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37 Celebrity Millennium Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

What a wonderful trip to the Med. We were on the Celebrity Millennium from Oct. 25th to Nov 6th 2005. We are in our mid 50s and this was our first trip to Southern Europe and our 7th cruise. This trip took an extensive amount of ... Read More
What a wonderful trip to the Med. We were on the Celebrity Millennium from Oct. 25th to Nov 6th 2005. We are in our mid 50s and this was our first trip to Southern Europe and our 7th cruise. This trip took an extensive amount of preparation and I could not have done it without the help I received on the cruise critic and trip advisor boards. What follows is my ramblings of my memories of the trip. If you are reading this, I hope you get a few pieces of information that help you plan your trip. I would like to stress that this was a dream vacation and I would recommend it to anyone. There is something for everyone, so choose what you want to do based on your budget and your physical capabilities. My husband and I love to walk. We like to visit the buildings and streets up close to feel the ambiance of the city. On this cruise, we planned to take advantage of our ability to walk for hours. The next time we visit Europe, we may not be as mobile as we are today. While I can walk for hours, I find standing in one place for a long time more tiring. Therefore, guides usually dont work because they generally stop in one place and talk for an extended period of time. We read and planned as much as we could before the cruise and we carefully chose which museums we wanted to visit, since we were more interested in the architecture and the ambiance of the cities we were visiting. Our plan to walk is one of the reasons we chose to do this trip at the end of October. I cannot walk for 4 hours in the heat of summer in the Mediterranean. We booked our cruise and we hoped it would not rain too much or too hard. As it turned out, we could not have asked for better weather. Not one drop of rain fell during our 18 day trip. The temperature during the afternoon was generally in the high 60s. I had also heard so much about the pickpockets, I figured it would be a lot harder to pick my pocket when I was wearing my jacket. I have a pretty flat purse that I can wear with the strap across my body under my coat. For the days that we had our passports and all our money, we wore money belts. I started looking at flights a year out. Continental airlines, our airline of choice, flies non-stop from NJ only to Rome and back non-stop from Madrid (although they now flying non-stop to/from Barcelona). When I first started to price tickets, the ticket to Venice-Barcelona was about $1,400 (although that changed later) and Rome-Barcelona about $700. We decided that we wanted more time in Rome since we had never been to Rome and the cruise ship docked the first night in Venice anyway. The price differential made it an easy decision. So we planned our pre-cruise in Rome. We had a 5:30 p.m. flight out of Newark, NJ and arrived in Rome at 7:30 a.m. Continental served dinner, breakfast and had several additional drink services. The plane had individual monitors in the back of the seats with a choice of 3 movies and video games. The movies recycle during the flight. It was a great hassle free flight and we arrived in Rome ready to go. Day 1 precruise ROME - We were picked up at the airport by Salvatore for 45 euros. He was at the airport waiting with a sign. I was hoping for some commentary on the ride into Rome but he just pointed out a few sites. His website said 42 euros so I emailed him to make sure 45 euros included everything including luggage. When we arrived at the hotel he conveniently did not have change for 50 euros. So we dug out the 45 euros. (I had purchased Euros from my Credit Union at work.). Sorry, no traffic, no extra service provided, no additional tip when you play games with us. Would we have a limo pickup again? Yes, because we were fresh when we got to the hotel and as you will see we had a full day in Rome. I had spent entirely too much time looking for the perfect hotel in Rome. The perfect hotel would be centrally located, 4 or 5 star and reasonably priced. October is high season in Rome, and prices at the better hotels were astronomical. We ended up staying at Hotel Forty Seven which is near the Rome Forum and a few blocks from the bridges to the Trastevere area. This was a good 4* hotel. One of the reasons I chose this hotel was I figured our luggage would have to be stored both the first day on check in and the second day on check out and I wanted a hotel where I could feel comfortable leaving our luggage in storage. Fortunately, our room was ready, so we were able to put our passports and money into the safe that first day. The hotel was modern, clean, nice size room, nice bathroom and included an excellent breakfast. It is located close to the Forum. We had stepped right back in time, staying at a hotel where you walked out the front door and there was the Boca del Verita.. The hotel clerk was extremely helpful and provided a map of Rome. We walked around the Forum towards the Coliseum so that we could buy our tickets at Palatine Hill. We were the only ones buying tickets at Palatine Hill. When we got to the Coliseum a few minutes later, there was a long line to purchase tickets and we breezed right past them. We also purchased a book on our walk which had commentary and pictures on the historical sites now, with plastic overlays that showed how the buildings would have looked in the past. This really added to our understanding and enjoyment of the Coliseum and the Forum area. (We never paid full price for these tour books from the street vendors. We paid 7 euros for the 10 euro book and 8 euros for the 12 euro book.) Dont miss the small museum on the upper floor of the Coliseum. We then headed across the street to the Forum. After walking around the Forum and sitting a few times to view the then, now pictures in our book we went up to the Palatine hill, but what we found was mostly gardens and a great view down of the Forum. If there was a Palatine museum we did not find it. When we exited the Forum we passed many street performers. We looked for a restaurant on our walk but we did not see any. So we finally settled for some Gelato from a street vendor and sat on the steps and watched a minor music street production. (Something special because it was Sunday?). We then walked to the Trevi fountain and sat for 20 minutes. The sculptures and the fountains are magnificent. The only downside was the street salespeople. At least 10 people came to us selling the same stupid toy. I could not understand why so many people would be selling the same thing. I finally said NO in a loud voice and that was the last time we were approached by any of these people. On the ship someone mentioned that they may have been working as a group, trying to get you to buy something so they could see where you kept your money. They also distract you with the toy. We walked back to the hotel, past the