While we were waiting in the lobby for the bus, we saw a Brit that seemed to not be in such great shape. It turned out that she just got in at 9:30am from spending the entire previous evening drinking and carousing with her husband in the nightclubs. Yes, 9:30 am. To say the least, she had a massive hang over or maybe was still drunk.
The port was a model of efficiency. We got off the bus from the hotel and had the opportunity to check any non-carryon luggage (we skipped this step). We then went and filled out the health questionnaire. They noticed that we were concierge level, which allowed us to go to a special place for handling the check-in process. It was so smooth and so efficient that we zoomed through, received our seapass card (which gets you on and off the ship, is used to charge stuff while on board and lastly your stateroom key). After that, they took our passports and we went out to the ship. Only problem was there was NO SHIP. We could see a Princess ship (the Star Princess), but no Celebrity Infinity. As it turns out, we went downstairs and boarded a bus which shuttled us to the ship. This is very much a working port (tons of containers and other shipyard accouterments). Eventually we found the ship and boarded at about 11:30 or so. It was easily the most efficient embarkation that we have done in our 27 cruises over the years.
Celebrity offered champagne upon boarding (or mimosas), but informed us that our cabins would not be ready until about 1pm. So, we hung out and explored the ship.
The ship with about 1900 passengers (and about half as many crew) is about 10 years old. Its biggest difference with modern designs is lots of small intimate spaces, compared to the grand open areas of newer ships. It is very clean and nicely organized. Also, it tends to have a very minimalistic artwork on the walls, so again, it is very tasteful.
This is the River Plata from the ship (notice how brown it is – the blue parts are really just shadows).
We wandered around, had a light lunch and then waited for our luggage to arrive so we could unpack. It came in early enough that we were able to get unpacked and squared away before the muster drill at 5:15. Right after the muster drill, the cruise critic people had arranged to meet at the aft bar and hang out. We did that, meeting up with some of the folks that we saw in the Atlanta airport two days before. After that, we headed for dinner and the welcome show in the celebrity theater. The show was a brief snippet of several of the upcoming shows and lounge acts. The singers in the production show seemed high quality especially the two women who both seemed to have great voices. They also had a guitar player from Peru who was excellent and an acappella group who were also amazing.