March 3, 2001
We left for the Infinity on Friday the 2nd, with a stay overnight at
the Sheraton Suites in Plantation Fl. The suites were very nice, but we
were very tired and didn't get to utilize the fact that it was attached
to a mall, (darn).
The next morning a representative from Celebrity came to get us ready to
board a bus for the ship (Ronnie Zapata), she was a delightful person,
and we tried not to give her too much grief as the bus was supposed to
arrive at 10 and got there at 12, but off we went.
It was a short ride and we were all in great anticipation and well
worth it too, the first sight of the ship was oh my gosh-huge! The
boarding went very quickly and had no problems.
Our friends flight was late that first day, and they arrived a half
hour before we sailed, but after that panic, everything calmed down and
we were on our way.
The ship is quite spectacular, and the decor is very understated,
nothing too extreme, very elegant in style (not crazy about their art
however) I like scenery and most of their art is abstract.
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We were upgraded to an outside balcony, and for all time we will
never be the same, and can never again stay in an inside cabin. We
slept with the sliding door open at night and the sound of the waves and
the wind lulled us to sleep every night. When we weren't out and about,
we were on the balcony, just enjoying the view, or just relaxing after a
busy day. It was wonderful. Our cabin steward, Flavio seemed to second
guess our every mood, and was always there to service our cabin, and
would even pick up purchases for us when we bought something on the way
to a show, they would hold it and he would pick it up for us. His
assistant, Bagus was very sweet, and was also always there to help.
We were able to purchase liquor in the onboard store and took it to
our cabin (never was a question, just bought it and took it to our
cabin), in the afternoons we would get a couple of carafe's of either
orange juice, or tomato juice, and make our own drinks, which saved a
bundle on drinks. Honest, we aren't alcoholics, we would have a few
people over for drinks before dinner. The cabins are spacious, with a
couch and chair, plus the 2 chairs from the balcony. So every
afternoon, Flavio would show up with the carafe's, sometimes without us
even calling him. Talk about service.
The Trellis Restaurant is the main dining room and is situated on
the 4th and 5th decks in the stern of the ship. Our table was 520 on
the 5th deck (go figure) and we were right near the railing were we
could look down on the diners on the 4th deck. The restaurant is quite
pretty with it's flowing staircase down the center, and the dark wood
and decorations make it a wonderful place to eat and visit with new
Our table mates were all about the same age group. Our friends Ray
and Lynn from Ca. and our new friends Dan, Jackie, Joe and Patti from
Wisconsin. We all hit it off the first night and had a blast for the
next 2 weeks together. Our waiter was Dominguez, from Portugal who
seemed to be too rushed and not always in a good mood, but was efficient
with service. Our asst. waiter was Preston from Goah, India was a
sweetheart, seemed a little nervous the first couple of days, but was so
very pleasant and had the most wonderful smile, and we had fun with him.
The food was ok, but I honestly didn't find it to be GREAT, I know
this is subjective, so please don't find fault with my opinion, as it is
just that-an opinion. I can't say I didn't eat it, as the meats were
quite good, and the vegetables were fine, but the potatoes, and desserts
left something to be desired (for me). This must tell you something as
I just weighed myself and didn't gain any weight (but didn't lose
either)-ha! But must say, the breadsticks are to die for. You can dine
in the Oceanview Cafe in the evenings (with a reservation), but this,
the Trellis and SS United States are the only dining in the evening
Most of our breakfasts and lunches were in the Oceanview Cafe on the
10th deck. The buffet runs on each side of the ship in this area so
there was never a long wait. However, not advertised, but in the back
of the Oceanview there were special things such as pasta's, ribs,
chicken, knockwurst etc. etc. so be sure to see what is there before
going through the regular line. They also serve omelets there in the
morning. Out on deck 10 by the pool (Breezes Pool Grill) are hot dogs
(great ones) and hamburgers with the best fries (from noon-2:30) with
pizza served there from 3-7 daily.
