Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

waltcoleman

Infinity Hawaii Review

Recommended Posts

I'm already bored at work, so I thought I'd jot down a review of my impressions regarding the Infinity (April 6th - 11 days Hawaii to Ensenada). I'll try to keep it brief. Let me know if you have specific questions.

 

This was our first Celebrity cruise after two Princess cruises to Alaska. Overall, I was impressed and would sail Celebrity again.

 

Service...excellent. I felt the staff were very friendly. I was nearly always greeted with a smile and was very pleased with our dining room staff, room steward, bar tenders, etc. Anytime we sat in a bar, a waiter was greeting us within a minute or two to take our order. Virtually everyone was pleasant and seemed to enjoy their jobs.

 

Food...overall good/very good. We had dinner in the main dining room every night and overall were very pleased with the food. A couple appetizers were not so appetizing, but the soups were delicious and the main courses ran from good to excellent. Deserts were great. Buffet/grill was just OK.

 

Performances...excellent. Performances included 4 production shows, a comedian, magician/comedian, west end singer, violinist, plus several bands and musicians around the ship. With few exceptions, I thought the shows were well done with a good variety.

 

Entertainment...very good. There was almost always something for everyone...champagne/martini tastings, trivia, sports, pool games, dance classes, etc.

 

Ship...excellent. My favorite ship thus far in terms of layout, cleanliness and decor. With few exceptions (first dinner, disembarkation, lunchtime buffet), I rarely felt crowded.

 

Organization...fair. The biggest issue we had concerned getting off the ship. Our first tender port was Kona. Despite picking up a tender pass at 7:30am (#2), we were unable to get ashore until after 9am. We nearly missed our 10am flight tour which would have been a $400 loss. The entire 1 1/2 hour wait, we were given little information as to the reason for the delay, nor an accurate timeframe of when we could get ashore. Our disembarkation was equally disorganized, a good hour behind schedule. Initially, they didn't even have a microphone in the theatre to communicate with the many passengers lined up with luggage to get off the ship. Once we finally got to San Diego airport, one suitcase was missing. Celebrity staff onsite seemed disorganized, we were dropped off at the wrong terminal...what a mess. It all worked out, but never again will I cruise where I can't get myself to/from the airport.

 

Highlights:

- dining room staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Our assistant maitre'de (spelling???) was the best as were our server, assistant server, drink waiter and wine steward.

 

- room stewards were excellent. Though we rarely saw them, our room was clearly attended to several times a day and we were never at a loss for ice water, clean towels, etc.

 

- entertainment. I was never bored.

 

- drinks. The mixed drinks were excellent and reasonable priced, especially if you stuck with the drinks of the day.

 

- itinerary was almost perfect. We loved two days in Maui and the 5 days at sea gave us ample time to unwind from all the sightseeing and relax.

 

- embarkation was quick, easy and uncrowded. I believe setting sail at midnight spread out the crowd throughout the day.

 

- service was great. As stated previously, nearly everyone was friendly, had a smile, and seemed to enjoy the job. The nice little touches such as sparkling wine when boarding, being led to your room, having assistants carry my girlfriends tray at the buffet were all noticed and appreciated.

 

 

Lowlights:

 

- Tendering in Kona was a mess, but much improved in Maui.

 

- Ensenada. I'll never take another cruise that embarks/disembarks in Ensenada nor anywhere else that I have to rely on the cruiseline to get me to/from the pier to the airport. For $70 a person, I expect to at least get dropped off at the correct terminal.

 

- hot tubs. My gf and I hit the "hot" tubs three evenings around 6pm. All three times, the tubs were luke warm at best. Did they turn off the heat? Is it a European thing? Is it a health issue? I'm not sure, but I've never sat in a colder "hot" tub in all my life.

 

- dress code. This is a tricky issue that's been discussed countless times I'm sure. None the less, I'd like to see some basic standards enforced with regards to the dress code in the dining room. If you can afford the cruise, you can at least afford slacks and a tie.

