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Sail Date: June 2014
We have cruised many times before, mainly with Princess Cruises but also with Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line and in all we have now completed 14 cruises. We have been on one Celebrity cruise before sailing on ... Read More
We have cruised many times before, mainly with Princess Cruises but also with Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Line and in all we have now completed 14 cruises. We have been on one Celebrity cruise before sailing on the Celebrity Silhouette in the Mediterranean and Adriatic which we thoroughly enjoyed and we were both very impressed with the ship. Of course it was very new and the Solstice class so that may have made all the difference to our experience. We choose this cruise mainly for the itinerary but also because we were looking forward to sailing with Celebrity again. The Celebrity Infinity is our opinion is in need of an update, she is a bit run down and starting to show her age, the décor is dark and dreary and is very worn in places. For instance our cabin had spots of mould on some of the grouting in the bathroom and the washbasin had been damaged where something (maybe a chemical) had been spilt in it, this had resulted in part of the surface of the sink looking as though it had melted, this did not look very nice and made the bathroom feel shabby. The ship seemed to be understaffed so consequently a lot of the staff seemed unhappy and overworked. This was particularly noticeable in the bar areas where very often there was only one waiter so at times it took a long time to be served. Our general feeling was we were not respected as passengers and we felt our presence was an inconvenience at times. Main Dining Experience: We had taken the Select dining option rather than the set dining times as you are supposed to be able to dine at what time you like, you also have to pay your gratuities up front if you take this option. The Select dining is catered for in the upper level of the Trellis restaurant and we quickly found out that it was going to be difficult to get a time that we wanted to eat most nights as everyone seemed to arrive at the restaurant at the most popular time (7 – 7.30ish). After a couple of nights the lady who booked us in at the door started pre-booking us in a couple of nights ahead for 6.45pm, we were not fussy and willing to either eat on our own or join other people for dinner but there were no spaces available later than that unless we wanted to eat very late which does not suit us very well. it seemed a waste of time being on Select dining as we were eating at the same time every night so we just as well have selected the set dining option. We also noticed the difference between the standard of service received from the staff in the upper level (Select dining, tips already paid!) and lower level (Set dining, tips not paid yet!!) as we were seated in the lower restaurant on a couple of occasions and found the staff there were definitely more attentive. Oceanview Café: We never got to grips with the layout of the Oceanview Café the whole cruise and spent a lot of time doing a circuit around the whole of the buffet area trying to find the food we wanted to eat. We were then faced with the task of trying to find a vacant table and seats to sit down and eat which at times could almost be impossible as the area was always very busy. My husband did not like having to queue in the morning to get a piece of toast to then have to join another queue to get a fried egg and so on, and by the time he had got his breakfast most of it was only lukewarm. The buffet in Oceanview is set up in one long U shape and there are three stations (pasta, pizza and Chef’s special) which are hidden towards the back, separate from the main buffet and easy to miss which is unfortunate as they offer something different to the regular buffet. Café al Bacia: This is a nice area on the ship to enjoy a specialty coffee or tea etc. (payable not free like the standard coffee from Oceanview). We found very often we could not find an empty seat in this café to be able to enjoy a nice coffee. We think this is probably to do with the Celebrity offer (123go) where they were giving away the drinks package and so this meant lots of people on board had this package and were using the café so consequently the amount of seating in the area was very inadequate for the amount of customers. We feel the 123go offer may have resulted in a detrimental affect on the ship and that many of Celebrity’s normal standards have slipped because they probably have to cut back on certain things to cover the cost of giving away the offers to customers. On a more positive note we really enjoyed the ports of call and had a nice time overall but were very disappointed in general with the cruise especially as we were expecting the same standard as on our previous Celebrity cruise. After we returned home and reflected on our overall experience we decided to cancel the Celebrity cruise we have already booked for next year in Asia during March as it is on the same class of ship as the Infinity and we did not feel confident that we would enjoy it and would end up feeling we had wasted our money. We do enjoy cruises and no doubt will be looking to go back with our favourite cruise line, Princess cruises, when we book our next one.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Let me begin by saying this is our 5th cruise with Celebrity Cruise line and may be our last. The four previous experiences left us anxious to book our next cruise. This experience was very different. I am not sure if there are budget cuts ... Read More
Let me begin by saying this is our 5th cruise with Celebrity Cruise line and may be our last. The four previous experiences left us anxious to book our next cruise. This experience was very different. I am not sure if there are budget cuts that translate into unhappy crew members or what. We traveled with another couple and all decided to upgrade to Aqua Class. Upon arrival, we immediately noticed a sense of chaos as we boarded the ship. When we went to our upgraded room, we found the room very dirty; For example, a dirty straw left on the desk chair along with some form of cracker or cookie crumbs, a mirror that had fingerprints and dirt on it and what appeared to be mold at the bottom of our shower door. Determined not to let this upset our vacation, we asked to have the room serviced. The person in charge of our room acted as if we had insulted him! The usual shampoo, shower gel, and body lotion were no where to be found. We had to call for them to be delivered and then replaced several times during the cruise. This is something that previously was done automatically, when the attendant cleaned our room. As for the q-tips that used to be provided....I guess this is another cut, so bring your own. The bath towels were similar to cheese cloth, with ragged edges. I have towels that I use for rags in better condition. After 3 days in Aqua Class, we were tired of the limited menu and poor preparation and started eating in the main dining room (Trellis). The food was a little better and the menu had a better variety, but not the quality we are used to on Celebrity Cruises. We decided to try the Boutique Restaurant on board. Everyone ordered the lobster which was to be prepared table side. It was prepared if you like sushi. In addition, we found the Maître d in the Blu Restaurant to be rude. For example one afternoon we went for lunch and were told the restaurant was closed....we missed lunch. My husband responded that according to the hours posted, lunch was served until 1:30 and it was 1:25. His response was, "Well, that's on your watch, maybe". Really? Three other people in line all had the same time as we did. I would have expected that it should have been handled better. (Hello, Customer Service 101). Perhaps, the most outrageous was the disembarkment process. We were left in the terminal for several hours, waiting for the taxis we were told would be there shortly. Celebrity's explanation was that there were 3 other cruise ships in port and so the taxi's were at the other terminals. Really? I would think that with the fact that Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Azamara have all joined under one Corporate hat, they would have a little experience (and perhaps some clout) in dealing with assisting their passengers to find transportation. At the time the passengers were arriving to start their cruise, there were still a couple of hundred people waiting for transportation. For those of you thinking that I should have made my concerns known while still on the cruise so that the situations could be remedied, I did meet with the Captain's Club Concierge who listened politely and did nothing. Please Celebrity Management, bring back that wonderful quality, customer service and perhaps the midnight buffet (with ice sculptures) that we have come to expect and enjoy.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
This was the first time we sailed with Celebrity and were expecting it to be a cut above Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately, we found the ship to be in need of an update - nothing terrible but definitely not as nice as ... Read More
This was the first time we sailed with Celebrity and were expecting it to be a cut above Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately, we found the ship to be in need of an update - nothing terrible but definitely not as nice as other ships we have been on. The decor was drab and a little worn in some places. The cabin was small. The cabin steward was great though. The first night, my salad in the main dining room had browning lettuce. The pasta was horrible - dry and hard like it had been microwaved. The wine steward never did bring the wine I ordered. That was the first night. Unfortunately, this continued throughout the 11 night cruise. The staff seemed overworked and unhappy. The quality in the main dining room was so poor that in order to get a good quality meal - you had to go to the special dining and pay a pretty penny. The activities onboard were not well planned and very limited. They seemed geared toward an elderly crowd which was probably appropriate since we were probably the youngest on the ship and we are in our 60's. Also information was hard to get even when you went to the service desk - only limited info was provided. We did enjoy the ports - they were fun. Disembarking in Copenhagen was a nightmare! It took hours. People waited in the terminal forever hoping to get a taxi to town. The only option was a taxi or a hop on and off bus. Traffic was backed up for miles and if you did get a taxi - you were basically standing still. It took us 6 hours to get to our hotel from the time we docked!! Celebrity could have provided buses to transport disembarking customers to the center of town but no such service was available. Planning and preparation overall was lacking in many areas. Their website is pretty bad too. We booked through their website - a big mistake!!! We found out that they would not honor their price guarantee. The price went down on Expedia by $225.00 a person and Celebrity said they would not honor that price drop since it wasn't on their site. Their price guarantee states in the first line "Our Best Price Guarantee ensures that you'll enjoy the lowest advertised rate on your cruise fare and preferred promotional offer." It doesn't say on Celebrity's site only. I don't think I want to go on another Celebrity cruise. I think I've had all the fun I can take with them.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Just returned from a cruise from Harwich, Normandy, Dublin, Liverpool, Belfast, Scotland, Oslo and Copenhagen. Background We have cruised somewhat (7 trips to date) but are nowhere near as experienced as some. I do however travel ... Read More
