The 90,940-ton, 2,170-passenger Celebrity Infinity is one of Celebrity Cruises' four vessels known as Millennium-class. That means they have some of the line's signature features -- lots of speciality restaurants, a Canyon Ranch spa, a gorgeous indoor Solarium and a variety of cabin classes. But it also means the ship is older and there are places where it seems tired. That should change in late 2020, when Celebrity Infinity receives a "Revolution" makeover, a complete renovation that will modernize restaurants and update all cabins and public areas to look more like a boutique hotel.
For now, fans of Celebrity and those new to the line will appreciate the focus on dining. Although the ship is older, it has continually added restaurants so there is a wide variety -- but many come with an extra fee. You can watch an animated chef make dinner during the Le Petit Chef experience at Qsine, enjoy sushi and go to an Italian steakhouse, but you'll pay for those. The good news is that the included dining in the Oceanview Cafe buffet, the pool grill and the Trellis main dining room is decent, with lots of choices (although it's not gourmet). Passengers in AquaClass have their own restaurant, Blu, and suite passengers can dine in Luminae, which is a notch up from the main dining room in both food and service.
Sun worshippers also will be very happy on Celebrity Infinity. Two pools are outdoors: One is tiered -- so you can get your feet wet and cool off without getting all the way in -- while the other is deeper. Then there's the enclosed Solarium, which has a jetted thalassotherapy pool and a roof so you can enjoy it even when it rains. Finally, the Outdoor Retreat has covered cabanas and a big screen for movie nights. And an upper outdoor sun deck toward the front of the ship has plenty of loungers.
While Celebrity rarely has the party vibe of sister company Royal Caribbean, there are plenty of options for cocktail connoisseurs. With a prime location overlooking the Grand Foyer, the shaved-ice-covered Martini Bar is almost always crowded. Additionally, wine-lovers will gravitate to Cellar Masters.
That being said, Celebrity Infinity is not a ship for high-octane partying and crazy outdoor activities (water slides, surfing, ropes courses). Unless you're on a charter -- this is the ship that the line often uses for theme cruises -- Celebrity Infinity is a ship for people who like to linger over dinner, sip a drink in a comfy lounge while listening to music (or doing a bit of ballroom dancing), take in a show or lounge by a pool.
Daytime: During the day, dress is resort casual.
Evening: Celebrity passengers tend to dress up for dinner -- typically button-down or dressy Tommy Bahama-type sport shirts and slacks for men and dresses or smart-casual pants for women. Formal night on Celebrity has been replaced by "evening chic" in the main dining room. This means that men can ditch the full suit and tie in favour of a sport coat and collared shirt, with designer jeans. Women can wear cocktail dresses, sundresses or designer jeans or nice pants.
Not permitted: T-shirts, swimsuits, robes, tank tops, caps and pool wear are not allowed in the main or speciality restaurants at any time. Shorts and flip-flops are not allowed during evening hours.
Celebrity's nightly theatrical performances, ranging from Broadway compilations to piano concertos, take place in the lovely three-deck Celebrity Theater and are generally well-regarded. Shows include typical Vegas-style song-and-dance revues, alongside performances given by visiting comedians and musical groups.
Celebrity Life is Celebrity's enrichment and activities program for day and evening fun onboard. Activities mostly follow cruise ship standards (art auctions, bad hair day seminars, cooking demos, wine tastings, bingo and ballroom dance lessons). Some of the more unique (and entertaining) options are interactive events with officers and passengers, including Ping-Pong or water volleyball tournaments, silly game shows and an uproarious Dancing with the Officers "dance" (or is that physical comedy?) contest.
Fortunes Casino has an odd Egyptian theme for an otherwise sophisticated ship. You can lose, or possibly win, money at slots, poker, blackjack, craps, Texas Hold'em and roulette.
Celebrity Infinity has a nice range of bars and lounges -- enough to keep you entertained, but not too many where you feel like you're missing out.
Rendezvous Lounge (Deck 4): Lined with windows opening onto the promenade, this smaller space features art auctions during the day, and dancing or musical acts such as duelling pianos at night.
Martini Bar/Crush (Deck 4): Located on the Grand Foyer, the ice-topped Martini Bar and smaller sibling Crush provide the best people-watching. The juggling bartenders also make this a great spot for pre-dinner cocktails.
Michael's Club (Deck 4): This lounge reserved just for suite passengers has complimentary drinks, as well as nibbles.
