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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We departed out of Vancouver. Embarkation was fast and smooth. We were on the ship within 30 minutes of the line opening. Once onboard were we able to explore the ship before our 11:30am concierge lunch in MDR. Overall the ship was ... Read More
We departed out of Vancouver. Embarkation was fast and smooth. We were on the ship within 30 minutes of the line opening. Once onboard were we able to explore the ship before our 11:30am concierge lunch in MDR. Overall the ship was clean and we loved the recent renovations that were done in dry dock. The crew were constantly cleaning throughout the entire cruise. We tried 2 of the specialty dining locations. Tuscan Grill was exceptional. Everything we ordered was delicious and the service was fantastic. We did not enjoy Qsine. The food was odd and the servers left me feeling stalked during service. The main dining room food and service was good. Most days we had breakfast in our stateroom which made for a perfect start to the day The cafe onboard was my favorite little spot. The servers there remembered us and our order. We also had a great time at the Martini Bar. I did get a hot stone massage onboard. I loved it and would recommend the service. Some would say the prices are high but it is a cruise so indulge a little. Some other parts of the cruise we enjoyed were the art gallery/art auctions, a few of the shows, bingo, trivia and the live music. The staff for the onboard shops were fantastic. We did have excursions booked each day we went in port. Ketchikan - Wilderness Exploration cruise and crab feast. The crab was delicious. We saw tons of wildlife on the cruise portion. Icy Strait Point - private whale watching tour with “Hoonah Whaling Tours”. Perfect time. I can’t say enough positive things about this little family owned business. Juneau - Dog Mushing camp was one of our favorites. We also did gold panning and salmon bake. These excursions did not disappoint. Skagway - 6.5 hour excursion to Kroschel Wildlife Center in Haines, Alaska. 4 hours of this was travel to and from location. The wildlife center was fantastic and we really enjoyed meeting all the animals and the staff at the center. Zimba our tour bus operator made our day with his personal journey story. After the cruise we did the Denali land tour. Be warned as we were not given clear information until the morning of disembarkation of the full day bus ride from Seward to Denali. Then the following day you are back on a bus for a day with a short train ride. We hope they change this for future tours to have more travel on the train instead of bus. Saving grace was the beautiful scenery. Overall we were not disappointed with our first cruise and would definitely sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This boat is absolutely gorgeous! And the ports of call were exactly as expected. We even had sunny days EVERY DAY! How wonderful! The new interior is modern and chic, and the staterooms are lovely and the food is so much better than the 2 ... Read More
This boat is absolutely gorgeous! And the ports of call were exactly as expected. We even had sunny days EVERY DAY! How wonderful! The new interior is modern and chic, and the staterooms are lovely and the food is so much better than the 2 Caribbean cruises I'd done 20 years prior with Carnival & Norwegian. That said, here's why only 3 stars... 1. Very pushy sales all the time to buy stuff, pay extra for specialty restaurants and excursions 2. Hidden costs - we had the Classic Drink package and in many bars there were either no menus with prices or no menus at all. $4 extra for a small Perrier?!? And $5 per scoop for gelato when ice cream was free to all? No signage about the extra cost, so the staff had to let us know and often too late to change our minds. 3. The APP!! OMG, it worked for the first 3 days on our iPhones and barely at all on Android. Different activities listed in the native apps, and a weird fix to sync them. The texting worked OK for a few of us, but for one of us it almost never worked. Thankfully you could track your spending by looking at your account on the TV (though why there were 2 accounts for a couple, I can't figure out and I'm a software designer). 4. I'm a vegan, and though there was fresh fruit and a salad bar at the buffet, you had to order 24 hours in advance for a vegan meal in the main dining room, and they didn't even cook the wild rice enough (crunchy). I only found out on the last day from a passenger that they had an Indian menu that you could order from in the main dining room that had more veggie and vegan options - WHY DIDN'T our waiter or the manager know this????? They both took a 24 hour order. 5. Our bathroom stunk of sewage which got progressively worse each day. Asked someone if it could be fixed around day 5 and it did help. 6. We had an ocean view, but it's a round window. Last time I had an ocean view 20 years ago it was at least a large rectangular window, not a 3.5' porthole. 7. Fitness center where you can work out is open 24 hours a day, but the locker rooms shut down at 10pm?!? No signage for when the pool and hot tubs are closed, apparently 10pm as well and the staff are NAZIs about it. 8. And lastly, I know cruise ships are doing quite a bit to keep passing germs to a minimum through hand washing, and I've never washed my hands as much as I did on this cruise, so figured at ages 38 and 49 we would be pretty safe from catching anything, but alas we both have nasty colds/sinus infections that'll take at least a week to get over. :( Perhaps Celebrity needs to install better air filtration systems? We didn't even hear anyone with a cold all week long, where did it come from? Oh and thanks to the ratings items below... we were one of the first to get on our cruise but signage was not up fully so we went right when we should've gone left and wasted 20 minutes finding the way onto the boat after we did our paperwork. And every staff member along the way had contradictory information - put your sea cards away, take them out, put your passports away, keep them out. Get your info straight people! We were the youngest on this trip, I can only imagine how confusing it'd be for the majority of the 60+ y/o passengers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Choose this cruise for our 40th Wedding Anniversary. The ship was lovely after its recent refurbishment. The Stateroom was nice and comfortable with plenty of storage. After asking for some softer pillows we slept better. The shampoo ... Read More
Choose this cruise for our 40th Wedding Anniversary. The ship was lovely after its recent refurbishment. The Stateroom was nice and comfortable with plenty of storage. After asking for some softer pillows we slept better. The shampoo provided was hopeless and the toilet paper not so soft. The selection of food was good and the Sea View Cafe spacious. I didn't like the way we were constantly asked to purchase specialty dining. The main dining room was good and waiters pleasant. Food portions sometimes a little small but you could always get an additional serve, even the lobster. The most impressive part of the cruise was the entertainment. All the shows were excellent. The captain was very approachable and friendly. He was often around the ship mingling with the passengers. He also got us to ports ahead of schedule and gave us an amazing close up view of the Hubbard Glacier. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and price (first time cruisers!). The ship has just been redone in early 2019 and all the furnishings are new, clean, and comfortable. No problems at all with our cabin (other than the weird smoke ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and price (first time cruisers!). The ship has just been redone in early 2019 and all the furnishings are new, clean, and comfortable. No problems at all with our cabin (other than the weird smoke thing which I mentioned below.) Dining: We mostly ate in the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) for breakfast and lunch and the Metropolitan (main dining room) for dinner. We didn't feel the need to pay extra for the specialty restaurants. Overall the food was very good. Lots of variety at both the buffet and the main dining room. Great service at both. We are foodies and so we found that there were a few dishes we had that were misses (for some reason most of the cakes we tried were extremely dry; also they didn't have a good selection of salad dressings) and a few things that were obviously cost-cutting (an appetizer of "scallops" was a single scallop sliced into four thin discs). But overall most things we ate were delicious and interesting and I loved the variety available. There is truly something to serve every palate on board! Entertainment and activities: We skipped most of the daytime activities as we were in port most days. We did notice that a lot of the ones