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"Semi-Live" Aboard the Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal Nov 21 - Dec 5, 2010 W/Pics


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Welcome aboard the Celebrity Infinity and thank you for joining me as I take you along on my recent 14 day cruise through the Panama Canal. I am calling this a "semi-live" review because although I am not writing this until after the cruise, I did keep a detailed journal on a daily basis while the cruise was ongoing. The only reason I did not do it "live" frankly, is because I am cheap and preferred to spend the money the Internet would have cost on drinks...;). Further, I love every moment I have on a cruise and really did not want to waste a second inside in front of a computer on the net.


As you can see from my signature tags, I have cruised Holland America and Carnival (are you allowed to say that word on the Celebrity page?). This was our first cruise with Celebrity. I will not do comparison's. My thoughts on this are simple. Any cruise is a great cruise, all lines have something unique to offer that is different from others. In many cases it's like comparing Apples to Oranges. Some days I feel like an Apple and on other days I feel like an Orange...either way they're both fruit and offer you something good just like cruise lines. Each offer benefits that the other doesn't.


As I will be following my Journal through out this review, it may at times sound as if I am still on the ship (looking out at the snow through my window that's not such a bad idea really). My goal is to hopefully have you enjoy the great vacation we just had and answer as many questions as I can about the cruise, the ship and the ports.


I ask that you be patient with me as I post each day and well it may be some time between posts as I do have to work occasionally:(. I will post as often as I can but I do have 15 days of shenanigans to review.


The main characters in my story will be myself of course, my lady(Liqourlady) and our friends Craig and Vicky (jaybel23) from the land down under. Along the journey, we met many other great folks, some from cruise critic and some not. Great people however, and many new friends.


On a side note... I have no food pictures... not my thing! However, I can tell you the food was great!


And now.... The Journey......

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Our journey began in Toronto, Ontario. We live about 2 hours from Toronto but decided to stay at the Delta Airport West hotel the night before our flight. The hotel is nice and we could use our privilege points for the stay and parking while away. All in all, we only had to pay the taxes and 15 days of parking plus the overnight stay only cost us $16. 70. Yep... great deal.. no typo on that!


We picked up the shuttle bus to the Airport around 6:50 a.m. and just after 7 a.m. we were in the airport. There was a bit of a line up as we had to wait to get through US customs in Toronto before boarding our flight to LAX. All went well and by 9:30 am we were on our way to L.A. The flight was smooth and a great start to the trip. We flew on Air Canada.


We arrived at LAX around 11:50 LA time. Our luggage was in our hands within a half hour of arriving.... first worry off the list...we had our bags!


We had booked Super shuttle out of the Airport and to the Hotel and they were great. Cost was about $28 for the two for us and we were able to get a discount from some advice of other CC members. We were staying at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Pedro and arrived just after 1 pm.


Once we checked in we tracked down our friends and headed for the first of many drinks.


The Crowne Plaza was a perfect pre-cruise location... basically steps away from the terminal and a shuttle from the hotel would get us there in the morning. We stayed on the 9th floor with a great view of the harbour. When we arrived there were two ships in Port. One was a Princess Ship and the other was NCL - Norwegian Star. The NCL ship, we would come across quite a bit over the next two weeks.


Before taking a little walk along the Harbour front we stopped into the Green Onion, a little Mexican restaurant just outside the hotel . The food was good and the beer was cold... it was all good.


By the time evening rolled around we were beginning to get a bit tired as the time zone factor was beginning to take over.


On our roll call we had talked about meeting in the bar for some introduction drinks as a few of the roll call folks were also staying in the hotel. However, it was not meant to be as by the time we got there no one was around. Not sure if anyone ever showed up, but certainly we did not see them. By this time it was around 9:30 p.m which was really 11:30 p.m for us, so we decided to call it a night and headed back to our room.


I woke up around 4:30 am and was lucky enough to catch Infinity arriving at the Cruise Terminal. Unfortunately, the rain was falling hard to start our day.


