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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We had an excellent back-to-back cruise on Infinity traveling from Buenos Aires to Ft. Lauderdale with multiple ports in between. We spent a week in Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls before boarding. The ship - Infinity is in excellent ... Read More
We had an excellent back-to-back cruise on Infinity traveling from Buenos Aires to Ft. Lauderdale with multiple ports in between. We spent a week in Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls before boarding. The ship - Infinity is in excellent material condition particularly when you consider the range of climates (Antarctica to the Equator) and multiple tender ports which preclude a lot of exterior work. You could not go an hour around the ship without seeing crewmembers wiping down bulkheads and railings. We had no outbreaks of noro during the cruise although there were frequent reminders in the daily program about washing your hands. It is a very clean ship in which the crew took great pride. You look in high traffic areas and see wear and yes the varnish was peeling in certain areas on the open deck, but the weather has to be conducive to refinishing. It did not affect enjoyment of our cruise. Boarding – Having read horror stories about boarding, we were pleasantly surprised. Arrived at 11:45 and were onboard in short order. Cabins were available at 1. I think the confusion in BsAs occurs when more than one ship is boarding. A Princess ship was inport, but had boarded the previous day. The crew - Overall the crew was very upbeat and passenger centered. There were the usual always visible superstars among the hotel officers - Ludmilla, the Chief Housekeeper who was always visible checking with passengers and F&B Manager Clint who did a tremendous job ensuring we never ran out of either. Having done over ten cruises on -X-, I believe the officers reflect the personality of the master. In this case, Nikolaos Frantzis was quite reserved and not seen mixing with the passengers and most of the deck/navigation officers were equally withdrawn. This put a lot of pressure on the hotel officers to participate in the many officer/guest activities. Cruise Director Esperanza was on stage in the theatre at showtime and other major events, but otherwise was not visible. She was departing the ship when we arrived in FLL. (I admit that we were spoiled by cruises on Constellation and Eclipse which set the bar very high.) Food - The staff in Blu was amazing from Constantin and Olga seating us to Iwan our waiter and Novelia, his assistant. Blu was great – like having your own private dining room. We never left hungry and always had an enjoyable meal. Blu has 14 day menu rotation with only minor changes over the years. Only problem is that some of our favorites are on the same menu. We used Oceanview for breakfast on early port days. Love the eggs Benedict, but missed the fresh OJ in Blu. Entertainment - It is just impressive to see a seven piece orchestra accompanying virtually every stage performance. These talented musicians performed with all the guest entertainers providing backup and occasionally starring with headliners like Doug Cameron who is always excellent. Most of the other evening performers were adequate, but not great. Other onboard entertainers were: Grove Collectors DJ Duo, Dallas Louis on Guitar, DJ Lenny, Sea Duo Latin Guitarists, and Party Band D'Revelations. On the first leg we also had a tremendous tango troupe, Pampas Devils, teaching and performing. Enrichment - Mickey Live was onboard for the first leg from BsAs to Valparaiso and he is excellent. Friendly and approachable all around the ship with "office hours" in Cafe al Bacio to answer questions about sights and photography. Milos is fine in small quantities once you get through his first presentation about himself (not the listed topic). He has a limited repertoire of generic topics which repeat from cruise to cruise. On the second leg, Dr. Dean replaced Mickey Live and his presentations were informative and entertaining. Passengers - Wide variety including groups from Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada (CAA-Montreal). Most were polite and most of us came down with a light cold that led to lots of coughing - widely reported in previous posts from Infinity. Disembarkation in FLL – While the crew was ready at 6AM for their inspection which has to be done in the terminal with computer hook-ups, CBP wasn’t. (Mandatory inspection since Infinity had been out of the US for several months.) Although there were 6 or 7 CBP officers, two were devoted to clearing the crew so they could get back to work. That meant there were only 4-5 CBP officers for the passengers. Actually not bad for FLL. Cabin – 1140. Great AQ cabin in the center of deck 11 looking aft. There was some soot present on the deck of the veranda in the morning – likely from trash burning overnight. Cabin is very quiet and convenient to all dining venues – walk down one deck and you are in Oceanview or ride the elevator down to other decks. The aft elevators seem to be less in demand than others. Hint: when boarding, walk up to deck two, go aft and get on the elevator avoiding all the crowds waiting for the midship elevator. Ports: We used private tours arranged at all ports except Pisco, Peru with was substituted for Lima after we had already left for BsAs. Buenos Aires. We arrived a week before sailing and spent four days touring the city - two days with Tomas (Bonaventura Tours) seeing the city sights and sailing on the Tigre Delta, one day at Estancia El Ombu de Areco, and a day exploring the San Telmo Market and Government Square on our own. Since we overnighted in Buenos Aires the first night of the cruise, we took in Tango Carlos Gardel and returned about 0030 with no problem. Iguazu Falls. If you are leaving from BsAs, a trip to the Falls is not to be missed. Eleanor Roosevelt remarked, "Poor Niagara," after seeing Iguazu. A fellow CC member organized a group of 20+ who booked individually with Pablo from 01Argentina. We had a great time exploring the falls in small group tours arranged by Pablo. He arranged the air (Aerolineas Argentinas), accommodations (2 nights in Iguazua the Saint George Hotel), tours and transport to/from the airports for less than a third of Celebrity's price for an up/back on the same day. Montevideo. Tour of the city highlights followed by lunch and wine tasting at Vina Varela Zarranz winery which included cheese, olives, cold cuts, homemade meat pie (similar to quiche) and a dessert sampler. This was an excellent tour that got us back to the ship with plenty of time for shopping. Punta del Este. Tour included a drive through Beverly Hills, San Raphael, Hand in the Sand Monument, Four Seas Corner, Casa Puebla, Museo del Mar, and a drive around the peninsula. The trip was originally planned to include a meal (not included) at El Sargo. After discussion in the van, we opted to skip the lunch and return to the ship as most of us had been on the go (and eating) since arriving in BsAs over a week ago. The guide/driver, Hebert Sismondi was good, but not outstanding. Puerto Madryn and Punta Tombo Penguin Tour with Forestero Tours. While most of the 80,000 penguins that come to the reserve to mate and prepare for the winter had already departed, there were plenty to see. Most were molting which means they were defenseless since they cannot enter their safe environment, the water. It was great to see the penguins and walk among them - they have the right of way on the sidewalks. The only downside was the 2.5 hour drive from Puerto Madryn followed by an equally long return. Our driver spotted many local animals and stopped for pictures of animals including mana (small deer-like animal related to the antelope), choique (similar to ostriches), guanacos (llamas), maras (Patagonian hare) and two rodents - tuco tucos and the tailless cavy. As we neared the ocean, we saw turkey vultures, pinguinas (egrets), grey petrels, and albatross. Since the area is surrounded by sheep ranches, we saw gauchos and border collies herding. A box lunch was included. Ushuaia. We left the port about 7:30 and breezed past the entrance gate since the park had not officially opened and made our first stop at a small area where our guide explained that beavers had been brought from Canada to start a fur industry. The only problem was the beavers adapted to the slightly warmer climate by growing shorter fur, thus reducing the value of the skins. Now there is a huge beaver overpopulation problem. Next stop was Ensenada Bay where the End of the World Post Office is located. With our early start we were still ahead of many of the ship tour busses. We stopped briefly at Roca Lake for photo opportunities and then at the park's main area for shopping, coffee and bathrooms. The guide paid our entrance fees as we exited and handed us our tickets. There are several glaciers, including the La Martial, surrounding Ushuaia which gave us some excellent photos. While the guide was very knowledgeable of the area, her English skills were limited. Punta Arenas. We arrived outside the harbor at Punta Arenas this morning greeted by winds gusting to 60 knots. The Chilean authorities closed the port due to dangerous conditions and there was no question that we would be moving on since it was a scheduled tender port. The activities staff put together a full day of things to do while the cooks broke out lots of food to feed the starving hoards who were unable to eat ashore. The captain announced that we would be going to the Skua Glacier tomorrow - it's a bit off track but we have plenty of time. The Chilean pilot on board said that we would enjoy it and we did. Puerto Montt with GV Tours. After our tender ride ashore, we began our first day in Chile with a ride to the countryside through an area where there was a forest fire yesterday which closed the highway. Last night's rain had dampened the fire, but there was lots of lingering smoke near the city. On the way, we learned that this area was settled by Germans in the mid-1950s. Today the influence is still very strong with private German schools, clubs, and parks. The weather cleared as we approached Lake Llanquihue, the largest in Chile, for a short stop and walk about the town of Puerto Varas, known as the City of Roses. Since we were early, the shops had not yet opened. In the distance was our next stop, Mt. Osorno, a snow-capped volcano. We walked across the lava field to reach the Petrohue Falls and rapids. While not Iguzu, it was very picturesque with glacial blue water swirling. We stopped at restaurant in the Vincente Perez Rosales National Park and learned that the owners of the tour company (and restaurant) were an ex-pat from Oregon (complete with his OSU ball cap) and his Chilean wife. Our final stop of the adventure was in the Bavarian-styled village of Frutillar with a very interesting performing arts center. We wished that we had more time in Puerto Varas on the outbound leg, but we were driven by