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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I recently took our first cruise on the Celebrity Millenium to Asia, boarding in Singapore,disembarking at Hong Kong. As this was our first ever cruise we cannot compare the other ships or companies. We chose this cruise ... Read More
My wife and I recently took our first cruise on the Celebrity Millenium to Asia, boarding in Singapore,disembarking at Hong Kong. As this was our first ever cruise we cannot compare the other ships or companies. We chose this cruise because of its itinerary. We found on arrival at the terminal that everything was well organised and boarded the ship within 45 minutes. The bars were open and our luggage arrived at our room within 3 hours. You could tell the Millenium was an older ship but having recently been in for a refurb it was very tastefully done in neutral colours giving it a spacious, airy feel. Our cabin (7156 balcony) was of a high quality with no problems, plenty of storage,a good shower and a very comfortable bed. Our cabin steward kept it immaculate and if he met us in the morning he always welcomed us by name and enquired if there was anything we required. The food was of a high quality and we had all of our breakfasts except one in the self service cafe. We had dinner in the main dining restaurant, ate at the Sushi on 5, Tuscan and Qsine, which we were happy to pay extra for as we wanted to experience food in different restaurants. The service and quality of the food was excellent in all. We had a classic drinks package which was more than ample for our needs and on the odd occasion when we ordered a drink which was not in the package we were advised that a supplement would be added to our bill which was not a problem. The evening entertainment in the theatre was of a high quality. Only two shows out of the ten that we saw were mediocre but that is a matter of opinion. All the staff shows were brilliant. The music and dancing in the Cosmos bar at the end of the night appealed some nights depending on the choice of music and the Silent Disco where everyone was wearing headphones listening to different music was hilarious and thoroughly entertaining. The docking for excursions were varied - very scenic and easy to to visit Singapore,Halong Bay and Hong Kong but the other ports were not central which meant quite long bus trips to get to Bangkok, Chi Chi Tunnels,Hoi An and Hanoi. While this is our first cruise we have been fortunate to travel the world staying in all types of accommodation, from houses in India to Five star hotels and we think that all in all this was amongst the top ten of our holiday experiences. On the strength of this our first cruise we will certainly consider doing another cruise in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We Chose this holiday because it took in some places we haven’t seen in that area . The problem with this cruise was the cost of the drinks it’s which was the most I’ve ever paid on any ship . The food was okay but the hot food ... Read More
We Chose this holiday because it took in some places we haven’t seen in that area . The problem with this cruise was the cost of the drinks it’s which was the most I’ve ever paid on any ship . The food was okay but the hot food wasn’t very hot. Wi-Fi was overpriced. One good thing was the entertainment residents and guest artist . But you could’ve done with a comedian . The cabins were excellent, and the cabin staff were very good. specially Ed cabin 6084 . Shore excursions were okay,coaches were very good Plenty of water on board at no additional charge which is unusual . The guide on board was very very knowledgeable and friendly also the drivers . The meal on our first stop was okay apart from raw chicken which when mentioned no one seems to take responsibility. The second trip off ship had a very enjoyable lunch,meal was excellent lovely hotel local music being played and singers. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Celebrity is one of our favourite cruise lines. The staff are always friendly and so helpful. The facilities on board are all good. Our cabin was as expected. The captain is one of the best we have experienced on all the cruise lines. The ... Read More
Celebrity is one of our favourite cruise lines. The staff are always friendly and so helpful. The facilities on board are all good. Our cabin was as expected. The captain is one of the best we have experienced on all the cruise lines. The entertainment team were excellent especially Paul the cruise director, who was a very talented performer in his own right. We ate breakfast and lunch mostly in the Ocean View which always had a good selection of food. The areas were always kept clear and it was never too difficult to find a table. The Main restaurant on deck 4 for the select dining was easy to use. The staff were well organised if the restaurant was busy we had a beeper to call us to the restaurant when they were ready for us. Once or twice we had to request the food to be a little warmer but the staff were very obliging. Melwin the somellier was excellent, remembering our favourite wines and was very attentive. Anwari was one of our favourite waiters too. My husband booked the Tuscan grill for my birthday but it was very disappointing. The food was served cold. Considering there were only 20 people in the restaurant the service and food should have been far better. Although the staff replaced the meals it took the edge off our celebrations. Due to this we would not bother again and would not recommend the restaurant. It was well overpriced for what we had, The ports and shore excursions were good. Travelling with friends on this occasion made it a very memorable cruise Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Having done a number of Celebrity Cruises in the past & thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience, we had been looking forward to our latest voyage of discovery. Unfortunately toon many cost saving issues spoilt the overall experience. ... Read More
Having done a number of Celebrity Cruises in the past & thoroughly enjoyed the overall experience, we had been looking forward to our latest voyage of discovery. Unfortunately toon many cost saving issues spoilt the overall experience. Bearing in mind our yardstick was past Celebrity Cruises we were truly disappointed. The following issues, small as they were in some instances, combined to spoil our trip:- Blu Restaurant Experience - Too many customers for too few tables. On too many occasions we had to wait to be seated despite the best efforts of the Maitre’d. Sommelier not to past standards, had a passing knowledge of wines only. Kept the wine glasses full but when busy struggled to keep up. Limited menu selection of 4 items only with 3 constants many times too similar to offers on day. Description on menu not a true reflection of food on offer eg. Soufflé heavy & stodgy, better description would be a dumpling. Seared Duck, skin hadn’t been near a hot pan only fit to be cut off meat & left on side of plate. Some food presented cool not hot. Have to say service was excellent throughout. Speciality Restaurants - Qsine: Given a key table & then provided with blankets to stop freezing to death. Even when we were moved complete with blankets, it was still uncomfortable. Order of selections made was bizarre ie. Started with fish & chips followed by Escargot, followed by the largest meatballs ever seen (with unusual texture). Surprise Dessert, apple crumble (how disappointing). Tuscan Grill - Great experience on 1st visit. Return visit (due to experience one) unbelievably poor. Very poor service (almost forgotten). Main course left under pass for too long (medium rare tuna arrived at table as well done tuna / Medium well done steak arrived as dry, well done steak). Complained to Maitre’d who acknowledged complaints as genuine, made efforts to change service but server refused to relinquish our table. No problem but service got worse! Offered a return night but was not followed through. Entertainment - 3 of 4 soloists average singers at best with choreography likewise. Occasional guest entertainers generally very good. Shore Trips - A little disappointing overall. Too much travelling for too little experience. This didn’t help with very poor weather on occasions but surely if it’s thick fog at high level couldn’t the iterary be modified at the last minute (or at least be offered another option) instead of sticking with the original itinerary with zero visibility!!! Poor Japan experience! I could go on but I guess you now get the message!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Overall a great experience. Our ship was held up initially due to fog, we were reimbursed and updated regularly via email. The ship was pleasant enough and quite layed back. The on board drinks and excursions were extremely expensive ... Read More
Overall a great experience. Our ship was held up initially due to fog, we were reimbursed and updated regularly via email. The ship was pleasant enough and quite layed back. The on board drinks and excursions were extremely expensive though. The ports were often along way out of the tourist areas so do your homework as we did and get your own tickets and trips booked before you go. The entertainment was really good and the lectures on sea days were very informative. I really enjoyed relaxing in the Sauna area too! The meals got a bit boring after a while, however there are plenty of other restaurants on board at a price. The ship was very clean, it was the right size and not too busy. Disembarkation was a bit of a nightmare with Yokohama customs but fortunately we had allowed plenty of time to get to the airport. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was not a 14 day cruise it was a 13 day cruise spending the last day and night in Hong Kong harbour.Where we left from. 1 The shows were below standard 2 The food was poor with the exception of 3 meals,which were excellent 3 ... Read More
