The Celebrity Infinity joined the Celebrity Cruises' fleet in 2001 and was significantly renovated in 2011, when new AquaClass staterooms, new dining venues, and new lounges were added. The Infinity is a sister ship to the Celebrity Millennium, Summit, and Constellation, which have also been renovated. At just over 90,000 tons and with 2,100 passengers, the Infinity qualifies as a large ship. However, with the latest large ships carrying over 3,500 passengers, the Infinity's size seems just right--large enough to have most of the big ship amenities but small enough for passengers to easily learn to navigate the ship's decks.
I first sailed on a 14-day South America cruise from Buenos Aires to Rio for Carnaval on the Celebrity Infinity in 2007, and it was a terrific cruise, filled with good service, good food, interesting ports, and interesting people. Lucky me--I sailed again on the ship in 2013, this time around the British Isles and to Normandy. This second cruise in a completely different part of the world gave me a good chance to check out the changes made to the ship after she was "Solsticized."
Cruise Ship Cabins and Accommodations
The Celebrity Infinity has over ten different types of cabins and suites, ranging in size from 170 to 1400 square feet. All of the cabins are tastefully decorated, and over 80 percent are on the outside or have a balcony.
The most expensive cabins - the four levels of suites - include butler service, more space, and a larger bath and balcony. The two Penthouse Suites are the most luxurious on the ship, with over 1400 square feet of living space and an 1100 square foot balcony. The Penthouse Suites have a foyer, separate living and dining room, baby grand piano, private veranda with whirlpool, and other special amenities. The Royal Suites, with 538 square feet and a 195 square foot veranda also have a separate living/dining area and whirlpool bath on the veranda and in the bath. The Celebrity Suites are slightly smaller (467 square feet with an 85 square foot veranda) and do not have a separate bedroom, but is still very nice. The Sky Suites are 251 square feet with a 57 square foot veranda. These are not true suites, but are very spacious cabins and do have a tub/shower combination.
The AquaClass staterooms were added when the Celebrity Infinity was Solsticized in late 2011. They have 195 square feet and a 62 square foot veranda. These cabins are located near the AquaSpa, and guests have complimentary access to the Persian Garden in the AquaSpa. These cabins also have an additional bathroom and cabin amenities. Many guests prefer the AquaClass cabins because they get to dine in the exclusive Blu Specialty Restaurant each night for dinner.
The Concierge class balcony cabins are the level between the Sky Suites and standard veranda cabins in price. The concierge class (191 square feet with a 41 square foot veranda) cabins have more amenities (such as a daily fruit basket, second hair dryer, binoculars, afternoon hors-d'oeuvres, and better balcony furniture) and better services (such as priority tender boarding, embarkation and disembarkation, alternative restaurant reservations, and spa reservations) than a standard veranda cabin.
The balconies on the standard veranda cabins are only 38 square feet but are large enough for two chairs and a small table. The balcony cabins measure 170 square feet, so are smaller than the Concierge Class and AquaSpa accommodations. This class is the most prevalent type on the Infinity.
Family groups should consider the spacious "family ocean view with veranda" cabins, which are significantly larger than a standard balcony and have a privacy partition and plenty of room for the kids.
All oceanview (window, no veranda) and interior Celebrity Infinity cabins have a lounge area with sofa (some sofas convert into beds), safe, interactive TV, and private bath with a good-sized shower. The Infinity also has several wheelchair-accessible cabins in several classes, all of which are centrally located.
Dining and Cuisine
Celebrity Cruises is well known in the industry for its cuisine, and the recognition is well deserved. The 1170-seat, 2-deck Trellis Restaurant is the Infinity's main dining venue, and with its huge stern window overlooking the sea on one end and its curving staircase at the other, the room is impressive. Tables for 2, 4, 6, and 8 are available with three dinner options--two fixed seatings at either 6:00 pm (main seating) or 8:30 pm (late seating), or open seating at Celebrity Select Dining from 5:30 to 9:30 pm. Each night's dinner has a good variety of selections, and favorites such as shrimp cocktail, salmon, steak, and chicken are available each evening.
The Oceanview Cafe is the Infinity's casual buffet, and we especially enjoyed omelets, egg specialties, and the fresh waffle and pancake station near the stern of the ship. And, my mom loved the yummy sticky buns, which were sometimes available. At lunch, the Oceanview always has a selection of salads, pasta, hot dishes, sandwiches, Asian selections, and pizza. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and a daily grill special are available just outside the Oceanview at the pool grill.
The Oceanview cafe also serves a casual buffet dinner. We really enjoyed the sushi and the Asian wok dinner at the Oceanview in the evening. For those with late seating dinner at 8:30, a light, late-afternoon snack at the Oceanview is a good way to prevent cruise starvation between lunch and the late meal.
The SS United States is the Infinity's cover charge alternative dining option. Seating only 40, the SS United States features glass paneling from the 1952 ocean liner of the same name. We thought the most distinguishing characteristic of the SS United States restaurant was the fine tableside food preparation. It's fun to watch talented chefs at work!
