Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by JWDOYLE
- Sail Date: September 2018
- Destination: Transpacific
- Cabin Type: Ocean View 4
Overall, I don’t think the Millennium quite measured up to the other ships. I don’t mean that it is a bad ship. it isn’t. It wouldn’t be my first choice but I would take it again.
My cabin was better than I had on any of the other ships in the same category. The entertainment, except for the library, was at least as good. The food was slightly below the quality I’ve had on other ships but always equal or above what I’d expect at a good coffee shop. The service was a slight bit below that on other ships I’ve been on but
I feel that was management’s fault, not the actual staff that provided the service.
To me, service is the complete service package, not just that provided by the actual servers. Millennium management seems to have the idea that to increase profits they can increase the service charge and lower the size of the staff. (It’s called a gratuity but in actuality it is a charge added on to the bill.) I don't mind paying a gratuity and I can't suggest a solution that would insure an adequate gratuity for good service but I don't feel the service charge system on the Millennium insured good service. There were staff members who I thought deserved something extra but as the overall service charge was already over twenty percent of the fare, I didn't give them any extra.
It seems that there may be too few staff members to maintain the highest quality or that the training of staff is lacking attention to detail. For example, an inspection of the cafeteria will reveal several instances of neglect: pastries that have been maimed by passengers, food trays with only one or two items left in disarray within them. Unmanned stations. Food trays that are almost impossible to reach. These are all parts of the service I have come to expect on a cruise ship based on my experience with other lines.
Examples of what I consider less than adequate service also include the following. .
Too few tables in cafeteria. At busy times it was extremely difficult to find a table. Sometimes I had to make two or more complete rounds of the restaurant to find one. This created an unpleasant competitive atmosphere among diners looking for a table.
The food stations used for clearing tables in the cafe are in full view. Food scraps in full view are very unappetizing!
There were receptacles for teaspoons near coffee stations for both clean and dirty spoons. These could be easily confused and I think passengers sometimes were confused as to which was which because I got a couple of “clean” ones that were were wet and sticky. I also got a napkin wrapped knife that was covered in brown stuff.
Coffee stations were often out of coffee (brewing) and usually the coffee was only warm.
Pastry area was often a mess - mangled cakes, helter-skelter smaller items.
Roast beef and pork were usually somewhat dry and tough. Had Kobe meatloaf that was extremely salty. I had lobster one night which was very good but most of the other food was fairly average..
Waiting time to get into the more formal restaurant always over 15 minutes. Sometimes seemed that there were empty tables. Perhaps this is because there is not enough staff to accommodate the number of passengers.
Many of the single party deuces were separated by less than five inches - too close together.
The physical menu was lackluster (one page of drinks for sale, the other the menu) which, to me, made the menu offerings less than exciting. I think that when one comes to eat, the food should be the first thing one sees on the menu. The wine list is comprised of mostly overly expensive wines.
Limited information is provided about which restaurants are specialty restaurants and their costs and which restaurants were for the lower class passengers and which for the two higher classes of passengers - a rather elitist boat.
The Library on the Millennium was an extreme disappointment to me. Based on my experience on other ships, I was expecting to be able to find a variety of reading material. This ships library lacks any reference books and the reading material consists of limited selection of novels and a few non fiction books. I didn’t count them but I estimate the library had fewer than one hundred books, non of which I found of interest. Had I known, I would have brought my own materials. Very disappointing to me. Others might not find it so.
One of the worse things about this cruise, however, was Toluene (lacquer) smell which covered over several floors for several days. It gave me a headache.
I know ships must perform this sort of maintenance while cruising but there are exhaust systems available to direct the fumes to the outside. I wonder too if the fumes are as volatile as they smell and if so if they represented a fire danger. Surely the fumes represented a danger to the workers if they were not wearing proper safety respirators.
Coffee, tea and water were the only sugar free drinks.
The singing and dancing ensemble is excellent as was Salvatore and the female singer/pianist. The rest were so-so. Both speakers on the lecture series were outstanding although the fellow was a little difficult to understand at times. But then, my hearing is a little wonky too.
Because of a typhoon, we missed a port on the itinerary. I understand and appreciate the concern for safety. I think the Captain would have gained some good will if he had given some small token to make up missing a port.
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(I indicated Ocean View 4 which I am not sure is correct as we were on the third floor.)