his was the third Celebrity cruise my boyfriend and I have taken (within 14 months), and it was probably my favorite - we were on the Century last February and Eclipse in December. No doubt those ships were both great in their own rights (and Eclipse is undoubtedly the most beautiful ship we've been on), but there is something special about Millennium.
As background, we live in Florida, so even though the trip to Miami is about four hours, it's a relatively easy and inexpensive trip. We did try an off-site parking service, Premier Parking, this time. One word: DON'T. I paid for garage parking, and while I technically parked in (on?) a garage, I didn't intend to park on the very top in the baking sun. Also, one guy there was very rude to another driver in a completely unnecessary way, and my boyfriend had to sit on my lap in the shuttle to the port. Not a good idea, and not comfortable at all.
Once we got to the port, though, check-in was a breeze and we arrived on the ship just as the announcement was made that rooms were ready. We dropped our carry ons off and headed to the buffet. I really like the layout of the Ocean Cafe, with a kind of continuous buffet rather than a central area of stations. That may change in a couple of weeks when the Millennium is "solsticized" but I think the layout is better than that of Eclipse.
Generally speaking, the food was good in the Ocean Cafe and the Main Dining Room. My only consistent criticism of the food is that everything seemed to come with extra salt - though I don't use a lot of salt, so it could just be my taste. Other than that, I enjoyed what I had. We also at at Olympic one night. As other reviewers have noted - just do it! The setting is gorgeous, the service impeccable, and the food delicious!
There was one little hiccup in our travel plans. One of my boyfriend's bags went on vacation on the Eclipse, as it sailed on the same day. However, Violetta, the Concierge, had already been contacted by the time he called to check on the bag, and she made arrangements for it to be shipped back to Miami from the first port. She also arranged for some toiletries and basics, free daily laundry, and an on-board credit to cover what he needed to buy to replace what was missing. Fortunately, one of his bags did make it, so he was able to muddle through the week between what he had and what they provided. We were also escorted through security and customs when we arrived back in Miami and the bag was delivered to us there. It was an inconvenience, but Violetta and Celebrity took reasonable measures to address the issue.
During the cruise, I told my boyfriend that this was my favorite ship so far. When he asked why (he preferred Eclipse), I thought about what makes Millennium so special. After some consideration, I think it's because it's an introvert's dream ship. Introverts are getting a lot of press these days, so hopefully you already know that they aren't necessarily shy, they just recharge batteries by being alone. As an introvert myself, I enjoyed all the little nooks and intimate spaces throughout the ship - chairs next to portholes in a short (kind of random) hallway, comfortable seating arranged in alcoves, and other little surprises. My favorite was Cova Cafe. I ended up taking my Kindle there most days and just hanging out and reading. The staff were always very friendly and helpful, and it has an intimate feel (even though the main thoroughfare goes directly through it). If you're an extrovert, no worries - there are plenty of spaces for you, too: the pool, bars, lounges - all the places I never went!
We were in room 9072, a Concierge room (C2) which will be converted into an Aqua Class room during dry dock (they replaced the bathroom door frame during our cruise in preparation). The location was great - one floor up to the Ocean Cafe, very close to mid-ship elevators - except for one thing: we were directly under the pool area, so we heard lots of heavy-footed walkers at all hours. It wasn't something that ruined the trip, but just be aware that you might hear noise from the pool if you're on Deck 9. If you're a light sleeper, you might want to seek other accommodations.
Other reviewers have noted, correctly, that there are some cosmetic issues that probably will (and should) be addressed when Millennium goes into dry dock. But for me, the ship was more of a destination than the ports. I didn't even get off the ship in Grand Cayman, and thoroughly enjoyed my day.
I'm hoping Millennium is even more special at the end of refurbishment, and am looking forward to my next Celebrity cruise. Overall, it was a great vacation!