that appealed most to us (like yoga class) had a fee attached which was disappointing when we already paid so much for the cruise. We went to the show in the theater every night which we really enjoyed. The singers and dancers put on three shows, a 70s themed one, a random "good vs evil" song and dance revue with modern songs, and a Broadway revue. The actual singers and dancers were very talented but the shows that were written for them were sometimes not great. By far the most successful show was the Broadway revue which was just singing and dancing with no lame storyline. There was also a show with Russian acrobats which was incredible and got the only standing ovation of the week. Also two comedians and an a capella group which were all very enjoyable. Overall we loved the night entertainment. We also went to some of the live music on board which was generally very good but sometimes a bit too much "soft jazz" for us. Service: No issues, everything was great! Loved having my room cleaned multiple times a day and getting a chocolate on my pillow every night. Ports and shore excursions: Well, this was the whole point of coming to Alaska and this was definitely the most important part to us. Suffice to say that we had an incredible time in each port, sometimes on our own and sometimes on Celebrity excursions. I'm writing a separate trip report on our days in port which you are welcome to find through my profile or on the Alaska forum. Overall one of the best vacations I've had and I'll definitely be cruising again! We had a great time on the Millennium and would definitely consider it in the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I cruised Celebrity over 20 years ago and we wanted to cruise Alaska. We chose Celebrity and the Millennium for the one-way itinerary and the long stays in particular Ports. This decision really paid off for our ... Read More
My husband and I cruised Celebrity over 20 years ago and we wanted to cruise Alaska. We chose Celebrity and the Millennium for the one-way itinerary and the long stays in particular Ports. This decision really paid off for our excursions. We live in Seattle and took Amtrak to Vancouver the day before the cruise. Our stay was at The Wedgwood Hotel and it was lovely. We had high tea at The Fairmont on the day of arrival and dinner in Bacchus , The Wedgwood's restaurant, it was amazing. The day of embarkation we chose to have lunch at the hotel and embark around 1:30. I feel that was a good choice as our lunch at The Wedgwood was peaceful and delicious. The Millennium's new decor is lovely and fits both our tastes well. All of the staff we encountered were friendly and efficient outside of customer relations, they did not seem engaged. Our room steward, Natasha, was especially outstanding. The food was a pleasant surprise. I had read negative reviews and was concerned but we found most all of the food in the main dining room quite good. We were assigned a nice table for two at the window. Per the cruise critic suggestions we always asked our server for recommendations and this worked well for all nights except one. I cannot speak to the specialty restaurants as we did not eat there. The wine sommelier was excellent and really provided some amazing wines to accompany our dinners. We do not like buffets so avoided that hectic experience. Walking through the buffet we noticed huge amounts of food being wasted and that is just a shame. Our excursion in Ketchikan was booked on our own for the crab feast at George Inlet. At Juneau we took the excursion to Tracy Arm/ Sawyer Glacier with Adventure Bound. It was a long day but no one should miss this. We saw two glaciers and seals, bears at the shore and calving, we got very close to the glaciers. Icy Strait Point whale watch was booked with Hoonah Whale Tours with only six people to our very small boat. We saw amazing breaching and bubble net feeding. Skagway was the train and we booked this through the ship as the price was the same. We finished our cruise with a Kenai Fjords tour with Major Marine tours followed by the train to Anchorage. We booked our tickets with Major Marine tours on our own and noticed that the cruise bookings were sat in the middle of the boat and we were sat at the window with their assigned seating. I highly recommend this one-way cruise with Millennium. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We’d been led to believe Celebrity was a premiere cruise line and chose this Alaska trip with a great itinerary to get a feel for the cruise line. The Good Things: lovely balcony cabin with very nice shower room. Comfortable bed. ... Read More
We’d been led to believe Celebrity was a premiere cruise line and chose this Alaska trip with a great itinerary to get a feel for the cruise line. The Good Things: lovely balcony cabin with very nice shower room. Comfortable bed. Great room steward. Some very good external entertainment. Good CLA staff. Food in main dining room was very good and also in Oceanview Cafe. Tuscan Grill was excellent. The Not So Good Things: Service I’m the MDR. First night it took a while for our waiter to arrive and he seemed harassed and didn’t introduce himself or talk about the menu. It also took the wine waiter 40 minutes to get to our table. Second night they tried harder and wine service was good but our waiter never smiled and seemed in a huge rush each time. We only went once more to the MDR and when our hot starters were served cold it took over 20 minutes to get replacements. We were also constantly interrupted by assistant waiters asking if everything was ok. Although the food was great in the buffet we felt there were not enough staff clearing tables. We always seemed to be surrounded by tables which needed clearing and cleaning. The Cafe al Bacio was good but kept running out of supplies. We also felt there should have been more signage around the ship and more rubbish bins. Overall we didn’t think the difference between our usual cruise line, RCI, and Celebrity was particularly marked. It would probably only be an interesting itinerary that would make us choose Celebrity again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I chose this trip due to it's itinerary. We had done an inside passage cruise, but we wanted to visit Anchorage and Seward this time. We had sailed on Celebrity before and we were looking forward to experiencing the ... Read More
My husband and I chose this trip due to it's itinerary. We had done an inside passage cruise, but we wanted to visit Anchorage and Seward this time. We had sailed on Celebrity before and we were looking forward to experiencing the Millennium. It had recently undergone a "revolution" or refurbishment. The ship's cabins were redone and look fresh and offers lots of storage. A plus is the USB chargers in the cabin and a freshened up bathroom. The downside of the refurbishment is that the library was eliminated to make room for more cabins. If you are looking for a book and a place to read you need to go to a bar area. The dining in the Main Dining area was a disappointment in regard to food. Most dishes were smaller portions and often poorly seasoned. The kitchen seemed to have a problem with cooking pasta and couldn't prepare a proper Beef Wellington. If you wanted a better cut of meat such as a Filet Mignon, you have to go to a pricey specialty restaurant. It has to be noted that although the food was average or worse, the service by our waitstaff team was exemplary with our waiter Rizel. Our Sommelier went above and beyond to find us interesting wines for each meal. The overall experience was average to good with no overcrowding to speak of. The ship offered a number of activities but few that we were interested in. The one thing I was looking forward to were the talks by naturalist about the area and wildlife. Sadly they scheduled many of the talks in either the early morning during the breakfast hour or in the evening during dinner time or when other entertainment was going on. The ports were nice with friendly locals, but now have so many jewelry stores that it takes away from the local flavor of the stops. We opted not to go on excursions due to the price, but enjoyed the stops. Bottom line, this wasn't a bad cruise but simply an average experience. It makes me wonder of Celebrity has changed or if this was only on this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Celebrity does the best job of making your trip wonderful. We did the precruise tour from Fairbanks to Seward. We did basically the same precruise tour in 2016 with a few itinerary changes. The land tour was awesome as was the cruise. We ... Read More
