Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by star453a
- Sail Date: November 2008
- Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Background info - My wife and I are in our mid 50's. We have been on 26 cruises on various lines with most having come on Royal Caribbean. This was our second Celebrity cruise. This was our second full transit of the Canal.
We left from DFW on October 31st on American Airlines to San Diego. We were on time leaving and arriving. On thing that was notable to me, on arrival in San Diego our luggage actually beat us to the carousel.
Precruise: We stayed in the Holiday Inn on the Bay while in San Diego. We had a room that overlooked the bay and had a good view of the cruise terminal. The staff was some of the best we have ever dealt with, very knowledgeable and helpful. As we had arrived in the early morning our room was not ready the hotel kept our luggage. We found most everything we needed was with in walking distance from the hotel. Our room location afforded great views of the cruise ships sailing out so we had a sail away party each evening. We ate dinner at Anthony's Seafood, which was just across the street from the hotel. It was some of the best seafood I have ever had. On our second day we took the Old Town Trolley tour. We loved it. The drivers were all great and had very good presentations. We chose this tour because you could hop on and off at different places. You really had a good look at what San Diego had to offer. It was a great way to decompress before the cruise.
Embarkation: This is an area that really needs some work. It took approximately an hour and a half to get on the ship. We experienced extremely long lines and a very slow line to get on the ship. And this after we had gotten our Sea Pass card! The glass of champagne was of course enjoyed as we came on the ship. Sail away was very enjoyable on this cruise as we had family watching and waving from a neighboring pier.
Ports and tours:
Cabo San Lucas - This was a tendering port, that of course, makes things interesting at times. Our shore excursion was to Todos Santos. It was a long trip, with the highlight being lunch at the Hotel California. This is the hotel of the Eagles song fame. Had one of the best meals of the entire trip. But, that was not worth the trip. We were late returning so there was no chance for any shopping.
Acapulco - This was our second time to be in Acapulco. It will be our last time. We saw the cliff divers and visited a silver shop. This port has lost its charm and IMHO this port needs to be replaced.
Huatulco - This was the biggest surprise of the trip. We had no excursion planned and just walked around the port shops. It is a beautiful little town with beautiful beaches.
Punta Renas - We love Costa Rica! This was our 4th time to visit this wonderful country. And it didn't disappoint us. We took the Ultimate Costa Rica shore excursion. It was a wonderful tour. The bus driver and guide were the best we have ever had. This was a tour of the Cafe' Britt coffee plantation and roasting facility. The Britt guides were fantastic. We loved their presentation. We had a great lunch and their coffee is great. As we left to return to the ship it began to rain. This was the only time on this cruise we any weather at all. It is an all day excursion but very much worth it.
Panama Canal - This was a great day. We spent the day sitting on our balcony and watching. It was beautiful weather for cruising the canal. And it helped that we were on the shaded side of the ship. We were lucky that we had a ship going through the locks at the same time as we were so we were able to see much of the workings of the canal. We had a great narrator as well. We later were told that people were up and sitting in the Constellation Lounge at 4:30 a.m. This was the day that we had the Celebrity Brunch. This is the replacement for the Midnight Buffet, or so I was told. It was a big disappointment. I guess my expectations were set too high as it seemed to be very hard to get around and the food was nothing spectacular.
Cartegena Columbia - We did the Best of Cartegena shore excursion. This is a beautiful city, but, not one that I would like to go back to. No matter where you went the street vendors were there in droves. If you made eye contact you couldn't get away. They literally hounded everyone. It was incredibly hot here. We had come prepared with bottled water from the ship, but it was not enough. Take lots of water if you go.
Disembarkation: We used the Celebrity Luggage Valet service. This was well worth the price. Total time from the call for us to get off the ship until we were in the bus to the airport was a whopping 20 minutes. Everyone in Ft Lauderdale was on their A game. Very quick and easy. Our flight home to DFW on American Airlines was on time.
Overall impression: The Captain ( Capt Demetrius) is fantastic. This was our second time with him and it was great. He has a great sense of humor and it really shows. The crew was great as well. Extremely friendly and very professional. We had a Concierge Class cabin back amongst the big suites. Our room stewardess, Myla, was the best we have ever had. We are not the most demanding people, but we never wanted for anything. She was fantastic. We used Room Service several times. They were very prompt and the food was good.
Food in the Oceanview Cafe was varied and very good. No issues at all. However food in the dining room was not quite up to our expectations. Mind you we never went hungry, but, the menu choices left a lot to be desired. Our waiter, Alvin, was very good. But his assistant, Natividad, was not very much help.
Ship: We loved the Infinity. This was the last cruise before dry dock. It really needed it. It was showing lots of wear and needs some TLC. Hopefully it will get it. The entertainment was the best we have ever had on a cruise ship. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers were phenomenal. The fly in entertainers were wonderful also. We hated for this cruise to end. It was great.
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