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Mary Allen

Age: 42

Occupation:Travel Agency Owner

Number of Cruises: 18

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Infinity

Sailing Date: May 11th, 2001

Itinerary: Alaska, Inside Passage

Embarkation: Embarked in Vancouver. Was a disaster. We were told that disembarkation had been full of problems and that they still weren't finished. Worst I have ever seen in almost 20 years of cruising. I am sure that this was a combination of the fact that this was the first Alaskan sailing but right beside us the Holland American Ryndam embarkation was proceeding in an orderly, smooth fashion. There was simply no organization to the Cel embarkation. The people who were in charge did not speak loudly or use a mike. After people had already been standing for about 2 hours inside the cruise terminal - Cel employees began going through the crowd and giving out embarkation numbers. There were people ahead of us that had a number seven and we had a two. There was no preferential treatment for handicapped or Captain's club members. Another big problem was that you had to stand in line over an hour to give your luggage to a longshoreman. This was before you could go inside and get in the other line. I could go on - but because I believe that it was mostly growing pains I won't....

The Infinity: Very beautiful ship. Use of glass and mirrors made this huge ship seem even bigger. Traffic pattern seemed to work pretty well.

Beautiful Grand Foyer lobby area with a wonderful staircase that seems to be made out of translucent marble and was especially beautiful because it was lit from below. This area was not really a gathering place - no bar here. It was mostly a throughway with the shore excursion desk, bank, Customer Relations, etc located here.

Lots of space for meetings in a separate area.

Very nice Cinema but no popcorn - this was questioned by many people.

Computer classes available for additional costs. I only saw one person who took any classes but it seemed like a nice idea. The classes were in a separate area and not in the internet cafe.

Internet Cafe
Very beautiful. Windows look out to the sea while you surf the net. .95 per minute - use your Cel card. Was down the first 2-3 times I went in. When I did get on I sent several important e-mails which were never received by the people I sent them to. Out of approx 10 e-mails we sent while on board only 2 were received. We ended up using an internet cafe in Skagway. After we got onboard they told us that they had a deal where you could receive unlimited internet access from your stateroom for the entire cruise for $99. If I had know this ahead of time I would have taken my laptop and tried it.

The Tower
Elevators that looked out over the ocean - Very nice touch. 4 Very quick elevators. There was also a sitting area here.

Very nice 2 story library. Well stocked, beautiful, restful and quiet. Trivia game sheets picked up and returned here.

Card room
Great space that was used for bridge and board games a lot!

It was ok but not many people were using this CD music listening area.

The Trellis Restaurant
2 story with windows on three sides. Decorated elegantly with a great fabrics and textures. Orchids on each table. Beautiful staircase. Late seating. Food was good and service was exceptional - especially for a new ship. We found the beef selections tough except for the prime rib. Our lobster was very much over cooked and rubbery. They were always happy to provide another selection for you if something did not taste good to you. They really handled this well though none of us asked for a replacement often. The veal chops and lamb were exceptionally good. Overall the food was good with presentation also good. The appetizers, soups and salads usually included some favorites and some new more daring selections. We enjoyed them. The escargots were especially good as were several fruit soups.

Oceanview Cafe
Same type of buffet and food as most cruise ships. Separate area for hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, omelet station, pasta. It was nice that a staff member was waiting to carry your tray at the end of the buffet line. Staff also poured coffee and they were more than willing to get you something you forgot. I have never seen so many staff so willing to help in the buffet area on any ship. I heard many comments about how good the service was in this area. I also saw something exceptional happen in this area. We arrived to one of the ports about 3 hours late which also impacted the time people got back on ship. Many people, like us, got back on the ship at about 3:00. The only food choice that we could find other than room service was Pizza. Once the pizza line got to about 30 people long, we saw several management people mulling around. Within 15 minutes, they had an unscheduled buffet line open and waiters to help us. It was impressive how quickly they handled this problem. Kudos to them!

Cova Cafe Milano
Very nice coffee bar with pastries.

Aqua Spa Cafe
Healthy food here. Looked great but I never ate there.

The USS United States Restaurant
We could not obtain reservations - they were sold out. I did review the menu and it looked fabulous! $25 per person service charge.

Elegant Tea
It was elegant and compares well to Holland Americas tea time.

Room Service
The food was wonderful! Even better than most places on the ship and better than most room service at fine resorts. It was delivered on time and hot and was just great. They had some creative selections that were delicious.

Overall Food
I would say compares to Holland America in service, quality and presentation.

Midnight buffets/ Gourmet Bites
Very nice, food on buffets seemed to be more edible and less made just for presentation. Gourmet bites brought around by waiters on nights when there were no buffets were a great idea!

Constellation Lounge
By day, a wonderful place to see the sights. This lounge was at the top of the ship forward and had observation windows that curved upward to allow the maximum view. From most anywhere in the room you could see where the ship was going and the sights from three sides. They had some activities in this lounge during the day, but it was mostly used for passengers to observe Alaska. By night, this was the main lounge. They had a wonderful band and theme nights each night. Country line dancing, 50's night, etc... This lounge was huge and very wonderful BUT....the dance floor was the same size that you see in much smaller lounges so many people did not dance because the dance floor was packed like sardines.

