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Sail Date: April 2019
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days ... Read More
We took this cruise as a gentle way to go home to Canada from Japan. (We had done an around Japan cruise with Windstar beforehand) It was very enjoyable, food great, staff lovely, entertainment good. There were alot of sea days together but we got a routine of trivias, podium talks, hot tubs and eating in the day as the weather was too cold to be out on deck much or in the swimming pool. The speakers were entertaining, one gave talks on major trials. Another did Buddhism history and meditation and a third did varied talks from Rasputin to dog behaviour. The afternoon progressive trivia was fun if you had got a team together. It wasnt too rough so seasickness wasnt an issue either. We did have to change our clocks forward about 6 separate times to be on Vancouver time by arrival butbetter than getting full jetlag. So repositioing was worth doing, although the stop in Russia was a waste of time except to stretch your legs! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are in our early 70's - this was our 40th cruise - but only the 2nd with Celebrity (usually we cruise with either Princess or NCL) - We choose this for the itinerary - always wanted to see Hong Kong ! We are spoiled, and have ... Read More
We are in our early 70's - this was our 40th cruise - but only the 2nd with Celebrity (usually we cruise with either Princess or NCL) - We choose this for the itinerary - always wanted to see Hong Kong ! We are spoiled, and have cruised in suites for the last several years. The Room - we had a Celebrity Suite - #9096 - yes - we did hear chairs scrapping, etc. noise from Deck 10 above (but this was the last Celebrity Suite available) - and the noise was not so bad that it actually woke us up from sleeping or anything. The floor to ceiling windows were wonderful, and the extra space with the dining table were great. The balcony was indeed, narrow - but no problem - just turned the chairs sideways ! The totally negative part about the room (which we had read about, and were fore-warned) was the bathroom - very small - and the HUGE step in and out that you had to take to get in and out of the tub or the shower (combination tub and shower) The ship did show a little wear and tear - but nothing all that horrible (or worth reporting as far as I am concerned) The service and the food in the Luminae Restaurant was absolutely outstanding ! - You could pretty much ask for anything that you wanted. You could always order from the menu from the main dining room if there wasn't anything on the Luminae menu that caught your fancy. The wait staff were beyond great - welcomed you by name whenever they saw you. Our meals were, without a doubt, the highlight of the trip ! We did eat in the Italian Restaurant one night - it was OK - expensive wine. We found no reason to venture out of the Luminae after that. The entertainment was hit and miss. The production shows with the ship singers and dancers were very, very good - and very well attended. The other entertainment were things like jugglers and harmonica players (!) - not so good, and not so well attended. (of course, there were a couple of ports that the ship overnighted at, so passengers may have stayed ashore on shore excursions later than normal. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Celebrity is one of our favourite cruise lines. The staff are always friendly and so helpful. The facilities on board are all good. Our cabin was as expected. The captain is one of the best we have experienced on all the cruise lines. The ... Read More
Celebrity is one of our favourite cruise lines. The staff are always friendly and so helpful. The facilities on board are all good. Our cabin was as expected. The captain is one of the best we have experienced on all the cruise lines. The entertainment team were excellent especially Paul the cruise director, who was a very talented performer in his own right. We ate breakfast and lunch mostly in the Ocean View which always had a good selection of food. The areas were always kept clear and it was never too difficult to find a table. The Main restaurant on deck 4 for the select dining was easy to use. The staff were well organised if the restaurant was busy we had a beeper to call us to the restaurant when they were ready for us. Once or twice we had to request the food to be a little warmer but the staff were very obliging. Melwin the somellier was excellent, remembering our favourite wines and was very attentive. Anwari was one of our favourite waiters too. My husband booked the Tuscan grill for my birthday but it was very disappointing. The food was served cold. Considering there were only 20 people in the restaurant the service and food should have been far better. Although the staff replaced the meals it took the edge off our celebrations. Due to this we would not bother again and would not recommend the restaurant. It was well overpriced for what we had, The ports and shore excursions were good. Travelling with friends on this occasion made it a very memorable cruise Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We have recently returned from our extensive Asian travels, and have been very surprised to read such negative reviews of the Tokyo (Yokohama) to Hong Kong cruise. This was a very interesting itinerary, and although not perfect we found ... Read More
