Because of many negative comments posted prior to our departure, we were prepared for a less than stellar experience. We knew it was the last crusie prior to going to Freeport, The Bahamas to be retrofited immediately after we disembarked. However, we were pleasantly surprised. We had cruised for 14 days on Millenium in 2008 to Alaska and back to San Diego and it was our favorite cruise, with so many fond memories.
Boarding was smooth and quick. WE arrived at the port with our son, his wife and our grandson. We were meeting old friends on the ship and were to meet them on the pool deck as their rooms weren't reday when they boarded. We were on board quickly and were greeted with lot's of smiles and a Mimosa as we walked to the doors. We decided that since it was nearly 1:00 PM we would take a chance and try our rooms before going to the pool deck, so we wouldn't have to lug a suitcase. Our cabin was on the aft of the 9th deck, and was completely ready when we opened the door. We love the extra balconey space on the aft cabins and this was no exception. The champagne was cooling in an ice bucket and a daily planner was on the bed with our tickets to the specialty restaurant for the next night. Our kids had a family cabin on deck 7, so we dropped the suitcases and headed upstairs. The grill was on for hamburgers and fries outside and the buffet was in full swing. We opted for the buffet after a drink and ate on the deck. When we went back to the room later, our room attendent and his assistent came by to see what if we had any special requests. We told them ice on the room during the day and asked if we could have the fridge opened for my husband's diabetic supplies. They happily complied. Our friends were two doors down also in an aft cabin and had a similar experience
This was the beginning of 5 days of mostly positive experiences. We did find some paint chips on the carpet of the balcony where they had obviously been prepping for the retrofit, and there were a couple of sections on the lower decks closed off with workmen. Our friend found some rolls of carpet that were stacked against the wall on the back of Deck 3, but overall the ship was functioning normally. Was it a little shabbier than on our cruise 4 years before, yes. But we knew that was going to be fixed.
The staff overall was attentive, friendly and helpful. There were a couple of times when the waiters on the deck at the rear of the buffet seemed to be more interested in doing their own thing than getting drinks, and we missed the fact that there were limited amounts of food available between 3:00 and 5:00PM when we returned late from an excursion. None of this was worth getting upset about. We had a late seating for dinner and the food was excellent as was the service from our waiter, Jason, and asst. waiter Natalia. They told us both of them were leaving for other ships as soon as we docked, as was much of the other staff. The Ass't maitre'd told us the last night that if we were late leaving he'd have to give us cover-alls and put us to work. We felt that perhaps the staff had been at minimum levels because of the retofit, but those on board did everything they could to make the cruise special. The two highlights were our dinner in the Olympic which was amazing with marvelous food and service. Also the brunch buffet on the last day at sea with ice sculptures, chocolate fountains ( both white and regular chocolate), omelet stations and carving stations was remarkable. It was a wonderful 5 days, and we are scheduled to go back to Alaska on Millenium in September after the changes. We are so anxious to see the changes and have new experiences.