Cellar Masters (Deck 5): This wine bar and tasting venue boasts a long table for wine education events and comfy chairs for killing time until your dinner table is ready. Taste wine on your own at any time or during a scheduled wine tasting led by a sommelier; unlike most other bars on the ship, this one carries nothing but wine (no soda, cocktails or beer).
Oceanview Bar (Deck 10): This outdoor bar abuts the buffet, but its premier location can make it a draw on its own.
Mast Bar (Deck 11): Tucked away above the pool area, the Mast Bar allows upper-deck sunbathers to gather and watch the scene below. About a dozen stools sit directly at the bar.
Constellation Lounge (Deck 11): The forward-facing lounge at the top of the ship is surrounded with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides. It's used during the day as an observation station and for various activities. At night, it's turned into a dance club. Across the hall, an arcade is available to gamers young and old.
Infinity's main pool area, located on Deck 10 midship, features cushioned loungers, daybeds and wooden accents. The saltwater pool itself is divided into a shallow end for dipping and a deeper end for swimming; a circular lounge area sits on a raised platform in the middle. Anyone who wants to swim laps can do so early in the morning before the pools get busy. There are four hot tubs, a bar and table tennis on the port side. Additional lounge seating can be found one deck up, circling the pool area.
Continuing forward, the Solarium is an adults-only venue with a thalassotherapy pool, two additional hot tubs, padded wood loungers and some table seating for AquaSpa Cafe diners. The area is open to children for an hour in the morning and an hour in the late afternoon, though we saw kids in the pool later in the evening, as well. The Solarium is enclosed with a glass roof so it can be used in inclement weather.
Shuffleboard can be found on Deck 11 and a basketball court on Deck 12 at the top of the ship. Ping-Pong tables are on the pool deck.
Sun worshippers crowd the loungers around the pool on Decks 10 and 11. If you want to avoid the crowds, head for the forward and aft areas on Deck 12. The latter is where you'll find the Rooftop Terrace, a secluded area that has the ship's movie screen, as well as cabana-style loungers.
The Grand Foyer, a three-deck atrium, lies at the centre of Celebrity Infinity; its highlight is a dramatic staircase and ceiling-to-floor drapes. At the bottom of the atrium, on Deck 3, is the main "cruise business" area -- including the shore excursion boutique, an ATM, the Captain's Club office, Future Cruise Sails and passenger relations.
The photo gallery is located on Deck 4, across from Michael's Club.
Forward of Cafe al Bacio is Infinity's enormous shopping venue, the 14,000-square-foot Emporium. Along with the usual logo shops and duty-free items, there are several jewellery, clothing and watch shops, as well as Celebrity Innovations, an Apple product retailer. Instead of cluttering the aisles with specials as on most ships, there is a circular central kiosk area for the daily discount offerings.
The Celebrity iLounge is found on Deck 9. There, Mac computers are available for web browsing, or you can sign up for a Wi-Fi account, as wireless internet access is available shipwide. Prices start per minute or you can purchase a package. Computer and technology classes, mostly focusing on Apple products, are held in the Emporium and are complimentary.
The ship's library is just below on Deck 8 and features glass walls, deep armchairs and a selection of travel guides, fiction and nonfiction books, and board games. The main concierge keeps hours there, as well.
Meeting rooms are located on Deck 3, and a medical facility is on Deck 1.
There are no self-service launderettes.
Canyon Ranch runs all of the ship's spa and salon services, as well as the fitness classes. The SpaClub features a generous enough workout room with floor space for fitness classes. It also encompasses spa service and treatment areas, the Persian Garden thermal suite, an acupuncture studio and a beauty salon.
Spa and beauty services include facials, massages, wraps and scrubs, hairstyling, mani-pedis and barbering for men. A 50-minute Canyon Ranch spa costs $150, but specials are offered on port days and for buying multiple services at once. In addition to a trained acupuncturist, Infinity also has licensed doctors onboard and offers Restylane and Perlane treatments, as well as Botox.
Passes to the Persian Garden thermal suite are free to AquaClass passengers, but other passengers must purchase a daily pass for $25 (there are discounts for longer-use passes). There's a limited number of passes for each cruise, so you'll want to buy it as soon as you board so you can get the most out of it. The Persian Garden has heated loungers, an aromatic steam room, several saunas and various showers. It's much smaller on Celebrity Infinity, however, than it is on the line's Solstice-class ships.
The fitness area offers the usual cardio machines (treadmills, elliptical trainers and bikes), as well as weight machines and free weights. In the aerobics space, abs workouts and stretching sessions are free, but classes in Pilates, spinning and yoga carry an additional fee.
