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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Boarding: San Francisco's cruise port area is quite congested and one needs to allow extra time for arrival. The main boulevard is blocked with traffic on cruise days, and the only public transport from the airport subway ... Read More
Boarding: San Francisco's cruise port area is quite congested and one needs to allow extra time for arrival. The main boulevard is blocked with traffic on cruise days, and the only public transport from the airport subway ("BART") is serviced by historic trolleys that require hauling your luggage up and down steps, AND the trolleys are crammed with riders. The subcontractor that handles check-in and boarding is reasonably friendly, helpful and efficient. Cabin: The cabin (ours with veranda) is compactly designed with lots of space for clothing storage. The room was reasonably clean with the exception of shower grout that needed scrubbing, and a shower that drained very slowly to the point of backing up several inches if standing water. Dining: Three Thai barristas operated the artisan coffee shop on the morning shift and deserved recognition for their exceptional service. They remembered our special coffees every morning without our input. A gelato shop across from the espresso cafe sold a large variety of flavors that were manufactured onboard the ship. A continuing problem expressed by several passengers was the consistency of the gelato in that it contained ice crystals that resulted in a sandy texture, possibly from melting and refreezing. When we mentioned this to staff we were met without concern. When the mango gelato contained two-inch pieces of unpeeled mango, and we returned it to the server, she said that it was normal, even though we suggested she reported the "chunks" to the gelato-makers. She was adamantly uninterested in our feedback. The upper deck buffet was reasonably diverse in offerings, both vegetarian and meat, and included a free ice cream/cookie stand with helpful friendly staff. The buffet supervisors were always at full attention and monitoring the buffet and its staff--very impressive. In the main dining room we bought a seven-bottle wine package for $360 so we could drink our Artesa chardonnay, for which we normally pay $17, so Celebrity takes quite a mark-up at $50, including 18% gratuity. The good news is that our wine stewardess, Ivana, was amazingly helpful, friendly and efficient. Service from our waiter was mixed in that he was friendly, but couldn't remember that we did not eat meat, and twice took us aside to insist that we rate him ten out of ten when we received an email survey from his employer. We felt very uncomfortable with is in-your-face style of arm-twisting to give him the highest rating possible. His weirdness was balanced by Windy, a hard-working assistant waiter who we gave a special recognition to ship's management. By the way, if you prefer vegetarian, the selection is sparse and not so appealing. Entertainment: A museum docent calling himself Doctor Dave, presented college-level lectures on various aspects of the travel itinerary. He prepared and delivered his talks to earn an "A+." A woman taught water color classes every other day, and she was appreciated by all of her students. The minor entertainment throughout the ship was rather amateurish and included a pianist who couldn't carry a tune when he sang, a bored-looking guitarist, and a high-school quality small band. The main theatre nightly entertainment was either great or very disappointing. Four incredible male singers performed Four Seasons songs and other songs with an excellent pianist/singer on another night. Two solo stand-up comedians made us laugh like crazy two other nights. Two duds included an Irish flute player doing songs that were unsuited for his instrument; also a strange guy who played old-fashioned group games with the audience that were better suited to elementary school children and who put a recording instrument on the floor so he could sing duets with his own voice--quite bizarre and boring. The seven-piece pick-up orchestra played moderately well except for the drummer who had no sense of volume modulation, so that all of his playing sounded like garbage cans banging together. Ports: A major service failure occurred at our first port, Cabo San Lucas, when two other cruise ships were already using port tender services and our ship had a long wait to shuttle passengers to shore. Strange announcements stated that our own emergency boats couldn't be used due to mechanical problems. When we finally were able to disembark and step in a Mexican tender, it was already 3PM (!) and the last tender back to the ship was 5:30PM, so we decided not to go ashore due to the extremely short turnaround time. The other ports did not require a tender shuttle, so disembarking and embarking was efficient. In all of the ports English-speaking drivers and guides were waiting to take you anywhere you wished to go. When we finally arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, were delayed by US Customs and Immigration lines that were backed up as usual since they likely suspected terrorists arriving under the guise of cruise passengers. So, all in all, nothing is perfect, and you can enjoy a pleasant getaway if you are patient and amuse yourself throughout the trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
for the Panama Canel, food was below standard the meals in the dining room were good and bad, the meals repeated themselves, we were served pork that was not eatable , I was served fish that was way overcooked, were served rolls that were ... Read More
for the Panama Canel, food was below standard the meals in the dining room were good and bad, the meals repeated themselves, we were served pork that was not eatable , I was served fish that was way overcooked, were served rolls that were very stale, most of the deserts were very good, the cabin and cabin steward was above standard never had to ask for anything including ice! Ship is old and had many signs of rust and peeling paint on it, had a foul smell of sewer in many of the halls, entertainment was great, ports and excursions were good, some of the ports were scarie,did not like being charged $4.95 for room service after 11:30 pm even if it is tea or coffee! service was just good. many things are not as good as royal carribean cruises. i would not recommend this ship. the entertainment was great. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had previously taken the East-to-West cruise through the canal and thought it would be interesting to take the cruise in the opposite direction as the ports of call were different. We have also cruised enough now to make the ship our ... Read More
We had previously taken the East-to-West cruise through the canal and thought it would be interesting to take the cruise in the opposite direction as the ports of call were different. We have also cruised enough now to make the ship our "destination" as much as the direction and ports. Cruising with friends is a fun and relaxing way to spend time together as well as to share and compare experiences. As usual, the Celebrity crew and staff provided excellent service and smooth sailing. A few changes were noteworthy from previous cruises; some not as welcome as others. Our experience in the Trellis Restaurant was a real treat with our waiter, Sunarta, assistant waiter, Pablito and Sommelier, Raja, giving excellent and enthusiastic service. we also visited the specialty restaurants Qsine, Tuscan and Sushi on Five. All three were exceptional in fine dining and service. Pre-dinner wine was enjoyed in the Cellar Masters Bar with the sommelier, Pavlo, giving good advice and information on various wines. In the buffet dining area, Oceanview Cafe, the servings in several areas were offered in round pots for self service. Unfortunately, the food in the pots was frequently cold by the time you placed it on your plate. I was also concerned that, with some pots behind others, you had to reach across the pots in the front. This strikes me as less than optimum sanitary practice in food service. On the other hand, the ship was sparkling clean throughout the public bathrooms and other public gathering areas. You constantly saw staff cleaning handrails, doorways, windows and elevator areas. While my husband and I didn't take many shore excursions on this trip, one we took requires some comment. In Puntarenas, Costa Rica, we signed up for the trip to the Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly and Frog Park. There seems to have been some disparity in the description of the excursion and the actuality. The trip "deep into the mountains...to the region of Monteverde" took 2 1/2 hours over some paved, some gravel and some dirt roads with multiple pot holes. a somewhat jarring ride. The scenery along the way was beautifully lush and became more so as we entered the "cloud forest". On arriving at the Butterfly and Frog Park, we discovered a steep incline to be traversed to reach the butterfly "garden". The incline was a narrow cement walkway which twisted back and forth without any handrails. The surface was damp and somewhat slick as there was a constant mist. It was also partially covered with moss. On reaching the actual butterfly display, we went through three separate plastic covered enclosures to view the butterflies. The first enclosure held the smaller variety of butterflies, then to the medium size and finishing with the larger butterflies in the third enclosure. There were quite a few less than the "thousands" noted in the description and they were not free to "fill the blue sky". The frog display hardly bears mentioning as the frogs were very small and difficult to see as they were hidden among the foliage. The Hummingbird Cafe was probably the best part of the trip. The birds did flit about freely and, since it was raining, many of them were visiting the feeders along the edge of the porch outside the cafe. There were a variety of species of the birds with beautiful coloring and, as advertised, inquisitive natures. They were obviously unafraid of humans and came close to perching on or near your nose. The only refreshment offered at the cafe was coffee and a pastry. Soft drinks were available at an extra cost ($4 for a coke). The return to the ship was another kidney jolting ride. While this may have been unavoidable, we were not allowed a rest stop even though requesting one 45 min. to an hour prior to arriving back at the ship. Since we passed several large service areas which could have accommodated our group, we never understood the reluctance of the guide and driver to allow a stop. Since my husband had just "recovered" from bladder cancer, this was especially uncomfortable for him. I would only recommend this excursion for you if you wear a pair of shoes with cleats to make it down the mossy cement incline, take your own snack items, and have a large capacity bladder. Oh yeah, and take an umbrella or poncho as it's likely to rain in the "cloud forest". Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband had a cruise through the Panama Canal on his bucket list and this cruise on the Celebrity Infinity coincided with his birthday. We had been looking at Royal Caribbean itineraries and was surprised (and disappointed) to find ... Read More
My husband had a cruise through the Panama Canal on his bucket list and this cruise on the Celebrity Infinity coincided with his birthday. We had been looking at Royal Caribbean itineraries and was surprised (and disappointed) to find that RC had ceded the Panama Canal routes to their new sister company Celebrity. I booked the cruise on the Celebrity Infinity without his knowledge and surprised him with it during a family vacation 11 months before departure. The good news - we sailed out of San Francisco during Fleet Week. The bad news - there was a huge convention in town in the days before we sailed and hotel rooms in the city were very expensive. We booked 2 nights at The Donatello through AirBnB, used some United miles to book 2 business class tickets, (over) packed our bags, and off we went. We booked a private pick up from SFO through Super Shuttle (ExecuCar) and were met promptly by a very nice driver in a large clean SUV. Even with traffic (baseball playoff game that night) it didn't take long to get to the hotel. We had dinner reservations at LuLu that night and walked the 1.2 miles each way. Next day we visited Fisherman's Wharf, had lunch with my husband's aunt and cousin at Water Bar on the Embarcadero and actually saw our ship in port. The next day we went to a diner (Jersey style) for breakfast, checked out, hopped in a cab, and went to the port. Our check in time was 11:30am and we got there around 10:15am. A Holland American ship had arrived that morning and the curb area was a zoo (people arguing over our cab before we were even out of it). Porter took our ship tagged bags and we walked back to Fisherman's Wharf. We came back about 11am and check in was open. A few minutes in line to get our SeaPass cards and off through security. The escalators were down so we either had to wait for the elevator or walk up stairs to get to the gangway. We chose the stairs - not great but not too bad. Photo ops abounded. We politely declined and no one pressed us. Once on board we headed for the pool deck to await the start of the airshow featuring the Blue Angels. This happy coincidence was a great way to start. Talk about a bird's eye view! All hallway doors were closed - cabins wouldn't be ready until 1:30pm. This surprised us as the ship was in port a full day and only a few passengers stayed to take the next cruise. Hallways were opened on our deck at about 1:15pm and I took our carry ons in to unpack. This was our first time in a suite. Our experience was so great that we will do our best to never sail without being in a suite again. We had a walk in closet and spacious balcony and enough room in the cabin that we didn't feel cramped. Our bags were very late coming up (first in last out?). Our butler John and cabin steward Pamela had to go down to search for them. After our lifeboat drill (no vests) we were underway. We sailed past Alcatraz and right under the Golden Gate bridge as we headed south towards Mexico. An amazing experience. It's difficult to summarize a 16 night cruise in a few paragraphs. The highlights were the crew especially our butler John, cabin steward Pamela and the entire staff at Luminae restaurant. We LOVED that we had access to this restaurant instead of being tied to the main restaurant and a set dinner time. If this is your first time in a suite note that gentlemen need long pants and collared shirts for dinner. We tried to go to dinner one night with my husband in shorts and he had to go back and get changed. Not a big deal. The food at Luminae is very good and the service is excellent. We found out that you can order from any other restaurant (except the specialty restaurants) such as Blu and Trellis (we called it the Plan B menu). We could order apps from Plan B and entrees from Luminae. We ate ourselves silly the first few days (when