This was not a 14 day cruise it was a 13 day cruise spending the last day and night in Hong Kong harbour.Where we left from. 1 The shows were below standard 2 The food was poor with the exception of 3 meals,which were excellent 3 The stops were impossible to experience night life or night markets with exception of Hanoi which was a 7.5 hour return trip by taxi or bus,unless you spent the night in a hotel in Hanoi,extra expense. 4 The entertainment on board,should you not wish to leave the ship in port,was non existent 5 You were not given any alternative information re travel should you not wish to take excursions eg Taiwan,there was a train direct. 6 There were no cooking classes re the food of the countrys we visited. 7 The state rooms were excellent. We had a beverage package,and drank cold drinks from the mini bar in our state room,they dont tell you this is not part of the beverage and charge you ,which is foolish,as you can order drinks at any bar and bring it down to your room.I did query this and they reversed the charges. 8 The service was excellent and the staff were excellent 9 Embarkation and Disembarkation excellent 10 The visibility of officers and captain,were unique,the captain was even down stairs in disembarkation wishing us all well. In all with the exception of staff and offices stateroom and captain a very poor cruise,which i would not recommend to any one,the worst cruise ever.We have travelled on Cunnard,Princess,Crystal,MSC,Costa and more,this was the worst. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary, Singapore to Hong Kong via Thailand and Vietnam. We also had a few days in Singapore to explore the city but could have wished for better weather. Transfer to port from hotel was on time ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary, Singapore to Hong Kong via Thailand and Vietnam. We also had a few days in Singapore to explore the city but could have wished for better weather. Transfer to port from hotel was on time and efficient. Check In was painless with a large number of helpful staff present. We were on board by lunchtime. Had lunch as part of the Concierge Package and our cabin was ready shortly after. We had booked to go on a shore excursion to Bangkok but when we learned how long the journey was from port to city, 2 hours, with little time in Bangkok we cancelled and booked Pattaya instead. No problem cancelling and rebooking. Pattaya was a mixed bag. First part of trip was interesting visiting "Sanctuary of Truth" but long steep climb to "Pattaya Viewpoint" in the midday heat not for the fainthearted! Dropped off in city for "shopping"; tatty streets full of traffic and bars. Second day in Thailand more enjoyable visiting Nong Nooch Village. It was possible to overnight in Bangkok but was quite expensive, as were all of the shore excursions. We had come on a cruise not tour. A long drive to Ho Chi Min City but was it worth it? Yes to see Cathedral, Central Post Office all a bit rushed and compounded by being dropped off on Dong Kohi Street for "3 hour shopping/sightseeing". This was really too long on a very hot day with no guidance on what to do/see.Advice? Find an air conditioned bar with free Wi-Fi!. Chan May is the port for Danang,Hue and Hoi An. It took 1 hour 45 mins to get to get to Hoi An. An interesting place to visit but the included lunch ate into our time for sightseeing. Indeed, any shore excursion with included lunch should be avoided. Halong Bay (for Hanoi) spectacular and worth the visit. Transfer was by tender to shore. The trip to Hanoi took 4 hours each way! The ship was a little "tired" looking. No central atrium the full height of the decks so had to use corridors to access atrium. Food good but not remarkable. Price of drinks extortionate; $10 for a half glass of average wine plus Service Charge! Good points were the excellent ship's showband, very versatile and professional, good shows and visiting acts and the friendly ships staff both sea and domestic. We would not choose the Celebrity Millennium again, there are better Celebrity ships, and probably not the itinerary due to the long distances involved on shore excursions. Some interesting talks but really no "Enrichment Activities".. Interesting that the Captain, senior officers and Hotel Managers attended Cruise Critic organised "Meet and Greet" and made the point that Cruise Critic and the views of it's members are important. Not the best cruise we have been on. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Smaller ship, ports visited and Celebritys name. Excellent size cabin, great service and loads to do or not to do. Smaller, older ship with old world charm, clean with plenty of space. Excellent dining in the main dining room , all ... Read More
Smaller ship, ports visited and Celebritys name. Excellent size cabin, great service and loads to do or not to do. Smaller, older ship with old world charm, clean with plenty of space. Excellent dining in the main dining room , all menues explained and wines organised to match. Food was very good as was the service. Breakfast was a delight in the main dining room ,without the hustle , bustle of the Seaview dining room. Breakfast in the State room was also excellent. We found My Time Dining option was the best for us as we could choose when we had dinner which was important after shore excurtions. We upgraded from Classic drink packages to Premium which included specialty coffies ,premium bottled water and greater selection of drinks, highly recommended. We where worried about shore excurtions and their price. We din not need to worry as the excurtions where good value, safe and rewarding. Lunch on the excursions where excellent. We missed some entertainment through talking and drinking , yes having a great time but what we saw where very good and different. We enjoyed the wine tasting at very reasonable prices throughout the cruise and enjoyed the specialty resteraunts especially Qsine. very different approach to food. Spent plenty at the ships shops which we found better value than any of the ports visited, especially the watches. Overall the cruise was excellent with great service fabulous people from all over the world, and a lifetime of memories. Highly recommended. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We sailed on a repositioning cruise on 'Millie' for our anniversary. It was a wonderful trip and one of the best cruises that we have taken. Overall, the ship was great. It seemed like every day got more and more incredible. We ... Read More
We sailed on a repositioning cruise on 'Millie' for our anniversary. It was a wonderful trip and one of the best cruises that we have taken. Overall, the ship was great. It seemed like every day got more and more incredible. We had 5 amazing days at sea and then toured the islands. Each shore excursion was memorable. We met so many wonderful people on this trip. We do have to say that all things associated with the trip to Ensenada from San Diego was not what one would hope to go through, but we just kept reminding ourselves that we had the cruise to look forward to, so it was tolerable. As I mentioned everything about the cruise was fantastic with one exception. Having sailed on many cruises with various cruise lines, I would have to say that we were somewhat disappointed in the quality of food served in the main dining rooms on several nights. We had heard so many great things about Celebrity that maybe our expectations were to high. Maybe this had to do with the fact that this was a repositioning cruise for the ship. But, for whatever reason, we were not impressed. Numerous other passengers with a vast history of cruising were also disappointed with this aspect of the cruise. That being said, every things else about our first cruise with Celebrity was wonderful. Our cabin was excellent. The service was very good. We were very impressed. One thing that impressed us was that this ship never seemed to be crowded even though the ship was close to capacity. We also enjoyed how quiet our hallway always seemed to be. The ship is well organized to allow you to move from one location to another. We did not have one complaint about our cabin. All other things probably exceeded our expectations. Although this was our first cruise with Celebrity, we would recommend this cruise line to anyone. We do have to admit that the atmosphere is different than you would experience with another cruise line such as RCL or Carnival (There were much fewer kids, perhaps due to the time of the year, and much more of a laid back atmosphere although there was plenty of fun things to experience on the ship. The entertainment was first class). We are already trying to plan our next cruise but may be spoiled now that we have experienced a trip to Hawaii! Overall, our cruise and additional days at Waikiki Beach were magical. We cannot wait to do this again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Great things we enjoyed: •Our cabin stewards [Wayan and his assistant] were very friendly and great. They have done their best to accommodate our daily needs with smiles. •Our dining room waiters [Teguh and Dana] were also great. ... Read More
Great things we enjoyed: •Our cabin stewards [Wayan and his assistant] were very friendly and great. They have done their best to accommodate our daily needs with smiles. •Our dining room waiters [Teguh and Dana] were also great. •The entertainment team is one of the best we have seen among other competitors - especially Kimika Duo [they are fabulous - we have seen them performed several times in the past at the Caribbean Princess and HAL], the production show "iBroadway" was very well presented with very talented and energetic cast [not too crazy about "Boogie Wonderland" - a little corny], the Full Tilt, the dance band [sorry, I forgot their names - the Filipino group] and your show room band [very tight and solid sound, pleasant to listen to]. •We enjoyed the bright, spacious and casualness of the buffet restaurant on deck 10 and simply loved the Solarium pool, Jacuzzi and the total relaxing ambiance especially during port days. •We enjoyed the bright, spacious and casualness of the buffet restaurant on deck 10 and simply loved the Solarium pool, Jacuzzi and the total relaxing ambiance especially during port days. •Fortune Casino was great - it allows us to win a few and lose a few - not just simply taking our money. There were variety slot machines to select from without having to wait for availability. •Cosmos was one of our favorite hang out places during the cruise - very elegant and quite relaxing. •The library was cozy and quiet sanctuary for those who love reading and relaxing. •The tall and very friendly female gift shop staff assisted us with our cologne selection [sorry, we cannot recall her name]. •Bertrand, Ocean Grill's waiter, was very friendly and pleasant to chat with during our morning breakfast routine. NOT so great things which disappoint us: -The Construction through out our cruise. We were not once warned that our cruise was going to be a WIP Cruise [Work in Progress] when we first made our booking. We chose to go on a cruise to 'get away' from the hustle and bustle of city life, hectic work schedule, construction noise and other home improvement inconveniences. We love to lounge in the promenade deck to relax, enjoying fresh air, the scenic beauty of nature and the peaceful open ocean. During our cruise, various sections of the promenade deck were barricaded, workers were constantly working, pounding or scraping. Some sections were closed off through out the cruise. The promenade deck resembled an abandoned industrial construction site. The Sunrise Deck 11 also resembled another construction site - lumber stacks by jogging track, construction crew pounding, scraping, moving heavy equipments and having very loud exchange in the jogging track area, unsightly barrier surrounding the children play area and construction supplies and equipments were placed just about everywhere with no regard to guests' convenience. -The 'term' Dry Dock was used constantly, once we were on board