Celebrity Millennium Hong Kong to Singapore, Christmas and New Year cruise, December 23rd 2012 - January 6th 2013. Boarding Hong Kong chaotic, commencing from 11am. Once onboard the chaos continues with the cabins not ready until 2.30pm. Considering on Celebrity the cabin stewards have the benefit of an assistant which most other lines have abolished, this immediately showed us that taking so long to clean and prepare the cabins for new arrivals that we should be in for an immaculate cabin. How wrong can you be!
Upon admittance to the cabin we found it to be less than spotlessly clean and now with the obligatory quilt now replacing blankets as the preferred and easier option, once the steward appeared at 5pm we asked for this to be changed , an allergy thing for us. Unfortunately this was not an easy option as this ship only has single blankets, although new, it does not make for a double bed, no matter which way the stewards tried to stretch it. The best and last options was to have single beds made up which was a success, although not ideal if you were on a honeymoon or possibly celebrating a wedding anniversary or indeed wished to sleep as a married couple.
The cabin door glass windows leading to the balcony was very dirty with finger prints and coughing spots all over, along with the outside balcony glass full of dust and grime which had not seen a good wash down in months. The whole balcony was dirty and full of peeling cork particles which had apparently been redone on the refit some 6 months earlier and in all probability had not seen a dustpan and brush-up since. The curtains in the cabin had been rehung the wrong way round, instead of the net curtain on the window glass side it was the full curtain first with the net on the second run as being the prominent one. Clearly rehung after the refit the wrong way round but no one at Celebrity had noticed as all cabins had similar configuration of hanging. This is clearly a cultural issue when using a cheap refit. $30 million dollars we were told was the cost of the latest refit, although that included the 30+ extra cabins added at the rear of this ship on each deck above the promenade deck, no wonder the money left over to actually enhance the comfort and enjoyment of something new was sparsely apportioned upon closer inspection.
The ship is suffering from a massive dose of long-term neglect with rust showing everywhere on the extremities of the hull which is not only not nice to look at is kind of concerning considering this was supposed to be a full refit and upgrade to as Celebrity say "solatize" this ship. Cleary they consider us all just simpletons when choosing which cruise line on which to travel for a vacation. Celebrity say compared to Royal Caribbean we are a far superior cruise line with enhance guests expectation levels, You have to be joking, come on Celebrity you have a real bad attitude of dealing with customer satisfaction enquiries both onboard and off shore side. I could not disagree more strongly than to say, they have to be delirious in the thinking of that statement. In all departments they fail to come a close second to Royal Caribbean.
We left the dirty bathroom and balcony for a further 7 days giving the cabin steward's time enough to put right what they may have missed on the busy, yet long, they say changeover day. But after 7 days having taken the pictures of the excrement under the rim of the toilet pan and the thick dirty particles under the bathroom cabinet which we pointed out to the steward who them blamed his cabin assistant for not carrying out his duties satisfactory. Of course he could not accept responsibility could he, after all, we learn, he does not clean toilets or showers anymore since his promotion to a cabin steward. However still, the thick grimed-in dirt that lies on the walls of the shower remain, which is clearly visible in the pictures and could easily with a good old fashion scrub down be removed and look immaculate. Considering now that these cabin stewards on Celebrity have an increased basic monthly salary over $1,000 and receive 100% of the gratuities which if given at the recommended rate of Celebrity which is $5 per day per person with a minimum of $10 per cabin and taking their 16 cabins they service, in a month this could be around $4,800 on top of the $1,000 making this $5,800 per month and if they work which most do 6 months on a two off equating a 10 month year, that's $58,000 tax free with board and lodging paid whilst away from home, for most this has to be seen as a amount and a job that they would strongly try to keep considering most back in their homeland would only be able to earn $400 per month, so no wonder they are keen to pacify you but not clean or indeed know what real cleanliness is. This ship throughout has all the hallmarks of being top cleaned only.
The food was of poor quality with quantity and quality suffering as a result of much in evidence of financial cutbacks from the boardroom. I wonder if the CEO's salary has been decreased in line with the passenger's poor evening meals as served by embarrassed waiters, who they themselves admit they have seen a steep decline in the standards of these evening meals that they have to serve to some unsuspecting guests of this unscrupulous cruise line. If you want or are customised to quality food presented in a professional manner then look elsewhere, as this line is now cheap and nasty and not as advertised delightfully sophisticated. We will never again board a Celebrity ship and I urge you all reading this take note this is not an upper class ship, it allows you to dine on a formal night in the main restaurant in board shorts and tee's so there you go, make you choice. Low class Celebrity.