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Virtually live from the Infinity--July 5 and 12 back-to-back


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Please bear with me…This is what I hope will be a detailed review of our back-to-back Mediterranean cruises onboard the Celebrity Infinity through the virtual world that exists in my mind during this Covid-19 Pandemic.  We are cruising for 14 magnificent nights round trip from Civitavecchia in the wonderful world of imagination—our only way of experiencing this trip without leaving our home in Southern California.  😉

 

After a long and satisfying pre-cruise trip through Switzerland and Northern Italy, today we finally boarded the Celebrity Infinity in Civitavecchia.  We flew in, ten days ago to Milan, Italy…a long and exhausting trip, losing nine hours worth of time zones in the process, rented a car and drove straight to beautiful Lugano, Switzerland.  After a night there, it was on to Lucerne for two nights, then Lauterbrunnen for two nights, then down to Portovenere, Italy for three nights to visit the Cinque Terre.  Finally, we drove down to Civitavecchia yesterday, turned in the rental car and spent the night in a delightful little bed and breakfast.  After breakfast, we checked out and caught a taxi to the port.

 

We arrived at the Infinity around 11:30 and found virtually nothing in the way of lines.  Of course, we had express check-in anyway and had done most of the check-in on line at the Celebrity website months ago.  We were able to go to our cabin immediately as, apparently, the cabin had not been used on the prior cruise.  We have a beautiful Concierge cabin, midship on deck 8…so, we dropped off our carry-on luggage and proceeded to the Main Dining Room—as a sit-down embarkation lunch is one o the benefits of the Concierge class.  Remarkably, the dining room was empty, so, service was VERY good.

 

After lunch, we headed back to the cabin to unpack and take a nap before the muster drill.  The muster drill, also, was remarkably empty.  I guess many of the passengers must be late arriving to Civitavecchia from Rome.  After the Muster Drill, it was on to the Martini Bar for pre-dinner drinks.  We have the drink package as a perk, so why not take a little advantage?  Bartender was great…got all of our orders immediately.  Then it was off to dinner.  We have Select Dining, so we thought we may have to wait for a table…but, as has been typical this cruise, the dining room was very quiet and we were seated at a table for two almost immediately.  Had a nice dinner, then off to the Show Room for the “Welcome Aboard” show…Met the Cruise Director and then had a short set by the comedian, followed by a couple of numbers by the singers/dancers.  Then headed back to the cabin for a good night’s sleep.

 

Tomorrow, at 12 noon, we arrive in Messina, Sicily.  Looking forward to a tour to Mt. Etna followed by a visit to Taormina.

 

It’s going to be a great cruise.

I’ll check back in tomorrow evening.

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Looking forward to the rest of your "live" review...

What is the itinerary?

Have a Great Trip & relief from all the challenges the rest of us are experiencing w/ C-19...

Next time you are in the Martini Bar - will you have one for me?

I also love champagne!

 

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27 minutes ago, Von & John said:

What is the itinerary?

 

Sunday July 5                     CIVITAVECCHIA , ITALY                                  5:00 PM

Monday July 6                   MESSINA, SICILY, ITALY         12:00 PM     8:00 PM

Tuesday July 7                   VALLETTA, MALTA                   8:00 AM       6:00 PM

Wednesday July 8            AT SEA                                         

Thursday July 9                 KOTOR, MONTENEGRO         7:00 AM       5:00 PM

Friday July 10                     ZADAR, CROATIA                     11:00 AM     8:00 PM

Saturday July 11                RIJEKA, CROATIA                      8:00 AM       5:00 PM

Sunday July 12                   VENICE, ITALY                            6:45 AM

Monday July 13                 VENICE, ITALY                                                    5:00 PM

Tuesday July 14                 SPLIT, CROATIA                         9:00 AM       6:00 PM

Wednesday July 15         KOTOR, MONTENEGRO         8:00 AM       5:00 PM

Thursday July 16               CORFU , GREECE                       9:00 AM       6:00 PM

Friday July 17                     AT SEA                                         

Saturday July 18                NAPLES, ITALY                           7:00 AM       6:00 PM

Sunday July 19                   CIVITAVECCHIA , ITALY          5:15 AM

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Love this!  Can’t wait to hear about the rest of your trip ( especially we just cancelled our cruise in Oct. with many of the same ports). Have a Sunset Martini on me.

 

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Posted (edited)

Love it - I was at the last "real" Infinity cruise ending in Miami the 14th March. I am sure you are going to love this cruise - it is a nice ship, even though it is soon time for a makeover - the staff are just terrific - I am sending them many warms thoughts everyday in this time. 

 

Enjoy - I am looking forward to hear about your experience during this cruise. Your itinerary looks amazing - hope you will be able to spend some time in Rome after the cruise😉 .

 

Safe travel.

 

This is Infinity in Cozumel the 12th March.