you're on a cruise ship for 16 nights you better pace yourself). The barman Siraz walks on quiet cat feet. After the first night we would sit down and within 30 seconds an iced glass with cold Corona and lime would magically appear. If the glass was getting empty another would show up. After the 2nd night the entire staff knew us by name. Afternoon tea was fabulous. There were days we didn't eat lunch because we'd eaten too much at breakfast. John would appear at about 4pm with his cart of coffee, tea, savories (little sandwiches), and sweets (the chocolate cake w/chocolate mousse and ganache and macadamia nut cookies were my favs). If we weren't there he would leave us a plate based on what we ordered the day before. He would bring me 2 containers of skim milk with it..... This would hold us until we went to dinner at 8:00pm. There were several nights that we had to wait to be seated. Never more than 5 minutes. Luminae is for all suite passengers and only seats about 60 at a time. They never rush you no matter how crowded the restaurant. Every night brought new people to meet from around the world. We made so many new friends. There are 1,000 time changes on this cruise (slight exaggeration). The first one being the first night - the clocks go back an hour. It's in the daily journal that gets put on your bed each night but we missed it. When we got up the next morning we missed breakfast at Luminae (closes at 9:00am) so we headed for the buffet. NEVER AGAIN. On RC the lines for fresh made eggs and other custom items are well delineated and spread out. The buffet for other items - breakfast meats, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereal, etc - have 2 stations in 2 different locations. Plenty of room for everyone to move around and easy to know where the line ends. Not on Celebrity. One big circle in the middle of the room - no way to know where lines start and finish. Confusing and aggravating. Milk is kept in dispensers that are not chilled. A glass of skim milk was beyond warm. Gross. Vowed never to go back in there and we didn't. If we wanted lunch and didn't want to go to Luminae (closed for lunch on in port days) we went to the burger/hot dog grill on the pool deck. Hot dogs were grilled not boiled, burgers were juicy, and their steak fries were really good. No trays to pick up food for more than yourself tho...... We would have rated the Food excellent were it not for our experience with the buffet. I would suggest talking this cruise in April not September or October. The weather from Mexico to Columbia was HOT AND HUMID. Miserably so. We had to use tenders in Cabo - with the rough bay water and the heat and humidity it made for a rough day (loved the snorkel trip though). Must give Celebrity kudos - there were 3 ships anchored out in Cabo - us, the Holland America that we saw in SF, and a Carnival ship. Only Celebrity greeted passengers at the Cabo dock under a canopy with iced towels and flavored ice water as we waited for a tender to go back to the ship. Celebrity worked with local water taxis to get everyone back without a long wait. They had the iced towels and water at every port. We saw that Holland American ship and few times - they never had it. Great perk! We were surprised to find that there was no bin of towels to grab from as you left the ship for your excursion. Some of our excursions said to bring towels. If we hadn't gotten them from the pool before we left we would have been SOL. Overall we think this cruise could have been at least 2 days shorter. We woke up the day after we went through the canal to find that we'd turned around and ended up back at the port we saw before we crossed the jetty into the Atlantic. We crept through the canal as other ships passed us like we were standing still. We saw the Holland American ship come from behind us during one of several two days at sea blocks, pass us and disappear. We were creeping along. We also had 3 medical evacuations including one by helicopter. We also saw 2 people pass out from the heat. This was an older crowd (we felt like the youngsters and we're in our early to mid 60s) and we hope all passengers are well and back home. We didn't take advantage of the nightly entertainment as much as we should. Was going to play BINGO until I heard that cards were $40 each. There were lectures about each port and especially about the canal. If you couldn't attend them live they were rebroadcast on the TV. My husband doesn't gamble. I like to play Blackjack. $10 table was fun and filled with like minded players. Most of the dealers were friendly. If you come across Anton he'll lighten up if you talk to him and ask him questions. Witnessed a slot tournament one night. Lots of high energy. Michael's Lounge was a lifesaver for us the morning we missed breakfast - they found pastries and fruit for us even though it was way past breakfast. The bar is always open and there's a special excursions desk in there. Eric and Jackie were very helpful. We cancelled our initial excursion in Costa Rica (I didn't think I could take the heat) and they tried everything to book us something else. We stimulated the economy with some port shopping instead (they had Cuban cigars here). Regarding excursions...... we love to snorkel and there really was only one chance to do that in Cabo. Went to the beach in Puerto Vallarta (great time - good value). We found our own excursion in Guatemala. We took the Eco Cruise and Gatoum locks tour in Panama and saw one of the new mega bypass locks in action. We weren't in port very long in Cartgena. The boat ride to the beach excursion takes 2 hours of your time round trip. I think were only at the beach 90 minutes before we had to go back. The island was nice, the water beautiful. Not enough time. Had some young boy try to board our boat when we stopped to view and hear about the fortresses on the way out. I don't think he was going to rob us. Probably to beg for money. Our guide yelled at him and you could hear him fall into the water as our boat sped away. Not fun. We were told that we would LOVE Celebrity. We were pretty loyal RC cruisers until this cruise. Now it will be a Sky Suite on a Celebrity cruise or we don't go. Booked 2 more cruises while we were on the ship. Alaska here we come! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Sorry, i did not post this here sooner, i posted it elsewhere and forgot to post it here. We have sailed the Infinity before-LOVED IT! We have sailed the Panama Canal before with Princess- LOVED IT! This time it was more of an ordeal ... Read More
Sorry, i did not post this here sooner, i posted it elsewhere and forgot to post it here. We have sailed the Infinity before-LOVED IT! We have sailed the Panama Canal before with Princess- LOVED IT! This time it was more of an ordeal than a vacation. We knew that off ship it would be very hot- but I recoup once in AC. But not this cruise since our concierge cabin was too hot most of the time. On the coolest day they claimed it was 70 degrees- that was the coolest day and after days of 24 hr curtains closed and bathroom closed! So most of the time it was probably 75+ in our cabin. Little sleep, heat illness- ugh! Others on deck 8 told me the AC was . . ."just barely OK". The dining room was most often sweltering. The food- cheaper ingredients, beef including prime rib too tough to cut. I was amazed to see Celebrity voted on Cruise Critic as the best food fort a mainstream cruise company!!! It used to be our fav for food. but this time totally inconsistent. And why get a concierge cabin? We had a concierge in the past- fresh fruit of choice daily, fresh flowers every few days, dinning room menu served in your cabin for dinner at no extra charge, and priority tender tickets. This time the only perks from the above were the tender tickets which no one bothered to send us- plus apples only daily! Two entertainers were wonderful= a singer from the orig cast of CATS and a puppeteer, BUT the the movies, the minimal tv selections, and a male staffer who's trivia was horrid made for a tedious 17 day cruise. Our kudos are only for some of the excellent staff who tried vainly to improve things.We have thus canceled a Jan Mexico cruise and are thinking of not cruising again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This was an 18 night cruise from San Francisco through the Panama Canal and ending Ft. Lauderdale. The infinity needs a little work in Concierge class as there was some rust on the balcony and the carpet outside needed to be repaired. ... Read More
This was an 18 night cruise from San Francisco through the Panama Canal and ending Ft. Lauderdale. The infinity needs a little work in Concierge class as there was some rust on the balcony and the carpet outside needed to be repaired. The state room was up to standard and while I don't want to be too picky I my experience on other Celebrity ships was of a higher quality in terms of the condition of the ship. I did have some problems with the tv in the room and the remote but once I notified my attendant those problems were resolved in a matter of an hour or two. I think this speak to the high level of quality Celebrity wants to bring to its guests. There was also some wear and tear on several areas of the ships carpet but they were minimal and I am sure that most people did't see it at all. I tend to notice every detail so I wouldn't fault the cruise line for these minor problems. The shore excursions are fairly typical for cruise lines. They tend to be expensive and not as good as what I have been able to secure for myself. The advantage is that if there is a problem or delay you don't have to worry about the ship leaving you at port! Dining was standard, I am a foodie and therefore do not expect to receive 5 star dining when they are trying to feed such large numbers of people. Overall I felt they did a very good job in the restaurants and Ocean View, where I took the majority of my meals. The specialty restaurants (Qsine and SS United States) were good. The SS United States was my favorite and I would recommend it over Qsine any time. Qsine, offers a unique experience and one that you should try once. It just was not my cup of tea, so to speak. Entertainment on the ship was of a high quality and I really enjoyed the shows. The little talks given by the cruise line before we reached ports were less than interesting and I think the gentleman they used to describe Costa Rica and the Panama Canal was sub par. Disembarkation was easy, relatively fast and since I had a transfer from the ship to the air port I was off quickly without any glitches. Overall, I had a very good experience with the cruise line, the staff was friendly, the food was good, the accommodations meet my general expectations and when a problem arose it was resolved quickly without much effort on my part. All things considered I booked my next cruise onboard with Celebrity for the Spring of 2016. I would recommend this cruise line to a friend or family member without reservation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We are a couple in our 50s and this was our 17th cruise (3rd on Celebrity). We love cruising and have learned to always enjoy the great parts of cruising while not letting a couple not-so-great experiences ruin a long awaited outstanding ... Read More
We are a couple in our 50s and this was our 17th cruise (3rd on Celebrity). We love cruising and have learned to always enjoy the great parts of cruising while not letting a couple not-so-great experiences ruin a long awaited outstanding experience. We arrived a couple days early to San Francisco not ever having been there before. Anyone who has a chance to take a cruise out of this incredible city should do so. I understand not many cruises or cruise lines use San Francisco, but it is a great place to visit and sail from. The sailaway under the Golden Gate Bridge is spectacular. We stayed at the Chelsea Motor Inn, which turned out to be an excellent hotel, "moderately" priced, and near enough to Fisherman's Wharf. There was a Dreamforce convention in town with 150,000 attendees, so anyone who didn't book a hotel a year in advance like we did ended up either staying by the airport or paying extremely high prices. Infinity herself was docked for 4 days and used as a floating hotel for the convention. The ship was in good shape other than some worn carpet and a little rust here and there. Hopefully stuff they will take care of at her drydock this month. Activities ranged from trivia competitions to some excellent educational lectures on marine biology and port lectures. There were especially good lectures and films on the Panama Canal. One of my few criticisms of Celebrity is their lack of a movie venue. They did show movies in the Celebrity Theater, but they were always on port days when we were off the ship. I understand that a rooftop terrace with a movie screen will be installed on deck 11 at the drydock, which should greatly increase entertainment options. Shore excursions were a mixed bag for us. Our best excursions were organized through Cruise Critic in Costa Rica and Colombia. A couple of the ship excursions were took (Puerto Vallarta and Colon) were overpriced and disappointing. They didn't take away from the awesomeness of this cruise, however. Cabin was Aqua A1 cabin 1109 on deck 11. Our cabin steward Ambrose and his assistant Hasim were excellent. They kept everything clean and made us feel very welcome. Cabin location was excellent and very quiet. It was convenient to walk downstairs to the Oceanview cafe and just a close elevator ride down to Blu. The balcony has a slight overhang but for the most part is exposed. We chose this portside cabin so that we would be in the shade in the afternoon while traveling south in the hot Mexican/Central American sun. It worked out well so the temperature was pretty much always cool. Coming north from Colombia, where we were in the afternoon sun, the cabin was a little harder to keep cool. I don't know how quiet this area will be once the rooftop terrace is built. Food ranged from excellent to blah. We ate in Blu normally and most of those meals were very good. There were a few exceptions where maybe a baked potato was cold or soup not to our taste. Breakfasts in Blu were always fabulous. I was really pleased with the Oceanview Cafe (buffet). There was always a lot of variety, with something to please most folks for every meal. I have to mention that the pizza was excellent and made up part or all of many lunches. There were different dessert theme days that made lunch desserts interesting, except that most of the desserts were rather bland. The ice cream line was the best. We ate in all three specialty restaurants. On our first night, we ate in Qsine at 1/2 price. It was excellent and very different than what we had done on a ship before. Tableside prepared lobster in the SS United States was excellent as well. It's a shame this elegant restaurant is being replaced with Tuscan Grill during drydock. Bistro on 5 was very good as well. Overall I thought the food choices, preparation, presentation, and taste were all very good. It's tough not to get bored on a 17 day cruise and we did find ourselves gravitating to more simple food at times (burgers from the Mast grill were great on sea days). The only real disappointment was the change in policy on pastries from Cafe Al Bacio. They now require you to buy something from the Cafe to receive a complimentary pastry. Since we had the drink package, this didn't end up costing us anything. Had we not had that, it would have been much more impactful. Entertainment ranged from fabulous to meh. Production shows were a little disappointing. The singers and dancers were very talented but I think the productions themselves were just so-so. On the other hand, the individual entertainers were just great. From a comedian who made me cry I laughed so hard, to multiple singers and instrumentalists that were amazing, well done Celebrity. Cruise director Patty Honacki was a hoot and a very talented singer in her own right. Disembarkation was ok, I guess. We docked in the same terminal that Allure/Oasis use and were the only ship in port. It took about an hour from the time we got off the ship until we were waiting for our ride. Being as this was a long cruise with lots of foreign nationals that went to a lot of ports, getting through Customs took some time since there was not a separate line for non-US citizens. Seeing as how we waited until the latest we could to disembark, we expected a longer wait than if we had been first off the ship. In summary, this was a bucket list item for us that Celebrity made worth the wait. As I think back though the few minor disappointments (a couple shore excursions), they melt away compared to the great time we had pretty much all the time. And finally, what impressed me the most about cruising on this ship was the overall friendliness of the crew. From Lorredana in Blu to the ship's officers to the guy cleaning the stair rails, everyone said hello with a smile and to a person they were as nice as could be. My hats off to them, especially dealing with such a diverse group of cruisers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
