Millennium Disappointment: Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by Cavalier48
Overall Member Rating
As an experience cruiser (20 cruises, on 4 different cruise lines, in 12 years), my opinion is that the Celebrity Millennium is a ship that appears to me to be well past it's "Sell-By" date. Dark, old fashioned, and with inadequate levels of crew, unable to provide passengers with an acceptable, or the expected, level of service to reflect the cost of the cruise.
In the first quarter of 2014, the Millennium experienced a serious Novovirus problem, which spanned at least 3 (probably more) consecutive, two-week cruises, including our 28 days, back-to-back cruise
To compound the misery, for several hours, on two separate days (on both sectors), ALL the toilets on board were shut down and unavailable due to malfunction. Passengers were tracking around the ship in search of toilets, and (on the first occasion at least) no announcements were made and no information provided.
As a result of the More Novovirus, the Oceanview, self service cafe was restricted to direct service, from staff. This included the drink stations, and even obtaining "Condiments, salt & Pepper"! But, there were not enough staff available, which meant, frequently, lines/queues of up to 20 (paying guests) waiting to be served a cup of coffee or a glass of water! Also, guests being directed from service area to service area to try and find condiments, butter, and cutlery!! What was needed, was additional staff, to alleviate the problem. But, even when brought to the attention of senior staff, this was not rectified.
Meanwhile, admin staff could sometimes be observed entering food service areas (behind the serving counter), dressed in normal work / office cloths, with no gloves and no hats, serving themselves beverages and food, and even taking that food out of the dining room. One such crew member (in a Grey, uniform jacket, possibly the matre de ?) even pulled a mobile phone, from inside the waist-band of her trousers, and used it while serving herself food, and then tucking it back inside her trousers (underwear ?!) - none of which is acceptable practice, at any time! even less so when trying to control Novovirus.
At the port of Tianjin, for Beijing, the majority of guests who had made own arrangements for going ashore were treated contemptably.
Being (to my personal experience, almost,"forcibly") held on board while the Celebrity tours were given preferential disembarkation.
This compounded the delays from Chinese Passport immigration checks and lead to almost three hours late disembarkation for many private tour guests.
One senior crew member, a housing manager, appeared particularly overbearing, officious, and disrespectful towards guests trying to exit the ship at deck 1, insisting that they return to deck 3 and stating that they could not exit as they had no (tour number) sticker. This resulted in being 3 hours late meeting our private guide, incurring additional costs and a reduced itinerary.
We had paid a premium for an enhanced "Aqua Class" level of cabin and dining. We had experienced this previously, to good effect and benefit, on the Celebrity Solstice. However, it just does not work on Millennium and is not worth the additional cost. The new Aqua class cabins on Millennium have been retrofitted and shoe-horned under the pool deck. There is an ugly, shadowing, overhang, directly above the balcony and excessive noise from sun loungers being dragged and moved by pool staff and (for Port side cabins) smokers late at night and in early morning. The specialist "Blu" restaurant, though serving excellent food, and with good staff, is too small to allow for the, much vaunted, pick-your-time, dining. Leaving aqua class guests having to either wait for seating, or go to dine at an unacceptable late time. During our cruise, one table was "blocked out" and reserved for one specific group. So, Millennium Aqua Class was, to my experience, not good value for the extra cost.
One final observation, though not unique to this ship. Many of the ports were ugly, industrial/container docks and they were located anything between 2 and 4 hours, by road, from the "headline" City which the cruise was advertising. Some had no local facilities or town which could be easily or cheaply visited.
For me, the symbolic X, on this particular ships funnel, means "NO", not for me!
We are "Captains Club - Elite" members, frequently booking back-to-back cruises, and at Aqua class level. Celebrity Cruises make a LOT of revenue from the likes of us. So, we deserve better treatment, and loyalty, in return. We do have the ability to take our business elsewhere.
Nov 2000 - 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise – RCI Enchantment of the Seas
Nov 2000 - 7 night Western Caribbean cruise – RCI Enchantment of the Seas
Nov 2001 - 7 nights South Caribbean – Celebrity Infinity
July 2002 – 7 night Western Mediterranean - RCI Splendour of the seas
Jan 2003 - 14 night Panama Canal - Celebrity Infinity
Aug 2003 - 14 Night Baltic Cruise - Holland America Line MV Oosterdam.
Aug 2004 – 7 nights Alaska (Vancouver to Anchorage) - RCI Vision of the Seas
Sept 2004 5 Night Adriatic cruise - Silverseas : Silver Cloud
Feb 2006 – 14 Nights Singapore to Hong Kong - Silverseas : “Silver Shadow”
Aug 2006 - 7 Nights Norwegian Fjords - Celebrity Century
Jan 2009 - 14 nights Auckland NZ to Sydney Australia - Celebrity Millennium
May 2009 - 11 Nights Eastern Mediterranean - Celebrity Solstice
Feb 2010 - 14 Nights Buenos Aires – Valparaiso - Celebrity Infinity
Oct 2010 - 13 Night Holy Land (Egypt and Greek Isles) - Celebrity Equinox
Apr 2011 - 7 Nights Eastern Caribbean - Celebrity Solstice
Feb 2012 - 7 Nights Dubai/UAE – RCI Brilliance of the Seas
Nov 2012 - 12 Night Middle East and Asia - Celebrity Solstice
Nov 2012 - 16 Night Asia and Australia - Celebrity Solstice
March 2014 - 14 Night Northbound Asian Allure cruise - Celebrity Millennium
April 2014 - 13 Night Dynasties and Dragons cruise - Celebrity Millennium
August 2015 - 11 Night Italy and Dalmation coast - Celebrity Constellation Less
Read Cruise Critic’s Celebrity Millennium Review >>