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I'll try to go from start to finish: Pre-Cruise: We arrived in Fort Lauderdale a few days early. We were flying on points so this was the best date we could get. We stayed at Embassy Suites and when we arrived to drop our bags at 12 our room was ready! Bonus. Great place to stay, near lots of restaurants, shopping and the port. We took the water taxi and enjoyed hopping on and off. We ended up taking the shuttle to the port because it was there. It would have been cheaper to take a taxi. Embarkation: If you were concierge class and above, then embarkation would have been a quick and smooth experience. If you were in steerage, then embarkation took over an hour for some. We arrived at 11:15 and were in line for one hour. Some people were in much longer. Cabin: We had the best cabin steward ever - Edy! Our veranda cabin was kept spotless. He didn't bother us when the do not disturb sign was on but managed to clean it when we were out. We love balconies and used it a lot. Activities: I found enough to keep busy. I enjoyed the lectures but some were way too early - 9 am! It would have been cool to have the lecture on the night sky up on the rooftop terrace in the evening. We participated in a few activities, I did the blendtique workshop - a bit rushed but I enjoyed it. I also participated in the Old World wine tasting. People weren't really tasting but gulping the wine like no tomorrow, some pretty happy folks afterwards. I managed to go to the very nice but crowded at times gym. Well equipped and everyone using it was very considerate. Dining: We had anytime dining, some nights we sat with strangers, others we sat with cruise critic friends. The food and service was hit or miss. The menu was a bit boring IMO. We did QSine with others from Cruise Critic...great service, great food - just too much of it. Our waiter did a great job managing all of us. One night hubby and I went to Tuscan Grill - we enjoyed the food and service. We did the buffet a few nights, just didn't feel like sitting and eating for 2 hours. Very good. Ports: Ok here is a word of caution. We had an active roll call. Two members offered some tours at pretty good prices. I signed us up. There were some odd things - the organizers wanted payment up front on the second sea day. They didn't show up to the cruise critic gathering. Usually the organizers ask for payment on the day of the tour and make an effort to show up the cruise connections party or the sailaway. Everyone else had similar suspicions. I sign up for the roll call tours as they are usually a smaller group. I should have checked when I kept seeing openings offered, but I assumed others had cancelled. Turns out that there were 3 - 4 busses on these tours! None of the busses saw the same things. Some were very upset, I could have let myself get upset (DH was!) but made the best of it. Note to self, check the numbers before you sign up. Grand Cayman: We didn't organize anything as we've been here before. The ship had to tender us to a different dock due to "high waves". But all the taxies and busses were waiting. We ended up near Calico Jacks. 2 loungers and an umbrella cost $15. The van was $7 each. We got a bucket of beers and had a pleasant day at the beach. Panama Canal: Amazing. The ship would not let people on the helipad at first due to the rain, but didn't mind crowds balancing precariously on the stairs! I was watching the helipad situation on the TV, as soon as I saw officers posing for photos, I knew they would open it. Being on deck 6, I went to the boarding area in the Theatre on Deck 5 and was one of the first on! Great day, we had a good lecuturer explaining the sites. I walked all over the ship taking photos, front and back. The roof top terrace was also an uncrowded but great spot to take photos. Manta, Ecuador: One of the roll call tours. The hike in the rain forest was good but may have been physically taxing for some. We saw and heard the monkeys. It was at the Pachoce Nature reserve. Then a quick drive to Montechristi, sadly we did not get out at the site overlooking the town. But did have 45 minutes to explore and shop in town. Lima, Peru: Well if you weren't on a ship tour, things were challenging. Private tours were not permitted in port. They had the choice of meeting you at a shopping mall 30 minutes away or at a taxi stand just outside the port. The guide thought it was best to meet 3 busloads worth of people at the taxi stand. However the port shuttle had two vans holding 8 people! You can imagine the line. In the end, Celebrity provided the bus to ease the line up. The taxi stand wasn't in the nicest of areas. The next day we arranged to meet the tour at the mall. Much better. However on day 2, many of the group members skipped the tour. Too bad, day 2 was much better then day 1. Pisco, Peru: I semi-arranged a flight over Nazca Lines. Due to all the personal information required for the flight, I just had everyone contact the operator themselves. Our favourite part of the cruise! You read about them, but once you see them - they are amazing. We had to retrieve our passports from Guest Services, we got them right away the day before, others had to battle it out. We were in a 12 seat Cessna - good thing I took some Dramamine! On the way back we stopped to take photos of a flock of flamingos. We had the option to get off in Paracas, but we were tired as there was more port stress, however I managed to tell the tour operator about it so they had everything arranged when we got off - they reserved a shuttle for our group of 10, which drove us 5 minutes to the parking lot where the van was waiting. Arrica - another roll call tour. But I really enjoyed it, a stroll up the coast - for some reason our group didn't get to see the caves - others did. But we went into the desert and visited an Olive Farm. San Antonio replaced Valpairiso. This time only one bus. We got to visit a winery, see around the area and have a great lunch at a little roadside restaurant. We all got dropped off at our various hotels before the rest were driven to the airport. We spent a 2 days in Santiago - I'd arranged some tours with Stamp's which went very well. Final Thoughts: The roll call was very active and the Cruise Connections party well attended. I met some great people and all in all I really enjoyed myself. You will encounter glitches when travelling, but if you don't make the best of it, then you will ruin your vacation.