Just returned from a cruise from Harwich, Normandy, Dublin, Liverpool, Belfast, Scotland, Oslo and Copenhagen. Background We have cruised somewhat (7 trips to date) but are nowhere near as experienced as some. I do however travel extensively (100 nights per year) and therefore am aware of customer service. My initial impression was this ship while it was refurbished a few years ago, it really is showing its age. The colours of material used matches its launch some 13 years ago. Floors in the main buffet area felt at time soft and their was a definite odor in the bathroom that smelt like a cat had used it as a litter area. In previous experiences - Celebrity differentiated itself on food. While I can't say the food was awful, I can say it certainly did not differentiate itself. We were told in our select seating that we would have one side of the menu that would stay the same and one side that would change. Well both sides changed - and there was no explanation. PA announcement could be heard in our room at the start of the trip - but by the end we had to open our cabin door to here announcements. Again no explanation as to why something didn't work. Language - another observation was staff did not understand English. I cannot count the number of times we asked questions and simply could not get an appropriate response. They were great at wishing us a nice day - but little else. Tipping - I did not like the old system of envelopes and people showing up at the table looking for their envelope - Having said that the current system is not working either. Simply paying so much into a fund - does not promote good service and creates an onus on the customer to make changes - if they feel service was deficient. Revenue sources _ $3.50 for a Coke and a 15% gratuity on top is ridiculous. We had several people complain the beverage package rules changed 4 times in 12 days. Guaranteed Low Price - We booked our trip a year in advance and were guaranteed the best price. To ensure we got the best price we however need to monitor the site to ask for the difference. If Celebrity focused on the customer - they should advise us - not the other way around. Customer service isn't about self help it is about customer service. The onus is on Celebrity and not a customer. Mechanical - Power failure ship lost all power and explanation was not well communicated (see comment on PA system) I believe that a full written explanation should have been provided to each guest Hand Sanitizer - Apparently there had been a Norwak virus episode on the trip before ours. We had people dispensing hand sanitizer everywhere we went. There was no explanation and in some cases when you re-entered the ship - there was very little thought to this. You had to get a shot of Purell and three steps later had to supply your cabin card and remove backpacks, hats, sunglasses etc for security. Overall I enjoyed the ports of call especially Normandy, Liverpool, Dublin, Oslo and Copenhagen. My experience on the ship will cause me to look at other cruise ships with better service, better comu8nication and certainly more transparency, along with better business practices. Irony - In several communication pieces - daily newsletters and announcements - Celebrity talked about code of conduct - for travelers - but not once refered to their responsibility to customer satisfaction. The older I get - my measurement is what they do and not what they say. We are becoming less a customer and more a revenue stream. Perhaps if they looked at customer satisfaction - they would understand that it is about the long term customer relationship, that generates the long term revenue source.. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
My impressions of the Oct 12, 2013 Century Infinity Wine Immersion cruise: first this was our second trip on Celebrity, so part of the ship comparison will be against the previous experience on the Silhouette. We used select dining and the ... Read More
My impressions of the Oct 12, 2013 Century Infinity Wine Immersion cruise: first this was our second trip on Celebrity, so part of the ship comparison will be against the previous experience on the Silhouette. We used select dining and the booking came with the classic beverage package, two shore excursions, and a specialty dining voucher. The cruise terminal in Harwich although quite a distance from London was very close to the rail station and the train ride of about an hour from London Liverpool Street station was pleasant and only cost $61 roundtrip for the two of us. The Infinity although clearly smaller and older than the Silhouette was in very good condition and well maintained and our balcony cabin was comfortable. The crew was outstanding, I found that on many occasions at the Al Bacio and other bars the servers would recognize me and prepare my drinks without being asked. I had noticed other reviewers complained of not being served drinks from the wine stewards at dinner, our experience was entirely different, they always keep our glasses full and were very attentive to service. The captain and his staff were always visible and engaged in the activities around the ship even including the captain attending the shows at night. The food at the main dining room was very well prepared and we did not have anything that was not delicious; on the other hand, our experience at the Qsine was a let-down (they do have great sweet potato fries). The ship excursions were mixed, we originally wanted to do the Normandy Beaches but due to the USG shutdown they were closed, so we opted for the Versailles Palace tour, we had a very good tour guide and an excellent lunch in a small restaurant we only wish it had included a garden tour. At La Rochelle we toured the city on our own the first day (albeit a bit wet) and took the Hennessy Cognac tour the next day. I will agree with other reviewers that this includes a long drive and the 15 minute stop for the roman amphitheater looking through a fence is not that exciting especially after seeing the Coliseum in Rome, also the lunch we had on this tour was not good. Bilbao we did on our own taking the metro into see the Guggenheim and walking through the old city. The included tours were good to Santiago de Compostela (good weather, no crowd, so-so guide) and Porto port wine (great views, good guides). One of the selling points to joining Cruise Critic was our dining companions were members and had created their own tours with which sounded grand. The entertainment on board was generally very good especially the energy of the crew productions. Two of the entertainers (magic and comedy/juggling) we had already seen on the Silhouette (what are the odds), the musical entertainers two were excellent and one was plain bad (first time I have gotten up and left a show). My wife and I love the art presenters (especially when she wins a drawing) they were very good at art history lectures, but the podium speaker was not so good he just read off his charts and had very little to add (in contrast to the Silhouette which had fabulous speakers). In total it was a very good cruise and we would not mind taking this ship again.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
From the moment we embarked to the moment we disembarked, the voyage was extraordinary good. We were impressed by the genuine enthusiastic, charming, sincere attitude of all the staff and the phenomenal team spirit. Everyone was caring, ... Read More
From the moment we embarked to the moment we disembarked, the voyage was extraordinary good. We were impressed by the genuine enthusiastic, charming, sincere attitude of all the staff and the phenomenal team spirit. Everyone was caring, smiling as if they enjoyed their work and couldn’t do enough for the guests. The service was superb. There is a great buzz on board. Be it a cleaner in the corridor or an officer passing by, everyone is smiling, always greeting you with the time of the day. It was a pleasure to be amongst so many enthusiastic, likeable individuals.We have always believed that it is the employees who make a company a success or not. The staff on board Celebrity Infinity were delightful. The entertainment was excellent. The shows were professionally presented and extremely enjoyable and entertaining. The guest entertainers were brilliant. The speakers were outstandingly good in the subjects, knowledgeable and presentations. The quality of all the Restaurants and bars were superb as well as all the food and beverage. The Daily Programme sheets were extremely informative as well the port of call guides. The online TV Guide and the content were excellent and very up to date. We would like to commend the following, amongst so many as we were unable to remember their names and there are many more unsung heroes in the background of the ship which help to achieve a perfectly organised and efficient operation. Our Concierge, Anca Cenea is the busiest, productive, efficient and effective Guest Services person we have ever met. Not only that, she is one of the nicest people we have met for a long time. Our Stateroom steward, Marcello and his assistant Eddy, in our opinion are probably the best we have ever come across. The stateroom was spotless and nothing was too much trouble for them. They oozed enthusiasm. Always helpful, attentive. Two very caring and charming people. All the Maitre D’s, waiters, bar staff were charming and prompt To summarise, one can sense a phenomenal positive atmosphere, great team work, morale and attention to detail.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was our worst cruise. It was promoted as a 5 Star Wine and Gastro Cruise but no one knew anything about wine and even less about food. The meals on the dining rooms and the buffet were awful. Menus read ok but the food was bland, ... Read More
This was our worst cruise. It was promoted as a 5 Star Wine and Gastro Cruise but no one knew anything about wine and even less about food. The meals on the dining rooms and the buffet were awful. Menus read ok but the food was bland, boring, overcooked (especially the fish), with limited choice, same items everyday with no changes whatsoever on the buffet. To dine in the speciality restaurants was no better, you had to pay an additional 45 dollars for basically the same food and you did not even gat a printed menu you had to choose off an I-pad ! All the food is flown in from Miami frozen, pre-packed, portion controlled, nothing fresh, everything overcooked. They are worried about traceability and being sued. We had the Classic Drinks package included - it is $50 per day per person to purchase on the ship - but my wife does not drink alcohol only sparkling mineral water which they insisted on charging for. You can drink as much wine, speciality coffees, spirits etc. but not water. After having a go at the Bars Manager we did get the water included. The ship was about one third full of Americans but it appeared that Celebrity had not sold the cruise very well in USA and they were doing the same cruise 4 times, one after another. Because of poor sales the cruises have been heavily discounted for UK residents. The Americans were not happy with the food and also the ports. They sailed from "London Harwich", and did not realise that Paris was over two hours from Le Havre, Bordeaux was about the same for La Rochelle, Leixoes was not Porto, and it was 30 minutes into Bilbao. You had to pay extra for many things like fruit juices, some ice creams, items on the healthy options. Photographs were a shocking $29.95. The shops were hardly selling anything with uk residents having to pay UK Vat of 20% irrespective of where in Europe the ship was. Why ? How do Celebrity pay HMRC ? On return to Harwich if you had travelled by your own car your cases were taken to the car park and you had to get on the shuttle bus to the car park. If it is raining your cases and you would get very wet. What was shocking and alarming was that there was no customs procedures or any passport control. Crew members could have walked off the ship and simply disappeared in the UK. On the positive side the cabin was ok - we had a wheelchair adapted one (6005) which was very spacious but some distance from the lifts. The entertainment was reasonable but the entertainment team were not and it was good to have longer in the ports - overnight in Le Havre, La Rochelle, and Bilbao unlike a trend with other cruise lines to reduce visits to only a few hours. The excursions were all very expensive as were the shuttles. We did enjoy the places visited and that's why we chose this cruise because of where it was going and we did get value for money with late booking and offers. However it will be long time before we consider Celebrity again - 5 Star it is not. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was a wine immersion cruise, whatever that means. Nice ports, however average experience on the ship. The Infinity is one of the older ships in the fleet. Solstice class ships are so much nicer. The cruise left from Harwich, England, ... Read More
