Our west coast cruise began with a long flight from the oppressive heat of Florida to cooler temperatures in Vancouver, BC. We arrived at midnight, caught the Hampton's shuttle to their airport hotel and quickly fell asleep to thoughts of our cruise on the beautiful Millennium. Up early and an easy walk to the Sky Train for our 40 minute ride to Canada Place where we began the boarding process. It took 45 minutes to board but we didn't mind since this was a vacation and who cares about the slow pace, this was the time to relax.
The Millennium was as beautiful as we remembered from a previous cruise to Alaska. The ship was in great shape although she is beginning to show her age. Our pillows were tired and stained but this problem was immediately addressed by our attentive steward who replaced them all with new pillows. Our cabin looked great, along with all public areas of the ship. If you're looking for flaws on this ship or any ship, I'm sure you can find them but again, this was time to relax, not time to focus on small imperfections.
We are not your typical cruisers and don't usually eat meals in the dining room so I can't comment on the food in the MDR. We love the Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast and lunch and wish Celebrity would open it for dinner. We had dinner each night in the buffet and found it to be lacking with few choices and bland meals. I know the focus is on the MDR and we don't cruise to eat so the meals were not that important.
The entertainment was first class, especially the string quartet and the guitar player. Since we are elite members, we frequently attended the cocktail party which was enjoyable in the Cosmos lounge.
It seemed that all staff members went above and beyond to ensure that the guests on this cruise were pampered and content. There were numerous activities, lectures and movies throughout the cruise. We even had fun in the casino despite losing (does one ever win in a casino?).
Nanaimo, BC. We loved this port. Took a quick ferry over to Newcastle Island for 9pp to do some hiking. The hike was flat and went around the island where we were gifted with beautiful views of the mainland. We also spent quite a bit of time just walking along the paved waterfront walkway.
Monterry, Wow, I'm getting tired from all these ports but this one was equally special. We had to tender in and were first off the ship because we rented a car and wanted to make the most of the day. We walked a mile along the waterfront, picked up the car ($42.00 for the day) and headed off to Carmel, another favorite city. While in Carmel, we walked and walked and walked, eventually ending up on the golf course at Pebble for a quick look. Since we had driven the seventeen mile drive in the past we opted out of it but it is something that should not be missed. Our day ended with a hike in Poit Lobos which is south of Carmel. Another great day on the west coast with overwhelming beauty and one magnificent vista after another.
Catalina Island is the place to be if you want to drop out. We loved this port. Took a tender off ship and walked, walked, and walked around this beautiful island. We had lunch at Des Monso's beach club which offers a lovely view of the beach, boats and water. No more ports to report on since this was the last. As I write this, I am smiling because it brings back all the wonderful memories spent on this West Coast Wine Cruise.
Celebrity is our favorite line, mainly because of their restrictive smoking policy. We do cruise on other lines but only when the itinerary can't be duplicated by Celebrity. This cruise should not be missed if you are looking for something different. It was worth it just to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge at night,with the fog slowly inching it's way into the bay.