The Service on Celebrity Infinity
While we are sailing on the Azamara Quest, our posts will be somewhat delayed.
Please bear with us. We’ll have a review of that cruise when we return.
Coming in with high expectations of Celebrity, we expected a bit more in the service department. Not that we really demand special service
or let less than stellar service keep us from enjoying ourselves. Please read Celebrity’s idea of their outstanding service, which in my opinion was mediocre at best, especially
when it came to the dining rooms.
Our cabin steward was very conscientious and seemed eager to meet our needs. I think that he worried too much about us finding our way out to the helicopter pad, but was always smiling and friendly, as were all of the cabin stewards that we passed in the hallway. In fact, when we saw our steward’s supervisor, we put in a good word for him; not just because he was a hard worker, but also because we might have felt a tad guilty at upsetting him with our plans to get on the bow for the best view going through the canal. NB, this is not the best ship for that. We didn’t realize how nice it was to have an area at the bow of the ship with unobstructed views, like the Crown Princess has.
Our major service concerns came in the dining rooms. It was rare to get a refill on tea or coffee without begging. And order iced tea at lunch and it will likely never arrive. Throughout the ship, there were grumblings about service cuts due to the economy. And although we were told that the ship was sailing full, we also know somebody who spoke with the chef who claimed that he was not serving a full ship. Perhaps there was a group of people fasting during this cruise. Nonetheless, the service in the dining rooms was often slow and just didn’t have that little extra bit of pizazz with it that we expected on a line like Celebrity.
Our biggest concern was with the person who called himself a sommelier. At our table, we all agreed that this person was not a sommelier, but just a server of wine. His knowledge of wine seemed less than what one would expect of somebody who achieved the sommelier designation. He seemed unable to suggest alternate wines, when one that we frequently drank ran out. Again, this all made for lively table conversation, and a question to a person who had worked on the ship elicited a response that told us that things have definitely changed onboard for the worse. This person felt that the quality of crew had suffered of late and that certain procedures and standards had changed making the experience less than what it once was. I did mention how I didn’t get iced tea at lunch whenever I ordered it. Surprisingly, the next day at lunch, I was asked if I wanted iced tea. I did receive it, but never did get a refill. At least, it was a start and proves that some of the crew on the Infinity take their jobs seriously and do want to see improvements in the service area.
Do you know how at fine dining restaurants the waiters come around and scrape off the crumbs between every meal? Well, this did not happen on the Infinity. Perhaps they ran out of scrapers. This is an example of a service that costs nothing but time, yet leaves a good impression.
Having said this, our servers were pretty good albeit slow. We enjoyed interacting with them and appreciated their efforts. On our last dinner, we had a big ceremony for our beloved waiter Udin. We asked another cabin steward in our hallway who was from Indonesia to tell us how to say a few words in Indonesian and our entire table in chorus feted Udin. We had quite the entertaining evening and shared in Udin’s glory as he paraded around the dining room in a crown that we made for him.
It’s moments like these and nice people that trump any deficiencies on the ship.
And those cold towels that we sometimes had waiting for us when we returned from a hot day onshore were greatly appreciated.