DH and I booked this trip over 1 1/2 years earlier and were very much looking to check the Panama Canal off of our bucket list of places to visit. We were not disappointed at all. This truly was a trip of a lifetime. The ship was ... Read More
DH and I booked this trip over 1 1/2 years earlier and were very much looking to check the Panama Canal off of our bucket list of places to visit. We were not disappointed at all. This truly was a trip of a lifetime. The ship was leaving out of San Francisco and we would end in Ft. Lauderdale. This was our longest cruise ever at 17 days, and I was a little worried it would be too long. Not so - the days went by very pleasantly, but as always too quickly. We left New Jersey 2 days early and stayed 2 nights at the Harbor Court Hotel in San Francisco. I had booked this hotel because it "was" a Kimpton Hotel - not so any longer, and although the staff was very nice and helpful, the room we requested with a view was not what we expected. The window with the supposed view was a small little window about 6 feet up the outside wall - never saw any view, much less anything at all except sky. Enough about the hotel. While we were in San Francisco we did a lot of walking and looked at our ship the Infinity which was being used as a floating hotel during the DreamForce Convention. Two days later we were able to board - a little bit of a delay as they were still trying to get the hotel guests off of the ship. Check-in was quick and after the little wait we were on board quickly with a glass of Champagne in hand. Overall the ship looked like it was in good shape - we had no complaints. Our cabin attendants were wonderful, as were the staff in Blu, including the wonderful Sommelier, Aleksandra (sorry if I spelled that wrong). They were all extremely attentive, always smiling (a smile makes such a difference in atmosphere), and always asking what they could do for us. The food overall in Blu was excellent. We did go to Quisine one night - fortunately we had a discount otherwise it really would have felt like money was waster. The food was flat, very little flavor (especially the indian and asian inspired dishes - very little spice). We found for lunch the buffet met our needs as well as most breakfasts. When we had sea days we did opt for breakfast in Blu, which was wonderful and relaxed. The shows we saw were entertaining and we enjoyed them. We did not go to every show as most evenings we were tired. DH was up every morning at around 5:30 am to see the sun rise and of course he seemed to enjoy it better if I was awake with him. We took two shore excursions from the ship - one in Panama (to see the old and new locks - it was a short tour, but provided just the right amount of time at each set of locks - overall was good) and one in Puerto Vallarta (not very good - dropped us off mostly to shop, but the tequila factory was fun). I did attend a couple of the talks presented on the Canal - they were okay, but too long for me (almost fell asleep) and since I had read twice McCullough's book on the canal I was very familiar with the history of the canal. My only disappointment was with the Spa (a pedicure that went wrong, but was quickly corrected by guest relations) and the Gym - where I spent money on a 1 hour personal training session. Having explained that I don't go to a Gym at home, nor do I have Gym equipment at home and was looking for strength training exercises I could do at home - the trainer had me on multiple machines for the whole hour and then handed me printouts of some strength training I could do at home. Never even went over the handout with me. That was a waste of money. Again, we had a great time and the little hiccup with the Spa and Gym was replaced by all of the wonderful staff that we encountered on the ship. We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I arrived in San Francisco on the Wednesday prior to the cruise, toured the city, rode the street cars, walked the many hills. I had arranged for a tour to pick me up at my hotel (Petite Auberge) on Thursday Morning, visited Muir Woods, ... Read More
I arrived in San Francisco on the Wednesday prior to the cruise, toured the city, rode the street cars, walked the many hills. I had arranged for a tour to pick me up at my hotel (Petite Auberge) on Thursday Morning, visited Muir Woods, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Golden Gate Bridge, the landscape and wine fabulous. I took a cab to the ship, next time I will bring a smaller suitcase, embarkation was easy, and my room was ready soon after I had lunch. I took the tour from Monterey to see Pebble Beach & Carmel By the Sea, no regrets! In Guatemala I took the guided tour of Antigua, the guide was great, wished I had bought more tapestries and shawls...beautiful colors. (they get a little pushy trying to sell there wares). The Jade museum was fabulous. In Costa Rica I enjoyed the the trek through the jungle...hot beautiful, not for people with walking issues. The highlight of the journey was going through the canal, such a historical event for me. In Colon I took the tour of the Embera Indian Village, the people were beautiful and welcoming. I wished I had put my rain poncho on heading back from the village in the dugout canoe...hit some rain, and did not want to "rock the boat" trying to put it on. Take cash as the crafts are expensive but so worth buying. In Cartengena I took a boat/walking tour...wished I would have done something else as I wanted to buy an emerald and we had no time to shop. There was not one thing to complain about on the ship, the food,service,staff and most of the passengers were great. I did run in to a few people who had been on many cruises and they were rude, picky maybe they just weren't ready for a well deserved holiday. I found myself tired of eating the big meals in the formal dining room, but it was a great way to meet people. We did go to the buffet on a few nights to break up the 17 days. Most of the entertainment was good, no cheezy acts, and the cruise director Patti Honacki was so much fun. I would recommend this cruise, it is hot and humid that time of the year, bring lots of sunscreen, and light clothes. Disembarked in Fort Lauderdale, without any issues, I had booked the shuttle to the airport through Celebrity so encountered no hassles. This was the 2nd cruise that I have been on and because I was by myself on this one I saw so much more than with a travel companion; as I did whatever I wanted without worrying about anyone else. The sunrises and sunsets were spectacular. I came home rested, rejuvenated and ready for work to plan for my next adventure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Our cruise started off on the wrong foot during the lifeboat drill. Several elderly passengers were in our group, which our muster point was the photo viewing area. We were told to line up 5 deep close together. One elderly man ... Read More
Our cruise started off on the wrong foot during the lifeboat drill. Several elderly passengers were in our group, which our muster point was the photo viewing area. We were told to line up 5 deep close together. One elderly man accompanying his wife who was walking with a cane asked the young man in charge of our group how long the drill would take and was told, "how ever long it takes for everyone to follow directions and get in line." He asked for a chair for his wife and was told none were available during the drill and the gentleman pointed to another group whose muster point was in the lounge and said, "but they have chairs and can sit." The Celebrity employee rolled his eyes and that pretty much set the tone of the entire trip. We were in stateroom 9068 having selected an Aqua Class Balcony. The first day the room was okay. On the second day there was a slight sewage smell, but this was overtaken by a powerful different smell. On day two we returned to the ship, stepped into the hallway and were greeted by a could and overwhelming chemical smell. You literally could not see past two cabin doors, they were spraying a disinfectant. We, along with other passengers were all hacking and coughing, Celebrity stated this was a standard cleaning procedure to spray the ship in this manner. The employees had respirators on, we did not. By day three the sewage smell was overwhelming. We complained about the smell and was told they could spray something to freshen it up. The next day we noticed the carpet was completely soaked. We complained and were told in Aqua Class, the tiles in the shower can become broken allowing water under the floor. We noticed the bathroom floor had broken tiles that when stepped on, water would squirt through.We were told they knew this was an issue, they would dry the floor so they brought in someone to fix the tiles and dry the floor. The other possibility mentioned was shifting and broken drains, I am horrified it may be sewage, but there were no answers, only changing stories. The maintenance guy comes in and the tiles are "fixed" in less than 5 minutes. Then the drying blowers were brought in which succeeded in super blasting the stench around the room. The next morning the floors were soaked again and we did not use the shower. At this point we moved to another room that was not Aqua Class, and the bathroom floor had broken tiles as well that when stepped on water would squirt through. The new bathroom smelled like rotten potatoes instead of sewage so it was an upgrade. The balcony on the replacement room had a pipe coming down the outside wall that leaked goo that resembled and smelled like spoiled milk. We were told by guest relations this was a known issue with the ship and nothing could be done...so Celebrity is charging people for an Aqua Class room knowing this is an ongoing problem that is not being fixed. For all the issues we were given $150 certificate toward a future full priced cruise. No concession was given for the fact we were in Aqua Class but moved to a lower level of room. As for other reviews, they are accurate, the ship's main dining room is completely understaffed and overwhelmed. Servers can't be friendly, they are too busy running back and forth. We felt truly bad for them and did not complain about cold food and missing items. Qsine was well done and the service there was outstanding. As for documentation procedures, the staff is clueless and several people were upset over incorrect customs information. The ship did not manage to dock on time at any port. It was always an hour or so later than the published time for people to be able to get off the ship causing several people to miss activities they had prebooked so be sure to account for this when making plans. The one great thing about the ship was the kids program. The main dining room was so overburdened we ate several diners at the Oceanview Cafe. My husband's parents were traveling with us and could not eat with us at Blu because they did not book Aqua Class (thank goodness with all the issues). At Oceanview Cafe we ended up sitting near the Adventure Oceans participants who were cared for by the most unbelievable lady who reminded me of a British style nanny with a big umbrella. So there were six kids each time, the lady in charge and an assistant. The food for the kids was set up at a little group of tables in stainless steel serving trays. The kids would be led in, seated and then the leader and assistant would don gloves and plate the children's food. Once the kids finished eating they were given a small treat. The interaction with the kids was absolutely amazing, it's everything a parent would want in someone taking care of their child. Where Celebrity found this gem, I do not know, but she was a case study on how kids should be cared for by someone other than their parents. Truly outstanding, even when dealing with that "one kid" who always has to be a clown and will not sit still. And the kids were having a great time and on the last night they were all saying how sad they were it was their last night and how much they would miss the leaders. Although we didn't have kids on this cruise, at least Celebrity seems to have gotten that part right. Overall, I would take a hard look at Celebrity, I was so disappointed the known issues were not addressed and the next guests in those rooms won't have any different experience. They can't fix the issue until dry dock so rather than taking the rooms out of service, they just let guests deal with the stink. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
BUS TRANSFER TO THE PIER We have taken many cruises out of San Francisco, usually with Princess. We usually stay one night at the El Rancho Hotel in Millbrae. The next morning we have the hotel van take us to the airport where we ... Read More
