Last month my family and I travelled on the Celebrity Millenium from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale via the Panama Canal. We had read many reviews about the ship, I found most were quite negative so we were a little apprehensive about our trip.
We didn't need to be. I could not believe how amazing the ship was and the staff couldn't have been more attentive.
We were a party of 14 people - 8 adults (ages 41, 43, 46, 73 and 78) plus 6 children (ages 5,7,8,10 and 12).
We stayed in concierge class - cabin was a good size, lovely balcony, our stateroom attendant Andy was fabulous. We had an interconnecting room with our 2 children. I think 1 cabin between 4 of us for 2 weeks would have been too tight.
The Metropolitan Restaurant food was fabulous. Quality and variety were so much better than expected. We took the option to eat whenever we wanted and rarely had a problem getting a table, even when we all wanted to eat together.
Oceanview Cafe - buffet. Food was great considering it was a buffet. Made to order stirfry's, pasta at dinner and eggs, omelette's at breakfast. Plus many pre-prepared foods. We ate breakfast here almost everyday but didn't eat dinner very often.
Bistro on Five - crepes. $5 per person to eat here.
The Olympic and Qsine were 2 of the top 5 restaurants I have ever eaten in. The quality of the food and attention to detail was unforgettable. I ate lobster 5 times over the trip. The food was ridiculous. Definitely worth buying the 5 night package to enjoy these 2 restaurants.
Kids Club - we sailed during Australian September school holidays. USA/Europe had just started back. There were only 15 kids on board of which 6 were our family. It didn't matter the kids loved it. Begged to go everyday and my 5 year old cried when we disembarked because she was going to miss kids club so much. Only issue was the food choices given to them at dinner time. We requested they include sushi otherwise they could only choose from pizza, pasta, hot dogs and cheeseburgers.
Gym - lots of treadmills, bikes and weights. Various classes including Pilates, spin, yoga ($12), body pump.
Drink package. My husband paid for the classic package $49 per day. Maximum drink cost was $8 so fairly restrictive. At the restaurants there were only 2 types of red, white, sparkling to choose from, if you choose a wine that costs $9 you pay $9 not the $1 difference. If you love your wine go the premium package, which allows $12 and you can pay the difference if you choose a $20 port for example. Cocktails around the pool were mainly $6-$8. Beer $5. Speciality coffee $5. Martini Bar $11-$16. I didn't take the drink package as I couldn't justify it.
They provide water, sprite, juice and percolated coffee and standard tea with meals.
Pool grill had the best cheeseburgers I've ever had in my life, hotdogs were also a hit.
Cabo san lucas - we did our own thing. hired a boat to take us to land end and then dropped us at Medano Beach. Don't let them talk you into hiring their chairs/umbrella's though. Plenty of restaurants up the beach where you don't have to pay to use the sun loungers and umbrellas plus you can buy cheap beer and food. They came back and picked us up at 3pm and took us back to the port. Cost $120 for 14 of us.
We prebooked Puerto Vallarta swimming with the dolphins. Words cannot describe this experience. Thoroughly recommend. Once in a lifetime experience.
I would recommend joining the Cruisecritic forum as the group on board the ship seemed to have their shore excursions organized with sensational itineraries. Better than was offered on the ship and cheaper.
Although, in Guatemala stick with the ship organized tours as we had a police escort to protect us from would be kidnappers. Apparently a real risk in this area.
Costa Rica - bit disappointing. Rubbish all up the Torcoles River and not much wildlife in the middle of the day.
Panama Canal - amazing.
Colon - the city is frighteningly poverty stricken. The rainforests are beautiful. Not a lot of wildlife again due to us being out in the middle of the day.
Cartegena - great city would have loved to stay longer.
Theatre shows - comedian's , musicians, broadway shows. All fabulous and free.
Our cruise had a Taste of the Sensors promotion so a lot of activities were centered around food. We participated in Coe making, food demonstrations, wine tasting, wine and cheer pairings, cake decorating. Some we paid for some free. They also had degustation menu's with wine pairing at The Olympic.
Embarkation was long and arduous. Disembarkation was better.
Embarkation and disembarkation at the ports of call was fine.
Overall it was hard to fault. All public areas were pristine and well looked after. The staff were fantastic and seemed to go beyond our expectations again and again. Would definitely recommend to anyone.