This was a wine immersion cruise, whatever that means. Nice ports, however average experience on the ship. The Infinity is one of the older ships in the fleet. Solstice class ships are so much nicer. The cruise left from Harwich, England, which was a good two and a half hour drive from London Heathrow. Embarkation was a breeze. No one in the the concierge line, so we breezed right through. Went up to the buffet and there were no seats to be had. Finally grabbed one. Seemed like every passenger on the boat was up there. Finally went to our cabin #8165. Aft area of the boat. Our door was right across the hall from the main crew door, which was noisy at times. This ship, the Infinity, looked as though it was time to get a refurbishment. Scratched walls, shower tile was dirty, etc. Our cabin steward came in and introduced himself. Very nice guy and made sure that we had everything that we needed. He even brought us an extra bottle of champagne, for free. Even though we were concierge class, I noticed that about half of the room service menu had been cut from previous Celebrity cruises. Also, they have cut out their free movies. All movies were $12.95. Dinner in the dining room was average to good. Same menu from every Celebrity ship. I wish that they would change it up a bit. Anyway, the food was much better than the buffet, which served the same food menu every night. The Captains Club lounge was nice. Complimentary cocktails each night before dinner. This cruise had some great ports, though. First port was LeHavre. Easy to get a train into Paris. We didn't need an organized tour. LaRochelle, France, was a lovely town. Bilboa, Spain, was a nice city. No need for organized tours. It felt like everyone on the boat was sick. Coughing, sneezing everywhere. We both caught cold as well and were sick the second half of the cruise. Entertainment was good. The Celebrity dancers were great. I would probably not repeat this cruise again, however it was fun to see ports that I'd never been to. My only major complaint was that Celebrity charged you for shuttles into town. Our last day was in Portugal and raining so hard that people didn't want to get off the ship, however there was no refund for the shuttle. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
The name (theme) of the cruise "Wine Immersion" was the deciding factor for booking this trip. Unfortunately, it was very little about wine. Wine tastings were pathetic - cheap wines, badly organized events. Luckily we have ... Read More
The name (theme) of the cruise "Wine Immersion" was the deciding factor for booking this trip. Unfortunately, it was very little about wine. Wine tastings were pathetic - cheap wines, badly organized events. Luckily we have booked (privately) tours in Saint-Emillion and Porto and were able to enjoy some good wines. The wine service at dinner time was incredibly bad! It was our first Celebrity cruise, and we expected great things (reading some reviews) but the sommelier (I don't even think I can call her that - she had no wine knowledge at all) was very rude, and eventually we had to complain to her boss. All the wines was sold at approximately 500 %(!!!) of the cost. The food was, at best, mediocre: every time I ordered fish (I've tried 5 different types)I was given something completely dry and inedible. Also the waiter could never remember who ordered what. We were at the late dinner table 119 (10 people), and the only bright spot in the service was the assistant waiter Bernadette from Mexico (she is the only one who received tips. Breakfast buffets had no variety - it literally was the same stuff EVERY DAY. The waiters at the 10-th deck were in disarray - we were waiting 15-20 min to get a simple drink. The entertainment was non-existent on the ship - everything they did was on the high school production level. The "singer" at the bar deck should change her profession to something else - she had no voice and couldn't hold the tune - I was embarrassed for her. Swimming pools were drained all the time (closed for whole day). You would think that at the "Wine Immersion" cruise they could "introduce" an inexpensive bottle of a local wine at some stops, but that idea has never come to the cruise company. Poor experience! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Picked this ship due to an itinary that is only offered 3-4 times per year. Cabin; Booked an inside and it was money well spent, no complaints. Dining/Food; I pre paid my gratuities and was enrolled in "any time dining”(so many ... Read More
Picked this ship due to an itinary that is only offered 3-4 times per year. Cabin; Booked an inside and it was money well spent, no complaints. Dining/Food; I pre paid my gratuities and was enrolled in "any time dining”(so many different names for the same thing), choose a variety of dining times and often shared a table with different folks, I had read so much about the quality on Celebrity ships however, the food was average at best as, I did not starve. Public room; Very well kept, but a lot of space was for lounges vice just relaxing and getting away. Entertainment; average, quite a few entertainers were British and since about 85% of the ship were British I just did not get some of the humor and shows. However, the violin quartet was superb. Overall; A non smoking sailing which was great but it is an average ship with excellent service. Met many wonderful people perhaps a few more nights of fun Karaoke would have made this sailing better, just too proper for my liking. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We just returned from 12 days aboard the Sept 18 sailing. Celebrity apparently used the comments from the last cruise to address some of the earlier cruises complaints. There was no longer a charge for the shuttle services in Le Havre and ... Read More
We just returned from 12 days aboard the Sept 18 sailing. Celebrity apparently used the comments from the last cruise to address some of the earlier cruises complaints. There was no longer a charge for the shuttle services in Le Havre and in La Rochelle. They maintained the charges in Bilbao and Porto though the cost was reduced to $15. The pluses: Our room butler Bogdan was amazing. Lattes delivered in the morning, suggestions on making our cabin more pleasant (adding a two drawer cabinet under the bathroom sink made a huge improvment. Subawa in the aft bar and martini bar and Inez in the Cafe Bacio/Michaels Club were both very accommodating. The cabins are quite small (we are used to Holland America). Our first reaction upon entering our cabin was "where's the suite?" The balcony was tiny barely fitting two chairs and ottomans. While we were right behind the elevators, we never heard them. We were below the pingpong table and the set up at 5:30 am was definitely noticed. We were kitty corner from the i-lounge, which was always busy. For dining experiences, avoid the Trellis for breakfast, which is quite easy to do...they close very early in the morning. We made it one day and it took 1 1/2 hours. I was ready to leave after a half of grapefruit and 40 minutes. Dinner was unexceptional except for Luis and Anna who made it very pleasant. We only ate there a few times as Bogdan introduced us to Blu. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Much lighter cuisine, beautifully cooked and worth the extra $5 per person. SS United was lovely, though our lobster was a bit overcooked. The grand marnier souffle was exceptional, Wine list was lovely as well. The Aqua Spa Cafe was a treat for breakfast-those yogurt sundaes made to order were great-if you are on the premium drink package they are included. QSine was fun, though its placement at the top of the ship made it very warm in the early evening. Save your money and go to Blu. Cafe Bacio did have the only decent coffee on the ship and we made very strong use of it. Their pastries were free, just ask. The coconut chiffon cake is heavenly. We did a private shore excursion in Saint Emilion, and did ship tours in Vigo and Porto. Would have loved to spend more time in Porto. We'll definitely go back. We rented a car in Le Harve on the dock and drove down the Normandy coast (couldn't fathom doing a 10 hour bus ride!)   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We had been on the Celebrity Equinox and Silhouette before and enjoyed them. As the Infinity had been 'Solsticed' we expected a similar experience. I am not sure how much was to do with the Infinity being an older ship or ... Read More
We had been on the Celebrity Equinox and Silhouette before and enjoyed them. As the Infinity had been 'Solsticed' we expected a similar experience. I am not sure how much was to do with the Infinity being an older ship or Celebrity cost cutting but it was not up to the same standard. It felt more like a 3 star cruise than a 4 and a half one. It could be that Celebrity has given away so many free drinks packages they are trying to recoup their money. We always go Aqua class as we enjoy the Blu restaurant. There is no booking system but we have never had to wait for a table there before. On this cruise, every night except one we were sent to the wine bar to wait, usually for about 25 minutes but one night the estimated time was an hour! This is not acceptable for a restaurant which you pay a premium for. Tempers got very frayed some nights. Once finally in, the food was still good except for the desserts which were not as beautifully presented. However, they ran out of some wine by the glass (due to the drinks packages?) blueberries and mushrooms, why didn't they restock at ports? Our Aquaclass cabin was not as large and we could not use the balcony due to soot from the chimney stack above, so much for paying extra to be on the top level! The Captain's Club Concierge did arrange for the balcony to be cleaned a few times but it made little difference. She did also arrange for us to have a free meal at Quisine as an apology. The other problem with our room was the rattling from loose fittings keeping us awake at night when the seas were rough. I don't think retrofitting the cabins is the same as purpose building them. A towel under the shower doors helped though! Some people may like Quisine but although the presentation was fun, we found the dishes to be of variable quality and there was too much of it. We preferred SS United States but even that was not as good as Murano on the Solstice class ships. Although the staff were pleasant when you saw them, there was a distinct lack of waiters in the bars and cafes meaning you had to go up to the bar yourself to get a drink. The Peroni beer was 3 months past its sell by date. We enjoyed most of the shows but a lot of activities on board were sales pitches. I went to a talk on Rembrandt but it was mostly about trying to sell his etchings for thousands of dollars! We also enjoyed the tours although some had very long coach journeys. After this expereince, I would not go on the Infinity again and would have to read recent reviews to go on the Soltice class ships. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We took the Wine Immersion Cruise on September 30. Our package included a free Classic Beverage Package for both of us and free excursions in Vigo and Porto. Most of the cruise passengers seemed to have the beverage package. The cruise had ... Read More
