I am in the process of putting together a more detailed review which I will submit to Readers Reviews when finished, but I thought I would share a “Readers Digest” version in the meantime.
Condition of the ship – Infinity
There have been many questions regarding the condition of Infinity, both here and on other boards. Comments/opinions have ranged from “ready for the ship breakers” to “looks like it was just launched.” I would like to share mine.
Overall the ship is in great shape. There are some dings, and scratch or 2 if you look closely. There is absolutely nothing that we found that would influence us not to sail her again soon, were we to have the opportunity. Perhaps the best analogy is to look at her as a classic car that is in need of a detailing.
We ate in all the venues during this voyage.
The buffet is good, although we only ate there for breakfast a few times (port days). The waffles and French toast are still great.
The AquaSpa was our favorite for breakfast and lunch. The yogurt parfaits and miniature brioches for breakfast were wonderful. The poached fruits served during lunch were to die for. I took pictures of these so as to have a record of what they were poached in. Things like star anise, and bay leaves. Combinations that are seemingly at odds with each other, but result in a fantastic taste.
We also ate in the Trellis room, and truth be told, I am undecided about the new menus. My wife liked the old menus. It came down to a matter of choices, and everyone will make up their own minds, but I was OK with the choices, and a couple of time she was not, but opted for a steak, so that was OK. We both do like the fact you can get shrimp cocktail and escargot every night should you want. Again, it’s a personal thing.
Where we both though there could be improvement is in the menu choices offered at the Ocean Bistro (Alternate Dining). As before, there are 4 entrees, but they are such things as a duck confit (sp?) dish, a half a baby chicken, a fish dish, and of all things, curried leg of lamb. While before, there was always a “special”, they have discontinued that. We found this out our second time dining there. Our first time, the waiter said to us that in addition to what was on the menu, we could have a steak. We both did, and it was delicious. The second time, we asked about a special, namely steak, and the waiter said he would have to check. In a minute or 2 he comes back with the assistant maitre’d who proceeds to inform us (and with an attitude I might add), that specials were no longer being offered; that the menu is the menu, and “..if you want a steak, you will need to go downstairs…” He repeated this several times, after we shared the fact that previously on the voyage we had been given an option. Didn’t matter, he stuck with the story. I think part of his demeanor and “attitude” was the his command of English was not very good, and so he fell into the trap of thinking that if you spoke louder and repeated, people would understand. No big deal, and my wife and I went ahead and ordered. She had the half baby chicken and I had the curried leg of lamb, which was like a spicy lamb stew. It was not something that we felt we needed to report to the Hotel Director or whomever, but it was out of character with the friendliness and attitudes exhibited by the rest of the staff we encountered. Everyone has a bad day I guess.
The SS United States, where we ate twice, is fantastic.
The pastries at the Cova, morning and afternoon both, continue to be great.
Celebrity singers and dancers were highly energetic and talented. The best we have seen on any cruise to date. The orchestra was OK. The a cappella group was fair. Truth be told, we didn’t care for their selection of songs.
By far the best group on board in our opinion was Kathleen and the Saints who performed in the Rendezvous Lounge. Her voice was wonderful. She was joined by a keyboard player, a bass guitarist, and a drummer. Did all the old favorites and classics. Her rendition of “Crazy”, was as good as Patsy Kline’s original. The left the ship after this cruise, and will be joining Constellation after a vacation. With Perry Grant on board, there will be 2 dynamite performers to hear. Anyone sailing Connie in 2010 should look for them.
Ranked in order, favorites first:
Cabo San Lucas
Huatulco; Puerto Vallarta (a tie)
The Panama Canal
Having done a transit once, we would never book another cruise specifically to do it again. A great engineering accomplishment, and it’s neat seeing how the ships go in and then out of the locks, but other than that (and seeing a crocodile in the canal), there was really nothing. The scenery is nothing special, and the water isn’t pretty. Again, just our opinion.
It was a great cruise overall. Starting with the surprise upgrade to a Sky Suite at embarkation, to our visiting and subsequently loving Cabo and Huatulco, it was just lovely. Were there some minor bumps or inconveniences? Yes, but the rest far outweighed them, and we will definitely sail Celebrity again. Hopefully next year. Which ship is still up in the air, but we will be going out again.