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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Overall we had a wonderful time and enjoyed sailing on Infinity. The high points were the service, the ship excursions and the awesome itinerary. We had wonderful weather and I'm sure that help ensure good spirits throughout the trip. ... Read More
Overall we had a wonderful time and enjoyed sailing on Infinity. The high points were the service, the ship excursions and the awesome itinerary. We had wonderful weather and I'm sure that help ensure good spirits throughout the trip. We would recommend this trip to anyone, despite my few rants below -- Details: I had heard horror stories about embarkation in San Francisco. We arrived right around the earliest embarkation time and other than needing a bit more (or maybe a bit less) organization with the baggage, (why would you have to stand in line to drop off bags, there is only one ship!) it was smooth and efficient. Our balcony stateroom towards the front of the ship was quiet and comfortable although the air handling in the room seemed a bit stuffy. We just opened the veranda when we we were in port. Dining was more hit and miss. This was my first experience with "tiered" dining and I must say I was not too happy with the changes. I am a foodie and for this reason alone, I will price the entire trip -- upscale dining on the ship, cruise price, transfers, excursions, drink packages and gratuities -- and see if a more luxury line with those items included may be a better value for me. I've heard RCL is very nice for food as well. I may have to try that line. This hurts me to say as I do love Celebrity. Observations: 12 days without decent cup of coffee is just torture, Veal for like 4 nights in a row on the menu in the main dining room?, no variation at all at the buffet for breakfast lunch or dinner (what does one do on a 30 day cruise), what happened to the grand buffet?, The flaming Alaska procession by the staff?, oh -- and many of the items in the main dining room were inedible. How about scallops, shrimp? And whoever thought we needed green peppers in every dish (breakfast beans and the shimp cocktail?) is just not in tune with what foodies need or want. Enough ranting on the food. I loved the old food, I guess I just have to add in the cost for the other restaurants next time and make a decision. sigh. FYI -- the shrimp cocktail, escargot and the creme brulee on the "standard menu" are all very good. One tip, if you want to order breakfast in your room, call and ask dining for the "breakfast menu" to order from -- it will be the most complete version and have everything possible and able to tell them exactly what you want. Don't use the little ones in the room, or the TV -- pretty much worthless. The bar scene was nice. We found the Rendevous Lounge Bar and loved it. Everyone took very good care of us and we really enjoyed it. The Martini Bar had the vibe and I met some wonderful people hanging out there. The outdoor bars were fun but generally crowded but we liked hanging out in the slow times. I thought the drinks, on average were reasonably priced but the wine selection by the glass was limited. (Note: we had a drink package but I'm sure it was not good for my liver) Service is beyond beyond great. Everyone happy to help and never looking for tips. They seemed really grateful when they were tipped on occasion. Shipboard life: Having been on Celebrity with probably the best cruise director ever, I found this trip a bit disappointing. Loved the lectures, the opportunity to take water color painting -- all very nice. The entertainment was OK. There was one terrific guest singer I saw and one xylophone player that I heard was great that I missed. The aerialists rocked! I guess a bunch of it wasn't "my type" but I'm pretty narrow minded in the type of entertainment I like, so you would probably enjoy it -- but I will say my prior Celebrity cruise had great local talent brought in. As I said MickyLive and Milos were great. The rest of onboard life (besides trivia, bingo and other games) seemed to revolve around shopping and ship excursions. A channel dedicated to shopping and one for ship excursions. Where do you find the local color in port? The hidden gems -- oh how do we get into town? Maybe they said at the shopping seminars, but I missed those. They sure didn't cover it on the ship excursion channel. Summary: more information on the port themselves needed. Disembarkation was fine as well. We did the "hop on hop off" bus and the transfer of baggage to the airport so we could enjoy the day in Vancouver. It seemed to take a long time to get through the process, but worked fine once we were disembarked. I heard the second debarkation for the same tour was a disaster. Excursions were great. I hate group excursions as a rule, but I found ours to be small groups, excellent vendors and I really have to say while a bit pricy, they were excellent in every way. We went kayaking in Sitka (but would recommend the otter sighting as I heard that was great -- but we saw lots of eagles and we enjoyed it), Glacier helicopter flight and landing in Juneau (if I had to do over, I would have done whale watching as well -- have to go back!) Whale watching in Victoria (Orcas), and the Hop on Hop off in Vancouver which worked out fabulous for us. Overall we loved our trip and the itinerary. We met some wonderful people at our dinner table and would not have changed anything, despite my rants above. Overall, with few reservations around food -- would recommend Celebrity again for the itinerary, the service, and the staterooms. Hope this helps set expectations so you are ready to enjoy your cruise on Infinity to Alaska! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Celebrity Infinity, #8108. Built 2001, Last Drydock 2014 ~90,000 Tons 2,170 to 2,604 passengers Modern Luxury Theme is an oxymoron when their WIFI, to quote Mr. Spock from City on the Edge of Forever, “is worse than stone ... Read More
Celebrity Infinity, #8108. Built 2001, Last Drydock 2014 ~90,000 Tons 2,170 to 2,604 passengers Modern Luxury Theme is an oxymoron when their WIFI, to quote Mr. Spock from City on the Edge of Forever, “is worse than stone knives and bear skins.” The reservation process with this cruise was very frustrating. Onboard, they told me that the room was 205 square feet, but when we returned home, Celebrity.com said it was 191 square feet. She also stuck us in a room with a very tiny irregular balcony. Basically, it should have been demoted to a regular Veranda room, not a Concierge Class 2 that we paid for. The sales agent told our TA that we could keep an existing $300 OBC in addition to the promotion, but the very next day she denied it. After hours on the phone, our travel agent spoke with a new person that gave us another $100 OBC and a coupon book. But the original sales agent shouldn’t have changed her story. Very small room. We did a Back to Back first on the Star Princess in a Mini-Suite, post night, then on to the Celebrity Concierge Class. Basically, we liked the floor plan and the 100 extra square feet better on Princess, and preferred the amenities in Celebrity’s Concierge Class. Great way to compare two lines. From the floor plan perspective, Princess has a huge advantage for us because they offer mini-suites, on Celebrity, they don’t offer Junior/Mini Suites, and we must pay a whole lot more to move up to a Sky Suite (considerably more expensive (but smaller) than the Junior Suites on Royal Caribbean, but you get a lot more amenities with the Sky Suite). Celebrity maintains their equipment a lot better than Princess. We had working elevators the entire cruise! And believe me, walking into that small Concierge Class room after two weeks on a mini-suite on Princess was a shock! We’ve been in only one other Concierge Class room, and that was even smaller than on Infinity. Another point in Celebrity’s favor. Free meclizine We got the Concierge Class, annoying tiny balcony room but with benefits: priority embarkation while not much good since we didn’t embark until 3:00 pm, fruit in room, welcome sparkly, rose on formal night, real luggage tags you order! Television was faced at right angles to the sofa, so the least uncomfortable way to watch television was sitting on the corner of the bed. But the huge problem the first night was no mattress pad on the bed. Talk about uncomfortable! After struggling with the problem for hours, we called Guest Relations about 2 AM! Housekeeping Night Staff appeared and fixed us up with some mattress pads. We also saw the much welcome return of turndown chocolates! Our cabin steward did a fine job! She found us two tempurpedic pillows. Somehow, the Norovirus procedures must have stopped the ice we requested. Strange since Princess also had norovirus procedures and managed to get us the ice. We had the worst embarkation in 23 cruises! While we got six voice mails telling us of the late embarkation, we arrived the usual time and had to stand in chilly weather outside the terminal for 30 minutes. Part my fault, since I didn’t check my cell phone until we arrived at the terminal. Note to self, check voice mail, if delay, grab a sandwich before heading to the terminal. While checking my voice mail in the bathroom, someone stole my phone case while my back was turned. I’d placed my phone case on the bathroom sink while washing hands, and turned my back, when I reached to pick up the case, it was gone. We went through the gauntlet and got our seapass cards. Then we found some seats in the terminal and waited for three more hours. Good thing we arrived at the normal time, because there were not enough seats in the new pier to hold all waiting passengers. Around 2:30 pm, we heard an announcement about a delayed embarkation, and suggesting we leave the terminal to eat lunch. But there were no restaurants nearby! Also, we’d have to hassle with security again. I don’t understand why they couldn’t provide sandwiches from the ship. I’ve seen cookies and danish provided in the embarkation lounges before. But this time only water, maybe more norovirus hassle. They let us in our rooms around 4:30 and had the muster drill at 5:00 pm. After a long tiring day, at least we could do muster drill inside. Room service - nice selection on their breakfast menu, but don’t ask for anything not on that menu, because you won’t get it. Elite Breakfast - Very slow service at first. But they got better after we tried to troop out. They grabbed me by the arm and led me to a table. We had norovirus Celebrity and the also on the Star Princess we’d disembarked the day before. They did things pretty much the same, serving food, no salt and pepper, etc. The only big difference was that they did not close the library on our Princess cruise. On Infinity, the library was closed and the books removed when we boarded. We got permission from guest relations to use the library as a reading room, and since it was right outside our stateroom, it became our place to hang out. Even after they lifted some of the norovirus restrictions, I saw a man going through the library and cleaning our stuffed furniture. They forced antibacterial gel on us the whole cruise. The only person that wasn’t forced was a lady pushed into the dining room in a wheelchair! If they force this antibacter Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This is our 5th time cruising to Alaska. We love it there but this time we were woefully disappointed in the cruise. Giving Celebrity complete slack for the slow embarkation----low tides delayed opportunity to off load luggage slowing ... Read More
This is our 5th time cruising to Alaska. We love it there but this time we were woefully disappointed in the cruise. Giving Celebrity complete slack for the slow embarkation----low tides delayed opportunity to off load luggage slowing those those getting off. And NOROVIRUS necessitated complete cleaning of the ship. No problem there and THANKS to tmem and the CDC for concerns about our health. But the compliments stop there. When we were able to go to the check in desk at the port there was no one to tell guests where to go--which line to stand in. No clarity, no hosts to begin greeting guests. We were not too unhappy waiting until 6 pm to get into our room. Of course then it was our early dinner so watching the sailing under the Golden Gate not possible. My main problems/issues were however that there was NO NATURALIST on board. A SHOCK for a cruise to ALASKA. They had some ship person trying to substitute but he did not do an adequate job--not the job a naturalist does. The lectures were basically the woman giving shopping tips. Who goes to ALASKA to buy Caribbean gems??? AND AND AND cruising Tracy Arm should have been the chance to experience a glacier for those confined to the ship or those who did not opt to go on planes to one. The captain stopped the ship 7 miles from the Sawyer glacier. Hardly a respectable view. When I said something to a ship officer he responded it is only ice!!!!!! . We have been on ships that went right up to and experienced calving and the blue ice--not visible here. AND ALSO for 5 days they closed down the non-smoking side of the poolside area for repairs. That means those of us who swim outside had to constantly brave the cigar and cigarette smoke and get our robes smelly from smoke when put on lounge chairs on that side of the deck. If going to the grill from the spa one also needed to wade thru the smoke smells to get to it or the buffet. AND because of the noro virus they never got the books cleaned and the library NEVER opened. Celebrity lost us (this was our 3rd cruise with them) and MANY others who likewise were VERY DISSATISFIED. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
First of all we had a very difficult time getting into San Francisco due to weather conditions (heavy fog). My wife called Celebrity help desk to find out if the ship was leaving later than expected. We were told in a very cold voice to ... Read More
First of all we had a very difficult time getting into San Francisco due to weather conditions (heavy fog). My wife called Celebrity help desk to find out if the ship was leaving later than expected. We were told in a very cold voice to be at the terminal by 4 pm or we would not be allowed to board. After landing in SF on another airline and a mad, mad dash to the cruise terminal by taxi at just minutes before 4 pm we saw hundreds of people outside standing in line waiting to get into the terminal. There had been many, many delays getting people onto the ship. We paid Celebrity for a shuttle ride to the ship but received a text from our travel agent that Celebrity notified her that anyone arriving at the airport after 12 noon would be on their own to get to the ship! No shuttles! What? That was dozens of people coming into SF just after noon. We never received that text from Celebrity and we were signed up with them to receive updates. Then there was no greeter present anywhere to tell us what was going on and to confirm how to get to the ship. We have been to Alaska many times on Princess and Holland. How can you have a Alaska cruise with NO naturalist on board? Whoever was doing the VERY limited narration at Tracy Arm had no idea what to say. When we boarded the ship we had no drinking glasses in the room and no do not disturb sign for the door. We also found out later that there was a Welcome Aboard letter with some details about things we missed. We never received that letter (our 5th and probably last cruise with Celebrity). We also never received one of the bags they give you for shopping at the stores on shore until we asked for one! Production shows (3) were very good. Other entertainers were okay, about what you expect. Food okay. Curtains in stateroom looked like they were 30 years old. Bed was hard as a rock, very uncomfortable. Ship was nice but seems to look somewhat old and dated. Compared to Princess, who seems to always do everything right, this trip was a disaster. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Embarkation - Embarkation was delayed due to port issues, a CDC inspection and "deep cleaning." The test of a process is how things are done when something goes wrong. In this case, Celebrity gets a minus in dealing with the ... Read More
Embarkation - Embarkation was delayed due to port issues, a CDC inspection and "deep cleaning." The test of a process is how things are done when something goes wrong. In this case, Celebrity gets a minus in dealing with the issues. There were lines everywhere, inside and out of the terminal and there was little communication or assistance to those in line - particularly, for handicapped or those with "priority embarkation." Luckily, the weather was ok. There was no acknowledgement from Celebrity thru the Captain or Cruise Director with any mention of "sorry for the inconvenience" until the last day of the cruise. The Ship - The M class ships have a beautiful design, especially the dining room. Needless to say, with the norovirus cleaning, the ship was spotless through out the cruise. Most areas are in good shape though wood trim on chairs and white upholstery are showing wear. Dining Room/Bar Service - Food was a pleasant surprise. Though Celebrity food is reliable, the food and service in Anytime Dining on this cruise was particularly good. Windjammer was crowded but manageable. The Classic Beverage Package was great. Service, drinks and snack choices in Cafe Bacio were excellent. Room Service - Service was on time but quality was spotty - missing utensils, cold food, missing cream, missing syrup for pancakes, missing butter, sometimes a carafe of coffee but other times a teapot of coffee, etc. In 5 or 6 tries, there was always something not right. Ports and Excursions - Weather in Alaska was perfect. All four excursions in Juneau, Ice Strait, Ketchikan and Astoria were well-run and as described. The time cruising in Tracy Arm was very nice but this was the first time in four cruises to Alaska where the ship stopped so far away from the glacier with no real explanation provided as to why. It was also disappointing that, on a cruise to Alaska, there really wasn't a lot of information provided from a naturalist. The speaker did one 45 minute talk on Alaska and then a 30 minute talk on Victoria and Astoria. He seemed more interested in collecting passenger photos for a CD than on providing information about Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. More time was given to the Port Shopping speaker than the naturalist/lecturer. Disembarkation - Everything seem to run fine including transfers to the airport. All in all, this was an enjoyable cruise with absolutely wonderful weather in Alaska but it could have been better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Celebrity Cruises made our first few cruises absolutely magical, and that included the old Century which has since been sold. I swore I would never cruise with anyone but Celebrity. And I STILL wouldn't. Many small problems plagued ... Read More
Celebrity Cruises made our first few cruises absolutely magical, and that included the old Century which has since been sold. I swore I would never cruise with anyone but Celebrity. And I STILL wouldn't. Many small problems plagued this cruise. It all started with the absolutely chaotic boarding. Boarding was delayed because of the norovirus on the previous cruise. We arrived very early and still there was a log jam after security. Only one little door was open and the line inside was not moving. Once we got inside (by we, I mean everyone), it was a massive crowd and we realized we were in the handicapped line. People were grumbling that there was no sign until they got close to the check in area, so had stood in a long line for nothing. When we finally got to the priority boarding line, everything went quickly and smoothly. We were told our group (Celebrity Select) would be one of the first to board. We waited and waited and they started calling group numbers that usually get called after the priority boarding people. I finally asked and was told "Oh, I guess we forgot to call your group." At boarding time, lines were stretching forever outside the terminal. Those poor people stood out there a very long and there were no Celebrity representatives anywhere to explain what was happening or answer any questions. We didn't get on board until 5pm, and we were STARVING since we had expected to get lunch when we got on-board. We stopped at the Cafe al Bacio to tide us over and it was just 1 of 2 times we were able to secure seats there during the entire cruise. They need more chairs and tables! Our cabin was at the bow and was larger than most. We loved it. Cabin #6000. Always clean, serviced in a timely manner, always had hot water and TV. Large, comfortable, and nice! The entire ship looked a little tired with the worn upholstery and varnish worn off the wood furniture. There was no "wow factor" anywhere like on the Equinox (my favorite). The halls had little humps in the floors and Miss Clumsy here kept stumbling over them. The halls reeked of sewage. Well into the cruise, maybe 7 or 8 days, we finally saw a cabin door open and shop vacs and big fans were hard at work. The odor was very annoying. Our cabin was next to the crew stairway, and I would bet they go in there to smoke because the smell of cigarettes was always very strong right outside our cabin. Dining is usually superb on Celebrity, but not on this cruise. Not the best food and more than once I got something I did not order, such as a mixed green salad with brussels sprouts I ordered that was replaced with a head lettuce salad with anchovies. That wasn't even on the menu! It was impossible to get a drink at dinner. Three nights we could not order dessert. The waiter said he ordered something special just for us (??), but they were just the same desserts we had at the Murano (on other ships). They were not special and I do not like chocolate. I love desserts and that was very disappointing. No bread or condiments were allowed on the tables the first week. We had to ask for them. We splurged and spent $100 to eat at the S.S. United States. OMG, the worst dining experience ever. It took 2 1/2 hours to get our meal. I ordered veal tenderloin medium rare (read "veal"= tender and "tenderloin"=tender and medium rare means pink inside). It was literally toasted black on one side, well-done, and was so tough I could not cut it with a knife. After waiting for 2 1/2 hours for my dinner, I was not about to send it back and wait another 2 1/2 hours. I acted like a rube and picked it up with my fingers and took bites off of it. Disgusting. But my husband said his lobster was excellent. Since our dinner experience took almost 4 hours, we missed the one show we really wanted to see. The buffet was very tasty, but always crowded. I lost count of the number of times the coffee, iced tea, and ice dispensers were empty. Speaking of shows, they were not the best, especially the amateur night were many of the passengers dressed up like zombies to do "Thriller" on stage. Please, we paid good money for this cruise. How about some professionals! And, please, stop with all the promotions for excursions, artwork, and upcoming cruises!!! It was non-stop. OK, this isn't all of it by a long shot, but you get the idea. As I said, it was a lot of minor annoyances, not the kinds of things that ruin a vacation. If it had been my first cruise on Celebrity though, it would be my last. My previous cruises with Celebrity have all been beyond perfection with exquisite dining, gorgeous decor, unparalleled service, and an overall luxurious ambience. I'm already booked on my next cruise with Celebrity because I know this trip was just a fluke. Thank goodness for fantastic weather in Alaska! Oh, I almost forgot....disembarkation was a breeze, but they lost our luggage. Had to wait about 2 hours for them to find it. I'm glad we did not have a plane to catch. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We did this 11 night Alaska Cruise round trip out of San Francisco as the 2nd leg of a back to back, having done the 17 night Panama Canal cruise prior - we were thus onboard the Infinity for 28 straight nights. We sailed with our adult ... Read More