the need to get to the restaurant before the ship's tours arrived. Arica with Sertours. We did a quick walking tour of the town including the Cathedral designed by Gustave Eiffel (of tower fame) and a few other sights. After getting in the van, we headed to a surfing area and small lighthouse and then headed up the large rock hill, Morro de Arica, with a figure of Christ facing the sea and several cannons commemorating the battle in the 1880s where the Chilean troops defeated the Peruvians gaining control of the area. We drove along the coast for a while observing local birds before heading into the Lluta River Valley. We visited the San Jeronimo Church founded in the 1600's with a few vendors selling mementos. We stopped for a delicious lunch at 38 y medio Restaurant - probably the best meal we have had off the ship since leaving Buenos Aires. We the left the main highway to cross the mountainous desert before descending into the next valley to visit the mummies from 6000-8000 BC at the Museo of the Universidad de Tarapaca. On our travels we saw several geogliphs dating from the 1500's. We had an excellent driver who told our guide (translator) what we were seeing. It seemed like he was a last minute substitution. Lima – Cancelled due to dock unavailability – Pisco Substituted I would caution against using Peruvian Local Friends for tours in Lima. They require a 50% deposit and when we provided cancellation notice three weeks in advance due to the port problem, they said the contract did not provide for refunds. X provided a credit of $50 or $100 per person depending on cabin level as compensation. Pisco (San Martin), Peru (Sub for Lima/Callao) Originally we were scheduled for Lima (Callao) but the pier was not ready for our arrival so San Martin was substituted. We were very pleasantly surprised with the Ballestas Islands Exploration Ships Tour (Ship Tour I501). We were bused to the port of Paracas where we boarded a very comfortable boat to the islands. We saw the Candelabra on the hillside and then proceeded to the islands where we saw lots of sea lions, pelicans, boobies, and other seabirds including Magellianic Penguins. It was an excellent tour but friends reported that they had taken the free shuttle to Paracas and were offered a similar tour for $25. Manta with Narwell Tours We had an excellent tour with Jonathan and Jesus from Narwell tours. Our arrival time was delayed and then it took longer than expected for the ship to clear, but our excellent guides adjusted the schedule to compensate and we still saw all that was planned - just shorter stops. We stopped at the Pacoche Humid Forest to see the howler monkeys, stopped at a small restaurant on the coast (not included) for a seafood luncheon, visited a renowned Panama hat maker in the village of Pile, shopped for hats and souvenirs in Montechristi and returned to the port. Transiting Panama Canal The Panamanian pilot and Infinity's speakers provided a great commentary going through the locks and the remainder of the canal. We were in the locks with the Azamara Journey which provided an interesting perspective since Infinity is a Panamax vessel which absolutely fills the lock while the Journey is smaller. The "new" locks are still under construction and the Panamanian pilot said they would be ready in 2016. 2017 or 18 would appear to be a much safer bet. We began the approach from the Pacific about 6AM and after traveling north, we entered the Caribbean about 6 PM. Colon, Panama Embara Indian Village (Embara Village Tours) The highlight of the visit was traveling to the village by dugout canoes and watching the boatmen handle them when there were only inches of water below the boat and our 6 - 8 passengers. This village of 135 residents is really authentic complete with a local K-6 school with a Panamanian teacher. Lunch was local freshwater fish and plantains served in a plantain leaf bowl and delicious fresh fruit. A village elder took us on a trail to show us some local plants and other sights. The native dance was little more than the women moving their arms and walking in a circle with a drummer in the background. The worst part was the hour we spent before getting to the canoe area with our guide, Ian, getting lost on the back roads of Panama. We had a very close vote on returning directly to the ship based on his incompetence, but are glad we stayed with the plan. Cartagena, Columbia with Marelvey Pena We walked through one of the nicest port entrances complete with all sorts of wildlife - flamingos, peacocks, long-necked geese, parakeets, parrots, sloths, rabbits, etc. to meet our superb guide, Marelvey Pena. Our first stop was at el Popa, a monastery at the top of the city's highest point. There was a festival-like environment as we arrived with a group of recent high school graduates enrolled in a government program performing several dances. After watching this, we walked the remainder of the way to the top for some excellent views of the city along with explanations by Marelvey and then entered the chapel complete with the alter from a former church in the city. At the Fortress of San Felipe, we learned about how the one-legged, one-armed defender of the city defeated a far larger British force and about a recent ceremony attended by Prince Charles and Camilla. We then did a nice walk about the old city, seeing the walls, main plazas, cloisters and visiting the Spanish consulate, the Gold Museum and a Juan Valdez coffee shop. It was very hot and very humid and Marelvey did an excellent job including several air conditioned stops so we could refresh. Marelvey is an excellent guide who I would recommend highly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Overall Impressions- A very good itinerary on a very good ship. we have been on Infinity several times and she has been well maintained. Service levels were very good in all bars and dining facilities. Cabin was excellent and we had ... Read More
