Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by Breezey
- Sail Date: May 2009
- Destination: Alaska
THE SHIP - The Infinity is a beautiful, elegant but somewhat worn ship. The various bars and entertainment areas are well laid out and you rarely feel that you are on a large ship. The ship was very clean and staff were always maintaining something. But for the size of the ship we were surprised by the boring design of the pool area which is often a focal point for a cruise (except of course this one which was to Alaska), the lack of a grand foyer and the limited options for specialty dining (there is only one). We were lucky enough to be able to get a sky suite due to various discounts after we booked and just loved the size and layout (and of course cappuccinos with our breakfast). The bed was comfortable but the cabins need upgrading of linens, there should be no excuse for stains on the couch and it's 2009, time for flat screen tv's in all cabins. While not there to watch tv we had 3 days at sea and the constant looping of the same tv shows and movies was unbelievable. If the airplanes can offer lots of choice, why couldn't a ship?
SERVICE - The level of service was outstanding and surpassed any cruise experience we have had in this regard. All staff were polite, extremely friendly and attentive.
ENTERTAINMENT - The calibre of the Celebrity orchestra, singers and dancers on our trip was by far the best we have ever seen. In particular the show they performed singing and dancing to music around the world was incredible. They also brought in special guest performers, one of which was terrific, Michael Bennett? The entertainment around the ship was good to excellent, we particularly liked the guitar player. We tend to never notice the Cruise Director but must say that Artie Anderson was really excellent as well, nothing like the annoying ones we have seen in the past. Sadly the activities lead (don't know his name) was really obnoxious.
FOOD/DINING - I understand from the boards that Celebrity is changing their menus yet again. Good! We found the food choices and quality in the dining room very average. Soups were bland, main courses were not only mostly boring but lacked in taste, and dessert choices were the most limited in range that I have ever seen on a ship. What Celebrity does extremely well is their breads, croissant and French pastries. For those of you looking for a late afternoon snack, head to the Cova Cafe that offers various interesting munchies. We preferred to eat in the Aqua Spa for lunch which offered wonderful tasty salads and desserts. Breakfast is breakfast and there is tons of choice. But their buffets need a nutritionist for meal planning to add some interest to their lunches. More salads, grilled vegetables and healthy choices for those of us who don't want to eat a huge meal mid-day and prefer fresh vegetables as a salad bar choice over pasta and potato "salad." The layout of their buffet area also needs improvement, felt like we were in a high school cafeteria line up. We ate 2 meals in their specialty restaurant. Service first rate, room lovely, and food delicious. Must haves are the goat cheese soufflE and the lobster and shrimp pasta.
AQUA SPA - One recommendation, don't book early as there are specials throughout the duration of the cruise.
ALASKAN PORTS OF CALL - Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Victoria and of course the sailing of the Hubbard Glacier. Each port has its own unique flavor. But with the cruise industry taking over the ports, it was both surprising and disappointing to see all the Diamonds International and Tanzanite stores. If you go to Alaska, as many posters in the Alaska forum suggest, you must arrange an excursion and not just wander the port area. We did mostly private ones, whale watching with Harv and Marv in Juneau; float plane over the Misty Fjords with Island Wings in Ketchikan; Chilkoot Tours in Skagway for a van up to BC border and White Pass Railroad back to Skagway; ship excursion in Sitka led by Allen Marines for Sea Otters. All outstanding, all recommended. We understand that Icy Strait Point is the best for whale watching but having booked in Juneau, we wandered the port area which is charming but can be easily done in an hour. If you want a thrill of a lifetime, do the Zip Line (book on shore not through the ship, its cheaper) which is the longest in the world.
DISEMBARKATION - I never comment on embarkation and disembarkation but... this was the absolute worst disembarkation experience we have ever had. Clearly something went extremely wrong in the luggage "organization" as we were led off the ship about ½ hour after we were supposed to and while the piles of luggage were organized by color and some in number, our luggage (and many others) was not there. Finally 2 pieces arrived about 15 minutes after we disembarked and we waited at least another 40 minutes for our final piece to show up. We were not alone, pretty chaotic. Not a great ending to a wonderful trip.
OVERALL - This was one of the best cruises we have had, primarily due to the level of service and the itinerary. We appreciate the extra nice touches, as simple as getting hot chocolate or cold water upon embarkation after a day in port; and trays, larger glasses and mugs in the buffet area. Celebrity still offers excellent service but to really stand out they need to get back to their reputation of also providing wonderful meals to add to the overall cruise experience, which is important to us.
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