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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
DH and I booked this trip over 1 1/2 years earlier and were very much looking to check the Panama Canal off of our bucket list of places to visit. We were not disappointed at all. This truly was a trip of a lifetime. The ship was ... Read More
DH and I booked this trip over 1 1/2 years earlier and were very much looking to check the Panama Canal off of our bucket list of places to visit. We were not disappointed at all. This truly was a trip of a lifetime. The ship was leaving out of San Francisco and we would end in Ft. Lauderdale. This was our longest cruise ever at 17 days, and I was a little worried it would be too long. Not so - the days went by very pleasantly, but as always too quickly. We left New Jersey 2 days early and stayed 2 nights at the Harbor Court Hotel in San Francisco. I had booked this hotel because it "was" a Kimpton Hotel - not so any longer, and although the staff was very nice and helpful, the room we requested with a view was not what we expected. The window with the supposed view was a small little window about 6 feet up the outside wall - never saw any view, much less anything at all except sky. Enough about the hotel. While we were in San Francisco we did a lot of walking and looked at our ship the Infinity which was being used as a floating hotel during the DreamForce Convention. Two days later we were able to board - a little bit of a delay as they were still trying to get the hotel guests off of the ship. Check-in was quick and after the little wait we were on board quickly with a glass of Champagne in hand. Overall the ship looked like it was in good shape - we had no complaints. Our cabin attendants were wonderful, as were the staff in Blu, including the wonderful Sommelier, Aleksandra (sorry if I spelled that wrong). They were all extremely attentive, always smiling (a smile makes such a difference in atmosphere), and always asking what they could do for us. The food overall in Blu was excellent. We did go to Quisine one night - fortunately we had a discount otherwise it really would have felt like money was waster. The food was flat, very little flavor (especially the indian and asian inspired dishes - very little spice). We found for lunch the buffet met our needs as well as most breakfasts. When we had sea days we did opt for breakfast in Blu, which was wonderful and relaxed. The shows we saw were entertaining and we enjoyed them. We did not go to every show as most evenings we were tired. DH was up every morning at around 5:30 am to see the sun rise and of course he seemed to enjoy it better if I was awake with him. We took two shore excursions from the ship - one in Panama (to see the old and new locks - it was a short tour, but provided just the right amount of time at each set of locks - overall was good) and one in Puerto Vallarta (not very good - dropped us off mostly to shop, but the tequila factory was fun). I did attend a couple of the talks presented on the Canal - they were okay, but too long for me (almost fell asleep) and since I had read twice McCullough's book on the canal I was very familiar with the history of the canal. My only disappointment was with the Spa (a pedicure that went wrong, but was quickly corrected by guest relations) and the Gym - where I spent money on a 1 hour personal training session. Having explained that I don't go to a Gym at home, nor do I have Gym equipment at home and was looking for strength training exercises I could do at home - the trainer had me on multiple machines for the whole hour and then handed me printouts of some strength training I could do at home. Never even went over the handout with me. That was a waste of money. Again, we had a great time and the little hiccup with the Spa and Gym was replaced by all of the wonderful staff that we encountered on the ship. We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I arrived in San Francisco on the Wednesday prior to the cruise, toured the city, rode the street cars, walked the many hills. I had arranged for a tour to pick me up at my hotel (Petite Auberge) on Thursday Morning, visited Muir Woods, ... Read More
I arrived in San Francisco on the Wednesday prior to the cruise, toured the city, rode the street cars, walked the many hills. I had arranged for a tour to pick me up at my hotel (Petite Auberge) on Thursday Morning, visited Muir Woods, Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Golden Gate Bridge, the landscape and wine fabulous. I took a cab to the ship, next time I will bring a smaller suitcase, embarkation was easy, and my room was ready soon after I had lunch. I took the tour from Monterey to see Pebble Beach & Carmel By the Sea, no regrets! In Guatemala I took the guided tour of Antigua, the guide was great, wished I had bought more tapestries and shawls...beautiful colors. (they get a little pushy trying to sell there wares). The Jade museum was fabulous. In Costa Rica I enjoyed the the trek through the jungle...hot beautiful, not for people with walking issues. The highlight of the journey was going through the canal, such a historical event for me. In Colon I took the tour of the Embera Indian Village, the people were beautiful and welcoming. I wished I had put my rain poncho on heading back from the village in the dugout canoe...hit some rain, and did not want to "rock the boat" trying to put it on. Take cash as the crafts are expensive but so worth buying. In Cartengena I took a boat/walking tour...wished I would have done something else as I wanted to buy an emerald and we had no time to shop. There was not one thing to complain about on the ship, the food,service,staff and most of the passengers were great. I did