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Sail Date: April 2019
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days ... Read More
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days together but we got a routine of trivias, podium talks, hot tubs and eating in the day as the weather was too cold to be out on deck much or in the swimming pool. The speakers were entertaining, one gave talks on major trials. Another did Buddhism history and meditation and a third did varied talks from Rasputin to dog behaviour. The afternoon progressive trivia was fun if you had got a team together. It wasnt too rough so seasickness wasnt an issue either. We did have to change our clocks forward about 6 separate times to be on Vancouver time by arrival butbetter than getting full jetlag. So repositioing was worth doing, although the stop in Russia was a waste of time except to stretch your legs! Read Less
21 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
3 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
3 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
8 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
6 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
4 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
3 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
8 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
Celebrity Millennium Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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