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My wife and I like the Alaska itineraries, and had previously cruised on NCL, Princess, and RCCL. We wanted to experience Celebrity Cruises, expecting things to be 'a notch above'. Sadly, this did not prove to be the case. First, let me state that the crew and staff were truly excellent - no problems in this area. Well, there was the time in the Cosmos Lounge when I ordered a Bloody Mary, and was served tomato juice with a splash of vodka. I took it back and the bartender added the spices, but then failed to add the olives (which were standard on the many other Bloody Marys I had). The bartender did not speak, not saying he was sorry . . . nothing. It seemed odd that the bartenders would be so bad in what must be the premium lounge on the ship. The ship had recently undergone a 'revolution' - since I had not seen it in its previous incarnation, I cannot really comment on this, except to say that the ship looked clean and well maintained, in general good shape. We found the decor to be somewhat underwhelming - bland colors, very few art objects, blank walls. The ship's library was reduced to a few niches in a wall outside of a lounge - just sad. The Grand Foyer was anything but. Compared to the Promenade of a RCCL ship, this compared very poorly. There was no sense of luxury, of grandeur. Our cabin was an oceanview stateroom - never again will I cruise without a balcony. Still, it was large, neat, and well-appointed. Our cabin steward (Emmanuel) was excellent. On this cruise, I learned to NEVER book a room anywhere near a lounge. We were on deck 6, and the Cosmos Lounge was on deck 10 - but the constant, irritatingly loud 'thumpa-thumpa' of what allegedly passed for music made it's way down to our room. It was impossible to fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning when the lounge closed. In general, I found the music in the lounges to be excessively loud - making it difficult to hold a conversation at times. Where we really felt let down was in the dining, both in the Ocean View Cafe (buffet) and the Metropolitan Dining Room. The food in the buffet was uniformly unexciting, with many of the hot items being served only warm. The quality of the food was acceptable, but not much more than that. The deserts were mostly awful. There were very few chocolate items; there were various flavors (colors?) of the two-layered cake-y things that seem popular on cruise ships - I tried one and found myself wondering if they are calibrated to another culture's taste buds. The top layer was quivery and gelatinous, where it should have been rich and creamy. The bottom layer was a dry, tasteless cake. Another issue with the buffet was that the food was spread out in different pods, making it difficult to find everything. Also, the buffet could feel VERY crowded - several occasions we circled multiple times, looking for an open table, only to give up in frustration. The quality of the food in the MDR was better (as should be expected), but except for a couple of outstanding entrees (Seafood Orzo, Scallops Crudo), the rest were just 'good'. I had one NY steak that was tough and gristly. The seafood dishes, notably fish, had surprisingly tiny portions - smaller even than the recommended meat serving size that is a 'pack of cards'. On the other hand, our excellent waiter Zachary brought me three lobsters . . . My bottom line here is that I believe the overall food quality of most cruise lines has dropped, with their focus on their 'specialty' restaurants. Sorry, after shelling out $$$$ for the cruise, I don't feel compelled to pay extra for the pleasure of getting the quality of food that should be available in the main dining room. The on-board entertainment was between good and very-good. The instrumentalists and the vocalists all did fine jobs. The production 'Elysium', while having acceptable musical performances, was confusing and not well considered. The December 63 group was excellent. Service was generally excellent - the staff went out of their way to be pleasant and helpful. This was perhaps the only area where we felt Celebrity was 'a notch above'. We did find that there were too few of the roving bar waiters; I had to go wait at the bar to order drinks after waiting for a server to come. Having been to Alaska previously, we did few shore excursions. Our captain did manage to take the ship to within a few hundred feet of the Hubbard Glacier - truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Except for the miserable weather in Ketchikan, all of the other days were beautiful - clear skies, sunshine, temperatures in the 60s and 70s. I wore shorts most days. The cruise lines generally have embarkation and debarkation down to a science, and Celebrity was no exception. This all went very smoothly. Overall, the cruise was good, but I might go back to RCCL for our next cruise. I just didn't get the sense of luxury I was expecting. I was hoping to experience better food in a more refined atmosphere, and that just didn't happen. I was also hoping (perhaps unrealistically) to be surrounded with passengers whose tastes and behaviors were more refined. Many seemed as if they would be more at home on a Carnival 'party ship'. One final thought - the Celebrity app needs MUCH more work. It often had incorrect information, causing us to miss some events we had planned on attending. Use with caution.

