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33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise because it visited a lot of cities I have on my to do list. But sadly this is like a hospital ship. Brothel red style rooms, hospital food (really really bad) and zero energy. Travelers of a certain age, which is the ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it visited a lot of cities I have on my to do list. But sadly this is like a hospital ship. Brothel red style rooms, hospital food (really really bad) and zero energy. Travelers of a certain age, which is the majority, seem to enjoy this hospital/nursing home ship, but if you are not 70+ yet i suggest you avoid at all costs. The pools are kiddie pools, decor is tacky, lame casino with half the slots out of order. Crap activities and coffee is tasteless brown swill. For any good food or coffee you have to pay. For drinkable water you have to pay - the provided water is smelly beige. It will be easy to pay for because they aggressively hustle you when you walk around the ship. For the shore excursions they allow only a few hours. For example in Oman, we were allowed 4 hours. When you factor customs and travel, that allowed 2 hours to see the city. What a joke. This was my first cruise experience and my last. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This ship is in need of an upgrade. We were Aqua class so had access to Blu restaurant. The staff were excellent but the food somewhat disappointing, repetative and the vegetables for the whole 2 weeks were the same - carrots, ... Read More
This ship is in need of an upgrade. We were Aqua class so had access to Blu restaurant. The staff were excellent but the food somewhat disappointing, repetative and the vegetables for the whole 2 weeks were the same - carrots, cauliflour! The self service restaurant was dreadful. Heaven help any non-meat eaters or vegetarians. Pasta with tomato sauce, vegetable pizza, salad bar - same every day, occasionally there were curried vegetables on the Curry station, dreadful selection and poorly cooked. Fish was always in a sauce and dried out. Itinerary - we went to India & Sri Lanka. The trip sounded wonderful. We were also supposed to visit Abu Dabi. From Dubai we travelled to Abu Dabi overnight, arrived early in the morning - had to disembark ship by 8.30 am and were then promptly driven by coach back to Abu Dabi to catch a flight. We would have been better staying in Dubai overnight rather than the supposedly day in Abu Dabi. There is no launderette available for passengers on Board only expensive laudry service. Entertainment - dreadful. The theatre occasionally had some good artists performing. Unfortunately, the new band headed by a Trumpet player who thought he was the star of the shows - just played so loudly that the artists had to scream in order to try and be heard above the band. Very little on offer in the form of deck games. You could throw a bean bag into a whole on a tiny board! They have a large Basketball pitch which is hardly used where other deck games could be available eg shuttle board, deck coits etc. Shopping - extensive area for shops with drab items and highly priced unless you attend one of 'special' events. Generally this was a very disappointing trip. We have travelled with Celebrity before on the Eclipse which was of much better standard. This trip would put us off using Celebrity again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have predominately sailed with Cunard but after our fantastic experience with Celebrity we are moving to this cruise line from now on.Every aspect with Celebrity was amazing from the service to the food to the cabin it was faultless.We ... Read More
We have predominately sailed with Cunard but after our fantastic experience with Celebrity we are moving to this cruise line from now on.Every aspect with Celebrity was amazing from the service to the food to the cabin it was faultless.We have cruised with Cunard (Carnival 30 times and the quality and service as plummeted across the entire carnival fleet) This cruise was Fabulous from the ports of call to the attention to detail aboard ship. The entertainment was second to none so was the attentive staff and crew.The quality of the food was also excellent and the service in the restaurants was just wonderful. there is absolutely nothing i can complain about.The internet is amazing but expensive at $320 for 15 nights but compared with $180 for 8 hours on Cunard its worth every cent and at least you can use it . Book soon as you get on in order to get the best deal. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise as Celebrity were recommended and we wanted to see Japan. Very happy with destinations. We were very happy with service and layout of ship. We had a Classic drink package and our routine was to enjoy predinner ... Read More
Chose this cruise as Celebrity were recommended and we wanted to see Japan. Very happy with destinations. We were very happy with service and layout of ship. We had a Classic drink package and our routine was to enjoy predinner drinks at 530 and then attended the 7 o’clock show before dining at 830. This worked well for us. The food was of a high standard. The kitchen staff work very hard and meals are delivered promptly. Lots of variety also in Oceanview. We did not miss a show and loved the variety in performances. We could not fault our waiter staff George Aditya and Swenall. Very attentive and friendly. Faith our cabin attendant also excellent. Only problem overall we thought shore excursions quite expensive for what you got. Next time I would seek out local operators when you arrive on shore. Overall I would recommend Celebrity and would use again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I always choose my cruises by timing and itinerary. I'd sail the Good Ship Lollipop if she's going to my desired ports at the right time of year :) This was ocean cruise #12 for me, and I've sailed Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, ... Read More
I always choose my cruises by timing and itinerary. I'd sail the Good Ship Lollipop if she's going to my desired ports at the right time of year :) This was ocean cruise #12 for me, and I've sailed Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, and Cunard. As most are aware, Millennium just completed a drydock and was "revolutionized" two months ago. She's looking great. We liked the design and colour choices, the staterooms have a LOT of new and efficient and great looking storage (enough for a mother and daughter to comfortably share!). New furnishings are tasteful and quite nice. We had many wonderful interactions with crew members. Our stateroom attendant (Jose, from Goa) was one of the best I've ever seen. Proactive and helpful, personable, courteous, always a smile, just terrific! The Cafe Bacio serves wonderful specialty coffees and teas and the baristas there (especially Satoko and Carl) seem to have 16 hands and be everywhere at once, multitasking and friendly and moving things along beautifully. We found the MDR menu disappointing (just too "white bread" for us) and unfortunately all of the most best foods were served on the 2nd last night (3rd "Elegant Chic" evening). These could have been spread out through the 3 EC nights, has to be a budget decision but an unfortunate one. For the first time in all of my cruising career, I dined at the buffet in the evening just as often as in the MDR. Buffet isn't busy in the evenings and there are live cooking stations where you can get made to order stir fry, pastas, and grilled items like steak, chicken, and fish. It did not appear that any money was spent in the theatre during the refurbishment, but we enjoyed the production shows and the visiting entertainers. Due to the VERY port-intensive itinerary, we were in bed too early to attend some of the shows. More important to be rested and ready to rumble for some of the longer and more strenuous shore excursions. We had the Classic Beverage Package (as a free perk) and felt it was great. We consumed many bottled waters per day (now they come in aluminum cans which is a very smart decision), multiple lattes, and a glass of wine or two with dinner. Oceanview could be very busy at prime time at breakfast and lunch, with seating for 3 sometimes difficult to accomplish. But this has been the case with every ocean cruise I've ever done (especially on sea days) so was not unexpected. We ended up having breakfast in the dining room quite often (seating is not a problem there) and if we were onboard at lunch time we dined at off-peak times if we were all together. If I was on my own, I could always find a place to sit. We did have to constantly check our folio as items that were intended to be free as "loyalty" items within our Captain's Club status would be charged to the folio and some took a few visits to Guest Relations to resolve. But in the end, they were handled. All in all, we felt that Millennium was looking terrific, our expectations were met perhaps with some exception in the MDR, and the ports were generally well handled by Celebrity and were exceptional in terms of things to see and do. Very happy to have done this cruise with my 2 adult children onboard Millennium. I'm actually back with Celebrity on a sister ship, Constellation (pre drydock) in early 2020 and very much looking forward to that itinerary as well. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As Millennium was the first ship to be part of the comprehensive fleet wide Celebrity refurbishment programme (February) I hope the following observations will be of interest. So, welcome to the Kelly Hoppen land of grey and brown. I ... Read More
As Millennium was the first ship to be part of the comprehensive fleet wide Celebrity refurbishment programme (February) I hope the following observations will be of interest. So, welcome to the Kelly Hoppen land of grey and brown. I didn’t think I would like it but it is ok for a couple of weeks. Whether this currently trendy combination of colours will stand the test of time does, of course, remain to be seen. It is smart but a touch boring for my tastes and I hated the wish-washy “art” in the cabin behind the bed. Anyway, the cabin ( Aqua, deck 9) was fine. The large round illuminated mirror was lovely. It added to the sophistication of the room. Comfortable bed, plenty of storage space and functional bathroom. No complaints (a small plumbing problem was quickly resolved). The food in Blu was mainly very good (a lot more hits than misses) and we enjoyed the environment. Service was good but the additional Aqua cabins do seem to have created congestion at peak times which is hardly surprising when Blu is still the same size. It is an issue which Celebrity need to address. The changes to the buffet were my favourite alteration to the ship. Great layout with use of counters and stools which were an efficient use of space and, also provided viewing places. The use of white tiles and logos worked well. The food maintained a good standard. The Sunset bar area at the back of the ship has received some criticism, although we thought it looked good and did provide enough shade. However, it was Japan in April and not the Mediterranean in July. All the lounges looked good with mainly perfectly sensible and comfortable seating. Sun loungers were all new and we enjoyed regular use of the Persian Garden. Musical offerings are important to us and I do appreciate that this is a subjective topic. The Cruise Director, Steve, was excellent. Lovely chap. The programming of music was perfect. Great use of the lounges at the right times. Bryan James, singer and acoustic guitarist, was a highlight. His sessions in Cafe al Bacio were particularly memorable. The house band, Bristol Fashion were very good and nice to talk to. The instrumental duo were also outstanding with a guitar providing so much more variety than the usually ubiquitous cello. The theatre was mainly used for music and comedy. We didn’t go to everything but those we did attend were good. Celebrity seem to be phasing out the costume singing and dancing extravaganzas which, personally, I welcome. The one we did see was incomprehensible and, for me, unbelievably tedious. Quizzes were run by one very good girl and two pretty awful chaps. I am sure they have talents but not in the quiz arena. This was the poorest aspect of the cruise. Fellow cruisers were lovely. It was one of the most sociable cruises we have taken and their company was much appreciated. Staff were outstanding. As helpful and friendly in all areas of the ship as one could ever wish to encounter. As mentioned CD Steve was really good, as was Captain’s Club host, Graeme, from Zimbabwe, who was never lost for a good story. Japan was a surprise. Amazing country, amazing people. We look forward to returning. The one ship’s tour (Mt. Fuji) we took was very good with an excellent guide. Everywhere else we made our own arrangements. It is difficult to rank cruises but of our 14 (9 Celebrity) this was as good as it gets. The combination of itinerary, the management of the ship by the amusing Captain Alex (and Captain Theo) and all their staff and the fact that Millennium was like a new ship contributed to our enjoyment of the cruise and our sadness that it had to end. In summary, the successful refurbishment was critical to the pleasure we experienced on Millennium. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Celebrity has done a great job on keeping the best of MIllenium's previous features and updating to a newer design. We were a little suspicious that it would be too much like the Edge (we were on the maiden voyage) but were very ... Read More