Rendezvous Lounge
This lounge was a pass-through lounge. Most nights it featured music by the Stan Duo. This duo was OK at most of what they did and played a wide variety of music. I would have personally preferred to have more variety in the form of different entertainers. Several nights this lounge was used for Karaoke - not exactly the kind of variety I was thinking of. I have never seen this before but people were smoking on the dance floor the staff seemed to be hesitant to stop it until a fight almost started because someone's dress got burned.

Champagne Bar / Martini Bar
These were pass through areas and did not have a cozy feel. They did not seem to be used often.

Michael's Club
Beautiful cigar/smoking club. Many people seemed to enjoy this but when the entertainment began the smokers seemed to come back to the lounges.

Celebrity Theatre
Main show theatre. Cast shows comparable to other cruise lines except that the theatre was armed for special effects and these added nicely to the shows. We enjoyed the costumes and the Broadway review. Only one production per night with 2 times for that show. One night there was a good comedian and for 2 nights there was a comedian that was not very good. This was also the site for bingo and talent shows etc... Very nice theatre.

The Conservatory
Like being in an atrium. Beautiful plants and trees. Had some special classes here and pottery demonstrations.

Fortunes Casino
Seemed to be large. Was a walk-through area. Professional employees, same contests as most cruise lines. Beautiful walls with an Egyptian theme.

Pool Area:
Included 2 Jacuzzis but they closed at 8pm. Since this was an Alaskan cruise, we never saw anyone in the main pools.

Aqua Spa
Very nice spa area. Beautiful and refreshing. Everything seemed to be top notch. They ran specials, especially on port days that would make this affordable to everyone. Exercise area, staff and equipment were all great. There was also a spa in this area that seemed to be used all the time along with the Thalassotherapy pool. Both also closed at 8 pm. Would have been nice if they had stayed open until 12 midnight.

The Emporium
Similar shops as on other lines.

Ship Mates Children's Program
Looked like it was managed well. The area was spacious and the staff friendly. There were only about 70 children on board.

There was a nice mix of young and older people with the average probably around 45-50 years. This was surprising to us considering it was May. 35% of the cruisers were probably Asian, Probably 25% Canadians, and maybe another 30% Americans.

Many of us, "young folks" (my age 42 & younger) were disappointed that there were limited entertainment options and nothing to do after about 1:00 am. This is definitely not a party ship!

The Staterooms were beautiful and very well laid out. We had plenty of storage. From the smallest interior stateroom to the Penthouse, we found excellent value for money spent. Our category 2B on the Vista deck included a comfortable love seat that was also a foldout bed. Our beds had been arranged as a queen bed as we had requested. The bedding and pillows were good. Robes were provided. The colors and decor were good with excellent use of mirrors. We were supplied with cold drinking water (from a thermos pitcher) and ice at all times. Our refrigerator was stocked with a wide array of beverages from liquor, beer, soft drinks and juices. There was a sheet to sign if you used any of it. The charges ranged from 1.75 for a soft drink to about 3.00 for some of the small bottles of liquor.

You were able to purchase shore excursions and order room service from the TV in your stateroom. They also offered about 2 "free movies" in English and French. Then they offered "pay per view movies". I found this to be tacky.

The size of the balconies ranged quite a bit. The smallest was only large enough for 2 chairs and a very small table. The handicapped cabins were very spacious. One of our tablemates was in a wheelchair and found that
they had very few complaints with his cabin or the layout of the ship.

The Bathroom was VERY well laid out. It included lotion and shampoo in dispensers. There were shelves for your toiletries and a great deal of storage. It did include a hair dryer and a shaver outlet but no other outlets. The stateroom had one outlet that we could find.

We loved Vancouver . It would be very easy to suggest that people stay there 2-3 days. The gardens were especially nice.

We found Juneau to be fun. We did enjoy the trip to the Mendenhall Glacier, it was very beautiful. The sky lift was also great. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the Red Dog Saloon with it's great hamburgers and sing alongs.

Skagway: We really enjoyed the train trip to White pass. The scenery was breathtaking.

Ketchikan: The Lubberjack show was what we heard was best. This town was very touristy and we did not discover anything great about it. It seemed that most everyone we spoke with was not impressed with their shore excursions here. It is the rain capital of the world (it must be) and poured rain the entire day.

Inside Passage:
We really enjoyed sitting on our balcony with blankets and coffee and watching the wonderful sights. We saw a great many bald eagles and a small amount of other wildlife including a bear. We did not see any whales but spoke with others who did. The mountains and glaciers we sailed past were so very beautiful! This was definitely the best part!

This and that:
I was surprised that we had so much movement on the ship. We had more people seasick than I have seen in quite awhile. Even those of us who have never been seasick felt a little green. There was no obvious reason and I never did find out why the voyage seemed so rough.

The bar service was excellent. The drinks were not watered down and they would make about anything you could think of gladly. They did not pressure you to order drinks.

There were almost never long waits for elevators. There were more elevators than on most ships and they were very quick.

Overall it was a very nice cruise. The scenery made the cruise. However If you are into nightlife this would not be the ship to choose. I would also not recommend it to people who get seasick easily without further investigation.

It was wonderful, easy and quick. We were one of the last groups off because we were staying in Vancouver. We still were off the ship by 9:30 am. They really did a nice job of this!

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