Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by HAHNEMANN
- Sail Date: June 2017
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2B
June 15 - Day-3.
Take off at 8:00 am, arrive Vancouver at 10:00 am local time, transfer by luxury bus, comfortable, to take the ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island, a journey of nearly 1:30. It's not nice, 14-15 degrees; rain and thick fog during much of the crossing. We take a small dinner at the ship's self-serve restaurant; while it is not cheap, at least, variety and quality are there; we begin to fraternize a little more with our compatriots of the group, We take a seat on the bus, and we go to meet our local French-speaking guide, a friendly resident of Victoria for over 40 years, for a pleasant city tour but punctuated by showers ... Transfer to our hotel and freestyle evening.
June 16 - Day-2
Disastrous breakfast at the hotel, then lead to the visit of Butchart Gardens. The place is beautiful, huge, but the hour and a half we were allocated was not enough, we had to go back to the bus before we saw it all (this is one of the constraints of traveling in group). Return to Vancouver aboard a newer ferry, probably a little bigger, including a buffet restaurant. Partly cloudy, allowing us to take some nice pictures. Transfer to our hotel for 2 nights. Free walks around, and Canada Place, the cruise terminal, are 1.5 km, a walk of about 20 minutes. We will see before the arrival of ours, several ships docked including the Holland America Niew Amsterdam, the Star Princess and the Crystal Serenity. We stop for a short supper on our own, at the nearby Food Court - Waterfront Center, a diversified and reasonably priced food fair.
June 17 - Day-1
Breakfast at the hotel, a well-stocked and quality buffet this time ... We meet for our city tour our local guide, knowledgeable... and installed on the outskirts of Vancouver ... In the city center a lot of construction of business towers and condos, which seems to cost a lot ... I am pleased withthe architectural beauty of these buildings, neighboring older ones. Stopping at Stanley Park, well laid out and quite busy, there are some totems to see. Stop at Granville Island, there is also a lack of time, but I could still see the famous floating houses. After the city tour, free time for quiet walks, a little shopping, etc. It crawls from everywhere despite the weather not so clement. Then we think and anticipate our embarkment the next day...
June 18th - Day 1 - Embarkation.
Heavy breakfast at the hotel, bus to the cruise terminal ... Cloudy with showers. You may be on a Sunday, but there is an important traffic, since at the port there are several ships to fill ... But hey, finally it's embarkation. In the process at the terminal we go through the US customs. Once on board, little sparkling wine, and with the Today "Early Edition" in hand, the group disperses to go on each own and for a quick lunch ... This time, my experience makes me avoid the Oceanview Café, too busy, we go to the Spa Café, adjacent to the indoor pool, for a good healthy lunch, it's very small but there is hardly anyone! A short reconnaissance tour of the ship, it reminds us of the Constellation that we sailed 6 years ago, and despite the renovations, we noticed everywhere several elements betraying its 16 years of age.
A little later we go to see if our cabin is ready (balcony cat 2B, bridge 8); smaller than on Solstice class ships, there are also signs of wear, including on furniture and especially in the bathroom. The small shower has a curtain, the caulking is stained with several blackish molds, the grout of the ceramic looks dirty and I will learn later from our stateroom steward that it had been redone with epoxy grout (tiles were obviously not cleaned rapidly) ... There is a clothesline in the shower, it's quite weird to see this...
After having changed clothing, we go to the Muster Drill scheduled at 15:30, then to the bridge 11 to attend the departure at 16:30 .... Despite the sullen weather, feverishness is palpable.
Unlike the majority of the group, my wife and I chose the 'Select Dining' so we could go for supper at our leisure between 5.30pm and 9:00pm (same schedule for the entire cruise). Even if we were invited to book, without reservation, between 5.30pm and 6pm, we never waited more than 2-3 minutes ... While there was often a good line on the side with reservation.
Celebrity Showtime: Lou Gazzara, versatile vocalist, a beautiful repertoire and a great presence on stage.
June 19 - Day 2 - At Sea (Inside Passage)
It's not complicated, we did not see much of the famous inside passage, given the weather (low clouds, rain, etc). On the other hand, there was the conference "Beyond the Podium - MickeyLive", Mickey being a great lecturer, knowledgeable and visibly at ease with audiovisual technology. The rest of the day, nothing special.