Celebrity does the best job of making your trip wonderful. We did the precruise tour from Fairbanks to Seward. We did basically the same precruise tour in 2016 with a few itinerary changes. The land tour was awesome as was the cruise. We always get an Aquaclass stateroom because we like to eat in Blu. Celebrity does a great job of making your trip seamless. As far as the wildlife goes, we saw more animals than ever. We saw a lot of humpback whales and eagles. We saw ptarmigan, hares, grizzly with cubs, a black bear, Dall sheep, sea otters, dolphins, moose and baby moose and probably more I can’t remember. We did a flight to Denali, rode the Whitepass railroad, a few whale watches and our favorite food quest; The wilderness exploration and crab feast. Every excursion was quite a great experience. The cruise itself was wonderful. We always book Aqua Class do we can eat in Blu. The service there is impeccable. And the food is excellent. Blu is open for breakfast and dinner. We usually did the buffet for lunch. It is also very good. The staff was most helpful and friendly all around the ship. And I must say the ship was immaculate as far as cleanliness. We did not attend any shows but instead would enjoy sitting in the forward lounge to enjoy the scenery while sipping a glass of wine. Or we would spend time in the casino. Most of the time we would be pretty tired from the excursions, so it was just good to relax. We did no enrichment activities or fitness. This was our third trip to Alaska and our second Cruisetour. I highly recommend that you do this at least once in your lifetime. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we love sailing to Alaska and are loyal to the Celebrity brand. With our past cruises we have always been very pleased with the food quality and service, but this cruise was a complete disappointment. It seems ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we love sailing to Alaska and are loyal to the Celebrity brand. With our past cruises we have always been very pleased with the food quality and service, but this cruise was a complete disappointment. It seems as if Celebrity has lowered the quality standard in the dining room, perhaps in the hope that people will opt for the fee-based specialty dining. As I feel that I have already paid for my meals built in to the cost of the cruise, I am loathe to have to pay to get a quality meal, especially when in the past Celebrity has done a great job with the food. The fish choices on the menu were limited and poor (tilapia is a toxic trash fish and they offered it twice during a 7 day cruise), the cocktail shrimp were watery and limp, and the trout looked like it had been ironed, it was so thin. The pastry dough on the Beef Wellington was raw and the beef was tough. The pasta dishes were watery, gummy, and inedible, as was the couscous. The dessert cakes were dry, and the selections were uninspired. The only thing consistently good in the dining room was the bread, which was excellent throughout the ship, always fresh and delicious. The buffet food was actually better than in the dining room, with a wide variety of international foods. As I mentioned before, I have always thought the food on Celebrity ships was top-notch (in the dining room) so I feel like I speak from a place of knowledge. Now we come to the beverage service. Several times (in different bars) my traveling companion ordered a Woodford Reserve bourbon, and was served scotch. The second time this happened, she said she did not get bourbon, and the bartender replied that he had given her something "better". Bourbon is not interchangeable with scotch, and why give someone something they did not ask for? Also the inconsistency of the mixed drinks at each bar was apparent when ordering the same drinks regularly. The poor bar service just boils down to lack of staff training on the part of Celebrity. As far as technology is concerned, Celebrity dropped the ball there as well. We were unable to hear the intercom in our room, on our balcony, or on the Millennium TV channel. The only way to hear daily announcements was to open our stateroom door and stand in the hallway. We were also unable to hear the commentary from the captain and guest speaker when we were at Hubbard Glacier while sitting on our balcony. And we were not able to make the kiosks in the photo gallery work, as was the staff, so we were unable to find our photos. The scenery was great, the weather was perfect, the ports were fun, but Celebrity really let us down with the poor quality of our dining experience on board, and the technical glitches. I will really have to think long and hard about taking another Celebrity cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as an excellent way to see Alaska, the literary appeared better than others on offer and we have always been very happy with previous Celebrity cruises. After a night in Anchorage we travelled by train on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an excellent way to see Alaska, the literary appeared better than others on offer and we have always been very happy with previous Celebrity cruises. After a night in Anchorage we travelled by train on the Alaskan Railroad, we splashed out on the Goldstar service and it was well worth the extra cost as the trip was excellent: - Baggage was collected at the station and transferred direct to our stateroom. - The breakfast and refreshments were good. - The scenery was stunning, especially from the outdoor viewing platform and we spotted moose, bears and a number of eagles. - The only minor negative was the commentary was hard to hear, due to the sound quality and rather noisy passengers. We have previously cruised on Celebrity Millennium and it was in need of refurbishment. We booked Aqua Class as our previous experience of eating in Blu and access to the Persian Garden have been very good. I’ll start with areas of concern: - Although maximum passenger numbers have not increased, there has been a significant number of extra cabins added to this ship over a period time, which I understand provides greater flexibility, resulting in the library and the original saunas which had large outside windows being removed. As we regularly used these facilities, this is a significant disappointment. - Access to the top deck at the front of the ship is now only accessible to suite class passengers and has been renamed the Retreat Sun Deck. I fully understand Suite passengers have paid a significant premium and therefore can expect extras, however fewer passengers appeared to be using this than the Retreat Lounge, which I only ever spotted a handful of people visiting. I would question the ability of the executives running Celebrity to make a rational decision which is detrimental to approximately 90% of the passengers. This is especially important on a cruise where sightseeing from the ship is vital. Also in addition to the extra cabins this change reduces the space per passenger ratio. - It appeared not enough passengers were choosing to use the speciality restaurants based on the amount of pressure crew were under to up-sell to us. - The choice and presentation of food in the Ocean View Cafe seems to have dropped slightly. - We booked the ATV Expedition at Icy Strait Point, although the trip was as described, I wouldn’t do it again, the guide was miserable and complained about the number of cruise ships visiting, which seems rather ironic and we didn’t see any wild animals, other than an eagle as we left the port. - Mount Roberts Tram Way in Juneau, in my opinion it was significantly over priced, the ride is only short, the walks are poorly signposted and the cafe at the top was absolutely chaotic. Now the Positives: - 10 out 10 for the crew, one could not ask for more friendly, helpful and hardworking people. - The ship looks significantly better, there were a few rusty marks here and there, but overall the new paint scheme and furnishings are much better. - We ate in Blu, we never had to wait, often sat near the windows, there was a good choice of well presented and tasty food and we were always made feel extremely welcome and valued. We also had breakfast in Blu most days, which was very good and far more relaxed than the Ocean View Cafe (MDR also offers sit down breakfast). - We had lunch in the MDR on two occasions, this was very good, the portions were adequate, with a good choice. - We didn’t see any of the shows in the main theatre, however the variety of performers around the ship was good and we enjoyed listening to most of them throughout the cruise. - We did attend a number of Beyond the Podium presentations, all were excellent, especially Orca (this was delivered by the onboard sea life experts who were on hand throughout the cruise and were a tremendous bonus to the overall enjoyment of our trip), Millennium Revolution by Staff Captain Giuseppe and Dominique Lavigueur - The Classic Drinks package was OK and we particularly enjoyed the variety of coffee and cakes served in Cafe al Bacio, as well as the friendly, attentive service from the staff there. - The itinerary was excellent, this was helped by exceptional weather, the view of the Hubbard Glacier was spectacular. - The White Pass Train and Coach tour (Skagway); the views were beautiful, the coach stopped at a few points and for many passengers there was sheer excitement of crossing the border into Canada. - The 5 Glacier Seaplane Exploration (Juneau); probably a once in a lifetime trip and it was stunning, the flight was incredibly smooth and the views were amazing. - Captain’s Club; Graeme Kellerher is an excellent host, we only wish we could have fitted in attending more Captain’s Club events and using all of the offers available. - Disembarkation; this was effortless and the Canadian officials seemed genuinely pleased to welcome tourists to their country. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise and a celebration of our 40th Anniversary. The ship was wonderful - first voyage after retrofit. The crew was excellent. So many nice people working onboard. Went out of their way to help us first time ... Read More
