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Sail Date: July 2012
We are a family of five with 3 girls ages 19 to 11. We have been on eight cruises, including Celebrity and my wife and I are both professionals. Pre-Cruise: We arrived at SEA the day before form DTW just to try and get used to the time ... Read More
We are a family of five with 3 girls ages 19 to 11. We have been on eight cruises, including Celebrity and my wife and I are both professionals. Pre-Cruise: We arrived at SEA the day before form DTW just to try and get used to the time change. It helped but two or three days would probably have been better---but also more expensive. We stayed at the Hilton Double Tree near the airport. The shuttle comes every 20 minutes but we waited for 45 before landing 5 seats. The problem is that the shuttle gets filled as it goes down the lane, so you have to be at the beginning of the pick up area. Also we arrived at 3pm and it was crowded with several large groups. The rooms were nice, clean, well kept and had comfortable beds. We booked through Delta airlines so we were in one of the outer buildings-----many people complain about this because of the walking distance and the many hall ways. Well, you could have the bell hop deliver and take you to your room or you could pay more to stay in the tower. They give you free cookies (280 calories each) and check out is at noon. There is a Subway, Denny's Jack in the Box, Taco Bell and Liquor store just across the street. If it is a nice day (and it was) the pool area is also nice. It is unsupervised however and at your own risk. A taxi to Pier 66 was $58 for 5 people in the SUV. Here there are many options including public transit. The Pier: The Infinity departs from Pier 66 downtown and is a 25 to 30 minute ride from the airport. Celebrity transfers are $27 each way----that is $135 each way for me so I did as mentioned above. We arrived around 12pm. Your checked bags can be handled two ways. You can get in line and drop them off yourself or you can give them to a porter who will bring them in for you and they will expect a tip. The difference is that after the checked bags are done, you come out of that building and go into another line to check in to the ship. For us both lines were short so we just went through both. The rest was simple, hand in your express pass get your cards and take a welcome aboard shot. We were onboard in 35mins total. The Ship: Recently refurbished and Solsticized, the Infinity is quite beautiful. The new areas like the Martini bar and Crush are smaller versions of the ones on the larger solstice class ships. More cabins have been added but the ship never felt crowded except for those times like lunch at the buffet or just before show time. Some areas of the ship still show wear and tear----rust or need of repair. I don't understand why this was not taken care of in dry dock? However, it did not change my overall impression of the ship or my enjoyment of it. The ship was beautiful and everyone in our group thought so. Cabins: We were in the recently added cabins on deck 3 cabin numbers 3124 and 3126. They are new cabins and have extra large windows (6 foot round instead of the standard 4 foot round) they are 170 sq feet and even though we had two adjoining cabins, it was tight, but comfortable. The second washroom is a must and even though Family Verandah cabins have balconies and are larger they only have one bathroom. Much has been said about storage in the cabins---while it is sufficient we found it cramped----but managed. Look around there are lots of little places to put things. The Food: Was excellent! Better than what we had on the Eclipse. In the dining room it arrived hot or nice and warm and was both visually appealing and delicious. Our waiter was Caesar and assistant Nery. They both worked very hard and knew our names by Day 2. The lobster tails were a very nice size and I ordered two---no problem. Steaks were good, salads good with an excellent variety. I was told that there was a new menu and to me it was better than what we had on the Eclipse. The ocean view cafe (buffet) is organized in stations so if you don't see something you like walk around the entire circle. Also, the buffet for breakfast was the exact same thing every day. However the exact same thing means that you had a choice of everything. I don't understand the frequent complaints about buffet breakfasts being boring. The buffet has fruit, pancakes, bacon, waffles, cereal, oatmeal, grits, pastries, muffins, juice, even an Asian station----pick what you want. If you don't like that then try the breakfast in the dinning room. The same is true for lunch and dinner. Then there is the issue of the Cafeteria trays. These were eliminated on the Eclipse in March 2011 when we were onboard. It required us to make several trips. It was not better. Certainly less cafeteria like but if you want less cafe/buffet then try the dinning room. We like the convenience of the trays. We went to Tea every day and it was good. The sushi was also excellent and the pizza and pasta bars are open very late and of course there is always room service. Photography: Best ever. Gerard, Kaspar, Paolo and Hana are all very helpful. Gerard and Kaspar take the best pictures. Pictures cost the standard $19.99 and there are several packages. We got the all inclusive for $249.00 and received a CD with all our photos free because we are Captains Club members, otherwise it was an extra $50. If you are getting more than 15 pictures it is worth it. With a family of 5 in Alaska we had many more than 15 pictures. Photographers are also on deck for pictures at Tracey Arm. Casino: Won some money on the first night, after that nothing. I managed to stay ahead by not playing. Machines are tight and the tables are regular odds. Staff was friendly and there were many tournaments and offers where you could have fun without spending more than $30 to $50 dollars. Weather: We had almost perfect weather for the entire week and most of all during the port days. Every where we went people were constantly telling us how lucky we were weather wise. They were absolutely right; I had been tracking the weather for weeks before our cruise. Ports: Shopping in all ports was basically souvenirs and jewelry. There really are no deals to be had here and in my opinion shopping is not the reason why you go to Alaska anyway. If you want shopping then go to St. Thomas and St. Martin. After all, every port is either the US or Canada so there really are no deals. Example Raymond Weil watch list price $2000 ask price $1500 same as back home------St. Thomas price $900. All ports had a sales tax, from a low of 5% in Alaska to 10% in Victoria Canada. Same goes for alcohol. Also I will not spend a lot of time talking about tours since previous reviewers have covered much of this topic already. Ketchikan: Beautiful port, we had beautiful weather. We walked around for a few hours very easy to see everything by foot. Bought a few souvenirs took some great photos and went back on the ship. Tracy Arm: You enter the fjord at 6:30am then get to the glacier around 7-7:30am and after a half hour or so the ship turns around and heads for Juneau. This is the highlight of the cruise do not miss this morning. We were lucky and had great weather throughout the cruise. On this day it was cloudy but when we reached the glacier we got sunshine and amazing pictures. Juneau: Afternoon same day as Tracy Arm. Either you do a tour and there are many or you walk around town or stay on the ship. Mendenhall Glacier is the most common tour here along with the mount Roberts Tram. Skagway: Basically a one street town. We had a lot of fun walking the streets and we took a tour with Frontier tours just past the dock area. For $65 each we got a city tour (5min), were driven up the white pass (we could see the train on the other side of the valley) stopped and took pictures all the way. (Train does not stop) Crossed the boarder and went all the way up to the Yukon and back. We got amazing photos; we were on a small windowed bus of only 20 people. For a family of five I saved $300. Victoria: You get here at 6pm. Really this is just an add-on port to satisfy the Jones act that requires non-American flagged ships to come from a foreign port. Victoria is a beautiful little town. Here you have great photo ops of the harbour and the parliament buildings. Butchart Gardens is the big tour here but we were tired and we needed to go pack for debarkation. The Not So Good: 1. Celebrity has a zero announcement policy and in theory it is a good idea. However, there are many times during embarkation and debarkation or even on port days where essential communication is not delivered. It is not enough to say read your daily newsletter or stay until the end of the show for announcements. The announcements that irritate people are the sales and event announcements and Celebrity has eliminated those. 2. Celebrity claims to have eliminated announcements but be prepared for a stack of letters and papers, essentially advertisements, sent to the cabin each day. 3. Entertainment: The production shows were excellent, however the illusionist was awful. Old tricks really with an attempt at modern spin----laughs at his own jokes and card tricks--good for the kids and not even close to Vegas. Comedian was good. Time Change: You turn back 1 hour the night before Ketchikan and back to Seattle time on the night you leave Skagway. We found this a bit hard since we were coming from the east and were already adjusting to a 3hour difference. Not a complaint just a fact. Debarkation: We always put out our luggage the night before and try to be the last off the ship. It was very efficient and we were off in 30 minutes including customs. Make sure you fill out your customs declaration form before you get off the ship or you will be held in line until you do so. The forms are delivered to your stateroom by your cabin steward. Many taxis wait outside we took a town car for $45. It was still cheaper than the $27 each that Celebrity was charging. Overall: One of the best cruises we have taken. We had a blast. The kids had a great time and so did we. I would highly recommend Celebrity and Alaska to anyone asking. We are already planning for next year on a new Celebrity ship to the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
This was my fifth cruise to Alaska ( previous Alaska cruise were on Princess and Norwegian) Celebrity is my favorite cruise line and decided to sail with them this time (this was my 8th Celebrity cruise)/ First of all- Alaska is such a ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise to Alaska ( previous Alaska cruise were on Princess and Norwegian) Celebrity is my favorite cruise line and decided to sail with them this time (this was my 8th Celebrity cruise)/ First of all- Alaska is such a fantastic destination that I don't think you can go wrong- whatever line you choose. The only disappointing thing for me on this itinerary was Tracy Arm Fjord. There was a glacier at the end but I found Glacier Bay and College Fjords to be far superior. So if seeing the Glaciers is the reason for your cruise- I would pick a different itinerary. Also- as far as whale watching goes... we only saw two whales. In late May and early June you will see hundreds of whales spouting and sea otters. There was really none of this one this passage (July 6-July 13th). So I highly recommend going in late May or early June as opposed to later in the summer. That aside.. My son (age 11) and I loved this cruise and the improvements made to the ship. Cabin... we had a guaranteed outside midship on deck 2 and it was fine. We slept comfortably and it was clean. I don't like the closet area and wished we had more shelves than hanging space but this is a minor complaint. Our steward was unobtrusive and did a great job. Food- we liked both the buffet and pool grill. We also tried Bistro on Five and loved it there! Great crepes and panini sandwiches. We dined at Qsine twice and it really is a great concept. Tip- only try three dishes each- it's way too much food. The Disco Shrimp was a nice small size- so get that for a starter. All the dishes we tried were good though. Pools and hot tubs= The swimming possibilities on this ship are very limited for kids. The outside pools are not heated and it's too cold to use them. The indoor adult only pool- allows kids from 4-5 each day only. So the hot tubs were always full of kids- an unfortunately one pooped in a hot tub- gross! Parents please don't allow unpotty- trained kids in hot tubs- it isn't good for them or the other passengers. Shows: We didn't do any of the Broadway style shows so can't comment. The comedian Rick and illusionist Jason Bishop were great. We did attend the crew talent show and the final Voyage shows and both were enjoyable. Public areas: All public areas looked great. The furnishings were modern, stylish and comfortable. Activities: I love trivia and they offered at least 4 trivia games a day so I was pleased. While in port some activities were poorly attended but that's natural. The entertainment staff was really good. Children: My son loved the Fun Factory and they weren't just playing video games. They were doing scavenger hunts and playing games. The kids were active. He said this was the best cruise ever and he begged me to book another (we are doing Summit to Bermuda on 8/12/12). Excursions: We did the "Big Nugget" excursion in Skagway and it was good. My son loved playing with the Iditarod dogs and puppies. You get to sample micro beers for free, lunch is included. We panned for gold, experience a 40 below walk-in freezer and got educated on the dredging for gold. Naturalist Brent Nixon: He was fabulous and my son LOVED him. We bought his DVD series. Spa: I had a good massage and facial in the spa. They are over-priced of course and they always try to sell you products- just say no. I used the Persian Gardens (I am "Elite" so I got some free coupons). I didn't like the Persian gardens and don't recommend them. Negatives: I have cruised frequently (28+, I've lost count) and alway with my son. As a parent, I was really not impressed with some of the parents on this cruise. While most of the kids were really good- parents brought kids to the show and to trivia and allowed them to misbehave. All kids- from age 3 and up certainly need to learn to sit quietly and respect the performers. There were kids picking their noses and kicking the backs of my chair in the show lounge and there were no apparent parents to correct them. Parents should be on top of their kids. I don't know why parents aren't doing their jobs and I get the impression that parents are becoming selfish. They want to enjoy THEIR cruise and don't care about the other passengers. This isn't a slam at all parents- most are good but the bad ones spoil it for others. We disembarked on day 6 in Victoria because I had visited there on a past cruise and fell in love with it. We got approval to disembark prior embarking (one week prior) and there was no problem disembarking- we just walked off with our luggage at 8:30PM and went to our hotel, Parkside. We stayed in Victoria for three nights and it was heaven!!! I wished we had longer to stay there. Butchart Gardens is fantastic- go. We did whale watching with "Prince of Whales" and saw lots of whales. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
So as it goes with suites and aquaclass passengers embarkation was great since we get expedited check in. I also did my on line check in so that made it even faster with a total of 10 minutes from taxi at port to champagne on board. My ... Read More
