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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had previously taken the East-to-West cruise through the canal and thought it would be interesting to take the cruise in the opposite direction as the ports of call were different. We have also cruised enough now to make the ship our ... Read More
We had previously taken the East-to-West cruise through the canal and thought it would be interesting to take the cruise in the opposite direction as the ports of call were different. We have also cruised enough now to make the ship our "destination" as much as the direction and ports. Cruising with friends is a fun and relaxing way to spend time together as well as to share and compare experiences. As usual, the Celebrity crew and staff provided excellent service and smooth sailing. A few changes were noteworthy from previous cruises; some not as welcome as others. Our experience in the Trellis Restaurant was a real treat with our waiter, Sunarta, assistant waiter, Pablito and Sommelier, Raja, giving excellent and enthusiastic service. we also visited the specialty restaurants Qsine, Tuscan and Sushi on Five. All three were exceptional in fine dining and service. Pre-dinner wine was enjoyed in the Cellar Masters Bar with the sommelier, Pavlo, giving good advice and information on various wines. In the buffet dining area, Oceanview Cafe, the servings in several areas were offered in round pots for self service. Unfortunately, the food in the pots was frequently cold by the time you placed it on your plate. I was also concerned that, with some pots behind others, you had to reach across the pots in the front. This strikes me as less than optimum sanitary practice in food service. On the other hand, the ship was sparkling clean throughout the public bathrooms and other public gathering areas. You constantly saw staff cleaning handrails, doorways, windows and elevator areas. While my husband and I didn't take many shore excursions on this trip, one we took requires some comment. In Puntarenas, Costa Rica, we signed up for the trip to the Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly and Frog Park. There seems to have been some disparity in the description of the excursion and the actuality. The trip "deep into the mountains...to the region of Monteverde" took 2 1/2 hours over some paved, some gravel and some dirt roads with multiple pot holes. a somewhat jarring ride. The scenery along the way was beautifully lush and became more so as we entered the "cloud forest". On arriving at the Butterfly and Frog Park, we discovered a steep incline to be traversed to reach the butterfly "garden". The incline was a narrow cement walkway which twisted back and forth without any handrails. The surface was damp and somewhat slick as there was a constant mist. It was also partially covered with moss. On reaching the actual butterfly display, we went through three separate plastic covered enclosures to view the butterflies. The first enclosure held the smaller variety of butterflies, then to the medium size and finishing with the larger butterflies in the third enclosure. There were quite a few less than the "thousands" noted in the description and they were not free to "fill the blue sky". The frog display hardly bears mentioning as the frogs were very small and difficult to see as they were hidden among the foliage. The Hummingbird Cafe was probably the best part of the trip. The birds did flit about freely and, since it was raining, many of them were visiting the feeders along the edge of the porch outside the cafe. There were a variety of species of the birds with beautiful coloring and, as advertised, inquisitive natures. They were obviously unafraid of humans and came close to perching on or near your nose. The only refreshment offered at the cafe was coffee and a pastry. Soft drinks were available at an extra cost ($4 for a coke). The return to the ship was another kidney jolting ride. While this may have been unavoidable, we were not allowed a rest stop even though requesting one 45 min. to an hour prior to arriving back at the ship. Since we passed several large service areas which could have accommodated our group, we never understood the reluctance of the guide and driver to allow a stop. Since my husband had just "recovered" from bladder cancer, this was especially uncomfortable for him. I would only recommend this excursion for you if you wear a pair of shoes with cleats to make it down the mossy cement incline, take your own snack items, and have a large capacity bladder. Oh yeah, and take an umbrella or poncho as it's likely to rain in the "cloud forest". Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband had a cruise through the Panama Canal on his bucket list and this cruise on the Celebrity Infinity coincided with his birthday. We had been looking at Royal Caribbean itineraries and was surprised (and disappointed) to find ... Read More
My husband had a cruise through the Panama Canal on his bucket list and this cruise on the Celebrity Infinity coincided with his birthday. We had been looking at Royal Caribbean itineraries and was surprised (and disappointed) to find that RC had ceded the Panama Canal routes to their new sister company Celebrity. I booked the cruise on the Celebrity Infinity without his knowledge and surprised him with it during a family vacation 11 months before departure. The good news - we sailed out of San Francisco during Fleet Week. The bad news - there was a huge convention in town in the days before we sailed and hotel rooms in the city were very expensive. We booked 2 nights at The Donatello through AirBnB, used some United miles to book 2 business class tickets, (over) packed our bags, and off we went. We booked a private pick up from SFO through Super Shuttle (ExecuCar) and were met promptly by a very nice driver in a large clean SUV. Even with traffic (baseball playoff game that night) it didn't take long to get to the hotel. We had dinner reservations at LuLu that night and walked the 1.2 miles each way. Next day we visited Fisherman's Wharf, had lunch with my husband's aunt and cousin at Water Bar on the Embarcadero and actually saw our ship in port. The next day we went to a diner (Jersey style) for breakfast, checked out, hopped in a cab, and went to the port. Our check in time was 11:30am and we got there around 10:15am. A Holland American ship had arrived that morning and the curb area was a zoo (people arguing over our cab before we were even out of it). Porter took our ship tagged bags and we walked back to Fisherman's Wharf. We came back about 11am and check in was open. A few minutes in line to get our SeaPass cards and off through security. The escalators were down so we either had to wait for the elevator or walk up stairs to get to the gangway. We chose the stairs - not great but not too bad. Photo ops abounded. We politely declined and no one pressed us. Once on board we headed for the pool deck to await the start of the airshow featuring the Blue Angels. This happy coincidence was a great way to start. Talk about a bird's eye view! All hallway doors were closed - cabins wouldn't be ready until 1:30pm. This surprised us as the ship was in port a full day and only a few passengers stayed to take the next cruise. Hallways were opened on our deck at about 1:15pm and I took our carry ons in to unpack. This was our first time in a suite. Our experience was so great that we will do our best to never sail without being in a suite again. We had a walk in closet and spacious