Overall Impressions- A very good itinerary on a very good ship. we have been on Infinity several times and she has been well maintained. Service levels were very good in all bars and dining facilities. Cabin was excellent and we had the advantage of getting an excellent price. Spent 3 days in BA pre cruise even tho we have been there several times. It is a fascinating city that I never tire of. We were hampered on this cruise because both of us got a very violent flu. Heather says she got it from someone who sneezed in the elevator and did not bother to cover it. Naturally I got it several days later. Both felt very weak for much of the cruise but still very much enjoyed the drive by of Antarctica which is why we dis the cruise in the first place. Buenos Aires- Transfer to the ship-Take a taxi. The ride to the ship cost us about $4. from the Hotel Gran Buenos Aires. On the return the taxis outside the cruise terminal were asking a firm $20. We walked across the street and hailed a street cab and the cost was $5.00 with a tip. Hotel as mentioned we stayed in the Gran Hotel Buenos Aires on both the departure and return. We have used this well located hotel several times in the past and have always received great service(very late check outs, early check ins, great concierge service and a really good breakfast buffet included in the room price of approximately $80 per night double) Hotel is located less than two blocks from Florida Street which is the main shopping promenade. If shopping for leather use some of the shops on Avenida Alvear(hotel street) as they are cheaper than Florida street but just a s reputable. Leather is a great bargain. Always plan on spending at least 3 days in Buenos Aires. Tango Shows and Estancia visit are must dos. Ushaiia- By the time we reached Ushahia we we both not feeling well so just walked around the center of town. Found it to be pricy but had lots of interesting architecture. Falklands- Had been before and still not feeling well so again just wandered around town, Fortunately we had been there twice before. It is interesting to me because the people are friendly and quite willing to stop and have a discussion about the Island Medical Facility. Because of my Flu I eventually went to the Medical centre where for the usual fee I received excellent service in a timely manner from the Ships South African doctor. He did a very good check up and spent sufficient time with me to get me sorted out. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
My husband and I needed a cruise that was more into seeing beautiful scenery than lots of stops as I had just gotten over some injuries from a fall. This was the perfect cruise. We had sailed on Celebrity before; on the Silhouette last May ... Read More
My husband and I needed a cruise that was more into seeing beautiful scenery than lots of stops as I had just gotten over some injuries from a fall. This was the perfect cruise. We had sailed on Celebrity before; on the Silhouette last May so we could make some comparisons and for the most part we enjoyed the Infinity immensely even though it is an older ship. We liked the fact that it was a bit smaller so it was easier to see the same people over and over. It also had an absolutely fantastic crew and the food was by far the best we have ever had on a ship. The restaurant hostesses were absolutely charming and we never had a problem getting just the perfect table for us. The only drawbacks for this cruise were the boarding in Buenos Aires was horrendous. We have found in the past that Celebrity's boarding is to say the least less than the perfect sendoff for a great vacation but in this case it was hours of standing in line,partially because Argentina has lots of red tape that you go through every time you enter and leave the country. The other drawback was that the shore excursions were not well organized. We were particularly soured on the last day. As our flight was not leaving until 7pm on a Sunday evening we booked a tour that we assumed was an all day tour to see Buenos Aires and have lunch at a tango show. We were not told in advance ( as is the usual case) just how long the tour would be and we assumed that we would not get to the airport until late in the afternoon. (They had specified that you could only take this tour if your flight was leaving after 7pm) The tour of the city was from 8am to 10pm at which time we were taken to the restaurant for the tango show. Here we were poured as much wine as we wanted ( at 10 AM!!!!) and subjected to almost two hours of watching tango dancing where half of that would have been more than enough. We were then served a very good typical Argentinian lunch of empanadas, steak, etc and then hustled off to the airport We would have been much happier to have been the last ones to leave the ship rather than the first ones and then spend a few hours touring and have gotten to the restaurant closer to noon rather than at 10 AM This horrendous last day almost soured my husband on the entire cruise   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
