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Lisa Hudson

Age: 44

Occupation:admin assistant

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Infinity

Sailing Date: April 3rd, 2003

Itinerary: Hawaii

Maui – two days
4 days at sea
Ensenada (never again – bus ride from you know where)

Someone throw me overboard if I ever go on another cruise that involves Mexico……

This cruise was much anticipated as we had planned it for over a year. This was also our first cruise on Celebrity and while the Infinity was an awesome and beautiful ship with the best gym we have seen on a cruise ship, we will be going back to Princess next time or trying Holland America.

First of all I will give an overview of our overall impressions and opinions. In our opinion Celebrity was not nearly as customer oriented as Princess. The Oceanview Café food (buffet) was very disappointing and so was the staff in that area. They were curt and not helpful at all. When you were going through the buffet line and you wanted to know what something was, they never knew – always had to go ask someone. If they said it was fish and you asked what kind of fish – they had no idea. Also in the gym the TV’s were tuned to CNN but you had no way of hearing anything as the volume was down and there was no the capability to plug in a headphone and listen. One morning I asked that the volume be turned up so I could hear the latest on the war and the girl said, oh we don’t want people to hear what is going on. I said, I am the customer and I want to hear the news but still got no volume. So we did many things when Celebrity wanted to do them, not necessarily accommodating us.

Regarding the transfer from the ship to Ensenada. Had we known what was coming, we probably would not have done this cruise, or would have possibly reversed it. First we were promised nice Coach USA buses with decent bathroom facilities. What we got was a crappy, dirty disgusting bus with a dirty disgusting bathroom and a driver that did not speak one word of English. That was not his fault but all other buses that we knew of had English speaking drivers to narrate and tell people what to do at the border. There starts the second nightmare. Once we got to the border, all 18-20 buses arrived at the same time making for a nightmare. Everyone had to get out of the buses with their belongings and stand in a line that was approx ½ mile long at its longest and wait in an unsecured area with stray dogs, mice and beggars. We literally had to walk across the border. We were in line for over an hour and thank goodness it was not raining and the temperature was bearable. This was disgusting, dangerous and humiliating. Seems to me the cruise line could control the arrival time of the buses a bit better so it wasn’t 1800 people going through at the same time.

The BEST part of the trip came when my husband won $2500 on a quarter slot machine about ¾ of the way through the cruise….that was a lot of fun.

The Infinity is a beautiful ship. Our cabin was a category 1A – balcony cabin – 8051. It was a great location and we never heard our neighbors and didn’t even have neighbors on one side as the ship was not nearly full. I think there were about 1800 on board out of a possible 2200. Our friends however had cabin 9099 under the pool area and had major complaints about the noise. They will be dealing with Celebrity in the upcoming days. Celebrity could not compensate them in any way on the ship and they did not want to go through the trouble of moving. I would have moved but that is my opinion. We had a great cabin steward as well who kept us in extra towels as I requested the first moment we arrived.

The itinerary was great and I liked having all the island stops first and then relaxing on the COLD ride back. One thing I did not realize was that it would be chilly on the ride home. The highs were not above 70 and traveling at 21 knots – it was COLD. We were bundled up out by the pool.

The Hawaiian islands are beautiful. We made stops on Kauai, Maui, Big Island of Hawaii. In Kauai we did the Wailua River Cruise and Fern Grotto – very nice. In Maui we did the Tropical Plantation Luau – that was a lot of fun. We also did a whale watching tour and it was fabulous. But my favorite excursion of all came in Hilo. Volcano National Park was spectacular. Celebrity did a great job on shore excursions. We had excellent guides on each excursion. We spent one night pre-cruise in Honolulu and were able to tour the Arizona Memorial on cruise morning – that is also something not to be missed.

The gym facility was by far the best we have seen on our 5 cruises. There were many treadmills, although more elliptical machines would have been nice. There are free weights and a nice wooden aerobics floor as well and also the weight machines and towels are provided.

The public bathrooms were a letdown as they were dirty almost every time I went in and many times the towels provided were not restocked. All other areas were well maintained and very nice.

We had the early seating in the dining room and it is a lovely room. We had great service from our waiter and assistant waiter. However the maitre d was useless. He stopped by a couple of times but really did nothing to enhance our cruise. The food was mediocre – nothing to rave about.

The production shows on the ship were the best we had seen on any cruise. We did not attend many shows this trip as we wanted to do other things. But the shows we saw with the Celebrity Singers and Dancers were outstanding. I don’t know why there is such a difference between them and Princess in this respect other than maybe they pay more….don’t know. But these singers and dancers were extremely talented. Nathan Burton and Sara (illusionist and assistant) were cheesy – like a cheap lounge act.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or want more info. We are already planning the next cruise for 2005 – back to the Caribbean…..

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