Even though we were disappointed with the cruise on the Eclipse(see review)in February, we came back to Celebrity since it was the only ship that matched our schedule. Maybe our expectations were low based on the Eclipse but the Millennium was a pleasant surprise.
The embarkation was worse than the Eclipse which was strange since it was a smaller ship and also was not full. We waited about 25 minutes. They should consider a separate line for people that have all their documentation done versus those that need to fill out forms that they forgot to complete.
Since the rooms were not ready we had lunch in the buffet. As on the Eclipse it was not very good with long lines and limited selection. It was better on the next few days with a better selection especially with Asian dishes.
The room was ready about 2pm with the luggage arriving by 330. The cabin was actually laid out better than the Eclipse with plenty of storage space with drawers and closets that were easy to access. The negative part of the comparison was the smaller and older style bathroom, that is due for a renovation. The dryer on the wall could only be used for 2 minutes before your hand got roasted. Also stay away from Deck 9 since it is right below the pool and restaurant area. We could here the carts being rolled back and forth both early in the morning and late in the evening. On the last night the sound was even worse as they started moving furniture to storage prior to retrofit.
The cabin attendants were GREAT. They promptly fulfilled any request and also remembered that you wanted additional bath towels and wine glasses for our afternoon pre-dinner party. The only negative was that they seem to be standing outside your door waiting for you to leave to make up the room.
The Main dining room was superior in food and service than the Eclipse. In fact, this was the first cruise we decided not to try the high end restaurant that carried an additional charge. When we looked into the Olympic it was less than 50% filled. Several shipmates who went there to it were pleased and one said they were able to negotiate a lower surcharge than the advertised rate of $40. We only ate dinners in the MDR but the service was great and the only complaint was that they hurried the service and we were generally done in an hour for the 4 courses. One meal was just ok, stay away from sirloin steak unless you bring a very sharp knife.
The one area that Celebrity does well is the sushi starting at 530. It is a large assortment. The plan is to get there early since by 6 it is a long line.
The pool area was ok and there were no problems in getting chairs except for the last day. The staff did a go job in keeping children out of the adults only area.
Also the cruise line was offering 2 for 1 drinks from pool bars. One day it was draft beers, the next mojitos, etc. This was first for us and we learned later in the evening from a fellow passenger in the cruise business was that the ship's alcohol sales were below budget so they used this approach to increase sales.
Similar to the Eclipse, the cruise director was a screamer, an American this time. Also the volume of the announcements are so loud that it is impossible to continue any conversation. The evening song and dance show was good and better than the Eclipse. The comedian was ok. He was better on comedy central but I guess that he had to tone down his act due to the kids in the audience. I mentioned earlier that the crew did a great job in keeping children out of the adult only pool area. Unfortunately they did not do 2he same job in bar areas were the parents were drinking and their kids were running around. One time we were forced to move since the kids were screaming. Of course the parents did not care.
The exercise area was large enough but they had at least 6 machines that were out of order. One positive note was that the area was staffed even early in the morning. As usual, the first day was packed but by mid-week it was empty.
As noted by others the crew was doing repairs and painting on this cruise before retrofit. Parts of decks were closed and the smell of paint was everywhere.
Getting off was a mess. First they did not give you the option of a departure time. Since we were traveling with others, our time was 745 while the other one was 1000. We got around that issue by combining the luggage so that it got off at the same time. There were no announcements when you could leave the lounge to depart. Also getting off was hampered by the crew using the elevators to remove chairs for storage at 730 in the morning. Once on shore the bags arrived quickly.
Finally the ports of Roatan and Cozumel were the pits unless you wanted to go to the beach or scuba/snorkel. Also at both ports it rained. We booked one beach excursion and the whole experience was poorly organized. Although they had Celebrity people telling you where to go, the local excursion leaders left a lot to be desired.