#1  
Old July 16th, 2004, 05:00 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Are any CruiseMates signed on for this cruise? It's a wonderful itinerary through the Panama Canal and down the western coast of South America. Great complement to the next cruise "around the Horn".

So far we know of 24 others who are aboard, enough for a special, invitation only, party provided by Celebrity Line for those who sign up before boarding. We'd love to hear from others who plan to be aboard.

Charlotte
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  #2  
Old July 18th, 2004, 07:10 PM
Joe Reynolds
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO


Mike & Charlotte,
I 'm sure you will enjoy it. If you are spending any time in Santiago, check out my South American report on Cruisemates Cruise Reviews- Infinity. There is a lady that does an excellent tour that has some nice personal touches. Her name is in the report. Have her drop you off at the Gondola after her tour.
Our cruise picked up where yours left off.
Find some pictures at:
http://www.cruise-forums.com/gallery...ynolds&match=1
Read the "Path between the Seas" by David McCollugh. Makes the Panama Canal more interesting.
Happy Cruising.
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  #3  
Old July 20th, 2004, 11:16 AM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the reply. I take it that you're not doing the cruise again??? Funny that you mentioned Path Between the Seas; Mike just finished reading it, and I'm about to start. He thought it was a fabulous book. I'll read your report.

We do plan to spend time in Santiago afterwords; we also spent a few days there three years ago after going "round the Horn." We liked Santiago better than Buenos Aires; something about the casual atmosphere and friendliness of the people.

Charlotte
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  #4  
Old July 21st, 2004, 08:20 PM
Joe Reynolds
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Default Re: Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAIS

Charlotte,
No, we are not doing the Panama Canal again at this time, but may do it again in the future. We will be on the Transatlantic Constellation Sept 6. I thought the Panama Canal transit was a real good trip. Liked the Cuna Indians on the San Blas Islands.
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  #5  
Old July 23rd, 2004, 11:27 PM
Rob and Shirley Renicker
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

We are booked on this cruise however I see something on Celebrity's website that is disturbing.

I can't find this cruise any longer. It says no cruises at all for Infinity in January.

What's up?
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  #6  
Old July 24th, 2004, 02:01 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

You're right. I tried and tried, going at it from the fleet page, the destinations page, and the cruise calendar on the Celebrity website, and no matter how I sliced it, every page indicated that the Infinity will not sail out of Ft. Lauderdale on Jan 3.

However, each time it stated that there is "no cruise available." I wonder if it's sold out already? There are already more than enough signed up on the Cruise Critic/Celebrity Connections site for them to host a free party.

I wrote an e-mail to my TA, asking if he'd check and see what's up; will let you know. By the way, we have a spreadsheet of those we know from three websites: Cruise Critic, CruiseMates, and Cruise Addicts--35 so far.

Happy cruising,
Charlotte
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  #7  
Old July 24th, 2004, 06:32 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Just checked with Celebrity's Captain's Club rep. Both the January 3 and the following cruises are sold out already! It appears that people want to be as far from Iraq as possible, she said, and the website says "not available" because there is a waiting list for cabins and they believe it's long enough that there will be no availability to new people. Guess we're all just lucky to have booked when we did, huh?

Charlotte
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  #8  
Old July 25th, 2004, 06:07 AM
Joe Reynolds
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Default Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Mike & Charlotte,
Congratulations on getting in on one of the best cruises available. Hope you have a veranda. I guess you are fixed and can't change cabins if they have a waiting list. You will probably start your passage in the morning ang will be sailing from north to south so the morning sun will be on your port side. (Hopefully you will have sun) Passage will take about 8 hours. I always think of sun position for optimizing picture taking.
The picture of the bridge at the end should be nice. (Pan American Highway).
Only pictures I have on our trip are on video, but I have been playing with DVD recordings. (Juat a hobby) If you are interested, e-mail me at [email protected].
If I can't be on the cruise, I would like to be there in spirit.
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  #9  
Old July 30th, 2004, 12:25 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAIS

Hi Joe,

We'll raise our glasses and have a drink to you as we pass under the Pan American bridge. Speaking of balcony cabins and the sun, I thought of that when booking. We'll be in 9201 (yes, I have read all the discussion about music drifting down from the Lido and chairs moving), which has a large balcony at the stern. My thinking was that by afternoon we'd be in the shade and as comfortable as anyplace. Many people don't realize that you can see the same stuff from the stern as from the bow, and an aft cabin allows you to see everything, not just the view on the port or starboard side.

