Cruises to Alaska With Celebrity
facilities and super staff...
How best to describe
the Infinity? Think floating hotel combined with a luxurious
spa, cinema, swimming pool, gym, golf school, late-night disco,
cyber cafe and hair salon. Now add a martini bar, yoga studio,
lecture hall, cooking class, lecture hall, shopping mall, running
track, art auction house, portrait studio, a full casino and
much, much more. That
should give you an idea of the scope of facilities and activities
available to the ship's passengers. You can be as busy or as
lazy as you like. Our best relaxation was sitting outside on
a quiet deck, reading, chatting and enjoying the Alaskan wilderness.
Infinity has eleven decks, ten elevators, a guest capacity of
almost 2,000 with a crew count of 999. In the halls, at activities
and in the cafes, that efficient staff went out of their way
to make us smile. One delightful young waitress told us that
because she's not a morning person she gets up twenty minutes
early to watch cartoons. Then, by the time she's ready to serve
breakfast she's right 'in the groove.'
are over 1000 staterooms and each is assigned an attendant that
truly coddles his passengers. Need an extra blanket for your
bed or an extra chaise for your verandah? He makes it happen,
quickly. This fellow tidies your room, delivers the ship's messages
and takes care of all your room service needs. No wonder Celebrity
Cruise Line has earned the highest possible rating of six stars
from 'Stern's Guide', the bible of the cruise industry.
highlights and ports of call...
The three Alaskan
ports of call on this route are all small and remote. There's
the sleepy town of Ketchican, Sitka with it's Russian roots,
and Juneau, Alaska's first truly American city. There are no
roads leading into or out of each of them. You arrive either
by boat, by float plane or by virtue of being born there. Each
harbour has a long main shopping street that caters to tourists
looking for trinkets for the folks back home. However, look
further than the many jewelry stores and tee-shirt merchants
and you'll find true magic -- the wonderful collection of totem
poles, fish canneries and wildlife sanctuaries, the history
of the American Gold Rush, colorful native carvings, the Red
Dog Saloon, fabulous fish fries and of course, countless photo
for my pals and I, the star tourist attractions in Alaska were
the warm, welcoming, quirky residents, the magnificent scenery
and the authentic wildlife. It's here that the salmon come to
spawn leaping high out of the rivers and creeks as they make
their way back home. With the salmon run come the brown grizzly
bears feasting on the fish at river's edge. Alaska is where
humpback whales cavort, the harbour seals laze, and the mighty
bald eagle builds nests that can be up to six feet across. June
in Alaska means sunsets that arrive very late at night producing
a dazzling kaleidoscope of splendid, rich color. The air is
fresh and invigorating, mountains are high, waterfalls are many,
and lakes are deep emerald green.
then there are Alaska's glaciers -- massive, magnificent ancient
walls of ice. As part of their regular itinerary, the Infinity
spent three hours in and around Hubbard Glacier. The face of
that well-know ice wall is over 300 feet high, and as we watched,
enormous chunks of ice broke away (in a process called calving)
and crashed with a mighty roar into the surrounding water. That's
how icebergs are formed and we, lucky people, were able to see
it happening. Fabulous!
For every woman
who has stood over a hot stove wishing she had someone to prepare
lovely meals for her, ladies, your time has come! Celebrity
is known for its fine food service and its variety of entree
choices is seemingly endless. Would you like one or two decadent
desserts? The choice is all yours. Perhaps that's why there
were so many people in the gym and on the running track early
in the morning.
don't want to sit down to three formal meals a day? You'd rather
graze? There are alternate food stations set up throughout the
ship. Around the corner on Deck 10 is a Waffle and Pancake Station.
You might choose the AquaSpa Cafe for low fat dining or the
Sushi Cafe's California Rolls in late afternoon. There's a salad
bar, an all-you-can eat ice cream station and even a dinner
buffet for all the Journeykiddies. Believe it. Even the fussiest
eaters will find the tastes and calorie counts they yearn for.
The best socializing
on the ship takes place at meal time. We three pals favoured
the formal dining room and were happy to meet the five other
passengers who would share our table each evening. Kate, the
feisty eighty-something matriarch and her two delightful daughters,
Winona and Mardeena travelled all the way from sunny California.
Nancy and John were the married, athletic component of the group
and hailed from Virginia. John was the sole guy at our table
of seven women. He fit in perfectly.
evening one of our cruise mates suggested a topic for discussion
and there was never a dull moment as we shared our thoughts
and dreams over sophisticated food and wine. We laughed a lot,
discussed our daily adventures, gossiped, and enjoyed the antics
of our delightful Turkish waiter, Tarik. At the close of the
cruise we, seven women, presented John with the 'Best Man at
the Table Award'. I think he was really pleased.