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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
We went to Norwegian Fjords with Celebrity recently. Overall, everything was great in the ship, the itinerary was simply amazing and the weather cooperated with us throughout the trip! I really recommend this destination to all who would ... Read More
We went to Norwegian Fjords with Celebrity recently. Overall, everything was great in the ship, the itinerary was simply amazing and the weather cooperated with us throughout the trip! I really recommend this destination to all who would like to see nature at its best! However I don't recommend Celebrity line to those with toddlers as neither the line nor the clientele are toddler friendly. I will wait for few more years for my toddler to grow up before I will sail with them again. Now some details; Staterooms; We had a concierge class veranda room. The reason we opted for this was to have some extra room for the baby bed and buggy and to have a balcony. I must say concierge was all a waste as we could not benefit from the amenities at all. Boarding priority was not needed as the boarding for everyone was very smooth, we did not buy any excursions from the ship so no need for concierge, there were afternoon snack service to rooms but you have to be at the room at given time and we never were. So YES for the balcony, NO for the concierge class. Restaurants; EXCELLENT main dining room Trellis. To be honest you don't need any other restaurant if you have a main one like that. Beautiful presentation, very tasty food, great service, I give 5 stars to the main restaurant! Now I can't say that for the specialty restaurant SS United Stated... We tried it with our elevated expectations from main dining room and were very DISAPPOINTED. It is also quite expensive (45$/person), thank god it was offered free to us for the trouble they caused (see below). Save your money, enjoy Trellis Restaurant; it is free and better than SS. United States :) Fun Factory; Overall NOT Toddler friendly, they admitted to us; they simply try to avoid toddlers into the Fun Factory as it creates more work for them. There was not enough information on the Celebrity web site about programs for toddlers at 2yo, but it was written there are some programs. Good thing I did not expect a lot, only a room where I can play with my baby. First day I went to check out, they told me "at the sea days toddlers can only come between 12-2pm" at which hour they usually sleep! But considering we had a port every day except 2 I was ok with that. Next day we went (a port day), ah they told me "toddlers can only come when the ship is actually at the port", now I was not happy with this "go away today, come tomorrow" attitude. So I went ahead to complain to customer relations as I believe you must make a point about these things to get them fixed eventually. Then the Fun Factory managers approached us... to apologize? No, to make her case stronger and made us think we shouldn't have complaint about her team. All the explanation around the ship was crowded with older children and every time they accept a toddler inside they must disinfect everything the toddler touch, so they don't accept them often. Her attitude was aggressive and pushy, which made me even angrier! So the situation got elevated... Briefly we avoided the fun factory for the rest of the trip and the customer relations manager apologized. I would not go to Celebrity until my child is at least 8-9yo. Norwegian Fjords-Excursions; AMAZING places to visit! Here are our highlights; -Oslo; We had the worst weather there and it was a Sunday, the city empty, rainy and dark... We went to city ourselves, which was very close from the port. Unless you plan the whole day in the city, DO NOT take the HOHO ticket as you can walk to most of the city center monuments and ICE BAR. It was not an impressive city but we really liked the ICE BAR, worth a visit. -Stavanger; You can just walk to(or even actually see) the old city from where the ship is docked. Very pretty streets and houses. Nothing else interested in the city center. -Flam; We did take the Train ourselves but with a bit of initiative was involved. Pay attention that even if your ship is the only one docked that day (we checked before and it was the case)they bring tourists by busses from other locations and the train tickets are usually sold out, unless you take the excursion which is more than double the cost. What we did, we bought tickets to a very late (thus available) train, then wait next to the train at an earlier departure until it is 5 min to departure. Then we approach to the ticket guy and say we have a ticket for a later train but if there is any space? We watched this worked on 2 trains including ours! So we boarded on a train that was shown "full" on the screens:) It was worth all the scheming :) TAKE the train at Flam. -Geiranger; the HOHO bus going to the lake that you can see the glacier was very nice! We had a perfect clear day so could see glacier perfectly, and very nice scenes on the way. -Bergen; you can walk to the center where you will see very nice medieval streets and 3 min away the Fish Market. WE enjoyed this city more than we thought based on some reviews. Very interesting items are sold at the market such as whale sausages and very brown goat cheese or cloudberry jams :) You can do a lot of sightseeing in this itinerary by yourself and excursions will cost 2 or 3 times more for similar trips. Also very importantly the crew at Celebrity was very happy. Compared to the crew we have seen around us at Norwegian Cruise Line, the ones at Celebrity are happier with their work. And you get effected by the difference...We thought this made a huge difference at the experience and we liked it! We will go back to Celebrity again (without a toddler).   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Prior to the cruise I'd asked the RCCL UK Customer Services if we could take a wine box on board rather than the specified two heavy and fragile bottles, but this was not permitted. It became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, ... Read More
Prior to the cruise I'd asked the RCCL UK Customer Services if we could take a wine box on board rather than the specified two heavy and fragile bottles, but this was not permitted. It became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as despite wrapping the bottles in clothing (in an otherwise 'shoes and electronic bits' case)one of them was smashed to millions of pieces during embarkation. This caused a 7-hour hold up to reunion with the case, a 1-hour salvage and shoe-washing exercise, and a $19 laundry bill. I won't be packing bottles again. From there on the cruise went as smoothly as we have come to expect from our one previous Celebrity experience on the Solstice, with generally excellent and attentive service. The daily 'Celebrity Today' programmes, with weather forecast etc are excellent. The 'Britain Today' (or other countries, as appropriate) newspaper highlight printings are also a nice touch. Food quality in the Trellis restaurant was excellent by my standards, especially (again as usual with this US line) the steaks. Select dining didn't work very well, as there was usually a delay before being allocated a table, even for pre-booked time slots. Meals often took rather too long due to the time it seemed to take getting food from the galley to deck 5 which probably contributed to arranged times not being readily available. Hot food both here and in the Oceanview cafe was mostly not as hot as UK customers perhaps like... not sure if this is a health-and-safety precaution, a US preference, or just inadequate facilities? Perversely, in Oceanview the bowls for