Our group of 5 booked 3 rooms on Millie to Alaska this August. Two Concierge class rooms and one Ocean view room. Our itinerary was from Vancouver to Seward with an extra day in Vancouver and Anchorage. Most of us had not cruised before and read reviews and messages here on Cruise Critic voraciously before the cruise so we could have an idea as to what to expect.
First - Celebrity has no control over the weather. It rained and/or was cloudy virtually the entire trip. When asked how our trip was when we got back, our half joking response has been "saw a lot of mountain bottoms and not a lot of mountain tops". The temps were a cool 59 degrees almost every day but we actually considered that a plus coming from the 100 degrees we left. This turned out to be very important during the cruise as we could never get the temperature of the room cool enough, even after complaining to the steward.
Our full day in Vancouver was the only sunny day we had. We rode around the city in a rental and cruised through Stanley Park. Our embarkation the next day could not have been any smoother. We chose to arrive at 11:30am and were on the ship by 11:45. Security did confiscate an extension cord but even that took only a few minutes. We were told by many that the lines would be much different had we waited another hour.
Millie is a sound ship but you can see many signs of wear. Outside, there is quite a bit of rust. Chipped paint. Chipped railings, etc. The door to our balcony had a flimsy piece of metal on the handle that was jagged (as can be attested to by my cut thumb)and loose. Virtually every window had water spots from the rain. This made for some poor viewing from inside the ship.
The cruise itself was very smooth. Although the weather was cloudy with some rain, the water was mostly calm. Even when the Captain said we had peaks of 10-12 feet, the ride was much calmer than we expected. In most cases, we couldn't tell we were even moving. On the 10-12 foot waves day, one would occasionally take a side step while walking down the halls.
Other than the weather, our biggest disappointment was the food. While Celebrity can not control the weather, they most certainly could control this most important aspect of the trip. Specific examples would take a page to list so suffice it to say that room service was timely but cold/lukewarm, the buffet was about what you'd expect from a higher end "all you can eat" buffet and the MDR food was tasteless. The meat tasted like it had been previously frozen - all texture and no flavor. As mentioned above, there were five of us so this is not based on just one person's opinion. We chose not to spend the $35 to find out what the Olympic was like. Had we gone and had delicious food, it would have just upset us even more that one has to pay extra to get top quality food.
The crew on Millie were very friendly and helpful for the most part. Smiles all around and everyone went out of their way to make our trip enjoyable - except our steward! He was a nice enough guy but sort of aloof. I "pre-tipped" him as suggested by many and he actually looked offended. On disembarkation day, he waved "Bon Voyage" to a few of our neighbors. We got a subdued "have a nice day sir". I swear we couldn't figure out what we may have done to rub him the wrong way.
Our biggest highlight was Hubbard Glacier. The weather broke as we entered Disenchantment Bay and was mostly clear during our brief stay. The Captain said that we had the best weather he'd seen all season. The commentary (both while in the bay and in his three presentations) by "Milosh" was very good. We saw several calvings during the first 30 minutes or so. As soon as we left, we re-entered the cloudy/rainy weather.
Speaking of glaciers, we also viewed Mendenhall. Our favorite glacier ended up being one we'd never heard of before - Exit Glacier in Seward AK. We almost didn't even take the short 15 minute ride out there. A very kind lady in the visitor center said that Exit Glacier doesn't get much attention because it's "Free" and there wasn't any money to be made by the excursion companies. If you do go, make the 1 mile walk RIGHT UP TO THE GLACIER. You can just about throw a rock at it. The 1/2 mile trail leads you to a spot where you can take some good wide angle pictures.
I know there are quite a few negatives mentioned. Had we not been on the "Vacation of a lifetime", spent about 1/2 of what we did and had a little better food, maybe we would have been a bit happier.