We took the Wine Immersion Cruise on September 30. Our package included a free Classic Beverage Package for both of us and free excursions in Vigo and Porto. Most of the cruise passengers seemed to have the beverage package. The cruise had overnight stays in Le Havre, La Rochelle and Bilbao. The overnights are great because you have time for some lengthy shore excursions and don't need to rush back to the ship. Perhaps it was because so many passengers had the beverage package, but it was very hard to get beverage service in the main dining room or the Oceanview Café. Once a wine steward determined that everyone at the table had a beverage package, it was often difficult to get the steward to return to the table. In the Oceanview Café, my husband went to the service bar and presented our cards to get wine. We were ignored by the wine stewards, even after we asked a waiter for wine. As the cruise progressed, it seemed that the ship might have been running out of wine. It got harder and harder to get more than one glass of wine at dinner. We had Celebrity Select dining and ate at different tables in different parts of the dining room every evening. Many evenings, my husband had a soft drink, and I ordered a mixed drink. These were served by the bar attendants, not the wine stewards, and the service wasn't any better. We are not big drinkers, and I would never purchase the beverage package, because for us it isn't worth it. You can't get a cappuccino in the Oceanview Café anymore. You have to go to Café Al Bacio. The service there was even worse. I stood for 10 minutes by the pastries, waiting to be served. I was ignored, so I walked downstairs to Customer Relations and asked them how I was supposed to get waited on. They got the beverage manager to accompany me back to the Café Al Bacio. The staff also ignore the Beverage Manager, who apologized to me. I never did get a cappuccino. In the main dining room, the service was very slow. We often sat at a table for 6. Often, 3 or 4 of us were served, and then waited 5 minutes for the other 2 guests to get their dinner. There seemed to be a shortage of assistant waiters. Regardless of where we sat in the dining room, our waiter seemed to be doing most of the work. Getting a refill of water took 20 minutes, and you had to ask. The service on the Infinity has definitely gone downhill since June. We were on the British Isles cruise then. The food in the Oceanview Café was never hot, sometimes only lukewarm. Also, most of the food was highly spiced Mexican or Asian. It was difficult to find anything that was plain, as the serving pans for these items were always empty. The Oceanview Café was very clean. Waiters worked hard to clear the tables. Food was served by the dining staff, rather than self-serve. We were pleased to see this. It's much more sanitary than the self-service Celebrity used to have. The service at the Elite cocktail hour was great. If you wanted a soft drink or a cocktail, you were waited on quickly and efficiently. The Captain's Club hostess had a few favorites and pretty much ignored everyone else. She is not the same hostess that we had in June. Many ship employees had changed between June and September 30. We only saw 2 of the shows because we had already seen them on other cruises. Also, dinner took so long due to the slow service that the shows has already started by the time we finished dinner. Mostly, we took private excursions. We took the Celebrity excursion to Cognac. It consisted of a slow bus ride to Cognac, followed by a tour of the Hennessey Distillery, which was lovely, a short walk around the business district (15 minutes), lunch, which was decent but took 1.5 hours, a drive to Saintes, another short free time (20 minutes), and a drive to the Roman amphitheater where we could look through the fence at the amphitheater for 10 minutes, then a long bus ride back, with a slow ride through La Rochelle. The tour was expensive, and compared to our private tours, over-priced. We spent a long time on the bus and didn't really see very much. Also took the free Celebrity excursion to Santiago de Compostela. Getting a number and getting on the bus was a free-for-all. very hectic. Our tour was lovely. We had a very knowledgeable guide, and we saw a lot of the town. We were one of the first buses to get there, so we did not experience long waits for the restroom. With so many cruise passengers, the square got crowded, but our guide handled it well. Santiago de Compostela is a lovely town and the cathedral is beautiful. This was a great excursion, although it was a 75 minute bus ride each way. The Infinity is showing it's age. It is due for a major overhaul. The weather stripping on our balcony door was coming apart. The elevators seem to have a mind of their own, often skipping floors. There was a lot of rust on our balcony. The internet service was incredibly slow. It took 5 minutes to download 8 emails. Everyone complained about how slow the internet was. We are not impressed with the Classic beverage package. Many of the drinks cannot be purchased because they exceed the price limit $9.25 for the package. If you want a $9.50 drink, you have to pay $9.50 for it, not the .25 difference in price. That's just stupid. We were never offered an after-dinner drink in the main dining room. The wine stewards and bar servers were hard to find. Even in the bars, if you ordered a drink with your beverage card, the server never came back to see if you wanted a refill. It was as if they had been told to minimize the amount passengers could charge on the card. Also, if you wanted a bottle of water, they gave you a one liter bottle. If you asked for a smaller bottle, they refused to give it to you unless you paid for it. You could not get a bottle of Perrier with the Classic beverage card, but you could get a Heineken or a Coke. This policy is stupid. It just makes people angry, but it doesn't make them buy the small bottles of water. We ate in the SS United States. Fabulous food, totally worth the cover charge. In the SS United States, the wine steward was attentive. The service was great. There were lots of empty tables. Sad, because it was the best dining experience we had on the ship. Also ate in the Bistro on Five. The food is pretty good, and so was the service. We had lunch there. Also worth the cover charge. If Celebrity is going to offer most of the passengers a free beverage package, then they need to stock up on wine, beer and spirits and actually serve them to the clientele. If you do not drink lots of alcohol, the package isn't worth what they charge. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
1. We booked our own transfers as we arrived in London two days early and our return flight was earlier than allowed by Celebrity for its transfers. We used BATransfers, as they were the least expensive and most flexible we could find. We ... Read More
1. We booked our own transfers as we arrived in London two days early and our return flight was earlier than allowed by Celebrity for its transfers. We used BATransfers, as they were the least expensive and most flexible we could find. We shared transfers from LHR to London, London to Harwich, and Harwich to LHR. Bottom line: Great Company. On time, polite, efficient. Will use again if I need similar transfers. 2. Cabin: Veranda cabin quite nice, reasonably spacious, and contained adequate storage space. 3. Service: Cabin cleanup was very good. No complaints. 4. Food: uneven in the dining room. Fish dishes not great; Beef less than tender at times. Lamb was good, however. Service here was good, as well. Buffet: Fairly decent as buffets go. Breakfast the best choice. 5. Excursions: Typical ship impersonal, superficial types. Our highlight was viewing the Bayeux Tapestry. The absolute lowlight was a "cruise" on Loch Lomond - deadly dull. Advice - book your own excursions. 6. Recommendation: Cafe Bacio is a nice place to hang out, particularly if you have a drinks package. 7. We played Trivia and found the "moderators" charming and personable - would have been better if we won more often.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Celebrity picked us up on time at Heathrow and it was a pleasant enough 3 hour bus ride to Harwich, as was the ride back. We'd been on the Infinity the year before and knew what to expect. One of the highlights on this cruise was the ... Read More
Celebrity picked us up on time at Heathrow and it was a pleasant enough 3 hour bus ride to Harwich, as was the ride back. We'd been on the Infinity the year before and knew what to expect. One of the highlights on this cruise was the excursion from Le Havre to Paris. It was a long day but very well-organized so that we saw a surprisingly large number of the sights. The knowledgeable and friendly guide was a major plus, as was the lunch on one of the Seine bateaux. Elsewhere, the distance of the ports from the major attractions was a bit of a surprise and required using a local bus (or train, in the case of Glasgow). Cruise lines have a conflict of interest here as their profit generally comes from selling excursions, so they don't always provide ready access to local travel information for those going into town on their own. One problem arose in Waterford, where a rogue bus operator mixed in with the local transit authority. A bunch of Infinity passengers waited in vain for the rogue bus to show up on the return trip before giving up and taking a regular local bus back to the ship. Generally, the local transit in Ireland and Scotland was top-notch and gave us a chance to meet some of the townspeople. The bus from the dock outside of Cork city left us off on a dreary stretch of the quay but just on the other side of the bridge was St. Patrick St., the town's lovely main thoroughfare, with banners flying and Celtic music coming from loudspeakers. Another unexpected gem was Inverness, including the 40 minute bus ride from the dock at Invergordon. The views of the Scottish highlands all along the way were stunning. Liverpool was the only port where embarkation was right in the middle of everything. Albert Dock is loaded with restaurants, museums, and local tour operators. We took a short tour and then walked around on our own. Great town, particularly on a soccer game day when the streets were packed with supporters. The anthem of the Liverpool FC is "You'll Never Walk Alone," which was literally the case during our visit there. On the Infinity, entertainment and food were excellent, including the two specialty restaurants that we tried. The staff of the entire ship works hard and seems to do their jobs well.Disembarkation was long and slow, as usual Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Celebrity Infinity, Norwegian Fjords, 16th August 2013The Good:We are regular cruisers who chose this ship and operator principally for the destinations and were not to be disappointed by the Norwegian Fjords that are stunningly ... Read More
Celebrity Infinity, Norwegian Fjords, 16th August 2013The Good:We are regular cruisers who chose this ship and operator principally for the destinations and were not to be disappointed by the Norwegian Fjords that are stunningly beautiful.Harwich is a convenient port for us handling just one cruise ship at a time and embarkation went smoothly. Disembarkation was extremely fast due lack of Customs and Immigration formalities. (perhaps this is one of the leaky holes in the UK Border)Infinity is a very happy ship with a smiley and welcoming ships Company from the Master all the way to the cleaning Staff.Food in the main dining room was some of the best we have ever experienced at sea. Bistro on five is worth the cost but with such a limited menu it is not suited to more than a few lunches.Cafe Al Barco is a relaxing area providing very good speciality coffee. It is actually cost effective to buy a coffee, soda and water package just for this cafe alone.The not so good:Infinity is a reasonably comfortable ship but because of her age is a little faded and Celebrity needs to pay attention to rust spots on balconies and stains on furniture. By no means can she be described as Luxury. Celebrity marketing people need to visit her before next year's brochure.This was our first cruise where we found that the main dining room was closed for lunch apart from one day at sea. This meant we had three options:(1) pay extra for Bistro on five.(2) grab a beef burger and chips and eat out on deck (again limited to only a couple of lunches)(3) suffer the absolute chaos and disorganisation of the self-service cafe on deck ten. Food selection was reasonable but by the time you had completed three laps of the deck to find a plate, fill it and then find a clean table, the food had gone cold. Lack of trays meant that this process had to be completed for each course.The activities programme was very limited but the beauty of Norway and excellent weather meant this was less noticeable.Ships coffee anywhere other than Cafe Al Barco is best avoided.Back to the good:There were some good visiting entertainers including a classical pianist and solo singers. The ships orchestra was good but the dancers less so.We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and are so pleased to have visited the Fjords, Norway is rightly proud of them and if you haven't been there, go as soon as you can. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
The ports of call on our British Isle cruise were nice, some spectacular. The busy schedule left little rest time for rest but that was OK. The crew was uniformly friendly and the cabin was OK. The "king size bed" was, of course, ... Read More