the Millennium from crew, construction workers and officers. It would have been nice if we were told about this when we first made our reservation, prior to finalizing our booking and spent the additional monies for the upgrade to Concierge Class. We had to be selective as to where to eat our meal - some sections might be subjected to constant drilling, pounding or scraping noise. During sea days, the Pool and the Solarium turned to an over-crowded zone - guests were hoarding lounge chairs, tables, etc. Other lounging areas on the ship were not accessible due to construction, water everywhere and lounge chairs were stacked and roped off. The promenade deck was also a construction zone - lounge chairs were dirty or stacked - workers were painting or scraping - carpet rolls were stacked all over public area. -Concierge Class Upgrade - misleading [save your $$$, do not upgrade]. Amenities were not delivered as promised - we had to ask through out our cruise for various amenities. Priority boarding/early embarkation was supposed to be Concierge Class privilege - but all category passengers benefited. Restaurant seating preference was not accommodated as promised - we asked for private table for two - we were seated in a large table w/a group of other passengers - Maitre d' not willing to assist and ended up w/table location in the least desirable area of the dining room for the rest of our cruise [same thing happened with other couples]. -Service in general was mediocre and uncaring. Some cooks or buffet servers were very unfriendly toward guests but very nice toward officers and fellow ship mates. Suggestion: decline the auto-gratuity and tip those individuals generously - especially if they deserved it. -Most meat items both in the main dining room or buffet were tough [especially steaks, even filet mignon]. Order lamb shank, fish or lobster instead - they were great! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
EMBARKATION: Arrived at Port of Miami at 10:30am. We parked in a garage at the port - $20 a day, but for our peace of mind, it was worth it. Somewhat of a hike from the garage -- I saw signs for a shuttle, but never saw an actual shuttle. ... Read More
EMBARKATION: Arrived at Port of Miami at 10:30am. We parked in a garage at the port - $20 a day, but for our peace of mind, it was worth it. Somewhat of a hike from the garage -- I saw signs for a shuttle, but never saw an actual shuttle. Went through security, and they made sure the wine that I packed in my carry-on was actually wine. My husband walked straight through without them asking him to open his suitcase. I saw them taking away alcohol from some -- not throwing it away, but labeling it to return to them on the last night of the cruise. There was no check to see if we had only two bottles of wine or the size of each bottle (we had two large ones). We showed our passports, filled out our health forms, and boarded the ship at 11:10am! Very fast! Had lunch at the Ocean Cafe -- not as crazy as I thought it would be. Cabins were ready about 1:30pm. CABIN: We had a balcony cabin, midship, on deck seven. Cabin was wonderful! Comfortable beds. Beautifully appointed with a lot of storage. Closet has two doors that open for hanging clothes plus a shelf on top. One door opens and has six drawers, a shelf, the safe, and a shelf on top. Each nightstand has two drawers. There is a unit that holds the refrigerator, a drawer, the flat screen TV, and then a cabinet above with two shelves. The desk/vanity doesn't have a middle drawer. Has storage on one side for additional glasses; open storage on the other side. I emptied the refrigerator out for our cokes, wine, coffee creamer, etc. and stored the mini bar items right next to the refrigerator in the cabinet (my room attendant suggested this). We stored all of our suitcases under the bed. Our daughter slept on a small pull out sofa next to the glass sliding door and said it was comfortable. Nothing needs updating in these cabins besides the lamps - rusting. There does need to be additional bedside reading lights added. Bathroom was very small, but fine. Has two corner shelves plus plenty of storage below sink. Tile floor/mirror needs updating. Great shower. SHIP/CREW: Ship looks great!! Very little looks like it needs updating besides the public bathrooms -- not bad at all, but that is really the only thing I could find! The Metropolitan dining room is beautiful as is the Olympic. We loved deck five -- wonderful Cova Cafe plus lots of great seating areas. Theatre is beautiful. We missed the wrap around deck for walking/afternoon reading. Back deck on ten is very nice. Three sets of elevators -- never had to wait long at all. The crew is amazing! FOOD: Overall very good! Most delicious treats ever at the Cova Cafe! Almond croissants in the morning; incredible salmon sandwiches in the afternoon. Holland America seems to have more variety at lunch and less lines in the Ocean Cafe (Lido). Dinner was always great as were the desserts. We did Select Dining -- usually around 8pm - and never had to wait. ENTERTAINMENT: Evening shows were at 7 and 9pm, and we very much enjoyed them. James Stephens III, the comic, was hilarious. Loved the music around the ship before and after dinner. FUN FACTORY/CHILDREN'S PROGRAM: Wonderful! Our nine year old daughter spent every single moment that she could in the Fun Factory. Made so many new friends -- really had a great time. The counselors were terrific. I really cannot speak highly enough about how great this program was. It was Spring Break, and there were almost 300 kids on board. They all seemed to be having a wonderful time. PORTS: Always love Key West!! Wish we could have stayed longer. Not a big fan of Cozumel, but we loved staying on the ship that day as it emptied out. OVERALL: A wonderful vacation! Would definitely recommend, and ship will even become more beautiful after she is overhauled in a few weeks. If people can come up with complaints about this ship, they are really trying hard or are extremely difficult to please! Celebrity and Holland America definitely remain our favorites!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Overall, the cruise was good and we loved the itinerary. However, we just had too many issues that should not have occurred. Plus, I really do not like being in the situation of chasing down and solving problems when I'd rather be ... Read More
Overall, the cruise was good and we loved the itinerary. However, we just had too many issues that should not have occurred. Plus, I really do not like being in the situation of chasing down and solving problems when I'd rather be spending my time relaxing. We've always heard that Celebrity Cruises was a step above its sister line, Royal Caribbean. We have taken numerous cruises on Royal Caribbean and are Diamond members. So, we wanted to venture out and try Celebrity Cruises and booked our spring break cruise. As a result of our status on Royal Caribbean, we qualified as Elite members in Celebrity's Captain's Club. Two weeks before we sailed, we notified Celebrity that our Elite status was not showing on our documents. Celebrity assured us that our status was noted and was in their system, although it did not show up on our documents. Upon embarkation on March 10, 2012, our Captain's Club status was not in the system. As a result, we were not given any of the benefits associated with the Elite status. It wasn't until after several hours of inquiry and chasing down the Captain's Club representative that our status was updated and new seapass cards were reissued. Cabin. The family ocean view stateroom with veranda is great for families. It has a terrific balcony. However, our stateroom had some quirkiness because of its location. First, our stateroom was in a corner, which required that we pass through two sets of doors to enter the stateroom. Sometimes, it smelled of sewage when passing between the first and second stateroom doors. That's right, our seapass card had to be used twice to enter the stateroom because of how the entry is located. However, upon entering the stateroom, there was plenty of storage for luggage and clothing. Overall, the stateroom is decent but it is time for an upgrade. You could clearly see worn areas in the bathroom. Part of the door frame had rusted away, probably because of water damage. It goes without saying that one would choose our stateroom for the fantastic balcony. Our balcony was located aft on the starboard side. We really liked the location and spaciousness. However, our balcony looked as if it had not been cleaned in months. The cleanliness was so lacking that we called Guest Relations and inquired how often the balcony was cleaned. There were even grease marks and hand prints on the sliding glass door. Yes, soot from the engine exhaust can drift onto the balcony, but that is a minor and rare inconvenience that did not bother us. Our balcony was just not cleaned as it should have been. The lounge chairs were in no better shape and I requested several times to have padding placed on the lounge chairs so that I would not get my clothes dirty. We had hoped to have breakfast on our balcony, but after seeing its condition, we ditched this idea. Once we got the padding on the lounge chairs and had someone clean the balcony floor, we enjoyed it. Again, given the caliber of this cruise line, we should not have had to address any of these problems. These issues should have been fixed before we set foot into the stateroom. Our stateroom attendant's service was not as good as it should have been. There were four of us staying in the stateroom and for some reason, our bathroom would only have two washcloths. We called once and informed that our bathroom should be provisioned with a quantity of four. In addition, the lowest point of the cruise occurred when our bathroom was provisioned with towels that had holes in them. I couldn't believe that Celebrity would allow this to happen on their cruise line. I've never received a towel with holes on any of my Royal Caribbean cruises. Captain's Club. Captain's Club is definitely not as good as Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society. As Elite members, we received a one-page sheet of coupons (15 coupons to be exact). Some of the coupons were good, but I couldn't help think that Celebrity was not a step above Royal Caribbean in this regards. Which is better? A sheet of 15 coupons for each adult (Celebrity), or a booklet of 28 coupons for each adult and a booklet of 15 coupons for each child (Royal Caribbean). Further, the evening social hour in the Michael's club is a nice touch, but this benefit was not available until March 12, two days into the cruise. Again, we thought Royal Caribbean's Concierge social hour was better and more accommodating than what we experienced on this cruise. So, one may ask, what did we enjoy about the cruise? The food! We enjoyed the food. The quality of the food was very good. We initially had a seating arrangement problem due to a member of our party having a food allergy. Our head waiter resolved the seating problem and also went out of his way to make the food experience enjoyable for our kids. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very attentive. Despite the problems, we enjoyed the cruise. As you can imagine, we did not think it was a step above Royal Caribbean. Perhaps, Celebrity's newer ships in their Solstice class provide a much more enjoyable experience. However, we are not going to take the chance and have opted to cancel our future reservation on Celebrity's Reflection. We will continue with our August cruise on the Vision of the Seas. Finally, we hope Celebrity Millenium is much better after it becomes Solsticized. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