run in to a few people who had been on many cruises and they were rude, picky maybe they just weren't ready for a well deserved holiday. I found myself tired of eating the big meals in the formal dining room, but it was a great way to meet people. We did go to the buffet on a few nights to break up the 17 days. Most of the entertainment was good, no cheezy acts, and the cruise director Patti Honacki was so much fun. I would recommend this cruise, it is hot and humid that time of the year, bring lots of sunscreen, and light clothes. Disembarked in Fort Lauderdale, without any issues, I had booked the shuttle to the airport through Celebrity so encountered no hassles. This was the 2nd cruise that I have been on and because I was by myself on this one I saw so much more than with a travel companion; as I did whatever I wanted without worrying about anyone else. The sunrises and sunsets were spectacular. I came home rested, rejuvenated and ready for work to plan for my next adventure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We are a couple in our 50s and this was our 17th cruise (3rd on Celebrity). We love cruising and have learned to always enjoy the great parts of cruising while not letting a couple not-so-great experiences ruin a long awaited outstanding ... Read More
We are a couple in our 50s and this was our 17th cruise (3rd on Celebrity). We love cruising and have learned to always enjoy the great parts of cruising while not letting a couple not-so-great experiences ruin a long awaited outstanding experience. We arrived a couple days early to San Francisco not ever having been there before. Anyone who has a chance to take a cruise out of this incredible city should do so. I understand not many cruises or cruise lines use San Francisco, but it is a great place to visit and sail from. The sailaway under the Golden Gate Bridge is spectacular. We stayed at the Chelsea Motor Inn, which turned out to be an excellent hotel, "moderately" priced, and near enough to Fisherman's Wharf. There was a Dreamforce convention in town with 150,000 attendees, so anyone who didn't book a hotel a year in advance like we did ended up either staying by the airport or paying extremely high prices. Infinity herself was docked for 4 days and used as a floating hotel for the convention. The ship was in good shape other than some worn carpet and a little rust here and there. Hopefully stuff they will take care of at her drydock this month. Activities ranged from trivia competitions to some excellent educational lectures on marine biology and port lectures. There were especially good lectures and films on the Panama Canal. One of my few criticisms of Celebrity is their lack of a movie venue. They did show movies in the Celebrity Theater, but they were always on port days when we were off the ship. I understand that a rooftop terrace with a movie screen will be installed on deck 11 at the drydock, which should greatly increase entertainment options. Shore excursions were a mixed bag for us. Our best excursions were organized through Cruise Critic in Costa Rica and Colombia. A couple of the ship excursions were took (Puerto Vallarta and Colon) were overpriced and disappointing. They didn't take away from the awesomeness of this cruise, however. Cabin was Aqua A1 cabin 1109 on deck 11. Our cabin steward Ambrose and his assistant Hasim were excellent. They kept everything clean and made us feel very welcome. Cabin location was excellent and very quiet. It was convenient to walk downstairs to the Oceanview cafe and just a close elevator ride down to Blu. The balcony has a slight overhang but for the most part is exposed. We chose this portside cabin so that we would be in the shade in the afternoon while traveling south in the hot Mexican/Central American sun. It worked out well so the temperature was pretty much always cool. Coming north from Colombia, where we were in the afternoon sun, the cabin was a little harder to keep cool. I don't know how quiet this area will be once the rooftop terrace is built. Food ranged from excellent to blah. We ate in Blu normally and most of those meals were very good. There were a few exceptions where maybe a baked potato was cold or soup not to our taste. Breakfasts in Blu were always fabulous. I was really pleased with the Oceanview Cafe (buffet). There was always a lot of variety, with something to please most folks for every meal. I have to mention that the pizza was excellent and made up part or all of many lunches. There were different dessert theme days that made lunch desserts interesting, except that most of the desserts were rather bland. The ice cream line was the best. We ate in all three specialty restaurants. On our first night, we ate in Qsine at 1/2 price. It was excellent and very different than what we had done on a ship before. Tableside prepared lobster in the SS United States was excellent as well. It's a shame this elegant restaurant is being replaced with Tuscan Grill during drydock. Bistro on 5 was very good as well. Overall I thought the food choices, preparation, presentation, and taste were all very good. It's tough not to get bored on a 17 day cruise and we did find ourselves gravitating to more simple food at times (burgers from the Mast grill were great on sea days). The only real disappointment was the change in policy on pastries from Cafe Al Bacio. They now require you to buy something from the Cafe to receive a complimentary pastry. Since we had the drink package, this didn't end up costing us anything. Had we not had that, it would have been much more impactful. Entertainment ranged from fabulous to meh. Production shows were a little disappointing. The singers and dancers were very talented but I think the productions themselves were just