So as it goes with suites and aquaclass passengers embarkation was great since we get expedited check in. I also did my on line check in so that made it even faster with a total of 10 minutes from taxi at port to champagne on board. My original state room was 6027 aquaclass, but when I looked at it I had to call down and complain. The bathroom mirror was shattered, and some of the shower glass cracked. The told me yes that they knew this on the last cruise and he just not gotten the materials for the repair yet. I complained even more. Not only are you aware the room is damaged but you have it to me any way! So they upgraded me into a sky suite, that had no damage. My new state room was 9023. It was spacious and beautiful, but then again Celebrity is always beautiful. In a sky suite you also have a butler which I found entertaining. I don't think we called on our butler once the entire cruise. I simply don't need a butler, and am pretty self sufficient, but he was there should we have needed him. As with aquaclass we dined in Blu every night. I find food a bit difficult for me on cruises. It is not there fault however but my own. I only eat white meat boneless skinless chicken. I do not eat any other meat seafood or fish. Every cruise I have taken thus far typically only have one constant chicken dish. Cruises are usually geared around a culinary journey. So for 6 nights I ate their constant menu dish of airline chicken. It is well named as the texture and taste do represent airline food well. The staff was courteous as always, the shining star ??of staff members was none other than Ian the cruise director, and on this cruise I didn't have any staff member below par so there isn't one to complain about. The shows were entertaining, all of the performers did a very good job. I especially enjoyed the boogie wonderland show. I taped my feet to every song. The ports were all wonderful, and beautiful. They all offered shopping galore and great excursions. I bought a few new pieces of jewelry, and enjoyed every shop. We went through the Tracy Arm Fjord, and it was breath taking I spent hours on my veranda watching and taking photos. We got so close to the glacier that my zoom lense made it look as though we were against it. I did find shopping on board the ship a little lacking, but where it lacked the casino sure made up for it. No I didn't win but I lost well! This cruise is one I recommend, and as always book aquaclass or higher. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
We had a wonderful vacation on the Infinity. Ian the Cruise Director was beyond excellent. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The ship officers were involved in many activities, which was nice. For instance, a couple of them ... Read More
We had a wonderful vacation on the Infinity. Ian the Cruise Director was beyond excellent. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The ship officers were involved in many activities, which was nice. For instance, a couple of them compete against guests in games like trivia and dancing with the stripes. Bridge officers also give talks on various ship operations. As many others have mentioned, the naturalist Brent Nixon was incredible. The #1 reason I'd recommend this Alaskan cruise. His passion is infectious, even for people who are not usually interested in nature talks. His wife, Miss Amanda, does historical talks, which were also good (and nice to get info about the ports you're about to stop at). The Infinity was perfect for cruising through Alaska because it had so many areas to view the beautiful landscapes. Almost all of the eating and lounge areas had either floor to ceiling windows or big port holes giving you an unobstructed view of out the front, back, and sides of the ship. And there was plenty of deck space without glass to give you an open air view. The deck above the pool gives you nearly a 360 view. The captain also opened up the heliport at the front of the ship for cruising into Tracy Arm Fjord. Those views are spectacular though the downside is you can't hear Brent's narration from there. Our veranda room had a decent amount of storage space. I appreciated the ample space to hang up clothes in the closet. There are only plugs by the balcony door (plus I'm guessing there was one in the bathroom, but I don't remember), so if you want to use the plug by the beds, bring an extension cord. Bathroom was kept clean, but it seemed more like what I'd expect from a Day's Inn (this was my first cruise so I have nothing to compare it to). No body wash, so if you prefer to use liquid soap over bar soap, bring your own. There was a laundry line in the shower, which was really convenient. It detactched from the wall, so I often strung it through the bathing suits to dry since I didn't bring clothes pins. Food in the Trellis dining room was good. Buffet food was average. The grand buffet was nice, but not as spectacular as people made it seem, mostly the same good we'd been having all week. As others have mentioned, it's not well advertised, only included in the dining hours. Ours was on the second sea day. Just a couple things that could be improved (but none were deal breakers for me): - I agree with others it would be nice to have the option to get announcements in the staterooms. We ended up propping our door open for gangway announcements, etc. - Not many late night food options (with the exception of pizza, which is served until 1am). The biggest thing for me is no ice cream after 10pm (10:30pm on some late port days). 11pm or 12am seems like a normal time to want ice cream, especially on a cruise. - Pool is only open til 10pm. At least let us have access to the indoor hot tubs and salt water pool until 11pm! After a long port day, I'd love to be able to eat dinner, see the entertainment show, and then relax in the hot tub before bed. - Too many constant sales pitches. It's funny that Celebrity talks so much about being environmentally friendly when they send a constant stream of paper advertisements for the on-board stores and shopping events. Spa was ridiculous too. I didn't mind the option for add-on treatments when I signed in for my massage (just a small paper attached to your sign-in sheet), but the sales talk at the end was so unnecessary. After my massage, the masseuse wrote up a postcard with $150 of recommended products and proceeded to give me a sales talk about why I should buy them. That's not how I want to end a relaxing massage that I already paid a good amount of money for!!! - Game prizes. I don't expect any prize for winning a game, but I was surprised to see childrens size t-shirts (with the kids club logo on them!) given out as prizes for an adult only game. I saw these t-shirts being given out as prizes for multiple adults only events. A big oversight considering everything else about Celebrity LIfe Activities was so well thought out. I wouldn't hesitate to cruise on the Infinity again. If only they traveled to Glacier Bay and College Fjord, I'd definitely do Alaska again with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
We booked this trip last July after returning from our 3rd Alaska cruise. We are big fans of RCL and wanted to try Celebrity. The ship getting a refurbishment at the end of last year had an impact on our decision for booking this cruise. ... Read More
We booked this trip last July after returning from our 3rd Alaska cruise. We are big fans of RCL and wanted to try Celebrity. The ship getting a refurbishment at the end of last year had an impact on our decision for booking this cruise. We were not disappointed. We flew into Seattle on July 4th. We stayed at Inn At The Market for two nights. The room was very nice. We booked a city view room, on arrival we were told we had been upgraded to a two level suite.The view of Puget sound from the hotel's rooftop deck was amazing. This was a nice place to unwind at the end the day while enjoying a cold beverage.Everyone at the hotel from the front desk to the bellmen and housekeeping were fantastic. I would definitely stay there again.We walked all over downtown Seattle for those two days and saw quite a bit of what Seattle had to offer. We were travelling with friends and the four of us arrived at the ship about 11:00 AM. The embarkation process was very efficient and we were on board in less than an hour. Our rooms were not going to be ready until approximately 1:00PM. We were greeted with Mimosa's when we boarded the Infinity. We made our way to the Oceanview Cafe on deck 10 for a bite to eat and wait for the ship to depart. Our rooms were ready before 1:00 PM and our luggage wasn't too far behind. The room was quite nice, we selected this cabin on the stern of the ship for the views. The veranda was quite large. It had enough room for a small table with two chairs as well as two chaise lounges. We had one minor problem with a mildew (sour) odor in the bathroom. We determined the odor was coming from the shower curtain. We mentioned the problem to our cabin attendant and by the time we returned to the room after the muster drill, the problem was corrected. We always had fresh fruit waiting for us daily. The food in the Oceanview cafe was on par with with buffets on other cruise lines. Depending on the time you visited the buffet, the line could be very long and finding a table difficult. The most popular stations (hamburgers, pizza)were always busy and at times you had to wait for the food to get cooked. The service in the main dining room was exceptional. Our waiter, Ellington and assistant waiter, Franklin were very professional and offered recommendations for each meal. They made sure we were satisfied with our meals and corrected any issues we may have had. Each night there was a special menu for that evening as well as a menu that stayed the same for each night of the cruise. The choices were OK but somewhat limited. The salmon, baked chicken and steak options for dinner were good. Tracy Arm was spectacular, the view of the glacier was fantastic. The captain opened up the bow of the ship for a viewing area for the trip into Tracy Arm. The scenary going into and coming out of Tracy Arm were amazing. We chose to use the valet service for our luggage. Once we left our luggage outside of our cabin the last night of the cruise. We didn't see it again until we arrived back home. Debarkation in Seattle was efficient and painless. We were off of the ship and at the airport by 9:00 AM. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We sailed out of Seattle on June 22, 2012 on Celebrity Infinity, on a 7 night cruise to Alaska with 4 port stopovers. It was our 40 th anniversary gift to ourselves, an " out of the box " adventure for 2 experienced city kids. ... Read More
We sailed out of Seattle on June 22, 2012 on Celebrity Infinity, on a 7 night cruise to Alaska with 4 port stopovers. It was our 40 th anniversary gift to ourselves, an " out of the box " adventure for 2 experienced city kids. The ship and cruise line exceeded our expectations in every respect. The ship layout is well defined and organized. The food is excellent and varied from gourmet to burgers and pizza in at least 10 or 12 venues. The entertainment is superior every night . . 3 Broadway quality Productions, Comedy Show, Magician and Illusionist, late night dance parties, 6 to 8 venues with a series of rotating musical groups from guitar to jazz combo to classical trio to acapella groups . . each day and night was full of opportunities. The Service is first class, period, and friendly and eager to please. There is a big outdoor pool and jacuzzi area, and an adjacent indoor one too . . PLUS a great Spa and Persian Gardens area with Saunas, Steam Rooms, and full Spa facilities, workout gym, etc. We booked an Aqua Class Cabin with balcony, well worth it, and our semi-private dining room was Blu . . we loved it ! Cabin was roomy with a LOT of storage ( suitcases and all bags fit under the beds ). Balcony seems like a must . . adds to perceived and real open feeling, and is great to sit outside and relax in comfort. Whale Watching and White Pass Rail Trips were great. Weather wes lousy but who cares, it is ALASKA ! Rugged, wild, expansive, rains a lot, low clouds and foggy . . seemed perfect. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Overall we were very pleased with our cruise. This was our first time on Celebrity,and the first cruise we've taken in years. The room was actually bigger than I expected, with plenty of storage, although the bed and pillows were ... Read More
Overall we were very pleased with our cruise. This was our first time on Celebrity,and the first cruise we've taken in years. The room was actually bigger than I expected, with plenty of storage, although the bed and pillows were painfully hard. In room movies were great,for times when we just wanted to relax. Our last trip to Alaska was 11 years ago with our girls, then 25 & 17. We did numerous excursions booked through the boat and were extremely pleased with everything we did and saw. Wish we could say the same for this trip. Our experience this time was not only disappointing experiences, which we could live with, but when we went to cancel our third one for Skagway after returning from another $400 disappointment we were told in a very rude manner that we needed to do so 48 hours in advance, it was only 36 hours, and there would be no credit or refund possible. The nasty attitude continued with and escalated when talking to the Manager, I believe Sofia. She finally told my husband they would try selling our tickets and if they couldn't they would deliver them back to our room by 9pm that evening and/or leave us a message. When we returned to our room at 11pm no message, no tickets so we assumed all had been taken care of. I woke at 5am, still no tickets. Back up again at 7:30am and they were there. We were not happy. I went down to their office and threw a fit. The young man I spoke to calmed me down and I explained in detail what happened and added that my husband has MS and stress makes his condition worse and the way he was treated was unacceptable.I also told him his knee went out on our last excursion and didn't want him going in a canoe. He was very understanding and tried to convince the manager to make an exception as we didn't try to do this at the very last minute. She came out to talk to me and was extremely rude. I won't bore you with any more details but we had the Customer Relations Manager get involved and she witnessed the way we were being treated and thankfully took care of everything and gave us a refund. Unfortunately it ruined several hours of our vacation. We then went into town and found a fabulous tour given by Klondike Tours http://www.klondiketours.com/index.html. It was three hours long on a 20 person heated bus for $45 a person. We did the White Pass Tour and they added a city and cemetery tour. There was every age group on this tour and we all enjoyed it. Our guide, Joe, gave us so much information about every aspect of the town and the Gold Rush and all the people involved. I didn't think I was interested in those things but he made it so interesting that it really made the trip for me. We would recommend this company highly after our experience and if you look at their website they have numerous excursions for one half or less the price of the ones from Celebrity. They guarantee to get you back on the boat in time too so don't let Celebrity scare tactics keep you from trying someone else. Overall our cruise was wonderful and the rest of the staff were great, very accommodating. Other than the excursions I would recommend this cruise to people. The food was good, except the buffet, the service was good. The boat was beautiful, nice remodel. Our room was lovely, plenty of storage, nice view from our balcony. The entertainment was also good. Minus the excursions, next time we will book our own, we felt it was good value for the money and would consider Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Seattle - We arrived in Seattle 2 days early so that we could explore the city. Took Shuttle Express from airport to hotel for $33 for all of us. We stayed at LaQuinta Inn at 2224 8th Ave and loved it. Great free continental breakfast, ... Read More