What better way to celebrate a "big birthday" than pushing the boat out on a cruise to new destinations on a favourite cruise line? The Infinity round trip from Buenos Aires down to Cape Horn and beyond with visits to Patagonia, ... Read More
What better way to celebrate a "big birthday" than pushing the boat out on a cruise to new destinations on a favourite cruise line? The Infinity round trip from Buenos Aires down to Cape Horn and beyond with visits to Patagonia, the Falklands and Montevideo with some days to explore BA and the Iguazu Falls more than fitted the bill. The Hotel Intercontinental in BA is central and used by the cruise companies and airlines for their staff. Elegant, old-fashioned personal service and with sparkling wine at breakfast. We were well pleased. We had been warned by Celebrity that boarding could be a challenge as MSC, Princess and Fred Olsen also had boats turning around - so it proved:the bag drop was chaotic as the local authority was overwhelmed. Some unofficial queue marshalling by off duty Celebrity staff and strident cruisers at least separated people into queues that were for their boat. Once in the hands of Celebrity we were able to get processed quickly - the online check in hadn't been the easiest but it saved a lot of time. Others have commented that Infinity is showing her age, but so am I. We suited each other. Basically sound, polishes up well when necessary but cosmetic surgery would help. This itinerary is not for the first time cruiser: many consecutive sea days and few ports of call with uncertain weather is not a typical cruise these days. We were happy to settle into familiar routines and enjoyed the ride. MDR was fine, pleasant company and good fun but portions were erratic. Loved the SS United States food and service, also Bistro on Five for lunch (Officers' choice too) and Cafe el Bacio. The Classic drinks package was part of our deal and worked well. Standout entertainment by The Pampas Devils, tango troupe, and by the naturalist and photography lecturers who prepared us to spot and film the whales, dolphin and penguins. The MickeyLive Snapshot Rally was a highlight. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
We selected that cruise both for its itinerary and its price and we were not disappointed ! Embarkation was fast and efficient in Buenos Aires . We got at the terminal at 11.00 hrs and at noon we were sitting at the back of the ship ! Our ... Read More
We selected that cruise both for its itinerary and its price and we were not disappointed ! Embarkation was fast and efficient in Buenos Aires . We got at the terminal at 11.00 hrs and at noon we were sitting at the back of the ship ! Our cabin was available at 15.00 hrs and we had met our steward before the safety drill ! We were scheduled for dinner at the second seating ( 20h30) which we thought at first to be too late , but after meeting our new table mates , we decided to stick to this schedule . We really enjoyed everything at the dining room : the food , the service , the company and the atmosphere . In fact it did reconcile us with Celebrity after a bad experience on the Constellation in 2013 . Lunch at the buffet was not as good , more on the average side compared with other cruise lines . What we did appreciate though was the seating room available , even when everyone was sitting inside due to the cold weather . Our cabin on the 9th floor was very comfortable , surprisingly quiet even if we were located just under the buffet and the temperature inside was well controlled even if we had to switch from AC to heating on the ship ! I am very sensible to dryness and I never experienced any problem during the cruise . Entertainment was great on all aspects : the shows were excellent , activities on board were interesting and the seminars given by Milos and Mike were among the best I have seen in 35 cruises . Milos particularly was both instructive and hilarious and I even rewatched some of his presentations on TV ! The Wine Cellars bar also offered some interesting wine tasting activities which seemed to be appropriate when in Argentina ! The ports of call were interesting and so were the days at sea . We were able to spend a lot of time close to Cape Horn , Paradise Bay was fantastic and even though we would have liked to get closer to Elephant Island to have a good look at the glaciers , we were gratified with a close view of 2 huge icebergs at the end of the afternoon . This viewing was always complemented by observations from Milos and Mike. Disembarkation was also very smooth , the only irritant there was the huge fare for taxis going anywhere ( $20 US for a 1mile ride !!) Overall we had a cruise where all our expectations were met !   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We chose the cruise because of is itinerary - this did not disappoint. Too many aspects of the way were treated seemed designed to get as much money out of us as possible. We were bombarded with numerous over-priced offers. Having already ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of is itinerary - this did not disappoint. Too many aspects of the way were treated seemed designed to get as much money out of us as possible. We were bombarded with numerous over-priced offers. Having already pre-paid gratuities, we were still charged an additional 18% "service charge" on our drinks and even then were invited to leave a further gratuity! Although the majority of shore excursions were enjoyable, comparable locally-provided ones of the same quality were little more than half the price. Celebrity's shore excursions were the most expensive we