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Celebrity Infinity - Review

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Cruise Ship: Celebrity Infinity
Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
Ship Rating: 8.3/10
Destination: Pacific Coastal

By FredR500
2017-09-30 18:13:14

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Ship Review: We are longtime cruisers, with at least 13 cruises and over 110 days at sea. My point is we have cruised before; Caribbean, Transatlantic, Bermuda, Alaska, Pacific coast. We’ve been on Princess, HAL, NCL, Carnival and Celebrity. With that background here is my review of my Pacific Coast cruise on Celebrity’s Infinity 9/17-24/2017.

We booked this cruise based 100% on the itinerary. It started in Vancouver, then Seattle, Astoria OR, sea day, San Francisco, Monterey CA, Santa Barbara CA and ended in Laos Angeles.

The Infinity is beginning to show its age. The décor and artwork are not up to today’s standards, wear and tear was evident in many places, but all things considered it is a good ship. The staterooms were bigger than I expected and the baths were spacious compared to many others. The ship’s layout was pretty typical, we had no trouble finding anything and after a day or so easily found our way around the ship.

The entertainment seemed to be a cut above what we’ve seen elsewhere. The magician Chris Funk was very entertaining, funny and mystifying. He did an evening show and an afternoon up close show. Both were well attended and well accepted. Lou Gazzara is a very talented singer from Las Vegas that also did an evening show and an afternoon performance. The final headliner was a Billy Joel tribute performer that played piano and sung. I didn’t record his name but I wish I had, he was also excellent. And to show he was willing to do whatever was needed for us to have great entertainment, the piano player for Lou Gazzara couldn’t perform that night and he filled in on the piano.

But we all cruise for the food don’t we? Breakfast and lunch were as expected, all the standards and more (a poached egg station?) were available, no surprises, no disappointments. Our dinner staff was excellent. For some reason there were 6 empty tables around us and our seven top was our staff’s only table. The five dinners we ate there were all first rate. No complaints.

Qsine is a $45 specialty restaurant that is as much an experience as it is a meal. Every diner is given an iPad as the menu. There are 20 choices and if you like you can get them all. Each is a small plate and I believe we had 7 plus dessert for the two of us. Each item was a work of art and even though the menu described the items each was a surprise when it hit the table. I highly recommend checking it out.

It’s very hard to get everything perfect, and the two failures on this cruise were bad enough for us to decide we will not return to Celebrity.

The first was the Chef’s Table dinner. These are usually only offered once per cruise and only seat a few people. We had 8 guests and an officer at the table. I think the best way to describe the Celebrity’s Chef’s Table (CTC) is to compare it to our last Princess CT. The Princess CT (PCT) started the day before, we all met with the Executive Chef and Sommelier to discuss the menu and our likes/dislikes/allergies, etc. They then went off to prepare the food and wine pairing. The CTC started with an invitation in our cabin stating time and place to meet. Both CTs met outside the galley. PCT gave us all white chef’s jackets and taught us proper handwashing technique before allowing us to proceed. They then brought us into the galley where we again met the Executive Chef and the Sommelier. There was an ice carving on a table surrounded by appetizers on a spoon and a small glass of wine for each of us. The next app was also served there, with another wine. We then toured the galley, hung up our jackets and were led to a table. Each seat had a small loaf of bread with our name written in chocolate for a place card.

CTC met outside the galley, we posed for a group picture, then went on a brief galley tour. From there we were led to our table and found our seats by the paper nametags.

On the PCT we were served more appetizers (a total of 6), each arriving on a tray with fresh cut flowers. Followed by soup and sorbet. The main course was Roast Veal Shank and Beef Tenderloin carved tableside, followed by dessert.

The CTC had one appetizer, soup and salad. Sorbet was on the menu but not served. Main course was a choice of Filet or Turbot. Dessert was a “Chocolate Sphere. “ a hollow ball of chocolate filled with a fruit filling. They told us that usually they light the chocolate and it melts into a smooth dessert but for safety they would not light them. Instead we had to use our spoons to break our way through the hard shell to get to the inside. It may have been good melted, but as served everyone just had a few bites and pushed it away.

PCT cost $200/couple, CTC was $250/couple. We left very disappointed.