so-so. On the other hand, the individual entertainers were just great. From a comedian who made me cry I laughed so hard, to multiple singers and instrumentalists that were amazing, well done Celebrity. Cruise director Patty Honacki was a hoot and a very talented singer in her own right. Disembarkation was ok, I guess. We docked in the same terminal that Allure/Oasis use and were the only ship in port. It took about an hour from the time we got off the ship until we were waiting for our ride. Being as this was a long cruise with lots of foreign nationals that went to a lot of ports, getting through Customs took some time since there was not a separate line for non-US citizens. Seeing as how we waited until the latest we could to disembark, we expected a longer wait than if we had been first off the ship. In summary, this was a bucket list item for us that Celebrity made worth the wait. As I think back though the few minor disappointments (a couple shore excursions), they melt away compared to the great time we had pretty much all the time. And finally, what impressed me the most about cruising on this ship was the overall friendliness of the crew. From Lorredana in Blu to the ship's officers to the guy cleaning the stair rails, everyone said hello with a smile and to a person they were as nice as could be. My hats off to them, especially dealing with such a diverse group of cruisers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
The job done to update the Infinity was fantastic. May wife and I were very impressed. Having been on close to 20 cruises, this was a wonderful trip. Everything was excellent. We enjoyed every specialty eating venue. Each meal ... Read More
The job done to update the Infinity was fantastic. May wife and I were very impressed. Having been on close to 20 cruises, this was a wonderful trip. Everything was excellent. We enjoyed every specialty eating venue. Each meal was delightful. Q Sine .... Bistro on 5 (what a bargain) ... SS United States (super) The crew (some obviously new on the job) were top notch. There were three "tendered" ports. There were always two (or more) crew members there to help. This was an older group since we sailed after school was back in session. Polite, helpful and respectful describe this outstanding staff. I would highly recommend the Celebrity Infinity. We have already booked our next cruise on her sister ship the Summit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We are definitely back in the Celebrity family. Although the Infinity is showing signs of age in that the pools are still salt water and need refurbishing, it was a delightful journey. The food was very good with a wide choice. The ... Read More
We are definitely back in the Celebrity family. Although the Infinity is showing signs of age in that the pools are still salt water and need refurbishing, it was a delightful journey. The food was very good with a wide choice. The cleanliness was outstanding and I can see why they have garnered 100% in their ratings. The entertainment was beyond all expectations. Ukrainian and Romanian aerialists, Tibi and Vika have to be seen to be believed. The shows and special talents brought onboard were excellent and varied. Our first experience with a female cruise director, Patti, was enormously successful and we would join her crew again anytime. Having been "Elite" with Princess over the years, we will be leaving that line. Where on Princess we could get appetizers in our stateroom on sea days only, Celebrity, with their Concierge Class program, delivers every single day of your journey. Each day gave us a different and varied array of beautiful appetizers. No checklist of the same tired choices. All the staff on Celebrity seemed real and very happy to be there which has disappeared on the other line. Impressively, when a San Diego tour turned out to not be what was promised due to the tour company, Celebrity quickly gave all a full refund and apology. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Just returned from sailing on the Celebrity Infinity Pacific coastal with port stops in Monterey, Ensenada, San Diego, Catalina Island and Santa Barbara. Wonderful port stops, and even though we had to tender the majority of the timing, ... Read More
Just returned from sailing on the Celebrity Infinity Pacific coastal with port stops in Monterey, Ensenada, San Diego, Catalina Island and Santa Barbara. Wonderful port stops, and even though we had to tender the majority of the timing, the tenders were quick and always available, no lines. :) We were surprised there was not a whale watching excursion in Monterey, but right off the port we booked our own excursion on Chris' Whale Watching and were not disappointed. Saw over 40 whales up close and personal. fantastic! If you have a port stop in Santa Barbara highly recommend renting a car and driving to Reagan Library and Air Force One in Simi Valley. Takes a little over an hour to drive there but well worth the drive. We took a watercolor painting class which was great fun! highly recommend I had never painted in my life and I would say the majority of the class were newbies, and we all were impressed with the final results. The entertainment was outstanding. Don't miss the shows! Liked every show we saw - Dean Gaines, comedian, David Meyer was OUTSTANDING. What energy! Lou ___ from season 2 of American Idol was the best singer I have ever heard on a ship. Really enjoyed the aerialists from Romania and Croatia (a husband and wife to-be team). There is a 3:30 pm snack time. This is really afternoon tea with scones and teas and sandwiches and desserts. Liked this a lot as you don't have to sit in a main dining room, you can just get your scones and tea and enjoy at your leisure. Also