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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I was hoping to be wowed by Celebrity having read up so much prior to going, but i have to say although they were good, I do prefer other cruise lines in retrospect. The ports of call made this cruise memorable for the right reasons. ... Read More
I was hoping to be wowed by Celebrity having read up so much prior to going, but i have to say although they were good, I do prefer other cruise lines in retrospect. The ports of call made this cruise memorable for the right reasons. Our cabin was lovely, clean and such a comfortable bed. Good closet space. Bathroom supplies were fine. A very quiet and smooth sail throughout no issues with the ship itself even though its due a refit being older, but i liked the size of it, and managed to not get too lost. The small annoyance is the water in cabin is extra costing over 5$ for a warm bottle of water, which if you have a drinks package its Free from the bars. Mini bar is also extra. Dining was mediocre. our table for 2 was squashed by a stair well we felt squeezed in. Service, was fine, just a little forced. Buffet was again Ok, but on some occasions some sections were closed, and left very little to choose from, however the breakfast ommlette station was fantastic, offering hot variety on demand. The waiters who clear the tables work very hard. Lovely views whilst sitting in the Buffet, this was lovely for sunsets and dolphin spotting whilst eating. Some bars kept running out of things waiting on deliveries. Some toilets had toilet paper on the floor, and no napkins. It actually felt like the ship was short staffed for some reason.Maybe they were training staff still I dont know. Food in the main dining was often luke warm and tiny portions. The soups were lovely to taste,but the menu every day was un-inspiring really, i was hoping the food would be something extra special. We didn't do the speciality due to the constant upsell all the time, and the menus offered there were pretty much the same you could get for free elsewhere. Cafe Bacio the coffee shop was a favourite of ours, wonderful drinks and pretty good service in here. Entertainment was constant around the ship, a great DJ Alessio, was fantastic, some great sounds, round by the pool bar and Maritin bar. He lifted the mood well. Evening entertainment one show was great the IBroadway was excellent but the other shows were ok, nothing too engaging, we found much of the shows were gameshow style which felt very much for the Americans onboard. Most of the bar staff we experienced were quite miserable, and found service very inconsistent and slow, one person great, next person not at all bothered to connect with you. such a shame. The best part was - Our ports of call were excellent, itinerary fantastic. I loved Venice, and Split and Kotor especially. The tours we did were great too, very insightful and interesting the tour guides were fantastic, we did some walking tours and found them very well organised and enjoyable. All the tenders and transfers were organised very well. everything rang smoothly, I was just a little underwhelmed by Celebrity, most of the hype says they are top of the list. i beg to differ. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to see Mykonos, Athens and Santorini and have cruised with Celebrity on a number of occasions. Overall it was a decent itinerary with 8 x ports and 4 x days at sea. Good staff and some really good U K based performing acts in ... Read More
We wanted to see Mykonos, Athens and Santorini and have cruised with Celebrity on a number of occasions. Overall it was a decent itinerary with 8 x ports and 4 x days at sea. Good staff and some really good U K based performing acts in the theatre. Food overall was good but the main dining room menu is getting a bit stale and as such we ate in self service restaurant on a few occasions which was a nice change. We found it disappointing that we could not even try a Martini, using our drinks package, you needed premium, in the Martini Bar. In general the wines that we tried at night did not match the quality from previous Celebrity cruises. We booked three shore excursions through Celebrity and two through Cruising excursions, which on the whole were far better value than Celebrity. Although the ship was okay it is definitely looking very tired and in urgent need of a refit. We also enjoyed coffee at Al Bachio and the occasional confectionary on a daily basis. It was also nice to be sitting somewhere and one of the onboard entertainers would set up and start playing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Pros: I love Celebrity cruise lines. Clean and well-maintained ships, superb service, great food, and a no smoking casino. Cons: (on my recent Infinity cruise): Limited music venues. This is the first cruise I have been on in quite a ... Read More
Pros: I love Celebrity cruise lines. Clean and well-maintained ships, superb service, great food, and a no smoking casino. Cons: (on my recent Infinity cruise): Limited music venues. This is the first cruise I have been on in quite a while I was disappointed in the live band and music choices. Very limited variety, no piano bar, not oldies music at all! Made for somewhat of a boring and disappointing cruise, to be honest. On my previous 2 cruises (Carnival), Awesome live band playing 60s and 70s music, but they often played in the casino which was so smoke filled my wife couldn't even bear to walk by it, let alone sit and listen to the band or dance. Also our specialty dining experience in the Tuscan Restaurant was a complete disappointment. Paper thin steaks, bland sides, and extremely slow service. Next time we will pass on the Tuscan Restaurant. A $90 we would love to have back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We read reviews prior to booking in January for trip to Alaska on Celebrity and were expecting more. Our trip was average at best and food was not as good as our previous cruise on Royal Caribbean. Weather was not good except for our ... Read More
We read reviews prior to booking in January for trip to Alaska on Celebrity and were expecting more. Our trip was average at best and food was not as good as our previous cruise on Royal Caribbean. Weather was not good except for our day in Ketchikan on this trip but nothing we do about that. We booked all of our excursions ourselves instead of through cruise line which worked our well and was less expensive than utilizing cruise line. Research via trip advisor for things to do. We we did wildlife and whale watching as well as Misty Fjords on a float plane. The plane excursion was great. Trip to mindenhall glacier and national park was very good. Food was disappointing except for the Ocean Blue Cafe. Best bets is to get food to order at the cafe. You can do this at breakfast and lunch. Trellis dining room was okay but nothing to write home about. Our best meal was at Tuscan but 90 dollar upcharge. Entertainment was okay. One good comedian, good Elton John Tribute and decent cast shows. The waiters and servers were very personable and good. Jorge was very good at the Trellis. Trip to Hubbard glacier was great even in wet weather. Rooms were okay, decent shower, uncomfortable bed and pillows and limited closet space. Furnishings were dated. Would I cruise Celebrity again? Very doubtful, it was less than expected. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
As this was our very first cruise, we didn't have anything to compare against, however our expectations for what was our Honeymoon were higher than what we experienced on our cruise with Celebrity Cruises. Whilst the list of ... Read More
As this was our very first cruise, we didn't have anything to compare against, however our expectations for what was our Honeymoon were higher than what we experienced on our cruise with Celebrity Cruises. Whilst the list of amenities available is indeed impressive and the service provided was generally very good/excellent, I feel Celebrity Cruises can refine some of the services they provide to be more inclusive as there was definitely a feeling that many of these were tailored towards passengers willing to put their hand in their pocket further on the cruise (Add Ons). My first issue was the pushy sales oriented nature of the cruise, we had barely stepped onto the ship when we were accosted about drinks packages, a waiter handed us a glass of champagne as we boarded then moved to take it from me while asking if we had purchased a drinks package, a simple check of our card would reveal we had already purchased a mid-range 'classic' drinks package which was our choice, but this was obviously not enough as we were pressured to upgrade to the premium package several times in the opening couple of days. This appeared to be a sales driven tactic, in order that certain crew members might pocket commission? A cynical view perhaps but thats how it appeared to us. The way this was approached left a bad taste in the mouth. Also, some of the Level 10 bars glasses were worn and dirty and some staff were inconsistent about what was and what was not included in certain drink packages. The most absurd thing I heard was that the 'classic' package did not include cans of coca cola but instead the customer should receive a glass of coca cola poured from a bottle. This was more often than not flat, as a result. Also certain cocktails were provided which were missing specific ingredients, a French Caribbean arrived with no Malibu! Poor show! My second issue was the frankly scandalous internet prices offered onboard. When you pay a small fortune for a ticket for the cruise, the last thing you expect is to get absolutely no internet / wifi provided free of charge or even for what might be viewed as a bargain. I can understand the need to cap access to a certain extent, however a basic free or low cost internet package should be provided in this day and age when social media is available to share this experience with family and friends. If guests want to stream movies or use large amounts of data for personal or business purposes then a charge would seem appropriate but for basic internet use, checking emails, social media and web pages this would use comparatively little data. The hourly / daily and weekly rates were excessive in the extreme and anyone willing to pay the fees must have pockets deeper than the oceans we were sailing on. Along the same lines was the excessive prices for spa treatments. In the UK and probably United States / Canadian high street the same treatments can be purchased for a 1/3 of the cost they were on the ship and this will only put people off. It would be a far more attractive amenity if the prices were more realistic and in line with the prices on land with maybe a few pounds mark up and catered for everyone and not just the elite. It was simply a rip-off. Other (probably well intentioned) amenities like the photography, filming, art auctions, casino etc. had a cash cow feel to them. The Cabin The cabin was small and a little bit of a letdown but it was adequate for the amount of time we spent in it. It had dirty exterior windows (porthole) making it difficult to see out of it, I understand the difficulty in keeping these clean due to the sea spray etc but it would have made a better impression on leaving port to a clean window to look out of. The ship is in need of some soft refurb in key areas particularly the cabins, as cabinets and furniture was dated and had worn finishes. The Entertainment There was a huge list of events and functions which had something for everyone so I give credit to Luigi and Lauren and the gang for this. The Shows we saw were excellent, professional and the two