Second problem was with the only shore excursion was the only shore excursion we booked through Celebrity. We were in Santa Barbara on Saturday and my wife decided she wanted to see the Reagan Library, a $129 excursion. I filled out the form on Thursday and dropped it in the box at 3pm. On Friday morning (the excursion was on Saturday) we got a phone call at 6:22am. We had nothing planned and our intention was to sleep in a little. But a phone call at 6:22am ended that idea. The caller said she had just seen our request (shore excursion was open for 2 hours the night before) and it was no longer available. Yes, we got a very early morning phone call to tell us our trip for the next day wasn’t available.

I got madder and madder throughout the day and finally decided I needed to talk to someone. I went to the excursion desk when it opened and asked to talk to the manager. The staffer on duty asked what it was about and I said I just needed to talk to him. She said I needed to explain the whole story to her and she would decide if I could speak with him. I left and went to guest services who called him and had him come talk to me. He heard the story and promised to look into it.

A few hours later he called back, apologized, said “the girl has been reprimanded and apologized” and that we were now booked on the trip.

The tickets say to go to the theater at 8:30am. We sat in the theater until 9:45, at which point we had to tender to the pier and walk to the bus. In route the tour guide said our time would be limited to 2 hours at the Library due to our late start, that usually there was 2 ½ - 3 hours. They were ready to leave on time, the ship delayed our exit and we were cut short. No one felt there was enough time to see the library. There was also a stop at the Paramount Ranch to see some old movie sets. Everyone on our bus asked if we could skip that and stay longer but she said she had to take us. When we arrived at the ranch she said due to traffic we only had 5 minutes there, but the driver said he could avoid traffic and we could spend half an hour. Everyone was back on the bus in about 15 minutes, it was a worthless stop to us.

And by the way, there were 16 empty seats on the “full tour.”

A few words on the staff and I’ll end. The main dining room staff was great. Everywhere else the focus seemed to be on them and not the guests. We were expected to yield to them when walking anywhere. They would never step aside or avoid us, we always had to give way. One waiter on the buffet are walked down the line singing “love me, love me, like I love you. I love you all my guests.” Two staff (again, not the main DR) told us “you will get a survey, please mark all employees a 10. If there is something you didn’t like write it in the comments, but you have to grade us a 10 or we won’t get raises and bonuses. Always rate everything a 10 or it is bad for all of us.”

Was it a good trip? Yes. Did I have a good time? Yes. Am I glad I went? Yes. Will I cruise again? Yes. On Celebrity? No. We have a choice where we spend our money, that choice will most likely be Princess. I had heard that Celebrity was trying to be the upscale brand to the Royal Caribbean sister brand, if so they need to keep trying.
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This user does not recommend this cruise ship

Carnival Glory - Review

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Cruise Ship: Carnival Glory
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Ship Rating: 5.2/10
Destination: Caribbean - Eastern

By RLady
2017-04-18 23:26:04

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Ship Review: Why is no one telling the truth. I sailed on the Glory in January 2017 and it was the WORST ship that I have been on. My stateroom was in the very back of the ship. Unbelievably NOISY, engines & thrusters were right under my cabin.
Things in my bathroom kept falling apart also.
Cabin stewards on my deck were not friendly and did not go out-of-their-way EVER.
Overall this ship was NOT in great shape.
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This user does not recommend this cruise ship

Norwegian Sky - Review

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Cruise Ship: Norwegian Sky
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Ship Rating: 0.5/10
Destination: Bahamas

By NCLStinks
2017-03-31 19:54:24

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Ship Review: I was lied to by the NCL authorized agent about the price of my cruise and they refused to make it right. Once they have your credit card they will take what they want and not honor their deal. The agent was a liar. The NCL guest relations person (Avis Brown) failed to properly investigate or make it correctly and communicated slowly and in form letters only. I will never cruise with Norwegian again.
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This user does not recommend this cruise ship

Bahamas Celebration - Review

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Cruise Ship: Bahamas Celebration
Cruise Line: Celebration Cruise Line
Ship Rating: 6.5/10
Destination: Mediterranean - Western

By Sptulissi
2017-03-24 15:55:09

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This user recommends this cruise ship

Disney Fantasy - Review

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Cruise Ship: Disney Fantasy
Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line
Ship Rating: 10/10
Destination: Caribbean - Western

By Obelix1921
2017-03-21 20:03:36

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This user recommends this cruise ship

MSC Divina - Review

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Cruise Ship: MSC Divina
Cruise Line: MSC Cruises
Ship Rating: 6.3/10
Destination: Caribbean - All

By Prinz
2017-02-23 16:01:25

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This user recommends this cruise ship

Norwegian Jewel - Review

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Cruise Ship: Norwegian Jewel
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Ship Rating: 6.3/10
Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