This was our first cruise and a celebration of our 40th Anniversary. The ship was wonderful - first voyage after retrofit. The crew was excellent. So many nice people working onboard. Went out of their way to help us first time cruisers. Loved the food, the fun - everything. The shows were excellent. Loved that there was a crew there that were counting animals - they taught me a lot about whale and animal watching. Can't wait to go again. We will go again for sure. This was such a fun time for us. We're so glad we chose this cruise to be our first. The only complaint would be the bathroom - the shower would flood the floor all over. There is no way of stopping the water from going everywhere. I know this bathroom was handicap accessible but this still wasn't workable due to water going everywhere. Need to come up with a better design. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Alaska has always been in the back of our minds. This cruise had all the must see ports for us and a great price. We lotteried for an upgrade and got it - Rm 8018. The veranda provided such a fantastic view of Hubbard Glacier and our ... Read More
Alaska has always been in the back of our minds. This cruise had all the must see ports for us and a great price. We lotteried for an upgrade and got it - Rm 8018. The veranda provided such a fantastic view of Hubbard Glacier and our Captain Theo got us close to it, just .6 miles from the calving ice! He happened to walk by our room just after his 360 degree maneuver as I was chatting with a most outstanding steward from GOA, Jose Fernandez who BTW is impeccable at his job and so very personable. I thanked Cptn Theo for this excellent show. He was so pleased that it worked out so well and that the sun came out allowing for crisp photos without zooming. A very nice man and not full of himself happy and grinning ear to ear. Who doesn't love a Captain with an even keel? The activities were also fun and at time were setup for challenging the crew to various games. My wife Laura was ping-pong tourney champ and received the gold (colored) X medal. She beat me and I got Silver. Oh, I must add she bagged 5 of 6 shots in the (cornhole) bean bag toss. One last game mention Giant Scrabble Game played on the floor of the Rendezvous Lounge. Our team of three beat the standing high score by 30%. Good food all around and if you are willing to experiment with some new tastes then you are in for a treat, plus all the standard fare of American comfort food. "I never found any corn tortillas though" said one gentleman at the taco bar. One last find and it was huge!! Bryan James may look like an average kid (30+ yo) but what an amazing talent and stage presence. He took so many requests and knew not just the words to sing but had amazing skill at guitar work that would usually take a band to make enjoyable. You name it and 95% of the songs he did with little effort. He was coaxed to sing a few of his own songs and as a songwriter he touched some hearts and there were some large flows of tears. Man, what talent. Personable and gifted; Bryan really allowed us feel his feelings as he wrote those heartfelt tunes. One more thing, he was always in key and no pitch issues. Kind of ironic as he gained a following that would show up at every set - sometimes 5 a day. We had quite a bonding through this music with the other "groupies". "Our next cruise MUST include Bryan James" was echoed from at least a dozen folk at his last day's performance. 6 STARS entertainment right there on a 5 star ship!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The only reason to upgrade to the Aqua Class is for the shorter line at check in. The "suites" are not multi-room, and the view is obstructed by the overhang of the deck above. It is, seriously, an obstructed view. And, since ... Read More
The only reason to upgrade to the Aqua Class is for the shorter line at check in. The "suites" are not multi-room, and the view is obstructed by the overhang of the deck above. It is, seriously, an obstructed view. And, since you are on deck 9, you get noises from the pool deck above all night long. Must be why all of the real suites were moved to deck 6. The bathrooms are nowhere near Disney Cruise Line standards as every surface touches you as you shower. The food at the buffet is substandard as it was always cold, even though we were first in line for breakfast. And don't buy the drink package, as there are very few bars that are open to buy a drink. Going to the theater? No bar in that half of the ship. It literally takes a walk through half of the ship to get a drink! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much ... Read More
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much more enjoyable so thats what we look for now. Our cabin, an A1 was a long way from the spa and because of the weather we didn't use it. The room was very well done and the bed was very comfortable. By the time we finished breakfast our room was usually finished. Very clean.did n The buffett was usually crowded but never so much that we couldn't find a place to sit. I noticed, and reported, when a guest came back and dumped his leftover food back into the container. After that I only ate what was served. No more self serve. I feel that they should have someone at all the stations. I have no desire to eat a strangers leftovers. The lounge music venues were very nice. The service in Blu as always was excellent. Daniell and Jet, our waiters, Yudie(sp) the Maitre d' and the wonderful hostess were were so friendly and professional. Overall the shows we great with one notable exception. The music was so loud it overpowered the singers and the guest piano player. It was also.was damaging to our ears. Some of the performances we had to leave because of the music. I don't know why the music director thinks that louder is better. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on ... Read More
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on Celebrity again. For those who do not object to this terrible noise, I am adding a few comments on other aspects of the cruise. The promotional material said the port of embarkation would be Yokohama. With no explanation and no apology Celebrity sent out an e-mail saying the ship would leave from an freighter port about ten miles from Yokohama. I had to change my hotel reservations. Some people said they didn't get the e-mail, went to the wrong port, and had to scramble. Some poor souls probably failed to make it on board at all. Changes must sometimes be made, of course, but failing to acknowledge inconveniencing your customers and to apologize is a serious breach in good service. Regarding the cabin, the shower was roomy and functioned perfectly. It was the best cruise ship shower I've seen. The little lady who tended to my needs was sweet and responsive. Sheets were changed every three days, which was nice. The bed was over-burdened with huge pillows. I stowed them over the closet and under the bed. My cabin attendant got me a reasonably-sized pillow. The mirror had a big circle of light around it. If I sat on the sofa, the light reflected off my glasses, producing an image in the mirror of me with luminous circular eyes. I was amused. The TVs are bolted to the wall, so when the TV was playing next door, I could hear it. The food in the dining room was mediocre, meaning it wasn't very tasty. The emphasis seemed to be on what is called “presentation.” Typically, food is placed in a heap, rather than segregated on the plate. Maybe this is artistic, but the assemblage has to be taken apart before one eats it. As for the specialty restaurants, I didn't try them. Two [Luminae and Blu] were reserved for people higher up in Celebrity's caste system. As a peasant, I was not allowed in them. There was no library on board. A room called “The Retreat” looked like it served that purpose, but it was off-limits to serfs like me. The ship does not have a card room, but we were allowed to play in the upper dining room near the door into the service area, where there was an escalator in serious need of grease. The throbbing of the escalator, along with thumping ambient music, did not make for a relaxed card game. I imagine dining there would be less than ideal, too. Nearby were tables for two with seats enclosed in a cove of foam. That might help a little with sound abatement. One of the bars had two talented chanteuses and a dance floor. It was a pleasant and entertaining way to spend a little time in the evening. The shows in the auditorium were all grossly over-amplified. The grandest featured elaborately-costumed and energetic dancers wearing fake microphones and lip-syncking to recorded music. I don't expect an orchestra on a cruise ship, but at least the singing should be real. Enrichment included a man who talked interestingly about crime in Los Angeles. The other lecturer, while a dynamic speaker, did not have much of interest to say. His lecture on the Pacific Ocean basically said it is big. I like to go to the gym and use the treadmill. Who needs music playing at all or, if it is necessary, why at such high volume? Maybe you want to watch TV, listen to content on your phone, or just read. The loud music is an annoying distraction. All this noise is a deal-breaker for me. I'll never cruise on Celebrity again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while ... Read More