 

 

Summary...no cruise is perfect and while a few things were annoying, we didn't let them bother us. We had a great time. Overall Celebrity Infinity is a fine ship and would definitely sail her again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. We are taking the Infinity over Thanksgiving round trip from San Diego. I have heard nothing but nightmares about the ships that leave/return from Ensenada. I don't understand why when they can stop there (like ours will) at 11 pm for a service all and then head on to SD. You would not even know you were there! I have been on the Infinity before and your review brought back memories!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. We sailed the Infinity last year, and it was a treat.The Infinity is a great ship and has a wonderful crew.

See that you're from Sacramento, I use to live in El Dorado Hills before moving to Nashville. Still have family in the area so will be visiting in June.

I don't miss the 100 + degree summer days, but I lnow it's a dry heat.

Mari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Waltcoleman

 

Thanks for taking the time to write your review. It is good to see an honest and BALANCED account. As far as shore excursions go, any comments/recommendations?

 

Thanks.

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mari...I've lived here over a decade and have never gotten used to the heat. We're thinking of relocating up the coast...Oregon? Washington? Somplace under 100 degrees in the summer!

 

Phil...we didn't book any excursions through the ship. We went to a luau in Oahu (Germaine's), whale watching in Maui (Capt Steves) and a flight tour out of Kona (Island Hoppers). We enjoyed all the tours, though the whale watching was lame compared to the San Juan Islands up near Seattle. I hear February thru early March is better for whales in Hawaii. We also rented a car in each port. With the exception of Maui (Lahaina), there is little within walking distance of the piers at each port. I'd strongly recommend renting a car for the day. We got rates of $20 - $35 for each rental. All had shuttles to pick us up at the pier. All rentals went very smooth and we were able to see what we wanted to see at our pace, plus stop to shop, eat and snack along the way as we saw things of interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your review. Iv'e been looking for one as we were scheduled to take this cruise along with the one before it that was canceled! We have rescheduled to do back to back cruises on Carnival Spirit in September now. How were the sea conditions and weather in the islands? Thanks again for your review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure you'll have a great time in September. The weather will probably be better than we had. If there was one disappointment in the islands, it was weather. We had quite a bit of overcast and rain. Granted, the temperature never dropped below the mid to upper 70's and never got above the low 80's, so that was nice.

 

As for sea conditions, we always felt the rocking of the ship. On a couple days as we approached the mainland, it was moderately rough. Never bad, but you'd definitely be swaying as you walk around. If you're unsure about seasickness, be prepared with patches or meclezine (spelling?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to post your review. We sailed Infinity in December to Hawaii roundtrip from San Diego and had a marvelous time, and your review brings back pleasant memories. Glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise in spite of some of the problems. I had heard about the horrors of embarking/debarking in Ensenada, which is why we were so pleased with our itinerary. I've also heard it's very difficult to find a private service to take you to or from the port now that the tougher border crossing rules are in effect. I think all of the cruises should leave from San Diego and stop in Ensenada before continuing to the islands and do the reverse on the return trips. I don't understand why X continues to use Ensenada as a port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good review. I would never take a cruise that starts and ends in Encinada We are on the Oct.23rd 2005 cruise to Hawaii to and from San Diego on the Infinity We took the same cruise in Nov of 2000 on the Statendam. It was a great cruise. Looking forward to Infinity. We love the days at sea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review. We have taken a Honolulu-Ensenada cruise on the Mercury a few years ago, and I agree, the bus ride from Ensenada to San Diego was not great...Next Jan. we are sailing on the Summit-L.A. R/T. We hoping for smooth seas ( we also enjoy are days at sea).

Again, your review was great...

 

Karyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walt,

 

Where were you? We missed you at the CC get togethers! I'll be posting a review soon of the same cruise. You're the first one from our trip.

 

Anita

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Anita,

 

Sorry we missed everybody. The first CC party was during our dinner. We slept through the second cc get together.

 

I look forward to your review...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your review brought back so many wonderful memories...our Hawaiian cruise was our best, so far!! :)

 

Your experience is why I recommend leaving from Ensenada. Our bus ride from San Diego to Ensenada was very pleasant and very organized. They included a box lunch and a bottle of water, and a can of soda when we got to the hotel where we did our cruise check-in. When one group of people were late to San Diego (there were weather issues that day) they held up the ship for several hours. Apparently there is a lot of "make up" time in the trip to Hawaii....we even had to turn around and go back towards San Diego on the second day for a medical helicopter rescue, and we still got to Hawaii right on time.