Seattle - We arrived in Seattle 2 days early so that we could explore the city. Took Shuttle Express from airport to hotel for $33 for all of us. We stayed at LaQuinta Inn at 2224 8th Ave and loved it. Great free continental breakfast, very friendly staff. Whole Foods is around corner where we purchased soda to take on board ship. Hotel was also within walking distance to most attractions. Ride-the-duck tours (good, old-fashioned fun), Pike Place Market. Downtown - great for pedestrians, stick to the crosswalks. Clean town, friendly people. Embarkation- We took shuttle from LaQuinta for $15 to Pier 66. We arrived at about 11:30am and check-in went very smoothly. We feel like we just walked on board. We were directed to Deck 10 for lunch until our room was ready. Everyone was very friendly. Did not want to carry soda around so checked it at dock -- arrived at room with one can burst open and many dented. You may prefer to carry yours on board for safe keeping. Cabin 7175 - We chose this cabin because of the extra large balcony compared to others in this class. All 4 of us shared the same cabin. There was ample room for storing our clothes and suitcases (under the bed). We nested our empty suitcases for extra room. We did not feel cramped in the cabin.Food - Ate at Treelis Restaurant 3 nights - food was very good. We had breakfast and lunch at the Oceanview Cafe and liked the huge selection of food -- something for everyone. The ship makes the bread and pastries fresh every day. Also, the ice cream is made on board and many different flavors offered at no charge. Entertainment -String trio excellent but the venue was terrible. Placed where people had to walk in front of them and the noise level from the bars nearby was distracting. Comedian Fred Klett was very funny -- good for the whole family. Illusionist Jason Bishop was good. We saw one show "iBroadway" which was good also. Amazing man/woman aerialists during that show. My DD and I enjoyed naturalist Brent Nixon's talks. DH felt he was too "cartoonish" and found the theatrics too distracting from the presentations of wildlife. DH enjoyed presentation about ships navigation and the ship's engine and propulsion system. Free drinks on board included tea (iced and hot), coffee, lemonade, passion fruit/mango/guava fruit juice, ice cold milk (whole & skim) Teen Club - My DS partook in the activities and enjoyed hanging out with other teens. My DD did not use the facilities. Excursions: Ketchikan - Lumberjack Show (KE13)- very funny and entertaining Tracy Arm Fjord was breath-taking. Brent Nixon narrated on the upper deck and we could hear his comments through the TV in our room but had to turn the volume up to 100 to hear anything. We watched from our balcony. Juneau -- Harv & Marv's Whale Watching (not through Celebrity). A family-run operation. Very friendly and Captain Steve was great. We went on a small boat -- the 4 of us plus another couple from Infinity. We saw plenty of whales. Captain Steve was feeling like he was letting us down (he was not) because the whales were not showing their tails. Then as we were going back to the dock, a whale came very close to our boat and showed his tail. I felt like it made Captain Steve's day knowing that we would now be totally satisfied. We were just happy to see the whales and he need not have worried. He was awesome! We booked in advance at harvandmarvs.com and would highly recommend this company. Skagway -- Musher's Camp & Sled Dog Experience (SK36) -- met us at the dock and took us on a nice van ride to the camp. Too die for scenery. Then up the mountain further to ride on a sled with wheels pulled by 16 dogs. Very fun. Then back to the camp to learn more about mushing and held some puppies. Very good excursion. Would have liked to do the train ride, but couldn't do everything. Great trip - highly recommend Celebrity Cruises!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
My husband and I are loyal RCCL cruisers and in our early 50's. This was our 30th Wedding Anniversay and our friend who is a travel agent recommended we try Celebrity. So off we went to Alaska on the Celebrity Infinity. What a great ... Read More
My husband and I are loyal RCCL cruisers and in our early 50's. This was our 30th Wedding Anniversay and our friend who is a travel agent recommended we try Celebrity. So off we went to Alaska on the Celebrity Infinity. What a great decision we made. We sailed at the end of June out of Seattle and booked an Aqua Class cabin. We arrived in Seattle the Wednesday evening before the cruise. We stayed at the Mayflower Park Hotel in downtown Seattle. It was a lovely hotel and right in the center of things. We were able to do a Savor Seattle tour the next day which I highly recommend. Saw all the tourist stuff. Seattle is a great city. We arrived at the pier around 11am by cab and were able to check in right away. The line for Aqua Class passengers moved very quickly and efficiently. We were onboard in under half an hour. Mimosa in tow we went up to Bistro on Five for lunch. I want to thank my fellow cruisecritic members for this tip on the first day. The food was great and the service excellent. We had lunch there several times during the trip. Our cabin was ready before 1pm and our luggage came quickly after that. We met Norma our Aqua Class cabin steward who was wonderful. Anything you needed she was there. Let me tell you these people work hard and always have a smile on their faces. Every staff member we saw from the people wiping down the staircases to the Captain always had a hello with a smile on their face. The cabin was very nice and had lovely amenities such as a shower with a waterfall shower head and spa jets. Let me tell you I loved this shower. I could actually move in it. The cabin was very clean and the bed was extremely comfortable. We had Aqua Class dining in Blu which was a five star dining experience every night. We did not have dinner in the speciality restaurants during the week. Service during all of our meals was exceptional. A shout out to Donovan, Billy, Enrique, Gabrial, Svetlana and many others. We were able to dine around 6:30pm every evening which worked well for us. The first night we had a window seat and were seated next to a lovely couple celebrating their 55th Wedding Anniversary. Great conversation. The next night they asked to sit next to us and we ended up eating together every night after that. Great company, great food, and even greater wine. The breakfasts in Blu were alway excellent. The muesli made to order was delicious. The smoothies were varied and delicious. The entertainment on this ship was phenomenal in my opinion. Having sailed on the larger RCCL ships with larger productions the Celebrity Infinity entertainment was superb. These people put their heart and soul into every show. The entertainment throughout the other areas of the ship were also great. They had a comedian who was very funny. The illusionist, Jason Bishop was phenomenal. If you have a chance to see him please do. They also had arielists who were artists in the true sense of the word. The cruise director, Ian did a fabulous job the entire week. The speaker, Brent Nixon was not to be missed. His passion for Alaska is unparrelled. Everyone should hear him speak. The ports of call for this cruise were Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, and Victoria, B.C. In Ketchikan we did a seaplane tour through the Misty Fjords with Seawind Aviation which I booked directly with the company. The scenery was spectacular. We flew through the fjord and landed on a lake and were able to get out of the plane to view the majestic landscape. After this we walked through the town down to Creek Street. There are a lot of great shops down there. Bought some Alaskan art. In Skagway we booked a White Pass summit tour with Discover Skagway tours. This was amazing. In Juneau we took the blue bus to the Mendenhall Glacier and walked to Nugget Falls to see the glacier and the waterfall. Let me tell you this gives you an appreciation for mother nature. In Victoria, B.C. we did a classic car tour of the city in a 1965 Pontiac Parisienne. I felt like a movie star. Disembarkation was a breeze. It was so organized. We had an early flight so we were in one of the first groupings to get off the shop. We were off the ship in half an hour and on our way to SeaTac for the flight home. I know that everyone has a different cruise experience but I hope that everyone can see Alaska once in their lifetime. It is an amazing place and the people who live there are very passionate and friendly. Would I sail Celebrity again? In a heartbeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2012
Embarkations-Very smooth!! They know what they are doing. Everyone was eager to answer any questions we had, and make sure we were comfortable. Cabin-9067-Concierge Class A+-Great room. Lots of storage space!! Our room attendant was ... Read More
Embarkations-Very smooth!! They know what they are doing. Everyone was eager to answer any questions we had, and make sure we were comfortable. Cabin-9067-Concierge Class A+-Great room. Lots of storage space!! Our room attendant was wonderful! HE made sure we had what we needed and had great customer service! We loved sitting out on our balcony everyday! So Relaxing!! We ordered room service several times, and the room attendant brought it right up. We have fruit daily, tea and appetisers every night in our room waiting for us when we returned. I was so happy we upgraded to Aqua-class. There was so much that came with our package. The spa was wonderful!! We tried to take advantage of everyone pampering us! We were so happy to get the The Celebrity Today newsletter daily so we knew what to expect daily and what was going on. That was our lifeline to the ship!! and much appreciated to have the information. Food-We loved all the food. There were so many choices and locations to choose from. We ate dinner at the Blu restaurant-fantastic! Customer service was awesome!! They made recommendations that suited your taste. Our server got to know us and made all the right choice to make our dining experience one to look forward to daily! We didn't eat anything on the ship that was not wonderful! Loved the fresh fruit in the Ocean view! Cheeseburgers were mouth watering! Entertainment- was excellent! Loved the Broadway style shows! We planned our day out the night before and tried to make the most of our time on the ship! We never had a dull moment. Even when we chose to go to the spa and relax in the hot tub afterwards. We were happy there was a heated pool/hot tubs for adults only. It was nice to relax and enjoy some quiet time, and also not have kids splashing us or being loud. Service-was excellent! We did not have one bad experience. This was our first cruise. Seemed like there were staff everywhere we went to wait on us. Lines were great coming and going. There were lines, but that's part of getting hundreds of people off at one time. We never waited longer than 20 minutes coming and going at each port! Excursions-we had several wonderful trips at each port! I booked them all online ahead of time. It was perfect, because I paid for them as I booked them and didn't have to pay for them all at one time. We felt like we got to see Alaska and have life experiences at each port. Disembarkation- was very well organized. We received a letter a few days before, so we knew exactly what we needed to do. We never felt like we couldn't ask questions if we didn't know something or go to customer service to inquire about changes we needed made. They jumped to make it happen!! Over all this was a wonderful experience! We will definitely cruise with Celebrity again and again!! Cant wait to start planning our next trip! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Cruising is the greatest experience in the world! OK, so that's dramatic, but after the enjoyable time we had on the Celebrity Infinity, they really did their best to prove me right. I'll be hard pressed to find any con's ... Read More
Cruising is the greatest experience in the world! OK, so that's dramatic, but after the enjoyable time we had on the Celebrity Infinity, they really did their best to prove me right. I'll be hard pressed to find any con's in my list of pro's and con's, but I'll come up with something. To describe ourselves, we are both holding onto our 40's (tightly), have no children, and this was our 25th cruise overall, the eighth with Celebrity. PRE-CRUISE: We arrived in Seattle on Thursday night for the Friday sail away and stayed at the Sleep Inn near Sea-Tac airport. They offer a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel. The hotel itself was very nice, and highly rated by users of Trip Advisor, which is why we chose it. Great rate, decent breakfast, and it's right next to an IHOP. The only downside is that there isn't much else nearby (walking distance), but if you need to run to a convenience store, they offer their shuttle for that too. Great place! EMBARKATION: Not bad but not great, and not Celebrity's fault. Since we live in SW-FLA, we've been spoiled by taking many cruises that leave from Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. At both ports, there are about as many porters as there are cruisers, making embarkation pretty smooth. In Seattle, not so much. Actually, I'm not sure if there were many at all. That made things hectic for embarkation. We arrived at the port early (11-ish) and actually had to wait to board the ship (11:45), but getting checked in was quite smooth. PUBLIC ROOMS: The Celebrity Infinity has just come from a refurbishment, and from what we experienced, it was a job well done. While there are remnants of the old Infinity, the new one is awesome. Some of the highpoints include scaling the size of the Constellation Lounge down, which I thought was way too big before. The space that was eliminated is now occupied by some of the kid's entertainment options. All in all, I really can't find too much to rate since the entire ship had excellent public areas. Bistro on 5, Cellar Masters, and especially Qsine are welcome additions. CABIN: We were in an aft cabin, 7208, and our first aft in 25 cruises. The new appointments to the cabin are again quite welcomed, but there were some small drawbacks. First, our balcony was dirty. It looked like it could have benefitted from a power washing. Still, it was a great place to see the sights of Alaska. Also, our bathroom had a weird smell to it. It wasn't a sewerage smell, more a tar-like smell. We didn't complain about it, so I guess we either got used to it or it eventually went away. The bed was nice and comfy and the storage in the room was adequate. DINING: While our experience in the dining room last fall on the Summit was not that great, this cruise more than made up for it. Everything in the main dining room was delicious. Though my wife missed the escargot (they need to bring that back), the food was tremendous. The buffet was what we expected and more. I particularly like the international dishes that are offered at lunchtime. I especially liked the beef and curry dish. I had that several times during the week. We have to give a special nod to Qsine which was just beyond awesome. I was mad at myself that I couldn't eat more food. We both love creative dishes, and everything we sampled was over the top creative. HIGH marks to the culinary team at Celebrity for the concept. We did not eat at any of the other restaurants on board, but I'm sure they were awesome as well. FAMILY & CHILDREN: Can't help you there since we do not have kids. SPA & FITNESS: No clue as we didn't use the spa and as for fitness, not when I'm cruising! I'll work out when I get back, thank you! ENTERTAINMENT: This cruise we didn't attend any of the production shows, but were quite pleased with all of the other entertainment. The comedian, Fred Klett, was probably the absolute best we've ever seen on any cruise ship. Clean and very humorous. The magician was also quite good. The music around the ship was also top notch, with special credit going to the acapella group 565 Express. We also liked Rob the guitarist. SERVICE: Celebrity always gets high marks from us on this one. Ti-anne Auer (Captain's Club hostess) was such a joy, as were the guest relations people. As usual, the employees always meet your gaze with a smile and a hello. That never gets old. Sorry, but none of the other lines we've sailed (five) even come close. ITINERARIES: A bumpy day at sea was followed by Ketchikan, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, another day at sea, and an evening stop in Victoria, BC. We did the rainforest tour in Ketchikan that was just ok. Lots of nature to see, but with a guide that talked so much that it would have scared any wildlife away. Tracy Arm is just magnificent, and the visit to Mendenhall Glacier was magnificent. The musher's camp visit in Skagway was a blast, and we followed that with the train ride, which is a must. SUGGESTION: if you do the train ride, make sure you sit on the left because that is where everything is on the way up. Finally, much has been said about the short stop in BC, but it is what you make it. We didn't bother, but many people did and enjoyed their brief visit. OTHER OBSERVATION: If you're not going to go to the Cruise Critic Meet 'n Mingle, don't sign up for it. We didn't have as many as were signed up and that was disappointing. DEBARKATION: Same as embarkation, smooth but in need of more porters. POST-CRUISE: Since we got off the ship on a Friday, we chose to stay at the "W" in downtown Seattle. Very chic place and comes with outstanding customer service. Cab ride from the hotel to the airport is a flat $32 which really isn't too bad. All in all, talk about a home run. This was a great cruise in many respects, and of course, we're booked on two more upcoming Celebrity cruises. They're still number one in our book. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
EMBARCATION: We went aboard at about 11am and it went smoothly. At that time there were no lines, so our concierge priority boarding wasn't needed. The lounges were available immediately. The staterooms were ready at about ... Read More