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while the smaller dining room is nice & Blu, gave us access to two menus (Blu and Main), we do not feel the extra cost of Aqua class was merited. There were some instances where the entrees lacked flavor and were overcooked. One of our travelling companions made the remark that the crepe suzettes dessert tasted like "hockey pucks." Early on, we expressed our disappointment to Guest Relations. Subsequently the Head Chef came to our table and explained that the food comes frozen from the US. and that may alter the freshness factor and taste. Having been on numerous Celebrity cruises, Europe, Caribbean and the TransAtlantic, this was quite a unique explanation. On a positive note, service in Blu was excellent and the wait staff were always willing to exchange any food that was not to your liking. The Blu hostess was also extremely accommodating. As on all our Celebrity cruises the cabin attendant "Z" kept our room in excellent shape. Also we had fun with the Celebrity Life staff, particularly with Jaz and Tim. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I always choose my cruises by timing and itinerary. I'd sail the Good Ship Lollipop if she's going to my desired ports at the right time of year :) This was ocean cruise #12 for me, and I've sailed Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, ... Read More
I always choose my cruises by timing and itinerary. I'd sail the Good Ship Lollipop if she's going to my desired ports at the right time of year :) This was ocean cruise #12 for me, and I've sailed Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, and Cunard. As most are aware, Millennium just completed a drydock and was "revolutionized" two months ago. She's looking great. We liked the design and colour choices, the staterooms have a LOT of new and efficient and great looking storage (enough for a mother and daughter to comfortably share!). New furnishings are tasteful and quite nice. We had many wonderful interactions with crew members. Our stateroom attendant (Jose, from Goa) was one of the best I've ever seen. Proactive and helpful, personable, courteous, always a smile, just terrific! The Cafe Bacio serves wonderful specialty coffees and teas and the baristas there (especially Satoko and Carl) seem to have 16 hands and be everywhere at once, multitasking and friendly and moving things along beautifully. We found the MDR menu disappointing (just too "white bread" for us) and unfortunately all of the most best foods were served on the 2nd last night (3rd "Elegant Chic" evening). These could have been spread out through the 3 EC nights, has to be a budget decision but an unfortunate one. For the first time in all of my cruising career, I dined at the buffet in the evening just as often as in the MDR. Buffet isn't busy in the evenings and there are live cooking stations where you can get made to order stir fry, pastas, and grilled items like steak, chicken, and fish. It did not appear that any money was spent in the theatre during the refurbishment, but we enjoyed the production shows and the visiting entertainers. Due to the VERY port-intensive itinerary, we were in bed too early to attend some of the shows. More important to be rested and ready to rumble for some of the longer and more strenuous shore excursions. We had the Classic Beverage Package (as a free perk) and felt it was great. We consumed many bottled waters per day (now they come in aluminum cans which is a very smart decision), multiple lattes, and a glass of wine or two with dinner. Oceanview could be very busy at prime time at breakfast and lunch, with seating for 3 sometimes difficult to accomplish. But this has been the case with every ocean cruise I've ever done (especially on sea days) so was not unexpected. We ended up having breakfast in the dining room quite often (seating is not a problem there) and if we were onboard at lunch time we dined at off-peak times if we were all together. If I was on my own, I could always find a place to sit. We did have to constantly check our folio as items that were intended to be free as "loyalty" items within our Captain's Club status would be charged to the folio and some took a few visits to Guest Relations to resolve. But in the end, they were handled. All in all, we felt that Millennium was looking terrific, our expectations were met perhaps with some exception in the MDR, and the ports were generally well handled by Celebrity and were exceptional in terms of things to see and do. Very happy to have done this cruise with my 2 adult children onboard Millennium. I'm actually back with Celebrity on a sister ship, Constellation (pre drydock) in early 2020 and very much looking forward to that itinerary as well. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As Millennium was the first ship to be part of the comprehensive fleet wide Celebrity refurbishment programme (February) I hope the following observations will be of interest. So, welcome to the Kelly Hoppen land of grey and brown. I ... Read More
As Millennium was the first ship to be part of the comprehensive fleet wide Celebrity refurbishment programme (February) I hope the following observations will be of interest. So, welcome to the Kelly Hoppen land of grey and brown. I didn’t think I would like it but it is ok for a couple of weeks. Whether this currently trendy combination of colours will stand the test of time does, of course, remain to be seen. It is smart but a touch boring for my tastes and I hated the wish-washy “art” in the cabin behind the bed. Anyway, the cabin ( Aqua, deck 9) was fine. The large round illuminated mirror was lovely. It added to the sophistication of the room. Comfortable bed, plenty of storage space and functional bathroom. No complaints (a small plumbing problem was quickly resolved). The food in Blu was mainly very good (a lot more hits than misses) and we enjoyed the environment. Service was good but the additional Aqua cabins do seem to have created congestion at peak times which is hardly surprising when Blu is still the same size. It is an issue which Celebrity need to address. The changes to the buffet were my favourite alteration to the ship. Great layout with use of counters and stools which were an efficient use of space and, also provided viewing places. The use of white tiles and logos worked well. The food maintained a good standard. The Sunset bar area at the back of the ship has received some criticism, although we thought it looked good and did provide enough shade. However, it was Japan in April and not the Mediterranean in July. All the lounges looked good with mainly perfectly sensible and comfortable seating. Sun loungers were all new and we enjoyed regular use of the Persian Garden. Musical offerings are important to us and I do appreciate that this is a subjective topic. The Cruise Director, Steve, was excellent. Lovely chap. The programming of music was perfect. Great use of the lounges at the right times. Bryan James, singer and acoustic guitarist, was a highlight. His sessions in Cafe al Bacio were particularly memorable. The house band, Bristol Fashion were very good and nice to talk to. The instrumental duo were also outstanding with a guitar providing so much more variety than the usually ubiquitous cello. The theatre was mainly used for music and comedy. We didn’t go to everything but those we did attend were good. Celebrity seem to be phasing out the costume singing and dancing extravaganzas which, personally, I welcome. The one we did see was incomprehensible and, for me, unbelievably tedious. Quizzes were run by one very good girl and two pretty awful chaps. I am sure they have talents but not in the quiz arena. This was the poorest aspect of the cruise. Fellow cruisers were lovely. It was one of the most sociable cruises we have taken and their company was much appreciated. Staff were outstanding. As helpful and friendly in all areas of the ship as one could ever wish to encounter. As mentioned CD Steve was really good, as was Captain’s Club host, Graeme, from Zimbabwe, who was never lost for a good story. Japan was a surprise. Amazing country, amazing people. We look forward to returning. The one ship’s tour (Mt. Fuji) we took was very good with an excellent guide. Everywhere else we made our own arrangements. It is difficult to rank cruises but of our 14 (9 Celebrity) this was as good as it gets. The combination of itinerary, the management of the ship by the amusing Captain Alex (and Captain Theo) and all their staff and the fact that Millennium was like a new ship contributed to our enjoyment of the cruise and our sadness that it had to end. In summary, the successful refurbishment was critical to the pleasure we experienced on Millennium. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Celebrity has done a great job on keeping the best of MIllenium's previous features and updating to a newer design. We were a little suspicious that it would be too much like the Edge (we were on the maiden voyage) but were very ... Read More