cold fresh fruit etc are nearly always boiling hot from the dishwashers! Food quality in Oceanview was mixed... some excellent and some rather bland, but full marks for fresh fruit and most of the cakes, pastries and desserts. The layout of the Oceanview is not as good as on the Solstice, as it is spread out over almost half the length of the ship, so it can take ages to gather a mixed assortment of breakfast items for example. The Bistro on Five provided outstanding service and food quality in a relaxed and uncrowded venue. Seek this out to avoid the cattle market in Oceanview, as it's well worth the $5 cover charge. All bar service was spot-on, and drink prices not too steep (about the same as a good hotel). Cellar Masters, despite having comfortable and pleasant seating, was virtually empty most of the time.... I don't think there are enough wine connoisseurs on your average cruise to make the most of this venue? Likewise, Michaels Club seemed to be somewhat under-subscribed, perhaps due to folks thinking it's 'members only'? (Why call it a club?) Entertainment was better than I expected. The 'Stars of Infinity' in particular were very professional and versatile. The Fiore Strings trio who seem to be residential on Millennium Class ships also did a fine job in various venues. I'm not usually big on comedy, but Steve Womack's adult entertainment sessions were very amusing without being offensive. I won't say very much about the beautiful Fjords and their ports, or excursions, as they are well-reviewed elsewhere:- Stavanger Surprisingly pretty around the old town, and clean /smart elsewhere with very little sign really of this being the hub of the oil exploration industry in Norway. Alesund Rather unremarkable, but it was a damp day. Flam We enjoyed the rail journey; albeit at Norwegian and Cruise line prices (we used the Celebrity excursion rather than risk the queues, and in fairness the guide was very good, which added value). Geiranger Truly the jewel-in-the-crown for views along the fjord, which the captain fully exploited on the sail-out (even arranging for the sun to be at a perfect position to illuminate the seven sisters). We pre-booked a 2-hour drive up (and down) Mount Dalsnibba with Fjord Service; which was easy and great value at 27 each. These tours fill up very quickly on the day, so advance booking is highly recommended. Olden Not a lot to do in the small town so we booked Celebrity's $109 (70) Cruise on lake Loen. On a cold damp and windy day (Norway gets a lot of those) this would probably be a mediocre outing, but on this particular day, 23rd August, it was magical. As our coach reached the lake in the early morning a mist was just starting to rise, giving some movie-quality images in the valley. The emerald green lake was also like a mirror, which added to the beauty as we cruised. The guide on the boat is a local farm owner who lives on the lake and provides an interesting commentary, especially about the two 'tsunami' disasters that befell the lake communities in the early 1900's when part of the adjacent mountainside collapsed. The excursion continued to a nearby arm of the Jostedal glacier, which was also well worth seeing on this exceptionally warm and sunny day. Bergen Heck of a queue for the funicular railway, but a good view from the top. Otherwise, its a city... I don't like 'em much.   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: July 2013
Our first cruise was also with Celebrity, on the Century, last year, and it speaks volumes that little over a year later we were back on a cruise with the same company. It is very difficult to find any faults with our cruise to the ... Read More
Our first cruise was also with Celebrity, on the Century, last year, and it speaks volumes that little over a year later we were back on a cruise with the same company. It is very difficult to find any faults with our cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the Celebrity Infinity. Although we're a little younger than the usual cruise population (early thirties), we have so far found that Celebrity fits our needs perfectly; great food and drink, stylish ships, and super-friendly staff on board; to me, it really feels like they do their best to keep up standards and give everyone a great time. It took around half an hour from parking to get on the ship at Harwich - everything was smooth, well-organised and easy. The champagne greeting is a lovely welcome, and the sun was shining to match my mood as I settled into holiday mode. We opted for a mid-ship inside cabin, which was very similar to our cabin on the Century. It had everything you needed, and though compact, had enough room to store all our clothes and belongings, and was nicely styled. It was a quiet cabin - the only noise we ever heard was from our cabin attendant greeting our fellow passengers outside the room. Speaking of which, our attendant was great, keeping the cabin clean and tidy; only problem for me, and I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem for most, was that he was slightly too attentive - I don't feel the need for someone to be at my beck and call, and asking after how I am every time I open the cabin door. We found the food on the ship to be exceptional. We tried every restaurant, including Qsine, SS United States and Bistro on Five, and found both the food and the service to be excellent. The service in SS United States was the best I've received, and Qsine is so inventive, I believe they are both worth the extra cash - you are on holiday, after all. Lunch on the first day was in Bistro on Five - recommended for a peaceful meal while the buffet is busy. In the main dining room, on select dining, most nights we were able to sit at table for 2, which was our preference. The food never disappointed, despite the high numbers of people they cater for. I'd recommend the pool grill for a tasty burger as an alternative lunch, something we didn't get round to trying on our previous cruise. My one point of recommendation for Celebrity with regards to food and drink - it would be nice to have the option to try some foods from the area you are visiting on the cruise - a local goats cheeses, locally caught fish, beer from the local brewery etc., whether this is part if the daily menu, or a one-off special event. It would really enhance the cultural aspect of the cruise, particularly for those who found it too expensive to eat and drink off the ship in Norway. As you may have noticed, I have a 'worry about the cost when you get home' attitude, but others didn't and I felt they missed out a little. We had the classic drinks package as part of our booking deal, and upgraded to premium on arriving on the ship. I'm glad we did, as we spent many an hour in the Martini bar in the evening; it had the best and friendliest bar staff, and a younger feel, with more up-to-date music than in the other bar areas. We loved the flexibility of the drinks package, and I was able to drink pots of tea to my hearts content in the cafe - at $4.75 a pop I didn't even try one pot on our previous cruise and missed having a proper cuppa (the tea in the MDR/buffet doesn't cut it for me). We enjoyed trying different wines with dinner, having a few beers and cocktails by the pool, picking up a handy bottle of water each time we left the ship. Just helps add to that relaxed, free and easy feeling of being on holiday. The weather was pretty great on our cruise, as far as Norway goes, and we were able to spend time relaxing in the sunshine on the deck, as well as enjoying our time on land. I used the solarium pool, hot tubs and sauna several times, which was a great way to relax after a busy day. I also used the gym, which had everything to meet my needs - could do with being a