Just returned from a 7 day tour on the Celebrity Infinity through Tracy Arm Fjord. Wow!! Everything I expected and more. Our stateroom was a veranda room on the 8th floor- we booked early and upgraded to Concierge class for a very low cost which gives some additional benefits. Get the balcony if you can afford it- great views through the Fjord and at port- also for some stray whales spotted near the ship in open waters! All public areas and guest rooms we saw were spotless- not sure how they managed that with 2500 passengers, but they do a great job. There were many options for entertainment, activities, etc. We participated in Celebrity life activities such as trivia, pictionary, and gender wars in the afternoons- which allowed us to meet some great people. By the end of the week, we looked forward to meeting up with them and challenging our opponents! The "Beyond the Podium" series with Brent Nixon was very informative- he offers 4 or 5 shows- I would at least recommend the first discover Alaska topic for an overview- both of the State and the naturalist himself. He is very animated and seems to love his work as a researcher, so he can get very detailed on whales, bears, etc. Most of the criticism of his shows somes from those who really weren't that interested in the subject matter. If you have an interest in the wildlife in Alaska, these are can't miss shows! The shows offered in the Celebrity Theater were very hgh quality also- singers, dancers, aerialists, comedian, magician, etc. Don't miss the "Not so newlywed game", "Dancing with the stripes" and celebrity cook off (like Iron chef competition)... the staff is extremely witty, so it can be nonstop laughs. Look for Ian the cruise director, and Oswald the food and beverage manager, as well as others too numerous to mention... any event they are involved in =good stuff!! Most hours of the afternoon and evening allowed for live music in intimate settings from solo guitar acts (Kylle is great), acapella group, string quartet, etc.- didn't hear a bad set all week! Didn't spend much time in the casino, but it has what you need for a gambling fix. Shops offered some great deals on pashminas, watches, etc. Ladies, don't fret if you need an evening bag or wrap for the formal night- they were readily available and reasonable onboard.
There are exercise classes, and a spa and fitness center. Spa looked nice- usual high end spa prices, but they offered deals on port days for those staying on the ship. Rumor has it the treadmills are limited unless you get there at the crack of dawn or midday. There is a walking/ running track on deck 11- but it's weather dependent and can get very windy while at sea!
The food was high quality and plentiful- everything from pizza and sandwiches to indian, asian stir fry, sushi, turkey and stuffing, pasta bar, burgers, hot dogs, etc in the buffet and outdoor grille. The main dining room meals were excellent, 5 course dinners with choices from escargot, shrimp cocktail, oysters and frog legs to prime rib, roast chicken, lamb, lobster, salmon, etc. Desserts were amazing- baked alaska for 2500!! If brunch buffet is offered- don't miss it, has everything one could possibly want. Cafe al Biaco offers a nice place to sit with a cappucino or hot chocolate and Bailey's and a fresh pastry. Qsine was an extra cost dining option, but was well worth it for foodies and creative types- very cool presentations and parings of ingredients. Pop rock cupcake toppings, crazy!!! :) We purchased the beverage package and found it to be convenient- not sure if we saved or not, but the option of unlimited choices (up to $12ea) for soda, bottled water, gourmet coffees, teas, wine, beer, mixed drinks, etc was well worth it! Just use the sea pass card for drinks at any bar, restaurant, etc. Was great to try a glass of wine or cocktail and not have to worry that if it wasn't to your liking, your drink budget for the day was blown.
Shore excursions varied in cost and content- but there is something for everyone. We chose the lumberjack show in Ketchican- kitschy but fun, Whale watching and Mendenhall glacier in Juneau, and White Pass railroad in Skagway. Just walked around and took in Victoria, B.C.- beautiful place. The whale watching was amazing in Juneau- saw a group of 15 humpbacks bubblenet feeding (google it- it's awesome)! Not sure how often it happens- but if they're doing it, these tours will find them! White pass offered great scenery with some historical narrative. Definitely spend some time beforehand and research the excursions if you plan on doing them. Book early for float planes, whalewatching, helicopters, etc.
Finally, I know it's not original, but dress in layers for this trip. There is plenty of storage in the staterooms, but don't overpack! We went the first week of August and averaged 60 degree temps in most ports, overcast and misty to rainy- but when the sun peeks out- it's breathtaking! Take a rainjacket, fleece, etc. The cruise through Tracy Arm Fjord is about 4 hrs and 30 something degrees... don't want to miss the scenery, icebergs, glaciers, etc because you're too cold to stay on deck!
I cannot say enough about the friendliness of all of the staff- from the servers to housekeeping to the cruise director staff- (loved El and Kirsten on game days)- they always had a smile and couldn't do enough to make your time on board carefree.
Overall worth the price to cross this off the bucket list!!