loved that they have free ice cream 4 flavors and sorbets, 3 or 4 flavors on Deck 10, Oceanview Cafe. Plenty of choices. We had great dinners in the main dining room and a wonderful group of servers. DO NOT MISS going to the large outside pool on Deck 10 near the Canyon spa. This was another highlight of the ship. There is not a charge to use this pool and it is fantastic! Not to be missed. The water is warm and wonderful and water is salty. My husband likes a cool pool but I loved this pool!!! Cruise director Patti was great and was also a fantastic singer, Overall rating -- 9+ I would have rated this cruise a perfect 10 had the TV in our room been better and movies been available on the ship. If you are thinking about seeing California coast, be sure to book this cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We boarded the Infinity for the first time out of San Francisco. The weather was lovely the entire cruise but unseasonably hot in Santa Barbara and San Diego. We have sailed only one other Millinium ship, the Summit and I would say the ... Read More
We boarded the Infinity for the first time out of San Francisco. The weather was lovely the entire cruise but unseasonably hot in Santa Barbara and San Diego. We have sailed only one other Millinium ship, the Summit and I would say the Summit appearance was better last December. The service was excellent on both. We gave up on the entertainment early but we did enjoy the ship Naturalist Milos. He gave a lively presentation and it was well attended. The ship was clean although ready for the upcoming dry dock in a few areas. It felt more tired than actually appearing this way, maybe it was just weary from rainy months in Alaska. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze for us in San Francisco, as good as any ever and we have cruised 12 times to date. We dined in Luminae and enjoyed it. The food was excellent and the menu was a source of entertainment itself. For example we were never quite sure what to expect. One day I ordered the Arugula expecting a salad but it was a pizza with Arugula on it. Another day I ordered the Cobb salad expecting a salad but it was a quarter portion of lettuce with two bacon strips on it and sprinkled with blue cheese with a full filet Mignon next to it. There are various plates presented. A hard boiled egg is served with a sample egg cut in half to show you how it is cooked, an unpeeled hard boiled egg, half a tomato and mushrooms and asparagus. It is a beautiful presentation but perhaps you could end up with more plates than the table can handle. If I would suggest one change, besides a menu edit, it would be more vegetables. We enjoyed Luminae quite a bit and look forward to returning to it in a couple of months. We also ate in Qzine and it was good and the service excellent. What did get our attention was the SS United States. The meal and the service were flawless. We are very impressed. We took three tours on this trip. A private whale watch in Monterey which we lucked out getting into as someone no showed. We saw about fifty whales and a few hundred dolphins. It was wonderful. We took it with Chris's Sport Fishing. Next we went on San Diego whale watch which was also excellent we saw hundreds of dolphins and assisted looking for hammerhead sharks afterwards as many boats are participating in studying the new influx of these sharks to the area. Our third trip cost twice as much and it unfortunately was a ships tour in Catalina for a dolphin excursion. While the other boats told us what they had been seeing all week before we bought it turned out our excursion had not seen a dolphin in a week and while the staff was nice and the boat was good a two hour tour watching sea lions on the coast and looking for hammerhead sharks was simply not worth the fee. In the future I will book these with folks who are publicly showing what they are seeing. In all fairness no boat guarantees sightings but I would say the odds are up if they have been spotted recently. Celebrity offers shore excursions and very high end excursions. It sure would be nice if they would invest in something in between and make sure what they send people on are up the standards they could get privately. I did call and suggest they publicize for the guests recent sightings and to not book a boat looking for sharks. This was a pricer cruise than normal for us but i would say it was wonderful and we both really needed a break. The waters were calm and think San Francisco is a beautiful place to catch a ship. The bridges, they bay, the islands are amazing compared to the larger industrial ports. I hope in the future Celebrity does more from this port. There was a lot more tendering than normal. A few times the tenders seemed rather crowded with all of the heat. The solution is to go to the upper deck where you can get breeze. I would certainly do this cruise again and am glad we were on the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Background Information: We are a retired couple from the San Francisco bay area -- mid-fifties & early sixties -- that cruise extensively on most major lines. This was our 46th cruise overall, our 14th on Celebrity and our 3rd ... Read More