little more air conditioned for my personal taste. We took three excursions through Celebrity, and three independent tours. All were great. Celebrity organises its excursions very well; yes, they are a bit more expensive than DIY, but in my experience they have delivered. I'd recommend getting out and about in the countryside if you are able to - our favourite days were when we spent time hiking in Flam and Geiranger; I feel those who stuck to the train, or bus tours, missed out a little. We loved the Flamsbana train, but the views from above could not beat our 7 mile hike down through the valley after. Entertainment on the ship was mixed - we found the dancers/singers to be better than our last cruise, but I was less keen on the other choices. There were 2 guitarists/singers, which were both quite good, but there could have done with being a little more variety. The string trio were excellent, the rest of the entertainers, so so. Mostly though, the entertainment is not aimed at our age group, so can't complain too much. The Cruise Director was excellent, and very visible throughout the cruise, and the activities manager did a very good Derren Brown style 'mentalism' act on the final night, which was a cut above the usual cheesy cruise entertainment. On request, the entertainment team arranged for the men's Wimbledon final to be shown in the theatre, which was a nice touch, and fun for the Brits to celebrate Andy Murray's triumph. I really have very little to complain about on this cruise; I paid for the cheapest cabin, but received fantastic service, and made memories I will never forget. We did spot a few sour faces on our fellow passengers around the ship from time to time, but generally feel that a person's attitude massively impacts on enjoyment - we set out to enjoy this cruise, and Celebrity did nothing to disappoint. Well done, we'll be back.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
We chose this cruise because of the Iceland/Norway itinerary. Our last time with Celebrity was in 2003 on the Constellation. Soon we were reminded why we always spoke highly to friends about the Celebrity experience and so glad we have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Iceland/Norway itinerary. Our last time with Celebrity was in 2003 on the Constellation. Soon we were reminded why we always spoke highly to friends about the Celebrity experience and so glad we have become reacquainted. We flew overnight from Boston and took the ship's transfer to the port of Harwich. Boarding was quick and our suite ready early afternoon. The Infinity has been nicely maintained for a ship over 12 years old. Service was exceptional in almost all areas. Our butler Edwin extremely attentive and yet respected our privacy. Cabin steward excellent. We took advantage of the 123 promotion and had the classic drink package. Although only one of us drinks alcohol, I took full advantage of specialty coffees, non-alcoholic drinks, etc. Probably had more diet sodas than I usually have in a year! Also had select dining. Favorite spots: Blu: Although we only had breakfast there once and dinner twice, we found the service and food to be outstanding. Suite passengers can use Blu and we never had a problem being seated. AquasSpa cafe: Great place for a healthy lunch. With classic drink package we could get their smoothies free of charge. We alternated between it and the Bistro on Five. Cafe al Bacio: Great coffee bar with very tempting desserts. Bistro on Five: Great crepes and service. Well worth the $5 surcharge. Qsine: Such a fun place to eat we went twice. The last time with a wonderful couple from London and we were able to view the wonderful fiord as we departed Geiranger Norway. Very creative presentations  do have the Lava Crab! Martini Bar: By far the most interesting passengers meet here during the course of the evening. Great bar service! Morning show: Every morning on the cabin TV we began our day with watching the Cruise Director JC and Activities Director Pete, entertain us as the events of the day were presented. A lot of fun!Wanted to mention a few ports that are not usually visited. Faroe Islands a most pleasant surprise. Trshavn had grass covered roofs and brightly colored buildings. Akureyri in northwest Iceland and our closest stop to the Arctic Circle had temps near 80 F and spectacular vista's. Geiranger Norway spectacular! Really looking forward to our transatlantic on the Equinox on November. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
This was our first cruise on X, and we loved the ship size. The crew were all very nice, but we did notice that a few had some limited English skills. Here are some key points: Deck 11 AQ-This floor had only 1 elevator that came to this ... Read More
This was our first cruise on X, and we loved the ship size. The crew were all very nice, but we did notice that a few had some limited English skills. Here are some key points: Deck 11 AQ-This floor had only 1 elevator that came to this area. No problem. Both hallways had a small sitting area, making the halls seem much more open. Very nice! Had a back door/stairway that went straght to the back of the buffet and back patio on deck 10. Very nice! Loved the big shower, shower doors, and spray jets! DID NOT like that the balcony didn't have a cover. I knew about this before, and thought it would be fine. It rained, and the rain hit the glass doors. Then we had to wait for the balcony to dry before we could use it. I would have loved to sit under a covered balcony and watch a rain storm. I would prefer deck 9 balconys with the large overhangs, to this. We had some rough waters, and there was a fair amount of creeking on this top floor. I got a bit queasy because of the waters, thinking maybe the top floor was not the best place for me in rough seas. I didn't hear any noise from the sports deck on 12th floor. Room was very quiet. The AC/heat worked perfectly! Toilet flushed well-right on! BLU had exceptional service. Food was good to OK. The vegetarian options were very tasty. The afternoon canapes didn't look very appetizing and I so I cancelled delivery after the first few days. The carafe of tea was cancelled also, since it was basically colored water. Didn't use the Persian Garden...I think it is better on the S-class ships. Loved the priority check-in since the line to board was very long. Would do AQ again, but not on deck 11 if rain was forcast. The Ship-Loved the AquaSpa cafe for healthy food options. Really enjoyed the Indoor pool area. I hung out here when it was raining, and the sound of the water, humidity of being indooors, and the light from above was so pleasing! Pool grill was good for afternoon fries! Didn't use the MDR. Was told by others that if you are AQ and go to the MDR, they send you to BLU. OceanView Cafe was fine. Food was good to OK. DH liked the Pasta station and Sushi Bar. As always, the Ice Cream station was yummy. I got some M&M's for late snacks from there, some times! I liked the Grill in the back, but there was always a long wait. Constellation Lounge was nice, and not used much. Every time I went there, all the older folks were asleep everywhere! haha Rendezvous was nice. The music and singers there were pleasant. LOVED the String Trio. 3 lovely Russian girls. They played around the ship regularly. Cafe al Bacio was awesome. Walked thru Cellar Masters plenty of times. This place was always empty (except sometimes the older folks were here instead of in the Constellation! The public restrooms were kept very clean-I appreciate that, X! Crew-JC was a nice and pleasant CD. He seemed to be everywhere, all of the time. Very busy young English Chap! Plenty of crew, always friendly and willing to help. Speaker Kennedy was very good. Other