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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Quick overview, then lots of detail! We flew to Buenos Aires arriving early Friday morning. Settled in, walked around the central city. Had a fabulous dinner. Saturday morning we had a private guided tour, then spent time on our own in the ... Read More
Quick overview, then lots of detail! We flew to Buenos Aires arriving early Friday morning. Settled in, walked around the central city. Had a fabulous dinner. Saturday morning we had a private guided tour, then spent time on our own in the artists' street market and walking in the shopping district. Late evening we went to a traditional typical tango-dance-and-dinner show. Sunday our tour guide picked us up and dropped us at the pier. Quick and easy embarkation. Sea days, then Ushuaia where we had arranged a private Walk With The Penguins. Super! Relatively mild crossing of Drake's passage followed by a drive-by of Antarctica. Icebergs, glaciers, wildlife... Couldn't ask for more. Back across Drake's to Port Stanley; the previously arranged Estancia Tours trip to Volunteer Point was utterly fantastic. Back aboard, across to Puerto Madryn. Ship's tour to Punto Tombo was ok. On to Montevideo where we went with other CCers to Colonia; a pleasant day. Next day early arrival in BA. Smooth disembarkation, our guide there to drive us to the local airport where we caught the plane for Iguazu Falls. Spent Sunday afternoon on our own, Monday on a guided small-group tour of the Argentine side, Tuesday on our own in the town, Wednesday morning a guided small-group tour of the Brazilian side. Mid-afternoon pickup, airport, flight to BA. Thursday on our own until our pickup at 5:00pm for a trip to the airport and an uneventful trip back home. I am ready to go do it again. And now for the details! We booked this cruise less than 2 months prior to sail-away and did not have a lot of time to research and plan all of the details. Cruise Critic helped a great deal! Good answers on questions about cabin selection etc. I think it was here I found mention of an Argentine travel group, Say Hueque. I checked them out, they had glowing reviews on Trip Advisor and other spots, so I dug further. They offered a six-day package which includes time in Buenos Aires and an Iguazu Falls excursion. I contacted them via email and phone, and we negotiated a custom package which allowed for their help before the cruise, more afterwards. Worked like a charm. Highly recommended. So we arrived in BA early Friday morning, 2 days before embarkation. Say Hueque driver waiting for us, took us to our hotel (Patios de San Telmo), a nice place on the northern edge of the San Telmo district. Our go-to lady from the agency was there a few minutes later and we spent half an hour going over their plans for us, making some adjustments. Then after unpacking and settling in, we spent the rest of the day on our own, walking in the central city; lunch at a sidewalk cafe (empanadas! Love them!) etc. Friday evening we walked to La Cabaña restaurant, a place where I had had a great steak dinner 45 years ago. Location has changed, quality has not. A long walk back to the hotel via Plaza San Martin, Casa Rosada, Ave. Florida... Saturday morning a Say Hueque driver and guide showed up (exactly on time, which was true of everything they did for us) and we went for a tour of BA with emphasis on some aspects we had requested (extra time in La Boca, at the Recoleta cemetery, etc.) They left us at a restaurant near the cemetery; following lunch we browsed and shopped at the artists' market, then leisurely walked back to the hotel. Late evening (10:30 or so) our transport came and took us to a tango show at ESQUINA CARLOS GARDEL (they hadn't been able to get us in for the early sitting, which was fine with us). Good dinner, ok show. Sunday morning we packed up, then walked through the San Telmo Sunday street market. A driver picked us up at 11:00, dropped us at the pier. We were onboard, sipping wine at the Mast Bar, by 12:15. No, we don't have special privileges, no Suites status, nothing. First time on Celebrity actually. The embarkation was just very smooth despite all of the horror stories I had read here about chaos and madness at the port in BA. There were three other ships leaving at about the same time as we did, and it was still handled well. We were in our cabin by about 1:00 and settled in for a delightful cruise. The Concierge Cabin was comfortable, plenty of storage space. The desk could have given me a bit more space for my laptop and other gear, but I made do. Food: We mostly ate in the MDR, 8:30 sitting; food was good. I never ordered from the fall-back menu, always from Today's menu. Always at least one good-looking option, usually two or three. We had attentive service from the waiter, his assistant, and the wine guy. And wonderful conversations with the other two couples at our table. Formal nights were appropriately formal; not a t-shirt in sight. One dinner in the S.S. United States specialty restaurant. Excellent ambiance, food, and service. One dinner at Q'sine. Food was good, interesting experience worth doing one time but I wouldn't do it again as a couple. It is like a Tapas restaurant, with small plates so one can sample many things. But the "small" plate servings were too large and with only two of us we could only sample 3-4 dishes before we were full. I would like to be there with a group of 6-8 people. Enlightenment: We attended most if not all of the presentations by MickeyLive and Milos. They provided very different but both very useful perspectives on the locations we visited, the people, the wildlife, the geology, climate, history, etc. And they both provided great commentary from the Constellation Lounge and/or the bridge when we were going around Cape Horn, passing among whales etc. around Antarctica. They really helped bring the cruise alive. - Miscellaneous other comments - Entertainment: talented people, probably would have been enjoyable to watch except that the volume level was way too high in every venue on the ship. Quiet drink in the evening in the Rendezvous Bar? Forget it - music too loud to be able to carry on a conversation. Made the mistake of passing through there on the way to dinner a couple of times and it was literally a pain in my ears. Early on I talked to the activities director but she and her cohort seemed to think that screaming and shouting in shrill voices was the proper way to inspire enthusiasm in whatever it was they were promoting. Whether on stage in a music venue or in the theater introducing the captain and crew. For me, not so much. So, we didn't see any of the shows after the first nigh when they had a Revue of sorts. Or spend much time around the live music. Laundry: a few shirts, a pair of slacks, a few of my wife's things. Done promptly and well. A typical clothes line in the shower which we made good use of. Cabin attendent: there when we needed her, out of the way the rest of the time. We had her empty out the mini-bar so that we had that space for my wife's wine - no problem. Drinks package: we had the standard package as part of a 1-2-3 deal, upgraded to Premium once onboard. I don't know that we needed to but it simplified decision making - we didn't ever have to wonder whether whatever we wanted to order was part of the Package or going to cost extra. Flowers, fruit etc: I had pre-ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife as an early Valentine's gift. They were in the cabin when we arrived, they were beautiful, and many of the flowers were nicely presentable for the entire two weeks. I never noticed if there were other flowers around. We had fruit on the table, I never paid much attention to that either though I think my wife did occasionally have an apple or two. Internet access: we bought the full package. Access was often slow, once or twice we had no access for a few hours. But in general we were able to do enough links to email and news servers to be able to feel connected. News: 'Twas a pleasant surprise to find the daily news downloaded and printed for us, with US, Canadian, Australian, UK, and German versions available. Along with the more usual crossword and Sudoku puzzles for those addicted to that pastime. Captain's Updates: There are speakers in the cabin which provide the option of listening in the cabin to the daily noon-time update from the Captain, no need to step into the hall, balancing on one foot while the other leg is stuck in the door to keep you from being locked out... These speakers have been deactivated. According to our Attendant, it was because kids would play with the volume switch and annoy their parents and neighboring guests. Maybe instead they should try to keep misbehaving kids off the ship? Or just raise the switch high enough that young kids can't easily mess with it. While in the Antarctic waters and a few other spots. Milos or MickeyLive would do commentary over the Captain's system. Which we couldn't hear from our balcony because the system was deactivated; the only option was the sound from Ch 15 on the TV which does not have nearly the volume necessary. Weather: we had good weather throughout. Minor rocking and rolling while in the Drake's Passage, no big deal. Warm enough to sun/swim at first, quickly getting cooler. In the 60-70° F range in Ushuaia and again in the Falklands, in the 30's while around Antarctica. Only a trace of snow, enough for a few snowballs. Disembarkation: Handled well. No problem getting off in time to meet up with private (i.e., non-ship, non-priority) excursions neither when docked nor in the Falklands where we tendered. We just needed to follow their instructions, go to the center of the Emporium packed and ready to go, and wait our turn. We were off on the first tender. I understand another group, organized by a CC member for the Volunteer Point trip, chose to gather at their own meeting spot first. They were on the 2nd or 3rd tender (but they were all together). In BA we had arranged for a 9:30 pick-up to take us to the local airport for our flight to Iguazu. Talked with guest services, they recommended and provided us with a 8:30 departure, Group 18. We had retrieved our luggage and gone through the minimal formalities and were sipping coffee at a street side cafe, waiting for our driver, by 9:05. Smooth and easy. We swung by our hotel in San Telmo and dropped off the suitcases with our Antarctica clothes, then to the local airport. After the cruise we flew to Iguazu, stayed in a jungle lodge, La Aldea de la Selva, right on the boundary between the National Park and the town. Just hung around the hotel pool that Sunday afternoon. Monday we spent the day on a group tour Say Hueque had arranged for us, all on the Argentine side of the falls. Tuesday we were on our own. I had visited 45 years ago, a good visit to Iguazu was my #2 priority for this trip, and Tuesday was my back-up day in case the weather was bad on Monday. But no issue, so Tuesday we wandered through the town of Iguazu, bought a few handicrafts, then sat by the pool and read, caught up on email, edited some photos... Wednesday morning was a half-day tour of the Brazilian side of the Falls. Back to the hotel for lunch, then we were picked up to go to the airport. Smooth flight back to BA, a ride back to the hotel which took about 3 times longer than it should have because of the ongoing demonstrations stemming from the murder of prosecutor Nisman. Checked in, then walked around 'til we found an interesting looking restaurant in the neighborhood. Thursday we went shopping, including quite a bit of time around Plaza San Martin and on Ave. Florida. Lunch at a cafe on the Plaza. Our Say Hueque go-to lady came by the hotel late afternoon to bid us farewell, then their driver took us to the airport for our evening flight back to the Sates. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
First, we had a basic inside room on deck 2. I like sleeping in the dark. The room, although small, had plenty of storage spaces and was very clean. It did not looked worn at all. We appreciated the slightly larger sized shower and the ... Read More
First, we had a basic inside room on deck 2. I like sleeping in the dark. The room, although small, had plenty of storage spaces and was very clean. It did not looked worn at all. We appreciated the slightly larger sized shower and the handheld shower head. We kept finding little nooks to store our stuff. The bed was a little hard for me, but otherwise comfortable. There is a 2 drawer night table by each twin bed. The ship itself is in good repair and kept clean and tidy. Our cabin attendants and our dining room waiters were very nice and very efficient. Almost everyone on board was friendly and helpful. I never noticed anything worn. The windows could have been kept cleaner. They were so dirty at times, you couldn't see anything from them. Our biggest disappointments were the food and the entertainment. If you like herbal tea, bring your own. They only had peppermint and that could be hard to find. The tea and coffee were generally lousy. The food was disappointing. There was nothing from the local region, salads were not all that fresh, the food was mostly heavy and starchy with large portions of meat and very few vegetables. The vegetarian options in the dining room usually had no protein in it. The bread was very good and the bread sticks were a big hit at our table. The cafeteria was a pain. The hours were very limited and it was often hard to find a table. The servers and waiters were a mixed bag. We spoke to several wonderful people, but several of them were not so friendly and not helpful. The cafeteria food was bland and not great. Some added herbs would have been nice. The best thing I ate there was from the pasta station which I found had pesto sauce and extra garlic. While the pasta was not cooked to order, it was warmed in water and was not mushy. The fresh fruit (honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, and watermelon) were nice for the first 10 days. I don't understand why they didn't have drink stations around the ship where you could get water, tea, or coffee. I was sick of going to the cafeteria to get something to drink. No wonder it was so crowded all the time. The entertainment was often so boring, I brought a book to read. There were a couple highlights. Milos Radakovich, the Naturalist was funny and informative at the same time. He spoke on many different topics and we did not miss one of his lectures. Also, the Pampas Devils, a sophisticated dance foursome were amazing and had a great show. But mostly, everything else was pretty boring. A lot of the entertainment on board was geared toward making Celebrity extra money, like Bingo games that were almost impossible to win. The movies were played at 10pm -- too late for us early risers. On sea days there was rarely anything interesting to do in the afternoon. We tried using the concierge who has a desk in the tiny library. He was not there during his limited hours and when we asked for him to be called, he was very unfriendly when he finally arrived and very very unhelpful. The itinerary is interesting although the Magellan Straits and the fjords were not as pretty as I expected. They're big hills covered with trees that all look alike. We also had a lot of fog, so that didn't help. Punta Tomba near Puerto Madryn, Argentina was our best excursion. There were still fluffy grey baby penguins that were just starting to get their adult feathers in places. There are thousands of Magellan penguins as far as the eye could see and you are very close to many of them. Stay away from the Otway Penguins excursion which is a big rip-off. There are almost no penguins there.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
Friends who might be taking the Valparaiso to BA cruise asked me for my notes and suggestions. We left Valparaiso January 18, 2015 on Celebrity Infinity South American Trip: Here are some of my thoughts regarding our trip: * * Find the ... Read More
Friends who might be taking the Valparaiso to BA cruise asked me for my notes and suggestions. We left Valparaiso January 18, 2015 on Celebrity Infinity South American Trip: Here are some of my thoughts regarding our trip: * * Find the thread on Cruise Critic for your cruise. Passengers on your trip will be putting together private tours and have lots of information on reciprocity fees and visas if needed. See what Merrell and Alan have to say – they were great! the January 18, 2015 thread. If you think you want to take a future Celebrity Cruise, research it in advance and go to the Future Cruises area on the ship at the start of the cruise to get prices and promotions. 1. BEYOND THE PODIUM!!!!! Absolutely go to Mickey Live’s talks in Celebrity Theater. Beyond the Podium began on the first full sea day on the ship. His input and information will totally enhance your experience on this trip. Do NOT miss it! BEYOND THE PODIUM Snap Shot Rally – find out about and do this! Also BEYOND THE PODIUM with Milos is great. AND Mickey’s wife Jelena is also full of information. 2. The ILearn Classes about Ipad, Iphone etc. were fabulous. On most sea days. They were free. They were popular so get there early! 3. Penguins- MUCH IN ADVANCE – check the Piratour in Ushuaia. The experience is phenomenal. They only allow 20 people per group and 5 groups a day to go to this special island where we saw King, Gentoo, and Magellan penguins. Only 1 or 2 of their times will work with the ship schedule. Our guide was incredibly good! Check them out on line AND find out about their cancellation policy as ships do not always make it into port in Ushuaia. Celebrity was able to dock, but the Princess ship did not. Your backup to see penguins is to go to Tombo out of Puerto Madryn. See below Ushuaia. 4. Clothing: It was COLD on deck when on the water – even near Valparaiso. We had beautiful weather – but I wore a polartec jacket at least 10 of the days of the cruise. You need a totally waterproof jacket (with a hood), gloves, baseliner (silk undershirt) and long sleeve shirts. I never used my linen pants nor my sleeveless linen tops. Windy and cool/cold on deck until Punta Del Este. 5. Flights: we flew LAN non-stop from Miami to Santiago and returned home from BA to Sao Paulo to Miami on TAM. BOTH airlines were great. They have a nice Business Class Lounge at Miami Airport., BA airport and Sao Paulo. Santiago/Valparaiso Pre-cruise: I WOULD ONLY GO IN 1 OR 2 DAYS EARLY and investigate STAYING IN VINA DEL MAR. We were 3 couples and we had a guide pick us up at airport, give a walking tour of old Santiago, stop at Emiliana Organic Vineyard (our favorite was the COYAM). Michael then took us to our hotels in Valparaiso. The next day he picked us up and we went down the coast to Quintay and ate at Miramar restaurant. Fresh fish was great. We wanted to go to Neruda’s house, but it was too crowded. We stopped at Casa Bosque Vineyard in Casablanca Valley for a tasting, we toured Vina Del Mar, had dinner at La Concepcion in Valparaiso sitting at a 2nd floor table overlooking the view. The next day Michael gave us a walking tour of Valparaiso then shuttled us and our bags to the port for check-in for the cruise. Our impressions were that Santiago and Valparaiso are not exceptionally safe, not easy to walk around at night, and we would have been happy with our visit to the Casablanca Valley and a brief tour of the cities – could easily happen on arrival day of the flight and the next day before boarding the ship. Only 1 hotel night in the area. Check out Merrell’s tour from airport to ship on the January 18, 2015 thread. We had a terrible experience at Gran Hotel Gervasoni in Valpo. 