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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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Default Celebrity Infinity through Panama Canal

My husband and I are going with my elderly parents on the Infinity out of San Diego. I have read several reviews that concern the poor conditions on the ship. However, I also read that the ship was in dry dock in Dec. so maybe these problems were taken care of. Has anyone been on the Infinity since it was drydocked? I need help with cabin selection: balcony or oceanview, front/aft/middle of ship, deck. Also if anyone has ideas on shore excursions we could book on our own. Thanks so much!!
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Old February 4th, 2009, 04:01 PM
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We sailed on the Infinity in December 2008. As I'm sure you have already read on this site, the ship was not in the best condition and service was also sub-par.
We origianlly planned to take another couple with us on this cruise. They were first time cruisers and were skeptical about cruising, but we always told them how wonderful it was. They were planning on joining us until a personal issue prevented them from booking.
Considering our experince on this ship, I was quite happy that they were not able to join us as they would have had a very distasteful first impression of cruising.
I'm hoping that your experience will be better than ours.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Celebrity Infinity through Panama Canal

carolynrose,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
My husband and I are going with my elderly parents on the Infinity out of San Diego. I have read several reviews that concern the poor conditions on the ship. However, I also read that the ship was in dry dock in Dec. so maybe these problems were taken care of. Has anyone been on the Infinity since it was drydocked?
I was aboard GTS Celebrity Infinity for the westbound Panama Canal cruise over Halloween of last year, and she was in excellent condtion. All of the public spaces and my cabin were very well maintained.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I need help with cabin selection: balcony or oceanview, front/aft/middle of ship, deck.
I generally find that cabins located amidships on decks between the Promenade Deck and the pool deck seem to provide the convenient access to all of the public areas of the ship. And I usually opt for the economy of an inside cabin, but your preference may vary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Also if anyone has ideas on shore excursions we could book on our own. Thanks so much!!
The ship's shore excursions generally offer good value, and they are totally seamless in that they leave from the pier and return to the pier. Here are a few additional consideratons.

>> 1. The cruise line vets the operators of its shore excursions very thoroughly to ensure that the operators are reputable, the equipment and transportation are safe, the itineraries match the descriptions, and the guides are both knowledgeable and fluent in English. If you book an excursion on your own, you may find unsafe vehicles, unscrupulous operators, and poor guides, especially in Mexico and Columbia.

>> 2. The cruise line protects you in the event that the ship arrives late or cancels a port of call. If you book an excursion on your own, you probably will forfeit the price if you miss it due to such circumstances.

>> 3. If you book an excursion through the cruise line, it will leave from and return to the pier. If you book an excursion on your own, it will be your responsibility to get to and from the operator's departure point. This may require a taxi ride that costs more than what you thought you were saving.

>> 4. If you book an excursion through the cruise line and its return is delayed beyond the ship's scheduled departure due to traffic, weather, or other unforeseen circumstances, the ship will either delay departure until it returns or make other arrangements to get the affected passengers back onboard. If you book an excursion on your own and its return encounters similar delays, the ship will not wait. If you miss the ship, you will have to pay your own way to the next port of call and pay for your own accommodations and meals until you rejoin the ship.

The roads in Mexico, Central America, and South America are not up to the standards of those of the United States and Canada. Many of the major "highways" are two lane roads that wind through the mountainside, accidents and storms that block them completely are commonplace, and detours to get around such obscacles can be quite long. For this reason, I recommend booking excursions that go any distance from the port of call through the cruise line in the strongest possible terms.

Having said that, several of the ports of call have tourist areas right at the end of the pier. On your itinerary, this is true of Cabo San Lucas and Huatulco, Mexico, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, and Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:33 PM
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Thank you so much for the wonderful, detailed information on the shore excursions. That will certainly help us as we decide on shore excursions. I appreciate your taking the time to reply to me!! :
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Old February 6th, 2009, 07:22 PM
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carolynrose,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Thank you so much for the wonderful, detailed information on the shore excursions. That will certainly help us as we decide on shore excursions. I appreciate your taking the time to reply to me!! :
You're most welcome.

I also just noticed a significant omission in my earlier post. In so-called "tender" ports like Cabo San Lucas and Georgetown, the shore excursions get first priority for the available tenders to go ashore. If you decide that you want to spend most of the day on your own in such a port, it's generally best to book a short shore excursion early in the day so you don't have to get tender passes and wait your turn to go ashore in the ship's theatre. If a lot of passengers get to the theater ahead of you and there are a lot of shore excursions going ashore, the wait can be quite long.

And BTW, welcome aboard CruiseMates!

Norm.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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Hi Carolynrose! Iy your sailing on Infinity you may be interested in a five minute video Celebrity has on their homepage of iInifinity saling through the canal. It is very entertaining!

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old February 8th, 2009, 12:26 AM
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Thank y'all so much for your help. I'll be sure to post a review once we return from our cruise.
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