comedians superb. The Naturalist, Milos was a scream, a very funny man who made the subjects he lectured on even more interesting than they might have first appeared. We saw him at every opportunity. Give that man a fresh contract I say! The Excursions Excursions were very good if overpriced (tourist fees which is kind of par these days), the only real gripe I have here was that the advert of seeing specific wildlife in many places should be based on the season travelling as some wildlife like Beavers, Moose, Orca etc was not seen as advertised and in some cases walks to see such wildlife turned into plant and tree discussions to fill the void. The Staff The staff were on the whole very friendly and courteous, our room attendant was excellent and always left the place immaculate every day. Room service was prompt and friendly. Unfortunately there was noticeable evidence of staff intimidation where junior staff were told off / scolded in front of guests by senior staff. This should not happen in the company of guests. Our experience was that the more senior the staff member the less likelihood you would get any acknowledgment as we walked throughout the ship with officers in particular grumpy and disinterested. The Food The food we received at the Trellis Restaurant was very good, we only had one meal which fell below usual high standards. The only gripe with the restaurant was the offer of flexible dining, only to find that table space was at a premium whenever we tried to utilise this service, I think more thought should be put around what exactly is being offered here, dining is either fixed or flexible, it appears it cannot be both. The response to this on the busiest evenings was simply to offer guests a small discount at one of the pay extra specialist restaurants on board the cruise ship, yet another sales pitch! The level 10 ocean view buffet style diner was decent for breakfasts and lunches but it felt like running the gauntlet trying to find a table, hence why for breakfast we resorted to room service as it was too manic from 8-10am up there. In Summary On the surface, Celebrity Cruises offers a shiny product but some of it's services and prices should be refined to be more inclusive of all customers. Celebrity Cruises should consider that they may lose customers for future cruises to competitors who fulfil the same services they do but in a fairer manner. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Friends were going, we decided it looked like fun. It was in some ways, but the previously mentioned issues with the engine system slowed the ship down to the point that shore stops were cut short. Exceptional - entertainment was very ... Read More
Friends were going, we decided it looked like fun. It was in some ways, but the previously mentioned issues with the engine system slowed the ship down to the point that shore stops were cut short. Exceptional - entertainment was very good, our cabin attendant was incredible, dining experiences were excellent.Going through the canal for the first time was incredible. I enjoyed the days at sea, the spouse not so much. We had an open sea dolphin show on one of those days! We loved the flexible time dining room option and never had an issue with any requested seating arrangement. We went 2 days early and purchased the hotel and transfer from the cruise line. The hotel was excellent, as was the transfer from Santiago to San Antonio. Not so great - the shore destinations were mediocre, as were most of the described (way overpriced) shore excursion possibilities. We did our own shore arrangements. The stop at Manta was a complete waste. Our room had a sewage odor that the crew attempted to fix. It went away for a while, then came back the last few days. The ship's exterior was showing significant wear and corrosion. I heard that the ship was going to Panama to spend some time in dry dock. It needs it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
This the first millenium class ship for us. All our Celeb cruises have been Solstice so far. Boarding long winded as there were only a few cameras and these required a long waiting line. Where are cameras, one per check in desk? Had ... Read More
This the first millenium class ship for us. All our Celeb cruises have been Solstice so far. Boarding long winded as there were only a few cameras and these required a long waiting line. Where are cameras, one per check in desk? Had the classic drinks package and for the first few days had issues with bar staff not knowing what an Alabama Slammer was, including some rude attitude by the staff, until the beverages manager got involved. Had a confirmed late dining on a table for eight from Celebrity but on first night did not have an allocated table and told we were select for some reason. Other guests had same issue. After firm discussions allocated a table for ten on late sitting. Appeared poor management/admin. The table was in an area on 5th deck and our side was in poor lighting until three days before cruise finished, dispie staff trying to resolve the issue. Our table 513 was last to get mains by a considerable time in relation to other tables near us, to a point where we passed on the desert simply to leave the table by 22.15. This came to a head on lobster night when at 21.50 we were told the lobster had run out. Overall our dinner experience was poor and seemed to suffer from poor management. My birthday was on the cruise and my wife requested a birthday cake. None appeared. We have a cruise next April 2018 on the Millenium and I just hope we don not exerience the same poor standards. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Having cruised on the Infinity’s sister ship, the Summit, in 2014, I expected an awesome time, and didn’t really anticipate any major surprises when I boarded the Infinity for a 15-day Panama Canal cruise. However, there were some – ... Read More
Having cruised on the Infinity’s sister ship, the Summit, in 2014, I expected an awesome time, and didn’t really anticipate any major surprises when I boarded the Infinity for a 15-day Panama Canal cruise. However, there were some – the new Roof Top Terrace, Blu, and a lot more sea days. THE GOOD We decided to try Aqua Class this time, and our cabin (9131) was in great shape and perfectly located. No dreaded noises (some CC posters had recommended avoiding these cabins because of potential scraping or thumping under the Ocean View Café or pool deck). That was not an issue and we were close to everything. Room 9131 was nice and clean, and we liked the upgraded shower, robes, etc. Although, some instruction regarding the features would really come in handy. I have neck problems and no one told me about the pillow menu that could have alleviated them. No directions for all the nice things you can do with the shower adjustments either. We never did figure out how to turn on the entry light without blazing up the entire cabin, and the balcony door needs Arnold Schwarzenegger to open it. Yikes. That said, our cabin steward was so attentive I couldn’t believe he ever sleeps had not been cloned somehow. Always there, always helpful! Blu Blu was a nice venue for dinner, but it was a bit hit and miss. The sample menu on Celebrity.com shows filet mignon, for instance. Never got it in 15 days. I like my beef really rare and the steak they served was too tough to eat it that way. Appetizers, salads, fish, and soups were very, very good though. I should have had three helpings of steak tartare and skipped everything else that night. Only other issue with Blu was that the tables are very close together and they mash you against other people even when it isn’t full. Never an issue with dinner but one morning I had to listen to a really loud guy talk with his mouth full the entire breakfast. His spit actually hit my table cloth. Ugh. After that I went to the omelet station upstairs. Our wine steward, Amar, was great and took awesome care of us in Blu. Buffet The buffet, which I tend to avoid on cruises or anywhere else, was surprisingly good. Omelet station and poached station were a hit, and I tried new things like the broiled tomatoes in the English breakfast section. Only inconvenience was having to get lattes on the 5th floor (Cafe Bacio folks are super!), then run back up to the tenth floor to get breakfast. Had there been a savory option, like a veggie quiche or ham and cheese croissant on fifth floor, life would have been perfect. Bar We had the Premium (aka, the AA, lol) drinks package, which was nice. Included all the coffee drinks as well. Service was terrific, especially in the Ocean View Bar, Cellar Masters and Bacio. Martini Bar is fun, but most of the drinks are sweet. Honestly, the best craft cocktails by far were in Sushi On Five. Too bad that’s the only place you can get them, because unless the whole group likes sushi you never get to go there. Sushi On Five This replaced Bistro On Five, the old crepe place. It had some really good food, mostly the appetizers, but I noticed the menu was much more limited than the sample on the web site. Very little for non-sushi folks, which makes it hard to get a group to go. Rhys, our waiter, was terrific. I also remember them taking sushi off the other menus on board because there is now a dedicated restaurant, but no one had added crepes anywhere now that Bistro is gone. Really missed both the sweet and savory crepes. The Gym Classes were great, gym very clean, good equipment, usually no waiting. Only problem is it’s hard to balance in yoga class when the seas are rough. And for some reason, the locker room has no hair dryers! Really strange – still had to go back to room, all yucky, because no real way to shower and dress in there. Entertainment Silent Disco was really fun. The bands on board were mostly really good as well. And watching movies and football upstairs on the roof top was fantastic. Only problem is getting food or drinks up there. Hard to balance them while going up the stairs. One of the drink carts like the ones they push around the pool area would be helpful. THE BAD Not too much bad here but figured I’d mention in case Celebrity is interested in improvement. Wine Only deficiency regarding drinks service was in the specialty restaurant, Tuscan Grille. On the Summit, in the Normandie, our sommelier was fantastic. She had a wine for each course that hit the mark every time. This guy couldn’t even remember which if us was drinking white or red, or what our next course was. A little disappointing. I’ll miss the Normandie. Room Service Okay, I don’t know what “enhanced” room service menu was supposed to be, but ours was seriously limited. Food not impressive at all and very little variety. Only got it once. Pool Chairs and lounges – chair hogs alive and well. Every time I walked in to maybe read for an hour or so, every chair had a towel and junk on it, and maybe a third were actually being used. Maybe implement a reservation system and a time limit? THE CHEESY! AND THESE ARE THE WORST COMPLAINTS Sea Days If you eliminate all of the “events” that are thinly (or not-so-thinly) disguised sales pitches, there is very little to do, especially if you’re under 100 years old. Here’s an example: • Learn about buying emeralds! • Watch buying party! • Art auction! • Art auction! • Art auction! • Opal seminar! • Learn about enhancing your health (with vitamins, acupuncture, massage, orthotics, oils, aromatherapy, hair products for sale) • Ruby celebration! • Gemstones for you! • Jewelry grand opening! • Shore shopping expert! • Diamonds International! • Port expert tells you where to shop! You get the idea. Retail shops were less than inspiring. More jewelry, just cheaper. I never saw Top Chef at Sea, which was about the only thing I was looking forward to. The web site also touted things like language classes, which I wanted to attend and never saw. Unless your idea of vacation is bingo, stuffing your face and buying overpriced crap you don’t need, you’ll hate sea days on Celebrity. And there were nine of them. Ugh. This was our seventh cruise and has probably cured us of taking another cruise for a while. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was my second cruise, first with Celebrity. Overall, I was happy with the cruise. Did find certain aspects annoying. The drinks and other packages are expensive, gratuities are expect as a matter of course and not based on the ... Read More
