4 night Celebrity Infinity
Flew into Fort Lauderdale on Christmas Day. The reason we chose FLL, was due to the 8:35pm flight, to maximize time with family before heading the the Airport in Toronto. The last flight from YYZ to MIA was ~5pm. Dec 25 is great day to travel as the roads are nearly empty and the airport was also rather empty, but well staffed.
We Ubered (for $125ish including tip for an ‘black SUV’ rate, but rates started at $69ish) to the Hilton Miami Downtown and got a great rate of $125 a night, another perk of a Dec 25th flight. The hotel is great and well situated to the Miami cruise port. With my Hilton Gold they upgraded me to a water/port view. Was nice to wake up to a view of the cruise ship. The hotel is nice and very secure with a security check point at entrance to take elevators to the lobby level. The included breakfast, with Hilton Gold, was good. Not sure of the posted rate for it. Uber to port in ‘black SUV’ was ~$25 with tip. Uber rates started at $10ish.
Check in was super easy and even with a 12:30 arrival they were well staffed, there were minimal line ups and the lines were all flowing very quickly. We did the in app photo upload and check in. This did speed up the check on but we were still required to go a check in agent who then verified our info and handed us our ship cards.
Once on board we went directly to Cafe al Bacio. There were no other passengers. Service was ok throughout the trip but team at the cafe were half great, half meh. A couple times, even with no other customers I had to walk over to the counter to get service. Two of the servers kept disappearing and reappearing from hall leading towards other parts of the shop. I kind of wondered what was down there that they kept going to and from. I know previous people inquired about of a 4 day was a party cruise. This one, absolutely not. Were there some people eager on and energetic and happy, for sure. Nothing was crowded, Bacio was NEVER busy, and same with the shows. You could show up whenever and get seats anywhere.
We had oodles of OBC ($700) and the three other perks with the “all 4 perks option” and used most of it. This is the first cruise where all of our OBC was visible on the in-room tv account view right away. They OBCs were all clearly marked NR or R for non refundable and refundable. We ended up getting a refund of ~$200 to our cc on file and that showed on my credit card app the next day. We had zero billing issues and didn’t have to do anything to get the refund.
Prior to cruise we booked the Drinks and More option for both of us for $36 (after tax each as it was on sale for $8 per day from $9 per day). I just did it as it was fully paid back by each of us getting $50 to spend at the casino. And there was no problem for each of us redeeming at the casino. We just went to the casino cashier and said we signed up for the DAM 🙂 casino credit offer and she processed the $50 to the card with no confusion. Being both of us got the DAM package we had unlimited access to the bar fridge and had zero billing issues. I should note we did has a note in the room on day one, with the two bottles of included wine, that had both our names and it just mentioned our participation of the DAM program. Yes, only two bottles of wine, but I don’t drink, and we had premium alcohol package. It’s a cheap, when I googled it it is not really found for sale anywhere, but has a rating of 2.7 out of 5. We just left them in the room. I’m sure If you pushed it you’d get 2 bottles each, as that’s how it’s clearly listed in program. I just wanted my $50 ea casino credit and access to the mini bar. We ate the Pringles and the Kind bars from mini bar and there was never a billing for those either. But seriously, for a 4 and 5 night cruise, it’s a no brainer unless you don’t go to the casino.
We did the Tuscan grille discounted first night, which was excellent as always. I don’t drink, and my partner rarely does, but he did order a wine called Roxanne, made at Sting’s winery Tuscana IGT. Apparently it’s really really good.
First port was Key West, and we were at Navy Pier. Being Navy Pier you are put on free trolleys into town. They ran constantly and we never had to wait either way more then 5 minutes. At first I was concerned when I heard this, as I don’t adjust well to change, but it was super smooth and easy and actually takes you right to the core of the touristy area. If you know where CVS is, the stop is right across the street. Yes, one stop, no stops between. We went to the beach at Lagerheads Beach Bar, not even a 5 minute walk up sale block as trolley drop, and turn left. The beach bar property is super small, but we had no problem getting two loungers and an umbrella for $21.50. The team there are super friendly and the food and prices are good.
When we returned back to the ship they were down offering Sushi On 5 at 20% off discount and Tuscan Grille at a “discounted” rate of $55. Remember it was a holiday cruise so TG was $70, except first night offer of $30. We did Sushi on 5 and with the 20% discount, it was only $29 for a filling order of dumplings, one soup, 3 pieces of salmon sushi and we each had a roll (which is cut into 8 pieces). It was really good and the gyozo dumplings were soooo good.
Next night we did the main dining room and the lobster tail now Lobster Malange, which is half a lobster tail with some Hollandaise type sauce, a pan fried squid ring, one grilled shrimp and a couple scallops. I guess this cuts down on the lobster. And if you like lobster just ask for another.
Sea day was shops and casino (using OBC). The casino was also quite sparse, with only crowding around the table games. Or bar when the games were on. We stuck to the Wonder Woman/ and Some Viking type grouping of games just around corner from the cashier. The Viking type games were paying consistently and we just kept hitting cash out for any wins to meet the min spend of the obc loaded into the machines and then put all the tickets back into the machine and hit cash out and went and cashed our the tickets. Some games in that casino were brutal and didn’t pay even once on $20 spent.
Next port was Nassau. Weather was perfect, nice breeze to cut the heat. Did the Resort For A Day at the Hilton. For $84 per person you get a chair and a $40 food / beverage credit. It wasn’t busy at all and they do have a wonderful beach. The cabanas are $56 for the day. We didn’t do it but maybe sometime as the had the perfect shade and room for loungers out front. The service is super slow as there was only 2 servers, but be patient and they’ll come back. Once again the beach is awesome and you can watch ships leave and pull right passed you. And you can’t beat that it’s not even a 10 min walk from ship.
For port days we did room service and it was always at the beginning of the delivery window and once they called ahead and once it just showed up. We put on the card to please feel free to combine like items, so we didn’t have three covered plates of 4 pieces of sliced melon. They met us half way and combined a couple things. ;p.
That night we did the buffet and it was also super quiet with open seats available everywhere. The stir fry station was really tasty.
Debarkation came early as it always does and at 8am we went up to the concierge area in constellation lounge. They had beverages and pastries. Now, this might be confusing but when you leave they’re had two sets of doors open for debark. Being we just came from the front of the ship and used the front elevators as soon as we got to the debark level (4???) and walked to the centre of the ship they had doors to deck opened and we took those. There were maybe a dozen people. And you face the passengers leaving the via the centre of the ship and there were so many of them. So, if this made sense at all, try to leave via the front of the ship to bypass the crowds.
Luggage retrieval and customs was super quick and easy.
We were flying out of FLL in a couple days so I booked the Doubletree Sawgrass Mills Mall which was right across the street and have a shuttle constantly running. Great mall for good deals and Cheesecake Factory and a movie theatre. It’s quite similar to Dolphin Mall but with more stores and a Target. The Uber was ~$115 with tip.
To recap, it’s not a party cruise, Dec 26 to Dec 30, at least this holiday one wasn’t, but I’m sure many variables could change that. Would I do this itin again? Absolutely I would!!!