6. Shore Excursions: check out the January 18, 2015 Cruise Critic thread for posts from Princess Lucy - Merrell put together tours and you could read what she and her groups did which were not ship tours. Sunday January 18, boarding the ship Valparaiso: Concierge and Elite lines were longer than regular checkin. Luggage was slow to be delivered to the room. Over 2 hours for Concierge. Monday January 19 at sea. SHOW: Broadway was really good – singers and dancers –“Stars of the Infinity- one of the best of the entire trip. There were Tango Dancers teaching the tango during the day. Do not miss Mickey Live. Andres has a fun Aerobics around the pool. I found the Fitness Center classes to be very crowded, the space very small, and they charged for Zumba, Yoga and several others. Tuesday January 20 Puerto Montt Chile. We went with 2 other couples on a “tours by locals “ see their website- to Frutillar, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt. It was OK. Better choice would have been Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Petrohue Falls, Osorno Volcano in the National Park. Wednesday January 21 Cruise the Fjords - remember I Learn classes and Mickey Live on the sea days.** Thursday January 22 Strait of Magellan - BEYOND THE PODIUM: Snap Shot Rally Photo Collection with MickeyLive – check this out! Friday January 23 Punta Arenas We took the ship tour by Ferry to Magdalena Island. It was a about a 2 hr. boat ride, starting at about 7 AM we had 1 hour on the island. There were about 60,000 breeding pairs with their chicks. There is a roped walkway, but the penguins cross it and walk around you. You are “with” the penguins. Take a warm hat, gloves, and warm coat! A group did the inflatable boats with SOLO tours and were able to go and had a great time. The ships do not always make port in Punta Arenas and if too windy, SOLO tours can not go, so find out their cancellation policy. ABBA Sing Along was terrific – 10:15 PM Constellation Lounge get there early! Saturday January 24 Ushuaia: This was our favorite TOWN, and our favorite tour! You are docked “in town” There is post office on the dock for mailing postcards. Buy a Beagle Beer in one of the gift shops, it is local and good. We did Pira Tours trip to Harberton Ranch and it was fabulous! Ranch is 50,000 acres, with private island of Martillo penguin colony and the Marine Mammal museum and research facility. Reserve FAR in advance- timing is limited for the cruise ships and only 20 people per visit to the island. It was VERY windy and Princess Ship did not make port. People who went on the ship Beagle Canal tour were sick because it was so rough. People who went to the National park said it was VERY disappointing. Sunday January 25 Cape Horn: we were up at 5:30 AM for sunrise around Cape Horn. Passenger John Meyer, from Fairbanks Alaska played his bagpipes at sun rise and around the horn. It was great! Beyond the Podium, ILearn class, Snap Shot Rally Monday January 26 At Sea Beyond the Podium, ILearn class, Snap Shot Rally Tuesday January 27th Puerto Madryn: two choices here – Peninsula Valdez or Punta Tombo Penguin Colony. Research says this is a good place to see the penguins. We did Peninsula Valdez with Nievmar Tours. I think a Better choice would have been Tombo unless you were “penguined out”. I asked to go to Punta Norte on Valdez and guide would not take us, but others went and saw many elephant seals and sea lion breeding colonies and much more wildlife. SHOW: The Pampas Devils Gaucho show with tango etc was good. Wednesday January 28 at Sea: SHOW: Boogie Wonderland with the Stars of the Infinity was good. ILearn Class, Beyond the Podium Snap Shot Rally. The Infinity’s Got Talent Show was pretty good. Thursday January 29th Montevideo, Uruguay. We did a private tour with Ryan Hamilton “The Wine-Experience”. Email: Ryan@unlocksouthamerica.com. We visited Castel Pujol, Bodegas Carrau. Reallyl liked 2013 Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc Sur Lie. Then went to town to the Mercado del Puerto and El Peregrino restaurant for amazing BEEF. Absolutely have to have the Crepe with Dulce De Leche filling for dessert!!!!!!! If not a big wine fan, do a city tour and eat at the Mercado del Puerto before going back to the ship. Friday January 30 Punta Del Este, Uruguay; Finally warm!!!! Resort Town totally upscale and surprising. Some people took a bike trip around the island and really liked it. There is a beach – do not know who you contact to use it, but it was pretty. We went with Ryan Hamilton – The-Wine-Experience and visited NARBONA Vineyard and tasted the Narbonna Savignon Blanc 2012 AND the Tannant Roble 2011 Michel Rolland wine 2011 Roble won world award for best 2011 Tannant. 2011 Narbona Luz de Luna Tannat was good had lunch at Playa VIK - amazing hotel. Saturday January 31 Arrive BA Spent night on the ship: We did a Buenos Tours walking guided trip with DON from North Carolina of the Old Town. Gran Café Tortoni – the one coffee place you must visit. Founded in 1858 I had hot chocolate with Churros others had medialunas (yumm) and coffee with milk. Bit touristy but historic and fun to see. We went to Silvia and Mario leather shop where we purchased with dollars but at a very favorable rate. www.silviaymario.com Sunday February 1: Disembark: It was a zoo! Get off the ship as early as possible if staying in BA. We used Buenos Tours who picked up 3 couples plus luggage and took us to the Intercontinental Hotel on Moreno. The Intercontinental was nice, but in an OLD part of town and we did not go out at night. I would see about staying in the Recoleta or Palmero area with cafes, parks and night life. We had a Buenos Tours walking tour with Jessica (from New Jersey) of La Boca and San Telmo with the Sunday market. We stopped at Bar El Federal for a rest –the restaurant was OK and very slow. We lost a lot of time there. Best Thing we did in Buenos Aires! The Teatro Colón (Colón Theatre) is the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world. They have English guided tours starting at 9 am on the hour. FANTASTIC! One of the best things we saw in BA. Our guide even sang “Don’t Cry for me Argentina “ to demonstrate the acoustics! Private Driver: Buenos Aires We had a private driver who picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the airport. He also gave us a brief tour of Recoleta, Palmero and areas on the way to the airport. Gabriel Lazzari used to live in Miami and was very knowledgeable and arrived early to meet us. If I were going from the ship to the airport and had extra time, I would consider hiring him for several hours OR a day of touring before going to the airport.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Celebrity specified evening dress for the formal nights so I brought my tux along, my wife one of her cocktail dresses. We were quite disappointed when we observed one guest dining in his bib overalls and t-shirt and there was NO ... Read More
Celebrity specified evening dress for the formal nights so I brought my tux along, my wife one of her cocktail dresses. We were quite disappointed when we observed one guest dining in his bib overalls and t-shirt and there was NO enforcement by the maitre'd or ship staff. OK, so the overalls looked new, but certainly NOT formal attire unless that's what he wears at hog slopping conventions. All other aspects of our cruise were excellent; great entertainment, educational programs = WOW, especially Brent Nixon and Fred Saxon, clean cabin, clean ship, excellent food, courteous staff, fine shore excursions and the price fit the nature of the cruise. We will cruise Celebrity again when the opportunity presents itself. Even though I rate this cruise excellent in all categories except dining, overall gets only four dots because the formal evening dress code was not enforced [why?]. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
The cruise started the best way ever. Embarkation was seamless. The weather was cold, windy and raining – typical for Harwich, and the Captain opened all the lounges. The result was that it took less than twenty minutes from curbside to ... Read More
The cruise started the best way ever. Embarkation was seamless. The weather was cold, windy and raining – typical for Harwich, and the Captain opened all the lounges. The result was that it took less than twenty minutes from curbside to the Oceanview Café. The Oceanview Café, by the way, is the one renovation I wish Celebrity had made when Infinity was re-furbished. It still has long lines at few areas instead of the many ‘pods’ of the Solstice class ships. Our cabin was 6033, one of the ‘sweet sixteen’. The veranda in this 2C cabin is twice as deep as any other in the same class and that really was nice. We moved the inside table outside and the outside table inside. This gave us more room in the cabin and more room for breakfast on the veranda with no crowding. This cabin is forward, near but not right next to the elevators and stairs. There were no noise problems whatever. Our cabin staff was wonderful. In the MDR, the elegance I remembered from Millennium and Century, missing on Reflection, was back. Whether this is a function of Captain, Executive Chef or whomever, it was nice to see again. All of our servers at our table for 10 were fabulous. We joined some other friends at a table for six at late seating twice and the service there was just as fabulous as was the food, far superior to Reflection in January. Our entire table went to both the SS United States and QSine as a group during the cruise. Both are really worth the extra money. The food and service at SS United States were both up to the expected standards. When each course arrived, ten wait staff arrived and all ten plates hit the table simultaneously, for instance. In QSine, each person was given an I-Pad with the entire menu and we were to told to choose 6-7 dishes. The results were put together and we ended up being served a total of 9 dishes in three courses PLUS three different desserts. We could hardly waddle away from the table. What a fabulous experience! The entertainment ranged from full Broadway type shows which were quite good to a magician (so-so), a ventriloquist (so-so), a pianist which we did not go to but we heard was quite good, to a singer (more later), a comedian (very good) and a comedian/singer/pianist (fabulous). The one singer, Jack Walker, was superb. We very nearly did not go to his show and that would have been a mistake. His vocals ranged from Elvis to Opera and his vocal quality changed with each style. Hearing him actually tackle a very heavy opera aria well was a surprise. We enjoyed the Martini Bar after the shows each night and took a nightcap back to our veranda. The staff there was very friendly. I keep repeating myself. The staff on the entire ship was very friendly. My one complaint was with Michaels Club. It has now been turned into a private club for ‘Suites and Zenith’. So, the class system is alive and well? We never saw more than six people in there, and usually it was empty. A very poor use for that space, and we were made to feel like peons who just did not belong there when we made the mistake of going in there one night. Bad choice, Celebrity. We chose Celebrity transfer to Ft Lauderdale airport and it could not have been smoother. I recommend it highly for the small cost. We did not go to Lisbon due to high seas, but went to the Azores instead. Bermuda, six days after a hurricane was fun and we had fun on the Bahamas. All together, a great cruise. We both love the M-class ships and hope to do another soon.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
MY MAJOR ISSUE!! We had 2 suitcases. We rec'd my husband's around 2:00. At 6:00 we called about my suitcase and were told they were still delivering. We wanted to get dressed to go to the show in the theater at 7:00, and then ... Read More
MY MAJOR ISSUE!! We had 2 suitcases. We rec'd my husband's around 2:00. At 6:00 we called about my suitcase and were told they were still delivering. We wanted to get dressed to go to the show in the theater at 7:00, and then head right for dinner. So here we are trying to get ready for dinner, and the only clothes I have are the jeans and t-shirt I was wearing, (which I've had on for many hrs during our 10+ hr flights and transportation to Harwich), and the dining room doesn't allow jeans. At 6:30 someone called us and told us my suitcase was being held on deck 1 because of a 3" pair of manicure scissors in my husband's shaving kit. Not only that, but the suitcase had been left sitting out on the dock in the rain the entire time since we turned it over to them at 10:30 am. Our clothes inside were soaked, and a brand new yellow evening jacket I had just purchased for the cruise, was stained with black marks because it laid next to something black. And now my brand new Travel Pro suitcase is also moldy. I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS AT ALL, AND REALLY FEEL CELEBRITY SHOULD MAKE SOME COMPENSATION. When I brought it up to the staff on the ship, all they said was "really?", and would not do anything. No offer to clean, launder, or iron any of our clothes. I CAN'T EMPHASIZE ENOUGH THAT THIS INCIDENCE IS THE WORST TREATMENT I'VE RECEIVED ON ANY CRUISE WE HAVE TAKEN. No one even said, "we're sorry". They made me feel like I was the guilty party for trying to sneak on a pair of dangerous 3" manicure scissors. They airline doesn't even make an issue of these. On this cruise, we opted for an inside cabin (1/3 the price of a veranda). With so many ports-of-call, we would rarely be in our cabin anyway. We have always had veranda/balcony cabins before, and our first impression was that the inside wasn't too bad, it was just fine. However, the first night there was awful noise from the utility area next to our cabin. Sleep was difficult if not impossible. I called guest relations and they said they would report it. Second night was better. Someone called the next day to see if the noise was better. I thought that was nice that they called, and thanked them for following up. Next few nights, the noise came and went. Then one night the noise was absolutely horrible. Even made the bed shake. Next morning I called guest relations again to report. I was told if I didn't call "while the noise was occurring" there was nothing they could do about it. Really??!! Were they serious!!! Next day the supervisor called and said they would let us sleep (sleep only!) in another room 5 decks below where we currently were .. so we could have a quiet night. OMG! Are these people for real? They wanted me to trudge down 5 decks in my pajamas to sleep in another room!! Later, the supervisor called us again, and offered to let us move to a different room. Hooray, finally a resolution. They must have realized the insanity of their handling of this situation. Granted, it was 5 decks lower than our original room, but it was quiet! And it had a window. I don't think the stateroom attendant for the new room was very happy about us moving there. She wasn't very friendly at all. But she warmed up later. Just loved our cruise director Alejandro .... best thing about this cruise! Entertainment was fabulous....really terrific. Nick Page, the Celtic Tenors, the piano player (Bruce ??), Kate Dowman, McDonald Brothers, etc, etc. Absolutely the best entertainment of any cruise we've been on. (Wasn't terribly excited about the "production shows". Way, way too loud. Too much of the same thing....loud, loud, loud. The drums were insanely loud. Singers literally screamed through most of the songs. Many other passengers were complaining. And a lot of the songs we had never heard of, and one of the songs was VERY INAPPROPRIATE for the audience!!!). Food was OK, nothing to rave about. Really didn't care for the food in the Oceanview Cafe (although the space is very nice). TOO MUCH CURRY!! Later found out the chef was Indian, so I guess that's why they served so much curry on this ship. They seemed to close awfully early, too. One afternoon about 1:30, after we got back from a 1/2 day tour, I went up to get a cup of coffee and something to eat. Everything was closed up except for left-over pizza, and pre-made sandwiches. I asked the girl behind the counter if I could have just a ham and cheese, and she said I had to choose from the "gourmet" sandwiches that already made. As for a drink, I was only offered a little bag of instant coffee because everything was turned off. Rene, our waiter in the main dining room, was always kind and brought something else if I didn't like a particular dish. His assistant, Mildred, was excellent, too. Casino was good. Lounge entertainment good. Slow drink service in the lounges. Took approx 1/2 hr to get a glass of wine. Our dinner mates had their seapass card mixed up by a waiter in the lounge. He finally got a new seapass card, but the other person charged some things on his card, and it took 4 days to get it straightened out. The guest relations staff are not the brightest bunch. As far as the Captain's Club goes, I didn't see much benefit, except a free scoop of gelato. But we were only "select" members, so perhaps there wasn't much for that lowly level. We are now "elite" so we'll see if that offers anything better. One issue on this cruise was the scheduling of events and shows. We loved the entertainment, and wanted to see it all, but too many things overlapped so we were unable to enjoy a lot of things. I really think Celebrity should take a look at this and come up with a better schedule. Excursions: most were excellent. Great guides and itineraries. Would highly recommend the Highlands and Loch Ness tour in Inverness, and the Edinburgh Castle tour out of Greenock. The only one I would not recommend is the Blarney Castle. First of all, the guide looked like she had just crawled out of bed. She literally had on a type of house coat and slippers, and her hair was a mess. She confused most of the time, and didn't really know what was going on. Then we only had 1 1/2 hrs at the castle, when it took 2 1/2 hrs waiting in line to get into the castle. They should not advertise this as a Blarney Castle tour because there is no opportunity to get into the castle. Such a waste of money and a half day of our vacation. We paid for something we never got. One nice thing was when the crew offered us FREE hot chocolate when we returned from tours on cold days. So appreciated. I must comment on the ramps to get on and off the ship when in port. They were really dangerous, and I saw several elderly people trip. Please change these!! Couple things I liked on Celebrity better than on Royal Caribbean were that the wait staff and state room attendants didn't beg for tips or high ratings. On RC it's totally ridiculous how the staff starts begging for extra tips and high ratings the last 2 days of the cruise. Also the photographers were everywhere but were not intrusive, and would back away if we said no thanks. I wish more cruise lines would offer all-inclusive pricing to include wi-fi, drinks, and a couple services in the spa. Cruising is becoming too expensive for ordinary families by the time you include these things. A small bottle of room temperature water was $6.00. We purchased a 90 minute wi-fi pkg, and each time we logged on, it would take 5-10 minutes to get a connection. So basically 1/2 your time (depending!) just logging on. Regular wi-fi rate is $.79 per minute. However, Infinity has a wonderful computer center (Apple) and I heard people were getting instant connection there. Overall, and despite all the negatives I've pointed out, we had a great time. The itinerary was busy as we visited 9 ports, and all of them were great. Many good memories. I hope Celebrity reads these reviews, as the Infinity has a lot of improvements that need to be made in the area of customer service.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