Background Information: We are a retired couple from the San Francisco bay area -- mid-fifties & early sixties -- that cruise extensively on most major lines. This was our 46th cruise overall, our 14th on Celebrity and our 3rd time on the Infinity. Our first time on the Infinity was not to be outdone until our second time on this ship, which we also felt could not be matched and then....this cruise, which exceeded all expectations and was our favorite of all times. Boarding Process: We were given a ride directly to the pier by our neighbor, which was a treat as we planned on taking the BART train and walking to the pier (about 1 mile from the Embarcadero station). We packed in carry on luggage only to make that transfer to the ship a bit easier. We arrived at Pier 27 around 11:15 and went through security and then off to check in. We were booked in a concierge cabin and are elite on Celebrity so pretty much walked right up to the check in, although the lines were short everywhere. The check in clerk was having a lot of trouble getting it to accept our passport numbers with our credit card. I finally motioned a supervisor to come over to help as it was taking a long time and still without any success. The supervisor got it done pronto and we were guided right over to the line for boarding. Along the deck on which we boarded, there were tables set up for booking any dining or beverage packages for the cruise. We took care of our dining needs and were on our way to be greeted with our glass of champagne. Our staterooms were not yet ready so we took a seat up by the martini bar to relax and enjoy our champagne. Since we still had our carry on luggage, I went down to guest relations and was able to change my stateroom to a wonderful aft cabin which had been placed on hold the previous evening. What a fabulous way to begin our most wonderful trip. I kept this little surprise from my spouse until we received notification that our staterooms were ready. In the meanwhile, we went up to deck 10 and found a nice day bed to enjoy the sunshine and fabulous O and O duo. We also ordered a bucket of ice cold beer from Darron from the mast grill. Since I couldn't spring out our new stateroom key card in front of my spouse, I went up to order the beers and Darron promised to keep my secret and deliver them to us. So nice of him to help me with my surprise. Stateroom Information: We heard the announcement for our stateroom and made it down to deck 8. For once, my spouse surprisingly knew our stateroom number so had to do a little maneuvering to get him to the starboard side. When I pulled out the new keys, he knew immediately that I made a major score! The cabin door, which has a doorbell, opens into a long hallway, the end of which has another unlocked door into the stateroom. The stateroom had 3 full closets, one of which housed a small safe, a couple of shelves and 6 drawers. I needed no extra hangers for the first time ever. Across from the closets was the bathroom -- which I believe is standard for that ship. The shower may have been a bit larger but everything else seemed to be what we found on other cabins on this ship. The bathroom was surface clean but could have used some retiling or re-grouting at the least. There were hooks on the bathroom door for the provided bathrobes. There did not seem to be any wall hooks available in this room other than those in the bathroom. The showerhead was a hose fastened to a long pole and water pressure was decent but there were constant temperature fluctuations throughout each and every shower we took. It really wasn't too bothersome, though and I am sure all staterooms were effected much the same. From the wall with the closets, there was a long desk extending the length of the bedroom area, with a small flat screen tv and a small refrigerator / mini bar, which our room steward emptied for us to store beverages. Along this long desk were many areas of shelving and an inlet for a desk chair. The mirror also extended the length of the long desk but there was no full length mirror in the room. This was a non-issue. The bed was extremely comfortable with nice linens and 4 pillows. I requested a feather pillow and our room steward found one for me along with an extra blanket. Each side of the bed has a 2 drawer dresser as well as a table lamp. On the far side of the bed was a frosted windowed wall / door that led into the living area (extra sleeping area) which contained two full sized pull out sofas and a coffee table. There were also 6 more drawers, table lamp and tv in this area, which could be cordoned off from the bedroom area by the middle sliding door. Opposite this side of the room was the sliding door out onto the huge balcony which housed a dining table with 4 chairs and a smaller table with two cushioned loungers. Most of the balcony was half covered and enclosed with steel walls but the outside section had some railing which left nice ocean breezes onto the balcony. We lived out on our balcony -- only going to the indoor pool area once during the cruise. We had many of our meals out there and got some amazing sunset pictures. This was by far the best stateroom we've ever had in our 46 cruises. It made our cruise very special indeed. Our room stewards did a pretty good job with a couple of misses but all in all, most of our major needs were met. We aren't super demanding after our boarding requests (extra pillows and blanket, extra box of tissue, emptying of the mini bar, wine glasses) but did have dirty dishes in our room almost daily and we rearranged the balcony furniture a lot to dodge the direct sun. Ship information: I had seen many comments about the state of disrepair on this ship and I just didn't see it except in the indoor pool. They should note that resurfacing here would spruce things up immensely. The Constellation Lounge, MDR, the Theater and Q-Sine were all in great shape as was the Rendezvous Lounge. SS United states was lovely although you can see a bit of disrepair of the shutters which, in theory, add quite a sophisticated look to the room. For us, this was also a non-issue. The carpeting in some areas does need to be replaced (especially on the stairs) but overall, the Infinity is in good shape for her age. We did not see any stained or ripped upholstery on the furniture. All elevators