balcony and enough room in the cabin that we didn't feel cramped. Our bags were very late coming up (first in last out?). Our butler John and cabin steward Pamela had to go down to search for them. After our lifeboat drill (no vests) we were underway. We sailed past Alcatraz and right under the Golden Gate bridge as we headed south towards Mexico. An amazing experience. It's difficult to summarize a 16 night cruise in a few paragraphs. The highlights were the crew especially our butler John, cabin steward Pamela and the entire staff at Luminae restaurant. We LOVED that we had access to this restaurant instead of being tied to the main restaurant and a set dinner time. If this is your first time in a suite note that gentlemen need long pants and collared shirts for dinner. We tried to go to dinner one night with my husband in shorts and he had to go back and get changed. Not a big deal. The food at Luminae is very good and the service is excellent. We found out that you can order from any other restaurant (except the specialty restaurants) such as Blu and Trellis (we called it the Plan B menu). We could order apps from Plan B and entrees from Luminae. We ate ourselves silly the first few days (when you're on a cruise ship for 16 nights you better pace yourself). The barman Siraz walks on quiet cat feet. After the first night we would sit down and within 30 seconds an iced glass with cold Corona and lime would magically appear. If the glass was getting empty another would show up. After the 2nd night the entire staff knew us by name. Afternoon tea was fabulous. There were days we didn't eat lunch because we'd eaten too much at breakfast. John would appear at about 4pm with his cart of coffee, tea, savories (little sandwiches), and sweets (the chocolate cake w/chocolate mousse and ganache and macadamia nut cookies were my favs). If we weren't there he would leave us a plate based on what we ordered the day before. He would bring me 2 containers of skim milk with it..... This would hold us until we went to dinner at 8:00pm. There were several nights that we had to wait to be seated. Never more than 5 minutes. Luminae is for all suite passengers and only seats about 60 at a time. They never rush you no matter how crowded the restaurant. Every night brought new people to meet from around the world. We made so many new friends. There are 1,000 time changes on this cruise (slight exaggeration). The first one being the first night - the clocks go back an hour. It's in the daily journal that gets put on your bed each night but we missed it. When we got up the next morning we missed breakfast at Luminae (closes at 9:00am) so we headed for the buffet. NEVER AGAIN. On RC the lines for fresh made eggs and other custom items are well delineated and spread out. The buffet for other items - breakfast meats, pastries, fruit, yogurt, cereal, etc - have 2 stations in 2 different locations. Plenty of room for everyone to move around and easy to know where the line ends. Not on Celebrity. One big circle in the middle of the room - no way to know where lines start and finish. Confusing and aggravating. Milk is kept in dispensers that are not chilled. A glass of skim milk was beyond warm. Gross. Vowed never to go back in there and we didn't. If we wanted lunch and didn't want to go to Luminae (closed for lunch on in port days) we went to the burger/hot dog grill on the pool deck. Hot dogs were grilled not boiled, burgers were juicy, and their steak fries were really good. No trays to pick up food for more than yourself tho...... We would have rated the Food excellent were it not for our experience with the buffet. I would suggest talking this cruise in April not September or October. The weather from Mexico to Columbia was HOT AND HUMID. Miserably so. We had to use tenders in Cabo - with the rough bay water and the heat and humidity it made for a rough day (loved the snorkel trip though). Must give Celebrity kudos - there were 3 ships anchored out in Cabo - us, the Holland America that we saw in SF, and a Carnival ship. Only Celebrity greeted passengers at the Cabo dock under a canopy with iced towels and flavored ice water as we waited for a tender to go back to the ship. Celebrity worked with local water taxis to get everyone back without a long wait. They had the iced towels and water at every port. We saw that Holland American ship and few times - they never had it. Great perk! We were surprised to find that there was no bin of towels to grab from as you left the ship for your excursion. Some of our excursions said to bring towels. If we hadn't gotten them from the pool before we left we would have been SOL. Overall we think this cruise could have been at least 2 days shorter. We woke up the day after we went through the canal to find that we'd turned around and ended up back at the port we saw before we crossed the jetty into the Atlantic. We crept through the canal as other ships passed us like we were standing still. We saw the Holland American ship come from behind us during one of several two days at sea blocks, pass us and disappear. We were creeping along. We also had 3 medical evacuations including one by helicopter. We also saw 2 people pass out from the heat. This was an older crowd (we felt like the youngsters and we're in our early to mid 60s) and we hope all passengers are well and back home. We didn't take advantage of the nightly entertainment as much as we should. Was going to play BINGO until I heard that cards were $40 each. There were lectures about each port and especially about the canal. If you couldn't attend them live they were rebroadcast on the TV. My husband doesn't gamble. I like to play Blackjack. $10 table was fun and filled with like minded players. Most of the dealers were friendly. If you come across Anton he'll lighten up if you talk to him and ask him questions. Witnessed a slot tournament one night. Lots of high energy. Michael's Lounge was a lifesaver for us the morning we missed breakfast - they found pastries and fruit for us even though it was way past breakfast. The bar is always open and there's a special excursions desk in there. Eric and Jackie were very helpful. We cancelled our initial excursion in Costa Rica (I didn't think I could take the heat) and they tried everything to book us something else. We stimulated the economy with some port shopping instead (they had Cuban cigars here). Regarding excursions...... we love to snorkel and there really was only one chance to do that in Cabo. Went to the beach in Puerto Vallarta (great time - good value). We found our own excursion in Guatemala. We took the Eco Cruise and Gatoum locks tour in Panama and saw one of the new mega bypass locks in action. We weren't in port very long in Cartgena. The boat ride to the beach excursion takes 2 hours of your time round trip. I think were only at the beach 90 minutes before we had to go back. The island was nice, the water beautiful. Not enough time. Had some young boy try to board our boat when we stopped to view and hear about the fortresses on the way out. I don't think he was going to rob us. Probably to beg for money. Our guide yelled at him and you could hear him fall into the water as our boat sped away. Not fun. We were told that we would LOVE Celebrity. We were pretty loyal RC cruisers until this cruise. Now it will be a Sky Suite on a Celebrity cruise or we don't go. Booked 2 more cruises while we were on the ship. Alaska here we come! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This was an 18 night cruise from San Francisco through the Panama Canal and ending Ft. Lauderdale. The infinity needs a little work in Concierge class as there was some rust on the balcony and the carpet outside needed to be repaired. ... Read More