BUS TRANSFER TO THE PIER We have taken many cruises out of San Francisco, usually with Princess. We usually stay one night at the El Rancho Hotel in Millbrae. The next morning we have the hotel van take us to the airport where we catch the cruise ship bus to the pier. In the past, we have had the same bus driver each time. When we give him out bags, we tell him that we want the two carry-on bags back when we arrive at the pier. He puts them towards the front so he can retrieve them at the pier. The rest of the bags will then be taken to another location where they are unloaded and eventually delivered to our stateroom. The system works great and is very convenient. The driver (we have had the same man on each of our past trips) provides historical and other information about San Francisco during the drive to the pier. He is very knowledgeable about San Francisco. This time the transfer was a disaster. We had a different driver that apparently did not speak English. I told the him that we wanted two bags back when we arrived at the pier and he looked at me like he had no idea what I was talking about. I guessed that he did not speak English and repeated the information. He just grunted and threw the bags in with the rest. When were then told by the greeters that the people who were supposed to be there had a flat tire on the way to the airport and would not be available to help us. They also did not have our names on their list and asked everyone to write their names on a sheet to be checked later. Unfortunately, they waited until we got to the bus to do this and it created a line of unhappy people that wanted to get rolling. At this point, we were also told that we had to take any carry-on bags with us on the bus. This meant that I had to crawl into the storage area of the bus and retrieve our two carry-ons. We have never had to do this before. When we got to the ship, the driver and a helper started to unload all the bags in the parking lot. The passengers told him that he was supposed to take the bags to another location to be loaded on the ship and he just kept unloading them. Finally a greeter showed up that spoke his language and told him what he was supposed to do. He and his helper both expressed surprise as the finally understood what was supposed to be done with the bags. We all left, hoping that our bags would eventually get to our staterooms. Fortunately, they did arrive later that afternoon. CHECK IN The check in process went very smoothly although the man helping us did have some difficulty with his computer. He processed my wife’s information in a minute or two but took several minutes to do mine. The person next to him finally came over and told him how to complete the process and we were on our way. It probably did not take more than 10 minutes. It helps to get there on the first bus from the airport as the lines are not as long as they will be later in the day. CABIN We had stateroom 7047 on deck seven, port side. Being only about 11 AM, our cabin was not ready and we headed for the Ocean view Café for an early lunch. At 1 PM we were allowed to proceed to our staterooms. Everything was in order when we arrived except the stateroom did not have some of the amenities that were shown in the photo at Celebrity’s website. In particular, an entire stand of shelves next to the make-up vanity was missing. Also, the closet had a safe and several drawers taking up one third of the storage area. This left only a small closet for the two of us to hang our clothes, but we had not brought that much so it worked out. Anyone bringing a larger assortment of clothing for a longer cruise would have a difficult time hanging all their items. We noticed the lack of an ice bucket and asked the room attendant about it. She said that ice was no longer furnished in the rooms unless we asked for it. I have to admit that I was stunned by this information as we have always had ice in our stateroom on our other 40+ cruises. My wife asked her to provide ice twice a day and she said she would. She or her assistant provided it most of the time. The vanity had no drawers which did not make my wife happy. She usually depends on having drawers on both sides of the vanity for storage of all her necessary beauty aids. This vanity had doors with very small shelves behind them. It just was not as convenient as other ships we have been on. Strangely, we looked in on an inside cabin and it had the type of vanity that we are used to having. I did not understand why Celebrity would provide more in a less expensive stateroom. The bath was nicely arranged and had the usual large shower that Celebrity is known for. It also had a hand held shower head that we both prefer. There was plenty of storage on a corner rack and under the sink area. The balcony was small but adequate for two of us. FOOD We took most of our meals in the main dining room when they were open. We had what Celebrity calls Select Dining. That allows us to eat dinner whenever we wanted as long as we appeared during the serving hours. The food and service were both excellent in the dining room. I enjoyed all our meals there, but some of our table mates did not. On one night, I had an excellent salmon dinner, but several ladies at our table had veal, lamb and steak. They all had complaints about the quality of those meats. Celebrity is noted for having very good quality beef and we usually have that or fish. I usually don’t try any of the other meats, but did try the chef’s recommendation the first night. It was a breaded pork chop and it was also excellent. The accompanying potatoes and vegetables were usually very good except for the string beans which were always tough. The Ocean view Café on Deck 10 had a very large assortment of ethnic food available at several different places around the very large room. Some of the serving areas had precooked food and others cooked to order. Unfortunately, I found that many of the ethnic foods had too much spice. I like soup and tried several of them. They were all over spiced. The foods that were not over spiced were somewhat tasteless. The deserts in the Ocean view Café were of a quality that was far below what is served in the main dining room. This is not unusual and we have found this to be the case on most ships, however they usually have some good cakes or pies at some point during the cruise. I did not find that to be the case on this cruise. ENTERTAINMENT On our last Celebrity cruise, we found that entertainment had improved somewhat over previous cruises, but it is never on a par with Royal Caribbean even though Celebrity is owned by RC. We had the usual selection of production shows accompanied by one comedian, a magician, two singers and a xylophone player. All except the comedian worked hard and were appreciated by the audience. There were also a couple of acrobats that were very good. PORTS We only took one tour. That was a glass bottom boat in Catalina. The rest of the time we just walked to nearby attractions. In San Diego, we toured the aircraft carrier, Midway, which is docked less than a quarter mile from the cruise ship. In Monterey we waked through the area near the wharf, and then took the free trolley to the aquarium and back. At Santa Barbara, we took the downtown bus from the cruise ship dock to the end of the line on State Street, then toured the Presidio a couple of blocks off State Street. Then we took the downtown bus back to the ship. For seniors, this bus costs 25 cents each way. We had been to these places several times before and had seen most of the local sites. Also, the weather was very hot and the humidity was high, so we wanted to get back to the air conditioned ship as soon as possible. We stayed on the ship in Ensenada, Mexico and about half the passengers did the same. We had to tender into Catalina, Monterey and Santa Barbara, but it was not a problem. Everything went smoothly getting on and off the tenders. CONCLUSION All things considered, it was a very nice cruise. We were looking for a relaxing time at sea after some stressful months at home and we were very satisfied with the experience. My wife’s only complaint was that the cruise was too short. We usually go for two weeks or more so I understand how she feels. It is difficult to get off a cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our 8th cruise overall, 7th with Celebrity, all but one on Millennium class. It had been 4 years since our last cruise. We are a couple who is over 55 and under 60. We work hard and a cruise is a luxury expense for us. As you ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise overall, 7th with Celebrity, all but one on Millennium class. It had been 4 years since our last cruise. We are a couple who is over 55 and under 60. We work hard and a cruise is a luxury expense for us. As you can tell we have very little experience with a different line so a comparison is not possible. We have high expectations when paying for services but that being said we are easy to please and understand when small mistakes happen. We felt the price for this particular cruise was high but it worked into our schedules for work and we liked the idea of getting away for 9 nights. Embarkation at Pier 27 was smooth with no line. We are Elite members so had a special check-in. We looked at the regular check in line and each station was no more than 2-3 deep. We have never seen short lines like this. Because this ship stayed overnight in SF we walked by this area a few times and never saw a long line at any station. Our cruise was part of a 1-2-3 Go promotion that included pre-paid gratuities, classic beverage package, and a $300 onboard credit. Had it not been included on the promotion the beverage package would have been a whopping $55 per person per day! On past cruises our bar bill for the entire cruise for 2 has never exceeded $75. We used the package on this cruise for an after dinner cocktail each evening, bottled water, one glass of wine with dinner one night , and coffee beverages in the Coffee cafe. As we think back on this if we had to purchase these items separately we would most like have only purchased the bottled water, cocktails once or twice and coffee beverages once or twice. This makes the beverage package of no value to us in the future. The pre-paid gratuities are a plus and we used the on board credit for excursions that we would typically have purchased any way. We did enjoy the Coffee cafe. Beverages were excellent and area was clean and generally quiet. Staff was accommodating to our likes regarding drinks. We used this once to twice daily because it was included in our beverage package. There was a nature specialist on board. Not sure I have his name quite right but something like Mikos. His talks were informative, entertaining and easy for the standard person to understand. Do not mistake this as him not being highly knowledgeable. He was extremely intelligent but an excellent teacher and knew how to present complicated topics for general public without it being "dummied down" for those who had some knowledge of the topics. I would not want to miss any talks he would give if on board with him again. We attended the shows each night. The entertainment was enjoyable but not outstanding. On other cruises the Celebrity dancers and singers had a theme that seemed lacking this time. The guest entertainers included a comedian who was ok, a zxylo??? player who was good, a male vocalist who was very enjoyable and a female vocalist who sang 1940 hits that we had never heard before. Entertainment out and about on the ship was ok but not like in the past. Celebrity used to have small instrumental groups and acapella singers that we liked. Not this time. We found it difficult to sit and listen to the singers and usually moved on to a different area to relax. In general we found them a little loud and did not sing music to our liking. We love a balcony cabin and chose one on this cruise. We are questioning this choice and plan to try an inside room or ocean view on the next cruise. We spent most of our time out and about the ship and did not use the balcony for more than an hour or two the entire trip. Towels were thick and not worn, bath amenities included lotion, shower gel, shampoo, cotton balls and swabs, emery board, face soap, body soap, and shower cap. The room in general was up to date and not worn. Everything was in working order. Our cabin steward (Clyde) was awesome. Most of the time we did not see him but his work was evident in our room. When we did need something he seemed to magically appear. He always greeted us by name and with a huge smile! The size of the room was fine and exactly what we expected. The chairs on the balcony were different than we remembered and more comfortable. We have high expectations in the dining room due to past good experiences. Our waiter was efficient and accurate with our orders. He asked our entire table on more than one occasion if there was anything we wanted and if his service was what we expected. The food was good and we enjoyed what we ordered. There was one night when the menu featured Chef at sea that had no appeal to us when reading the items. Once the waiter explained the entrees we decided to follow what others ordered at the table and ordered the flank steak. This was an excellent choice. What I am trying to say here is make sure ask your waiter questions about the menu. We would have passed up a wonderful meal and had something from the menu that is featured everyday. Deserts were good, generally not over sweet and just the right size portions. When talking about portion size, I have read many comments about portions on Celebrity being small. We find the portion size to be consistent with european portions and to be just right. If you want more it is easy to order a double portion. We dined once in Qsine and found it to be enjoyable to do once. It was a whimsical experience but now that we have experienced it, will not do again unless we are trying to spend onboard credit. We also tried Bistro on 5 twice. There is $10 per person surcharge. Our evening table mates had been raving about this for lunch so we were excited to try it. The first time was at the compliments of the Captain and the Captain's club hostess for my husband's birthday. We received a gift card in our room and found this to be a nice touch. We ordered the Beef Stroganoff. The meal was ok. The waiter was not very helpful or attentive. We ordered and it was served. When it came time for dessert we had to ask if there were toppings. We knew about the toppings from our table mates. We left a bit underwhelmed. We tried it a second time at the urging of our tablemates and to use up onboard credit. The second time we ordered a hamburger and a Mediterranean crepe. We waited over an hour for our food. To his credit, the waiter kept checking in with us assuring our order would be coming soon. We were polite and understanding and did not complain at all. Soon the manager came over and told us our order had been lost and he would be comping our meal and offered us wine or drinks as well. After an additional 15 minutes our order came and we enjoyed it but did not find it worth the $10 surcharge if we had been paying for it. In general the Bistro did not seem to be able to handle a full area even with many waiters around. Must have been a problem in the kitchen. We booked 2 excursions through Celebrity. The first was a Muir Woods tour. The tour guide was 1/2 late due to traffic that she did not expect. We are from Colorado and knew that Bart was doing maintenance before we left on our cruise. We find it a bit hard to understand that a tour guide from San Francisco would be so uninformed as to not be able to anticipate and plan for this and arrive on time. The tour was ok and accomplished our goal of seeing the redwoods. The second tour was a dolphin seeing tour at Catalina Island. Unfortunately we did not see any dolphins but truly enjoyed being on the water in a small boat with 6 other people that felt safe and fun. We attended a few of the "cheesy" activities offered by the activities team. We found them humorous to watch. We also attended the 3 classes offered by the watercolor artist. I was impressed with the quality of the beginning kit supplied to use for the classes. This was enjoyable on the sea days to attend. In general we found the ship in good condition for the age of the ship. Disembarkation went well until we got to the pier. We liked being able to be in the Trellis restaurant while waiting for our color to be called and enjoyed this Elite Captains Club perk. When at the dock to pick up our suitcases there seemed to be quite a bit of confusion. We were getting different directions from several different workers. Each one did not seem to know what the other was directing us to do. Confusing but not unmanageable for us, but what about those who are older or less experienced with disembarking? Overall we loved our cruise and will most likely sail with Celebrity again. The perks offered with our Elite Captains Club status are a part of future cruising decisions. I believe this is true of most who seem loyal to the brand. If perks are good you will continue to have us as customers. If they are not or are reduced, we will try other brands. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Cruise review Celebrity Infinity Sept. 4 to 13, 2015 Let me begin by saying this cruise in many ways met or exceeded our expectations, and was a very nice vacation. We appreciated our more experienced Cruise Critic friends who gave us ... Read More