We did this 11 night Alaska Cruise round trip out of San Francisco as the 2nd leg of a back to back, having done the 17 night Panama Canal cruise prior - we were thus onboard the Infinity for 28 straight nights. We sailed with our adult daughter who has a physical disability, so one of our two cabins was an accessible cabin, 7137. Infinity is a Millennium Class ship, which from an accessibility standpoint, is not nearly as accessible as any of the Solstice Class ships. None of the public bathrooms have an accessible power door opener - so you have to wrangle the door open on your own which is very difficult to do if you're in a wheelchair. Whereas on Solstice Class ships, ALL of the public bathroom doors are equipped with an auto opener. On Infinity, very few of the doors that lead onto the decks are auto opening, whereas on Solstice Class ships, yes, you guessed it, all public deck doors are auto opening. Also on the Infinity as on all Millennium Class ships, there are innumerable metal stops or thresholds on the public deck floors, everywhere throughout the ship, including the cabin hallways - which are major barriers to those that have physical needs - you have to be constantly looking down, being aware, so as not to trip or get your wheels somehow stuck or impeded. The door to our cabin was also not auto opening, whereas, they are auto opening on the Solstice Class ships. And inside our cabin, the hinges on the bathroom door are on the opposite side of where they need to be to make access comfortable. My daughter uses a walker and she had to roll past the door, turn herself around, reach and swing open the door, then go in - it's hard to picture, but trust me, the planning was very bad - something that was rectified across the board, on the Solstice Class ships. Plaguing this cruise, supposedly, were the final remaining vestiges of the norovirus. The Infinity had been afflicted with it, as we came to realize, throughout the South and Central American itinerary. People get off the ship in these countries and eat things they should not, and get back on board with a case of Montezuma's Revenge and spread it due to their poor hygiene practices. The noro overall is a feature accompanying the Central and South American itineraries, period. It is appalling to me to observe passengers coughing madly into their HANDS, when everyone knows that you are supposed to cough or sneeze into your elbow. I believe that Celebrity needs to get aggressive on the South and Central American itineraries when the ship turns into the SS Dysentery, and preach openly about proper hygiene - wash your hands often and NEVER cough or sneeze into your hands. People just don't get it. We heard that there were three people sick on board at the beginning of the cruise - I know for a fact that one of them did not have noro at all, that it was something else entirely, but the ship people wanted to be sure that with the Alaskan itinerary season underway, that any and all sickness no matter what the source, was squelched at the get go. For 72 hours, the buffet was in lock down - not only could you not serve yourself your own food, but you couldn't even pick up a plate or your own napkin-wrapped bundle of silverware! To get coffee in the morning was a nightmare - tables were set up as barriers in front of the coffee stations, with staff pouring the coffee for you, giving you packets of sugar. Guests were encouraged to order via room service. Menus from Cafe Al Bacio, and all of the venues, were removed. Even the cloth hand towels in the public bathrooms were removed. Forget about a bread basket at your dinner table, or the trio of hummus, butter and herbed cream cheese. Bread was doled out individually by your server. 72 hours of the strictest restrictions were endured, but by the last several days of the cruise, all was back to normal. Even the Top Chef at Sea activity returned, which had been eliminated in the prior cruise, as it involved food and it was seen as a possible conveyance of the virus, if someone participated who was sick. A big disappointment when the restrictions were underway, was that the captain was not forthcoming with information. I remember on Solstice, on an Australian/New Zealand cruise, we were encountering some very rough seas. The Captain actually made an informational video which he aired on the cabin TVs, with him in front of a weather map, showing the storm, the route that he was taking to avoid it, etc, explaining everything. The passengers really appreciated the transparency. The exact same thing should be done when the ship is facing a health problem. The passengers crave accurate information. We heard that only 3 passengers were sick, and that it probably wasn't even noro for any of them - so the measures that were put into place seemed punitive! In any case, people still had a great time on the cruise. The staff on board was excellent, striving always for the passengers to have a wonderful time. Embarkation on May 15 at Pier 27 in San Francisco was a horrible fiasco. Due to the CDC sterilization measures and inspection before departing to Alaska, along with the huge delays getting the luggage off of the ship from the Panama Canal disembarkation in the morning, the crew was dreadfully overworked, with even the entertainment staff enlisted to sterilize cabins. The ship departed over 2 hours late. We were not effected too much since this was a back to back for us, so after our day touring San Francisco, we showed our new Seapass cards and got back onto the ship, though most passengers at 3pm, were only beginning to be processed. Tempers were high in the boat drill, many passengers grumbling, still toting their carry on luggage, unhappy not unsurprisingly or without warrant. Still, I'm not sure what else Celebrity could have done, given the CDC requirements, and the problem with Pier 27 and getting the luggage off from the morning for the prior cruisers. It was the 'perfect storm' of mishaps. All staff were patient. But I do believe that more specific information should have been transparently shared with the passengers to enlist our sympathy, to make us understand, rather than leaving us questioning and surmising. We had spectacular weather on this Alaska sailing! It was actually 80 degrees in Juneau, yes, EIGHTY! We cruise passengers looked like such tourists, all bundled up, whereas the locals were all in shorts and t-shirts! We booked primarily all Celebrity shore excursions, which through experience we have found uniformly to be of excellent value and run by the best contractors in each port of call. We took the fabulous excursion, "Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter" and found all of the workers on the glacier wearing short sleeves and shorts! It was a stunning day, in fact the weather at each port was fabulous. We highly recommend the dog sledding excursion in Juneau, which we did in the afternoon. In the morning, we did our other favorite shore excursion of this cruise - "Taku Lodge Feast & 5 Glacier Seaplane" - spectacular in every respect! Enrichment activities on this Alaska leg, I did not feel to be as comprehensive as those found on the Panama Canal leg - and not even close to the Alaska cruise we took this past September 2014 on Solstice. MickeyLive is not a naturalist. Sorry, MickeyLive, but he brought little to the table as far as Alaska info that I couldn't have googled. Last Sept, we had an onboard naturalist that my husband and I still talk about to this day, he gave us so many rich and detailed talks. As far as dining, we did Select Dining, which is our 2nd choice to Aqua Class so that we can eat in Blu. However, on the Millennium Class ships, there are no handicapped accessible cabins, so, as I said, we then do Select as our 2nd choice. With Select, contrary to what some people say, you can always get a table in the server of your choice's station, if you want to, and request it when you reserve your table from night to night. You therefore develop a relationship with your server, they learn your preferences, etc. Our server in select, the wonderful Samson from India and his assistant server, Johnny, observed that our daughter needed help cutting her food - from that point on, Samson would serve her then immediately pick up her knife and fork and cut her meal for her - he was incredibly thoughtful and sweet. He also recognized that of the trio of hummus, butter and herbed cream cheese that is served with the nightly bread basket, that I had a strong preference for the hummus - so often, he would present me with my own personal ramekin of hummus! As far as the Oceanview Buffet goes, well, the food itself was pretty good, but, we do not enjoy the layout at all of the buffet on the Millennium Class ships. The lay out of the buffet on the Solstice Class ships is so much better - but, I know, it's because the ships themselves are bigger, allowing for a more spacious layout, a better traffic flow, less congestion. On the Millennium Class ships, we try to avoid the buffet at all costs as it gets crowded and frustrating - I find myself saying that I'm simply not that hungry, that the annoyance is simply not worth it. As far as specialty dining goes, we love Q-Sine, it is our favorite Celebrity specialty restaurant. Fleetwide, the absolute best lamb chops are to be found in the 'M Box' in Q-Sine - baby lamb chops, perfectly flavored, perfectly executed - moist, tasty, succulent! The service is excellent, we LOVE the side car cocktails, a great evening whenever we go. Lunch is now sometimes served in Q-Sine on sea days, but that doesn't work for us, as you are prone to eat more than you should, and to do that at lunch, meh, that ruins the whole day. Save this experience for dinner, enjoy! The SS United States, we find to be too traditional. The Celebrity Activity Staff was hardworking and terrific as always. This was Rachel's, the activity manager, last cruise after a long 8 month contract! Her replacement, Germaine, overlapped this cruise, so the passengers had the pleasure of two hardworking activity managers! The cruise director, Esperanza, did not appear to have much chemistry with the workers. As I've said, we were back to back - the cruise director for the Panama Canal leg was Kyle Dodson, who was outstanding - fast, quick witted, informational, succinct. Esperanza was a very slow public speaker - it took her quite a long time to formulate her thoughts and express them, which was extremely annoying when she would speak at the end of the shows in the theater at night, as people wanted to get out and get on with their evenings. Her recorded spots on the cruise director tv channel were so painful to watch, that we avoided them. Esperanza seemed motivated to sell us things - upselling services I know is a big revenue generator, but she was so obvious about it, it was a big turn off. A huge misstep was on the very last night of the cruise after the show. People wanted to leave and get to their packing or have one last fun night on board. She talked on and on, telling us nothing useful. She said, and I quote, "we're docking in San Francisco at 7am" - that's it, that's all she said about it! No information about the procedural steps, nothing. She did instead go ON AND ON about the various theater staff, the lighting person, the stage manager, what a great job they did all cruise - sorry, but not the time to say this when people want to get on with their night. Yes, definitely mention the guest survey, that we need to fill it out when we get home, but don't tell me the names of the lighting crew on the last night of the cruise. I don't like to criticize an individual, and I am sure that as a person she is absolutely wonderful, but as a cruise director, well I don't think this is really her thing. The Captain's Club hostess, Alexandra, and all Captain's Club events were excellent - we were made to feel welcome and pampered. The cocktail event in the Constellation Lounge from 5-7 pm was something we looked forward to every day. Disembarkation at Pier 27 in San Francisco went flawlessly for us, a very different scene from May 15 and the fiasco people experienced getting onboard. We did a walk off with our luggage as we had a very early flight, and by 7:35am, we were off the ship and heading to a cab. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
We traveled on Celebrity Infinity's 11 night repositioning cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver BC, Canada via 6 ports in Alaska. Our travel agent assisted us in getting flights from and to Florida and arranged for us to spend 2 ... Read More
We traveled on Celebrity Infinity's 11 night repositioning cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver BC, Canada via 6 ports in Alaska. Our travel agent assisted us in getting flights from and to Florida and arranged for us to spend 2 nights in Frisco before the May 10 sailing date. This really made the trip out there much more relaxing since we did not have to rush to get on the ship the same day we flew. Mother's Day weekend was just perfect with visits to all the tourist areas, martini's at Sunset at the Top of the Mark, cable car rides, and the great California cusine at the Spinaker restaurant in Sausalito. Monday we simply took a 5 minute cab ride to the dock where embarcation went ever so smoothly. We were in our ocean view room before noon. Having cruised to Alaska before we knew the Pacific can make for some BIG swells so we opted for an ocean view room down low. This worked out great as there were 3 nights of somewhat rough sailing conditions. Our room was laid out with the bed away from the window (not under it) and it was GREAT. Easy access to the Grand Foyer and elevators. We ate most breakfast meals at the buffet and found the eggs to order station most acceptable. Dinner was early seating at a table for 6 by a huge window on the upper level, deck 5. We were very lucky to have wonderful companions who made our meals ever so enjoyable. The meals were excellent with lots of choices and only a few calories....so we did our best to sample as much as possible. We never had a bad dining incident at all, great waiter and assistant, good bar service, classy presentations, creme brule every night if you wanted, and often we did...it was that good ! Alaska is a place that EVERYONE should go to at least once. It is truly beautiful and awe inspiring. We never got tired of looking at the scenery. BUT the most amazing sight of all was the whales ! We saw whales almost every day from the ship. The Constellation lounge was the choice place to be every evening and it did get crowded. But boy o boy was it worth it! Humpbacks coming by in groups of 3 or more and just seeing the tales break the surface was incredible. Brent Nixon was the on-board naturalist and he is gifted as a speaker and we were gifted to hear him. He made most everyone want to listen to everything he had to say. It was an experience and a pleasure my wife and I will forever cherish. Did I mention the Orcas ? Wow they charged bravely and boldly at the ship. Brent told us that they are "top dog" and had no fear of anything, even cruise ships. Our Captain was superior in his handling of the ship and his concern for his passengers. He got us within 1 mile of the Hubbard Glacier ! We were surrounded by ice and icebergs and he still got us close enough to not only see the glacier calving (pieces breaking off and falling into the water) but to HEAR it !!! Man this may have to be the highlight for me. It was flat out awesome and unbelievable. You see things like this on TV and never really imagine that you could experience it, and then you do! It will always be an unforgettable day. In Juneau we took an excursion to see whales. We hit the jackpot!! A mother humpback was teaching her baby to breach. For over 20 minutes we watched them diving and jumping over and over. So very special and moving. At Icy Strait I ate king crab legs and bought a "deadliest catch" coffee cup. In Ketchikan we bought jackets, rented a golf cart and rode around seeing waterfalls, streams and eagles. At Skagway we took an excursion up to White Pass and Canada and saw a mountain goat and a BEAR. Every stop had something unique and rewarding to do and see. Celebrity really does provide its guests with an opportunity to truly experience Alaska at its best. The Infinity was in great shape and had lots to offer from Acapella singing, to string quartets to the grand productions. All in al this was a very great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2010
We flew into San Francisco one day prior to the cruise and stayed at the Tuscan Inn. The Inn is located at the Wharf, just steps from the cable cars, Ghirardelli Square, etc. A very quaint hotel, clean and extremely well priced. Cafe ... Read More
We flew into San Francisco one day prior to the cruise and stayed at the Tuscan Inn. The Inn is located at the Wharf, just steps from the cable cars, Ghirardelli Square, etc. A very quaint hotel, clean and extremely well priced. Cafe Pescatore next door was really good, atmosphere, espresso and good food were welcome after walking all day. Unfortunately the panhandling in the city was a huge negative. I was born in S.F. and raised just down the bay. I hadn't been home for years and was terribly saddened to see the filth and begging to the degree we experienced. Other cruise passenger's concurred on the begging to the degree that it spoiled a great old city. We boarded the Infinity the following day to a champagne welcome. That was the last real hospitality we received. Our room had plenty of drawer space. However the bathroom was shameful. The white grouted tiles were black on the bathroom floor and the shower. The shower head was grimy, greasy black. The Shower curtain was always sticking to you - yuch. No magnifying mirror, horrible hairdryer that burned your hand after 1 minute. I did contact the front desk. Several times to no avail. Apparently I'm to nice and should have raised my voice. We met other passenger's with similar problems. They flat had shouting matches with the staff. Some did receive results. Saying I'm sorry for your experience and doing nothing is 5 star hospitality? I'm not even bringing up the dirty curtains, pill-ed bedding. The rough old towels that should have been retired. And our robes,one was stained with yellow spotches - disgusting. i truly believe the automatic tip has ruined good service. They used to work for it. I did go down and remove the tip from my account. Many other did also. That should give the line a clue shouldn't it? The shows were better in high school, for sea days, bring a book or sit on your veranda and relax. The food was the worst,the coffee was bad. A consensus among everyone we ate with at various meals. The food, bland, lukewarm. A medium rare steak came well done. Mind you I'd ordered the veal. It wasn't available so without asking what they could get me they came up with a steak. We were first seating and always on time at the fixed seating. So the excuse there? I was promised by the asst. maitredumb creme brulee and received jello, shall I go on? Salmon served one of the last mornings was so off and salty I complained. The maitredumb came over (surprisingly) to ask about it. He tried mine after I didn't eat it and agreed it was bad. He also said that everyone that morning was complaining about it.....he said it wouldn't be served again, Score 1. Fish was always "well done" you could count on that. And the lack of good quality food in the cafeteria where they ran out of eggs 2 different morning, along with serving cold corned beef hash? 5 Star at a homeless shelter more like. The cafeteria was flat bad. And no help to carry your tray, or coffee, juice served by the staff like on Princess. The waitstaff was overworked. They ran at breakneck speed, no wonder so many orders were wrong. They were unfriendly in that they had NO time to chat at all with passenger's. Twice we paid $35.00 each to eat at the S.S. United States Specialty Restaurant. The food and service were excellent! But I had paying that much after already paying for our cruise. We did have several meals delivered to the room so we could enjoy the deck, food was cold, or sweaty from taking to long to deliver it. My impression of the non-smiling staff was boredom and under pressure. We also had a problem with someone in the Cova Cafe using our card for extra tips twice after we'd had expresso's. The staff was flip about it. Obviously someone was pocketing the money. And it took two tries to correct it. The kayaking tour we booked via internet, Ketchikan Kayak Co. was excellent. Our first kayaking experience and now we want to buy our own. A seal, and plenty of starfish, bald eagles, just beautiful. The other tours we booked through Celebrity were all good. The Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest we've done before and was again fabulous. Brown bear, sea otters, whales, bald eagles, etc. Juneau, Whale Quest & Orca included lunch on a beautiful island. The tour got us up close to many whales. We intend to continue cruising and return to Princess where the staff is welcoming, attentive, fun and the ship isn't dirty, with plastic flowers (NO fresh flowers anywhere) The Conservatory was full of dead plants, and the gift shop staff doesn't sleep walk while your asking questions on items for sale. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