We have recently returned from our extensive Asian travels, and have been very surprised to read such negative reviews of the Tokyo (Yokohama) to Hong Kong cruise. This was a very interesting itinerary, and although not perfect we found the Celebrity Millennium cruise to be very enjoyable. The main let down for us was the quality of the food and the service in the MDR. We overcame this by eating some evening meals in the Ocean View Buffet, where we were able to have food cooked to order e.g. stir fries and pasta. We also enjoyed sitting in the outdoor eating area when weather permitted. The ship itself was in good condition for its age, and there were many pleasant bars and places to sit to listen to a wide array of music. The covered pool area was lovely and not too crowded.The entertainment overall was of a good quality and we enjoyed the enrichment lectures very much. Our ocean view stateroom at the front of the ship was large and comfortable ( no balcony) and our attendant was excellent. We took 2 shore excursions; Shimizu was disappointing because of the weather, but that is not anybody's fault, and the tour to Kyoto from Kobe was good, we especially enjoyed seeing the Golden Pavilion. Everywhere we went was crowded, but we found that to be the norm in Asia. Other ports we explored on our own with no problems at all. Overall we don't think that Celebrity deserves to be rated more highly than Royal Carribbean, but this cruise does not deserve the negative reviews it has received. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I have to begin this review with the fact that the Monday prior to sailing (October 10, 2016) I was told by Celebrity personnel that we would not be allowed to board the ship without a China Visa. I checked with the Chinese Consulate who ... Read More
I have to begin this review with the fact that the Monday prior to sailing (October 10, 2016) I was told by Celebrity personnel that we would not be allowed to board the ship without a China Visa. I checked with the Chinese Consulate who referred me back to Celebrity. The consulate said I might qualify under the 144 day (no visa needed for US citizens) rule, however, check with the Cruise Lines because they could not say whether or not I could board the ship. I spent 7 1/2 hours on the telephone and the bottom line was that we NEEDED the Visa before would could board the ship. This came from Celebrity Cruise lines. After frantically looking for a way to get a Visa in 4 days (because they had to be in my hands before Friday - we were departing on Saturday to catch the ship on Sunday), and finally found an expediter in San Francisco who (for a fee of $259 over the cost of the Visa, and that was very reasonable compared to others) could get the Visas for me. Going back AGAIN to the fact that I was TOLD REPEATEDLY that I could NOT BOARD the ship without this VISA, after boarding, one of the first signs that I saw was one that said "Guests who wish to participate on tours in Shanghai but do not have a Chinese visa may obtain a provisional visa to be able to participate on a Celebrity Shore Excursion." I later learned that these people got these provisional visas for $10.00!!!! Compare that to $432!!!!! I also learned that other people on this cruise had been told the same thing. If you were one of them, I would love to hear from you!!! Along with being hoodwinked by someone who (I hope) didn't know any better because they do NOT COMMUNICATE properly, after boarding I found the food choices to be very limited, (You are strongly encouraged to purchase food from a specialty restaurant if you want variety) the on-board activities very good if you had one foot in the grave (during a line dance instructional class on the Lido deck, one of the guests asked the instructor to turn the music down!!), practically no activities during days at sea, the Guest Services Staff limited in knowledge. They had no stamps aboard if you wanted to mail postcards. They had no money aboard if you wanted to exchange currency. They said they were waiting on stamps. Also told we could get money exchanged in port (what if we were going on a tour and had no time to exchange?). I still have to give credit where it's due. The waiter and his assistant were wonderful, and the dining room manager was extremely accommodating. The ship is still a nice ship, but most of the staff did not seem very happy. I was also told that there were Leadership people on this cruise from Celebrity. No one told me that while I was aboard and the leadership did not think enough of me and my predicament to have a face-to-face with me. even though she was presented with my circumstances. NOT EVEN TO APOLOGIZE OR TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN MIS-COMMUNICATION. They have a disclaimer on all documents that says each individual is responsible for knowing whether or not they need a Visa. How much good does finding out that you don't need a Visa do, when Celebrity turns around and tells you that you will not board if you don't get one?? I am going to write everyone I know to tell them that I think that CELEBRITY SHOULD TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY for my loss of almost $2,000 to expedite the visas, and my guests' loss of $170. each. I always thought a lot of RCCL, and felt that since Celebrity was supposed to be their higher end, the service, food, etc., would be also. IT IS NOT!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Chose this cruise because of the ports we visited. Japan was on our bucket list. We did our first cruise on Celebrity a few years ago and considered it to be a high class cruise line. Embarkation in Tokyo was somewhat chaotic and slow. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the ports we visited. Japan was on our bucket list. We did our first cruise on Celebrity a few years ago and considered it to be a high class cruise line. Embarkation in Tokyo was somewhat chaotic and slow. It took over 2 hours standing in line in a rather gloomy area. There was little seating and amenities. Once on board we were surprised not to be directed to the buffet but were pleased our cabin was ready. An outside cabin forward on deck 8 which was considerably larger than the adjacent balcony cabin. It was an excellent choice and well attended by Felix who worked efficiently and discreetly, spoke good English and was always smiling. We had set dining and were extremely well looked after by Nino and Gary. The menu did not have a lot of choice although there was a section of "always available" dishes for all courses. By the second week there were only 2 dessert offerings plus the "always available". Must emphasise again though that our waiters were superb. Breakfast was not as consistent in service or food quality as the evening meal. Some options were not always available including skimmed milk. Some guests were disappointed there was no lobster on the menu unless you paid extra for it.. Not my taste but is usually regarded as a cruise treat. It was eventually served on the last evening chic night but we heard it was not available in the pay restaurant that night. We used the buffet once as we were late back but were not impressed with the food which looked as if it had been there for some time. It was a quiet evening as a lot of guests were ashore but I think the food should have been kept fresh. We would have liked a few more activities that were hosted. For example table tennis and basket ball were not often organised but were promoted as free play. Also the table tennis was located in one of the smoking areas. Not a good idea, especially in a hot and humid location. Unlike other cruises my husband found the complimentary gym sessions were few and far between. Part of the fun of cruising to us is dressing up on formal nights. Didn't check before packing but Celebrity now have "evening chic" instead of formal. This can be anything from jeans to a tux. My husband's tux and my long dresses were a very small minority. Entertainment was good and the resident singers and dancers put on some good shows. Disappointed that there was no show on last night. We missed the penultimate show so we could get the packing done and enjoy the last night's show, so we ended up with little to do on the last night. Itinerary was good and we mostly made our own arrangements to view the areas. We did the ship excursion to Chiufen village in Tai Pei which we enjoyed and did the tour on disembarkation day which took us to the airport in Hong Kong where the airport is some distance away. Quite a few elements to this trip and we enjoyed it. Overall a good trip with just a few personal niggles. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We returned from our 2 week cruise on the Celebrity Millennium Monday 10/30/16. This review is posted in hopes that it can help others avoid similar miserable experiences. Unfortunately we did not look at Cruise Critic reviews before going ... Read More
We returned from our 2 week cruise on the Celebrity Millennium Monday 10/30/16. This review is posted in hopes that it can help others avoid similar miserable experiences. Unfortunately we did not look at Cruise Critic reviews before going on this cruise. If we had we would have seen that for the last two years there are many reviews about the Millennium noting the same problems we experience. This leads me to the conclusion that Celebrity is budgeting the operations of this ship at a very low level; the problems are not going to be fixed as they’re not actually problems …. they are the business plan which the company executes perfectly. • Boarding experience: okay • Once one steps on board there is immediate pressure to buy drink packages and specialty restaurant packages. One is approached over and over by different staff members offering the same thing …. It’s much like the unpleasant hawking that goes on in an Indian bazaar. In addition, you are approached numerous times asking if you want to purchase soft drinks or bottled water. • 10th Floor Buffet Dining: some days the food is mediocre, other days it is terrible. Even when the food is tolerable the buffet is way over-crowded. People are reaching in front of one another to serve themselves. Serving spoons are mixed up so a spoon that is for one dish ends up with food on it from another dish. Some are grabbing food with their hands others are eating in line. It is disgusting and unsanitary. On other recent cruises (Oceania and Disney) the guests are served by staff at the buffet. Much more sanitary. The foods offered at this (Celebrity) buffet are relatively cheap; narrow selection and in many cases previously frozen, tasteless and unappetizing. Very few, if any, fresh vegetables. Mostly cheap carbs, which is very difficult for anyone on a low sugar, low-carb diet. With the exception of the ice cream area, desserts in the dessert area are not labeled sugar free or no sugar added even when that designation is applicable. We suggested to the person in charge, more than once, that labeling should be done; he agreed, but it never happened – you had to ask each time. Big supply of pork dishes. There is a shortage of places to sit. One of us would hold a table while the other assembled their meal in the buffet lines …. although we were seated at the same table we weren’t really eating together. After the first day or two we began to dread going to the buffet as it was such an unappetizing, unpleasant experience. Wait-staff is focused on what they can sell you, liquor, etc. If you ask for something that’s free, like ice-tea, they tell you to get it yourself. • Metropolitan Dining Room: service is good but the food isn’t. Menu selection is highly