Cruise review Celebrity Infinity Sept. 4 to 13, 2015 Let me begin by saying this cruise in many ways met or exceeded our expectations, and was a very nice vacation. We appreciated our more experienced Cruise Critic friends who gave us so many valuable tips before we even began. We have cruised on Crystal, Disney, Princess, and NCL as well as Celebrity, but it has been several years. We felt that it was a privilege to be able to go, and we were happy to be able to make the trip to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Embarkation was a breeze. Directed into San Francisco’s spacious new Pier 27, we walked right up to a Celebrity representative, presented our documents and passports and obtained our Sea Pass cards. Celebrity Infinity’s décor was classy and calming. The itinerary was delightful, the seas were calm, and the captain and crew were very efficient and approachable to guests. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. The entertainment was impressive and occasionally surprising. Everywhere surfaces were being constantly cleaned. We did not have to wait for anything; not for a table for dinner, or tenders to shore. There were always plenty of lounges by the pool area with fresh towels. We always had our choice of seats in the theatre for shows, even just before curtain. Our Cruise Director, Patti, was helpful and informative. She was at her best when she performed, as she has a lovely singing voice. Wait staff were polite and professional. The seamen manning the shore tenders knew their business and gave a steady and strong grasp of our elbows getting in and out of the boats. The shore crews greeted us going and coming back with ice water, cold punch, and icy cooling towels. This was especially appreciated because of the very warm weather. It was hotter than expected in every port! Our cabin was Concierge Class 2, a balcony on the starboard side, 8088. It was quiet, having staterooms above and below us, though as we were midship, we did hear some early morning sounds as they opened the hatches and prepared the tenders for launching. This was OK with us; it was interesting to watch the process from our balcony. We liked being close to the ship’s library on deck eight, with cozy chairs for reading. We could not have had better or more attentive stewards than Raphael and his assistant Antonio. The cabin was small, and we had to walk single file around the end of the bed, but the bed was spacious and comfortable. I liked the soft leaf designed night light in the bathroom, the open shelves for our things, and the roomy shower with grab bars. There were built in hooks on the inside of the bathroom door and a set on the cabin wall. There were plenty of wooden hangers in the closet. Raphael surprised us one night with two swan towel animals kissing and red rose petals scattered on our bed! Lovely! Now I would like to give readers, (including Celebrity Corporate), a heads up about things that were upsetting and need to be improved. The first disappointment came moments after we stepped onboard at the shore excursion desk. We had a fixed amount of onboard credit and had budgeted it carefully for excursions, specialty dining, and photography, obtaining the prices from Celebrity’s website. Our Sausalito & Muir Woods tour we expected to pay $69.75 each for, was now $89.75 each. The Avalon Scenic & Botanical Garden price listed on their website was $39.75 each; onboard it became $49.75 each. We went to the concierge desk the following day and asked about the discrepancy. We were told that it was a common complaint and that nothing could be done. Perhaps assertiveness or asking again for clarity of policy for my upcoming online review made an impression, but we were extended the difference of $60.00 in OBC as a, “courtesy.” Another problem that we encountered right away was water. We had the Classic Beverage Package, and were assured many times by Celebrity and our travel agent that it included all water, soft drinks and some alcoholic drinks onboard. We don’t drink, so we already knew that we were not going to cost the ship much with our consumption. We had the stewards clean out the mini bar right away, leaving some ginger ale and bottled water. We asked them to just fill it with liters of water. Imagine how surprised we were when they started leaving checks for each bottle of Evian, $5.50 per bottle, .98 cents gratuity, 48 cents tax, total $6.97 for each bottle! When we objected they sheepishly explained that we would have to get and sign for our water at one of the bars, (liter bottles of Crystal Geyser were covered by the beverage package, Evian delivered to our room was not), and bring it down to our cabin ourselves! Really? This policy is just silly and annoying. It put us on our guard and made us feel that instead of relaxing we had to be checking our bill constantly. We had to request, leave sticky notes, and we tipped extra, to get ice in our bucket every day. So, here is a suggestion: Make money on the casino, art auctions, shops, classes, and spa treatments. Treat your guests graciously and put carafes of ice water in our cabins daily. The most disturbing ongoing problem came with the photography department. I had waited on hold forever pre cruise to get the word from a Celebrity representative what it would cost for the whole photography package: all prints taken, a CD, a written copyright release, and the souvenir DVD of the voyage. We were told it would be $255.00 for everything, and we planned for that, getting our picture taken as often as we could. When we approached the photo people, they claimed that we could definitely NOT get any of the prints, and a CD for that price, and they refused to give us a paper copy release, saying it was unnecessary. They took some wonderful pictures of us; they are good photographers, but we were required to search every night for our pictures in the gallery, and hand them over to them for our “packet.” We got none of these prints. We paid $234.99 for one CD of our pictures and the DVD. All of our prints were left behind and destroyed. I was very sad. So, my advice would be to get an e-mail from Celebrity stating what the cost will be for your photo package before you go. Then you will have it in writing. By the way, they relied heavily on previous footage for the souvenir DVD. Muir woods was shot at least a year before the drought by the look of the water in the creek. Avalon footage was charming, until the ship was shown anchored in the bay, “Celebrity Century.” Oops! The footage of San Francisco could have been our voyage, but they spelled Wharf, “Warf.” C’Mon, guys!! Footage shot of the Sizzle deck party was not included; why not? Was it too much trouble to edit it? Entertainment was very good. We especially enjoyed David Meyer on his xylo-synthesizer. Amazing energetic performance! We bought his CD. Ukrainian aerialists Tibi and Vika were jaw-dropping artists and athletes. Comedian Dean Gaines made us laugh with his jokes and presidential impressions. We attended his G-rated show. Colleen Williamson was engaging, as she was as good an actress as she was a singer. The Infinity orchestra was outstanding. The ship’s Production Cast singers and dancers were better than we have seen on other cruise lines. We just wished the choreographers in Florida who design the shows would have given them better material to express their talents. More storyline and less flashing their fannies in skimpy costumes would be welcome. They were fine young people and taught dance classes very well. Our shore excursions were OK, but Muir Woods was very crowded because of the Labor Day weekend, and people didn’t seem to know how to be quiet and reverent among the trees. In Sausalito we were just dropped off on the main street for 35 minutes and pointed towards the local ice cream place. Our Avalon Scenic and Botanical Garden on Catalina was an open air double tram with a good guide who drove us up the narrow roads to see the views. It was very hot! Without our cooling towels we never would have made it. The Botanical Garden was very disappointing, as the plants and shrubs were all encaged to keep protected wildlife out, and they were dying from lack of rainfall. We faced a long uphill climb on a dirt road to see Wrigley’s Mausoleum and decided to wait in the shade instead. The tour did not include the historic Casino Ballroom, and we thought that it did. Unfortunately it was too hot to walk there on our own in the afternoon, so we returned earlier than we planned to the ship, (and its air conditioning!) In Monterey we went to church and lunched with friends, in Santa Barbara we took the city electric bus up State Street and enjoyed the view of the city and the bay from the courthouse. Santa Barbara had loads of helpful guides to meet us onshore. It was September 11th and the Young Republicans from UC Santa Barbara made a display of American flags stuck in the beach for every life lost in the attacks. It was very colorful and moving. San Diego was Sea World on our own. Military folks, (active duty and retired), can enjoy four complimentary tickets. We got off the ship in Ensenada only to go to the dock market and buy Mexican vanilla. My husband bought me a pair of lovely silver and opal earrings. Food and Specialty restaurants: The Ocean View Café Deck 10 was a daily lavish buffet with something for every taste. Breakfast had four omelet stations, again reducing the wait time. I was particularly impressed with the salad bar, the four carving stations, (two on each side), the fresh breads, and the pasta station. Usually four or five choices of pasta were offered which were then heated while your sauce of choice was stir fried in a skillet with olive oil, artichoke hearts, garlic, or a wide variety of other meats and vegetables, then sautéed together and finished off with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Yum! The tables were kept bused and clean. The bar servers were always on hand to ask if you wanted something from the bar. The pizza was just OK, but the buttered garlic bread there was a daily temptation. The ice cream and sorbet bar was available from noon to 10:30 pm, and the sugar free flavors were good, too. There were juices, coffees, teas, and herbal teas to drink. They had all other non sugar sweeteners, but not stevia, so if you use it, bring your own. The only fault I found was the self serve glasses were only 4 ounces, so you had to keep getting up to refill them. Again, the water issue. There are signs on the machines asking you to not refill water bottles there. We got the dining package offered as soon as we boarded; 1 dinner in SS United States, 1 dinner in Qsine, and 1 meal in Bistro on Five, the crepe restaurant, for $85.00 per person. We dined the first night at SS United States, and had the Chateaubriand for two which was melt in your mouth beef! Service was excellent, extra tipping expected. At Qsine we wished the server would have warned us about the big portions. We had to scale back on what we originally ordered because we were stuffed. The food was delicious, particularly the Mediterranean kebobs and the meatballs. We had crepes on the last day for lunch at Bistro on Five. The flank steak and the chicken were both very good. The flaw here was the milkshakes. They are delicious, but the server has to run down the hall to the Café al Bacio Geleteria to get the ice cream, so they are often a long wait. We liked the Apple Store onboard and the classes were very popular. We learned a couple of new things. The Canyon Ranch Spa was overpriced of course, but Kusuma from Thailand gave an absolutely superior massage! Because we don’t drink alcohol we were offered to try the only alcohol free “wine” onboard, the red and white “Fre” brand. Now, granted we know little to nothing about wine tasting, but it was awful! Cellar Masters sommelier wouldn’t even talk to us about alcohol free juice, and dismissed us in a snobby manner. May I suggest that Celebrity can do better for its teetotaler guests by offering choices such as Gwurztraminer white and red grape juices bottled by Navarro Vineyards in Northern California. We discovered these at Club 33 at Disneyland and they are light, crisp, and delicious! Probably the Friends of Bill W. would appreciate it too. In summary, we felt that our TA offered us a good deal; the cabin we wanted, and the 1, 2, 3 Go promotion of: gratuities paid, classic beverage package, and $300 Celebrity OBC, in addition to the OBC they offered. We will probably go that route again. The unforgettable and thrilling moments of the cruise were kissing as our ship sailed under the Golden Gate, watching the sun rise at our tender ports, and meeting new friends from the UK. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We boarded the Infinity for the first time out of San Francisco. The weather was lovely the entire cruise but unseasonably hot in Santa Barbara and San Diego. We have sailed only one other Millinium ship, the Summit and I would say the ... Read More
