties. Here are some of the things we observed outside the control of Celebrity: There were 2050 passengers on board; 70 under the age of 18 and 150 under the age of 25. To us it seemed this crowd was much older than the crowd on board our Alaskan cruise. One woman on the second day wanted the pool butler to drain the pool because she was being splashed but the movement of the pool water due to our rough seas. The captain reported 40-50 knot winds the second day at sea. During his welcome aboard toast he said he wanted the entire crew and staff on board with his officers but half of them were sick and by the look of the crowd in the theatre for the second welcome toast of the evening half the crowd was sick as well. A few left the ship in San Juan due to rough seas. We never once got sick and our daughter managed to walk better than both of us. Her low center of gravity helped greatly of course. Or maybe it was the lack of martinis. (G) One woman at our lunch the second to last day mentioned how nice it was how Holland America puts representations of the days dishes near the entrance to the restaurant so those who are not foodies can see what those funny sounding terms on menus actually represent. We thought that would be a wonderful idea if ever implemented because as parents we consider fine dining at this point to be any place without a drive through. SPECIAL NOTES ON TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN It is never easy when you are dealing with a toddler who is not in her element with her creature comforts. However, what we did during the week was no different than what we do at home without having to cook or clean. We missed being able to do activities as a couple or stay for entire shows because our daughter was ready to go. However this is the life we have chosen and want to include our daughter in our lifestyle. You have to respect other passengers and we know that while our daughter will not act like an adult ever, she will have a certain expectation of behavior and face removal from the area if she cannot meet this. Our table location in the restaurant was perfect in that it allowed her to get up from her chair to look out the window and stay away from waiters carrying hot trays of food. Celebrity does an excellent job keeping the younger kids old enough for the programs entertained and invisible to other passengers. We will not be ones to just drop our daughter off for the week to an onboard babysitter, but breaks will be nice to have some fun as adults on our next cruise. Speaking of babysitters, Loribell from housekeeping was always on time for the hours we requested. We choose Celebrity because of the availability of in-cabin babysitters. Ports of Call San Juan  We never got off the ship due to our arrival time and the fact that we had main seating. It would have been just too difficult to get anywhere and then rush back for dinner. Antigua  The weather and use of the stabilizers throughout the night made us an hour late into this port. We did stay an hour later in Antigua to compensate. Our driver we had arranged never was there to meet us. This was not his fault of course. We shared a taxi for a tour of the island with another couple from California. It was the luck of the draw and we drew a short straw as this driver was far from informative. St. Maarten  We didnt get to do the things we wanted and the weather was rainy on the French side of the island. I did get to Maho Bay to see the planes landing at Juliana airport, but my wife never did get to shop. The traffic on the island was awful. We do hope to go back to this port again when our daughter is older though. DISEMBARKATION We were off the ship and in a taxi by 5 minutes before 9AM. We were through security and at the gate by 9:40. We found it strange that there were two unmanned metal detectors and X-ray machines on disembarkation Sunday. Thank you to the person directing you to one of the stations who did not make us or our daughter be subjected to the new screening device the blows air across your body and then I guess sniffs it. I think she would have FREAKED OUT. In summary, we had a very good relaxing vacation. We did not book another cruise but will be considering a short cruise on Century in December. We have returned to the real world now. Instead of packing for our next vacation, we are packing up our household for yet another cross-country move. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
Once we were in the terminal, there were 8 rows of people waiting to go in to register and get there sea pass cards and accounts set up. We had to wait about a half an hour then went up to the Select Captain's Club line and were taken ... Read More
Once we were in the terminal, there were 8 rows of people waiting to go in to register and get there sea pass cards and accounts set up. We had to wait about a half an hour then went up to the Select Captain's Club line and were taken care of quickly. We went right on the ship and to the buffet on the 10th floor to have some lunch and were let into our rooms at 1:00. CABINS: We were at the bottom of the ship, ( I always book there due to not spending any time in the room, and am leery of seasickness). I have read some threads that have said that the Infinity is worn and tired. I did notice that our bed skirt had a tear in it...my sister's cabin also had 2 torn bed skirts. They only change the sheets every three days (as per our cabin steward). Noticed on the fourth night that my husband's side of our queen bed had a huge stain on it. Small thing...not going to ruin our vacation in any way. FOOD: The food was the same quality that we have had on all 7 of our Celebrity cruises...very good!! Sushi was very good quality...not Nobu mind you. Pancakes were good..pizza excellent...themed buffets good. Food in main dining room was very good..prime rib perfectly cooked..rack of lamb excellent! food always came out hot..our waiter and his assistant were very coordinated. Did not notice any new menu items...I guess people were saying that a new menu was coming out in Jan. ( not that we noticed.) PORTS OF CALL: First day was at sea...gorgeous weather..of course the pool chair hogs were out in force. Literally impossible to get a chair in the Thalasotherapy area. Unlike the Connie, the Infinity only has soft cushioned lounge chairs on one side of the ship. The other side had curtained off ares of 5 with tables for eating at the spa. We noticed lounge chairs that went for hours without being used! Just went ahead and moved the towels so we could enjoy that area also. SAN JUAN: Quite frankly, not anything special..took a walk along the promenade and did some souvenir shopping..I wouldn't go back here. ANTIGUA: Did the half day beach break..Enjoyed ourselves. Weather was great and it was beautiful to lay by the ocean and enjoy. Got a free drink and lounge chair with the ship's shore excursion. ST. MAARTEN: What a gorgeous island..clean,friendly and just beautiful. We did the ship's Rhino Rider tour. It was soooo