The ports of call on our British Isle cruise were nice, some spectacular. The busy schedule left little rest time for rest but that was OK. The crew was uniformly friendly and the cabin was OK. The "king size bed" was, of course, nothing of the sort but why quibble? Entertainment was first rate. Harwich, the dock, is a sleepy village 2 1/2 hours from London. The only reason to dock there must be low fees. It is in the middle of nowhere and creates a longer sail time. There is also the little matter of transport fees. Unlike the old days, transporting to any place closer than 50 feet is big business. We paid $500 for round trip since Celebrity could not (as promised) leave early enough to ensure our plane connections. (There is also a rail involving two changes of trains and a taxi -all with luggage.) The initial Oceanview Cafe buffet was horrid - obviously leftovers from the previous cruise. Gone are the days of service when waiters brought silverware and drinks. No, the traveler carries plates (no trays! - a new policy) then must get silverware and drinks - confusion USA. Glass panels block self-serve except at the salad bar where folks squatted, pushed their head through to reach the veggies and dropped hair on the food. The dining room was equally unorganized. Long lines waited for tables yet the young man who greeted the diners also had to search the ship when a table became available THEN lead them back to their table. Meanwhile, a woman at the other entrance never moved. NIght after night this charade was carried out to the chuckles of guests who wondered why in the world they didn't ask one of the waiters standing around to get the guests or lead them to their table. Excursions. Something we avoid since they are wildly overpriced and impersonal. We'd team up with other couples for rides to town or the countryside at 1/3 to 1/2 the cost. For some reason, Celebrity blocks booking excursions four days before sale (that's a new one). I was told it was because the tour group they used did not have enough buses and the tours were sold out. Many reports of folks sent on wild goose chases by employees unfamiliar with the ship. I was sent to three floors (3, 5 and 8) before finding the Internet cafe on 9. There is also the problem of understanding English beyond "I want that." A request for runny yellows in eggs resulted in something crusted on both sides (the poor guy smiled, clueless). The two-tiered policy of service was a disaster. Frequent travelers and "special" guests had reserved rooms that were uniformly empty. And about those "specialty restaurants". There is a reason for the hard sale prior to boarding. Nobody was paying the ridiculous "cover charge" for a "special" dinner. So discounts were offered (increasing daily), crew members pushed them to those waiting for elevators. We were with a couple designated "special" (they had no idea why) but who refused to dine or drink alone. Celebrity should reward frequent travelers with a bottle of wine, reduced costs, a free night at a "special" restaurant. Speaking of empty, Celebrity must expect an army of relapsed AA folks. The bars and lounges were ubiquitous yet empty except during dinner when folks searched for a place to sit while they waited on a table. The casino was likewise empty as has been the case for the past few years. Selling is still the primary goal. Wine packages (250-300% markup), coke packages, spa packages as well as numerous stores with overpriced jewelry and clothes. "Fresh" orange juice can be had for $3/glass (a lonely server never had a single customer that I saw). No rhyme or reason - ice cream and desserts are free but not coffee, water or tapas. The cooking demonstrations were advertisements for the "specialty restaurants". Recommendation: Charge $100-$200/ticket extra and cut out all the packages, constant selling and phony pitches. Give folks water, coffee or a coke (with ice around 20 cents). Reduce or omit internet charges. Celebrity is now hawking Apple products which is fine (I'm an Apple user) but what's next - Walmart or Toyota? New travelers were impressed as were Celebrity-only travelers (although many tired of the constant nickle and diming). But those who have traveled widely on other cruise lines were not impressed. I understand that Celebrity wants to cut costs but they're going about it all wrong. Use personnel for waiters - not manning empty bars and lounges.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
This was our first cruise with Celebrity and we were both looking forward to the much promoted Celebrity 'Five Star Experience' We arrived mid/late afternoon having travelled down from the North of England, embarkation was quick ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity and we were both looking forward to the much promoted Celebrity 'Five Star Experience' We arrived mid/late afternoon having travelled down from the North of England, embarkation was quick as most passengers had already boarded. On boarding we were greeted with a drink but were then left to our own devices, we would have felt more welcomed if there had been members of staff to give information to cabin availability/directions etc. As it was, being very tired after a stressful journey (more of that later!) we decided to find our own way straight to our cabin, in the hope that at this stage in the afternoon it would be ready. Luckily it was... I am always looking forward to my first view of our cabin! What a disappointing first view! as the first thing that caught my eye was the bed with crumpled un-ironed pillow cases & bedding, a duvet that looked too small for the bed and a rather crumpled valance, not the pristine inviting bed that I was expecting. The cabin itself was quite nice but nothing special, I had expected more from a concierge cabin, but we were pleased to find tea and coffee making facilities which we had been told not to expect. There was a bottle of bubbly on ice with fruit set out on the table, I always like a bottle of bubbly to greet you but as to the accompanying fruit...three artfully arranged apples was something I could have done without, much prefer an indulgent box of chocolates! The 'plush Frette bathrobes' had been laundered in the same place as the bedding, creased and compacted rather than soft & fluffy, didn't invite use! Pity there were no slippers though as we could have used them. British cruisers be warned you need to take a two point adapter for hair tongs etc. I hadn't seen that in any of the information, maybe I had missed it. One of the things we did like about the cabin or at least the balcony of the cabin was that unlike most balconies this one had a decent sized high table which proved a real benefit & made having meals on the balcony more enjoyable. This would be a good time to say that we found room service was excellent, efficient, and friendly and the food was delivered on time and hot. A nice touch was that they rang to forewarn you that they were about to deliver, we haven't had that before & really liked it Having settled ourselves in our cabin and relaxed a bit our first point of call is usually the library to choose ourselves some reading matter for the cruise, as we have always had such good libraries on other ships, both in content and design we were totally dismayed when we saw the library on board Infinity, it is a pokey dark room in the centre of the ship, so no natural light, hopeless for reading in and without the necessary requirement for a library .....a good choice of books! It had the most meagre choice imaginable we just couldn't believe it, it's just a total waste of space and we were sorely disappointed. Be warned and take your own reading matter! As to the ship itself; it has some nice features but none that we felt were outstanding and certainly no wow factor. The Constellation Lounge, which is Infinities observation lounge, gave a good first impression but we found numerous flaws to our enjoying it during the day, firstly it was rather cold to sit there for any length of time, secondly it was the venue for many of the daily activities such as: choir practice, zumba classes, dance rehearsals, quizzes and loud discussion groups, thirdly we could never order a drink, as we never saw a waiter up there during the day. The other disadvantage is that Celebrity use it as their private functions venue for their Elite guests so other guests were stopped from using it on a number of occasions. Cafe al Bacio we found was a lovely spot for a hot chocolate/speciality coffee & pastries during the day and enjoying a glass of Prosecco while listening to that evening's entertainment. If the weather allows the Sunset bar is a pleasant place to enjoy a snack or a drink and the Rendez Vous Lounge is a nice spot for a cocktail before dinner while listening to the various bands and singers or watching (in our case) your fellow passengers enjoying a dance. The indoor pool area was uninviting but some of the areas outside had a pleasing and relaxed feel. The buffet restaurant for us was one of the real let downs, the food was repetitive and hot food wasn't hot also we often had difficulty getting drinks there, we ended up just giving it a miss! On the other hand we found both the food and the service, excellent in the main restaurant and we really couldn't fault either, the food was some of the best we have had while cruising. We didn't try any of the speciality restaurants which all looked very quiet when we past them. We had one of the inclusive drinks package offers, as we are not big drinkers we had wondered originally if it would be much of a perk for us but actually found it really added to our cruise, as all soft drinks and speciality coffees etc. as well as alcoholic drinks are included. The theatre was well designed but the main entertainment shows were a very mixed bag, not as good as on other ships we have been on, we felt the entertainment offered around the ship was better. We missed having a dedicated cinema on board although there were some late films on offer in the theatre. Our Ports of call were; - Torshavn / Reykjavik / Akureyri / Geiranger / Bergen. Torshavn; The day was mainly fine with a little drizzle, we were told later that this was one of their better days! Torshavn is the world's smallest capital city and it certainly is small but it was prettier than I had expected. It has a small harbour leading onto the old town which is quaint, with grass roofed houses and a cathedral (more a small church) which is beautiful inside and well worth a visit, the newer part of the city has a main street with a few shops leading up to some gardens. We didn't have much time to explore as we were due to go on an excursion in the afternoon, we had booked 'Life as a Faroese'. We hadn't really known what to expect; but about eight of us were greeted on the dock by a young Faroese man who introduced himself and said he and his wife & three children lived on the outskirts of Torshavn and he invited us to visit his home, we all drove off in a small mini bus and as we drove he told us a little about his home city. When we arrived his wife and one of his daughters greeted us and invited us into their home. The home was delightful with a stunning view of the city, after chatting and enjoying homemade cakes & coffee we were treated to a folk song, sung unaccompanied by the young wife, after which we were invited to look around their home. They were delightful hosts and gave us so much insight into their lives & life on the Island, an unusual excursion which we really enjoyed. Reykjavic; It was cold & raining. We were there for a day & a half, we had booked the 'Golden Circle Tour' for our first day in Reykjavik, although we enjoyed the tour & found it interesting it would have been so much better to see the country side in better weather but I gathered from what the guide said that we had been relatively lucky as the day before it had been foggy with little or no visibility. Our second day there was only half a day and we had decided we would look around Reykjavik on our own, we could have done a whale watching trip or an excursion to the Blue Lagoon, in retrospect we wished we had gone to the Blue lagoon! Akureyri; We woke up to brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the seventies! The sail in (& out) of the fjord was spectacular, the town & surroundings are prettier than Reykjavik. We were only there for half a day and had booked the 'Nature, Folk & Flora' excursion. Which we enjoyed & could recommend, the only disadvantage was, it was all rather rushed, we felt a full days excursion had been crushed into a half day, we would have preferred to have missed out the visit to the Botanical gardens which was the least interesting part of the tour and stayed longer at the waterfall & museum which was brilliant. If we had been doing our own thing the town looked good to wander around and there seemed to be some lovely walks in the area for those so inclined. Geiranger; We woke to brilliant sunshine & temperatures in the seventies again! The early morning sail through the fjord was simply stunning and one I'll not forget, the sunshine showing everything off to its best. The captain treat us to a three point turn so we could see each side of the fjord. We had breakfast on our balcony and watched Geiranger slowly come into view....magical. We had expected to use tenders today but we were lucky to be the first cruise ship to use their new 'sea walk' which is like a floating pier which stretches between the ship and landing stage making embarkation a doddle, straight off & on without any hassle. We had sailed in Geiranger fjord before but had not been into Geiranger village so we had decided to spend the day there wandering around. We were glad we did as we had a delightful day, firstly we took a walk; through the village with its plentiful cafes & odd shops, across the bridge and up to look at the waterfall and then through the caravan site along the path by the side of the fjord returning back to the village the same way...wonderful walk on such a lovely day. We could have also taken the path that leads upwards out of the village to the church, this walk apparently gives a magnificent view but on such a hot day we just weren't up to it. In the village itself, there is tiny chocolate factory & cafe worth a visit, the Brasserie Posten is a nice lunch stop it serves good food & has a lovely fjord side terrace, Naustkroa cafe also has a well-placed terrace downstairs right on the fjord side, its an ideal place to enjoy a drink in fine weather, it also serves good food. Bergen: Another brilliantly sunny day with temperatures in the high seventies, was this really rainy Bergen? We did our own thing here. We've been to Bergen before and love the harbour with its numerous cafes, vibrant fish market and old wooden houses there's a terrific atmosphere to this part of the town which is lacking in the newer part. All in all we had a lovely cruise just not an exceptional one. There was a wider range of both nationalities & ages compared to other cruises we have been on and a much more casual attitude to dress. All of which we found quite a refreshing change, I only wish I had known beforehand just how casual the dress code was, I could have saved myself a load of packing and I certainly wouldn't have packed my husband's DJ or my evening dresses. How was our first experience with Celebrity? A bit of a disappointment if I'm honest we were expecting more. The Infinity, if not the newest of ships, is a nice ship but not exceptional, the staff were mostly very efficient & friendly, in fact they were the real plus on board but overall it was not what I would call a five star experience. Too many things that just weren't quite up to scratch and nothing that gave it the 'wow' factor. I think on reflection the disappointment simply came from listening to the hype and expecting too much of Celebrity, we found it on par with P&O and not as good as Cunard or Princess. Would we sail with them again, maybe if the itinerary was right but with less expectations and probably not from a British port, this is not because of Celebrity but because of the horrendous connecting journeys. As we now find driving down by car to the south coast too much hassle, when we are sailing from a Southern port, we have taken to travelling down by coach, which has always been stress free. Not on this occasion! because Celebritys clientele come from so many parts of the world there weren't enough people travelling from the north of England to warrant a dedicated coach ( only six in fact ) so for the first time ever we had to travel in a mixture of mini buses, taxies & coaches, and feed-in to other coaches, this meant; long waits, badly planned rest stops and multiple changes which was very stressful and made the experience one we wouldn't want to repeat, because of this, I think for cruises sailing from British ports we will stay with cruise lines dedicated to the British market.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
It is 6 years since my husband and I last cruised with Celebrity tending to use Azamara in the last few years. Pleasantly surprised when after a six year gap we sailed on Celebrity Infinity in July. A fabulous cruise on a wonderful ship ... Read More
It is 6 years since my husband and I last cruised with Celebrity tending to use Azamara in the last few years. Pleasantly surprised when after a six year gap we sailed on Celebrity Infinity in July. A fabulous cruise on a wonderful ship with excellent staff. From getting on board the ship at Harwich to disembarkation back at Harwich the entire cruise was stress free from start to finish. Since it has been "Solsticized" the standard not only of the onboard facilities but the helpfullness and attitude of the staff is first class. Bosco, The Guest relations Manager deserves a special mention for his tireless efforts to make sure that every guest was well looked after. Staff throughout the ship were pleasant, friendly and always smiling. We will definitely be back in the future and I would now put Celebrity on an equal footing with Azamara in regard to service and onboard experience. Thank you Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Celebrity certainly knows how to deliver! Having sailed a luxury product recently I have to say that I was quite surprised at how elegant and welcoming this older ship was. By taking the Bar Package and never thinking about the ... Read More
Celebrity certainly knows how to deliver! Having sailed a luxury product recently I have to say that I was quite surprised at how elegant and welcoming this older ship was. By taking the Bar Package and never thinking about the "cost" of wine or drinks really was the way to go. It changed the entire experience and made is a lot easier and calmer you never had to worry about who would pick up the check when you did pre dinner cocktails. Service was good not great but good. A bit standoffish a first but by the middle of the cruise you had your favorite people that you went to time and time again and they got to know you. Let me tell you about a little known splurge. The Chef's Table. Once, sometimes twice, per cruise the Executive Chef cooks dinner for 8 lucky people . It's about $135 pp but it comes with a table photo ($20) that gorgeous Celebrity cookbook (Signed) and all the wines are selected and included with each course. You tour the kitchen with just the Chef, it's amazing. We had a ball - DO THIS! It is worth every penny. We met a couple who had dinner every night in the SS United States and they told us that after the 5th night they had pretty much exhausted the menu so the chef was going off menu for them, they seemed to be having a ball. The SS United States is a lovely environment and we went twice during the cruise. Top Notch! The lamb was incredible The most fun you'll have dining will be QZine. It's just a hoot! The staff seems to really enjoy working there. you use ipads to order your food- There are even short cartoon videos on some of the dishes. The cabin was nice nothing unique but nice- Since we were in colder climate we asked for a blanket and the steward was on it! As always the cabin steward was amazing! He had a split section so we didn't see him much but he hunted us down every so often so he could make sure that everything was ok. The few meals we ate in the dining room were much better than expected. the food was good the service even better. Oh how to get our busboy into our bag to take home. I found the shows a bit cheesy and seemed dated certainly not the level of NCL or RCI in terms of production but it's an older ship and I sort of expected that. The guest lectures on board were pretty interesting and was glad that celebrity had this enrichment opportunity. Casino was dead - Since about 65% to 70% of the crowd was european and a bit older I think it just wasn't of interest. Many nights I played at the craps table by myself. Very weird and certainly not what you'd see on a Caribbean cruise. The ports were all fantastic and the itineray unfolded as we got further and further into Norway, each port better than the last. We had incredible weather (Shocking actually) One thing to the planner at Celebrity - Don't stop in Oslo on a Sunday - everything is closed- Why do that? Over all a GREAT experience and I have to say was a much more affordable way yo see Norway ( so expensive there!) Hats off to Celebrity on this one! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Has Celebrity slipped? Some people writing here think so. We've sailed many times with Celebrity in the last 10 years, the latest in June 2013 around the British Isles. My view is that, on Infinity at least, Celebrity is still a ... Read More
Has Celebrity slipped? Some people writing here think so. We've sailed many times with Celebrity in the last 10 years, the latest in June 2013 around the British Isles. My view is that, on Infinity at least, Celebrity is still a well-run operation, and if it has slipped at all, it is down from excellent to very good. My wife is a stickler for cleanliness, e.g., and the ship certainly passed muster with her. My main complaint is that, like many cruise lines, I believe, Celebrity has introduced more classes aboard ship, the better to squeeze more money from hapless passengers. We were talked into booking on Aqua class, e.g., which, for considerably more money offered us a cabin with such things as thicker towels and a bigger shower head. Gimme a break. Not worth it. Those traveling in ordinary indoor or outdoor cabins are disadvantaged by these additional classes above them, because these classes are, I believe, given priority on embarkation and disembarkation, thus inconveniencing others. It's a gimmick, not worth it, and just bothersome to us "classless" Americans. This is subjective, but my wife and I felt the breakfast buffet was not up to what we experienced on Celebrity years ago. But it's marginal. Here's an important piece of advice. If you are traveling Aqua class and eat in the Blu restaurant, please note THERE IS NO SEATING FOR TWO. Oh, yes, there are tables for two, but these are about 3 inches from the adjacent table for two. So in effect they are tables for FOUR. If you are honeymooning, hard of hearing, or just want to be alone with your partner and not make small talk with strangers, you are out of luck in Blu. On this account, Celebrity did screw up with us. We requested a table for two every night in the main dining room. When we arrived for dinner, we were told that, sorry, you're traveling Aqua class, thus your reservation in the main dining room has been cancelled and you are to eat at Blu. That essentially meant that we sat at a table for 4 every night, though we wanted to be alone. I am hard of hearing, so it was quite some agony trying to converse with people at the next table, much of whose conversation I couldn't hear! Be forewarned. The meals at Blu, by the way, were I would say, uneven. Some dishes were really excellent, but a few were ordinary, and one or two were salted to death and almost uneatable. Celebrity also screwed up with us on disembarkation. We wanted transfers to central London. However, they gave us the wrong disembarkation number, and we we got off and collected our bags, the bus for central London had left long ago. It was awhile before they could summon up another bus and another driver. Celebrity was certainly apologetic about it and refunded our $200 money for the transfer.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We took the British Isles cruise on June 3 from Harwich. The Infinity stopped at Le Havre, Guernsey Islands, Cork, Waterfor, and Dublin, Ireland, Liverpool, England, Glasgow and Inverness, Scotland. The Infinity is a Millenium class ship ... Read More