A jogging track is located on Deck 11, making it easy to remember that 11 laps equals 1 mile. It's an odd track, though, in that it runs right through some heavily congested sundeck areas. We never saw anyone using the track.
Celebrity Infinity has a manageable number of speciality restaurants -- three as opposed to six on many of the line's other ships -- meaning you can splurge for a night out if you want without being overwhelmed. We found a lot of choice in the included dining, although not necessarily at top standards.
Many passengers on our cruise partook in Celebrity's drink packages, but we never noticed the drinking getting out of hand (perhaps because many got the package free in a booking promotion and had no incentive to get their money's worth). You can choose Premium or Classic beverage, wine, soda and bottled water packages and purchase them pre-cruise or onboard.
Trellis (Decks 4 and 5): The striking Trellis Restaurant, Celebrity Infinity's main dining room, offers formal breakfast, lunch (select days only) and dinner. It also offers brunch on one sea day. The highlight of the two-tiered restaurant is a huge, paned showcase window that extends from floor to ceiling. Tables are set for combinations of six, eight and 10. (Two-tops and four-tops are available in limited quantities.)
There are two options for dinner in the Trellis Restaurant. Passengers can go with traditional, set seating (at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.) or opt for the more flexible Celebrity Select Dining option. With Celebrity Select Dining, passengers have the option to dine any time between 5:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and to decide whether they want to eat with their own party or at a mixed table with other cruisers. They can also make specific dinner reservations for each day of their cruise online in advance, make reservations onboard or simply show up when ready to eat.
Cuisine at the Trellis is generally well-received; the menu features a mix of traditional and imaginative fare with vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, no-sugar-added and SPE items (healthy yet tasty, as validated by SPE-Certified consultants) noted on the menu. Anytime menu items include escargot and shrimp cocktail starters, French onion soup and Caesar salad; broiled salmon and New York sirloin entrees; sides of roast potatoes and steamed vegetables; and chocolate cake, apple pie and cheesecake for dessert. Service seems to be a bit harried, particularly during peak dining times.
Oceanview Cafe (Deck 10): The Oceanview Cafe is the ship's buffet restaurant, located aft on the pool deck. Coffee, tea and juices are available 24/7, and food is served from 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. The buffet is set up in one long U, but three stations are hidden way at the back, separate from the main buffet and easy to miss, which is unfortunate; these sections have different offerings from the regular buffet.
Breakfast, served from 7 to 10 a.m. (with early and late options on each side), features made-to-order omelettes, American and English hot breakfasts, fruit, yoghurt, bread, cheese and cereal, as well as stations for Asian specialities, a poached egg bar and a waffle/pancake station in the back.
The main lunch service runs from noon to 2:30 p.m., with half the stations remaining open well into the afternoon and evening. You'll find hot fare, a salad bar, a pasta bar and a carving station, with pizza, Asian and panini/fish and chips in the back. Tea sandwiches and scones are served from 4 to 5 p.m.
Dinner, 6 to 9:30 p.m., offers more hot fare and a carving station, plus a curry station and more pasta, pizza and salad. Don't miss Celebrity's homemade ice cream near the entrance to the Oceanview Cafe; it's available until 10 p.m. and quite tasty.
Pool Grill (Deck 10): The Pool Grill, just forward of the buffet, offers hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers with fries from noon to 6 p.m.
AquaSpa Cafe (Deck 10): In the Solarium, the AquaSpa Cafe is a small buffet, serving light meals by the thalassotherapy pool. Breakfast (7 to 10 a.m.) includes healthy muffins, fruit and oatmeal for free and smoothies, fresh juices and yoghurt parfaits for an extra fee. Lunch, from noon to 2 p.m., centres on veggies and salads.
Blu (Deck 5): Celebrity's spa dining venue is exclusively for AquaClass passengers. The restaurant is open for breakfast (7:30 to 9 a.m.), serving light meals like smoothies and muesli. Dinner (6 to 9:30 p.m.) offers a changing menu of clean and simple cuisine, such as a roasted chicken breast or blackened ahi tuna. The venue is gorgeous, done in white with bright blue accents and a row of large porthole windows along one side. Note that Blu is intended to be AquaClass passengers' main dining venue for breakfast and dinner (though they can opt for Select Dining whenever they wish), and no other passengers are allowed.
Luminae (Deck 4): Reserved exclusively for suite passengers, Luminae is a calm refuge with a grown-up culinary atmosphere. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service is notably better here, as is the food. Expect sophisticated meals such as artichoke soup and veal chops. The same rules apply here as for Blu -- if you're travelling with a group and some of them are not booked in suite class, they will not be able to eat with you.