Victor Emmanuelle monument and rested for a short while. At this time we were faced with the reality that restaurants were closed during our regular dinner time. We took our chances and headed out to look for a restaurant. There are no restaurants near the Hotel Forty Seven but they suggest you cross the bridge to the Travestre area. It was quiet when we were there and most of the restaurants were closed. But, we found a nice little restaurant where we ate outdoors and had one of the best and least expensive meals of the trip. Pre Cruise Day 2 ROME  We had a great nights sleep and woke up for an early breakfast. It looks like we took care of any jet lag by staying up all of the first day. The breakfast at Hotel FortySeven was excellent. We checked out of the hotel and they put our luggage into storage. I was very comfortable with the storage area and the fact that they gave us tickets for our luggage. We had another wonderful day exploring Rome on foot. We walked to the Pantheon. Walking in Rome is a walk back in time. You do not know what building or church you will find around the next corner. After the Pantheon we went to Piazza Navone. We were way ahead of schedule, so we looked on our map for something else to see. But the major sites listed on the map that were within walking distance of our planned day were closed on Monday. So we headed to the Synagogue and the Jewish Museum. Our walk took us through a different section of Rome and we happened upon an outdoor market. Shopping is always more fun in an outdoor market. We arrived at the Synagogue 10 minutes before one of their 2 scheduled English tours at 11:30. After the tour we walked through the area that had once been the Jewish ghetto. It was very interesting seeing how the people now live in Rome, right under ancient ruins. It boggles my mind. We had lunch at an outdoor cafe. We returned to the Roman Forum area and decided to do the part of the Roman Forum that we had missed the previous day. We were just fascinated by ancient Rome and the weather was a perfect 72 degrees. We returned to our hotel early enough to sit and rest for a while before picking up our bags to head to Termini station for our 5 oclock train. We correctly planned that our second evening was going to be down time for us and it would be well spent sitting on a train to Venice. The hotel called a taxi (12 euros + tip) and we left for the Termini station an hour before our train. I had purchased first class train tickets to the Venice Mestre station on a Eurostar train where we did not have to change trains. Using the Trenitalia site was very easy. Just click on English. The trick is to register when you enter the site before you try to purchase your tickets and to turn off your popup blocker. No need to pay an agent or Rail Europe additional fees. I wrote down the confirmation #, and they also sent me an email confirmation. The confirmation # acts as a ticket. For the additional 35 euros for first class we got wider seats and beverage and cookie service. I walked to the second class section and the seats had the same amount of leg room. In 2nd class you sat 4 across as opposed to 3 across. In retrospect, I would purchase second class seats on the Eurostar. If you want to know the train stops you need to click on the train # on the Trenitalia site. This allowed us to know when we should prepare to get off. There was also a dining car and a snack car if you would like to eat on the train. We purchased the tickets 5 weeks before our trip. The first class car we were in was fairly full. We decided to go to Venice Mestre because the hotels were more convenient, cheaper, and we could get a land taxi to the ship the next morning. The only downside to stopping in Mestre is that we came in on a middle track and had to lug our luggage down and up steps, something we had been trying to avoid. The station had a mechanical stair lift, but my husband was in no mood to figure out how that worked. But when we left the train station and saw the sign for our hotel across the street, all was forgiven. We stayed at the Best Western Hotel Bologna which was directly across the street from the train stop. It was a 4* hotel with an excellent breakfast. We got an AARP rate on the internet for 120 euros. They gave us a jr. suite. Day 1 - VENICE The next day the hotel called a taxi which took us to the ship at 10:00. The taxi cost about 25 Euros. We knew it would be too early to check into the ship. We dropped off our luggage and headed to Venice. We wasted 10 minutes looking for the free Celebrity water bus, until someone told us that it was not available for new passengers in the morning. So we were pointed in the right direction and we walked to the Piazza Roma. It was probably a half mile walk but I dont think there were any stairs. As it turned out, you could probably hold your taxi, drop off your luggage and ride to the Piazza Roma from the cruise ship terminal. If you are interested in staying near the Santa Lucia Train station I would check this out with a Venice Limo company, the hotel you are planning to stay at, or on the boards. We bought a 24 hour pass to the Vaparetto in one of the information stores in the parking garage on the right as we neared the city, and followed the crowds to the Vaparetto. We had arrived. First stop was San Marco Square. Our plan for the day was to walk around and to go to the Doges Palace. We had read to avoid lines to go to the museum across the square, The Korman Museum and buy our ticket for the San Marco Square museums. When we purchased the ticket we asked for the WC. They were in room 14. By the time we got to room 14 looking at all the exhibits as we walked, used the WC, and walked back through the archeological museum to exit, we had done 2 museums. As it turned out, Doges Palace did not have a long line. The palace was huge and not to be missed. We enjoyed the palace immensely. We were there for over 2 hours. We got to walk over the Bridge of Sighs as part of the palace walking route and also visit the prison. When we finished the Palace, we decided to get on a Vaporatto to the Lido to give us a chance to rest our feet and to see a little more of Venice and Venice life. How interesting seeing people getting on and off the Vaperattos as they went about their everyday life. The Vaporattos are very noisy and crowded, although we were able to find seats. We did a round trip and got off at Rialto and walked back to San Marco Square. We did some shopping and window shopping. I bought a tapestry and a scarf and that took care of all my shopping for the trip. We took the free Celebrity shuttle back to the ship. It was about 3:30 and there was no line at all for check in. Needless to say, when we got to our room our bags were outside. We unpacked, rested, went to dinner and headed back to San Marco Square. Just by accident we met one of our cruise critic friends on the shuttle and we spent several hours walking in Venice together. We found Harrys Bar and enjoyed the ambiance of Venice at night. DAY 2 VENICE  The next morning we were up bright and early. Our plan was to go with our