When Celebrity Millennium made its debut in 2000, it was a first-in-class flagship for Celebrity, introducing a new gas propulsion system and exterior elevators. Today, the ship -- along with its nearly identical siblings Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Constellation -- is benefitting from a series of upgrades, designed to bring these older ships up to par with the line's more modern Solstice-class vessels. New cabins (including AquaSpa accommodations), specialty dining venues, an upgraded coffee shop (now with a gelateria), rejiggered bars and an Internet Center revolving around Apple products now tempt passengers to part with more of their vacation dollars.
Yet, the overall impression of Millennium is that it's ... pretty. That's not a word used often when discussing seagoing vessels, but it's the simplest and most accurate word to describe Millennium. The soft hues and stately public spaces; the tortoise-shell onyx stairway at the center of the ship; the diverse art around every turn; the stunning space in the Cosmos Lounge with its wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows, contemporary design, glittery dance floor, Art Deco-style lighting system and light woods; the clubby, homey feeling of Michael's Club; and the contemporary-mixed-with-Deco design of the Metropolitan Restaurant offer an eclectic experience, but all of it is soft ... and pretty.
And even on a big ship, now with an additional 60 cabins, the feeling of an intimate experience prevails. The layout and accessibility are excellent, with 14 elevators and a design that makes getting from one point of interest to another easy and enjoyable. Lots of outside deck space and promenades help in this regard, as well. Celebrity says that instead of cramming the new venues into an already-full ship, it made use of wasted space and streamlined the interior design.
Millennium's 2012 refurb also made the ship more ADA-compliant. Changes like a lower guest relations desk, ramps in shops and improved wheelchair-accessible cabins will be welcomed by the line's disabled travelers.
Celebrity Millennium passengers tend to be sophisticated, well-traveled adults in the 45 to 65 age range, and indeed, the Celebrity experience is ideal for the "baby boom" generation. Millennium's longer cruises tend to skew older, but folks are young at heart, flocking to the gym and partying it up at night. Summer Alaska cruises attract a few more families than usual. Most of the passengers are North American, with Britain and other European countries represented.
During the day, dress is resort casual, but Celebrity passengers tend to dress up for dinner -- typically button-down or dressy Tommy Bahama-type sport shirts and slacks for men and dresses or smart-casual pants for women. Formal night on Celebrity has been replaced by "evening chic" in the main dining room. This means that men can ditch the full suit and tie in favor of a sport coat and collared shirt, with designer jeans. Women can wear cocktail dresses, sundresses or designer jeans or nice pants. In the buffet, almost any form of dress is allowed except swimwear, flip-flops, spa robes and bare feet.
Tips aren't included in the cruise fare, but suggested gratuities are automatically added to your onboard account at a rate of $13.50 per person/per day, if you're in a standard cabin; $14 per person/per day, if you're in a Concierge Class or AquaClass; and $17 per person/per day, for passengers in suites. If you would like to adjust the gratuities, you can make do so through the Guest Relations desk. An 18 percent charge is added automatically to all beverage and mini-bar purchases as well as spa and salon purchases. You can't remove these gratuities but can add to them.