EMBARCATION: We went aboard at about 11am and it went smoothly. At that time there were no lines, so our concierge priority boarding wasn't needed. The lounges were available immediately. The staterooms were ready at about 12:45pm. SHIP: Decor was subdued but very nice. Everything was kept clean and was in good repair. Glass elevators facing the exterior were nice with views of the ports. CABIN 8139: concierge class Our cabin was very pleasant and a decent size for a cruise ship. The balcony was small but nice. I wish it was large enough for a lounge chair so you could stretch out. There was a reasonable amount of drawers for a 7 day cruise, but it might be tight for a longer cruise. The location was close to midship and that helped reduce feeling the movement of the ship. It was close to the library and elevators but not so close as to hear people or mechanical noise. The sound proof was adequate with quiet neighbors but you could hear thumping. The curtain in the shower constantly stuck to our legs and the water temperature varied. The concierge class was not much of an advantage and I would not pay for it again. The robes were nice, but not used much. The fresh flowers were very plain (not a bouquet). The daily canapes were repetitive and just average. The "enhanced" room service menu was only for breakfast and not very impressive. There is no way to find the enhanced menu on your own. It is on a separate folding card stuck in the back flap of the general information book. The page for regular room service doesn't direct concierge class guests to the enhanced menu and I had to call guest services to find out about it. As a cabin, I give it an A minus, but I wouldn't do concierge again, just a well located balcony cabin next time. Having a balcony is worth the upgrade price and is a must for us. Sitting outside on sea days and views of the ports when you wake up---priceless. FOOD: Celebrity deserves its reputation for above average food. I have been on Holland America, Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean and the food on Celebrity is noticeably better. Every dish in the main dining room was very good and some were excellent. On the second formal night, the lobster tails were divine. Every night there we had a dessert that was at least "very good." The quality of the food in the Ocean Cafe was better than other cruise lines, but leaned towards spicy dishes so I didn't have many choices to my taste. My husband found many items that he liked. The pizza and burger stations were about average for cruise food. At peak times, the crowds were daunting and the lines were not well managed for traffic logistics. Cafe Al Bacio had complimentary snacks that changed at different times of the day. The lunch time mini sandwiches were EXCELLENT, fresh, tasty and made from high quality ingredients. I would ask for a platter of these as a substitute for lunch in the Ocean Cafe. Delicious! I didn't try the breakfast pastry or late afternoon/evening desserts but there was an impressive variety available for no extra charges. SPECIALTY FOOD: Since it was our honeymoon, we splurged and tried almost all the specialty food venues. The Bistro on Five (crepes for $5) was terrific. An EXCELLENT value. The food was yummy and it was a great substitute for the Ocean Cafe. Everything in Bistro on Five was delicious. SS United States restaurant was disappointing. The room is plain and does not set an impressive tone. The starters were delicious. We chose lobster for the main course and it was unpleasant. Both my husband and I crunched into at least 2-3 bits of shells amongst our lobster bites. The sauce detracted from the flavor of the lobster and it was overcooked and therefore rubbery. The desserts were average for a decent restaurant at home. The cheese cart was impressive and delicious. Overall, not at ALL worth the $40 per person, it didn't exceed the satisfying quality of food in the main dining room. Qsine This is a wacky restaurant that is edgy and fun. The concept is to look over a set of about 20 dishes that will come in tapas size portions. You can eat as much as you want. Each dish is a clever set of tastes. We tried five items and liked them all. Some were good and some were excellent. My husband the sushi fanatic said the Sushi Lollipops were the best he had had in his life. I loved the cupcake kit for dessert. This was worth the $40 per person extra charge because of it was an unusual experience in addition to good food. ACTIVITIES: For the first time, I did the Cruise Critic roll call and welcome party on the first day of the cruise. I am very glad I did. We met a lovely couple from Wales and a family from Chester England. Several times during the cruise, we ran into them again and they were great company. The Celebrity Today newsletter listed a fairly typical set of activities. The Trivia hosts were energetic and fun. They varied the type of trivia offered. The prizes were the average cruise stuff of key rings and luggage tags. We teamed up with our new friends from cruise critic on several occasions and had a good time. We didn't participate in some of the other activities but we saw an interesting variety. They set up a Kinetc video game and had team bowling and dance games. The officers versus guests Family Feud looked fun and had interesting props. We heard good things about the Dancing with the Stars parody activity. Our new friends saw the naturalist Brent Nixon and said he was a bit wacky but very interesting. We saw three of the shows on board. They were fine, but not thrilling.I'd give it a grade of B. Good value because they are free, but if I had paid theater ticket prices I would have said "eh". There was a very good variety of performers in the various shows. The Newlywed Game is not exactly a show, but it was silly fun to watch. It would have been good to know about several activities a day or two in advance so that we could decided to arrange our schedule to catch things of interest- like the Iron Chef type demonstration. Also, I wish that there were more activities after the second seating of dinner. There was always lounge music, but a late night trivia or naturalist talk would have suited the fair number of night owls who didn't want to party. SERVICE: The staff was very good. Everyone was very friendly and went out of their way to greet guests and be talkative. We had Select dining and the waiters treated us well despite our not assigned to them for the week. They were not motivated by expectations of tips, they did a good job for everyone. The only concern about the hotel services wasn't about staff. The logistics for several things needed to be worked out better. At one point in mid day at Ketchikan, both gangways were being run in the same direction. We wanted to get off and had to stand and wait for 10-15 minutes while they figured out that one of the gangways should be "leaving" and one should be for "returning". The loading of tenders with shore excursion groups was a little bumpy. Lines for leaving the ship at port were also poorly managed. The Ocean Cafe design does not lend itself to handling peak time crowds and so some staff should be assigned to help direct the flow of traffic. Basically, send the managers to Disneyland to learn how to manage large groups of people with minimum frustration. VICTORIA as a PORT: The timing of the visit to Victoria is just dumb. We arrived at 6pm and stayed until midnight. Unless you booked an excursion, this is a lousy time to see this lovely place. There are nice museums and tourist attractions in Victoria, but they are closing as you arrive. Even the souvenir shops shut up at about 9pm. We had an AWESOME dinner at a local restaurant called Nautical Nelly's. DISEMBARCATION: We went to guest services and had no trouble getting an earlier time for leaving the ship. Our luggage was taken off promptly and the process was well organized. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
May 11 cruise on Infinity. BAD FIRST: I wanted everyone to know it took us 1-1/2 hours to get on board. It took our son 2-1/2 hours. Shuttle people said this pier is really not suited for a quick embarkation. If you have a really nice ... Read More
May 11 cruise on Infinity. BAD FIRST: I wanted everyone to know it took us 1-1/2 hours to get on board. It took our son 2-1/2 hours. Shuttle people said this pier is really not suited for a quick embarkation. If you have a really nice room and special perks then you get in another line which is fast. This is our third time on Celebrity and we got no perks to get into a faster line. NO porters for us. They came out at 1 and did the buses. We had to carry our own luggage into security. WHAT A MESS. Not a way to start a cruise. We were told back in October that all 12 of our reservations would be linked so we could eat together. Three of our party of 12 spent several hours (literally) talking to Celebrity and to travel agents to arrange for 2 tables of 6 next to each other and we were assured this was arranged. Nope! We were at 3 tables scattered around the dining room. We could not find anyone to help me the first night when we got on board. At dinner the first night, Carlos, the Assistant Maitre d', said he would solve this problem and give me a call by lunch time the next day. No call. Went to dinner 15 minutes early and found Carlos. He said to follow him. He had not done anything to get us a table. We stood while he talked to some woman and she told us she had to help others first. I asked if we could have a table in the anytime dining area and she said they were all full. I told Carlos he dropped the ball and he said nothing. I left after 25 minutes of no help. Later after we had ordered drinks he came and told us he found a table for us. The others had ordered food at their table so they did not join us. The third night all of us finally got to eat together. Carlos never apologized for dropping the ball. They only serve Atlantic farm raised salmon. Here we are where they catch Pacific wild salmon and you can not get it or any other local seafood on any Celebrity ship. No comparison between wild and farm raised. NOW FOR THE GOOD: We had sun shine all but one day. The food in the dining area was wonderful and served hot. Our waiters at table 411 were outstanding. They have not forgotten to serve the ladies first! Our new Assistant Maitre d', Johnny, was outstanding. He checked on us every night as well as the other tables. Mother's Day, he greeted every woman with a beautiful rose. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek as he said thanks for being a mother. He came with a birthday cake for me and an anniversary cake for my sister. What a wonderful employee! Our wine steward was wonderful also. One wine we told her was going bad. She took a sip and agreed with us and made suggestions on a better wine. She brought laughter every night to our table in one way or another. Don't miss the galley tour, the best I have been on. They bake the bread 1 hour before it is served! Formal night: Men, you do have to wear a coat. They will stop you and find a coat for you to wear. Our cabin was spotless; even in the corners. Infinity was refurbished earlier this year but not in the cabins we all were in. Tables and chairs in some areas of the ship were scratched and looked worn out. All of the staff was outstanding except Carlos. I was disappointed that at our CC meeting only the cruise director and one of other staff member was there. On NCL ships, we have all of the top officers and usually the captain also came to meet us. It was great to not be hounded by photographers and bar waiters. Yes, they were there but not hounding all the time. Don't miss Brent Nixon's talks on wildlife - 5 of them. He is humorous but really gets his point across. Brent will talk while going through the Tracy Arms Fjord. Make sure you are somewhere where you can hear him. Unfortunately you can not hear him outside. Tours: We were 6 couples and we all took different tours. I did not hear one complaint about any of our tours. We all enjoyed every one of our tours. Yes, they were all expensive but they were very good. My favorite was the train ride. We paned for gold first and ended up with over $30 in gold flacks. They did a wonderful job of explaining how to pan for gold. The lunch there was very good. The bus to the suspension bridge was very informative. YOU MUST HAVE A PASSPORT WITH YOU. They come on board the bus and check every one. The Bridge was in the Yukon Territory. We were so very lucky because it was sunny, which is not common. We could see all peaks. Pictures will not even come close to seeing the beauty up there. The train trip back down was great. We stopped twice to pick up people. First were the snowshoers. Our son and daughter-in-law did this. Four hours of showshoeing in the Yukon. They said this was fabulous and the people who give this tour was well prepared and wonderful. They highly recommend this tour. Did not know the other people we picked up but they were hiking. We saw Orca, sea lions, and seals and one bear on this cruise. I forgot to check with my cousin if they saw any hump backs. In Juneau, we did eat at the expensive Tracy's Crab Shack. The legs were so fresh and good. I did not care for the crab cakes. I did not find any crab in the 6 we had. Disembarkation went very fast and smoothly. Here is a note for pre cruise. We stayed at the Best Western near the airport. Free shuttle to the hotel. You can get a shuttle to the port through them but is not free. What was really nice is if their shuttle is not real busy they will take to you restaurants, Safeway, Walgreens, and other places for free. We tipped each time they did this for us. Our favorite driver was Darrel. He kept us laughing. One couple was upset that he took a while to get them at the airport. He was on other runs. He made sure he picked them up from Dennys in less than a minute. He said I do not want anyone unhappy with his service. He tries really hard to make people happy. We 6 thought he was great. The hotel is trying to make it to a 4 or 5 star status and want to make everyone really happy and they did. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
A group of 9 of us travelled together to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. While we had originally inteneded to do a 10-14 day cruise in Europe, we decided on Alaska due to a price structure that fit everyone's ... Read More
A group of 9 of us travelled together to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. While we had originally inteneded to do a 10-14 day cruise in Europe, we decided on Alaska due to a price structure that fit everyone's budget, plus, due to health reasons, traveling from Hawaii to Europe was not something we wanted to risk. We arrived in Seattle 2 days before our sail date. We booked a limo through Limo(dot)com and the 30 minute drive to the Westin went by lickity split. We spent our one full day in Seattle catching the usual sights: Pike Market, The Original Starbucks, The Space Needle, Mariners game. We fell into bed dreaming of calm seas and seamless boarding for the next day. We took 2 cabs to the boarding area and we luckily had pre-ordered our luggage tags. There was a SEA (haha) of people in the area, lines of busses... and we were 90 minutes early for our boarding. Since this was my first time on Celebrity (and first cruise in 20 years so I don't remember the boarding process of the other one) I was unsure what to expect. There was one line for getting luggage tags, then another line for dropping your luggage, yet another line for security screening, another line for the paperwork process, another line to take the obligatory embarkation photo, and finally, the line to get on the ship. All in all it took about 90 minutes for us all to get through the various lines. We boarded the ship and were able to go straight into our rooms. Naturally we were all famished by then and wanted something to eat. Try as I might to steer my family away from the buffet, it truly was the best place for us all to get something to eat (I wanted to do Bistro on 5, but no one else was willing so up to deck 10 we went). The first day in the buffet (and maybe for several days after) it is like trying to read a map for the first time. There so much and it covers so much space. In the end we all got what we wanted and though it was crowded, it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated it being. ROOMS My family had the corner aft family verandah. It really was fantastic. The room was big enough for our family of four... how they could fit 5 in their I'll never know, we were tripping over each other whenever we were all in the room at the same time. The pull out couch was sadly, as all pull outs are, uncomfortable, but my 12-year-old seemed not to mind. The purported 2nd living room pull out couch did not exist in our room. Instead they brought in a roll away which was even more uncomfortable looking (beds were singles and appeard to bow in the middle), but my 10-year-old seemed not to mind either. My advice is not to attempt the pull out options for adults (I I had to sleep on one of those two options I'd