This was my second cruise, first with Celebrity. Overall, I was happy with the cruise. Did find certain aspects annoying. The drinks and other packages are expensive, gratuities are expect as a matter of course and not based on the level of service. Service throughout the ship service was a bit hit and miss. Some crew members were attentive, while others were irreverent and some just ignored you. Service in the dining room was good but slow. Infinity is starting to show her age. Most public areas are satisfactory. The cabins are tired and in need of updating, but the cabin attendants were very good. Embarkation was not very well organised, long queues at check-in, baggage drop-off and going through USA Boarder Control added even more queues. It took nearly 2 hours from getting out of the taxi to boarding the ship. Disembarkation was better organised and smoother. Dining was good, the food was very good, in the main dining. The buffet restaurant on deck 10 was like a bun-fight, especially at breakfast. With only one main dining room serving breakfast and only open until 9am, nearly all the ship seemed to try and eat on deck 10. Trying to find a seat was nearly impossible. Entertainment was very good and there was always somewhere to go and enjoy a live show or activities to take part in. There shore excursions were good, a good selection in each port to suit all tastes. Overall, I enjoyed this cruise. The destination had a lot to do with that enjoyment. Having only 3 ports of call, some of these for only a few hours, in a 7 day cruise, does mean you rely on the ship to entertain you, which it did well, most of the time. We were fortunate that the weather was good when we approached the Hubbard Glasier, the ultimate destination. I will cruise again, but whether I cruise with Celebrity will very much depend on the destinations and ports visit. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My 8th cruise. Alaska was magnificent an experience not to be missed. Embarkation was easy until we reached the US Border Staff Checks, took forever. Cabin was fantastic 7206 huge balcony at the stern great all round views a spot of soot ... Read More
My 8th cruise. Alaska was magnificent an experience not to be missed. Embarkation was easy until we reached the US Border Staff Checks, took forever. Cabin was fantastic 7206 huge balcony at the stern great all round views a spot of soot from the funnel though. Dining in the Trellis was poor in the evening, tired repetitive menu very bland. Breakfast was good in both Tellis and Spa. The Oceanview cafeteria was bearable late evening otherwise it is a zoo. Entertainment was very good and thoroughly enjoyable very professional. Service was mixed throughout; cabin staff superb, restaurant waiters (wine and food) were inconsistent and often no where to be found. Bar service was generally good some bars were often under staffed. Shore excursions were enjoyable and generally well organised but on one occasion there was clearly not enough time to cover everything properly. Shore excursion prices remain a bone of contention and can only be described as seriously expensive, value for money not always obvious. The ship as whole portrayed a very tired atmosphere and often public areas and bars were bombarded with inappropriate music more often than not too loud. Martini bar with 'Garage,Rap and HipHop' is it me? Apart from the cabin and the entertainment the ship did nothing to entice me back again. Disembarkation was very easy and well controlled. Vancouver is a lovely city and well worth a visit. Cycle round Stanley Park is a great way to see a major part. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We are a fan of Celebrity Cruises and we were looking forward to our Panama canal to Valparaiso, Chile. 15 day cruise. Honestly we were very dissppointed, this cruise on our estimate was nothing like our previous cruises on Celebrity. ... Read More
We are a fan of Celebrity Cruises and we were looking forward to our Panama canal to Valparaiso, Chile. 15 day cruise. Honestly we were very dissppointed, this cruise on our estimate was nothing like our previous cruises on Celebrity. We had been on the Millenium a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but the Infinity even it had gone through a refurbishment was not up to par, on some sections of the ship we noticed a very strong sewage smell. The food on MDR was not bad but nothing to brag about, we did enjoyed the expirience on Qsine, but were disappointed with Tuscan Grill. The check in was quick and easy but when we went up to the buffet it was a mad house, the ship was being deep clean do to an outbrake of the novavirus and people after they had eaten stayed seated and there was not a place to seat and have lunch, the situation was not handle properly by the cruise line. The staff was great, from our cabin attendant to the waiting staff on all the restaurants. Entertainment was not bad and enjoyed the lectures offered. The Panama Canal crossing is a very nice expirience and we had a wonderful time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We just returned from the October 29th sailing of Celebrity's Infinity. It was her first sailing after drydock where they refreshed some areas and changed out the SS United States Restaurant for a new Tuscan Grill Restaurant. It ... Read More
We just returned from the October 29th sailing of Celebrity's Infinity. It was her first sailing after drydock where they refreshed some areas and changed out the SS United States Restaurant for a new Tuscan Grill Restaurant. It was a Thursday to Thursday sailing and there was only one other ship in port – so it made embarkation and debarkation easy as far as the number of people there. A little background – we are a senior couple, living in Palm City, Florida, who love to cruise – this was our 12th Celebrity cruise and 48th overall – we began cruising in 1987. We have cruised with Celebrity on the Meridian, Zenith, Century, Mercury, Millenium, Eclipse, and Constellation – some multiple times – prior to this Infinity sailing. So we have experienced all the various classes of ships that they have ever had. Since they did away with the Century class ships, the M class have been our favorite. We booked an inside cabin on Deck 3 – 3105 – midships. We booked this cabin because it gave us good access to the mid-ship elevators and the areas of the ship we have liked in the past. My husband's walking ability isn't what it used to be so we try to be as close as possible to the venues that we use the most. Embarkation was quick and we were on the ship very quickly – having checked in at the Elite check-in. The cabins were not ready so we went to Bistro on Five for a nice, calm, relaxing lunch. We avoid the buffet on sail-away days as it is just too hard to manage for us. There is a cover charge for Bistro on Five - $10pp – which is double what it was when they introduced this venue – but worth it to avoid the crowds in the buffet. The food was excellent – and we left there and went to our cabin afterwards as they had announced the cabins were ready. We unpacked our small bags and set out to check out the Cafe Baccio and find our Muster Station. Turns our our Muster Station was in Michael's Club – we got there early and got a seat – you don't have to bring your life jacket to this drill so that is a plus - afterwards we were able to exit directly to the outside deck for the sail away. We were a little late leaving, but it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed sitting on the port side as we went out the inlet to the Atlantic. We had booked Anytime Dining – so we were able to relax a bit and unpack before going up to the dining room for dinner. The Trellis dining room is aft and is two story – with Anytime Dining being on Deck 5 and those with fixed seating on Deck 4. We got there about 7:15pm and had to wait a short while for our table for 2. We don't mind that and we were seated along the railing overlooking the fixed dining room below. We had a great waiter – Ali – and his assistant Sebastiano – the food was good – we had Prime Rib – and we relaxed over dinner. It was obvious to us, looking downstairs, that the late seating was going to be really late – we met people later who told us that they didn't finish the first night until 11:15pm!!! After the first night, we made a reservation each night – sometimes early and sometimes late – to accommodate our going to a show or not – the dining room hostess, Maria, was charming and noted our preferences as to seating (not too far in so my husband didn't have to walk too far) and in Ali's section if possible. The food was good the entire cruise and we never lacked for things to order. There are some items that stay on the menu all through the cruise and others that change each evening. We always had excellent service in Ali's section and the two times we weren't seated there it was OK but not stellar. We never book a specialty restaurant because it isn't a value for us – we don't eat big portions and frankly, the surcharge for those restaurants these days is way too high in our opinion. I went into the Tuscan Grill to see what they had done – it is very contemporary – and the menu sounded good – but not for us. I wish they had left the SS United States alone – they did display some of the artifacts from her – but not prominently. Since we are Elite with Celebrity – we are provided a breakfast dining venue that we enjoy – there are various specialty coffees and drinks (Bloody Mary for example) and smoothies and pastries and fruit plates and salmon, and meat and cheese plates – so we ate there most mornings – one morning we ate in the main dining room – it was very good and service was excellent in both places. We also have a cocktail hour provided each evening from 5-7pm in the Constellation lounge and we went there most evenings – we skipped the Captains party and the Senior Officers party and we didn't dress formally on formal night – we have “been there done that”. The itinerary had four ports – Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya. They were all right in a row after a first day at sea. We only got off the ship in Roatan as it was a very close in walk to see it as we hadn't been there in a very long time. The other ports we have been to many times and we enjoyed the ship while others were off on land. These ports are great if you want to see Mayan ruins or snorkle or dive. The water is beautiful and they are known for that. The ship didn't have the main dining room open on port days so we were forced to use either the buffet or the grill or pay for lunch at Bistro on Five – I wasn't happy about this and we tried to go to the buffet at “off” times to avoid the crowds. The buffet was not managed well at all – tables went uncleared and there were no supervisors evident and those who were there certainly had no one cleaning tables quickly – and those we saw being cleaned were given a cursory swipe with a cloth. The floor was left with crumbs for a long time – just not well done at all. The tables on the aft deck outside just sat