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We took the Celebrity Millennium on a 15 day trans-Pacific trip from Vancouver to Tokyo. It was a trip we were anxiously anticipating since the ship was scheduled initially to go to Dutch Harbor in the Alueutian Islands, a port we would never visit otherwise. Six months ago, Celebrity cancelled the port and substituted Sitka. We were never notified of the change nor were our traveling companions who had booked directly with the cruise line. When we discovered the intinerary change, I called to ask why this was done and why we weren’t notified. Basically we were told that it had something to do with Chinese immigration...yes, that’s right...Chinese immigration even though the last time I looked, Dutch Harbor was in the United States. In truth, the person I was talking with was reading from a paper and couldn’t answer any questions. He said that it was the responsibility of our travel agency to inform us of the itinerary change. I called American Express and they had no record of any changes and, as I indicated, our friends who booked directly with Celebrity were not informed either. The “customer service” represented basically told me my only option was to cancel the cruise. Nice. We boarded the ship in Vancouver and the check in was excellent...much better than we have had at the port on previous cruises. The ship is old and worn but it still has character and we like the small size of the ship...2,100 passengers. Captain Alex is awesome. He is quite a personality and just a lot of fun. He is also visiable around the ship which is nice. Overall, the service on the ship was good and the staff was accommodating even though it is a stressful voyage for them with 8 consecuative days at sea. Sitka is a nice port...no complaints about that other than it wasn’t Dutch Harbor. On the first night of the trip, we were eating in a speciality restaurant when the power went out throughout the ship. This was three hours into the voyage. The generates came on with emergency power and I guess the problem was resolved in about 60 minutes. A disturbing way to start a trip when you are crossing the Pacific Ocean. The cabin was fine...we had an eight deck concierge class room with the option of a bottle of champagne every day. The beds are average. Princess is doing a much better job now with their new beds in all staterooms. Lots of rust on the ship but it is going into a major dry dock in 2019. The buffet lunch was average at best. It was always over crowded and guests would sit at tables for hours playing cards and drinking coffee. You could not get a table until after 2 PM for lunch. There is little effort to encourage guests to eat and then vacate tables. They finally put out tent cards with that except they were only in English and they needed to be in at least two other languages. Food was mediocre. The main dining room was better. The service was very good; food just ok but that is not the waiters fault. The gym was absolutely terrible. You could not get a treadmill at any time of the day or night. People would monopolize the machines for hours despite people waiting. It was so bad that security had to be called at least two times that we know of to prevent fights from breaking out. We finally gave up on the gym after a week...it wasn’t worth the hassles or the frustrations. They don’t have enough equipment, the room is too small, and they need to get rid of the paid exercise classes to accommodate passengers who want to work out. The excursions on the ship in Japan were not worth the expense. They mostly consisted of being transported to a certain area and given free time to explore on your own. The Japanese hosts were lovely people but there wasn’t a whole lot to the tours. It seems that the trend in cruise lines is now to de-emphasize service and to find more “revenue enhancement” activities to make more money. That is not a good policy for elite passengers who travel a lot. The evening cocktail party for elites has been reduced in hours and there is now a three drink maximum during that time. Yes, you can use your cruise card at other bars between 5 and 7 PM but the purpose of the party is to visit with other passengers. Overall, it was an ok cruise but, in truth, a bit of a disappointment. We have been looking more at Princess lately and have some pretty good sailings with them. Maybe it is time to switch once and for all?

What happened to Celebrity?

Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by philipb445

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Trip Details
We took the Celebrity Millennium on a 15 day trans-Pacific trip from Vancouver to Tokyo. It was a trip we were anxiously anticipating since the ship was scheduled initially to go to Dutch Harbor in the Alueutian Islands, a port we would never visit otherwise. Six months ago, Celebrity cancelled the port and substituted Sitka. We were never notified of the change nor were our traveling companions who had booked directly with the cruise line. When we discovered the intinerary change, I called to ask why this was done and why we weren’t notified. Basically we were told that it had something to do with Chinese immigration...yes, that’s right...Chinese immigration even though the last time I looked, Dutch Harbor was in the United States. In truth, the person I was talking with was reading from a paper and couldn’t answer any questions. He said that it was the responsibility of our travel agency to inform us of the itinerary change. I called American Express and they had no record of any changes and, as I indicated, our friends who booked directly with Celebrity were not informed either. The “customer service” represented basically told me my only option was to cancel the cruise. Nice.

We boarded the ship in Vancouver and the check in was excellent...much better than we have had at the port on previous cruises. The ship is old and worn but it still has character and we like the small size of the ship...2,100 passengers. Captain Alex is awesome. He is quite a personality and just a lot of fun. He is also visiable around the ship which is nice. Overall, the service on the ship was good and the staff was accommodating even though it is a stressful voyage for them with 8 consecuative days at sea. Sitka is a nice port...no complaints about that other than it wasn’t Dutch Harbor.

On the first night of the trip, we were eating in a speciality restaurant when the power went out throughout the ship. This was three hours into the voyage. The generates came on with emergency power and I guess the problem was resolved in about 60 minutes. A disturbing way to start a trip when you are crossing the Pacific Ocean.

The cabin was fine...we had an eight deck concierge class room with the option of a bottle of champagne every day. The beds are average. Princess is doing a much better job now with their new beds in all staterooms. Lots of rust on the ship but it is going into a major dry dock in 2019.

The buffet lunch was average at best. It was always over crowded and guests would sit at tables for hours playing cards and drinking coffee. You could not get a table until after 2 PM for lunch. There is little effort to encourage guests to eat and then vacate tables. They finally put out tent cards with that except they were only in English and they needed to be in at least two other languages. Food was mediocre. The main dining room was better. The service was very good; food just ok but that is not the waiters fault.

The gym was absolutely terrible. You could not get a treadmill at any time of the day or night. People would monopolize the machines for hours despite people waiting. It was so bad that security had to be called at least two times that we know of to prevent fights from breaking out. We finally gave up on the gym after a week...it wasn’t worth the hassles or the frustrations. They don’t have enough equipment, the room is too small, and they need to get rid of the paid exercise classes to accommodate passengers who want to work out.

The excursions on the ship in Japan were not worth the expense. They mostly consisted of being transported to a certain area and given free time to explore on your own. The Japanese hosts were lovely people but there wasn’t a whole lot to the tours.

It seems that the trend in cruise lines is now to de-emphasize service and to find more “revenue enhancement” activities to make more money. That is not a good policy for elite passengers who travel a lot. The evening cocktail party for elites has been reduced in hours and there is now a three drink maximum during that time. Yes, you can use your cruise card at other bars between 5 and 7 PM but the purpose of the party is to visit with other passengers.

Overall, it was an ok cruise but, in truth, a bit of a disappointment. We have been looking more at Princess lately and have some pretty good sailings with them. Maybe it is time to switch once and for all?
philipb445’s Full Rating Summary
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