First off, I'm shocked at how many people were so very negative regarding Celebrity here on Cruise Critic. Each boat is different, as is each cruise line. Nobody should base a single experience on a cruise as their measure for an entire cruise line.
That being said, I agree that compared to our first experience with Celebrity on the Summit, the Millennium seemed "tired". I had no qualms about sailing on an older ship, as it was advertised as having received "renovations" in 2012. However, there were definitely areas that looked old/worn. Specifics I noticed were mostly exterior handrails that had lost their finish, along with ones that had obviously been removed for repair, replaced with temporary steel supports that were rusty and truly eye-sores. However, it must be very difficult to keep a ship both in excellent repair AND in service to meet customer demand. Crew was obviously working very hard to see to passenger needs.
Our embarkation went smoothly but was slower than some ports in which we've traveled. After a quick lunch in the OceanView Cafe, our rooms were ready. We were in Aqua Class, and we had Aft cabins. Our only disappointment was that one of the only two smoking areas on the entire ship happened to be right under our balconies. People smoked cigars, cigarettes, etc. down there night and day. When the ship was in motion, it wasn't so bad, but in port, it was terrible. This was most unfortunate for my cousin, who is allergic to smoking. I look forward to the day when smoking will be completely BANNED on cruise ships! Our balconies were otherwise very spacious and the chairs are most comfortable for reading. The rooms are also quite sound-proof. There was an outdoor lounge right under us, and I was concerned about the noise level at first. It turned out to be no issue.
Strangely, I ran into a situation that occurred on my last Celebrity cruise in the pool area. Before sailing out of Vancouver, it was warm enough to swim. I did laps in the adult pool. It's posted there that no children should be in the pool without the supervision of an adult. As on the Summit last Christmas, a girl hopped in the pool and then began splashing me on purpose! I wound up leaving, really ticked off at the child's rude behavior, even after I asked her to stop. No parent in sight. I spoke with the pool steward who barely understood English. I know he had no clue what I was trying to say, but I certainly wish Celebrity would do a better job of upholding their policies that are in print. They'd be in serious trouble had the child injured herself or drowned, as the pool was well over 5 ft. deep in the shallow end.
Being in Aqua Class, we had the privilege of eating in Blu. However, on the first night of the cruise, there was an excellent promotional for Aqua Class guests to eat in one of the specialty restaurants, 2 for 1. We tried the elegant Olympic Restaurant. It was FABULOUS!!! The staff was amazing in there and each presentation of courses was choreographed so that wait staff swooped in together to present one's plate. I can honestly say it was one of the most amazing food experiences I've ever had in my life. My husband and I had the Chateaubriand for Two. If you cruise Celebrity, be sure to try the Olympic or its counterpart on other ships.
The rest of the time, we ate in Blu, which was also wonderful. The staff there got to know us, how we liked things, and everyone was most friendly. On our last sea day, there was a brunch served in the main dining room. We went and it was incredible! The food was excellent again, and the different presentations, ice sculptures, and carved centerpiece flowers were terrific. I went around with my camera, just photographed it all! In Blu, I had halibut one night and it was superb. Also, one evening, they served macadamia nut encrusted scallops. Absolutely delicious. During the brunch, the waffles were especially good... made to order. I read a review where one couple only ate in Blu once, then dined in the Cafe the rest of the time. They complained about the food! That's their own fault I think, for not going to Blu nightly or to a specialty restaurant. Anyone can do a buffet anytime.
I do enjoy a workout, and I will agree that the exercise room was very understaffed. I wanted assistance with equipment, and nobody was available to give it. Only one guy was working and he was teaching a class. Later, after working out, I was hoping to use a Therapy Ball for core training. NCL has them for people to use. I spoke with one of the trainers, who was rather short with me. That was absolutely the ONLY time on the cruise when I was treated rudely. They had no therapy balls, either.
On the first day of the cruise, the AquaSpa did some promotional drawings, they were disappointing... a few single exercise classes and a man's barbering. I did have my first collagen facial on board. It was FANTASTIC! The girl who did it was awesome, and she didn't push products at me afterwards, like on NCL. She really took her time on me, doing a top-notch job. I'd definitely do that treatment, again!
Another review complained that Celebrity doesn't have as many on-board activities. This is true. However, Celebrity caters to a different sort of passenger. Younger families with multiple kids would probably be better served on an NCL or Carnival ship. On e thing I really like about Celebrity is that they cater more towards adults who like touches of culture.
My cousin, traveling with us was a first-time cruiser. He really wanted to see the Bridge, and Celebrity graciously saw to it that he go to go up there. I was really pleased with how Celebrity handled that. It was one of the highlights of his trip!
We ordered room service once early in the AM. Our room steward had it there in plenty of time for us to enjoy it prior to shore excursions. Compared to the Summit, I didn't enjoy the fruit in my Aqua Class room OR the canapes as much. We had canapes each afternoon, but they were always savory, with no choc. covered strawberries, cookies, etc. like on the Summit. Our "fruit basket" consisted of three apples on a long, rectangular plate. Each was a Granny Smith, which are too tart for me. I missed the Summit's generous choices!
BINGO was played twice on board. There was a naturalist, and he did several presentations, but those turneed out to be rather commercial advertisement for ports, etc. However, his coverage on Hubbard Glacier was excellent.
I will definitely saill on Celebrity again. The food is far superior to that of other cruise on which I've been.