Cruise Critic friends to the Jewish Ghetto section of Venice. Celebrity provided a free water bus to San Marco square. We then used our 24 hour pass for the Vaparatto from the previous day to get to the stop nearest the Ghetto. The area was very interesting not only for its historical background, but it is a section of the city where people still live. We spent the next few hours walking from the Jewish Ghetto back to San Marco Square. They say the city of Venice is a museum and they are correct. Every street is unique, with the canals, bridges and interesting buildings. Our friends were taking pictures of unusual windows and clotheslines, and it focused us on looking at details that we might not normally see. We took a 2:00? Celebrity water bus back to the ship. I dont think I could have walked another step. Life boat muster and then a sailaway party with our cruise critic friends. This gave us a chance to meet the people we would be touring with. It was a fabulous sailaway. The skies were overcast, but we were all happy that we had 2 more days with no rain. We knew we were in Venice during low tide, but we had heard stories about water in the streets and we were thankful for the nice weather, overcast in the high 60s. We had had a lot of laughs on our cruise critic board talking about what to do if there was water in Venice. Sheila had purchased $5 galoshes on the internet to ward off the rain (it worked!). Ed was going to buy a blow up kiddie pool to float his luggage around Venice if it rained. We were also happy our group had prearranged to meet at sail away. Because of the hurricanes in the U.S., Celebrity said they never got the cruise critic list from their Miami office. By the time they arranged a cruise critic party it was halfway through the trip and many of us had already done tours together. The Ship  We had an inside cabin on deck 8. We knew this was a port intensive cruise and we would be out of our rooms early. We were usually eating breakfast as the sun rose and the ship docked. Sunset in late October is pretty early. As we requested, we had early seating and while we were eating the sun set. During the cruise we changed the clocks for daylight savings time and sunset was even earlier! Dont be afraid to ask for extra pillows or a mattress pad if you would like a softer bed. This is available by asking your room steward. The room was an adequate size. There is ample closet space. I like the setup of the room. There is a night table on both sides of the bed. On other cruise ships one side of the bed was against the wall and I had to climb out of the bed. This was the same room we had on the Constellation last year and it has no neighbor on one side and a connecting door to the room on the other side. This was the second year we did not hear our neighbors. In fact last year we asked the steward if there was anyone in the attached room. Dining  We had asked for a table of 6 and we were given a table for 7. It was in the front of the dining room on the forth deck near the big picture window. At first we were thrilled with this, but we found this section of the dining room to be very noisy and we had trouble hearing across the table. There was music in the dining room every night, sometimes a player piano and sometimes a 3 piece band. Last year our table was on the 5th deck and I do not remember thinking it was noisy. Weve been very happy with the food on Celebritys cruises and we werent disappointed. There are plenty of choices, and the one night I could not find something I wanted I ordered salmon. Our tablemates often ordered an extra main dish of pasta for the table and our waiter served some to anyone who was interested. On several of the nights when Celebrity expected people to get back late, they extended the early seating time to 7:00. The 6:15 time ended up not being a problem for us, but it was nice to know they would not close the doors at 6:30. We did not try the specialty dining. Entertainment  Millenniums theatre is one of the more comfortable ships theatres weve been in. They had the typical production shows which we always enjoy. In addition they had a pianist who was excellent and a violinist who was very good. We like the routine of early dinner, a show and then head to our room. There were also the usual Piano Bar and small band. We particularly liked their country western singer/guitar player. We thought that the activity choices during the day were lacking. There was an excellent lecturer on board to talk about the different historical sites and he was only scheduled twice. He mailed us a CD of all of his lectures. I do not know what the Social Director was thinking or not thinking, not adding a lecture on the last sea day to talk about Spain. Performers were scheduled for afternoon performances on sea days and that was a nice bonus. We were interested in most of the movies which were all fairly recent, but they were scheduled at the same time as the shows in the evening. When we asked about why there were no movies shown during the day we were told the Cinema was being used for meetings. I cannot imagine that either the Cinema or Theatre could not be made free for a 2 hour time period for a movie. There always seemed to be time for the shopping lecture. On this ship the art auctioneer did not conduct lectures. We often attend the art lectures even though we do not purchase artwork. The Social Director was not an Entertainer. Some of the Social Directors have been very funny and warm up the audience for the show. We felt Millies Social Director was a little flat. Another example of poor scheduling was the late in the cruise - cruise critic party. We had to go to the desk many times and give them a list of cruise critic members and finally have a meet and mingle scheduled halfway through our trip. Day 3 - DUBROVNIK is a wonderful stop on the cruise. We docked for this stop. Ive noticed many ships tender at Dubrovnik. Another of the benefits of cruising to the Med so late in the season is that there was usually only one other ship in port, and it was often one of the smaller European ships. Celebrity provided a free shuttle bus to the gates of the walled city. The highlight of the day was a walk on the walls. The walls provided beautiful views of the city, the rooftops, and the sea. On some sections of the wall you practically look into peoples upstairs windows and down into their yards. As you enter, the stairs up to the wall are on your left. Tickets were 4 Euros. At the top of the steps you have a choice of which way to walk. A left turn takes you on the half of the wall with fewer steps. We headed that way. We got off halfway around by the sea entrance and walked around town. We visited the synagogue and its small museum. Later we went back to the sea entrance to the museum (save your ticket) and walked the rest of the wall. This was another terrific day. The sailaway was also terrific. We had gotten back to the ship early enough to rest and go out on deck to listen to music and enjoy the sailaway. We had just enjoyed another sunny day in the high 60s. Day at sea. Much needed. We finally got a