have experienced so far. We had endless IT problems relating to the on-line check in. After weeks of frustration these were only finally resolved by a dialogue with a senior member of Celebrity Cruises staff. Attempts to contact the "normal" customer support team were hopeless. We found ourselves waiting for 35minutes on a special charge rate phone line without a reply. Ironically we came to check in at the terminal, the bar code reader could not read our pre-printed booking form and we had to be booked in manually! Tendering arrangements in the Falkland Islands were totally inadequate. We arrived well before the requested return time to find ourselves in an almost hour-long queue for a tender. The ship ultimately sailed almost two hours late whilst the queue was finally cleared. The visiting speakers were generally informative, but, especially with the in house staff, the style was very "in your face" and at times patronising. We were sometimes left feeling as if we were expected to have left our brains behind. Our stateroom attendant Max and our dining room waiter, Marlon, were both very good and deserve to be recognised. We would only sail with Celebrity Cruises again if they were the only ones going to a destination we particularly wanted to visit. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We have sailed on Celebrity many times and almost always are very happy with them. The crew/staff on this cruise did not seem to be at par with other cruises. Although they said the proper things, many of them did not seem as happy as on ... Read More
We have sailed on Celebrity many times and almost always are very happy with them. The crew/staff on this cruise did not seem to be at par with other cruises. Although they said the proper things, many of them did not seem as happy as on other cruises. There was no "energy" with them. My biggest complaint was at the Falklands. We had signed up for a Celebrity tour that was scheduled to be back at about 4:00. A note in the daily rag noted that due to limitation of tenders, wait times may be long. (They wait till the night before to alert you). The last tender was to be at 4:30. When we got to the pier at 4:00, there was a huge line waiting to take the return tender. We stood in line for 1:15 hr, most folks probably 1:30 hr., and I heard of some people waiting 2 hr in line. Fortunately for us, it did not rain (slight sprinkles) but I understand it did rain on some of those standing in line. Although ship departure was scheduled to be at 5:00, it did not pull out until 7:00 (2 hrs. late). Very poor planning on Celebrity's part, and no apology or mention of the experience by Celebrity afterward. The food in Blu was good, although portions were very small. The sommelier was good but very overworked; we had the drink package, and she did not come by very often (maybe another cost-cutting initiative by Celebrity). The Captains Club hostess was okay, although she was not as good as any of the previous ones. We are Elite +, and for the 5-7 p.m. drinks, it was loosely controlled so I expect others went into the viewing section of the Constellation lounge and then into the CC area. At various times there was no one checking seapass cards. The Elite and Elite + customers were put into the center section of the Constellation lounge and it became quite noisy. Since we also had the drink package we sat with others in the seats along the windows, so really we didn't take advantage of the CC 5-7 program. ...and last but not least, they still do not put chocolates on the pillows at night, which they had for years. This cost-cutting, while it adds up financially, takes away some of the pleasure of sailing with Celebrity. All-in-all, not up to Celebrity standards. Disappointing.   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
The ship rocked for most of the trip and the waves were NEVER over 15 feet. Where were the stabilizers?The food was really not edible at most dinners (we were 2nd seating). My estimate is that about 1/2 the passengers ended up with some ... Read More
The ship rocked for most of the trip and the waves were NEVER over 15 feet. Where were the stabilizers?The food was really not edible at most dinners (we were 2nd seating). My estimate is that about 1/2 the passengers ended up with some kind of influenza (everyone was coughing).. I think there is an issue with the HVAC system. We had water coming into our cabin the next to the last night of the cruise and we had to change rooms. The entertainment was excellent. The staff was nice. We did get into the ports we were supposed to see. However, there are other choices to make this trip. Take the other choice! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Quick overview, then lots of detail! We flew to Buenos Aires arriving early Friday morning. Settled in, walked around the central city. Had a fabulous dinner. Saturday morning we had a private guided tour, then spent time on our own in the ... Read More