repetitive. The daily menu contains three items that one can pay extra for (lobster, fish, steak). Fish and steak are also offered at no extra charge but the extra is required if you want something that is of tolerable quality. That there is extra charge for better food pretty much says it all: that the regularly offered food is not good. Fish smells and tastes fishy; meats are fat or tough; usually no side orders of fresh vegetables offered, or when offered, in tiny amounts. The dining experience is focused on upselling you to the items that cost extra (but who would trust them when the other food is so bad?) One evening the waiter even said to us that he would not recommend we order either the chicken or beef as it was “of such low quality”. The only option left was fish. My wife ordered salmon. It was undercooked and had the fishy smell and after-taste of all the fish they serve. It was inedible. We often ended up just stuffing ourselves with bread in order not to leave hungry. One morning I requested some half-n-half to put on my breakfast cereal. I was told that there wasn’t any. I pointed out that there was plenty on each table to put in coffee. Waiter checked with his boss and was told there wasn’t any more. I told him I didn’t believe it and wanted to see his boss. Then, and only then, was I allowed to have some additional half-n-half. • Specialty restaurants: these are okay, but only okay, not really good. And, one shouldn’t have to pay extra $35 per person per meal to get food that’s just okay. • Port information: the company does not circulate maps or port information other than lectures about the tours they sell for each port. Most ships give one a map and port information before arrival so that you know how to get around. Not this ship. They give almost no information which appears to be a purposeful method of forcing people to book their tours. • Library: the two floor tall library has mostly bare shelves …. Most of the books have been removed. Very, very disappointing as we like to read onboard. It appears that since the library is not a revenue generator, Celebrity has removed most of it. • On board movies: there were only two or three movies offered on the big screen during the entire 14 day voyage. Instead, each day two free movies are offered on the TV. These are junk movies that teenagers might like although there are almost no teenagers onboard. There is a good selection of pay-per-view movies. Once again, Celebrity has found a way to get the customer to pay for something (movies in this case) which should have been included at no charge. • Stateroom: although we were concierge class, our stateroom was the smallest that I can remember, however it was adequate. What wasn’t adequate were the electrical outlets: there were only two in the entire stateroom; none in the bathroom. Items like electric razor or toothbrush had to be charged in the two outlets by the desk while alternating with mobile phones; computer, etc. The outlets are on the opposite side of the room from the bed which meant that to power the CPAP machine that I use when sleeping, an extension cord had to be run across the floor … we hoped not to trip on it when we got up in the middle of the night. Stateroom attendant was good; cheerful and conscientious, however out on our balcony the paint was peeling off metal surfaces and there was corrosion all around the balcony door. This is true for other parts of the ship as well. Celebrity has deferred maintenance. It’s shoddy. • Towels: the bath towels are smaller than usual --- like one would find in a Motel 6. Not easy to get dry with the small towels. Only two bath towels are provided, no extras. Obviously a money saving measure. Our shampoo and conditioner was not replenished until the day before the cruise ended. • Concierge Class meant that we received hors d’oeuvres daily. These were usually about 6 peanuts; a handful of stale chips and some kind of tasteless dip. Basically nothing you’d want to put in your mouth. Occasionally fresh fruit in the form of an apple or pear, an orange and sometimes a few grapes were provided. For most of the trip we thought the concierge was our room steward as there was no evidence of a concierge. It was towards the end of the cruise that we learned that a woman who sometimes sat in the library could offer concierge assistance. Concierge class on this ship means almost nothing. • Entertainment: 3 or 4 good stage shows; we saw some of the other entertainment also … it wasn’t good. We weren’t the only ones in the audience to walk out of a show after 10 minutes. The company certainly saved money on the entertainment. Most daily activities were focused around drinking, spa, shopping in boutiques …. Again, the emphasis was on activities for which money could be charged. Actual free activities were minimized. • Internet: expensive and worked very, very poorly. When trying to send or receive a simple email my connection would be dropped so often that it could take an hour just to send or receive. If they’re going to charge about $20 per day for internet, it should work reasonably well but it doesn’t. • Staff training: Celebrity is obviously saving money by not giving staff adequate training. When we had a question about a port or logistics the guest relations and tour staff usually did not know the answer; typically, we knew more about the destination or situation than they did. These are untrained people who have been given a narrow script to follow. This problem is typified by a situation in the dining room at breakfast. I would order ½ grapefruit but it would arrive mashed up because the staff didn’t know how to cut a grapefruit. When I discussed the matter with the maître d he admitted he