This was an 18 night cruise from San Francisco through the Panama Canal and ending Ft. Lauderdale. The infinity needs a little work in Concierge class as there was some rust on the balcony and the carpet outside needed to be repaired. The state room was up to standard and while I don't want to be too picky I my experience on other Celebrity ships was of a higher quality in terms of the condition of the ship. I did have some problems with the tv in the room and the remote but once I notified my attendant those problems were resolved in a matter of an hour or two. I think this speak to the high level of quality Celebrity wants to bring to its guests. There was also some wear and tear on several areas of the ships carpet but they were minimal and I am sure that most people did't see it at all. I tend to notice every detail so I wouldn't fault the cruise line for these minor problems. The shore excursions are fairly typical for cruise lines. They tend to be expensive and not as good as what I have been able to secure for myself. The advantage is that if there is a problem or delay you don't have to worry about the ship leaving you at port! Dining was standard, I am a foodie and therefore do not expect to receive 5 star dining when they are trying to feed such large numbers of people. Overall I felt they did a very good job in the restaurants and Ocean View, where I took the majority of my meals. The specialty restaurants (Qsine and SS United States) were good. The SS United States was my favorite and I would recommend it over Qsine any time. Qsine, offers a unique experience and one that you should try once. It just was not my cup of tea, so to speak. Entertainment on the ship was of a high quality and I really enjoyed the shows. The little talks given by the cruise line before we reached ports were less than interesting and I think the gentleman they used to describe Costa Rica and the Panama Canal was sub par. Disembarkation was easy, relatively fast and since I had a transfer from the ship to the air port I was off quickly without any glitches. Overall, I had a very good experience with the cruise line, the staff was friendly, the food was good, the accommodations meet my general expectations and when a problem arose it was resolved quickly without much effort on my part. All things considered I booked my next cruise onboard with Celebrity for the Spring of 2016. I would recommend this cruise line to a friend or family member without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
BUS TRANSFER TO THE PIER We have taken many cruises out of San Francisco, usually with Princess. We usually stay one night at the El Rancho Hotel in Millbrae. The next morning we have the hotel van take us to the airport where we ... Read More
BUS TRANSFER TO THE PIER We have taken many cruises out of San Francisco, usually with Princess. We usually stay one night at the El Rancho Hotel in Millbrae. The next morning we have the hotel van take us to the airport where we catch the cruise ship bus to the pier. In the past, we have had the same bus driver each time. When we give him out bags, we tell him that we want the two carry-on bags back when we arrive at the pier. He puts them towards the front so he can retrieve them at the pier. The rest of the bags will then be taken to another location where they are unloaded and eventually delivered to our stateroom. The system works great and is very convenient. The driver (we have had the same man on each of our past trips) provides historical and other information about San Francisco during the drive to the pier. He is very knowledgeable about San Francisco. This time the transfer was a disaster. We had a different driver that apparently did not speak English. I told the him that we wanted two bags back when we arrived at the pier and he looked at me like he had no idea what I was talking about. I guessed that he did not speak English and repeated the information. He just grunted and threw the bags in with the rest. When were then told by the greeters that the people who were supposed to be there had a flat tire on the way to the airport and would not be available to help us. They also did not have our names on their list and asked everyone to write their names on a sheet to be checked later. Unfortunately, they waited until we got to the bus to do this and it created a line of unhappy people that wanted to get rolling. At this point, we were also told that we had to take any carry-on bags with us on the bus. This meant that I had to crawl into the storage area of the bus and retrieve our two carry-ons. We have never had to do this before. When we got to the ship, the driver and a helper started to unload all the bags in the parking lot. The passengers told him that he was supposed to take the bags to another location to be loaded on the ship and he just kept unloading them. Finally a greeter showed up that spoke his language and told him what he was supposed to do. He and his helper both expressed surprise as the finally understood what was supposed to be done with the bags. We all left, hoping that our bags would eventually get to our staterooms. Fortunately, they did arrive later that afternoon. CHECK IN The check in process went very smoothly although the man helping us did have some difficulty with his computer. He processed my wife’s information in a minute or two but took several minutes to do mine. The person next to him finally came over and told him how to complete the process and we were on our way. It probably did not take more than 10 minutes. It helps to get there on the first bus from the airport as the lines are not as long as they will be later in the day. CABIN We had stateroom 7047 on deck seven, port side. Being only about 11 AM, our cabin was not ready and we headed for the Ocean view Café for an early lunch. At 1 PM we were allowed to proceed to our staterooms. Everything was in order when we arrived except the stateroom did not have some of the amenities that were shown in the photo at Celebrity’s website. In particular, an entire stand of shelves next to the make-up vanity was missing. Also, the closet had a safe and several drawers taking up one third of the storage area. This left only a small closet for the two of us to hang our clothes, but we had not brought that much so it worked out. Anyone bringing a larger assortment of clothing for a longer cruise would have a difficult time hanging all their items. We noticed the lack of an ice bucket and asked the room attendant about it. She said that ice was no longer furnished in the rooms unless we asked for it. I have to admit that I was stunned by this information as we have always had ice in our stateroom on our other 40+ cruises. My wife asked her to provide ice twice a day and she said she would. She or her assistant provided it most of the time. The vanity had no drawers which did not make my wife happy. She usually depends on having drawers on both sides of the vanity for storage of all her necessary beauty aids. This vanity had doors with very small shelves behind them. It just was not as convenient as other ships we have been on. Strangely, we looked in on an inside cabin and it had the type of vanity that we are used to having. I did not understand why Celebrity would provide more in a less expensive stateroom. The bath was nicely arranged and had the usual large shower