This was my 13th cruise, first to Alaska & turned out to be very lucky!! We flew Air Canada to San Francisco on May 9 arriving at 3:00 pm. We found our prearranged Super Shuttle van ($17) & took it to the Holiday Inn Express ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise, first to Alaska & turned out to be very lucky!! We flew Air Canada to San Francisco on May 9 arriving at 3:00 pm. We found our prearranged Super Shuttle van ($17) & took it to the Holiday Inn Express Fishermans Wharf which was a nice hotel with a great included breakfast. We walked down to Pier 39, shopped, saw the sea lions, ate, then walked over to the cable car station where we took a couple of rides on them as we hadn't done that the last time we were there. The next morning we walked to Pier 35 as it was only 6/10 miles away. Boarding was pretty good except for an incident with the gangway because of the wind & rain that delayed us. When we got on board we received our welcome drink then headed to our Concierge Class cabin 8112 which was quite handy to the stairs & elevators. We loved our balcony CC cabin with it's perks such as fresh fruit, bathrobes & flowers in the cabin & bathroom. This itinerary appealed to us as it left from San Francisco, a lovely city, passed under the Golden Gate bridge plus had 2 sea days at the beginning allowing us to become familiar with the ship. After the lifeboat drill (no life jackets required) we had an informal gathering of our Cruise Critic Roll Call on deck 10 aft. We chose 1st seating for dinner & were seated with 2 other couples at table 581 by the window which came in handy later for seeing whales. While eating we also spotted a rainbow, a good omen. We had a fun time together throughout the cruise & all of us agreed this was the best cruise food we'd ever eaten. Our waiter, ass't waiter & headwaiter went out of their way to make our dining special. The desserts were so appealing (they bring them & show samples) that we sometimes couldn't choose just one! We had room service breakfast a few times when we had to get up early & it was always prompt & hot. We enjoyed lunch at the buffet, the DR, the hamburger & pizza places & oh yes the spa cafe, all were very good. We played Bingo most times & it was the most modern, fun one I've ever played on a ship, very entertaining & not too expensive. I won $57 once & the lucky draw another day. We also played trivia a few times & were on the winning team 3 times! We went to every show but the last one & thoroughly enjoyed them. The lectures by Brent Nixon were amazing & so was the one we were able to attend of Yukon's. We watched the Newlywed Game, saw the Dessert Extravaganza & watched karaoke. We attended our Connections Party where I was surprised to see 3 staff members in attendance which reminds me, Keith was a wonderful CD & very approachable. We even managed to squeeze a nap in most days! Ketchikan It was a lovely town for walking & we were surprised to see beautiful flowers such as Tulips & Rhododendrons in bloom. We took a trolley tour to Saxman Village to see the totems & were later dropped off at Creek St where we did a little shopping there & on the short walk back to the ship. There's a candy store in town so had to buy some of my favourites. Juneau We walked into town to see where the Orca office was for our whale watching excursion later in the day. We looked around & shopped a bit before going back to the ship for the buffet lunch. We had an amazing time with Capt Larry, Brent Nixon & another marine biologist onboard. We saw lots of whales plus some sea stars (starfish) near the dock & an eagle. Unfortunately we didn't feel we had time to take the Mt Roberts Tramway or see the Mendenhall Glacier, maybe another time! Skagway We had reserved a tour to the Yukon by train & van with Chilkoot for 7 hours. It was funny when we boarded the train everyone but 1 couple sat on the left so I told them the left's where the scenery will be so they moved too. The scenery was beautiful & there was a lot of snow at times by the side of the tracks. We went to Caribou Crossing where we saw the sled dogs, had a nice bbq chicken lunch & saw the museum. We also stopped by a lake, saw the Carcross desert & beautiful Emerald Lake.This had never happened before but a man got off the train in error when they let the hikers off so we had to back up to get him. It was a lovely day but unfortunately we didn't see any bears like our tablemates did ~ a grizzly with cub & a black bear. I did see 2 huge mosquitos who also saw me! We did see Dall Sheep high on a mountain. Icy Strait Point We met at the Rendez Vous lounge at 8 to assemble for our excursion to Spasski River Valley Wildlife & Bear search. This is a tender port & a place that allows only 1 ship at a time. Actually it's a place made for tourists. We enjoyed the tour but saw nothing but plants & a carved bear in the forest. After lunch we went to the Tribal Show which was really good. There was a lot of little things to do right at the dock area which was an old cannery. I actually would like to go back there sometime to explore the beach, trails & town of Hoonah. Hubbard Glacier We enjoyed watching the scenery from the humongous deck of our CC friends who had the Penthouse Suite. We enjoyed their hospitality & the food & drinks supplied by their butler. Later we viewed the glacier from the helipad & also from our balcony where we saw a little bit of calving. We were only able to get within one mile of the glacier but it was beautiful. I love those turquoise icebergs! Later that day we attended the Captain's Club reception. Sitka Sitka was the other tender port & a beautiful place it was. We were unable to book the shore excursion we wanted (had a waitlist of 18!) so we walked around the town then watched a performance of the Archangel Russian Dancers at the museum. We popped into the Russian Church & another one with a lovely rose window. When I came home I found out a lady from Town's son had been on the "dam" ship in the harbour with us & had photographed our signature as it was such a coincidence to see someone from our town of 4000 had just been there before him! Sea Day This was a cloudy day but there was lots to do inside the ship. We went to the special farewell crew presentation, trivia, then watched the show put on by the children onboard. Apparently there were 20 children on board but we hardly noticed them. This was formal night so we shared our bottle of sparkling wine with our tablemates then had our picture taken with the captain followed by the show. The sea conditions were quite rough so the 2nd show was cancelled that night & presented the next day when things had calmed down. I thought I was going to fall out of my bed that night & we came to learn that the waves were 25 feet high & winds around 45 mph! Victoria, BC We picked out the photos we wanted for our package plus the cruise DVD before going on our "Victoria Highlights & Butchart Garden tour". The gardens were beautiful & Victoria has a lot to see & do. Had our last supper than went to the room to pack. Watched our tablemates in the slot tournament & one of them won over $300. Came back to the cabin & put our luggage out. Vancouver, BC We had purchased the cruiseline transfer so had to meet in the theatre at 7:50 am to disembark. We found our luggage quickly & rode to the airport for our noon flight back to Toronto. The luggage limit was 23 kgs & mine weighed in at 22.9, can't get much closer than that! We had a fabulous time. The scenery was amazing, the crew members friendly & helpful, the food & entertainment great. The weather was ideal, only had to wear my hat & gloves while viewing the glacier & at Icy Point Strait. I mostly wore long sleeves, long pants & a fleecy & carried my Goretex jacket just in case. We had a great CC group with an active roll call which always adds to the enjoyment. We used the internet daily & the speed was pretty good, plus there was staff in the room to help you. I would go back to Alaska for sure. Celebrity is now my favourite cruiseline for food & service, they really seem to care. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
This was one of the best, if not the best, cruises my husband and myself have ever taken. This was due in great part to the fantastic bunch of people who had participated in the Cruise Critic thread for this cruise. While our group was ... Read More
This was one of the best, if not the best, cruises my husband and myself have ever taken. This was due in great part to the fantastic bunch of people who had participated in the Cruise Critic thread for this cruise. While our group was small, it was diverse and interesting, and there wasn't one person on it that I didn't enjoy spending time with. Our group got together informally several times during the 11 night cruise, and each time was very enjoyable. PRE-CRUISE The ship set sail out of San Francisco. We had not been there for years, so we decided to do a two day stay prior to the cruise. We are so glad we did. San Francisco is an incredible town, with lots to see and do. We stayed at the Tuscan Inn, which I highly recommend. It is very quaint, and in excellent condition. Each night they have a "happy hour" where guests can enjoy free wine and appetizers. It is held in a comfy lounge area with a wonderful fireplace. There is an Italian restaurant next door to it, which was very good. The Tuscan Inn is conveniently located near Fisherman's Wharf and the cruise terminal, and it also had a Walgreen's and Safeway across the street. We had forgotten a couple of items, and we happy to be able to pick them up prior to boarding the ship. We also picked up our two bottles of wine to take on the ship. We love hop on/hop off buses as it allows us to see a lot in a short amount of time, yet spend as much time at each stop as we want. We did the entire round trip several times, and got off at several stops. The trip included going over the Golden Gate Bridge, which I recommend to everyone. Our first day in San Francisco was horribly windy, but that didn't stop us from enjoying this beautiful city. The second day was sunny and warm, only adding to our enjoyment. We also made the mandatory tourist visit to Fisherman's Wharf, and were able to have lunch on Mother's Day at Pier 39 with one of our children who happened to be working in San Francisco for a couple of months. It was incredible to see the seals at Pier 39. While in San Francisco we also went to see Beach Blanket Babylon, which is the world's longest running musical review. It was a hoot! Before the show we had lunch at Capps Corner, a wonderful Italian family style restaurant. The food was some of the best I've had. CRUISE DAY! Finally cruise day arrived! We set sail on the 11 Day Ultimate Alaska Cruise onboard the Infinity on Monday, May 10th. While we could have easily walked from our hotel to the ship, we had far too much luggage to take ourselves. So we called a cab and off we went for a five minute trip. To take a cab from most of the hotels near Fisherman's Wharf is approximately $15, quite the bargain! EMBARKATION We got to the cruise terminal around 11:30 a.m. In the past, we have always been able to board immediately. However, they were still disembarking and readying the ship when we arrived. There was some confusion as to when we would be able to board. We waited about ½ an hour and we were then able to check in, however, we were then taken to another room to wait about another 30 minutes or so. While waiting to board, we met two of our fellow Cruise Critic members, Dee and Nancy. It turned out they had an aft cabin above ours, and we became friends and saw them every day! A group of travel agents was allowed to board for lunch and a tour before we were. We were a little disappointed that we were not able to go on when they did. However, we finally boarded and put our carry on bags into our room and set off for lunch at the buffet. CABIN We were lucky enough to have the Penthouse cabin. Words cannot describe this cabin, and we are now spoiled by it!! It is 1400 square feet inside, with an 1100 square foot balcony/deck. It is on Deck 6 aft, giving us the wonderful aft view which we love. Inside the cabin there were two bathrooms, a kitchen (complete with full size refrigerator, microwave and a wine cooler), large bedroom, dressing area, a living area, a dining area (table for 8) and a beautiful foyer when you entered the cabin. The master bath had a separate toilet area with a bidet, a separate shower (bigger than the one I have at home) and a whirlpool tube, complete with a TV. It also had a "towel heater" that you placed your towel on before you got in the shower, and when you got out of the shower, your towel was nicely warmed! There was a large screen TV in the bedroom and the living area. To top it all off, there is a baby grand player piano in the living area! Our cabin quickly became our "destination" and we found ourselves spending a lot of time there. Of course since it is a suite, it came complete with a butler. Our butler was Nelson Dingle and he was by far the best we have had. We truly enjoyed chatting with him each day, and he was always available to bring us whatever we needed. We wound up eating in our room most of the days. He would set the table with a linen tablecloth and full set-up, and then serve us our meals, course by course. Two nights we had several of the new friends we had met onboard or through Cruise Critic over for dinner, and Nelson made them feel as special as he made us feel. We will definitely request him again. The cabin could use some updating, and I am sure when the ship is "Solticized" in 2011/2012 it will be. However, the bed was very comfortable, towels were great, and the cabin really didn't show signs of wear. Outside, we had a large table with six chairs, four lounge chairs, and a hot tub. The deck was ½ of the back of the ship, and wrapped around on the side, offering spectacular views every day. While this cabin is pricey, it is definitely worth it. SAIL AWAY The ship left San Francisco on time. Our cruise critic group met for a sailaway party on Deck 10 Aft right after the muster drill. This was our first get together, and it was a great one, even though we didn't have a great turnout. Over 60 people had signed up for the connections party, and about 47 people had posted on the thread, but less than 20 showed up for the sailaway. But those that did were in a good mood, and we all toasted our new adventure. CONNECTIONS PARTY The first sea day, we had our Cruise Critic Connections party in the Constellation Lounge at 11:00 a.m. We again didn't have a very good turnout, considering the activity that had been on the thread prior to the cruise, but those that were there had a fun time. The cruise director, Keith, joined us. Celebrity offers lots to do during sea days, so there is always someplace to be - even if it is in your cabin taking a quick nippy nap!! DINNER WITH THE CAPTAIN We were fortunate enough to be asked again to dine at the Captain's Table the first sea day. It was the first formal night of the cruise, so we put on our finest. There were three other couples who joined us, along with two officers, the Chief Engineer and the Hotel Manager. We met up in the Martini Bar prior to dinner with the Captain's Club Host, Grame. Drinks were on the Captain, and we were served some tasty tidbits as we all got to know one another. When the Captain arrived, we were taken into the Trellis Restaurant via the grand staircase. It was very elegant. We then had a delicious dinner with lively conversation and all the wine you could drink!! At the end of the evening, we received the official photograph showing all of us at the table. Quite the souvenir!! MICHAEL'S CLUB One of the new Elite perks with Celebrity Cruises loyalty program is a happy hour in Michael's Club each night from 4:00 to 6:00. This is the best perk that Celebrity has offered, in my opinion. Each night we would meet our new friends (especially Dee, Nancy, Philip & Valia) in Michael's Club and we would enjoy the conversation, as well as the free drinks and appetizers. It was a wonderful way to relax and get to know new friends better. The Captain's Club Host, Graeme, was always there and went around to each table greeting everyone by name. Graeme was probably the friendliest Captain's Club Host/Hostess we have met, and we thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him. Other officers would also come by to say hello and were always available to answer any questions you might have. PORTS Ketchikan, Alaska -- Ketchikan is a port that offers lots to do. Since we had been there before, we opted to do the town on our own, which is very easy to do. There is lots to see within walking distance, including Creek Street and lots of stores to buy the obligatory souvenirs for the kids/grandkids! There is also a Walmart that you can get to by free shuttle bus. That night, we had our first guests over to dinner in our suite. Mike, Judy, Nancy, and Dee joined us for a wonderful meal filled with great conversation. Juneau, Alaska - Juneau is also a port that has a lot to do, and again one that you can do on your own quite easily. The ship docks right in the center of town. The Mt. Roberts Tramway is within walking distance, as well as lots of shops, The Red Dog Saloon, The Alaska Fudge Company, and kiosks where you can book just about any tour you want. We had pre-booked a whale watching tour with Orca Tours. We had taken a whale watching tour with them our last trip to Alaska and knew we wanted to do it again. We were fortunate to see lots of whales, seals and bald eagles. We even got to see a whale breach, and four whale tails at one time!! Orca also offers a trip to Mendenhall Glacier as part of the whale watching tour, but since we had already seen the Glacier, we opted not to take that part of the tour this time, and had them drop us off in town where we walked around, bought some adorable gourd snow people, and went back to the ship, but not before I let myself get talked into buying some fudge from the Alaska Fudge Company (thanks a lot Dee!). Skagway, Alaska - this was our favorite port of the cruise. We had pre-booked an all day tour with Dyea Dave. It was incredible, and the most reasonably priced tour we have taken! Dave picked us up at the pier, and took us on a tour of the cities of Skagway, Carcross, and Frazier, and all the way up into The Yukon, including beautiful Emerald Lake. We had the option of going half way in the van and then taking the train back, which we had planned to do. However, we were having such a great, entertaining time with Dave, that we opted to stay in the van the entire day. We shadowed the train most of the way, so we were able to see what we would have seen on the train, plus a lot more. Dave stopped wherever we wanted to take pictures, and twice pulled over so we could see bears up close - about 15 feet from the van!! We also saw a porcupine, sheep, Canadian geese, goats, and more. We stopped for lunch at a wonderful place called The Cinnamon Cache, which had cinnamon buns to die for, along with tasty soups, salads, and sandwiches. Our fellow Cruise Critic members, Erika and Phillip, joined us and we really enjoyed talking to this interesting couple. Icy Strait Point, Alaska - ISP is a very very small port. Unless you go on a cruise sponsored tour or private tour, there is not a lot to see. It is a tender port. We opted to enjoy a day on the ship and enjoy our cabin and balcony. ISP is known for its whales, and several other Cruise Critic members went on a whale watching tour with F.I.S.H.E.S. and saw lots of whales and other wildlife. Hubbard Glacier - how can you describe Hubbard Glacier....you can't. The views are spectacular beyond belief. It was a wonderful sunny day, and we had invited our Cruise Critic group to join us on our balcony as we sailed into and away from Hubbard Glacier. Needless