chance to rest. We were able to sit in the sun at the outdoor pool and use the outdoor pool and whirlpool. How lucky could we get for a cruise at the end of October. ATHENS  We had booked a private excursion for a group of 15 (from the Cruise Critic boards) with Paul. Paul picked us up in a 16 seat minibus. He was at the port waiting for us at 8 oclock and off we went. Paul is not a guide, but he speaks excellent English and he used a microphone to point out all the sights. Everyone could hear him. The windows of the bus were larger than typical bus windows and so clean you could probably take pictures through them. We went to the Acropolis, Acropolis museum, Hadrians Arch and the ruins right behind it, a monastery, the old Olympic stadium, the new Olympic stadium, the changing of the guard (much more interesting than I thought), the subway museum, the Plaka, the Roman Agora and the Ancient Agora. It was our choice as a group not to take the drive down the coast to Cape Sounion which would have taken 3 hours since we wanted more time in the city. We also made short stops at the synagogue and a Byzantine church and Paul drove us by the University and other buildings of interest. This tour ended up costing 35 Euros a person (inc. tip) since we split the price by 15. We returned to the ship at 4:30. I went across the street to an internet cafe. 15 minutes cost 1.8 Euros. Check your change. The woman gave me some funny money instead of a 2 euro coin. The coin she had given me had a 5 on it and I thought she had given me too much and I didnt want to cheat her. Ha! Surprisingly, Athens was the coolest day of the trip. It was overcast, windy and in the mid 60s. But it didnt rain. We were sorry we hadnt taken our coats just in case. We could have left them on the van if we didnt need them. SANTORINI  We tendered in Santorini. We went down to the theatre to get tender tickets and there was no wait. We were on the first or second tender. Santorini is just another magical place. Each day I felt like I was waking up in a new fairy tale. We took the cable car up to the top, walked around, and went to the bus station. Unfortunately it was Sunday and the buses ran every 2 hours to the archeological site. Since the bus to the archeological site left before the bus to Oia, and that is what we really wanted to do, we decided to go there. The bus trip was so interesting. I enjoyed my 1 euro ride as much as any excursion. When we got off, the bus driver pointed us to the right along the shore. As we walked and the shore got narrower we realized we had probably walked in the wrong direction. We headed inland and saw signs to the red beach. So that was where the driver had sent us. We walked back towards the bus stop to find the archeological site, but it was closed. So we walked back to the red beach, took some pictures, found a restaurant deck on the water and sat on the beach and watched the Mediterranean. Since the buses only came once every 2 hours we had a wait for the bus. The trip back was not direct and it circled to another city on the island. I enjoyed every minute of the bus trip. By the time we got back it was a long wait for the bus to Oia. So we will save that for our next trip. We spent an hour or so exploring Fira and then we headed down the walking path to the tender. That was fun and quite a challenge. No, it was not the donkey poo, but the donkeys. We would occasionally be blocked by a person on a donkey going nowhere. This was an experience. When we got back to the ship, I threw all of our clothes in the sink to wash. Later when I looked at my daily sheet, I noticed that the excursion to the Archeological museum was not listed. In the future, if I am heading a distance from town I will check on the daily sheet for this hint of closings. NAPLES  We did a private tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast with one of the best recommended guides and 5 other people we had met on the boards. I will not use the drivers name because he was charming, helpful, and did everything we expected. Everyone else in our group loved this tour. I had concerns about doing this tour because I do not like long drives, or drives on the side of mountains, but everyone on the boards had said the Amalfi coast was the highlight of their trip and I signed on without fully researching what the day would be like. I loved Pompeii. We purchased different books, and walked around with our little group, matching the buildings to the pictures in the book and reading the comments to each other. I would have loved to spend more time in Pompeii. We then headed to the Amalfi coast. I sat in the back. What I thought was going to bother me  the hairpin turns on the side of the mountain were not a problem. There were walls or guard rails on the side of the road and I always felt safe. Unlike a bus where you sit up too high to see the walls, you could easily see them from the van. My complaint was that I could not hear the driver well, and we had to keep asking him talk louder. I also felt like I was not part of the tour, sitting in the back of the van. We spent an hour in bumper to bumper traffic until the driver could bypass the crowd going to Sorrento. We did not see or stop in Sorrento. This was the beginning of what I thought was a long monotonous drive with beautiful scenery. I can understand why some people love this, especially in the heat of the summer. But quite frankly, once I saw the first little village on the side of the mountain, all the villages looked the same. And like I said I hate long drives. There were a few short stops for shopping and pictures, and a too long stop for lunch. The tour ended with an hour drive back to Naples with nothing interesting to see since the driver avoided the coastal roads. He also took us on a short tour of Naples in the dark. (It was Nov. 1 and we had just set our clocks back for daylight savings time). In retrospect, I have thought about what would have made this day better. One thing is that I dont think the extra money spent for the best driver was worth it since I had to strain to hear the commentary. Quite frankly, I cannot remember one thing he said. So if you have a group of 8, you will have 3 second class passengers in the back seat who cannot see and hear as much as the front 5. Yes, we did change seats, but there was not too much commentary on the way back. I definitely would not do the Amalfi Coast in a bus. I would suggest you decide what interests you. If you like to investigate on foot and get up close to the buildings and streets, this is not for you. If you like to look out the window at some magnificent views and dont mind a 5 hour drive with some traffic tie ups, then you will love the Amalfi coast. ROME - Our next stop was Civitavecchia. We had saved the Vatican Museums for this day. We took the train into the city. I had hesitated to do this, but everyone said it was an easy port to get to the train station, and it was. We took the free shuttle bus to the entrance to the port. We walked to the right for about 10 minutes with a small group from the shuttle bus. The entrance to the train