speaker, not so much. The Dance Group put on action-packed Shows. Very entertaining. The female comedian, and the Hypnotist were entertaining. Ric was very good. The pianist was very good. I loved the Zumba Classes-made sure I went to EVERY one to work off the tons of calories I ate!! There were a lot of options onboard to keep people busy. Good! Captain Michael made a few appearances...good PR. Shore Excursions-Took a few. They were OK. The guides we had, all had very heavy accents. Felt a bit rushed a few times. I would think twice next time about taking ship excursions. Passengers-Odd how things work...there were numerous groups of folks of many cultures/nationalities. LOT'S of kids onboard. I think a group of young teens went thru Deck 11 (3 times) stealing all of the door signs! GRRRRR When in the Constellation, I noticed loud noise from the KidZone. All-in-all, we knew we had kids (probably 40-50) onboard. Some were lovely and polite, others not so much. I saw 3 VERY young babies....being held in arms the entire cruise (bless those parents). There was a large group who were absolutely rude to servers in the Oceanview, numerous times....I think it might have been a language barrier, or cultural "status" thing. Once, at the back grill, I had to speak up and say to a few who were yelling at the servers, to please be kind! They then starting jabbering about me, I'm sure! hahaha What to do. Ports-I loved this itinerary! Loved it! Torshavn was fabulous. It looked like a Christmas postcard. Iceland was a Geology dream. The Norway ports were sooooo amazing! We hiked all the way up to the point in Geiranger, then back down. That was a good way to work off all the calories we consumed. The natural wonders we experienced cannot be put into words. We stood close enough to rushing waterfalls to get the spray on us and smell the freshness! We stopped at a small red coffee shop on the way down to rest. We sat out on the picnic bench, sipped hot tea, and looked out over the fjord. It was truly a memory-made. Went up the funicular in Bergen, and hiked back down. We did things on this trip we sooo enjoyed. We have made it home safely, and will count this trip as one of our favorites. Could I dig deep and find something to gripe about......maybe.....but then again, why should I! Thank you Celebrity for being host! Now, can I be ELITE? JK :) 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2013
A review of the Celebrity Infinity by a first time cruiser As a first time cruiser who was on the Celebrity Infinity doing the Iceland and Norway cruise last week I felt compelled to write a review to clarify a few of the myths I had ... Read More
A review of the Celebrity Infinity by a first time cruiser As a first time cruiser who was on the Celebrity Infinity doing the Iceland and Norway cruise last week I felt compelled to write a review to clarify a few of the myths I had gleaned in the run up to the cruise. So this review is from the perspective of someone who is new to cruising yet has high standards and high expectations (especially of food). Like many, half the excitement of the cruise was discovering Cruise Critic. I learned a lot reading the forums and roll call every week and it certainly set my expectations - but they also mislead me a little. So here is my balanced review. So firstly, I have discovered there are 2 types of cruisers (& 2 types of cruise critic reviewers), those that are balanced and fair, with reasonable expectations and those who are going to look for fault no matter what. We met some of these one day at lunch in the Main Dining Room (MDR). We had excellent lunch of Teriyaki duck and lentils. Our neighbouring table got chatting with us and the first thing they told us was how limited the menu was for lunch, we disagreed and stated that there were so many choices for lunch at different locations throughout the ship that you were spoilt for choice. We came across this couple a number of times during the trip and they always looked unhappy or had a negative comment to make! Some other observations: The average age of our fellow travellers was quite a lot older than we expected (something I got from reading CC). We are in our 40s and were definitely some of the youngest on board. I found a number other passengers quite rude and few of them acknowledged us or said "good morning". And there was a general sense of "entitlement" that meant people didn't say 'please' and 'thank you' and found it acceptable to push and shove, which we found very rude. Also I never really understood why people felt in a rush to get somewhere. What was extremely impressive about the Infinity was that although the ship was full, it rarely felt crowded and we almost never had to queue longer than 5 minutes to get a coffee or get a table for 2 in the main dining room. Embarkation So back to day 1: we had a nightmare of a journey to get to Harwich - a 2 hour journey that took 4 hours and was very stressful- not the start to our holiday that we had hoped. Having finally got out of one traffic queue, we joined another and queued to get into the car park. After about 30 minutes we were unloading our luggage and then proceeded to park the car and get on a bus that took us to the terminal to check in. Another 20 minutes queuing and we were checking in and got our sea passes. Then through security and finally we were on the ship. Since we were on board 2 hours later than we had planned, we could go straight to our rooms. Again from reading CC, I got the impression that this process would be quicker, but not today (not that it was any worse than the typical airport checking process). The room We had 6048, a 2b class balcony cabin on deck 6 mid ship towards the front. This room had an extra spacious triangular shaped balcony. Which, whilst very nice we soon learned wasn't really necessary. We did use the balcony a lot but only had 2 chairs and a small table and a regular sized balcony would have been spacious enough (this cruise wasn't a hot weather cruise so no chance to lie out on your balcony). You did get to look into your neighbours balcony, so felt a little intrusive at times. The room itself exceeded my expectations based on my reading cruise critic. There was a lot of storage space as well as under the bed space for luggage. The bathroom is small but fortunately we are both slim so it was adequate! The "peg on the shower curtain" advice from CC prevented the shower curtain closing in the already small shower room space. The room was clean fresh and space enough for 2 and our attendant was great -invisible but always seemed to know when we were out to clean or do turn down. The ship I couldn't fault the ship and facilities (more on those below). It looked pristine, clean and well taken care of. Since its the only cruise I have been on, I have nothing t compare it to but it was similar to a good standard 5* hotel . The food Reading CC I got the impression that the food in the MDR was a little hit or miss so based on this we booked the 5 speciality restaurant deal in advance of the cruise. However, the food in MDR has been fantastic and as I alluded to in the introduction, I am a fussy eater. We had Select Dining and I would recommend making a reservation, even in peak time we only waited 5 minutes for a table for 2, whereas the line for those who had not made a reservation was considerably longer. Having said that, towards the end of the cruise we stopped making reservations and instead ate later. You are advised to avoid peak time between 6.30-8.00. Most nights we ate at 8 or later. The service in MDR has been very good and the wait staff are very attentive. They work very hard but somehow make it work. I do agree with CC that when on a drinks package and buying wine by the glass, it