to say, the view from our balcony was great. We were lucky enough to have one of the Celebrity speakers, Murray, as part of our Cruise Critic group, and he was gracious enough to answer everyone's questions even though he wasn't "officially" on duty! We served pastries and cookies, along with mimosas, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, and I think everyone had a wonderful time. Nelson, our butler, assisted with taking group shots with everyone's camera! Sitka, Alaska - Sitka is a very small town. It was raining a little as we tendered into the town. One of our fellow Cruise Critic members (Linda) had arranged for several of us to take a tour with Sitka Tribe Tours. It was a great tour. Celebrity offered a similar tour with this same company, but it was half the price to book it on our own. We started with a tour of the city. We stopped at a beach area where there were at least 15 bald eagles on the ground surrounding a fish carcass. It was a great opportunity to see the bald eagles up close and we got some great pictures. We then went to the Sitka National Historical Park where we walked through the beautiful rain forest. Our next stop was for a native dance performance, which was very interesting. Linda even joined the dancers on the floor!! From there, we went to the Alaska Raptor Center where care is given to injured bald eagles until they are able to return to the wild. There was an informative talk, and we got to see several bald and golden eagles up close. I highly recommend this tour. Sitka was our last Alaskan port, and since we sailed at 2:00 p.m., we again invited our Cruise Critic group for a "Sailaway Toast to Alaska" party at our cabin. A fun time was had by all, more great views and photographs, and a little sadness as we knew our cruise was coming to a close in just a few short days. Victoria, Canada - our final port was Victoria. What a quaint little town. Again, since we had been there before, we opted to do the town on our own. We took the shuttle into town, and then asked how to get to Fisherman's Wharf. Turns out we could have walked from the ship and gotten there much quicker!! We wound up taking a harbor taxi (little boat) to Fisherman's Wharf. Other than a couple of places to eat, there isn't anything there, and I don't recommend even spending the time to see it. We did see some cute house barges though. ROUGH SEAS Our third sea day/night brought quite the surprise. We had invited more of our new friends (Linda, Phillip, Ken, Philip and Valia) to join us for dinner. It was the second formal night, however, none of us felt like dressing up, so we thought we would have our lobster dinner in our cabin, dressed casually. Of course, Nelson was doing his normal wonderful job of serving dinner course by course. However, I had not been feeling well (bout of motion sickness), and I had to excuse myself when the entrees arrived. My husband continued to entertain our guests. Nelson even came in at the end of the dinner, along with two other butlers, and carried a flaming Baked Alaska!! Kudos again to Nelson. After everyone had left, the ship really began rocking. All night long you would feel the ship sway to one side, hang there for a moment, and then bang back down. The next day we found out why....25 foot swells and 50 mile per hour winds!! It didn't surprise me that motion sickness had hit me! That was probably the worst seas I have been in. We found out the next day that TVs had fallen and broken, and glasses, bottles, and plates had been broken in the bars and restaurants! FOOD Because we were in the Penthouse, we dined a lot in our cabin rather than in the main dining room a lot. We had dinner twice in the main dining room and once in Destinations, the casual dining area. We did eat breakfast once in the main dining room and a couple of times at the buffet. We never had lunch in the main dining room. We loved the made to order sandwiches at the aft end of the buffet, and had them most of the time. Our one disappointment in the food was the waffles. We typically love the waffles in the buffet, which normally are made when you order them. This trip they were made ahead of time, and they just didn't have the same taste as those right off the waffle iron. DISEMBARKATION We disembarked in Vancouver, Canada. It is a beautiful sail into Vancouver, and I enjoyed that last morning on our deck watching the views go by. As Elite members, we went to the specialty restaurant to wait for our color to be announced to disembark. Coffee, tea and pastries were served to those who wanted one last thing to eat!! We had arranged to take the Celebrity shuttle bus to Vancouver airport, and all went smoothly both on the shuttle and at the airport. However, I know several people's luggage did not make it to the airport, or got there at the last minute or late. Celebrity did not offer "luggage valet service" on this cruise. That is a valuable service which I wish they offered on every cruise. There is an extra charge for it, but worth every penny. When you put your luggage out the night before you disembark, it is picked up and you don't see it again until you land at your home airport! No dealing with the bags. We sure missed that perk on this trip. SUMMARY I highly recommend this itinerary and this ship to everyone!! So much so, we've booked it again for next May. Thanks to all the Cruise Critic members and other new friends (Joe, Pat, Len & Chris) that we met while on board for helping to make this such a memorable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
This was our 7th cruise, 2nd on Celebrity and we chose this particular cruise for its length (11 nights), the itinerary (which included starting in San Francisco and ending in Vancouver) and wanting to try Celebrity again.  We did love ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise, 2nd on Celebrity and we chose this particular cruise for its length (11 nights), the itinerary (which included starting in San Francisco and ending in Vancouver) and wanting to try Celebrity again.  We did love the cruise, one of our best ones yet and hope that someone in Celebrity reads these reviews for some constructive comments, criticism and also appreciation.  Here is an overview:   THE SHIP - The Infinity is a beautiful, elegant but somewhat worn ship.  The various bars and  entertainment areas are well laid out and you rarely feel that you are on a large ship.  The ship was very clean and staff were always maintaining something.  But for the size of the ship we were surprised by the boring design of the pool area which is often a focal point for a cruise (except of course this one which was to Alaska), the lack of a grand foyer and the limited options for specialty dining (there is only one).  We were lucky enough to be able to get a sky suite due to various discounts after we booked and just loved the size and layout (and of course cappuccinos with our breakfast).  The bed was comfortable but the cabins need upgrading of linens, there should be no excuse for stains on the couch and it's 2009, time for flat screen tv's in all cabins. While not there to watch tv we had 3 days at sea and the constant looping of the same tv shows  and movies was unbelievable.  If the airplanes can offer lots of choice, why couldn't a ship?      SERVICE - The level of service was outstanding and surpassed any cruise experience we have had in this regard.  All staff were polite, extremely friendly and attentive.   ENTERTAINMENT -  The calibre of the Celebrity orchestra, singers and dancers on our trip was by far the best we have ever seen.  In particular the show they performed singing and dancing to music around the world was incredible.  They also brought in special guest performers, one of which was terrific, Michael Bennett?  The entertainment around the ship was good to excellent, we particularly liked the guitar player.   We tend to never notice the Cruise Director but must say that Artie Anderson was really excellent as well, nothing like the annoying ones we have seen in the past.  Sadly the activities lead (don't know his name) was really obnoxious.    FOOD/DINING -  I understand from the boards that Celebrity is changing their menus yet again.  Good!  We found the food choices and quality in the dining room very average.  Soups were bland, main courses were not only mostly boring but lacked in taste, and dessert choices were the most limited in range that I have ever seen on a ship.  What Celebrity does extremely well is their breads, croissant and French pastries. For those of you looking for a late afternoon snack, head to the Cova Cafe that offers various interesting munchies.  We preferred to eat in the Aqua Spa for lunch which offered wonderful tasty salads and desserts. Breakfast is breakfast and there is tons of choice. But their buffets need a nutritionist for meal planning to add some interest to their lunches.  More salads, grilled vegetables and healthy choices for those of us who don't want to eat a huge meal mid-day and prefer fresh vegetables as a salad bar choice over pasta and potato "salad."  The layout of their buffet area also needs improvement, felt like we were in a high school cafeteria line up.  We ate 2 meals in their specialty restaurant.  Service first rate, room lovely, and food delicious.  Must haves are the goat cheese soufflE and the lobster and shrimp pasta.    AQUA SPA -  One recommendation, don't book early as there are specials throughout the duration of the cruise.    ALASKAN PORTS OF CALL - Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Victoria and of course the sailing of the Hubbard Glacier.   Each port has its own unique flavor. But with the cruise industry taking over the ports, it was both surprising and disappointing to see all the Diamonds International and Tanzanite stores.  If you go to Alaska, as many posters in the Alaska forum suggest, you must arrange an excursion and not just wander the port area.  We did mostly private ones, whale watching with Harv and Marv in Juneau; float plane over the Misty Fjords with Island Wings in Ketchikan; Chilkoot Tours in Skagway for a van up to BC border and White Pass Railroad back to Skagway; ship excursion in Sitka led by Allen Marines for Sea Otters.  All outstanding, all recommended.  We understand that Icy Strait Point is the best for whale watching but having booked in Juneau, we wandered the port area which is charming but can be easily done in an hour.  If you want a thrill of a lifetime, do the Zip Line (book on shore not through the ship, its cheaper) which is the longest in the world.    DISEMBARKATION - I never comment on embarkation and disembarkation but... this was the absolute worst disembarkation experience we have ever had.   Clearly something went extremely wrong in the luggage "organization" as we were led off the ship about ½ hour after we were supposed to and while the piles of luggage were organized by color and some in number, our luggage (and many others) was not there.  Finally 2 pieces arrived about 15 minutes after we disembarked and we waited at least another 40 minutes for our final piece to show up.  We were not alone, pretty chaotic.  Not a great ending to a wonderful trip.    OVERALL - This was one of the best cruises we have had, primarily due to the level of service and the itinerary.  We appreciate the extra nice touches, as simple as getting hot chocolate or cold water upon embarkation after a day in port; and trays, larger glasses and mugs in the buffet area.  Celebrity still offers excellent service but to really stand out they need to get back to their reputation of also providing wonderful meals to add to the overall cruise experience, which is important to us.      Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
This was our 12th cruise and our second cruise on Celebrity.  It was a 11 night Alaska cruise originating in San Francisco and ending in Vancouver.  Embarkation was complete chaos which I attributed to the fact that San Francisco ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise and our second cruise on Celebrity.  It was a 11 night Alaska cruise originating in San Francisco and ending in Vancouver.  Embarkation was complete chaos which I attributed to the fact that San Francisco isn't a normal point of embarkation for Celebrity and they had to set up temporary check-in desks.  Nobody seemed to know what was going on or where people should go to check in.  Once we were onboard we went straight to our cabin which was a Concierge Class in the back of the ship.  We loved the fact that because it was in the back it had a huge balcony as it looked like most balconies were smaller than those I've had on other ships.  My opinion on Concierge Class is this, if you only have to pay $50 more than a regular balcony cabin like we did it is worth it but if you have to pay more than that I would definitely book the regular cabin.  We were supposed to get the Frette robes but only had one hanging in the closet.  When we asked our cabin attendant about it he said that they were out of the robes but would try and locate another one for us which he did two days later.  As far as the upgraded bathroom amenities, towels, etc. I don't think we received anything different than anyone else but were just fine.  The Ship - This poor ship looks like it has been used and abused for quite some time.  Most of the carpeting was worn and looked dirty.  The backs of the chairs in the lounges and the Oceanview Grill were black and frayed from people handling them and didn't look they had been cleaned for many months.  Everyone was complaining about how dirty all the glass on the ship was.  All of the glass on the balconies and everywhere else on the ship was so dirty you could hardly see through it.  There was also paint all over the glass which nobody had bothered to clean off.  The exterior of the ship was just sad.  There was rust everywhere, chipped and missing paint and where it said Celebrity Infinity on both the side and back of the ship it looked like they had slapped a sticker over the old signage and some of the letters had worn off.Aqua Spa - The fitness room was adequate with what looked like new weight equipment.  The men's changing room was usually dirty with used towels piled everywhere.  The benches in the sauna need to be replaced as the wood has worn down so much that it almost looked unsafe to sit in places. Entertainment - I only went to one of the shows and ended up leaving half way through because the performer was so bad. Food - Overall the food was good even in the Oceanview Grill.  I've heard several people complain about the fact that you can't serve yourself on the buffet.  I didn't really mind having one of the waiters plate my food for me but didn't like that all of the food was covered up with plastic lids and you couldn't see anything to be able to decide if it was something you wanted or not.  I know they had these covers on everything to keep the food warm which I appreciate because there were a few times when we got cold food.Service - I have to say that if it wasn't for the wonderful service we received from everyone onboard the condition of the ship could have runied my vacation but it was outstanding.  All of the staff went out of their way to help and we particularly like our waiter, assistant waiter and the bartended that we visited every day in the Champagne Bar. The ports of call were fantastic and we really enjoyed the shore excursions we booked.Debarkation in Vancouver was fairly easy even though our group was scheduled to debark at 8:50am and didn't get to leave until almost 10am.Celebrity Infinity could be a great ship but it's going to take a good long trip to drydock to be refurbished from head to toe, inside and out. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2008
We flew to San Francisco a few days early via Frontier Airline. With the changes in flying conditions, we were apprehensive, but Frontier was great, and we would certainly book them again. Flying is not what it used to be - but I would ... Read More
We flew to San Francisco a few days early via Frontier Airline. With the changes in flying conditions, we were apprehensive, but Frontier was great, and we would certainly book them again. Flying is not what it used to be - but I would give them a strong B for the flight. We had booked at Harbour Court Hotel with Priceline. We booked early, so probably didn't get the best price - but Harbour Court provided everything we were looking for. Near the Ferry Building, and the Bay Bridge. They provided a hosted wine bar each evening, cookies and milk later in the evening, and coffee first thing in the morning. The rooms were small - but really got us ready for the cruise. Give them an A. We booked a city tour combo with Sausalito and Muir Woods. And we really lucked out for weather - we had great weather - clear - and were able to get some really great pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Sausalito. The second day we booked a wine country, wine tasting tour. This also was a good deal - the weather was cooler, foggy, couldn't see the Golden Gate Bridge - even as we were crossing it on our way to Napa. We tasted at Chandon, V Sattui, Rutherford and Andretti. Again we really lucked out, Mario Andretti was at the winery - so we were able to get his autograph and picture, also picked up some wine to bring aboard. Give both these tours an A. Friday is embarkation day. We walked from the Harbor Court to Pier 35, for our first view of Infinity. Our home away from home for the next 16 days. We walked back to the Harbor Court, and grabbed a cab for the transfer to the Infinity. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at just before 12 noon, and were onboard and having our first mimosas at just after 12:15. Earlier arrivals had to wait to board, but they had just started boarding when we arrived, and we breezed through the process. A solid A for embarkation. We went to our cabin and dropped off our stuff. We had a concierge class cabin mid ship with veranda. We usually book this cabin class, so no surprises for us. We asked for the feather pillows right away. John, our cabin attendant took care of that and all other requests quickly and efficiently. A+ for cabin service. We had late seating for dinner, and Paul, our waiter, took excellent care of us, with his able assistant Johny. Food is a very subjective thing, but we never left the table hungry, and Always found something we liked on the new menu. I have heard a few complaints about the beef, but I had it several nights and enjoyed a good piece of beef each time. Our table mates also selected beef most nights, and also stated they had good beef. DH usually goes for the fish, and he was happy with his selection. Paul did steer him toward the always available grilled salmon a few nights when the main menu selection wasn't the best. Louis was our sommelier, and he was right on target each night. He also found a few bottles of Malbec late in the cruise, and personally delivered to our cabin. Another A+ for dining room and service. We usually breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer, and they were OK. There were waiters standing by to offer assistance with trays, and tables were clean and available. We had eggs cooked to order, and omelets a few times - and they were good. I also tried the eggs benedict at the buffet - but the Hollandaise was cold. Our tablemates stated they asked for cranberry juice each day, and did get it each day - but a few days they had to ask 2 or 3 times - because the first person wasn't able to get it for them. B+ for buffet. I think the cheeseburgers at the grill are the best - off the chart A+, and the onion rings were better than I wanted them to be - I was really trying hard to limit my carb intake during the day. We skirted at least 3 hurricanes during the cruise - the ride was a bit bumpy, the seasick bags were out on the stairs. We had to pass up one of our ports of call because of the weather, Huelteco Mexico. Since the ship is our destination - we don't mind, and I didn't hear any complaints about missing the port. We did the bus, train, boat safari in Costa Rica. We bussed to a nearby river and boarded a flat bottom type of boat for a safari - we saw 35+ crocodiles, and many birds. But we ran aground on a sand bar. While speculating if we would throw someone overboard (for the good of the mission), the tide lifted us off the sand bar. Boat safari finished, we transferred to the bus, and traveled to the train. The train was an engine, a second car, and 2 passenger cars. We traveled through the rain forest, and the train derailed. That's when we found out what the second car was - it carried the rail repair equipment. This appeared to be a frequent occurrence. They were finally able to repair the track, and we finished this segment of the tour, back on the bus to return to the ship. We were about 1 hour late returning from this tour, but still well before the ship was leaving this port - so it's all good. Hard to grade this one - we certainly got everything the excursion promised plus extras. But I still give it a C - the excursion was not an exercise in creative writing. Disembarkation was delayed by about 1 hour. Communication is certainly an area that is not Celebrity's strong point. We were late leaving the ship, but were able to grab a cab to the airport in a timely fashion. I'd give this a D. We flew home on Spirit Air. They had recently converted from paper to e-tickets, and we were lost in the shuffle. But they did get us on the plane and home - so an E for effort. They charge for all luggage, early seat assignments, all refreshments during the flight. We love cruising - and believe any day at sea is better than a day anywhere else. Celebrity is providing us a good bang for our buck. End of sermon for the day. Overall Grade is a very solid A. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2008