Celebrity has done a great job on keeping the best of MIllenium's previous features and updating to a newer design. We were a little suspicious that it would be too much like the Edge (we were on the maiden voyage) but were very pleasantly surprised. The April trip around Japan was fantastic - cherry blossom time, Japanese hospitality, a variety of ports, and the best weather we could hope for. We generally did our own excursions because the ports provided shuttles to city centres and plenty of maps and directions from the Japanese and Korean (two stops) travel kiosks at each port. We did one Celebrity excursion on Jeju Island South Korea which was very good. Every port was a highlight for its scenery, city life or historic sites. The new Millennium retains most of the public spaces of the previous design but with a modern, sleek look. Service was always friendly and attentive and the food, while not excellent, was good. We attended all the nightly shows and they were fine. The ship has plenty of bars, lounges and places to relax in quiet, unlike the Edge. Our cabin was great - comfortable, spacious with a modern bathroom. Highly recommend this ship and this cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise as Celebrity were recommended and we wanted to see Japan. Very happy with destinations. We were very happy with service and layout of ship. We had a Classic drink package and our routine was to enjoy predinner ... Read More
Chose this cruise as Celebrity were recommended and we wanted to see Japan. Very happy with destinations. We were very happy with service and layout of ship. We had a Classic drink package and our routine was to enjoy predinner drinks at 530 and then attended the 7 o’clock show before dining at 830. This worked well for us. The food was of a high standard. The kitchen staff work very hard and meals are delivered promptly. Lots of variety also in Oceanview. We did not miss a show and loved the variety in performances. We could not fault our waiter staff George Aditya and Swenall. Very attentive and friendly. Faith our cabin attendant also excellent. Only problem overall we thought shore excursions quite expensive for what you got. Next time I would seek out local operators when you arrive on shore. Overall I would recommend Celebrity and would use again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I am a very frequent cruises, having been on more than 50 cruises so I am a little jaded. When I travel with younger ones Royal is my top choice, so I have been on their sister line Celebrity about 6 times including this cruise. I had ... Read More
I am a very frequent cruises, having been on more than 50 cruises so I am a little jaded. When I travel with younger ones Royal is my top choice, so I have been on their sister line Celebrity about 6 times including this cruise. I had been on two Millenium ships previously, including one within the past year so I can comment on the refurb. I really would give this 3 1/2 stars, not 4, but I didn't want to do 3, so 4 it was. We paid for an upgrade and ended up with a Royal Suite which was very nice. It included free unlimited laundry and free specialty dining which was very nice. The room itself was nice...you can see pics on cruise critic and the decorations are personal taste of course. Some find it nice and clean, others boring. I will say that I heard from many fellow passengers some of the things they did in the room didn't seem well thought out for a cruise ship and I will echo that sentiment. They put a glass shelf loosely attached in the shower and put big bottles of shampoos and conditioner and body wash on it and it will be breaking within the next 30 days(a few months after done). There were some other things like that, all minor really to me but things that made you wonder how it happened. The things I really liked about the cruise: 1) The service in Luminae. I really cannot say enough good things about the service in this restaurant. Kind of funny because the food is on my "bad" list. But everyone from the maitre D', to the waiters, to the bus staff, to the drink person---impeccable. 2) The itinerary which included overnights in Beijing(2) plus Kobe., and we got off the ship and were able to immerse ourselves in the culture. That was great. 3) Our state room attendant was great. I found most of the staff in the buffet to be very friendly and courteous, and most of the staff throughout the ship to be that way Things I was mixed about: 1) Entertainment. For a bigger ship, the quality of entertainment was meh at best. That applies to the specialty acts at night, their singers and dancers, and the live entertainment throughout the ship. Also the activities on board, I did enjoy some, but thought there should have been more. The lecturers were not that interesting. The DJ did some music trivia and he was hilarious. 2) The Buffet. There were parts of the buffet I quite liked---having an outdoor seating area was great, the made to order eggs in the breakfast with a reasonable line, the views from the windows, the scones in the late afternoon were fantastic, the free gelato and ice cream and extensive choice of foods. But it was overcrowded often and you had difficulty finding a seat, the food was definitely hit and miss with easily as many misses as hits if not more. 3) Qsine. Love the concept and some of the food was really good. Unfortunately some of it was not. So this one I'd put more in the pro list then the con list, but some of the food not being so good made me not be able to put it there. Things I wasn't a big fan of: 1) The food at Luminae. They only offer you a choice of 4 items for apps, and 4 for dinner. That's it. If you know enough, which I did, you can ask for something from the main dining room menu. So it was kind of limited in that way and I wasn't impressed. Also I found the food quality there to be lacking. Their Baked Alaska was just bad. Something they had 'special" for Luminae. A shame because the service really was that good. I constantly told them the food was good or fine as they kept asking....but I didn't want anything else. 2) Tuscan. It's a shame because I enjoy this restaurant. Never crowded btw. There's a reason. Food can be good, but every time I have eaten there I and every one I was with have gotten wicked heartburn after. So it has to be on the "bad list" especially with only 3 specialty restaurants and one of them is a sushi place that doesn't have cooked meats, so really kind of limited. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Hi everybody. My name's Alex and to be honest, this is a first for me. I've never reviewed so much as a toaster before - let alone a 2 week cruise - so you may have to bear with me a little... Before I start, a little ... Read More