much fun!! Tour guide Carlos was excellent and encouraged us to really open up the engines and have fun...would highly recommend this excursion. DISEMBARKATION: Not much different here..the lines at ft. Lauderdale security check were horrendous...make sure you have a lot of time between getting off the ship and your flight home. POSITIVES: Celebrity offers the greatest service...very accommodating. Food is great and has not decreased in quality in the past 10 years I've been cruising with them. NEGATIVES... These are negatives FOR US..not everyone will feel the same. Why is it that everyone on a cruise ship feels that the staff is there to serve only THEM? There were a large number of groups on the ship...not all of them, but a good number complained about EVERYTHING. Pushed their way in front of lines, yelled at the crew in buffet lines, and were just rude. I saw this same lady maybe 15 times on the cruise, and each time, she had a puss on her face complaining to her husband about one thing or another...that poor guy. Why do people lose all manners when on a cruise ship. Please remember that you are on vacation!!!! could it be all that bad? We went up on the 5th floor of the dining room to say hello to one of our crew member friends on the second formal night. The entire 5th floor was being used by one of the large groups on vacation...they had the nerve to tell my niece.."you don't belong up here". They call them PUBLIC areas for a reason...All should have access. The band was not the type of band we like to have on a cruise. They were not very upbeat..played all slow songs...so dancing was difficult. CONCLUSION: Had a wonderful time..love Celebrity and will sail them again. We understand that other people paid for their cruise and deserve to have fun, but also remember that we did too..more smiles and less complaining is in order. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
This cruise was a bit of a disappointment from beginning to end. We noticed a high level of disorganization the first day with key/room screw ups as well as dinner seating mistakes. I attribute this in part to the staff being unprepared ... Read More
This cruise was a bit of a disappointment from beginning to end. We noticed a high level of disorganization the first day with key/room screw ups as well as dinner seating mistakes. I attribute this in part to the staff being unprepared for a full ship with 600 kids. They normally only have a few kids on the Panama Canal Cruises. Because of Pod problems they were in dry dock for repairs and switched itineraries with the Millennium. I should have heeded the advice not to get off at Campo De Crapo. To drop you off and shuttle you to an artificial village tourist trap was bad form by Celebrity. The rest of the stops: San Juan, St. Thomas and Nassau were fine. We found the bartenders in the Martini/Champagne Bars to be rude, especially if you used the soft drink sticker. Comments regarding Celebrity having great food is a myth. Although, the SS United States was excellent and well worth the $30 surcharge. The food is no better nor worse than RCCL in the other dining rooms. Its quantity and presentation over quality and taste. The ship can not hold a candle to the Explorer of the Seas. The appointments are not as nice. The common areas and bars aren't as good and the there are fewer activities for kids and teens. The workout facility was also disappointing. The aerobic equipment was inferior and improperly calibrated and maintained. The fitness center was poorly manned with only one employee to conduct classes, see to equipment and take care of guests. Young kids were running around and using the equipment. I was also told that the classes weren't very good. On sea days it was a free for all getting chaises on the deck. I found the staff to be over the top pushy on trying to sell spa services. I was also surprised by how many kids were using the spa pool and whirlpools despite many signs saying "18 and over". The disembarkation was a disaster. Many people missed flights home because of the immigration delays. This whole process could have been handled much better by Celebrity. Also we had a "suite with butler service". This means your room is slightly bigger than a standard balcony room. You have an extra stateroom attendant who wears a tuxedo, you get a bathtub and a few minor extra amenities. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice ship, but it isn't one of the premiere ships on the seas. You can do better for the same or less money. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
Preface This was our second cruise, and our first with Celebrity (our previous cruise was a western Caribbean sailing on Grand Princess last September). My wife, Page, and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. We had the ... Read More
Preface This was our second cruise, and our first with Celebrity (our previous cruise was a western Caribbean sailing on Grand Princess last September). My wife, Page, and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. We had the pleasure of traveling with our long time friends Mark and Cheryl from Orlando who were getting a head start on celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary. Booking I called Celebrity directly and made my reservation. I had looked at Celebrity's web site for available staterooms, but I wanted to speak with a representative if for no other reason to convey that we would be celebrating an important wedding anniversary (as there was no place to enter this information in their web site - unlike with Princess). The agent was very pleasant, and I booked inside stateroom 9006 on the Sky Deck (forward, starboard). Cheryl and Mark had booked stateroom 9040 also on the Sky Deck, a Concierge Class stateroom with a veranda. I would have liked to stayed in Concierge Class too, but we've got two other cruises booked this year and I had to try to contain costs. Originally, the cruise was booked on Millennium, but due to some propulsion problems Infinity was assigned. Embarkation We arrived at Port Everglades at 11:45. There, uniformed Celebrity employees politely organized us into a queue where we waited to go through security and receive our 'sign and sail' card. The entire process was painless, and we were on the ship by 12:05. If I had to do over again, I'd wait until 13:00 to board as this is the time that your stateroom is 'officially' ready, and you will be escorted by to your room, with a glass of champagne in hand. As it was, I had to lug around my day pack and camera bag while we braved the long lines at the lunch buffet. The Ship Aesthetically, this is a beautiful ship. The blue and white paint scheme is very easy on the eyes. Even though it is about 18% smaller than Grand Princess (based on displacement) the public areas seemed comparable in size. The Infinity is powered by gas turbines, so there was noticeably less exhaust billowing from the smokestacks. Gripes include a promenade deck that doesn't go all the way around the