We boarded the Infinity for the first time out of San Francisco. The weather was lovely the entire cruise but unseasonably hot in Santa Barbara and San Diego. We have sailed only one other Millinium ship, the Summit and I would say the Summit appearance was better last December. The service was excellent on both. We gave up on the entertainment early but we did enjoy the ship Naturalist Milos. He gave a lively presentation and it was well attended. The ship was clean although ready for the upcoming dry dock in a few areas. It felt more tired than actually appearing this way, maybe it was just weary from rainy months in Alaska. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze for us in San Francisco, as good as any ever and we have cruised 12 times to date. We dined in Luminae and enjoyed it. The food was excellent and the menu was a source of entertainment itself. For example we were never quite sure what to expect. One day I ordered the Arugula expecting a salad but it was a pizza with Arugula on it. Another day I ordered the Cobb salad expecting a salad but it was a quarter portion of lettuce with two bacon strips on it and sprinkled with blue cheese with a full filet Mignon next to it. There are various plates presented. A hard boiled egg is served with a sample egg cut in half to show you how it is cooked, an unpeeled hard boiled egg, half a tomato and mushrooms and asparagus. It is a beautiful presentation but perhaps you could end up with more plates than the table can handle. If I would suggest one change, besides a menu edit, it would be more vegetables. We enjoyed Luminae quite a bit and look forward to returning to it in a couple of months. We also ate in Qzine and it was good and the service excellent. What did get our attention was the SS United States. The meal and the service were flawless. We are very impressed. We took three tours on this trip. A private whale watch in Monterey which we lucked out getting into as someone no showed. We saw about fifty whales and a few hundred dolphins. It was wonderful. We took it with Chris's Sport Fishing. Next we went on San Diego whale watch which was also excellent we saw hundreds of dolphins and assisted looking for hammerhead sharks afterwards as many boats are participating in studying the new influx of these sharks to the area. Our third trip cost twice as much and it unfortunately was a ships tour in Catalina for a dolphin excursion. While the other boats told us what they had been seeing all week before we bought it turned out our excursion had not seen a dolphin in a week and while the staff was nice and the boat was good a two hour tour watching sea lions on the coast and looking for hammerhead sharks was simply not worth the fee. In the future I will book these with folks who are publicly showing what they are seeing. In all fairness no boat guarantees sightings but I would say the odds are up if they have been spotted recently. Celebrity offers shore excursions and very high end excursions. It sure would be nice if they would invest in something in between and make sure what they send people on are up the standards they could get privately. I did call and suggest they publicize for the guests recent sightings and to not book a boat looking for sharks. This was a pricer cruise than normal for us but i would say it was wonderful and we both really needed a break. The waters were calm and think San Francisco is a beautiful place to catch a ship. The bridges, they bay, the islands are amazing compared to the larger industrial ports. I hope in the future Celebrity does more from this port. There was a lot more tendering than normal. A few times the tenders seemed rather crowded with all of the heat. The solution is to go to the upper deck where you can get breeze. I would certainly do this cruise again and am glad we were on the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Background Information: We are a retired couple from the San Francisco bay area -- mid-fifties & early sixties -- that cruise extensively on most major lines. This was our 46th cruise overall, our 14th on Celebrity and our 3rd ... Read More
Background Information: We are a retired couple from the San Francisco bay area -- mid-fifties & early sixties -- that cruise extensively on most major lines. This was our 46th cruise overall, our 14th on Celebrity and our 3rd time on the Infinity. Our first time on the Infinity was not to be outdone until our second time on this ship, which we also felt could not be matched and then....this cruise, which exceeded all expectations and was our favorite of all times. Boarding Process: We were given a ride directly to the pier by our neighbor, which was a treat as we planned on taking the BART train and walking to the pier (about 1 mile from the Embarcadero station). We packed in carry on luggage only to make that transfer to the ship a bit easier. We arrived at Pier 27 around 11:15 and went through security and then off to check in. We were booked in a concierge cabin and are elite on Celebrity so pretty much walked right up to the check in, although the lines were short everywhere. The check in clerk was having a lot of trouble getting it to accept our passport numbers with our credit card. I finally motioned a supervisor to come over to help as it was taking a long time and still without any success. The supervisor got it done pronto and we were guided right over to the line for boarding. Along the deck on which we boarded, there were tables set up for booking any dining or beverage packages for the cruise. We took care of our dining needs and were on our way to be greeted with our glass of champagne. Our staterooms were not yet ready so we took a seat up by the martini bar to relax and enjoy our champagne. Since we still had our carry on luggage, I went down to guest relations and was able to change my stateroom to a wonderful aft cabin which had been placed on hold the previous evening. What a fabulous way to begin our most wonderful trip. I kept this little surprise from my spouse until we received notification that our staterooms were ready. In the meanwhile, we went up to deck 10 and found a nice day bed to enjoy the sunshine and fabulous O and O duo. We also ordered a bucket of ice cold beer from Darron from the mast grill. Since I couldn't spring out our new stateroom key card in front of my spouse, I went up to order the beers and Darron promised to keep my secret and deliver them to us. So nice of him to help me with my surprise. Stateroom Information: We heard the announcement for our stateroom and made it down to deck 8. For once, my spouse surprisingly knew our stateroom number so had to do a little maneuvering to get him to the starboard side. When I pulled out the new keys, he knew immediately that I made a major score! The cabin door, which has a doorbell, opens into a long hallway, the end of which has another unlocked door into the stateroom. The stateroom had 3 full closets, one of which housed a small safe, a couple of shelves and 6 drawers. I needed no extra hangers for the first time ever. Across from the closets was the bathroom -- which I believe is standard for that ship. The shower may have been a bit larger but everything else seemed to be what we found on other cabins on this ship. The bathroom was surface clean but could have used some retiling or re-grouting at the least. There were hooks on the bathroom door for the provided bathrobes. There did not seem to be any wall hooks available in this room other than those in the bathroom. The showerhead was a hose fastened to a long pole and water pressure was decent but there were constant temperature fluctuations throughout each and every shower we took. It really wasn't too bothersome, though and I am sure all staterooms were effected much the same. From the wall with the closets, there was a long desk extending the length of the bedroom area, with a small flat screen tv and a small refrigerator / mini bar, which our room steward emptied for us to store beverages. Along this long desk were many areas of shelving and an inlet for a desk chair. The mirror also extended the length of the long desk but there was no full length mirror in the room. This was a non-issue. The bed was extremely comfortable with nice linens and 4 pillows. I requested a feather pillow and our room steward found one for me along with an extra blanket. Each side of the bed has a 2 drawer dresser as well as a table lamp. On the far side of the bed was a frosted windowed wall / door that led into the living area (extra sleeping area) which contained two full sized pull out sofas and a coffee table. There were also 6 more drawers, table lamp and tv in this area, which could be cordoned off from the bedroom area by the middle sliding door. Opposite this side of the room was the sliding door out onto the huge balcony which housed a dining table with 4 chairs and a smaller table with two cushioned loungers. Most of the balcony was half covered and enclosed with steel walls but the outside section had some railing which left nice ocean breezes onto the balcony. We lived out on our balcony -- only going to the indoor pool area once during the cruise. We had many of our meals out there and got some amazing sunset pictures. This was by far the best stateroom we've ever had in our 46 cruises. It made our cruise very special indeed. Our room stewards did a pretty good job with a couple of misses but all in all, most of our major needs were met. We aren't super demanding after our boarding requests (extra pillows and blanket, extra box of tissue, emptying of the mini bar, wine glasses) but did have dirty dishes in our room almost daily and we rearranged the balcony furniture a lot to dodge the direct sun. Ship information: I had seen many comments about the state of disrepair on this ship and I just didn't see it except in the indoor pool. They should note that resurfacing here would spruce things up immensely. The Constellation Lounge, MDR, the Theater and Q-Sine were all in great shape as was the Rendezvous Lounge. SS United states was lovely although you can see a bit of disrepair of the shutters which, in theory, add quite a sophisticated look to the room. For us, this was also a non-issue. The carpeting in some areas does need to be replaced (especially on the stairs) but overall, the Infinity is in good shape for her age. We did not see any stained or ripped upholstery on the furniture. All elevators seemed to be in working condition. Activities and Entertainment: The cruise director, Patti Honoki, is incredible at arranging everything and brings a spark to everything onboard. We've sailed with her before and are amazed at her energy level. She is a great talent and set up everything without flaw on this cruise. We enjoyed the bands onboard (O and O were fantastic) as well as the dancers. They all seemed to go out of their way to be friendly and chat with the staff whether they were performing or out to get a bite to eat. The Reigning show was so much fun as well. The production staff made sure everyone that wanted to be involved were welcomed. Milos was also incredible. Although we didn't make it to any of his presentations, we could watch them on tv after the fact and always enjoyed them. We spent much of our sailing time in the casino. Dimi, the casino host, as well as Gianna and Christina, who worked in the cashier cage, were all just outstanding. Always a smile and a friendly greeting for us! They made losing money not quite such a bad thing. The machines in the casinos were paying off for some and a very little bit for us on the last day. Many machines did have buttons that stick, though, so those need a bit of work. I loved the raffles and tournaments they organized in the casino, even though we didn't win. I must also note that I truly appreciate the mlife relationship with Celebrity as we did receive some freebies through that. We didn't see all of the entertainers as we always seemed to be enjoying the elite captains lounge or dinner during the shows. We did see the comedian, who was just ok and the newlywed game, which was fall down on the floor funny. I do miss the hypnotists onboard as of late. Not sure why these no longer seem to be arranged. The captain's club events are outstanding. A huge shout out to the entire guest relations staff, with the Captain's Circle Host, Alexandra, being the best we've ever met with that position. She was incredible in making each and everyone feel quite special. She sure enriched our cruise experience many times over. We were invited to sail away at the helipad -- which was a most memorable experience. We also were invited to dine at the Captain's table (first time ever) and when we explained that we hadn't packed formal attire due to our transportation issues, Alexandra sent a perfectly fitting jacket to our stateroom so we could attend. Unbelievable and that topped it off to make it a number one cruise. Dinner with Captain Theo and Environmental Officer Maria was just beyond incredible. Our table mates were so nice -- they could tell we were newbies to this experience. Staff and Crew: A very special thanks to Rodrigo, Elena and Marija from the guest relations staff was earned. What an incredibly wonderful and cohesive group to ensure we had the most impressive cruise experience. Besides the casino staff, the guest relations staff, the cruise director and the Captain's Club Hostess as mentioned above, others that made our cruise extra special were: Andrew and Trevor from the oceanview café Imade, Aneka and Wilfredo in the elite lounge Tari and Marta in the morning coffee house Mario, Marko, Milan, Milos, Oleg and Savo in the SS United States and QSine Marija at the main dining room I know there are others whose names escape me -- but feel like everyone worked so well together to make everything extra special for their passengers. Dining: We dined in the MDR 5 times, including the one captain's table dinner and 2 breakfasts. All dinners there were great with fabulous service, with extra special food, wine and service at the captains table. One breakfast was also great in both service and food while the 2nd one was on disembarkation day. That meal was a fail but to be expected as it was chaotic at best and certainly not representative of the entire cruise prior to that. We ate one meal at Q-Sine and the service was phenomenal as were a couple of the dishes we ordered. The Chinese food was way too salty but the lava crab was a huge winner. We had two dinners at the SS United States and both had a superior menu and outstanding service. We also enjoyed the buffet at the coffee house in the morning and never got a meal didn't just love at the oceanview cafe, mast grill or aqua spa cafe. On a cruise, we like to eat light and only when we are hungry. The buffet lends itself to this very well. They would sauté up some veggies for me at the Stir Fry or Pasta stations and I wouldn't have to add the heavy pastas to it. I also tried to stay away from that awesome bread that they bake onboard as well as those world's best fries. Between that and taking the stairs instead of the elevator, I think we warded off any extra pounds that could have easily been added. Port and shore excursions: This itinerary was unusually hot and humid for the coast of California. We absolutely love sailing out of and returning to our home port of San Francisco. We are so disappointed that Celebrity does not have any future sailings out of this