Quick overview, then lots of detail! We flew to Buenos Aires arriving early Friday morning. Settled in, walked around the central city. Had a fabulous dinner. Saturday morning we had a private guided tour, then spent time on our own in the artists' street market and walking in the shopping district. Late evening we went to a traditional typical tango-dance-and-dinner show. Sunday our tour guide picked us up and dropped us at the pier. Quick and easy embarkation. Sea days, then Ushuaia where we had arranged a private Walk With The Penguins. Super! Relatively mild crossing of Drake's passage followed by a drive-by of Antarctica. Icebergs, glaciers, wildlife... Couldn't ask for more. Back across Drake's to Port Stanley; the previously arranged Estancia Tours trip to Volunteer Point was utterly fantastic. Back aboard, across to Puerto Madryn. Ship's tour to Punto Tombo was ok. On to Montevideo where we went with other CCers to Colonia; a pleasant day. Next day early arrival in BA. Smooth disembarkation, our guide there to drive us to the local airport where we caught the plane for Iguazu Falls. Spent Sunday afternoon on our own, Monday on a guided small-group tour of the Argentine side, Tuesday on our own in the town, Wednesday morning a guided small-group tour of the Brazilian side. Mid-afternoon pickup, airport, flight to BA. Thursday on our own until our pickup at 5:00pm for a trip to the airport and an uneventful trip back home. I am ready to go do it again. And now for the details! We booked this cruise less than 2 months prior to sail-away and did not have a lot of time to research and plan all of the details. Cruise Critic helped a great deal! Good answers on questions about cabin selection etc. I think it was here I found mention of an Argentine travel group, Say Hueque. I checked them out, they had glowing reviews on Trip Advisor and other spots, so I dug further. They offered a six-day package which includes time in Buenos Aires and an Iguazu Falls excursion. I contacted them via email and phone, and we negotiated a custom package which allowed for their help before the cruise, more afterwards. Worked like a charm. Highly recommended. So we arrived in BA early Friday morning, 2 days before embarkation. Say Hueque driver waiting for us, took us to our hotel (Patios de San Telmo), a nice place on the northern edge of the San Telmo district. Our go-to lady from the agency was there a few minutes later and we spent half an hour going over their plans for us, making some adjustments. Then after unpacking and settling in, we spent the rest of the day on our own, walking in the central city; lunch at a sidewalk cafe (empanadas! Love them!) etc. Friday evening we walked to La Cabaña restaurant, a place where I had had a great steak dinner 45 years ago. Location has changed, quality has not. A long walk back to the hotel via Plaza San Martin, Casa Rosada, Ave. Florida... Saturday morning a Say Hueque driver and guide showed up (exactly on time, which was true of everything they did for us) and we went for a tour of BA with emphasis on some aspects we had requested (extra time in La Boca, at the Recoleta cemetery, etc.) They left us at a restaurant near the cemetery; following lunch we browsed and shopped at the artists' market, then leisurely walked back to the hotel. Late evening (10:30 or so) our transport came and took us to a tango show at ESQUINA CARLOS GARDEL (they hadn't been able to get us in for the early sitting, which was fine with us). Good dinner, ok show. Sunday morning we packed up, then walked through the San Telmo Sunday street market. A driver picked us up at 11:00, dropped us at the pier. We were onboard, sipping wine at the Mast Bar, by 12:15. No, we don't have special privileges, no Suites status, nothing. First time on Celebrity actually. The embarkation was just very smooth despite all of the horror stories I had read here about chaos and madness at the port in BA. There were three other ships leaving at about the same time as we did, and it was still handled well. We were in our cabin by about 1:00 and settled in for a delightful cruise. The Concierge Cabin was comfortable, plenty of storage space. The desk could have given me a bit more space for my laptop and other gear, but I made do. Food: We mostly ate in the MDR, 8:30 sitting; food was good. I never ordered from the fall-back menu, always from Today's menu. Always at least one good-looking option, usually two or three. We had attentive service from the waiter, his assistant, and the wine guy. And wonderful conversations with the other two couples at our table. Formal nights were appropriately formal; not a t-shirt in sight. One dinner in the S.S. United States specialty restaurant. Excellent ambiance, food, and service. One dinner at Q'sine. Food was good, interesting experience worth doing one time but I wouldn't do it again as a couple. It is like a Tapas restaurant, with small plates so one can sample many things. But the "small" plate servings were too large and with only two of us we could only sample 3-4 dishes before we were full. I would like to be there with a group of 6-8 people. Enlightenment: We attended most if not all of the presentations by MickeyLive and Milos. They provided very different but both very useful perspectives on the locations we visited, the people, the wildlife, the geology, climate, history, etc. And they both provided great commentary from the Constellation Lounge and/or the bridge when we were going around Cape Horn, passing among whales etc. around Antarctica. They really helped bring the cruise alive. - Miscellaneous other comments - Entertainment: talented people, probably would have been enjoyable to watch except that the volume level was way too high in every venue on the ship. Quiet drink in the evening in the Rendezvous Bar? Forget it - music too loud to be able to carry on a conversation. Made the mistake of passing through there on the way to dinner a couple of times and it was literally a pain in my ears. Early on I talked to the activities director but she and her cohort seemed to think that screaming and shouting in shrill voices