ship. Also, we noticed in 2-3 foot seas much more roll that on Grand Princess. I don't know if this has to do with the narrower beam of the ship, but it was noticeable. Infinity is 3 years old, and she doesn't show much wear. We noticed the crew constantly polishing and cleaning the ship, and the fruits of their hard work were very much apparent. Stateroom Our inside stateroom was listed as 170 square feet. We found that there was plenty of storage space for our large suitcases. I never cease to be amazed how much storage a well engineered room can provide. Sandra, our Honduran stateroom attendant, kept our room quite clean, and filled with fresh towels. The shower had plenty of water pressure, but it's temperature varied quite a bit. I was surprised that they don't have designated smoking and non-smoking rooms as the smoke from the room next door was intrusive. Cheryl and Mark's Concierge Class stateroom was quite step up with a nice covered veranda and a sofa. Ship's Officers The ship's officers were primarily Greek. You didn't get to see them often, unless you were a Captain's Club member, where there seemed to be a number of functions to meet and greet. The Cruise Director, Rich Clesen, was simply fantastic. He's worked the comedy club scene before, and he was a natural with the crowds. Public Areas We were crazy about the Thalassotherapy pool. It's basically a saltwater pool heated to about 95 degrees with recessed areas built in to recline and enjoy hot tub bubbles. After a half hour in there, you come out so refreshed, you feel like a new person. The movie theater was adequately sized, but the viewing angle for a number of seats were too far splayed out. I'd recommend arriving a few minutes early to make sure that you get a good seat. The Constellation nightclub was a good place - not only at night but also during the day. You're up on deck 11 forward with a commanding view. I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to see Alaska from this vantage point. The Casino really didn't do anything for us. The pay tables on the video poker machines were abysmal. I didn't play any of the table games as the smoke was just too disagreeable. Infinity had huge a shopping area, at least twice as large as Grand Princess. Their prices on duty free liquor was also competitive with what we saw in our ports of call. Toward the end of our cruise, there were some very good deals on hats and t-shirts. The Library was a very cozy room on decks 8 and 9 that was utilized sparingly by other passengers. If you wanted to get away from it all, this was the place to be. The Fitness Center had a variety of Nautilus equipment and treadmills. It was in a larger space than on Grand Princess, and the staff was friendly and helpful. Children under 18 are prohibited from using the equipment. Dining Our evening meal was served in the Trellis Restaurant. Our table wasn't in the best of locations (apart from the main part of the dining room), but on the plus side things were quieter than they might otherwise have been. Our waiter, Made, and his assistant, Gusti, were from Bali. We all had trouble understanding Made's accent. The food was decent, but it didn't surpass my expectations. We'd heard that Celebrity is a 'foodie' line, but what we had was certainly no better than what we had on Princess. If fact, we much preferred Princess' Personal Choice dining, where you can go to dinner when you are hungry, rather than a fixed time. On the plus side, however, in the traditional seating you get to know you tablemates and your waiter. We dined on our anniversary in the SS United States. The service charge had recently been increased to $30/person. The setting was pleasant enough, but it wasn't as nice as the photos I've seen of the Olympic on the Millennium. The meal was a 4 course affair with a salad/appetizer, entrEe, cheese course, and desert. I had the steak Diane, and highly recommend it. I am not, however, a big cheese eater and the cheese course left me a bit cold. Actually, it left me more than a little bit noxious as when they wheeled the cheese tray by me and opened the Lucite lid, the smelly cheeses started to make me feel sick - very sick. It was like placing kryptonite next to Superman. The Breezes Pool Grill served tasty hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza, though their hours were limited from 12:00 - 18:00. The Aquaspa Cafe on deck 10 served more health conscious foods. I don't think that most passengers knew about it as it was rarely crowded. It's definitely worth checking out. Entertainment This was an unexpected bright spot. The troupe of 5 singers in the production shows were excellent. The shows tended to stick with hit songs, and that worked out fine. In all, there were 4 production shows. Also on the cruise were Garin Bader, a concert pianist / magician. His second show was a wonderful presentation of some of Chopin's works. The comedian was Steve Morris who used to be a warm-up act for the Beach Boys. He was decent, but had a hilarious set with hand shadow puppets. The poolside band, Legacy, was excellent. I take my hat off to them as they always seemed to be playing. They did the most beautiful version of Blue Bayou that I've ever heard (apologies to Linda Rondstandt). Activities I guess that the activities are pretty much the same regardless of the cruise line, but were so new to cruising that the novelty hasn't worn off. We really enjoyed the fruit and vegetable carving demonstration by the pool. Some of the poolside games were quite fun too. They had a fun version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Interestingly, the week before Regis Philbin was on the cruise. Fellow Passengers All ages were represented, but I'd say the majority of passengers were in their 40's and 50s. There weren't too many children as our voyage happened after spring break. Most of the passengers were Americans, yet clearly many nationalities (European and South American) were represented. The demographic represented on this cruise was very much what we saw on Grand Princess. Ports of Call / Shore Excursions Our itinerary was as follows: Day 1 - Sea Day Day 2 - Casa de Campo Day 3 - San Juan Day 4 - St. Thomas Day 5 - Sea Day Day 6 - Nassau Day 7 - Ft. Lauderdale Casa de Campo was a big letdown, and I had low expectations to begin with. We didn't book any shore excursions as the day we were in town was our 20th anniversary, and we would be dining at the SS United States that evening. We took Celebrity's complimentary shuttle service to the Altos de Chavon and the Marina. Altos de Chavon is a recreation of a Mediterranean artist's village. It is situated in a pretty location, but it lacked a quality of authenticity. We'd heard a story about the Giacosa restaurant being great place to get a wood fired pizza there, but it turned out to be an overpriced disappointment that didn't serve pizza. Word to the wise - Giacosa will rip you off with their 'exchange rate', so be sure to use a credit card to prevent being gouged. After Altos de