there with dirty dishes – the food was pedestrian at best – the only good part for us was the Pasta Bar where you could choose your own ingredients that were then sauteed and you chose your pasta and sauce – you could control the amount of pasta and it was very good – the Pizza bar also had passable pizza – but trying to reach in anywhere in the buffet under their new sneeze guards was very difficult and you had to ask for someone to help. There were no trays on which to put your dishes so it was a balancing act if you had more than one thing – and it was hard to find someone to help if you needed it. Just not a good situation in our opinion. We tended to hang out in the Cafe Baccio – there are nice places to read and the Gelato and dessert bars are there as well as specialty coffee and drinks. You don't have to buy anything in order to have the pastries so we had some cake on two occasions – excellent. We had gelato as well a couple of times. The area is nice – but could be improved upon as there is not a lot of comfortable seating and there is plenty of room to improve it. There were a lot of sales in the Emporium – a lot of sales in the Spa – other than morning stretch the classes in the gym were an upcharge – just a lot of selling going on. Celebrity doesn't do a lot of announcements and that is a plus and Patty, the Cruise Director, was great – we enjoyed the comedians and the Divas 3 shows – we aren't much for production numbers and we missed the acrobatic show the last night which we heard was really good. We met a lot of really nice people – had some great conversations - got some books read. I used the Computer Lab twice – the computers are so very slow it is hardly worth the effort. We both get 90 free minutes and I used almost all of mine up just waiting for things that I needed to check to load – you can use the wi-fi on all your devices on the ship – though I don't know why you would want to as it is very slow – be sure to put your phone on Airplane mode or you will rack up extreme data charges. We cruise to be unconnected but I sure saw a lot of people using all kinds of devices – The roof top deck with the movie screen was under construction while we were on board – it is supposed to be “live” by Dec 5th. There will be food – but there will be a charge for it I understand – again, more selling. All in all, the ship did not live as well, for us, as we hoped it would. We had to walk all the way to the back of the ship for meals, and all the way to the front for shows. Now, if my husband were more mobile, this wouldn't be an issue for us and hasn't in the past – we just have to cruise differently these days. He is considering a scooter. The “feel” on Celebrity has changed for us. We used to consider it a cut above – not anymore. For anyone who has never cruised with them or has only cruised a little with them, then you won't notice the difference probably. If you are a long time Celebrity cruiser, you most certainly will notice it. We won't be cruising with them again as we both feel that it just isn't worth it for us. Debarkation was interesting. We had asked for an 8am departure time and got that. As Elites, we were to wait in the Trellis dining room area in which we had had breakfast all week and, supposedly, coffee, juice and rolls would be provided. We got there a little after 7am and it was so disorganized that it just was comical. No one knew what was what – nothing was labeled as to what it was – there were very few cups to be had – there were juice glasses, but no juice – you get the picture – it took a while to sort it all out. We did get a cup of coffee, a glass of juice and a roll – we were called off pretty much on time and it was easy to find our bag and get in line for Customs – we called the Park N Fly when we got outside and waited a very little time before they were there. We were back home by 10:30am, unpacked, did our laundry and settled back to life on land. Don't think that this review is negative – we did have a good time – the best part was the people we met. There were some high points with crew members who were excellent. The ship still needs lots of attention in various areas – friends told us that when they went to the wine tasting the last afternoon, the plates with breakfast items – ie salmon platters, meat and cheese platters, were still sitting un-refrigerated in the hallway of the dining room. Just an example of the lax supervision and attention to detail. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
My husband & I began cruising two to three times a year for about the last 5 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise and we were less than impressed. To begin, the new port terminal in San Francisco was very nice, and drop ... Read More
My husband & I began cruising two to three times a year for about the last 5 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise and we were less than impressed. To begin, the new port terminal in San Francisco was very nice, and drop off much simpler than getting off on a busy street outside the aging terminal down the street. But the wait was the longest of any cruise yet. We were in line for what seemed like hours, on our feet, so tiring. At first blush, the ship is beautifully appointed and decorated in tasteful, modern themes, although some of the art work seemed peculiar (a crushed motorcycle sculpture, and tiny 3-D printer figurines in glass cases...no pieces had that ooo-ahhh factor we've seen on other ships). Our cabin was the best design yet ~ rounded bed, lots of mirrors to give a spacious feel, glass panel-illuminated nightlight in the bathroom - excellent idea. We had heard the food was "better" Celebrity, but we found it mediocre in the dining room and some menu items were actually quite poor (steak ordered from the "left" side of the menu was "diner quality"). The one and only night lobster was served, it was tough, dry & chewy. The mushroom risotto smelled horrible and came in the form of a brown paste. We got it, this was probably a subtle nudge to sign on for the alternative dining venues at a premium price. We are not usually buffet people, but ended up there for breakfasts (the dining room took way too long, and the menu never changed like it did on other cruises). I have to say, the buffet experience on Celebrity was the best of any other cruise we've taken. The pasta bar, pizza bar, and particularly the ice cream/sorbet/frozen yogurt bar (flavors changed daily!) were very good. Fresh waffles, omlets & eggs Benedict were made to order at breakfast at various stations. There was always a fresh ham, or roast being cut for lunch & dinner, sushi bar every night at 5:30p, and they would fry up minute steaks and chicken breasts on the grill as well. Even the burgers at the poolside grill were more like home made than the thin, McDonald variety on other cruises. The international staff was friendly and engaging. The entertainment we found lack-luster compared to other cruises. The theater was nicely designed, small couch seating (not too comfortable after awhile though). The stage floor was shabby and beat up, the production shows were ho-hum as far as content and music selection, and some of the costumes were garish and odd. the guest entertainers were as expected. We saw much more sophisticated entertainment on Princess actually. However, the small venue music was nice - two girls ("Ear Candy") and a singing piano player provided casual background vocals. On the downside, the piped in muzak in the buffet and other areas was almost always vocal jazz, erratic, moaning and whining. More ambient music would have been welcome. Selections on the cabin TV were extremely limited and often "no reception" would appear. Premium movies were available at a whopping $12+... really?! So much for kicking back in the cabin to relax and watch TV. It was mostly commercials selling future cruises or premium ship services & restaurants. All in all the cruise was very nice. The itinerary was one of our best yet to Alaska (been there 4 times). We were pleasantly surprised by stops new to us in Haines & Nanaimo. Milo, the naturalist was very good and spoke on a variety of interesting subjects, including one presentation on the constellations & space. The "Snapshot Rally", by Mikey/Live was an excellent, sharing experience. Cruise contributors submitted 5 of their best photos and got a (free) photo CD at the end of the cruise that was a compilation of 600+ wonderful pictures submitted by other cruisers. Now for the problems we had. Mid-way through our cruise they decided to spot-paint our balcony. No notice was given. We arrived with our cabin door ajar and someone outside painting. We were assured the paint would dry in about an hour. But there was moisture, and the paint remained tacky for days. We tracked it in on the carpet and it stayed on our shoes. Paint was also slopped onto our deck chairs. We were hindered from using our deck as we had to skirt around the edges to avoid the undried paint. We called guest services, but they couldn't move us. It was then that I noticed how gross our room phone was. I took pictures. For a cruise line so concerned with health, this was an area that was clearly neglected and a place ripe for cross-contamination. Also, there were humps in the hall every so often. Not the metal separators found when carpet meets these were humps that if you were caught off guard, or in rough seas, or very elderly or impaired might cause one a real problem. There was also a large divot (about the size of foot) covered over by carpeting at the end of our bed that we turned our ankle on a couple of times. When we mentioned these "flooring irregularities" to the room steward, he laughed and said "they were there when he got there". Upon returning, I contacted customer relations to tell them about the paint issue, the dirty phone, and the flooring irregularities. They were ho-hum about it and offered us a $125 discount on our next cruise (total). I doubt we will be back with Celebrity. It really didn't turn out to be all it was cracked up to be. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
Norwegian Fjords-Celebrity Infinity August 15-25 We are experienced cruisers, this being our 26th cruise and 18th with Celebrity. We enjoy the many privileges that Elite status brings with it and have been avid, long standing Celebrity ... Read More