can be a challenge to get the attention of the sommelier but it seems that they have too many tables to cover but no problem, we just asked our waiter and soon had a refill. The food itself has been great and the portion sizes are just right and not too big (last night I had the sirloin steak and roast potatoes- the waiter told us that someone had ordered 3 portions for himself-amazing!!). On our final sea day we went to brunch. The presentation and the food was fantastic - only slightly spoilt by the feeling we were at "feeding time at the zoo" and we got the impression some people hadn't eaten for several days! Our 5 x speciality meal package meant we could eat in Qsine twice and SS Unites States 3 times but we changed this without hassle (at guest services) because we much preferred Qsine. Qsine was fantastic and some of the most enjoyable food I have had in a long time - the sushi lollipops are delicious and not to be missed. The staff were fun and looked like they enjoyed their jobs. SS United States was very spacious with great staff who were playful. I had the lobster which was cooked table side and delicious. The nights I have eaten there I have struggled to get through the dessert course-probably because I had already eaten too much! Only criticism is that the menu didn't change throughout the voyage. Drinks We have read many threads about the drinks packages but in the end decided against it since we had read the classic package didn't include fresh juice and premium coffees and we would have to drink an awful lot of alcohol to equate to $62/ day!! However on day 2 we succumbed to the allure of the classic package ($50/ day including tax) partly because we wouldn't have to worry about what we drunk and also because we found out that the classic packages does in fact include fresh juice and all the premium coffees from Cafe al Bacio- is this new or just different policies from ship to ship? I don't know but that is how it is on the Infinity. Also at the Martini bar we were able to get smaller martinis on the classic package. I know there has been much debate about this, so there is the answer- at least on this trip. I asked the waiter and he informed me that i could order a martini, appletini or Cosmo. This area became our location of choice for pre and post dinner drinks and was very sociable and fun. I kept a rough count and we were drinking around about $50 a day (thats 2 lattes, orange juice, tea, 2 glasses of wine and 2 G&Ts). I have to say that I am sure I have drunk more just because I have the package. It can be a challenge to drink $50 a day and I would think twice next time but its nice to know what our final bill will be (although its easy to check your bill daily). The staff In general I can't say enough positive things about the staff. They go out of their way to make your trip positive and seem happy to serve. There were a few exceptions but they were few and far between. As the trip went on, staff began to get to know you and your preferences and I thought they were outstanding. The entertainment I had some preconceptions about cruise entertainment and by and large that has proved to be accurate and the little we have seen has been slightly underwhelming but maybe we are the wrong demographic? At least we could make our escape from the (impressive) theatre quite easily! I would recommend the iBroadway show which was very good and the most "professional" of the shows we did see. The singers and dancers work incredibly hard. Excursions We avoided all the cruise's excursions and organised our own at much cheaper rates. There is a feeling of "sell sell sell"on the ship. Maybe they have targets to hit? Anyway, Faroe Isles was small enough to walk around and it was good to burn off some of the calories we have put on so far! A very pretty capital city. We walked for maybe 3-4miles and pretty much saw all the sites. Reykjavik Reykjavik was a tale of 2 halves. The countryside was stunning- (we organised our own excursion to blue lagoon and the golden circle tour) the waterfall, geysers and blue lagoon something very unique to Iceland - would highly recommend a dip in the blue lagoon!.... yet the town itself was rather disappointing and a little 'tired'. Akureyri My favourite stop on the journey and I wished we had more time here (arrived at 8am and left by 2pm). The weather was chilly but blue skies and sunny and still snow on the mountain peaks (which we learned was unusual for this time of year but due to a harsh winter). We took a bus excursion that we arranged ourselves, that took us to Godafoss waterfall and an old northern icelandic town. Just enough time to see both. You could get 'up close and personal' to the waterfall which was stunning and worth the 30 minute drive. Geiranger A beautiful fjord village but completely overrun with tourists and complete chaos! There were 4 cruise ships in so a population of appx 6000 in a village usually accommodating 250...... Must be lovely when everyone leaves! Bergen We took the funicular to the top of the city and walked back down mount Floyen. Incredible views from the top. It was a rainy day so not much fun wandering around the shops. We couldn't believe how expensive it was (£8 for a coffee!) So one observation at this point. Every time we got off the bus and were given a time to be back, someone would always be late, leaving the rest of us hanging around. Clearly they felt their time was more precious than ours! The facilities We are gym goers and made sure we used the gym pretty much every day. Helped us feel slightly less guilty about the food and drink we consumed! It was often busy but never too packed. Similarly most other locations were often busy but you never get a sense that 2000+ people were on the ship. A good tip is try and do things a little differently to others. Most mornings we had a light breakfast at the Aqua cafe (avoiding the Oceanview buffet) and like I mentioned earlier, we tried to eat later than most. We also visited Bistro on 5 a few times for lunch. Nice food and worth the $5 cover charge for the peaceful environment alone! Disembarkation We went to theCelebrity theatre for our allotted time of 8.30am and were in our car by8.50am. Very quick and painless. Sad to be back home but at,east the sun is shinning! My conclusions An excellent adventure that took us to locations I have never visited (and may never visit again) and a cruise was a great way to see them. The ship was surprisingly good as was the service, food and staff. I will probably do a cruise again but it will definitely not be the only kind of vacation I take (I know there were a number of travellers we spoke with who only do cruises). I think Celebrity do a great job at making the experience a positive one. They upsell a little too much but maybe that comes with the territory. Read cruise critic to learn about the ships, tips, roll call etc but realise we are all unique so when someone tells you the MDR food is terrible and someone else says its great, you just need to make your own mind up!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
I have been on 7 cruises as find them relaxing for both myself and my husband who uses a wheelchair with an attachment that makes it into a motorised trike, anyone on the same cruise I am sure will remember him zooming around the ship and ... Read More
