We are a couple of guys, with 28 cruises under our belt, in our forties. We normally cruise 2-3 times a year, and we have sailed RCCL, Cystal, Princess, Carnival, P&O, NCL. As a general statement, I do notice a lot of cut backs compared to 10 year or so ago. So whenever I read someone comparing one cruise to another, I tend to ask the question if the comparison is to a cruise 5, 10 years ago. Things certainly has changed.
This is a cruise starting from Yokohama and ending in Vancouver. We sailed the same ship in Asia last year (just before they set sail for Vancouver) and hated the ship, hated how Celebrity blamed port agents, port staff when there's a delay. Coincidentally, we also sailed Princess through the Asian ports a few months before that and we had no issues with delays whatsoever. I do realize, it's a ship specific problem, and remain a loyal Celebrity customer. So, we'd given the Millie another try, this year and it certainly changed for the better. We were fortunate enough to be in a Royal suite, and had friends in Concierge as well as inside and window cabins, we are a group of 7. All of us was on the same cruise last year, and everyone agreed that this was a much better cruise compared to the one we took last year. (4 of us in the group also continued on to Vancouver last year).
We had a wonderful butler, Richard, who also happens to be the head butler. He took cared of us, organizing surprise birthday party (he was a good sport!), tea times in the room with friends,numerous breakfasts, room services, and attended to our every need, a true gentleman. Along with him we have 2 cabin stewarts, Roland and Arnel, both are quick and efficient and clean.
We were fortunate to be able to access the Michael's club, which hosts wonderful breakfasts, cocktail hours, and special events. Maritza Moolman, the Michael's host is another Celebrity gem. She knows her craft, a real and truly friendly person, and a genuine professional at her job. She makes it looks seamless, but I'm certain, nothing is as easy breezy as it appears to be. Then there is the Captain Club Host, Lionel, who tries his best to please everyone. I'm certain the cruise would be different if we hadn't met any of these Celebrity hardworking staff.
Our cabin was amazing, everything was spotless.
Dining was good, we tried the Bistro which has amazing dessert crepes, QSine was a fun experience and not sure what the last one was called, Tuscany or something?, but it was way too long to eat. Dining room was OK as usual, we tried Bleu for 2 nights, the first night was fantastic, the second time was OK, nothing special. We had breakfast in the cabin a few mornings and they were wonderful. Breakfast the the Bleu was OK, buffet was OK, Elite lounge was OK. Overall, not bad at all.
We would have happy hour at the Cosmo lounge as none of our friends could access the Michael's club. I'd sneak out and have a few bites at the cocktail hour in the Michael's lounge a few times, and boy, the finger food was amazing compared to the stuff they serve at the elite lounge. There were also a few special events in the Michaels lounge worth mentioning, like the day they officially opened the lounge for "business", quite a fanfare, cake, violin duet, and the ship staff. Another was when they had the spa group came in. I wish I was a woman. They fix the women's hair up, manicured, hand massage, and put Effy jewels on them, follow by a photoshoot! How FAB! We only managed to squeeze the hand massage and took some photos.
Embarkation - It was a long line but I do realize, it's not in the hands of Celebrity. Everyone has to go through security checks that was taking quite a bit of time. I noticed a man yelling at the Celebrity staff that he was Elite and had priority boarding and demanding to go in front of everyone. Seriously, there was over 500+ Elites as I came to find out later on. No one is getting in front of anyone! I guess he doesn't realize that he needs to go through security first, then only his priority boarding kicks in. So, really, if anyone wants to assign blame, blame it on the lack of X-Ray machines at the port, not Celebrity. We were fortunate to have our friend Virginia got us tickets and we waited for a short while and off we went. There was a line for suite members, where we were checked in and whisked away to the Michaels lounge by a Raul, the front desk person. Disembarkation was easy breezy. We took our own luggage off, so when we were ready we headed for the exit, no waiting, no looking for bags, and walked out to meet our friends who was waiting for us.
Overall, we truly enjoyed ourselves, and would rate this cruise one of the top ones we've been on. Happy cruising!
We sailed the same ship last year for the Asia cruise.