This was one of the best cruises my husband and myself have ever taken. This was due in great part to the fantastic bunch of people who had participated in the Cruise Critic thread for this cruise. Our group met five times during the 11 ... Read More
This was one of the best cruises my husband and myself have ever taken. This was due in great part to the fantastic bunch of people who had participated in the Cruise Critic thread for this cruise. Our group met five times during the 11 day cruise, and each time was very enjoyable. We set sail on the 11 Day Ultimate Alaska Cruise onboard the Infinity on Monday, April 28th. We had chosen not to fly out early, so we arrived in San Francisco around 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning. We had arranged to be picked up by a limo driver, who arrived in a Mercedes, not a limo. It was a nice vehicle, but we had difficulty fitting all our luggage into it. However, we finally got it all in, and set off for the cruise terminal. We stopped along the way to pick up a case of water and two bottles of wine to take onboard with us. Embarkation We got to the cruise terminal around 11:30 a.m. In the past, we have always been able to board immediately. However, they were still disembarking and readying the ship when we arrived. There was some confusion as to when we would be able to board. We waited about an hour and we were then able to check in, however, we were then taken to another room to wait about another 15 minutes or so. A group of travel agents was allowed to board for lunch and a tour before we were. We were a little disappointed that we were not able to go on when they did. However, we finally boarded and put our carry on bags into our room and set off for lunch at the buffet. Cabin We had a FV aft corner cabin, which we loved. We have had this same cabin on the Millennium several times, and love the extra room and the large veranda. The only problem we had this time, was our cabin was on Deck 9, right under the Deck 10 aft dining area/bar. Several times during the cruise, we were awaken at night/early morning when we could hear the crew moving the tables and cleaning the deck. You would think that they could clean at a time other than 4:30 a.m.!! However, despite this, we would still get this same cabin again. Sail Away The ship left San Francisco at least an hour later than was scheduled. I am not sure what caused the delay. Our cruise critic group met for a sailaway party on Deck 10 Aft right after the muster drill. This was our first get together, and it was a great one. At least 30 people showed up (including the infamous "lurker"). We all hit it off immediately. Some of us had early seating for dinner, so we had to leave for dinner before the ship even sailed, so we missed being out on deck when the ship went under the Golden Gate Bridge, but I heard it was spectacular. Day 1 - Day at Sea Our first day onboard was a sea day. We had our Cruise Critic Connections party in the Constellation Lounge at 11:00 a.m. Again, we had a great turnout with about 50 people attending. The cruise director, Jeff, joined us, and we had an official photo taken by the ship's photographer. We planned a "cabin crawl" to follow the connections party. Several people had agreed to "open up" their cabins so others could see them. This was a great idea (thanks to Sean and Mike for arranging it). We were able to go from cabin to cabin and see the different categories/locations of cabins that are offered. It was great fun, and we had a party/get together at the last cabin (Thanks Preston for letting us hang out). After getting to know each other a little better, several groups broke away to have lunch and continue getting to know each other. Celebrity offers lots to do during sea days, so there is always someplace to be - even if it is in your cabin taking a quick nippy nap!! Dinner with the Captain We were fortunate enough to be asked to dine with the Master of the Vessel, Capt. Dimitrios Kafezis. He is an enjoyable fellow, with quite the wit. It was the first formal night of the cruise, so we put on our finest. There were four other couples who joined us, including Diane and Lou, who were part of our Cruise Critic buddies. The Safety Officer, Damianos Xenakis, was also present. We met up in the Martini Bar prior to dinner with the Captain's Club Hostess, Rosalba, and the Future Cruise Manager, Jose. Drinks were on the Captain, and we were served some tasty tidbits as we all got to know one another. When the Captain arrived, we were taken into the Trellis Restaurant via the grand staircase. It was very elegant. We then had a delicious dinner with lively conversation and all the wine you could drink!! The next day we received the official photograph showing all of us at the table. Quite the souvenir! Day 2 - Victoria, British Columbia Our first port was Victoria, Canada. We had beautiful weather ~ it was very cold, but not raining. We had scheduled a tour through Celebrity - the "Hop On, Hop Off" bus. We have done these buses in Europe and thoroughly enjoy them. You can tour the whole city, and then get off and on again whenever you wish, spending as much or as little time as you wish at each location. We did the entire loop, and then got off in the downtown area, where we walked around in the shops, found a Starbucks, and saw some of our new friends. Victoria is a beautiful city, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We then decided we wanted to go back to the ship early and just relax. However, there was a bit of a snafu as the bus driver that was on the bus that picked us up at the ship took everyone's tour ticket, stating that we wouldn't need one to hop on/hop off. That proved to be wrong, and when we went to get back on the bus, they asked for our ticket. Fortunately, the supervisor of the company was right there, and sent word out to let all drivers know that anyone who said they were with the cruise ship could get on and off whenever they wanted. The supervisor then personally drove my husband and I back to the ship in his car. Now that's service!! At dinner that night, we saw whales swimming behind the ship. Day 3 - Nanaimo, British Columbia This was a tender port. Once we took the tender over, we walked around the shops near the dock, and then up the hill to "historic" Nanaimo. There really wasn't much in Nanaimo to see. There was a little flea market going on, and some street musicians, but it was a short visit! We took the tender back early and ate lunch on the ship, and spent the afternoon on our veranda sipping hot chocolate and enjoying the view. Day 4 - Inside Passage (Cruising) We cruised the Inside Passage, which really is another sea day. However, we had beautiful views as we cruised along. The scenery on this cruise was breath taking. Snow topped mountains and beautiful green trees. This was the second formal night, and we had invited all of our Cruise Critic buddies to come to our cabin prior to dinner. We had about 30 people, and again had a wonderful get together, with lots of wine flowing!! Day 5 - Ketchikan, Alaska Ketchikan is a cute port. We opted to do this port on our own, without booking any tours. We walked along the store fronts right near the pier, which surprisingly were reasonably priced. We also walked down to Creek Street where we saw "Dolly's House", a former brothel, and took the cable car up to the top of the mountain for some spectacular views. Walking along the boardwalk was really nice. This is a port that you can easily do on your own. There were lots of tours being offered once you got off the ship for reasonable prices. The lumberjack show that a lot of people went to was within walking distance of the ship. Day 6 - Icy Strait Point, Alaska This was a tender port. The tenders did not run as smoothly as they had on prior Celebrity cruises. My husband did a sport fishing excursion through Celebrity, which was a disaster, but too long of a story to go into here, but which included a broken boat which could only go in circles, which took on water, and eventually involved a "rescue boat" coming to get him. I had arranged for a private tour through F.I.S.H.E.S., which I highly recommend. Myself and four other passengers boarded a small boat with a delightful captain who took us out where we saw bald eagles, seals, and several whales. We were in close proximity to the whales, and it was really spectacular. After the tour, the captain's wife picked us up in a van to take us back to the ship. Along the way, she stopped at their house where we were able to see a deer. It was a cold, drizzly day, but one of the best of the trip. That night, our Cruise Critic group got together again for dinner together at the Casual Dining location onboard ship. This is a great option that Celebrity offers where you get "sit down" dining without having to dress up for dinner. It was fun to get together and share our stories of what we all had done so far, and Tony got to tell about his "three hour tour"! Day 7 - Hubbard Glacier (cruising) This was the most spectacular day of the cruise. It is almost surreal as you pass through the ice bergs on the way to the Hubbard Glacier. The blue color is indescribable. The Captain got us very close to the Glacier, and we were able to see calving first hand. Pictures do not do justice to what we saw and heard. We were lucky enough to have a fantastic view from our cabin, and some of our new friends joined us to experience it all. We were fortunate enough to be asked to go on a tour of the bridge. This is something that isn't offered to everyone, so we felt very lucky. It was very interesting to be where it all happens! Tony noticed that the control board showed that one of the ship's stabilizers was broken. Finally, we knew the answer as to why there was so much rocking on the ship!! Day 8 - Juneau, Alaska Many people thought this was the best port. We had arranged for a private tour through ORCA. Again, I highly recommend them. We were on a 40 person boat, but there were only eight of us, including Brent Nixon, the naturalist from the Infinity. This was the first tour of the season, and at 9:00 a.m. I guess a lot of people didn't want to get up that early!! Since there were so few of us, we were able to move about the ship easily, with wonderful views from every angle. Brent narrated the whole time, so that was an extra treat. We saw it all!! Bald eagles, seals, porpoises, and lots of whales. We even saw a mother whale with her baby, and as we were leaving, the baby whale jumped right up out of the water, several times, very close to us. There is nothing like standing on the top viewing deck of a boat, out in the open, and having a whale come out of the water within 100 feet of you. We got lots of "tail" shots and hundreds of memories in our minds. After the whale watching, the ORCA bus took us to Mendenhall Glacier. Absolutely beautiful. We walked around for an hour before we were picked up and taken back to the ship. The couple that went with us got to see a bear while they were there. This was the last formal night, but my husband and I chose to have the lobster tails delivered to our room where we had dinner on our deck watching the beautiful views as we sailed. I recommend everyone have dinner on the deck at least once. Day 9 - Prince Rupert, British Columbia Again, a great little port. We didn't dock until 2:00 p.m. We went with some of our "new found" friends from Cruise Critic and just walked around this cute little town. Of course, we found a Safeway where they had Starbucks and donuts!! We opted to have dinner again that night in Casual Dining with several friends. Very relaxing and fun. Day 10 - Inside Passage Our last day of the cruise. We spent it relaxing as we sailed through the Inside Passage on our way to Vancouver. Again, spectacular views. We had dinner our last night with several of our friends in Casual Dining, reminiscing about the great time we all had. Debarkation This was the worst debarkation we have ever had on Celebrity. Very disorganized. We had arranged for the City Tour/Airport Drop Off through Celebrity. It left 1 ½ hours late, so we didn't get much of a tour. Vancouver Airport brought one fiasco after another, including one of our suitcases not being tagged, so it went who knows where. Dining For the first time, we actually ate most of our evening meals not in the dining room. However, the times that we did eat there were nice. We had a wonderful table, right next to the Captain's Table, by the big windows. We were able to see whales and beautiful views as we ate. We had breakfast in the dining room several times, and I always love having the Eggs Benedict. Celebrity does a great job on them. This cruise, Celebrity offered a "formal brunch" one day. It was a little disorganized in how they laid out the food, but we had a nice time sharing it with some friends and had a delightful time talking with them. We had lunch once in the dining room - we prefer to have lunch at the buffet. We love the sandwich bar, which is what we had most of the time. Breakfast buffet was always good, and most of the time fast. We also ordered breakfast via room service several times which was also great. The food arrived promptly and was warm. I highly recommend the waffle bar and omelet bar in the morning. Yummy. Cova Cafe We visited the Cova Cafe almost every day. They no longer offer the wonderful hazelnut chocolates with coffee like the use to, which was a disappointment. I don't drink coffee, but love those chocolates!! The Cova Cafe offers wonderful pastries in the morning, especially the chocolate croissants, and delicious sweets in the afternoon. Aqua Spa I visited the Aqua Spa for a neck, shoulder & back massage, foot and ankle massage, and facial. It was a great experience, and they didn't try to sell me anything. I thought the prices of the "specials" were good this cruise, and not too pricey as they have been on prior cruises. Entertainment I thought most of the entertainment was good. We went to most of the shows and enjoyed them. I heard good things about the ones we didn't go to. There were some repeats of performers that we have seen on other Celebrity cruises, but we still enjoyed seeing them again. Fortunes Casino We visited the Fortunes Casino almost every night. We have now decided that we should just walk in, hand one of the Celebrity crew members our money, and walk out. The end result is the same!! One of our Cruise Critic buddies, Preston, spent most of his time in the Casino and was a winner, but other than that, I didn't see anyone raking in the bucks. Guess Preston was the only lucky one!! Specialty Restaurant We did not go to the Specialty Restaurant, the SS United States. We had gone to the specialty restaurant on the Millennium, and it is not our cup of tea. Friends of ours did go to it, and only found it so so. However, I have heard rave reviews about it from other people. I guess it depends on what you are looking for. We prefer to be with other people. Overall Cruise We had a great time with great people. We thought the ship was in good shape, and really didn't find much wrong with it. Most of the staff were exceptional. Our room attendant, Fatkul, was fantastic, and always there when we needed him, and out of sight when we didn't. The Captain was enjoyable, and we loved the Captain's Club hostess, Rosalba. The itinerary was not the most exciting we have been on, but it was beautiful. The weather was very, very cold, but it only rained a couple of days, and bad wind a couple of days, so we really can't complain about it. The weather didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves. We did notice that the water was a little more rocky than we have experienced in the past, with the movement of the ship a lot more noticeable, but, again, it didn't stop us from enjoying this trip. We felt Celebrity has made a few subtle changes not in the passenger's favor, such as not giving the Cova Chocolates, doing anyway with the email service for $2 an email (you now have to go onto the internet and pay per minute), not having a dessert tray at dinner so you can see the desserts before deciding what you want, etc. However, Celebrity is still our cruise line of choice. All in all, I highly recommend this itinerary and this ship to everyone!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2008
By way of background, I travel with my spouse and his best friend of 30 plus years (mine too, for that matter!). We have cruised often and prefer long cruises with sea days. We don't partake in many - if any - of the onboard ... Read More
By way of background, I travel with my spouse and his best friend of 30 plus years (mine too, for that matter!). We have cruised often and prefer long cruises with sea days. We don't partake in many - if any - of the onboard activities as we like the down-time being on a ship provides. This was our 4th cruise in 16 months - 2 on HAL and 2 on Celebrity. I have been on 3 other cruises with friends and/or relatives in same time frame. We are pretty experienced! We flew into Oakland the morning of our trip and were promptly greeted and driven to the pier by the folks at supershuttle. We knew we would be early but that just gave us time to sit and watch the ocean while the Infinity disgorged hordes upon the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco. It was not a pretty sight! Total chaos, more like it! We were allowed to check in about 11:30 and we were glad we were in concierge class as the line for "express check-in" was anything but! After the usual pointless and insulting security screenings and checks (which I never experienced on the other 3 trips I was on as these were small ships - 60 to 350 pax), we were sent up a ramp only to encounter an endless line of folks trying to board - they were all being screened, yet again, by a single (yep, one!) guy. No one, I repeat no one, could have accessed that area unless they were born while their mother was waiting in line so why it was necessary to slow things down even further eluded us. Once onboard, we went to our respective cabins to drop off hand luggage. We had planned to go into Chinatown for dim sum but the lines to get back on the ship were so irritating that we opted for a bite in the buffet. It was tolerable but we don't like buffets and rarely visit them while on ships except for early AM coffee/tea prior to proper breakfast served by a nice man! The luggage arrived in fits and starts over a 4 hour period and that was irritating as concierge class is meant to provide priority for such matters. The cabin we selected - usually do guarantees on big ships - was chosen because of its bump-out balcony. The cabin was cozy and acceptable although the soft furnishings and upholstered pieces were somewhat tired. The bed is a poor second to HAL beds. The balcony floor was long overdue for a replacement - maybe they will paint some of the rust and get decent furniture while they're at it! Urge anyone reading this to get the bump-out balconies as anything else is too small to enjoy comfortably. Dinner was meant to be a table for 3 but we got seated at a six top - this got fixed the next night and we were fine. We like our own company and to be able to eat at our own speed. Meals were pretty and some were very good. But, it is banquet food so no surprises there! We were, however, very disappointed with the Alternative Casual Dining venue on this ship - the food choices were poor (pizza???) and quality not much better. Had 2 super meals in the upcharge restaurant - well worth it. Just too much rich food for daily dining or we'd go there every night. We, not surprisingly, don't do ship excursions so will just highlight what we independently did in the various ports: Victoria - previous visit on Cruise West had us in harbor near government buildings. The Infinity docks across town and it is a lovely drive (or walk, if the weather cooperates) to where we took a whale-watching cruise on a little boat. There were 8 pax, the captain and a naturalist and her dog, Sidney. We went looking for orcas as there are 3 pods which live in the waters around Victoria year round. Weren't found day we went out. It was a great day to be on the water, though. Nanaimo - rented a car from Budget which we collected after a tender ride to port and then a van ride to rental office (5 minutes). We thought we'd get to see lots of lovely scenery but managed to see lots of strip malls. Did have a great pub lunch before going back to pier where we were unlucky to be behind 200 folks who'd just come back from a tour. Concierge class tender privileges did not apply! Ketchikan - I went on a float plane by myself with the folks who have the yellow planes. There were 4 other pax. After lunch, husband and I took a little bus tour about the town. It is a sad and seedy place - very downmarket and poorly maintained. No pride of ownership? Juneau - rented a car from the jolly ladies at Rent a Wreck and toured til the road ran out. We saw some gorgeous sights and had the place to ourselves. After another pub meal, back to the ship for the guys and I did some shopping. There was a huge line in the pouring rain to get back on the ship - bad planning on someone's part. Icy Strait Point - stayed onboard. It was cold and dreary and wet and we wanted the ship to ourselves. Heard lots of negative comments about the place. Many of these comments were similar in other ports - expensive shore excursions to look for wildlife that wasn't expected for months or fish for salmon that don't show up for weeks. Port Rupert - here we did take ship tour as we wanted to see grizzlies and we did - 5!! And, a humpback whale! Not really recommended as 90% of the time we were gone (5 hours) was spent getting to and fro viewing area. Hubbard Glacier - didn't get off the ship but got lots of sights we'll remember. It was cold and wet and many folks spent most of their time on decks. We camped out in the Observation Lounge early and stayed there for several hours with occasional forays into the great out of doors. Leaving the ship was easy because we were prepared, thanks to help of folks on this and tripadvisor boards. We were in 2nd group leaving and had a car rental with AVIS organized so we could drive down to Seattle to fly out next AM. This was, hands down, the easiest departure from a big ship we have had. An AVIS rep was waiting for us and another couple at the pier. However, not everyone was so lucky - the taxi line was massive and we were told that it'd be a 2 hour wait by 10 that morning. But, we got our car and headed to the border where we were in line for 90 minutes trying to get into our own country. Absolutely no provision is made for US citizens returning home - having lived, worked and travelled all over the world, the 3 of us have never met border agents as downright nasty and unfriendly as the workers for the US government. Overall, we'd give the cruise an '8'. Points were lost because there was NOWHERE to have peace and quiet any time of day or night. Constantly blaring racket (jazz fusion at 6:30 AM is example) made sitting and reading difficult. Spa was in hyper-sell mode as over 600 of the 1800 pax were British and they don't use spas. Likewise, they don't use the casino so husband had trouble getting hold 'em games. Further points were lost because the ship is so big that we were constantly at the opposite end of the ship from where we wanted to go. And, the custom of having live music during the daytime has disappeared along with lots of other thoughtful touches. But, we'll go with Celebrity again as we prefer them - hard to say why - to HAL. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2007