I have been on 7 cruises as find them relaxing for both myself and my husband who uses a wheelchair with an attachment that makes it into a motorised trike, anyone on the same cruise I am sure will remember him zooming around the ship and ports with me usually trying to catch up. As we only live about 2 hours away from Harwich it is perfect to get to and very quiet when you get there so onboard with 30 minutes, nice lunch in buffet then into cabin. Had sky suite 8127 this time but although the butler Edwin was very attentive I do not think I would book a suite again as most of the disabled cabins are large enough for us and I did not need the extra food that came at tea time or the canapés in the evening. Enjoyed the lounges and no where felt crowded even during sea days, casino kept calling us but did not win much which is the name of the game. Did not go to any shows or talks but felt others onboard enjoyed them. Did not feel the food in the MDR was as good as on Eclipse but did enjoy the Qsine and the breakfast buffet the Eggs Benedict were amazing. Did not see children around so either they were not onboard or they are well looked after. Did not go on excursions as prefer to make our own arrangements for wheelchair, however did you shuttle in Bergen which was like having a private van as no-one else on it. No problems disembarking and taxi waiting as soon as we got off. Would recommend both ship and port to anyone and looking forward to going again soon. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Pre Cruise - having booked and inside (not a guarantee) I watched the prices drop and rang a few times to ask about an upgrade or price drop but each time there was some restriction which meant we would lose our free classic alcohol ... Read More
Pre Cruise - having booked and inside (not a guarantee) I watched the prices drop and rang a few times to ask about an upgrade or price drop but each time there was some restriction which meant we would lose our free classic alcohol package. 2 days before we cruised the balcony prices dropped to less than my inside and I rang again. This time the answer was YES and they offered me a Concierge cabin for only slightly more than my inside. The agent I rang was excellent. Brilliant customer service. Embarkation - This was excellent. we arrived about 10.45am, parked the car and left our luggage with the porters in the car park, took a bus to the terminal, checked in with only a 5 min wait and were onboard by 11.15. We wandered around and then went to the buffet. When the room was ready our keys didn't work so we headed to Guest Services, they "fixed" it and we went back. Again it didn't work so back to Guest Services. "fixed " again and back up we went. It didn't work! DH went back and I waited outside until someone came to let me in. The cards worked after the 3rd attempt. Cabin - This was excellent. As this was an upgrade we had no choice of cabin and were given 9118 which was a great location. The overhang from the buffet on deck 10 would have been a big problem if we had been sailing somewhere hot and sunny as it is so shaded but it was not a problem for us. Our steward was great and we really enjoyed this cabin. Ship - the inside areas were excellent, very clean and well cared for. The outside of the ship is showing some signs of wear and tear. There was rust on some of the balconies and outside areas. After spending the winter in cold and wet climates I'm surprised that there wasn't more rust visible. The crew were painting handrails and the hull while we were in port and some of the liferafts were being replaced during our cruise. I'm sure that she will be in pristine condition again soon. Dining - The main dining room was excellent. Food was hot and tasty, lobster on the formal night, steaks and beef cooked as requested. Our servers Manuel and Rosales were great. The brunch on the last sea day was fantastic. The buffet was not so good. Breakfast was not good. The layout makes it difficult to get everything you need as its all so far apart. Pancakes were at the back as far from the rest as possible and were served cold. I asked if I could have a hot one and he put one on a "hot" griddle and pressed it down for a few mins. It was still stone cold. I normally eat tomatoes on toast. They looked good, with a slight browning as though grilled but they were also stone cold and hard - not even slightly warm or cooked. The rest of the time i stuck to oatmeal which was hot. Lunch was OK although again spread out over a large area both sides so you had to walk all the way around to see everything. I think that most of the problems were due to the layout. Bistro on Five was excellent. The food served was hot and tasty and well worth the $5 charge. Service was great here. Cafe Al Baccio was good with decent coffee and nice pastries to eat in or to go. Drinks Package - We had the classic alcohol package. There was more than enough choice for us and we didn't feel the need to upgrade to premium. We didn't try the martini bar but did have drinks everywhere else. I wouldn't purchase this package based on our low consumption of alcohol but can see how it could be a good deal for some. We had fresh orange juice with breakfast, lattes throughout the day, the odd beer in the afternoon, cocktails before and after dinner and then maybe a nightcap afterwards. This is far more than we normally have. I think that the package is altering the service levels. It was not easy to get a drink in the Theatre. One night we were there on the top tier together with about 100 people and not one waiter appeared. We tried sitting in the lowest seating area and although we were eventually served it took ages with not enough waiters. We didn't get served at all on the last evening. The bars where trivia was held seemed to be purposely closed until after the event was finished. As there was a barman in Rendesvous while we were playing trivia we tried to get a drink but were told he didn't open for another 30 mins. It appeared that wherever we were we either had to wait for ages or go to get your own. We felt that there were a lot less drink waiters than usual and the ones we did see were overworked. Entertainment - just not our thing, it was all singing and dancing and musicians. No variety type acts. Kimika was OK and Jack Walker was good. The acapella group the Neptunes were good and although they said to look out for them around the ship they dismbarked at our first port of call. Trivia sessions with Nick were enjoyable but when sailing out of the UK with a high proportion of British it might be an idea to alter the questions to be less USA based. The evening Millionaire game in Michaels Club was great fun. Ports - Norway has stunning scenery and sailing the Fjiords is amazing. We enjoyed all of the ports that we visited. Geiranger was spectacular. Don't miss a boat ride to see the waterfalls close up. Guest Services - We were considering buying an ipad 4 on board as it was a good price but thought we should check if we would have to pay duty on it at customs in Harwich. We asked at guest services what our allowances would be and they laughed and said "you can take back as much as you want - there's no limit why not buy an extra suitcase and fill it up." On the last day there was a leaflet delivered to all cabins stating the allowances were only 225 (about) of goods. I find it shocking that guest services should mislead customers into spending more than they should. Whilst I accept that it is our responsibility to check allowances it was difficult with the internet access being very intermitant due to the mountains and fjiords effecting the satellite signal. All I expect is for them to be honest, they are sailing to Norway regularly and they must know the limits. Overall, we did enjoy the cruise but with some reservations. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