didn’t know how a grapefruit should be cut and that he’d never eaten one. When the maître d has never had experience with a simple food item like a grapefruit, how can the item be served properly? Again, untrained people are following a narrow script. It quickly became quite clear that Celebrity’s intent was to deliver a cruise at the lowest possible cost to the company and sell the passenger as much additional as possible. They have become extremely skillful at forcing one to spend extra money by offering cheap food, depriving one of port information and alternatives to their tours, orienting onboard activities towards those for which they charge. The problems this review outlines are not related to the age of the ship which was refurbished just a few years ago. The ship is nice, even though the railings and paint is not maintained. Adequate electrical outlets could have been put in as part of the refurbishment; paint and exterior maintenance should be performed whether a ship is old or new. The problems are those caused by Celebrity cheapening the experience to save money and guide the customer towards spending more. Although our two previous Celebrity cruises had been very enjoyable, this one was so bad that I couldn’t wait for the trip to end. If they had offered us the opportunity to stay aboard at no charge we would have declined. This experience has made us feel that Celebrity should definitely be avoided and that we have been defrauded by the company cutting quality in so many ways. This may be likened to going to Tiffany’s where one expects quality but making a purchase only to learn it’s gold plate not gold. The difference is I can return something of lower than expected quality to Tiffany’s. With Celebrity, both my time and money are gone and I can’t recover either. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
DW and I are in our mid 50's who enjoy cruising. While nothing is ever perfect and pristine, especially if one chooses to focus on negativity, we are generally take things in stride as we feel blessed in the fact that we can enjoy the ... Read More
DW and I are in our mid 50's who enjoy cruising. While nothing is ever perfect and pristine, especially if one chooses to focus on negativity, we are generally take things in stride as we feel blessed in the fact that we can enjoy the luxury of cruising. Now onto our cruise. We arrived in Tokyo 3 days before embarkation and had a marvellous time. Japanese people are so wonderful, very polite and helpful. Tokyo is very clean and with a fantastic transportation system that is easy to use and inexpensive. We stayed at the Grand Central Hotel, which is very well located, about a 10 minute walk to Kanda Station on the Ginza Line. Room was very small, but that is typical for most Japanese hotels, especially if you are on a budget. On embarkation day, we took the train to Yokohama and arrived in plenty of time with very little effort (we only had two large pieces of luggage to drag around). Embarkation was delayed to 12pm due to the late arrival of Millie, but once it started we got onboard fairly quickly and were enjoying lunch in the Oceanview buffet by 12:30. Ports of call were fantastic, with the exception of Shanghai. Aside from Visa issues with visiting Shanghai and a late docking due to the port being closed due to high winds from a passing typhoon, the port is quite far from the Bund and other tourist attractions. Also, some taxi drivers were very dishonest, we were literally taken for a ride. We shared a taxi with another couple for a ride to the Bund, which should cost $85CNY, but the driver took the outer ring road and by the time we got to the Bund the meter was at $280CNY! We later learned that we were not the only victims, as there were at least a dozen other passengers who were victimized. So be careful when travelling in Shanghai. The entertainment on board was quite good, we enjoyed the shows and were appreciative of the efforts of the Celebrity dancers and singers. We had dinner in the MDR and the food was very good, as was the service. Kudos to our waiter Sanjaya, his assistant Supana, our sommelier Miroslav and drink waiter Prince. All were very good and attentive to our needs. Disembarkation was a challenge for most people at the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong. Beautiful terminal, but very poor taxi service, fortunately we booked our taxis in advance. All in all, we had a wonderful time. Millie is showing her age, and yes there is rust showing in some spots, including our balcony and at times it is very difficult to find a seat in the Oceanview buffet, but the staff is very friendly. Captain Nicholas was very visible throughout the cruise, cruise director Steve was fantastic and of course Café al Bacio is a terrific place to sit and have a nice specialty coffee and/or tea along with wonderful desserts and sweets. This is our first cruise on an M class ship. While we prefer the S class ship (Reflection is our favorite), we would not hesitate to book another cruise on Millie. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was 14 day cruise from Yokohama to Hong Kong, with stops in Shimizu, Kobe (for Kyoto), Nagasaki, Shanghai, Okinawa, and Taipei. We would recommend this itinerary as a good introduction to this part of Asia. This was our fourth ... Read More