Below are a few pictures of the hotel room... it was a suite and also a night shot of the Infinity pulling into Port.






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Thanks Goya.... More to come... just trying to figure out how to get full pictures up rather then thumbnails...


Here is another picture as the Infinity arrives in Los Angeles



Edited by sayvan
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Well the day of embarkation had arrived. I was up early today, a victim of the east coast to west coast time change. I was ok with the early morning though as I wanted to make sure I was up to see the Ships arriving into Port. As you can see above I did get the Infinity arriving around 4:30 a.m. A few hours later, two more ships arrived. One was the RC Mariner of the Seas and the other Crystal Symphony. As I watched the ships arrive I have to admit it always makes me feel a bit bad for those on board... I hate that feeling of having to get off the ship and knowing the trip is over.






Around 5:30 A.M, I headed out on a run, in the rain (only negative I have on the Crowne Plaza is that they didn't have any treadmills and the bikes were broke). Had a good close up of the ships in Port while out and the excitement began to build.


Once back in the Hotel Room I snapped a few more shots of the Port with the three ships now in... we really did have a great view.





Mariner of the Seas:



All three ships from my Window:


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After a nice buffet breakfast at the hotel (we figured we might as well start the buffet's early), we headed for the Cruise Terminal around 10:45. The hotel offered a shuttle and we were dropping our bags with the Porters at the terminal about 10 minutes later. The embarkation process started off just fine. We walked into the terminal and filled out some paperwork, then stood in line for the registration process. After about 15 minutes in line, we had our sea passes and were through the security check. Then the process came to a grinding halt! The time now was around 11:25. We had hoped that we would be on the ship by noon, but for some reason everyone was sent to the waiting area and we sat for the next hour and a half (approximately) by the time our zone was called. We were Zone 8. I never really heard what the problem was but this did put a slight damper on the excitement, but only for a few minutes. After all, we were about to embark on 14 days of adventure and excitement. One positive on this was that we were able to get right into our rooms once we were on board.


Once the call to board began... the process was very quick and as first time cruisers on Celebrity we were very pleased with the towels and Champagne provided as we embarked.


Heading onto Infinity:







Within a matter of minutes, we were enjoying the buffet and having our first of many "Drinks of the day"


DW (Liqourlady), with our friends Craig and Vicky (Jaybel23)



I will speak to the food on the Buffet later on but I have to say we had no complaints whatsoever!

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After a bite to eat and a few drinks we decided we needed to familiarize ourself with this ship. I will go into more detail on the rooms and lounges on the ship as the review goes on, but I must say I was very impressed with the Celebrity Infinity. IMHO she is a beautiful ship. We were a bit concerned with some of the reviews we had read prior to our trip, but I did not witness any sights or issues that would leave me to say she was not in great shape. Of course, she could use a refit, but overall I wouldn't say anything looked worn or damaged. When you consider the number of people and crew that live on her each and every week she was in great shape!


A few early shots of the Deck 10 and 11... more to come




We had booked an inside room for this cruise. We were on the Vista Deck and our room number was #7075. The room was extremely clean and well kept. Our room steward was Peter and he was fabulous. Always around when we were in the hall and very attentive to whatever we may have needed. I was very impressed and have to admit, of all my cruises I saw Peter more than I have ever seen any room steward in the past.



Our room:




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After checking our room out we headed for the dreaded lifeboat drill. I have to admit that I am very glad they don't make us go out on deck anymore and stand while the drill takes place. For this cruise, we headed for the Celebrity Theater to watch the drill.




After this, we met our friends in the Constellation Lounge for the sail away. Of course, it was dark and you could not really see that much however on this night, the moon lit up the sky.



Here we are enjoying a few more drinks and watching the journey begin as we set sail for Cabo San Lucas.



