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Boarding: San Francisco's cruise port area is quite congested and one needs to allow extra time for arrival. The main boulevard is blocked with traffic on cruise days, and the only public transport from the airport subway ("BART") is serviced by historic trolleys that require hauling your luggage up and down steps, AND the trolleys are crammed with riders. The subcontractor that handles check-in and boarding is reasonably friendly, helpful and efficient. Cabin: The cabin (ours with veranda) is compactly designed with lots of space for clothing storage. The room was reasonably clean with the exception of shower grout that needed scrubbing, and a shower that drained very slowly to the point of backing up several inches if standing water. Dining: Three Thai barristas operated the artisan coffee shop on the morning shift and deserved recognition for their exceptional service. They remembered our special coffees every morning without our input. A gelato shop across from the espresso cafe sold a large variety of flavors that were manufactured onboard the ship. A continuing problem expressed by several passengers was the consistency of the gelato in that it contained ice crystals that resulted in a sandy texture, possibly from melting and refreezing. When we mentioned this to staff we were met without concern. When the mango gelato contained two-inch pieces of unpeeled mango, and we returned it to the server, she said that it was normal, even though we suggested she reported the "chunks" to the gelato-makers. She was adamantly uninterested in our feedback. The upper deck buffet was reasonably diverse in offerings, both vegetarian and meat, and included a free ice cream/cookie stand with helpful friendly staff. The buffet supervisors were always at full attention and monitoring the buffet and its staff--very impressive. In the main dining room we bought a seven-bottle wine package for $360 so we could drink our Artesa chardonnay, for which we normally pay $17, so Celebrity takes quite a mark-up at $50, including 18% gratuity. The good news is that our wine stewardess, Ivana, was amazingly helpful, friendly and efficient. Service from our waiter was mixed in that he was friendly, but couldn't remember that we did not eat meat, and twice took us aside to insist that we rate him ten out of ten when we received an email survey from his employer. We felt very uncomfortable with is in-your-face style of arm-twisting to give him the highest rating possible. His weirdness was balanced by Windy, a hard-working assistant waiter who we gave a special recognition to ship's management. By the way, if you prefer vegetarian, the selection is sparse and not so appealing. Entertainment: A museum docent calling himself Doctor Dave, presented college-level lectures on various aspects of the travel itinerary. He prepared and delivered his talks to earn an "A+." A woman taught water color classes every other day, and she was appreciated by all of her students. The minor entertainment throughout the ship was rather amateurish and included a pianist who couldn't carry a tune when he sang, a bored-looking guitarist, and a high-school quality small band. The main theatre nightly entertainment was either great or very disappointing. Four incredible male singers performed Four Seasons songs and other songs with an excellent pianist/singer on another night. Two solo stand-up comedians made us laugh like crazy two other nights. Two duds included an Irish flute player doing songs that were unsuited for his instrument; also a strange guy who played old-fashioned group games with the audience that were better suited to elementary school children and who put a recording instrument on the floor so he could sing duets with his own voice--quite bizarre and boring. The seven-piece pick-up orchestra played moderately well except for the drummer who had no sense of volume modulation, so that all of his playing sounded like garbage cans banging together. Ports: A major service failure occurred at our first port, Cabo San Lucas, when two other cruise ships were already using port tender services and our ship had a long wait to shuttle passengers to shore. Strange announcements stated that our own emergency boats couldn't be used due to mechanical problems. When we finally were able to disembark and step in a Mexican tender, it was already 3PM (!) and the last tender back to the ship was 5:30PM, so we decided not to go ashore due to the extremely short turnaround time. The other ports did not require a tender shuttle, so disembarking and embarking was efficient. In all of the ports English-speaking drivers and guides were waiting to take you anywhere you wished to go. When we finally arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, were delayed by US Customs and Immigration lines that were backed up as usual since they likely suspected terrorists arriving under the guise of cruise passengers. So, all in all, nothing is perfect, and you can enjoy a pleasant getaway if you are patient and amuse yourself throughout the trip.

Uneven Quality of Services

Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by jascritz

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Boarding: San Francisco's cruise port area is quite congested and one needs to allow extra time for arrival. The main boulevard is blocked with traffic on cruise days, and the only public transport from the airport subway ("BART") is serviced by historic trolleys that require hauling your luggage up and down steps, AND the trolleys are crammed with riders. The subcontractor that handles check-in and boarding is reasonably friendly, helpful and efficient.

Cabin: The cabin (ours with veranda) is compactly designed with lots of space for clothing storage. The room was reasonably clean with the exception of shower grout that needed scrubbing, and a shower that drained very slowly to the point of backing up several inches if standing water.

Dining: Three Thai barristas operated the artisan coffee shop on the morning shift and deserved recognition for their exceptional service. They remembered our special coffees every morning without our input. A gelato shop across from the espresso cafe sold a large variety of flavors that were manufactured onboard the ship. A continuing problem expressed by several passengers was the consistency of the gelato in that it contained ice crystals that resulted in a sandy texture, possibly from melting and refreezing. When we mentioned this to staff we were met without concern. When the mango gelato contained two-inch pieces of unpeeled mango, and we returned it to the server, she said that it was normal, even though we suggested she reported the "chunks" to the gelato-makers. She was adamantly uninterested in our feedback. The upper deck buffet was reasonably diverse in offerings, both vegetarian and meat, and included a free ice cream/cookie stand with helpful friendly staff. The buffet supervisors were always at full attention and monitoring the buffet and its staff--very impressive. In the main dining room we bought a seven-bottle wine package for $360 so we could drink our Artesa chardonnay, for which we normally pay $17, so Celebrity takes quite a mark-up at $50, including 18% gratuity. The good news is that our wine stewardess, Ivana, was amazingly helpful, friendly and efficient. Service from our waiter was mixed in that he was friendly, but couldn't remember that we did not eat meat, and twice took us aside to insist that we rate him ten out of ten when we received an email survey from his employer. We felt very uncomfortable with is in-your-face style of arm-twisting to give him the highest rating possible. His weirdness was balanced by Windy, a hard-working assistant waiter who we gave a special recognition to ship's management. By the way, if you prefer vegetarian, the selection is sparse and not so appealing.

Entertainment: A museum docent calling himself Doctor Dave, presented college-level lectures on various aspects of the travel itinerary. He prepared and delivered his talks to earn an "A+." A woman taught water color classes every other day, and she was appreciated by all of her students. The minor entertainment throughout the ship was rather amateurish and included a pianist who couldn't carry a tune when he sang, a bored-looking guitarist, and a high-school quality small band. The main theatre nightly entertainment was either great or very disappointing. Four incredible male singers performed Four Seasons songs and other songs with an excellent pianist/singer on another night. Two solo stand-up comedians made us laugh like crazy two other nights. Two duds included an Irish flute player doing songs that were unsuited for his instrument; also a strange guy who played old-fashioned group games with the audience that were better suited to elementary school children and who put a recording instrument on the floor so he could sing duets with his own voice--quite bizarre and boring. The seven-piece pick-up orchestra played moderately well except for the drummer who had no sense of volume modulation, so that all of his playing sounded like garbage cans banging together.

Ports: A major service failure occurred at our first port, Cabo San Lucas, when two other cruise ships were already using port tender services and our ship had a long wait to shuttle passengers to shore. Strange announcements stated that our own emergency boats couldn't be used due to mechanical problems. When we finally were able to disembark and step in a Mexican tender, it was already 3PM (!) and the last tender back to the ship was 5:30PM, so we decided not to go ashore due to the extremely short turnaround time. The other ports did not require a tender shuttle, so disembarking and embarking was efficient. In all of the ports English-speaking drivers and guides were waiting to take you anywhere you wished to go. When we finally arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, were delayed by US Customs and Immigration lines that were backed up as usual since they likely suspected terrorists arriving under the guise of cruise passengers.

So, all in all, nothing is perfect, and you can enjoy a pleasant getaway if you are patient and amuse yourself throughout the trip.
jascritz’s Full Rating Summary
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