Celebrity Infinity to Iceland and the Fjords

 

My wife and I have recently returned from an 11 night cruise on board the Celebrity Infinity.

 

 

This was our second cruise on Celebrity Infinity, the previous one being some 15 months ago when we sailed South America and the Antarctic…

 

https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2013/04/09/celebrity-infinity-to-antarctic-and-return/

 

The attraction of this particular cruise was mainly the itinerary…

 

 

…which included an overnight stay in Reykjavik and two further new ports of call for us. We were also looking forward to Celebrity’s evening entertainment and their usually high standard of food. This review will concentrate mainly on those three aspects. It was also for us a first sailing experience out of the port of Harwich…

 

 

A full review of the Harwich Cruise Terminal will follow in the near future.

Car parking and check in at Harwich were all efficiently handled and, being Captain’s Club ‘Select’ members,  we were given  priority boarding and were on board by 11.20. As with most cruise lines neither suite nor cabin  accommodation was  immediately available. It had been our intention to avoid the usual bun-fight that occurs on embarkation days in the Ocean View café and make use of  Bistro on 5 where, for a small charge, a more civilised atmosphere prevails. However, as we were amongst the earliest passengers embarking we discovered that there was ample seating at the ‘Sunset Bar’ terrace to the rear of the Ocean View Café and, it being a gorgeous sunny day, we ensconced ourselves  and made early use of our drinks package…

 

The Entertainment.

One of the traits of Celebrity Cruises is that they tend to have their main theatre shows earlier than we would prefer. Passengers on second sitting dining (8.30 pm) who  wish to see a particular show are therefore obliged to  see the earlier 7.00pm performance.

Though we would prefer to see the main entertainment after dinner we adapted to this routine. The theatre does have the added advantage of drinks tables in the seating rows and we made particular good use of the service offered…

 

On our first evening we broke with tradition. Under normal circumstances we would not consider the first evening show a ‘must do’ event as they usually follow a variety  show format and the entertainers will generally all be making a further full show appearance during the cruise.

Attending the first evening’s show was a very pleasant surprise. In particular the quality of the 15 strong Celebrity Singers and Dancers (known as the Stars Of Infinity) heralded what was to be exceptional  performances throughout the cruise.

Other entertainers with their own shows on subsequent evenings included singer and entertainer Jack Walker, the remarkably talented and ever popular Jon Courtenay,  superb opera singer Kate Dowman, well known cruise comedian Mick Miller  and the awesome duo Justino and Daniela with a compact version of their Extreme Vegas show…

 

Extreme Vegas collage

There were of course other ship wide venues for alternative  evening entertainment. Popular game shows, that really do not appeal to us, were scheduled most evenings in the Constellation Lounge…

 

They ranged from ‘Wheel of fortune’ to ‘Liars Club’ and ‘Pub Trivia Night’ to ‘Karaoke Club’. Generally, on completion of these game shows the Constellation lounge opened up for themed dancing along the lines of ‘Rock N’ Roll Night’ and ’70’s Night Fever’ or just a good old fashioned ‘bop’.

 

Our favourite Latin and ballroom dancing needs were well taken care of either before or after dinner mainly in Rendez Vous…

 

No Celebrity entertainment report would be complete without a mention of The Martini Bar, seen here prior to opening and under ‘starters orders’…

 

 

Situated on Deck 4 overlooking the Grand Foyer, the Martini Bar instantly becomes the ship’s atmospheric ‘hub with a buzz’ for the evening…

 

 

*****

 

Entertainment?

It’s included here at the Martini Bar. There are 12 Martini glasses on that frozen counter. Now watch this 12 pour Martini video …

 

 

There you go folks…

 

Now that’s entertainment.

 

One rather under utilised venue, in our opinion at least, was Cellar Masters.  On the odd evening  between the early show and dinner, we enjoyed just a glass of wine in relative comfort without struggling to find a seat…

 

 

*****

 

 

 

*****

 

Food and Dining 

We had requested second sitting dinner in the Main Dining Restaurant, The Trellis Restaurant

 

…and were allocated a well positioned table.  As luck would have it our four dining companions proved to be both interesting and convivial company.