Celebrity has done a great job on keeping the best of MIllenium's previous features and updating to a newer design. We were a little suspicious that it would be too much like the Edge (we were on the maiden voyage) but were very pleasantly surprised. The April trip around Japan was fantastic - cherry blossom time, Japanese hospitality, a variety of ports, and the best weather we could hope for. We generally did our own excursions because the ports provided shuttles to city centres and plenty of maps and directions from the Japanese and Korean (two stops) travel kiosks at each port. We did one Celebrity excursion on Jeju Island South Korea which was very good. Every port was a highlight for its scenery, city life or historic sites. The new Millennium retains most of the public spaces of the previous design but with a modern, sleek look. Service was always friendly and attentive and the food, while not excellent, was good. We attended all the nightly shows and they were fine. The ship has plenty of bars, lounges and places to relax in quiet, unlike the Edge. Our cabin was great - comfortable, spacious with a modern bathroom. Highly recommend this ship and this cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to travel to India, but were unsure about what that destination would be like, so we saw cruising as a safe and easier option (with the benefit of returning to our version of normality at the end of each ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to travel to India, but were unsure about what that destination would be like, so we saw cruising as a safe and easier option (with the benefit of returning to our version of normality at the end of each day). It was a good choice. We could experience the manic chaos of India and enjoy the sensory overload that it is, and then retreat each afternoon/evening to our cabin for a hot shower, on deck for a drink, and to the air conditioned comfort we are accustomed to. Overnight in Mumbai was fantastic, as we got to experience the never ending energy that the city offers by going out to a restaurant for dinner then exploring night markets before retreating back to the ship. The other ports were also interesting, but India was our real reason for this trip. The ship and staff were great. We were lucky enough to score an aqua class cabin which meant we could dine for breakfast and dinner in the Blu restaurant. Very good service and lovely well balanced meals made it overall the best dining experience we've had on a ship. We went to the Qsine restaurant twice and that was outstanding. Usually we enjoy nightlife and music in the evenings, but we were so tired after each port day, we didn't bother this time, it was early nights most of the time. The shows we went to were very good and a good variation of acts. Our cabin was pretty standard balcony, which was more than adequate. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The itinerary was the reason we chose this cruise The upgrade has been done to a very cheap budget The staff as always ,wonderful service always smiling. Main dining room , good food and service Layout of ship because of size ... Read More
The itinerary was the reason we chose this cruise The upgrade has been done to a very cheap budget The staff as always ,wonderful service always smiling. Main dining room , good food and service Layout of ship because of size was a bit strange. Had to walk through casino to get to some places !! Would have loved to have seen more space for dancing Poor band and disco stuck on the floor near the bar but no room for dancing. Think they should consider moving the second bar near martini bar for dancing. It was rarely used , most were watching the entertainment and itching to dance by the railings. Enjoyed the trivia etc The theatre entertainment was very average. There were 2 standout acts, but on the other nights, it was mediocre at best One of the tours we went on was dreadful. So bad most got partial refunds. But, I got 30% others got between 40 and 100% I don't get why the different refunds!!! Such a shame. Ive never had an issue with any of my celebrity cruises before, I just feel they've dropped the ball on this one Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I am a very frequent cruises, having been on more than 50 cruises so I am a little jaded. When I travel with younger ones Royal is my top choice, so I have been on their sister line Celebrity about 6 times including this cruise. I had ... Read More
I am a very frequent cruises, having been on more than 50 cruises so I am a little jaded. When I travel with younger ones Royal is my top choice, so I have been on their sister line Celebrity about 6 times including this cruise. I had been on two Millenium ships previously, including one within the past year so I can comment on the refurb. I really would give this 3 1/2 stars, not 4, but I didn't want to do 3, so 4 it was. We paid for an upgrade and ended up with a Royal Suite which was very nice. It included free unlimited laundry and free specialty dining which was very nice. The room itself was nice...you can see pics on cruise critic and the decorations are personal taste of course. Some find it nice and clean, others boring. I will say that I heard from many fellow passengers some of the things they did in the room didn't seem well thought out for a cruise ship and I will echo that sentiment. They put a glass shelf loosely attached in the shower and put big bottles of shampoos and conditioner and body wash on it and it will be breaking within the next 30 days(a few months after done). There were some other things like that, all minor really to me but things that made you wonder how it happened. The things I really liked about the cruise: 1) The service in Luminae. I really cannot say enough good things about the service in this restaurant. Kind of funny because the food is on my "bad" list. But everyone from the maitre D', to the waiters, to the bus staff, to the drink person---impeccable. 2) The itinerary which included overnights in Beijing(2) plus Kobe., and we got off the ship and were able to immerse ourselves in the culture. That was great. 3) Our state room attendant was great. I found most of the staff in the buffet to be very friendly and courteous, and most of the staff throughout the ship to be that way Things I was mixed about: 1) Entertainment. For a bigger ship, the quality of entertainment was meh at best. That applies to the specialty acts at night, their singers and dancers, and the live entertainment throughout the ship. Also the activities on board, I did enjoy some, but thought there should have been more. The lecturers were not that interesting. The DJ did some music trivia and he was hilarious. 2) The Buffet. There were parts of the buffet I quite liked---having an outdoor seating area was great, the made to order eggs in the breakfast with a reasonable line, the views from the windows, the scones in the late afternoon were fantastic, the free gelato and ice cream and extensive choice of foods. But it was overcrowded often and you had difficulty finding a seat, the food was definitely hit and miss with easily as many misses as hits if not more. 3) Qsine. Love the concept and some of the food was really good. Unfortunately some of it was not. So this one I'd put more in the pro list then the con list, but some of the food not being so good made me not be able to put it there. Things I wasn't a big fan of: 1) The food at Luminae. They only offer you a choice of 4 items for apps, and 4 for dinner. That's it. If you know enough, which I did, you can ask for something from the main dining room menu. So it was kind of limited in that way and I wasn't impressed. Also I found the food quality there to be lacking. Their Baked Alaska was just bad. Something they had 'special" for Luminae. A shame because the service really was that good. I constantly told them the food was good or fine as they kept asking....but I didn't want anything else. 2) Tuscan. It's a shame because I enjoy this restaurant. Never crowded btw. There's a reason. Food can be good, but every time I have eaten there I and every one I was with have gotten wicked heartburn after. So it has to be on the "bad list" especially with only 3 specialty restaurants and one of them is a sushi place that doesn't have cooked meats, so really kind of limited. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the Asian itinerary. Was on a Japan tour in 2017 on the Millennium and disliked the food and the weary shoddiness of the ship.. Happy to say everything is improved. The food is so much improved in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Asian itinerary. Was on a Japan tour in 2017 on the Millennium and disliked the food and the weary shoddiness of the ship.. Happy to say everything is improved. The food is so much improved in the main dining room. Only quirk was that a special Captians dinner had all the favorite foods on one night--Lobster, Rack of Lamb, and Beef Wellington. How strange that the Oceanview buffet was not as good as before. The new "pods" took away from the amount of seating and it was very annoying not to find seats for breakfast. Specific stations were incomplete. Only the front fruit station had pineapple???. Only the front "bakery" had breads. The only negative I found with the "refurbishement" Activities: Beyond Trivia 2-3 times a day, there wasn't much to do. The Bingo was always scheduled at the same time as triviia. There were very few active things to do. Service both stateroom and martini bar was excellent. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Hi everybody. My name's Alex and to be honest, this is a first for me. I've never reviewed so much as a toaster before - let alone a 2 week cruise - so you may have to bear with me a little... Before I start, a little ... Read More
Hi everybody. My name's Alex and to be honest, this is a first for me. I've never reviewed so much as a toaster before - let alone a 2 week cruise - so you may have to bear with me a little... Before I start, a little background info. Several years ago I was diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Although I still look perfectly healthy my mobility is - to my endless annoyance - getting steadily worse year by year. I knew that with regard to disabled access visiting the Far East (especially China) was rapidly turning into a case of now or never. My parents have been cruising for many years but recently my mother had both hips replaced and didn't want to fly long haul any more. My father, however, still wanted to go on holiday... So with the backing of my wonderful wife and 3 young children it was decided that me and dad would do the cruise. (This, of course, was with the understanding that I would bring back many, many presents) We booked the cruise directly with Celebrity instead of going through a Travel Agent. It was very straightforward to do through their website although if you're disabled you have to discuss it with them over the phone if you want an accessible cabin or suite. Luckily for us there was an Offer at the time of booking for both of us to have the Classic Drinks Package and free shipboard Wi-Fi included in the price. We then booked the flights separately using Travelup.co.uk as they happened to have the best deal on flights. To get a head start on the jetlag (and also see more of Shanghai) we flew out of Heathrow on 28th March giving us a day and a half to see the sights while staying at the Radisson Blu New World as recommended by Celebrity. The hotel kindly booked us a taxi to Baoshan Cruise Terminal to meet the ship. I have no idea if it was a good price or not but we were charged 200rmb for the 45 minute drive which seemed quite reasonable. Embarkation at the cruise terminal was very swift and from arriving at the Terminal to being in our Cabin took less than 30 minutes. I should point out that the only perk (if you can call it that) of being disabled is that you do tend to be able to 'jump the queue' for things like cruise embarkations and airport security. Trust me, I take no pleasure in it and would rather queue and have my health any day of the week. My first impression of the cabin was that it was very well planned and laid out and amazingly quiet considering it was bang amidships and literally back to back with the elevator. We quickly unpacked and then set off to explore the ship. I've only ever been on one other cruise ship which was P & O's Adonia - a much smaller ship with only 500 passengers so Millennium was a ship on a whole different scale. I really should have had a plan on exploring the ship but instead settled on random wandering (probably sub-consciously looking for the nearest open bar). I'd seen pictures of Millennium before the refit but none since and I have to say I was extremely impressed by the quality of the furnishings and decor throughout what is, in reality, a 20 year old ship. The only advice I would give with regard to moving around the ship, however, is to use the staircases whenever possible. If you use the elevator each time you want to change decks, you will be spending half the