station was on our left. We were buying our tickets before we knew it. We told the cashier Rome and he sold us a day ticket to the train and the Rome metro for 9 Euros. I believe we got on the 8:15 train. Since we were going to the Vatican, we got off 50 minutes later at the San Pietro station, walked left for a block and then right. Most of the people walked in this direction. We entered the square near St. Peters. The pope was having an audience that day and there was heavy security. It took us a while to find the end of the line to the Vatican museums. Because we got onto the line by crossing the square and exiting on the other side, we did not see how long the line was. There was a tour guide behind us and she said the line was 45 minutes to an hour long and she was correct. We got on line at 9:30 and we paid to enter the Vatican museums at 10:20. The line was 5 blocks long but it moved quickly. The Sistene Chapel was crowded but we had no trouble getting seats on the benches along the outside. We sat down at 4 different locations to get different views. I do not know if people were unaware that there are benches along the outside of the room, or if they stay close to their tour group. When we left, we saw that the museum was not taking any more visitors. There was a line about half way across the square for St. Peters and we decided to skip this. FYI, others who went to St. Peters said the line was about a half hour long and it was for a security check. We headed back to the train station and returned to Civitavecchia. We were going to visit the fortress next to the shuttle bus stop, but it was closed to visitors. Only the tourist office was open. We walked around Civitavecchia for an hour and took the shuttle bus back to the ship. In retrospect, we accomplished what we had planned for the day. If it hadnt been a Wed. and the day after All Saints day when the Vatican was closed we would probably have gone to St. Peters and that would have been quite a full day. I do not think I would have wanted to take the train if this was our only day in Rome because there is so much to see in Rome. However, several of the younger couples used the Metro and were able to see most of the major sites, but not the Vatican. FLORENCE  We took the ships excursion A taste of Florence which was bus transportation and a 2.5 hour walking tour of Florence with an additional 3 hours on your own. The bus ride was fine and the guide on the bus was very informative. However, about 45 minutes into the trip we stopped for a bathroom pit stop which took half an hour because there were 3 other tour buses ahead of us. We waited 10 minutes for the last missing person. It turned out he was standing outside the bus smoking. Strike one for bus excursions. We changed tour guides in Florence. The guide in Florence did not talk into her microphone. As we walked she had private conversations with whoever was standing next to her. People complained several times and even asked for their money back if she did not intend to talk to the group. Then she talked into her mike for a few minutes, and then back to her private conversations. Strike 2 for bus excursions. I do think we covered more ground and had a better understanding of what we were seeing because of the guided tour. The tour guide did talk into her microphone when we stopped in front of a building. Towards the end of the tour we passed the Uffizi museum and there was only a short line. We had made reservations from home for the Uffizi museum, but we decided to skip the reservations and we headed to the Synagogue since this was our first priority. We had an English tour of the Synagogue and visited the small Synagogue museum. They had great bathrooms by the way. We then headed to the Uffizi museum. There was no line! The guide said she had never seen this before. We spent about an hour and a half at the museum and then took a leisurely walk back to the meeting place, stopping to walk around a few of the buildings we had passed earlier on the tour. Back on the bus we had the first guide, and we drove through an interesting section outside of Florence and she gave us commentary on what we were seeing. Base hit for the excursion. All in all, a wonderful day. VILLEFRANCHE  We tendered in Villefranche on another beautiful day in the high 60s. We were off the ship bright and early. We walked through the Rue Obscure and through the old city of Villefrance up and around a street which ended in the new city. We found the tourist office and got a good map of the area. We were interested in walking to the Rothschild mansion which was in Cap St. Ferrat and the tourist agent gave us similar directions to those we had gotten on the internet. This was a 2 mile walk, so we didnt want to take this long a walk without a map. We walked down hill towards the tender and visited the fort. Then we went back to the ship to eat a light lunch and rest for an hour before our next adventure. And what an adventure it was. We walked along the shore for about a mile. The water was on our right and the train and several small restaurants were on our left. At the last bench we sat and rested for a while. We continued our walk up a flight of steps (the steps are on the left when the road ends at the parking lot), and continued along the road keeping the mansions and the water on our right. We understood we were passing some of the most expensive real estate in the world. However, you only get to see fancy gates and beautiful foliage. We made the first right turn and this road eventually merged with a road with traffic. At the next intersection we saw the sign to the mansion. We were 5 minutes early, so we found a wall to sit on. At 2 p.m., the opening time for the museum, the gates opened by themselves. It was sort of spooky and we got a good laugh. We continued our walk to the house. The house was very interesting, but even more impressive were the gardens. There were 7 themed gardens, French, Italian, Japanese, Exotic, Stone, etc. with a path that led you in and out through all the gardens. I did not think I would like this (especially after the amount of walking we had already done), but the gardens were fabulous. We returned to the house to watch a film (with English subtitles), about the house and gardens. This gave us half an hour to recharge our bodies for the walk back to the ship. It was a gentle slope downhill to Villefranche and we enjoyed a leisurely walk back to the tender. The next day was our last full day. We would dock in Barcelona at 5:00. There was time for a whirlpool, to relax the weary legs, to finish my book, to pack. A large number of people got off the ship at Barcelona. We thought about getting off the ship but it was already getting dark. (downside to the Oct 25th cruise). We were too far from anyplace to walk to. So we decided to stay on the ship for dinner. As you have probably figured out by now, we are not big on eating off the ship. For health reasons I feel more comfortable eating on the ship. The entertainment that night was a movie in the Celebrity theatre. I really enjoyed this. I had not watched TV all week