Dining on board is for most cruisers one of the cruise highlights and no review would be really complete without at least one or two examples of the fare on offer…

 Sesame Crusted Tuna Carpaccio

 

Mediterranean seafood “Orzo”

and Chiquita “Millefeuille” Banana Napoleon

 

And another evening…

 

Escargot

 

Roasted Colorado Rack of Lamb

Apple Pie a la Mode

 

 

 

And a special treat for someone I just know will be looking in…

 

Crispy Frogs Legs on Pea Puree

 

Preferably washed down with a bottle of…

 

 

…which was sadly unavailable on Celebrity Infinity but was a great food accompaniment on our  recent holiday ‘down under’.

 

On the few occasions we needed to make an early start we took breakfast in the Ocean View Café, a buffet self-service restaurant…

 

We came to the conclusion that one’s experience here is highly dependant on the time of the visit. As luck would have it we were early risers for early departure excursions and that certainly made a difference to the atmosphere at breakfast. All credit to Celebrity, the carved ham joint served at every breakfast was of exceptional quality as was the coffee served at tables by staff.

On all other occasions, and every sea day we enjoyed breakfast in the open seating upper level of the Trellis Restaurant where a relaxed and unrushed service made a good start to the day.

We were only on board for lunches on sea days and again generally used the open seating facility in the Trellis Restaurant. On two occasions the suppressed philistine instinct  deep inside us escaped and we allowed ourselves two visits to the Poolside Grill…

 

…and where better to sample the ‘Celebrity’ Burger…

…and cooked to order.

Celebrity Infinity has two alternative speciality dining venues, each of which carries an additional cover charge – Qsine and SS United States. On our previous cruise on Infinity we had opted for a 5 night speciality dining package and though we enjoyed Qsine we were not impressed with the SS United States

 

Qsine

SS United States

 

 

So, having  sampled the fare of the two on board speciality restaurants on no less than five occasions during our last cruise we had no great yearning to return this cruise. Add to that the fact our table companions were excellent company and that the quality and variety of the food and the service that we received at our table, we were more than happy to dine each evening in The Trellis Restaurant.

I doubt very mush whether they will ever view this blog but our table waiters Sarita and Alan were a superb team, thanks guys…

 

 

 

The Itinerary

 

This had to be the driving factor for us as we always knew that we would be happy with the ship.

 

Our first port of call was Torshavn, Faroe Islands

 

A real cutey of a place, easy to explore, great seafood restaurants and very pleasant coastal path walks.

 

Next up was Iceland and an overnight stay in Reykjavik.  Day one saw us take an all day excursion to what is called in Iceland the Golden Circle Tour: one highlight on this tour was a visit to the famous Icelandic Geysers

 

 

…while the following day we explored Reykjavik itself individually as I had a burning ambition to be first in the queue to get to the top of the Hallgrims Kirkja Tower…

 

 

…which proved no problem at all, the panoramic views well worth the earlier start…

 

A sea day followed as we steamed towards our next destination, Lerwick on the Shetland Islands. This was a tender port and we had booked a local company to take us on a sightseeing tour of the island. The highlights were Scalloway Castle and the cliffs at Eshaness

 

 

Norway was to be the country of our final two ports of call, firstly Geiranger Fjord where our day was split half doing the village ourselves and secondly taking a pre-booked coach tour to the peak of Mt. Dalsnibba.  This was the view from Flydalsjuvet viewpoint, less than half way up Mt Dalsnibba…

 

 

Finally and on to Bergen, and who wouldn’t visit Bergen and not visit the shops at Bryggan Hanseatic Wharf…

 

 

Solent Barbara did her bit for the Norwegian economy with a little retail therapy…

 

Somehow I think the girl in the garden would have appreciated the woollen coat a little more: but hey ho.