One evening we went to the SS United States Dining room (The
Specialty Dining) the service was impeccable, and as another reviewer
said, our waiter was Oswald from India, who was delightful. It is an
experience with the service being something with everyone at the table
getting served at exactly the same time, (synchronized serving) There
are at least 2-3 people waiting on your every move. The food was quite
good, and there was plenty of it, however going from $12.00 per person
(on the Millie) to $25.00 per person was quite a jump, and by the looks
of it, it was not a good move. The Restaurant was mostly empty every
night. There were only 5 other tables of people the night we dined, and
it seats 88. So I am not so sure that the price change hasn't hurt this
venue, but it was a nice evening (about 3 hours worth of dining).
The pool area on deck 10 is very pretty, with 4 whirlpools
surrounding the pool. A nice stage is set up for the band, or games
played in this area. The band Onyx was onboard, and they are so
versatile, they seem to be able to play anything from Raggae to Country,
and with wonderful voices.
Sorry to say I never made it to the Thalassotherapy pool, I heard it
was quite wonderful (next time), and there is another grill forward, in
the aqua spa that serves light and healthy food for breakfast and
lunch. Didn't try this dining area, so can't report much about it. It
had a lovely setting though, with lots of trees, and plants everywhere.
One of the things I liked onboard was the use of trees, plants
shrubs, flowers-they were all beautiful. The Conservatory on Deck 11
mid ship is the pretties area on the ship. It is quite small, but you
will not believe the flowers and shrubs there, and it makes for a great
place to take pictures on a formal night, so take your cameras.
The glass elevators are a nice touch mid ship, the view from the
11th and 12th deck can be spectacular.
The Constellation Club is where they have the disco in the evening, and
during the day there were dance lessons, and bingo, but usually it is
empty, which seems a waste of such a pretty room.
The Casino-Fortunes (named for what most people leave there) has an
Egyptian theme, and is beautiful. The staff there is very friendly.
Our CD was Jim Cannon, and he is an absolute, consummate
entertainer. He seems to genuinely love people, both young and old, and
is very approachable and great to talk to, I think the best I have seen
in years. He knew of Cruisemates, and says he gets on and reads the
boards quite often, so if you read this Jim-Thanks for a great time.
The cruise staff of Dru, Todd, Tommy, Stacey, Chamaine and Mikaela are
great fun, get to know them.
The shows onboard ranged from comedy to Broadway Productions-
1. Michael James was a comedian/unicyclist/juggler-very funny
2. Joel Grey (from Broadway fame) (sorry I missed this show)
3. Classique the Creation-an operetta with great costumes, and the
singers had wonderful voices with Dia Webb, Rodney Williams, Marcus
Collins, as the main singers-wow, but it is mostly opera type, so if
that isn't your bag, you might not like it. I am not a huge opera fan,
but was highly entertained.
4. James Stephens III-comedian was a riot.
5. Mark Preston (formerly of the Lettermen)-still can sing
6. Elliott Finkel-pianist (funny and a real talent)
7. Bobby Arvon (the voice of Happy Days) singer, and was good
8. Spectacle of Broadway-WOW, the best show-a little West Side Story,
42nd Street, Phantom, La Miserables, Grease, Chorus Line, it was
fantastic-don't miss it. The singers and dancers on this ship are very
professional, and quite good.
9. Noodles Levenstein-comedian-really funny.
10. Jay Johnson (formerly of the T.V. show Soap)-ventriliquist-was
11. Dark one night
12. A medley from Bobby Arvon, Eliott Finkel, and Noodles
13. Newlywed, not so Newlywed show-very funny (some of our new friends
from England were in it which made it especially funny to us.)
Our ports of call were:
1. Key West-lovely town with a party atmosphere, enjoyed the day walking
around town. No excursion, you can walk most anywhere you wanted to
2. Cozumel-took a cab into the downtown area (about $8.00 for 4 of us).
Found a wonderful restaurant off the water, behind the Hard Rock. There
is a street right down from there called Juan Miguel Batista (by
Palmeras Restaurant) go down street, more of a walkway past the park,
and on the corner of the park there is a place that looks like a log
cabin with a porch running around it-the place is called Such Is Life.
We had the best shrimp tacos there, and the owner Moises and his son
Sean were wonderful, we talked to them for a good couple of hours. The
son Sean speaks perfect English (raised in the Az.) but wanted to come
back to his birthplace, had only been back a month. The restaurant had
only been open 9 days. We wish them well, the food was great, the
ambiance was special.
