This was my 3rd Celebrity cruise and 11th overall. I had been on the Millennium's sisters, Infinity and Constellation, previously so this ship had a familiar feel right from the start.
I flew into YVR direct from the US east coast on Air Canada arriving 10AM the morning of departure. I was offered a Celebrity transfer to ship at baggage claim but declined when I found I would have to wait for a spot on a future bus to open up. It was quite easy to get a taxi and was on my way to the Canada Place pier to meet the ship. Traffic around the pier was horrendous as 3 ships had just arrived that morning. It took 75 minutes to reach our drop off point with 45 minutes being in the last few blocks alone. The price of the taxi with tip was still cheaper that the Celebrity bus transfer.
Check-in was a disaster with everyone being shouted at to have a seat in the waiting area. It did not matter if you had priority boarding. After a short while they just gave up and everyone just got on the shortest line they saw. I predicted that their was no way they could depart on time with this many people still needing to be checked in. I was correct as the ship left over an hour late. 'An hour late' became the theme for most of the other ports alternating between arriving or leaving late. Once on-board it was about 45 minutes later that the 'Staterooms are now ready' announcement was made.
The guests comprised mostly successful age 50+ cruisers. There were very few children on this voyage. I can recall only seeing about a dozen children and infants.
At our very first meal in the buffet, my spouse asked about grilled chicken for her Caesar salad. A staff manager asked her specifically how she wanted the chicken prepared. Radioed in the order and had her look for a specific waiter who would deliver the chicken to the table. This was the first of many excellent dealings we had with the staff.
DINING: I had chosen SELECT DINING because the early seating is to early and late seating too late. We like to GET IN/GET OUT when it comes to dinner and so try to get a table for 2. We initially headed to the dining room between 6:30 and 7PM. This was a very popular time to dine and found the service a little backed up. We found a sweet spot between 7:30 and 8 and had little trouble being accommodated at a table for 2. We were also able to ask for a specific waiter. We found 2 we really liked and tried to always get one of them. Augustinho and Wayan were our two choices. My spouse tries to avoid complex carbs, breads and processed sugars. She was able to order her meals specifically to her liking. At the end of our meal we were presented with the menu to the next evenings meal and my wife was able to pre-order her dinner. I would rate the Dining Room and Buffet food Above Par. I cannot recall if there was any food that I found to be below par besides mixed vegetables at dinner.
Cabin 7208, CC1 Aft with extended length Balcony. The room was typical in size but the balcony was extra long. Canvas coverings overhead allowed for privacy from peering eyes above. The room condition was slightly below expectations with peeling wood trim around the desk mirror and broken hooks on the bathroom door. Our Air conditioning kicked off the second night and the room was up to 79 degrees when set to max cool. At the same time it was discovered our mini bar frig was not working. Within 1 hour, the frig was replaced and the A/C fixed. The A/C again stopped working the last night of the cruise but we found the entire ship a bit warmer. They might of shut down some of the cooling units to save a few bucks.
Entertainment was age appropriate for the demographic on board. It was performed very well. There was only one comedian, who was excellent, but I would prefer additional 'R'-rated midnight comedy shows.
AS one who partakes in this mode of entertainment, I found the Fortunes Casino to be a bit of a let down. Besides the usual Black Jack, Roulette and Craps there were two 3-card poker, An Ultimate Texas hold'em, and a Baccarat table. An electronic poker table was available but seldom in use. Slots selection was horrible with most machines being 1cent with multiline plays. Payouts were typically lousy. It was hard to find any machine where you can play awhile before it takes all your money. The worst thing is the points you can accumulate. Don't bother, it takes 1000pts to get $1 in machine play credit.
PORTS OF CALL: See separate port reviews
San Diego - Upper 80s, the warmest point on the trip. We had a mid-40s disembarkation number. We were instructed to meet in the lounge at 8:50AM. By 9:15 we were outside waiting for our ride. Vacation Over!