Chavon, we shuttled to the Marina. This was OK (but not spectacular) and most of the shops were closed. I don't know if we were there during siesta or what. On the shuttle back to the ship the sky opened up, and we had to wait about 20 minutes before making a dash back to the boat. In retrospect, a day at the beach on a cruise line's private island like Coco Cay or Princess Cay would have been infinitely more fun that Casa de Campo. In the future, I will definitely not book any cruise that has Casa de Campo as a port of call. San Juan was better than I expected. Infinity was the only ship in port that day. Before we took our shore excursion, we walked some around Old San Juan. There was a notable police presence (good), and it was easy to get around. We booked an afternoon excursion for a tour of the Bacardi Rum Distillery and Old San Juan. The grounds at Bacardi are very well maintained and the site had the aura of a park. The tour itself took about 45 minutes, where afterward you could enjoy a rum beverage (the Cuba Libre was my favorite). Also, at the gift shop you could buy 'reserve' rums that aren't available at other places. The Bacardi stop left a good taste in my mouth - literally! For the Old San Juan part of the excursion, we basically stopped at the Fort. We only had 30 minutes, and I could have explored for 3 more hours. Very interesting, and a lot to see, but I'm a military history buff. Actually, the ship is an easy walk from the Fort, and if we had to do it again, I would go directly from the ship to the Fort. Our tablemates at dinner, Ruthie and Steve from Palm Beach, took the rainforest excursion and both seemed to have a wonderful time. The said the scenery was breathtaking. St. Thomas was beautiful. There were 2 other ships in port that day - Sun Princess and Victory. We'd book a morning catamaran snorkel to Buck Island. Our catamaran was the King Kamehameha. The catamaran itself wasn't as nice as 'Manta' which we were on last year in Cozumel, but the crew was pleasant enough. Unlike the drift snorkel in Cozumel, the Buck Island snorkel was in a protected cove. That meant that you could linger over something of interest. Mark and Cheryl, both certified divers, said that the reef was pretty dead. At least it wasn't extinct as I did see several interesting fish and Page saw a sea turtle. I was relieved to get out of the water without running into any of the myriad of fire coral or sea urchins I saw. After the snorkel we had a quick lunch back on the ship and headed into town (cab far of $3/person each way) for some shopping in Charlotte Amalie. THIS is the place to buy jewelry. There were a lot of businesses competing for your business, and the duty free allowance from St. Thomas is 50% higher that other ports in the Caribbean. I'm still kicking myself for not buying that Rado watch, but this gives me a good reason to return. Nassau was also beautiful. There were 3 other ships in port that day - Century, Fascination, and Splendor of the Seas. We were only in port for 6 hours, so we had to rush to see things. We took the cab ride ($4/person each way) to Atlantis on Paradise Island and checked out the resort. The setting and the grounds were simply gorgeous. We paid the pricey $29/person to see "The Dig", but we didn't feel ripped-off as it was remarkable. Regrettably, the pools were off-limits to non-guests. Be forewarned that at Atlantis, they don't have any water fountains. So either bring your own water or be prepared to buy your water at the resort. The casino in Atlantis is very similar to the mega resorts in Las Vegas. It had a similar feel to Mandalay bay. We were there on Saturday, and most of the table games had minimum bets of $15. I can't wait to get back to Nassau. Debarkation Not really a bright spot. The main problem is that we were given times to report to the Celebrity Theater, and as we were trying to enter the theater, other groups were trying to leave the theater. There isn't a lot of loitering space, so things choked up. A better system was like that used on Grand Princess where guests waited in different parts of the ship until it was there time to debark. The debarkation process wasn't a disaster, but it wouldn't be too hard to improve. While collecting our baggage, we did see a drug sniffing dog identify a tote bag that the Customs officer quickly collected. Summary I guess that in retrospect, our expectations were so sky high that we couldn't help but be disappointed in some areas. Most of the cruise was great, and having Mark and Cheryl with us was the very best thing that could have happened. For the most part, the weather cooperated, and we got to see and do interesting things. BUT - there was no recognition of our anniversary other than at the SS United States where Mark and Cheryl had mentioned it when making the reservation. Page went to Guest Relations to complain, and their response wasn't one of "we've made an oversight, let us make it right", but one of "so what". You should consider this when you contemplate who you want to sail with. michael_e_maddox@mac.com April 2004 Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
For my husband and I this was our sixth cruise, first on Celebrity. We enjoyed Infinity even tho we were supposed to be on Millennium. We were lucky to make embarkation because our flight was delayed in Atlanta due to a plane problem. So ... Read More
For my husband and I this was our sixth cruise, first on Celebrity. We enjoyed Infinity even tho we were supposed to be on Millennium. We were lucky to make embarkation because our flight was delayed in Atlanta due to a plane problem. So embarkment went really fast for us, they held the boat for a few minutes from what we were told. Missed the muster drill..oh darn! :-) We had a beautiful balcony cabin on the Panorama deck close to the elevators. Having a balcony was a treat for our 25th wedding anniversary. There was a lot of storage and closet space, many mirrors, a small shower and a very hard thin mattress on the bed. The bed was the worst thing about our whole cruise. We didn't see our room attendant very often but our room was always in order. We enjoyed our sail away from our balcony then walked around the ship looking for our dining room, pools, bars, casino, etc. What a pretty ship..very clean! The first day at sea was rough and it was windy, so we didn't get to use the balcony. The pool was also drained that day. We took our Brodine tablets every morning for seasickness. Didn't feel much motion in the dining room, only one couple (newlyweds) were at our table for 6. Spent the rest of the evening in the casino..but we were losers. Our second day port was Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic. We took the countryside tour in a safari style truck. Went to the fishing village of Bayahibe, pretty. Also went to a sugar cane plantation and got to taste raw sugar cane. Passed a school where poor children ran along the truck begging for money. Very sad. The third day was our 25th wedding anniversary and we were