We sailed on the Millenium on 10-22-2012 from Ensenada to Hawaii. I will start off with the bad part of the trip-Day one. In order to take this itinerary you must check in at the San Diego airport, be bused to the San Diego port, wait for hours at the San Diego port and take a bus to Ensenada(about a 3 hour adventure).We arrived early for check-in at the airport and found only one Celebrity employee at the kiosk handling the check-in. We were about 20th in line and by the time we got to the front of the line there were about 75-100 people in line. A second employee arrived to help but it was mass confusion. After getting to the port in San Diego we saw the ship leaving to go to Ensenada and were told that no buses would be leaving San Diego for at least 3 hours so that the ship could get to Ensenada ahead of the hordes of travellers. Of course when you travel to Mexico you must first pass though Mexican customs and it took over an hour to get through that mess.
My spouse and I More
kind of shrugged off the bad day knowing that a magnificent cruise was in store for us, however, I cannot even count the number of people that said they would never sail on Celebrity again because of the chaos surrounding getting to the ship.
Once we managed to get on board(about 7 pm) our luggage had already been delivered (one piece was severely damaged somewhere between San Diego and Ensenada). We had booked an Aqua class sunset veranda on the 11th floor at the back of the ship and it was amazing! The view throughout the cruise was spectacular although our room was directly above the rear lounge/smoking area. The amenities that come with the Aqua class package are well worth the few extra bucks you pay. Dinners and breakfast in the Blu restaurant were impressive and the Aqua spa offered a great relaxing respite while on board.
My spouse and I are cruise veterans and the shows on this trip were without a doubt the best we have ever seen on a ship(except for one Hawaiian dancing show). The Millenium itself is in excellent shape after its recent makeover and the crew is friendly and professional. We felt that some of the windows could have used a little more cleaning than they got but all in all the ship was great.
Once we got to the islands we did our own thing and did not book any excursions through the ship. In Hilo we hired a local van to take us around the various tourist spots and it cost about half what the cruise line was charging. In Kona and Maui we took local transportation to the beautiful beaches and shopping areas. My favorite beach in the whole world is Kanapali Beach in Maui and we spent two days renting a little beach cabana on the beach. The final day was in Honolulu and again we did our own thing shopping and sightseeing. On the final day we used the ship's shuttle service to the airport ($25 person) and would have been better off just taking a local taxi service.
All in all I give this cruise a B+ and plan on sailing with Celebrity in the future. Less