that Celebrity is known for. It also had a hand held shower head that we both prefer. There was plenty of storage on a corner rack and under the sink area. The balcony was small but adequate for two of us. FOOD We took most of our meals in the main dining room when they were open. We had what Celebrity calls Select Dining. That allows us to eat dinner whenever we wanted as long as we appeared during the serving hours. The food and service were both excellent in the dining room. I enjoyed all our meals there, but some of our table mates did not. On one night, I had an excellent salmon dinner, but several ladies at our table had veal, lamb and steak. They all had complaints about the quality of those meats. Celebrity is noted for having very good quality beef and we usually have that or fish. I usually don’t try any of the other meats, but did try the chef’s recommendation the first night. It was a breaded pork chop and it was also excellent. The accompanying potatoes and vegetables were usually very good except for the string beans which were always tough. The Ocean view Café on Deck 10 had a very large assortment of ethnic food available at several different places around the very large room. Some of the serving areas had precooked food and others cooked to order. Unfortunately, I found that many of the ethnic foods had too much spice. I like soup and tried several of them. They were all over spiced. The foods that were not over spiced were somewhat tasteless. The deserts in the Ocean view Café were of a quality that was far below what is served in the main dining room. This is not unusual and we have found this to be the case on most ships, however they usually have some good cakes or pies at some point during the cruise. I did not find that to be the case on this cruise. ENTERTAINMENT On our last Celebrity cruise, we found that entertainment had improved somewhat over previous cruises, but it is never on a par with Royal Caribbean even though Celebrity is owned by RC. We had the usual selection of production shows accompanied by one comedian, a magician, two singers and a xylophone player. All except the comedian worked hard and were appreciated by the audience. There were also a couple of acrobats that were very good. PORTS We only took one tour. That was a glass bottom boat in Catalina. The rest of the time we just walked to nearby attractions. In San Diego, we toured the aircraft carrier, Midway, which is docked less than a quarter mile from the cruise ship. In Monterey we waked through the area near the wharf, and then took the free trolley to the aquarium and back. At Santa Barbara, we took the downtown bus from the cruise ship dock to the end of the line on State Street, then toured the Presidio a couple of blocks off State Street. Then we took the downtown bus back to the ship. For seniors, this bus costs 25 cents each way. We had been to these places several times before and had seen most of the local sites. Also, the weather was very hot and the humidity was high, so we wanted to get back to the air conditioned ship as soon as possible. We stayed on the ship in Ensenada, Mexico and about half the passengers did the same. We had to tender into Catalina, Monterey and Santa Barbara, but it was not a problem. Everything went smoothly getting on and off the tenders. CONCLUSION All things considered, it was a very nice cruise. We were looking for a relaxing time at sea after some stressful months at home and we were very satisfied with the experience. My wife’s only complaint was that the cruise was too short. We usually go for two weeks or more so I understand how she feels. It is difficult to get off a cruise ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Cruise review Celebrity Infinity Sept. 4 to 13, 2015 Let me begin by saying this cruise in many ways met or exceeded our expectations, and was a very nice vacation. We appreciated our more experienced Cruise Critic friends who gave us ... Read More
Cruise review Celebrity Infinity Sept. 4 to 13, 2015 Let me begin by saying this cruise in many ways met or exceeded our expectations, and was a very nice vacation. We appreciated our more experienced Cruise Critic friends who gave us so many valuable tips before we even began. We have cruised on Crystal, Disney, Princess, and NCL as well as Celebrity, but it has been several years. We felt that it was a privilege to be able to go, and we were happy to be able to make the trip to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Embarkation was a breeze. Directed into San Francisco’s spacious new Pier 27, we walked right up to a Celebrity representative, presented our documents and passports and obtained our Sea Pass cards. Celebrity Infinity’s décor was classy and calming. The itinerary was delightful, the seas were calm, and the captain and crew were very efficient and approachable to guests. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. The entertainment was impressive and occasionally surprising. Everywhere surfaces were being constantly cleaned. We did not have to wait for anything; not for a table for dinner, or tenders to shore. There were always plenty of lounges by the pool area with fresh towels. We always had our choice of seats in the theatre for shows, even just before curtain. Our Cruise Director, Patti, was helpful and informative. She was at her best when she performed, as she has a lovely singing voice. Wait staff were polite and professional. The seamen manning the shore tenders knew their business and gave a steady and strong grasp of our elbows getting in and out of the boats. The shore crews greeted us going and coming back with ice water, cold punch, and icy cooling towels. This was especially appreciated because of the very warm weather. It was hotter than expected in every port! Our cabin was Concierge Class 2, a balcony on the starboard side, 8088. It was quiet, having staterooms above and below us, though as we were midship, we did hear some early morning sounds as they opened the hatches and prepared the tenders for launching. This was OK with us; it was interesting to watch the process from our balcony. We liked being close to the ship’s library on deck eight, with cozy chairs for reading. We could not have had better or more attentive stewards than Raphael and his assistant Antonio. The cabin was small, and we had to walk single file around the end of the bed, but the bed was spacious and comfortable. I liked the soft leaf designed night light in the bathroom, the open shelves for our things, and the roomy shower with grab bars. There were built in hooks on the inside of the bathroom door and a set on the cabin wall. There were plenty of wooden hangers in the closet. Raphael surprised us one night with two swan towel animals kissing and red rose petals scattered on our bed! Lovely! Now I would like to give readers, (including Celebrity Corporate), a heads up about things that were upsetting and need to be improved. The first disappointment came moments after we stepped onboard at the shore excursion desk. We had a fixed amount of onboard credit and had budgeted it carefully for excursions, specialty dining, and photography, obtaining the prices from Celebrity’s website. Our Sausalito & Muir Woods tour we expected to pay $69.75 each for, was now $89.75 each. The Avalon Scenic & Botanical Garden price listed on their website was $39.75 each; onboard it became $49.75 each. We went to the concierge desk the following day and asked about the discrepancy. We were told that it was a common complaint and that nothing could be