and it was nice to see a movie on the big screen. At the end of the movie we returned to our rooms and put our bags out. Tomorrow we would say goodbye to the Millennium. BARCELONA - We departed the ship at 7:45 a.m., exactly our scheduled time. I dont remember going through customs. We shared a limo van driven by Angie (with a trailer behind) with 2 other couples staying at the same hotel. The cost was 25 Euros per couple. We stayed at the Continental Palacete which I had booked on their website for 120 Euros. When we got to the hotel there were 12 steps from a lower lobby until you get to the elevator to the lobby. The hotel had a lovely sitting room, free internet access and 24 hour drinks and buffet (although the buffet was not as nice as it looked in the pictures and we ended up not eating anything from the buffet except cold cereal.) As it turned out, our room was on the upper floor and we had to carry our luggage up another flight of steps. This was particularly annoying because I had emailed the hotel and confirmed that they had an elevator. The room was small but that is what I paid for. The bathroom was large and clean. The beds were hard and I had a very poor nights sleep. We walked to the Barri Gothic which is the old portion of the city. This was very interesting. Then we took the tourist bus around the city. We got off at a flea market and also some Gaudi buildings and the Gaudi church. In retrospect I wish I had planned my day in Barcelona better because we didnt go into any of the buildings except for the church in the Barri Gothic. We spent too many hours on the tourist bus. When we exited the bus we could not find our hotel. Unfortunately, since we had shared a taxi to the hotel, and one of the other couples had made the arrangements, I had not paid attention to the exact address. We finally stopped in another hotel and asked for directions. Fortunately the desk clerk had a book listing all the hotels. As it turned out, we had been within half a block of our hotel. Next time we will be sure we have the location of our hotel circled on our map. We rested for a while and headed out for dinner. We had no trouble finding restaurants open even though it was 6 p.m. We had a simple dinner and went back to our room. We were probably asleep by 9. This turned out to be good because we were wide awake the next morning at 5:30 and we decided to catch the 7:30am train to Madrid. We had not purchased train tickets in advance on the chance that we would be up early enough to take the 7:30 train. I guess we know ourselves pretty well. We had cold cereal at 6 a.m. and checked out. There was a taxi stand across the street from our hotel, and we were at the train station in 15 minutes. It was a 5 euro ride. My husband got on a line to buy tickets and I went to the information booth to make sure he was on the correct line. It turned out he was on the wrong line, but the line to purchase tickets to Madrid was very short. I showed the ticket agent the printout from the internet and pointed to the train we wanted. I asked for second class seats. I asked if we were facing forward and they said yes. When I asked about first class seats they did not know if the seats would face forward. As it turned out, as we passed the first class cars I saw that the seats faced each other in first class. In second class everyone faced forward. I feel like you have more leg room when you can put your feet under the seat in front of you as opposed to having your feet intermingled with a strangers legs. There was plenty of room and I was not sorry we had purchased second class tickets for 63 Euros each. There was even a movie shown on the train, although it was in Spanish. They gave out free earphones and they had a place to plug the earphones in and choose different channels for the movie or music. Unfortunately, even though it was an American movie, they did not have the English soundtrack. After an uneventful trip, we arrived in Madrid at 12:30. Our hotel, the Westin Palace was a 7 euro taxi ride from the train station. I showed the driver the confirmation page for the hotel. I was afraid he might take us to the Royal Palace. What a difference going to a 5 star hotel. I had found a special on the Westin internet site for AARP members for 152 Euros a night, breakfast included. The breakfast couldnt have had more choices. You had to pay for the room 21 days ahead of time. Since we had trip insurance anyway, we booked the room in Sept. It was a beautiful hotel. The restaurant had a stained glass domed ceiling. I love Westins heavenly beds. I will not go into great detail of the rest of our trip, since most cruisers do not go to Madrid, but we spent the first afternoon walking around the old city of Madrid. The next day we went to the Prado museum and the Royal Palace. On the next day we took a bus to Toledo. Toledo is another fascinating city. If you are ever in Madrid, dont miss Toledo. I liked it better than Barcelona. We stayed 3 nights in Madrid and took a taxi to the airport (20 Euros with tip). Our non-stop Continental flight to NJ was uneventful and 8 hours after our plane took off we were home. This was a wonderful trip. We had a great time everyday. Each city had its own magic. Whether you choose a ships excursion, a private tour, or on your own, I am sure you will have a great time. The only thing I would do differently is plan our days in some of the cities more carefully. I thought I had overplanned this trip and wanted to leave some room for spontaneity. But with so little time, it is important to know exactly what you want to do. If you are taking a hop on hop off bus, decide ahead of time what stops you will get off at. Otherwise you have to make the whole loop a second time. In several cities, we had time to do more things than we planned and while we loved walking around, we probably could have fit in a few more sites. If any of my Cruise Critic friends are reading this I would like to thank you for making this trip extra special. To Sheila, thank you for being our rock. You researched any question anyone had and were our cheerleader. To Ed, thank you for the great web resource page. I wouldnt have recognized Sheila and Art without the pictures and we had a magical night in Venice together. To our honeymooners Lorne and Tamara, I hope the rest of your life is as great as your honeymoon. Thanks Tamara for letting me internet date with Lorne. To Brenda, thanks for the pictures. Actually, I would like to thank everyone for the pictures. I now have over 2000 pictures of the trip and I relive it often. Keep the pictures coming. I hope our paths cross again on another wonderful cruise. Below is our spend for the trip. It includes cruise and airfare from NJ for 2, as well as our 2 nights precruise and our 4 nights post cruise. If I forgot the entrance fee cost I guessed. I changed everything to dollars which will probably not be as helpful when you are trying to figure out how many Euros you will need, but I wanted to get an idea of the price of the entire trip. I used an exchange rate of 1.27 which was about the exchange rate I got from my