 

image.thumb.png.faf9ab09cacbc43697737668d2eccbe6.png

 

 

Edited by Danish
Wanted to add picture
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Posted (edited)

Hola!!!!!

 

Greetings from your friend from Barcelona who does not speak English.


We have also canceled our B2B Infinity cruise in September, we have moved it to next year.
I love the idea of this "virtual" cruise, I look forward to the next messages.

 

Take care.

Edited by edunava
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Today we stopped in Messina, Sicily.  The ship did not get into port until noon, so we had a pleasurable morning sleeping late, then a nice leisurely breakfast--no reason to rush.  We did a shore excursion here, trying to use up some of our massive onboard credit.  This one was fairly aggressive—as long a shorex as they could fit in—going to both Mt. Etna and to the town of Taormina.  The visit to Etna was interesting, even if a little dull.  We stopped in a parking area with a very touristy gift shop, but first took a walk up and around a volcanic crater (There were some more craters further from the bus parking, but we had limited time here).  About halfway around the crater, there was a guy with a card table selling jewelry—allegedly authentic volcanic stones found in the crater—though I suspect the stuff may actually be made in China!  Anyway, Beth could not help herself and bought a necklace.  It’s okay if it’s not authentic—it cost a whopping 15 euros.  Then, at the gift shop, I purchased my souvenir—a bottle of bright red liqueur—“Fuoco Dell’ Etna”…looked too cool to pass up.

 

Then we headed down to the town of Taormina where we had the opportunity to walk along the main street—a very touristy collection of cafes and souvenir shops.  Bought some gifts here—embroidered kitchen towels.  Women sat in front of the stores with sewing machines customizing them for you.  (So, the recipients can't return OR re-gift them!).  Time flies.  Soon we needed to be back at the bus for the drive back to the ship.

 

Just got back to the ship (it’s about 7:30 pm local time)--a little late for our usual drinks and dinner, but it was worth it…after a nice full day touring in Sicily.

 

Looking forward to another full day tomorrow in Malta.

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In Taormina, when you really go, be sure to try a "cannolo" it is a rich and tasty fried dessert filled with sheep ricotta, chocolate chips and candied fruit peel, it is delicious.
In Malta you cannot miss the entrance to the port, it is like going back in time and traveling to the time of pirates.

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17 hours ago, Danish said:

Love it - I was at the last "real" Infinity cruise ending in Miami the 14th March. I am sure you are going to love this cruise - it is a nice ship, even though it is soon time for a makeover - the staff are just terrific - I am sending them many warms thoughts everyday in this time. 

 

Enjoy - I am looking forward to hear about your experience during this cruise. Your itinerary looks amazing - hope you will be able to spend some time in Rome after the cruise😉 .

 

Safe travel.

 

This is Infinity in Cozumel the 12th March.

 

image.thumb.png.faf9ab09cacbc43697737668d2eccbe6.png

 

 

Looks fantastic really, I remember my first time getting on board of such a ship, the feeling was fantastic. Only its view is already giving you goose bumps. I am glad that its passangers had a chance to enjoy it when it was possible. Will see how things turn our for it in the future 

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5 minutes ago, Roger88 said:

Looks fantastic really, I remember my first time getting on board of such a ship, the feeling was fantastic. Only its view is already giving you goose bumps. I am glad that its passangers had a chance to enjoy it when it was possible. Will see how things turn our for it in the future 

Yes - it is going to be exciting to see, what happens with the cruise industry in the future. I did not felt unsafe at anytime during the cruise in March - some people even said, that they felt more safe on the ship, than they would be at home. However, it was not a big surprise, when the captain at the last night of the cruise announced, that from midnight the RCCL family  suspended all cruises.

However, I look forward to going on a cruise again - but I guess I will wait a year or more...….

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Well, today was Malta.  I got up early and headed up to the top deck to get some of the best views of the sail in to port.  Arriving in Malta is truly fantastic…past the breakwater and in to the medieval fortifications.  Really a sight not to be missed.

 

In port, we arranged for a private guide.  Went to the prehistoric Hagar Qim…a bunch of interestingly arranged rocks—sort of Malta’s version of Stonehenge.  Went all through the Medieval city of Mdina and the capital of Valetta.  Saw the unbelievable Crusader church—St. John’s with the floor covered in unreal tombstones—lots of skulls and skeletons inlaid in marble.  Stopped at a glass factory, where, of course, Beth bought a large colorful glass vase to be shipped back to our house.  Another long and fascinating day on what has to be one of the coolest islands anywhere.

 

Then it was back to the ship, change of clothes and up to the lounge on Deck 11 forward for the Elite Drinking hours.  We’ll head to dinner around 7, then to the show…Tonight it’s a production show with the singers and dancers.  Thankfully, tomorrow is an “At Sea” day—the only one on this first leg.  We are going to need it…I am tired already…and we have some great port days ahead.

