An early Christmas gift given to me by my husband, we sailed on the Celebrity Millenium out of Miami Dec 17 for a five day cruise.
We flew into Ft Lauderdale with a bus transfer (per Celebrity) to Miami's port which was a breeze. Check in was easy and a breeze as well.
As they say, it's important to make a good first impression! The ship certainly did with a welcoming committee, fresh flowers, champagne etc.
We ate lunch at the Ocean Cafe buffet on 10, and then went to our rooms at 1:00 pm.
Our room was lovely. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was considering it was almost 11 years old (with a past refurb). GREAT amount of storage and the room was large by cruise ship cabin standards. The balcony was smaller than expected but nice to have.
The ship as a whole is still so lovely. The decor is timeless for the most part and perhaps that is why she has aged so well. Yes, she is a tad bit tired with a bit of rust here and there, but still very very nice. I can only imagine how she will look after her refurb in spring.
Christmas decor was all around since its the holidays. I thought the floral arrangements and lights were nice. However, I thought the Christmas items displayed on the grand stairway were cheesy. I kept thinking that the ship was so pretty in a classic way that the traditional holiday decorations were all that was needed and the "stuff" on the stairs was a distraction.
Celebrity must have such a wonderful training program because the staff was top notch in every area. I think its so refreshing to see a service industry business provide great customer service in a friendly yet relaxed professional way. Celebrity seems to know how to do it. And how lovely it was to see the staff ask people to follow the rules about smoking areas and children being asked to leave the adults only area.
The food was plentiful of course. I have to say the food was always good with a variety of selections but was mostly just good..........not great. I think I see that the quality of food has gone down since last cruising with Celebrity, but in no way was it bad. Portion size is indeed smaller but that was not a problem at all. So to end on a positive note, the fresh salad options WERE outstanding. Also the bread selections were excellent too.
The on board shops were rather dull. I just don't understand why cruise ships feel the need to fill their shops with JUNK JEWELRY. I felt like I was in a dime store.....how many places in the world really need to sell $10 watches from CHINA? Come on!!!
The small amount of entertainment I saw was adequate but nothing outstanding.
The ports of call were adequate but that really isn't why we cruise so it didn't matter to me so much. Due to windy conditions we were unable to port in the new Falmouth Jamaica port, but ported in Montego Bay Jamaica. I am not a person who gets scared easily and travel alone quite a bit so it takes a lot to bother me..... MONTEGO BAY bothered me greatly. No one from Celebrity forewarned us in any way about the sad conditions in Montego Bay....but then I kept thinking, what and how would they say anything? Jamaica has been a pretty yet poor and troubled country for some time. However it seems to be MUCH worse than before. Except for people on excursions, it seemed that everyone went back to the ship quickly.
The next day we stopped at George Town, Grand Cayman which was a totally different experience. The port was large and the area next to the port was filled with dining and shopping options. Walking around was safe and easy.
Again, I don't go on a cruise for the ports of call so I really enjoyed the boat.
Here are some tips- the room service hamburger is one of the best hamburgers by room service I have ever eaten.........so why don't they serve these at the pool grill? The back of the ship on Deck 10 just outside of the Ocean Grill has the best space to hang out to chill out at tables, eat and drink ...........its low key, great views and never crowded! I found the area around the COVA CAFE and the LIBRARY to be great places to drink or read or people watch. Also on Deck 11 at the back of the ship is a great place to lay out .... again never crowded with a great view off the back of the ship and rather laid back. As stated before in a review, those almond croissants at the Cova Cafe are sinfully addictive. Last but not least, we had our BEST dessert of the entire cruise back in the thalasso pool area where they serve the fit and healthy food options. The desserts were made with low fat yogurt and were just delicious.
Leaving the ship when we arrived back in Miami was a breeze as well. It was all very easy and very laid back which further added to our enjoyment of our short little vacation.
Thank you Celebrity Millenium and good luck on the refurb this spring. You are a grand older lady.