port after this week. :( San Francisco did not have its typical weather -- it was sunny and warm, even when we sailed under the Golden Gate bridge on 9/5, it was windy but warm. What a delightful experience. We were going to hike up to the top of Coit Tower but toured the Hyde Street Pier on our own and it was quite interesting. We were tired from all the heat and walking by the time back onboard so didn't head back out again. By the time we got to Monterey, it was getting hot but the warmest weather was yet to come. We booked a walking tour ahead of time through a discounter. We walked into town on that beautiful walking trail that Monterey put in and met by Cannery row in town. The tour was ok, we had a hard time hearing the guide due to the larger number of people included. Much of the tour had us stopping in the hot sun so we left the tour a bit early and caught the free shuttle back to the ship. Since it was a holiday weekend, the town of Monterey just exploded in numbers so the shuttle was standing room only by the time they made a pick up at the Aquarium. Ensenada was our next port of call. We only went into the little shops at the pier, the ones by the Carnival ship being a little better than where we docked. I was able to find just the right little piece of silver jewelry that I was looking for at a vendor that I have purchased from previously. We also purchased some bottled water for our stateroom as we didn't have the beverage package. We've visited Ensenada many times in the past so had no desire to go any further into town. There was a most horrible odor at this port which we had never experienced before. Otherwise, the grounds were manicured quite nicely...just don't know about that smell. Their was a brief downpour we noticed on our balcony shortly after sail away, complete with thunder, lightening and a rainbow. I got some fabulous pictures of the rainbow. Our next stop was San Diego where we planned to go to the zoo. One step outside told us that would not happen. Not only was it unusually humid, the temperature was over 100 degrees. We caught the free shuttle down to Seaport Village but made only about 30 minutes before we stopped in a nice bayside restaurant for an ice cold beer. There was at least one convention taking place nearby so the shops were empty but the restaurants down there were packed to the gills. We walked back to the ship from there so enjoy some of our stateroom air conditioning and a shower. At sail away, we enjoyed the most gorgeous sunset from our balcony. It cooled down a little bit by sundown -- so was doable to sit out there with the nice but warm breeze. The next day we were anchored out near Catalina Island but decided to stay onboard by the indoor pool as it was again very hot and humid. We have visited Catalina Island many times before and were going to go play miniature golf only. We figured we would save our tolerance for the heat in our next port. This is the one and only day we went to the indoor pool -- it was amazing. We had some of the best views of Catalina from our little spot by the pool and enjoyed our day immensely. Our final port was Santa Barbara, again, a hot and humid day. We booked the 11 AM trolley tour from the ship. The trolley seats were so uncomfortable and they jammed an additional couple onboard which made it really tight. There was a metal bar poking me in the back the entire tour...plus, no air conditioning. The tour guide extended the tour by an additional hour thinking he was doing us a favor when I believe that everybody just wanted to go back to the ship. The highlight of the tour for us was Mission Santa Barbara, which allowed us to get off the trolley for a short while. The heat and crowded conditions on the tour most inevitably effected our enjoyment (lack of it) on this tour. We actually learned of places we would like to visit in deeper depth next time we visit that lovely city. Ah....finally a gorgeous sea day which was taken up by packing and some time at the casino. We visited some newly made friends up in the elite lounge to say our good byes and then our final fabulous dinner at the SS United States to celebrate our anniversary. Disembarkation: We were sent a questionnaire in our stateroom with check off disembarkation times listed. We requested to disembark at 9 AM and we were walking down the ramp into the terminal at exactly 9 AM. Since we went through customs as we arrived in San Diego (the immigrations officer was a grump -- noticeably not a Celebrity employee), we grabbed our luggage that we checked in the night before and were outside waiting for our ride to BART by 9:05. Score!! We did take the train back home which was a breeze. Plus, the weather was more typical for our beautiful city and today it is just a perfect 67 degrees and I am loving it!! Summary: Aside from the heat, this was the most amazing cruise where we met some of the most amazing fellow passengers. Most of all though, the staff and crew made this cruise so very special for us. I would go again on the Infinity in a heartbeat although I don't think this cruise can be outdone. Five plus stars awarded!! We just wish Celebrity would reconsider dropping SF as one of their embarkation ports. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We are definitely back in the Celebrity family. Although the Infinity is showing signs of age in that the pools are still salt water and need refurbishing, it was a delightful journey. The food was very good with a wide choice. The ... Read More
We are definitely back in the Celebrity family. Although the Infinity is showing signs of age in that the pools are still salt water and need refurbishing, it was a delightful journey. The food was very good with a wide choice. The cleanliness was outstanding and I can see why they have garnered 100% in their ratings. The entertainment was beyond all expectations. Ukrainian and Romanian aerialists, Tibi and Vika have to be seen to be believed. The shows and special talents brought onboard were excellent and varied. Our first experience with a female cruise director, Patti, was enormously successful and we would join her crew again anytime. Having been "Elite" with Princess over the years, we will be leaving that line. Where on Princess we could get appetizers in our stateroom on sea days only, Celebrity, with their Concierge Class program, delivers every single day of your journey. Each day gave us a different and varied array of beautiful appetizers. No checklist of the same tired choices. All the staff on Celebrity seemed real and very happy to be there which has disappeared on the other line. Impressively, when a San Diego tour turned out to not be what was promised due to the tour company, Celebrity quickly gave all a full refund and apology. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Just returned from sailing on the Celebrity Infinity Pacific coastal with port stops in Monterey, Ensenada, San Diego, Catalina Island and Santa Barbara. Wonderful port stops, and even though we had to tender the majority of the timing, ... Read More
Just returned from sailing on the Celebrity Infinity Pacific coastal with port stops in Monterey, Ensenada, San Diego, Catalina Island and Santa Barbara. Wonderful port stops, and even though we had to tender the majority of the timing, the tenders were quick and always available, no lines. :) We were surprised there was not a whale watching excursion in Monterey, but right off the port we booked our own excursion on Chris' Whale Watching and were not disappointed. Saw over 40 whales up close and personal. fantastic! If you have a port stop in Santa Barbara highly recommend renting a car and driving to Reagan Library and Air Force One in Simi Valley. Takes a little over an hour to drive there but well worth the drive. We took a watercolor painting class which was great fun! highly recommend I had never painted in my life and I would say the majority of the class were newbies, and we all were impressed with the final results. The entertainment was outstanding. Don't miss the shows! Liked every show we saw - Dean Gaines, comedian, David Meyer was OUTSTANDING. What energy! Lou ___ from season 2 of American Idol was the best singer I have ever heard on a ship. Really enjoyed the aerialists from Romania and Croatia (a husband and wife to-be team). There is a 3:30 pm snack time. This is really afternoon tea with scones and teas and sandwiches and desserts. Liked this a lot as you don't have to sit in a main dining room, you can just get your scones and tea and enjoy at your leisure. Also loved that they have free ice cream 4 flavors and sorbets, 3 or 4 flavors on Deck 10, Oceanview Cafe. Plenty of choices. We had great dinners in the main dining room and a wonderful group of servers. DO NOT MISS going to the large outside pool on Deck 10 near the Canyon spa. This was another highlight of the ship. There is not a charge to use this pool and it is fantastic! Not to be missed. The water is warm and wonderful and water is salty. My husband likes a cool pool but I loved this pool!!! Cruise director Patti was great and was also a fantastic singer, Overall rating -- 9+ I would have rated this cruise a perfect 10 had the TV in our room been better and movies been available on the ship. If you are thinking about seeing California coast, be sure to book this cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
The job done to update the Infinity was fantastic. May wife and I were very impressed. Having been on close to 20 cruises, this was a wonderful trip. Everything was excellent. We enjoyed every specialty eating venue. Each meal ... Read More
The job done to update the Infinity was fantastic. May wife and I were very impressed. Having been on close to 20 cruises, this was a wonderful trip. Everything was excellent. We enjoyed every specialty eating venue. Each meal was delightful. Q Sine .... Bistro on 5 (what a bargain) ... SS United States (super) The crew (some obviously new on the job) were top notch. There were three "tendered" ports. There were always two (or more) crew members there to help. This was an older group since we sailed after school was back in session. Polite, helpful and respectful describe this outstanding staff. I would highly recommend the Celebrity Infinity. We have already booked our next cruise on her sister ship the Summit. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
My husband & I began cruising two to three times a year for about the last 5 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise and we were less than impressed. To begin, the new port terminal in San Francisco was very nice, and drop ... Read More
My husband & I began cruising two to three times a year for about the last 5 years. This was our first Celebrity cruise and we were less than impressed. To begin, the new port terminal in San Francisco was very nice, and drop off much simpler than getting off on a busy street outside the aging terminal down the street. But the wait was the longest of any cruise yet. We were in line for what seemed like hours, on our feet, so tiring. At first blush, the ship is beautifully appointed and decorated in tasteful, modern themes, although some of the art work seemed peculiar (a crushed motorcycle sculpture, and tiny 3-D printer figurines in glass cases...no pieces had that ooo-ahhh factor we've seen on other ships). Our cabin was the best design yet ~ rounded bed, lots of mirrors to give a spacious feel, glass panel-illuminated nightlight in the bathroom - excellent idea. We had heard the food was "better" Celebrity, but we found it mediocre in the dining room and some menu items were actually quite poor (steak ordered from the "left" side of the menu was "diner quality"). The one and only night lobster was served, it was tough, dry & chewy. The mushroom risotto smelled horrible and came in the form of a brown paste. We got it, this was probably a subtle nudge to sign on for the alternative dining venues at a premium price. We are not usually buffet people, but ended up there for breakfasts (the dining room took way too long, and the menu never changed like it did on other cruises). I have to say, the buffet experience on Celebrity was the best of any other cruise we've taken. The pasta bar, pizza bar, and particularly the ice cream/sorbet/frozen yogurt bar (flavors changed daily!) were very good. Fresh waffles, omlets & eggs Benedict were made to order at breakfast at various stations. There was always a fresh ham, or roast being cut for lunch & dinner, sushi bar every night at 5:30p, and they would fry up minute steaks and chicken breasts on the grill as well. Even the burgers at the poolside grill were more like home made than the thin, McDonald variety on other cruises. The international staff was friendly and engaging. The entertainment we found lack-luster compared to other cruises. The theater was nicely designed, small couch seating (not too comfortable after awhile though). The stage floor was shabby and beat up, the production shows were ho-hum as far as content and music selection, and some of the costumes were garish and odd. the guest entertainers were as expected. We saw much more sophisticated entertainment on Princess actually. However, the small venue music was nice - two girls ("Ear Candy") and a singing piano player provided casual background vocals. On the downside, the piped in muzak in the buffet and other areas was almost always vocal jazz, erratic, moaning and whining. More ambient music would have been welcome. Selections on the cabin TV were extremely limited and often "no reception" would appear. Premium movies were available at a whopping $12+... really?! So much for kicking back in the cabin to relax and watch TV. It was mostly commercials selling future cruises or premium ship services & restaurants. All in all the cruise was very nice. The itinerary was one of our best yet to Alaska (been there 4 times). We were pleasantly surprised by stops new to us in Haines & Nanaimo. Milo, the naturalist was very good and spoke on a variety of interesting subjects, including one presentation on the constellations & space. The "Snapshot Rally", by Mikey/Live was an excellent, sharing experience. Cruise contributors submitted 5 of their best photos and got a (free) photo CD at the end of the cruise that was a compilation of 600+ wonderful pictures submitted by other cruisers. Now for the problems we had. Mid-way through our cruise they decided to spot-paint our balcony. No notice was given. We arrived with our cabin door ajar and someone outside painting. We were assured the paint would dry in about an hour. But there was moisture, and the paint remained tacky for days. We tracked it in on the carpet and it stayed on our shoes. Paint was also slopped onto our deck chairs. We were hindered from using our deck as we had to skirt around the edges to avoid the undried paint. We called guest services, but they couldn't move us. It was then that I noticed how gross our room phone was. I took pictures. For a cruise line so concerned with health, this was an area that was clearly neglected and a place ripe for cross-contamination. Also, there were humps in the hall every so often. Not the metal separators found when carpet meets these were humps that if you were caught off guard, or in rough seas, or very elderly or impaired might cause one a real problem. There was also a large divot (about the size of foot) covered over by carpeting at the end of our bed that we turned our ankle on a couple of times. When we mentioned these "flooring irregularities" to the room steward, he laughed and said "they were there when he got there". Upon returning, I contacted customer relations to tell them about the paint issue, the dirty phone, and the flooring irregularities. They were ho-hum about it and offered us a $125 discount on our next cruise (total). I doubt we will be back with Celebrity. It really didn't turn out to be all it was cracked up to be. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