done. Perhaps assertiveness or asking again for clarity of policy for my upcoming online review made an impression, but we were extended the difference of $60.00 in OBC as a, “courtesy.” Another problem that we encountered right away was water. We had the Classic Beverage Package, and were assured many times by Celebrity and our travel agent that it included all water, soft drinks and some alcoholic drinks onboard. We don’t drink, so we already knew that we were not going to cost the ship much with our consumption. We had the stewards clean out the mini bar right away, leaving some ginger ale and bottled water. We asked them to just fill it with liters of water. Imagine how surprised we were when they started leaving checks for each bottle of Evian, $5.50 per bottle, .98 cents gratuity, 48 cents tax, total $6.97 for each bottle! When we objected they sheepishly explained that we would have to get and sign for our water at one of the bars, (liter bottles of Crystal Geyser were covered by the beverage package, Evian delivered to our room was not), and bring it down to our cabin ourselves! Really? This policy is just silly and annoying. It put us on our guard and made us feel that instead of relaxing we had to be checking our bill constantly. We had to request, leave sticky notes, and we tipped extra, to get ice in our bucket every day. So, here is a suggestion: Make money on the casino, art auctions, shops, classes, and spa treatments. Treat your guests graciously and put carafes of ice water in our cabins daily. The most disturbing ongoing problem came with the photography department. I had waited on hold forever pre cruise to get the word from a Celebrity representative what it would cost for the whole photography package: all prints taken, a CD, a written copyright release, and the souvenir DVD of the voyage. We were told it would be $255.00 for everything, and we planned for that, getting our picture taken as often as we could. When we approached the photo people, they claimed that we could definitely NOT get any of the prints, and a CD for that price, and they refused to give us a paper copy release, saying it was unnecessary. They took some wonderful pictures of us; they are good photographers, but we were required to search every night for our pictures in the gallery, and hand them over to them for our “packet.” We got none of these prints. We paid $234.99 for one CD of our pictures and the DVD. All of our prints were left behind and destroyed. I was very sad. So, my advice would be to get an e-mail from Celebrity stating what the cost will be for your photo package before you go. Then you will have it in writing. By the way, they relied heavily on previous footage for the souvenir DVD. Muir woods was shot at least a year before the drought by the look of the water in the creek. Avalon footage was charming, until the ship was shown anchored in the bay, “Celebrity Century.” Oops! The footage of San Francisco could have been our voyage, but they spelled Wharf, “Warf.” C’Mon, guys!! Footage shot of the Sizzle deck party was not included; why not? Was it too much trouble to edit it? Entertainment was very good. We especially enjoyed David Meyer on his xylo-synthesizer. Amazing energetic performance! We bought his CD. Ukrainian aerialists Tibi and Vika were jaw-dropping artists and athletes. Comedian Dean Gaines made us laugh with his jokes and presidential impressions. We attended his G-rated show. Colleen Williamson was engaging, as she was as good an actress as she was a singer. The Infinity orchestra was outstanding. The ship’s Production Cast singers and dancers were better than we have seen on other cruise lines. We just wished the choreographers in Florida who design the shows would have given them better material to express their talents. More storyline and less flashing their fannies in skimpy costumes would be welcome. They were fine young people and taught dance classes very well. Our shore excursions were OK, but Muir Woods was very crowded because of the Labor Day weekend, and people didn’t seem to know how to be quiet and reverent among the trees. In Sausalito we were just dropped off on the main street for 35 minutes and pointed towards the local ice cream place. Our Avalon Scenic and Botanical Garden on Catalina was an open air double tram with a good guide who drove us up the narrow roads to see the views. It was very hot! Without our cooling towels we never would have made it. The Botanical Garden was very disappointing, as the plants and shrubs were all encaged to keep protected wildlife out, and they were dying from lack of rainfall. We faced a long uphill climb on a dirt road to see Wrigley’s Mausoleum and decided to wait in the shade instead. The tour did not include the historic Casino Ballroom, and we thought that it did. Unfortunately it was too hot to walk there on our own in the afternoon, so we returned earlier than we planned to the ship, (and its air conditioning!) In Monterey we went to church and lunched with friends, in Santa Barbara we took the city electric bus up State Street and enjoyed the view of the city and the bay from the courthouse. Santa Barbara had loads of helpful guides to meet us onshore. It was September 11th and the Young Republicans from UC Santa Barbara made a display of American flags stuck in the beach for every life lost in the attacks. It was very colorful and moving. San Diego was Sea World on our own. Military folks, (active duty and retired), can enjoy four complimentary tickets. We got off the ship in Ensenada only to go to the dock market and buy Mexican vanilla. My husband bought me a pair of lovely silver and opal earrings. Food and Specialty restaurants: The Ocean View Café Deck 10 was a daily lavish buffet with something for every taste. Breakfast had four omelet stations, again reducing the wait time. I was particularly impressed with the salad bar, the four carving stations, (two on each side), the fresh breads, and the pasta station. Usually four or five choices of pasta were offered which were then heated while your sauce of choice was stir fried in a skillet with olive oil, artichoke hearts, garlic, or a wide variety of other meats and vegetables, then sautéed together and finished off with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Yum! The tables were kept bused and clean. The bar servers were always on hand to ask if you wanted something from the bar. The pizza was just OK, but the buttered garlic bread there was a daily temptation. The ice cream and sorbet bar was available from noon to 10:30 pm, and the sugar free flavors were good, too. There were juices, coffees, teas, and herbal teas to drink. They had all other non sugar sweeteners, but not stevia, so if you use it, bring your own. The only fault I found was the self serve glasses were only 4 ounces, so you had to keep getting up to refill them. Again, the water issue. There are signs on the machines asking you to not refill water bottles there. We got the dining package offered as soon as we boarded; 1 dinner in SS United States, 1 dinner in Qsine, and 1 meal in Bistro on Five, the crepe restaurant, for $85.00 per person. We dined the first night at SS United States, and had the Chateaubriand for two which was melt in your mouth beef! Service was excellent, extra tipping expected. At Qsine we wished the server would have warned us about the big portions. We had to scale back on what we originally ordered because we were stuffed. The food was delicious, particularly the Mediterranean kebobs and the meatballs. We had crepes on the