in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We took the old and new city tour with the Bacardi rum tour. The Fort was interesting (got a beautiful picture of our ship from on top) and the rum tour was tasty. Had a great day there! After dinner and a show (which was wonderful) we returned to our cabin to find roses, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and robes. What a surprise my hubby pulled off! Got to enjoy our balcony that night, the seas were calm. The fourth day was in St. Thomas, kinda a warm humid day. We took a cab to the other side of the Island to go deep sea fishing with a private charter. The sea was kinda rough but we caught 7 fish. Well, my husband caught 6 and I caught 1. When we returned we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and shopped around. My husband surprised me by taking me into a diamond store and I ended up with a new wedding ring. Wow, I love that man! Our fifth day was at sea and the sun was out and it was hot. I sat on the deck and my hubby joined the tournaments in the casino. It was a very relaxing day. Enjoyed some bingo and shows. Our sixth day was in Nassau, Bahamas. We had been there before so we wanted to do something different. Last time we parasailed and went to Paradise Island. This time we did the Stingray snorkel, it was great! We both loved the stingrays. This was our last dinner with our table mates who were great! The other couple only joined us for one evening then got a table for two. We enjoy the company of others for dinner. It's nice to see how others view the cruise and to talk about our day. Our waiters were great too. All of our meals were great! Debarkation was a little long but we are patience people. There were a lot of grumpy people. This was a wonderful cruise!! Thanks Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
First of all this was our third Celebrity Cruise and our 5th cruise overall. We were a little upset because we were suppose to be sailing on Millennium but because of POD problems with Infinity the two ships had their itinerary's ... Read More
First of all this was our third Celebrity Cruise and our 5th cruise overall. We were a little upset because we were suppose to be sailing on Millennium but because of POD problems with Infinity the two ships had their itinerary's switched. I had nothing to worry about I enjoyed Infinity as much or even more actually than Millennium. First of all we flew down to Fort Lauderdale a day early. Luckily my in-laws live 10 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the Port. They picked us up at FLL Airport and we stayed overnight with them. Embarkation: We left for the ship a little after 11:00 AM. We had a little and I mean little wait to get through Security. Once through there were no lines for embarkation. I didn't even have to use the Special Captain's Club priority check-in. We boarded, had our welcome glass of champagne and I proceeded to call home and let everyone know that I was onboard (okay I had to gloat). We were up by the pool by noon and laid out for 2 hours. We finally went down to our cabin around 2:15 PM. Our luggage was there. I almost fainted. We started to unpack and then realized that we hadn't eaten lunch. We went up the buffet on Deck 10 and ate enough to hold us over until second seating dinner. We went back down to our cabin and finished unpacking and then it was time for wonderful Safety Drill. The safety drill's beside debarkation are the worst part of the cruise. It lasted about 30 minutes and then we raced back upstairs to ditch the life jackets and back up to Deck 10 for Sail Away. We went to the Ocean Bar Aft and it was great. Believe it or not we met some people we remembered from our 10 Day SouthernCaribbean Cruise in 2002 on Millennium. Wouldn't you know it we were also sitting at dinner with them. What a small world. The Ship - Infinity is beautiful. The M Class Ships are just right if you ask me. Not too big, not too small and just the right amount of people. It was clean and well maintained. There are so many places to sit and relax. My favorite place before dinner is the Martini Bar and my new favorite drink ever is the Watermelon Martini. We also hit Michael's Club before Dinner and they had this wonderful a cappella group Lighthouse performing or there was a piano player. We had an inside cabin category 9 on the Vista Deck, midship. Being Midship on an M class ship makes it so easy to get anywhere you want to pretty quickly. Our stateroom attendant, Albain was wonderful. Our first day at sea was really windy and there were some people that were sick (not in my party), but I also didn't feel too well Monday morning and early afternoon. I actually had to take a Dramamine and lay down and rest. I couldn't believe it. The pools were closed it was so bad and I was a little upset as we only have 2 sea days on this trip. I was fine by dinner time and was able to get all dolled up for our first formal night. The second day was Casa De Campo, DR. We just got off the ship around 2:30 PM or so and took the shuttle to the Marina and Altos De Chavon. There's not much to see and if I ever got back there I wouldn't get off the ship, or maybe I'd do the Bayahibe Beach Break, but I still can't see paying $36/person to go to the beach. Also it started to thunder and rain, so not a great day to be out. That evening we had reservations at SS United States. It was worth the $30 per person. I had the goat cheese souffle, the vegetable risotto and the chocolate souffle, it had to be the best meal I've ever had. My son and husband both had the lobster voulutte, steak Diane and the chocolate souffle. They both enjoyed their meals. The third day was San Juan, Puerto Rico. We took the Old/New San Juan City Tour. While out it started pouring rain. The only good thing about this tour was being on top of the old Fort and taking nice pictures of the ship at the Port. Our fourth day was St. Thomas. We took the ferry over to St. John's and did the St. John's Eco Hike. It was really a hike and very nice. We did spend an hour at Honeymoon Beach. St. John's is very pretty and I'm glad we went over there. We came back to the ship, had some lunch and my husband and I went back out to buy him a watch. St. Thomas and St. John's turned out to be a nice stop. The fifth day was our second and last sea day. It was very sunny, but a little windy, not too bad. The pool was crowded and we weren't able to get chairs on deck 10 so we had to go to deck 11, but we knew that we wouldn't get the pool chairs unless we got up early and hogged them. We didn't do much else that sea day but relax. The sixth day was Nassau, Bahamas. We did the Nassau Paradise Island tour. It was nice. Paradise Island is beautiful and I would just go straight there if I ever stop in Nassau again. It was hot and sunny that day. I could have just done with staying on the beach. The next day was debarkation. We were able to have a sit down breakfast in the dining room. We were suppose to be at the Celebrity Theater by 8:45 AM, but we didn't get off the ship until 9:45 AM. It didn't matter because I'd rather sit there than the airport. Our flight wasn't until 1:00 PM on Jet Blue so we made it in PLENTY of time. The food was good to very good. There were a few things food wise I was a little disappointed in, but that might must be my own taste buds and not the cruise lines fault. The only thing I was really dissatisfied was the lobster tail, but I'm not a huge lobster fan anyway. Entertainment - the Entertainment overall was very, very good. A lot better than on my previous Celebrity cruises. The only thing I wasn't really into was this guy who played the piano and did magic also. The a cappella group, Lighthouse was fantastic. The Celebrity orchestra was very good and so were the singers and dancers. All in all this was a wonderful cruise. The service was terrific, the ship was terrific and I met a lot of wonderful people through Cruise Critics on board. If you have any question, please feel free to e-mail me. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
Preface This was our second cruise, and our first with Celebrity (our previous cruise was a western Caribbean sailing on Grand Princess last September). My wife, Page, and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. We had the ... Read More
Preface This was our second cruise, and our first with Celebrity (our previous cruise was a western Caribbean sailing on Grand Princess last September). My wife, Page, and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. We had the pleasure of traveling with our long time friends Mark and Cheryl from Orlando who were getting a head start on celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary. Booking I called Celebrity directly and made my reservation. I had looked at Celebrity's web site for available staterooms, but I wanted to speak with a representative if for no other reason to convey that we would be celebrating an important wedding anniversary (as there was no place to enter this information in their web site - unlike with Princess). The agent was very pleasant, and I booked inside stateroom 9006 on the Sky Deck (forward, starboard). Cheryl and Mark had booked stateroom 9040 also on the Sky Deck, a Concierge Class stateroom with a veranda. I would have liked to stayed in Concierge Class too, but we've got two other cruises booked this year and I had to try to contain costs. Originally, the cruise was booked on Millennium, but due to some propulsion problems Infinity was assigned. Embarkation We arrived at Port Everglades at 11:45. There, uniformed Celebrity employees politely organized us into a queue where we waited to go through security and receive our 'sign and sail' card. The entire process was painless, and we were on the ship by 12:05. If I had to do over again, I'd wait until 13:00 to board as this is the time that your stateroom is 'officially' ready, and you will be escorted by to your room, with a glass of champagne in hand. As it was, I had to lug around my day pack and camera bag while we braved the long lines at the lunch buffet. The Ship Aesthetically, this is a beautiful ship. The blue and white paint scheme is very easy on the eyes. Even though it is about 18% smaller than Grand Princess (based on displacement) the public areas seemed comparable in size. The Infinity is powered by gas turbines, so there was noticeably less exhaust billowing from the smokestacks. Gripes include a promenade deck that doesn't go all the way around the ship. Also, we noticed in 2-3 foot seas much more roll that on Grand Princess. I don't know if this has to do with the narrower beam of the ship, but it was noticeable. Infinity is 3 years old, and she doesn't show much wear. We noticed the crew constantly polishing and cleaning the ship, and the fruits of their hard work were very much apparent. Stateroom Our inside stateroom was listed as 170 square feet. We found that there was plenty of storage space for our large suitcases. I never cease to be amazed how much storage a well engineered room can provide. Sandra, our Honduran stateroom attendant, kept our room quite clean, and filled with fresh towels. The shower had plenty of water pressure, but its temperature varied quite a bit. I was surprised that they don't have designated smoking and non-smoking rooms as the smoke from the room next door was intrusive. Cheryl and Mark's Concierge Class stateroom was quite step up with a nice covered veranda and a sofa. Ship's Officers The ship's officers were primarily Greek. You didn't get to see them often, unless you were a Captain's Club member, where there seemed to be a number of functions to meet and greet. The Cruise Director, Rich, was simply fantastic. He's worked the comedy club scene before, and he was a natural with the crowds. Public Areas We were crazy about the Thalassotherapy pool. It's basically a saltwater pool heated to about 95 degrees with recessed areas built in to recline and enjoy hot tub bubbles. After a half hour in there, you come out so refreshed, you feel like a new person. The movie theater was adequately sized, but the viewing angle for a number of seats were too far splayed out. I'd recommend arriving a few minutes early to make sure that you get a good seat. The Constellation nightclub was a good place - not only at night but also during the day. You're up on deck 11 forward with a commanding view. I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to see Alaska from this vantage point. The Casio really didn't do anything for us. The pay tables on the video poker machines were abysmal. I didn't play any of the table games as the smoke was just too disagreeable. Infinity had huge a shopping area, at least twice as large as Grand Princess. Their prices on duty free liquor was also competitive with what we saw in our ports of call. Toward the end of our cruise, there were some very good deals on hats and t-shirts. The Library was a very cozy room on decks 8 and 9 that was utilized sparingly by other passengers. If you wanted to get away from it all, this was the place to be. The Fitness Center had a variety of Nautilus equipment and treadmills. It was in a larger space than on Grand Princess, and the staff was friendly and helpful. Children under 18 are prohibited from using the equipment. Dining Our evening meal was served in the Trellis Restaurant. Our table wasn't in the best of locations (apart from the main part of the dining room), but on the plus side things were quieter than the might otherwise have been. Our waiter, Made, and his assistant, Gusti, were from Bali. We all had trouble understanding Made's accent. The food was decent, but it didn't surpass my expectations. We'd heard that Celebrity is a 'foodie' line, but what we had was certainly no better than what we had on Princess. If fact, we much preferred Princess' Personal Choice dining, where you can go to dinner when you are hungry, rather than a fixed time. On the plus side, however, in the traditional seating you get to know you tablemates