 

Though I can understand how nice the relaxation time would be on the sea days after the hectic Hawaii schedule, it was so exciting to get closer and closer to Hawaii, and warmer and warmer! It also allowed us a few days post-cruise in Honolulu, which was great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the post. I'm sure starting off in Ensenada would have gone much smoother. In fact, we were originally booked on the 3/27 sailing from Ensenada to Hawaii in part because we didn't want to deal with returning thru Ensenada. Unfortunately, the 3/27 sailing was cancelled on us, thus we booked the 4/6 return sailing.

 

All in all, it was a hectic day, but still an excellent vacation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will jump in here next with my review of the April 6-11 cruise to Hawaii. As Waltcoleman said, I would give a general A+ to the ship and staff. The weather was not chamber of commerce conditions but who can control that? At least we were not hit by a 90 foot wave!

 

Part I

 

We arrived in Honolulu a day earlier to adjust to the jet lag, and after a nice tour of Pearl Harbor and the city we were delivered to the ship around 3 PM. Embarkation was flawless for us. A couple in our party that failed to have documents filled were delayed a bit while admin work was completed, but that would be expected. Very impressed with the greeting and champaign upon boarding. This was our first time on Celebrity and I did not expect this or to be taken to our cabin by a staff member. Excellent touch!

 

The ship seemed to be quite easy to manuever through with the help of the little map/guide we were given. Never had a problem finding the particular lounge or restaurant we needed. Good idea putting the ship layout signs at each elevator. You can look at the sign, find where you want to go and simply punch the elevator button, or use the stairs. We were on deck 8 near the front elevators and most of the time either went to deck 10 to the pool deck or 5 for dinner and theater.

 

Food in the main restaurant was excellent. Our waiter and asst waiter could not have been better. We had an initial problem with our dinner table guest arrangements. We had set them up as the group had requested prior to the cruise. This was corrected the second evening. If a future cruiser has the opportunity I would highly recommed getting a table on the second floor near the back that is waited by Allen and Carlos. They made it the most fun we have ever had. Allen gave his recommendation every evening. I quickly learned to go with his recommendation over what I first thought I wanted. I even tried lamb for the first time. Deserts were great as well. Food in the casual dining area was good to maybe average for a cruise ship. No complaints here but I don't know if any real rave is warranted either. Really liked the waffle and omlet bars in the morning and the pasta bar in the afternoon. Had to skip the shushi bar. In Kentucky we call that bait. Ice cream bar was also very good. Tried room service one morning and was satisfied as well no complaints.

 

Bars are plentyfull and well staffed. We did a wine tasting class one day and a martini tasting one evening. Both were quite fun and educational. Thoroughly enjoyed Maria from Greece (the wine steward at our dinner table). I can't spell the actual word they use for these members of the staff. She was at the wine tasting class and was, as with Allen and Carlos, quite fun at our dinner table.

 

Entertainment was very good everynight. Struggled one evening with a show by a piano player that played "Around the World". Maybe we were just tired from a long day but several heads were bobbing during this show. The dancers and singers were excellent, as well as the magician and comedian. Daily entertainment around the ship (trivia games, BINGO, etc) is the same as with most ships.

 

Organization was OK. I really like not having the constant speaker announcements that are present on other cruise lines. However this does require you to read the daily ship report. One problem that somehow needs to be solved, and I am really not sure how, is the saving of chairs around the pools with towels. As small as this seems it was probably my biggest complaint. Entire areas of the pool and spa would have seats with towels used to mark them as occupied. I set in an empty chair by the outdoor pool one afternoon for two hours with the seat next to me secured with a book and towel. Never saw the person who owned the book and towel.