credit union or this should cover the better exchange rate I got on my credit card but they added a fee. Price for 2 - U.S. $$ Cruise + insurance 3500 Airfare 1200 NJ, Limos to & from airport 150 Limo to Hotel 47 57 Rome Hotel 47+ tip, 1 night pre cruise 286 Entrance Fees Coliseum & Palantine hill 23 Book, postcard 12 Dinner, gelato 31 Jewish Museum Tour 13 Lunch 21 Taxi to train 19 Train to Mestre 234 Hotel Bologna, Mestre 1 night 150 Taxi to ship 30 24 hour vaparatto pass 27 Tickets - Museums of San Marco Square 23 Tapestry 37 Book, postcard 15.6 Gelato 4 Scarf 6 Dubrovnik  walls 10 Dubrovnik  synagogue 5 Athens group tour + tip 80 Acropolis multi site ticket 30 Internet café 2 Athens book & postcards 5 Monastery 5 Santorini Funicula  1 way 10.16 Santorini  bus 8 Naples - private tour 264 Pompeii book 10 Pompeii entrance fee 20 Lunch in Amalfi (shared) 10 Rome  train to Rome round trip 23 Vatican entrance fee 30 Florence excursion  ship credits 0 Synagogue 10 Uffizi 17 postcards 1 Villerfranche  Rothschild mansion 23 Tips on ship - ship credit 0 Continental Palacete Hotel - 1 night 155 Hop on hop off tour bus 46 Dinner 26 Train to Madrid 155 Taxi Madrid 9 Westin Palace Madrid  3 nights 600 Dinner night 1 25 Prado entrance 10 Royal Palace Entrance 10 Dinner 25 Bus/Metro card all day Toledo 18 Synagogue/museum entrance  Toledo 13 Synagogue 2 Entrance  Toledo 8 Dinner 40 Taxi to airport 26 Total $7,567.76 Money Saving Tips  Walk, walk, walk, at a leisurely pace. This allows you to really see the city and saves on taxi fares. Sign up for cruise on your Celebrity Cruise. You can change the trip date by keeping the booking number (we did). This gave us $200 shipboard credit. Own Royal Caribbean stock. This gave us another $200 shipboard credit. (I do not know if this perk is still available). Book your own plane tickets and come in 1 or 2 nights early. Doing it yourself lets you choose the flights that work for you. The money you save will usually pay for your hotel room. My husband only eats 2 meals a day when he is having a big dinner. I do not like to eat off the ship for health reasons, so we try not to eat off the ship. I bring some energy bars for the days we are off the ship at lunch time. We buy water or bottled juice off the ship. Since we walk a lot, we keep our eyes open for grocery stores where the prices are less expensive. Do your homework about the sights you will visit. You dont need someone to tell you what is right there in the guide book. We purchased 4 of those picture tour books in different cities. They served as information guides to the major sites and they now sit on our coffee table with their neatly organized pictures and commentary. No need to print out the 2000 pictures which I have links to from my Cruise Critic friends. (Although I have printed a few to supplement the pictures I took.) Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
We are back from a very enjoyable 12 night cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Other reviewers posted excellent information so we knew what to expect. However, I found very little about the Continental Deck and cabin 2194, so I was concerned ... Read More
We are back from a very enjoyable 12 night cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Other reviewers posted excellent information so we knew what to expect. However, I found very little about the Continental Deck and cabin 2194, so I was concerned it will be noisy and the view will be obstructed by waves. (One reviewer was unhappy with cabin 2192 which is an inside cabin). I am pleased to advise that the cabin was very quiet, and the view from the decent size windows was never obstructed, except for one wave in a bad storm. Sea motion was hardly noticeable throughout the cruise. People on the upper decks felt the high waves much more than we did. We made a few suggestions to improve the experience. 1. For late hour dining you have a choice of salad, pasta and pizza. I suggested adding cheese, crackers, fruit and pastry for those who like some tea of coffee with a small snack before bed. You can get this through room service, but we wanted to sit at a table with our friends and unwind. 2. The movies in the closed-circuit TV were old, and not listed in a TV guide. It would have been nice to know a day in advance what will be playing. 3. Gratuities can only be charged to your cabin if you accept the "recommended" amounts to all staff listed in the schedule. You can't pick and choose. The food was very good to excellent. The entertainment was top notch. Lots of activities to select from, well organized embarkation, disembarkation and tendering to and from port (except for Barcelona. That was the only post where we had to pay for shuttles, where more port buses were needed, and the charge was slightly higher for a return trip than Celebrity told us.) Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
I'm sitting at a PC in the Millennium's well-equipped Computer Room with a view of the Western Mediterranean passing peacefully by as we sail for our final destination, Barcelona. The fact that I can so easily access a terminal ... Read More
I'm sitting at a PC in the Millennium's well-equipped Computer Room with a view of the Western Mediterranean passing peacefully by as we sail for our final destination, Barcelona. The fact that I can so easily access a terminal on a Sea Day is due both to the greater number of terminals than on previous cruises as well as the price of internet access (a painful $0.75 per minute, and a connection noticeably slower than your home cable modem hook-up). This is our tenth cruise, although first with Celebrity (we are long time Royal Caribbean cruisers, the corporate owner of Celebrity). It will not be our last though. It's a slightly up market version of Royal Caribbean, a slightly older crowd (average age maybe 45), slightly fewer kids (though with a peerless kids' program), and significantly better food (on which more later). At twelve nights, this was also our first "longer" cruise, which felt a little decadent and certainly long enough to let the time merge into a pleasantly confusing fog of ports, excursions, dining dress codes and misplaced days ("if it's Friday it must be Santorini"). We arrived in Venice a day early, both to adjust to the six hour time difference from the U.S. east coast as well as to sightsee. Venice in August is a popular place, and San Marco Piazza (which we have visited before) allowed crowd movement akin to exiting a large sporting event. Taking a vaporetto (water taxi) is certainly the recommended way to get from Marco Polo airport to your hotel; however, Nature plays a role here and since the canal most convenient to our hotel was inaccessible (low tide) we had to wheel/carry the considerable luggage a family of six takes for two weeks across San Marco Piazza, down alleys barely wide enough for a suitcase and finally to our hotel. If I think of it, next time I'll check for deep water access near our hotel. So we settled in, explored, took a gondola ride, ate at "tourist" restaurants, and the next day boarded our ship. Check-in was