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Thanks for this Steve. My wife and I, along with some friends, have booked a B2B of 26 days aboard the Infinity in April of ‘21. We start in Miami, and finish in Venice. Many of the ports we hit are in your itinerary so I’m anxious to see what you do in them. We sailed on the Infinity in ‘19 from San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale through the canal so we know we like Infinity. 
Since I figure there a less than 50% chance the cruise will actually happen thanks to Covid, I may have to enjoy those ports through your eyes and explanations. No pressure...😉

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Well, this is a good time! Thanks for doing this.

 

You've been having a great "cruise" so far.  I'm sure you and Beth will sleep peacefully tonight.  Esp, since you did not

say your day in Valleta included a stop at St Johns to look at  Carvaggio's  "The Beheading Of St John."

 

 

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Ahhh…an “At Sea” day…Slept in late, had brunch…It was a warm, sunny Mediterranean day…High of 85 Fahrenheit, not a cloud in the sky.  So, we got a couple of drinks at one of the bars and headed back to the cabin and sat out on the balcony…Did a little reading and some crossword puzzles, then headed down to the Rendezvous Lounge for back-to-back Trivia and Music Trivia.  Before we knew it, it was time again for pre-dinner drinks…then dinner… Show was a magician…lots of fun…Then we hit the Karaoke.  NOBODY on this ship can sing worth a darn…  Amazing how these “At Sea” days just flow right by…Time to go to sleep—tomorrow’s an early arrival in Kotor…

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This is a really great review...thank you for taking the time to write about your cruise.  Have a great sleep and rest up for Kotor tomorrow.  
I bet you’ll sleep really good again... I always sleep great on ships ... so relaxing 😌 

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It’s now Friday morning here…Sorry I didn’t get around to an entry last night…It was a long day in Kotor and, when we got back from our tour, we really had to go out to watch the sailaway from an open deck.  Leaving Kotor is really amazing…They light up the walls of the town and it’s quite a sight as you sail back out of the Fjord.

 

Anyway, in Kotor we did a private tour with a local provider.  They came and picked us up as we got off the tender at about 7:30 am…

First, we drove up the mountain road through 25 switchbacks to Njegusi with a breathtaking view of the fjord… Had a snack in the village of smoked ham and cheese with some local wine…

Then we drove to Cetinje, the old capital, to visit King Nikola’s Palace with displays of medals, weapons, old furniture and portraits of old Montenegrin royalty.

From there it was on to Budva, an incredible little medieval beach resort…we took a lap around the top of the old city walls and had a lunch at a local pizza place, followed by some ice cream…

Then it was back to Kotor for a guided walk around the city, then a return to the ship for that fantastic sailaway…

 

So, this morning, we have a little extra time before the ship makes its way into Zadar at about 11:00…We’ve never been to Zadar before, so we’ve booked a shorex—“Panoramas of Historic Dalmatia”…I can’t wait to see what we have in store here…

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This is terrific.  I hope you submit it to CC.  Might be the first official review of a virtual cruise!  

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Had a nice slow breakfast, then met at the theater to join the shore excursion.  We had so much onboard credit with our booking deal (and since we also had free gratuities and the drink package—and, as Elite Plus, we get a lot of free internet and laundry, there was little left to spend it on other than shorexes, so, we did one here).

 

Well, Zadar was a pleasant little surprise…Our bus left the port town and headed down the coast to the towns of Skradin and Šibenik …went to a gothic cathedral (“St. Jacob”) and the Town Hall, strolled through a lot of old stone streets and through groves of olive trees . Saw some great views of the Krka River and Lake Prokljan.  Then we had a nice walking tour of Zadar itself—including the Morske Orgulje—the “Sea Organ”…It’s a bunch of steps down to the water that have some sort of organ pipes below the watyer level built into them—which makes some weird sounds…Yes, edunava, definitely different!

 

The tour was a little short with the late start.  I wish we had a little more time here.

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Saturday, July 11...Today we had our last port day of the first leg—Rijecka.  Again, in order to finish off our OBC, we did a shore excursion:  “Golden Island Krk”…

We met, again, in the theater at 8:30 and assigned to bus #1…Drove to the island of Krk…which, though an island, can be reached from Rijecka by a bridge… Went to the town of Krk on the southern side of the island and had a guided walk through the old town and visited the Krk Cathedral—a rather smallish old stone cathedral with a white interior…then, right up the street to the  12th Century Frankopan Castle—actually an old stone fort. Ate a Croatian lunch at a local restaurant.  We had some free time on our own to wander around town then headed up to the town of Vrbnik with great views of the Adriatic.  We walked the narrow streets of this old city, then went to a family-run winery for a tasting of Zlahtina, the local wine. then drove back to the ship in Rijecka.