cruise waiting for one - they are always very, very busy and don't always stop on the deck you wanted! In giving a review of the individual venues on the ship I can only comment on where I visited. For some unknown reason I never ventured up to Decks 11 and 12 except a brief visit to the Cosmos Lounge (which does have excellent views over the bow). Deck 10 has the swimming pool and Jacuzzis which were very sparingly used due to the weather. I also found that Deck 10 just forward of the midship staircase has the strongest Wi-Fi signal on the ship (and is a nice quiet area) if you're looking to skype or Facetime those back home. Deck 10 is also home to the Oceanview Cafe which wraps around nearly the entire rear half of the ship. There are many pros and cons to the OV cafe. At breakfast time on Port days and for most of the day on Sea days it can be a very busy place indeed. However, for lunch during Port days and for late night snacking it really is a very nice space and has a huge amount of choice including the usual Carvery, Indian, Pizza, Pasta & Salad stations etc. There is also permanent tea, coffee and juice on tap plus when it's quiet there are always staff waiting to take your bar order if you fancy a nice glass of something cold with your lunch. Decks 9, 8, 7, 6, 3 & 2 are all largely guest accommodation and it is here that the Cruise Critic forums are worth a mention. I found out (as a cruising novice) that there is a 'Roll Call' forum for each individual cruise on the Cruise Critic website - you get to chat with the people you will be cruising with, exchange tips and even make plans for shared excursions. It's pretty obvious who the Old Hands are and they really do have some very useful advice (my favourite - being a fireproof ship the walls are made of metal. Use fridge magnets to stick up the daily activities programs!) I felt the important thing was that even before we boarded I already knew a whole crowd of interesting people from all over the world that I wouldn't have met otherwise and it was amazing putting faces to the people I had been chatting to for many months (You know who you are!) Also, if there are over 50 people on the cruise 'Roll Call' then Celebrity arranges a Meet and Greet for all concerned on the first sea day. After that as a group we also had a 'Slot Pull' where several dozen of us all crowded into the casino to try our luck (the ship broke down just before we started - perhaps we should have taken it as a sign as we didn't win a bean...) Also arranged through the Roll Call was the 'Cabin Crawl'. This was not the noisy and boozy affair I had envisaged originally but involves having one of the Roll Call members from each grade of cabin or suite allow their fellow cruisers to have a good nose around their home at sea. Obviously this is not to everybody’s taste but I found it a brilliant way to get to know my fellow cruisers a little better and have a look at all the different types of accommodation (The top grade suites are just amazing) My cabin seemed a lot smaller with a dozen people in it all chatting away at the same time! Decks 5 & 4 are where most of the activities and socialising goes on. It’s worth mentioning that there is a Celebrity app available for smartphones. It gives all the details of what’s going on and where while on-board and you can set reminders for shows and activities and even use your phone as your room key if the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are activated. It took a couple of days to remember what was on which deck and I ended up in the Art gallery several times when I'd meant to be in the Casino. Furthest forward is the Theatre. This is a huge space that covers both decks and is really well decorated with very comfortable seating and small fixed drinks tables. It has very good sound and lighting for the shows, talks and films (more on the entertainment later). There is also (non-disabled) access to the helipad from the Deck 5 level for those lucky enough to get invited to view the ship docking from the bow. The only small criticisms I have of the Theatre are that to enter it without going outside you have to either walk through the Art Gallery & shops on Deck 5 or through the Casino on Deck 4 as both are the entire width of the ship and the Casino can end up as a bottleneck before and after any performance. The only other annoyance was that during any films, talks, shows etc. the overhead spotlights were left on which caused a very bright reflection from the drinks tables if you were sitting in the Deck 4 level of the Theatre. Like I said - very minor niggles for a very impressive venue. Moving back from the Theatre on Deck 5 are the shops. These are the usual mix of high-end clothing, watches and fragrances. I assume somebody must be buying these things otherwise the shops wouldn't be there but they always seemed to be deserted. Back from the shops is the Art Gallery. The artworks are changed daily and there is usually a varied mix on show. There is also a huge touchscreen where you can browse all of the artwork on board. Aft of the Art Gallery is the 'Grand Foyer' and central staircase that descends from Deck 5 down to Guest Relations on Deck 3. It's very impressive and creates a very bright and open space right in the heart of the ship. On either side of the staircase on Deck 5 are the Gelateria on the port side and the very popular Cafe al Bacio on the starboard side. The cafe serves a huge variety of coffees, liquors and wines and has, without a doubt, the most comfortable seating on the entire ship in the shape of several huge wing-backed chairs. Many times I walked past and saw my fellow cruisers snoring away! The only gripe I have with the Grand Foyer area is that at night quite often there was a DJ playing music from the Deck 5 balcony over the stairs. This was often loud enough to make conversation difficult and saw people deserting the area in droves. Back past the cafe is Cellar Masters. During the day this is the place to go for Wine tastings (which occur almost daily but at a price). It's got a sort of cosy wine-bar feel at night and usually has live music in the evening - normally a duo or trio so nothing overwhelming. The bar usually opens around 5pm and was always staffed by the ever cheerful Arie who is one of those amazing people who has the capacity to remember everybody’s name. Unless using the Aft staircase or elevators you have to walk through here to enter the Metropolitan dining room. A quick tip - If you’re eating in the MDR then fixed-time diners are seated on Deck 5 and anytime eating is Deck 4. I went for the anytime to stay flexible and never had to queue. Also if it’s just the 2 of you then you can ask for the extremely comfy 'Dalek' chairs right against the big back windows. Moving down to Deck 4 and back from the Theatre is the Casino. As I've said before, the Casino spans the entire width of the ship (presumably to catch passing traffic) and has the feel of a mini Caesars Place or Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas. It's a very comfortable place with a large bar and TV screens showing either news or sports. It was never overly busy or crowded and the few times I visited I pretty much had the pick of whichever opportunity to lose my money I wanted. There were 2 nights during the cruise that each passenger was given a $5 free play on the slot machines (always nice to gamble with somebody else’s money) and somehow I managed to walk away $18 up at the end of the cruise! Again only a single gripe with the Casino and that is that the bar service was for some reason much slower than the rest of the ship. Aft of the Casino is the middle level of the Grand Foyer. On the port side is a large amount of comfy seating and on the opposite side of the Staircase is the very popular Martini Bar. With its frozen bar-top and bar staff who juggle bottles and perform all sorts of drink pouring-related tricks it's often very difficult to get a seat from early evening onwards. Just for sheer entertainment value it's worth hanging out here for a while if waiting for dinner or a show. Past the Martini Bar and aft of the midship staircase is the Rendezvous Lounge. Also the full width of the ship, this space is, as the name suggests, a great place for meeting up for pre-dinner drinks in the evening as there is a very large bar and a huge amount of comfy seating with waiters constantly circulating with drink requests. More importantly during the day this is the place to go for daily Board games, Trivia quizzes and various presentations. It really is a very pleasant, bright and airy place to meet and socialize. Aft of the Lounge on the starboard side of the ship is the Anytime diners entrance to the MDR where the staff welcome you and hand you off to a waiter who will escort you to your table. Each table has a Waiter, Assistant waiter and a Sommelier who is responsible for a small group of tables. We were always seated in the same area and so usually had the same staff each night which was a real pleasure as they seemed genuinely enthusiastic in their jobs (especially the sommeliers Manuel and Jelena who always made us feel so welcome after a long day exploring ashore). I've seen the pre-refit pictures of the MDR and I have to say it now looks so much lighter, fresher and more modern. Deck 3 has its public spaces around the base of the central staircase and includes Guest relations, Destination concierge and Shore Excursion booking. It's also usually where the gangplank ashore is located. Guest relations always seemed to have a queue regardless of the time of day or night but the staff were always tirelessly helpful and cheerful. Many thanks here to Caesar. In Beijing one of the straps on my rucksack snapped so when back on board I went down to Guest relations with a rather odd request and asked Caesar if it would be possible to source a couple of cable ties for a temporary repair. Within 5 minutes the ships electrician appeared with a whole selection - very impressive service! My review of the food is rather short - we simply found the food in the MDR to be of such high quality and choice that we didn't visit any of the speciality restaurants on board. When the MDR was open at lunchtime we ate there. If closed we used the Oceanview Cafe. As I've already mentioned, the food in the OV cafe was hugely varied and of very good quality. The food in the MDR however, was on another level. There was a 'core' menu of 4 starters (Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, French onion soup & Escargot) and 3 mains (salmon, chicken breast & sirloin steak) that were always available. The rest of the menu - 7 starters & 6 mains - varied on a daily basis. I can honestly say that every single meal was a pleasure and I was consistently impressed throughout the cruise by quality and variety of the food. The portions were on the small side of what I was expecting but this is in no way a criticism as it meant that there was always room for one of the many choices of desserts. Again, a rather short review for Shore excursions. Looking at the excursions on offer from Celebrity, it seemed that they didn't actually offer much for rather a lot of money. We therefore decided to risk doing our own thing at each port of call and didn't book a single excursion through Celebrity. The only time we made use of them was a free - but very poorly advertised - shuttle bus from the Port of Incheon into town and the same in Yokohama. It was the Immigration processes for each Country that the cruise failed miserably on. Obviously it was in no way Celebrity's fault as they have no authority over the immigration process. Going ashore once primary face-to-face immigration procedures were completed was fine - you could literally just walk straight off the ship. However, initial arrival in each country seemed to take an inordinately long time. For example the ship docked in Kobe, Japan at 9:00am but we didn't actually walk out of the Cruise terminal until 11:45am by which time our plans for travelling to Kyoto for the day were totally ruined. The only area where I felt that Celebrity themselves were very much below par was the on-board entertainment and presentations. The opening item I saw was the first in a series of talks about Buddhism. The advertising for it sounded very interesting and I was looking forward to attending. However, within 10 minutes of the start of the presentation I, and several others in the audience were fast asleep! The poor presenter had one of those voices that is so quiet and monotonous that you can't help but nod off. I kicked myself afterwards for not recording it to play to my children when they won't go to sleep at bedtime... Suffice to say, the following presentations in the series were very sparsely attended. The evening productions in the Theatre unfortunately appeared to be extremely amateurish with some of the singing little better than a karaoke night down the local pub. Very often I'd leave after a few excruciating minutes along with a fair number of others. As mentioned before, the DJ in the Grand Foyer was way too loud and fortunately only appeared near the beginning of the cruise. Perhaps Celebrity took note of the mass exodus? The same unfortunately goes for the rest of the singers and musicians spread around the rest of the ship - Celebrity seems to have very much gone for the Quantity over Quality approach and I think they have badly let themselves down with this approach. Only one act actually impressed me (sorry, can't remember their name but it was a couple of chaps doing a silent comedy routine) and they only came on-board for a single performance. The entertainers on-board weren't actually terribly bad, but neither were they any good and certainly didn't make me want to sit and listen to them. And so to briefly sum up - the ship was absolutely fantastic, the food, crew & facilities were top notch and above all the company of my fellow cruisers was a total pleasure. If you're not too fussy about quality on-board entertainment and organized excursions then I can absolutely recommend Celebrity and I will certainly be cruising with them again at the earliest opportunity. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have have been traveling a fair bit for the past few decades. India and Sri Lanka have always been part of our to-go list but only wanted to do it on a cruise because we did not want to stay locally. Imagine our delight when we found ... Read More