3.Cartegena, Columbia-glad we didn't take a shore excursion, met up with
others from the ship and rented a 8 passenger van for the day, our guide
was Antonio (ask on the dock for him he is called the ship agent there,
small gray haired man, not much English though, so it helps to go with
someone who can translate-the van was air conditioned-a plus). He
charged us $15.00 per person and took us everywhere the other tours were
going. Cartegena is a very poor area, and it was depressing in some
areas, although we did see a pretty street in Old Town.
4. Panama Canal transit-was fascinating, I never realized the importance
of the canal, or the grief that was shared there by the thousands of
families who had someone die building it. It was a great trip, and
spent hours out on deck watching how the locks work. Everyone should do
this trip once in their life.
5. Punteranas, Costa Rica-took an excursion to San Jose ($96.00) was a
very long day, but got to see a lot, wish we had done the river rafting
or the cloud forest instead. Our friends did the same route through a
van on the dock, same trip-$30.00 each,
The town of Sarchi where they make the ox carts was interesting. Our
guide Daniel was very nice, spoke perfect English, and made the long day
interesting. San Jose is a fairly modern city, and much prettier that
Cartegena, and didn't have the problem with beggars there.
6. Acapulco-We found a van and driver there for $20.00 per person (8 of
us) and we went everywhere the ships tour went. The divers (a must in
Acapulco), the Princess Hotel (just wonder around the grounds for about
30 minutes-it is so beautiful, The Hard Rock Cafe for buying souvenirs,
tour of the city, and our guide Josue Castaneda A. spoke perfect
English, and was a great guide-took us to his favorite restaurant for
lunch-Carnitas de Esperanza-we ordered a kilo of carnitas and they kept
the tortillas, salsa, and guacamole coming-what a treat (and no
Montezuma's revenge either) we were even given a free margarita from the
owner. I felt I really got a taste (literally and figuratively) from
having a more personable tour from one of the locals. It was perfectly
safe, and it was very interesting. Don't be afraid to venture out in
some of these ports, I think it can be more beneficial (although I am
sure there is some risk involved in not taking a ship approved vendor,
it is much cheaper, and usually just as informative) Josue can be
reached at Josue Castaneda A. Calle Uno #40 Mozimba Acapulco, Gro.
7. Cabo San Lucas-took a van into town, went to Hard Rock, Giggling
Marlin, Cabo Wabo Cantina and then to the Shrimp Factory for
lunch-fabulous, had a great time, food was wonderful and half the ship
was there. You can walk anywhere downtown from the ship, felt safe, and
Our weather was absolutely perfect, only one humid day going through
the canal, otherwise we couldn't have asked for better. March seems to
be the best time for this type of cruise.
Our sea days were fun, but some activities overlapped with some
times with nothing to do, the trivia was fun (we won the valuable
business card holders). Bingo was reasonable one for $10.00 the 3 pack
for $20.00 or the value 2-3 packs for $30.00 (one 3 pack for my husband
and one for me) but the final night for blackout the 3 pack was $25.00
for one game-ouch!
Needless to say didn't win the big one ($5944.00) but 2 people were very
Theme nights were Tex-Mex, 50's-60's and Island night. The Tex-Mex
and Island nights had parties out by the pool with great food and
dancing to the tunes of Onyx.
Would I do it again? Of coarse, a cruise is what you make of it,
and we had a blast.
Thanks to all of those that we met on the boards here, and to the ones
that we met onboard-Chris and Debbie Bell, and Nick and Dawn from St.
Ives, England (what a kick, hope we can do it again someday) Donna Watts
and the much elusive Eric (long story)-Ha! from New York, Dan, Jackie,
Joe and Patti, Sandra and Tom, Harry and Karen from Canada, Rich and
Rose Lara, Delores, Don, Eleanor, Dick, Marlene from near our home, and
Ray and Lynn Henderson, one of our best friends and cruising buddies,
and my wonderful husband and the best person to travel with, Mark-It was
a blast-Thanks for the memories!