Tonight, most of the passengers will be packing up and putting their luggage out in the hallway in preparation for disembarking tomorrow morning in Venice…but NOT US!!

We are happy to be doing “back-to-back” cruises…staying onboard for the next seven nights to do an almost completely different return voyage to Rome.  We long ago decided that we never want to travel all the way to Europe for just a 7-night cruise.  It’s too much of an investment in money, time and effort to just do a short cruise.  So, we’ve always looked for longer cruises.  We’ve done everything from 10 to 16 night cruises…and, last year, we did TWO 12 night cruises back-to-back on Reflection out of Amsterdam.  But, we’ve found we can’t always find the right long itinerary.  So, the next best thing to do is to string together two different cruises.  Best to do it on the SAME ship, especially if you can get the same cabin for both legs.  That way, when everyone else is packing, we can just treat it as another night onboard.

For this one, we were able to grab the same cabin--#8115—a C2 Concierge cabin, midship on the port side—a location we really like for its convenience—for BOTH legs.  So, tomorrow, we just stay put…and we get our same wonderful cabin steward for both legs as well.

So, tonight, when everyone else is stressed and saddened to be leaving, we will have a very relaxing evening—drinks, dinner, show, late night drinks...totally relaxing…

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Sunday, the 12th…

It’s “Turnaround Day”—the day everyone gets off the July 5 sailing and a whole new crowd gets on the July 12 sailing…other than us of course.  This morning the ship was full of nervous people—waiting for their scheduled disembarkation times, schlepping their carry-on luggage with them all over, worried about their flights home…except for us, of course.

Those of us on the “back-to-back” were able to quietly just lounge around.  They gave us a meeting time to come get our new cruise cards for the second leg, then marched us all down in a group to punch out with our old cards and immediately punch back in with the new ones.  We have the option of getting off the ship to wander around Venice a bit…but, we’ve been many times and have all day tomorrow here as well…So, with all of the confusion with all of the new passengers checking in, we decided to just relax onboard.  After all, we’ve had three busy port days in a row, so we could use the break.

 

As back-to-back passengers, we are entitled to eat lunch in the main dining room…of course, we also get that as a perk with our Concierge class stateroom as well, so, either way, that is our choice for lunch…much nicer than dealing with the crowds and the competition for tables up at the buffet.

This afternoon, there’s another dreaded muster drill…They really should exempt back-to-back passengers from suffering through that a second time…But, I’ll make sure to get to a bar early and carry a drink into the drill!

Tonight just also happens to be our Anniversary, so we are taking advantage of the embarkation night half-price special and dining in the Tuscan Grill—always a favorite with us for special occasions like this.

And, tomorrow, we’ll go out and explore Venice for the day on our own at our leisure…

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It's Monday, the 13th--the first full day of the second leg...and we were in Venice after the "overnight".  We've spent a lot of time in Venice in the past, so we decided to just get off the ship and wander on our own...We bought the one day Vaporetti ticket--20 euros per person--pays for itself by the third vaporetto trip.  They used to have a 12 hour ticket, but this is now the shortest pass.  Headed over to Burano in the morning to walk around the beautifully colored streets and canals of this "mini-Venice".  Stopped for a morning Espresso in a small cafe, then headed back to Venice to San Marco for some photos.  From there, we went across the Grand Canal to Dorsoduro and to a place we'd eaten at before--"Alla Zattere"--a pizzeria/restaurant right on the water on the Giudecca canal...The tables are on a sort of a barge right in the water and we got one right by the railing...a great place to have some food and watch the boats go by...

 

After lunch, we headed back in the direction of Rialto and did a little souvenir shopping in all of the little shops, then took a vaporetto to the Ghetto, where we toured the synagogues and bought a painting from a local artist...By then, the hour was getting a little late...and all-aboard was set for 4:00 pm, so we headed back to the ship...plenty of time for drinks in the Elite Lounge prior to dinner...and a relaxing evening...Split tomorrow...

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Tuesday and we are in Split, Croatia.  Once again, it was time for one of those shorexes—in order to use up our OBC.  This one was called “Cetina River Cruise and Split City Highlights”.  We had been to Split before and last time had done a private tour of Split and Trogir, so, this time, we wanted something a little different.  Our tour was only a half-day tour (wish it was a little longer) and, prior to heading to the river, they first gave us a little guided walk around Diocletian’s Palace.  But then, we had a half an hour drive to Omis—a really nice little town down the coast from Split at the mouth of the Cetina River.  There are some old fortifications used by pirates in centuries past and some stone cliffs surrounding the town.  We got on a boat here and took a little boat trip up the river through the canyon with some picturesque surroundings, then back to the ship…fairly early in the afternoon.  We might have headed back into Split, but decided to just relax onboard.  Tomorrow we return to Kotor—the only repeat visit on the back-to-back…

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