Norwegian Fjords-Celebrity Infinity August 15-25 We are experienced cruisers, this being our 26th cruise and 18th with Celebrity. We enjoy the many privileges that Elite status brings with it and have been avid, long standing Celebrity supporters. However, this past cruise put that to the test. Our last Celebrity cruise was on the Constellation last fall to the Greek Islands and we had none of the concerns that we certainly do now. Indeed, as a travel agent, I will no longer be able to recommend Celebrity without fear. So why the change of heart? Basically, it came down to inconsistencies across the board. We love to dance and spend a good part of the evening in the Rendez-Vous Lounge. On this cruise, it was so cold, it was uncomfortable to stay even with the exercise the dancing brings with it. We did question why it was so cold and were told by Guest Relations that the temperature around the entire ship was kept the same. ( basically saying we were wrong) We were traveling with another couple who found the same issue and so avoided the Rendez-Vous Lounge totally. The same heating issue was a problem in the Thallasotherapy Pool area. You could not sit in it without having a towel or blanket on. Again we complained to no avail. Yes it is chillier in Norway, so increase the heating! Another issue was the lack of enforcement of posted rules. There were children in the adult pool every day at any hour. We spoke to a pool butler the very first day who did nothing. The second day we spoke to Guest Relations in person at the front desk. We got a fruit basket as the solution. Still children were in the pool all day. The third time we spoke to an officer who actually tried to do something, but one of the adults with children started to yell at the officer so several adults left instead of listening to the argument. In all fairness to the father, part of the issue was the inconsistency on the part of Celebrity to stick to actual times. Some days they said it was 4 PM, other days they decided it was 5 PM. One day a sign finally appeared but still was never enforced. It clearly says adults only from 11 - 5 and still there were children of varying ages every day at all times in the pool and in the hot tubs for adults only. We spoke to the head of the Captain's Club who merely said it was summer and there were a lot of children on board- not the appropriate answer at all. There were adults with plates of food in the hot tubs and bottles of beer. The solution is so simple; a security guard or officer in that pool area. The buffet was an absolute and utter zoo. People butted in lines, saved seats and were indignant when we said something to them. "Excuse me" seemed to be an expression not known by many. Breakfast was the worst; one day it took us 20 minutes to get a seat. Waiting for toast was ridiculous, so we gave up and went to the main dining room for breakfast but were saddened by how long it took to even get served. Yes, the juice, coffee and pastries come quickly enough but since we don't have that, it took up to 20 minutes to have our order taken and then another 20 minutes for it to arrive. Although we hadn't complained, one waiter who had high social intelligence, came over and said the wait was because my wife had ordered cold food and I, hot food. Good try, but nonsense. The ship kept changing breakfast times and some days there was nothing at all available from 7 AM - 8 AM. Really? And as stated before, do not sit on the right side when entering, where service is horrible. At dinner, we fortunately had an excellent waiter, Jose, and assistant waiter Herickson. The food, however, was inconsistent. Some old standards like the prime rib, beef Wellington and lamb were superb. Some like "Pork and Beans" shouldn't be on a cruise line menu who was known for its food. Salads were poor, desserts poor and cold soups seem to have disappeared just as the brunch. When we inquired about the brunch, we were told it was a decision based on food sanitation as Celebrity had observed several guests had become ill just after the brunch. It took a waiter to explain that to us which we really appreciated. The hake, halibut and haddock were dry and overcooked. Celebrity used to have sommeliers who did an awesome job with wine. This cruise we struggled to even get served. The "Sommeliers" were glorified bar servers, nothing like the original sommeliers Celebrity used to have. Our friends asked for certain wines but substitutions were made without a word of explanation. Sometimes when questioned, the answer was we have run out of that wine. So why not be honest and say so instead of trying to sneak a different wine by. Strange that the very wine asked for was always available at the martini bar. Again, it came down to poor service. The one high note was Natalie, the hostess, who was as pleasant and professional as one would expect. The Elite cocktail hour is usually a highlight for us. Again, children were allowed in and some would run around, not the way an adult wants to spend a cocktail time. On the last day, again no officers present, when one child was running and screaming, we simply left. Again one waiter stuck out as out of the ordinary, Roosevelt was awesome. He really worked! He walked quickly, engaged in meaningful conversation, and took the initiative on many occasions by responding to guests who were being looked after by other waiters. He was again, perfect, the kind of service one expects of Celebrity. It is fitting to note that there are still crew on board who are excellent. Our cabin steward Ambrose was perfect. He was efficient, personable and nothing was ever too much trouble. The Elemis products have gone by the wayside as have the nightly chocolates. But Ambrose on Deck 8 is the kind of staff member one expects on a Celebrity cruise. Other than the few staff mentioned, there appeared to be a complete lack of interest by most. Dishes were cleared very slowly in the buffet, little communication, and general apathy seemed to be evident everywhere. We have eaten in Bistro On Five many times per cruise, but this time once again due to lack of interest or engagement by staff, after the first lunch, we passed. The food was good although increased in price from $5 to $7. Yes, doesn't sound a lot but when it is on top, we simply passed because there was nothing really special about it. We spend a fair deal of money at the martini bar. Again, inconsistent was the word to describe the experience. If you wanted a good drink, Adrian was the man. Many patrons kept asking for only him to make their drink because he went out of his way to match the drink to the client with outstanding consistency. The other bartenders were a hit or miss. The service was only good if you sat at the bar with Adrian as he catered to each client perfectly. For a time, we wondered if it was an M class ship issue. We loved the Galaxy, Mercury, and Zenith. In particular, Captain George on the Century told us he expected his officers to be visible and engaging with passengers. Indeed, at every single Captain's Club cocktail time, there were up to 5 officers there who would sit down and chat. Captain George was at every function for the whole 15 days to Hawaii. This time, it was very superficial and seemed as if they couldn't be bothered. Loyal clients really do want to be engaged with. We were on the Millenium to Alaska last summer and it was excellent. We have been on the Summit 8 times, and always happy, and Constellation 3 times as recently as last fall with a few complaints so this appears to be an Infinity issue. We had considered the repositioning cruise from Lauderdale to Valparaiso through the canal but will now take a pass since it is on Infinity. In fairness to all, the ship was clean. In short, what should have been a wonderful cruise when one says Norwegian Fjords was ho- hum and will cause us to rethink our loyalty to Celebrity. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2012
The Celebrity Infinity Alaskan Cruise was a good experience and I would recommend doing it - once. Before I dive into a more detailed review it's worth noting that I start with a bias - I love cruise vacations. I've been on at ... Read More
The Celebrity Infinity Alaskan Cruise was a good experience and I would recommend doing it - once. Before I dive into a more detailed review it's worth noting that I start with a bias - I love cruise vacations. I've been on at least 14 that include itineraries within the Caribbean, Mexico, the Mediterranean and now Alaska. I've sailed on 4 different lines (Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity) and have found that Celebrity Cruises meet my needs and wants the best. Overall, I like the Celebrity experience for three primary reasons: the ship interiors reflect an understated high end design, the food quality is excellent, and the service is consistently well executed. Despite my preference for Celebrity, I've never been on a cruise I haven't enjoyed. I like being on the water and the overall experience of sailing on a ship. I like visiting different ports of call without the hassles of packing and unpacking. I find the value of a cruise exceeds, dollar-for-dollar, a comparably priced land based vacation. Finally -- if I am on a cruise I am also on vacation so what's not to enjoy? Regarding the Alaska experience - it was wonderful but I'll never do it again. One morning at 6am, when we were sailing through the Tracy Arm Fjord, I was wearing 2 layers of clothing, a cable knit sweater, a rain jacket, gloves, a hat and was wrapped in a wool blanket. While I was bundled up in the cold morning mist, watching cruise attendants try to sell $9 "souvenir" mugs of hot chocolate to other frigid guests, I quietly thought to myself, "did I really pay for this experience?" While the Tracy Arm Fjord, and indeed all the nature I experienced in Alaska, was beautiful and even breathtaking, it was also cold, windy, rainy and cloudy. It was toward the end of summer (early September) so I expected this. I also realized that I prefer warm weather vacations. I'd still recommend going to Alaska because it's worth seeing. I took advantage of being there -- I saw black bears, humpback whales, glaciers and took active tours that put me in the middle of the scenery. It was great. But once was enough! It was disappointing for me to see so many people never venture past the utterly fake "Alaskan" experience of small-town ports designed and staffed by the cruise lines or their affiliates. If you are headed to Alaska and your only experience is a short walk from the ship to the next "Tanzanite International" jewelry store my recommendation is don't go! If you are going to spend your time and money on an Alaskan vacation then go and see it! Get out there and experience it! Put yourself in the center of what Alaska has to offer. It's truly wonderful -- despite the weather. When deciding on a cruise I find the choice of ship is as important as the destination itself. The Celebrity Infinity is a "Millennium Class" ship -- meaning that it shares the same general blueprint design of the Celebrity Millennium ship. There are 4 ships in that series -- the Millennium, Infinity, Constellation and Summit. The Infinity was completed in 2001. I sailed it in 2004 and remember being impressed. In 2008, Celebrity celebrated the inaugural sailing of their first new class of ship in nearly a decade -- the Solstice. The Solstice is bigger than the Millennium ships and features many new innovations and entertainment venues. Since then a total of 5 "Solstice Class" ships have been released: the Solstice, Eclipse, Equinox, Silhouette and the Reflection. Within the last year, each Millennium Class ship underwent a major multi-million dollar renovation branded as a "Solsticzation." Through this process the older ships were outfitted with some of the new innovations and entertainment venues found on Solstice Class ships. Since I've sailed on the Solstice, Eclipse and Equinox I was anxious to check out the new and improved "Solsticized" Infinity. As I mentioned, I love being on the water and the experience of sailing on a ship. I could take a cruise to nowhere and thoroughly enjoy myself. I chose this Alaska cruise equally for the experience of Alaska as I did for the experience of sailing on the newly remodeled Infinity. It didn't disappoint. The ship looks fantastic -- fresh and new despite being more than a decade old. It was fun to experience new venues like the chic Martini Bar, unique specialty restaurants like "Qsine" and "Bistro on 5," as well as other public venues like the "Cellar Masters" wine bar or the re-purposed "Michael's Club" which is now a micro-brew pub. The new Infinity felt like a smaller and more intimate version of the Solstice Class ships. If I was disappointed by anything it was some of the food options and inconsistent service experience -- which was surprising given the consistently great experiences I've had on so many previous Celebrity cruises. The Infinity's upscale ocean liner themed restaurant, the S.S. United States, offers French cuisine similar to the "Murano" branded restaurants found on