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Old August 18th, 2007, 11:54 PM
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Default Cruise Review: Celebrity Infinity 2007 Alaska

Hey everyone, just got back last week from Alaska's Inside Passage and wanted to post a full review I wrote on our cruise experience onboard the Celebrity Infinity. Our Inside Passage ports of call were Ketchikan, Juneau, and Icy Strait Point. I also posted some pictures of my excursion to the Mendenhall glacier that included a helicopter landing on the ice field, then trekking and ice climbing the glacier itself. It was an amazing trip. Here it is:

Cruise review of the Infinity, Alaska's Inside Passage 2007
http://www.kendrickli.com/travel-places-reviews/

Let me know if this was helpful to prospective travelers and also share your experiences! Thanks!

- K
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Old August 19th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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Wow, what an awesome review!!!

My BF and I are departing for this same cruise (same CC cabin) on Alaska Inside Passage Celebrity Infinity Aug 26th. We are very excited to learn of your wonderful trip!

Please let us know if you have any suggestion on:
1) Transportation from the airport to the hotel in downtown Vanc.
2) A great seafood or sushi restaurant in Vancouver close to downtown

Also, if we bring along a laptop with us and my BF has a Blackberry (Cingular), will we be able to access the internet (email) without incurring major charges? How much warm clothes would you say we should pack?

Thanks again for such valuable information you have given us!

Funtravel
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Old August 19th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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Funtravel,

Hey there. Have fun on your trip! We were very lucky to have someone drive us around everywhere in Vancouver, but if you need to get from YVR to downtown, either take a taxi or a hotel shuttle. Both will not be that expensive as the distances in the compact city of Vancouver are short. The subway system that links YVR and downtown is still in construction.

The sushi restaurant I like best downtown is Kamei Royale at Burrard and Georgia on the second floor of the Burrard building. I used to live in Vancouver and of all the ones I've sampled, this is the one I like most.

I have an iPhone (AT&T/Cingular) and my girlfriend has a Blackberry. Both will work in Vancouver just fine but the charges I don't know about since I have not received my bill. As far as on the cruise, there is some wi-fi on the ship near the internet lounge but you have to pay for it. I believe the charges were $0.53 per minute. Most of my online access/phone access was in Alaska as all the ports had full reception (and thus my iPhone could access internet). Since they are all American cities, my national plan (and presumably yours) covers it. We deliberately did not take our laptops with us on this trip because we wanted to unplug and get away from it all.

You will not need warm clothes while on the ship, it's very comfortable. As far as on land, it gets as hot as 77F and sunny, or maybe 50F and cold during the day. It really will depend on your weather and how much sun and overcast you get. The coldest day was at Hubbard, but those couple hours on deck can easily be braved by normal winter wear for 45F temperatures. Bring a warm hat. : ) We brought full winter hiking gear because of the excursions we chose beforehand.

Have a good trip! Feel free to send me email on my website and can show you more pictures of the ports and such (the gallery requires a password); you can determine your packing load by what everyone on land was wearing. And be sure to write up your adventures too after you get back! Looking forward to your stories.

- K
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Old August 20th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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K,

Thanks for taking the time to give your review and great pics of the trip. We are booked on the Infinity for next June 20th, but scheduled to leave out of Seattle Washington and the Icy Strait is not one of our ports. From your review we are not going to miss anything there.
Great pictures.

This will be our first trip to Alaska. I simply cannot wait to get there. We were on the Constellation, and from your description of the Infinity it seems we will love it just as much. We will be on deck 6, midship, with a verandah.

Silly questions - Did you find mosquitos a really big problem?
Do you think being on the ship, doing the glacier, etc., that it is a good plan to book a whale watching tour while in port? I am especially interested in the humpbacks.

Thanks.
Mary
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Old August 21st, 2007, 01:06 AM
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Mary,

Glad you enjoyed the review. No questions are silly ... I was thinking the same issues myself before we departed. : ) We went in the first week of August and mosquitos were non-existent in all ports. Even in the woods, I failed to see a single one. I don't think any other passengers complained about insect bites either.

Whale watching was met with some success in Juneau but great success in Icy Strait Point. You really need to research the migratory patterns of the whales and what month they are likely to be where. Also, whale watching, and I've done a lot of it from my kayak camping expeditions, is usually watching them swim or sleep while swimming. The reason I mention the amazing Icy Strait whale watching adventures of a couple at our dining table on the Infinity, is that they saw a mother and her calf fully breaching out of the water in play. This is not a common sight and some element of luck is involved. But regardless, seeing these animals in close proximity is still breathtaking.

I've seen whales before so I was not prioritizing that activity over doing things I had not done before, like landing on the face of a glacier and trekking up the ice field. But I remember the first time I saw a whale up close- it was an Orca about 20 yards in front of my kayak. Wow. It's a very unique experience. I think you need to choose what is important for you... or more likely, if you can fit in whale watching in one port, and all the things you want to do in other ports, you can have it all. Have a good trip!

- K
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Old August 21st, 2007, 12:15 PM
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K,
Hi again, thanks for your reply and answers.
Since we are not going to Icy Strait I will look into excursions in Juneau.
Due to time restraints we had to choose the end of June, so we will see what luck we have with whale encounters.

Mary
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 12:46 AM
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I was just thinking, we saw a whale on Day 6 just from the cruise ship itself. I was on deck reading in a reclined chair and all of a sudden the crowd erupted and started pointing. I think it was a gray whale, about 400 yards off our Starboard. A couple at our dining table was the wildlife luck manufacturers... they literally saw whales two out of seven days from the ship, and on another morning, porpoises from their own cabin window. Just a matter of luck... and manufacturing the opportunities to receive said luck. : )

If your itinerary allows you to pass Johnston Strait (Northern tip of Vancouver Island) during daylight hours, your chances of seeing Orca are pretty high.

- K
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 01:42 PM
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If your itinerary allows you to pass Johnston Strait (Northern tip of Vancouver Island) during daylight hours, your chances of seeing Orca are pretty high.

- K[/quote]

We are leaving out of Seattle, and I am not sure if we will pass Vancouver Island during daylight. We can only hope we are lucky. I might see about a kayak or whale watch excursion when the date gets closer. Thanks again.
M
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