and your waiter. We dined on our anniversary in the SS United States. The service charge had recently been increased to $30/person. The setting was pleasant enough, but it wasn't as nice as the photos I've seen of the Olympic on the Millennium. The meal was a 4 course affair with a salad/appetizer, entrEe, cheese course, and desert. I had the steak Diane, and highly recommend it. I am not, however, a big cheese eater and the cheese course left me a bit cold. Actually, it left me more than a little bit nauseated as when they wheeled the cheese tray by me and opened the Lucite lid, the smelly cheeses started to make me feel sick - very sick. It was like placing kryptonite next to Superman. The Breezes Pool Grill served tasty hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza, though their hours were limited from 12:00 - 18:00. The Aquaspa Cafe on deck 10 served more health conscious foods. I don't think that most passengers knew about it as it was rarely crowded. It's definitely worth checking out. Entertainment This was an unexpected bright spot. The troupe of 5 singers in the production shows were excellent. The shows tended to stick with hit songs, and that worked out fine. In all, there were 4 production shows. Also on the cruise was Garin, a concert pianist / magician. His second show was a wonderful presentation of some of Chopin's works. The comedian, Steve, used to be a warm-up act for the Beach Boys. He was decent, but had a hilarious set with hand shadow puppets. The poolside band, Legacy, was excellent. I take my hat off to them as they always seemed to be playing. They did the most beautiful version of Blue Bayou that I've ever heard (apologies to Linda Rondstadt). Activities I guess that the activities are pretty much the same regardless of the cruise line, but we are so new to cruising that the novelty hasn't worn off. We really enjoyed the fruit and vegetable carving demonstration by the pool. Some of the poolside games were quite fun too. They had a fun version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Interestingly, the week before Regis Philbin was on the cruise. Fellow Passengers All ages were represented, but I'd say the majority of passengers were in their 40's and 50's. There weren't too many children as our voyage happened after spring break. Most of the passengers were Americans, yet clearly many nationalities (European and South American) were represented. The demographic represented on this cruise was very much what we saw on Grand Princess. Ports of Call / Shore Excursions Our itinerary was as follows: Day 1 - Sea Day Day 2 - Casa de Campo Day 3 - San Juan Day 4 - St. Thomas Day 5 - Sea Day Day 6 - Nassau Day 7 - Ft. Lauderdale Casa de Campo was a big letdown, and I had low expectations to begin with. We didn't book any shore excursions as the day we were in town was our 20th anniversary, and we would be dining at the SS United States that evening. We took Celebrity's complimentary shuttle service to the Altos de Chavon and the Marina. Altos de Chavon is a recreation of a Mediterranean artist's village. It is situated in a pretty location, but it lacked a quality of authenticity. We'd heard a story about the Giacosa restaurant being great place to get a wood fired pizza, but it turned out to be an overpriced disappointment that didn't serve pizza. Word to the wise - Giacosa will rip you off with their 'exchange rate', so be sure to use a credit card to prevent being gouged. After Altos de Chavon, we shuttled to the Marina. This was OK (but not spectacular) and most of the shops were closed. I don't know if we were there during siesta or what. On the shuttle back to the ship the sky opened up, and we had to wait about 20 minutes before making a dash back to the boat. In retrospect, a day at the beach on a cruise line's private island like Coco Cay or Princess Cay would have been infinitely more fun that Casa de Campo. In the future, I will definitely not book any cruise that has Casa de Campo as a port of call. San Juan was better than I expected. Infinity was the only ship in port that day. Before we took our shore excursion, we walked some around Old San Juan. There was a notable police presence (good), and it was easy to get around. We booked an afternoon excursion for a tour of the Bacardi Rum Distillery and Old San Juan. The grounds at Bacardi are very well maintained and the site had the aura of a park. The tour itself took about 45 minutes, where afterward you could enjoy a selection of rum beverages (the Cuba Libre was my favorite). Also, at the gift shop you could buy 'reserve' rums that aren't available at other places. The Bacardi stop left a good taste in my mouth - literally! For the Old San Juan part of the excursion, we basically stopped at the Fort. We only had 30 minutes, and I could have explored for 3 more hours. Very interesting, and a lot to see, but I'm a military history buff. Actually, the ship is an easy walk from the Fort, and if we had to do it again, I would go directly from the ship to the Fort. Our tablemates at dinner, Ruthie and Steve from Palm Beach, took the rainforest excursion and both seemed to have a wonderful time. The said the scenery was breathtaking. St. Thomas was beautiful. There were 2 other ships in port that day - Sun Princess and Victory. We'd book a morning catamaran snorkel to Buck Island. Our catamaran was the King Kamehameha. The catamaran itself wasn't as nice as 'Manta' what we were on last year in Cozumel, but the crew was pleasant enough. Unlike the drift snorkel in Cozumel, the Buck Island snorkel was in a protected cove. That meant that you could linger over something of interest. Mark and Cheryl, both certified divers, said that the reef was pretty dead. At least it wasn't extinct as I did see several interesting fish and Page saw a sea turtle. I was relieved to get out of the water without running into any of the myriad of fire coral or sea urchins I saw. After the snorkel we had a quick lunch back on the ship and headed into town (cab fare of $3/person each way) for some shopping in Charlotte Amalie. THIS is the place to buy jewelry. There were a lot of businesses competing for your business, and the duty free allowance from St. Thomas is 50% higher that other ports in the Caribbean. I'm still kicking myself for not buying that Rado watch, but this gives me a good reason to return. Nassau was also beautiful. There were 3 other ships in port that day - Century, Fascination, and Splendor of the Seas. We were only in port for 6 hours, so we had to rush to see things. We took the cab ride ($4/person each way) to Atlantis on Paradise Island and checked out the resort. The setting and the grounds were simply gorgeous. We paid the pricey $29/person to see "The Dig", but we didn't feel ripped-off as it was remarkable. Regrettably, the pools were off-limits to non-guests. Be forewarned that at Atlantis, they don't have any water fountains. So either bring your own water or be prepared to buy your water at the resort. The casino in Atlantis is very