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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We are longtime cruisers, with at least 13 cruises and over 110 days at sea. My point is we have cruised before; Caribbean, Transatlantic, Bermuda, Alaska, Pacific coast. We’ve been on Princess, HAL, NCL, Carnival and Celebrity. With ... Read More
We are longtime cruisers, with at least 13 cruises and over 110 days at sea. My point is we have cruised before; Caribbean, Transatlantic, Bermuda, Alaska, Pacific coast. We’ve been on Princess, HAL, NCL, Carnival and Celebrity. With that background here is my review of my Pacific Coast cruise on Celebrity’s Infinity 9/17-24/2017. We booked this cruise based 100% on the itinerary. It started in Vancouver, then Seattle, Astoria OR, sea day, San Francisco, Monterey CA, Santa Barbara CA and ended in Laos Angeles. The Infinity is beginning to show its age. The décor and artwork are not up to today’s standards, wear and tear was evident in many places, but all things considered it is a good ship. The staterooms were bigger than I expected and the baths were spacious compared to many others. The ship’s layout was pretty typical, we had no trouble finding anything and after a day or so easily found our way around the ship. The entertainment seemed to be a cut above what we’ve seen elsewhere. The magician Chris Funk was very entertaining, funny and mystifying. He did an evening show and an afternoon up close show. Both were well attended and well accepted. Lou Gazzara is a very talented singer from Las Vegas that also did an evening show and an afternoon performance. The final headliner was a Billy Joel tribute performer that played piano and sung. I didn’t record his name but I wish I had, he was also excellent. And to show he was willing to do whatever was needed for us to have great entertainment, the piano player for Lou Gazzara couldn’t perform that night and he filled in on the piano. But we all cruise for the food don’t we? Breakfast and lunch were as expected, all the standards and more (a poached egg station?) were available, no surprises, no disappointments. Our dinner staff was excellent. For some reason there were 6 empty tables around us and our seven top was our staff’s only table. The five dinners we ate there were all first rate. No complaints. Qsine is a $45 specialty restaurant that is as much an experience as it is a meal. Every diner is given an iPad as the menu. There are 20 choices and if you like you can get them all. Each is a small plate and I believe we had 7 plus dessert for the two of us. Each item was a work of art and even though the menu described the items each was a surprise when it hit the table. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s very hard to get everything perfect, and the two failures on this cruise were bad enough for us to decide we will not return to Celebrity. The first was the Chef’s Table dinner. These are usually only offered once per cruise and only seat a few people. We had 8 guests and an officer at the table. I think the best way to describe the Celebrity’s Chef’s Table (CTC) is to compare it to our last Princess CT. The Princess CT (PCT) started the day before, we all met with the Executive Chef and Sommelier to discuss the menu and our likes/dislikes/allergies, etc. They then went off to prepare the food and wine pairing. The CTC started with an invitation in our cabin stating time and place to meet. Both CTs met outside the galley. PCT gave us all white chef’s jackets and taught us proper handwashing technique before allowing us to proceed. They then brought us into the galley where we again met the Executive Chef and the Sommelier. There was an ice carving on a table surrounded by appetizers on a spoon and a small glass of wine for each of us. The next app was also served there, with another wine. We then toured the galley, hung up our jackets and were led to a table. Each seat had a small loaf of bread with our name written in chocolate for a place card. CTC met outside the galley, we posed for a group picture, then went on a brief galley tour. From there we were led to our table and found our seats by the paper nametags. On the PCT we were served more appetizers (a total of 6), each arriving on a tray with fresh cut flowers. Followed by soup and sorbet. The main course was Roast Veal Shank and Beef Tenderloin carved tableside, followed by dessert. The CTC had one appetizer, soup and salad. Sorbet was on the menu but not served. Main course was a choice of Filet or Turbot. Dessert was a “Chocolate Sphere. “ a hollow ball of chocolate filled with a fruit filling. They told us that usually they light the chocolate and it melts into a smooth dessert but for safety they would not light them. Instead we had to use our spoons to break our way through the hard shell to get to the inside. It may have been good melted, but as served everyone just had a few bites and pushed it away. PCT cost $200/couple, CTC was $250/couple. We left very disappointed. Second problem was with the only shore excursion was the only shore excursion we booked through Celebrity. We were in Santa Barbara on Saturday and my wife decided she wanted to see the Reagan Library, a $129 excursion. I filled out the form on Thursday and dropped it in the box at 3pm. On Friday morning (the excursion was on Saturday) we got a phone call at 6:22am. We had nothing planned and our intention was to sleep in a little. But a phone call at 6:22am ended that idea. The caller said she had just seen our request (shore excursion was open for 2 hours the night before) and it was no longer available. Yes, we got a very early morning phone call to tell us our trip for the next day wasn’t available. I got madder and madder throughout the day and finally decided I needed to talk to someone. I went to the excursion desk when it opened and asked to talk to the manager. The staffer on duty asked what it was about and I said I just needed to talk to him. She said I needed to explain the whole story to her and she would decide if I could speak with him. I left and went to guest services who called him and had him come talk to me. He heard the story and promised to look into it. A few hours later he called back, apologized, said “the girl has been reprimanded and apologized” and that we were now booked on the trip. The tickets say to go to the theater at 8:30am. We sat in the theater until 9:45, at which point we had to tender to the pier and walk to the bus. In route the tour guide said our time would be limited to 2 hours at the Library due to our late start, that usually there was 2 ½ - 3 hours. They were ready to leave on time, the ship delayed our exit and we were cut short. No one felt there was enough time to see the library. There was also a stop at the