have had a miserable time). The main bed was comfortable. The pillows, however, left a little to be desired (I'm a pillow-aholic... these were chuncky, lumpy foam type). The tiny bathroom was adequate, though in another year or so we will need to consider other rooming options, the wait for the single toilet for the four of us might become more of a problem. The long extra entry into the room was nice. We did not use it for luggage storage since our luggage fit into the bottom of the closets just fine. The enormous deck was soooo wonderful. We all met on it for sail away. Being on the city side and aft, we got such a great view of Seattle as we drifted away. The weather throughout most of the cruise was in the 50's during the day. The deck was not a place we'd lounge a lot, though we enjoyed having the pricate space to wander out and cool off, or to be able to wander out and watch the world and the wake. My brother had an inside cabin 7210. because it was the only aft inside available it was very quiet. He was very happy with it and said he slept like a rock in his "cone of silence" My dear friend had an ocean view room 3666. It was more than adequate for a single person. She booked through Am Ex and received a bottle of champagne, a 2 class upgrade and a free specialty dining. Nice. My parents had Celebrity Suite 7138. What a spectacular room! Living/dinning room, floor to ceiling windows, separate bedroom with HUGE closet and spacious bathroom. Newly installed deck. We all spent a bit of time in mom and dad's room cause it had the best indoor gathering space. Their butler was so gracious and wonderful we all wanted to stick him in our suitcases and bring him home with us. Mom was very nervous about a butler at first... "I wouldn't know what to do! ..." He was so disarming and charming that they were instant buddies. The ordered room service most mornings and he did it up beautifully on their dinning table with linens and served in courses. The deck in this room went largely unused because the weather was chilly most of the time, and due to the room's location mid-ship, it was windy while under-way. However, because my mother is like a lizard and set the thermo to 90 all the time, the rest of us would hover near the open deck door to absorb the chilly air. The room was so perfect for my parents. The did no excursions, spent most mornings in their room enjoying the view. I highly recommend this suite if you plan on hanging out in your room a lot. There is more than enough space for you not to go stir-crazy. The windows provide a spectacular viewing platform, and the added benefit of a butler means you really don't every have to leave! DINNING The only breakfast we made it to in the main dinning room was the grand buffet on the 2nd to last morning. It was really spectacular, however the rolling waves (really the only day we felt the sea motion) made 1/2 of our party too seasick to eat. Ate lunch in the main dinning room only once. We were unimpressed with the selection and the service was exceedingly slow. Dinner each night was wonderful. We had a great time trying all the different options and since there were 9 of us we were able to taste most of the options on the menu. The formal nights were nice but they would pull down these screens that had painted depictions of a french formal garden, effectively blocking out the view. It gave the dinning room a dark, closed in feeling. I was disappointed that they no longer do the flaming baked Alaska Parade. Now all the wait staff parades around the dinning room with electric candles, waving a white napkin in the air. It was very festive and fun, but the parading flaming baked Alaska was something I remember very vividly from our 20-years-ago cruise. I was also disappointed that the baked Alaska was the only option for dessert that night. Its not my favorite. Our waiters (Wiwid and Saul) were fantastic. We looked forward to seeing them each night. At the end of each dinner, Wiwid would give us a run down of the next day's dinning activities, what times the meals would be served and anything special we should know (time changes, activities, etc). He really was fantastic. SPECIALTY DINNING Originally I wanted to dine in the SS United States, however, after doing the galley tour and seeing the display for Qsine, I knew I needed to rethink. For those of you who aren't sure about the Qsine concept because its a little odd when you first read about it... let me tell you it was the best meals I had! Four of us went to dinner the first time. It was son unbelievably incredible we booked again, two nights later to bring the rest of the group with us. It is soooo worth the surcharge. There was so much food! Some of the things we ate: The M's suitcase of Mediterranean food was to DIE FOR The Kobe Sliders (YUM!) The fries thingy (can't remember the name, but great paired with the sliders) The fillet... so flavorful and tender. Melt in your mouth! the Taj Mahal - wonderful Indian food... comes last or next to last so leave room if you can! Spring rolls (wow!) The deserts were out of this world as well. We shared 2 silver bullets of ice cream, two tombstone chocolate somethings, the french donuts were amazing, There were chocolate dipped strawberries with sprinkles (the strawberries were as big as my daughters fists!), and creme brulee. We had to be rolled out of the restaurant! Since the restaurant is at the top of the ship, we had the most spectacular view as well. The more people you have in the group the better. Beware, though - The waiters are like drug dealers- they keep pushing food on you! Know your limits and keep the portions small. Believe me, you won't go away hungry! GO TO QSINE. YOU WON'T BE SORRY! The buffet is the buffet is the buffet. The food is okay, some days better than others. The pizza, burgers and fries were always a hit, but the line for the B/F was a bit long most days. Mom and I ate at the Aqua spa one day. Mom loved it, I was so so about it. The food was very bland and unimaginative. We loved Cafe El Bacio. The coffee and tea there were very very good. Loved the complimentary snacks offered there too. SPA My experience with an on board massage was .... blah. $129 for a 50 minute massage (deep tissue that felt more like Swedish). This is twice what I pay for an hour deep tissue at home... now, I know you pay premium and it had to be done... I couldn't NOT have a massage at sea!!!! However, if given the opportunity again I would pass. Even with the 20% off coupon on port days, I'd pass. I'm sure it was the therapist I had, but the whole experience left so much to be desired that my desire for a repeat is nil. For twice the price I usually pay, my expectations were high.... this is what I got... the waiting area was small upright chairs in the narrow hallway outside the glass walled fitness center. (no cushy, plush waiting room, no comfy overstuffed chairs with calming music). My therapist put me in a room and watched me undress (I'm not modest but I'm also not used to this. it was weird). The lights were left on full blast the entire time. The children's center is directly above the spa so, if they are open during your massage, you can hear the children running around. I could hear the conversations going on in the rooms on both sides of me as if the walls were paper thin. I don't like oily massages, I prefer lotion. I asked for lotion and was told this was not an option. I asked if I could use the shower in the massage room to wash off the oil after the massage. She said no (why is there a shower in there if you can't use it?????) She left the room without saying anything. She was gone so long I thought she was done. I get off the table to start sopping up the oil (I felt like I had an oily table bath) and she comes back in with her sales pitch stuff, leaving the door wide open to the public access hallway while I try to drape myself with the oily sheet (which by this time is see through because of the oil drenched into it). I asked her to close the door so I could get changed. Again, she stayed in the room while I dressed, giving me the sales pitch the whole time. It was a very frustrating experience, one I am not apt to repeat. I hate the fact that gratuity is automatic. And 20% at that!! I'm sure it hedges the bet that most people probably wouldn't tip at all ... based on my service I know I would not have. I'm normally a very good tipper when the service and circumstances are right. I tipped 30% above the service charge for Qsine on both nights. SKIP THE SPA... ITS NOT A SPA-LIKE ATMOSPHERE AND CERTAINLY NOT WORTH THE MONEY. You'll get far better service and atmosphere almost ANYWHERE ELSE! KIDS CLUB My children spent very limited time in the kids club. There were relatively few other children on board and since we were traveling as a family group they wanted to spend time with all of us. The few times the DID go to the club the attendants there were friendly and energetic. They would remember our kids as they saw them throughout the ship. EXCURSIONS We did two excursions, both through Celebrity. Both excursions were outstanding. The first was the Tatoosh island Kayak tour. We were picked up right outside the ship and whisked away on a 30 minute bus ride where we transferred to high speed boats for a 25 minute ride to the island where we went Kayaking. We puttered around the little island for a while. We encountered seals, sea lions, bald eagles, lots of starfish. It was a lovely time. The second excursion was the evening whale watching in Juneau. The boat and the crew were top notch, my only complaint is that, being from Hawaii, I was hoping to see some different and dramatic Alaskan whale activity... I thought we'd see lots of whales feeding, breaching, soaring out of the water...etc. Unfortunately all we saw were the spouts of water, the humps breaking the surface, a tail or two breaking the surface. All in all it was far less dramatic than what I can see from the beach in Hawaii. Oh well. As I said, the boat we were on was lovely, the crew was very friendly and knowledgeable, the buffet spread they provided was really great (Alas, we had reservations for Qsine directly after the excursion so we didn't eat much in anticipation of a great meal to come ). DISEMBARKATION Lickity Splickity! We were told to report to the theater at 850am, we reported at 850am and within 5 minutes were told we could disembark. We scanned our guest cards for the last time, walked down the plank and into the luggage area. Our luggage color was called within 5 minutes of entering the luggage area. Here is where my only complaint lies (and it was through no fault of celebrity), we were with a group of 9 folks, all in different cabin categories. We wanted to wait and help my elderly parents with their bags but the customs people in the luggage area kept asking us to leave. They were very pushy about it. Once you leave the luggage area there is no gathering area, you're just on the sidewalk amongst the hustle and bustle of Seattle and buses and cabs an various transfer vehicles. A minor complaint... we just ended up telling the customs people we were still gathering some of our bags. It all worked out in the end. Every one of us was highly satisfied with our cruise, the one caveat being: We wished it were longer!! We all ordered drink packages and put them to good use. Would we do that again? Maybe not unless we were in a big group again. It was very nice being able to order drinks wherever, whenever, knowing we wouldn't need to keep tabs on our end bill. The hubby and I are now eyeing that lovely Celebrity Suite my folks got. Hmmmmm. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
This was our first time cruising to Alaska, most of our cruising has been in Europe, so I felt comfortable taking the Light rail from the Airport to the ship. $2.75 will get you to University Station (Pike Market) and a short stroll to ... Read More
This was our first time cruising to Alaska, most of our cruising has been in Europe, so I felt comfortable taking the Light rail from the Airport to the ship. $2.75 will get you to University Station (Pike Market) and a short stroll to the pier. I had heard horror stories about Celebrities check in experience, it wasn't so bad, the hold up is they only have 2 security carry on baggage machines and people can be so slow putting their items though it causes delays, other than that it went pretty smoothly. As we enter we were welcomed with champagne and made it just at 1:15 so our room was ready... Now let me tell you about my room, I booked a window so wasn't expecting much, turns out I was in a whole new group of rooms that had just been put in several months before during her last renovation. We had a beautiful room with a full floor to ceiling window with a love seat right next to it, so we were able to watch the beautiful Alaskan serenity right from our cozy warm room. I love the fact that Celebrity gives you little of bottles of shampoo and cream rise rather than mystery liquid found in the dispensers in the showers of most other lines. Our bathroom was the largest and nicest I have ever had on any line. We booked this cruise late so we were unable to have the earlier dinning, so I found myself falling asleep during dessert every night. Many shows were only available to us at 10:30p which turned out to be way too late for me. I missed out on a lot having the late dinning, next time I will just skip dinner if I can not get early dinning. Food was good, I am a caterer so I tend to critique everything they do as far as food, so let's just leave it at good. One thing I must comment on is my waiter did not speak good enough English as every night that I ate beef I would say rare and he would say well, and I would say rare and would end up with well!!! We munched a little at the buffets but as far as meals go, I prefer the dinning room, lunches were just okay in the dinning room as well as the breakfast. One thing I found as I have become a much healthier eater that you will be very limited food wise if you do not plan on eating a lot of carbs, thank goodness for their healthy little cafe at the indoor pool, ate several very good meals there. Funny side note about that Cafe, I had not seen one berry on the ship until I ate there, that's where the strawberries and raspberries are to be found... We had our famous Celebrity Brunch on Wed. and it was beautiful always a favorite. Ports of Call...Expect to drop a lot of cash if you wish to do anything exciting. Since this was our first trip we did what we always tend to do first time visiting a location and that was the sightseeing excursions we did the package deal for like $145.00 pp for all three Alaskan Ports which was a nice way to see things without spending a lot of money. Highlight of the trip was being invited to dine at the Captain's table on the last night. That sorta thing does just not happen to us normally, they really made us feel special and even gave me a rose at the end of the evening. Disembarkment was very smooth we were able to stay in our cabin until our meeting time of 9:30a when we just walked off the ship with our little bag we had carried on (being used to traveling in Europe we know how to pack). It's been almost a week since we left the ship, found myself feeling a little down until I picked up the phone and booked my next cruise. Happy Sailings Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
Cabin We stayed in 9067 in Aqua Class. A quiet, well-appointed veranda cabin. Our room attendant was friendly and helpful. We had enough storage space and our balcony was a dream to escape the crowds on the decks. We enjoyed breakfast and ... Read More