The ship isn't as large as others I've been on, but there were fantastic public areas and friendly service. When we arrived, we were greeted with Mimosas--for free! Nice touch. Staff on the ship was friendly and helpful. ... Read More
The ship isn't as large as others I've been on, but there were fantastic public areas and friendly service. When we arrived, we were greeted with Mimosas--for free! Nice touch. Staff on the ship was friendly and helpful. The choices in the dining room were great. They even served a full-sized lobster one of the nights. This is something many of the cruise lines have done away with. If I have a complaint it is with the bar staff. They were slow and at times hard to find (and I'm not a huge drinker). That said, love the two-for-one offers on the pool deck. Our stateroom and the attendant was great. I expected a worn out room since we were on the bottom floor, but it wasn't. It was in great shape and the attendant didn't disappoint. It was like magic. We'd leave and come back to a magically made up room. However, this line (or this attendant) doesn't make towel animals. Bummer. We sailed on a sailing with lots of spring breakers, but from other years of experience, it was nothing like what we've experienced on other ships. We had our two boys 15 & 16 with us. Club Xtreme was not something they looked forward to before arriving, but they were hooked the first night. The activities kept them entertained and looking forward to another trip. I would sail Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Had not cruised for 10 years and our last cruise was ok so we were a little apprehensive. We flew into MIA and stayed at the Hotel Breakwater in SOBE. Its at 10th and Ocean so it is right in the middle of everything, including a lot of ... Read More
Had not cruised for 10 years and our last cruise was ok so we were a little apprehensive. We flew into MIA and stayed at the Hotel Breakwater in SOBE. Its at 10th and Ocean so it is right in the middle of everything, including a lot of people in a party mood. The hotel was great; newly renovated and nice rooms. I've read many reviews of the noise so we booked a high floor room in the southwest corner and it was great. Ate dinner at Casa Tua at 17th and James St. Highly recommend this restaurant. Eat at the kitchen table; it seats 25 so its a shared table but you get to experience the kitchen. Getting on the boat was a breeze. It couldn't have taken more than 10 minutes. We went to the pool side bar and had a drink and burger. We stayed in Sky Suite 6131 which we picked because of the extra large balcony. The room was awesome - plenty of room for everything and the balcony was wonderful. We spent a lot of time there with friends either reading, or having pre-dinner beverages. The location of the room was great as it was one flight down to the select dining, martini bar and Cova Cafe coffee. This cruise was one of the best vacations I've taken in a long time. We were pampered, taken care of in a non intrusive and friendly manner. FOOD - the MDR was excellent. We were always seated at the same table no matter what "select" time we choose. Food on some nights was really good and on others outstanding. Wine service was also very good and never had to wait for refills. Ravvi and the rest of the wait staff were excellent. Cova Cafe had great lattes small sandwiches and breakfast breads. Martini Bar made the afternoon. we didn't use the buffet much - just liked the more intimate feel of the smaller food venues. We ate in the Olympic Restaurant one night. While it was a nice experience, I actually enjoyed the MDR better. It felt more at home.CASINO - spent some nights in the casino and had a good time. There usually was a fun crowd. Slot machines seemed somewhat stingy. the casino bar was a good place to watch NCAA basketball. POOL - surprisingly, didn't sit by or go in the pool once. This is unusual, but just enjoyed the other spots, including our big balcony. CABIN - great. Nelson and Nemia took great care of us. GYM - Smaller than expected but plenty of equipment and only crowded the first day. PORTS - sailed with Capt. Dusty Austin on his 36ft Pearson in Roatan. This was the highlight of our off boat activities. Sailed for a while and snorkeled as well. He had plenty of drinks/beer and made us sandwiches for lunch. His son acted as first mate. Cozumel was a little tired. The shopping at the dock was actually fun. We got taken buying some bargain jewelry, but it was an experience. When the salesperson pulled the "high quality" tequila out of a boot for some shots we knew we were in trouble. Went to Playa Palencar but the wind was blowing in a direction that made the water murky and sea-weedy. We stayed for 15 minutes and went back to the boat. We'll probably opt for the eastern Caribbean next time. SHIP - I know its due for a refurbishment but I thought she was in great shape. A little rust here and there are some places needing repair, but I would sail on her in this condition any time. DISEMBARKATION - much easier than I expected. Did the express and was at the MIA airport before 9 in plenty of time for an 11 flight. I miss the boat already!!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Background Info My wife, daughter and I have cruised extensively on Celebrity and on other cruise lines. We recently cruised on the Eclipse during Spring Break and had a wonderful time. My daughter is 13 years old and has been cruising ... Read More
Background Info My wife, daughter and I have cruised extensively on Celebrity and on other cruise lines. We recently cruised on the Eclipse during Spring Break and had a wonderful time. My daughter is 13 years old and has been cruising since she was a toddler. The fact that we live in Miami makes cruising very convenient. Travel to Port of Embarkation Since we live in Miami traveling to the port was a snap. I was able to work until 1:30, since I work in downtown Miami. My wife picked me up at the office and we were at the port in 5 minutes. Embarkation I dropped my wife, daughter and our luggage off at the terminal building and self parked our car. After walking back to the terminal we proceeded through security and "checked in". We were on board and sipping champagne in about 20 minutes. It was a "painless" embarkation with "no lines". No doubt this was a result of our late arrival to the terminal building. Since we are Captain's Club members and had booked a concierge cabin we had a special check in line. What surprised me though was that the regular check in line also had no wait. Sometimes a "late arrival" is a good thing. Ship The Millennium is a ship built in 2000. Based on several reviews on the boards I was concerned that the ship would be showing her age. We had recently cruised on the Eclipse and experienced a Solstice class vessel. That Eclipse cruise to date had been one of our favorites. In the past we had cruised on the Century, Galaxy and Mercury. All of these ships were well maintained and provided a great cruise experience. One thing that we have learned in our cruising is that a ship can be old, yet be well maintained and not show her age. The Millennium fits into this category. After getting settled in the cabin we began exploring the ship. We quickly discovered several public rooms that would become our favorites The Gova Cafe and the Martini Bar were active spots on board that always attracted a crowd. We did miss the ice bar top the Eclipse had in the Martini Bar though. I did notice that "Extreme" the Sports Bar did not open during our cruise. This was a really cool place that had large televisions and a ping pong table. It is a shame that the space was never used. Another space that we found difficult to access was the conservatory. Whenever we would try and visit the conservatory it was closed. On one of our sea days we were finally able to see it. What a peaceful and beautiful place. It is a shame that they are doing away with the Conservatory during the dry dock process when they "Solsticize" the ship in 2012. Michael's Club on the Millennium has entertainment and a crowd. On the Eclipse, Michael's Club was barely used. The retail shops on the Millennium were not impressive. The Eclipse has an amazing shopping area. I hope they renovate this area when the ship goes into dry dock in 2012. All in all, I found the public areas to be in fairly good shape considering the age of the ship. A dry dock in 2012 will definitely "spruce up" the ship. Cabin As soon as we boarded the ship we headed to our cabin to drop off our personal belongings. We were booked on a concierge cabin on deck 8. The cabin was located on the port side of the vessel and had a nice balcony. The size of the balcony on the Millennium seemed a bit smaller than that on the Eclipse. The cabin itself had plenty of storage space and an LCD TV. The cabin was nicely decorated and clean. The only remark that my daughter made was that the bedspread smelled old. The interactive feature of the television was not working on our cruise due to an upgrade that was being performed on the system. Entertainment and Activities We only attended one show during our cruise. The "Boogie Wonderland" show on the last night of the cruise was amazing. We truly enjoyed ourselves an thought it was better than some of the shows on the Eclipse. The calypso duo that played on the ship was also very good. We spent most of the days lounging by the pool and enjoying the sun. Chose not to participate in the activities on board the ship. Ports of Call The ports of call on our cruise were not known until the night before embarkation due to Hurricane Rina. As a result of the hurricane our ship could not visit Cozumel and instead spent a day in Nassau. Many passengers were disappointed, but all realized that it was inevitable due to the storm. During our stop in Nassau we chose to visit Atlantis. My 13 year old daughter wanted to do the water slides in Atlantis so we took a taxi to Paradise Island and paid the exorbitant fee to spend a day on their property. We all had a good time and my daughter especially enjoyed the experience. Key West was a port of call that was interesting to say the least. It turns out that we stopped in Key West during Fantasy Fest. Duval Street was closed due to a street festival that was going to take place at noon. There was a lot to experience during