The tender situation was a bit tricky. We learned if you needed to be off the ship at a certain time early in the morning you better get a head start. Especially if you are doing a non-Celebrity related tour. We had a whale watching tour scheduled for 10:30 Saturday morning in Maui. The evening before we decided to have breakfast on the ship and try to tender around 9:45 am. Around 8 am I was out and about and found out from the tender ticket giver-outers that if we wanted to be on shore by 10:30 we better get out tinder tickets right then and get in line. Needless to say some in my party were still sleeping. Had to do a bit of the flight of the bumble bee, but we made the tour. Disembarkation in Ensenada could use some help. I probably will not book a cruise that uses this idea anymore either. We got to our designated lounge on time but had over an hour delay. Finally got off the ship and on the bus. Our driver had never made this trip before and was not exactly sure how to get back to border. He decided to wait for a couple other buses to get in front of us so he could follow. Interesting trip through Mexico. We made it OK but a couple buses in front of us were not so lucky. One got lost and had to have a taxi driver lead the way. One had a flat tire, and another had the transmission lock up.

 

Part II to follow

 

Billy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Billy! We were in the bus that had the flat along with Yvon and Rachel. Our friends were in the bus with the locked transmission. Glad we weren't the lost bus! :eek:

 

Anita

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Walt,

 

Just wanted to let you know that, unlike some folks who found your Infinity review a little "too succinct" (hey, at least YOU posted one in a timely manner, unlike the 1999 other passengers on the same ship who couldn't find the time that quickly after the cruise ended!) I found your review most enjoyable. You stated quite clearly that it would be BRIEF (not an encyclopedia of your every move from pre-cruise to getting home, thank God), and if anyone wanted to know more details about the cruise experience, you offered to answer their questions.

 

I would have posted a review by now (I have plenty of stuff to say!), but I caught the 'office flu' from one of my coworkers about 1 hour after being back at work! I've been a sniffling, ache-ing, sneezing, lethargic mess the whole week!

 

I've got a few fun tidbits for my review, including the debacle of the "Battle of the Sexes" match. Don't know if you heard anything about it, but let's just say I'm waaaay glad the guys won (were you part of the team?), since they knew how to work as a TEAM that appreciated input from ALL their teammates and made their anwers based on a TEAM consensus :). I could go on, but I'll save the good stuff for my "gotta-get-over-this-cold-and-have-a-clear-head-so-I-don't-leave-out-any-juicy-details" review. :D

 

Anyway, again, appreciate the effort! Excellent review!

 

Devonne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the very informative reviews of cruising on Celebriy's Infinity. We are taking our first cruise with them on June 9 and we're really looking forward to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Walt and Billy for taking the time to post your reviews. I really enjoyed reading them.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess I'll try to give some of my impressions of the Infinity Hawaii Cruise 4/6 to 4/17. We, 3 girlfriends, left for Honolulu on 4/4. Enjoyed seeing Pearl Harbor but like others said, were disappointed in the weather on all the islands. Cloudy, rainy, and overcast. Did see many beautiful rainbows!

 

Embarkation was quick, the mimosas were a nice touch. We found our room and closet and drawer space smaller than when 4 of us were on Princess Panama Canal. We did make things do but it was tight. Room always clean and steward did a great job.

 

We all felt the ship was easy to get around and find things, except for the casino which you couldn't walk through side by side. Very difficult for those in wheelchairs to navigate. It was very clean except for the fake flower arrangements all over, they were falling apart, dusty and dirty, (very tacky). I especially liked the Cova Cafe and RondeVous lounge. Also loved the back deck on 10. I did find there were times when we had a long wait for service in the bars, especially on pool deck. Drinks were good but a bit pricey for me. I agree with the comment on the saving of the deck chairs by pool.

 

We ate main dining room first seating, sat right by the back window, fantastic. Had very nice table mates. Our waitors were excellent and fun. Though the food wasn't bad and we didn't go hungry, it wasn't great. We were expecting more as were told it was better than Princess. In our opinion this wasn't true. The buffet on deck 10 had long lines whatever time we went. We are used to having stations with different foods so you can go for what you want and not wait in a long line going by stuff you don't want. I thought the food there was very good, especially the waffles, ( and that was a separate line). Also missed it being open 24/7 as I like to get a snack at odd hours.