Cabin We stayed in 9067 in Aqua Class. A quiet, well-appointed veranda cabin. Our room attendant was friendly and helpful. We had enough storage space and our balcony was a dream to escape the crowds on the decks. We enjoyed breakfast and wine out there most days. The overhang was helpful to keep the slight drizzle off but you do need to learn how to position your camera so as to avoid seeing the overhang in any photos. All Aqua Class and Concierge amenities were provided including sparkling wine, bowl of fruit, ice tea, daily appies, ....etc. Food We dined in Blu most nights and absolutely loved it. The staff was attentive and the intimate setting was a real plus. We thoroughly enjoyed every meal and wine pairing. We also dined in Qsine on the evening leaving Skagway. It is a ideal place with its large windows to sail through the Inside Passage. The food was interesting but not fantastic. We would definitely recommend trying the crepes in Bistro on 5 and the burgers by the pool. We attended the fancy brunch in the main dining room on the one sea day and were pleasantly surprised. We found the Ocean View Cafe to be standard at best and we tried to avoid it. Breakfast was usually ordered from room service and was always prompt, hot and enjoyed on our balcony. Entertainment We thoroughly enjoyed the talks by Brent Nixon. He is passionate about his topics and presents his material in an engaging and entertaining way. We also enjoyed performances by "These Guys" and the Orchestra Band playing jazz music. We attended three of the evening performances and would rate them as ok. Ports We tried our best to escape the masses at each port and were very successful. Do not be worried about going off on your own and seeing the real Alaska as opposed to the tacky shops in each of the downtowns. We kayaked in Ketchikan with 2 other couples, rented a car and hiked in Juneau and had the trail to ourselves, ocean rafted in Skagway and strolled to downtown in Victoria. It was all amazing. Tendering in Juneau does require you to be prepared. Be sure to get an early tender ticket which will prevent you from waiting in long lines. Embarkation/Debarkation Both went very smoothly. We arrived at the pier at 12:30 and were efficiently guided through lines that led us to drop off our luggage, go through security and check-in. We had a 9:00 am debarkation time and found that most of the other passengers had already left. We quickly found our car rental pick-up and were on our way. Other We truly felt relaxed sitting in the thalassotherapy pool and going to the Persian Gardens. There were seldom many people in either. We used the Wi-Fi in our cabin on a daily basis and had no issues connecting although it was quite slow. We stayed at the Westin downtown Seattle on the night prior to cruise and found it to be an ideal spot. We took the train from the airport and found it very convenient. We had a fabulous cruise with very friendly staff, scrumptious food and superb scenery. We can't wait to go again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
My husband and I took the Celebrity Infinity 7 night round trip cruise to Alaska beginning May 11. What a trip! Alaska is completely amazing. It was cold, but so worth it! We were in the new Aqua Class and in cabin 9101. The room was ... Read More
My husband and I took the Celebrity Infinity 7 night round trip cruise to Alaska beginning May 11. What a trip! Alaska is completely amazing. It was cold, but so worth it! We were in the new Aqua Class and in cabin 9101. The room was fine, the bathroom tiny, but well-appointed. I especially liked the jetted shower in the tiny space. The deck was very nice and we enjoyed time out there, even though it was cold. After waiting in endless lines to get on to the ship (I thought Aqua Class allowed for some kind of express boarding - but I think now), once we did get on the boat we went to our cabin and were pleasantly surprised to find a bottle of chilled champagne waiting for us. In Seattle, it was warm enough to drink it on the deck while we waited to leave port. What views of the majestic Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains and the Puget Sound from our deck! Being Aqua Class, we had fresh flowers in the room, bottled water every day, fresh herbal tea every day, luxurious robes, slippers and other little perks that were very nice. We left two hours later than expected, but who cares? We were there to relax! Once at sea, the fun began. We completely enjoyed the Martini Bar with the "Flair Bartenders"! I've never seen anything like it before - and how fun! They made drinking martinis even more fun! They would dance and juggle the vodka bottles, toss the garnishes and even leap upon the counter to pour six martinis at once! My goal was to try every martini on the menu, but alas - I could not do it! I did try, though! Celebrity did advertise a caviar bar, but when we tried to order some, we were told it was unavailable. A little disappointed in that, but who cared after another martini? Since we were Aqua Class, we dined in Blu, a less-crowded restaurant. We had the later dining time and usually were lucky enough to be seated by one of the huge porthole windows. While dining, we saw whales, dolphin, mountains, beautiful blue oceans .... and met some interesting people. We had a table for two, but often would strike up a conversation with the table for two next to us. The food in Blu was wonderful. The service in Blu was even better! I will never forget Donovan from Jamaica - he would say "Donovan is my name; service and entertainment are my game!" The second day was at sea on rather rough seas. We were fortunate to not have any seasick issues, but others were not so lucky. Someone lost their cookies on the pool deck, and we almost stepped in it, but it was quickly cleaned up. I must say that Celebrity takes cleanliness seriously. Everything was always clean and every day I would see staff members wiping down hand rails, elevator button and such. It did give me comfort to know they mean business when it comes to keeping a clean ship. We went to the Naturalist's lectures several times while on this cruise. Brent Nixon. Wow! He is amazing - he had all ages completely engaged in his talks about eagles, whales, seals, and other animals. He was fantastic! We also enjoyed the class we went to that was given by the Apple representative on board - it was quite informative. Our first port of call was Ketchikan. While in Ketchikan we went on the Misty Fjords & Wilderness Explorer. How amazing! We saw bald eagles, seals, dolphin, Eddy Rock and tons of beautiful scenery. It was cold and a bit rainy, but it was absolutely amazing. After the wonderful tour we made our way back to the ship and changed for dinner. Had before dinner drinks at the Martini Bar, completely entertained by the flair bartenders and then on to dinner at Blu. Our second port of call was Juneau. We were supposed to take the float plane tour over the glacier fields and then go to a lodge for a salmon bake, but unfortunately the weather was so bad that the pilot had to cancel the entire trip. A huge disappointment. This was the first excursion we had booked and the one we had looked forward to the most. But, things happen. We walked into town and were stopped on the way by a kind stranger asking us if we would like the tram tickets that he and his wife were not going to use! So, thanks to a complete stranger, we did have an adventure in Juneau. It just wasn't the adventure we had thought it would be. The tram was fun, going to the top of Mount Roberts, passing eagles' nests along the way. It was very rainy and cloudy, so we really couldn't see much of Juneau. We puttered around at the top for a while and made our way back down. We had dinner at The Twisted Fish. Interesting coconut salmon. It was good to get out of the rain and warm up a bit. Got back to the boat rather late and just wanted to dry out and chill for the evening. The next morning we went through the amazing Tracy's Arm Fjord. Wow - an amazing journey to see the glacier! The captain had to slow the boat down a bit due to the number of icebergs littered along the still blue waters! I've never seen so many hues of blue! And on the ice shelf there were hundreds of seals! It was cold, but best to be out on deck to see this magnificent wonder! One thing I never did understand is when I asked for cocoa from one of the staff wandering around, offering cocoa in a commemorative cup, I was told I could not have one. I did have a premium drink card and when I gave that to him, he immediately refused me. Ok - so what if it was not covered? I still wanted one and would pay extra for it, but he could not do it. So, I never did get my cocoa during this time in Tracy's Arm Fjord. Oh well. Later that day we docked at Skagway. Here we took the White Pass Scenic Railway excursion. Wow. I felt like I entered a time warp into yesteryear! The train reminded me of the train in the movie The Polar Express. Even the conductor and brakeman resembled the characters in the movie. I do wonder if this was on purpose. This was a beautiful and scenic train trip through amazing mountains and across the US border into The Yukon Territory into Canada. Hard to imagine how difficult this trip must have been for the gold miners in the gold rush days. It was snowing pretty hard while we were up there. There were snow drifts over 10 feet that we went past. The scenery - the scenery! I got some fantastic pictures. When we got back into Skagway, we chose to wander around the quaint little town for a while. We had lunch at the Bonanza Bar and Grill and took a look at the Red Onion Saloon. What a fun, fun day! The next day was at sea, and again rough waters. We did not experience seasickness at all, but there were barf bags everywhere on the ship. We used this day to relax on the ship. We decided to have a couples massage in the spa. This was probably the worst spa experience I've ever had. We showed up for our appointment and checked in. We were given skimpy little robes to change into. The women's dressing room was on the other side and I had to go through an elevator lobby to get back to the spa. I don't understand why we had such crappy little robes - the ones in our cabin were much, much nicer. This one was so skimpy that I decided against completely disrobing until I got into the treatment room. We were given no slippers or flip flops to wear - isn't this some kind of health hazard to have to wander around a spa barefooted? After I walked though the elevator lobby wearing only that skimpy little robe to get back to the check-in desk, we were shown to a "waiting" area. Hmmm - this area was right behind the workout room and all kinds of people were walking through while we had to sit there half naked waiting for our massage. Two men stood walked by and decided to stand there and have a conversation in Spanish about how "hot" the women were who were working out. I guess they didn't know or didn't care that I understood every lewd word they were saying. That made me even more uncomfortable. I almost decided to go back into the dressing room and put my clothes back on until we got into the treatment room. Thank goodness the people showed up about then to give us our massages. The massages were fine, but the spa experience was not. After our massages, I took a back way into the women's dressing room, but still had to walk half naked through public areas. I will never ever have a massage on a Celebrity cruise again, especially if the ships are all designed in this manner. What an awful experience. After that trauma, we went and spent some time in the Persian Garden Room of the spa. It is a room designed with a dry spa (not a wood Scandinavian style room, but a huge dry heat room), a Turkish bath and an herbal steam room. That was pleasant, but a bit crowded. That evening we had reserved dinner at the SS United States. What an incredible dining experience! We had a table right next to a huge porthole and saw a pod of Orca whales along with dolphin swim right past our table! We chose the five course meal that had each course paired with wine. Three hours later, we finally waddled out of the dining room! I highly recommend doing that once on your cruise. The next evening we were in Victoria, British Columbia. It was fine, but after all the natural beauty we had experienced, it was a bit of a letdown to be back in "civilization" again. Oh well, all good things must come to an end, I suppose. The next morning we lingered for a last breakfast in Blu and then, sadly, had to leave the ship. I do recommend Celebrity, despite the terrible spa experience. The service is fantastic. The ports were amazing. The food was excellent. The entertainment was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We returned two weeks ago from sailing through the Panama Canal aboard the Celebrity Infinity. What a wonderful cruise! The ship was fabulous and the ports of call well worth it. Just going through the Panama Canal was an incredible ... Read More
We returned two weeks ago from sailing through the Panama Canal aboard the Celebrity Infinity. What a wonderful cruise! The ship was fabulous and the ports of call well worth it. Just going through the Panama Canal was an incredible experience. What an engineering feat! The Infinity has recently been refurbished and everything sparkled! Our stateroom was very nice. Our stateroom attendant pampered us with fresh flowers, champagne and great service. The frozen towels and ice water on the dock was a nice touch after some very hot excursions! The main dining room had scrumptious food! Our head waiter left a little to be desired, however. He was always in a hurry and made some sort of mistake almost every evening, mostly serving the wrong entrees to the wrong people There was no attempt to learn our names until about the 10th night! Not what we had experienced on previous cruises. The bar service was a little strange in a few of the lounges too. One bartender said she couldn't mix our drinks as ordered, because she had never heard of it! It was the Drink of the Day! Also, the pool area lacked adequate bar staff and was very slow in mixing drinks. The Oceanview Cafe was fine for breakfast, but we found it lacking in taste and quality for other meals. The Rendevous Lounge had the best band playing there nightly, one that played big band music and lots of ballroom choices. We loved having a late night drink there before retiring. The Bistro on Five, a new speciality restaurant, was incredible! Quietly tucked away on Deck 5, it served many types of crepes, both meal and dessert types. Fantastic! Of course, there was an extra charge, but well worth the $5 each! A nice alternative to a noisy buffet for lunch. All in all, the cruise was well worth the expense in terms of quality and ports of call. The Panama Canal is a once in a lifetime trip, especially with "Uncle Marty" along as narrater! Hats off to a wonderful time! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We stayed in the Hilton Hotel waterfront for 2 nights. Check-in was abysmal, as we had a wait of over 2 hours as our corner seafacing room wasn't ready! We were unaware prior to arrival that this hotel is dog friendly and therefore we ... Read More
We stayed in the Hilton Hotel waterfront for 2 nights. Check-in was abysmal, as we had a wait of over 2 hours as our corner seafacing room wasn't ready! We were unaware prior to arrival that this hotel is dog friendly and therefore we had sleepless nights with dog(s) crying/ barking. Hotel well situated within easy walk to restaurants, gaslight district and seafront attractions. Embarkation at noon took about 30 minutes with fast moving queues and the welcome drink aboard was much appreciated. Our stateroom was spacious with a large veranda. Everything worked well, with no problems. Our steward was very polite and courteous and when the hired tux had not arrived, for the following evening formal dinner, he attended to the matter promptly. We had decided on anytime dining which worked well as we could dine with new found friends. Main dining room seating was prompt, service and food was excellent. My DH enjoys his food piping hot, so after a complaint on the first night every meal thereafter was the perfect temperature. We had a problem with the wine but after a talk to the sommelier , we were happy with his advice on our choice of wine. Customer services were great and made sure we were happy. Patti Honacki our cruise director was great fun and was interesting to talk to and interested in her passengers.The kitchen visit was not to be missed. We had a spectacular meal with the main and dessert flambeed at the table, beautifully presented, silver service in the speciality restaurant. We didn't really enjoy the quirky Qsine restaurant , although perhaps in a group situation more dishes could be tasted and the service quicker. We enjoyed the well presented shows, a different performance each night, with something for everyone. The talks on The Panama Canal by Uncle Marty were informative and very worthwhile . We thoroughly enjoyed the transit through the canal, watching all the activity from the comfort of our balcony. We went on excursions in each port, the self-drive 4x4 through the desert hills and along the beach in Mexico was a great adventure. All of the excursions were well organized, were all as described ( or better) and the cool drink and facecloth were very welcome each time we got back to the ship to be greeted by the smiling Celebrity staff. Disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale took what seemed like hours with long queues. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We have been on 40 + cruises. We are 65 & 77 years old & fairly active. We had a wonderful cruise. I truly believe everyone on Celebrity from the lowest crew members to the officer's really try to please everyone. You are ... Read More