We have have been traveling a fair bit for the past few decades. India and Sri Lanka have always been part of our to-go list but only wanted to do it on a cruise because we did not want to stay locally. Imagine our delight when we found this route. We have been to the other places included - Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman but we still joined a couple of the tours to revisit these wonderful places. Celebrity Constellation is a very tidy ship. The staff on board including our cabin steward made sure it was kept immaculate. Not once did I see plates or rubbish stacked anywhere. The ship is old but you will be surprised that we never saw any rust or dilapidated flooring, walls etc. Furniture - in the public and dining places were all in very good condition. The biggest downfall of this cruise were the shore excursions. The choices they gave were basically not interesting - just driving around the cities, having a few stops for pictures and a bit of shopping in the local filthy markets. The descriptions of the tours are not well prepared and often misleading. India is a place where people in their 50s visit. They let you walk and walk in the afternoon but they dont say that in the description of the tours. I was in two tours where guests complained to the guide why we have been walking for over 2 hours and worse, walking around in circles in those crowded streets. My husband and I thought it was just us having a whinge privately until we actually heard a couple of the other guests call the attention of the guides. Also, the places they chose to offer more often than not had no historical significance or mildly put, just useless and not interesting for the ordinary traveler. I have heard of other stories where they sent them to filthy plantation sites that did not even have any water. My husband and I think those who prepared and selected the tours on offer did not take their job seriously. I think they just came up with the list without even visiting or trying out these tours themselves. The experience we had with these tours have forced us to re-evaluate our future bookings with Celebrity. We compared the shore excursions being offered by other cruiseliners from the same port. Unfortunately, we found out that Celebrity does offer the poorest type of shore excursions for the other ports of our future cruises. People go on a cruise to see things and not just stay in the cabins. Hence, shore excursions are important. Another thing, we did not like in Celebrity Constellation is the limited number of places to dine. It was a 15 day cruise. Obviously, you cannot expect us to dine at the Blu ( for Aqua Class passengers) the whole time. They only had the main dining room ( San Marco), the Oceanview Buffet and the 3 specialty restaurants, the Tuscan Grill ( never changed its menu) , QSine ( food is truly horrible here) and the SUshi place. I have been used to ships with having at least 8 restaurants on offer. It is not the ship's fault but I think it is worth mentioning in order to avoid disappointment. The Oceanview buffet is were 90% of the passengers have their lunch. Choices are abundant but they seem to taste the same and are often cold. There were days when the food was actually great. The Entertainment is another disappointment. We thought the performers were auditioning for a job when the ship docked. The Cabin was okay except for the fact that the ship only had 5 movies on offer and was played on rotation. Hence by Day 6 you will have the video on Day 1 on offer again. You can opt to rent a movie. With Princess and Norwegian, if you are in this cabin class ( which is one step lower than the suites) you get a wide selection of movies. You can forget the TV unless you can stand 16 days of Fox News. In summary, you need to really do your research when joining a cruise of this type. It was not the worst cruise we ever were on BUT it could have been heaps better if our host pointed us to the right direction in order to see the better side of what India has to offer. The service we received from everyone from the cabin attendant, the restaurants, room service, stores, guest service, etc is one of the best we have experienced in a cruise liner. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We got tired of Caribbean Islands, and have always wanted to see India. We weren't disappointed! Ship was OK, not new but fine. The crew were excellent, especially the Customer Relations desk which helped us out when my wife lost ... Read More
We got tired of Caribbean Islands, and have always wanted to see India. We weren't disappointed! Ship was OK, not new but fine. The crew were excellent, especially the Customer Relations desk which helped us out when my wife lost her medications and had to have replacements sent by UPS to Oman. We didn't go to the entertainments. The food was good but not great. Good steaks, Prime Rib and Chateaubriand, also good Lamb. Fish a bit disappointing. No problems with passports or visas - quite efficiently handled. We got e-visas for India - very simple process. Overall we really enjoyed the cruise, especially Mumbai, where we could have done with more time. Cochin, and Goa are mildly interesting, we didn't go ashore in Oman or New Mangalore. Took a private car from Muziris Heritage Tours in Mumbai - well worth it! Lilo Jose organised it , and Karim was an excellent guide - we saw a lot in the time available, and had an excellent curry! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is an older ship as has been reported. On the whole this doesn’t create issues as Celebrity has tried to keep the ship fairly tidy but it’s due for a major refit next year. Generally staff were all very cheerful (except the guy on ... Read More
This is an older ship as has been reported. On the whole this doesn’t create issues as Celebrity has tried to keep the ship fairly tidy but it’s due for a major refit next year. Generally staff were all very cheerful (except the guy on the bar in the main dining room who was also very reluctant to give you a glass if you ordered a beer or a can)! The Captain seemed a really nice chap and we did a very good ‘backstage’ tour in which he told us a lot about his job. As Aqua Class we ate mainly in the Blu Restaurant, with an excellent Maitre d’ in the form of Laurence, with Cathy very ably assisting her. Most of the dining room staff here were good too, although we did have a slight issue. Prior to leaving I had prebooked the extortionately priced internet package (over 287$) but had a bit of an argument with Celebrity’s U.K. office as I felt we had been misled over a few things, in particular poor information about the acquisition of visas for our trip. This caused us to pay significantly more than we needed to - I think over £300 for the 2 of us. Eventually we were given a voucher for a meal upgrade as an apology, which was supplied to us onboard. In the Blu restaurant one night, a waiter was obviously trying to ’upsell’ meals in these ‘speciality dining’ restaurants and we put our names down for one. Difficult to remember the conversation but I do feel we mentioned the voucher. He then said we were entitled to a ‘free’ lunch in one of the others’, which we took. When our ship’s bill came we had been charged for both meals. After showing them the invitation they had supplied, they removed the cost of one meal, but wouldn’t take off the other 50$. I saw the deputy manager responsible and made my feelings very clear! He said he’d get back to me later (after talking to his boss). They agreed to give us another free meal in another speciality dining room, rather than give us 50$ back. Reluctantly we agreed, but, what a shambles! As other passengers commented on frequently, the team are obviously trained to refund nothing and get what money they can out of you! The maitre d’ from Qsine asked which restaurant we wanted to go to and what time we wanted him to book us in. Surprise, surprise - we arrived and there was no booking! Luckily they had a table but we are still waiting to have it confirmed they’ve not charged us for it! Whilst writing this I also see they did not apply our Captain’s Circle credit to our prebooked internet package either but the thing that really upset us was our one prebooked excursion. We often do our own thing at ports as we find we can usually do things better, cheaper. However, if I see something we can’t arrange ourselves we go with the ship. In Goa the company were offering an excursion that appealed to us. It cost 440$ for the 2 of us, so was very expensive. However, it sounded good. We should have been taken around a market with the ship’s chef looking at fruit, vegetables and spices after which we were to taste a few local specialities. Then we were to go on a scenic drive to the Odzel Valley with ‘spectacular views of the bay’. Here we would have a cooking demonstration of local foods by a chef from the region followed by a 4 course meal, with beer or a soft drink. On returning to the ship we were also to have a special meal in the evening. What actually happened was that we were driven to the market through roadworks (they are building a motorway along the route - and have been for 4 years!) in a very rickety bus. We had a guide who kept telling us about local fish and coconut curries. At the market we walked around looking at the stalls, fruit and veg with one chilli stall (hardly worth the excursion description of being told all about local spices). We then went to a local ‘tour’ restaurant where we were served an average meal where we paid for our beer (and they overcharged us!). We had only meat curries which were so spicey most of the group couldn’t eat them. Despite all the cleanliness routine on the ship we were then given a plate of 6 desserts for 6 of us to eat from! No trip to the Odzel Valley, no cooking demonstration, no scenic views. Back at the ship the meal in the evening included 3 of the same dishes we’d had at lunchtime, one of which was served only luke warm! Again, no ‘typical’ Goan fish curry! Very disappointing and certainly not what we’d have booked up, let alone paid that sort of money for. Other people complained and head office in Miami were contacted, for which we were reimbursed 20%, their maximum, they said. This was flagrant mis-selling and should definitely have been more money. We enjoyed our cruise overall, and the destinations, but feel let down by the fact we saw nothing of Goa on that trip. It is the first time we have spent as long as 15 nights on a ship and enjoyed this, with more sea days. The itinerary is interesting and it was good to do a linear cruise as well. However, as you can tell, we had some issues and it amazes me that any large companies are prepared to dig their heels in over problems, rather than resolve them effectively. It leaves a bad taste in a customer’s mouth for such a small amount of their money. I told them I write reviews. SURELY, for what it would cost them, a suitable refund on both of these problems would have kept us happier and I wouldn’t have written this. They would have lost very little, yet do not seem to see the importance of customer relations. We had a behind the scenes ship tour and enjoyed this. Interesting to see what goes on behind view. The stage is very impressive and most of the entertainment was good. The band were very skilled and there was a good variety of shows, although the first comedian was poor, not at all funny. Food was usually pretty good, but variable and somewhat repetitive. A shame not to have Thai food in Thailand etc though. I like guacamole, which always seems to be in plentiful supply in the buffet on most ships, but not here. There are gaps in dining, sometimes when you return from trips annoyingly, but a stodgy afternoon tea is offered. Needs to be something other than chunky bread sandwiches and cakes. In Aqua class you get canapés but not sure these are worth having most of the time. Due to the hot air temperatures we only used the Persian Garden steam rooms etc once, too. We had a drinks package for the first time and, I have to say, I did appreciate not having to think about what we drank. Again, though, at times, costs were cut. There is a cocktail of the day, but often at an additional charge to the ‘classic package’. I like Mojitos, but these, and many others’ were made with nasty concentrate so were not nice. Also, I would say that there were not really many decent activities on on sea days. As we had 6 there was nothing to really encourage us to do much on quite a few days (apart from money making things like shop sales and art auctions)! We often read on our balcony. The pool is undersized and was often crowded. I’ve probably written enough now so... did we enjoy the cruise? Yes. Could there be improvements? Definitely. Should the ‘customer service team’ listen to passengers more? Absolutely. Should the company have more respect for passengers than making the odd 20$ extra? Certainly. If Celebrity have a cruise I want to go on again, I wouldn’t rule them out, but I might look for an alternative first. Just a little less penny pinching and they would not have made me feel like this! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise exceeded my expectations and this was my 39th cruise overall, over 7 different cruise lines. We were on its sister ship, the Millennium, in October and the Constellation seemed to be in better condition overall. The Millennium ... Read More