Expectations Not Met

Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by Altazi

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
My wife and I like the Alaska itineraries, and had previously cruised on NCL, Princess, and RCCL. We wanted to experience Celebrity Cruises, expecting things to be 'a notch above'. Sadly, this did not prove to be the case.

First, let me state that the crew and staff were truly excellent - no problems in this area. Well, there was the time in the Cosmos Lounge when I ordered a Bloody Mary, and was served tomato juice with a splash of vodka. I took it back and the bartender added the spices, but then failed to add the olives (which were standard on the many other Bloody Marys I had). The bartender did not speak, not saying he was sorry . . . nothing. It seemed odd that the bartenders would be so bad in what must be the premium lounge on the ship.

The ship had recently undergone a 'revolution' - since I had not seen it in its previous incarnation, I cannot really comment on this, except to say that the ship looked clean and well maintained, in general good shape. We found the decor to be somewhat underwhelming - bland colors, very few art objects, blank walls. The ship's library was reduced to a few niches in a wall outside of a lounge - just sad. The Grand Foyer was anything but. Compared to the Promenade of a RCCL ship, this compared very poorly. There was no sense of luxury, of grandeur.

Our cabin was an oceanview stateroom - never again will I cruise without a balcony. Still, it was large, neat, and well-appointed. Our cabin steward (Emmanuel) was excellent. On this cruise, I learned to NEVER book a room anywhere near a lounge. We were on deck 6, and the Cosmos Lounge was on deck 10 - but the constant, irritatingly loud 'thumpa-thumpa' of what allegedly passed for music made it's way down to our room. It was impossible to fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning when the lounge closed. In general, I found the music in the lounges to be excessively loud - making it difficult to hold a conversation at times.

Where we really felt let down was in the dining, both in the Ocean View Cafe (buffet) and the Metropolitan Dining Room. The food in the buffet was uniformly unexciting, with many of the hot items being served only warm. The quality of the food was acceptable, but not much more than that. The deserts were mostly awful. There were very few chocolate items; there were various flavors (colors?) of the two-layered cake-y things that seem popular on cruise ships - I tried one and found myself wondering if they are calibrated to another culture's taste buds. The top layer was quivery and gelatinous, where it should have been rich and creamy. The bottom layer was a dry, tasteless cake. Another issue with the buffet was that the food was spread out in different pods, making it difficult to find everything. Also, the buffet could feel VERY crowded - several occasions we circled multiple times, looking for an open table, only to give up in frustration.

The quality of the food in the MDR was better (as should be expected), but except for a couple of outstanding entrees (Seafood Orzo, Scallops Crudo), the rest were just 'good'. I had one NY steak that was tough and gristly. The seafood dishes, notably fish, had surprisingly tiny portions - smaller even than the recommended meat serving size that is a 'pack of cards'. On the other hand, our excellent waiter Zachary brought me three lobsters . . . My bottom line here is that I believe the overall food quality of most cruise lines has dropped, with their focus on their 'specialty' restaurants. Sorry, after shelling out $$$$ for the cruise, I don't feel compelled to pay extra for the pleasure of getting the quality of food that should be available in the main dining room.

The on-board entertainment was between good and very-good. The instrumentalists and the vocalists all did fine jobs. The production 'Elysium', while having acceptable musical performances, was confusing and not well considered. The December 63 group was excellent.

Service was generally excellent - the staff went out of their way to be pleasant and helpful. This was perhaps the only area where we felt Celebrity was 'a notch above'. We did find that there were too few of the roving bar waiters; I had to go wait at the bar to order drinks after waiting for a server to come.

Having been to Alaska previously, we did few shore excursions. Our captain did manage to take the ship to within a few hundred feet of the Hubbard Glacier - truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Except for the miserable weather in Ketchikan, all of the other days were beautiful - clear skies, sunshine, temperatures in the 60s and 70s. I wore shorts most days.

The cruise lines generally have embarkation and debarkation down to a science, and Celebrity was no exception. This all went very smoothly.

Overall, the cruise was good, but I might go back to RCCL for our next cruise. I just didn't get the sense of luxury I was expecting. I was hoping to experience better food in a more refined atmosphere, and that just didn't happen. I was also hoping (perhaps unrealistically) to be surrounded with passengers whose tastes and behaviors were more refined. Many seemed as if they would be more at home on a Carnival 'party ship'.

One final thought - the Celebrity app needs MUCH more work. It often had incorrect information, causing us to miss some events we had planned on attending. Use with caution.
Altazi’s Full Rating Summary
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