Two new specialty restaurants were added when the Celebrity Infinity was Solsticized. One of the unique restaurants is Qsine, with a wide selection of small dishes that are delightfully presented and perfect for sharing. Blu is for the exclusive use of those staying in the AquaClass accommodations. Its blue and white decor is some of the most dramatic I've seen on a ship, and the food is "clean cuisine", with an emphasis on Mediterranean dishes.
Other dining venues on the Infinity include the AquaSpa Cafe located next to the thalassotherapy pool, which has healthy choice dining all day long; the Bistro Cafe, which serves crepes, sandwiches, salads, and soups for a small fixed surcharge; and the Cafe al Bacio, which serves a la carte specialty coffees and gelato.
Bars and Lounges
One of the nice things about a large ship is the variety of lounges available to enjoy a drink and have fun with new friends. The Celebrity Infinity has several lounges, most featuring live entertainment during a significant part of the evening.
The Constellation Club, forward on deck 11, is the Infinity's largest lounge, with dancing and drinking far into the late hours. The Rendezvous Lounge on deck 4 is a good place for a before or after dinner drink since it is next to the Trellis Restaurant, as is the iced-topMartini Bar and Crush on deck 4. The quietest bar on the Celebrity Infinity is Michael's Club on deck 4 near the Photo Gallery. Michael's was originally designed as a cigar bar but is now perfect for trying one of the many craft beers available onboard the ship.
Like most cruise ships, the Celebrity Infinity lounges have "drinks of the day" specials that match the day of the week, and Cellar Masters has wine tastings. The Martini bar had a flight of martinis - six, 1-ounce, martinis we enjoyed. I always enjoy wine or drink tastings like these since it gives you a chance to try "something different", and the Infinity had both wine and martini tastings onboard during our cruise.
Daytime Onboard Activities
Our Celebrity Infinity South America cruise had six sea days, so we had time to experience many of the Infinity's onboard activities. Since we had gorgeous sunny weather, many Infinity passengers spent their days lounging outside by the pool, enjoying a book, listening to music, playing basketball or paddle tennis, or napping in the sun or shade. Others gathered around the indoor thalassotherapy pool, had a spa treatment, or worked out in the fitness center. Of course, the casino was open while we were at sea, but only a few dedicated gamblers seemed to hang out there during the daylight hours.
The Infinity had a good variety of educational opportunities for those who felt they should do something "productive".
- Colonel James W. Reid, adventurer, explorer, author, and an expert on South America lectured several times during the cruise. His perspective on South America culture, history, people, art, and sites was invaluable in improving our understanding of this fascinating continent.
- Naturalist Kate Spencer gave some interesting presentations on South American wildlife and ecology.
- Aspiring chefs or those who love to cook all showed up for the Celebrity Infinity's executive chef and his staff's presentations on cooking and cuisine.
- The iLounge staff taught several software courses, and I heard great things about the classes.
- The golf pro gave golf clinics or was available for lessons.
For those who like organized games, the Infinity had several trivia, bingo, card, or audience participation games each day.
Movies in the cinema and book discussions in the library were also in the daily schedule. Finally, if none of the schedule appealed to the passengers, they could always find something to eat, browse the numerous shops, or take a long nap in their cabin to get ready for the evening's activities.
British Isles and Normandy Celebrity Infinity Cruise
Our Celebrity Infinity cruise from Harwich to the British Isles and Normandy only had two sea days. The primary focus of this port-intensive cruise was on the destinations and fascinating things to do and see ashore. Therefore, we didn't have as much time on the ship. However, the May weather in the North Sea was cooler, so the pools and outdoor sun decks were almost empty when the ship was at sea. Quite a difference, but both cruises were very memorable.
Celebrity Infinity - Evening Activities on the Celebrity Infinity
As the sun sets over the ocean, the nightlife begins on the Celebrity Infinity. Dinner in the Trellis Restaurant, SS United States Restaurant, the Oceanview Cafe, Blu Restaurant or Qsine is one of the highlights for most Infinity passengers. Dinner might be preceded or followed by a drink in one of the lounges.
After dinner, many guests go to the show in the Infinity's large show lounge, the 900-seat Celebrity Theater. The entertainment includes excellent Las Vegas-style shows by the ship's large onboard troupe, or guest musicians, singers, or comedians.
When the show is over, most of the ship's lounges have either easy listening or dance music. People drift into the lounges and try out some of the new dance steps they learned onboard or just enjoy watching their fellow cruise mates on the dance floor. Others make their way to the casino to make a contribution to the slot machines or try their hand at one of the casino games. Some nights a late night movie is shown in the cinema. Passengers also can stroll the outdoor decks and watch the moon and stars overhead. It can be very romantic!
Both our 14-day cruise to Rio's Carnaval and our 11-night cruise of the British Isles and Normandy on the Celebrity Infinity went by way too quickly. We met new friends, enjoyed some great food, learned about South America, relaxed, read a few books, and saw some amazing sights along the way--all while cruising on the delightful Celebrity Infinity. If a vacation is in your future, why not plan a cruise? If a cruise vacation is in your future, why not consider the Celebrity Infinity? I don't think you will be disappointed.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.