We have been on 40 + cruises. We are 65 & 77 years old & fairly active. We had a wonderful cruise. I truly believe everyone on Celebrity from the lowest crew members to the officer's really try to please everyone. You are always greeted with a hello & a smile. We spent the night before the cruise at the Fairfield Inn. We met 4 other couples here that we have cruised with before. We all took the 10 AM shuttle to the cruise port. We were taken to Michael's Club when we embarked & were served champagne and hor-dourves. We met Ti Ann the Captain's Club Hostess here. She is the best Captain Club Hostess we have ever sailed with. After this meeting, she remembered everyone's name & room number. Our cabin was an inside room on the 2nd floor. It was adequate & had enough storage. Our room steward Anthony did a good job. We don't participate in many activities. We just relaxed & enjoyed ourselves. Dh went to several lectures on the Canal & Mexico which he enjoyed. We had been to all these ports on this same cruise last October. We didn't do any tours just went ashore and walked around. We enjoyed the craft market in Costa Rica. We also especially enjoyed Cabo San Lucas. It was hot & humid. We ate breakfast & lunch at the buffet. There was a lot of good selections here. The pizza was good and the burgers & dogs by the pool were also good. We went to the Elite Breakfast in the SS United States for latte's, bloody Mary's & mimosas. We were served here by Istvan from the Ukraine. He did a great job. We ate most of our evening meals in the dining room at 8:30. Our waiter Cedric & Asst. waiter Raoul were great. We finished by 10 every evening. We had a table for 2. The food was very good. There were a few nights we didn't like the menu but always found something that was good.Our maitre-d stopped by almost every night to check on the food. Although we never ordered wine, a young wine steward stopped by our table every night & asked if we enjoyed our day? Everyone dressed appropriately on the formal nights. Most men wore dark suits. On the 2nd formal night, I saw the maitre -d ask 2 men to step aside & gave them a jacket to wear. The last formal night there were a few men with just a shirt & tie. We ate 1 night in Qsine. It was wonderful We had a group of 12. We were given a special rate of 2 for the price of 1. We let the wait staff just select the food and bring it to us. The presentation, wait staff & food were great. It took 3 hours & there was way too much food. We ate another night in the SS United States. We were a group of 11 on this night & also received the special of 2 for the price of 1. 6 waiters served our table here and did a great job. The food here was also great. It took 3 hours and we ate too much. We attended the Elite Happy Hour each evening from 5-7. We were served by a bar waitress Iryana from the Ukraine. This was her 1st week on the cruise & she did a great job. Ti Ann(Capt. Club Hostess) was here each evening & did a great job. Patti(cruise director) visited several times along with several officers. We attended the shows at 7 each evening. The entertainment was probably the weakest part of this cruise for us. We had seen all 3 production shows before but they were great. This cast is great. They also appeared at the special functions at 10 most evenings, singing & dancing. The aerialist as usual were also great. Fred Klett-Comedian. This was our 3rd time to see him on a Celebrity ship & he was great. A very clean comedy show. We laughed throughout the show. Richard Rubin-Mediocre pianist. We did not enjoy his show at all. His attempts at comedy were not successful. He would be good doing children's shows. Joey Vann-Comedian & Impressionist-terrible.Several people walked out. He is over the hill and none of his impressions were recognizable. Kamika-Guitarist & vocalist. Very talented but we didn't like the show. They did impressions of lady Ga Ga & Jason Bieber. Not good for the age of the crowd on this cruise.Barry John -Juggler & Comedian was very good. Mark Merchant -Ventriloquist. He was a talented ventriloquist but I didn't like his show. He did a lot of political & racial jokes that were not appropriate for a cruise ship and several were offensive. I even heard some boos. Louis Johnson-Comedian. He also did some political & racial jokes that I didn't like. He was humorous but really didn't make me laugh. The Leal Quartet played in the Rendevous on most evenings and were pretty good. A-capella group These Guys were good but only did 15 minute shows. String Trio was good but had no rapport with the audience. They totallly ignored the applause and acted as if no one was there. Twist of 8 Party -Band was the best band on the ship. We enjoyed Rod Ondros, guitarist several nights in Michael's Club. The Celebrity Orchestra was new to the ship and were having a little trouble playing together at their jazz jam sessions. They were individually talented and will improve over time. Overall this is the worst entertainment on the 20 Celebrity cruises, we have done. Disembarkation went well for us. The ship arrived in Seattle about 3 hours late because of rough seas & high winds the last 2 days of the cruise. We always do the carry your own bags off. We were in the 1st group off the ship and it was around 10:00. We took Shuttle Express to the airport. We booked it at the pier for $21 each. There were 3 people on the shuttle & they missed their flight. It was a 11AM flight which is against what Celebrity recommends. It took about 30 minutes to get through security at the airport. We had a 2 PM flight and had no problems. Over-all this was a great cruise. We were happy with everything but the entertainment and some of it was very good. We will definitely sail Celebrity again. We enjoyed the Cruise Critic Slot Pull & Cabin Crawl. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Two nights before the cruise, my husband and I stayed in Fort Lauderdale at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, a really nice hotel, with a gorgeous view from the balcony overlooking the pier and our future cruise ship, which made for fun ... Read More
Two nights before the cruise, my husband and I stayed in Fort Lauderdale at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, a really nice hotel, with a gorgeous view from the balcony overlooking the pier and our future cruise ship, which made for fun anticipation. Embarkation: so easy and so effortless, we thought we must be one of the only cruisers! No lines, no delays and no hassles whatsoever, we boarded and went immediately to our suite. The Royal Suite: worth every penny. We've had the suite on previous cruises and the redecorating was very good as everything was clean and almost new. This suite has a small dining room area open to the living room area and has a separate bedroom along with (my favorite!) a walk-in closet and a spacious bathroom with a spa tub and separate shower. One of the best features is a large veranda with a table and chairs for dining and two lounge chairs next to an outdoor spa tub that sadly, did not get used. A big surprise was on the first night, we received an invitation to dine at one of the specialty restaurants on board, Qsine. Probably one of the most unique restaurants, you order from an iPad and each course is presented in a clever and sometimes amusing manner with small portions of food from many different countries. The service was impeccable. Also on the first formal night, we got to sit at the captain's table in the dining room. Meeting the captain was nice as well as the other guests. Which leads me to review the food on the Infinity: By far, the BEST buffet ever, for breakfast, lunch and dinner! The freshest, ripest, most delicious fruit I have ever had in my life. If you think that's an exaggeration, all I can say is that I saw them load crates of pineapples, melons and bananas from some of the ports we stopped at in South and Central America where they grow these fruits! Absolutely unbelievable as I ate more fruit than I had a right to:>)) But not only the fruit, but since we are vegetarian, there were countless dishes we could have. Often, we will go on a cruise or to a restaurant, and for meat-eaters, there's a wide variety of choices, but for us, maybe some pasta. But on this ship, at the buffet, there was so much food for us, and really, really good food, that we definitely gained weight! Some stand-outs: The pasta bar at the buffet where you can choose whatever ingredients you want and they saute your pasta while you wait. Surprisingly, really excellent sushi (vegetarian sushi) that the chef prepared for us anytime we wanted. Delicious Indian food with just the right amount of spices. There's more, like vegeburgers and wonderful chocolate chip cookies. The only dud was mostly the desserts which even though they looked really good, were just average. But that didn't stop us from coming to the buffet as much as possible! The dining room: A big disappointment. The food was so mediocre and the service so average, that we only dined there twice on the entire cruise. Even though all the other restaurants and food more than made up for this lack of quality cuisine, the disappointment was in not meeting people, sharing experiences or enjoying the ambiance of the dining room which we've always done on previous cruises. One note, however, was the maitre d was very helpful when we wanted to change our dining time. The service: One of the BEST crews we have ever had on any ship. From the butler to just about ever single server, there were greetings, smiles and attentiveness. Our Stateroom butler, Jose, was SO terrific, we could give him twelve stars! He was always available, always friendly and so interesting to talk with. We wished we could take him home:>)) Our stateroom attendant, Nemia Deleon, was wonderful. Ricardo Gomez, a concierge, was so kind and so thoughtful. even sending a bottle of wine to our stateroom. Billy, in the restaurant Blu, was SO darling! Our group only wanted to sit at one of his tables every time we ate there. Also, the people at the concierge desk were so kind to help me use the ship's phone to call Verizon about our cellphones. I could go on and on if I knew every one's names like they knew ours! The spa: Some really good, some not so good. I had a hot stone massage that was really good, but a manicure and pedicure that was not so good. Not bad, just not good. And way overpriced, but one expects that on a cruise ship. The gym was well-stocked with treadmills and machines and a small exercise class area where I took one class. That was okay. Excursions: We decided to take excursions through Celebrity because of the sensitive (a euphemism for drug terrorists carrying you off into the jungle. What? You haven't seen Locked-Up Abroad?:>)))areas we were visiting. Our Cartagena city tour was okay, the bus ride was not so great and the sites were okay an our tour guide was average, but at least we can say we've been to Columbia. The highlight was passing by the hotel where the secret service scandal occurred! Costa Rica: We went ziplining and it was wonderful! This was also an excursion from Celebrity and we really lucked out because our tour guide, Abel Vargas, was absolutely terrific! In fact, we made a point of going to his boss who was there at the ziplining site to tell her how much we liked him. (abelvargasm@hotmail.com) He was so clever and so knowledgeable and really made the history and flora and fauna of Costa Rica come alive for us. Panama Canal was very interesting, not a place I'd want to come back to (once you've seen it kind of thing), but I did see some crocodiles basking on the bank! A highlight for us was Cabo San Lucas. There is a restaurant called The Office, that you HAVE to visit when you're there! You just take one of the countless water taxis across the bay and step off into the water of a beautiful sparkling beach. You walk up the sand to the bright blue umbrella-covered restaurant and sit at a table right there on the beach with your bare feet in the sand. It is glorious. Also, some of the best Mexican food you will ever have. Absolutely NO problem with the water or food here---it is fresh and clean. I think I must have consumed like twelve avocados in the guacamole! Back on board, we really loved the Infinity. We donated plenty to the casino, and really didn't like the video poker machines. We never heard or saw anyone win and we certainly didn't! Not that we would expect to win all the time, mind you, but at least be able to sit at a machine for a length of time. The Captain's Club lounge was a disappointment because on other ships, it's a separate room with a personal concierge. On this ship, it was in two different areas and we only used it a couple of times. Waving happily to R & D who we met on board and who we absolutely adore! The shopping area was fun for me---jewelery was a highlight to look at and consider buying until you realized that you already donated plenty to the casino:>)) But the sales people were really nice and helpful, so I didn't mind any sales pitch at all. I participated in a little jewelry fashion show that was fun. One sorry note: I lost a sapphire bracelet on board as it just slipped off my wrist without my knowing. We went to the lost and found several times a day, but all they did was rummage through a little cardboard box filled with lost sunglasses. This was really not so good and when we asked a few times if maybe they could make an announcement, they coldly declined. I know it was my fault for losing the bracelet, but I could have used a little more sympathy and help. Anyway, this was a really terrific cruise, and if you've actually read this entire review, I highly recommend Celebrity cruises and the Infinity. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
INFINITY ACROSS THE EQUATOR AND THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA We have cruised with Celebrity twelve times and overall we again enjoyed our 15 days aboard the recently "Solsticised" Infinity. The attention of the staff, ambiance, ports ... Read More
INFINITY ACROSS THE EQUATOR AND THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA We have cruised with Celebrity twelve times and overall we again enjoyed our 15 days aboard the recently "Solsticised" Infinity. The attention of the staff, ambiance, ports of call and new friends all contributed to a happy trip up the Pacific Coast, through the Canal and back home to Florida. We shared experiences with new cruisecritic pals from many parts of the world: Australia, Canada, England, Switzerland, Wales and the USA from Cape Cod to Minnesota, from California to the Carolinas. This report will touch on some highs, some lows of the cruise and share travel tips. PRE-CRUISE Infinity set sail from Valparaiso. We discovered it's as important to reserve the flight down well in advance as it is to reserve the cruise itself. American Airlines shocked us with their $3000 quote for one-way, economy flights from Miami to Santiago. Royal Celebrity travel agency First Choice came to the rescue with $600 seats on LAN Chile's comfortable, more modern plane, and their free drink policy! US Citizens pay $140 reciprocal visa tax, Canadians and Australians a bit less. If you have dual citizenship, use another passport to enter Chile. On arrival we were met by a driver from Chilean Journey (Manager Alvin Schuler at contact@chileanjourney.cl), who took us into Santiago ($40) to the Eurotel El Bosque, TripAdvisor recommended and reserved through booking.com. A no-frills hotel but adequate (air-conditioned and quiet room) and Las Condes is a great neighborhood. The manager at the front desk was bilingual and helpful. We can recommend some restaurants within walking distance: Pinpilinpausha for its sea bass and Patagonian lamb chops, Ebro at Plaza El Bosque suites for the set lunch menu, Tiramisu for shrimp brochette and pizzas (be warned that it's a favorite family place, busy on weekends) and Mr Jack for its hamburgers and cold Chilean beer. A metro station is a few blocks away. The metro cars are modern, clean and efficient. We took a train to the stop at Bellavista, the Bohemian bar and restaurant district below Cerro hill. For COP 1800 ($3) a funicular takes you up to the summit for a sensational city and mountain view (smog permitting). A few years ago we went to Artesania Cerro Azul at 278 Bellavista St. to buy lapis lazuli jewelry. We returned to receive a warm welcome, drink coffee with the owner and buy more earrings, bracelets etc. Price bargaining is part of the experience. On the day we sailed, we had pre-arranged a group of four cruisecritic couples to be picked up from different hotels and be shuttled to Valparaiso. The pick-up by Chilean Journey went smoothly and by 10:45 we were on the highway towards the port. On a Sunday it's about 1 ½ hours' drive away. We extended the drive by