similar to the mega resorts in Las Vegas. It had a similar feel to Mandalay Bay. We were there on Saturday, and most of the table games had minimum bets of $15. I can't wait to get back to Nassau. Debarkation Not really a bright spot. The main problem is that we were given times to report to the Celebrity Theater, and as we were trying to enter the theater, other groups were trying to leave the theater. There isn't a lot of loitering space, so things choked up. A better system was like that used on Grand Princess where guests waited in different parts of the ship until it was there time to debark. The debarkation process wasn't a disaster, but it wouldn't be too hard to improve. While collecting our baggage, we did see a drug sniffing dog identify a tote bag that the Customs officer quickly collected. Summary I guess that in retrospect, our expectations were so sky high that we couldn't help but be disappointed in some areas. Most of the cruise was great, and having Mark and Cheryl with us was the very best thing that could have happened. For the most part, the weather cooperated, and we got to see and do interesting things. BUT - there was no recognition of our anniversary other than at the SS United States where Mark and Cheryl had mentioned it when making the reservation. Page went to Guest Relations to complain, and their response wasn't one of "we've made an oversight, let us make it right", but one of "so what". You should consider this when you contemplate who you want to sail with. michael_e_maddox@mac.com April 2004 Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
This was my first Celebrity Cruise and I had very high expectations based on the reviews and friends who had traveled on this line. We didn't have any particular destination in mind but had had such a wonderful time with our children ... Read More
This was my first Celebrity Cruise and I had very high expectations based on the reviews and friends who had traveled on this line. We didn't have any particular destination in mind but had had such a wonderful time with our children on an Alaskan cruise the prior year (Star Princess) that we looked for a ship and a destination that would appeal to all of us. When I read about the Olympic Dining Room on the Millennium, I decided that this was worth seeing (it has the wood panels from the dining room of the Olympic, a sister ship to the Titanic). The Caribbean sounded like a relaxing way to enjoy our family too, but it was not the primary reason for booking this vacation. Imagine how shocked I was to find out that they had switched cruise ships upon arrival at the ship. We were never notified. When we complained, they read from their policy manual...not a good sign. Believe me, I would have changed plans if I had known that we would have a substitute ship, as this was not about the itinerary but the ship itself. My children were very upset that we had come this far and weren't going to board so we decided to go ahead. We discovered that the service was generally worse than we experienced on Princess...My husband is a pretty easy going guy but even he said it didn't compare. On the first night, they had all the dinner reservations mixed up and basically told us to go away and come back the following night (ie. go eat in the buffet). If it weren't for one especially thoughtful waiter who pulled us into a different entrance and found us a table, we would have been furious. He basically said the guy in charge was a moron. The rest of the trip was nice and I think the ship is very beautiful. It never seemed to be crowded where we were, but I also know that we don't hang out in the 'happening' spots. This would be a great cruise for people who like the educational, quieter aspects of the cruise experience because these areas were not well attended. :) I didn't find the service got any better, except for this one waiter who sought us out and provided excellent service throughout the trip. We gave most of our tip money to him - rewarding the right behavior seemed like the right thing to do. The highlight of this trip was our room. We had a family veranda room that faced the back of the ship. Our balcony was huge and wrapped around the side and the back of the ship. There are only about 12 of these rooms and I know they book fast, but this is the way to go if you can get it. Because it was a warm weather cruise, we spent as much time on our balcony as we could. What was nice was that part of the balcony was covered and part was sunny so we had lots of options. The balcony was about the size of our whole room, which itself was quite large. These rooms are essentially suites, with a separate living area from the bedroom. The two couches turned into beds at night and we could pull a sliding wooden door between the two sections so the children could sleep and we could stay up. We also had two TVs which was nice early in the morning or late at night. I loved the espresso bar, Cova Cafe...delicious cappuccino and very deluxe desserts at tea time. There is a beautiful Yamaha player piano there and we found this to be a very lovely spot to relax in the afternoon...most of the passengers must have been by the pool because we saw very few people at this time of day. The library, Notes, also features a daily puzzle that my husband and I enjoyed doing in our quiet time each day. It was fun to challenge each other and then go back and find out the answers later in the day. The Thalossotherapy pool and whirlpools were absolutely fantastic...The food in the Aqua Spa was superb- light and delicious. I would often go there to get my lunch and join my family in the buffet or by the pool rather than eating the buffet food. Our youngest child (9) had a great time in the fun factory and I think my oldest (11) was sort of in-between better programming with the younger children and the teens who all seemed to be having a blast in their special space. The children didn't like the outdoor salt water pool but I think the pools on Princess were much more family friendly. They missed the wave pool on the Princess ship. I don't have a lot to offer in advice about the destinations. I don't think I will book another pool/beach type cruise because we are not that type of traveler. We did decide to book another Celebrity trip because we liked this room so much. It seems like a very spacious and liveable solution for a longer cruise so we are doing a 14-night cruise to the Baltics this year. Already though, Celebrity has changed the itinerary several times, switching out Poland and switching in shorter stays in Copenhagen and adding Finland. The only reason I know this is because i have been visiting the website...again no proactive explanations or service whatsoever. Sigh. If you book through Celebrity be prepared for surprises, but overall the ships are lovely and I think a good value. I miss the laundry facilities on Princess too. Read Less
Celebrity Infinity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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