seemed to be in working condition. Activities and Entertainment: The cruise director, Patti Honoki, is incredible at arranging everything and brings a spark to everything onboard. We've sailed with her before and are amazed at her energy level. She is a great talent and set up everything without flaw on this cruise. We enjoyed the bands onboard (O and O were fantastic) as well as the dancers. They all seemed to go out of their way to be friendly and chat with the staff whether they were performing or out to get a bite to eat. The Reigning show was so much fun as well. The production staff made sure everyone that wanted to be involved were welcomed. Milos was also incredible. Although we didn't make it to any of his presentations, we could watch them on tv after the fact and always enjoyed them. We spent much of our sailing time in the casino. Dimi, the casino host, as well as Gianna and Christina, who worked in the cashier cage, were all just outstanding. Always a smile and a friendly greeting for us! They made losing money not quite such a bad thing. The machines in the casinos were paying off for some and a very little bit for us on the last day. Many machines did have buttons that stick, though, so those need a bit of work. I loved the raffles and tournaments they organized in the casino, even though we didn't win. I must also note that I truly appreciate the mlife relationship with Celebrity as we did receive some freebies through that. We didn't see all of the entertainers as we always seemed to be enjoying the elite captains lounge or dinner during the shows. We did see the comedian, who was just ok and the newlywed game, which was fall down on the floor funny. I do miss the hypnotists onboard as of late. Not sure why these no longer seem to be arranged. The captain's club events are outstanding. A huge shout out to the entire guest relations staff, with the Captain's Circle Host, Alexandra, being the best we've ever met with that position. She was incredible in making each and everyone feel quite special. She sure enriched our cruise experience many times over. We were invited to sail away at the helipad -- which was a most memorable experience. We also were invited to dine at the Captain's table (first time ever) and when we explained that we hadn't packed formal attire due to our transportation issues, Alexandra sent a perfectly fitting jacket to our stateroom so we could attend. Unbelievable and that topped it off to make it a number one cruise. Dinner with Captain Theo and Environmental Officer Maria was just beyond incredible. Our table mates were so nice -- they could tell we were newbies to this experience. Staff and Crew: A very special thanks to Rodrigo, Elena and Marija from the guest relations staff was earned. What an incredibly wonderful and cohesive group to ensure we had the most impressive cruise experience. Besides the casino staff, the guest relations staff, the cruise director and the Captain's Club Hostess as mentioned above, others that made our cruise extra special were: Andrew and Trevor from the oceanview café Imade, Aneka and Wilfredo in the elite lounge Tari and Marta in the morning coffee house Mario, Marko, Milan, Milos, Oleg and Savo in the SS United States and QSine Marija at the main dining room I know there are others whose names escape me -- but feel like everyone worked so well together to make everything extra special for their passengers. Dining: We dined in the MDR 5 times, including the one captain's table dinner and 2 breakfasts. All dinners there were great with fabulous service, with extra special food, wine and service at the captains table. One breakfast was also great in both service and food while the 2nd one was on disembarkation day. That meal was a fail but to be expected as it was chaotic at best and certainly not representative of the entire cruise prior to that. We ate one meal at Q-Sine and the service was phenomenal as were a couple of the dishes we ordered. The Chinese food was way too salty but the lava crab was a huge winner. We had two dinners at the SS United States and both had a superior menu and outstanding service. We also enjoyed the buffet at the coffee house in the morning and never got a meal didn't just love at the oceanview cafe, mast grill or aqua spa cafe. On a cruise, we like to eat light and only when we are hungry. The buffet lends itself to this very well. They would sauté up some veggies for me at the Stir Fry or Pasta stations and I wouldn't have to add the heavy pastas to it. I also tried to stay away from that awesome bread that they bake onboard as well as those world's best fries. Between that and taking the stairs instead of the elevator, I think we warded off any extra pounds that could have easily been added. Port and shore excursions: This itinerary was unusually hot and humid for the coast of California. We absolutely love sailing out of and returning to our home port of San Francisco. We are so disappointed that Celebrity does not have any future sailings out of this port after this week. :( San Francisco did not have its typical weather -- it was sunny and warm, even when we sailed under the Golden Gate bridge on 9/5, it was windy but warm. What a delightful experience. We were going to hike up to the top of Coit Tower but toured the Hyde Street Pier on our own and it was quite interesting. We were tired from all the heat and walking by the time back onboard so didn't head back out again. By the time we got to Monterey, it was getting hot but the warmest weather was yet to come. We booked a walking tour ahead of time through a discounter. We walked into town on that beautiful walking trail that Monterey put in and met by Cannery row in town. The tour was ok, we had a hard time hearing the guide