I'll e-mail you separately.

Charlotte
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  #10  
Old July 31st, 2004, 10:27 PM
Joe Reynolds
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPA

Charlotte,
My layout shows tht 9201 is an aft cabin. WOW, you will love that cabin. I think there used to be a fellow that did some music in the little dining area just above you at night, but if you are inside it won't be a problem. Moving chair noise is not a problem. If you are outside you will enjoy whatever music there is. You will be sailing from North to South, and if starting in the morning the sun will come up on the port side. Makes no difference to you in an aft cabin. Actually I think the direction may be slightly to the Souteast, so you may have some shade in the morning. If you haven't stayed in one of the aft cabins before you are in for a treat. You are absolutely correct to have this cabin.
I always get a stern cabin, but down on 8 or 7. Send me and E-mail.

Joe
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  #11  
Old August 2nd, 2004, 04:40 PM
Diane Nagel
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

My husband and I will be traveling with 2 other couples onboard the Jan 3 Infinity sailing.We are usually RCCL travelers and are looking forward to our first Celebrity cruise. How do we sign up for your party? Have you found out anything regarding the stops at Manta,Lima and Arica? We are not really into museums and archeology, preferring beaches and roaming in the towns. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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  #12  
Old August 2nd, 2004, 08:12 PM
Cruz Crazy Cruz Crazy is offline
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

My TA's website is only showing a SS cabin for a bargain price of $5,500.

Everyone on this cruise, have a great time and let us know all about it.

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2008 Liberty OTS (Caribbean)
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2005 Millenium, Voyager of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas B2B
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  #13  
Old August 3rd, 2004, 02:06 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Hi Diane,

I've added you to the spreadsheet, and will send you information about how to sign up for the party. My friend has not responded about what to do in the various ports. Perhaps she's on a cruise teaching bridge. Whenever she replies, I'll post her recommendations.

Charlotte
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  #14  
Old September 4th, 2004, 10:02 AM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Diane,

Here are some sites that I found helpful. http://gosouthamerica.about.com/cs/s...a/ChiArica.htm for information on Arica, Chile, and
http://cruises.about.com/cs/southame...ta_ecuador.htm for information on Manta, Ecuador, and
http://www.chile-travel.com/santiago.htm for information on Santiago.

Charlotte
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  #15  
Old November 2nd, 2004, 11:12 AM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAIS

bump; final payments are made; we're planning independent shore excursions; two parties are planned. Anybody else onboard?

Charlotte
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  #16  
Old November 7th, 2004, 04:55 PM
RobertaR
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Hello fellow cruiser! We are on board for that cruise!
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  #17  
Old November 8th, 2004, 12:20 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Hi Roberta,

We've got you on the list; Rob signed all of you up a few months ago, and we look forward to seeing you at the Sailaway and Celebrity Connections parties.

By the way, has anybody checked out how much Chile is charging Americans now for the "Reciprocity Fee", and whether it applies to those who depart from Chilean airports, as well as those who arrive? In the spring it was a fee of $100 cash per person upon arrival, but I've heard nothing about it since.

Charlotte
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  #18  
Old November 8th, 2004, 06:53 PM
Ann Ann is offline
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Hi all

Just checking in on this web site roll call. We are on this cruise and staying put on the ship in Valparaiso so that we can continue around the Horn. I am so glad we booked months ago! The one mistake I made was not booking a balcony cabin originally (wanted to think about it and figured I could upgrade later). However we will still have a GREAT DOUBLE CRUISE!

I am known as BC happy Gal and will be cruiseing with family. (6 of us in total)

look forward to meeting all of you onboard soon!

Ann
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  #19  
Old November 17th, 2004, 12:29 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

I think that we've booked all the shore excursions that we plan to book for this trip, but that only means a handful of pre-booked tours. We'll most likely wing it in some ports, and hope that other CC posters will join us. Here's how it shakes out:

ARUBA: A return visit so we want to just grab a taxi and go snorkeling. Anybody want to go along?