last day for lunch at Bistro on Five. The flank steak and the chicken were both very good. The flaw here was the milkshakes. They are delicious, but the server has to run down the hall to the Café al Bacio Geleteria to get the ice cream, so they are often a long wait. We liked the Apple Store onboard and the classes were very popular. We learned a couple of new things. The Canyon Ranch Spa was overpriced of course, but Kusuma from Thailand gave an absolutely superior massage! Because we don’t drink alcohol we were offered to try the only alcohol free “wine” onboard, the red and white “Fre” brand. Now, granted we know little to nothing about wine tasting, but it was awful! Cellar Masters sommelier wouldn’t even talk to us about alcohol free juice, and dismissed us in a snobby manner. May I suggest that Celebrity can do better for its teetotaler guests by offering choices such as Gwurztraminer white and red grape juices bottled by Navarro Vineyards in Northern California. We discovered these at Club 33 at Disneyland and they are light, crisp, and delicious! Probably the Friends of Bill W. would appreciate it too. In summary, we felt that our TA offered us a good deal; the cabin we wanted, and the 1, 2, 3 Go promotion of: gratuities paid, classic beverage package, and $300 Celebrity OBC, in addition to the OBC they offered. We will probably go that route again. The unforgettable and thrilling moments of the cruise were kissing as our ship sailed under the Golden Gate, watching the sun rise at our tender ports, and meeting new friends from the UK. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our 8th cruise overall, 7th with Celebrity, all but one on Millennium class. It had been 4 years since our last cruise. We are a couple who is over 55 and under 60. We work hard and a cruise is a luxury expense for us. As you ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise overall, 7th with Celebrity, all but one on Millennium class. It had been 4 years since our last cruise. We are a couple who is over 55 and under 60. We work hard and a cruise is a luxury expense for us. As you can tell we have very little experience with a different line so a comparison is not possible. We have high expectations when paying for services but that being said we are easy to please and understand when small mistakes happen. We felt the price for this particular cruise was high but it worked into our schedules for work and we liked the idea of getting away for 9 nights. Embarkation at Pier 27 was smooth with no line. We are Elite members so had a special check-in. We looked at the regular check in line and each station was no more than 2-3 deep. We have never seen short lines like this. Because this ship stayed overnight in SF we walked by this area a few times and never saw a long line at any station. Our cruise was part of a 1-2-3 Go promotion that included pre-paid gratuities, classic beverage package, and a $300 onboard credit. Had it not been included on the promotion the beverage package would have been a whopping $55 per person per day! On past cruises our bar bill for the entire cruise for 2 has never exceeded $75. We used the package on this cruise for an after dinner cocktail each evening, bottled water, one glass of wine with dinner one night , and coffee beverages in the Coffee cafe. As we think back on this if we had to purchase these items separately we would most like have only purchased the bottled water, cocktails once or twice and coffee beverages once or twice. This makes the beverage package of no value to us in the future. The pre-paid gratuities are a plus and we used the on board credit for excursions that we would typically have purchased any way. We did enjoy the Coffee cafe. Beverages were excellent and area was clean and generally quiet. Staff was accommodating to our likes regarding drinks. We used this once to twice daily because it was included in our beverage package. There was a nature specialist on board. Not sure I have his name quite right but something like Mikos. His talks were informative, entertaining and easy for the standard person to understand. Do not mistake this as him not being highly knowledgeable. He was extremely intelligent but an excellent teacher and knew how to present complicated topics for general public without it being "dummied down" for those who had some knowledge of the topics. I would not want to miss any talks he would give if on board with him again. We attended the shows each night. The entertainment was enjoyable but not outstanding. On other cruises the Celebrity dancers and singers had a theme that seemed lacking this time. The guest entertainers included a comedian who was ok, a zxylo??? player who was good, a male vocalist who was very enjoyable and a female vocalist who sang 1940 hits that we had never heard before. Entertainment out and about on the ship was ok but not like in the past. Celebrity used to have small instrumental groups and acapella singers that we liked. Not this time. We found it difficult to sit and listen to the singers and usually moved on to a different area to relax. In general we found them a little loud and did not sing music to our liking. We love a balcony cabin and chose one on this cruise. We are questioning this choice and plan to try an inside room or ocean view on the next cruise. We spent most of our time out and about the ship and did not use the balcony for more than an hour or two the entire trip. Towels were thick and not worn, bath amenities included lotion, shower gel, shampoo, cotton balls and swabs, emery board, face soap, body soap, and shower cap. The room in general was up to date and not worn. Everything was in working order. Our cabin steward (Clyde) was awesome. Most of the time we did not see him but his work was evident in our room. When we did need something he seemed to magically appear. He always greeted us by name and with a huge smile! The size of the room was fine and exactly what we expected. The chairs on the balcony were different than we remembered and more comfortable. We have high expectations in the dining room due to past good experiences. Our waiter was efficient and accurate with our orders. He asked our entire table on more than one occasion if there was anything we wanted and if his service was what we expected. The food was good and we enjoyed what we ordered. There was one night when the menu featured Chef at sea that had no appeal to us when reading the items. Once the waiter explained the entrees we decided to follow what others ordered at the table and ordered the flank steak. This was an excellent choice. What I am trying to say here is make sure ask your waiter questions about the menu. We would have passed up a wonderful meal and had something from the menu that is featured everyday. Deserts were good, generally not over sweet and just the right size portions. When talking about portion size, I have read many comments about portions on Celebrity being small. We find the portion size to be consistent with european portions and to be just right. If you want more it is easy to order a double portion. We dined once in Qsine and found it to be enjoyable to do once. It was a whimsical experience but now that we have experienced it, will not do again unless we are trying to spend onboard credit. We also tried Bistro on 5 twice. There is $10 per person surcharge. Our evening table mates had been raving about this for lunch so we were excited to try it. The first time was at the compliments of the Captain and the Captain's club hostess for my husband's