was the proper way to inspire enthusiasm in whatever it was they were promoting. Whether on stage in a music venue or in the theater introducing the captain and crew. For me, not so much. So, we didn't see any of the shows after the first nigh when they had a Revue of sorts. Or spend much time around the live music. Laundry: a few shirts, a pair of slacks, a few of my wife's things. Done promptly and well. A typical clothes line in the shower which we made good use of. Cabin attendent: there when we needed her, out of the way the rest of the time. We had her empty out the mini-bar so that we had that space for my wife's wine - no problem. Drinks package: we had the standard package as part of a 1-2-3 deal, upgraded to Premium once onboard. I don't know that we needed to but it simplified decision making - we didn't ever have to wonder whether whatever we wanted to order was part of the Package or going to cost extra. Flowers, fruit etc: I had pre-ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife as an early Valentine's gift. They were in the cabin when we arrived, they were beautiful, and many of the flowers were nicely presentable for the entire two weeks. I never noticed if there were other flowers around. We had fruit on the table, I never paid much attention to that either though I think my wife did occasionally have an apple or two. Internet access: we bought the full package. Access was often slow, once or twice we had no access for a few hours. But in general we were able to do enough links to email and news servers to be able to feel connected. News: 'Twas a pleasant surprise to find the daily news downloaded and printed for us, with US, Canadian, Australian, UK, and German versions available. Along with the more usual crossword and Sudoku puzzles for those addicted to that pastime. Captain's Updates: There are speakers in the cabin which provide the option of listening in the cabin to the daily noon-time update from the Captain, no need to step into the hall, balancing on one foot while the other leg is stuck in the door to keep you from being locked out... These speakers have been deactivated. According to our Attendant, it was because kids would play with the volume switch and annoy their parents and neighboring guests. Maybe instead they should try to keep misbehaving kids off the ship? Or just raise the switch high enough that young kids can't easily mess with it. While in the Antarctic waters and a few other spots. Milos or MickeyLive would do commentary over the Captain's system. Which we couldn't hear from our balcony because the system was deactivated; the only option was the sound from Ch 15 on the TV which does not have nearly the volume necessary. Weather: we had good weather throughout. Minor rocking and rolling while in the Drake's Passage, no big deal. Warm enough to sun/swim at first, quickly getting cooler. In the 60-70° F range in Ushuaia and again in the Falklands, in the 30's while around Antarctica. Only a trace of snow, enough for a few snowballs. Disembarkation: Handled well. No problem getting off in time to meet up with private (i.e., non-ship, non-priority) excursions neither when docked nor in the Falklands where we tendered. We just needed to follow their instructions, go to the center of the Emporium packed and ready to go, and wait our turn. We were off on the first tender. I understand another group, organized by a CC member for the Volunteer Point trip, chose to gather at their own meeting spot first. They were on the 2nd or 3rd tender (but they were all together). In BA we had arranged for a 9:30 pick-up to take us to the local airport for our flight to Iguazu. Talked with guest services, they recommended and provided us with a 8:30 departure, Group 18. We had retrieved our luggage and gone through the minimal formalities and were sipping coffee at a street side cafe, waiting for our driver, by 9:05. Smooth and easy. We swung by our hotel in San Telmo and dropped off the suitcases with our Antarctica clothes, then to the local airport. After the cruise we flew to Iguazu, stayed in a jungle lodge, La Aldea de la Selva, right on the boundary between the National Park and the town. Just hung around the hotel pool that Sunday afternoon. Monday we spent the day on a group tour Say Hueque had arranged for us, all on the Argentine side of the falls. Tuesday we were on our own. I had visited 45 years ago, a good visit to Iguazu was my #2 priority for this trip, and Tuesday was my back-up day in case the weather was bad on Monday. But no issue, so Tuesday we wandered through the town of Iguazu, bought a few handicrafts, then sat by the pool and read, caught up on email, edited some photos... Wednesday morning was a half-day tour of the Brazilian side of the Falls. Back to the hotel for lunch, then we were picked up to go to the airport. Smooth flight back to BA, a ride back to the hotel which took about 3 times longer than it should have because of the ongoing demonstrations stemming from the murder of prosecutor Nisman. Checked in, then walked around 'til we found an interesting looking restaurant in the neighborhood. Thursday we went shopping, including quite a bit of time around Plaza San Martin and on Ave. Florida. Lunch at a cafe on the Plaza. Our Say Hueque go-to lady came by the hotel late afternoon to bid us farewell, then their driver took us to the airport for our evening flight back to the Sates. Read Less
Celebrity Infinity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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