due to the larger number of people included. Much of the tour had us stopping in the hot sun so we left the tour a bit early and caught the free shuttle back to the ship. Since it was a holiday weekend, the town of Monterey just exploded in numbers so the shuttle was standing room only by the time they made a pick up at the Aquarium. Ensenada was our next port of call. We only went into the little shops at the pier, the ones by the Carnival ship being a little better than where we docked. I was able to find just the right little piece of silver jewelry that I was looking for at a vendor that I have purchased from previously. We also purchased some bottled water for our stateroom as we didn't have the beverage package. We've visited Ensenada many times in the past so had no desire to go any further into town. There was a most horrible odor at this port which we had never experienced before. Otherwise, the grounds were manicured quite nicely...just don't know about that smell. Their was a brief downpour we noticed on our balcony shortly after sail away, complete with thunder, lightening and a rainbow. I got some fabulous pictures of the rainbow. Our next stop was San Diego where we planned to go to the zoo. One step outside told us that would not happen. Not only was it unusually humid, the temperature was over 100 degrees. We caught the free shuttle down to Seaport Village but made only about 30 minutes before we stopped in a nice bayside restaurant for an ice cold beer. There was at least one convention taking place nearby so the shops were empty but the restaurants down there were packed to the gills. We walked back to the ship from there so enjoy some of our stateroom air conditioning and a shower. At sail away, we enjoyed the most gorgeous sunset from our balcony. It cooled down a little bit by sundown -- so was doable to sit out there with the nice but warm breeze. The next day we were anchored out near Catalina Island but decided to stay onboard by the indoor pool as it was again very hot and humid. We have visited Catalina Island many times before and were going to go play miniature golf only. We figured we would save our tolerance for the heat in our next port. This is the one and only day we went to the indoor pool -- it was amazing. We had some of the best views of Catalina from our little spot by the pool and enjoyed our day immensely. Our final port was Santa Barbara, again, a hot and humid day. We booked the 11 AM trolley tour from the ship. The trolley seats were so uncomfortable and they jammed an additional couple onboard which made it really tight. There was a metal bar poking me in the back the entire tour...plus, no air conditioning. The tour guide extended the tour by an additional hour thinking he was doing us a favor when I believe that everybody just wanted to go back to the ship. The highlight of the tour for us was Mission Santa Barbara, which allowed us to get off the trolley for a short while. The heat and crowded conditions on the tour most inevitably effected our enjoyment (lack of it) on this tour. We actually learned of places we would like to visit in deeper depth next time we visit that lovely city. Ah....finally a gorgeous sea day which was taken up by packing and some time at the casino. We visited some newly made friends up in the elite lounge to say our good byes and then our final fabulous dinner at the SS United States to celebrate our anniversary. Disembarkation: We were sent a questionnaire in our stateroom with check off disembarkation times listed. We requested to disembark at 9 AM and we were walking down the ramp into the terminal at exactly 9 AM. Since we went through customs as we arrived in San Diego (the immigrations officer was a grump -- noticeably not a Celebrity employee), we grabbed our luggage that we checked in the night before and were outside waiting for our ride to BART by 9:05. Score!! We did take the train back home which was a breeze. Plus, the weather was more typical for our beautiful city and today it is just a perfect 67 degrees and I am loving it!! Summary: Aside from the heat, this was the most amazing cruise where we met some of the most amazing fellow passengers. Most of all though, the staff and crew made this cruise so very special for us. I would go again on the Infinity in a heartbeat although I don't think this cruise can be outdone. Five plus stars awarded!! We just wish Celebrity would reconsider dropping SF as one of their embarkation ports. 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
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
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
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
Sail Date: May 2006
12 nt- Alaska from San Francisco - 20 May 06 Embarkation: Thank goodness we had two thing going for us. First we are Captains Club Members and Second we booked Concierge Class. This made getting on the ship amazingly easy. Looking a the ... Read More