PANAMA: This is the only Celebrity excursion we booked--to the Canal Museum and see the workings of the Canal. Mike read The Path Between the Seas, which is about building the Canal, and this tour seems to compliment that. BTW, he recommends the book highly.

MANTA, ECUADOR: Although the city has 150,000 people, there doesn't seem to be much to do. However, after so long onboard, we think that our legs will really want to stretch out so a long walk along the Malecon and samples of the local cerveza might fill the bill. Also, the Banco Central museum is supposed to have an excellent collection of ceramics from 800-1550 AC, from the local area. If anybody else has found other things to do, please post.

CALLAO/LIMA: Well, we booked this trip to see Machu Pichu, but that's a bit costly so we looked elsewhere. For a while we thought of accepting the offer of a friend of a friend, but he's proven to be somewhat lackadaisical, which isn't what we want in a tour guide. I've read posts where people just got off the ship with a list of where they wanted to go, found a taxi at the dock, and we off for a most enjoyable day. We plan to do just that, with stops at the cathedral, a pyramid in the city center, the Museo de Oro, Pachachamac ruins, then stop by the crafts market on the way back to the ship. Perhaps others would like to join us here, too.

ARICA, CHILE: This is another city with seemingly little to do, even though it has a population of 175,000. I think we'll again get out and walk. The Customs House (Aduana) designed by Eiffel and the Cathedral on Plaza Colon should be interesting. Too bad we won't be there on Sunday for their big artisan market! However, when the ship's in, I'm sure that many of the same people will find places to sell their crafts.

VALPARAISO/SANTIAGO: Arianna from Alunsa Royal Tours will pick 6 of us and our luggage up at the pier for a tour of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, then transfer us to the Crowne Plaza in Santiago. That night at least 4 of us will go to Los Adobes de Argomedo restaurant for dinner and a folkloric show of native songs and dances, including those of Incas and Easter Island. The next morning Arianna will again pick us up for a trip to the ghost town of Sewell in the mountains, as well as a tour of El Teniente, the largest underground copper mine in the world. Our last day in Santiago will be filled with some more walking, shopping, and seeing some of what we didn't in 2001.

Considering that the cruise is just a matter of weeks away, with holidays between then and now, there has been amazingly little chatter about what everybody plans to do. Of course, there are a lot of sea days, but we'd love to hear what exciting things others have found.

I'll post details of the CC Sailaway Party soon, and, yes, we do have enough signed up for the Celebrity Connections Party, compliments of CC and X. We look forward to seeing all whom we've met on the boards at both parties.

Charlotte
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  #20  
Old December 2nd, 2004, 06:08 PM
Gil arnal
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Default Re: Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAIS

Signed up for CC party,looking forward to the cruise.We are travelling with another couple and will laso spend 2 days in Santiago. We are laso staying a at the Crowne plaza. See you on board
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  #21  
Old December 15th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Gail Phillips
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Default Re: Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAIS

Mike and Charlotte,
I have enjoyed reading your messages, and yes, we are also booked on the Infinity for the Jan. 3 trip to South America, only it will be our first time there. I have also reserved with a Santiago tour agency which will pick us up at the ship and show us the sights around Valparariso and Vina del Mar before delivering us to our hotel in Santiago, but I didn't know what time to tell them to meet us. From your past experience, what time can we hope to be able to get off the ship?

Also, do I understand that this $100 Reciprocity Tax in Chile is only for those arriving by air and will not apply to us, although we will have a departure tax when we leave?

We are signed up for the get-acquainted party, and I look forward to meeting you.
Gail
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  #22  
Old December 15th, 2004, 11:38 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPA

Hi Gail,

Yes, the Chilean Reciprocity Fee does not apply to those who arrive by ship, so we're already off to a savings!

I've added you to the list of cruisemates--we now have 62 on the list. Are you, by any chance, a friend of Carol Hilton's? She had told me that friends of hers were aboard, Gail and Ralph (no last name).