Celebrity Infinity Review 4 July 2014 There was a lot of negativity about the Infinity in recent Cruise Critic reviews, so much so that we were a bit apprehensive about our trip. We needn’t have worried! The sun shone, the ship was ... Read More
Celebrity Infinity Review 4 July 2014 There was a lot of negativity about the Infinity in recent Cruise Critic reviews, so much so that we were a bit apprehensive about our trip. We needn’t have worried! The sun shone, the ship was clean, the food was marvellous and the crew were as friendly as ever (this was our third cruise with Celebrity). Boarding at Harwich was easy. We stayed overnight at the Premier Inn; took the car and our group of 4 plus baggage to the port, offloaded, returned to the Premier Inn (where parking is £4 a day), then walked back to the pier (20 minutes). Check-in and boarding was easy and the whole process took about 40 minutes. After our welcome drink, we went straight to the Oceanview Cafe for lunch. Baggage arrived in the cabins about 2.30pm. We had a balcony with two comfortable chairs and a small table. There are 4 electric sockets in the cabin by the desk at the outside wall, 2 US 2 pin (flat) 110V and 2 Euro 2 pin (round) 230V. There was no socket in the bathroom. As the ship sailed from UK, we requested a kettle which our steward provided, together with cups, tea, sugar and even some milk. We requested different pillows and also asked for the contents of the minibar to be removed – our steward did this immediately. Previous travellers complained about smells in the bathroom. Ours did have a slight toilet smell but at our request our steward gave it a good clean and changed the (dreaded) shower curtain. There is only room for one at a time in the bathroom, unlike the new Solstice ships, but we weren’t inconvenienced by this. Adequate toiletries were provided, although the hairdyer isn’t as powerful as our own. We thought that there seemed to be more room in the public areas on the Infinity than on Eclipse. Public areas are continually being vacuumed and polished and all interior glass is kept sparkling. We had the Classic Drinks package included in our cruise. I phoned Celebrity beforehand to see exactly what was included and received an email with the complete list - 1¼ pages! The full list is available at Customer Relations on board. It’s true that some of the waiters don’t always know what is available, but armed with the information we generally got what we wanted. Different beers are available at different bars - for Marston’s Pedigree go to the Mast bar – Heineken, Corona and even Leffe are in the Oceanview, but I didn’t see any Alaskan Amber, which is on the Classic list. Wines up to $10.50 are just about OK, but you can have as much Prosecco as you like. We enjoyed the selection of food in the Oceanview at breakfast and lunch. At 5.30pm they provide Sushi – ideal to accompany your pre-dinner drink. There is a Wok station in the evening in Oceanview so you can get freshly-cooked Asian/fusion food. We had Celebrity Select dining every night and booked our preferred times prior to the cruise. We had the same table most nights and our waiter, Kaviraj, was excellent. The service he provided was exceptional. Some people said that the food was tepid in the restaurants – we never found it so. The food was generally excellent, our only complaint being that the fish was often a little over-cooked, despite our requesting it not to be so. We were disappointed with the Celebrity Theatre productions on this cruise. We enjoyed the shows on Reflection last year. However, this may be just our taste and we realize that you cannot please everyone all the time. The Musical Overload in the Constellation Lounge on 13 July was fantastic, as the singers were really good and seemed to enjoy doing the show. We liked Justino and David Schofield, but felt Daniel Hochsteiner’s show was very ordinary. Peter Grant was billed as a "rising star" but he had no personality and was incomprehensible to us, talking too quickly and mumbling (and we are English!). The big screen in the theatre for the World Cup matches was much appreciated! The lecture on Oslo turned out to be a talk about Norway in general which, although informative, was not what we went to hear. We didn’t attend any more lectures. We did our research and arranged all our own shore activities. There are so many to choose from in Norway – some we booked and paid for online before the cruise to make sure we didn’t miss out on anything. These generally worked out half the price of the Celebrity trips. At most ports there are ‘Hop on Hop off’ buses so you can plan your day without difficulty. We did a cruise on Lysefjord at Stavanger (a must); bus rides at Olden to see the Briksdal Glacier, Mt Dalsnibba at Geiranger and Stegastein at Flaam. We climbed Fjellskua at Aalesund and took the famous railway at Flaam. At Bergen, a free shuttle bus was provided by the local Tourist Office to the town centre. Bergen is beautiful, quaint old town with lots to see and do. Shopping on board the ship was a pleasant experience - the prices are free of US Sales Tax so are cheaper than many UK prices. The sales people, many from Eastern Europe, are polite, are not pushy and are generally helpful. There is, however, less choice than in the bigger Celebrity cruise ships. Despite Infinity being 13 years old, the ship is in good shape. There is a painting crew doing repairs on an ongoing basis. One reviewer remarked on the design of the ship – yes, it is a bit “lumpy” topsides, not like the sleeker, more modern ships in the fleet. I personally liked the glass portholes in the Oceanview Cafe floor where you can see the sea rushing under your feet as you eat! We also liked the view from the big window in the MDR at the rear of the ship. Disembarkation was painless. Although we were allocated a disembarkation time of 08.00hrs, Customer Services said we could leave when we wished as we only had to collect our car. So we had a leisurely breakfast and our bags were waiting for us in the Customs Hall. With calm seas, fantastic weather and scenery, this cruise exceeded our expections. Can’t wait for the next one.....!   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
This was our 3rd cruise on Celebrity. Other two ships were also old ( Summit & Century) the only ships offering the destinations and dates we wanted. I blame the management for all of the oversight. Someone of authority needs to look ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on Celebrity. Other two ships were also old ( Summit & Century) the only ships offering the destinations and dates we wanted. I blame the management for all of the oversight. Someone of authority needs to look at the stained upholstery on ALL of the seats in the Trellis dining room. The Constellation Lounge also has stained and frayed chairs. The rooms need to be inspected by someone other than housekeeping because they are NOT doing the job. For example: Sloppy painting on decks, power washing needed on verandas. Plexiglas should have constant care. Toilets need Clorox. Shower tiles old and moldy. Thick dust visible under mini frig. Curtains, which only block about 80 percent of sun, need to be rehung or replaced. Upholstered furniture is fading and looks it. The toilets throughout the ship have black ring in them (bacteria?) The Oceanview buffet is very negligent in cleanliness. The servers should be using disposable gloves. The salt and pepper shakers are sticky as are condiment bottles. Ugh! In our opinion the food is below average in the Oceanview and average to slightly above in the Trellis. The workers were friendly and always helpful. Our itinerary of the Fjords/Iceland was SUPURB. Bought several excursions online and they were wonderful. Recommend Grayline in Iceland. The entertainment was OK but not great. WONDERFUL young woman giving talks on Sea life and birds. Need more of her! Port lectures again just ok. Shops were the usual stuff. The few days at sea were very boring unless you wanted to attend sales oriented offerings. Library had been picked thru. Really a shame that someone is "not minding the ship."   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Mixed Experiences on Celebrity Infinity We recently completed a two week cruise of the Norwegian fjords and the North Atlantic Ocean through to Iceland. Our experience was something of a mixed bag, some good and others not so good. ... Read More
Mixed Experiences on Celebrity Infinity We recently completed a two week cruise of the Norwegian fjords and the North Atlantic Ocean through to Iceland. Our experience was something of a mixed bag, some good and others not so good. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. There was nothing that was especially bad or unpleasant about the cruise - more a few relatively minor concerns plus a few on-going irritants we have with the RCCI brand. In no particular order these are: • Michael’s Club. From what was previously a very pleasant, if up-market, piano bar this seems to have been converted into a private club for the exclusive few - WTMB! On the one occasion we ventured into the room we were abruptly informed it was an exclusive venue to which we were apparently not entitled to use even though we are Elite members. It is situated pretty much in a thoroughfare adjacent to the casino and whenever we walked past it was generally completely empty so just for whom the venue is being exclusively reserved in anyone’s guess. It seems to us that it is a waste of valuable space and would surely be far preferable to revert to its original purpose as an albeit refined venue but open to all passengers. • Speciality restaurants. We went to Bistro on 5 for dinner one evening; we were the only patrons even though we spread our meal over a good one and a half hours. Again, this restaurant is very visible but it always seemed empty. In fact on the evening we patronised the place we were informed by the charming waitress that we were the first customers they had had that day! Although only a nominal USD5 is charged, we found the food to be of poor standard – overcooked, chewy crepes with far too spicy fillings for our taste. The obvious underutilisation and lack of popularity of the Bistro is similar to our previous experiences on the Constellation and the Eclipse. It occupies a relatively large space in a prime position on deck 5 which, in our view, could be put to much better use. For the first time on a cruise, we decided not to visit either of the other speciality restaurants, in this instance the SS United States and Qzine, which at USD45 a pop each are quite excessively expensive. Probably because most passengers feel the same way, neither venue ever seemed to be well patronised despite the daily hard sell and, towards the end of the cruise both were aggressively marketing two for the price of one offers as well as half price charges for a restricted luncheon menu on specific days. We strongly suggest Celebrity consider reducing prices in these establishments to make them more viable options for the average passenger. One other point – while the menu in SS United States provides an undoubted fine dining experience, it seems to be identical to the sister restaurants on other Celebrity ships (e.g. the Murano on Constellation), so loses some of its WOW factor as one knows precisely what to expect. • Entertainment. Real curates egg stuff, some pretty good, most mediocre cruise ship fare but entertaining enough. An operatic quartet, whom we encountered on a previous cruise, was especially good. The Celebrity orchestra was outstanding but some of the so-called Broadway type shows were distinctly ordinary despite a lot of energy from cast members. • Library. The library is relatively small and poorly stocked but, even then, some selfish passengers saw fit to abuse the facility. On one occasion we noticed a particularly inconsiderate passenger take out eleven books! • Condition of ship. As many other reviewers have pointed out, the Infinity is a bit run down and showing her age. But hey, she is almost 14 years old and, to our knowledge, has only been refurbished once since she was launched in 2001. While a bit tacky in certain areas she is on the whole, reasonably well maintained but, we suggest, should be scheduled for a dry-dock refurbishment before she gets in too noticeable a state of disrepair. • Cabin. Our cabin was a Concierge class balcony on the 8th deck, port side. Comfortable with adequate storage space. The only problem – it was an inter-leading room. Our neighbour seemed to be an insomniac and had the TV blaring until the wee hours of the morning on most nights. We found to our detriment that the inter-leading cabins on the Millennium class are most definitely not sound-proofed! • Embarkation. Pretty shambolic! There did not seem to be much organisation and, even though we were Concierge and Elite passengers, our queue seemed to be as slow as all the others. As we mentioned, nothing overtly off putting but concerns that perhaps Celebrity management should consider to maintain the status and marketability of its special position in the cruise industry. Now for the positives! • Itinerary. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and were not disappointed. We did not participate in any of the ship’s excursions, opting as is our wont to do our own thing in each of the ports visited. However, for people who have not previously visited the bigger cities of Oslo and Reykjavik, we recommend they consider doing one or other of the ship’s suggested excursions as most of the better attractions, for example for Iceland such as the Blue Lagoon, geysers and Gullfoss Falls, are some distance from the port. We had been to both these cities before and had experienced many of the recommended highlights so, on this occassion, we confined ourselves to exploring the respective ports and environs on our own. Each of the ports were uniquely beautiful and we easily found something of interest to do in each venue. Ports on this cruise were:  Oslo: We docked close to downtown Oslo, starting our walking tour by visiting the imposing opera house before making our way to the city centre. Oslo is a beautiful city, and is easy to navigate. We strolled through downtown marvelling at many impressive statues and beautiful gardens. There was a choir festival on the go during our visit so every 100 metres or so, we were entertained to some folksy Norwegian choral works. The grounds of the formidable, somewhat austere Palace and adjacent gardens were also worth strolling through.  Kristianstad, Norway: A quaint little town but being a Sunday, most facilities and places of interest were closed save for a small food market. The main attraction, the fish market, was also closed on the day we visited.  Stavanger, Norway: We again just did our own thing opting just to walk through the town that has some lovely parks and fountains.  Torshavn, Faroe Islands: This was the only tender port but the tendering was very efficient and swift. Public transport is free circumnavigating the town and its environs on a regular basis with buses arriving promptly every twenty minutes. So, a good tip is to catch any Red bus - it will take you on a scenic tour overlooking the port and surrounding areas. If one chooses, the service can easily be used to “hop on, hop off” to visit some of the town’s attractions such as the cathedral and the ultra-modern grass covered Nordic House that houses a concert hall, theatre, restaurants and art gallery.  Reykjavik, Iceland: As mentioned, we had visited Reykjavik previously when we toured extensively taking in the geysers and hot springs, Gullfoss Falls, the thermal power plant and Pingvellir National Park where the fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates that is gradually tearing Iceland apart, is clearly visible. If one has not visited these attractions then a ship’s excursion or private tour is almost mandatory. We therefore stayed in Reykjavik itself for the day plus we were docked there. The first day we opted to do a walking tour through the downtown area visiting, inter alia, the shopping district, the impressive cathedral and the infamous phallic museum (which, had it not been for the pensioner’s discount we received on the admission fee, would have been a complete rip-off!). We then purchased tickets for the hop on, hop off bus that offered a scenic drive around the city, the most notable attraction of which is the striking Pearl Observatory, comprising the observatory, a number of restaurants and a conference centre, that offers majestic views of the city and surrounding areas. The next morning we followed the crowd and ended up doing a delightful walk from the ship along the shorefront to the city centre passing a number of unique statues, a restaurant and entertainment park made entirely of scrap metal, and an awesome sculpture of a Viking ship along the way. About a ten kilometre round trip but well worth the effort.  Lerwick, Shetland Islands: we really enjoyed this visit to a bit of Scotland in the middle of the North Atlantic! We walked our socks off through the town, its many gardens, flea markets, dockside attractions and the old fort overlooking the town.  Geiranger, Norway: Without doubt, the highlight of the whole trip. It is a majestic fjord. The sail in to the town of Geiranger takes a good four to five hours and one is gobsmacked by the beauty of the many waterfalls, snow-capped peaks and sheer majesty that greets one as the ship slowly meanders its way through the fjord. The famous Seven Sisters waterfall is everything it is drummed up to be and the town of Geiranger itself, is so beautifully situated it literally takes one’s breath away. We docked using a “floating dock” which was interesting, unique and an attraction in itself. Our visit included a strenuous walk through the magnificent cascading series of mini waterfalls and then a bus drive to the two most scenic viewpoints on either side of the town offering awesome views of the town and the surrounding mountains. Surely one of the most beautiful places in our wonderful planet?  