Hi everybody. My name's Alex and to be honest, this is a first for me. I've never reviewed so much as a toaster before - let alone a 2 week cruise - so you may have to bear with me a little... Before I start, a little background info. Several years ago I was diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Although I still look perfectly healthy my mobility is - to my endless annoyance - getting steadily worse year by year. I knew that with regard to disabled access visiting the Far East (especially China) was rapidly turning into a case of now or never. My parents have been cruising for many years but recently my mother had both hips replaced and didn't want to fly long haul any more. My father, however, still wanted to go on holiday... So with the backing of my wonderful wife and 3 young children it was decided that me and dad would do the cruise. (This, of course, was with the understanding that I would bring back many, many presents) We booked the cruise directly with Celebrity instead of going through a Travel Agent. It was very straightforward to do through their website although if you're disabled you have to discuss it with them over the phone if you want an accessible cabin or suite. Luckily for us there was an Offer at the time of booking for both of us to have the Classic Drinks Package and free shipboard Wi-Fi included in the price. We then booked the flights separately using Travelup.co.uk as they happened to have the best deal on flights. To get a head start on the jetlag (and also see more of Shanghai) we flew out of Heathrow on 28th March giving us a day and a half to see the sights while staying at the Radisson Blu New World as recommended by Celebrity. The hotel kindly booked us a taxi to Baoshan Cruise Terminal to meet the ship. I have no idea if it was a good price or not but we were charged 200rmb for the 45 minute drive which seemed quite reasonable. Embarkation at the cruise terminal was very swift and from arriving at the Terminal to being in our Cabin took less than 30 minutes. I should point out that the only perk (if you can call it that) of being disabled is that you do tend to be able to 'jump the queue' for things like cruise embarkations and airport security. Trust me, I take no pleasure in it and would rather queue and have my health any day of the week. My first impression of the cabin was that it was very well planned and laid out and amazingly quiet considering it was bang amidships and literally back to back with the elevator. We quickly unpacked and then set off to explore the ship. I've only ever been on one other cruise ship which was P & O's Adonia - a much smaller ship with only 500 passengers so Millennium was a ship on a whole different scale. I really should have had a plan on exploring the ship but instead settled on random wandering (probably sub-consciously looking for the nearest open bar). I'd seen pictures of Millennium before the refit but none since and I have to say I was extremely impressed by the quality of the furnishings and decor throughout what is, in reality, a 20 year old ship. The only advice I would give with regard to moving around the ship, however, is to use the staircases whenever possible. If you use the elevator each time you want to change decks, you will be spending half the cruise waiting for one - they are always very, very busy and don't always stop on the deck you wanted! In giving a review of the individual venues on the ship I can only comment on where I visited. For some unknown reason I never ventured up to Decks 11 and 12 except a brief visit to the Cosmos Lounge (which does have excellent views over the bow). Deck 10 has the swimming pool and Jacuzzis which were very sparingly used due to the weather. I also found that Deck 10 just forward of the midship staircase has the strongest Wi-Fi signal on the ship (and is a nice quiet area) if you're looking to skype or Facetime those back home. Deck 10 is also home to the Oceanview Cafe which wraps around nearly the entire rear half of the ship. There are many pros and cons to the OV cafe. At breakfast time on Port days and for most of the day on Sea days it can be a very busy place indeed. However, for lunch during Port days and for late night snacking it really is a very nice space and has a huge amount of choice including the usual Carvery, Indian, Pizza, Pasta & Salad stations etc. There is also permanent tea, coffee and juice on tap plus when it's quiet there are always staff waiting to take your bar order if you fancy a nice glass of something cold with your lunch. Decks 9, 8, 7, 6, 3 & 2 are all largely guest accommodation and it is here that the Cruise Critic forums are worth a mention. I found out (as a cruising novice) that there is a 'Roll Call' forum for each individual cruise on the Cruise Critic website - you get to chat with the people you will be cruising with, exchange tips and even make plans for shared excursions. It's pretty obvious who the Old Hands are and they really do have some very useful advice (my favourite - being a fireproof ship the walls are made of metal. Use fridge magnets to stick up the daily activities programs!) I felt the important thing was that even before we boarded I already knew a whole crowd of interesting people from all over the world that I wouldn't have met otherwise and it was amazing putting faces to the people I had been chatting to for many months (You know who you are!) Also, if there are over 50 people on the cruise 'Roll Call' then Celebrity arranges a Meet and Greet for all concerned on the first sea day. After that as a group we also had a 'Slot Pull' where several dozen of us all crowded into the casino to try our luck (the ship broke down just before we started - perhaps we should have taken it as a sign as we didn't win a bean...) Also arranged through the Roll Call was the 'Cabin Crawl'. This was not the noisy and boozy affair I had envisaged originally but involves having one of the Roll Call members from each grade of cabin or suite allow their fellow cruisers to have a good nose around their home at sea. Obviously this is not to everybody’s taste but I found it a brilliant way to get to know my fellow cruisers a little better and have a look at all the different types of accommodation (The top grade suites are just amazing) My cabin seemed a lot smaller with a dozen people in it all chatting away at the same time! Decks 5 & 4 are where most of the activities and socialising goes on. It’s worth mentioning that there is a Celebrity app available for smartphones. It gives all the details of what’s going on and where while on-board and you can set reminders for shows and activities and even use your phone as your room key if the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are activated. It took a couple of days to remember what was on which deck and I ended up in the Art gallery several times when I'd meant to be in the Casino. Furthest forward is the Theatre. This is a huge space that covers both decks and is really well decorated with very comfortable seating and small fixed drinks tables. It has very good sound and lighting for the shows, talks and films (more on the entertainment later). There is also (non-disabled) access to the helipad from the Deck 5 level for those lucky enough to get invited to view the ship docking from the bow. The only small criticisms I have of the Theatre are that to enter it without going outside you have to either walk through the Art Gallery & shops on Deck 5 or through the Casino on Deck 4 as both are the entire width of the ship and the Casino can end up as a bottleneck before and after any performance. The only other annoyance was that during any films, talks, shows etc. the overhead spotlights were left on which caused a very bright reflection from the drinks tables if you were sitting in the Deck 4 level of the Theatre. Like I said - very minor niggles for a very impressive venue. Moving back from the Theatre on Deck 5 are the shops. These are the usual mix of high-end clothing, watches and fragrances. I assume somebody must be buying these things otherwise the shops wouldn't be there but they always seemed to be deserted. Back from the shops is the Art Gallery. The artworks are changed daily and there is usually a varied mix on show. There is also a huge touchscreen where you can browse all of the artwork on board. Aft of the Art Gallery is the 'Grand Foyer' and central staircase that descends from Deck 5 down to Guest Relations on Deck 3. It's very impressive and creates a very bright and open space right in the heart of the ship. On either side of the staircase on Deck 5 are the Gelateria on the port side and the very popular Cafe al Bacio on the starboard side. The cafe serves a huge variety of coffees, liquors and wines and has, without a doubt, the most comfortable seating on the entire ship in the shape of several huge wing-backed chairs. Many times I walked past and saw my fellow cruisers snoring away! The only gripe I have with the Grand Foyer area is that at night quite often there was a DJ playing music from the Deck 5 balcony over the stairs. This was often loud enough to make conversation difficult and saw people deserting the area in droves. Back past the cafe is Cellar Masters. During the day this is the place to go for Wine tastings (which occur almost daily but at a price). It's got a sort of cosy wine-bar feel at night and usually has live music in the evening - normally a duo or trio so nothing overwhelming. The bar usually opens around 5pm and was always staffed by the ever cheerful Arie who is one of those amazing people who has the capacity to remember everybody’s name. Unless using the Aft staircase or elevators you have to walk through here to enter the Metropolitan dining room. A quick tip - If you’re eating in the MDR then fixed-time diners are seated on Deck 5 and anytime eating is Deck 4. I went for the anytime to stay flexible