Updated: Feb 19, 2020
A last look before this classy ship gets "REVOLUTIONIZED"
UNEDITED - A WORK IN PROGRESS...
I always wanted to sample a Millennium class ship. At 90,000 tons, it's the ideal size (for me): easy to navigate (as a passenger) and wonderfully designed. The strategic choice was "Infinity" - five nights to Cozumel and Key West from Miami, my home town. I secured balcony cabins (one for me and one for a newbie) - and opted for a "MOVE-UP" offer for a Family Veranda stateroom for myself - voila, knowing January 4th was not a cruise for families, I got it (#7002) for just $160! Perhaps one of my favorite staterooms ever.
JANUARY 4 2020 | Saturday
It was a GORGEOUS day for a Miami sail-away, one of the port's busiest days on record. Arriving at the pier, getting through security and onto the ship took a painful 18 minutes (kidding of course.) The let down was we didn't gain access to our cabins until 1:50 PM which is frankly inexcusable. Not a great first impression but the reality is this hiccup wasn't going to mess the day up and it didn't.
My "MOVE-UP" upgrade from a balcony to a Family Veranda was a masterpiece of a strategy knowing few families would be sailing. My minimum bid of $160 ($80 X 2 as I travel solo) was an wise investment which paid off for a aft-facing veranda, the size of the cabin itself, about 240 square feet on Deck 7 - #7022. Furnished with two loungers and an outdoor table for four, it was bliss.
After a brilliant sail-away from Port Miami it was time to settle in. Spending some quality time on that voluminous aft balcony watching the sun fade into the horizon - one of the best moments of the new year.
Exploring the "INFINITY" was a pre-dinner event. I was skeptical after reading a myriad of negative comments from online reviewers. Comments which were curious since I found the ship in very good condition. I wonder where these folks find worn furniture, carpets and rust. She's a ship for God's sake. I've seen the renderings for the "Revolution" remake and frankly, I'm happy I got to sail on "INFINITY" pre-revolution. Celebrity's design theme has always been on the minimalistic side but I found the ship to retain an old-world charm from it's light fixtures and elements to the furnishings. I will miss this version of "INFINITY". Dinner in the MDR at 8:30P with my travel buddy - table 127 featuring a great wait-staff team and the usual inviting menu options. I find it curious how food quality can vary so much between two ships in the same line finding it much better on "INFINITY" than on my "SILHOUETTE" transatlantic last April?
JANUARY 5 2020 | Sunday
I like the motion of the ocean and we had about 10-12 foot seas heading south through the Gulf Stream which continued through our first day at sea as we headed towards Cozumel. Still can't figure out the lounge hogs. Out at 5AM rearranging furniture with towel clips and books. It's normally the husband with strict instructions from the wife on how to set everything up, then poof. Back to bed for an hour or two. Funny how that works.
I'm an early riser and one of the first few to grab breakfast. Can't miss anything at Oceanview Cafe since there's a monitor at the entrance detailing all of the stations with funky photos of croissants, bacon, waffles and omelette stations. I head aft and dine outside-it's a nice day. At about 10am, I noticed a change in the direction of the swell and a rapid increase in speed. We had flipped around heading back towards Key West for a medical evacuation. No easy task with sea conditions and a strong breeze. Back into those moderate seas towards Cozumel, the main pool was netted and closed for the remainder of the day.
These early mornings, sometimes 4AM, are when I capture those photos without people answering the question: "is anyone else onboard." I like to embrace the ambiance of the lighting and the shadows when the sun begins to break through the interior of the ship. The design effort and detail on Infinity is exceptional and soon to be changed when she gets her remake. Sad to see the elegance and blend of how the origins of the ship are retained compared to the future of monotone and minimalism soon to be.
Much appreciated, "INFINITY" has a wide roomy promenade deck and a few nice seating areas. I adore sitting out watching the ocean go sideways and as usual the promenade deck is a sanctuary for watching reality slip by.
Lunch is quick thanks to an early entry into Oceanview Cafe. The pasta station is the choice of day - it's hot and simple. Other stations serve up the standard Celebrity fare presented nicely as always. My only complaint across all of the Celebrity ships is that the food in Oceanview is never quite hot. Stacking food on trays leaves the top layers to cool quickly so unless you dig into the layers of food, more likely than not it won't be very hot.
Back to #7022 for a nap on one of my two sofas in the stateroom's lounge in this glorious Family Veranda of mine. With the balcony door wide open, the entire space is about 500 square feet. Not too shabby for this solo occupant. An afternoon dip in the Solarium pool and a very comfortable lounge as the live afternoon deck music cranked up. Nothing rowdy which is why I like Celebrity. Plenty of available seating out on deck with room to spare. This ship is a new found friend of mine.
Dinner again in the MDR; same section as night one so the wait staff is familiar. No complaints - a quality two hour affair of a solid dining experience.
My favorite reprieve on Celebrity's ships or any ship for that matter are above the bridge. On Infinity, it's the Constellation Lounge. A masterpiece of design, comfort and casual elegance absent on Celebrity's new class of ships (Edge, Apex, etc.). This nearly flawless execution of space, quiet in the mornings yet well utilized throughout the day for various lectures, presentations and late-night dancing is a haven for any ship or oceanic enthusiast. The views are spectacular.
Cozumel | Monday
My travel partner journeyed out to a beach and went trekking on an ATV tour, alone as there were no other participants - he had a blast. I've been to Cozumel over twenty times and immediately head to the ferry for a quick trip across the bay to see some friends in Playa Del Carmen. The ferry is $32 round trip and sets the pace for a tranquil day of loafing around this little town featuring a full spectrum of shops, the beach, bars and dining spots. Its international flavor based on the visitors who stay there adds an interesting appeal to this Mexican "riviera". Lot's of Europeans and expats from countries around the globe add a unique and inviting ambiance.
UPDATE: FEBRRUARY 25 2020