By Thecatservant
2017-02-11 18:10:56

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Ship Review: We were very disappointed with this ship. It felt very crowded. The ambiance in the main dining room was poor. There was no grand concourse so that added to the crowded feeling. Our room steward was terrific and we liked the staff very much, but I would probably not sail on Norwegian again, even with a better layout as we really found the food lacking.
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This user does not recommend this cruise ship

Voyager of the Seas - Review

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Cruise Ship: Voyager of the Seas
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International
Ship Rating: 7.8/10
Destination: Asia

By Philkerrynhawkins
2016-12-21 05:41:24

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Ship Review: This was our first cruise, it was a lovely experience. We had adjoining Grand suites and with mum, dad and 4 kids(older teens) it worked very well.
We did not see any shows with the ship performers, but did see the ice show and a headliner from Twain, she was good, but only spoke her own language.
The pool was a hit as was the flowrider. We also enjoyed a family game of PutPut.
We enjoyed most of our meals and our most enjoyed meal was dinner at chops.
All up we enjoyed our first ever cruise and look forward to the next one.
This was a cruise in Asia and seemed to be an older age base.
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This user recommends this cruise ship

Norwegian Getaway - Review

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Cruise Ship: Norwegian Getaway
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Ship Rating: 9.8/10
Destination: Caribbean - Western

By Yenjun
2016-12-10 13:41:09

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This user recommends this cruise ship

Norwegian Spirit - Review

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Cruise Ship: Norwegian Spirit
Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Ship Rating: 5/10
Destination: Mediterranean - All

By Tourist101
2016-12-10 12:45:26

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Ship Review: Norwegian Cruise Line was highly recommended to us as one of the leading companies in offering great cruise experiences and in providing high quality service. 

However, after participating in the recent cruise Barcelona-Venice in October 2016, we encountered a certain number of negative issues on board, which in our view, are important to raise to the attention of the company. 

1. The first and one of the most important issues is the new regulation about the drinking water, which is not allowed to be taken on board.

On the embarkation day we bought a lot of drinking water to take on board, as we did on the last cruise. Our group consisted of three adults and three children; and their mother was recently ill so in order to maintain a good health condition,  her doctor highly recommended to drink  at least two litres of water  a day. 
So we bought 5-7 gallons of water and arrived happily at the port.

The porters who helped with the baggage, were almost ready to take the drinking water with the rest of the baggage, but because the bag with the water was half open  they were afraid that some water bottles might fall out. That was the only reason not to hand in the water, and they  kindly suggested to take the drinking water with our hand baggage. 
In order to reduce the weight of the overall water, we put some water bottles in the suitcases in front of porters and security. No one said to us anything about the new regulation that the drinking water is not allowed to be taken on board. 

To our great astonishment, after handing in the baggage and passing all security checks, right at the main entrance at the deck 7 - we were informed in a quite rude manner of speech, that no one is allowed to take in drinking water on board as according to new regulations. The water can be purchased on board. Ultimately, our water was confiscated. 

We have not seen any notice in the tickets about new rules and regulations regarding water.

 We were told that the reason for not allowing to take drinking water on board is the prevention of possible terrorism. This is reasonable, yet, why then no one took out water bottles from the handed in baggage?  In addition, when we were passing the security check with our hand baggage with water bottles - they did not say a word about new regulation. We can not find any explanation to that case, and consequently another important question arises, namely the security issue.

Does it mean that the handed in baggage is just loaded on the ship without any examination or security check up, so that theoretically everyone can take on board anything dangerous?
This does not make any sense, that just in front of the entrance of the ship our water was confiscated, whereas one can take the same water or anything else on board in the handed in baggage.

All in all, during the whole cruise we had to buy water on board which resulted in  huge unexpected expenses. Our group of six people, consisting of three children and three adults , who are used to a normal daily water intake (at least 1.5 litters per day) - was exposed to no other choice than to spend daily almost $70 for water, considering that the price for one litre of water is $7. 

We could not allow to spend so much money on a daily basis and we were told as an alternative, that the tab water is suitable for drinking on board. We tried to drink tab water from time to time, which frankly speaking is stinky, and children were reluctant to drink it a lot. 
The worst part of it, was that after drinking the tab water, most of our group members got sick with infectious disease.
As a result, the youngest daughter of the family was taken by the emergency to the hospital in Venice and parents spent with her the whole night in emergency. Due to the sickness, she had all dehydration symptoms, and the doctor on board refused to install drop counter on the ship, so she had to be taken to the hospital. Thankfully, the last night of the cruise the ship was at port, but what if that had happened during the time at sea?