Celebrity Showtime - Boogie Wonderland, a musical revue focusing on the 70s. Quite good. Tonight we set watches 1 hour back..
June 20th - Day 3 - Sitka AK
Arrival at 10:00 am, cloudy weather but it will not rain much, eventually. Celebrity Excursion (SI14), which combines the historical and cultural aspects of the city (historical park, Tlingit culture, Naa Kahidi dance) and a visit to the Raptor center. Interesting but the schedule was a bit tight, we had to shorten the visit to some places (eg, since the dance show was good but redundant, it could have been shorter).
Tonight, no show for us: a certain Bengt Washburn, standup comedy ... No interest for us..
June 21 - Day 4 - Hubbard Glacier (navigation)
Exceptionally we were given access to the front of the ship (level bridge 6) to admire the landscape, the view is different from what we have decks 11 or 12. Outdoor temperature about 8-9 Celcius degrees. I must say that I felt "at the end of the world" ... I imagine that those who have already cruised in Antarctica may think I am impressionable ... We were disappointed that the ship had not approached the glacier, - was there a good reason? And the dull weather did not help for taking good quality pictures.
Celebrity Showtime: «Star Factory», lively, beautiful musical and acrobatic performances, beautiful costumes, etc.
June 22 - Day 5 - Juneau AK
Excursion Celebrity (JU33): Basically, the visit of the Mendenhall Glacier and its visitor Center, views of the surroundings with beautiful photo opportunities and interesting little film where I learned about the glaciers; then we go to the "Gold Creek Salmon Bake" for a picnic buffet in a nice environment to savor wood fire grilled wild Alaskan salmon, a delight! (There is also grilled chicken). In accompaniment, various salads, potatoes, etc, and delicious "Chilkoot" beans! Chansonnier on site for musical atmosphere. A beautiful outing.
Our travel guide invited us to have a drink at the "Red Dog Saloon" (with floors covered with a good layer of sawdust, a tradition...
Celebrity Showtime with Sean O'Shea, singer and talented impersonator, with energy and humor.
June 23rd - Day 6 - Ketchikan AK
Last of our 3 stops, arrived at 2:00PM, the small town is friendly and we can explore a good part by foot without problem. Excursion Celebrity (KE61): guided tour of historical sites including a park of totems, and lumberjack show.
Celebrity Showtime: "Duo Destiny", Gonçalo and Kinga, a couple of acrobats frankly surprising. Tonight we set watches 1 hour forward.
June 24 - Day 7 - At Sea (Inside Passage)
This time the weather is on our side, we can observe the landscape and the temperature rises quickly, about 25 Celsius degrees (it will have made more than 28 degrees in Vancouver). Swimming and sunbathing for many passengers ...
Celebrity Showtime: iBroadway, a colorful and typically American style show of recent and older hits.
We do not put our luggage in the corridor tonight, we'll leave carrying them tomorrow morning.
June 25 - Disembarkation
The process is going well, both on board and in port. At the airport it's going bad, at the AC check-in counter it is very long for lack of open desks... Vancouver-Montreal flight without problem. Back home!
Conclusion: although I have always appreciated Celebrity, we see that cuts have still been made. We still eat well but it is not the same ...
For example, one lunchtime, exceptionally we went to the dining room and my dish really was not the way we could get of Celebrity (ground meat containing "crunchy", badly cooked peas and dubious appearance ...) I mentioned my disappointment to the waiter, who by his reply let me believe that I was not the only one to have told him.
As far as the Oceanview Café is concerned, I prefer the island arrangement on Solstice class ships. On this itinerary there were many Asians and Indians on board, and every day, this is normal, a large part of the counters offered dishes from their countries ... While on the other hand other counters lacked variety. We have nothing against exotic foods but not every day ...
The Infinity is a comfortable but dated vessel, the staff is benevolent but less visible, except during marketing operations, obviously ... It becomes harassing crew members trying to sell drinks or dining packages, etc. .... By the way, there is now only one stateroom steward, no more assistant. I also noticed a reduction in the Captain's Club benefits .... Now it's enough to make us ogle on other companies.
Finally, depending on the circumstances, a group travel may prove to be interesting and advantageous; I think this time it was and we liked it... But the ship is disappointing.
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