Bergen, Norway: Our last port of call and the only day of the trip where we had really bad weather being greeted by heavy rains as soon as we docked. Bergen apparently, is not called the rain capital of Norway for nothing! A complimentary bus service takes passengers from the port to the centre of town, returning to the ship at regular intervals throughout the day. The weather was pretty miserable but we still managed to get to see some of the sights of the city including the cathedral (currently being renovated), the famous fish/food market and the picturesque coloured houses one sees in all the picture postcards of Bergen. Fortunately, the weather cleared so, along with all the other tourists from the four cruise ships that were in town that day, we opted for the funicular ride up the mountain overlooking the city. The funicular ride is very efficient and quick so the formidably long queue waiting soon dissipated and we were soon on top of the mountain with great views of the city and surrounds. Well worth the journey. • Elite perks. This was the first cruise for which we qualified for Elite status benefits. These included some very welcome free internet minutes, complimentary laundry (wash and fold), an evening “happy hour” with complimentary drinks and snacks, as well as an exclusive continental breakfast venue serving a range of smoothies, fresh fruits and speciality coffees in addition to the usual range of breads and pastries, cheeses and yoghurts. • Captain’s Club. Marlene, the vivacious Captain’s Club hostess on board the Infinity was quite simply the best, most efficient and hard-working we have yet experienced on any of our previous Celebrity cruises. Highly visible and on hand to attend to Captain’s Club member needs she invariably gave the impression that nothing was too much trouble. • Staff visibility. One or other senior staff member, be it the Hotel Director, Staff Captain, Executive Chef or the Master himself, were noticeable around the vessel on most occasions, while virtually the entire senior officer contingent were on hand during functions such as the Captain’s Club reception. • Service standards. We have always been impressed with the quality of staff training within the RCCI organisation. Staff, with very few exceptions, are invariably well trained, approachable, friendly and courteous always seemingly willing to go the extra mile. Our experience on this cruise was no exception. Our cabin attendants, Luciano and Francisco (two native Indians from India!!) were especially attentive and efficient. We had pre-arranged a ship’s excursion to Windsor Castle that dropped us off at Heathrow well in time for our return journey to South Africa. As such we had priority disembarkation so we did not experience the frustrations many passengers apparently had regarding lack of transport from Harwich. The trip to Windsor was interesting and gave us a good insight into this historical town. We recommend it to other passengers seeking a seamless transfer to the airport but who have a few hours to kill before their flight. All in all, we had a great cruise. Indeed, despite the few irritations one experiences on any holiday, what is there to really complain about when one has the good health and good fortune to even be able to cruise anyway, and to be able to see so many unique and beautiful places with cruise ship ambience and convenience? Life is good!   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
Celebrity Infinity April 29 - May 12, 2014  TRANSATLANTIC: MIAMI to HARWICH INTRODUCTION Is there such a thing as infectious malaise? The INFINITY had just suffered an outbreak (3% to 5%) on its last cruise. It was super- cleaned and ... Read More
Celebrity Infinity April 29 - May 12, 2014  TRANSATLANTIC: MIAMI to HARWICH INTRODUCTION Is there such a thing as infectious malaise? The INFINITY had just suffered an outbreak (3% to 5%) on its last cruise. It was super- cleaned and departure was delayed. There were at least two inspections in the early days of this cruise. Before the completion of the inspections all food and drink had to be served by gloved staff. To do this must have required extended and double shifts of a staff that typically works 15 hours a day. Perhaps, this explains the poor service we experienced. OVERALL SHIP The ship is not kept as nice as it should be. I have been on many older ships; all of which were maintained better. The public bathrooms were clean and the attendants were very nice. Celebrity used to be known for its customer service and its food. Our cruise lacked both. We have sailed on Celebrity five times before the Infinity: 1. CENTURY, 2005, Amsterdam to St. Petersburg. 2. GALAXY, 2006, Panama Cana. 3. SUMMIT, 2009, San Juan, Southern Caribbean. 4. MERCURY, 2009, Los Angeles, Alaska. 5. SOLSTICE, 2011, Barcelona – Athens. Early Arrival We arrived at the Cruise Terminal after an early flight from Houston. We were not given anything. We were offered a tour of Miami on an open air bus. We declined. A cup of coffee would have been welcomed. I got a wheel chair but no one to push me. The Celebrity attendant just left me. My husband was ahead of me and I was left to wheel myself across multiple lanes of traffic and I feared to be left behind. This was unacceptable. Virus Because of the virus on the ship we were not allowed to board the ship for hours. By then I was tired and my arthritis was flaring up. This bad start continued throughout the cruise. We took this cruise to rest. With no place to rest we just roamed around the ship. We had very little for lunch on the first day. All the areas were overcrowded. We knew dinner would be served soon. The shops were closed as well as the casino because we were still at dock. For your convenience we had a fire drill right shortly after we boarded. At this point what I need was a tall cool drink and my feet propped up. Neither one I got. We attended the fire drill at your convenience not the passengers some of which were still not able to get into their room After a day of travel and just waiting you k now that passenger need to freshen up. Bags We fortunately have a bag we can easily identify. We found one far down the hall from our cabin. Stateroom Of the 1,085 cabins aboard Infinity, roughly 80 percent are oceanviews, while 57 percent of all cabins have balconies. The ship also offers a range of suites, from sprawling penthouses (1,400-plus square feet) to more petite but elegant Sky Suites, as well as 26 accommodations that are fully ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible. Infinity's standard cabins, from the least expensive insides to balcony cabins, are well configured and nicely decorated with soft hues, elegant furnishings, rounded-end beds and comfortable seating options. Standard inside and outside cabins come in at 170 square feet. Balconies add 38 square feet of outdoor space. All standard cabins come equipped with minibar fridges (for-fee), safes, telephones and interactive televisions with excellent programming (including CNN, ESPN, several movie channels, several in-house channels and TNT). THE TV PROGRAMS WERE AS BAD AS I HAVE EVER SEEN ON A CRUSE SHIP. The "interactive" part includes ordering room service, checking your daily bill balance and playing video slots and blackjack (for those who are bored and need to spend money gambling on a television). Our stateroom was not completely ready but we understood about the cleanup. We overlooked many things. It took days before things were in place. An example of this were many (5) ice buckets stored in our stateroom. The small sofa and bed pillows were uncovered. I never did see a bed spread. Our steward put wet sheets on our bed. We called him and he did not say much. I wonder if he would have gotten in trouble if he sent them back. I next called the guest relations desk because 15 or twenty minutes went by and he did not come to the room. The guest relations person sent a supervisor. He came shortly after I called. He brought LEZLY our attendant and it was uncomfortable for Dr. Sodek, my husband, and I to talk to him. The supervisor changed our attendant and sent us a bottle of wine. We had another occasion where I called Lezly about a hair dryer which did not work. I am familiar with this type of dryer and knew how to work it. Lezly was annoyed I called and said he was at lunch or break. I had just washed my hair but I told him it was fine to wait until his break was over. I did not get the dryer until I returned from dinner. I stayed in my stateroom until my hair dried. Lezly had a poor attitude and perhaps was very tired. I asked room service for half and half and got an artificial creamer instead. Lezly offered to get me some cream. He dropped one of the creamers on the floor and he Looked at it and then turned and left the stateroom. I, of course, picked it up and placed it on the desk. We got something in a pitcher because he said there were no more small single containers of half and half. Of course later we got them. A rose given to us by the Captain’s Club remained many days on the desk dead until I finally threw it away. Our stateroom bathroom had a swishy, soft spot as one stepped out of the shower onto the mat. All I could think about was mold underneath where the water collected. Frederick and Kem, our replacement room stewards, were very nice. Dining room Our wait staff, Michael and Juan Carlos, was very, very good. Juan Carlos will make a good waiter and has a very pleasant personality. An attitude problem surfaced in the dining room (lunch) when I asked for yellow mustard. I was told they only had only Grey Poupon. There was certainly yellow mustard at the buffet. I know you have yellow mustard and I was having a Hamburger which to me calls for yellow mustard. When we booked our cruise we asked for early dinner and a table for six to eight guests. The first night we had dinner alone at a table for two. We asked for a change and were told we could request it after dinner. We found no one to help us that night. The next day following instructions on where to go to make a change we found the information to be incorrect and had to search for the place to change. We were not able to be seated at early dinner. We accepted this, but we were put at a table where one other couple was seated. It happened that only one other couple showed up for dinner twice and the other 2 seats remained vacant. We like to meet and talk with other passengers. Fortunately we did enjoy the other couple. They left the cruise early and we had our last dinner by ourselves. Meeting and dinning with other passengers are to us a large part of a cruise. We have been to 75 plus countries and like learning about different cultures. Management should do something to prevent passengers being unable to get a table the size they request. I understand the servers need to get their tips but I need to experience other people and cultures. As I stated this is important to me. When guests do not come to dinner a few nights in a row could you arrange to combine some tables? The striking Trellis Restaurant, Celebrity Infinity's main dining room, offers formal breakfast, lunch (select days only) and dinner. It also offers brunch on one of the sea days. The highlight of the two-tiered restaurant is a huge, paned showcase window that extends from floor to ceiling. Tables are set for combinations of TWO, six, eight and 10. There are two options for dinner in the Trellis Restaurant. Passengers can go with traditional, set seating (at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.) or opt for the more flexible Celebrity Select dining option. With Celebrity Select, passengers have the option to dine any time between 5:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and to decide whether they want to eat with their own party or at a mixed table with other cruisers. They can also make specific dinner reservations for each day of their cruise online in advance, make reservations onboard or simply show up when ready to eat. The effects of adding cabins and carving Blu out of the Trellis Restaurant during Infinity's revitalization are most felt in the ship's Celebrity Select dining experience. It's the one place where Infinity gets too crowded, especially when the ship is near full capacity and on nights (like formal night OR LOBSTER NIGHT) when more people, AquaClass passengers included, choose to eat there. Nearly everyone shows up during the peak dining hours of 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; passengers with reservations will likely wait 10 or 15 minutes to get through the line, while passengers without reservations can wait a half hour or more for a table. Celebrity is working on getting buzzers for waiting passengers, but with limited dining space, there's just no way to add more tables to the already squashed second floor of Trellis to accommodate flexible diners. Cuisine at The Trellis is generally well received; the menu features a mix of traditional and imaginative fare with vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, no-sugar-added and SPE (healthy yet tasty, as validated by SPE Certified consultants) items noted on the menu. Anytime menu items include escargot and shrimp cocktail starters, French onion soup and Caesar salad, broiled salmon and New York sirloin entrees, sides of roast potatoes and steamed vegetables, and chocolate cake, apple pie and cheesecake for dessert. Our only service complaints were that they could bring bread more quickly to the table (given that many diners had just waited for a table and were hungry) and that the waiters could respect our choice not to eat dessert, and not try to wheedle us into trying the cherries jubilee. The Oceanview Cafe is the ship's buffet restaurant, located aft on the pool deck. Coffee, tea and juices are available 24/7, and food is served from 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. The buffet is set up in one long U, but three stations (pasta, pizza, and ?) are hidden way at the back, separate from the main buffet and easy to miss, which is unfortunate; these sections have different offerings from the regular buffet. Room service is available 24/7. Breakfast door cards allow you to check off both cold (cereal, fruit) and hot (eggs) choices and choose a window for delivery times. Throughout the day, passengers can order from a menu of soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, pizza and dessert, with additional hot items like vegetable lasagna, New York strip steak and avocado-tomato quesadillas. One can order via the phone or the interactive TV. Tipping for room service is customary and greatly appreciated. A new feature (since 2011) on the breakfast room service menu are prices for some items. The all day menu features chicken at $20 and filet mignon at $20. Wine Steward Our wine steward was very aggressive serving wine. She really sneaked up on me and after a couple of times I stopped her and said no at this time to more wine - I would tell her when. This did not stop her from freely pouring my wine. I am sure she sells a lot of wine but she is annoying. All the wines was sold at approximately 500 %(!!!) of the cost. Casino Slots were not familiar. I did not like them. My 46th Cruise We have been on 46 cruises. We have been on Six Celebrity Cruises. This cruise was the worst Celebrity cruise we experienced. There are many small old ships we have been on that were better maintained and where the crew were happy to serve you. I can forgive the tiredness of the crew for the first few days after the cleaning and 2 inspections, but the attitudes did not change. I saw passengers become rude and irritable because so much was wrong. I know you cut down on the activities crew and how much Rachel and her one colleague had to work including carrying heavy objects to set up for the artist and they had to clean up and place chairs in their proper place after some of their events. How many areas did you cut back on personnel? The standards we experienced in the past are gone and you were no better and in some instances; more like Carnival. These transatlantic cruises are a bargain but I did not expect a cruise with lower standards. Entertainment First, we found the cruise director and staff to be outstanding. The only problem is that Rich’s two assistants, Rachel and Shawna, were the only two assistants. Most cruise ships as large as the Infinity have at least five on the cruise director’s staff. This appears to be another Celebrity effort to reduce costs. The entertainment was reduced to single person performers. I always enjoyed the musical productions. We expected to see some musicals preformed. The one musical night was wonderful and we were grateful for it. Entertainment in the theatre was also disappointing. There were one or two nights that it was good, but overall, it was less than enthralling.. Celebrity Life is Celebrity's enrichment and activities program for day and evening fun onboard. Activities mostly follow cruise ship standards (art auctions, bad hair day seminars, cooking demos, wine tastings, bingo and ballroom dance lessons). Some of the more unique (and entertaining) options are interactive events with officers and passengers, including Ping-Pong or water volleyball tournaments, silly game shows and an uproarious Dancing with the Officers "dance" (or is that physical comedy?) contest. Celebrity's nightly theatrical performances, ranging from Broadway compilations (one on this 13 day trip) to piano concertos, take place in the lovely three-deck Celebrity Theater and are generally well regarded. Shows include typical Vegas-style lounge acts. Various presenters of interest lectures were not interesting, an awful level to be provided on a cruise with few landings and on a smaller ship with little else to do. The Captain’s Club reception, for all past passengers, was the best we have attended in our 46 cruises. The food and drink was presented on a menu for each table. Sufficient wait staff served very nicely. The uppermost Captain spent many minutes talking to his guests. Departure I requested help with a wheel chair. I called first and was told to call back 15 minutes before I was ready to leave my stateroom the next day. I did as instructed and was told that was wrong and I needed to go to the excursions area and wait my turn. My husband and did this and if it had not been for the lady officer who did try to control the way passengers were chosen to leave we would have missed help again just like the arrival was for me. Fortunately that Officer got someone to push me and my husband. What was shocking and alarming was that there was no customs procedures or any passport control. Crew members could have walked off the ship and simply disappeared in the UK. Cruising for us is wonderful. I am reluctant to book another cruise because I cannot have a cruise make me more stressed and tired than before I started. I am very sorry I took this cruise. I will have to think hard to try another Celebrity Cruise. In summation, a cruise is a wonderful experience and even a less than wonderful one is a unique experience. Would I recommend Celebrity? "NO" Would I consider another one with Celebrity? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
This cruise was absolutely amazing! We were in a suite for the first time and were treated royally by the entire crew. Our captain was visible throughout the cruise, gave a great presentation at the theater on the operation of the ship (he ... Read More