Wonderful cruise even though Infinity had POD problems which hopefully will be fixed while it is in drydock. Our schedule was altered but we were all aware before the cruise left San Francisco and were willing to make the best out of the ... Read More
Wonderful cruise even though Infinity had POD problems which hopefully will be fixed while it is in drydock. Our schedule was altered but we were all aware before the cruise left San Francisco and were willing to make the best out of the situation. As usual, the SERVICE is top notch on Celebrity. Lots of little touches that you don't find on other cruise lines. Friendly faces, details taken care of, always eager to please the passengers. The ENTERTAINMENT was really good. A good variety of programs for all. Loved the Singer/Dancer troupe, Comedian Matilda was a riot, Pearl Kaufman (Pianist) very interesting life story, Magician/Juggler so talented & funny. Lounge band in the Constellation (Top Secret) just so-so. Singing & musical groups around the ship very good. Always something interesting to do on this ship. FOOD was very good to just good. Seems Celebrity has a German chef staff currently and we have liked the food a little better before. We never went without but some of the menus were a little harder to find what you would like. BUFFET was one of the best we have had while sailing. We love the pasta & pizza stations, sandwich area, hamburger/hot dogs grill, AquaSpa dining areas. It is wonderful Celebrity offers FREE ice cream everyday compared to other cruise lines. The afternoon Tea & pastries were very nice. All in all, I would rate the total food package Very Good. The Best shore excursion for us was at Prince Rupert with a boat trip to see BEARS. We were blessed to see 2 large Grizzlies. In May this is rare! The handling of the excursion disembark always went easily compared to many other cruises of the past. DISEMBARKING: At the end of our trip we were so worried about an 11am flight out of Vancouver. NO PROBLEM! Left ship by 7:35am arrived at airport by 8:30 and received our bags by 9:15am and breezed through ticket counter, immigration, TSA and still had 1/2 hour wait to leave. I would say Celebrity worked really hard to get everyone off and not the usual (Pushing to get off) syndrome that so many cruise lines cause. The only aggravation on the ship was the day Immigration came aboard when we passed from Canada into US waters. Somehow the agent asked so many questions everyone was delayed in the lounge for up to 2 hours. Celebrity offered snacks and beverage during this time which was a nice gesture. I would give a high rating for this Alaska cruise even though we had POD engine problems. We had great weather, nice people, & wonderful care onboard. Look forward to many more Celebrity Cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
Before you begin to read this review I want to warn you that it is not very complimentary. Those of a nervous disposition or planning on sailing aboard Infinity soon may want to give it a miss. As usual my Mum was my travelling ... Read More
Before you begin to read this review I want to warn you that it is not very complimentary. Those of a nervous disposition or planning on sailing aboard Infinity soon may want to give it a miss. As usual my Mum was my travelling companion. We have taken 6 cruises before, all with RCI and on various ships. We have sailed The Med, The Baltics, Hawaii and 3 times to the Caribbean. This was our first Celebrity cruise. We chose Infinity because of the itinerary, ie, Acapulco AND the Panama Canal. Our first disappointment was that our cruise was shortened by one day and one port of call. I do not think that the compensation was adequate and in reply to my letter of complaint, Celebrity are now calling it a 'goodwill gesture'. We were booked into The Radisson Hotel, San Francisco for 2 nights instead of the expected 1 night. The hotel turned out not to be in San Francisco at all, but several miles outside the city. They got around this by laying on coaches to take us to 2 drop-off points within the city. The coaches ran every 30 minutes and were excellent, although the last coach back to the hotel was quite early - 9pm - which meant that we could not experience San Francisco at night. Fortunately we have been to San Francisco before so had already enjoyed this. The hotel was very nice although the booking in was a bit of a nightmare. The first evening we felt like a captive audience. There was NOTHING in the surrounding area. We had very little choice but to use the hotel restaurant for our evening meal and breakfast on 2 occasions. We had a bar meal the first evening - delicious hamburgers which we normally would not have ordered. We didn't think much of the breakfast menu, however all the staff worked very hard and were pleasant. Embarkation went very smoothly. We have previously had some horrific experiences when joining cruise ships so this was a very pleasant surprise. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and found our way to our cabin very easily - 3 doors down from the Atrium. Our luggage had already arrived and this was also a surprise. Our outside cabin was about the size that we have had on previous ships but the layout made it seem smaller. The bathroom was definitely smaller. I have never before had the shower curtain sticking to me when I have been OUTSIDE the shower. Also all our bathroom storage cupboard space had been utilized by our cabin steward to store tissues and toilet-rolls. Our cabin steward did the bare minimum for us. We ended up wiping surfaces down ourselves during our stay...I know, I know, but you shouldn't have to ask. I did have to ask for extra soap though. I don't share my soap at home but the steward thought that it would be acceptable for us to share on board. One morning I spilt an entire pot of coffee in the cabin - more of which later. We did mention this to our steward. When we returned to the cabin he had resolved the problem by placing the table over the spillage. Very resourceful.There were non of the little extras that we had come to expect from previous cruises, such as towel folding. Having said all that, he was a pleasant fellow. We found the ship to be in good condition and all the public areas were very clean. To us the ship felt very dark and oppressive. The ceilings were very low and this added to the overall feeling of being enclosed. We were very disappointed with the Atrium area. It seemed to be more of a business area. On previous cruise ships it has been a place to sit and enjoy a drink, listening to a music group whilst people had a dance. This is usually the place where brides have delighted us all by making a grand entrance in all their finery. I cant imagine that anybody would make any sort of grand entrance on the Infinity Atrium. The art work on board wasn't up to much. Several pieces were broken and were glued down. We enjoy informal dining for breakfast and lunch. We were very disappointed in the Oceanview Cafe. The presentation of the food was reminiscent of a works canteen. At best the food was luke warm to begin with and by the time we had queued and then sat down it was invariably cold. People would be queuing 10 deep for toast but the server only made 2 pieces at a time, attending only to the person directly in front of him. The omelette station was the same. We also found the food to be very bland. Not at all what we expected. In the end we resorted to room service for our breakfast. This was delicious and HOT when it arrived. The 'canteen' staff were very, very pleasant and hard working, except one or two of the servers. I saw one server angrily throw a plate down onto the side as a lady had picked her tray up too quickly for his liking. Also a server handed me a red hot plate without any warning. It was only saved as a passerby quickly took it off me with their napkin. The Trellis restaurant was pretty much as we expected. Our waiters were fantastic. Very friendly and entertaining. The potatoes were very nouveau cuisine and we ended up ordering a side dish of mashed potatoes each evening, which wasn't a problem. I, and other diners were surprised on several occasions when courses that we expected to be hot were cold... crepe suzette, fried pineapple. Some food was sent back but on the whole it was a pleasant enough experience, made better by pleasant company. At our table we had a wedding anniversary and a birthday during the cruise and were suitably serenaded and served with delicious chocolate cake. As we have sailed with RCI before we were classed as Select members. There didn't seem to be any benefit to this at all. One of the supposed 'benefits' was to be invited to High Tea in the SS United States. The invitation came in the form of a letter at the beginning of the cruise outlining activities to which we would be invited. We had a phone call to our cabin from Heidi to remind us to attend. When we did attend we were prevented from entering until we proved who we were. When we sat down the champagne waiter asked us if we would like a glass of champagne. When we accepted we were presented with the price list!!!!!! I later complained about these 2 incidents to Heidi. I advised her that if she wanted to prevent gate-crashers then she should have issued invitations. She then added to the insult by telling me that Celebrity didn't want to waste paper on invitations - every morning our daily planner was overflowing with bits of paper advertising duty free drinks and bingo sessions etc. etc, which I think is more wasteful than invitations. I also told her that it was disgraceful to invite us to High Tea and then to want to charge us for champagne, especially as they were giving bucket loads of it away at events all over the ship. Heidi looked surprised that this had happened, but I believe that this was feigned. I did not have any acknowledgement from Heidi about my complaint and I am sure it was forgotten the minute it was made. Incidentally, there were only about 12 people at the special High Tea. Perhaps Heidi would have welcomed some gate-crashers after all. The 'welcome aboard' by the captain took place in the theatre before a show. It consisted of the Captain introducing his officers, then they all had a glass of champagne served to them on stage and left. Very odd indeed. Every other cruise we have been on we have been invited to a champagne and canape party and every guest on board has been introduced and had their photo taken with the Captain. The 'welcome back' party took place in the nightclub. It too wasn't anything to write home about. We gave the 'Officers welcome back' party a miss. The Chocolate Gala took place in the nightclub too. It was very poor and hidden away in shame. They didn't seem to have any nice venues for special occasions on Infinity. The Captain was very young and I feel he has a lot to learn about making his guests feel welcome. There were lots of activities on board and the activities staff were excellent, especially Cher and Andy (or Manchester as we came to know him - you know who you are!). Some of the activities did tend to overlap, but they were good fun. The guest lecturers were very informative. We took an excursion in Acapulco. It was very interesting and the cliff divers were fantastic. There were hundreds of children clamoring around and begging. A little tip for you - don't give them anything as 1 became 10. If you want to give, then do it just as you are about to get back onto the ship. We found all of the ports of call to be much poorer than we had expected. The people do rely heavily on tourist dollars. Puntarenus market was fabulous as was Cristobel Pier. Cant tell you much about Aruba as I fell off the 'treacherous' gangway and broke my wrist and sprained my ankle. The broken wrist was misdiagnosed by the ships doctor, so beware. Guest relations did phone my cabin to find out how I was. They made the call when they knew that I was in the dining room, which makes me think they did not really want to speak to me. In a voicemail message they offered me assistance to disembark if I needed it. When I went to guest relations to avail myself of their kind offer, they refused me any assistance and told me to use the porters like everybody else. I went back later to speak to a different person and they too refused me any assistance. So it was left to my poor long suffering Mother to get us both off the ship and to the airport. Guest relations also refused to make a call to the airport to advise them that I would need airport assistance. So much for Guest Relations. I find it strange that their parent company, RCI, seem to get everything right but Celebrity don't. I did not think that the officers were very visible on this cruise. They seemed to want to stay as far away from the guests as possible. One evening about 8 officers dined near us in the Trellis restaurant, but instead of dispersing around the tables, they all chose to sit together and even had their own waiters. There were no officers present in the Oceanview cafe during meals. Perhaps if they had been there they could have witnessed the amount of food that was left on plates and asked their guests about the quality of the food. Also it is my opinion that there are too many places on board ship where people can smoke, although I am sure smokers wouldn't agree. If I had my way they would be banished to one outside area only (yes I am a former smoker) On a high note - the Celebrity singers and dancers were fantastic. The best shows that I have ever seen. All the entertainers were great and the theatre was a treat every night. I have tried to be honest about my assessment of the cruise and our experience of it. Obviously everything is subjective and you may have a truly wonderful time, I hope you do, but I will NEVER sail with Celebrity again . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2006
This trip was to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, and had been planned for over a year. We are a couple in our thirties, reasonably well traveled. This was our first cruise on Celebrity, with two past trips with Cunard, and ... Read More
This trip was to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, and had been planned for over a year. We are a couple in our thirties, reasonably well traveled. This was our first cruise on Celebrity, with two past trips with Cunard, and numerous land vacations. This review is just our opinion and is for information for those who wish to read it. It is very lengthy and, in some cases, holds lots of details. It also contains the few negatives that we did experience, and well as the positive. About a month before we left, we were informed that our cruise would be shortened by on day, and in compensation, we would receive a ship board credit based on our accommodation level. As we were in a suite, this turned out to be $350.00 per person. Celebrity also paid for that one night in the Hilton hotel near Union Square. They also included transfers from the Hilton to the dock on the day of sail. This delay was caused by the Infinity being in drydock to fix one of her pods. We thought the compensation was fair. We flew into San Francisco on September 19 and stayed at the Tuscan Inn Fisherman's Wharf. A lovely hotel, with great staff and a pleasant decor. We had a room overlooking, set back from, a main street. We were concerned about noise when we first got in, but in the four nights we stayed there, we had no issues with the noise. On September 23, we had to change hotels to the Hilton, and Celebrity would not pay for the extra night at the Tuscan for us, although they did for others. One of the few faults on the whole trip. The check out at the Tuscan was a breeze, and the check in at the Hilton was just as easy. Our room at the Hilton was adequate, but much smaller that our Tuscan Inn room. We found out from the front desk that there was 1300 Infinity passengers at the Hilton the same night. Celebrity had an information desk set up in the hall and information posted on boards. We were given the option of checking in that night and getting assigned a transfer number for the next day to the dock. After hearing that there was so many of us in the hotel, we opted out of using the transfers, preferring to use a taxi. Check in was easy and efficient. Checking out of the hotel the next morning was quick, and soon we were in a cab, trying to get to the dock. Several streets were closed, so it took a few minutes to get there. We were met at the cab by a Celebrity person; he had our luggage whisked away and then directed to the door. Here we were met by two Celebrity people and given more directions. Then was security, more Celebrity people, and more security. Up the ramps to embark, and had our picture taken. Then, more security, and finally, we stepped on board. We were greeted with a choice of champagne or mimosas and then escorted to our cabin. We had left our hotel room at 9:30, and we were in our cabin at 10:10. We had sky suite 6127. Great cabin, lovely bath, lots of closet space, tons of storage space and a good sized verandah. One thing that we didn't realize was that this level was above the life boats, and, as such, all the mechanical stuff needed for raising and lowering these was just below and in front of our verandah. Most of the time, it didn't affect the views. The other thing, the cabin two doors down could see almost all of our balcony, and us theirs. No real privacy. The only other complaint we had about the room was that one of the closet lights would not stay turned off. This may seem petty, but it is quite bright, and at night proved to be bothersome. We reported it, but the part need to fix it was not available. Work crews were in several times to do minor repairs, like sealing the bathtub. We found the room to be good shape, with only a couple of little areas that showed wear. Alfred Dias, our butler, was fabulous! No task was too small or too large for him to do. We asked that our fruit bowl have only grapes and bananas, and that is what we got all but one day. After a long day in port, Alfred had tea waiting for us. We never knew how good tea could be until that day! The canapes were pretty bad, but Alfred brought us a lovely cheese tray instead. Alfred also brought us the Canadian news whenever it was available. Edgar was our room steward and was good. A few little things irked us, like a lack of a garbage bag in the bathroom. However, he made up for this by bringing lots of boxes of soft kleenex when we had come down with a head cold. Derry Benard, our waiter, Ahmet, our assistant waiter and Kala, the assistant maitre'd, were great! My husband asked for double vegetables with his super, and received them every night. One night, I suffered with from an allergy to another passenger's perfume, and couldn't sit at our regular table. Kala found us another table, out of the way and tried his best to make dinner enjoyable. I ended up leaving early anyway. Benard, Ahmet and Kala all enquired the next day how I was feeling. Comments on food in general and specific will follow later. We found the Infinity to be in good shape, showing little wear. Work crews were seen in a variety of places doing things from replacing carpet to painting and varnishing railings. Cleaning crews were very busy clean and disinfecting public areas, like railing and elevators. Carpets were also disinfected with strong smelling stuff. One place that we noticed didn't get cleaned was the balcony doors. We found the decor to be lovely, but the art was definitely pop and modern. In several of the staircases, the statues were glued down and broken. The rest of the ship was lovely. We boarding with plans to try all sorts of things, but didn't seem to have time to do everything. We tried the Thalassotherapy pool, but found it to be very smelly, and a scum on the surface. Breezes pool and hot tubs were always popular, but never too full. We never tried the Cova Cafe pastries, always being full from what ever meal it was that we had just eaten. We had a number