My wife and I enjoyed a cruise to Iceland and Norway courtesy of Celb X on the Infinity. Firstly the good to excellent bits, the embarkation at Harwich was OK except for the long walk up the gangway. Car parking was slightly elongated, ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed a cruise to Iceland and Norway courtesy of Celb X on the Infinity. Firstly the good to excellent bits, the embarkation at Harwich was OK except for the long walk up the gangway. Car parking was slightly elongated, but the getting rid of the luggage was easy and painless. The ship, food 5 +, accommodation 5, trips, we only went on one which was the whale trip (more later), Service was excellent especially our waiter Rathan Kumar and his assistant Michelle (table 317)also our room assistant Haleluia. These sections all stand out. Next, the not so good, trips as above, we set sail into some very rough seas(better than the Big Dipper), we had to turn back so no whales. We complained and got our money back ( well done celeb as it was not your fault) the firm should have canceled before we started.Entertainment, a little better than dire,most artists trying too hard,the best was Ric Steel, one gentleman singer with a trumpet thought he was Gods answer to audiences,and he murdered his trumpet and us. I didn't like paying for WiFi it should have been nominal or free. Not the fault of the company but sometimes I felt invisible due to being barged, charged, and bumped into by the other guests not the English ones. Everything else ok. Read Less
Sail Date: 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
Background - We are a couple in our late 20's from the UK. This was my 15th cruise and my 4th on Celebrity. For this cruise we booked a concierge class cabin due to it being cheaper than a standard balcony. We sailed from Harwich in ... Read More
Background - We are a couple in our late 20's from the UK. This was my 15th cruise and my 4th on Celebrity. For this cruise we booked a concierge class cabin due to it being cheaper than a standard balcony. We sailed from Harwich in the UK and as we only live 2 hours away we drove down the afternoon before and stayed in the Premier Inn. The hotel was great and is only a 2 minute drive from the port gates. Also nearby are a couple of supermarkets for getting last minute supplies E.g Wine. Embarkation - On the day of embarkation the weather was awful, it rained heavily all day. We left the hotel at 11.15 to drive the well signposted route to the port car park. Having found the car park we then had to queue for approximately 40 minutes before we dropped our luggage off and parked the car. I heard quite a few complaints about this on the ship and believe that later in the day the queue was even worse. Yes it was an inconvenience but did it ruin our experience? NO! Once we parked the car we were lucky and hopped straight on a shuttle bus for the 5 minute drive to the terminal.Once at the terminal we checked in straight away and were on board with a glass of sparkling wine within 20 minutes. Once on board we headed to the Ocean View Cafe, as always it was busy but because the weather was so bad outside it was VERY busy! Cabins were ready about 1pm which was great. We were meant to depart at 5pm but due to Heathrow airport being closed we didn't depart until 8.30pm as the ship was missing so many passengers! This wasn't an issue for us however after about 6.30pm they didn't bother making any announcements to inform us of the even later departure which I heard a few people complain about later that evening. The Ship Overall - We found we didn't enjoy the Infinity as much as the S class ships! A few points we found negative - the layout of the Ocena View Cafe wasn't as good we felt the individual stations work better, the ship had some rust issues it looked very worn considering it had only been recently refurbished. We also didn't like that you had to walk through the casino to get from end of the ship to the other unless you went up/down a level. We loved the addition of the Martini Bar & Qsine and found that all the other lounges were lovely and the pool deck never seemed overcrowded. The Cabin - We had a C2 concierge class cabin on Deck 8. The cabin was great and looked in great condition apart from some rust on the balcony. We had plenty of room for the 2 of us and enjoyed many lazy evenings on the balcony watching us sail through the fjords with a glass of wine :-). Great location between the forward & mid ship lifts. I must admit that the extras in Concierge Class are not worth much in my eyes. The canapes weren't to our taste however we did have a cheese plate a couple of nights which was nice. The Sparkling wine was drinkable however we were disappointed that the fruit supplied was just 3 apples, however we just took some from the buffet when required. The Staff - We found the majority of the staff to be lovely and couldn't do enough for you. Our Stateroom Attendant was one of the best I have ever had and couldn't do enough for us during our time on board. The staff in Qsine also deserve a special mention as they made the experience even better. The one staff member we were disappointed in was the sommelier in the main restaurant. On the 1st night we tried on numerous occasions to order wine and he ignored us! We eventually ordered while eating our soup and it then didn't come until we had nearly finished our main courses. He didn't apologise and seemed uninterested in us and the service he offered. Dining - Food overall was great. There is always something to suit everyone whether it be in the MDR or the buffer. We had select dining however only ate in the MDR on 2 occasions. We didn't wait longer than 20 minutes to get a table which was great however we felt that the tables especially those for 2 were a little close together. Qsine was fantastic and we went twice on this trip trying different dishes each time. Ports of Call - I have previously sailed to Norway about 14 years ago and have always wanted to go back, this trip certainly didn't disappoint. We don't do excursions as a rule so the below is just our experience of each port. Oslo - The weather was lovely and a very warm 21c. We spent time walking round the port area and then wandered into town and along the main street. We were there on a Sunday so all shops were closed which seemed to bother a number of guests. Having walked around the main area and enjoying the sunny gardens we headed towards the castle / fortress. We walked all around the castle grounds which you can do for free and is directly opposite where the Infinity docks. Great sail away as you sail down Oslo Fjord for about 2 - 3 hours. Kristiansand - The weather couldn't have been more different here - 12c, rainy and very foggy. When we got off the ship you couldn't see the town at all and we followed the steady stream of people braving the weather. There is an area near the port which is built to look like a traditional Norwegian village which had restaurants etc in but unfortunately even that didn't look inviting in the dull fog. We walked to the harbour and to the small fortress but couldn't see anything so decided to head into the centre as the rain was getting worse. The centre had a great area with lots of shops and you could easily spend time there. We headed back to the ship on the way passing the people on the small 'noddy train' who looked as unhappy as we did :-) Overall a great place spoilt by fog! Stavanger - Weather was up to 24c here! What a difference 12 hours makes. We docked right in the centre with Cunards Queen Elizabeth next to us. Because of the 2 large ships that were in that day, the area around the dock was very busy so we headed further out first and then did the centre of town later when it was quieter. The old area of town is lovely with all the traditional white houses and there are churches, a nice lake and lot of cafes & shops to look around within a 20 minute of the ship. Lots of people took boat trips along the fjord but the departures times didn't work