My heart sank when we stepped on board. A tired ship with no wow factor atrium or even aged splendour, just worn out. The only plush place was the casino & I didn't wish to spend any time in there! Cabin was not overly clean ... Read More
My heart sank when we stepped on board. A tired ship with no wow factor atrium or even aged splendour, just worn out. The only plush place was the casino & I didn't wish to spend any time in there! Cabin was not overly clean and staff generally seemed very down and demoralised. No sail aways, which is a shame as you do start a holiday full of expectation and it was all low key. We had a concierge cabin which was supposed to include daily canapés, but once on board, we were told they would only be delivered if we ordered them for a specific time and were in our cabin. Ordered them one day but the quality was shockingly bad so didn't bother again. Food generally was pretty poor. I only looked forward to the evening meals with an open dining option, for meeting new guests and not the food. Service in the trellis was poor. Sommeliers just vanished and just about squeezed two glasses of wine out of the bottle for the whole evening. We went to 2 shows, which were both good and entertaining. Having said this, we did have a fantastic holiday but that was largely due to the utterly amazing Alaskan scenery and superb weather and the other guests that we met and befriended. If the weather had been bad, it would have been a very sorry affair all round. I cannot see us cruising with Celebrity again for the foreseeable. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Generally the cruise was nice, the ports were great We had a Concierge class stateroom 9201. I would not book Concierge class again as i don't believe that the extra money paid is value for money. They advertise fresh flowers....we ... Read More
Generally the cruise was nice, the ports were great We had a Concierge class stateroom 9201. I would not book Concierge class again as i don't believe that the extra money paid is value for money. They advertise fresh flowers....we never got them. They advertise use of Binoculars, no use if they are broken ( and then the replacements were also broken. They advertise a pillow menu, but the cabin steward looked so bewildered when i asked that i didn't bother to ask again. The room was fine just the Concierge additions lacking. The food was a mixed bag, the buffet was very repetitive, we did not eat there much but every time we did or went through there the food was the same, and lots of curry, dhal rice. The poolside fare was as normal burgers hotdogs etc, they do there best to keep it hot which was good and worked. But the standout was Qsine, we purchased the 5 speciality dinner package and ate 3 times at Qsine and twice at US United States. Both restaurants food was nice but Qsine with its unusual serving styles, extra friendly service staff was exceptional. The food was always tasty, the staff always spent time explaining or just chatting.... A real winner. The bars were average with the exception of the Martini bar, the boys in there did a great job with entertaining and interacting with guests. We had a premium beverage card, so were not to worried with the costs of the drinks, but the Martini costs were all $12 + tax To sum up, we would cruise again with Celebrity, we would not pay extra for Concierge class and we definitely would buy the dinner package again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We sailed on the 12 night cruise from San Francisco disembarking at Vancouver. Embarkation in SF was chaotic - there just weren't enough baggage handlers and long queues developed of people trying to hand over luggage. None of the ... Read More
We sailed on the 12 night cruise from San Francisco disembarking at Vancouver. Embarkation in SF was chaotic - there just weren't enough baggage handlers and long queues developed of people trying to hand over luggage. None of the staff on the ground seemed to know what was happening. Once we got through this boarding was smooth. The cabin was available almost immediately and we had luggage back by 2 pm. Our cabin was midship deck 7 and was clean and comfortable. The ship is older and in some areas this is apparent but never a problem. Cabin staff were inobtrusive but efficient. We had Select dining and could not always reserve a table for the time we wanted - this turned out not to be an issue as there was always a free table if we just turned up but just not available to reserve. Odd but no problem. Food in dining room was fine and usual celebrity fare. Waiters all great. We had a classic drink package and choices seem less. There is also a definite effort to upsell to Premium. We were asked twice if we would like to upgrade in the first 24 hours. I like to drink Sauvignon Blanc but was told not available in the dining room or on classic package. We found out it was included in Cellar Masters but sommeliers at first said we could not have it brought into the dining room so we took it ourselves. We then met the wonderful King Richard a sommelier who sorted it all and I had my favourite drink for the rest of the cruise. We thought food in Ocean View was Ok but choices seemed more limited. The weather was stunning and ports amazing. We enjoyed the talks by Milos the naturalist who was very informed and also very entertaining. We saw Eagles, Whales, Sea Lions and Porpoises from the ship. We booked excursions privately except for Ketchikan where we took a ships trip to the Saxman village which we enjoyed. Entertainment - Jermaine and Von work very hard and we particularly enjoyed the quizzes. Production shows were better than usual - less competition between the singers and orchestra for volume. Most of visiting performers were good. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Firstly, this is only my 2nd cruise in over 10 years, so its hard for me to rate this, as have little to compare it with. We went through a recommended travel agent as I wasn't sure what needed to be done. Well, our agent did very ... Read More
Firstly, this is only my 2nd cruise in over 10 years, so its hard for me to rate this, as have little to compare it with. We went through a recommended travel agent as I wasn't sure what needed to be done. Well, our agent did very little. I bought travel books and went on numerous sites (including this one) to see what I might expect. Embarkation and Disembarkation had me very concerned as I didn't know what to expect. I guess they went ok, although time consuming. I wish Celebrity had more information to provide people like me who are not familiar with cruises. I learned more from my table mates who were all seasoned cruisers. I thought the food in the main dining room was excellent, tried things I would never order in a restaurant. Our waiter and his assistants were wonderful.....Im now spoiled and insist that my husband now put my napkin on my lap for me. The buffet was OK...like a vegas buffet but so confusing, having to circle around to see what was out there, hoping no one takes my chair (literally my chair) while I was looking around. Our stateroom was nice and had the storage I needed although I was starting to get cabin fever after awhile. I thought all the musical entertainment was good, many good bands and vocalist, wish I had time to sit and listen to them all. The towns were all a bit more touristy than I would have liked, and sick of all the jewelry shops. We tried to go in only those saying they were individually owned. I would have to say the worse experience was listening to Mickey Live insisting that we had to be up before 5am to see the Tracy Arm pass, the glacier etc. If anyone listened to his briefing the previous night you would think you would be really missing out if you weren't there. He said he would be up there on the deck narrating, hot coffee passed around and warm blankets handed out. He talked about the ice bergs and the calving and all these other amazing things. We told our table mates (the seasoned ones) about it and they saw no reason to be up that early. Also Esperanza commented after his briefing that we would see the same things if we got up at 9am. She was absolutely right. We stupidly went up there, bundled up but still freezing and saw nothing we could not have seen right out our own veranda hours later. Actually our neighbors saw more on their veranda than we did. A big disappointment!!! No coffee....had to go down to constellation to get tiny cups, no blankets and no mickey narrating. My husband caught cold which put a damper on the rest of the trip. (oh and thank you celebrity for charging over $35 for a bottle of Nyquil and Dayquil.) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Overall we had a wonderful time and enjoyed sailing on Infinity. The high points were the service, the ship excursions and the awesome itinerary. We had wonderful weather and I'm sure that help ensure good spirits throughout the trip. ... Read More
Overall we had a wonderful time and enjoyed sailing on Infinity. The high points were the service, the ship excursions and the awesome itinerary. We had wonderful weather and I'm sure that help ensure good spirits throughout the trip. We would recommend this trip to anyone, despite my few rants below -- Details: I had heard horror stories about embarkation in San Francisco. We arrived right around the earliest embarkation time and other than needing a bit more (or maybe a bit less) organization with the baggage, (why would you have to stand in line to drop off bags, there is only one ship!) it was smooth and efficient. Our balcony stateroom towards the front of the ship was quiet and comfortable although the air handling in the room seemed a bit stuffy. We just opened the veranda when we we were in port. Dining was more hit and miss. This was my first experience with "tiered" dining and I must say I was not too happy with the changes. I am a foodie and for this reason alone, I will price the entire trip -- upscale dining on the ship, cruise price, transfers, excursions, drink packages and gratuities -- and see if a more luxury line with those items included may be a better value for me. I've heard RCL is very nice for food as well. I may have to try that line. This hurts me to say as I do love Celebrity. Observations: 12 days without decent cup of coffee is just torture, Veal for like 4 nights in a row on the menu in the main dining room?, no variation at all at the buffet for breakfast lunch or dinner (what does one do on a 30 day cruise), what happened to the grand buffet?, The flaming Alaska procession by the staff?, oh -- and many of the items in the main dining room were inedible. How about scallops, shrimp? And whoever thought we needed green peppers in every dish (breakfast beans and the shimp cocktail?) is just not in tune with what foodies need or want. Enough ranting on the food. I loved the old food, I guess I just have to add in the cost for the other restaurants next time and make a decision. sigh. FYI -- the shrimp cocktail, escargot and the creme brulee on the "standard menu" are all very good. One tip, if you want to order breakfast in your room, call and ask dining for the "breakfast menu" to order from -- it will be the most complete version and have everything possible and able to tell them exactly what you want. Don't use the little ones in the room, or the TV -- pretty much worthless. The bar scene was nice. We found the Rendevous Lounge Bar and loved it. Everyone took very good care of us and we really enjoyed it. The Martini Bar had the vibe and I met some wonderful people hanging out there. The outdoor bars were fun but generally crowded but we liked hanging out in the slow times. I thought the drinks, on average were reasonably priced but the wine selection by the glass was limited. (Note: we had a drink package but I'm sure it was not good for my liver) Service is beyond beyond great. Everyone happy to help and never looking for tips. They seemed really grateful when they were tipped on occasion. Shipboard life: Having been on Celebrity with probably the best cruise director ever, I found this trip a bit disappointing. Loved the lectures, the opportunity to take water color painting -- all very nice. The entertainment was OK. There was one terrific guest singer I saw and one xylophone player that I heard was great that I missed. The aerialists rocked! I guess a bunch of it wasn't "my type" but I'm pretty narrow minded in the type of entertainment I like, so you would probably enjoy it -- but I will say my prior Celebrity cruise had great local talent brought in. As I said MickyLive and Milos were great. The rest of onboard life (besides trivia, bingo and other games) seemed to revolve around shopping and ship excursions. A channel dedicated to shopping and one for ship excursions. Where do you find the local color in port? The hidden gems -- oh how do we get into town? Maybe they said at the shopping seminars, but I missed those. They sure didn't cover it on the ship excursion channel. Summary: more information on the port themselves needed. Disembarkation was fine as well. We did the "hop on hop off" bus and the transfer of baggage to the airport so we could enjoy the day in Vancouver. It seemed to take a long time to get through the process, but worked fine once we were disembarked. I heard the second debarkation for the same tour was a disaster. Excursions were great. I hate group excursions as a rule, but I found ours to be small groups, excellent vendors and I really have to say while a bit pricy, they were excellent in every way. We went kayaking in Sitka (but would recommend the otter sighting as I heard that was great -- but we saw lots of eagles and we enjoyed it), Glacier helicopter flight and landing in Juneau (if I had to do over, I would have done whale watching as well -- have to go back!) Whale watching in Victoria (Orcas), and the Hop on Hop off in Vancouver which worked out fabulous for us. Overall we loved our trip and the itinerary. We met some wonderful people at our dinner table and would not have changed anything, despite my rants above. Overall, with few reservations around food -- would recommend Celebrity again for the itinerary, the service, and the staterooms. Hope this helps set expectations so you are ready to enjoy your cruise on Infinity to Alaska! Read Less
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