this brief six hour stop. Unfortunately, some of the experience was not suitable for young children. Several times I had to cover my daughter's eyes due to the sights that are a part of Fantasy Fest. We did choose to visit "Sloppy Joe's" and have a bit to eat before heading back to the ship. Dinning This is an area that Celebrity excels in. The preparation and presentation of the food on board the Millennium was what I had thought to expect on the ship. The food in the MDR was excellent. The only disappointment was what other reviewers had stated concerning the menu on the one formal night of the cruise. The menu on that night was average and did not contain any entrees that one would expect, such as lobster or filet Mignon. The Ocean Cafe food selections included everything that one would expect such as a pasta station, Tandoori station, Pizza and a Panini station. The breakfast buffet also provided the obligatory omelet station, as well as an assortment of hot side items such as corned beef hash, bacon and sausage. Service Our cabin steward was amazing. Shortly after sailing we still had not received two pieces of luggage. I called him and explained the situation. Within a few minutes he appeared at our door with both pieces. It seems that they were placed in front of another stateroom. During the cruise our cabin received regular turn down service and was kept spotless. We chose traditional late seating for our dinner service. Again we were fortunate to have a great waiter and assistant. We received prompt service every night and enjoyed the dinning experience. We heard from a few other passengers that they did not have great service. Summary The 4 night cruise was short, but an enjoyable vacation. The relaxing nature of the Celebrity cruise experience made it exactly what I needed--- a de-stresser. I would without a doubt do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2010
This is a review of the 10 Day Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Millennium my partner and I just returned from. A little about us: we are a gay male couple, late 20's/early 30's, and we have taken a cruise for my past 3 Spring ... Read More
This is a review of the 10 Day Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Millennium my partner and I just returned from. A little about us: we are a gay male couple, late 20's/early 30's, and we have taken a cruise for my past 3 Spring Breaks (I am a teacher). We both love taking cruises, but researching, planning, talking about cruises is one of my favorite things in the world - so I am a true "cruise nerd." I have been on Costa, Carnival (2X), Celebrity (2X), Royal Caribbean, NCL and Princess. People say I need another, less expensive, hobby! We flew down to San Juan, PR on the day of departure. Our flight landed in San Juan at 3:50pm and we had to be on board by 5:30pm. There were no delays, and besides having a child kicking my seat for hours, no major problems. We grabbed a cab from the airport for $22 for the both of us and our luggage. Embarkation process was fine. A little confusion with the luggage but nothing major. Got on the ship pretty quickly. When we arrived on the Millennium we were greeted with champagne. Our cabin was right off the Grand Foyer and the staff directed us there. We were in 3065, which is an Oceanview Stateroom. It had a large porthole for a window and a flat-screen LCD TV. The room was decorated tastefully. The size seemed pretty standard. I had a balcony on the Summit over the summer and definitely missed it! We had no problem with storage and the room was in good condition. I'll be reviewing our cruise based on service, food, the ship, entertainment and itinerary. Please remember this is just my opinion. We all have different tastes and perspectives, so please do not be offended. SERVICE So the service for the first 30 minutes was shaky (we had an annoying experience with a bartender and a customer service rep. about our cards being demagnetized), but after that we had zero complaints. In fact, we felt like the service was excellent across the board. The room stewards were friendly and did a great job. The bartenders, pool waiters, waiters, assistant waiters and maitre d's were fantastic! It felt like the entire staff was doing everything they could to ensure we were enjoying ourselves. 5/5 DINING We chose late dining and sat with a family and another couple. They were all very nice, however on the first night the conversation turned to religion and politics and let's just say that it made for an awkward dinner. In addition, we just felt like we didn't have much in common with our tablemates. So on the next day we went to the maitre d' and asked him to switch our table. We chose to do the Select Dining where we could eat when we wanted. On the first 2 nights we had to wait quite a while, but it seemed like the hostess and the maitre d' were working hard to get us in. On all subsequent nights we were quickly seated. If we wanted to see a show and we needed to get out a little bit early, they made sure to bring out our food more quickly. We felt like the hostess (Telma) and the maitre d' (Nicholas) did an excellent job seating us quickly. The food in the main dining room, Metropolitan, was good to great. There were some meals that were outstanding (Spaghetti and meatballs, chateaubriand, excellent seafood - they don't give you baby shrimp and tiny scallops in the seafood dishes, they're quite large). The foods were presented meticulously. Delicious fresh breads, the best French Onion Soup. The salads weren't remarkable. I usually let the waiter suggest what entrEe was best that night and was never disappointed. Desserts were very good as well. The Millennium has an everyday menu and there also is wide variety of food choices that are presented each day. Unless you are used to eating in the top restaurants on land, and will settle for nothing less, you will not be disappointed. Portions were good. I have quite the appetite and after eating the four courses I was always full. The breakfast buffet was just "alright" for me. Yes, they had all of the food you expected (waffles, French toast, omelet, breads), but the quality was fair. It wasn't difficult to get a seat in the Ocean Grill. Maybe I'm just not the biggest fan of buffets in general. I preferred ordering room service. The menu items are limited, but if you add a few special orders on the door-hanger-menu by hand, they will usually bring them. I'm not talking about crème brule, more like pancakes or French toast. You can ask them to put in fillings in your omelets (cheese, veggies) and they will do so. Room service came on time and it was so nice just chilling in our balcony....ummmm... not this time... on our little couch, gazing through our port hole. The quality seemed a little better. Be VERY specific about what you want, because if you don't write it on the paper, it won't be there in the morning (ketchup, sweetener, etc.). The lunch buffet was a little underwhelming as well. They would have a pasta station, a salad station, a carving station, and a small variety of other dishes. What I had from the buffet area was OK. On the Summit I remember they made Caesar salads with fresh salmon chunks - delicious! They also did this with fresh chicken. Not on this cruise. This itinerary was about half the price though. On the other hand, the pool grill served burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, wings, chili nachos and we liked it better. We usually did an excursion or went to the beach and returned to the ship about 3ish and had lunch at the buffet or pool grill. They have an ice cream station where you can order soft serve or scoops. They have a few toppings to choose from... yum... Reese's Pieces! I definitely indulged with the ice cream. How can one resist chocolate ice cream with Reese's? Ah, the memories. So, in a nutshell, Metropolitan Dining was excellent, buffet was fair, room service was good, pool grill was good. 4.5/5 THE SHIP OK... so this is it. The Millennium is an incredibly beautiful cruise ship. When you walk around this ship it makes you feel like a Celebrity. It's tastefully decorated, has great art around every corner, and a tasteful color scheme. The Grand Foyer is my favorite area on the ship with the glowing staircase and flowing drapes. The public areas are comfortable, the bars and lounges are well-appointed and the ship is easy to navigate. Our stateroom was right off of the Grand Foyer and it felt like we never had to walk far to get to any area on the ship. Normally, I feel like I'm burning some calories by walking up and down the long corridors of cruise ships (wishful thinking), but not this time. The pool deck is designed well and has lots of deck space. Cruise ships tend to be on the tacky side (loud colors, over-the-top-Vegas, or even worse, Atlantic City dEcor), but not the classy and sophisticated Millennium. The Summit is the sister ship to the Millennium, but I think the Millennium was freshened up with a dry dock. It didn't look worn at all (as a side note, the Summit, as of last summer, was beautiful as well, and all of this hullabaloo about it being old and decrepit is ridiculous, unless they suddenly stopped with the maintenance). I have to cruise on the Millennium again. I've never felt like this about another cruise ship. I think it's love. 5/5 THE ENTERTAINMENT So I feel like I've been Paula Abdul so far... handily doling out the praise. Well, maybe I am suddenly becoming Simon (cue the boos). The entertainment did not knock my socks off. It was well... kind of hit or miss... and that's being kind. Let's start with the live music/performers throughout the ship. The piano bar lady was just alright. We didn't really feel compelled to go see her. The pool band was good (Magnitude) but it seemed like they were hardly out on the deck performing. On one sea day they were out for only one hour! On other days, maybe two. They used the same band for nighttime performances as well. I don't know about you, but I really like to hear live music while I'm lounging at the pool and most cruise lines seem to have it MUCH more regularly. The bands throughout the ship were just OK. We had a comedian/illusionist on board and his performance in the Celebrity Theater... ummmm... not so good. The a capella group, North by Northwest, were entertaining. The Cruise Director, Rich Clesen, is a great guy and was an average as far as cruise directors go. The first production show was a Dancing with the Stars-themed show and it was poor. The second production show was a 70's revue and I thought it was alright by my partner didn't enjoy it. The third show, I am happy to say, was really good! It was a Broadway Revue and the singing and dancing, and the actual show, was really entertaining. The singers and dancers are good, but I feel like they are limited by the material they are given. On a side note, the male dancers on this ship are the most attractive at sea. You had to see one of the dancers dressed up in this Native American get-up... whoops, I'm digressing! Also, the