of guest lectures, most of which we attended, and all were enjoyed. The Celebrity shows were as better then the ones we saw on Cunard. Guest performers were mostly great, although the constant plugging to buy their CDS after the show was annoying. The movies that were shown were recent (within the last year), but not new. The same movies were shown both the first and second week. On tv, there was a variety of shows, although there were days that we didn't have a signal. News, cartoons, discovery, movies and history shows were on, and repeated several times. Old shows, like Remington Steel, were also available, and were also repeated several times. Sail-away parties were a lot of fun and the various musical talents were really good. Our cruise was 14 days long, a full Panama Canal Transit. Ports included Cabo San Lucas (cancelled due to the shortened cruise), Acapulco, Huatulco, Puntarenas, Panama and Aruba. Our favorite for shopping, was Cristobal Pier. Lots of venders, but not pushy sales. Our favorite for overall atmosphere was Huatulco. Little town, great beach and great scenery. Aruba was a very close second. Acapulco was dirty and had very pushy venders who practically assaulted you while walking around. We did several excursions booked through the ship. We booked one in advance and the rest shortly after we boarded. We also toured around on our own in all ports but Puntarenas. In Acapulco, my husband did the Palma Sola Archeological Site and thoroughly enjoyed it. It involved climbing 500 uneven, broken rock stairs, for those who might be interested in doing it. That night, we did the night Cliff Divers and tour of the city. The Cliff Divers themselves were amazing, and the guide very informative, but we wouldn't do it again. In Huatulco, we did the La Crucecita Scenic Drive. Beautiful scenery and a great guide. Very touristy and some very pushy venders. The town of Huatulco was very pretty and quiet. A really good beach and a really cute town center. The large army presence was disconcerting; we couldn't decide if we felt more safe, or less safe with them there. Puntarenas was next. We booked the Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano tour in advance. This was one tour that we really wanted to do. A word of caution to anyone thinking about booking tours here on your own. After our experience, I wouldn't recommend it. They roads and traffic are really bad, and tour buses are routinely delayed in returning to the ship. There has been several times where people have been left behind. There was a delay in getting of the ship, and lots of confusion as the all clear to depart announcement wasn't given until late. Our tour was supposed to leave at 7:30, put did not get away until 7:50. Sergio, our guide was very informative and the driver was good. The bus was a new one, but was very cramped for space. The drive was very long, and the roads and bridges were treacherous in some areas. We almost went off a bridge twice. Costa Rica was beautiful, and we got to see a lot of it on the way to the hot springs. After traveling for 1.5 hours, we had a stop for bathroom only, no purchases please, shopping on the way back break. After another two hours, we finally arrived at the volcano, which we saw erupt. There wasn't a stop here, and the bus continued on to the hot springs. We were given two hours, from the time the bus arrived in the parking lot, before we had to meet, fully dressed for lunch. We were herded to one section of tables in the restaurant, and not allowed to sit anywhere else, so that couples and parties had to split up to find seats to eat. Lunch was a buffet and the food was good. We were given a glass of water, a glass of some type of fruit juice and were offered a beer or pop. After lunch, it was back on the bus for the trip back to port. We left the hot springs around 2:00 and arrived at the ship around 6:30, two hours later than we were due back. We had a twenty minute stop to shop and use the washroom during ride back to the pier. At no time were we offered water on the bus. The shipped sailed at 7:00 pm, and the were rumors that not everybody made it back on time. The hot springs were beautiful, but the time we spent there was not worth the bus ride. We didn't do an excursion during the canal transit. It being our first time through, we decide to stay on board and see the whole thing. It was fascinating. We got to touch the wall of canal from deck four. In Aruba, we did another ship excursion, Aruba's Natural Wonders. The guide on this tour was very young and not very informative. We saw the Butterfly farm, which was fun and beautiful and the Natural Bridge, which reminded us of home, but on a smaller scale. We also the aloe factory, which was boring. After the tour, was walked around the city, which we found to be beautiful. We got to see wild iguanas and lizards in a park on the coast. We also did some shopping, but found the stores to be very westernized, with a lot of the same stuff we could buy at home. A couple of words about the food. There was always lots of food and lots of choices. Dinner the Trellis Restaurant was good with very few exceptions. My quail was really tough, while my husbands was really tender. Food always had good flavor and was never bland. All menus lean heavily towards meats (beef, lamb, veal, chicken, duck, quail, and seafood were all served), with very little vegetable. Vegetarian menus had to specially asked for, and not included with the main menus. Service was great and, most of the time, quick. Any issues were always dealt with quietly. We celebrated our anniversary on board, so that meant a cake presentation in the dining room. Not one for wanting a scene or undue attention, we made it perfectly clear we didn't want the singing thing to happen. While it was obvious that neither Kala, Benard or Ahmet were really comfortable with our request, they made the best of it. They brought our cake with a quiet congratulations, which was perfect as far as we were concerned. Benard then cut the cake into a heart and arrow, which we thought was really cute. Formal nights were very popular, and well dressed. Most of the men wore tuxes and the women wore a variety of appropriate attire. Having had previous cruise experience only with Cunard, which is very formal, we felt more comfortable with Celebrity, which, we found, is considerably less formal. We found most people conformed to the suggested dress code for the full evening. As the cruise went on, the feel of the ship got a little more casual, but the last formal night was still well attended. We had room service breakfast and lunch a few times, and that was great. Alfred was always on time and brought everything we asked for, including waffles. Most breakfasts and lunches were usually in the Ocean Grill. We enjoyed several of the themes and the sandwiches were always good. We tried the pasta bar once, but found the whole wheat pasta to be very undercooked and inedible. We had room service for supper one night, after regular dining hours. This is when we found the room service to be very limited, with little vegetarian options. We ate in the SS United States one night. The food was good, and service was also good, if a little pretentious. An experience that you should have once, but we are not keen on doing it again. We didn't do the wine pairing, and would be tempted to do that, if we were to go again. Overall, I don't think it was worth extra $30.00. We were also invited to an Elegant Tea here the first sea day. It was nice, but much preferred the tea Alfred brought, or tea in the Ocean Grill. Tea on the Cunard ships is, by far, superior to the tea we experienced on the Infinity. This is one area where Celebrity could really improve. If you are in suite, your butler will deliver canapes at around 5:00. They are as awful as they could be. We had them three nights, then switched, at Alfred's suggestion, to a cheese platter, which was really good. We also had a fruit bowl that Alfred refilled everyday. We asked for just grapes and bananas, as we didn't eat the rest. I guess they recycle the fruit between staterooms, as one day we received the regular fruit bowl. The oranges were so rotten, they stuck to the doily in the bottom of the bowl, and the rest of the fruit was stuck as well. Perhaps rotating the fruit bowls between cabins is not the best way to go. We had bar service in a variety of the bars, with our favorite being Dali at the Martini Bar. We found all the drinks to good, the service prompt and pleasant and the bread sticks fabulous. Dali was the best by far and we really looked forward to the half hour we spent at the bar with him before supper. He made me a different martini every day, and they were all good! We did find that the drink of the day were a little weak and all the bartenders should take lessons from Ramon on the making of a Chi Chi, as his was fabulous and the rest mediocre (I had several from five different bars). Ramon was the head bartender. We were introduced to him on the second day, when we were trying to get a problem on our account resolved. We had been to guest relations the day before and again on the second day, without any success. Guest relations was pretty well useless, and, as we soon learned, it was just easier to find the person we need to speak with on our own. Our problem was that we were charged for a drink we never ordered. After lunch on the second day, we talked to the assistant maitre'd in the Ocean Grill, Luis. This is where the drink was charged. He then contacted Ramon, who talked to us. Within a couple of hours the charge had been reversed. Guest relations couldn't do that in thirty hours. Ft. Lauderdale was our disembarkation point. We chose to not use the transfers offered, and to get a cab to the airport ourselves. The luggage issue needs to be addressed. Having the luggage divided by color only, but the signs saying color and number was very confusing and led to lots of frustration in finding your luggage. A quick trip through customs and then we were on the way to airport. Uneventful trips on the most comfortable economy class planes we have ever been on and then we were home. Overall, a fabulous trip and are already booked for our next one on Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
Did this very nice, short three day repositioning cruise on Infinity. (Disclaimer: We have been on Infinity four times in the last 18 months, so it is our home away from home.) Embarkation was WONDERFUL! We always arrive early and hope ... Read More
Did this very nice, short three day repositioning cruise on Infinity. (Disclaimer: We have been on Infinity four times in the last 18 months, so it is our home away from home.) Embarkation was WONDERFUL! We always arrive early and hope to get on early. In the past we have actually been the first people aboard twice so this time was no exception. Especially for a three day cruise. So we left our hotel at 10:30, arrived at the terminal at 10:45, were checked in by 11:00 and let onboard by 11:15. OUTSTANDING!!!! Once onboard we dropped off our carry-ons in our cabin (we had been in the same aft CC cabin on a 14 night canal crossing in 2004 so we knew it well), met our stateroom attendant whose name was Meriam. She had taken good care of some friends on a previous voyage so we knew we were in good hands. Then off to the outdoor hamburger grille to meet our Cruise Critic group, as we had volunteered to give them a tour of the public areas of the ship. As usual, Infinity was immaculate. We had been on her in the Caribbean in February, just before her dry dock and thought she was clean then. About the only things we could see that were changed during the dry dock were upgrades and rearranging of some of the shops and changing of the art around the ship. I need to mention that X did a wonderful job of making a short cruise easier but it was still very strange to find our disembarkation documents waiting on our bed when we walked into our cabin the very first time. By making a short cruise easier I meant that X was great about making the lifeboat drill earlier, skipping the disembarkation talk and other little stuff. Some general observations: Food: Breakfast for us was in the AquaSpa cafe. Always good. Best lox and bagels ever! Lunch was wherever we found it, AquaSpa, pizza, grille, etc. Dinner on nights one and three were in the main dining room. We had early seating and some very nice tablemates but I thought the food at dinner was rather bland on this trip. It was not up to previous Infinity cruises. First night I had a mushroom appetizer that I had eaten on a previous cruise and it didn't hold up. Had a decent soup and a normal shrimp cocktail and then prime rib. Pretty sad when then the best part of a meal is the horseradish you get to put on your prime rib. And dinner on night three was just about the same. But in between came one of the best dinners we have ever had. We and five other Cruise Critic friends met at 6:30 for a superb, five hour dinner in the wine room of the United States restaurant. The service, the food, everything was fantastic. Seriously, we arrived at 6:30 and ordered the menu speciale (sic) with the wine pairings and it was superb. The chef first sent us a wonderful taste of some type of chicken dish that I can't describe. Then our first course was a lobster bisque or a borscht. I had the bisque, my bride the borscht. Both were excellent. Second course and everyone had the goat cheese souffle. What else? Main course and both of us had the absolutely wonderful rack of lamb in puff pastry. It was superb. Then the cheese course and finally the chocolate souffle for dessert. Outstanding and we really did walk out of there at 11:45. What service, what food, WOW! Entertainment: We can't say a lot about the evening entertainment because we skipped it all. Not because we don't like to be entertained but because we had seen them all before. In fact, the Rock and Roll Show on the first night was the same one we had seen in October 2004. You would think that they could change the shows at least once every three years. Service: Was and is the finest on the seas. Elesio in the Martini Bar is still the finest bartender on this earth. He takes care of everyone so well and makes the Martini Bar our favorite place to be on board. Everyone else from our asst. waiter to the cabin attendant was fantastic. For a three day cruise, it was great. Infinity is a wonderful ship, its crew is the best at sea and the CC folks we cruised with were outstanding. This was our second repositioning cruise on Infinity and we are only sorry that they aren't doing another next year. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
After not cruising on Celebrity for 2 years, (busy trying other cruise lines) we were anxious to see if they have changed. to our happy surprise for the most part the answer is no. The service and cleanliness is near perfect and we could ... Read More
After not cruising on Celebrity for 2 years, (busy trying other cruise lines) we were anxious to see if they have changed. to our happy surprise for the most part the answer is no. The service and cleanliness is near perfect and we could not have had a more enjoyable cruise. We did find that the meats are not as tender as before, but on the whole everything was wonderful. The shows each night were fabulous. Especially the singers and dancers. They were the most professional group we have seen on any cruise line. The embarkation was not good, they were not organized and it seemed that they weren't sure on what they were to do with so many people who came earlier than the 1 pm boarding. But we made it thru the masses and finally were aboard one of our most favorite cruises. Alaska is a place not to miss. Even though my husband is disabled he was able to do enough of the tours to really enjoy it as much as the others who were on them with us. We had a problem which could not be fixed, so we notified our TA when arriving home and he got it straightened out and we should be hearing from Celebrity shortly. The problem was a window washing machine stationed outside of our balcony. It made it hard for taking pictures, and as I have noted my husband is disabled and spends a lot of time on the balcony. it also was a concierge room and we were not told that there would be an obstruction to our views of the Alaskan scenery. Our wait staff was some of the best we have had, and knowing that Celebrity does read the comment cards will move our waiter, Vernon Pilliay, to a higher position. His bright smile, personality and always trying to make it the best he could be. Even when we saw him in the buffet area he was always there to help us out. another thing I must compliment Celebrity on is how helpful they were in the buffet area, always someone there to carry my husband's tray for him. He uses a cane and this is the only company that seems to make it a point to help the disabled with this service. Another person I must mention is the asst. Maitre D', Cassandra, she was the most enjoyable and quick to respond to any and all questions or problems. When she was told about how our table of 6 were having a hard time cutting our meats, she had the executive chef cooking our dinner meals for the rest of the cruise. Now that's what I call service! She made it a point to visit with every table in her area, when has that ever happened to us..... never. She is definitely going places in the company. The tours were so much fun and informative, and debarking the ship after the cruise that morning was a sad time for us, but went very well. They had things moving along smoothly and had us in a cab for the airport in no time. I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to have a relaxing, enjoyable and informative Alaska cruise, especially if you are disabled. Not having to sit in a bus tour for long hours was a pleasure. We made our own flight reservations, and we also booked the hotel that Celebrity had offered, but did it on our own because the cost was much lower doing it ourselves. Tuscan Inn, a Best Western property, was right near Pier 39, where everything comes together for sight seeing San Francisco. It is a lovely smaller hotel with a nice italian restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also having a happy hour around the fireplace in the main lobby with free wine, beers, sodas, and hors d'oeuvres. Don't know if this is allowed, but we returned to Scoma's seafood restaurant, a wonderful place to eat on Pier 47. After 5 years they haven't changed one bit, and even the price on the menu was the same. One more thing is to tell you all to join the roll call for your ships, we have met so many wonderful people who have become friends. It just makes the time on the cruise even more enjoyable. Please email me if you want any future information. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
We took the May 8  May 20, 2006 Alaska cruise on the Infinity and had a wonderful time, and will recommend it to family and friends. We have sailed on many ships and many lines, and feel that Celebrity is a good product for the cost. Here ... Read More