This was 14 day cruise from Yokohama to Hong Kong, with stops in Shimizu, Kobe (for Kyoto), Nagasaki, Shanghai, Okinawa, and Taipei. We would recommend this itinerary as a good introduction to this part of Asia. This was our fourth cruise on a Celebrity M-Class ship and our twenty-first cruise overall. (But this is my first review- apologies for the length!) The Millennium met our expectations, in part because we are very familiar with this class of ship – we had been on the Millennium prior to its most recent dry-dock, and were on the Infinity earlier this year. To our eyes, the ship was in good condition. If you looked hard, you could find some faded varnish and rust in areas exposed to the weather, but the interiors were in great shape. We were in a standard (2B) balcony cabin on deck 8. This cabin has adequate closet space and lots of storage. The cabinetry is in warm wood colors, which I find pleasing. Our steward, Erline, was consistently cheerful, and kept our room clean and neat. Earlier this year, we had a C3 “Concierge Class” cabin on deck 9 of the Infinity, a sister ship. The “standard balcony” cabin on the Millennium seemed to be about two and half feet shorter. But this made no practical difference to us. The bed size and storage space were the same. (The couch is smaller.) We also preferred being on deck 8. Our C3 on the Infinity had some nighttime noise from the Oceanview Café directly overhead. Our 2B on the Millennium was completely quiet. We used “Select Dining” (open seating) in the main dining room on both cruises, and always asked for, and got, a table for two. We usually reserved a dinner table one day ahead. It may be coincidence, but I noted that when we were booked Concierge Class for the earlier trip, we were consistently seated at one of the best tables in the dining room (by the big rear window). On this more recent trip, booked in a “standard” cabin, we were seated by a window for only one dinner on the entire fourteen day cruise. (Note – this is an observation, not a criticism – I think it’s fair that folks paying the higher rate should get the better tables, if that was what was going on.) Food in the Main Dining Room was a mixed deal. When it was good (as it was on Evening Chic nights), it was really good. One night, I had a spectacular Chateaubriand with Béarnaise sauce and another night, a very good hake served Provencal style with tomatoes and peppers. But on other nights they seemed to be economizing. Food was of lower quality, and/or bland. I notice that even with Select Dining, the maître d tries to seat people in consistent areas, so we got to know our two servers and sommelier (Cris, Nasir, and Dwayne). They were great! We didn’t eat in Tuscan Grill. We are in that group of the passengers who are still unhappy that Celebrity removed the “historical ship” themed restaurants from this space on the M-Class ships. I thought the food in the Oceanview Café was good and had nice variety – but it was always a mob scene when we were there. Celebrity should look into opening and promoting alternatives venues on days when large groups of people are going to be heading for the Café at the same time. When all the shore excursions return to the ship at 1:30p, couldn’t the main dining room's lunch schedule be adjusted accordingly? Partly because the Oceanview Café was so busy, we ate lunch twice at “Sushi on Five”. This venue has ala carte pricing, so depending on how much you order, it can be as expensive as a land-based restaurant. That being said, the sushi was really good, and the dessert we had (a sponge cake with passion fruit sauce and wasabi-flavored ice cream) was incredible. We ate QSine once. The décor was fun, and the food was fun to look at. But with the exception of the steak, which was high quality, most of the effort seems to go into the fanciful presentations, rather than the quality of the ingredients. Go if you want to be entertained by your food, and if you have a big appetite. This voyage had a pretty good solo singer/guitarist and a vocalist/guitarist duo, whom we overheard performing in the Rendezvous Lounge. The singing/dancing cast worked hard and showed off their ability in a variety of styles. A Motown-style R and B quartet got the theater jumping one night. The Cruise Director, Steve, struck a good balance between being entertaining without being silly, and letting us know what was available without being a shill. We had good experiences with the shore excursion staff on this trip. Although not an issue for us, we understand that they were able to make adjustments for passengers whose tours were affected by our late arrival into Shanghai. Disembarkation went well. We bought a Celebrity bus transfer to our Hong Kong hotel. We were called ahead of schedule, so we had less of a wait than we expected. The design of the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong requires lots of walking from the gangway, to immigration, to the bus lots. I hope they can make the flow more efficient when they complete all areas of the terminal. Some impressions of the ports and excursions follow: Yokohama – On the outside, one of the most beautiful cruise terminals I’ve ever seen – curving wood walkways and green lawns facing an attractive skyline. On the inside, we were directed to a long, slow-moving line to get to a check-in desk. It took over an hour to get to check-in, but things improved after that. Shimizu – We took a Celebrity excursion to the Hakone area for a lake cruise, and aerial gondola ride to a volcanic area. This would have been really nice if it hadn’t been pouring rain the entire day. (And it was too rainy/cloudy to see Mt Fuji). But the lake boat (a mock galleon) was picturesque and the volcanic area was dramatic. So I don’t regret the trip. Kobe (for Kyoto) – Five stars! The first day we took a Celebrity excursion to the “Golden Pavilion” in Kyoto, followed by a Japanese dinner featuring a dance by an exquisite “maiko” (apprentice geisha). Highly recommended! The second day we visited three famous shrines in Kyoto: Kiyomizu-dera, Fushimi Inari (with its hundreds