This cruise exceeded my expectations and this was my 39th cruise overall, over 7 different cruise lines. We were on its sister ship, the Millennium, in October and the Constellation seemed to be in better condition overall. The Millennium went into dry dock in Feb. and the Constellation is due early next year. We were Aqua class guaranteed and I knew there was a risk being on the 9th deck with noise up above from the pool deck, but I didn't expect banging 2 nights in a row at 3:00am. I let guest relations know, and the next morning they called to see if it had been quieter which it had. She told me they sent security there overnight to make sure it was quiet. We also got an unrelated call from Guest Relations to ask how our arrival to to ship went. We had a problem with Choice air reservations which cost us more at the airport and I was going to contact them then I returned from our trip to resolve it. Guest relations immediately issued me a credit on our account without going back through Choice Air. Our balcony cabin was similar to every other balcony we've had. Only room for one person to walk between the end of the bed and the wall. With Aqua Class we got extra spray jets in the shower. Relative to other cruises, I thought the entertainment was excellent. We had seen several of the guest entertainers on other cruises before, but the Celebrity entertainers were as good as I have seen on ships. They had 3 different enrichment speaking series for days at sea including an Improv duo that my husband loved. We don't do the trivia games or all the merchandise "sales" so that gave us something else to do since we do not hang out at the pool. The itinerary was the reason why we booked this cruise and it was fascinating. India is dirty and crowded, but that's India. It also has beautiful temples, outdoor laundries, gardens, upscale hotels, etc. It's part of the experience. Abu Dhabi and Dubai were much more western than I had anticipated. Phuket is a beach resort paradise. Singapore is immaculately clean and there's a lot to see there. I had arranged private tours in advance for each port, which I do for all of our cruises, so I can't comment on the shore excursions dept. On all cruise ships they are meant to be profit centers unless you go on luxury cruises where they are included. We ate our meals in Blu, the restaurant for Aqua Class. The sommelier and wait staff were exceptional. The food was better than the main dining room. We liked the speciality restaurant, Qsine, better than the Tuscan Grill. Qsine has 20 different tapas selections and we enjoyed everything we ordered. The Oceanview Cafe is at par with other Celebrity and Princess ships. There are a lot of selections but you have to go all the way around both sides to see everything. Azamara is better, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and NCL are worse. If you are up for an exotic itinerary and can bear the heat and humidity in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Singapore, I would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I recently sailed on the March 18th Constellation voyage from Abu Dhabi to Singapore. In reading recent reviews on said trip I’m wondering if we were on a different cruise altogether. Why this Itinerary - We’ve done ... Read More
My wife and I recently sailed on the March 18th Constellation voyage from Abu Dhabi to Singapore. In reading recent reviews on said trip I’m wondering if we were on a different cruise altogether. Why this Itinerary - We’ve done the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Coastal, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean. A cruise to the other side of the world (for us) gave us an opportunity to experience new areas with minimal upheavals, knowing that we always returned to the comfort of the ship. So we booked it and started the process. Planning - All adventures require a bit of planning; much of what can be obtained via the internet. So we studied the various countries and their ports of call, checked out the shore excursion offerings, and looked into what could be done on our own. India extended the use of “e-Visa” to cruise ports in 2018 so after uploading the required documents, entering the required data, and payment of fees we had our visas in less than 24 hrs. Obtaining the “Transit” visas for Sri Lanka was even easier. We received them in less than an hour. Also checked how to get to/from the sailing and decided to book air travel on our own as offerings from Celebrity Air were all via Heathrow with lots of wait time between connections and higher costs. And of course ordered our luggage tags which, for some reason, we received twice. But better than none at all. Itinerary - Our home base is the Washington, DC area; Northern Virginia. Flew from Dulles to Abu Dhabi where we had decided on a 2-night pre-cruise stay. We returned eastbound from Singapore where we had also decided on a 2-night post-cruise stay. Thus without thinking about it we ended up with a round-the-world adventure. Abu Dhabi - Navigating the Abu Dhabi airport was easy: made our way from plane to Immigration, collected our luggage, found an ATM right off to obtain local currency, and loaded our luggage on one of the luxury taxis (Mercedes SUV’s); all within 30 minutes. As always we brought along more than we needed, but as we would be gone for 3 weeks why not! We selected the Aloft Hotel as it seemed to be mid way between various sights. We were at the hotel in short order, checked in, had a light dinner, and off to bed. I had forgotten to check if there were any special events in Abu Dhabi. Found out that it was Special Olympics time and that the Aloft was ground zero for this. So lots of folks in the public areas. Next day we were made it to the Grand Mosque and arrived in time to take one of the private tours - highly recommend this to avoid the masses. From there we went to the new Louvre Museum where we had lunch and also took a private tour which greatly explained the format and setup of the museum as compared to the Louvre in Paris. Afterwards went to the gold market souks and browsed a little. Then back to the hotel. Travel to/from all sights in Abu Dhabi was very easy by taxi. It was also very economical. Cruise Day 1 - Abu Dhabi: Checked out of the hotel shortly after 11 AM and promptly arrived at the cruise port, again via taxi. The terminal was small but clean and efficient. Check-in was straightforward; dropped our bags, presented documents, surrendered passports, got our Sea Pass, and were invited to board right away. Enjoyed the welcome cocktail and made our way to the public areas to await room availability. Made reservations for specialty dining as we had purchased a 2 dinner and 1 lunch special. Had lunch at he Oceanview Cafe, found the Martini Bar, and made a quick tour of the ship to get the lay of the land. After room availability announcement we checked out our cabin, met the room steward, found our luggage already there, and started the unpacking process. We booked Aqua class this time as we wanted to compare against Concierge Class which we had always done before. Other than the room locations and the special showers everything else seemed similar to the Concierge rooms. Soon it was time for Muster then, after changing for dinner made we our way to Blu via the Martini Bar. We found Blu to have the quality of food that used to be at the Main Dinning Room. Service and attention were superb by the Maitre’D Laurence, Waitstaff Armando & Gary, and Sommelier Enrickkee throughout the cruise. The food offerings were always varied and very satisfying. Cruise Day 2 - Dubai: We signed up for a ship excursion to the Burj Khalif so we were off by 8:30 AM. This got us through early enough to avoid the crowds; very long lines seen as we came down. Then we took a bus ride through some of the “notable” areas of Dubai - tall buildings, freeways, the outside of the Emir’s palace, and the outside of a couple of luxury hotels at Palm Island. We considered driving around to see the outside of hotels a waste of time and is something that ought to be eliminated as it makes the tour just drag on and on. Back on board for lunch at the Spa Cafe and then took to deciding which of the many activities to participate in. We have always felt that there are so many things to do that one can’t do it all. Late afternoon and early evening Trivia became our mainstay. And, of course, a stop at the Martini Bar on our way to dinner became de-rigor. We did see many of the shows throughout the cruise; enjoyed the large productions most of all. Cruise Day 3 - Muscat: We had signed up for another ship excursion which was called a “Walking Tour of Oman”. Since this was in the late afternoon we took it leisurely, starting with the Captain’s Club Elite breakfast and then wandering through the shops and such until tour time. This excursion ended being one of those that should never have been offered. All participants came ready for a least a brisk stroll but we found ourselves just going a block here to another block there, with way too much time listening to a guide who had difficulty with English and who then sent us off to explore a museum and shop the souk. Many of the participants complained to the Excursion staff to no avail. Fortunately that was the last ship excursion we had signed up for. Cruise Day 4 - Sea Day # 1: We located ourselves in the pool area by mid-morning. There was never an issue with finding seating and continuously enjoyed the music, the pool activities, and the beverage offerings from the pool bars. Also had lunch at the Pool Grill. I had signed up for several of the Cycling classes but decided that it was way too much of an effort so never made it to the gym. This being the first “Chic” night we enjoyed a great dinner at Tuscan Grille. It was very satisfying to see many folks in their finery. The Tux came along as being retirees (pensioners for our British friends) we don’t have many opportunities to spiff up. Cruise Day 5 - Sea Day # 2: More pool time with lunch tidbits from the Pool Grill, Spa Cafe, and Oceanview Cafe. We did find the layout at the Oceanview difficult as one has to circle around to get something from one end and then something else from another end. Understand this is to be changed after the ship undergoes its “revolution”. Cruise Day 6 - Mumbai (with overnight): Wanting to see the sights with a more direct involvement we signed up with “Mumbai Magic” for a tour using local taxis, busses, and trains. This is an outfit run by students who take you throughout the major areas of Mumbai. After the shuttle dropped us off at the “Green Gate” we found our guide and embarked on a fun filled adventure using all of the above conveyances and even stopping for lunch at “Swati Snacks”, where we had a great vegetarian meal. Back to the ship exhausted but very satisfied. My wife, being blonde, was stared at throughout the day. The guide explained that many young people who are visiting Mumbai like to ask for selfies. So we had a good laugh. Cruise Day 7 - Mumbai: This day we went on a tour of the Dharavi slum, the second largest in the world after the one in Pakistan. Again, we did this with a local outfit - “Young Tours”. The tours are led by actual residents and our guide led us through the area visiting various enterprises, enjoying a cup of special Chai tea, and even visiting his home. It was amazing to see so many people being industrious from the lowest job upwards. Cruise Day 8 - Goa: After two days under the unrelenting sun and exhausted from all that touring we stayed on board to recoup. Spent the day mainly inside and participated in various activities. We did enjoy a stint at the Persian Gardens. Cruise Day 9 - Sea Day # 3: More pool time; again no issues with finding seating. This was “Chic” night number 2. By now we were “regulars” at the Martini Bar which meant that the stop before dinner started earlier. Folks were a little less dressed up but still very smart looking. Cruise Day 10 - Cochin: Many on the cruise signed up for “Tours with Lijo” in all of the ports in India. We elected to take the Cochin tour which was essentially a leisurely ride along the backwaters of the many rivers and canals on a houseboat with lunch. The tour was well organized; each group of 20 was assigned to a houseboat, and we cruised along for several