This is the first time we tried Celebrity Cruises. We liked the itinerary for this ship. 12 nights starting in Vancouver, B.C. and visiting Nanaimo, B.C., Victoria, B.C. Astoria, Oregon, Seattle, Washingotn, San Francisco (2 nights), Monterey, California, and Catalina, California disembarking in Los Angeles. We really enjoyed the ports at each stop. The shore excursions were fantastic.
We have cruised about 16 times on Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. We were told how good the food on Celebrity was so we were excited to try it. Turns out that the food was the low point of the whole trip. We ate in the Metropolitan Dining Room and we had the early seating on the main floor. We had a table for 8 next to the kitchen with a window view. Let me say that it took a full two hours to eat. The waiter took our orders as soon as we sat down at 6pm and we didn't get our main course (even though all of us were finished our other courses and just sitting waiting) until an hour and 10 minutes into dinner. Also when the waiter was bringing the plates of food out he was giving the food to the wrong people. Not only once, but almost every night this happened. The choice of entrees was not as extensive as on Holland America for example. The desserts were nothing spectacular, they were small and no matter what you got, it tasted like sugar free. The presentation was bland and the quality of food was not up to par as any of the other above cruise lines I mentioned. One other thing was they served Cod one night and there were bones in it, I can understand one or two, but two people at our table could not eat it as there were so many bones in it. We told the waiter of the poor food quality and he even said they were "aware of it and were trying to improve." We were disappointed in the Millennium's food as we were told how good Celebrity's food is.
One other thing we were disappointed in was the lack of a buffet line in the evening for people who come back late from excursions and don't want to get to the main dining room. They have an Asian stir fry available and some pizza and some pasta. They have a small "alternative" area on the same deck in one corner where you can dine as they use this area to "train' new waiters. Many people never knew this existed. We like the idea of other cruise lines having the buffet line open serving the same food as in the main dining room if you don't want to be dressed up or can't make it to the main dining room. The ship itself is nice, not fancy but with muted earth tones.
The lounge up on deck 11 (Cosmos) has spectacular views but one half of it is designated as "smoking friendly" so it can get pretty bad on the nonsmoking side and we left when the smoke drifted over our way. Room Stewards were very nice and did their jobs well. No complaints there. The balcony room was spacious enough with a nice size balcony. The Millennium crew was very conscious of everyone using the sanitizer. Before getting back on the ship from any excursion we were all encouraged to use the sanitizer. The sanitizer was all over the ship and before dinner in the dining room and before breakfast the staff was putting a dab in every one's hand. That's a good practice to follow. We would sail Celebrity again if this line was the only one going to certain ports, like this cruise was. Unless the food improves we won't be going on the Millennium again.
Nanaimo, B.C. about 50 miles from Vancouver. This port was great. We
took the Coombs Country Market" excursion and loved that marketplace
with the "goats on the roof". Then we went to 'Cathedral Grove" with
trees over 800 years old, lots of Douglas Firs. If you've ever been to
Muir Woods you'll love Cathedral Grove. Nanaimo is a beautiful town
with a lovely marina. It's a small town feel and very friendly people
and beautiful scenery.
Catalina is a beautiful Island. There are many things to see here, and many excursions you can take. We walked the town of Avalon and took a 45 minute tour. The vistas were breathtaking and we took some very nice pictures here. You will love this island and all it has to offer.
Monterey was great! Beautiful ocean vistas and great photo taking opportunities. We took an excursion of the 17 mile drive to Pebble Beach. We took pictures of the "lone cypress" and also had our pictures taken on the 18th hole of Pebble Beach. We also stopped in Carmel which is a charming town with quaint coffee shops nice bakeries, and all kinds of gift shops. The town is full of trees and flowers and was very picturesque. I'm very glad we took this excursion.
It's a real treat to be docked at Pier 35 for two days in San Francisco. The views are spectacular of the Golden Gate and of the Oakland Bridge. This location is only about 2 blocks from Pier 39 with all the shops on the Wharf. You can see the seals and browse the shops all day. The Ferry Building is a few blocks in the other direction,(a farther walk) but still walkable. There are many shops in the Ferry Building to browse. There are many things to do, go to China Town, go to a nice restaurant, take a tour of Muir Woods, which is breathtaking!g Go over the Golden Gate and stop and take pictures. We stopped in Sausalito, Ca. and we walked down to the water by the marina there for some great picture taking. There is a shopping area there too. It's a quaint place and we sure enjoyed the views. When we left San Francisco we went under the Golden Gate. What a thrill! You'll never be tired of San Francisco and you WILL leave your heart there.
We liked Seattle very much. This city is so eclectic! It's walkable too. Look for bus 99 for a free ride to and from the cruise port. There are many places to visit, we went up in the Space Needle for some fantastic views. We also went to the Pike Market. Don't miss this place. If you can't find what you are looking for there then it doesn't exist. The original Starbuck's is right across the street. Wonderful fish markets, baked goods, etc. are at your fingertips. Many of the people on the excursion bought beautiful flower bouquets there for just $1 to take back on the ship. After our stop at Seattle, we went to Astoria, Oregon. This is a quiet fishing town with a very nice Maritime Museum worth seeing. It also has a quaint downtown with many shops to browse.
Victoria, B.C. was just beautiful. We went to the Butterfly Gardens which was a very interesting and beautiful experience. Then off to Butchart Gardens. If you ever go to Victoria DON'T miss this 55 acre of beauty. We took so many pictures here. The flowers and trees and shrubs and just gorgeous! The Canadian people are so nice and friendly and we were impressed at how clean everything was. We will go back to Canada again and do more exploring