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Barry Sanders

Age: 62

Occupation:Marketing

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Infinity

Sailing Date: 2010-08-20

Itinerary: Alaska - Tracy Arm Fjord

Our first cruise and it met and exceeded expectations. We learned a lot from this first cruise, enough to know we will definitely cruise with Celebrity again and we learned a few things to do and not to do. Also, as novice cruisers, we learned about aspects of cruising which we had not even considered. More details further in this review.

Non-Smoking was a big deal to us.... we had worried that smokers would make our journey unpleasant. Not with this cruise. They don't allow smoking in the rooms or balconies. As it was, there was only one lounge which allowed smoking - the large Constellation lounge up front. So, we just avoided this and had no issues anywhere else. Heck, the smokers have to have some place to go - so, if there is one lounge among many which is unpleasant, that is fine -- we simply use the rest of the ship.

We had meals in three areas - the formal dining room, the cafeteria, and the speciality restaurant the "SS United States". Food was good to very good but not outstanding. But, no complaints -- these folks are having to serve thousands of passengers and they do a good job at it. The one unexpected element was in the cafeteria.. as novice cruisers we simply had not expected the crowds and the zoo that can go along with so many folks trying to get fed at once. After a few meals though, we learned to simply relax and go with the flow.

One thing we would not do again is the speciality restaurant. The restaurant and food were great - but we simply did not need to put out the extra $$ for this as the food and company in the other restaurants were just fine.

We had a "Concierge class" room on the Panorama deck in the aft-third of the ship. A perfect location. We were between the mid-ship and aft elevator banks and it was very convenient to pop up or down to get something to eat - and to get to the mid-ship elevators for the rest of the ship.

Storage was more than we had expected. We had 4 large suitcases and I had worried that we wouldn't have room for everything. No problems at all. The suitcases went under the beds just fine and the room has plenty of storage for everything else.

More than enough room for 2 adults -- our friends, however, had 2 adults and one child in the room and they were a bit crammed.

We did attend 3 shows and one game show and those were fun. The ship's entertainment group was great and we totally enjoyed them. The other entertainers, a Magician and a Comedian were so-so. Celebrity could have saved some $$ by simply not bothering with this extra entertainment. All-in-all, Celebrity does an incredible job of offering a variety of entertainment options.

Skagway: The Helicoptor and Glacier tour was incredible. Expensive but worth every dime. One of the best experiences of our lives.

Train in Skagway -- we didn't take this but we heard many mixed reviews as it is a very-very long trip. Consider a shorter drive up to the top instead of a full day train ride.

Ketchikan: Bear Creak Zip Line -- a lot of fun, even for a 62 year old guy. My wife and her friend did a Crab Feast and flight tour and loved it.

Our first trip and we now have 2 more planned with Celebrity. the best way to have a vacation.

One thing I would not do again is buy the Cola package -- If you only have 1 or 2 colas a day, as I did, it is not necessary. Just go ahead and buy them individually for about $2.25 each.

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