Room Service: Room service is available 24/7. Breakfast door cards allow you to check off both cold (cereal, fruit) and hot (eggs, pancakes) choices and choose a window for delivery times. Throughout the day, passengers can order from a menu of soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches, pizza and dessert, with additional hot items like vegetable lasagna, New York strip steak and avocado-tomato quesadillas. Order via the phone or the interactive TV. Between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., there's a $3.95 charge for passengers in interior, ocean-view and balcony staterooms. Tipping for room service is customary at other times.
Tuscan Grille (Deck 5); $45 per person for dinner, $35 for lunch: Celebrity's signature Italian steakhouse, Tuscan Grille focuses on chops as well as Italian favourites. The antipasti course is gorgeous and easily splittable with a group. Dinner is served nightly, while lunch is served once per cruise (same menu). For an additional fee beyond the cover charge, diners can enjoy premium cuts of meat including an 18-oz. dry-aged New York strip or a 22-oz. dry-aged porterhouse.
On sea days once per cruise, Tuscan Grille hosts the Crab Shack Lunch. For $40, you get two king crab legs, two crab cakes and crab bisque, as well as garlic bread and coleslaw.
Sushi on Five (Deck 5); a la carte. Infinity's sushi restaurant is hidden in an easy-to-miss area behind the Cellar Masters bar on Deck 5. Sushi, sashimi and Japanese favourites like gyoza and edamame are on the menu here. Special multicourse omakase meals are available. There aren't a lot of seats -- there's no sit-down sushi "bar" -- and it can get crowded at dinner; reservations are recommended.
Cafe al Bacio (Deck 5): This gorgeous cafe on the atrium serves free breakfast pastries and desserts from morning till night, but the speciality coffee and tea cost extra. (The general consensus is that the coffee here is the only coffee worth drinking onboard.) Across the atrium, the gelateria offers several flavours of gelato from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and it's definitely worth the extra fee.
Le Petit Chef at Qsine (Deck 11), $55: Qsine on Celebrity Infinity features the Le Petit Chef experience, which incorporates 3D technology and digital animation into your meal. Essentially, a 2-inch-tall French chef projects onto your table and helps prepare your dinner in fun and eye-catching ways. The Qsine menu has two four-course choices, all with a French spin -- think bouillabaisse, roasted lobster and French onion soup.
Of the 1,085 cabins aboard Infinity, roughly 80 percent are ocean views, while 57 percent of all cabins have balconies. The ship also offers a range of suites, from sprawling penthouses (1,400-plus square feet) to more petite but elegant Sky Suites, as well as 26 accommodations that are fully ADA-compliant and wheelchair accessible.
One thing to note about sailing with Celebrity: upper-grade accommodations allow access to exclusive restaurants and lounges. If you're travelling in a group, plan to book into the same category because only suite passengers are allowed to eat in Luminae and Blu is reserved for AquaClass only. While passengers in the more expensive cabins can choose to eat in the main dining room, their friends can't join them in the VIP venues.
Also, Infinity's lido deck (Deck 10) has an inordinately large overhang toward the forward part of the ship and a series of angled overhangs toward the aft. They are so big that the ship was built with a row of stanchions that angle down from the overhangs. Rooms at the top level on Deck 9, therefore, get interrupted views and little sun. Also, while soundproofing is excellent from cabin to cabin, this is not the case with the ceilings, and being right under the pool deck can make for a noisy cruise.
Infinity's standard cabins, from the least expensive insides to balcony cabins, are well-configured and have rounded-end beds. The taupe and maroon colour palette, along with light wood, seems a little outdated and tired, but this will be addressed in the Revolution makeover.
All standard cabins come equipped with mini-bar fridges stocked with for-fee items, safes, telephones and interactive televisions with excellent programming (including CNN, ESPN, several movie channels, several in-house channels and TNT). The "interactive" part includes ordering room service, checking your daily bill balance and playing video slots and blackjack (for those who are bored and need to spend money gambling on a television).
There are two 110-volt outlets and two 220-volt outlets at the desk. If you bring a converter kit, you can convert one of the 220s to a 110 (or vice versa), giving you three outlets to use for sundry electronics like laptops, digital cameras and cellphone chargers.
The bathrooms are large and well-lit, with plenty of storage space for cosmetics and toiletries, as long as you don't mind tucking them away in cabinets below the sink. Standard accommodations, Concierge Class and AquaClass cabins have roomy showers, while suites have whirlpool baths. There are hairdryers in the vanities in standard cabins; upper-category accommodations get handheld dryers, but there are no outlets for them in the bathrooms. You have to use them in the desk/vanity areas, which is kind of a pain if you aren't using that area for grooming.