Paramount Ranch to see some old movie sets. Everyone on our bus asked if we could skip that and stay longer but she said she had to take us. When we arrived she said due to traffic we only had 5 minutes there, but the driver said he could avoid traffic and we could spend half an hour. Everyone was back on the bus in about 15 minutes, it was a worthless stop to us. And by the way, there were 16 empty seats on the “full tour.” A few words on the staff and I’ll end. The main dining room staff was great. Everywhere else the focus seemed to be on them and not the guests. We were expected to yield to them when walking anywhere. They would never step aside or avoid us, we always had to give way. One waiter on the buffet are walked down the line singing “love me, love me, like I love you. I love you all my guests.” Two staff (again, not the main DR) told us “you will get a survey, please mark all employees a 10. If there is something you didn’t like write it in the comments, but you have to grade us a 10 or we won’t get raises and bonuses. Always rate everything a 10 or it is bad for all of us.” Was it a good trip? Yes. Did I have a good time? Yes. Am I glad I went? Yes. Will I cruise again? Yes. On Celebrity? No. We have a choice where we spend our money, that choice will most likely be Princess. I had heard that Celebrity was trying to be the upscale brand to the Royal Caribbean sister brand, if so they need to keep trying. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Very nice cruise, We are seniors and have done about 48 cruises on various lines. We have done about 10 coastal cruises along the Pacific coast and have previously visited most of the ports on this cruise. Our primary reason for ... Read More
Very nice cruise, We are seniors and have done about 48 cruises on various lines. We have done about 10 coastal cruises along the Pacific coast and have previously visited most of the ports on this cruise. Our primary reason for taking this cruise was the entertainment, food, and a close to home get a way. We live about 120 miles north of San Francisco. We drove down to the bay area and stayed the night previous to our flight at the El Rancho Hotel in Millbrae. We have done this several times. When a cruise starts in San Francisco, we have the hotel shuttle take us to SFO where we get the cruise ship bus to the port in SF. On this trip, we had had a 6 AM flight to Vancouver. We were up to catch the shuttle at 4 AM. The flight was smooth and our customs check in Vancouver was also. They have a new system at the airport that allows Americans to pass through customs with a minimum of time lost. It is a BIG improvement over our last time at this airport. You just slap you passport on a screen at one of the machines, get a receipt and you are on your way. If you have any problems, there is a helper there to answer any questions. Otherwise, you wait in VERY LONG lines to get up to talk with an inspector. We were through and out the door in about 5 minutes. We expected a traffic jam at the port, because members of the British Royal Family were visiting the port area about the time we were supposed to arrive. We were pleasantly surprised when the bus sailed right through and we were dropped off at Canada Place. We did have to wait for about a half hour before boarding, but we were on the ship before noon. The cabins were not ready until 1 o’clock, so we had lunch at the lido restaurant and waited on deck until then. Cabin We had a balcony cabin located mid ship. It was a typical cabin with vanity, small couches, and king size bed. On each side of the bed was a two-drawer night strand. The light in my reading lamp was not adequate, but the one on my wife’s side was better. The balcony was small, but had two chairs and a small table that were adequate. The bath had two shelves for storage and the typically large Celebrity stall shower. Our only objection was that the life boats were directly below the balcony and blocked the view of the water below. Our cabin steward took very good care of the room. Perks We booked this cruise with a travel agent because of an email ad we received from them. It was a president’s cruise attended by the president of the travel agency and several of her employees and had some extra perks included. They turned out to be not worth the cost. Some, like the slot contest, were actually an added cost. At first it looked like a good deal, but we later found otherwise. All the cruise lines recently started to provide bonuses like drink packages and pre-paid tips as an inducement to book with them, but in reality they just added the cost of these items to the regular booking price. If you wait until a month or so before the cruise, you will probably be able to get a much better price and paying for the extras yourself will be cheaper than taking the so-called bonuses. We found that the drink package was the biggest loser as we seldom have more than one or two drinks each day. We also used the package for purchase of water, the cost of which has really gotten out of hand. However, the water and liquor in the cabin could not be charged against the package as it did not qualify. We had to buy the large water bottles at a bar and take them back to our cabin. This actually turned out for the best as the Evian water in the cabin tasted terrible. The bars had a different brand that was much better. Food Celebrity has always been known for serving good quality beef. That is still true, by the best quality cuts are not served as often as before and more stews and similar types of beef are now more prevalent in the main dining room. The food served in the lido restaurant has always been somewhat tasteless or over spiced and that has not changed. On this trip, there seemed to be a larger percentage of Asian food available and less American. The soups in this restaurant were terrible. The redeeming item was the breads. They were always good at all the restaurants. The service in both restaurants was always excellent. We did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants. Shows Celebrity shows have never been as good as Royal Caribbean shows. That seems strange as both lines are owned by the same company. Those on this cruise were just OK with very memorable. Summary, Overall, it was a good cruise with great weather and smooth seas most of the way. We had no rain at any stops and very little wind. The temperature everywhere was very comfortable. The high point of the cruise was being able to stand on the top deck of the ship in San Francisco and watch the Blue Angels put on their show during Fleet Week. We have seen them perform several time, but never had seats like this before. It was spectacular. 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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