As a result of this regulation - we were not able to get the normal amount of water that we are used to, we had experienced dehydration symptoms, and the overall cruise experience became really negative.

2. The service charges on board. 

Firstly, unfounded high charges for drinking water. 

Secondly, we still do not understand why the charges on board of the European - Mediterranean cruise are made in dollars. Moreover, if one uses credit card on board additional 3% are charged, as well as the conversion rates are taken at not the best rates.

Thirdly, to do laundry -  we have calculated, that if doing two laundries for cleaning one pair of jeans - the charge would be equal to the price of a new pair of jeans. Just for a comparison: we have been to another cruise operated by other company, and they had washing machines for public services with coins. 

Another example is with complimentary restaurants. Once we went to the Japanese complimentary restaurant, however, only small part of the menu was free of charge. We had to pay for the main courses, as the meals offered in a  free of charge section were not enough to have a normal dinner. 

Besides, the prices of the excursions, to our minds, are unreasonably high. For instance, the price for the excursion to the Rome and Vatican was $400 per person, that was offered on cruise.  We decided to go on our own and hired a taxi with a private guide. He took us to the main sightseeings in Rome, made any stops as requested, and then back. We paid for that private tour $250-300 for several people.

We have such an impression, that as soon as one gets on board - one is expected to pay for almost everything, despite the purchased itinerary.
For example, even to play a billiard with children - one has to pay for it.
It also important to mention, the daily charges per person and daily included gratuities.

3.  Competence of the personnel at the front desk

One more unpleasant experience we had was with the work of the personnel at the main reception desk (guest service). Generally the personnel was polite, listened to all enquiries and was willing to help.

However, to our surprise they frequently forgot simple requests, such as not to call to the cabin, as kids might be sleeping and to leave instead a note or a letter.

Moreover, we made an enquiry in advance that was very important to us for our further plans on the day of disembarkation. Since the person at the desk could not give us a straight reply, he promised to get back to us as soon as possible. We had waited for 2 days! As it turned out, he simply forgot his promise. And similar cases repeated during the cruise. 

Besides, a couple of times we kindly asked to bring to our room water bottles as soon as possible, as children were thirsty, but after a long wait, no one came.
Similarly, a mini bar with water bottles was closed in one of our cabins. We asked to open it, but we had to wait for almost a day for that. On the next day, it was closed again. 
Consequently, we personally went to discuss those issues at  the front desk at the guest service reception.
We spent a plenty of time to explain the situation, the personnel politely listened to our query, then asked for a supervisor, and we had to spend another 20-30 talking about the same issue. As a result, the supervisor provided us with the phone number of one of the offices in Miami, stating, that if we wanted to find out the reason about ignorance and such delays in service we had to approach the manager in Miami office. Would it count as a competent dealing with clients matter? Just to add, that that type of call would incur again high roaming charges, but would not make a change to the simple request - to deliver water faster, so that children do not have to wait for hours for that simple request. 

Another example of inaccurate processing of information and documentation we experienced when visiting a doctor. Having visited doctor for a couple of times, we also had to wait and had to remind personally to send to us doctors documents regarding the visit, as otherwise, the responsible person simply forgot to do that. After the last visit to the doctor, we have not received the documents yet. 

The last disappointing issue with the responses from the personnel, but not the least, was the response to our query for assistance on the last morning of the cruise. I have already  mentioned above, that the youngest daughter was taken to the hospital in Venice and stayed there with her parents overnight. Before the disembarkation, we called at the reception to ask for assistance with the hand luggage, as well as to receive any kind of assistance in case we have to wait in a long line, as we wanted to get off the ship as soon as possible in order to reach the hospital. 

Having explained our special situation, we were allowed to use the room for additional 40 minutes (thank you), but at the same time we have received a very cold denial for the assistance  with the luggage as well as any kind of help in a faster disembarkation.
This is not good at all.

4. Internet

We live in such a technically advanced age. We understand, that the Internet on the ship must be more expensive as that on land. Yet, to pay $1 per minute!? In addition, the overall condition of the internet connection is far from  good and the Internet was not available on the last evening and on the last morning of the cruise, even for the pay. 

Bearing all that in mind, we understand that there are certain regulations in the cruise company, that can not be changed.  However, we believe that certain steps will be undertaken by the company to improve the service. We  have to say that we are really disappointed with the level of service on board.
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This user does not recommend this cruise ship
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