After having sailed on 63 cruises, many having been with Celebrity, I can truly say it will take a great deal of convincing to book another cruise with them. I have never been as prompted as I am now to warn and recommend to people to not book a cruise with celebrity or on the Millenium. IN SUMMARY, the issues began with check in in Honolulu. The bus literally dropped us in the parking lot where we waited for 2.5 hours outside in 90 degree heat. When we got in, there were TWO security people checking cruisers before another line for luggage drop and THEN you were checked in. AND WE HAD PRIORITY CHECK IN. Celebrity said they were unaware of the wait outside?? They then said that the security people went for lunch... The cruise went down hill from there.
The ship has recently gone under a significant refit, as most people are aware. Unfortunately, the ship was not designed to have those upgrades. Many of them, such as the aqua spa facilities are squashed into a closet-like, claustrophobia inducing area that is horrible. Our aqua spa cabin's balcony was essentially unusable due to the flooding of water that pooled due to a poor design with drainage. Then this water seeped into the cabin causing the carpeting to become soaked. It won't be long until mould becomes a further issue. When I called to report the issue, there was minimal interest only to be told that they were aware. This leads to the next issue with our cabin steward. The only thing he did was make the bed. That was it. There was a dirty bandaid on the floor in the bathroom for over two weeks. In fact, it is still probably there. I didn't pick it up as I was concerned very early about his cleaning skills and it was my test. He failed miserably. When I was packing, I checked behind the side table to find a booklet outlining the benefits of being in the aqua spa cabin. Some of the benefits required the energy of the cabin steward so I am sure he had no interest in providing them.
The food. The specialty restaurant, BLU, was extremely good as we're the other restaurants that except for BLU, are fee based. The buffet was abysmal. Somehow everything was cold. Getting toast required an act of congress. Due to an outbreak of the GI bug, there were servers everywhere including the tea/coffee/juice area so that there were lines for everything. The salad bar was difficult as getting across to servers who were doing their best understanding requests proved too frustrating at times. The pizza was the turn to item as it was just easier. Obtaining salt and pepper? Forget it. The eggs were cold enough as it was.
There appeared to be cut backs everywhere. There were very few cruise staff to speak of. I was looking forward to the pool games that I have previously participated. The pool game on this ship was a ship scavenger hunt?? Once again, no effort made. The cruise staff handed the sheet out to two people and then took off. And for prizes at the trivia games, we won a post card at one game and the group of four of us won a baggie of foil covered chocolate coins to share at another. At other trivia we did win lanyards.. I didn't expect a free cruise as a prize but a postcard?
The cruise director, Rich, was very good. He was running around doing everything instead of supervising, it seemed. The concierge manager, Bruce, was fabulous and really seemed to be enjoying his job. The staff at the concierge lounge were exceptional, too. At the purser's desk I inquired as to when they thought the ATM was to be up and running as it hadn't been up for the two previous weeks we had been on board to be curtly told "no, and that's just the way it is." I wish I could get across the nasty attitudes that permeated the ship. I was hoping that we were the only passengers having issues but it became quickly evident that we were not in any way alone. I met some people who wanted to get off early.
I really wanted to try and understand why so many things were amiss on this ship as I have been on many beautiful cruises with celebrity. The only thing I could determine was that this ship appears to be a training ship where when individuals either get experienced or otherwise and then be moved to newer ships. Where Celebrity has missed the boat is that if this is the case, then this ship needs EXTRA staff in order to get it up to speed in order to maintain their five star rating as this ship is no where close to that level of distinction.