Solstice class ships. The similarities end there. The service was way off, the food wasn't prepared well (deflated souffle's among other obvious mis-steps) and a faded decor in need of its own refresh all contributed to the disappointment. I don't think this venue was touched during the renovation and I didn't feel value for the extra $40/person charge. Based on previous experience this should have been one of the "highlight" dinners of the week. In contrast, the new "Blu" restaurant was superb! Blu is a contemporary restaurant venue available to guests who book "Aqua Class" rooms. It's small, minimalist in design, with a focus on contemporary cuisine and modern service (attentive but not stuffy). Unfortunately, I only ate there once. My partner and I were traveling with a friend who was booked in another class of room and Celebrity staff would not allow him to dine with us in Blu -- even for a fee. This was extremely disappointing. The venue was seldom full at the times we chose to eat and they could have easily accommodated him. I understand that Celebrity needs to ensure a consistent experience for those who book in a higher class of room -- but I can think of several easy solutions to this non-issue which became a service issue in my eyes. All this reference to "class" really did take me back in time: were we sailing on the Titanic? With regard to service overall, I could list many other inconsistencies but by far one of the biggest problems was the lack of bar service. It often took 10 minutes or longer to get a single drink order placed during peak times. This was the case at every bar we tried and was a consistent frustration that I, and many others, expressed throughout our cruise vacation. Celebrity -- you are not only disappointing your guests you are leaving money on the table! Fix it! Speaking of class, the staterooms are divided as such and include Standard Cabins, Concierge Class or Aqua Class. All these cabin classes are roughly identical in size but differentiated by their location on the ship and other "amenities." In my opinion, with the exception of the fabulous "Blu" dining venue available exclusively to Aqua Class guests, the list of amenities does not justify the price difference. A better robe? A pillow menu? A "free" bottle of low quality sparkling wine? Afternoon "canapes" which are ridiculously small? A "fresh" flower which ended up being a single alstroemeria stem that was never replaced all week? A shower with multiple jets with barely enough water pressure to matter? Are these "amenities" really worth hundreds of dollars more per person? It's ultimately up to you but my advice would be to save your money and book a standard cabin, bring your own better bottle of champagne and order room service as an alternative to afternoon "canapes." Beyond Aqua Class there are several types of suites available which offer larger rooms and higher levels of personal service which might be worth the extra cost depending on your expectations and vacation budget. Overall, this was a good cruise vacation. Alaska is spectacular if you're willing to be a little adventurous and see it beyond the immediate port of call. It's certainly worth doing once in your life. The Celebrity Infinity is a beautiful, small (by modern standards) ship that's well maintained with a good variety of entertainment venues and restaurant choices. The food and service on this cruise was inconsistent in areas but good overall and I would still recommend choosing Celebrity over other lines. I'm giving the cruise product 3.5 stars because it was good, not great. But I did have a great time. After all, I was on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
I really wanted to write a rave review, but can't even come close. I will be honest about my personal bias in some matters for which Celebrity has little or no responsibility, so that readers can sort out what's relevant to them. ... Read More
I really wanted to write a rave review, but can't even come close. I will be honest about my personal bias in some matters for which Celebrity has little or no responsibility, so that readers can sort out what's relevant to them. We arrived the day before departure, and stayed at the Inn at the Market in Seattle. Lovely inn with helpful staff, across the street from the Pike Place Market, and within easy walking distance of several restaurants and shops. Took a cab to the pier at about 1PM, where the Very Long Check In began. Got in the first line to have our bags scanned and dropped off (15 minutes), got in the next line to go up the escalator (about 30 minutes), got in another line to go through security (10 minutes), and were sorted into yet another line to be checked into our cabin. Fortunately for us, the concierge class had a very short line and we had to wait just a few minutes to see an agent for our cabin. The non-concierge passengers were herded into a zig-zagging queue that had to be several-hundred-persons long, and reminded me of Ellis Island. Even the Captains Club line had several dozen people I felt profoundly lucky. Once checked in, we ordered into another line to get our picture taken, which we quickly dodged, to get into another line to the gangway to get on the ship. The ship had a nice layout, with several unique places to enjoy a drink, hot beverage, ice cream, or just a book or a nap. It seemed well-maintained and clean. We rarely saw the officers, but didn't look for them, either. Our cabin was on the 11th floor, aft, and overlooked the bar and restaurant on the 10th deck. The balcony was not as quiet as I would have preferred, but it wasn't noisy. Smoke odor was not a problem. The problem for me was 195 SF, the room was too small. The closet and bathroom doors could not be open at the same time. Space between the foot of the bed and the mirror was about 18 inches. My DH and I couldn't dress by the closet at the same time, and since that's where the bathroom is, this required a strategic plan if one needed to shower and dress for dinner. I am fussy about hotel rooms on vacation. I originally wanted a Celebrity Suite, but when the Aqua Class staterooms were priced less than a regular balcony cabin, it seemed like a great deal. We saved money, but at the expense of enjoying our cabin. The room was attractively decorated and well appointed. Our cabin steward truly understood customer service, and intuited our preferences with incredible speed. The best cabin steward we had ever had. FTR, we left him a nice extra tip. The other problem with the cabin was our neighbors, who were traveling with friends and considered every cruise a booze cruise. The more drunk they got the louder they got, and they were loud to begin with. At one point, somebody was yodeling. I wish I was making this up, and I know it's not the cruise line's fault. By the time the cruise had come to an end, I wanted to toss live crabs on their balcony. Dining became an ordeal that I didn't look forward to. We were assigned to Blu, and appeared as scheduled the first night. We waited about 15 minutes to be seated when about half of the space was empty. Once seated, water was promptly poured, and we waited for a waiter. Our food came out in good time, but I had to ask for wine and my husband for iced tea after our food was served. This required the sommelier. My wine came, and my husband ate his meal without his tea. I asked for a wine refill, which the waiter brought, and nobody asked my husband if he would like another beverage. Our waiter was looking around the dining room while serving us, to see what was going on, I suppose. This entire scene repeated itself the next night, and at the main dining room days later. The buffet was, well, a buffet. Nothing to write home about. Plenty of food, not a lot of flavor. Again, beverages created bafflement; a coke or an iced tea apparently had to be delivered by tugboat from a cache on a nearby island. Dinner needed a Benny Hill soundtrack to make it complete. The SS United States was the exception to our dinnertime debacles. It was the fine dining experience in food and service that we expected (and paid extra for) from beginning to end. We loved it. My DH doesn't drink at all, but I do. I purchased the premium non-alcoholic beverage package for him, and the premium alcohol package for me. He didn't mind accompanying me to check out a couple of the lounges. We went to the Constellation lounge in the front of the ship, which is a good place to nap in the daytime. He accompanied me for an after-dinner drink at Michael's Club. We both enjoyed the bartenders' acrobatics at the Martini Bar. I enjoyed the Sunset Martini, and wish we would have gone to the Martini Bar earlier in the trip. We both enjoyed the Naturalist, Brent Nixon, and his discussions about Alaskan wildlife and sea life were packed for good reason. He had plentiful information presented in a funny and memorable style. After the first lecture we attended, we would plan around his talks! DH and I looked forward to the spa. We have had outstanding spa experiences on another cruise line, had heard good things about the Infinity, and were hoping for a similar experience. This was not going to happen. The spa was understaffed and ill-equipped. The Infinity has a nice Persian garden facility with multiple steam rooms and showers located behind the desk, but you need to figure it out for yourself. Tours were not offered. No spa shoes. Water not available for spa patrons. Robes checked in and out at the front desk with the locker key. The desk staff was not friendly, and insisted on booking the least desirable appointment times first. There was a locker room attendant, but she read her magazine and did not offer help. The locker room offered the same shampoo, conditioner, and lotion that was in the stateroom, but that was it. I asked for a hairdryer at the front desk, and the attendant told me that they don't have them "because electricity and water don't mix." Better not tell her about the electric Azipod propulsion units submerged as we speak. The cherry on top of this cruise of disappointment was the offensive treatment that we received at Guest Relations. I do not use "offensive" lightly. I recognize mistakes, I expect inexperience and a certain amount of incompetence. All of this is manageable and forgivable if addressed. You allow your employees to deliberately offend me and you've lost me as a customer for life. The first sea day, I checked our account on the television service, and found that drinks were incorrectly charged to us. I went to Guest Relations, explained the mistake, and was told that it would be taken care of. A few days later, I looked, and the charges were still there. I went back down to Guest Relations and was again told that the charges would be removed. After receiving our invoice the night before departure, we reviewed the charges, and the incorrect drink charges will still there. Now, I was irritated. I waited in yet another Celebrity line at Guest Relations (last night on the cruise). When I got to the desk, I asked to see a manager. The desk agent asked if she could help me, and for the third time, I explained the problem. She said she would take care of it. I said that I was not leaving until I had received a credit or spoken to a manager. I asked for her manager's name. She refused to give it to me. The Guest Relations agent then accused me of lying, buying drinks for friends and trying to get out of the bill, and argued and argued with me. In front of employees and customers. I was beyond livid at this point, but was so insulted, that I was not going to leave until justice was served. I don't even like writing about this; it makes me upset. Lesson learned. I don't ever want to be a "Celebrity" again. When people ask about our cruise, I tell them about Alaska. Alaska was beautiful, Alaskans were friendly, there was so much to see and do! It was a great experience, and I want to go back. But I don't tell them about the cruise. I don't care to remember it. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