of red gates), and Ryoanji (known for its Zen rock garden). Kiyomizu-dera and Fushimi Inari were very crowded, but it was possible to find some quieter spots away from their entrances. Nagasaki – We took another Celebrity excursion to the Peace Museum commemorating the Nagasaki atom bombing, and another aerial gondola to a hilltop viewing station (more fog and rain!!). The museum was excellent. It seemed that cruise passengers who had prepared in advance to see Nagasaki on their own, saw more than we did on this excursion. Shanghai – Our entry into the Shanghai port was delayed by the remnants of a typhoon, though our personable captain had worked quite hard to get us to port as soon as possible. We had toured Shanghai extensively on a previous trip, so we planned to visit on our own by subway. Because of the shortened day, we spent all our time walking the riverside promenade at the Bund. Whatever you do, make sure you plan to be on the Bund at twilight when they turn the building lights on – this is one of the most spectacular urban sights in the world! The Shanghai subway system is modern, easy to figure out, and has signs and announcements in English. But it takes an hour, at best, and one or two transfers to get from the Baoshan Port to the Bund. And the stations are very crowded with long transfer passages– not for the faint of heart. Okinawa – We went on a Celebrity shore excursion that visited Okinawa World (with a folk village and limestone cave) and Shurijo Castle. Although interesting to hear a bit about Okinawa’s unique culture, I regret not visiting some of the World War II-related sights instead. Taipei – We went on two Celebrity shore excursions. The first visited the 101 story Taipei 101 skyscraper, and a large active Buddhist temple complex. The second tour visited several buildings erected by the Chinese Nationalists: a museum, a military memorial, and a memorial to Chiang Kai-Shek. It is interesting to see these twentieth century buildings, that were built to resemble a traditional Chinese (e.g. Beijing’s Forbidden City) style. Taipei appears to be an orderly, attractive city. (Note that the port is some distance away from the Taipei.) Hong Kong – We had been to Hong Kong before, so took the Celebrity shore excursion to Lantau Island. This was a more rural area, so visiting here is a respite from crowds. The long aerial gondola ride from the Po Ling Monastery and Buddha statue, back to the north side of the island was incredible. 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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was my and my husband's first trip to the Far East. Since we cannot take a long vacation at this stage, we opted for a cruise , and since we have happily sailed in the past with Celebrity, and the itinerary offered by them was ... Read More
This was my and my husband's first trip to the Far East. Since we cannot take a long vacation at this stage, we opted for a cruise , and since we have happily sailed in the past with Celebrity, and the itinerary offered by them was quite outstanding (Yokohama/Shimizu/Kobe overnight/Nagasaki/Shanghai/Okinawa/Taipei overnight/Hong Kong) we decided to sail with the Millie, even given the vast lack of consensus about her (opinion ranging from "the grand old lady" to "that old hag of a ship"). Having left our teenager son at home, I thought it a good time as any to splurge on an AquaClass stateroom. The cruise was fully booked a full year before sailing day, and when stateroom 9051 became available, I happily pounced on it. We arrived in Tokyo two days before the cruise, as many other cruisers did. It was a very good idea as it gave us the time to start adjusting to the time difference and to the very different culture and food. A couple of days more would have been even better. We spent a day touring Tokyo a bit with a private guide; others preferred to take a bullet train and visit Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and suchlike. All were very happy and impressed with Japan, its sites and the kindness and warmth of our Japanese hosts. On Sunday we boarded the ship at Yokohama port, a short train ride from Tokyo station and a few minutes' journey by taxi from Yokohama station. The embarkment process was a total mess. Hundreds of people were waiting in a huge group in the cavernous hall. Somehow, Captain Club/Aqua Class passengers had been grouped with all the other staterooms, whilst Concierge , Zenith and Suites passengers had a (very short) queue of their own. Moreover, Celebrity had requested a few days before the cruise to prepare three copies of the photo page of our passports, but had not specified that each passport had to be photocopied separately, so the smallish photocopier in the hall was put to task and another big queue formed there. At a certain point AC passengers were told by one port assistant to go to the shorter queue, but then another assistant started arguing with her, and the confusion multiplied. On the other hand, during the cruise itself, the complicated process of immigration and emigration in and out of Japan (twice), China, Taiwan and Hong Kong SAR was effectuated on the ship in a very smooth and professional manner. The ship is not new, that is sure - but it is lovely kept, and the crew is friendly and seems to be genuinely concerned in you having a happy and carefree vacation. There is indeed a big overhang due to the enlargment of deck 10, especially felt on deck 9 - but our deck 9 cabin was not dark as I feared and the overhang protected us from torrential rain some days and the hot rays of the sun on others. The noise from deck 10 on our heads was not too bad (cliking of heels a couple of time during elegant evenings