 

Thought the atrium lacked pizzaz. In fact decor of the whole ship was somewhat bland, missed all the brass on other ships. The crews' uniforms on pool deck on other ships were more colorful also. Loved the Cruise critic parties and wish we could have met everyone. Regret not getting a picture.

 

I loved the sea days and almost continual rocking. Feel sorry for those who were sick. Actually I expected the Pacific to be rougher than it was. Staff was wonderful and loved visiting with them during our sea days.

 

We had 3 tours through Celebrity which we enjoyed. Old Lahaina Luau and whale watch through Pacific Whale Foundation I booked on line. Both were great and we saw several whales, including a mother and her baby.

 

Disembarkation day is always bad and long, this one was no exception. Hurry up and wait!!! Our bus ride through Mexico went better than others I have read about, 3 hours from ship to SD airport. Then a 5 hour wait till plane took off, ugh.

 

All in all we did have a good time, just couldn't help making comparisons from our past cruises. Would probably sail with Celebrity again sometime. I doubt I will go back to Hawaii.

 

Carol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see you still posting. I was going to send you a e-mail but couldn't find your e-mail - guess I never had it. Hubby wants to send you a picture - please e-mail me at nsmoot@specialtyalloys.com so I can get your e-mail. We had fun with you gals!

 

 

 

Guess I'll try to give some of my impressions of the Infinity Hawaii Cruise 4/6 to 4/17. We, 3 girlfriends, left for Honolulu on 4/4. Enjoyed seeing Pearl Harbor but like others said, were disappointed in the weather on all the islands. Cloudy, rainy, and overcast. Did see many beautiful rainbows!

 

Embarkation was quick, the mimosas were a nice touch. We found our room and closet and drawer space smaller than when 4 of us were on Princess Panama Canal. We did make things do but it was tight. Room always clean and steward did a great job.

 

We all felt the ship was easy to get around and find things, except for the casino which you couldn't walk through side by side. Very difficult for those in wheelchairs to navigate. It was very clean except for the fake flower arrangements all over, they were falling apart, dusty and dirty, (very tacky). I especially liked the Cova Cafe and RondeVous lounge. Also loved the back deck on 10. I did find there were times when we had a long wait for service in the bars, especially on pool deck. Drinks were good but a bit pricey for me. I agree with the comment on the saving of the deck chairs by pool.

 

We ate main dining room first seating, sat right by the back window, fantastic. Had very nice table mates. Our waitors were excellent and fun. Though the food wasn't bad and we didn't go hungry, it wasn't great. We were expecting more as were told it was better than Princess. In our opinion this wasn't true. The buffet on deck 10 had long lines whatever time we went. We are used to having stations with different foods so you can go for what you want and not wait in a long line going by stuff you don't want. I thought the food there was very good, especially the waffles, ( and that was a separate line). Also missed it being open 24/7 as I like to get a snack at odd hours.

 

Thought the atrium lacked pizzaz. In fact decor of the whole ship was somewhat bland, missed all the brass on other ships. The crews' uniforms on pool deck on other ships were more colorful also. Loved the Cruise critic parties and wish we could have met everyone. Regret not getting a picture.

 

I loved the sea days and almost continual rocking. Feel sorry for those who were sick. Actually I expected the Pacific to be rougher than it was. Staff was wonderful and loved visiting with them during our sea days.

 

We had 3 tours through Celebrity which we enjoyed. Old Lahaina Luau and whale watch through Pacific Whale Foundation I booked on line. Both were great and we saw several whales, including a mother and her baby.

 

Disembarkation day is always bad and long, this one was no exception. Hurry up and wait!!! Our bus ride through Mexico went better than others I have read about, 3 hours from ship to SD airport. Then a 5 hour wait till plane took off, ugh.

 

All in all we did have a good time, just couldn't help making comparisons from our past cruises. Would probably sail with Celebrity again sometime. I doubt I will go back to Hawaii.

 

Carol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nancy, just sent you an email and await your reply. I thought you guys fell off the earth after Hawaii!!!! :eek:

Carol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...