05 Jul 2013 sailing Celebrity Mellinum Vancouver - Seward,
Started with 3 day tour of Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Victoria. Highly recommend doing so. Seeing Victoria is an all day adventure with travel time. I would recommend an extended day for doing an overnight at Victoria.
We stayed at a recommended Celebrity Hotel while in Vancouver. Executive Hotel Vintage Park, which is very well located to attractions, restaurants,etc. They also provided free shuttle to cruise ship terminal.
My husband and I traveled on Millinum in AQUA Class, which allowed us to do early boarding and by pass the crowds.
Upon boarding Millinum we were initially impressed and pleased. Our Aqua Class cabin was well situated and nicely appointed. All public areas were eye pleasing. At no time during our cruise did ant area fell cramped or crowded. The pool areas were plentiful and there were always lounge chairs and blankets available.
Having experienced uncomfortable sailings on other cruises, this was never the case on this cruise, The ship remained steady and smooth during the entire at sea experience. This ship has a very efficient elevator system for getting about from deck to deck. We did purchase internet time, which was very frustrating to use. At times when out of satellite contact there is no internet available. When it is available, it is slower then slow. So much for APPLE Computers, which is what is available.
Cell phone service is the same. While we could enjoy meals in The Blue Dining Room, part of the Aqua Class experience, we only had that opportunity 2X. Both time it was very well done dinning. Details like any special dietary need are noted. The food in the café was extremely salty and caused health problems such as ankle swelling. We were feeling that our schedule was more often rushed and found ourselves grabbing a quick breakfast in the café. Lunch is the café as the Blue was not open for lunch. By the time dinner rolled around we were usually not hungry enough to dine at Blue where a full 3 or 4 course meal was offered. I found little if any diversity in the meals at the café. Every day offered the same choices. I also thought by comparison that the staff responsible for clearing your table of used plates, etc, was a bit slow on the draw. Sometimes our table was never cleared until we got up and left. Rarely were we offered a drink and had to get it ourselves. Never experienced that on other cruise lines we traveled with.
Our week in Alaska was extremely pleasant weather wise, which allowed for spectacular views. Only the one port of Juneau offered a real rain experience, which can limit activity. Ports like Ketchikan and Icy Straight Point had little if any attractions worth the price of an excursion. All of these ports offer the adventure of zip lining or kayaking, hiking or whale watching along with air flights. If you are not taking part in any of those the ports offer little if any sights. I was surprised that Alaska does not improve the appearance of these port towns that host their main source of revenue, mainly tourists. Flowers are rarely seen and some towns lacked a town or main street.
Hubbard glacier is the highlight of the cruise. Our glacier day did not disappoint. Outstanding weather allowed our captain to get up close and personal. It was an outstanding experience.
We needed to be delivered to Anchorage Airport on diss embarkment day. Un beknown to us that meant a 4:45 rising to be at the train for 6:15 AM. This only added to the tiring memomento of the trip. If you don't like scheduling, rushing to meet tours on time, cruising Alaska is not recommended. WE had 2 at sea days which helped some in gearing it down.
To sum up, I must say I was looking forward to this Celebrity Cruise anticipating absolute service. When in comparison to other lines I thought Celebrity fell short and disappointed.