and some trolley wheels rolling sounds which could be mistaken for thunder - and we had those too). All in all, the stateroom was pleasant and we spent many happy hours relaxing there. The stateroom's bathroom was very nice. I appreciated especially the shower cabin and the shower column, and the nightlight. The toiletries were Gilbert and Soames, except for the shower gel, which was the Celebrity one. Our stateroom attendant, Lydia, was prompt, clean, honest and friendly. Blu was one of the highlights of the cruise, not only for the high quality of the food, which strived and succeeded in delivering a refined haute cuisine experience whilst taking care to serve healthy alternatives wherever possible without renouncing to the tste and the quality - but also due to the lovely atmosphere there. Linda the maitre d'h and her assistant did a wonderful job of giving each group the best seats available, and many a happy and pleasant conversations took place between tables during supper and breakfast. In comparison, the Oceanview cafe was just ok, crowds being its main problem. We did not feel any need or urge to visit the specialty restaurants. We did not see any shows, so I cannot comment about them, although I heard many passengers praising them. We enjoyed the presentations of the guest speakers , Ms Patricia Bjalaand Welch, who gave four very good talks on the various ports; and Mr Milos Radakovich, who talked about stars, weather, wildlife and the ocean in an engaging and interesting way. Some of the mornings I tried to swim - but the pools outside were either cold or the seas too stormy to swim in a pool which is above one's height to start with. As per the various ports - in Shimizu we met strong and incessant rains, so we saw only Kunozan Toshogu Shrine and went back to the ship. I understand the weather is very fickle in this part of the world, which further justifies stay a few days pre-cruise in Tokyo, and spend a sunny one of them visiting the mount area. In Kobe we decided to leave the ship for the night, and visit Kyoto in depth for a day and a bit. We got back to the ship, our familiar Western bubble, thoroughly "shrined out" but charmed. Nagasaki we - and many other passengers - toured on our own using the day pass for the tram sold in the port for 500 yen. We visited the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Memorial Park, the Spectacles Bridge, Chinatown and Dejima ( from the outside), the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture (recommended) and Hamamachi Dori, getting back long before the all aboard time. In Shanghai we had a glitch due to the fact that the Himja typhoon hitting the area had caused the closure of the port, and although we arrived in good time and decent weather, the port authorities refused to let us in, even when our captain ( a most excellent officer and gentleman, Nikolas Christodoulakis, who with his faithful team made great efforts to keep us safe and made for a very smooth and enjoyable sailing) volounteered to take the ship on his own, without the assistance of the port's pilot. Not only that, the port's authority ordered us out of the port alltogether, so instead of docking at 7 am , we docked at 1pm - and it would have been much later had not our captain, again, volounteered to take the ship on his own, a suggestion which this time was accepted. This cut short our ( independent) and other shore excursions, which was a shame, since we had relatively very little time to start with and Shanghai port (Baoshan) is about an hour way from the Bund ( and the drivers seemed not to show any sympathy for traffic rules). Back in Japan, we took a shore excursion to visit Okinawa, which was quite a letdown. Our guide was a very sweet and quite overeager lady, who did her best to translate in doubtful English what another guide said, and then proceeded to show her similarly doubtful singing and playing skills. Other groups experienced similar problems and the stop was not the summit of the cruise. Taiwan, on the contrary, proved a very positive surprise, with many interesting sites less than an hour drive from the port (Keelung) including the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai Shek memorial and Taipei 101 in Taipei, and Shifen Old street and Yehliu Geopark. Finally, we reached Hong Kong, where we stayed overnight before disembarking. The Kai Tek terminal is quite far away from the city centre and a very long and narrow building which caused the disembarcation to feel like a long and cumbersome back and forth walk. On the first day, we took the free shuttle to the apm shopping mall, wasting a long time exchanging our leftover yens (most banks in Hong Kong change only to account holders - but with four different financial institutions authorised to issue HK dollars, who wants to risk being given counterfeit money?) and then waiting for the shops to open in the mall ( most opened at 11, some even later) . Then we went to the HK Museum of History - which I found very interesting and visually pleasing. After that, we boarded a sampan for a twilight cruise, which was lovely apart from the sudden intense downpour from the beginning of our cruise to its end - and then it was time to return to the ship, enjoy one more meal at Blu and pack. The disembarkment process was smooth and efficient and we found ourselves at our hotel - after having used the prepaid bus transfer provided by the ship to HK station) before 10am. All in all, a most satisfactory cruise in which we met many very nice people and saw many interesting places. Well done, Celebrity! Read Less
Celebrity Millennium Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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