This cruise meant a few things to Alison and I. For starters, I first proposed marriage to Alison in the "Ocean Liners" speciality restaurant aboard the Constellation, and we always planned to "do the Canal" for our ... Read More
This cruise meant a few things to Alison and I. For starters, I first proposed marriage to Alison in the "Ocean Liners" speciality restaurant aboard the Constellation, and we always planned to "do the Canal" for our honeymoon. As it turned out we couldn't get the timing quite right, so this would be the first Panama Canal cruise suitable for us since our marriage last March. It's also completed the pack of the 4 sister ships. We've been on Millennium (Transatlantic), Summit (Alaska) and, of course, Constellation (our first Celebrity cruise after we got together, to the Caribbean and another Transatlantic). Alison tells me Infinity is going into dry dock, though we're not clear at the moment (we're on the last leg from Cartegena to Fort Lauderdale) exactly what she's going in for. But a few things (not too many) could use a spruce-up. We had a stateroom on deck 8 and, hotwater aside (see below), you could not fault it. We had Japanese neighbors to one side, so not a lot of conversation there (I don't even like sushi) and an American couple the other side, who were pleasant enough to chat to. The first day aboard we were both looking over the side when a few hundred porpoises went past. It was no accident - they did it on porpoise - and our neighbors shifted their balcony chairs and tables around to get a better look. OK, let's get it over with - lifeboat drill. The authorities have ignored my request for a "loyalty card" system whereby you earn a point for every drill you do and if you get five points or more you can just have an annual refresher and watch everyone else from the confines of the Martini Bar. At least, this time, the Captain showed (and continued to show throughout the cruise) some humor. He said something along the lines that if there was a real emergency his voice would direct everyone what to do. In the unlikely event, he told us, that he was incapacitated someone else (a Greek I think) would take over. In the very unlikely event that he, too, was unavailable, a third Greek would assume command. In the very, very unlikely event that all three were unavailable, the Captain suggested, we should make peace with our God and every man for himself. If I had to pick one word that means the most about this cruise, it would have to be "temperature". Infinity just doesn't seem to be able to get it right. The most obvious (and enduring) issue with temperature for us staid Brits was getting water hot enough to make a decent cup of tea. Not to mention the tea itself, which we find odd. Also the milk (too much long-life - or whatever you Americans call it) for our taste, but that is purely a taste thing. But trying to brew a good cup of hot tea (once, of course, we've moved past the staff's assumption that if we ask for tea we must mean iced tea) is impossible with lukewarm water. We strongly suggest to any Celebrity managers who read this that they send their catering managers to London to have tea in Fortnum and Mason. The tea there isn't just a refreshing beverage - it's a whole experience not to be missed, and would, without doubt, let them see a new angle to the term "elegant tea". But there were other issues with temperature, too. Firstly, the water in the stateroom bathrooms. I understand why the mixer tap isn't marked "H" and "C", because "H" and "L" would be much more accurate. We were not the only ones to raise this issue and there was quite a bit of overheard conversation about it. But cleaning your teeth in "L" (lukewarm) water is not pleasant - it softens the bristles on your toothbrush such that one came off altogether, lodging itself between two of my teeth is such a way that no amount of toothpicks and further brushing (in the selfsame lukewarm water) would shift it. Finally a sharp fingernail did the trick. But please, Celebrity, try and give us H and C water in the staterooms. School Physics tells us that if water is raised to any temperature above ambient then some energy has been used to get it there, and amid all the Celebrity "green" claims this irks. This, of course, was a warm weather cruise that - arguably - needed ample supplies of cold water, and I found myself wondering whether - if Infinity were used on an Alaskan cruise - you'd get "C" and "L" and be left with an equally strong desire for some hot water. It reminds me of the old joke about a man going to a backwoods motel and asking, "do you have hot and cold running water?" only to be told, "Yes, Sir; Hot in summer and cold in winter". One final point on temperature - whether it's these cold rock things they're using now or something else eludes me, but getting a really cold carton of milk or a truly solid portion of butter was a rare experience in the Deck 10 buffet restaurant. Our first port of call after leaving San Diego was at Cabo San Lucas, where we tried, for the first time ever, parasailing. A very enjoyable adventure to fit snugly between breakfast and lunch. When we got back to our stateroom our neighbors had rearranged their balcony furnishings again and we all watched some dolphins and a turtle swim past. Our table waiter was excellent, not that we've ever had a bad one on Celebrity. His name was Christophe, and he was from Goa in India. I asked him, purely out of curiosity, one day, why there was so little of his country's cuisine on the cruise ships, mentioning that, in the UK, you never travel far - even in small towns - without finding an Indian food outlet. To cut a long story short, he said that if I wanted some Indian food, I would have some. True to his word, the next evening, with the approval of the Maitre, I was served a three-course Indian banquet, including a very acceptable chicken curry, chappati, rice and pappadum. The average age on the cruise was probably around 250. There were no kids at all, not one, which is why, I guess, the kids' entertainers were trying to recruit anyone below pensionable age to join in fun, games and children's discos. Even I was a target, but I wasn't going to wear one of those wristbands for anyone. Imaging trying to get a martini when you're wearing a band that says you're a member of the kiddy club. No way! Still, having no kids around made it quieter, and I managed to transfer my usual idea of throwing badly-behaved kids overboard to anyone with dentures or a blue rinse. The bingo sold out every day, of course, with walking-stick wielding passengers fighting for best position. But that all finished around 8.30 once the cocoa round had started. (If anyone's getting offended by this - I'm making it all up as a poor attempt at humor, OK? Besides, I like cocoa too.) Seriously, it did mean that most of the more strenuous excursions had few takers, despite the fact the ship almost emptied on port days. Maybe Diamonds International suited the demographic. We ran into our neighbors on the way back to our stateroom - they were carrying eight towels from the pool area. We did notice far fewer staff around generally. Whether this was the demographic, the anticipation of dry dock or, more worryingly, an attempt by Celebrity to cut costs, we cannot know. On previous X cruises you could never go out of your stateroom without bumping into 3 or 4 cheerful staff in the corridors. This time we were lucky if we saw one. In the buffet restaurant on Deck 10 we only once had an offer to carry the trays to our table. Not a worry to us as such, we're perfectly able to carry our own trays, but considering the aforementioned demographic, you'd have thought this would be an area that would have been addressed. There seemed to be fewer people, too, clearing away in those public areas. It would be interesting to learn what the guest/staff ratio was on this ship compared with previous ones. There seemed to be a lot of enthusiastic chat between the majority of American guests. Something about an election, apparently. Our next port of call was Acapulco. Alison had stayed there on vacation previously marriage and I had no great enthusiasm for going ashore, so, as we frequently do, we stayed on the ship to enjoy the almost deserted amenities. We spent a while on the balcony watching turtles and rays right alongside the ship in the harbor, while our neighbors had somehow managed to get a sun-lounger from somewhere and installed it on their balcony, plus a few more yellow towels with which to cover it. We had our first visit to the "United States of America" specialty restaurant. (Note here that uncharacteristically for me, I have adopted, just this once, the USA spelling of speciality in deference to the restaurant's pedigree. Don't get used to it, I won't be doing it again - English is a language that was invented by - and there's a clue in the name here - the English. Oh, please, get a sense of humor. Damn, I did it again.) The difference between this restaurant and those on the other three sister ships is both amazing and stunning, though when you consider what X was trying to achieve with the overall theme you can perfectly well understand why. Whereas the other three are dark and atmospheric (to suit their lineage), this one is bright and airy. From a personal viewpoint it was a shame that the central circular area was not retained, however, since this was the area where I went down on one knee five years ago on the Constellation with my marriage proposal. The meal, as ever, was excellent, though the goat cheese soufflE was not the best I have had. We chose the basic menu this time, not least because we had been entertained by Charles in the Martini bar demonstrating how to juggle glasses and bottles without ending up with your arms in a reef knot and a floor full of broken glass. Time to avoid the wine and prevent Alison from standing on the top deck later that night proclaiming she can fly and sitting in the stateroom next morning proclaiming "Never again." Our next port of call, where was it now? Oh yes, Huatulco. I knew nothing about the place before we visited and still don't really, apart from the fact they have lots of pelicans amusing the tourists by diving for fish and they have some kind of army barracks near where we docked, the soldiers giving us frequent displays of their marching and instrumental capabilities. Once again we made the best of an almost empty ship. Our neighbors too, apparently, importing a second sun lounger and a dozen or so additional yellow towels. We peeked round when they went out - not much standing space left now. We had two excursions organized for Puntarenas in Costa Rica. From what little we saw of the country, it is a curious mix of wealth and poverty, yet fiercely defensive of its ecological stance. The tour guides on the two trips would tell us how important their rain forests and ecology are to them and to the world at large, and one can only applaud their commitment. The first one was "The Original Canopy Tour", implying by its title that there are others since then. Maybe they were better, maybe not, but we had no reason to complain on this one, with a 15 minute walk ending at the first of nine platforms from which we each, in turn, slid down to the next in line. I wish I could say my technique was so good I could have afforded time to admire the undergrowth far below, but I spent a lot of time trying to stay feet-first. Yes, I know, lean back