Number of Cruises: 5
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: June 1st, 2001
Itinerary: Inside Passage, Alaska
Embarkation and Disembarkation
This was the smoothest embarkation by far. Canada Place is a wonderful pier to sail out of. The harbor in Vancouver is just breathtaking. We had embarkation number 0 - one of the perks of being a Captains Club member. We waited less than an hour then was able to board the ship. Celebrity personnel met us and showed us to our cabin. We love that special touch that Celebrity has in showing us to our cabin. For disembarkation we had priority numbers as that is one of the perks of being a Captain's Club member. We were off the ship by 8:30am and heading to Seattle by 9:00am. The free luggage carts was an asset and really helped out with our enormous amount of luggage.
We were in a category 3 cabin on the Vista Deck. Cabin number 7204 to be specific. If you are a family traveling, especially with children this is the cabin for you. It measures over 250 square feet and is extremely spacious for a family. The kids slept on 2 pull out couches in basically a separate room (it had a glass partition dividing it with a sliding door). Our verandah was HUGE and we loved the fact that our cabin was in the rear of the ship. We find more advantages to disadvantages about an aft cabin. The scenery in Alaska was breath taking, and sitting out on our verandah we were able to really feel the experience of sailing the Inside Passage. Our cabin Steward Cipriani and his assistant Carlos were both true professionals. They anticipated our every need and no request, no matter how trivial was met with a smile.
Very few reviews on any of the Celebrity Boards mention anything about their superb kids programs. This is our third time on Celebrity, and we feel they certainly excel in their treatment of children on board. They have an enormous kids area called the Fun Factory. Our daughter (age 8) just loved it. She was extremely happy there and wanted to go every waking hour. Her counselors were true professionals who really related to the kids. We saw kids of all ages in the Fun Factory (from teens playing Sony's Playstation to toddlers with their parents) and all were definitely having a great time. Our son (age 12) loved the freedom of being able to join in the festivities when he choose, or if he didn't like the activity he was able to do other things (the older children can sign themselves in and out of the kids programs with permission from the parents). One added bonus was the fact that they have childcare offered (for a small fee) during port days. This way parents are able to take some shore excursions that kids may not be interested in.
As always the food on Infinity is everything that Celebrity promises and more. We were in the Main Seating and had a great table of 4 on the second floor of the Trellis Restaurant. Our Waiter - Alex and his assistant Gregorov treated us like we were royalty - without being stuffy. They knew our likes and dislikes by the second night and always anticipated our every need and want. Our son especially liked the fact that every night he was able to mix and match from the kids and the adult's menu. He thought that was so "cool". We always ate at the Oceanview for breakfast and lunch (the buffets). The only negative comment that we had for the entire cruise was the fact that passengers were not leaving after they were finished with their meals (they were enjoying the scenery in Alaska) and getting a table was hard on more than one occasion. We ordered room service on more than one occasion, and the food and the choices were fine. We found it easy to order it right from our TV in the cabin. It arrived prompt and always with a smile.
If you enjoy being constantly busy, then Infinity is the ship for you. There is always something to do everywhere on the boat. From art auctions, to just kicking back with a good book, every taste will be accommodated on Infinity. Notes was a great place to sit back and listen to music. Our son spent hours in there listening to every different kind of music imaginable. At night the Constellation lounge had different types of music which we enjoyed. The casino was your typical shipboard casino, but I will say that the staff was great. Always there to help out with a smile. My only negative feedback is that bar service may be a bit slow at times in the casino (not like Las Vegas at all). We never saw any of the shows in the Celebrity Theater, but all those we spoke to truly enjoyed each and every show. It seems Celebrity has made a conscious effort to improve their theatrical productions.
I had the luxury of receiving two treatments at the glorious AquaSpa. Gosh - what a treat indeed. The AquaSpa on the Infinity is absolutely beautiful and a wonderful place to visit. My husband and I experienced the Rasul. A Rasul treatment is a mud treatment that is a lot of fun to do as a couple. We have previously had a Rasul treatment on the Century, and the experience on the Infinity was superior by far. The Rasul chamber on the Infinity was so serene. We really enjoyed our time. The last sea day I treated myself to a seaweed detox/massage therapy. This massage lasted two glorious hours. Bjorn was my masseuse and I cannot sing enough praises about him. Every member of the staff was extremely friendly, as well as helpful. The only drawback was the hard sell of products, which I have learned to ignore. I let them go through their speech, then politely smile and say I am not really interested. Not once did they pursue any sales after I told them I was not interested. The cost is a bit steep, but then again, aren't we all worth it? To me it is part of the overall cruise experience.
Ports of Call
Juneau was a wonderful port. My husband and son took a glacier tour through Coastal Helicopters (booked direct not through Celebrity) The weather was rainy, but they had a great time. My daughter and I hired a taxi to take us on a tour of Juneau. This was a great trip (cabs run $55 per hour for an individual tour) and we saw everything Juneau had to offer and then some. Our cab driver was a true Alaskan who really gave us insight to what Alaskan's are all about. We also enjoyed a drink at the Red Dog Saloon. That is a fun place to stop in while in Juneau.
Our next stop was Skagway and the weather was perfect!!! Sunny skies and not too cold at all. We took the White Pass Railroad/Liarsville tour and truly enjoyed the trip. The White Pass Railroad is not to be missed. The scenery and the history are truly amazing. If you are interested in being entertained, and some good clean fun then do the combination tour. The folks at Liarsville are certainly a hoot. If you are just interested in the railroad, then the combination tour is a waste of money and time. In the afternoon my husband took a pilots choice helicopter tour and truly loved it. He booked it direct from Tasca (?). They are only a short walk from the pier. He enjoyed this the most as the weather was picture perfect. He landed on three different glaciers and truly was awestruck as to the glaciers. I spent the afternoon shopping the many stores in Skagway. What a quaint little town with loads of history.
This was by far our most enjoyable experience on Infinity. The scenery is simply spectacular. The captain maneuvered the ship around 360 degrees so everyone had a great view. There were plenty of seals, in fact one even gave birth on an iceberg - which was truly astounding!!! The weather was perfect and the captain was able to maneuver the ship extremely close to the glacier. Closest that he has been in years (at least that is what they said). It was amazing to look around and see all of the ice. Truly makes you step back and sigh, the beauty was so intense.
Our last stop was Ketchikan. We took the Orca Beach nature hike and really loved it. A bus picked us up and took us to a Marina where we boarded a zodiac boat for a short but thrilling ride to Orca Beach. There we hiked a well-laid out trail in a Rain Forest in the Tongass National Forest. One warning though, every brochure says the trail is gently sloping. Bear in mind that although it is laid out very well (you walk on a boardwalk) Senior Citizens may have a hard time. We had one Senior in our group and she said it was a bit difficult for her. The weather here was also perfect (we only saw rain in Juneau - we were lucky!).
All in all we had very few complaints about our cruise. The boat was sold out, yet never really felt crowded (except at the Oceanview Cafe). The entire crew was really outstanding as we didn't meet one person that didn't give 100%, and with a smile to boot. Our kids really enjoyed everything about the ship as well. The kids programs and the video arcade (all brand new games as the ship is brand new) were their favorites. The best part of our cruise to me was just sitting on our verandah, sipping a cocktail and watching the beauty that is Alaska. To see all that there is to see. What a perfect cruise - on the Perfect Ship. To INFINITY and BEYOND!!