We are senior citizens and have been on 9 previous cruises. Our previous agendas have been in the Caribbean. Most of our cruises have been with RCCL. Our first cruise (1991) was with NCL and the ship was named Starward with 700 passengers. For us, the first cruise was the best. As we had never been to Alaska, we found that the Millennium would bring us there and we could disembark in San Diego,Ca. That would allow us to visit the ship that I served on, many years ago the USS Midway.
We flew from Dallas, TX non-stop to Vancouver, where we finally boarded the ship. That was after passing thru Canadian immigration and then going thru U.S customs prior to boarding. Unfortunately Canada had cancelled (Sept 1) the "US Direct" program, which caused delays in arriving at the dock to board the ship. Once our luggage arrived, we were surprised at how large our stateroom was. Very spacious and more than adequate storage space for our two week cruise. We found out the first night, that the bed was very comfortable. Following muster, at the lifeboat stations, we explored the ship to get our bearings. The Millennium was a well laid out ship with plenty of elevators. Public areas seemed clean, with no evidence of significant wear and tear.
Our itinerary was: 5 Alaska ports, Seattle, San Francisco, Catalina Island, and disembark in San Diego. Passengers included many europeans and some orientals. Of interest to us was the extensive disinfectant stations throughout the ship even when boarding the ship. Must work as no reports of illness. The dining experiences were nothing special. Of note was that most meat dishes were overcooked which made the beef tough and the seafood rubbery. There seemed to be more repetition in meals than on previous cruises. Three deserts were offered, with one always chocolate based. This ship had the worst coffee with most of it undrinkable many times tasted burnt. The breakfast and lunch buffets were standard fare. The entertainment on the ship was average, except for a great guitar/singer musician and a wonderful electronic xylophone performer. A couple of good groups kept the dance floors active.
Our favorite excursion was taking a boat tour out to view sea otters ,seals, eagles and especially the whales they really performed for us with their tails waving prior to diving. Cruising up to see Hubbard glacier was very impressive. The ship was able to get very close and then turned 360 degrees so all could see. Sounded like thunder when the ice broke off (calving).
Missing items on the cruise was the midnight buffet and the dance hosts for the single ladies.
Once we arrived at San Diego, debarkation went very smooth and quick. We collected our luggage and were on our way. In retrospect, this cruise went rather well, from our flights to our time on the ship. However, our preferences are warm weather cruising we love the Caribbean