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Cruise Critic Review: Panama Canal with Celebrity Infinity We chose this cruise to celebrate our recent retirement, and the itinerary -- Miami to San Diego via Panama Canal -- attracted us. The canal has been a bucket list item and this 15 night cruise had seven (yes, seven!) days at sea. We love days at sea -- perfect for relaxing and being pampered aboard ship. This was our third cruise with Celebrity and we continue to feel that they provide great service and sophisticated atmosphere for the best value. Infinity was well maintained and rarely shows its age. We prefer the larger Solstice class ships because they offer a bit more but, hey, less walking! The staff is terrific and we noticed they've toned down the incessant "hard sell" of drink packages, etc. that we'd encountered on previous embarkations. Our cabin (9099) was close to the mid-ship elevators, attractive, well-appointed and had plenty of storage. In fact, on the last day we discovered more shelves in a secret side door in the TV cabinet. 16-days worth of clothes filled the closet and drawers but we still had a little room to spare. A tip from the Forum to use the empty suitcase under the bed as a rolling dirty-clothes hamper was great advice! And we took advantage of our discounted bag of laundry. Dining in Blu as well worth the price of upgrading to Aqua Class. In fact, some of the Suite folks said they preferred Blu to their own special dining room. Great food and service and the intimate setting creates a real sense of community. We almost always struck up conversations with our table-neighbors and even created on-board friendships with several of them. We paid extra to dine a Tuscan Grill twice and we didn't feel it was worth it -- in fact, we thought the service a Blu was as good (if not better) and the food as well. We tried to move our reservation from 6:30pm to 7:30pm and they said they are fully committed, but we watched several tables for two remain empty throughout our stay. I asked the maitre d' about this -- he apologized and said the kitchen can't support a full dining room. Not good and we won't be back. Wish Normandy was still an option. Would pay twice what we paid at Tuscan for that experience. Oh -- we ate lunch at Sushi on Five and loved it. Totally worth it. And we had drinks every night at the Martini Bar -- great venue. Wish there were another small-ish venue with a great view. The ship's entertainment staff worked their #$@'s off -- seven days at sea means more free time for antsy passengers. The evening entertainment was good. The individual acts were nice -- especially singer Jayne Curry -- and the shows were professional and fun. I played bingo for the first (and last) time. Just not for me. All lectures were terrific. Special shout-out to Bill Fall -- his knowledge of the Panama Canal and all our ports was extensive and accessible. He provides valuable information (very helpful slides) and doesn't "sell" anything. Overall, service was great. Friendly staff and nice, well maintained facilities -- in fact, we noticed it was better maintained that the Summit, which we took last year. Our cabin steward was reliable and persistently fulfilled any requests we had. Excursions were good all good. Highlights include: - Guatemala self-guided trip to Antigua -- a UNESCO World Heritage site -- where we hired a personal guide at the "Jade Museum". It was well worth the $15 per person! - Panama Canal -- trip to see the locks, including the new, wider ones was worth the 6 hours. Great to see ships moving through from the outside looking in. It made watching our own ships passage more interesting. And we learned a lot about Panama and its people. - Costa Rica river safari, where we saw crocodiles up-close and personal. And tons of tropical birds. - Puerto Vallerta -- did this port on our own with friends we met at Blu. Happy we did so -- took a taxi to their shopping street (via swinging pedestrian bridge) and had lunch at a beach restaurant. Perfect for our short visit. - Cabo San Lucas -- Enjoyed the boat trip to see the famous "Arch" but realize we easily could have gotten off the ship and bought a cheaper, smaller and better experience. Our trip included a visit to a Beach Club, but we were confined to the second tier plastic chairs. Should have just done this port on our own. Disembarkation was VERY organized and went incredible smoothly. Embarcation was more confused and included more lines. Seems crazy that you check in, then get in another line to have your photo taken for your ship's pass-key. Could this be done at the same time? Cabin 9099 Our cabin (9099) was close to the mid-ship elevators, attractive, well appointed and had plenty of storage. In fact, on the last day we discovered more shelves in a secret side door in the TV cabinet. 16-days worth of clothes filled the closet and drawers but we still had a little room to spare. A tip from the Forum to use the empty suitcase under the bed as a rolling dirty-clothes hamper was great advice! The balcony overhang has pros and cons -- great for shade but not so great for star gazing. We discovered our cabin was under the smoking section of the pool deck but it posed no problem -- a little noise (only in the morning) but we never smelled anything on our balcony. We'd read that there were water pressure problems but experienced no problem -- in fact, we loved the shower with extra spa-like sprayers. We spoke with several folks in Deck 11 Aqua class who wish they were on Deck 9 due to hot sun pouring in on balconies and being away from mid-ship.

Bucket List Panama Canal Cruise

Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by Jlhalldc

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Cruise Critic Review: Panama Canal with Celebrity Infinity

We chose this cruise to celebrate our recent retirement, and the itinerary -- Miami to San Diego via Panama Canal -- attracted us. The canal has been a bucket list item and this 15 night cruise had seven (yes, seven!) days at sea. We love days at sea -- perfect for relaxing and being pampered aboard ship.

