Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life on a Boat

The Celebrity Infinity

There is only one way to describe it. LUXURY! After months of broken down buses, having no idea what you are really eating and bathrooms that made me physically gag, the cruise ship was pure and utter luxury. As soon as we stepped foot on the boat we were greeted with champagne. The crew called us “madam” and showed us to our floor. There we were greeted with more champagne and our stateroom attendant showed us to our room. Stateroom attendant - we had a guy who’s only job was to make sure we had everything we ever needed at every moment of every day. Such a change from waiting 20 minutes at a hostel reception desk to complain about a drunk guy who peed in the corner of the 20 bed dorm 4 hours ago and no one has yet to clean it up.

Our room was spacious, had a window looking out over the sea, comfy beds, bathrobes, was cleaned twice a day, and we never had less than half a roll of toilet paper. I do really wonder what they did with all those partial rolls. 

Our stateroom

After we got over a fit of giggling like little school girls over the decadence of it all, Laurie and I went out to explore the ship. It was a pretty large ship, carrying 1950 passengers and 550 staff members. It was like an entire city had been shrunk down and put on a boat. There was a movie theatre, a library, a casino, a spa, a gym, multiple restaurants, hair salon, indoor and outdoor pools, a shopping area, games room, internet area, cafes and lounge rooms, a running track, a playground, a dance club, 4 hot tubs, a stage theatre, observations decks and a buffet area. You could even get botox on the boat!!! 

Outdoor pool area

The food…oh my god the food!! I could write an entire post about the food. The buffet area had enough food to stop world hunger, every day from 6 am until 10 pm. At breakfast you could have 8 types of bacon, eggs of every variety, fruit, waffles, grilled veggies, muffins and anything else you could possibly imagine. During lunch you could eat from the carvery, the Asian station, the Indian section, the English section, the healthy area, the soup and sandwich stand, the salad buffet, the grill, and I could go on for ages. There was an equally diverse selection for dinner. Dinner was also served as a formal sit down multi-course affair. The food there was fancy, presented exquisitely and amazingly delicious. Every night we could choose from the standard menu which included things like caesar salad, french onion soup, lobster bisque, sirloin steak, and grilled salmon. There was also a full menu that changed every night. It had 5 appetizers, 4 soups, 6 entrees and 5 desserts to choose from. They were all 5 star restaurant quality, using some ingredients I have never heard of, and fancy sounding French words to describe to the dishes. There was also an ice cream stand that was open for 14 hours of every day. And if you were still hungry after all of that, there was a comprehensive room service menu available 24 hours a day. One night there was even a CHOCOLATE BUFFET…have two words together ever sounded so sweet??? Needless to say, I gained weight on the cruise. But it was worth every delicious calorie!!!

Ice sculpture / mimosa station at brunch

Chocolate Buffet

More chocolate was never ending!!!

Every night after we returned from dinner, our room had been tidied, our beds turned down and a chocolate on our pillow. Once our stateroom attendant learned that we liked the orange chocolates the best, we always had a handful of orange chocolates on our pillows. He also left us the next day’s program so we could lay in bed and plan the next day.

During our days at sea, there were plenty of things to keep us busy. There were poker tournaments, trivia sessions, karaoke, joke-a -thons, bingo, bands, liquor tastings, painting classes, seminars on everything from teeth whitening to nutrition to diamonds. There were bands playing, pool volleyball, games of family feud, catch phrase and pictionary, napkin folding and cooking demonstrations, line dancing classes, Pilates and Yoga classes, and if eventually you got bored, there was a bar on nearly every deck. Every evening there was a show. Sometimes it was a musician, other times a Broadway type production, sometimes dancers and cirque de soleil  type fiyers. Every time it was amazing. The crew also aimed at getting the guests involved. I participated in a jewelery fashion show, where I paraded around in thousands of dollars worth of diamonds while others oohhed and ahhhed. Other guests put on a play. At the end of the cruise there was a show put on entirely by the guests, showcasing some of the best karaokeers, joke tellers and photographers. 

Tango show

Me and more than $8000 worth of black and white diamonds. If you are wondering what I want for Christmas......

The crew on the boat was beyond amazing. They worked so hard and so many hours to ensure that our cruise was everything we wanted it to be. Anytime we needed anything, it was brought to our room within minutes. Everyone said hello to us every time we passed. They held the doors for us, offered to carry our trays in the buffet area, and took our plates away as soon was we were finished. I have not been treated better anywhere and loved the living the pampered life.

We met a wide array of people on the boat, but no one quite like us. We were younger than most, by nearly 20 years. Many had been going on cruise vacations for years and years. We met some people who had been to all 7 continents on cruises, others who were on a family vacation, some who were just there for the party but no other backpackers. A lot of people were interested in why “people like us” were on the cruise. I think our lack of formal clothing gave away the fact that this was not our allotted 3 weeks of annual vacation. There were the die hard trivia junkies who attended every session and argued if they got an answer wrong, the Aussies who always had a drink in their hand, Steve-o, who was the life of the party where ever you went on the boat, and ancients who could barely walk and you knew this would be their last vacation. 

All in all, the cruise was a fantastic experience. It was so different from the way that Laurie and I usually travel, and gave us a glimpse of the non backpacker travel life. Although I loved every minute of the luxury, I still prefer roughing it with my backpack. I won’t be upgrading from the backpacker life to the life of luxury anytime soon.

Up next, the ports of call (where we stopped) on the cruise and my ANTARCTIC EXPERIENCE!!

1 comment:

  1. I love cruises! But omg a chocolate buffet and mimosa station?! Heavenly!

    ps I am one of those trivia die hards. I remember running from the dining room, skipping dessert, in my formal night dress, so I could meet my friend and not be late for trivia lol.