After sail away, we decided to go and see the Welcome Aboard show at 7 pm. We had the 8:30 dinner seating so we had the time to see this. Once again, I must mention that I was very impressed with the shows on the Infinity. The entertainment team did a great job. The opening show was an introduction of things to come. Tonight's show featured the Celebrity Orchestra, Adage artists Charlie and Viola, who did some amazing acrobats, The Acappella Group On Tap, and the Infinity production cast. This was a very exciting and faced pace show. It really did set the stage for things to come. Here are a few pictures from that show.





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Some more photo's from the first night's entertainment in the Celebrity Infinity Theater.


Adage Artists Charlie and Viola:





Acappella group -On Tap _ These guys were very good however, after awhile IMHO their sound became a little repetitive in that all the songs started sounding the same. On a few occasions, they did some songs with the band from the hit show "Jersey Boys" and this was very good.



After the show we headed for dinner. The Trellis Dining Room was a beautiful room and the food was even better. We ended up with a great table of 11 people. We would enjoy each others company throughout the next 14 days.


Our first day on the Infinity, ended in the Constellation Lounge for some dancing and a few more drinks. All in all, this was great start to our cruise... a sense of sadness crept in as we turned in for the night... Only 13 days left!


Well thats it for today... Tomorrow is our first day at sea!

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Loving your review! And such great pictures. What camera and lens did you use for the shots? They are so clear! I'm very envious. I always take lots of photos but mine never have the clarity of yours. Looking forward to the remainder of your posts.

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Loving your review! And such great pictures. What camera and lens did you use for the shots? They are so clear! I'm very envious. I always take lots of photos but mine never have the clarity of yours. Looking forward to the remainder of your posts.


Thanks for the comments... I was wondering if anyone was following along... I use a Panasonic Lumix Z28 camera. Its an incredible little unit with very nice features. Pretty much point and shoot... again thanks for enjoying the review.

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After a very fun and exciting first night on board, we awoke to our first sea day of the cruise. There would be 6 more before we land in Miami in two weeks time.


I woke up around 7:30 am and thought I would get things off on the right foot. Yep, thats right...off to the gym. I had committed to myself that I would do my best to hit the gym each and everyday. Little did I know, this would be the only occasion I would make it in there.


The Fitness facility was actually very crowded and it did take some time to find an open treadmill. The gym itself was pretty large and could be found at the front of the ship on Deck 10. I did find the gym to be well equipped and in good condition. As I said before, I only made it here once ... I came up with a better exercise plan which I will talk about a bit later.


After a workout, I went back to the room had a quick shower and then headed for the Oceanview Café for some Breakfast with my DW. My usual cruise breakfast is some scrambled eggs, corned beef hash, some sausage a little bit of fruit and a bowl of oatmeal. For the record, when at home breakfast usually consists of a simple bowl of cereal... why do we feel the need to eat so much on a cruise?... and me only hitting that gym once!


Aft area of Oceanview Café:



After breakfast it was almost time for the Cruise Critic Connections Party. This was being held at 10:30 in the Constellation Lounge on Deck 11. We had received our invitation when we first arrived at our room after boarding the Infinity. The Party was well attended and it was nice to meet some of the faces we had been chatting with online. All in all, I would say close to 70 CC members attended. The Cruise Director was there and did some introductions of some of the other entertainment staff as well as the Hotel Director and a few others. I cant just recall whom right now. They were also serving Coffee, Tea and Juice with some pastries and if you wanted you could purchase some cocktails as well. What I found great about this is the entertainment fellow who was hosting, took the microphone around to every one in attendance and had them introduce themselves by both their real name and their screen name. It was a nice touch. After this we all mingled for a bit.


A few pictures from the Connections Party:





Honorable mention to "Princess Lucy" who started our CC Roll Call:


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It was great, eh? We were in 9201 - I am preparing a review but your pictures are spectacular ... ah, memories ... Cheers, Bob & Sandy.:D


Hey Guys, I am not sure we actually met up but I do recall seeing you folks around the ship. In fact, two of the Aussies we had at our table I think were on occasion hanging with the British folks from your dinner table. You had the aft room correct?