This was our third cruise with Celebrity and we continue to feel that they provide great service and sophisticated atmosphere for the best value. Infinity was well maintained and rarely shows its age. We prefer the larger Solstice class ships because they offer a bit more but, hey, less walking! The staff is terrific and we noticed they've toned down the incessant "hard sell" of drink packages, etc. that we'd encountered on previous embarkations.

Our cabin (9099) was close to the mid-ship elevators, attractive, well-appointed and had plenty of storage. In fact, on the last day we discovered more shelves in a secret side door in the TV cabinet. 16-days worth of clothes filled the closet and drawers but we still had a little room to spare. A tip from the Forum to use the empty suitcase under the bed as a rolling dirty-clothes hamper was great advice! And we took advantage of our discounted bag of laundry.

Dining in Blu as well worth the price of upgrading to Aqua Class. In fact, some of the Suite folks said they preferred Blu to their own special dining room. Great food and service and the intimate setting creates a real sense of community. We almost always struck up conversations with our table-neighbors and even created on-board friendships with several of them. We paid extra to dine a Tuscan Grill twice and we didn't feel it was worth it -- in fact, we thought the service a Blu was as good (if not better) and the food as well. We tried to move our reservation from 6:30pm to 7:30pm and they said they are fully committed, but we watched several tables for two remain empty throughout our stay. I asked the maitre d' about this -- he apologized and said the kitchen can't support a full dining room. Not good and we won't be back. Wish Normandy was still an option. Would pay twice what we paid at Tuscan for that experience. Oh -- we ate lunch at Sushi on Five and loved it. Totally worth it. And we had drinks every night at the Martini Bar -- great venue. Wish there were another small-ish venue with a great view.

The ship's entertainment staff worked their #$@'s off -- seven days at sea means more free time for antsy passengers. The evening entertainment was good. The individual acts were nice -- especially singer Jayne Curry -- and the shows were professional and fun. I played bingo for the first (and last) time. Just not for me. All lectures were terrific. Special shout-out to Bill Fall -- his knowledge of the Panama Canal and all our ports was extensive and accessible. He provides valuable information (very helpful slides) and doesn't "sell" anything.

Overall, service was great. Friendly staff and nice, well maintained facilities -- in fact, we noticed it was better maintained that the Summit, which we took last year. Our cabin steward was reliable and persistently fulfilled any requests we had.

Excursions were good all good. Highlights include:

- Guatemala self-guided trip to Antigua -- a UNESCO World Heritage site -- where we hired a personal guide at the "Jade Museum". It was well worth the $15 per person!

- Panama Canal -- trip to see the locks, including the new, wider ones was worth the 6 hours. Great to see ships moving through from the outside looking in. It made watching our own ships passage more interesting. And we learned a lot about Panama and its people.

- Costa Rica river safari, where we saw crocodiles up-close and personal. And tons of tropical birds.

- Puerto Vallerta -- did this port on our own with friends we met at Blu. Happy we did so -- took a taxi to their shopping street (via swinging pedestrian bridge) and had lunch at a beach restaurant. Perfect for our short visit.

- Cabo San Lucas -- Enjoyed the boat trip to see the famous "Arch" but realize we easily could have gotten off the ship and bought a cheaper, smaller and better experience. Our trip included a visit to a Beach Club, but we were confined to the second tier plastic chairs. Should have just done this port on our own.

Disembarkation was VERY organized and went incredible smoothly. Embarcation was more confused and included more lines. Seems crazy that you check in, then get in another line to have your photo taken for your ship's pass-key. Could this be done at the same time?

Cabin 9099

Our cabin (9099) was close to the mid-ship elevators, attractive, well appointed and had plenty of storage. In fact, on the last day we discovered more shelves in a secret side door in the TV cabinet. 16-days worth of clothes filled the closet and drawers but we still had a little room to spare. A tip from the Forum to use the empty suitcase under the bed as a rolling dirty-clothes hamper was great advice! The balcony overhang has pros and cons -- great for shade but not so great for star gazing. We discovered our cabin was under the smoking section of the pool deck but it posed no problem -- a little noise (only in the morning) but we never smelled anything on our balcony. We'd read that there were water pressure problems but experienced no problem -- in fact, we loved the shower with extra spa-like sprayers.

We spoke with several folks in Deck 11 Aqua class who wish they were on Deck 9 due to hot sun pouring in on balconies and being away from mid-ship.
Jlhalldc’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Aqua Class
Cabin A1 9099
Cabin 9099
Our cabin (9099) was close to the mid-ship elevators, attractive, well appointed and had plenty of storage. In fact, on the last day we discovered more shelves in a secret side door in the TV cabinet. 16-days worth of clothes filled the closet and drawers but we still had a little room to spare. A tip from the Forum to use the empty suitcase under the bed as a rolling dirty-clothes hamper was great advice! The balcony overhang has pros and cons -- great for shade but not so great for star gazing. We discovered our cabin was under the smoking section of the pool deck but it posed no problem -- a little noise (only in the morning) but we never smelled anything on our balcony. We'd read that there were water pressure problems but experienced no problem -- in fact, we loved the shower with extra spa-like sprayers.
We spoke with several folks in Deck 11 Aqua class who wish they were on Deck 9 due to hot sun pouring in on balconies and being away from mid-ship.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins