After a red-eye flight from San Diego to San Juan, with a lay-over in Charleston SC, we started our first Celebrity cruise by checking into our OV cabin on the Millennium. Our check in went smoothly, although the clerk thought we were on an upper deck, when we were really in a Mid-ship cabin in the basement! Once we found our cabin, we discovered that the room appeared very small, due to the bed arrangement. We even thought about getting an up-grade, taking advantage of the extra cabins available due to the volcano ash. I'd seen an arrangement where the beds were pulled apart & placed against opposite walls. When our cabin steward, Sebastian, asked if we needed anything, we explained the space problem, & he arranged the beds differently, which worked out. I slept on the pull-out couch, using the port-hole ledge as a shelf for my CD player, glasses, books, etc., which was perfect. We were given a complementary Celebrity Tote-bag. There was a hair-dryer provided, but it was hard to recognize- it looked like a vacuum cleaner hose with an attachment! The flat screen TV didn't show the channels, so it was hard to find any programs or special announcements.
The ship was the perfect size- not too long, and easy to maneuver. There were enough elevators, & only during port days did they seem to miss floors (non-stop!). Our cabin was between the mid-ship glass elevators & back elevators, taking us to the MDR & buffet. Mid-ship took me to the Cava Cafe for morning chocolate-filled croissants & in the afternoon for lemon tarts! The longest walk was to the Theater at the bow & the elevator to the Cosmos Disco for Trivia. I usually went through the Casino on 4 (waving goodbye to my lost money along the way), or the shops on 5. I did win $105 at one point, & $90 & $40 jackpots on other games, then lost it all!
Most of my winnings came from the Trivia contests, led by team members Daniel, Michael, Larissa & Claudia, who were young & fun. I won 2 T-shirts, a bingo ball key-chain, 2 lip balms, 3 Celebrity lanyards for our key-cards, 5 Celebrity silver/blue pens, & 4 luggage tags. I got a perfect 100% for 70's Name that Tune, which Michael said was a first! My parents would have loved to get involved with some of the activities, but they were scheduled too late to really enjoy. It would be nice to have Karaoke & "newly/not-so newlywed" game on earlier in the day so they could be involved.
Rich was our Cruise Director & I met him by accident on my first exploration of the ship. The 4th deck is the main seating, but there are several sets of steps to take you to the front rows of seats. For a disabled person, this is frustrating, but Rich showed me the back way, through a staff only door on 3, that can allow the disabled down to the main seats. When we greeted him before the first show, I thanked him for showing me the way. Monday after we sailed, we had our CC meet & greet. It was great to see & meet people we'd only chatted with on-line & put faces to screen names. Rich & our hotel director joined us, and a group shot was taken.
Entertainment was fun. The 3 musical shows, featuring the dancers & singers were held on Formal nights- the first was a salute to Ballroom (inspired by Dancing with the Stars), the second used music from the 70's & disco, with a storyline, and the last had Broadway music, with more current shows than the old classics. The Fosse inspired choreography to "On Broadway" was great. Other acts were a magician, a pianist, an electronic xylophone player, a comic, & a singer-impersonator. Some shows used a combination of acts that had performed separately earlier in the cruise. The staff talent show was great, but too short (the Martini Bar bartender was a wonderful singer & magician, but wasn't included), but Alejandro, the entertainment director surprised us all!
Food was delicious, and I'm surprised I only gained 3 pounds! Several days, I had breakfast in the MDR, and it was served quickly & hot! Other days, I got food at the buffet, including hot waffles which included a choice of orange or lemon butter & even chocolate sauce! I loved the Pizza for lunch, or a bowl of mixed-fruit cold soup. Their hamburgers were juicy. Our only complaint was the buffet was limited to Pizza or Asian if you didn't want MDR, as opposed to other cruise-lines we've traveled on. The MDR food was delicious, & I found something every night on the nightly menu to satisfy my appetite. I loved the strawberry & black cherry soups, the duck, & lamb, and of course the Crème Brule' for desert. The Baked Alaska was a disappointment. They seemed to recycle the food a lot- the Duck & lamb were served in several different recipes.
They provided a mid-day brunch in the MDR twice. I got the chocolate chip pancakes & chocolate filled croissants, but both were cold. The atmosphere & setting were beautiful though.
As for ports, I didn't try to get off the ship, due to my disability. The view from the disco was perfect for the Panama Canal & other scenic ports. This was the easiest, most relaxing cruise we've been on. The atmosphere, the clientele, the staff, all made for a wonderful first-time experience. I wish there were more West-Coast departures so we could travel more often on this line!