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After the Connection Party, it was time for a little bit of lunch and then time to chill and relax for the rest of the afternoon. I spent my time on a deck chair on Deck 11 (Sunrise Deck) just off from the corner by the Mast Bar. My afternoon was spent with my Ipod people watching and of course ocean watching. We did break for a bit from the Suntanning to participate in the battle of the sexes game. Of course the ladies won this round..... or did we let them:rolleyes:


I do need to comment regarding the infamous chair hogs on cruises. This cruise saw no shortage of this. I can understand when folks grab a chair and head off to get something and then come right back, but in some areas you could see empty chairs with towels on them or someones bag of goodies for extended periods of time. I find this to be very rude and inconsiderate. I did notice however, that the pool butlers were very diligent in opening these chairs up for other passengers in search of a comfy spot to relax! Not sure what it is that makes folks think they own the chair!


Here a few shots from the afternoon of the Sunrise deck (11) and the resort deck (deck 10):







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Here are a few more shots from the Deck area including some drinks in the Constellation Lounge as the sun set on our first day at sea.






Another angle of Deck 10 - Resort Deck






In the back- myself and DW(liquorlady) and in the front Craig and Vicki (jaybel23)


Edited by sayvan
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As our day was heading into the evening we had to watch the sunset on the Pacific Ocean as we cruised our way toward Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.




After a shower and a quick snooze, we headed out to the Rendez-vous Lounge for a few pre-dinner drinks and some formal night dancing. We would come to love this lounge and spend almost every evening here for our pre-dinner drinks. We had a fantastic time on this formal night. Our dinner mates were great and our table was full of laughter and fun every night. In fact, we may have been a bit bothersome to some of those around us. On the other hand, I am sure most wanted to join us. Our waiter Iketut and his helper Mario were great and clearly enjoyed serving us as we enjoyed having them serve us. We all looked after them well in the end.


After Dinner, we headed for the 10:45 Broadway show in the Celebrity Theater on Deck 4. Once again, this was some great entertainment and kudos to the singers and dancers. I didn't get any pictures of this show as they asked at the start to refrain from taking pictures or video. I respected that (this time). The show ran through some of the best known Broadway hits from the 50's, 60's, 70's and right up to present day. This reviewer gives them two thumbs up....


Our evening ended in the Constellation Lounge singing and dancing to the music of the party band "Fusion Wave". More on this group later, but I would pay to see them. Extremely good!


Here are some pictures from this night:







Unfortunately, two of our dinner mates showed up after we had this taken and I forgot to take another with them in it..


Edited by sayvan
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Loving reading your review! (We were on the super shuttle with you from the airport (Heidi & Dave) - and saw you several times around ship.) :D We also truly enjoyed the cruise. I wrote a daily journal, and will post my thoughts perhaps this weekend. It's interesting to read your comments vs ours! Very similar however so far! Love your pictures - yours are so much better than ours, so I won't post many. I'm psyched to read the rest! Keep it coming. Hello to your DW!

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We did you see you guys around quite a bit. Its funny how you seem to see the same people when your on a ship with close to 2000 people. Very true how everyone has their own thoughts on the same thing...gives an overall good perspective. Glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise as well... we had an absolute blast. I have to say... the fun did start immediately with that shuttle run from the airport.

Edited by sayvan
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Thanks for doing this review! It is almost like an extension of the cruise! It must be hard for you guys to be back home and know that your friends are still travelling and will be on their next cruise very soon again.;)

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Hey Guys, I am not sure we actually met up but I do recall seeing you folks around the ship. In fact, two of the Aussies we had at our table I think were on occasion hanging with the British folks from your dinner table. You had the aft room correct?


Good memory! It was Reg and his wife Tracy from Australia. The brits were Kevin and Sandra, also Pat and Ian. Rounding out the table was

Larry and Lisa from New Orleans (she posts as Lakim). Our cabin was 9201 (aft CC). We spent the day there throughout the transit. Infinity also scraped the second lock in Gatun - the shot is of the starboard side near the stern in Miami.











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