Travel Plan – South America 2017

Cruise Line:     Celebrity Cruises
Ship:                   Infinity (M-Class)
Sail Dates:        December 23, 2017 – January 07, 2018
Continent:        South America (countries: Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile)
Cabin & Class: Aqua Class (AQ2) – Stateroom 9038 (Starboard, Forward Deck 9)

Cabin9038Booking Details:
Initially booked on board the Summit in April 2017 (received $250 USD OBC for 15N future cruise) and then transferred to Travel Agent – April Martinez of Cruise Vacation Outlet (yielded additional OBC ($700 CAD) and a Specialty Dinner for 2.  Celebrity OBC was used to purchase Unlimited WIFI for one person (Elite Discount of 30%) – approx. $50 USD carry over into cruise from the original credit.   TA OBC will not be applied until we board the ship.

FullSizeRender.jpgOverall:   Aqua Class cabin with the largest balcony on Deck 9, “land-facing” as we go from the Atlantic (East Coast) to Pacific (West Coast).  Holiday Sailing included two perks of which we chose the Classic Beverage Package and Pre-paid Gratuities.   OBC credit from booking on board the Summit was used to purchase unlimited WIFI for one person (using Elite Loyalty discount) and we still have credit left over.
     Transferred booking to Travel Agent which yielded approx. $500 USD ($700 CAD – will be converted on board) + a specialty dinner for 2.    Aqua Class guests have access to the Persian Gardens (relaxation area) and to their own restaurant, “Blu”.
     This will be our first time sailing in AQ (previous 5 cruises have been in Suites) – so will report back throughout the cruise on the comparison.   Upfront the room and balcony will be slightly smaller, no Michael’s Club (not that we used it much anyways), and no Luminae (but we will have Blu!).   We may feel a difference in tender transfers and disembarkation procedures (Suite vs. AQ) – but will report back on that during the cruise.   We absolutely could not justify what-so-ever paying double the price for a Suite Cabin – it was too great of a margin difference between the cabin classes!
     Suites come with all four perks, however, based on what we received from the Travel Agent and as we started off with two free perks, *and* we are Elite Loyalty – we feel that there will be minimal impact (if any at all) to our overall on board experience – as we will feel as if we were awarded all four perks!

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Private Excursions:  booked privately (just Anthony & I) for birding excursions and then small private group tours organized through the Cruise Critic Roll Call.


December 20, 2017:  Travel from YYZ to EZE [via EWR]

After weeks of waiting, the day has finally arrived. Anthony & I both began packing weeks ago, but as we were anticipating 4 seasons on this trip, began doubting our clothing choices.  To the last (11th) hour, we second-guessed ourselves, swapped out items, and then finally with 30 minutes to spare, we closed the bags and locked them up!

IMG_5487.JPGRed Car Service (shuttle for hire) picked us up promptly as per the agreed schedule and we arrived at YYZ (Toronto International Airport) in very good time.  As we had business class tickets, there was absolutely no wait at the check-in counter.  Interestingly enough, the agent asked to see our “Visa”.  Canadians do not require a Visa, but do require payment of a “reciprocity fee”.   I asked her if she meant that and she replied, “yes”.   Good thing I had it all prepared and ready in my carry-on bag, but we were told it would be checked in Buenos Aires – so interesting to note here, it was checked in Toronto at the check-in counter.

We were able to use the priority access line for security clearance, but then had the usual standard long line for US customs (as we were flying to BA via Newark).   After clearing customs, we proceeded to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, which is an United Airlines partner (Star Alliance).   Within the lounge was the usual assortment of wines, spirits, and liquors, alongside a few salad options and snacks.  WIFI internet is free and easily accessible.

Upon arrival in Newark, there was a quick connection from arrival to departure, therefore no time to visit the business lounge at the airport.  We quickly made our way to the assigned gate and within 15 minutes, were boarding.   The service on board the United Polaris Business class was “OK” from Newark to Buenos Aires.   I have to admit it was much better from Santiago (Chile) to Houston on the return leg.  Different crew, different attitude.  In a nutshell, service was rather basic (as again compared to the return leg).   We’re happy that we rested (me), slept (Anthony) through most of it.

Please click on the “next” button below for our arrival and pre-cruise stay within Buenos Aires.


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