and never had to queue. Also if it’s just the 2 of you then you can ask for the extremely comfy 'Dalek' chairs right against the big back windows. Moving down to Deck 4 and back from the Theatre is the Casino. As I've said before, the Casino spans the entire width of the ship (presumably to catch passing traffic) and has the feel of a mini Caesars Place or Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas. It's a very comfortable place with a large bar and TV screens showing either news or sports. It was never overly busy or crowded and the few times I visited I pretty much had the pick of whichever opportunity to lose my money I wanted. There were 2 nights during the cruise that each passenger was given a $5 free play on the slot machines (always nice to gamble with somebody else’s money) and somehow I managed to walk away $18 up at the end of the cruise! Again only a single gripe with the Casino and that is that the bar service was for some reason much slower than the rest of the ship. Aft of the Casino is the middle level of the Grand Foyer. On the port side is a large amount of comfy seating and on the opposite side of the Staircase is the very popular Martini Bar. With its frozen bar-top and bar staff who juggle bottles and perform all sorts of drink pouring-related tricks it's often very difficult to get a seat from early evening onwards. Just for sheer entertainment value it's worth hanging out here for a while if waiting for dinner or a show. Past the Martini Bar and aft of the midship staircase is the Rendezvous Lounge. Also the full width of the ship, this space is, as the name suggests, a great place for meeting up for pre-dinner drinks in the evening as there is a very large bar and a huge amount of comfy seating with waiters constantly circulating with drink requests. More importantly during the day this is the place to go for daily Board games, Trivia quizzes and various presentations. It really is a very pleasant, bright and airy place to meet and socialize. Aft of the Lounge on the starboard side of the ship is the Anytime diners entrance to the MDR where the staff welcome you and hand you off to a waiter who will escort you to your table. Each table has a Waiter, Assistant waiter and a Sommelier who is responsible for a small group of tables. We were always seated in the same area and so usually had the same staff each night which was a real pleasure as they seemed genuinely enthusiastic in their jobs (especially the sommeliers Manuel and Jelena who always made us feel so welcome after a long day exploring ashore). I've seen the pre-refit pictures of the MDR and I have to say it now looks so much lighter, fresher and more modern. Deck 3 has its public spaces around the base of the central staircase and includes Guest relations, Destination concierge and Shore Excursion booking. It's also usually where the gangplank ashore is located. Guest relations always seemed to have a queue regardless of the time of day or night but the staff were always tirelessly helpful and cheerful. Many thanks here to Caesar. In Beijing one of the straps on my rucksack snapped so when back on board I went down to Guest relations with a rather odd request and asked Caesar if it would be possible to source a couple of cable ties for a temporary repair. Within 5 minutes the ships electrician appeared with a whole selection - very impressive service! My review of the food is rather short - we simply found the food in the MDR to be of such high quality and choice that we didn't visit any of the speciality restaurants on board. When the MDR was open at lunchtime we ate there. If closed we used the Oceanview Cafe. As I've already mentioned, the food in the OV cafe was hugely varied and of very good quality. The food in the MDR however, was on another level. There was a 'core' menu of 4 starters (Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, French onion soup & Escargot) and 3 mains (salmon, chicken breast & sirloin steak) that were always available. The rest of the menu - 7 starters & 6 mains - varied on a daily basis. I can honestly say that every single meal was a pleasure and I was consistently impressed throughout the cruise by quality and variety of the food. The portions were on the small side of what I was expecting but this is in no way a criticism as it meant that there was always room for one of the many choices of desserts. Again, a rather short review for Shore excursions. Looking at the excursions on offer from Celebrity, it seemed that they didn't actually offer much for rather a lot of money. We therefore decided to risk doing our own thing at each port of call and didn't book a single excursion through Celebrity. The only time we made use of them was a free - but very poorly advertised - shuttle bus from the Port of Incheon into town and the same in Yokohama. It was the Immigration processes for each Country that the cruise failed miserably on. Obviously it was in no way Celebrity's fault as they have no authority over the immigration process. Going ashore once primary face-to-face immigration procedures were completed was fine - you could literally just walk straight off the ship. However, initial arrival in each country seemed to take an inordinately long time. For example the ship docked in Kobe, Japan at 9:00am but we didn't actually walk out of the Cruise terminal until 11:45am by which time our plans for travelling to Kyoto for the day were totally ruined. The only area where I felt that Celebrity themselves were very much below par was the on-board entertainment and presentations. The opening item I saw was the first in a series of talks about Buddhism. The advertising for it sounded very interesting and I was looking forward to attending. However, within 10 minutes of the start of the presentation I, and several others in the audience were fast asleep! The poor presenter had one of those voices that is so quiet and monotonous that you can't help but nod off. I kicked myself afterwards for not recording it to play to my children when they won't go to sleep at bedtime... Suffice to say, the following presentations in the series were very sparsely attended. The evening productions in the Theatre unfortunately appeared to be extremely amateurish with some of the singing little better than a karaoke night down the local pub. Very often I'd leave after a few excruciating minutes along with a fair number of others. As mentioned before, the DJ in the Grand Foyer was way too loud and fortunately only appeared near the beginning of the cruise. Perhaps Celebrity took note of the mass exodus? The same unfortunately goes for the rest of the singers and musicians spread around the rest of the ship - Celebrity seems to have very much gone for the Quantity over Quality approach and I think they have badly let themselves down with this approach. Only one act actually impressed me (sorry, can't remember their name but it was a couple of chaps doing a silent comedy routine) and they only came on-board for a single performance. The entertainers on-board weren't actually terribly bad, but neither were they any good and certainly didn't make me want to sit and listen to them. And so to briefly sum up - the ship was absolutely fantastic, the food, crew & facilities were top notch and above all the company of my fellow cruisers was a total pleasure. If you're not too fussy about quality on-board entertainment and organized excursions then I can absolutely recommend Celebrity and I will certainly be cruising with them again at the earliest opportunity. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The itinerary was the reason we chose this cruise The upgrade has been done to a very cheap budget The staff as always ,wonderful service always smiling. Main dining room , good food and service Layout of ship because of size ... Read More
The itinerary was the reason we chose this cruise The upgrade has been done to a very cheap budget The staff as always ,wonderful service always smiling. Main dining room , good food and service Layout of ship because of size was a bit strange. Had to walk through casino to get to some places !! Would have loved to have seen more space for dancing Poor band and disco stuck on the floor near the bar but no room for dancing. Think they should consider moving the second bar near martini bar for dancing. It was rarely used , most were watching the entertainment and itching to dance by the railings. Enjoyed the trivia etc The theatre entertainment was very average. There were 2 standout acts, but on the other nights, it was mediocre at best One of the tours we went on was dreadful. So bad most got partial refunds. But, I got 30% others got between 40 and 100% I don't get why the different refunds!!! Such a shame. Ive never had an issue with any of my celebrity cruises before, I just feel they've dropped the ball on this one Read Less
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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