We took the British Isles cruise on June 3 from Harwich. The Infinity stopped at Le Havre, Guernsey Islands, Cork, Waterfor, and Dublin, Ireland, Liverpool, England, Glasgow and Inverness, Scotland. The Infinity is a Millenium class ship that has been "Solsticized". It is smaller than the Solstice class ships, but we liked the smaller size. We had an Aqua Class stateroom. The showers and towels in Aqua Class are awesome. Our stateroom attendant Luz was outstanding. Our room was immaculate and the service was great. Because we had long excursions most days, we rarely took advantage of the free canapés in the afternoon. It was dinner time when we got back most days. Our attendant would have provided the snacks for us, but we didn't want them. On the few sea days, we requested and got shrimp cocktail in place of the standard canapés. Great service. We took private excursions in every port except Guernsey. In Guernsey, we just rode the bus around the island and went to the castle near the harbor. Best excursion, American D-Day sites tour from Francois Gauthron in Le Havre. Absolutely fabulous tour, the man has an enclopedic knowledge of the Normany invasion. Other great tour - excursion to Cahir Castle, Swiss Cottage, Holy Cross Abbey, and Rock Of Cashel with lunch at Parker's restaurant - with Dave, from White's of Waterford. We also had a wonderful tour from Butler's Buses in Cork. The Modified Ring of Kerry Tour which included a short tour of Cork, drive to Kenmare, drive on the Ring of Kerry including Ladies View, Moll's Gap, Torc Waterfall, Muckross House gardens, Ross Castle, views of Magillicuddy's Reeks, and lunch in Killarney. We also did a private Paddywagon tour from Dublin to Glendalough and the Wicklow mountains, and a tour of Dublin with free time to explore - guide did a great job of improvising since traffic prevented us from going to Kilkenny castle, so we went to Powerscourt instead. Not so great tours - BusyBus Tour of North Wales. Ship was late arriving in Liverpool. Despite this, tour was late leaving. We're promised an 18 seat van, instead had 39 passengers on bus. Had to change buses because first bus didn't have a child seat although it was pre-ordered by one of the passengers. Guide was obnoxious. Missed one of the tour stops due to late start and traffic. Would not recommend tour company, highly recommend North Wales - it is beautiful. Went to seaside town of Conwy and toured castle. Drove into mountains at Snowdonia. Definitely worth the trip. Also not so great, private tour in Inverness to Culloden, Cawdor Castle, Pluscarden Abbey and the highlands with views of Loch Ness. We spent way too much time at Culloden and sitting in traffic. We never did see Loch Ness. The only reason we saw Elgin Cathedral is because we walked over on our own after lunch at the woolen mill in Elgin. The guide, Ian, was a battle re-enactor and spent way too much time play acting as a soldier at Culloden. The Captains Club hostess on the Infinity did a great job. Melissa made a point of getting to know each Captains Club member. She was always visible and tried to make every feel welcome. The food on the Infinity was decent, but not exceptional. We had breakfast in Oceanview Cafe. At times, it was very crowded, but the staff did a great job of clearing and cleaning tables. Many lunches we had were on excursions. The few days we ate lunch on the ship, mostly in Oceanview, the food was good and there were many choices. Celebrity needs to work on keeping the lunch buffet items hot. Most were barely warm. We ate ate the Grand Buffet in the main dining room on one sea day. The food was good, especially the cocktail shrimp, but again, it was not as hot as it should have been. For dinner, we ate in Blu. The atmosphere is lovely, but the service was uneven - some days great and some days slow. We are not fans of the menu, and chose from the steak and salmon classic menu a few times. A few of the desserts were good, most were mediocre. Two days we got back quite late and had dinner in Oceanview. They will cook chicken, salmon or steak to order, make pasta to order, and they also have sushi and stir fry. The food was quite good. We did not attend any of the shows. We cruise on Celebrity a lot and had already seen the stage productions. The dance bands are comical. They play rock music with a strange beat and sing one verse and the chorus repeatedly because they don't know the words. Very few people were dancing anyway. The activities on sea days mostly consisted of trivia and tours of the kitchen. Since we had so many days in port, we used the sea days to relax. Celebrity needs to update the library. Very few books available - perhaps they were being hoarded by the passengers. The ship was very clean. All public areas were spotless. Service was great. The staff in the Oceanview cafe kept the tables cleared and cleaned. All of the staff was friendly. The Internet was unbelievably slow. It would take 5 minutes to download 10 short emails, and 2 minutes to send an email, text only, no photos. The staff at the Internet Cafe had a lot of composure, because everyone was complaining about the poor Internet service. Celebrity needs to address the Internet service. It is just too slow. We really liked our cruise on the Infinity, so much that we are taking the Wine Cruise in September. The British Isles cruise was lovely. Great ports, great ship, great staff, acceptable food.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
Overall Rating - 4 out of 5. My scale - 1=stranded at sea, 3=average cruise experience, and 5=Perfection. Great Itinerary (5) - France (LeHavre), England (St Peter Port, Liverpool), Ireland (Cork, Dublin) Northern Ireland (Belfast) and ... Read More
Overall Rating - 4 out of 5. My scale - 1=stranded at sea, 3=average cruise experience, and 5=Perfection. Great Itinerary (5) - France (LeHavre), England (St Peter Port, Liverpool), Ireland (Cork, Dublin) Northern Ireland (Belfast) and Scotland (Glasgow, Inverness). This cruise is front ended loaded with activity (7 ports in 7 days) followed by 1 port in 3 days). Plenty of time in ports (10 hours on average). Great Food (5) - The food quality was great. Dinner menu in dining room was varied and all items were high quality. Best item was Beef Wellington served on the same night as lobster (instant Surf and Turf). Lobsters were large. I had mostly red meat dishes, some lamb and chicken, no fish. The dining buffet gets high marks because of multiple stations where items were cooked to order (Pasta, Stir Fry, Steak, Sandwich Bar, Burger bar) and the fresh Pizza counter open past midnight and the Sushi station. For breakfast again egg/omelet and waffle stations. If you selected the pre-made items you got cafeteria quality - what else would you expect. Did not try the specialty restaurants - other food was great - why pay extra. Cabin (5) - Veranda Port Side. Mid-Back Ship. Low noise. Easy Access to two sets of elevators. Longest walk was to the Theatre at the front of the ship. Mechanical systems worked - although the toilet needed a special touch. Layout was functional. Room really did not feel any different than our past veranda / ocean view cabins on this / other cruise lines. Spouse felt that the room appeared more roomy - maybe because you only got a small desk area versus any vanity space. Air Travel - Celebrity Choice Air - Their rate was just a little lower than the rate on the British Airways internet site. Choice Air internet site was easy to use - you can also reach folks on the phone (note if you are not a member of celebrity rewards program talking to the people costs a little extra). British Airways was the best air line since it offered direct Philly London flights. Plus Service is just better on European airlines. Pre-Cruise Stay - We stayed at one of the Celebrity selected Hotels (Hilton Metropole). Because of a pre-buy special offered by the hotel we booked on our own. Without this special the Celebrity and Hotel rates were comparable. We arrived 2 days before cruise started. Took time to tour London and get over Jet Lag. 2 Days were not enough to tour London, however, it got us over Jet Lag. Transfers - This is Important - We needed three. - Airport to Hotel - Heathrow to Downtown London - $15 to $90. Stop Train to Paddington Station is cheapest ($15)takes about 45 minutes - Pick it up at select terminals (our choice). Paddington Express - Direct Airport to Paddington - 15 minutes - $25 - pick it up at select terminals. Cabs - Most Expensive. - London to Pier - We chose Celebrity Bus from Victoria Bus Station ($101). No problems. Victoria Bus Station is one busy place. Cab is probably prohibitive. Independents offer Bus Service. Trains also run directly to the pier - one transfer. Celebrity was competitive and it is now their responsibility to get you to terminal. Bus left at Noon and we were at pier by 2:30 PM. - Pier to Airport - Celebrity will not guarantee plane departures before 1 PM. We chose Transfer + Windsor Castle. Cost $122 - Pure Transfer $101. Chances of seeing anything but the outside of Windsor - Zero. Left Ship at 7:30 (first group off) and made it to Windsor at 10:45 - Note Windsor is right by Heathrow so I can see why they do not guarantee flights before 1 PM. We had 1 1/2 hours at Windsor. Line to get into Castle was at least 1/2 hour long. So for the extra $21 you get a shopping and lunch opportunity. Worked out since our flight was 5 Pm and we got to airport at 1 PM. Check in - no problem - we got to the ship at 2:30 - most folks were on-board already. We had no wait. Filled out paperwork on line - check in was quick. Service - This is what kept the rating from being a 5 and was real close to reducing it to a average (3). Cabin attendant was efficient even though we rarely saw him. When called he was at the door before you had a chance to finish verbalizing your request. There were a few other pockets of excellence. OVERALL THE SERVICE WAS LACKLUSTER - NO QUALITY. This was especially visible at the dining venues. At the buffet - trays and dirty plates stayed on the tables for way to long (up to a 1/2 hour). In the morning this caused problems with not enough seating. Also of the five coffee/juice locations there were never more than 3 working and it seems like nobody cared. Reports from folks with the early / late seating was that service was slow. We did My time Dining and this was a disaster. In-sufficient help. So the waiters had way too many tables at a time and in general each table was used 3 times a night. So everybody was just running around. You never got the same waiter twice - so you could not establish a relationship. The working relationship between head and assistant waiter was also non-existent. Maitre De was made aware of the problem during the transatlantic crossing from Ft Lauderdale and were unable or unwilling to solve it during our cruise. Some Waiters tried hard - but the system was stacked against them. We heard from several folks that Royal Caribbean (sister company) had this issue solved and My-time was the best experience. The other item was you never saw the officers around the ship - so they were not in touch and were not leading the crew. Entertainment - the three Broadway shows were superb. Of the individual performers - two were real good and two were average. We really did not follow the lounge performers - although each had a following. With 8 ports we did not spend much time on ship during the day except for the two sea days. This minimized the opportunity to participate in other on-board activities. In general there were way fewer activities than on a Caribbean cruise. Excursions - The ports were the reason to take this cruise. Celebrity offered a good variety of activities. Pricing was comparable to local services for the two of us. If you had a group you could probably beat celebrity pricing. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
We are two seniors and this was our 11th cruise and the itinerary was the best yet. We booked our tickets through RCL Choice Air and our trip was uneventful except that the planes (coach) were extremely crowded.We arrived in London on My ... Read More