This cruise was absolutely amazing! We were in a suite for the first time and were treated royally by the entire crew. Our captain was visible throughout the cruise, gave a great presentation at the theater on the operation of the ship (he even had a Q & A session afterward that ran overtime because he wanted to answer all our questions), and we actually looked forward to his morning announcements on sea days. He was friendly, informative, and funny - exactly what a cruise captain should be. Our concierge in Michael’s Club, Kimberley, was awesome! She greeted us with a big smile and bear hug every time we walked in and took care of our wants and needs throughout the entire voyage. She even checked us in for our return flight home and printed our boarding passes for us. Having breakfast there each morning and cocktails and appetizers every evening (all complimentary) was wonderful. It was a quiet haven for us away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the ship. We also met some great fellow cruisers there whom we hope to see in the future. We couldn’t have asked for a better butler than an outstanding young lady named Su. She answered each phone call, no matter what time of day or night we called, and also took care of anything we needed. She made room service a fun time and came by with treats each afternoon. She even made some special iced tea for us every evening and provided ice cubes twice a day for our cold drinks. Ken Williams was our Celebrity Life speaker, giving presentations and showing slides on the Panama Canal and all the countries we saw along the way. This was his 17th transit, and he was certainly an expert on the entire area. He presented the information beautifully and made us excited to visit these great ports and go through the canal. He was visible all around the ship and talked with us at length in Michael’s Club. A very kind and interesting gentleman, he should be on each cruise through the canal. We enjoyed the majority of our evening meals in the Trellis select dining room where our waiter, Cijan, made each meal an absolute delight. He got to know our wishes and brought us our favorite bread and hummus to begin each meal. He was always cheerful and enthusiastic, and he knew all about the entrees and described them to us. Our sommelier, Jasmin, brought our choice of wine without being asked after the first 2 nights. We really liked visiting with these young men who added so much joy to our meals. Rich, our cruise director, was enthusiastic and full of energy no matter when or where we saw him. He's exactly what every cruise director should strive to be. He always had time to visit with us, answered any questions we had, and was just the most fun at Liar's Club, where he dressed up as the perfect nerd! Dining aboard the Infinity was a real treat – the food was delicious and beautifully served. Whether in the Trellis, Qsine, the pool grill, or the SS United States, the food was perfectly cooked and seasoned – all the way from the steak filet mignon to the hot dogs and fries. Just one word of advice – avoid the lobster - order beef and pork and chicken instead. The lobster just wasn't a good quality at all. Our suite was spacious and for the most part, well furnished. The separate bedroom made sleeping in the total darkness possible, which helped us rest very well. The dining room table and 4 chairs were a comfortable place to enjoy our room service meals. We each had a spacious closet and several drawers in the bedroom and vanity area, and there were two sinks in the bathroom. The jetted tub was difficult to climb into and even harder to get out of with wet feet since it was so elevated. There was not a separate shower. In the living room, the sofa and one chair with ottoman were very old. The sofa was so low to the ground that we had a hard time getting up. The veranda was just big enough and the ceiling to floor glass windows and door provided a terrific view even from within the cabin. The standard of cleanliness wasn’t up to par with what we’re used to at home. The closet floors were dusty and my long black dress was soiled because of that. The insides of the drawers had little pieces of dirt and dust and hadn’t been wiped out. I don’t believe any dusting or vacuuming was done during our 15 days onboard, so the dust had started to accumulate. Since this was the only negative, rather than letting it spoil an otherwise fantastic trip, I just ignored it and didn’t let it bother me. Everything else more than made up for putting up with a bit of dust. The shore excursions were with the exception of Costa Rica very educational, informative, and full of beautiful scenery. We did a lot of walking tours and all of our guides were wonderful. My husband and I would highly recommend the Infinity and its captain to anyone wanting to transit the canal. Hopefully, Ken will be there to educate about the canal and surrounding countries. This was the trip of a lifetime for us and we totally enjoyed it. It comes highly recommended!   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
Our first Cruise on one of the Millennium Class Ships. I can see why they at a Favorite of veteran Cruisers. They have an Uncrowded feel and a very Understated Décor. The Great Service we have always enjoyed on Celebrity Ships and ... Read More
Our first Cruise on one of the Millennium Class Ships. I can see why they at a Favorite of veteran Cruisers. They have an Uncrowded feel and a very Understated Décor. The Great Service we have always enjoyed on Celebrity Ships and outstanding Food and Entertainment. We were traveling with Friends and Relatives some of who were on their First Cruise. For once we never used any of the Cruise Excursions but just looked for a Local Van and Guide in each port. The Large Bus groups are always limited by the Slowest person in the Group and we found we could tailor our stops to our own needs and the prices were always fair. We were surprised how the Infinity's Captain spent a great deal of Time among the Guests and not just at the fancy Cocktail parties. One Morning at the Ocean view Café he was eating alone and when he finished he came to our table to ask how we were enjoying or Cruise and wanted our feedback on anything and everything! I have never experienced that on any other ship. Or Next Cruise will be on the Millennium in December. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
My wife and I, along with five other couples recently completed a 14 night cruise from Valparaiso, Chile to Miami via the Panama Canal. The purpose of this cruise was to celebrate my 70th birthday. This was our 18th cruise and we have ... Read More
My wife and I, along with five other couples recently completed a 14 night cruise from Valparaiso, Chile to Miami via the Panama Canal. The purpose of this cruise was to celebrate my 70th birthday. This was our 18th cruise and we have Elite status. I mention this so that others realize we are not new to this game. We flew into Santiago four days early, staying at the Marriott hotel, in order to spend time in the city and take a day trip into the Andes. To reach Valparaiso we also hired a van at the hotel and toured our way to the ship. Boarding went very smoothly, and in less than 20 minutes we were aboard, and in our Aqua class cabins. Everyone in our group seemed more than pleased with the ship. the food, the crew, and just about everything connected with this cruise. Two of the couples having recently completed a cruise from Istanbul to Dubai on Regent, seemed especially pleased, so much so that they cancelled another cruise with the same line for this fall, and booked a Celebrity cruise instead. In fact four of the couples also booked a 14 night cruise with Celebrity for next March. The only negative was a small outbreak of Noro that reared up. Having said that, I must commend the ship's staff for keeping the outbreak under control by constantly cleaning, cleaning, and then cleaning again. It worked! The number of cases was held in check, the spreading of the virus was stopped and the cruise continued. Yes, it did cause some confusion and a bit of chaos in Oceanview, but I figure that so many crew members were wiping down the ship that some services suffered. A first world problem, really. I suppose that if one was confined to one's cabin, then the trip would suffer, but what other choice is there? As for ports on this cruise, I would refer you to other reviews. In general, I concur with what others have written. The passage through the canal was fascinating, and Cartagena was our favorite stop. We got off the ship right on time and were deposited quickly at the airport. That is another story for another time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
Antarctica, Sailing on Celebrity’s Infinity February 16 to March 2, 2014 Plus Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls February 10 to 15, and March 2, 20a4 This is a wonderful trip and a great experience, and if this is on your bucket list, ... Read More
Antarctica, Sailing on Celebrity’s Infinity February 16 to March 2, 2014 Plus Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls February 10 to 15, and March 2, 20a4 This is a wonderful trip and a great experience, and if this is on your bucket list, GO! But, before you book you must keep in mind: Buenos Aires and Montevideo are lovely cities, however one must be prepared for poorer sectors, graffiti, litter, and crime. Many do not speak any English, i. e. Taxis, shops, restaurants Weather: Tropical hot and humid, mosquitos, damp chilling winter cold with high winds, snow, rain, and sun causing severe sun burns. Due to weather be prepared for: missed ports, itinerary changes, and heavy seas This trip was booked in March of 2012 as a cruise tour with Celebrity. After looking at prices, we found that we could do six days instead of three at the same price. We dropped the tour with Celebrity in April of 2013. Discovery Uruguay, Diego Kraidelman handled all of our ground arrangements. The price, and arrangements included all entry fees, English speaking guides, ground transportation, hotels, airline tickets to and from the falls, and dinner with tango show. We were very extremely pleased with all, and we personally would highly recommend Discovery Uruguay. Prior to booking with Diego, we had done extensive research via books and the net, and we knew we wanted to stay in the Recoleta area in a high quality hotel and we knew what sites we wanted to be included in the tours. We sent Diego a list and a suggested itinerary. Between our list, and his recommendation, we came up with the final itinerary. I would highly suggest you research prior to booking, and know what you want to see and visit, and what you are getting for your monies. One couple while in line at the Pink Palace, ask me, why we were going into this building. Another gentleman thought he should be on a private tour. Doing your research, which takes a lot of time, will avoid disappointments and afford a wonderful experience. All tours were set up as small group tours which meant that we would have groups no larger than twelve. We were only two on some days, 4 on other days, 8 on one day, and 12 at the falls. Private tours can be arranged at an additional charge. All guides spoke English. The transportation drivers do not speak English. We would highly suggest getting a translator app for you mobile phone. One couple was left at the pier due to lack of communication. Please note: that Taxi drivers also do not speak English. We reconfirmed all of our tours and excursions prior to our departure, and all went as planned. Our Trip: February 9th: United Airlines from Orlando to Houston, and then nonstop to Buenos Aires. Arriving on the 10th. Caution, United has a very unusual boarding procedure, and Economy Plus, although paying additional fees, gets no boarding priority. February 10th : Arrived in Buenos Aires. Driver was waiting outside of customs with sign. Taking us to Buenos Aires Grand Hotel. The Grand is only a year old and was wonderful. Staff was outstanding. Room was great! Caution, they do not provide tissues or wash cloths. At 1:00 PM in the pouring rain, we were meet by our guide Sebastian for a three hour walk of the Recoleta Area. Tired and wet, we had dinner at the hotel. February 11th: Meet by our guide Sebastian at 1 PM. We were off to Evita’s Museum. We would say, this is a must. Our guide’s family has lived in the Recoleta Area of Buenos Aires for many years. He gave us a fantastic insight on the life and style of Evita. We were also to see Carlos Gardel Museum, however when we arrived it was closed. We went instead to a special library which used to be a theater with outstanding murals. A library is actually a book store. We had empanadas in a local eatery, and went to a fantastic leather shop, Los Corrales. We had dinner that evening at an Argentinian Steak House, recommended by our hotel, La Cabrera. It was just OK! February 12th: At 2PM we were off to Iguazu Falls with another couple. Stored some of our luggage at the Grand. We were picked up promptly by our driver and taken to the local airport. We arrived at falls about 6 PM, and again our driver was awaiting our arrival. Our hotel was the Panoramic Hotel. It was OK, but in hind sight, I would have upgraded to the Grand. It did have a great view of three countries; Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. February 13th : At 7:30 AM our van arrived to take us to the falls. We had a full day tour of the falls with 10 other person. We were accompanied by an English speaking guide. We were able to see all three trails. It is indeed spectacular and should not be missed. Be prepared for a lot of walking and getting wet viewing the falls. February 14th: We again picked up at the hotel at 7:30 AM. We went back to the falls and did a boat ride in the river and under the falls. We upgraded to a longer boat ride at the falls. In hind sight, we do not know if this was necessary. Caution, you get soaking wet all over including you shoes. They do give you a wet sack to place your personal articles in. If you want to take photos, advise a water proof camera. Getting up and down to the boats is a lot of steps and sometime areas have no hand rails. It also rained that day, the walk ways were slippery, and we had two people fall in our group. At 2 PM our driver took us directly from the falls to the airport. Fortunately, we had a complete set of dry clothes and shoes to change into. We flew back to Buenos Aires that evening, our driver again was waiting at the Airport, and again we stayed at the Grand. It was Valentine’s Day, the restaurants were booked. We just had a sandwich at the bar. If you’re going to be there on Valentine’s Day, make sure you have a reservation. February 15th: We were off (4 in total) to a full day tour of Buenos Aires, Cemetery, and La Boca with our private guide Patricia Kanelson. It was a fantastic tour. We were supposed to go Puerto Madero but our group spent far too much time taking photos in the Cemetery and we ran out of time. One of the highlights of the day in addition to the cemetery was La Boca where we had lunch in a local restaurant that featured a tango show and more. La Boca is a great area to pick up gifts, however be very watchful of your pockets, and pocket books in this area, and do not wonder off. That evening we went to a tango show. We had some Great difficulties. The driver was late and did not appear to know where he was going. It took us forever to get to the restaurant. They wanted to seat us in a corner and we refused the table. After a few words, we got a good table. The tango lesson was a bit of a joke. Dinner was good, and the show was outstanding. We were in a small intimate restaurant, not the typical theater which holds a couple hundred people, like the ship’s tour. The show was the story of the tango, and the stage was close to our table. The performers actually danced in the aisle next to our table at times. Diego’s people booked this for us, however all of the arrangements were made by the tango restaurant, such us pick up etc. Make sure you get a contract name, number and the name of the restaurant so if you have a problem you can call. February 16th: 12 PM off to the port two meet 4 of our friends who we were sailing with, and again our driver was there awaiting out departure. February 16th and 17th: We were at sea. The beyond the podium lectures were very good. On the 17th we had the 1st of our three night dinner package in the SS United States restaurant. It was outstanding. February 18th: We were informed of our first itinerary change due to adverse weather conditions. We were not going to Ushuaia on the 20th but going on the 23th. We were skipping Elephant Island, however we adding a port in Argentina. Instead of arriving in the Falklands on the 25th, we were arriving tomorrow. This announce was made at 1 PM. We immediately left lunch and email Patrick Watts whom we had a private tour with in the Falklands to Volunteer Point. He emailed back, and stated due to another ship being in port, he could no longer accommodate us. Shortly thereafter, we got another email stating he managed to get a few vehicles, and would accommodate us and our friends, because we were his first bookings. He took 18 out of a group of 68. Advice, double book early with Patrick, and the ship. The ship also had to cancel many reservations because of lack of available vehicles. February 19th: We had a great trip to Volunteer Point with Patrick Watts. Would highly recommend. We saw hundreds of Penguins including the King’s. Windy and cold—need warm clothes, hats and gloves. Plus the drive is long and bumpy. February 20th: At sea with another itinerary change. Overnight in Ushuaia, added sailing the Beagle Channel, and Elephant Island is back on. Puerto Madryn is cancelled along with the added port. We now have no port days after Ushuaia until the March 1st in Montevideo. A fuel tanker hit the Infinity while refueling in the Falklands. It damaged a davit for a life boat. We were about 9 hour late leaving the Falklands. This was the reason for the new itinerary. February 21st & 22nd: Beagle Channel, this AM which was fantastic. Viewed from our aft cabin, however it again was very cold. Ushuaia, arriving on the 21st at 10 PM and staying over until 8 PM the following day. Again, all of the tours were fouled up. We had again another ship in port. Again, if you’re doing a private tour, I would double book. Our in Celebrity Tour (Ushuaia in depth) which was to leave at 9:00 AM, left at 7:00 AM. It was a waste of monies in my opinion. It was very cold and the bus windows were all fogged up. It was primarily a bus look and see. Lunch at a local restaurant was interesting. We had dinner at Qsine’s this evening which was wonderful, however the restaurant was freezing cold. Make sure you book this restaurant in warm weather. It actually closes while in Antarctica because of the cold. It is on deck 11 in an all glass area. February 23rd: Sailed around Cape Horn which was fantastic. Again extremely cold and windy. February 24th: Schollart Channel, and Paradise Bay. Paradise Bay was spectacular. Again very cold outside. Dressed in layers, viewed from our balcony on the aft coming in often to get warm. Even are friends from Wisconsin were chilly, and had warm clothing on. We had about 2” of snow on our balcony. February 25th: Elephant Island. It was very over cast and foggy, we had virtually no visibility. Just as we were leaving the fog and clouds cleared so that we were able to get some photos. February 26th to February 28th: We were at sea with no sights. On one