And I guess the lady readers will want to know what was in Solent Barbara’s bag. Well back on board we did a quick photo shoot just for you…

 

I just loved the matching hat and, would you believe, collecting £36.00 back on board from the Norwegian Tax Free shopping desk.

 

The Summary

This was altogether an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable cruise. Celebrity cruises don’t get everything right but they certainly come quite close to it where we are concerned. We knew what to expect and our expectations were met in both the food and entertainment departments. Staff on Celebrity, as always, are certainly friendly if not always efficient:  but they certainly ooze enthusiasm.

We were  amused to see some interesting takes on ‘formal’ wear on the two formal evenings though generally the standard of dress was good. The passenger mix was, at a guess, around 50% British,  the rest being a multitude of cosmopolitan tongues, usually 10 dbs above ours!

But we had a good time and that is all that really matters. I mean to say, getting an invite to the Senior Officer’s Cocktail Party for the sail away from Geiranger has to merit the award of a gold star to Celebrity…

 

Indeed, we enjoyed ourselves so much on this Celebrity cruise we took the opportunity while on board to place a deposit for a future cruise with Celebrity, thereby earning ourselves an additional $200.00 On Board Credit when we next book.

 

Cheers.

Why not sign up to ‘follow’ this cruise blog and get an email notification of new posts. Next up will be a ‘Welcome to Harwich’ feature followed by a ‘One Way to do Geiranger’.

 

20 responses to “Celebrity Infinity to Iceland and the Fjords

  1. Sounds like you have a wonderful time, Richard. You’ve brought back fond memories of Infinity from my own cruise on her (with a similar itinerary) from last year.

    She may not have the same modern look and feature of her big sister, Eclipse, but her crew made up for that in my experience!

  2. Good morning Richard.So pleased you enjoyed the cruise.I have booked an appointment at the opticians this PM as my eyes must be faulty.Did I really read Richard mention the Ocean View ( buffet ) three times.

  3. Thanks for that review Richard, we are going on Infinity in September. Could I ask about formal nights? In the main, do men wear black tie or lounge suits? Many thanks. Simon.

    • Hi Simon.

      I’d say over 95% conformed to formal dress on the 2 Formal evenings.

      Of those I’d say roughly 75% were Black Tie, the remainder in Lounge Suits.

      Hope that helps.

      Richard

      • That’s very helpful thank you, I know American formal can be a bit patchy and wouldn’t want to be over-dressed!

  4. Richard,

    How marvellous your Blog on ‘Celebrity Infinity to Iceland and the Fiords’.

    I so enjoyed the read, I now fancy that cruise and will be try9ing to find one. Never cruised out of Harwich, always a first.

    I loved your wife’s coat and hat, just my taste, I would love that. It all looked wonderful.

    May I ask you what your medals are for?

    Thanks once again.

    Yvonne.

    Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:22:49 +0000 To: triplegoldemery@talktalk.net

  5. Hi Richard hope you and Babara are well enjoyed your review and also enjoyed your company Hope you visit us soon

    Julie and Merv xx

  6. Thanks a lot for taking the effort to write this very interesting review. We will board the Infinity next week for the same itinary.
    I’m also very interested in the entertainment. Could you tell me which production shows were on the Infinity? Did you like them?
    Thanks

    • Good morning Willem. The production shows on Infinity are produced by ‘QDOS Entertainment'(the same company that produces Cunard’s shows) and the shows are exclusive to Infinity. The shows are ‘iBroadway‘, ‘Boogie Wonderland’, and ‘Star Factory’. All were very good.

  7. Wow! as ever, always a spectacular review and superb photos. Love them all but my favourite is Lady B in the hat and coat. Loved it! Rather reminded me of my penguin hat in Punta Arenas:) We girls love our hats!

  8. Fantastic read Richard, so glad you and Barbara enjoyed the cruise and that the weather was kind to you. Love the hat and coat x

  9. Pingback: One Way to do Lerwick and The Shetland Islands | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

  10. Pingback: One Way to do Lerwick and The Shetland Islands | Eby Online Business·

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