Inside the Celebrity Infinity
Travel Tips by Donald Burleson
Inside the Celebrity Infinity
The Celebrity Infinity is a fairly new (2001 completion),
medium-large ship weighing-in at 90,228 gross tons with a passenger capacity of
only 1,950 guests. We did the South American jaunt and enjoyed it tremendously,
overall. The Infinity has a few problems, but compared to the other lines,
Celebrity has their act together. They have great onboard poker
tournaments and a great atriun area with an enclosed pool.
Celebrity Infinity mechanical problems
The Celebrity Infinity ship (and all Celebrity "Millennium
class" ships) have a history of
ongoing mechanical problems due to their ?mermaid pod propulsion? system,
for which they filed a $300m lawsuit against the ship maker. On our
cruise, one engine went out and we were forced to skip a port, but we did get
cash as a
?Goodwill gesture? for our trouble. Be advised that your cruise contract allows
Celebrity to skip ports at-will, so don't bother asking for a refund. For
more on negotiating a refund for a missed port,
The tenders on the Celebrity Infinity are also dicey and downright dangerous at
times. We were forced to sit on the top-level of the Infinity fully-packed
tender boat, and we were soaked on the ride. This was not a minor sea spray,
but like having buckets of seawater poured on you. I took refuge in the
stairwell, but many passengers were justifiably afraid to take shelter. The
Celebrity cruise people would not even cover our laundry bill, but the appalling
lack of safety was a main concern. When I inquired about the licensing of the
tender captains, I was told that they are often licensed from third-world
countries, and safety was not a major concern for them.
Please support the initiative in the US congress to force
cruise ships to adhere to US safety and health standards for all cruises
originating in the USA (or ships where the majority of passengers are US
The Infinity personnel are great
Celebrity tries very hard to live-up to their motto "We
treat you famously", and we were very happy with the service. It's no
problem to ask your attendant to fetch a full dinner for when you want to dine
in your stateroom, and they are very accommodating. I?ve been on some low-end cruises where the staff was
downright rude, but I?m thrilled to see that everyone aboard the Celebrity
Infinity was wonderful and very helpful.
Our waitress and our cabin steward
were up to the old-fashioned standards of fine service, unlike the ?economy?
cruise lines where the stewards don't speaka-da-English, and will pee in your
coffee in you dare ask for any special attention. Like all cruise lines,
they have a midnight buffet, but we were very impressed with the level of
service, even better than Holland America, and far better than Carnival and
Staying connected on the Infinity
By far, the best way to get connected on the Infinity is
with the in-room telephone dial-up system, which can be purchased for $10/day.
It's also faster than the wireless used in the public areas.
The Celebrity Infinity connect@sea internet connection
system offers very slow access speed and it is available for open usage for $.75
per minute and bulk-time purchases make it as low as $.45 cents per minute from
you buy the $450 package. Tip: Access speed slows tremendously when the old
folks start sending e-mails (the average age on my cruise was about 95
years-old). It's best to do your work late at night of early mornings.
They also have great classes in Photoshop, which, by the
way, can make part of your cruise deductible as a business expense, depending on
your tax laws.
Skype and Vonage are blocked on the Celebrity Infinity, and
would not work anyway, given the snail-speed of the connections. They also
have specious bar areas, such as their constellation bar.
The food on the Celebrity Infinity
The Celebrity line has better than average food in the
dining room. I?ve been cruising for over 25 years and noted that the food on
the lesser lines (i.e. Carnival) id downright skanky, with wafer steaks worthy
of Waffle House. The food on the Celebrity Infinity was quite good, and for
breakfast there are several great options:
The fifth deck offers the "Cova" patisserie, with fresh-baked goodies and
some of the best almond croissants I?ve ever eaten.
The breakfast buffet is also nice (for a buffet), offering
a hot homemade waffle bar and an excellent Omelet bar in deck 10.
The topside is quite nice as-well with plenty of deck
The SS United States Restaurant
The SS United States is an elegant (some say stuffy),
formal $30/per meal add-on, perfect for a romantic dinner of celebration, but
not so great if you just want better food, fast. The Steak Diane was great, but many of
the appetizers are average, and some items such as the asparagus are quite ordinary.
But the presentation and service are amazing in the SS
United States, and they insist on orchestrating
your food presentation with great panache, the full treatment, very much the the
Russian Tea Room in New York City. Plan to spend three hours in the
SS United States dining room, a cubby-hole with no windows in the third deck.
The SS United States is a great place for celebrating and
occasions where you want the full-treatment. We recommend the special
five-course meal served with a different wine for each course, a great three
hour eating fest.
Here is a sample of the goofy "art" on board the
Celebrity Infinity, including a bear that looks leak he is taking a leak in the
pool. The Infinity also has a modest shopping area.
The Park West Art Auctions - Pirates at-sea
As usual, Park West was working hard to part elderly people
with their life-savings, buying "investment" art at suspiciously-high prices. Park West deals
exclusive in reproduction art, limited-edition lithographs and some garbage of
their own invention called
serioithographs. There are serigraphs, and lithographs, but a hybrid is not
real, and loosely-translated seriolithograph means ?piece
?Just want to let everyone know that the value of
seriolithoghraphs purchased while on RC's The Mariner Of the Seas from Park
West Galleries-15 months ago have not appreciated as informed while on the
We have sent back $8,000 worth to Park west and are
demanding total refund for framing shipping and appraisals that were
supplied by the owner of the company- who has no appraising credentials.?
Park West once asked to me and my wife to help them shill
bid (note that Park West states that they are allowed to pull fake bids, up to
their reserve price).
I take no pity on the younger people who should know
better, but I resent that Park West preys on the elderly with their spiel about
investment art. I once saw a lady spend hundreds of dollars on a 'signed?
Rockwell (the 'signature? is just a part of the print), a piece-o-crap that they
could have bought on eBay for a fraction of the price.
Shame on you, Park West. If Celebrity cruises were forced
to adhere to US auction laws they would not be taking advantage of old folks.
On our cruise, they had a ?guess the price of the Chagall reproduction (an
numbered litho). Guess ranged from $950 to a guess of
over $3,500,000, no doubt a guess placed by someone who attended their
?investment art? spiel. A quick eBay search reveals the real prices from
Chagall dealer, ranging from $16k to $58k. I?ll bet that they use this data to gauge the
gullibility of their marks.
To learn more about Park West complaints, see my research
here and other complaints