other random entertainment (games, shows, etc.) seemed to be a little limited or a little lame. The juggler was entertaining. One bright spot was a British singer, Lindsey Hamilton, who was incredible - do not miss her! The staff talent show is a hoot too. But overall, I was disappointed with the entertainment and expected a lot more from Celebrity. The Summit's entertainment last summer seemed much better, especially the production shows and the guest acts. I was told by one of the ship's staff that the Summit has a different company doing the production shows. The costumes and staging on the Summit were really excellent. Sorry Millennium, I'm only giving you a 3/5. ITINERARY This cruise was packed with A LOT of ports (7) and had only 2 sea days. The two sea days were at the end of the cruise, and we felt like we could have used another one somewhere in the beginning of the cruise just to unwind. The ports were excellent! We are not really interested in shopping, we prefer doing an excursion or just going to a beach and spending the day. I try to research private tours on Cruise Critic instead of doing the Celebrity-sponsored excursions. I think you get better value if you do this. Ports of call, overall, were really excellent - a good variety of everything. A 10 night cruise is much better than a 7-nighter - you really get to a relaxed state of mind! 5/5 (Note: they will only allow 6 ports of call reviews below, so I will place the first one, Tortola, in the review.) Tortola, BVI - We booked with Patouche tours for a ½ day trip to the Virgin Gorda Baths. First you take a short bus ride to a marina where you board a catamaran. They sail over to Virgin Gorda. You then have to snorkel (provided) to the beach. You get to snorkel through a coral reef to get to the shore. The Baths are really amazing... giant boulders randomly stacked on top of each other. When you get to the beach you are guided on a hike through the Baths (rocks). It's really beautiful and awe-inspiring. Just think Stonehenge put through a blender and placed on a picturesque beach. The hike is not easy, especially if you are big and tall. You really have to squat and walk through tight spaces... in some places squeeze... shouldn't have had that extra rich chocolate mousse cake at dinner. After the hike, you get some additional time to snorkel in a different area. Lots of cool stuff... sea urchins, coral, and a variety of fish - we even saw a stingray! Then you have to swim (far) back to the catamaran. The ride back was relaxing. We had a great time hanging out with the other 8 passengers and the 2 crew. The crew was friendly and kept the drinks flowing. They played great music and it was a nice vibe. What a way to kick off our cruise! $80 per person was well-worth it. One of our favorite excursions... highly recommended! Other Tidbits Chair hogs: They still exist. The pool butlers are making some efforts by putting notes on chairs, but we didn't see this. Many of our fellow cruisers did, however. I spotted a new breed of chair hog... the fruit-chair hog. Someone put a different kind of fruit on four adjacent chairs. One chair had a pear, the next an apple... you get the picture! Every time I walked by there was no person, just fruit getting a tan. Serious chair-hogging going on the sun deck, especially during the 2 sea days. Both days we eventually found lounge chairs, but it took quite an effort. People just place books and magazines (or fruit) to claim chairs and then disappear for the day. Air conditioning: It seemed like there were times the Millennium wasn't cranking the AC enough and the ship was stuffy. Luckily, our cabin, and hallway were always cool, but other areas, including the Ocean Cafe and some other hallways and bars were downright stuffy. I asked a staff member about this and they said it had to do with doors opening to the outside Caribbean air, but that doesn't work with the interior hallways and some bars. Smells: On the Summit there were some hallways that always seemed to have a sewer smell (again, luckily, not in my hallway) There were NO funky smells on the Millennium! Hooray! Drinks: The drinks throughout the ship were delicious and strong! Prices would range (with the service charge) from 6 dollars to 8 dollars. Find out what the drinks of the day are. There are usually 3 choices and they only cost $5 plus the service charge. This is a good way to save a bit on your bar bill. We had the drinks of the day every chance we could but still racked up quite the bar bill! It was well worth it though! Easter: Our cruise took place during Good Friday and Easter and we had a Catholic priest with masses offered. My partner is Catholic and this was really convenient for us. Easter was on a sea day, and if Celebrity didn't have a priest there was no way we'd be able to take this cruise. So major props to them for providing religious services. They also had a rabbi and non-denominational Christian services. Crowd: The ship only felt crowded on sea days on the sun deck. Other than that, it was really comfortable and not-packed at all. There was a good mix of ages on the ship: families, middle-aged couples, older couples. Not too many younger couples. The people of the ship seemed a little chill and relaxed. We are not crazy partiers, but it seemed a little tranquil for us. Our last 2 Spring Break cruises were on RCI and NCL and they were a little more happening, had more current music and were a tad more lively. We preferred the lively vibe a little more, but you can't have it all! Cruise Critic: We had a great roll call on Cruise Critic with over 90 people signed up for the Celebrity Connections party. Neil and Jerry, fellow Cruise Critic members, organized a sail-away event, a cabin-crawl, and a slot-pull. The cabin crawl was sooo much fun. We were able to see Sky Suites, Penthouses, and everything in between. I never knew cruise ships had such wonderful accommodations! One can dream, right???? Neil and Jerry also brought some fun awards to hand out to people who participated in the Cabin Crawl (messiest cabin, most in need for an upgrade). This was really funny and a great chance to meet lots of nice people. To all of the people we met from Cruise Critic, thank you for making our vacation even more fun! Thanks again to Neil and Jerry for organizing enjoyable events. Final Thoughts What a great vacation! Outstanding ports, service and food, on an incredible ship. Entertainment was lacking a bit, but the good points made up for it. I would sail Celebrity again but would prefer it to be a smidge more lively with more/better entertainment options. I know Celebrity goes for a more formal/polished cruise experience, but I'd like to have all of this with a little more fun. But fun is subjective and this is just my opinion. Thank you for reading and maybe I'll see you on board someday. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
We just returned from the March 26th 10-day Southern Caribbean sailing of the Celebrity Millennium. It was a great cruise. Background: This is our fourth Celebrity cruise, and our fifth overall (first one was with Princess). All our ... Read More
We just returned from the March 26th 10-day Southern Caribbean sailing of the Celebrity Millennium. It was a great cruise. Background: This is our fourth Celebrity cruise, and our fifth overall (first one was with Princess). All our previous cruises have reviews on Cruise Critic. My wife (29) and I (34) are professionals living in the inner suburbs of Washington, DC. We have no children. Before discussing the cruise itself, I think it's important to state how much we enjoyed the Cruise Critic group on this sailing. Neilrr was a terrific leader. The Cruise Connections party, while entirely enjoyable, was only one of the many highlights. Because we were such a large, organized group, we were invited to things such as bridge and galley tours. Of course, doing shore excursions with people from Cruise Critic, to say nothing of all the independent social events, really contributed positively to our cruise experience. Our first cruise was an Eastern Caribbean itinerary on the Caribbean Princess in April 2007—a honeymoon cruise for us. While we were happy with Princess, the presence of 1000+ (often unruly) children was a big issue for us. As a result, we reluctant to go on a cruise again over my wife's spring break. Since she's a teacher, we are limited in when we can take vacation. We thought the 10-day cruise, out of San Juan especially, would limit the children to a manageable number—more about this later. Pre-Cruise: We flew to San Juan on Friday morning. We are always concerned about doing it the day of the cruise, but our flight from IAD was direct; so I figured we'd have time to recover in case something went wrong. Additionally, my wife couldn't really afford taking another day off. Fortunately, everything was fine, and we arrived in San Juan on time, at about noon. Embarkation: This was good, helped by last year's experience. We queued up to take a taxi from SJU to the Pan American Pier (I would say it's about a 20 minute ride). Just like last year, there are helpful Puerto Rican tourism employees that fill out a form for you to give to the taxi driver. The fare is still $19 plus $1 per bag from SJU to Pan Am Pier. We waited maybe 10 minutes for a cab, tops. There were stevedores when we arrived at the pier. We had to line up to hand them our bags, as there were several people in front of us. This was because most people did not have luggage tags. We upgraded from a Concierge Class cabin to a Sky Suite the week before the cruise, so the luggage tags we had were no good. Tips were expected, but they weren't pushy about it. I heard one woman ask "What do I owe you for this?" and the stevedore responded "Whatever you want to pay." We gave them about $8, since we had four suitcases. There is still a duty-free liquor store in the cruise terminal, 15 feet from where you check in. Last year I took in a bottle from the store with no problems. This year, Celebrity passed out flyer saying any liquor bought there would be confiscated and destroyed. Since you cannot buy liquor there unless you are sailing, I'm not sure how the store is staying in business. Suffice it to say, we only bought bottled water, diet soda and tonic water. Carry-on bags are scanned by Port of San Juan workers—not sure if they were enforcing the liquor ban. Checked bags were inspected (they even inserted notes saying so). Our bottles of wine were given the all clear. The whole embarkation process took us about 30 minutes, tops. During this process, we were offered a complimentary meal at the Olympic (specialty restaurant) on the first night, since we were in a suite. When we boarded on the ship, around 1:00pm, our rooms were not quite ready. We made another reservation at Olympic for later in the week, confirmed our table for two at the late seating and then they announced the rooms were ready. The suite, I must say, was a little bit of a disappointment. We upgraded at the last minute because it was only $300 more (total, not per person). As I learned from our Cruise Critic cabin crawl, not all Sky Suites are the same; and ours wasn't one of the nicer ones. Ours, while bigger than a Concierge cabin, wasn't that much nicer. It did come with a butler, and ours was quite nice, but we didn't use him too much (other than him setting up breakfast for us every morning). We don't regret doing it, but I don't think in the future we would upgrade to a suite unless the price is really close to a CC cabin. There were some initial issues with the stateroom and our attendant. In retrospect, they mostly seemed to stem from the fact that the room wasn't properly prepared: the mini-bar/fridge wasn't unlocked; the safe didn't work; there was only one beach towel; no Celebrity towel bag; no turndown service the first night. After some polite complaining to guest relations, things improved dramatically. Both the chief housekeeper and our cabin stewardess made sure things were in good order after that. I have concluded from this experience that letting Celebrity politely know that our expectations were reasonable, but not being met, really makes them try to rectify things. They did follow up a few times to make sure things had improved. Ship Details: The Millennium, like the Summit and Infinity that we have been on, is in pretty good shape and a classy ship, given that she's 10 now years old. A few worn areas and such, but in general the public rooms are nice, and in general in better shape than the Summit was last year. The funky artwork is always interesting, if not to everyone's taste. We liked the same places on the Millennium as we did on her sisters: Michael's Club, the specialty restaurant, the Metropolitan (MDR) and the outside promenade. The theatre is also quite attractive, and there was always a seat available. Dining: Because we ate at the Olympic the first night, we didn't meet our waiters in the MDR until the second night. We had a table for 2 at the late seating (8:30), as 6:00 is way too early for us. I have to say our waiters (both from Bali) were very nice gentlemen who did their jobs well. Perhaps because they were more reserved than some of our waiters in the past, and struggled with their English on occasion, it took a little while longer to click with them than our waiters on the past two cruises. That said, we were very happy with their service; it's just that our previous waiters set the bar very high. By the end of the cruise, they had our preferences down pat, and on less busy nights we were even able to have some nice conversations about their lives back home. We also really liked our assistant maitre d'. He stopped by every night with a few comments about the food and upcoming events. Our sommelier (like our maitre d', from Macedonia) was very friendly and engaging, though she was clearly overworked. She made some recommendations and clearly appreciated the one nice bottle we brought ($25 corkage fee). We felt all of our dining room staff deserved gratuities beyond the standard amount. As for the food itself, I was worried given some of the recent reviews. I know Celebrity enjoys a very strong reputation for its cuisine. I wasn't cruising in the 1990s or early 2000s, so perhaps it has slipped since then. However, I felt the food was as strong as it was on our previous cruises in 2008 and January 2009, and overall, felt it was still very good. If your comparison point is how the food was in the past couple of years, I don't think much has changed in quality. The only difference I noticed is that the soup and salad courses are now combined into one section, in effect changing dinner from a 5-course to a 4-course meal. That said, our waiters always inquired if we wanted a fifth course or an additional entree (rarely had room). On the second formal night, we ordered both soup and salad and they brought them out as separate courses. Yes, the lobster tail on the formal night is a bit disappointing in size, but I thought the lobster itself was tasty. The filet mignon was very nice, as were most of the other main dishes, including the lamb and duck. My wife ordered cornish hen on second formal night (not a lobster person): too dry, but otherwise, we were happy. The salads still tend to be a bit boring, but perfectly acceptable. The chilled soups weren't always as good as I remember, but perhaps I just picked some losers along with some winners this time. The appetizers were still excellent. The desserts were quite tasty, although there is now a slightly smaller nightly selection (3 or 4), as they have expanded their "always available" options. One afternoon, we did the "wines around the world" tasting for $20/person (up from $15 last cruise). The wines were better this time, though, so I guess it justifies the price increase. Just like our previous trips on Infinity and Summit, we were delighted by the specialty restaurant on the Millennium (Olympic). We ate there twice, and both times the food was terrific and the service great, and a 10/10 the second time. During our first visit, there was a bit of wait in being greeted after we were seated (like 10-15 minutes). Unlike our previous visits, however, we did not do the "Menu Exceptionale," as the menu has changed and the price of the wine pairings has gone up considerably (from about $60 total to $90 per person). That said, the a la carte menu was great, and we ordered some things off the menu on the second visit. To walk away with that experience for $35/person was well worth it. While I wouldn't call the main dining room food truly gourmet, the food in the Olympic is. By the way, just like the SS United States and Normandie, there's a collection of memorabilia from the Olympic—tremendously interesting for nautical history enthusiasts, and a nice entrance room to boot. The only miscue, which I find more hilarious than anything else, is Olymipic's music. Both nights we were there (and therefore, I assume every night) the music that is played, somewhat loudly, over the speaker system is flute-intensive, elevator music versions of songs like Roxette's "It Must Have Been Love", Phil Collins's "Against All Odds" and Bryan Adams's "I Do It for You." Speaking of musical selections, I should say that while I listened to my share of them back in the 90s, I don't consider Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots quintessential wine-tasting music, but that's what was being played during that event. As it seems to be the case these days, the dining room is closed for lunch on port days. We went to the dining room's brunch buffet on the second sea day, which happened to be Easter, so there were lots of decorations, including rabbit ice sculptures. The suite room service breakfast is certainly better than the one in the standard cabins, and similar to the one in Concierge Class (though we had to special request the smoothies they have in CC, which are great). We only ate breakfast in the Metropolitan restaurant on disembarkation day, though the breakfast there is quite good with plenty of variety. So, overall, I would give dining an A. Not being huge buffet people, I wish the main restaurant were open for lunch at least some port days. Most port days we either skipped lunch or ate onshore. Fellow Passengers: This is always an important issue for my wife and me. It really affects how much we enjoy our cruise. The people we met from the Cruise Critic boards were really terrific. We were delighted we were able to spend time with many of them on excursions, ship tours and at both organized and impromptu parties. If you have the opportunity to form a cabin crawl on your cruise, I highly recommend it. Even though we have stayed in a regular balcony, an oceanview, and a CC cabin on past cruises, to see them all on the same night helps you gain perspective. And thanks to MRoadster for the tour of the penthouse suite! We met a lot of people who make going on a cruise really special. In more general terms, my breakdown is as follows. Children: I'm sensitive to this, or at least, that's what people tell me. We were reluctant to go on another spring break Caribbean cruise after our first cruise with 1000+ kids on the Caribbean Princess, but the times we can go on vacation are limited. I don't know how many under 18 year-olds were on this cruise, but I would guess somewhere between 300-400. I first want to say that the children we met at the Cruise Critic functions were all very nicely behaved and sweet. That said, overall it was a mixed bag. Many of the kids got dressed up every night for dinner and shows. The two times I was at the Aqua Spa adult pool, there were few to no children. On the other hand, there were often kids running around on the stairs or through musical performances (and being appropriately shushed by fellow passengers). Of course, the worst offenses were ones in which the fault resides with the parents: a 4 year-old, on a leash, throwing a temper tantrum in the casino at 11:30pm, four unattended 7 year-olds running on the stairs at midnight chasing one another like it's a playground, a very loud 8 year-old girl in the Olympic who clearly had too much Coca-Cola (the invitation to the Olympic says "no guests under 12, please."). None of this is Celebrity's fault, of course, and none of this ruined our cruise. But there were times when it was frustrating. Again, many children were well-behaved, and there weren't so many roaming gangs of adolescents (like there were on the Caribbean Princess) that it felt like the Jets vs. the Sharks each time we ventured out at night. Overall, we liked the passenger-mix on our cruise. It was also rather international, which we appreciated. There must have been no fewer than 50 Germans, some French (including the ubiquitous, older, non-English speaking Frenchman who kissed all the ladies' hands and oozed charm by the bucketful), Spanish-speakers from a variety of countries, and, of course, a fair share of always-pleasant Canadians. Among the Americans, Celebrity also seems to have a more diverse set of passengers. It's my observation that there are a large number of middle-aged, upper-middle class, well-educated couples on Celebrity cruises, which is certainly fine for us. But the mix was a little broader than that this time. I'm glad that—unlike some previous cruises—I did not witness firsthand any incidents where passengers were overtly rude or demeaning towards the staff. That said, seeing people lift Easter decorations into their purse, or put empty glasses or trash on pieces of art and other such behavior, did sadly occur. Activities and Entertainment: From all that I have observed and read, this is not Celebrity's strong suit, and this cruise did little to change that reputation. I will start with the positives. The last two nights we had West End singer Lindsay Hamilton join the cruise. I didn't know her work, but she was—I'm quite certain—the best singer I have heard on any cruise. She also had a cheeky, but charming, on-stage personality. There was also the low-key, unpretentious comedian-juggler (really a juggler with a sense of humor) Chuck