Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by SWANOZ: Gems of Asia
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Gems of Asia
Myself and my two sons travelled on this cruise in an inside cabin.This cruise was our second with Celebrity, we previously cruised on the century Aust/NZ Dec 2011.
The cabin on the Millenium was a little larger than the Century which made moving around in it a little easier,especially as the third bed was a sofa bed and not a roll away. The cabin was fine, cabin boys were also very good.
Embarkation was smooth. We arrived at 11.00 am as we were trying to embark and then go to Universal Studios in the afternoon. We accomplished this after having lunch in the buffet and being given access to our cabin a little after 1.30pm.
Food in the main dining room was very good. Did notice as previous reviewers have said that the food was very salty the first few days of the cruise, but his changed after a couple of days and was then perfect. We did Select Dining and had good service for all but one night. Special mention for Ian and his assistant waiter from Lima, Wayan and Raul More the waiter who cleared the tables. These waiters along with some sorry I can't remember their names but provided exceptional service. My eldest son has a disability and a very fussy eater they bent over backwards to meet his needs. THANK YOU.
The buffet was good many choices. Yes more or less the same each day but with so many choices you could have a different meal each day. The omelet station was very good and you could get hot toast, muffins or bagels on request at the bread station. Gourmet sandwiches or Caesar salad were made on request for lunch. Only had dinner at the buffet once when we returned late to the ship from Phuket which was Ok. My only complaint with the buffet was that the food in the warming trays was not kept warm enough which really is a health issue and needs to be addressed.
Entertainment during sea days was Ok. The pool was a popular spot, we participated in trivia and watched a couple of movies in the cabin. The sea days were a little boring. We did not go to many of the shows but the Magic show was a stand out performance.
All the ports were very interesting. Lombok we had pre arranged a tour with other cruise critic passengers which was very good. The taxi drivers at the port are very aggressive. Lunch at Sengiggi Beach was very good. The hawkers here were also very aggressive but it was fun bargaining and all part of visiting Indonesia. The draw back to this port is you have to tender. Arrival was at 7.00am but didn't get to shore until about 9.00am very frustrating.
Komodo was great saw many Dragons went on private cruise critic tour, no snorkeling at Pink Beach a little disappointing. The ships tour did snorkel though. What we did do that the ships tour did not do is visit the local village. Many of us had bought gifts to give to the school(in my case pens, rulers, sharpeners, rubbers, balloons and 2 Aussie rules miniature footballs) to help their limited resources. The kids tried selling us trinkets. We proceeded to the school where we gave the gifts to the teachers as we thought they would know how to best utilise the supplies. We interacting with the kids watch them play and make music. On our way back to the pier a lady personally came up to me to thank me with I greatly appreciated and felt humble. The kids asked for our water bottles which we gave them. This made their day to have a drinking water bottle. It was an eye opener for my kids to see how lucky we are here in Australia.
Bali was wonderful. We stayed overnight in Ubud which by all accounts was a good decision s re boarding the ship in the evening was a nightmare. Had driver Surya meet us and he took us where ever we wanted to go. First elephant riding which was excellent, then monkey forest in Ubud and shopping in Ubud. He then took us to our accommodation. I was able to get our passports back the day before on board no problems at all as I knew we needed them to check into our accommodation. Second day in Bali snorkeling Nus Dua not so good current too strong and my youngest son went para sailing. He thought it was awesome. Went shopping in Kuta market lots of bargains but have to bargain which is fun and also shopping at factory outlets. Finally visited cultural centre many large statues and Balinese dancers all from high up on the coast.
Port Klang took ships tour as was a little apprehensive of the traffic situation if did something on our own. Batu caves was very good lots of steps but well worth getting to the top. Lots of monkey here too. Lunch at the restaurant was very good. KL tower trip good. Got back to ship in good time but other buses did not but of course the ship waited.
Penang we got a taxi and visited golden budda and white coffee factory. Went shopping in China town and had a look around Georgetown. I have been here before so did not venture out too far. Need to negotiate price with taxi drivers before getting in with them. We found once you settled on a price they were very nice.
Phuket another tender port managed to get off early had a prearranged tour with Sam to Phang Nga Bay James bond Island. Did not realise it was a 2 hour drive from Patong Beach where we tendered. Arrived at a little fishing village away from the main tourist area, took a long boat to the gypsy village where the ships tour were then onto the caves. The canoe ride here was another highlight of our trip. The canoeists have limited English and very cheeky. They were a lot of fun. Gave them both a tip. Had lunch at the fishing village we were the only western tourists there just local Thai people having lunch. Visited another reclining golden buddha and headed back to the ship. Encountered heavy traffic near Patong. Did some last minute shopping in Patong. My youngest son thought it as Christmas with all the bargains to be found. Once again bargaining essential.Returned To the tenders with 10 minutes to spare and exhausted. We had a great day.
Disembarkation was easy carried our own luggage off as we had a lunchtime flight. Went to the transfer desk and got a car that we with all our luggage could fit in $55.00 Singapore dollars and no waiting for taxis.
All round great vacation. Thoroughly enjoyed Singapore and all the ports. The ship was great no major complaints about the ship itself, but in saying that we preferred the more intimate smaller ship that the Century is.
All the problems with tendering stem from the fact that the ship has 2200 guests who want to get off asap. A smaller ship would have been much better less people to move. The crew did their best. My advice if you can't get priority tender tickets (Elite or Suite guests) look at doing the ships tours to ensure you get off early and stay overnight in Bali onshore to avoid the stress of re boarding at the same time as many other people Less
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