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Lori Puthf

Age: 43

Occupation:Pediatric Registered Nurse

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Infinity

Sailing Date: April 28th, 2006

Itinerary: n/a

Celebrity Cruise Lines
Infinity Cruise Review
Mexican Riviera

Lori Puthoff

We have been on several cruises but chose this line and itinerary because it was touted as being a step up from Royal Caribbean which we have always enjoyed – and because of the California ports. Typically, I am a very easy going, easy to please person. I regret to report that this cruise was immensely disappointing! The cruise experience began while on the bus from the airport when we were told there would be a delay in boarding due to ‘extra cleaning’. We were not going to be able to board until after 2 PM. We had arranged our flights to be on ship early enough to really enjoy the day.

On the positive side, lunch was provided while we waited, but the crew was conflicted on instructions. We were given the number 2 to board the ship. We asked if we could eat and then explore San Francisco and were told yes. However, after we ate, we were not allowed to leave, we walked to the front (no small walk, with 70 year old parents!) – where we were told not to exit. We were told to go to the back, where we were told by another not to exit. After about 45 minutes of walking back and forth talking to various people, we were finally escorted to an exit to see San Francisco’s famous Fisherman’s wharf. This was an excellent adventure and truly enjoyable. We returned to the ship’s embarkation area where we had to go through security a second time, up a long winding ramp, only to be told we would be entering from below. So, we went down the long ramp to the lower holding area. No one was communicating to the waiting crowd. No one was available to answer questions. After about 45 minutes in holding, we walked up the ramp again, only to be told we would have to wait. Many people were frustrated and angry. My parents were thirsty after all of the walking and asked if we could get a drink. My mother noted to a crew member that this was not handled well, but she realized it was not his fault. He jokingly laughed at her and said he was glad she knew it wasn’t his fault. In essence, he loudly made fun of her anger. While in the top holding area, we were separated from my husband who was trying to get information. He was met with a rude crew member who told him to go back to the holding area. He was very angry with the attitude of this crew member. Again, we were concierge class, with a number 2, and should have had early boarding privileges, but no one was available or willing to talk to us. After much discussion with several rude crew members, a sarcastic man agreed to take us to the ship, since “we thought we were so special”. As we were walking, another crew member shouted into the holding area, “yeah lady (to my mom), you are so special, just go ahead of everyone else”! I turned to him and told him he was inappropriate, he said he was trying to keep it light. I told him, he was making fun of passengers who were angry. We finally made it on board. Not a good start to a trip!

Once on board the ship, we were given juice and Champaign and escorted to our room by a friendly crew member. We tried to put the bad experience behind us. Our ninth floor concierge room was spacious for a stateroom, but the décor was lacking. The bedspreads, carpet and drapes were very worn, and misshapen. The toilet seat looked awful. There was Champaign waiting for us with fruit.

We later found out that 30-40 people aboard the prior cruise became sick with the Norwalk Virus, most of the crew lied about this fact, and each had a different story, many looked weary!

The True Positives of this itinerary/ship:

The size of the room was very nice, as were the robes and towels.

The layout of the ship was convenient and easy to navigate.

The aqua spa area was beautiful and comforting, with a very nice café inside. (They need more seating around the pool that isn’t so hard though).

The evening productions and entertainment was outstanding! We have never seen such wonderful shows and talent- every night was wonderful.

Room service offerings were great. The Ocean view Café had great selections in the morning and afternoon, with the homemade ice cream always excellent! The pizza and hamburgers were wonderful.

Our waiter Henry, Assistant Michael and other servers like Akiki were outstanding in every way during meals. They were 5 star and beyond. The water boy – Serkan was a truly good natured guy with enthusiasm and personality plus. He became our daily entertainment because of his flare for humor!

The Failings of this itinerary/ship:
The room needed remodeling. The onboard entertainment lacked true talent and enthusiasm, with activities run by crew members who didn’t seem very lively or passionate about their tasks. The ports were nice in California, but unfortunately the weather was not, it was a very cool cruise with the exception of the Mexican ports – all of the sea days were too cool to enjoy the sun, deck and pool.

The stateroom attendant we had did not speak English well, did not tell us what to expect in this ‘elite class’, and provided minimal service to us during the cruise. Two nights he folded towels into shapes which were great, but nothing after that. Afternoon aperitifs were provided, but they were always seafood. We asked the attendant not to bring seafood (as we do not eat it). We continued to get it every night, without another alternative.

The food in the main dining room was elegant, but often unrefined, many of the fish entrée’s had bones that were not easy to detect. The beef was tough, and often oddly cut. While beautiful to be served, the palatability was in question!

Two days into the cruise, we found the water in the toilet to be black with sediment in the middle of the night. The next morning, the shower and faucet also ran black. When my husband poured a glass of water from the fountain in the Ocean view Café – believe it or not – it was actually black! He brought this to the attention of the staff member who gave him a bottle of water and apologized. My husband and mother questioned him about the other drinks that would not be visible (The tea, coffee?). The staff member said those drinks were obtained from a different source. (Later, all of the coffee machines were being cleaned….)

The DJ for the pool area was great, but the live music was not. The band that played had a difficult time losing the Jamaican slant to all of the music – rock and roll doesn’t sound the same with Jamaican flare!

The pianist in Michael’s lounge was average at best, and the Singer’s in the Rendezvous needed more variety and a little more talent (sorry to say this!).

Overall thoughts –
We enjoyed our cruise because of the waiters, nightly entertainment and people we met. The weather was much cooler than we expected for California and the Mexican Riviera, but that is a product of Nature! The activity crew lacked enthusiasm and creativity making for rather boring days when at sea with no sun! As a 40 something passenger, I also found most of the activities geared towards much older adults, and not much to do during the day. I do not think we will sail on Infinity again, although many told us this was a bad cruise, the Celebrity lines overall is well known for excellence. Many repeat cruisers felt this particular cruise was not typical of celebrity’s usual service. Perhaps we would do another Celebrity cruise in the Future, but we may try Princess first!

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