of these day, we had extremely high seas. Ship at bags all over; stairs, elevators, restrooms, etc. On the 27th we had the last of our specialty restaurant. We ate again in the SS United Stated, and had an outstanding meal. March 1st: Montevideo, Uruguay. Went on a private wine tour with Ryan Hamilton. The vineyards, tour, and tastings were nice. The grounds of the vineyards were beautiful. Lunch was very good in a restaurant near the beach in town. This tour was almost $200 per person. We and our friends felt it was extremely over priced for what we got. After the tour we roamed around the market area. We found the market area very run down as you started up the hill. We were warned to stay with the crowds, and not wonder down empty streets. I would highly suggest a tour out of the city to see the country side. March 2nd: We disembarked the ship and our driver picked us up at 9 AM. This was part of our package with Diego. We were then deposited at the Obelisco Hotel, our day hotel. This hotel is less expensive however we would not want to stay there for an extended period. We had almost wished we had spent the monies to upgrade, although we were only in the room for a short time. At 10 AM we were picked up for our walking tour by Sebastian our guide. We had a tour of the Pink Palace, which is only open to the public on Sunday. Then we were off to the San Telmo flea market. What a treat! Blocks and blocks of tables with all kinds and sorts to goods; from junk to valuable antiques. This too is only open on Sunday. It is very crowded, and has lot of pick pockets so you must be very careful. We were accompanied the entire time by Sebastian our guide, who bargained for us, and also paid in pesos so we did not have to show are American dollars. There were eight in all. The streets are cobblestones and at times walking is somewhat difficult. At 3 PM we started back to our day hotel, and ran across a couple doing the tango on the street. We arrived back at the hotel with our Wisconsin friends in time to shower, and change for our long flight home. At 5:00 Patricia Kanelson who arranged all of our ground arrangement, a personal friend of Diego’s, stopped at the hotel with driver who was taking us to the airport. She made sure the driver new which Air Lines we were headed to. We caught our 10:30 PM flight home, and arrived home in Melbourne, FL at 3:00 PM on March 3rd. In conclusion, we were extremely happy with the arrangements made by Diego through Discovery Uruguay. Throughout the planning process, which was entailed, Diego was extremely gracious and helpful at every turn. I would highly recommend Discovery Uruguay. The disappointment that were encountered by others in our group, we found to be from lack of understanding of what they were to receive. They appeared to have no idea as to what they were doing, or what they had paid to visit. Although, we had some private tours, this was not promised. Private tours can be arranged. Patricia Kanelson who arranges all for Diego is wonderful. You can confirm all prior to arrival with Patricia at pkanelson@yahoo.com In ending this was a special and wonderful trip. Antarctica is truly a special place. Cruising on the Infinity was great, however this is a truly different experience, and cannot be compared to any of our past sailings. Patricia and Sebastian with Discovery Uruguay were outstanding, and tried to please all. I would highly recommend Discovery Uruguay. Please feel free to email if you desire additional information at jim816@aol.com Johnny and Sandy   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
My husband and I are mid-60's. We have sailed all major cruise lines except Holland America in 10 cruises over the last 15 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise, our longest at 15 days and our first with friends--two other ... Read More
My husband and I are mid-60's. We have sailed all major cruise lines except Holland America in 10 cruises over the last 15 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise, our longest at 15 days and our first with friends--two other couples which added a lot of fun and comraderie. The ship seemed very well run and friendly--a tone set by the ship master--Michael Sympouras. We saw him more times around the ship than we have ever seen the captain. It was the 11/22/13 cruise out of San Diego through the Panama Canal ending in FLL. We knew this was an older ship with a few signs of wear and tear but nothing that hindered our enjoyment. The size of the ship also made it easier to find each other. Phoenix was being deluged with rain as we headed to the airport--first rain in 75 days! I had broken my rule of getting to the embarkation port a day early because of the short flight to SD but was questioning the wisdom of that as we sloshed to the airport. The port of San Diego seemed a bit disorganized and it was raining as we embarked. Once we left San Diego, we encountered almost no rain which we had wondered about since it was the tail end of the rainy season. Overall, we were very pleased with both the food and service on Celebrity and would rank them both the best of the cruises we have taken. Mario (Mendez) and Stefan took excellent care of us in the dining room and gave us tips on the best items of the night. We did "assigned" dining which worked out very well for 3 couples. Being a "foodie", here are a few more details on the food. We thought Celebrity did a very nice job on their meats. Steak or prime rib ordered medium or medium rare was usually right on and quality was very nice. Slow cooked items like Osso Bucco, braised beef and chicken were very tender and succulent. Veggies were crisp-tender and presentations were nicely done. If there was a weakness or unevenness, I would say it was in the pastries. American standards like strawberry shortcake, chocolate chip cookies and pineapple upside down cake tended to not be very good. There were some desserts that were excellent--chocolate cake with leche was top notch. A special Grand Marnier soufflé was yummy. Bitter and blanc bread pudding on Carnival remains my favorite cruise dessert. Many of the desserts in Café al Bacio were very good--we loved the Coconut chiffon cake, the chocolate/coffee cake and several others. I would also say morning buffet pastries were about average. Princess has the edge there. A lovely touch was being offered an afternoon chocolate while we were relaxing in Café al Bacio. We also thought it was a very nice part of the Captain's toast to receive a glass of champagne and a truffle as we entered the theater on the first formal night. We ate at the buffet most mornings. It is true the selection is nearly the same every morning but that does not bother me. There is such a wide variety of items I could personally have breakfast for a year with those items and be fine. The eggs benedict station was very good. Lox and bagels were good and red onion, tomato and capers were handy. Omelet stations were quite plentiful and toast was made to order and nice and hot--always a plus. We also had crepes at Bistro on Five ($5 pp.) twice and that was a nice addition although they seemed a little understaffed. The dessert crepe with nutella, pistachios, and whipped cream is not to be missed. We had one breakfast and one lunch in the main dining room and they were nicely done. The ice sculptures and food at the Brunch was a nice change of pace but it was on Canal crossing day which was a plus or minus depending on your viewpoint. Buffet lunches were good. Salads were interesting and Indian curries were good. Hamburgers and hot dogs on deck were very good and the French fries were hot. You lose on this one Guy Fieri--French fries on the Breeze were bad! We dined at Q-sine one night. We thought the food presentations were very memorable and fun and most were tasty. You definitely have to be open for a brand new experience. Certainly a unique Thanksgiving dinner for our group. We did them for $30 pp. which is a fair price. I feel the Celebrity specialty restaurants are over-priced at $45 but they are often offering specials to fill them. We had an inside cabin which was fine. Beds were a bit firmer than we prefer but OK. Our steward Frank took good care of us. Nice flat screen TVs and a settee were nice. I liked the weight of their coverlets on the bed--not too heavy. Space under the bed ample for storing suitcases. There is a clothesline in the shower which came in handy. I liked the soap, shampoo and hand lotion. Good control on the temps. Entertainment on the ship was very good. We really liked the various groups playing around the ship and they were very appropriate for the demographics of the older crowd on the ship, We found ourselves pleasantly surprised by the Finkel brothers--who would have thought a xylophone virtuoso could be so much fun? The comedy of Rich Ceisler had us in side-splitting laughs. The production shows were very well done and we really appreciated the Celebrity orchestra, singers and dancers. The loss of live music is a big downside for us on some cruise lines. The weakest link here was the juggler Steve Carte in our estimation. Cruise director Pete was a man of few words but did a very good job and the man could sing too. We really enjoyed some of the Celebrity activities. My husband attended several of the lectures. I thoroughly enjoyed the culinary talks though a bigger venue to avoid SRO would be better. Watercolor class and the trivia were lots of fun. I gave my first Zumba class my best shot. Many activities involved the officers which was entertaining. We thought running the Nova documentary on the Panama canal was very nice but earlier than 10:30 pm might have been a better choice. The commentator that came aboard for the Canal crossing did an excellent job. Ports on this cruise are fairly weak. The big event--the stunning Panama Canal crossing--is what makes it worth it. We had been to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta a couple of times previously so skipped them. Guatemala and Colon also did not have much to offer and safety is an issue in those ports. We did a independent tour in Costa Rica with Gio tours. Chris did a great job of showing us around his country and did a good job of improvising when a land slide made doing one of our activities impossible. We would recommend Gio as others on Trip Advisor and CC have. We took a ship tour in Cartagena but it was in the 90s with equal humidity levels which certainly impacted how much we enjoyed the tour. We prefer to do independent tours when possible. This was a super cruise and we hope to sail again. Our cruises depend on the cost of itineraries we want to do and we are not loyal to just one line, but Celebrity certainly won us over on this one.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
Our Group: 3 retired couples, ages 62-68 - 1st time for us traveling with others. Two of the couples were from Phoenix and the other couple from Washington state. Made a big difference in the cruise, especially on multiple sea days, plus ... Read More
Our Group: 3 retired couples, ages 62-68 - 1st time for us traveling with others. Two of the couples were from Phoenix and the other couple from Washington state. Made a big difference in the cruise, especially on multiple sea days, plus we were able to get a dining table for 6 in the MDR together. We have done 5 prior cruises, all on RCI so were anxious to try Celebrity for the 1st time. As platinum members on Royal we were made Captain's Club members at the select level, a nice benefit. My wife and I drove from Phoenix the night before, stayed in a motel and boarded in the morning. Utilized a one day one way rental from Alamo which was reasonable and handled all the luggage for both Phoenix couples, the other Phoenix couple flying in on departure day. We all brought the allowed 2 bottles of wine on board as well as water and soda. This is all acceptable and a real money saver for the customer. Embarkation in San Diego - could have been smoother and better with more communication. Once inside the terminal building having received our sea pass cards we were seated and assigned group number 21 at 1020am (we arrived early). Group 1 was boarded at 1130am, then groups 2,3,4,5 with our group 21 going after group 5. The ladies broadcasting the group numbers were yelling at this mass of several hundred people, no signage, no megaphones. Our group boarded at 1240pm, we ate and entered our interior cabin at 150pm. The ship left at 600pm, one hour late. Dining: we had a table for 6, 600pm dining. All evening meals except one were taken in the MDR with Mario and Stefan as our waiters. Food quality was the best we’ve had on any of our cruises, service was very good as it has always been on RCI. One half of the menu was the same each night, the other half changed and provided a good variety of appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts - generally every item served was good to outstanding. Thanksgiving night was the only time our group ate in a specialty restaurant, the Qsine on deck 11. This is an very unique experience with the menu and ordering done via I-Pad, some of which did not work at all or work properly. Food in Qsine varied; mostly good to very good, some very unusual. Presentation and serving in Qsine was very unique too. We received a discount off the $45 price with discounts seeming to be available regularly depending on the night. My opinion - worth trying once. During our transit of the Panama Canal the dining staff went all out for a brunch in the MDR complete with many ice sculptures. A tremendous presentation and experience as we rode through the canal. This brunch is not to be missed. One of our snack favorites was the Café Al Bacio on deck 5 with complimentary sweets in the afternoon; the coconut cake was the best !! Our group also did a breakfast of crepes in Bistro on 5 one morning, nice atmosphere but the service seemed slow with only three tables being served. We did find the placement of the tables in the MDR a little too close, could have been further apart. The Ship: 11 decks but a few options to go higher on a limited basis. The Infinity had a make over several years ago but has been maintained well and is kept clean. It has a short walking track open air on deck 11. The ship does not have all the glitz bells and whistles of the brand new ships but is very comfortable, attractive and a good ship with sufficient venues for music and bars for drinking options. Gym area seemed adequate, we used it one time, spa, casino, large theatre for the evening events. The ship was large enough to provide the customer what was needed but not too large. As compared to RCI: many fewer ship wide announcements, this was good. One daily Captain’s message at 10am. As this was early December, Christmas decos were put up by contractors who boarded the ship in Colon and left the ship before leaving Colon. INTERNET & PHONE: Outrageous as expected; internet packages could be purchased that provided some savings. Using a coupon as a result of being Captain’s Club Select I purchased 38 minutes for $24.95 minus a 25% discount, which was still a very high net cost per minute but was useful. Internet speed generally slow to very slow. 4500 total Nautical Miles covered in the 15 days. A bonus for us as non-smokers: very limited areas for smoking and the casino was a no smoking zone the entire trip - all of the time. The Infinity cruiser on this sailing: Almost entirely adults, perhaps 25 children were spotted. Guessing the average age to be 60-65. Mostly US, Canadians, UK and Aussies with Asia being well represented as well. Entertainment: I did not have high expectations for a ship this size but was surprised by the consistent strong to outstanding performances and variety we were provided with each night. Of all 15 nights of performances I would say only one was weak. The Infinity musicians were also tops. Cruise Director Pete mixed it up and did a great job of choosing some very good entertainers for our enjoyment each evening. The different lounges frequently had music of varying types so everyone could find something to like at a given lounge. Bar drinks came with the usual 15% add on but we found happy hour pricing, 4-5pm and 4-6pm provided good options for regular inexpensive drinks of martinis and wines, some as low as $4 and martinis at $5.50 each. So a good option to avoid a large bar tab for the cruising customer. We did not find this many options for low priced drinks on a regular basis with RCI. Ports/Itinerary: We chose this cruise primarily to experience Celebrity and do the Panama Canal. Other stops, in order, included: Cabo San Lucas, Puerta Vallarta, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, Puntarenas, C.R., Colon, Panama, Cartagena, Colombia. We did only two shore excursions; one through the ship in Colombia and an independent one with our group of four in Costa Rica in our own mini van with Chris of GioTours. Otherwise we walked off the ship at each port and did only the shopping near the port area. Having done Costa Rica with only 4 of us plus driver and guide Chris I would say no comparison with the ship’s product we took in Colombia. Now I know why we try to avoid the ship’s tours and it’s not just because of the normally higher cost involved utilizing the ships product. One exceptional thing Celebrity did as we transited the canal on December 2nd - we were provided with an ongoing live narration by a lady working for the canal as we traveled through it from 715am until 445pm when we exited. This narration was throughout the ship and really added to the crossing. I understand some lines do not provide this narration and it made all the difference as we traveled. Being this close to the equator, our southernmost point being 7 degrees north latitude, I expected it to be hot and I was not disappointed. Being in the sun was at times brutal but Cartagena took the award for the very hottest and most uncomfortable. Also, be prepared for regular, sometimes relentless hawking by the local vendors, even if you are in a large tour group you are fair game, this is at all ports. My opinion - all of the ports were worth seeing once - though we did greatly enjoy our 7 hour tour with GioTours in Costa Rica. This cruise had a very good balance of sea days, never more than two in a row, mixed in with regular port stops. The Crew: One thing I really appreciated about this cruise was the high profile and access to the Captain and his senior officers. The Captain could be seen almost anywhere on the ship and was easy to talk to - I spoke to him at least four times. On some cruises you never see the Captain and seldom even hear from him so this made this Captain and this sailing outstanding. The waiters, pool butlers, housekeeping were from all over the world. I would say they were friendly and helpful as a rule. At times listening closely was necessary to fully understand what they were saying. We had only one day of 80 knot winds (per a senior crew member) so the decks were closed off and the ship was not level as it traveled, but we did not get sick. This high wind condition lasted 10 hours or so and occurred off the coast of Acapulco. On the open sea windy was the norm and somewhat bumpy - generally up on deck 11 in the open, winds were 30 mph and seas were 1-2 meters high. I appreciated the fact that events, dining, docking and leaving ports always seemed to be on time, as scheduled, with the exception of departing San Diego. Being on time seemed to be important to Celebrity. Thank you! Departure in Fort Lauderdale - we chose the 1st departure time of 815am, got to the Celebrity Theatre at 810am. At 850am we were instructed to move to the departure ramp, cleared customs, claimed our bags and walked outside to a long line for taxi cabs. The wait for a cab was about 20 minutes. Four of us shared one cab, it was cozy but the least expensive way to go. Fare to the Ft. Lauderdale airport was $15 plus tip for 4. Arriving at the airport at 945am we found long lines outside to do bag checks with Southwest and a long line inside as well. We chose inside to avoid the outside heat. Though the line was long it moved along and in 20 minutes we were at the ticket counter. After the ticket counter we moved to the security line with another short wait as we were designated TSA PRE SCREENED. Once inside the secure area we tracked down something to eat. All options were very busy by this time, 11am, and there were generally lines at the four or five choices. Was hard to find a table to sit at, all being occupied so we shared. Gates were all packed, you were lucky to find a seat. When 10 or so cruise ships all unload on the same morning a person must expect the airport to be packed and it was. I give credit to the airline employees, airport employees and TSA for handling all of us as efficiently as they did, there is just so much that can be done with crowds of this size. For us I will try to avoid using the FLL airport for departing in the future on a Saturday or Sunday if at all possible. Perhaps West Palm Beach or Daytona Beach should be considered. Overall a great experience that can be highly recommended. We have already pre-booked our next Celebrity cruise for August of 2014 to take advantage of the on board reduced deposit and OBC just as Royal provides. Thanks to the staff of the Celebrity Infinity for doing such a good job on our first cruise with you.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