Gunter who was a pleasure to watch. The Celebrity Dancers and Singers were not bad, but their three shows, while progressively better, were a bit odd. They work extremely hard during their long shows. Mainly their material is popular Broadway songs or a 70s disco tribute they called "Boogie Wonderland," which at times was unintentionally funny. Not to everyone's taste, but pretty good production values, nonetheless. I'd give them a B. Singer Travis Turpin tried hard, and certainly had a pleasant on-stage personality, but I found his musical selections too bland to be really enjoyable. Cruise director Rich Clesen was a nice guy, and we met him a few times around the ship. I have to say, given that he evidently performed at Second City, I was expecting a joke or two that I could at least smile at. That said, he wrapped up each evening nicely, was easy to like, and pleasant off-stage. Now, for the less positive. Magician Tony Albano was barely watchable. He had just enough wit that you felt bad for him, as people seemed bored by his two performances. I have come to realize that every Celebrity cruise seems to have a four-man a cappella group performing all over all the ship. I didn't like the previous incarnations, but I'm sad to say that North by Northwest set a new low. They seemed like nice guys, but watching them with their awkward stage presence, lack of charisma, and their corny lyrics was painful. And while I might be a harsh critic of such entertainment, I'm pretty sure this time I was not alone in my feelings. Also, the lounge musicians, I have to say, were really disappointing. Last cruise the Rendezvous Lounge musicians were a phenomenal, four-man jazz band, The Elk Island Quartet. The lounge acts this time, I thought, ranged from bland to unwatchable. On the other hand, the Rendezvous Lounge was crowded every night around dinnertime with 60-somethings dancing, so this could be a matter of generational preferences. Ultimately, the fact that the overall entertainment was a mixed bag is certainly OK for us. For what we paid for this cruise, I don't think I could legitimately complain if there were next-to-no entertainment, and that certainly wasn't the case. If Celebrity has to cut back, we would much prefer it to be in this respect, rather than in food, service, or ship maintenance, all of which were excellent on this cruise. If high-energy entertainment on a ship is very important to you, I would recommend looking elsewhere. The casino is now smoke-free. We played craps, but no blackjack, as there was only one $5 table, and it was usually crowded (while, of course, the $25 table sat empty), but finding space at the $5 craps table was not a problem. The poker table is electronic, so I didn't play any Hold 'em. I need to feel the cards, chips and see an actual dealer. They had a real table on the Summit last year, but sadly, they seem to have switched to machines, at least on the Millennium. Service: I think service continues to be the strong suit for Celebrity. While I would say that the dining room was merely a 9/10 this time and cabin service was less good than our past two cruises, they were still very strong. And I think all the other service experiences this cruise (specialty restaurant, bar service, etc.) were perhaps even better than previous experiences. I particularly recall that, unlike on previous cruises, where you sometimes get the sense on the final day that they are ready for you to get off, staff seemed genuinely interested in whether you had a good cruise, which we certainly did. In general, it was great. Also, the presence of the officers on this cruise was very noticeable, very much appreciated, and we really enjoyed the bridge tour. Ports of Call/Shore Excursions: this was, we thought, a really nice itinerary. We were thinking of trying Holland America on another 10-day cruise, but this itinerary was far better sounding. Here are the specifics: Tortola: We took Patouche tours on a catamaran that held only 17 people to Virgin Gorda and snorkeled. It was nice to have a reasonably large catamaran with so few people, and the crew was very good. It’s $80 a head, so it’s not cheap, but I’m glad we did it. St. Maarten was a little more than pleasant than our last visit. Being the third time on the island, we wanted to do something different than going to Orient Beach. So, we watched the planes land at the Sunset Bar (slow service, but great views) right by the famous Princess Juliana Airport. When we talked to different cabbies, we were quoted different prices, but $20 one-way is about right for two people. Also, don’t worry about getting a cab back. There are drivers there waiting at the bar to take you. It was a Sunday, so the trip back to downtown Phillipsburg was only 20 minutes, but I would leave maybe 40 if you went during the week. We bought the local guavaberry liqueur and some jewelry for my wife. St. Lucia: an island with lots of natural beauty. We booked the zip lining tour through Celebrity, Treetop Canopy Adventure. I’m glad we did it once, but it wasn’t quite as thrilling as I perhaps thought it would be. Since there were several ships in port when we were there, it took a while to get out of Castries. Our tour guide was nice, but the zip line operators seemed to be all teenagers, who while friendly, could make things feel a tad amateurish. Safety was not an issue, however. We left our camera on the bus ride back, and Celebrity contacted the tour operator. They found it, and when we got back home, we arranged for them to have FedEx mail it to us. That alone should be enough to recommend them. Barbados: we took the Silver Moon lunch snorkel cruise (like Patouche, booked independently). It was a large catamaran that was limited to 24 people. Snorkeling wasn’t spectacular, mainly because it was rainy at times, though seeing (and touching) the sea turtles was nice. The crew was good in terms of getting drinks (great selection), and the lunch was very tasty, but they were fairly hands off, perhaps even blasé, when it came to instruction, advice or information. But in general, we would definitely recommend them. It was $90/person. There were four ships in port, although Barbados is better able to handle this than St. Lucia. On Barbados there was: Adventure of the Seas, Mein Schiff (a German ship), and the lovely-looking Silversea’s Silver Shadow. We bought a liter of Cockspur rum in the duty free shop on the pier for a very reasonable $10, but later learned a less attractive shop in the same pier sells it for an obscenely cheap $8, so shop around. Grenada: With some of the terrific Cruise Critic people, we hired a taxi to take us Magazine Beach and the Aquarium restaurant, where we went like last year. Since there were 8 of us, it was only $5/person. Perhaps because the novelty wears off, it didn’t feel quite as nice as last time, but we still really liked it. It is an uncrowded, postcard perfect beach, and the restaurant people were nice, served great drinks and had clean facilities. Our driver took us to somewhere else initially, and insisted it was the right place. We’ve debated whether this was an honest mistake. Suffice it to say, if you go, make sure you see the sign for Aquarium Restaurant before you get out of the cab. Our driver came back right on-time to pick us up and seemed quite pleasant. The dock area has some decent shops and helpful tourism booths. Outside the dock area can be a tad sketchy, but not so much that this very nice island should not be explored. Curacao: We walked around Willemstad, which is worth exploring, and then spent the afternoon on the ship. The historic synagogue’s museum was closed, as it was Good Friday. We bought some Blue Curacao. A warning about this: Senior’s Curacao of Curacao corked cap is not entirely leak proof, a little spilled out on the trip home because it was on its side. Aruba: We went on Mi Dushi, a 1925 Swedish motorized sailing ship. We booked this through Celebrity for $74/person. We stopped at three snorkeling sites, including the shipwreck of the German WWII ship, The Antilla. That was really nice good snorkeling, though the water out there (65 feet deep) starts getting choppy. The crew was very good, had plenty of drinks and liquors (though no beer), and their lunch was good. It was also a full 5 hours, and the rides to and from the ship in converted school buses were fun and a bit silly. Highly recommended. Disembarkation: This was pretty good. We finished breakfast at about 8:30, went to the Rendezvous Lounge, and shortly thereafter one of the crew announced that people could leave the ship whenever they wished. We waited about 15 minutes the let the crowd die down a bit and walked off. The line through customs was maybe 15 minutes. Just like last year, getting a taxi was a bit disorganized. There are plenty of taxicabs, but there is only room to load about 5 or 6 cabs at a time. The result is that people moving along side the curb waiting for a cab were getting passed over by people behind them taking the cab that parked in the spot available. Fortunately, after a while, some women from the Puerto Rican tourism staff made sure people did not cut ahead. The trip to SJU was painless and takes about 15 minutes. Similar line definition problems occurred at the check-in for United, but once passed there, it was fine. Some Final Thoughts: This was our first 10-day cruise; and we really felt the difference, in a positive respect. While every vacation, or at least every cruise, is ultimately too short, this one felt like enough. We were, on the last day or two, ready to go home on some level. I did not feel that way on the 7-day cruises. That doesn’t mean we won’t do another 7-day cruise again, but I now see the advantages of something longer, and am certainly not worried about 10 days being “too long.” That said, unlike last time, we didn't book a future cruise credit on this cruise. For one, the future cruise salesman claims you can no longer book a future cruise credit for Celebrity and use it on Azamara (or vice versa). We also aren't sure when our next cruise on Celebrity will be, and there’s no OBC for the Xpedition, which we are considering. We are thinking about trying Holland America too. Nevertheless, we really liked enjoyed ourselves on this cruise. While I can point to a few things that perhaps were not as nice as our previous Celebrity cruises, this one only fell short by a little in those respects (and food was not one of them). There were also things about this cruise we liked better than any previous sailing. Going into this cruise, I was fully aware that we got this cruise for a song (our Sky Suite was more than $1000 cheaper than our shorter, 7-day Alaska sailing on Infinity in 2008 in Concierge Class, and only a couple hundred more than our regular balcony 7-day Southern Caribbean on Summit last January). And yet, I felt no slip in quality. By the end of the cruise, we were in complete bliss. Read Less
Celebrity Millennium Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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