and run our (gloved) hand along the wire to stay straight. That sound great and is easy to do on the platform, yet not so easy to remember when your going at Mach 2 down somebody's washing line. The complimentary bottle of cold water when we finished was nectar. Our only disappointment, though there was no way to blame the tour people for it, was an almost complete lack of wildlife. So, another hour-long bus ride to the dock, a quick snack and onto the second bus of the day for our "Sky Walk In The Trees" tour. Basically a high-level walk in the rain forest. One the way, the guide mentioned we'd see some crocodiles, but when we reached the bridge it had started raining, such that he asked us whether we still wanted to see the crocs in view of the rain. Well, it was hardly a downpour and we'd not seen crocs before, so we walked across the bridge and took snaphots of the reptiles playing the "we're crocodiles and we never move a muscle for anyone" game. We also saw a spoonbill walking along the riverbank, the bird being very careful to stay well out of reach of the crocs and putting a lie to any impression we might have had that they were plastic models left there to impress gullible tourists. (Did you know there's no such word as "gullible" in Websters? It's true - look it up if you don't believe me.) The tour guide's question about getting wet turned out to be the joke of the day. We were driven on the bus to a high point in the rain forest and told we would be picked up by the same bus in about an hour's time, lower down the trail. By this time it was raining properly, far worse than the wimpy drizzle we'd had on crocodile bridge. By the time the day was over, we fully understood why the forest had picked up the prefix "rain". We were each offered a walking cane and told to follow the guide. We were mostly dressed for the warm summer climate of Costa Rica (though Alison and I had bought special shirts designed to let your skin breathe and sweat to escape while keeping any nasty bugs on their own side of the fence) but the tour guide donned waterproofs. (Several people suggested Celebrity should have warned us to bring all-weather gear with us.) We followed the guide down the pathways, as did a steadily-growing river of muddy water. Before we'd gone more than a few hundred feet we were soaked everywhere, and I mean everywhere. It wasn't cold, thankfully, and it wasn't wet. "What?" I heard you say. No it wasn't wet. "Wet" just doesn't tell it. "Soaked" and "drenched" get closer, but nowhere near enough. I don't think a suitable adjective has been invented yet, so we'll have to get the Websters/OED people to take the tour I guess. One of the laughable things was that some people in our tour party were still trying to avoid stepping in pools of water, as if that would somehow keep them dryer. But it was a lost cause - you just walked where your feet fell in the sure knowledge your fluid levels were incapable of absorbing any more. We crossed three suspension bridges on our trip, Indiana Jones style, but I don't remember Indy being quite so sodden. We suspected there was a fourth bridge, but the tour guide had just about given up by then, we think; it was moving across the line between "fun" and "get me back to the ship so I can leap fully clothed into the Lassie Therapy pool to get a bit dryer". But, of course, no self-respecting tour would be complete without passing through at least one souvenir shop, wasting the best part of an hour when people really did want to get back to the ship. Our clothes still haven't dried, five days later. And we still didn't see any wildlife! On the next leg the Captain, on his daily announcement, told us he thought we were going the right way but just in case had checked with another ship and we were probably going to make it to Panama OK. I really warm to this man and hope I'm not spoiling all his jokes here. Then we made the journey to the start of the Panama Canal. We ordered breakfast on room service, assuming (correctly as it turned out) that the public eateries and the "Ten Forward" (how come it looks so different on Star Trek?) would be overcrowded. We waited in the line with our ever present tugboat until we were admitted to the first Milaflores lock. I think I expected the rise to be more obvious, but it was so gentle that we hardly noticed this first step and in subsequent levels had to line our eyes up with a suitable lamp post to see when we were moving. Anyone who imagines a traditional-style canal with parallel sides (as I guess I had) has got it completely wrong. The docks are much as you expect, apart from those "locomotives", eight of which hauled Infinity through each lock with the sides so close the people in the aft suites were reaching out and touching them. In the middle part it's vaguely reminiscent of Alaska's inside passage in terms of topography, though it's a lot busier and noisier and the trees are decidedly more tropical. Once again, to our disappointment, we saw no wildlife beyond a few birds and a couple of dockers crazed by the midday heat. (OK, I lied about that last bit.) It took the full day to transit the canal and, I must be honest, the experience was a little strange, veering occasionally to boring. I'm sure that sounds ungrateful, but I guess our expectations had been rather different from the reality, and it was almost in an air of gratitude that we emerged into the open ocean and the end of the day. Lots of noise from next door. We think they may be installing their own pool. The same night we had booked our second visit to the "United States of America" specialty restaurant. This time, stone cold sober, we opted for the "menu exceptional", complete with a wine to accompany (and compliment) each of the six courses. Here we were a little disappointed. On previous cruises we'd been told about each wine by the sommelier as he served it, but on this occasion he didn't even visit our table, leaving the service of our wine to the main waiting staff, who - I guess from their training - knew more about the food than the wine. To add insult to injury, the port was laced with black sediment that remained coating our glasses when we'd got half way through. There was an apology from the waiter and a replacement, but - for a restaurant that prides itself so highly on detail, the apology should have come from the maitre, the sommelier, or both, probably with some kind of explanation. I can't really say there was much wrong with the meal (in fact the goat cheese soufflE was back to its best), but this lack of attention to detail needs addressing. And I know it's a French-style restaurant, but does each and every cheese have to be French? OK, I'd like to see some British cheeses on there, but could understand why they're not. But are there no contending cheeses in the US that could grace a restaurant called the "United States of America"? We got invited to the Captain's table for the last formal night/baked Alaska parade. (I really must Google this tradition some time.) The perfectly charming Captain's Club Hostess Ria (from South Africa) arranged it so Alison wore her head-turning highlighter gown - we call it that because it's the same color as the yellow marker pen and would be just the thing to wear if you were going to fall overboard on a dark night. I wore my traditional Scottish Formal Dress, complete with kilt, so we had a few photos taken. We were warned that the Captain doesn't attend these dinners so, true to prediction, we were hosted by the Staff Captain. He was Greek, I believe. We've just got back from a tour of the Navigation Bridge, this following an invitation from last night's dinner. We've been on one before (Royal Caribbean) and this was very similar, though I suspect the technology on Infinity was slightly older. We did learn, however, the main reason Infinity goes into dry dock tomorrow - they're fitting a diesel engine in addition to the two gas turbines, so, presumably the sister ships will be similarly altered. It's driven, it seems, as with everything, by cost. Whereas gas turbines are very clean, the fuel is expensive, hence the installation of the new engine to be used, so we were told, when speed is not important. It all makes economic sense, but I wonder whether it flies in the face of Celebrity's "green" image. We then started to wonder where they would fit the new engine. Presumably it will fit centrally between the two existing ones, but it sounds like a lot of work to the ship's structure and engine room, with ramifications in the Navigation Bridge too. I suggested maybe it would be a huge outboard, since the Penthouse suites are quite roomy and we could steal a bit of space between them. OK, it could be a bit of extra noise for the premium-paying guests, and they'd probably have to move into the bedrooms when the engineers were pulling the cord-starter. Following on from the cost-cutting issues, I'm sure there are so many opinions as to what could or should be cut or retained. It's not Celebrity's fault that the World is in financial crisis, but the worry is that standards will be dropped until Celebrity is just another cruise line, whereas at the moment it likes to think it's in the lower end of the luxury levels. I earnestly hope they don't lose that, because they certainly do have an edge over RC et al, and there's a huge gap before you reach the Crystal class. The options are to cut costs or put prices up (or some combination between the two) and neither of these will be popular with guests. Personally, I rue any compromise of quality, and the reduction of formality for dining to the extent people wear pretty much what they want when they want is such an erosion. But that's a personal viewpoint. Those who suggest they should not be dictated to have similar rights, but I would like to see Celebrity set out its stall and remain "up there", with people who don't want these little extras freely able to select a different cruise line. But, market forces being what they are, I am probably in the minority and things will gradually be reduced/relaxed. It must be difficult to be in Celebrity's position. They need to cut costs, as we all do, but if they take anything away there is uproar. It's hard to think of anything they could stop doing that wouldn't have an effect on someone. This time the bottle of champagne left in our stateroom (because of our honeymoon) was akin to paint stripper, and we drank less than the first two glasses. The "gifts" of bags was (either by accident or design) not given until we queried it - we didn't bring a beach bag because we expected there to be one there. The small box of chocolates given to returning guests was again absent until we queried it. Small things, but they add up to give an impression of corner-cutting. So, tomorrow it's Fort Lauderdale and back to being a civilian. Time before I close to restate one of my favorite rants. Far too often on cruises we hear of a few guests - thankfully very few - who gripe and complain at the staff as if they are in some way inferior. This cruise was no exception. Almost without exception, the blame for the imagined error is more with the guest than the staff member, and I am urged to try and remind guests that the staff are people too - they have good days and bad days, they make mistakes just like the rest of the human race. But - from the moment I step aboard a Celebrity ship until I step off again, they make me feel special. I don't change in any way, I'm still be same boring guy I am at home, so it's something the X staff do that makes me feel special, nothing to do with me. So they all get what they deserve - my thanks and complete respect. 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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