We took the May 8  May 20, 2006 Alaska cruise on the Infinity and had a wonderful time, and will recommend it to family and friends. We have sailed on many ships and many lines, and feel that Celebrity is a good product for the cost. Here our some specifics: Embarkation  We embarked in San Francisco. This is a special treat for us, because we live in Sacramento, and can take an Amtrak train and bus connector right to Pier 39, and simply roll our luggage to the ship. It is wonderful not to have to fly anywhere, or to worry about the excess weight of our luggage. Our embarkation process was efficient and quick, as good as some luxury cruise lines we have used. The Infinity staff allowed us to board the ship early, and have lunch in the buffet. Our stateroom was ready by 1:00 PM, and our luggage arrived about two hours after that, so we could unpack before we sailed. The Infinity dEcor is contemporary, which made it a bit unique, and we especially enjoyed the mid-ship glass elevators. Cabin and Steward - We were on Deck 7 as forward as you could get, in a category 4 stateroom. If you suffer from seasickness, this is not the location for you, as we really rocked and rolled our way out of San Francisco  something we really enjoyed, but it is not for everyone. Also, in ports where we tendered in, the noise of the anchor being dropped was very loud  a fun alarm clock for us, but very annoying for others. The linens and towels were average, and the bedspread rather worn out, but we were told that the Infinity is going to be updating them all soon. Our room steward was outstanding. We never ran out of any linens or soap in the bathroom, our ice bucket was always full, he and his assistant were the consume professionals. They always greeted us with a smile and friendly conversation. Dining - Trellis, the main dining room, was well appointed. The food presentation was excellent, but the food itself could be a bit mediocre, except for the lamb dishes, which were superb. Our wait staff was outstanding, even compared to premium market ships. We have had fifty-nine cruises, and our waitress was the finest we have ever had. The Oceanview buffet could use improvement for both breakfast and lunch. The food was bountiful, nicely presented but often tasteless and uninspired. We did enjoy the made-to-order omelets, which were fun to watch being prepared. The lunch theme buffets were especially disappointing. We finally gave up on the buffet lunch and grabbed very yummy burgers and fries at the outdoor Oceanview Cafe. For dinner one night we went to the casual dinning Oceanview and dinner there was very good, but the views were the real treat. Entertainment  We only went to one show, but was very impressed by the acrobats, and wish we would have seen more of their acts. The lead singers were excellent. We agreed with the comments of other passengers regarding how loud the bands and singers were overall. They need to turn down the volume! The party band that performed most days in the pool area and nightly in the Constellation Lounge was outstanding. They had a very large play list that offered music to please almost everyone. We did attend two presentations by Executive Chef Oswaldo which we highly recommend  we learned a lot, and he is a real kick! Ports, Tours and Tenders  We enjoyed each of the ports we went to, for different reasons. The first port was Victoria, which is a truly beautiful city. Instead of booking a tour, we just got off the ship, took a shuttle to downtown and got on a Greyline bus to Butchart Gardens which was absolutely beautiful. Afterwards we had a great lunch at the Irish Bank and then just wandered around and window shopped before getting back on the ship. Although it is not a port, Hubbard Glacier is something we will never forget. We would never have words to adequately describe the experience, the colors and the Ice caving from the face of the glacier. We were on deck all day long, and until we sailed by the last little flake of ice burg passed our hull. Our next port was Juneau, which was fun, but has been taken over by Caribbean-style jewelry stores and gift shops, but you still get a feel for Alaska. Through Celebrity we booked the float-plane flight over the glaciers to Taku Lodge. It was exciting to see the glaciers from above, and to be flown to a remote area that was so pristine and to land on the water. They provided a lunch of barbecued salmon that had been caught just up the river, and was the best we ever tasted. The side dishes were great, too. It is amazing that they can make such a delicious lunch in the wilderness! In Skagway we took our second Celebrity-arranged tour which was a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, up to the White Pass summit. You depart at sea level and in a mere 19 miles you are taken over 2,800 feet. Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, this narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. We had both been on this train before, and highly recommend the trip for both the interesting history and the beautiful scenery. This time was special, because it was snowing, and the entire trip was very Dr. Zhivago-esque. Before booking the tour through Celebrity, we compared how much it would cost to just book it ourselves. It was only a few dollars more to book through Celebrity, and we were able to board the train more easily, were guaranteed a seat on the train, and also knew they would hold the ship for cruise-sponsored tours if we were late coming back. We tendered in to Icy Straight Point. The tender service was very good, and the wait was not excessive. We loved Icy Straight and the town of Hoonah! The people made us feel so welcome, and were eager to share their culture with us. Eagles seem to be in every tree, and whales frolicked in the bay along with seals and dolphins. It is an unspoiled reminder of how Alaska used to be. We went on our third Celebrity-sponsored tour there, which was a Whale Watching boat trip. We saw whales, harbor porpoises, eagles and dolphins. They provided binoculars and an on board naturalist that was very informative. It is interesting to note that our trip through Celebrity was actually five dollars cheaper than booking it ourselves in Icy Straight! After the tour we took the shuttle into Hoonah and wandered around. On the tender back to the ship we got to watch three whales frolic right near us, and were grateful that the tender captain stopped and let us watch them. Sitka was our next port, and we did not feel a need to take any of the sponsored tours. We walked from the ship through town, through the beautiful national forest to the Raptor Rehabilitation Center. We really recommend a visit to the Raptor Center! Afterwards we took the shuttle from just outside the Center to downtown Sitka and bought some beautiful Russian curios. We were very lucky because the only rain we had was in Sitka. Our last port was Prince Rupert and there we took our final ship-sponsored tour to a fairly remote Grizzly Bear sanctuary. This trip was worth it even if we never saw a bear! The trip itself was beautiful because we saw seals, eagles, and some dolphins even frolicked alongside our boat for a bit. The tour is a family-run operation and they were great at sharing information about their native culture and lifestyle. And we did see bears! Even if we had not seen any bears, the spectacular scenery would have been worth the cost. It was a wonderful trip. In every port we thought, Today has been the best day. It could never get better than this. And every day was as wonderful as the last. Disembarkation  Our departure was as simple as our arrival. We were assigned a lounge and time to be there. We left as scheduled, baggage claim was a breeze, Celebrity should be commended for their efforts to make the embark/debark process as painless as possible. Miscellaneous Comments - On Celebrity we felt like we were Nickeled and Dimed by having people try to sell us water, charging outrageous prices for sodas that should be complimentary, and inflated prices for cocktails. The most insulting thing was Repeater parties that instead of honoring our loyalty, were thinly veiled attempts to sell us art, wine, or make us use their spa. On the other hand, the Captains Cocktail Party, the High Tea and the Officers Cocktail Event were great events to celebrate our many cruises with Celebrity. In summary, we feel you get what you pay for in a cruise, and Celebrity has a good valued product for the amount they charge. For the amounts charged by other luxury market lines we can take two Celebrity trips. But watch out for that Celebrity bar tab! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
Around pm 2:00 we decided to head for the ship which was visible from our hotel, but we took a cab as we had six suitcases! As we walked into the terminal we saw Disney World length lines throughout the building, but a representative took ... Read More
Around pm 2:00 we decided to head for the ship which was visible from our hotel, but we took a cab as we had six suitcases! As we walked into the terminal we saw Disney World length lines throughout the building, but a representative took a glance at our boarding docs and directed us to a Concierge Class line with maybe 4 passengers ahead of us, we waited maybe fifteen minutes to embark. The representative was friendly, engaging everyone in queue in pleasant conversation as we waited. Upon entering the ship we were greeted with Mimosas and personally escorted to our cabin. The cabin was mid-ship 8th deck Concierge Class with a balcony. There was a bucket of chilled champagne, two glasses and a basket of fruit awaiting us. The room was compact but accommodating. The only bad thing was when the sofa bed was pulled out it blocked access to the balcony, it came flush with the vanity and the sliding glass door. Which meant we were unable to enjoy the balcony at times. Our luggage arrived about 3 hours after we arrived on board. After the well organized but a bit long drill, We all went to the pool area where the band played and the staff introduced themselves and danced and others allowed passengers to sample their products, ie; massages, acupuncture, spa facilities, which were excellent,etc. Everyone gathered on the upper deck to see the Golden Gate bridge, as we passed under it everyone screamed and waved and those on the bridge reciprocated. It was cold and windy but very exciting! We proceeded back to the room to take care of our luggage&.Our room steward came by and introduced himself and his assistant and insisted that if we need anything to please call him or his young assistant know. Later we had fresh flowers on the vanity and a single rose bud in the bathroom. A welcome greeting from our Travel Agent along with some chocolate dipped strawberries arrived shortly after as well as a welcome from the dining room with our table assignment. We soon dressed for dinner, the late seating and walked to the dining room where we had a table for six, but we were the only ones to show for the duration of the cruise. I began to feel uneasy and after meeting our waiters and ordering my food, I had to return to my cabin to lie down. My husband returned to the dining room without me and the waiters expressed concern about my well-being , and offered a remedy  a peeled, sliced green apple with sliced ginger and of course saltine crackers. I got a can of Ginger Ale and followed the directions and felt better but decided to stay in bed. The food was delicious and was presented wonderfully! I didn't gain a pound,I guess I ate all the right things! Our travel agent gave us dinner for the three of us at the USS Restaurant. Our daughter turned 20 that night and it was a first for her to be treated so royally! We were greeted by name as we entered the restaurant and brought to the table. the Maitre D's suggestions were taken and were excellent! We were served Caesars Salad at our table with a full explanation of the history of the salad, the meals were served in unison by three waiters. Women were escorted to the restroom by a tuxedo clad server. The food was delicious, the service unparalleled and the presentation fantastic. A harpist played softly in the background. I was impressed with the young people running the excursions. All seemed to be very conscientious of the environment and enthusiastic about teaching the tourists. They were all clean cut, friendly, open for questions and very gentle with the elderly crowd. We went on the Whale and mammal watching tour in Icy Straight Point in the afternoon and we got our moneys worth, we saw at least 15 whales-right next to tour boat, some porpoises and sea lions, the tour guides were thorough and in their descriptions and genuinely interested in the wildlife. We took the White Pass train ride in Skagway and enjoyed it very much. There was snow on every mountain top and the weather was cool. We had never seen snow and it was still white and clean and beautiful.. When we reached the top of the mountain the Conductor jumped off and handed us a snowball, how exciting! Hubbard Glacier was absolutely fantastic, something we will never forget! The Captain pushed as far as he could into the Glacier then placed the ship on a 360 degree turn, so that no matter where you were on the ship, you saw it all! We witness the crushing sound of us underneath our balcony, the huge chunks of ice floating past us and then the thundering sound of the Glacier calving, several times, right in front of us! Fishing in Juneau was a total loss...almost $300 each down the drain, not even a bite in 5 hours and 800 feet of water! The singing duo had quite a following before and after dinner. They sang lots of '60s and '70s music, he played piano while she sang, they were very good and encouraged lots of dancing. There were Celebrity dance escorts at every dance and they were kept quite busy. Victoria was beautiful, we took the Grayline tour bus and saw the butterfly gardens and Butchart Gardens. The tour bus driver was most interesting, he took us on a tour of the city, through China Town, downtown past the Parliament and everywhere else, he also let us in on the secrets of the City. Spent the day in the Casino, won $100 on one of the nickel machines...then promptly gave it right back! Heard a few cruisers lost $10,00)+ at the tables... If you are looking for a relaxing, low key, minimal activity ship - and if you are older and not very agile, this ship is for you. You are treated royally. The pastry shop was open until about 4 pm everyday. We are espresso drinkers a few times a day but found we had to pay for it, on the Infinity ... and the only one that knew how to make it good, was Alma from the Philippines. The time adjustment was a bit difficult for us as we are on EST. Also the fact that it never really gets dark at night took a few days to get adjusted to. The final show was entertaining, colorful costumes and talented dancers. Also the acrobatic act was very impressive as the couple flew into and over the audience with just a wisp of a scarf to hold onto... We are home now, enjoyed the experience, we are well rested and well versed in Alaska and BC information. The Celebrity experience was a very good one. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
12 nt cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back to SF (May 8 - 20) Was our 3rd Celebrity cruise, others being on Mercury and Galaxy. Celebrity has maintained their excellent service and value, even in this age of fuel costs, etc. They ... Read More
12 nt cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and back to SF (May 8 - 20) Was our 3rd Celebrity cruise, others being on Mercury and Galaxy. Celebrity has maintained their excellent service and value, even in this age of fuel costs, etc. They are to be commended for doing a superb job (especially noticeable, given our recent negative experience on a 12 nt Carnival Spirit cruise to Hawaii in Apr 06). I have posted a review of that cruise separately. Embarkation went well in SF, with everything well organized and sufficient staff available to coordinate things. With the usual Celebrity flair, we were greeted on board with a choice of champagne or OJ, then personally taken to our stateroom by a staff person. Just like in a nice hotel. Infinity's decor is much different from the Carnival Spirit on which we had just cruised. Much more understated, with a modern European ambience. Somewhat minimalist in design but one that grows on you as time goes by. Easy to get around and find things. Almost feels like a much smaller ship, though it is quite large and spacious. Food was excellent and if you are a vegetarian, best menu of any cruise line on which we have travelled. Have a separate menu with as many choices as the regular "carnivore's" menu. Both lunch and dinner in the dining room have vegetarian menu choices. The casual buffet does not,though. Another innovative dining choice is the Aquaspa cafe on deck 10 forward. Serve a healthy breakfast, then open from 12 to 8 pm for a light healthy lunch/dinner options. Ate breakfast exclusively there, as no line and can sit in the spa area nearby. The "Grand Buffet" was a sight to behold. A real effort was made to make a grand impression. Infinity's staff are genuinely friendly and "can'do". When I wanted bran muffins at the Aquaspa, the next day the muffins were waiting for me. Three levels of mgrs came to me to be sure that I had want I wanted. One even came into the gym before breakfast to tell me he had the muffins for me. Ditto, when I wanted a veggie burger at the grill. They were out, but the staff person hunted me down and said he would try to find me one. And he did so. Special efforts such as these make the difference for me between Celebrity and most of the other cruise lines. On our recent Carnival cruise, staff was neither very friendly and certainly not interested in making any special effort whatsoever. Night and days!! Entertainment was not exceptional but well performed and a good variety of acts. Unlike Carnival, all the performers seemed very professional and routines were well choreographed and performed. On board activities were frequent and varied. Always seemed to something to do. I especially enjoy the guest lectures on a variety of topics. Lecturers are interesting and very knowledgeable about their topics. Another great feature are the computer classes on digital photography. You can download your pictures onto their computers for free, then if you run out of room on your camera card, can copy your pictures onto a CD for $15 fee. The computer staff teach several other classes, some complimentary and some for a $20 fee. Staff were very friendly and helpful. Exercise facilities were top rate and spacious. No surly statements here about not being able to use the workout room outside of regular classes. Some classes were complimentary and some cost a fee. Had the greatest selection of free classes of any recent cruise I have done. Also had a good assortment of cardio and weight equipment, with great sea views. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2006
This was our first time on the Infinity and sailing with Celebrity. There were four of us and we had two cabins both described as Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Veranda at 170 sq feet for the cabin and 38 sq feet for the veranda. We ... Read More
This was our first time on the Infinity and sailing with Celebrity. There were four of us and we had two cabins both described as Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Veranda at 170 sq feet for the cabin and 38 sq feet for the veranda. We stayed in cabin number 9138 and 9173. Because of the ship design, you actually get a larger veranda. On a trip along the inside passage, a veranda is a must. We were also just a short distance from the buffet. This was extremely convenient for morning breakfast or getting a snack and/or ice cream during the day. Since we drove from Wisconsin, we needed a hotel that would accommodate us the night before. The LaQuinta near the San Francisco airport was perfect, and I highly recommend it. There is no charge for keeping your car at the hotel during the cruise, and the LaQuinta will also provide free transportation to the embarkation pier. Upon your return, you will need to hire a taxi to take you and your party back, which is about $41.00 including the tip. Although the cruise line states that check-in is at 2:00 p.m., we followed the advice of others and arrived at noon. The lines were short, but unfortunately it took an eternity to check in because the scanner would not properly swipe our passports and credit cards. In fact, two days into the trip, I had to go to Guest Relations and have my credit card swiped again. This was my only complaint; otherwise the rest of the trip was fantastic. Our cabin attendant did an excellent job of taking care of the rooms. Every time we left, it seemed she was there cleaning up after us. She went out of her way to make sure we had everything we needed. Luggage arrived in our stateroom within two hours, and the staterooms were ready for us at 1:00 p.m. If you are smart you will book your excursions ahead of time on the Celebrity web site. The excursion tickets are delivered to your room, and we placed them in our safe. We chose three specific excursions. All of the excursions were excellent. I would highly recommend the all day combination Skagway bus tour and train trip back from White Pass to Skagway. The half day Totembright tour of the totem poles and lodge at Ketchikan was truly remarkable. At the other cities we visited, it was just as easy to walk or use public transportation to explore the wonderment of the inside passage cities. Ports of call were: Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Icy Straight Point, Juneau, Victoria, and Vancouver. Of course, one of the days on the cruise was spent cruising the Hubbard glacier. This was truly spectacular!!! Because you are cruising the inside passage, the extra expense of a veranda is well worth the money. At Juneau, I would recommend the state's museum, which does an excellent job of going over Alaska's history and is no more than a 15 minute walk from the ship. Be aware that there are no laundry facilities for the use of the guests on any of Celebrity ships. Also, it would be extremely wise to bring an insulated mug or two for drinks along with the understanding that you are going through a rain forest and the unpredictable Alaska weather. Although we cruised in May, the weather was just about picture perfect. We could not believe all of the sunny days we had. Supposedly the trip before ours was cloudy and rainy -- such is Alaska. We judged the meals to be excellent; and thus, we saw no reason to frequent the specialty restaurant known as the SS United States. There was an additional charge of $30.00 per person. In the morning we went to the Oceanview Cafe / Grill. I had a made to order omelette every day. Then, I would work out in the Aqua Spa (time depended on arrival in ports etc.). The best kept dining feature is the Aqua Spa Cafe that specializes in health eating / foods. This is the place to have lunch. The Trellis Restaurant for dinner was excellent with a wide menu choices. If there was nothing that appealed to you, you could always order salmon or a steak. Both our waiter and assistant made our dining experience thoroughly enjoyable. The Aqua Spa also had an enclosed heated pool with whirl pools. I personally spent an hour there every day -- what a great way to relax the muscles. There is no extra charge for using that facility. The public rooms are beautifully decorated, and the casino was always busy. It was fun to watch the gamblers. The evening entertainment was pretty standard for cruise lines running the gamete from broadway shows to individual comedians. One of the best places to watch for the whales and wildlife is the Constellation lounge on the 11th deck. We are early risers, and didn't really get into the night life. Although Celebrity does have a kid's club, there were only 60 kids on board. Celebrity appeals to those desiring the more traditional eloquent form of cruising. Disembarkation was delayed, because of customs. San Francisco is a real pain to maneuver in. The overall cruise was superb. We were so sold by the ship and the crew taking care of us, we booked back to back cruises this Spring -- Panama Canal and Hawaii. Celebrity went out of its way to insure that everything was truly "X"cellent. Read Less
Celebrity Infinity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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