Interior: Standard inside cabins are 170 square feet.
Oceanview: Ocean-view cabins are the same size but allow light to come in through a porthole.
Balcony: Veranda cabins range from the same 170 square feet to 191 square feet. The draw here are the balconies, which measure 38 to 54 square feet and are large enough for two chairs and a small table. Balconies in standard veranda staterooms are furnished with fabric-and-metal chairs and small tables with wooden tops.
Infinity also has 16 "Sweet 16" rooms -- eight port (left) and eight starboard (right) veranda cabins far forward on Deck 6 with balconies that are larger than average but sold at the cheapest Category 2C prices. Ask for cabins 6016, 6018, 6020–6031, 6033 or 6035.
The 12 Family Veranda cabins are 271 square feet with disproportionate 242-square-foot balconies. Sliding doors with translucent windows separate the master bedroom areas from the living areas, where the kiddos can bunk on pull-out couches. The huge balconies each feature two lounge chairs and a table with two chairs.
AquaClass: Infinity's AquaClass cabins are the same size as standard cabins but come with different perks. In-cabin amenities include daily delivery of tea, an upgraded room service menu, pillow menu, extra toiletries (shower gel, lip balm), use of plush bathrobes and slippers, shoeshine service and a Hansgrohe shower panel. Additional services include priority check-in, express luggage delivery and priority disembarkation. Plus, AquaClass cruisers get exclusive spa privileges, such as complimentary passes to the Persian Garden steam and sauna room and a spa concierge who will arrange extra-fee spa treatments and on-demand wellness programming.
AquaClass passengers dine at Blu, an exclusive restaurant featuring "clean cuisine," for breakfast and dinner. While these passengers can choose to have dinner at the Trellis main dining room whenever they want (with the other flexible dining cruisers), they cannot bring non-AquaClass travellers into Blu. (This is a strict policy and worth noting if you're travelling in a group with people booked in a variety of stateroom categories.)
Concierge Class: These cabins, notable primarily for their prime location on the ship such as the back (aft), measure 194 square feet with 54-square-foot balconies. Concierge passengers receive extra perks, including a pillow menu, daily fresh fruit, sparkling wine on embarkation day, hors d'oeuvres every afternoon, use of binoculars, Frette robes, Hansgrohe showerheads, handheld hair dryers, a Celebrity Cruises tote bag and expanded room service menus. Also included are the services of a concierge (who has a desk in the library), priority check-in, use of an exclusive pre-departure lounge with free coffee and juices, express luggage service, priority disembarkation, shoeshine service and main/speciality restaurant seating preference.
Concierge Class and AquaClass balcony furniture has canvas pad covers, and suite passengers get a mix of mesh and wooden furniture.
Suites: Infinity features four basic types of suites. Thirty-two Sky Suites come in at 251 square feet apiece, each with a 57-square-foot balcony. They're essentially just bigger cabins with no separation between living and sleeping areas. Eight Celebrity Suites -- each 467 square feet with an 85-square-foot balcony -- are true suites with separate sleeping, living and dining areas. The eight Royal Suites are each 538 square feet with 195-square-foot balconies. Not only are there separate sleeping, living and dining spaces, but the spacious balconies also feature whirlpools and cushy lounge furniture.
The two Penthouse Suites are each a whopping 1,432 square feet with 1,098-square-foot balconies. In each, you'll find a baby grand piano, butler's pantry, motorized drapes, entertainment centres, complimentary scotch and vodka, a master bath with a whirlpool tub, a second bathroom and another whirlpool, bar and dining table on the balcony.
Stay in any of these suites, and you'll receive butler service; priority check-in, debarkation, tender service, restaurant seating and theatre seating; afternoon canapes and tea service, and daily in-cabin speciality coffee and fresh fruit; one or two complimentary speciality restaurant meals; full breakfast, lunch and dinner service inside the suite; shoeshine service; Bulgari bath amenities (with extra products like shower gel and a nail kit); Hansgrohe showerheads and iPod/iPad docking stations; and a welcome bottle of sparkling wine.
Passengers in the top suites, as well as other VIPs (as chosen by Celebrity's head office), have exclusive access to a VIP lounge in Michael's Club. Tea, coffee and pastries are provided, as well as the services of a concierge. Happy hour, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., offers free drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Of the 26 wheelchair-accessible cabins, five are insides, four are outsides, eight are standard balconies, three are Concierge Class and six are Sky Suites.