for us. Alesund - Again another sunny day! Great small town to wander around with lots of photo ops. Again there was a hoho bus and a 'noddy train' but we just strolled around. Fab sail out as in the fjords towards Geiranger. Geiranger - We loved Geiranger. On this day it was about 15c but not raining. This was the only tender port on the trip and after getting our tender ticket we only waited max 10 minutes before being taken down to the tender. Geiranger is very much a small tourist village with the port area being a collection of shops & cafes. We intended to do a boat trip down the fjord however the 11am departure was cancelled so instead we walked to the fjord centre and the waterfall in town. Sail away is breathtaking, a tip would be to go to the aft on deck 11 as it only had a handful of people up there. Flam - Again about 15c but dry, we loved Flam. We wanted to do the railway however knew that it was unlikely that there would be space. Having walked the 5 minutes from the ship to the station it was obvious that this was the case due to the number of angry people outside the station who now had nothing to do and decided to get straight back on the ship. We collected a walking map from the tourist information and set off towards one of the nearby waterfalls. overall we walked around the area for about 2 hours and saw some lovely scenery. Sail away was again great. Bergen - Rain & Fog caught up with us again and we woke to a very grey Bergen. We intended to catch the funicular but it was very obvious that we wouldn't see anything from the top so decided to walk around the town. The weather did clear up later in the day however fog still covered the top of the funicular. Overall - Overall we loved Norway and plan to go back again but possibly on a road trip. I would 100% sail on Celebrity again but perhaps on the S class ship instead. 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
Embarkation:- The car park at Harwich opened at 11am,we arrived about 11:30am and there was already a small queue we were directed to the luggage drop off zone and then told were to park our car,once parked a shuttle bus was waiting to ... Read More
Embarkation:- The car park at Harwich opened at 11am,we arrived about 11:30am and there was already a small queue we were directed to the luggage drop off zone and then told were to park our car,once parked a shuttle bus was waiting to take us to the lovely Infinity,we went to check in to pick up our seapasses,went through security to were once onboard the ship they actually took your photo for your pass all in all a very smooth and hassle free embarkation,no waiting around at all and our staterooms were also ready not too long after that.Way to go Celebrity 5 stars for hassle free embarkation. Stateroom:- We had a family inside stateroom(although there was only myself and hubby sailing)on deck 3,it was directly underneath the casino,oh dear could we hear any noise no not at all not at night or during the day in fact it was one of the quietest and comfiest staterooms we have ever stayed in ohh yes it had lots of space too,we were more than happy with our cabin another thumbs up Celebrity here!!! Main Dining Room:- We had arranged for select dining and although you could make reservations for each evening you dined in here,we usually just showed up and hoped we wouldnt have to wait to long,this worked for us as I think the longest we ever had to wait was for 15mins in which case they ask you to wait in Cellar Masters across the way and they will call you when a table becomes available.The food in here is far superior than most other main dining rooms on other ships we have dined on,there is lots of choice and all meals come hot and well presented.The Lobster tail served on the second formal night was just gorgeous and it wasnt a small tail either lovely.The service in here was second to none and all the wait staff were happy and helpful.Well done Celebrity!!! Speciality Restaurants:- We had purchased the three meal speciality dining option before embarkation,this was really good value for money and we enjoyed two nights in SS America and one night in Qsine both of these restaurants were exceptional,the food was amazing and the service impeccable,we had a wonderful evening sailing out of Flam down the fjord with a window table in SS America.Exceptional restaurants Celebrity Well done!!! Staff:- Were always courteous and helpful and the majority enjoy a good chat and getting to know you and vica versa. Entertainment:- we found entertainment a bit hit and miss,but everyones tastes are different so we wont moan about this,the ones that stood out for us were The stars Of Infinity and their shows,the Magician Phil Hitchcock and a surprise act who was none other than Bobby Davro this guy was superb although at times he could be a little controversial,he did two nights of shows and both times the theatre was packed.Itinery:- We tend to book all our excursions ourselves via the internet but because we were travelling in May a couple of places didnt start there tours until June so we booked a couple with the ship these were in Kristiansand and Alesund I will indulge further as I go through the different places we visited below :- Oslo:- We had arranged to take the hop on hop off bus here and as soon as we got off the ship the buses were there waiting. Kristiansand:- we booked Lillesand by road and boat via the ship this would have been a lovely trip but for the rain. Stavenger:- A compact quaint port, just across from were the boat docks is a sightseeing boat that takes you on a three hour boat trip down Llyesford and past Pulpit Rock I can highly recommend this trip it was lovely,I had booked it in advance online,get there early as it gets very busy it left at 10am and people were queing by 9:15am.Alesund:- Today we took The Path of The Trolls Tour with the ship this was a fabulous trip and we saw some beautiful scenery. Geiranger:- Get up early to see this beautiful sail in,its got to be one of the most beautiful sail ins and sail outs ever.You take tender boats to the quaint village of gerainger here ,you go for your tender ticket as soon as you want to go ashore a tip here is to go early rather than later as for some people it took them an hour to get ashore most of this was waiting time as the tender boat trip was only 5mins.we went very early and had no wait time.We took a boat trip down the fjord followed by the sightseeing bus both of these we can highly recommend. Flam:- Do take the earliest train on the scenic railway as it gets very busy we did this and the traincoming back down from Myrdal we had virtually to ourselvesWe then took a bus to Gundvangan to pick up the fjord boat tour back to flam.Both of these trips were very scenic. Bergen;-Hop on Hop off again here, then a walk round the fishmarket for some very expensive fish soup.The fish platters are very expensive but it does have to be done as they are very fresh and delicous!!! Weather:- We were lucky with the weather as most days were glorious and warm we had a couple of rainy days and the temperatures did drop on these days,so take clothes for all eventualitiies!!! The Buffet:- This is our only minor niggle,it was chaotic, trying to find a coffee machine that worked was a huge task in itself,there was hardly any crockery to be found especially dishes and in a morning people with early trips booked found it hard finding food stations that were actually open. Disembarkation again was hassle free.We had a fantastic time on the infinity and will definatley be sailing with Celebrity in the very near future. 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 4.3
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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