Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by Cassicruiser: Wonderful ship and wonderful cruise
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Wonderful ship and wonderful cruise
Gosh, it's hard to believe we were on the same ship as previous posters. Yes, opinions are just that - opinions, and everyone has a different one. I found the ship and particularly the crew excellent in most respects, with just a few things that were not quite right for us but may be perfect for others.
This was our 4th cruise, with the others all on Royal Caribbean (Vision and Radiance class), and we boarded this ship with great apprehension after reading so many negative reviews. A lot of this review will be a compariosn between Royal (Radiance) and Celebrity (Millennium) , and I found both lines similar but different. (If that makes sense...)
We were a group of 3 families (14 of us) and our friends were first time cruisers and they are now completely hooked and planning their next cruise. After being greeted with champagne or a Mimosa, my first thought was Wow, what a beautiful ship and it does have a more upscale and classy feel than Royal Caribbean. Our teenage More kids preferred the look and feel of Royal, but I liked both in different ways. It was nice to have a change from Royal, and the adults in our group all loved the Millennium. The pool deck is brilliant, bigger and more open that what we have seen previously, and all loungers are cushioned with many luxury loungers around the pool area. The cruise was full and the weather was hot, yet it was never a problem to get a lounger at the pool. Towels are plentiful and there is no need to check them out, you can just help yourself, and beach towels are provided in your cabin for shore days.
There are many beautiful lounges and places to relax with a book or a drink, with a particular favourite being Cafe Al Bacio, where the service was excellent, the coffee and pastries great, and the chairs comfy. Most have large windows so you could always see the ocean, and plenty of chairs. Bar service was attentive, even at the sunset bar at the back of the ship, where the tables were always cleared and bar service was always offered (a previous poster has said this was not the case, but certainly was on our cruise). This was also a favourite area of ours for meals at the buffet, which leads out onto the sunset bar deck.
We ate most dinners at the Metropolitan reastaurant at 8.30 dining, and had a table for 6 and 8 for our group. Our waiters were outstanding, the Assistant Maitre D, Azem, became our friend and a hot favourite with the kids due to his magic tricks. I had been told that Celebrity food was superior to Royal Caribbean, however I found they were on par, with Celebrity having way better desserts, and the gala brunch on one of the sea days was outstanding. We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Oceanview cafe, which was one area of the ship I didn't particularly like due to the layout and design, but the food was usually good, although I felt Royal's buffet was better. There was a great free ice cream station in the buffet with ever changing flavours that was very well frequented! The 6 adults in our group went to Qzine one night which was a blast - the food was wonderful, served in quirky ways, and we enjoyed every bite. The service was brilliant, and as it was our wedding anniversary that night they presented us with the best dessert I have ever eaten (Chocolate tombstone) and sang happy anniversary to us. It was an evening to remember and I would highly recommend this specialty restaurant.
The entertainment team headed up by a fantastic CD, Steve Gayda,(can't say enough good things about him) was the best I have seen, and they were everywhere talking to guests and getting to know them. The officers were far more visible than on Royal, and I spoke to many of them (incl Captain Kostas) numerous times. Many of the games at the pool or in the lounges featured officers against guests which was a nice touch. The Celebrity singers and dancers were outstanding and did 3 productions shows and 3 theme nights during the cruise, with the iBroadway show being the best night of all. The guest entertainers while being good were aimed at an older crowd and we found them just ok, although the older crowd seemed to love them. To be fair the general age was 50 - 70 (we are in our 40's with teenage kids) with many non English speakers (German's Russians, South Americans). Taking all that into account I think Celebrity did a good job in trying to keep everyone happy.
There were some very good enrichment speakers, (Marshall Stern on Buddhism) and good lectures and information given on ports before each one. We also attended the Improv comedy series given every sea day by Marshall and Nancy, which was great fun, and highly recommended if they are on your cruise. The art lectures and auctions were really good too, Chris and Sarah and the rest of the art team were wonderful, so helpful and knowledgable, and happy to share information even if you weren't buying.
The crew were fantastic, and went out of their way to keep everyone happy (especially stateroom attendants Gabriel and Minguel who figured out that one of our kids loved cheesecake so had it ready and waiting for him in the cabin every time we returned from port). At the end of every port stop we returned to the ship to find crew with ice cold towels and drinks (it was HOT) to welcome us back, and some of the crew on cold towel duty were officers and maitre'd's, who always welcomed us back with a smile and a chat about our adventures that day. Many of our ports were tenders, and they did a great job managing the process.
The South East Asian ports were interesting and very different, we enjoyed all of them and did some great activities in each. It was a good way to decide which we would return to for a longer holiday one day.
Our teenagers met and hung out with other teens (mainly from Australia and South America due to the timing of the cruise) and had a blast. That said though, the consensus at the end of the cruise is that if we were cruising with the kids we would go Royal, and just adults we would definitely go with Celebrity.
Overall this was one of the best holidays we have ever had, and we loved the Millennium and wouldn't hesitate to sail on her or her sister ships again. I like variety though so next time I think we may try a Solstice class ship, but we are definitely fans of Celebrity! Less
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Cabin review: 3044
Very comfortable stateroom, good size window, plenty of storage. Easy to store 2 large suitcases and 2 carry-ons under the bed. Very quiet, we couldn't hear anything from our neighbours, although we did hear people in the corridor, and doors slamming ocassionally, but I think you would have that in most cabins. We were very happy and would book this location again if we went with an oceanview and not a balcony.
One to miss
Japan and a Little Bit of Chin...
Could have been better