We are two seniors and this was our 11th cruise and the itinerary was the best yet. We booked our tickets through RCL Choice Air and our trip was uneventful except that the planes (coach) were extremely crowded.We arrived in London on My 12th and overnighted at the Airport Hilton Hotel in Terminal 4. This was not a great choice for the hotel. The room although spacious, was uncomfortably warm and there was no way to ventilate it because the windows overlooked the hotel lobby. In addition, we had to call the night manager because the comforter had a stain on it. The manager did have the bedding changed but was unable to correct the problem with the air conditioning. He did not apologize for the inconvenience.We checked out of our hotel at 7:00 AM and waited in the lobby for our drive to Harwich. We had booked transportation in advance from the Hilton to Harwich with International Friends. They told us to be in the lobby between 7 and 7:45 but did not arrive until after 10:00 AM. We waited with another couple. We attempted to call their number but the office was closed until 9:00 AM. We called their emergency number but it bounced over to the office number and again we were told to call back after 9:00 AM. Finally at 9:00 we got in touch with the bus driver who informed us that he was on the other side of the airport waiting for a passenger who was not yet ready. He arrived for our pickup around and hour later. The hotel staff was very concerned because we were not picked up as scheduled and assisted us in making the calls and getting information.I will mention that we also used International Friends (because we booked this in advance) for our transportation from Harwich to London after the cruise. That trip was uneventful. We were picked up and dropped off as scheduled and had a lovely stop at the London Tower Bridge on the way to our hotel.Embarkation for the ship was fast and uneventful. Of course we were welcomed and greeted and offered juice and mimosas before we boarded.We had a concierge class cabin and it was lovely. It was very long and narrow but there were lots of places for storage. We met our cabin steward, Leticia and she was great. She really helped to make our trip a pleasant one. She kept the room spotless and always had a pleasant and welcoming greeting for us. She seemed to know when we left the room and we never had to wait long for our room to be cleaned. On the "S" class ships CC staterooms are a little larger than the standard cabins. We enjoyed this.The ship is one of Celebritys older sips and it was refurbished two years ago. Even the carpeting was replaced. However, the ship definitely shows signs of wear. There was rust on the dining room windows and rust on the tenders. But it is a very beautiful ship. There is a large casino on board. The shopping area has mostly high-end (expensive) items or cheap junk.The staff on the ship was very pleasant except for the waiters in the main dining room. We had continuous problems with the magnetic code on our key card. We had to go downstairs to replace it, sometimes two and three times a day. Finally at the end of the trip, someone from the engineering staff came up and corrected the problem. There was a problem with a lock on the door.We ate all of our breakfasts in the Aqua Spa cafe. There were no crowds here and the food was delicious. We did go down to see the buffet one day but it smelled unappetizing and it was very crowded. The dining room food was very good except for the desserts. It is just a personal thing but I do not like the way X does desserts. It seems as though everything is mousse. The desserts were better in Cafe Al Bacio, so we stopped there often. The menu in the main dining room showed lots of variety. The food was attractively plated. The onion soup and the Caesar salad were delicious as were most of the salads and entrees. The shrimp and lobster tail were very good. My husband and I like to eat at a table for two because I am very hard of hearing and it is difficult to converse with others. We had to get to the dining room by 5:15 to be assured of a table for two. You could go later but you would have to take your chances as these filled up fast. The service in the dining room was very spotty. Servers were very rushed and did not always have time to fill those special requests. My husband and I prefer assigned dining so we can build up a relationship with the server. We ate only two lunches on board; one was the show buffet and one was a private party for the Captain's Club members. The food was delicious on both.We decided to use some of our on board credits for the five night specialty dining package. On this 11 night cruise we ended up eating three times in the SS United States and twice in Qsine. We have been on the S class ships on Celebrity and the food at Qsine was as good as if not better than on those ships. Not so the SS United States. The appetizers did not have the same quality as those at Murano on the Eclipse and the Silhouette. But the lobster tail was awesome at the SS United States. It is prepared tableside and was great. However, the Dover Sole was only fair. The service in the SS United States was wonderful. Because there are only two specialty restaurants, I think I would get the three day specialty meal package if I did this cruise again. The food is good, but the menus dont change from day to day. The Qsine Dining Room was small but very pretty. The brunch buffet in the main dining room was held on the last day of the cruise. There is no announcement and no publicity for this event. If you go on X you should ask when this buffet is being held. Dont miss it; its really great!Since this cruise was very port intensive, we did not do many of the shows. However there were three shows that deserved special mention. These were at 5:00 on one of the days we were in Ireland and both days we were in Scotland. These were local, native entertainment (such as Scottish songs and dance) and were very entertaining.On Day 2 of the cruise we took the ships shore excursion and did a half day trip to Honfleur. I was very glad we booked this in advance because the tour was sold out when we boarded the ship. The tour was well done. This is a beautiful little city and even though it was pouring, there was a lot to see and do in this town. We used the afternoon to have lunch and walk in Le Havre. I was told later that there is a tram tour. I am sorry we missed this because there was little to do in Le Havre. On Day 3 we tendered to St. Peter Port, Chanel Islands. This is a beautiful port. I recommend getting your tender tickets early because there is a long wait to do this. We got to the lounge to get our tender tickets at 10 AM and did not get to Guernsey until noon. Since we had to be back in line by 2:00 to tender back to the ship, this did not give us a lot of time. This is a very walkable, lovely port. On Thursday (day 4) we arrived in Cobh. We elected to take the train to Cork and spend the morning there. We simply walked off the ship and to the train station which was a short walk from the pier. After a short train ride we were in Cork. This was a very charming city. We did lots of walking and browsing in the stores. In the afternoon we took the train back to Cobh and walked around that lovely town. My husband and I are photographers and this town was very pretty. We spent about a half an hour at the museum at the dock in Cobh.On Day 5 we found ourselves in Dublin, Ireland. X charged $15.00 pp for a bus ride into the City Center. From there we purchased tickets to the Hop-on, hop-off bus. Since we were also going to Belfast, we elected to purchase a combo ticket. It saved us some money.We boarded the Hop-on, on hop-off and toured the gaol. This was a fascinating slice of Irish history and was very informative on prison reform. It took about two hours. The tour guide was excellent and the tour was well done. After touring gaol, we hopped back on the tour bus and finished the circuit around Dublin. We walked around the down-town city center area (shopping, of course). We went to Trinity College but did not have time to do the Book of Kells. We went to St. Stevens Green, a beautiful park in this area. Dublin is a beautiful city and we want to go back there.The next day, Saturday, we arrived in Liverpool, England. We stayed mostly around the dock area. There is a beautiful shopping mall within walking distance of the dock. Also, there is the Albert pier, with shops and restaurants. In that area there are two museums; the Beatles Museum and the Maritime Museum. We did both Museums. Both were fascinating. The Maritime museum is actually several museums in one. The International Slavery Museum was very informative. This facility will soon be moving to its own building. There was a section on the Titanic. Also, because Liverpool was the place where most immigrants boarded their ships for the United States, there are many exhibits detailing this. There was a section on the Titanic and a fascinating section on Maritime crime and smuggling. After a brief lunch at one of the restaurants at the Albert Dock, we did the Beatles Museum. If you are a diehard Beatles fan, this is for you. There was in interesting souvenir shop in the museum and a Starbuck's Cafe (with free internet).On Sunday we arrived in Belfast. After taking a bus to the City Center, we boarded the hop-on, hop-off for the Titanic Museum. I recommend buying your tickets on-line for both this and the Beatles Museum. You can save a considerable amount of time doing this. The museum was very informative. There were many exhibits, even mock-ups of first, second and third class cabins. This museum followed the progress of the Titanic through its inception and well after the tragic sinking. After the Titanic Museum we re-boarded the hop-on, hop-off for the rest of the circuit. We saw some of the murals and heard something about the troubles. By the way, the guides on these busses were very knowledgeable and the talks were interesting. When we completed the tour we walked around the downtown area. If you get lost in a city where there is a hop-on, hop-off, you can just approach one of their guides for directions. They are all over both cities in their red shirts and are easy to spot.One Monday we arrived in Greencock. Since we had been to Edinburg before (and really love the city), we elected to return there. We purchased in Edinburg on your own ticket from the cruise line and spent the day in the city. Although there is a hop-on, hop off, most of the sights were within walking distance of the Royal Mile From our bus we took a cab to the top of the Royal Mile (the castle) and walked down, exploring the side streets and sights as we did so. We wanted to tour Holroyd House, the Queens summer palace but it was closed for an official function. We explored the Parliament building across the street from the Palace. After lunch we walked back to our tour bus.After a relaxing sea day, we arrived at Inverness, Scotland. We purchased a shore excursion to tour the Battlegrounds and Loch Ness. My husband and I did not enjoy this tour, and I personally would not recommend it. Loch Ness is a tourist trap. It would be good if you have children because there is a very small museum there. The highlight of this tour was a stop in Inverness for a few hours. You can purchase just a ticket for Inverness on your own. Inverness is a beautiful little city.After a final sea day and we docked in Harwich. This was a great Port Intensive Cruise and we really enjoyed every minute of it (except the trip to Loch Ness). We are photographers and the scenery was beautiful. Our cruise left May 13th and unfortunately the weather was terrible. The temperature was in the high 40s to low 50s for most of the days and it rained at least half the time. I recommend if you do this cruise that you go about two weeks later for warmer weather. It rains all the time in this area but at least it wont be cold. Our disembarkation was uneventful. As mentioned before we took a coach from International Friends from Harwich to our hotel in London. We used points for our additional 7 day stay in London at the London Hilton Park Lane. This is a beautiful hotel and the service was lovely. After this we used additional points for a 3 day stay in Bath at the Bath Hilton Hotel, also a great hotel. For these two trips (London to Bath and Bath to Heathrow) we bought tickets for the National Express Bus. The London bus departed from the Victoria Coach Station in London. We had a short cab ride two and from the coach stations in both cities. The trip was very convenient and much less expensive than a cab. This was one of the best vacations ever. This area is often neglected because people like to do Mediterranean cruises. It should be on everyone's bucket list. Read Less
Celebrity Infinity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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