You asked what time to be picked up. I've read reports from last year, and those posters said that disembarcation from the Infinity in Valparaiso was the most confused and time-consuming of any cruise they'd been on. That was our experience on the Mercury in 2001, as well. I really have no idea how it will go this year, but I guessed that it would be between 10 and 11. The tour people will have an idea, as well, since they pick up at ships frequently. It could be noon, but I told our tour person between 10 and 11. If it's later, they wait. If it's earlier, we lounge--nobody will be forced off just because they've called our tag color. You don't want to tell them too late because people down there operate on their own time, which means they are not attuned to a schedule and are often late.

We'll have a Sailaway Party, as well as the Celebrity Connections Party. Will post details shortly. We look forward to meeting you in just a couple of weeks. When will you arrive in FLL? Some of us who plan to be there a day or two ahead will get together for dinner or drinks the night before boarding. You're welcome to join us.

Charlotte
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  #23  
Old December 18th, 2004, 08:56 PM
hcat
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

We are looking at this for a future cruise so hope you will all post reviews & photos. Can you also let me know what the airfare is going to run for the 1 way back to US (various cities) Seems like it's high from NY which is what I've been checking out. Also for a one way trip so far away is it best to go with the cruiseline for the air?
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  #24  
Old December 19th, 2004, 05:33 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

If you're in New York, you'll most likely need air to Ft. Lauderdale and back from Santiago, or visa versa, depending whether you do the cruise in January or April.

So what you'll really need is two one way tickets. This is one of the few instances when we've found that the cruise lines air is cheaper for us than doing it ourselves. It was about $900 for us through Celebrity; we will fly from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale, and then from Santiago to Los Angeles.

Charlotte
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  #25  
Old December 22nd, 2004, 07:29 PM
Mike & Charlotte
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

Hi all, Can you believe that it's only a matter of days till we leave? Seems that time has dragged since we booked this cruise, and now it's flying. We've talked about three parties: the Cruise Critic/Celebrity Connections party; the Sailaway Party; and a gathering of those who'll stay in FLL the night before, for dinner and/or drinks. Here are the particulars, one-by-one. If you're not interested in one, skip to the next.

There is also an updated list attached in Excel. I will also send it out pasted into a separate e-mail. If you want to print it out, be sure to click on "preferences" and then choose the "layout" tab so you can designate that it be printed "landscape". Otherwise, only half the page will print.

Party 1, January 2 in FLL. I checked out Italian, Fusion, Southwest, Floribbian, bar-b-que, and all the rest, and finally decided to go with location, location, location. I'm not familiar with FLL, but it appears that Chuck and Marsha Thompson's hotel, the Radisson, is about the middle for all of our hotels, with a restaurant overlooking the water or the marina. So far I know of 6 who would like to have dinner together that night. If you'd like to join us, let me know, and I'll make a reservation. Let's eat at 6:30, that's on Sunday, January 2, at the Radisson-Bahia Mar Beach Resort, 801 Seabreeze Blvd, Ft. Lauderdale, phone (954) 764-2233. The restaurant is the Bahia Mar Bar and Grill. If you arrive late or just aren't interested in dinner, we'll retreat to the bar area of same for drinks after dinner.

Party 2, Sailaway Party onboard. Dunno when the muster drill was yesterday, but on the previous cruise it was at 4:30; however, the Infinity didn't sail till 9 pm. We are scheduled to sail at 4 pm, but if there are many storms and too many planes are late, that could be delayed, etc. Let's say that we'll have the party immediately after the Muster Drill in the aft balcony of the Ocean Grill, which is at the stern--'way back behind the buffet lines. They might or might not be selling cocktails out there, but buffet drinks will be available. The view will be great! We'll have nametags.

Party 3, the Cruise Critic/Celebrity Connections Party. They are putting this one on, and should deliver invitations to our cabins. However, I've heard from plenty of people who never received the invitations on previous cruises. If you don't receive the invitation by the morning after departure, check with guest services for the time and location.

Charlotte
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  #26  
Old December 29th, 2004, 03:48 PM
Joe Reynolds
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Default Re: ROLL CALL: INFINITY, JAN 3, O5, FLL - VALPARAISO

If you guys haven't left yet don't forget to take the tram to the statue on the mountain in Santiago. It is a beautiful view and not very expensive. Just don't get off at the first stop but continue to the top. Your ticket allows you to stop at the first stop and then continue to the top, but there is nothing at the first stop that wouldn't take quite a bit of time.

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