stopping off at delightful organic winery, Vinedos Emiliana, to buy their reds and whites ($5 to $12 a bottle) and local olive oil ($4 a bottle). As we were in no hurry (and it appears neither was he!) the driver decided on a short diversion to show us the resort town of Vina del Mar. EMBARKATION AND THE SHIP Many passengers also arrived about 1:00pm. The counters were well staffed and we didn't wait long on line to check in. The ship was docked a few hundred yards from the terminal and shuttle buses ran frequently. The ship layout was familiar as we sailed on the "Solsticised" Constellation last year. Our cabin was on Deck 7 mid ships on the port side. We were shocked at the condition the cabin was in on our arrival: cigarette butts in an ashtray on the balcony, a half-used box of sanitary towels and other rubbish left in the bathroom cupboards, the safety deposit box battery dead, and ragged, un-ironed bath robes. One of the drawers in the closet was broken. During the days ahead we had to fight to get adequate supplies of soap and shampoo, and communication with the steward was complicated: we had to call him through Guest Relations not directly to his cell phone. Millions spent to Solsticise didn't extend to cabin bathrooms. No fault of the steward but the toilet bowl porcelain was ingrained with dirt, the grout was grimy, and there was rust on the metal door post. Another gripe was the cheap toilet paper, so flimsy it tears into shreds. THE RESTAURANTS We chose Select Dining rather than early or late sitting in Trellis, the main restaurant, so in principle we could dine whenever. In fact a wait was to be expected if you wished to dine between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. Fernanda the hostess was lovely and coped well with surges of guests at peak hours. The food was generally excellent but we did complain a couple of times and our issues were taken seriously. Once head chef Miguel Angel came out to talk with us. It's the waiters' job to ensure the plate is hot and all is in order and they seemed less alert than usual. We noticed that portions were smaller than in the past: a three shrimp cocktail and three oysters Rockefeller for starters. Main course vegetables were not varied and often skimpy--one or two tiny carrots as a garnish. We splurged twice and had the best meal of the cruise in the SS United States restaurant. The staff tried hard to make Qsine an extraordinary dining experience for us but the hullabaloo about the menu was distracting and made us uncomfortable. Bistro On Five is an oasis, particularly at noon if you can't face the scrum in the buffet. The staff is friendly, their daily soup is always good and the Grand Marnier crepes are yummy. ON BOARD ACTIVITIES Unlike my companion, I tried to see the shows in the theater. This time, the Celebrity Singers & Dancers were the best for me. Guest performers were unpredictable. Jennifer Fair has a fabulous voice. We enjoyed the enrichment series speakers on the history of sea dogs and on natural history. PORTS OF CALL Coquimbo/ La Serena: if it's your first visit, take a tour into the interior of the region. There's nothing for tourists in Coquimbo so we went a few miles over to La Serena. The first taxi driver asked $30 to take four of us. We said "no" and the second cabby agreed to $20. In fact there is a public bus service that costs a dollar (COP500) each way and that's how we returned. In La Serena there is a handicraft market, cathedral and old colonial section. We went to a big supermarket and bought supplies. Arica: Through cruisecritic we organized with Sertours (www.sertours.cl Victor Carrasco, Tour Operator) to take us in three groups of twelve to the main sites. Our bilingual guide Ivan was informative and pleasant. We got to see ancient geogliphs in the Azapa Valley, 10,000 year old Chinchorro mummies and the view from the top of Morro hill. Sertours included an "Aymara picnic" which turned out to be a delightful buffet of typical local fare served in a spotlessly clean cabin near the mummies' museum. Lima: A cruisecritic member arranged an excellent tour for a dozen of us with Peru Inca Wonders (www.peruincawonders.com). Our professional and charming guide was Vanessa Vasquez. Lima is huge with nine million inhabitants and horrendous traffic but we got to see a lot: Pachamac pre-Colombian ruins, the Gold Museum, Miraflores town center, the coastline and the sensational colonial-style buildings in the historical center. Our buffet lunch at Aromas Peruanos in Miraflores included samples of typical local cuisine. Manta: the official birthplace of the "Panama" hat is nearby Monte Cristi and you can see them being made as well as make your purchase. Manta itself has an interesting archeological museum and is a center for tuna packaging plants (we passed Sunkist) and Pacoche jungle is close by. With luck Howler Monkeys can be seen and a guide steered some of our group to see what he claimed was the rear end of a monkey, hanging in a tree. Panama Canal: we reached Miraflores, the Pacific entrance, about 9:00 a.m. and emerged from Gatun locks into the Caribbean Sea eight hours later. The Canal rightly claims to be one of the man-made wonders of the world. It's fascinating to experience being lifted 84 feet through the locks, sailing for miles across immense artificial Lake Gatun, and then be lowered to the level of the Caribbean. The heat is oppressive even as a spectator so what it was like 100 years ago to dig the canal is hard to imagine. It helps get an understanding of the magnitude of the project by reading David McCullough's riveting tale of "The Path between the Seas". Colon/Panama City: we took a Celebrity tour, "The Shaping of Panama", to the capital city in a coach of 35 passengers. Our guide Rosalba was bilingual, cheerful and full of information about the history of the country from its birth to the present. The newly completed turnpike makes the trip from Colon to the outskirts quite rapid. We visited the area of the Canal Authority buildings, modern sky-scraper offices and condos and the old colonial city center. Lunch was at the Holiday Inn! A pity as the buffet was 100% American. As with any large group, Rosalba was rightly concerned about keeping the tour on track and on time without losing anyone. She succeeded and all seemed pleased with the experience. Cartagena: we "left the best till last". The Cartagena we saw was clean, attractively zoned and the old colonial district is lovely. Our cruisecritic crew of eight was fortunate to have chosen a wonderful guide, Marelvy Pena-Hall (www.tourismcartagena.com). Marelvy is multilingual and she and her American husband, a well-known painter, write as well as guide. Marelvy first took us up to La Popa fortress to orientate us and show us a panoramic view of the city, the port and surrounding area. Later we explored old and modern neighborhoods, including Las Bovedas for local artisan works. At Plazoleta de Las Bovedas, Local 8, Ana Raquel Gil sold us charming dresses for little girls. We ended our tour in the old colonial city center, which has been carefully restored, and visited the Gold Museum. DISEMBARKATION AND FAREWELL Infinity docked before dawn and had set up staggered disembarkation times to suit passengers' needs. We left the ship at 9:00 am, the Immigration and customs officer waved us through without delay. A smooth end to a well-run cruise, which we can recommend with some doubts expressed above, if not unreservedly. We do plan to sail on the Celebrity fleet again in future. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Things for off to a sticky start - embarkation was protracted and chaotic due to a health inspection and most of the staff being in their 90s. When we got to our cabin it stank of smoke and the poor cabin boy complained that due to a ... Read More
Things for off to a sticky start - embarkation was protracted and chaotic due to a health inspection and most of the staff being in their 90s. When we got to our cabin it stank of smoke and the poor cabin boy complained that due to a ventilation issue smoke was being pumped into our cabin (9008). We complained and initially our complaint was not dealt with well - they wanted to separate my husband and I from our 14 year old daughter or put us in a room in the elevator area. Ultimately after I called the guest relations manager we were moved to adjoining concierge class cabins on the 8th floor. Our first experiences of the buffet dining were also not good - many very rude diners pushing and shoving. Most of these were none English speakers - seemingly Eastern European and German. However we later realise that choosing dining time avoided this issue. The evening meal staff in the Trellis ensured that the meal in this restaurant was always excellent - great food and service. The food in the Ocean Grill was also very good. We ate at Qsine one night - lots of fun, huge amounts of food and our daughter loved the menus. Trips in general high quality other than the shaping of Panama City trip which was grim in the extreme. This was a bus based "mild" exertion trip. Many participants were either very old, very over weight or disabled. The transport did not cater for this - neither did the eating or toilet arrangements. All other trips we took were nominally strenuous - and these issues did not recur. In general the ship occupants were well over 65 - so a strenuous rating ruled out many and these trips were under subscribed .... Which we felt was a good thing. Real positives were the quality of the room cleaning staff, the gym was well equipped and classes were great. Our photograph package was very very good value. My husband and daughter loved the Puerto Vallarta zip trek trip - the photos from this were a really good buy. We met some fantastic people and worked out how to avoid the more annoying ones. The spa was an outstanding negative - over price and therapists work on commission so they aggressively sell products and offer poor value expensive treatments. My advice don't bother having a treatment on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2012
Us: Late 40's on our 12th cruise - 5th with Celebrity Cruises (hereafter referred to as X). Traveled with a third person (sister) and hence booked a Royal Suite for the additional space. Our focus was on food, service, ... Read More
Us: Late 40's on our 12th cruise - 5th with Celebrity Cruises (hereafter referred to as X). Traveled with a third person (sister) and hence booked a Royal Suite for the additional space. Our focus was on food, service, accommodations, and itinerary. With the exception of the "Behind the Scenes" galley tour we did not attend any shows or participate in any Celebrity Life activities such as on board lectures. We arranged our own travel arrangements to/from the port. Fellow passengers: 75% were over the age of 60 - fairly typical although not terribly unexpected for this length of cruise and the destination. While the majority of the passengers were from North America a very large percentage of the passengers were German. Cultural differences were evident on the elevators and in the buffet lines. We had most recently sailed on the Silhouette and so we'll make comparisons to a true Solstice Class ship and the Solstice-ized version. Essentially the changes were simply the repurposing of various unused/little used areas (see CC's before/after slideshow) adding Solstice venues. In most cases the changes were very well done, the best of which we thought was the transformation of the flower shop into Qsine. Who would have thought that an orange and black decor could work together except for Halloween? Infinity is 11 years old but still possesses an elegant pedigree. The draped Grand Foyer is understated and graceful. Dark and light wood is used throughout the ship to add warmth and stateliness. Yes there are areas where Infinity shows her age but she is still lovely. The ship does not possess the modern lines of the Solstice ships nor the same level of sophistication, but it is easy to learn the ship's layout and get around without a lot of hassle. We found the food to be very good to excellent throughout the ship. There was one "miss" but a substitute was brought immediately: Osso Bucco was offered in the Trellis Dining Room one evening. Mine arrived completely inedible - fatty and tough. Once I brought this to my waiter's attention I was offered either a replacement or a different entree. I chose a NY Strip (a daily offering) which arrived promptly and cooked perfectly. The point being that you must let someone know when something is not to your liking and not suffer in silence only to complain later. The Oceanview Cafe (buffet area) is set up in a two service line format (versus an island/station format on other ships). This leads to occasional waiting times and "butting in" of rude passengers. Table "campers" were a slight annoyance, but we never had trouble finding a clean/available table. Bar servers were readily available in all dining venues. Service throughout the ship was terrific with kudos to the entire staff of The S.S. United States and Qsine. Our room stewardess and her assistant were great and our butler was really outstanding. The passengers on this cruise were not drinkers or gamblers -- lounges were full of people with empty tables in front of them and there weren't more than 5 people in the casino on our way to dinner (8:30), although after dinner there was more action in the casino. The early shows seemed to be well attended based on the number of people pouring out of the theater as the show let out. "Free" events with giveaways were well attended. We overheard one couple commenting on the specialty restaurants say "Why would we pay to eat at another restaurant? We've already paid for our food." On another occasion a couple arrived at a Single Malt Scotch tasting in Michael's Club and sat down. When they heard there was a charge for the tasting they got up and walked out. It was just that kind of crowd. We visited only 4 of the 6 ports. Our two highlights: In Cartagena we walked around the non-touristy area then had lunch at La Cevicheria, a great find off the beaten path. This is a definite stop if you like ceviche -- fresh and delicious. The restaurant, while small, is clean and the service was great. Our second highlight was a ship sponsored shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta conducted by Vallarta Adventures, "Outdoor Experience". The excursion combined zip lining and rappelling in a beautiful jungle setting and was so professionally managed by an outstanding and energetic team that we felt it was one of our top 3 excursions ever! In Puntarenas, Costa Rica and Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala we shopped at the pier for local crafts and tee-shirts. We took a snorkeling excursion in Cabo San Lucas that was fun, but the water was rather murky. We stayed on the ship in Colon, Panama. So -- great ship, excellent food, beautiful weather, excellent service. Another wonderful cruise with Celebrity. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2012
We recently lost our cruising virginity on a 14 day cruise from Buenos Aries around Cape Horn to Valparaiso. Quite frankly, I am glad we saved ourselves for Celebrity. My wife and I like active cycling and/or hiking vacations and we ... Read More
We recently lost our cruising virginity on a 14 day cruise from Buenos Aries around Cape Horn to Valparaiso. Quite frankly, I am glad we saved ourselves for Celebrity. My wife and I like active cycling and/or hiking vacations and we didn't know if we would like being"captive"in a ship. We need not of worried. From the moment we left port, we felt pampered by the staff and wondered at the wealth of quality activities available throughout the ship. This feeling was echoed by the four other couples we were travelling with. The food in the Trellis Dining room and service provided was in a word-superb! The myriad of on-board physical fitness activities more than kept our interest and helped a little to work off all those extra calories we took in. The entertainment was a huge surprise. We were really impressed by the high calibre of the Shows and Beyond the Podium speakers in the Celebrity Theatre. As a suggestion, we would like to some adventuresome/physically challenging shore excursions on offer for future cruises. There were a few minor glitches with embarkation at Montevideo and Punta Del Este but these were beyond Celebrity's control. Overall, because we were treated so royally by the staff, and because of the quality of activities and entertainment as well as the spectacular scenery, we were more than happy with our first cruising experience. To be continued... 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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