birthday. We received a gift card in our room and found this to be a nice touch. We ordered the Beef Stroganoff. The meal was ok. The waiter was not very helpful or attentive. We ordered and it was served. When it came time for dessert we had to ask if there were toppings. We knew about the toppings from our table mates. We left a bit underwhelmed. We tried it a second time at the urging of our tablemates and to use up onboard credit. The second time we ordered a hamburger and a Mediterranean crepe. We waited over an hour for our food. To his credit, the waiter kept checking in with us assuring our order would be coming soon. We were polite and understanding and did not complain at all. Soon the manager came over and told us our order had been lost and he would be comping our meal and offered us wine or drinks as well. After an additional 15 minutes our order came and we enjoyed it but did not find it worth the $10 surcharge if we had been paying for it. In general the Bistro did not seem to be able to handle a full area even with many waiters around. Must have been a problem in the kitchen. We booked 2 excursions through Celebrity. The first was a Muir Woods tour. The tour guide was 1/2 late due to traffic that she did not expect. We are from Colorado and knew that Bart was doing maintenance before we left on our cruise. We find it a bit hard to understand that a tour guide from San Francisco would be so uninformed as to not be able to anticipate and plan for this and arrive on time. The tour was ok and accomplished our goal of seeing the redwoods. The second tour was a dolphin seeing tour at Catalina Island. Unfortunately we did not see any dolphins but truly enjoyed being on the water in a small boat with 6 other people that felt safe and fun. We attended a few of the "cheesy" activities offered by the activities team. We found them humorous to watch. We also attended the 3 classes offered by the watercolor artist. I was impressed with the quality of the beginning kit supplied to use for the classes. This was enjoyable on the sea days to attend. In general we found the ship in good condition for the age of the ship. Disembarkation went well until we got to the pier. We liked being able to be in the Trellis restaurant while waiting for our color to be called and enjoyed this Elite Captains Club perk. When at the dock to pick up our suitcases there seemed to be quite a bit of confusion. We were getting different directions from several different workers. Each one did not seem to know what the other was directing us to do. Confusing but not unmanageable for us, but what about those who are older or less experienced with disembarking? Overall we loved our cruise and will most likely sail with Celebrity again. The perks offered with our Elite Captains Club status are a part of future cruising decisions. I believe this is true of most who seem loyal to the brand. If perks are good you will continue to have us as customers. If they are not or are reduced, we will try other brands. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Firstly, this is only my 2nd cruise in over 10 years, so its hard for me to rate this, as have little to compare it with. We went through a recommended travel agent as I wasn't sure what needed to be done. Well, our agent did very ... Read More
Firstly, this is only my 2nd cruise in over 10 years, so its hard for me to rate this, as have little to compare it with. We went through a recommended travel agent as I wasn't sure what needed to be done. Well, our agent did very little. I bought travel books and went on numerous sites (including this one) to see what I might expect. Embarkation and Disembarkation had me very concerned as I didn't know what to expect. I guess they went ok, although time consuming. I wish Celebrity had more information to provide people like me who are not familiar with cruises. I learned more from my table mates who were all seasoned cruisers. I thought the food in the main dining room was excellent, tried things I would never order in a restaurant. Our waiter and his assistants were wonderful.....Im now spoiled and insist that my husband now put my napkin on my lap for me. The buffet was OK...like a vegas buffet but so confusing, having to circle around to see what was out there, hoping no one takes my chair (literally my chair) while I was looking around. Our stateroom was nice and had the storage I needed although I was starting to get cabin fever after awhile. I thought all the musical entertainment was good, many good bands and vocalist, wish I had time to sit and listen to them all. The towns were all a bit more touristy than I would have liked, and sick of all the jewelry shops. We tried to go in only those saying they were individually owned. I would have to say the worse experience was listening to Mickey Live insisting that we had to be up before 5am to see the Tracy Arm pass, the glacier etc. If anyone listened to his briefing the previous night you would think you would be really missing out if you weren't there. He said he would be up there on the deck narrating, hot coffee passed around and warm blankets handed out. He talked about the ice bergs and the calving and all these other amazing things. We told our table mates (the seasoned ones) about it and they saw no reason to be up that early. Also Esperanza commented after his briefing that we would see the same things if we got up at 9am. She was absolutely right. We stupidly went up there, bundled up but still freezing and saw nothing we could not have seen right out our own veranda hours later. Actually our neighbors saw more on their veranda than we did. A big disappointment!!! No coffee....had to go down to constellation to get tiny cups, no blankets and no mickey narrating. My husband caught cold which put a damper on the rest of the trip. (oh and thank you celebrity for charging over $35 for a bottle of Nyquil and Dayquil.) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My expectations based on previous reviews were to find a tired, old ship with disgruntled waitstaff. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ship looked fresh and clean. Waitstaff was friendly and fairly attentive. We had a ... Read More
My expectations based on previous reviews were to find a tired, old ship with disgruntled waitstaff. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ship looked fresh and clean. Waitstaff was friendly and fairly attentive. We had a suite so we also had the good fortune to dine in Luminae instead of the main dining room. What a perk! It's about time suite guests were given a very tangible and valuable amenity. Service and food was top notch. Food in the buffet was fine. I have never been disappointed by Celebrity's food. Our butler and stateroom attendants were awesome. Entertainment was fair to very good in the showroom depending on the night. Entertainment all over the ship was very good. I wish the bands were scheduled earlier for us early to bed, early to rise types. Disembarking at Vancouver was easy. No immigration or customs until we got to the airport. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Positives Overall we enjoyed the journey. The ship, cleanliness and service were excellent. Staff all friendly and engaging. Ports of call were great and we enjoyed all the stops. Entertainment was varied and of high ... Read More
Positives Overall we enjoyed the journey. The ship, cleanliness and service were excellent. Staff all friendly and engaging. Ports of call were great and we enjoyed all the stops. Entertainment was varied and of high standard. Food - lots of choices although the buffet could look at changing options more often as we found it was often the same. We had the anytime dining option and enjoyed this as we always had the option of the day of choosing when to eat and if we wanted to dine alone if we chose to. We had the classic drinks package and although we are not big drinkers we thought this worked well and used it for bottled water, fresh orange juices, specialty coffees and the odd cocktail and wine for dinner. Negatives The embarkation at San Francisco was poorly organised. No system at all with hundreds of people lined up to personally give over their bags to one porter and one trolley. No sail away parties or sailing in commentaries to ports. It would be nice to know before leaving the ship what the current weather was. Constellation lounge closed early most days for elite guests and not available to others. This infuriated guests who were there and told to leave. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We sailed on the 12 night cruise from San Francisco disembarking at Vancouver. Embarkation in SF was chaotic - there just weren't enough baggage handlers and long queues developed of people trying to hand over luggage. None of the ... Read More
We sailed on the 12 night cruise from San Francisco disembarking at Vancouver. Embarkation in SF was chaotic - there just weren't enough baggage handlers and long queues developed of people trying to hand over luggage. None of the staff on the ground seemed to know what was happening. Once we got through this boarding was smooth. The cabin was available almost immediately and we had luggage back by 2 pm. Our cabin was midship deck 7 and was clean and comfortable. The ship is older and in some areas this is apparent but never a problem. Cabin staff were inobtrusive but efficient. We had Select dining and could not always reserve a table for the time we wanted - this turned out not to be an issue as there was always a free table if we just turned up but just not available to reserve. Odd but no problem. Food in dining room was fine and usual celebrity fare. Waiters all great. We had a classic drink package and choices seem less. There is also a definite effort to upsell to Premium. We were asked twice if we would like to upgrade in the first 24 hours. I like to drink Sauvignon Blanc but was told not available in the dining room or on classic package. We found out it was included in Cellar Masters but sommeliers at first said we could not have it brought into the dining room so we took it ourselves. We then met the wonderful King Richard a sommelier who sorted it all and I had my favourite drink for the rest of the cruise. We thought food in Ocean View was Ok but choices seemed more limited. The weather was stunning and ports amazing. We enjoyed the talks by Milos the naturalist who was very informed and also very entertaining. We saw Eagles, Whales, Sea Lions and Porpoises from the ship. We booked excursions privately except for Ketchikan where we took a ships trip to the Saxman village which we enjoyed. Entertainment - Jermaine and Von work very hard and we particularly enjoyed the quizzes. Production shows were better than usual - less competition between the singers and orchestra for volume. Most of visiting performers were good. Read Less
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: April 2006
This was our family (a couple and a toddler)'s second cruise with Celebrity. The first one was on the SUMMIT to Alaska. We have not been on other cruise lines, so could only compare this trip to Mexico on the Infinity to Summit. ... Read More
This was our family (a couple and a toddler)'s second cruise with Celebrity. The first one was on the SUMMIT to Alaska. We have not been on other cruise lines, so could only compare this trip to Mexico on the Infinity to Summit. Overall,we enjoyed the trip. It was very relaxing and our toddler loved the Fun Factory. However, in comparison to the Summit on the categories of Food, Entertainment, and Service, SUMMIT was better. But that was 2 years ago. Embarkation: Delayed due to immigration checks and cleaning up of novovirus. 2 points: I called ahead and asked if we could drop off our bags earlier than 2pm so that we could walk around the pier before the ship leaves at 5pm. I was told no, so we arrived exactly at 2pm and stood in line to get a porter to take our bags and then stood in line for over 1.25 hours to get on the ship. Unfortunately, the delay was not communicated to us even while we were in line. Later, I found out that some people arrived before 2pm and had their bags checked in. And, people who got there at 4pm had no wait at all. Room: Had a concierge class balcony. Loved the balcony view and the light. We ate and read out there. Saw dolphins a couple of times from our balcony. It is MUCH better than the Oceanview room with the circle window. Worth the extra money. The bed was HORRIBLE. I had a hard time sleeping. The Mattress pads we got later made it slightly better, but not much. The pillow selection, canapes,fruits, and shower head were very nice touches. Flowers were nothing special, but the rose in the bathroom was pretty. Walls are Terribly thin. We could hear our neighbors' TV on all night. I'm sure they heard our kid fighting us when we try to make her sleep. No one complained so live and let live. Dining: Pluses: Fried eggs, afternoon tea sandwiches, sorbet ice cream, a la minute steak (like carne asada), escargots, scallops Minus: lines for eggs can be quite long, by the time you get the eggs, your toasted bagel is cold. OVERCOOKED Fish, Lobster, and NY Steak. For the steak, I thought Medium means all pink in the inside, but I kept getting them all done with just a sliver of pink in the very center!! I asked our waitress if they could try again, but she said it'll take another 15 minutes... I wonder if Celebrity is making the wait staff work much longer hours, because they all looked tired and I do see the same ones working from breakfast through 2 shifts of dinner. I feel tired for them. Activities: Could use more enrichment classes. There was really only one which was a lecturer on Mexico's economy and Globalization. All of the other classes were trying to sell you something: cosmetics (makeover), flowers, shopping,etc. Movies were pretty old ones, I've seen them already. Children's Club: Our toddler loved the Fun Factory! they're open the whole day till 10pm or even later for older kids. The kids enjoyed playing with each other. They have a lineup of arts/crafts/games/Learning Leap pad/movies/music... Several of the parents wished the adults program were as fun. Service: Good. Only one person went out of the way to be great and that was Reyes Ostich(?) waiting on the buffet area (10th floor), look for his tag on the tables. He always promptly serves coffee and asks if we want juice. At some of the other tables, you wait a good while. Entertainment: Wish they had more comedians. The aerial acrobat was great too. Some singers were great! some mediocre. Shore excursion: easy to book on the TV, had no problem signing up while on the ship, but I was told that was risky because the popular excursions would be sold out. Well organized and the tour guides were friendly. You see 'TIPS' signs everywhere though, kind of irritating. Disembark: Long lines for immigration but moved quickly. Wish they would have more cruises leaving from San Francisco! 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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