1. We booked our own transfers as we arrived in London two days early and our return flight was earlier than allowed by Celebrity for its transfers. We used BATransfers, as they were the least expensive and most flexible we could find. We ... Read More
1. We booked our own transfers as we arrived in London two days early and our return flight was earlier than allowed by Celebrity for its transfers. We used BATransfers, as they were the least expensive and most flexible we could find. We shared transfers from LHR to London, London to Harwich, and Harwich to LHR. Bottom line: Great Company. On time, polite, efficient. Will use again if I need similar transfers. 2. Cabin: Veranda cabin quite nice, reasonably spacious, and contained adequate storage space. 3. Service: Cabin cleanup was very good. No complaints. 4. Food: uneven in the dining room. Fish dishes not great; Beef less than tender at times. Lamb was good, however. Service here was good, as well. Buffet: Fairly decent as buffets go. Breakfast the best choice. 5. Excursions: Typical ship impersonal, superficial types. Our highlight was viewing the Bayeux Tapestry. The absolute lowlight was a "cruise" on Loch Lomond - deadly dull. Advice - book your own excursions. 6. Recommendation: Cafe Bacio is a nice place to hang out, particularly if you have a drinks package. 7. We played Trivia and found the "moderators" charming and personable - would have been better if we won more often.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
My wife and I enjoyed a cruise to Iceland and Norway courtesy of Celb X on the Infinity. Firstly the good to excellent bits, the embarkation at Harwich was OK except for the long walk up the gangway. Car parking was slightly elongated, ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed a cruise to Iceland and Norway courtesy of Celb X on the Infinity. Firstly the good to excellent bits, the embarkation at Harwich was OK except for the long walk up the gangway. Car parking was slightly elongated, but the getting rid of the luggage was easy and painless. The ship, food 5 +, accommodation 5, trips, we only went on one which was the whale trip (more later), Service was excellent especially our waiter Rathan Kumar and his assistant Michelle (table 317)also our room assistant Haleluia. These sections all stand out. Next, the not so good, trips as above, we set sail into some very rough seas(better than the Big Dipper), we had to turn back so no whales. We complained and got our money back ( well done celeb as it was not your fault) the firm should have canceled before we started.Entertainment, a little better than dire,most artists trying too hard,the best was Ric Steel, one gentleman singer with a trumpet thought he was Gods answer to audiences,and he murdered his trumpet and us. I didn't like paying for WiFi it should have been nominal or free. Not the fault of the company but sometimes I felt invisible due to being barged, charged, and bumped into by the other guests not the English ones. Everything else ok. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
It started with the plane ride. We had a 6AM flight (booked thru Celebrity) which which got us into Miami at about 8:30 AM. There we waited for 3 hours in the baggage claim area of the terminal for the Celebrity transfer. There were ... Read More
It started with the plane ride. We had a 6AM flight (booked thru Celebrity) which which got us into Miami at about 8:30 AM. There we waited for 3 hours in the baggage claim area of the terminal for the Celebrity transfer. There were between 8-10 seats in the baggage area. Picture some 60 senior citizen types perched on the edges of the baggage carousels. I felt sorry for the people who arrived at 6 AM on the red-eye from LAX and had to wait 5 hours for the transfer. This could have been managed better. At 11:30 AM we were taken by bus to port in Ft. Lauderdale where the Infinity was docked. I have always thought that Celebrity's check-in was top notch. Not so this time. At the port terminal, with the line winding outside for two city blocks, the check in took two hours. Then another 30 min wait for the ship to open. Once on board, another 3 hr wait to get into rooms - this because of extra cleaning due to a stomach virus. Now nobody wants to get sick, but a rolling room cleaning, in which each floor is opened up as cleaned, would have alleviated the overcrowding in the public areas. But then we were off! The itinerary is a good one. The pity is that Peru and Chilean immigration authorities are not helping tourism. Before landing in Manta, Peru, we were informed that the Peruvian authorities would want a face to face inspection of the passports. We arrived the evening before our scheduled time. The face to face inspection of the passports never occurred. When we arrived in Arica, Chile, we were told that another face to face inspection would occur and that we would not be cleared until 3 p.m. As it turned out, we were cleared around noon but the longer excursions had to be canceled. The Arica Tourist Board, however, was first rate-- and provided dockside entertainment for an hour before we left. In La Serena, Chile, which was a port where we were tendered ashore, was in my mind a disaster. It took us over an hour and a half to get ashore. Our Celebrity shore excursion, delayed by an hour, raced along but managed to finish on time for the return tender. It need not have hurried, because we had to stand in line for 2 hours to get the tender back. As far as the cuisine was concerned, it was up the standards of previous Celebrity sailings except in the area of refreshers and desserts. The sorbets that were served were about half melted and the Baked Alaska was also partially melted. However, the evening entertainment was superb. The Celebrity production shows were the best I've seen on any ship so far. The singers and dancers were particularly good and the production shows were very well choreographed. Both the wait staff and the cabin attendants were also exceptional - very professional and courteous. They could teach a course on customer service . OK and the pool in the covered spa area --wow! It is toasty warm. Loved it. We have scheduled two more Celebrity cruises this year. Hopefully this trip was just an aberration.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2012
We are retired seniors from western Pennsylvania. We learned of this cruise from a friend who booked through AAA. We were able to get it at a discount, but without their perks. In addition, we were able to get very good airline prices ... Read More
We are retired seniors from western Pennsylvania. We learned of this cruise from a friend who booked through AAA. We were able to get it at a discount, but without their perks. In addition, we were able to get very good airline prices traveling on the days of embarkation and debarkation. If you are a conservative like myself, take note. Celebrity does not permit the carry of pocketknives of any length on their ships (it got on-board in my carry-on luggage). Mine was confiscated at the security point on return from an excursion; and returned while disembarking. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale just after 12:00 pm, and used a local shuttle to get to the port, arriving at the port about 1:15 pm. Porters took our bags quickly and we were able to begin processing immediately. There were the usual lines, but no undue waits; shortly we were given seats to await boarding. We were able to board at approximately 3:00 pm; once on-board we were told we could access our staterooms. The stateroom was clean, and in good condition; not perfect, but more than just satisfactory. I cannot praise our stateroom stewards enough. The room was attended to religiously. Sometimes, their efforts seemed to be magical; you'd leave the, return within 15 or 20 minutes and they had already tidied up, made the bed, cleaned the bathroom, and moved on. The ship itself was in nice condition. There were some issues noted, but the crew were doing maintenance on a daily basis. Some of the minor issues I noted early during our cruise were corrected by the time we disembarked. I did not note any evidence of gross negligence on the ship. Please note, if you decide on a room on deck 2, starboard. The hallway on this side of the ship is very uneven. From high spot to low spot there must be around 10 inches total height difference. There are a couple low spots up to 3 to 4 inches, and a few rolling high spots almost high enough for steps. These are not marked, although we noted one low spot had a stain which appeared to be a coffee stain shortly after the beginning of our trip. We ate most evening meals in the Trellis dining room. I found my meals to be very good and tasty. Some might have had larger portions of the side dishes, but were adequate. There seems to be some issue with "presentation"; apparently now it is "in" to present all the food on the plate piled into one large pile in the center of the plate. Most meals came this way. We normally do not eat breakfast or lunch in the dining room; the only exception on this trip was the brunch served on our second Saturday. The Oceanview buffet is on deck 10. I found breakfast selections very good. They usually had two American breakfast lines and two English breakfast lines. In addition, they made omelets to-order, and had a separate line for pancakes, waffles, and blintz's. There were numerous drink stations around the buffet area, with regular & decaffeinated; and also punches, orange juice, and water. Lunch selections were varied daily. The food tasted good, but was mostly a little bland. The evening selections I found downright repetitious. Even more so than the lunch selections, the evening selections were very bland. Stick with the Trellis for dinner, even if you eat off the Americanized side of the menu daily. The only good things about the Oceanview for dinner was the pasta bar; pizza bar; and fresh, made-to-order bar in the back. One issue concerning the Oceanview buffet. Celebrity insisted on serving all entree`s. This, along with insufficiently assigned servers created slow line movement. I don't remember having this on any other cruise line. As with all cruise lines, the Infinity had a daily activities sheet. We found this to be quite full, and varied. We found plenty to keep us busy on our days-at-sea. The Cruise Directors staff were very good. They were articulate and personable; we quickly became comfortable with all of them. The service on-board was very good, except in the Oceanview buffet. We were told that there were a lot of "new" crew members brought on-board for our cruise. Apparently they were new hires, and all sent to the Oceanview. It was utter chaos at meal time. Otherwise, service staff was attentive and efficient. Celebrity relies on both cruise line staff entertainers and contracted entertainers. They provide a nice mix of venue this way and keep the entertainment from becoming repetitious. We were not completely satisfied one evening with the entertainment, but that was due more to our taste than to the performance. There was one port not listed on the excursion poll; Puerto Quetzal. At this port, we elected to tour the drive-through zoo. Although we were supposed to have SUV type vehicles, we were picked up by a full-sized bus. The tour guide identified that the vehicles and guides slated for the tour were delayed due to weather induced landslides on their route to the area and other arrangements were made. These were functional, but not truly satisfactory for the tour. Celebrity made a refund for the shortfall, but I would wager only to those who complained about the issue. Disembarkment went well. Lately we have elected to walk off ourselves. Although Celebrity does not officially offer this feature, I am aware of a few people who did such. Since there was no passenger self-laundry facilities, we each had two suitcases, as well as a carry-on; and therefore let Celebrity get our bags to the port building. They have a good, orderly process for getting people off the ship, it worked well. I believe we were off the ship, picked up our bags, went through customs, and into a taxi in little over an hour. Even with apparent heavy San Diego traffic, we were at the airport nearly three hours early for our flight. 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Sail Date: October 2012
We arrived at 11:30 a.m. for boarding and found it to be very efficient unlike a few of the other reviews. We were greeted warmly with a mimosa and moved on to the Oceanview Cafe for an early snack. It was not busy and it was efficient. ... Read More
We arrived at 11:30 a.m. for boarding and found it to be very efficient unlike a few of the other reviews. We were greeted warmly with a mimosa and moved on to the Oceanview Cafe for an early snack. It was not busy and it was efficient. We were allowed in our rooms about 2 or 2:30, but really didn't worry about this as it is usual. The ship was very clean and well staffed as far as we could see. Dinner was typical cruise food. It obviously isn't what it was 10 years ago, but deal with it, it's food, it is well cooked and presented. Our wait staff went out of their way to get to know each one of us. We had a table for 12 which they had to take down every evening as we must have been the only ones that requested one of this size. Leaving the port was very interesting as was the abandon ship drill. Funny, everyone was told YOU DO NOT NEED YOUR LIFE VEST. Despite this, there were a bunch that didn't listen and said they needed to have them. I would recommend they do it out at the lifeboats instead of in the various venues, but this is the way it was done. Our stateroom staff were great and so efficient that as soon as we left our stateroom in the morning and evening it was made up. Great job, Cruz and Dwayne. Dining was great, Anak and Roldolfo were efficient and attentive. Stateroom was great other than the fact that it could never keep a constant temperature, it was either too cold or too warm. Theater - some of the shows were good, others, well, we just opted to not go and not complain. The shows are getting to be a little on the aged side. Food - it was cruise food, get over it, it isn't as good as it was 10 years ago, but then nothing is the same as it was 10 years ago. Bars - The Mast Bar (Agus - aka - Goose), was our favorite afternoon hangout. Goose knew what everyone was drinking unless we changed out mind. The Rendezvous - was our evening hangout, after we tried Michael's Club and a few other places - Trace Gordon was our waiter and couldn't wait for us to arrive every evening. Yea bartenders and wait staff. The ship its self - clean in my estimation - didn't notice any worn areas. The bathrooms were always clean and well take care of. More people should thank this staff member. They are trying to keep a "dirty place" cleaner than you keep your own bathroom. Great job ladies and gentlemen. You should be awarded for this effort. Pool Butlers - ha ha...love it. They don't let people hoard the lounges. I wish every cruise line did this. Hey RCI. Give your Pool Butlers a chance to make others happy.All in all, it was a great trip and I would recommend this to everyone wanting to see the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
Sept 18 & 19: We left home around 1:00 pm to drive to Portland, ME. Stayed at the Marriott Sable Oaks, our favorite hotel in Portland. We stayed overnight, and left our car there for the duration of the cruise. At 4:00 a.m. we took ... Read More