hours with a nice lunch served halfway through. The only negative was the long ride to/from - an hour and a half each way. This was the complaint about most tours at all ports - it required a very long bus ride to get to the sights and back. Cruise Day 11 - Colombo: Here we took a walking tour with “Colombo Walks”. Harold, who we met at the port gate after a shuttle ride, gave us a view of various aspects of Colombo - Pettah market, Red mosque, Hindu temple, Grand Oriental Hotel where we enjoyed tea, Fort Clock Tower which used to be a lighthouse, presidential residence, and the Dutch Hospital precinct. Tonight was diner at Sushi on Five. We had exchanged a lunch for a dinner so this gave us expanded offerings from which to choose. Good overall. Cruise Day 12 - Sea Day # 4: Back to the pool for the morning. In the afternoon we enjoyed the Elite formal Tea. Cruise Day 13 - Sea Day # 5: Pool time again with more wanderings throughout the ship. This was “Chic” night number 3. It seemed like everyone wanted to look their best at the last dress-up night. We had dinner at Q-Sine and were overwhelmed with the multiple choices. Interesting experience. Cruise Day # 14 - Phuket: This was the only “tendering” port. The ship anchored off Patong Beach and a myriad of launches ferried everyone to a small pier; about a 15 minute ride. We decided to go to a different beach which was rated best beach # 2 in Phuket - Kata Beach. Found an ATM right by the pier for local currency and took a taxi for the short ride to Kata Beach. Secured chairs and an umbrella; spent the afternoon enjoying the warm water and small crowds. Another taxi ride back to Patong and back to the ship via tender. Cruise Day # 15 - Sea Day # 6: Spent a good portion of the day packing as the cruise was coming to an end. I had purchased several Lotto tickets and as there had been no winners anyone who had tickets was invited to the Casino for a drawing to participate in a slot tournament. Not being gamblers this was our only foray into the casino. My name was drawn and I was one of six that enjoyed the slot event. As luck would have it I ended being the winner - a $100 credit! Now how to spend it - was offered the option of redeeming it at one of the stores. So off we marched to the store areas to see how we could put the winnings to good use. This was also our last dinner at Blu where we once again enjoyed the attention of the entire staff and said our farewells. Bags out by 10 PM and another cruise was winding down. Cruise Day 16 - Arrival in Singapore: Up early so we could have a leisurely breakfast at Blu. Then off to the Elite area to await our disembarking number. Our number was finally called and we sadly left Constellation. Singapore: We found the cruise terminal to be well laid out. Through immigration quickly, located our baggage, and off to find an ATM and a taxi. Only complaint is that the ATM is on an upper floor rather than on the exit level. Finding a taxi was easy enough and we were soon off to our hotel. We picked the Hotel Fort Canning for our 2-night stay. This was the old British Army headquarters and has been very nicely remodeled. Only negative is that while relatively close to the MRT the climb uphill is exhausting in the heat and humidity. Thus it was taxis every time we left and returned. We did use the MRT to shuttle between the various sites once we were down on the flats. We took on the usual major sights over our 2-day stay including the Arab Street area, the Chinese area, the light show at Gardens by the Bay, a climb to the top at Marina Bay Sands with an obligatory cocktail at Ce La Vi, and so on. A big find for us, being somewhat foodies, was lunch at National Kitchen by Violet Bon. Violet is considered the grand dame of Singaporean cooking. And we enjoyed the satay offerings at Lao Pa Sat hawker center. This is where one of the adjoining streets is closed at night and tables and satay being cooked line the street. Again a taxi to the airport with all our luggage and we started the long journey home. In Summary: This cruise did live up to being a journey to “exotic” destinations. It gave us an insight to areas of the world that we had not been to and probably will not return to. Most of the ports where the ship docked were industrial areas requiring a shuttle to the outside; time consuming. We found Constellation to be well maintained and all staff members were always helpful and accommodating. After being on many Solstice ships and several RCCL mega ships we were unsure as to how we would find a smaller ship. Needless to say we took to the size of Constellation right away; easy accessibility to all parts of the ship. One thing we both miss is a Murano class restaurant. We did make our way through all of the eating and drinking venues on the ship other than the main restaurant and Luminae which is reserved for suites. All of them met our needs at various times of the day. We were unable to participate in all of the onboard activities; too many things to do with not enough time. For example we never made it to the Rooftop Terrace to watch a movie. For some reason we also did not make as much use of our balcony as we have on other cruises. We never encountered an overt “up sell”. Yes, there were staff members seeking takers for the specialty restaurants and drink packages. But all it took was a smile and an “already taken care of” reply and we were never asked again. All in all we were very satisfied with our voyage. Until next cruise! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is our 1st Celebrity cruise, but it was my 11th overall. Definitely did not live up to my expectations. Since the ship was refurbished, we expected it to be nicer, unfortunately it was such a disappointment. Cabin: we booked a ... Read More
This is our 1st Celebrity cruise, but it was my 11th overall. Definitely did not live up to my expectations. Since the ship was refurbished, we expected it to be nicer, unfortunately it was such a disappointment. Cabin: we booked a concierge class. heat was broken. it was so cold. We called service desk and no one picked up the phone, so we went down to guest service desk & it took them about 1/2 day to finally send someone to our cabin to fix the heat. Our cabin steward was attentive & polite. Food: very poor menu, less than average food. Prime rib was chewy, seafood was not fresh. Self service buffet served almost same food every day. Food was either cold, too salty or tasteless. There was no service, no smiles, except the last night some of them tried to make conversation with us...then asked us to write good review. What a joke! Public restroom: We were locked in the restroom stalls twice. Thanks goodness that there were someone in the restroom, so they were able to go get the maintenance person to unlock for us. Entertainment: lack of entertainment. There was not much to do on the cruise. Ports & shore excursions: Seoul highlight excursion was OK. Shanghai highlight excursion was below average. I would not recommend Celebrity and will not be back myself. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and our last experience with Celebrity. Also the ship had just had a refurbishment (Revolutionised) To be frank we found the ship along with its entertainment rather bland bordering on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and our last experience with Celebrity. Also the ship had just had a refurbishment (Revolutionised) To be frank we found the ship along with its entertainment rather bland bordering on dull. The refurbishment of the cabins were welcoming, better showers and use of space in the cabin,new flat screen tvs (although poor selection of material, also in the worst resolution i have experienced on a cruise ship,only the ships own hd cameras selling all of their products was properly watchable hmm.) The cabins were kit out in beige and autumn colours,which were fine, unfortunately the whole ship followed this trend (The exception being Al Bacio which is unchanged) which only added to the blandness. I know entertainment can be subjective but in my humble opinion cruise lines have a duty to provide modern and interesting acts not just churning out the same or tired old acts,speakers etc.Celebrity are well behind in this and need to freshen up their talent spotters. Food in the M.D.R. was poor,the menu names sounded good but when the food was served it was not the best presented or tasty, also on the warm side instead of hot.(one stringy steak dinner was served with four (yes 4) chips (french fries for our American cousins). The ocean view provided a better selection, tastier and of course a faster service. We had drink packages (I upgraded to top shelf spirits as i enjoy a makers mark bourbon) After 3-4 days (on a fourteen night cruise) the selection of cider was down to strongbow which is the cheapest, also you had to search the ship for a can of boddingtons ale. Also the pour of drinks with mixers is dreadful you have to tell virtually every bar person how to mix a drink, otherwise your glass would be full to the brim with ice an indiscriminate amount of spirit would be sloshed in and then a mixer (coke,tonic etc) from an open can or bottle would be added, this would normally would be flat from sitting for a long period.Please celebrity invest in mixer machines that keeps your drink lively and train every bar person to pour a 25 ml shot in a single, it is not rocket science. The ship in general is clean and tidy but it is boring and needs a new outlook if it is going to compete in this industry it is not enough to replace carpets and beds and chairs.It has stood still in a market that has moved forward in every aspect and i fear that there is not enough cruisers out there to sustain it. Jazz Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I have "lurked" on CC often in preparation for this cruise and others so decided to attempt to share my (and my husband's) latest experience in the hopes that it will provide some info for others. We were 6 travellers (2 ... Read More
I have "lurked" on CC often in preparation for this cruise and others so decided to attempt to share my (and my husband's) latest experience in the hopes that it will provide some info for others. We were 6 travellers (2 have sailed Celebrity often) but for 4 of us, it was our first time on Celebrity although we have all cruised many many times over the past years. We have more often spent time on RCI, MSC, Princess, Celebrity (often for 2 of us) ships and enjoyed an Oceania Transatlantic crossing in October. After spending a week or so in fabulous Hong Kong, we reached the port on Saturday,March 16th about 3 or so hours before departure. Perhaps we should have boarded earlier as it was not an especially good first impression for me - few staff to direct passengers and a confusing process to follow to get checked in at port and on board-not the usual warm welcome on board I expected. However, things did look up as our Aqua class balcony was newly refurbished and we met our friendly and hard-working steward Efren who took wonderful care of us. As noted by others, the new decor is a bit bland but it was very clean and storage was ample although I am not sure how well it will keep up over the longer term. Luckily, there were no issues with the bathroom-the shower had strong pressure, there was lots of hot water and shelving was fine. The sofa was too really small for 2 persons to sit comfortably and one of us had to use the bed to read or relax or sit on the cold balcony! I'm hoping too that Celebrity will address the issue of not being able to hear any announcements in the room-I had to open the door and stick my head out to hear. Otherwise all good. Breakfast was A+ and dinner service in Blu was very nice (hard-working,pleasant staff) and it was great to have a smaller private dining venue. However, the menu was definitely not as exciting as expected given the hype heard from Celebrity and others. Perhaps it was just not to our taste but some combinations were just not appealing and servings were small-I counted 2 smallish scallops once on my plate. We often turned to the buffet for breakfast/lunch and even dinner. The buffet had ample choice (although sometimes repetitive and bland) but you had to search hard for veggies if you did not want salad fixings. Seats were often hard to find but the servers bustled about clearing tables and we never waited long for a drink server to find us. I realise that feeding so many people is difficult but it was often hit and miss on the serving temperature side in the buffet and even in Blu - it was more often than not just "warmish" and you were very happy when you struck a hot dish. I did send a dish back once but as we all know, sometimes it is just too much bother. And where was the exotic fruit hiding when in Asia? Dragon fruit/watermelon/cantaloupe/apples/oranges were mostly it. One final thing-the canapes offered daily to Aqua class passengers were not good to say the least-2 x 4 tiny types of cheese bites etc. I tried to stop them but they kept coming - not a great use of resources. Entertainment was ok-after all,it has to appeal to lots of people and the in-house players were enthusiastic and put on excellent shows. Lecture subjects were not at all appealing-old subjects without much fun. Wi-fi was ok - often slow but better late at night or very early. Staff were the best part of the experience as they were 100% friendly, ready to greet you with a smile or hello and very hard-working. Celebrity is fortunate to have them all. Ports were fine as travel is all about exploring although Jeju island would not be a "have-to-see again" port although to be fair, we just wandered around and shopped a bit in the city using the free short shuttle bus ride to get there. We used a private tour to spend 2 nights in Beijing - it was a packed experience and much better value even for a group of 4 persons. The other 3 ship tours which we did were predictably less fun due to group size and pace but were fine especially as we took advantage of a promotion and did not pay full-price. Visit to Busan was interesting especially the temple and fish market. Museum visit in Taipei was too crowded to really enjoy but buffet lunch at Grand Hotel was fabulous with seafood and Asian offerings. It was very fortunate that we were on a refurbished Millennium which is a good sized ship with nice public spaces and amenities. All in all, I feel it was an average cruise ship experience as my expectations were higher on food and entertainment. Celebrity offerings did not "Wow" me any more than other cruise lines such as RCI and Oceania although it may not be 100% fair to compare the latter. China and Korea were great visit experiences especially with a sea day between ports to recover. My husband and I are not sure if we would try Celebrity again as there are so many options available but remain open-minded. Hope this helped and I would be happy to answer any questions. Happy next cruising to all! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because it sailed to countries that I had not visited before and also went to South Korea, a place I had visited 20 years ago. Celebrity Millennium cruise ship Check in experience at Hongkong Celebrity omitted ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it sailed to countries that I had not visited before and also went to South Korea, a place I had visited 20 years ago. Celebrity Millennium cruise ship Check in experience at Hongkong Celebrity omitted to inform the prospective passengers that they would need two copies of their passport, when they checked in at the Hong Kong international cruise terminal. This caused hundreds of passengers to line up to have their passport, copied to meet the criteria.. Then when we finally made it to the check in counter, we were requested to have a visa to visit china for three days. We had already contacted the Chinese embassy prior to travelling to Hongkong to confirm if a visa was necessary. Their information was, that if we were staying less than 144 hours, we would not require a visa. We had a confirmation email from the Chinese Embassy so, after long deliberation, they let us onboard. We had only just boarded the ship when we were required to line up again and hand over our passports for the Taiwan immigration. This could easily have been done as we were boarding the ship, as we had to walk about a kilometre back and forth through the Hong Kong international terminal. They could have set up a passport station along this route, where the passengers would hand over their passport, and receive a receipt. This would have saved a lot of time and the unnecessary lining up, but they didn’t. We were supposed to be concierge passengers, which meant, we payed an additional $400aud per person for express check in and other privileges on the ship. We feel cheated as we had no special treatment other than a tray of canapés that were no larger than a twenty cent piece. When quizzed about our special privileges, we were given a bottle of Champaign. I am not convinced that the canapés and bottle of Champaign would have cost $800 Aud First stop Tiapei (Taiwan) Following a day at sea, travelling from hongkong to Tiapei, we arrived at 7.00am to a foggy morning and lots of Taiwan warships lined up along the docks. The immigration inspection went smoothly, and passengers who had not booked on the cruise ships tours, made their way 500m down the dock to the railway station where the train took us into Taipei. The station was directly under the Taipei101 building the highest building in Asia and the world, until 2012. The ships tour groups, along with the passengers doing their own thing, all travelled to the top of this building in the fastest lift in the world .Taipei 101 has 2 lifts that only takes 37 seconds to travel from the 5th floor to the 89th floor of the skyscraper. The train trip cost around $12Aud return and the building entry fee was $ 27 AUD. The tour organised by the ship was $175US to visit the same location. Admittedly, the ship tour was on a bus, and took a different route to the building, and included a lunch. Speaking to other passengers who took the ships tour, they informed us that they spent a couple of hours looking for 4 passengers who got separated from the tour, and held everybody up so their day was ruined. Next stop Busan Following another day at sea during which time the ship had some electrical equipment problems between Taiwan and Busan South Korea, which meant that they lost power to most of the ship. The ship limped along at about 2 knots and we were 4hours late arriving at Busan. There were major problems for the crew, who tried to arrange shore excursions and get passengers through the Korean immigration system. The ship blamed the immigration dept, but when we went through the system, it was working like clockwork, and there were no hold ups at all. Most passengers had been held up waiting to get off the ship for over 90 minutes only to find the immigration dept officers, waiting for passengers to come through. The ship was the hold up, not the immigration dept. During the power shortage, the kitchens were unable to cook meals, wash dishes, provide air-conditioning to the dining rooms, or boil water in the urns for tea and coffee. The staff did the best they could, but it was a major problem across the whole ship. There wasn’t any compensation offered to the passengers who had less than 2 hours of daylight to look around the city, and had endured long waiting times trying to get off the ship. Some free drinks would have gone a long way to compensate the passengers, but nothing was offered. The ship was only designated to be at Busan for 6 hours but when it did not arrive until 4 pm in the afternoon this became 2 hours to have a look around during daylight hours. I admit the electrical breakdown could not have been foreseen, but given that passengers had paid good money for the cruise, some compensation should have been offered. The ship delayed its departure until 11pm to allow the tour groups to complete their tours.This was the only concession made by the cruise line. Next stop Incheon Korea The port at Incheon is about 1.5 hours from Seoul (the advertised port of call on the itinerary) and the train stops at all stations along the way. The town of Incheon is 30 minutes from the dock. There were no money exchange establishments at the dock and as the ship only changed passengers money into US dollars, passengers ,were forced to find banks that were open ,and would change foreign currency, into Korean won.. There were no arrangements made for the passengers who found the shore excursions too expensive. The cruise line arranged a shuttle bus into Incheon and that was it. The shuttle bus dropped passengers off in the street in Incheon, and with no guide or Korean speaking interpreter available, passengers were once again left to their own devices trying to negotiate with Korean Taxi drivers, who struggled with the English language. The ship could have had a Korean interpreter available to help people, but chose to leave them all to their struggle by themselves. The ships attitude was that, if you wanted organised tours, then pay the exorbitant fees for their tours, or fend for yourself. The ship had no money changing facilities for passengers to change money for any of the countries that we were visiting. All tours arranged by the ship were charged in US dollars which were meant that Australian passengers were out of pocket by 30%, before they started. All tours were in excess of $250 US per person. Entry into china During the days at sea between Busan and Incheon the ship informed all passengers that, if you don’t have a Visa to enter china, then you won’t be allowed to leave the ship. This left over 200 passengers at the mercy of the ship, who demanded $350us for a visa that could be purchased in Australia for $169. There were passengers from Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and America as well as the Australians who had all been informed that they did not require a Visa. Following lengthy and heated discussions with all of these nationalities the guest relations Leader was called in to explain the exact meaning of the transit visa. The Guest relation leader was able to explain the Visa requirements that the Chinese embassy could not. In simple terms, to be eligible for the 144 hr visa, you must be a transit passenger, travelling from one country into China, and leaving to a third country, which cannot be the same country, that you entered from. For example when we left Jeju island, which is part of Korea and entered China at Shanghai, we had an airline ticket to a third country, being Thailand, which meant that the 144hr visa would cover this visit The visit to Beijing china coming from Incheon Korea and then returning to Jeju island Korea, meant that we did not meet the transit passenger criteria. If the Chinese embassy had have explained this rule, and passed this information on, then the 200 passengers who thought that they had checked out the visa requirements, would not have been put in this position. For many, the massive fee being charged was too much, and they chose to stay on the ship for the 3 days that we were in port. The Port of Tainjin is 1.5 hrs from the town of Tainjin which is 1.5 hrs from Beijing. Once again the ship had made no arrangements to transport passengers from the port to available public transport and they were left to negotiate with Chinese taxi drivers who had upped their fees because there were two ships in port at the same time. In contrast, the other ship, from Holland America, had 10 shuttle busses available for their passengers waiting on the dock. The ship organised tours to Beijing, visiting the great wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Chairmen Mao’s house. These tours started at $275us per person and depending on the tour selected, the price went upwards from there ,so when converted into Australian dollars, a family of three would be up for over a thousand dollars to take the cheapest tour being offered. The tours took over twelve hours and included 8 hours of travel on a tour bus. The Port of Tainjin is too far away from Beijing making tours expensive and tiresome. If China intends for this to be their main Beijing Port for all visiting cruise ships, it will need to extend the bullet train tracks to the Port. Currently the bullet train runs from Tainjin and takes 40 minutes to reach Beijing. The battle is getting from the Tainjin port to the Tainjin station which is 1.5hrs away. Next port of call was Jeju South Korea Because the ship chose to go from Busan to Incheon, and then Beijing , passing Jeju island, along the way, and then back to Jeju island, they caused 2500 passengers to pay for a visa, that would not have been required if they had called in at Jeju island on the way to Incheon. They also have used twice as much fuel crossing the East China Sea, three times instead of once. The island of Jeju was a little bit more organised with a hop on hop off bus provided at the port to take passengers around the island. The ship had its tours available as well, but passengers were able to see most of the island for a very modest price of $16 AUD on the hop on hop off bus, instead of the $175US charged by the ship. There were many cherry blossom trees out in flower around the island and they made a great display. The bus took passengers past the international airport and around the coast rd to the far side of the island. There were 16 stops where passengers could get off or on the bus. Final port of call, back across the east China sea again, to Shanghai. The ship arrived at Shanghai at 6.00am and passengers disembarked in groups as designated by the ship. Shanghai was about an hour’s drive from the port and the taxi drivers were a much better group to deal with. There were booking agents, who organised limousine van drivers, to take passengers and their luggage to their hotels at reasonable prices. This of course was not organised by the cruise line. Entertainment The ship provided nightly shows in their theatre, many of which were very good. One group calling themselves the Aussie boys were excellent, singing songs from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. The soul singers were also quite good and the mime duo was excellent. There ship had 6 days at sea during which time passengers had to amuse themselves. Other cruises that I have been on have had nonstop Karaoke, cooking classes for women and interested men, shuttle board courts, golf driving ranges, rock climbing walls and basket ball courts. Celebrity has very little to offer, and use art auctions, and Jewellery sales trying to make up for their lack of foresight. Conclusion Celebrity cruises appear to have one major objective. Once