Enjoyable with a few glitches

Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by bunnyette

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2017
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2C
I'll try to go from start to finish:

Pre-Cruise: We arrived in Fort Lauderdale a few days early. We were flying on points so this was the best date we could get. We stayed at Embassy Suites and when we arrived to drop our bags at 12 our room was ready! Bonus. Great place to stay, near lots of restaurants, shopping and the port. We took the water taxi and enjoyed hopping on and off. We ended up taking the shuttle to the port because it was there. It would have been cheaper to take a taxi.

Embarkation: If you were concierge class and above, then embarkation would have been a quick and smooth experience. If you were in steerage, then embarkation took over an hour for some. We arrived at 11:15 and were in line for one hour. Some people were in much longer.

Cabin: We had the best cabin steward ever - Edy! Our veranda cabin was kept spotless. He didn't bother us when the do not disturb sign was on but managed to clean it when we were out. We love balconies and used it a lot.

Activities: I found enough to keep busy. I enjoyed the lectures but some were way too early - 9 am! It would have been cool to have the lecture on the night sky up on the rooftop terrace in the evening. We participated in a few activities, I did the blendtique workshop - a bit rushed but I enjoyed it. I also participated in the Old World wine tasting. People weren't really tasting but gulping the wine like no tomorrow, some pretty happy folks afterwards. I managed to go to the very nice but crowded at times gym. Well equipped and everyone using it was very considerate.

Dining: We had anytime dining, some nights we sat with strangers, others we sat with cruise critic friends. The food and service was hit or miss. The menu was a bit boring IMO. We did QSine with others from Cruise Critic...great service, great food - just too much of it. Our waiter did a great job managing all of us. One night hubby and I went to Tuscan Grill - we enjoyed the food and service. We did the buffet a few nights, just didn't feel like sitting and eating for 2 hours. Very good.

Ports: Ok here is a word of caution. We had an active roll call. Two members offered some tours at pretty good prices. I signed us up. There were some odd things - the organizers wanted payment up front on the second sea day. They didn't show up to the cruise critic gathering. Usually the organizers ask for payment on the day of the tour and make an effort to show up the cruise connections party or the sailaway. Everyone else had similar suspicions. I sign up for the roll call tours as they are usually a smaller group. I should have checked when I kept seeing openings offered, but I assumed others had cancelled. Turns out that there were 3 - 4 busses on these tours! None of the busses saw the same things. Some were very upset, I could have let myself get upset (DH was!) but made the best of it. Note to self, check the numbers before you sign up.

Grand Cayman: We didn't organize anything as we've been here before. The ship had to tender us to a different dock due to "high waves". But all the taxies and busses were waiting. We ended up near Calico Jacks. 2 loungers and an umbrella cost $15. The van was $7 each. We got a bucket of beers and had a pleasant day at the beach.

Panama Canal: Amazing. The ship would not let people on the helipad at first due to the rain, but didn't mind crowds balancing precariously on the stairs! I was watching the helipad situation on the TV, as soon as I saw officers posing for photos, I knew they would open it. Being on deck 6, I went to the boarding area in the Theatre on Deck 5 and was one of the first on! Great day, we had a good lecuturer explaining the sites. I walked all over the ship taking photos, front and back. The roof top terrace was also an uncrowded but great spot to take photos.

Manta, Ecuador: One of the roll call tours. The hike in the rain forest was good but may have been physically taxing for some. We saw and heard the monkeys. It was at the Pachoce Nature reserve. Then a quick drive to Montechristi, sadly we did not get out at the site overlooking the town. But did have 45 minutes to explore and shop in town.

Lima, Peru: Well if you weren't on a ship tour, things were challenging. Private tours were not permitted in port. They had the choice of meeting you at a shopping mall 30 minutes away or at a taxi stand just outside the port. The guide thought it was best to meet 3 busloads worth of people at the taxi stand. However the port shuttle had two vans holding 8 people! You can imagine the line. In the end, Celebrity provided the bus to ease the line up. The taxi stand wasn't in the nicest of areas. The next day we arranged to meet the tour at the mall. Much better. However on day 2, many of the group members skipped the tour. Too bad, day 2 was much better then day 1.

Pisco, Peru: I semi-arranged a flight over Nazca Lines. Due to all the personal information required for the flight, I just had everyone contact the operator themselves. Our favourite part of the cruise! You read about them, but once you see them - they are amazing. We had to retrieve our passports from Guest Services, we got them right away the day before, others had to battle it out. We were in a 12 seat Cessna - good thing I took some Dramamine! On the way back we stopped to take photos of a flock of flamingos. We had the option to get off in Paracas, but we were tired as there was more port stress, however I managed to tell the tour operator about it so they had everything arranged when we got off - they reserved a shuttle for our group of 10, which drove us 5 minutes to the parking lot where the van was waiting.

Arrica - another roll call tour. But I really enjoyed it, a stroll up the coast - for some reason our group didn't get to see the caves - others did. But we went into the desert and visited an Olive Farm.

San Antonio replaced Valpairiso. This time only one bus. We got to visit a winery, see around the area and have a great lunch at a little roadside restaurant. We all got dropped off at our various hotels before the rest were driven to the airport.

We spent a 2 days in Santiago - I'd arranged some tours with Stamp's which went very well.

Final Thoughts: The roll call was very active and the Cruise Connections party well attended. I met some great people and all in all I really enjoyed myself. You will encounter glitches when travelling, but if you don't make the best of it, then you will ruin your vacation.
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