12 nt- Alaska from San Francisco - 20 May 06 Embarkation: Thank goodness we had two thing going for us. First we are Captains Club Members and Second we booked Concierge Class. This made getting on the ship amazingly easy. Looking a the line going to the ship I think it could have taken at least 2 to 3 hours to get on board. However we were able to skip all that and were on board and in our room in about 20 minutes. This was great as we were able to get a nice lunch and just got back to our cabin in time for the Safety (life boat) drill. Once that was complete we were able to return to our cabin for the sail away from the convenience of our balcony. Dining: We were not disappointed at all. Having breakfast delivered to our stateroom every morning was a nice extra that we didn't use last time. Everything was delivered within the time asked and the hot food was hot and the cold food was cold. My husband liked that he could get smoked salmon every morning for breakfast. Lunch time was mostly buffet. I liked that they varied the menu every day and had a theme (Mexican, American, Italian, etc.). On the first night we purchased our Soda stickers for the entire trip. Best money we spent on the entire cruise. We tended to eat lunch in the same area every day, so we got to know the waiter for that area fairly well. As soon as he saw us the first thing he did was get us each a diet soda and then scope out what the sugar free dessert was (my husband is diabetic) and bring some to the table. We ate in the main dinning room every night except one. The wait staff was very accommodating of my husband's dietary needs. The food was delivered promptly. I really don't have any complaints all of the food we had tasted great. I loved the mushroom soup and was glad it was offered more than once. I celebrated my birthday on the ship and for two days I had a birthday cake. Since we used the Specialty restaurant (USS United States) on my actual birthday, our normal table waiter waited until the next day to bring me a cake there as well. Seems that every night at least one (usually 3 or 4) people were celebrating birthdays. As for the USS United States, all I can say is WOW. What an experience. That dinner took 3 hours and was wonderful. Tried the goat cheese souffle and it was heavenly. I felt that if we went out to dinner at home to the same type of restaurant we would have spent 4 to 5 times the amount. The bar staff was wonderful and once they knew us they knew to bring us Diet Coke when we came into the Rendezvous Lounge. Public Rooms: We felt they were all very well maintained. The nice thing is that you never felt crowded. The library was small but very nice and conducive of reading. The lounges were very nice. Entertainment: The shows were great. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers were wonderful. We also saw a ventriloquist, violinist, balancer/juggler/comedian, xylophonist. Simply put - fantastic. We were able to purchase CDs of the different performers after each show, and they all personally signed the CDs for us. The lounge we spent the most time in was the Rendezvous Lounge. There was Karaoke on 3 different nights, and a duet every other night. The Constellation Club was the major club for the ship where they held the Chocolate Buffet and had a different theme every night. I felt the music was a bit loud but then I like things a bit quieter. Cabin: If anyone was to ask me if CC Class was worth the extra money I would have to day most definitely. We were each able to order a body pillow which helped with the transition from home (water bed) to the ship. The flowers were very nice. The welcome bottle of champagne was great. Having Canapes every night was also nice. I think the bathroom showed the most wear and tear but nothing major. Having the shower head that could be a hand held was wonderful. Services: Everyone was wonderful. Every time you meet one of the Crew they always said hello and were very helpful with directions and very knowledgeable about the ship and activities. My husband rented his shoes and they were delivered the next morning. What a deal $10.00 for the entire cruise. He also used the laundry for his Tux and was pleased with the way it turned out. Fitness: My husband used the gym every morning and very rarely had to wait for the equipment. The Aqua Spa was nice and we both took advantage of their 20/20/20 service, 20 min exfoliation, 20 min back massage, 20 min scalp massage. They followed up the next day to see how you were doing. Shore Excursions: We booked all of our shore excursion thru the Cruise line. We only had problems with the one at Icy Strait Point which had to be cancelled due to some sort of technical difficulties. In Vancouver, we went on a bus and shopping tour, which was very nice as this was one of the rainy days. Icy Strait Point we were able to walk on a short nature walk, and of course there was shopping. This port was a tender port so there was a bit of a wait to get to shore. But there were a lot of native craft items to purchase. We were worried when in the morning we were to visit Hubbard Glacier, the day started out very foggy, but we sailed thru the fog and while we were at Hubbard Glacier we had wonderful weather. In Skagway we went to Liarsville for a short show, gold panning and lunch. Liarsville is set up to look like an old time mining town and was very authentic. We still had some time to do some shopping. Juneau was great. We went Gold Panning and we were driven into the mountain and stopped in a area know for gold panning. There still is gold there in the creeks but only very small flakes, so don't give up everything to seek your fortune. We still had time to do some shopping, but this was our shortest port stay and we felt rushed. In Ketchikan we took a harbour cruise. This wasn't too long and since this was the other port that we had drizzle it was nice to be in a ship seeing the sights. We still had plenty of time to (you guessed it) do more shopping. In Victoria, BC we went on an Ale and Beer Tour. We visited 3 pubs. And most people had a total of 10 beers, but since my husband is diabetic I had about 16 before I decided that I had enough. Now let me assure you that the beers were very small about 1/3 to 1/2 of the normal size beers. Each pub also had plenty of snacks as well. We had such a relaxing, wonderful time that on our last day at see we booked our next cruise for April 08. Now just about 610 days to go. 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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