they have enticed you onto one of their cruises, by offering a reasonable price for your fare to get you onto their ship, then they do everything in their power, to up sell you to spend more and more money, on beverage packages, soft drink packages, tours that have hugely inflated prices, and are all charged in US dollars, photograph packages, art auctions, watch sales, jewellery sales, and the list goes on. One lady bought a painting at one of their auctions for $50us and when she went to pick it up, was told that they only had a copy for sale purposes, and that her copy would need to be posted to her, at a cost of $65us . They take your photo when you get on the ship and then want to take your photo as many times as possible at every port, charging $25US per photo. They even offer to put it in a small frame for an additional $75US. The ship has 5 additional restaurants that are not included in the price for the cruise. The crew spend every available minute during meal times in the buffet café, trying to entice you to visit these other restaurants, which cost $125US per head to eat at them. Celebrity could make their cruises much more enjoyable for their passengers, if they provided options for them to access public transport. They could have an interpreter at each Port, who would be one of their crew members, that could help passengers to negotiate with the foreign taxi drivers, overcome language barriers, and show them how to get to public transport. They could provide shuttle busses at every port to get passengers to the nearest public transport. Passengers would not mind paying a small fee for the shuttle bus, if it took them to the train stations etc. Celebrity cruises need to provide money changing services at their concierge desk, so that passengers can change money into the currency of the country that they are about to visit. Most passengers would not mind receiving a little less than the going rate for the convenience of being able to do this, in a calm organised way while the ship is at sea . The rooms on the ship were comfortable and the cabin stewards do a wonderful job. Our steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. The stateroom that I was in had an adjoining door between my room and the one next door, for a family. This door was kept locked, but the wind whistled in through the gap around the door and kept me awake at night until the cabin steward had it repaired. This is the first cruise that I have been on, that didn’t supply free bottled water in the stateroom. It was available, but at $5US per bottle. Ships such as Holland America and Royal Caribbean supply two bottles per day to each cabin, free of charge. There was no kettle, cup and saucers, or tea and coffee supplied in the room. This was provided, after requesting it from the cabin steward. We managed to have our stateroom steward arrange a jug of ice water, delivered to our stateroom each day ,to have clean, cool, drinking water available. One of the biggest complaints that I have, is the lack of security for your passport, on Celebrity cruises. The guest assistance desk made many bad mistakes regarding passports, sending messages to our room, requesting us to deliver our passports to them, while all the while they were holding our passports, in their office. They had even issued us with a receipt when we handed over our passport but they were unable to understand their own system. It was a clear that the right hand did not know, what the left hand was doing The Visa that we have paid $750US for was taken by the ship and we had nothing to show that we even had a Visa. We threatened to have our bank stop payment on the credit card if they didn’t provide us with copies of the expensive visas Celebrity appear to go out of their way to make it as hard as possible for passengers to go their own way, trying to force you to use their tours, which do not suit everybody, as they may not want to look at temples in every port. The activities on the boat leave a lot to be desired as they only have a few trivia quizzes and a few board games, plus the occasional skill completion with bow and arrow. There is the Casino when the ship is in open waters, but it is not everybody’s cup of tea. The intercom system only broadcasts into the corridors, unless there is an emergency. Most of the announcements are more than half over, by the time passengers can get their door open and get out into the corridor. The ship should have a switch in each cabin so the passengers can decide if they want the messages broadcast into their cabin or not. The emergency messages would come through, regardless of whether the switch is on or off. There is also no communication phone in the bathrooms on the ship, and should a passenger take a turn or a fall, they have no way of obtaining assistance, until the steward comes in to make their room up for the night. The ocean view café staff were excellent, and I could not speak highly enough of them. They worked long hours, always with a smile on their face, even though some passengers would have been very hard to deal with. The food was excellent, and there was plenty of variety, from Pizza and hot dogs through to roast lamb, roast beef, steak sausages, chops and a variety of vegetables. There was a salad bar and a seafood section, there was an Indian food section, and there was an Asian food section. There was fresh fruit and sweets including icecream and soft serve. The ala carte dining room was well utilised but most passengers then came down to the ocean view café, to make up for the tiny portions offered in ala carte. The beauty of the oceanview café was you had no time restrictions placed on you, and you had all the food you could eat, and all the variety you could wish for. I did not enjoy the problems endured on this cruise and would not cruise on Celebrity cruises again Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
CABIN (see below) DINING The Metropolitan Dining Room looked gorgeous, and for the most part, the food matched its elegance to such an extent that we didn't have to contemplate paying extra for specialty dining. Still, when I saw ... Read More
CABIN (see below) DINING The Metropolitan Dining Room looked gorgeous, and for the most part, the food matched its elegance to such an extent that we didn't have to contemplate paying extra for specialty dining. Still, when I saw the menu the first night, I felt it was not as high-brow as I had hoped. Thankfully, the impression improved, but when they had something really decent, they put EVERYTHING I was looking forward to into that one evening (lobster tail, rack of lamb, beef Wellington). There were other blemishes: not knowing what "English cut" was for the prime rib, for example, the Béarnaise not having any tarragon in it, subbing sea bream for the advertised cod without first telling diners (only owning up to it when challenged, and thereby looking like they were passing off one fish for another), and the soup course being weak almost all around, hot or cold... For the most part, though, the food was fresh and tasty, and the service at most seatings, exquisite. It was a marvel that they kept so much food going around so hot, and that one night when a Grand Marnier soufflé was offered for dessert took the cake, so to speak. I was also amazed and thankful that our wine steward Jelena remembered my name on the second night, and even more thankful that she gave us (and everyone else?) a 20% discount off all bottled wines, making the choosing of any of the packages quite unnecessary. The mark-up was your usual restaurant-type (before the discount kicked in) - I would not recommend lugging your own and paying the $25 corkage unless you're talking about 3-figure fine wines. The buffet at the Oceanview café, too, was impressive - LOTS of variety, fresh, and most of it well-prepared (those Indian dishes!!!), intruded upon occasionally by a lack of authenticity that ranged from frustrating (cannoli not made with mascarpone, and tiramisu with no actual lady fingers in it) to ROTFL ridiculous (at the "Indian Favorites" carving station, they featured - you guessed it - roast BEEF!) But there's a dire dearth in seating to handle a ship of this size, a situation not helped by inconsiderate fellow cruisers (a couple sitting opposite each other in a square table for four...) ENRICHMENT / ENTERTAINMENT Listening to Dr. Gary Kramer talk about everything from whales to stars, as well as hold court in a wide-ranging QnA, was a pleasure - dude and wife are accomplished dancers too! Most of the entertainment was good - musical guests included an accomplished Chinese pianist/composer Jiang Tian and various great singers; the revue had its moments, with a fine young female singer leading the way, but the first show was confusing, and just average when it came to singing/dancing (the final night was a little better). EXCURSIONS & PORTS OF CALL Ship excursions were by and large pricey and not worth the money. Just by way of an example, the excursion to Beijing from the ship at the port in Tianjin comprises a bus ride there and back (3 hours each way): cost, $119 for this "self-guided tour" per person. With a little bit of planning, a couple can take a taxi to the Binhai train station ($12 each way) and take the high speed train right into Beijing ($10 per person each way), saving not only a boatload of money ($65 vs. $258) but trimming 2 hours of travel time. We loved all 3 places in South Korea - heck, all the ports of call, but felt we could easily have spent more time on land than cruising in the ocean at a slow speed. MISCELLANEOUS As mentioned, the Celebrity Millenium experience exceeded my expectations, as did "staying cooped up for 14 nights" - cuz we didn't, as we went ashore to explore at every port, and it was a great adventure. Some touches of "luxury" are appreciated (most waiters helping you place the napkin in your lap), while others are unnecessary (cloths to dry your hands in every public bathroom - in addition to paper towels). The gym is just too small for a ship this size: can't quite picture what would happen when it's not an older crowd like ours. The damn TVs did not work 95% of the time on 90% of the channels. The Solarium is beautiful, but the water in the hot tub is way not hot enough, and the number of hot tubs, inadequate. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is my fourth Celebrity Cruise and my first on the M-class. The ship’s renovation gave the entire ship a fresh look. Cabin bathrooms have been redesigned and seem roomier. The drawers in the cabin are larger for more practical ... Read More
This is my fourth Celebrity Cruise and my first on the M-class. The ship’s renovation gave the entire ship a fresh look. Cabin bathrooms have been redesigned and seem roomier. The drawers in the cabin are larger for more practical clothes storage. Although the desk area was smaller, there was more countertop space above the drawers and near the closet. The only criticism is that a small table is needed in front of the chair. The full size sofa is replaced with a wide chair. The beds and new mattresses were comfortable. I really like the new store/shopping arrangement, although nearly all the stores are “high end.” I think the new arrangement of food stations in the Oceanview Cafe is awkward, as the kitchen is now in the center of the room and one has to walk around it to get from one side to the other to find all the stations. I found the ice cream station 2 days before the end of the 14 day cruise. The crew service was the best I’ve ever had on any cruise. The crew seemed happy, always had a smile to share, was willing to help and our cabin steward Naresh in Aqua class was outstanding! The food on Blu was very good and the QSine menu and food were excellent! We had some excellent entertainment. The enrichment activities were okay, although we did have some interesting Behind the Podium speakers for those interested in foods, science and sea life, or Buddhism. Overall, I look forward to sailing on the Millennium again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is our third time on the Millennium and the ship was getting old. The new cabins and the buffet are really great. As usual, that staff were great and always smiled when they meet you. This cruise was not port intensive so there ... Read More
This is our third time on the Millennium and the ship was getting old. The new cabins and the buffet are really great. As usual, that staff were great and always smiled when they meet you. This cruise was not port intensive so there was time to relax between ports and enjoy the refurbished Millennium. The passengers were a real mix of people, I think they said there were passengers from 52 nations with a large contingent from Canada, Australia and Germany along with the USA. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants since we think they are over priced. The food in the Main Dinning Room was good with enough selections to please anyone. The portion sizes were adequate, I heard some say they were on the small size, but you could always ask for more. I would highly recommend that Celebrity expand their enrichment classes and focus more on history of the places we were going to visit. They should also consider offering hands on computer classes like Holland America at no cost to the passengers. Read Less
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