The Celebrity Infinity
Having heard so much about Celebrity in general, we were quite excited to experience a new cruise line and to see how the ship and experience compared to other cruises. The hype is exactly that- hype. I learned before that if I keep my expectations low that I won’t be disappointed. And although it wouldn’t be fair to say that this was a disappointing experience, it would be accurate to say that my expectations of the ship didn’t quite match the reality. Part of my very high expectations resulted from reading many comments on Infinity and seeing that there are huge numbers of loyal Celebrity fans who love the cruise line like their mothers or children and no matter what will fiercely defend any of the Celebrity products. I certainly understand how one can get attached to a certain cruise line and look the other way when there are shortcomings. This same people spare no criticism of equal conditions or circumstances on other lines that just aren’t up to Celebrity standards. But, wait, I want to say something about the passengers in another post. Keep in mind that my review of the Celebrity Infinity is based on my personal experiences. The passenger mix changes, so what happens on one sailing doesn’t necessarily happen on another.
Upon boarding, we were greeted with a smile and a glass of champagne and directed to our stateroom. I had expected that we would have been escorted to the room, but that is no big deal, just a nicety that one might consider a standard service from a line like Celebrity. Of course, we can manage to find our stateroom all by ourselves and did exactly that. Even though we only had carry-on luggage, we dropped it off with a porter to be delivered later, since we weren’t sure that our room would be ready and we didn’t feel like lugging it around.
We went to lunch (will talk about food in a future post) and then started our exploration of the ship.
This first problem was that most of the elevators were shut down. We realize that luggage is being delivered and that is of prime importance, but passengers also need to move around. Waiting for an elevator became an exercise in futility, so we just hoofed it to our destination.
Sorting out the luggage
The Layout and Decor
We found this one of the easiest ships to navigate. Having no kitchen blocking direct access between areas was a real bonus. Learning the layout of the ship and being comfortable navigating it within a few days saved us much backtracking to different venues onboard.
The decor was pleasing to the eye and not splashy at all. We did notice that the furniture in the dining room especially was quite worn. Perhaps they should take a good look at the chairs in there. This was definitely not the quality that we were expecting.
Well, this could definitely be improved upon. I already mentioned the tattered bed linens, stateroom furniture and the dining room chairs, but there were some other noticeable areas as well. For one, the promenade deck is very small and roped off at the bow, so hardly can be called a promenade. This was disappointing in itself, but what was a bit more shocking was that the part toward the bow was simply junk storage. Couldn’t they have curtained that off or something?
Isn’t this attractive?
The other side of the “promenade”
Storing junk at the stern of the Promenade Deck
Repairing the window trim on the Celebrity Infinity
The elevators had buttons that were missing; there were broken toilet seats in some of the public bathrooms. There was more junk stored at the back of promenade deck; there was work and a mess going on outside of the view elevators. This seemed odd since the ship supposedly had just been in drydock. Even though the main reason was supposedly to add a diesel engine, wouldn’t it have been prudent to make some repairs to other parts of the ship? Or perhaps the ship was in such poor condition that there wasn’t enough time to finish everything. The state of repair of this ship was definitely the biggest and most unexpected surprise of the ship. The Celebrity zealots wouldn’t believe it, which is the reason for the photos. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the photos of the soda cans that sat in the gutters on the Lido Deck for a few days.
We noticed the wear and tear on the chairs in the Trellis Restaurant as well. This could be considered nitpicking, but we just thought that the Infinity would be a step above the other ships we have sailed.
It’s the little extras that make a cruise line, a premium experience. And it wasn’t just the condition of the ship that was lacking, but also the service, which I will discuss next.