The check in at the Cruise terminal in Yokohama was obviously my first experience with this cruise from Yokohama to Vancouver. It was a disorganized mess which one can hardly be attributed to the Japanese personnel being that Japan and its people constitute a highly organized society. Therefore, the disorganization was probably due to Celebrity's lack of management control over this endeavor.
On boarding, I realized that the Celebrity Millenium is an older ship which needs much maintenance. I traveled in Aqua Class which has its advantages since the cabins were newer and rather respectable. In addition, the dining room provided only for Aqua Class passengers, designated Blu, is a small scale affair providing unfortunately highly unprofessional service with mediocre to poor food, supposed to be heathy and light, but far from what was intended.
The disorganized service in the Blu restaurant overtakes whatever supervision is provided i.e., it can often be horrendous, taking almost two hours + to dine, and for breakfast to be served. Most food was served with numerous mistakes and often rather cold.The maître of the restaurant was a most agreeable individual with an excellent disposition, but somehow he often could neither fix the mistakes made by the waiters/kitchen nor the issue of slow service. Whatever issues were somewhat rectified were minimal. His good intentions surely were quelled by his superiors. In these days of cutting costs, Celebrity should not have permitted a shortage of capable personnel to provide appropriate service from the onset especially for Aqua Class passengers who have paid for a higher class of service.
As the Blu restaurant is not opened at lunchtime, one has to use the cafeteria or main dining room which can be a nightmare .The cafeteria is one chaotic mess, with unappetizing dishes, insufficient space to accommodate the passengers, and long lines . Moreover It has a slovenly appearance with so many passengers rushing and cutting in front of each other.
In addition, there are groups of people in the cafeteria who use large tables to play cards and other games while the cafeteria is functioning to provide lunch,thereby making it difficult for obtain tables.
The gym which I used frequently is poorly maintained, the trainers assigned to the gym, uninterested and unhelpful to the passenger not paying for specific services.
Throughout and I mean throughout out the ship,there is constant cheap bus terminal/airport music being blared on loudspeakers making it sometimes impossible to relax in public areas. Some of the Muzak is nothing more than a constant trump, thump. Pure noise. Perhaps such music is played to cater to some passengers tastes, but such noise pollution is not in everyone's interest, especially on a cruise ship. Such music also cheapens the image of Celebrity. When loudspeaker music was not being played, there were sporadic, interjected annoying musical performers,most of the time blurting out what is called music in order to fill in the spaces of golden silence. The passengers are entitled to pure silence to converse or rest from constant stimulation. The passengers should not be treated like happy campers requiring Muzak in order to be happy.
One most grotesque event with alarmingly high pitched music was one evening at around 10:30 PM when a disc jockey played very loud music on the 4th floor, a very public area , to which just a very few couples were dancing . Poor judgement was utilized by the cruise director in allowing the dispersion of so much noise in a highly public area. There was no need for this shrill, especially since it was appealing to just a few people.
Another event, practically on a daily basis, was the use of another disk jockey, also on the 4th floor, playing loud music at 3:30 PM, interrupting people sitting by the coffee bar on the 5th floor who were reading, talking or resting. There were no other people on the 4th floor listening to this music, therefore the disc jockey was alone, playing music at very high levels to no audience, and this blare circulated to other floors since it was being transmitted within the high ship atrium.
One important note: a set amount for tips is debited to each passenger on a daily basis. The passenger has the right to decline this automatic debit, and to tip directly to the people to whom he or she would like to tip. Towards the very end of this cruise, the stateroom attendant placed in the rooms of those who declined the automatic debit, a group of envelopes in which to place a personal tip along with the suggestion as to how much the tip should be. I find this practice an invasion of ones privacy. If one is going to tip personally, he or she will find a way to tip the people who rendered satisfactory services. However, giving out envelopes and letting the stateroom staff know in advance as to who declined the automatic debit is unethical. Why not just incorporate into the cruise fare the tips in order to terminate with this issue of hidden costs.
For 14 nights, this was a poor cruise choice for me. I fully understand that there are people who may not agree with my position with respect to the cruise, however, democratic forums are a manner in which a customer may express his or her comments.