Sept 18 & 19: We left home around 1:00 pm to drive to Portland, ME. Stayed at the Marriott Sable Oaks, our favorite hotel in Portland. We stayed overnight, and left our car there for the duration of the cruise. At 4:00 a.m. we took their free shuttle to the airport. Check-in was a breeze, so we had time for coffee and a bagel before heading to the gate. Flight went through Chicago, and we arrived in Seattle around 1:30 p.m. We grabbed a wheelchair to help Dick get to baggage claim, where we waited for 30 minutes before the luggage came onto the conveyor. We had to haul our suitcases up one level and across a sky bridge to get to the taxi stand...not the most convenient airport! We stayed at the Silver Cloud -- Broadway hotel. Very nice. They had a free shuttle to Pike Market and a few other tourist sites, which we took advantage of. Sept. 20: Visited Pike Place Market; ate lunch and dinner at two different Irish pubs. Bought some sweatshirts...was chilly and foggy in the morning! Sept 21: Chilly and damp. We breakfasted at IHop (behind the hotel) and left for the pier around 11:00 a.m. Smooth embarkation...we were on board by 11:50 a.m. and headed straight for our favorite spot...the Sunset bar on deck 10 aft. The weather was cloudy and chilly, but lots showed up for our Cruise Critic sailaway gathering at the Sunset bar. A young guitarist played for sailaway. Although scheduled time to leave was 4:00 p.m., we weren't actually under way until 4:30 p.m. Our stateroom was 1138...an Aqua Class aft balcony cabin. Very nice! Wonderful view. At 6:00 p.m. we went to Blu for dinner. I had the filet mignon, which was very good. The atmosphere in Blu is so nice...much quieter and more serene than the MDR, even when it's full. Got unpacked, and had an early evening. Sept 22: At sea. Clear and cool. We slept until 7:30 a.m. then Dick went to the gym while I said my Morning Prayer. By 9:30 we were hungry for breakfast! Ate in the Oceanview cafe...love the waffle station and the poached egg station. After wandering around the ship to see what changes were made during Solticizing, we went to Cafe el Bacio for an iced cappuccino. Took our Kindle and IPad and read for a while. The Westside Strings from the Ukraine were playing. They were wonderful, and became my favorite source of music for the entire cruise! In the afternoon, Dick hung around the Sunset Bar, getting to know the bar crew, while I went to a watercolor class. I'm so happy when they have watercolor classes on board...love them! Then I went to an Improvisation Comedy Workshop...great fun! It was led by Nancy and Marshall...a husband & wife team. They were terrific. I continued to go to both classes during the sea days on the cruise. This was a formal night, so we dressed up and went to Cellar Masters before dinner. After dinner we stopped in the Rendezvous Lounge for some music. Cellar Masters was destined to become our favorite evening lounge! Sept 23: We docked in San Francisco in mid-afternoon. But in the morning, we had our CC gathering in Michael's Club. Way too small for over 100 of us! We did a gift exchange...those who participated brought a small gift indicative of their home state/country. I received a gift of black lava sea salt and a tee shirt from Hawaii. I had brought some blueberry jam, chocolate covered blueberries, and some chutney, indicative of Maine. We disembarked for the night at 3:00 p.m. and got a taxi to the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf. Since we had a free Hyatt night that was soon to expire, we had decided to stay off the ship while it was docked overnight. Toured Pier 39, and went to Alioto's for dinner. Sept. 24: The next morning, we hired a town car to give us an overview tour of San Francisco. Dick had been their before, but I had not. We had a nice tour of all the highlights of SanFran. Actually got to see the Golden Gate bridge not shrouded in fog! Set sail at around 3:00 p.m. Sept 25: at sea. Overcast & chilly. Another mostly indoor day. Looking forward to warmer weather. Went to a watercolor class. Lazy day just doing mostly indoor things. Enjoy the sandwich bar in the Oceanview cafe for lunch. Their chicken salad was yummy! Sept 26: Overcast, but warming up! Another day at sea. We set the clocks ahead one hour the night before, so we slept a bit late. Watercolor class; gym; lazy day. We saw dolphins frolicking in the surf. Decided to eat on deck 10 aft tonight...Dick loves the stir fry and I love the pasta & salad bar. Also sushi! Sept 27: Cabo San Lucas. Rain! It rained buckets! Our ship tour on a yacht was canceled (thankfully), so we got a refund. That was nice, since it was an expensive tour. After lunch I left Dick on board and took a tender into town. I brought an umbrella, but still got soaked. I did some souvenir shopping, and was literally wading through ankle-deep water. On the tender ride back, there was thunder & lightening. We were in a local tender that had a roof but no sides...the rain was coming in sideways! We were all soaked...but laughing. We all looked like drowned rats! We heard they received the most single day rain in over 70 years! Dinner in Blu. Service is so good in Blu, no matter where we sat or who we had as waiter. The sommelier, Kris Rawoo, was great. After a while, I'd just tell him to bring me "a smooth red wine" or a "light white wine" or whatever, and he'd pick out just the right one. He is married to the sommelier at the Cellar Master...Elizma. They were both so nice. She is from South Africa and he is from Mauritius. Sept 28: Puerto Vallarto. Rain! Another warm and rainy day. We had a tour to an all-inclusive resort. Of course, the rain started as soon as we got there! Some folks swam anyway...why not? It's just water! We had drinks and lunch at a covered outdoor restaurant, overlooking the (deserted) beach. Coming back to the ship, we saw flooded streets and some rock and mud slides, with trees in the road. A monsoon! As we boarded the ship, the A/C felt cold since we were wet, but a crew person placed a warm towel around my wet shoulders. Nice touch! Dinner in Blu...I had lobster ravioli. Very enjoyable. Sept 29: at sea. Sunshine! 84 degrees! Took advantage of some ship activities. The sun turned to rain later in the day, but I got in some pool time first. I like the salt water in the pools on the M-Class ships. On the S-Class, it's fresh water. Also, on M-Class, the spa pool is a thalassatherapy pool, with jets and very warm salt water...love it. On the S-Class it's just an "adults only" pool. Sept 30: Sunny and in the 90's...! Day at sea. Good day to intersperse pool time with indoor activities like my watercolor class. Doing a lot of reading, as usual. Dick and I both love to read while at sea. Oct 1: Heavy rain in the morning, but partly sunny by noon and in the 80's. Another day at sea before we dock in Costa Rica. There are a lot of birds following the ship...not sure what kind they are. Oct 2: Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Partly sunny and hot. We had pre-arranged a private tour for 14 of us (through Cruise Critic) with Charlie Soto from OkeyDokey Tours. We used a wheelchair from the ship to help Dick get to the end of the pier where we were meeting Charlie. He was right there, and had a 16 passenger van waiting for us. They put the wheelchair in the back. Our driver, Carlos, and guide, Geovana, were terrific. Carlos was very attentive helping Dick in and out of the van. We had a 7 hour tour...fed Capuchin monkeys, went into the hills for some great vistas, stopped at a hotel with botanical gardens, helped juice sugar cane and had drinks made of sugar cane, ginger & lime, along with fresh papaya, pineapple and mango; had lunch at a restaurant near the Tarcoles River and then took a Crockodile Man Tour...where the boat captain, Jason, got in the water and fed the crockodiles by hand! Saw lots of beautiful birds and flowers. Towards the end of the tour, we stopped at a souvenir factory store and then at a supermarket, where Geovana helped us buy Costa Rican coffee and some salsa/sauces at a much better price than in a souvenir shop. We got back to the ship around 3:45 p.m. Oct 3: at sea. Another relaxing sea day. Went to watercolor and improv classes. Had a laughing good time in Cellar Masters after dinner with two couples from England. I discovered Prosecco on this cruise...love it! Oct 4: Through the Panama Canal today. As it always is in Panama, it was hot! Also overcast, which helped. They had someone from the Canal doing a commentary over the loudspeaker system and we traversed the various locks. Very informative and interesting. During the night we had a loud thunderstorm! Lots of lightening! Oct 5: Partly sunny. Docked in Cartegena, Colombia. We breakfasted in Blu (great place for breakfast...can eat hearty, or light & healthy.) We went ashore around 10:00 a.m. Didn't have a tour planned, but hooked up with a tour guide as we got off the ship and went with several other couples on a brief tour of the old town. I had been there before and done a walking tour, so this gave Dick a chance to see a bit of it. Since his walking is so bad, we just walked a short distance with the old town area and then stopped at a cafe while the rest of the group walked for about 45 minutes. We were soon surrounded by locals hawking their wares...we laughed...it's rather like the swarms of black flies we get at home in Maine during May! We actually bought a couple of things that looked interesting and were cheap...while dismissing the rest. One fellow had a comedy routine he did with a weird hat...and he was really funny. We didn't buy the hat, but did give him a tip. Had dinner in Blu. Found a bit too much repetition in the menu selections in Blu this time around. Maybe because it's a 17 day cruise. Oct 6: sunny and hot. At sea. Classes during the day. Today was Elizma (from Cellar Masters) birthday, so we helped her celebrate! We drank...she poured! Oct 7: Our last full day. Sunny and hot. Pool time; Sunset bar time; packing (ugh!) Oct 8: We docked at 7:00 a.m. We went to the United States restaurant to wait for our disembarkation time. We were Green 4 with a time of 8:10 a.m. Plenty of time to make our 11:00 a.m. flight. Or so we thought. There was a huge electrical storm that went on and on, and prevented them from using the fork lifts to offload our luggage. As a result, we never got off the ship until 10:25 a.m.! Needless to say, we missed our flight. Knowing we would, I called our T.A. before we got off the ship and she got us on flights the next day, as well as a room for the night at the Hyatt Pier 66. Our original flights were with United, and I had first called them. They wanted us to pay well over $1000 each for tickets from FLL to Portland, ME. Ridiculous! My TA got us on US Airways for $342 each. Submitted a insurance claim for flights & hotel...waiting to hear. Oct 9: Flew to Portland and drove home, arriving around 11:00 p.m. It was an interesting and relaxing cruise. Had a lot of rain, but it didn't really mar the cruise. There were lots of interesting things to do inside or outside on sea days. The Infinity is lovely...and as usual the crew was great. We loved Cellar Masters and Cafe el Bacio, as well as Bistro on Five. The aft Aqua Class balcony was bigger than a standard balcony, and the shower in the bathroom was very nice, with extra jets. They do need to do something about the fact that, even with shower doors, the water leaks onto the floor while you're showering. Must need a tighter door. Not a problem for us, but the room attendant obviously had to replace a soaking wet floor mat every day! Can't wait for our next Celebrity cruise...April 2013 on the Summit! Jane Israel Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2012
Overall, I'd say we had a wonderful cruise but there is a lot of room for improvement. Positives: Room with veranda was great with adequate storage and great views. Cabin attendants came when we were gone every time. Towels, robes, ... Read More
Overall, I'd say we had a wonderful cruise but there is a lot of room for improvement. Positives: Room with veranda was great with adequate storage and great views. Cabin attendants came when we were gone every time. Towels, robes, etc were appropriate. Food was excellent and plentiful. Entertainment was surprisingly good. Brent Nixon was entertaining and a talented educator. I was interested in things I'm not usually interested in and learned a good deal. Lots of things to be involved in. Scenery was beautiful and no picture can capture it for you. You only have to unpack once and not check in and out and there is no way to see all of the places we saw otherwise. Negatives: Communication was poor. No information about boarding was given, not even the location of the ship. I found that on the Internet. We were told to be there by 3 when I called, but the ship was taking on passengers at noon when we got there. They served lunch at 1:00. We never got a map of the ship to review so we could find things. Internet was very expensive and slow. The selling never stopped. Why would you go to Alaska to buy jewelry? Children were unattended and running around. Service was slow in the main dining room. We were given wrong information from guest services after being on hold for 15 minutes.Written communication came every night but so much more needed to be there. Maybe if you've done this several times, it's not needed but we weren't the only first timers. We talked to people who missed the Brunch because they didn't know what it was (excessive amount of food). Things happened in the dining room downstairs and we could here it, but not see it. Strange. Shades were closed in the dining room on formal nights. Why would we not want to see the sights as we went by if we were near enough to a window? Looking for luggage and getting a bus to the airport was awful. The bus driver for Gray Lines was good (Chuck). We got a tour on the way to the airport. It would have been nice to know that the tendering to Juneau would take almost 2 hours. We gave up and didn't get off the ship. We were told 3PM but our number was called at 4. And knowing about tendering in advance would have been a great idea. The 545 Express singers and the illusionist on board need to learn some manners. Talented yes, but insulting people is not a talent. Making fun of people is not a talent and if they want to know why people didn't applaud, they need to review the tape. TV was never explained so we discovered that lots of information was there on our own. We will cruise again, but with more information.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
The ship recently returned from dry dock in the Bahamas, where she was "Solsticized". Most public spaces were refreshed and several new features were added including Aqua Class staterooms and features for the Aqua Guests (i.e. ... Read More
The ship recently returned from dry dock in the Bahamas, where she was "Solsticized". Most public spaces were refreshed and several new features were added including Aqua Class staterooms and features for the Aqua Guests (i.e. Blu Restaurant and upgraded Spa amenities). Aqua Class Amenities (+ Pros | - Cons) + New Staterooms and Features (See Stateroom & Bathroom Pros/Cons) + Blu Restaurant (Food, Service, Ambiance) - Blue Restaurant (None of the fun activities in the Main Dining room are replicated in the Blu Restaurant) - Embarkation/ Disembarkation (No special benefits or special treatment) Aqua Class Stateroom (+ Pros | - Cons) + Deck 11 Stateroom (All are new, Part of the Solsticized upgrade in December 2011) + Sofa - Isle Clearance between Bed and Wall (Is only 15", People of size have to walk sideways) - Public Announcement System ( Didn't work, stateroom attendant indicated the volume control and speaker in the room were hooked up. A serious negative, given the 8 hours of narration through the Panama Canal Tip: Veranda Sizes on Deck 11 (Rooms forward have wider verandas and rooms aft have narrower verandas) Aqua Class Bathroom (+ Pros | - Cons) + Comfort height toilet + Shower Wand & Body Spray - Shower Size (Only 23" W x 46" L, Narrows to 13" wide at back side) - Shower (Leaks under shower doors, Carpet always wet) - No Outlets - No Storage (Clearly not what was shown on Celebrity Website) - Size (Overall very small) Entertainment (+ Pros | - Cons) + Overall the entertainment was good (a few steps up from Holland America and Oceania) + Entertainment every night Public Spaces (+ Pros | - Cons) + Blu Restaurant (Food, Service, Ambiance) + Theatre (Recently Remodeled, Nice Seating & Tables) - QSine Restaurant (Great selection of Food, Presented in a unique way) - SS United States ($40 Fee/Person, Staff was stuffy, Food was only Fair, Limited selection beyond seafood) - QSine Restaurant ($40 Fee/Person) - Cafe &* Grill (Layout out poorly, Food was just OK, It appears this area was missed during dry dock) - Main Dining Room (Service, Food) - Bistro-on-Five (Service Fee, Rarely seen anyone was using the space) - Gelateria, Cafe al Bacio (Service Fee, Rarely seen anyone was using the space) - Cellar Masters (Cold Ambiance, Rarely seen anyone was using the space) Ports of Call and Tours (+ Pros | - Cons) + Panama Canal Passage (Once in a life time experience!) + San Diego, CA (Recommend the Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Tours) + Cartagena, Colombia (We would return to Cartagena for a Vacation) + Panama Railway (Along the Panama Canal & Panama City) + Antigua, Guatemala (Tour from Puerto Quetzal: Historic, Lots of Police & Security) + Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Recommend the Pelican Grand Beach Resort) - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (You can see why most ships are avoiding Mexico) - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (You can see why most ships are avoiding Mexico) - Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala (Very 3rd World) - Puntarenas, Costa Rica (Very 3rd World) - Colon, Panama (A Freight Port, Tourist Trap Shopping) Other Pros (+ Pros | - Cons) + Beyond the Podium Series (Uncle Marty: Panama Canal Talks) - Gangway Incline (The Incline/Slop of the Gangway at most ports was Dangerous) - Cruise Director (Patti Honacki was horrible, more interested in pointing out how hard she works vs connecting with guests) - April Weather Central & South America (90-100 Degrees with 90%+ Humidity) - Value-for-the Money Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
Our cruise was Sept. 9th, the last of the 7 night cruises for the season. We spent Thurs. night with my brother and took the Bainbridge Island ferry over to Seattle and it took us right along side our ship. That really helped to ratchet up ... Read More
Our cruise was Sept. 9th, the last of the 7 night cruises for the season. We spent Thurs. night with my brother and took the Bainbridge Island ferry over to Seattle and it took us right along side our ship. That really helped to ratchet up the excitement. With Concierge class we got our own check-in line and there was no one ahead of us. From the time we got our luggage out of my brother's car, we were in our stateroom in less than 30 minutes. We had opted for the Premier Beverage package and it didn't take us long to figure out the value of that choice. Like a lot of the other passengers we enjoyed the good weather and had our first onboard meal outdoors. While I have been on a few other cruises in the past, this was my wife's first cruise aside from a 3 day trip down to Ensenada. She was really pleased with the size of our room and bathroom. There was enough room underneath the bed to store our suitcases so that we didn't have to step around them otherwise. Since we were next to a suite, our veranda was a bit smaller than typical but still was comfortable. Our only day of rain was a day at sea so it had little impact on our activities. I did learn that you don't tend to pay a premium if you book your tour excursion through the ship. In Ketchikan my wife went salmon fishing. Initially, I wasn't going to do anything but decided to take a Duck Boat tour, which I booked directly. I saved all of $.75. Dinner in Trellis was wonderful with both a set menu and a daily changing selection. We took advantage of the open seating and never had much of a wait and always had engaging table mates. On Tuesday night we went to the S.S. United States, their specialty restaurant. Absolutely worth it and we booked a second night there rather than go into Victoria. As had been written on many of the boards, the naturalist, Brent Nixon, is not to be missed. He is informative, interesting, and entertaining. Truly a highlight of the cruise. The entertainment was first rate although they did run into a couple of technical glitches but that happens with live entertainment. The magician still has me wondering and the comedian was very, very funny without ever getting crude. For my wife this cruise was all I had hoped it would be for her and I'm sure we will choose Celebrity for our next cruise. 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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