Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by HeinBloed: There were good things... but there were more bad things...
Overall Member Rating
There were good things... but there were more bad things...
Embarkation: Hong Kong
It should become the most important voyage in my life-time:
My father should see his birthplace - he should show it to his children and grand-children and in Taipei we should meet my grandmother - but she passed away few weeks before sailing.
We booked because it fit personally to school vacation of the kids and we only need 8 days off to be 13 nights on a cruise. We would have a double-overnight which would allow us to see the birthplace of my father and we had a call in my birthplace in Taiwan.
I am end 40s with 64 cruises but only 3 cruises on Celebrity from 2008 until today on CENTURY, CELEBRITY EQUINOX and now CELEBRITY MILLENNIUM with total 27 nights on Celebrity.
2 more have experience with Holland America, RCI, NCL and MSC and 1 more with NCL and MSC. So 5 were cruise novices. So in total we were 10.
Our experience with Celebrity were not the best and so after reading the reviews on cruisecritic.com were not the best. But we did not More expected that you our low expectations were already too high...
One thing I did not like to read here: a bad experience tagged with a name.
We need a table of 10 with flexibile dining and you cannot book it on internet. We wanted to exchange the cabins we had and wanted to avoid double work with the release of the key cards. So we wrote two letters and asked another cruiser to hand them over on board before we arrive.
She handed over to Anatoly and he told my friend: that is no problem.
Unfortunately I read his name in a review.
So it was a strange feeling to meet him but I did not not let him know that I read something negative on him and wanted to thank him for arranging the table of 10. To me he was always very friendly and nice. But I felt bad for him and me to have the knowledge and to behave "normal" with him.
Therefore please kindly understand one policy: good things with name nags - bad experience always in general. So it's job of Celebrity to identify the less good crew members and take action.
I wrote a blog and put many pictures in the forum of our cruise. So you can see day by day here:
The good thing:
They have outstanding production shows - you have more cast than with other cruiselines so there is much more dynamics on stage
The Olympic was an outstanding experience - the only place you get a service you get years before for every one free in the MDR and now can only get when you book The Olympica. Same with the quality of food.
My Ice Tea in Café al Bacio. No chance to get this on any other cruise lines.
Sorry - but there were also bad things:
The organisation was a desaster.
With other cruiselines like Holland America you get the forms already printed by the computer and you just fill out.
In Hong Kong you get mostly blank (on one form they printed in the ship's name) but while the crew was sitting comfortable with conference room tables and chairs, their guests had only the low tables or like us sitting on the floor.
In Japan they told 11.30 hrs that everybody MUST be from the ship by 12.00 hrs. But we booked a table in an alternative dining venue and had to leave the ship although we paid and had to leave the ship. Our private tour started at 13.00 hrs and we had no reasons to leave earlier.
Passport collection only against receipt and only a time slot of 15 minutes. HAL gives you 90 minutes time to collect your passport. And you present the receipt and they cannot find the passport and tell you: Somebody collected the passports. But I have the receipt... I told my parents have Taiwan passport. They found them and argued why I did not tell them that they are Hong Kong citizens. I said they are Taiwan. They just open the front page of the Taiwanese passport and said "Your parents are Hong Kong citizen"... This goes through the whole cruise. Wrong copies and a lot of anger with the Chinese authorities because they did not want to hear what I had to say to explain what my parents need.
Tianjin was a nightmare: Ship arrived at 05.00 hrs but when the first left the ship: they made an announce that only guests booked a ship's tour to Xian were allowed to leave the ship and anybody else like us (with an independent tour) should wait for further announcements. They repeated the announcement and I walked down to the theater and saw that they only let their ship's tour off the ship: Group 24. Nobody could tell me that they have so many guests booked to Xian - a tour which costs more than the regular cruise. So I called the front desk: No Sir only Xian-Guests. I explained what I discovered and they said that we can leave the ship. Before we could exit we met the Onboard Revenue Manager who said that everything the front desk told is not valid and we must go back as they only have lists of tour guests of the ship and only them would be allowed to enter the country. This was a big lie as some of our groups and other independent tour guests made it already behind the immigration. We finally made it 12.16 hrs which means due to traffic condition you loose 1/2 in Beijing.
When you come back you read in the programme of the third day that they pulled the return time from 17.45 hrs to 15.30 hrs and you had no chance to notice it.
I learned with my cruises on HAL, Princess or NCL one:
Do not leave the ship without telling us what we can do better to make you feel comfortable. So do not leave the ship and tell your friends how bad it was without having the chance to make changes.
I need body wash to be happy.
Standard with Holland America and Norwegian with all categories.
Princess: you ask simply your cabin steward and you get it.
Here: you asked your cabin steward: no
then you ask someone from the senior management: what is your cabin no. - no you are not entitled to get some... we are talking about an item which costs few cent! I did not asked for daily free caviar and champagne... Finally I got some.
But when want to have something which is onboard you just do not get it because they are not willing to do something for their guests:
like welcome champagne: no non-alcoholic beverages available: their reaction: you must go to deck 10 and get yourself some orange juice. How poor is this?
You asked for some bread like "Jewish Rye-Bread" (you have it on everyship to make Reuben!) and you have it occassionally for lunch or dinner or in the self-service restaurant: and you just do not get it: you get only the brown toast and if you need something special: do not ask me - but find a maitre and ask him.
The variation of food: I cannot see anymore prime-rib with mashed potatoes for the rest of my life. You get only one time lobster (MODERN LUXURY = reduced to simplicity).
And one night you have Chicken Saltimbocca which was served as a deep-fried roulade and you get exactly the same with a different name the next night.
Food reached a level like Norwegian and they are really not good anymore.
We had a norovirus and they placed back the used silverware on the table cloth and you must use it another time.
Brunch just cancelled.
We had a wet carpet all the time in our cabin - the best place to raise bacteria and virus...
We had a non-working air absorbtion in the bathroom. The next could see in the mirror again 20 minutes after the other took the shower. And you reported it to the cabin steward. Yes - we know - it does not work better.
You report it to the front desk: three engineers are coming to find out: yes - you are right - it does not work properly - but we have no idea what we can do.
Sorry - but I expected more from product which advertised as Modern Luxury.
I am more the fan of Classic Luxury as I love service and good food. Less
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