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My wife and I recently completed a Panama Canal passage on the Celebrity Infinity (Nov 8-22, 2009). Our goal for this trip was to experience a canal passage and visit Central American ports of call that escaped us on previous cruises. We met our goal, made some new friends, and had an enjoyable time despite the annoyances that I call "the little things." My review is about those little things that make a cruise vacation standout in a positive light, or conversely cause it to slip into recesses of memory not to be recalled again. Herewith are our findings: 1.Cabin. We were on Deck 8 forward, all the way up front next to the crew stairs. Whenever a crew member entered or exited through the doorway, a horrendous stench of cigarette smoke filled the passageway. Thankfully, it did not enter the room. 2. Cabin. Our room steward was polite, but the service did not meet our expectations. Sheets were changed on Day 6, after I took them off the bed and placed them on the floor. On most days, our room was not serviced before 11:00am; on three days our bathroom towels were not replaced until the evening service. 3. Food and Beverages. I am a coffee drinker and really do enjoy my morning coffee. However, to get the coffee, I had to go to the Lido Cafeteria - a bit of a trek from my cabin. On most days, the coffee in the urns was horrendous. I noticed that signs would be placed on the urns stating "coffee brewing" when actually coffee was not brewing but being saved for later consumption. The result was either burnt coffee or coffee that tasted extremely old. 4. Food and Beverages. I like both orange juice and V8 juice, neither of which was available in the Lido Cafeteria. Orange drink (similar to Tang?) was available through the dispenser. When I questioned the Cafeteria Supervisor I was told that orange juice and other juices are for sale. This is unconscionable on a cruise line that markets itself as "upscale." 5. Food and Beverages. The Trellis Dining Room is best described as controlled chaos. Our table of six was always last to be served and we were generally among the last 20-30 guests to leave every night. The food, however, was generally very good although somewhat repetitious. 1/2 Lobster tails were served one night only. 6. Food and Beverages. Casual dining at the Lido Cafeteria was not always a good experience. We felt that the cooks in the "specialty areas" (pasta bar, pizza, Asian food) did not really know what the food should taste like. Pizza was almost always burnt on the bottom; previously heated pasta noodles were placed into hot (not boiling) water for a minimal time resulting in them being uncooked, and all Asian cuisine contained curry. However, the worst of the worst were eggs benedict. The cook would take pre-cooked eggs from the refrigerator, dip them in warm water for 20 seconds, then place them on top of a slice of Canadian bacon and once-toasted cold english muffins. Hollandaise sauce was placed over the entre - the result, cold centers in the egg, lukewarm everywhere else. Each time my wife and I tried them (3 in all) we were unable to eat them. I believe what frustrated us the most was that there was no one responsible (manager/supervisor/chief cook, etc) whom we could speak too about our experience. 7. Shows. Generally speaking, the shows were entertaining. Our recommendation is to get there early, else risk not getting a seat. For one particular show, I saved our seats for 1 hour just to be sure we would have a place to sit. 8. Photo Studio and Shop. We had 16 photos taken over the 3 formal nights. We purchased 3 photos at the end of the cruise (buy 2, get 1 free). The photographers, in our opinion, were not very experienced. Most of our photos had focus and centering problems. Such a shame. Our experience with the Photo Shop vendor, though, was most unsettling - the evening before our passage through the canal, he sold me a camera with a known dysfunctional battery (my digital camera met an unfortunate accident). I was told the battery would charge overnight, but it did not. When I asked him if he had another battery, he told me no, but that I could exchange my "new in the box" camera for the demonstrator. Reluctant to do that, I asked him if I could have the battery in the demo camera and again was told no. Without any other options (and not being interested in purchasing any of the other cameras), I opted for a refund. My wife and I consider ourselves regular folks - we don't complain or ask for anything special. We like to experience what others before us have and we take pleasure in sharing "me too" stories. On this cruise vacation, though, we don't think there will be too many pleasant memories to share aside from those experiences enjoyed with new-found friends. As I stated at the beginning of this review, its the little things that make a routine trip a good vacation. We'll continue to cruise and travel, but not on Celebrity Inifinity.

The little things really do matter!

Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by VA Traveler

Trip Details
My wife and I recently completed a Panama Canal passage on the Celebrity Infinity (Nov 8-22, 2009). Our goal for this trip was to experience a canal passage and visit Central American ports of call that escaped us on previous cruises. We met our goal, made some new friends, and had an enjoyable time despite the annoyances that I call "the little things."
My review is about those little things that make a cruise vacation standout in a positive light, or conversely cause it to slip into recesses of memory not to be recalled again. Herewith are our findings:
1.Cabin. We were on Deck 8 forward, all the way up front next to the crew stairs. Whenever a crew member entered or exited through the doorway, a horrendous stench of cigarette smoke filled the passageway. Thankfully, it did not enter the room. 2. Cabin. Our room steward was polite, but the service did not meet our expectations. Sheets were changed on Day 6, after I took them off the bed and placed them on the floor. On most days, our room was not serviced before 11:00am; on three days our bathroom towels were not replaced until the evening service. 3. Food and Beverages. I am a coffee drinker and really do enjoy my morning coffee. However, to get the coffee, I had to go to the Lido Cafeteria - a bit of a trek from my cabin. On most days, the coffee in the urns was horrendous. I noticed that signs would be placed on the urns stating "coffee brewing" when actually coffee was not brewing but being saved for later consumption. The result was either burnt coffee or coffee that tasted extremely old. 4. Food and Beverages. I like both orange juice and V8 juice, neither of which was available in the Lido Cafeteria. Orange drink (similar to Tang?) was available through the dispenser. When I questioned the Cafeteria Supervisor I was told that orange juice and other juices are for sale. This is unconscionable on a cruise line that markets itself as "upscale." 5. Food and Beverages. The Trellis Dining Room is best described as controlled chaos. Our table of six was always last to be served and we were generally among the last 20-30 guests to leave every night. The food, however, was generally very good although somewhat repetitious. 1/2 Lobster tails were served one night only. 6. Food and Beverages. Casual dining at the Lido Cafeteria was not always a good experience. We felt that the cooks in the "specialty areas" (pasta bar, pizza, Asian food) did not really know what the food should taste like. Pizza was almost always burnt on the bottom; previously heated pasta noodles were placed into hot (not boiling) water for a minimal time resulting in them being uncooked, and all Asian cuisine contained curry. However, the worst of the worst were eggs benedict. The cook would take pre-cooked eggs from the refrigerator, dip them in warm water for 20 seconds, then place them on top of a slice of Canadian bacon and once-toasted cold english muffins. Hollandaise sauce was placed over the entre - the result, cold centers in the egg, lukewarm everywhere else. Each time my wife and I tried them (3 in all) we were unable to eat them. I believe what frustrated us the most was that there was no one responsible (manager/supervisor/chief cook, etc) whom we could speak too about our experience. 7. Shows. Generally speaking, the shows were entertaining. Our recommendation is to get there early, else risk not getting a seat. For one particular show, I saved our seats for 1 hour just to be sure we would have a place to sit. 8. Photo Studio and Shop. We had 16 photos taken over the 3 formal nights. We purchased 3 photos at the end of the cruise (buy 2, get 1 free). The photographers, in our opinion, were not very experienced. Most of our photos had focus and centering problems. Such a shame. Our experience with the Photo Shop vendor, though, was most unsettling - the evening before our passage through the canal, he sold me a camera with a known dysfunctional battery (my digital camera met an unfortunate accident). I was told the battery would charge overnight, but it did not. When I asked him if he had another battery, he told me no, but that I could exchange my "new in the box" camera for the demonstrator. Reluctant to do that, I asked him if I could have the battery in the demo camera and again was told no. Without any other options (and not being interested in purchasing any of the other cameras), I opted for a refund.
My wife and I consider ourselves regular folks - we don't complain or ask for anything special. We like to experience what others before us have and we take pleasure in sharing "me too" stories. On this cruise vacation, though, we don't think there will be too many pleasant memories to share aside from those experiences enjoyed with new-found friends. As I stated at the beginning of this review, its the little things that make a routine trip a good vacation. We'll continue to cruise and travel, but not on Celebrity Inifinity.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8004
Room 8004. Do not book a room close to the crew doors - cigarette smoke permeated the hallways! End of the hallway is the last area to receive service from room attendants.
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