uneventful. It was high tide so a relatively short hike with bags to the vaporetto, and following a pleasant ride to the passenger terminal our bags were taken by a Celebrity representative while we were processed and led onboard. Our group was eight (three adults, four teenagers and a four year old). We've cruised together many times. Reports on Millennium from various websites range from positive to tired. It's a big ship though smaller than the Royal Caribbean Voyager class (those of the rock-climbing wall and ice-skating, not that we've ever tried either). We found it well looked after, clean, and generally with a wide variety of activities on offer (unless you're an under-age teenager seeking entry to the 18+ disco). We tentatively enrolled our young daughter in the Kids' Program, and this turned out to be a big success. While we had to probe and guess at how she'd spent her day, she invariably skipped in there each morning while we went on an excursion that she would not have enjoyed nearly as much, and as a result a better day was typically had by all. The evening dinners in the main dining room were a notable step up from Royal Caribbean, whose standards we feel have slipped in recent years. We really didn't have a bad meal, and in many cases the quality was easily that which you might expect in a good restaurant back home. The lamb shank was slowly cooked for several hours, delicious and quite enormous. Similarly on lobster night (our elder daughter's favorite) the lobster tails were decent-sized (such that if you did indulge in a second that was quite as much as anyone could consume). Our waitress, Viktoria, from Hungary was ever-cheerful and efficient, swiftly replacing the occasionally poorly-chosen appetizer and quietly whispering to us the better menu choices (advice we quickly learned to heed). We ate in the dining room every night and never had a bad experience. The evening entertainment was decidedly mixed; we've had better. The Millennium Singers and Dancers were heavily employed, it seemed to us, and at their worst (a most forgettable show named "Fantasea") made us feel as if our role as audience was that which parents of young children play when the little ones announce at home there will be "a show" in the family room (attendance compulsory) in five minutes. It's somehow less endearing when the quality is the same but the performers are adults. There was an illusionist, Jamie Allen, early in the cruise who was excellent, but one or two comedians would have been good and were sorely missed. Although we typically watch the evening show, we passed on many after the first few days. Our cabin (7204) was a family suite with a queen size bed, pull out couch for our two daughters and a quite large balcony (always well worth it in our experience). And it was here that we encountered the Oregon family. On the penthouse deck directly below us, in a cabin that our balcony overlooked, was a very pleasant couple in their late 50s/early 60s. They were traveling with three of their grown children and respective spouses and children, distributed in three other cabins. We engaged in some small talk from our balcony overlooking theirs, and they invited us in to see their quite sumptuous quarters (which included a piano and two plasma TV screens). They were the eminently presentable U.S. cruising couple, well-dressed, well-travelled and not bad neighbors. Children can surprise you, and presumably the loud and substantial pre-school teacher (yes, really) that was next door to us had turned out somewhat differently than her unfortunate parents might have expected perhaps 20 years earlier. Now I've normally thought stateroom walls are steel, and can remember few occasions where our neighbors on past cruises were even audible. And, as we were reminded on many occasions those first two jet-lag induced sleepless nights (at a shrill level of decibels more appropriate for the evening show) Oregon is nine hours time difference from Europe. These people evidently live life at a very high noise level, which rendered the wall paper thin and afforded us unwanted details on minute details of their daily lives. It began to resemble a version of reality TV watching a certifiably dysfunctional family in action, as screaming matches developed over such issues as ownership of a glass of water, missing chocolate powder, TV channels, bodily emissions and other unsavory aspects of (I presume) what passes for every day life in certain parts of Oregon. They reminded us of the Griswold cousins in National Lampoon's Vacation, a view that was reinforced when we briefly met the husband. Our amusement over the first couple of days soon shifted to incredulity, especially when I pointed out to the amply fed Mrs. Griswold that we could hear EVERYTHING going on in their room. We're still getting used to living like this was her reply, and while I searched hard I couldn't detect a trace of embarrassment, as if it must be some other domestic battle we were listening to every night. I did wonder if I should report unusually thin walls on Celebrity ships, but since on our other side the cabin might as well have been empty I guess this was just our bad luck. Eventually their sleep patterns conformed more to ours although we often awoke to bellowing (usually concerning food). It was Griswold's first cruise, and I hope for the rest of the cruising public, their last. By the way, our stateroom attendant was quite adequate, did his job efficiently and was unobtrusive. In surveying our group on the ports and excursions (ages ranging from 4 to 42), the Pisa/Viareggio tour offered the requisite photo opp in front of the leaning tower (now freed again of its ugly supporting cables) along with a pleasant few hours at the beach and was the favorite of our teenagers. Santorini was of course beautiful, but if you choose the volcanic hike/hot springs wear your oldest sneakers and when swimming in the springs a sulphur-colored swimsuit will be less discolored than most when you emerge from the hot water. Nice and Monaco were beautiful and made us determined to return in the future with time to explore more widely. Rome and Athens were of course as expected. My daughter and I meanwhile took an olive-oil tasting trip north of Rome and enjoyed seeing the countryside. Celebrity's only real mistake was a disastrous tendering operation in Dubrovnik which left hundreds of passengers stranded onboard waiting for a boat ashore. Our ticket for tender #9 saw us wait 90 minutes; no doubt those like another family we chatted with (possessing #27) never got off. A public explanation and apology, since so many were affected (including us) was disappointingly absent. The gym was well equipped. I tried a spinning class and was happy to find the activities staff organized a daily soccer game when it became clear there were enough Brits on board to make it worthwhile. We've had a great time which is now winding to a close. As I've been typing the PC technician has been most patiently assisting guests create CDs of their photos. One is left with the agreeable impression that this is a well run place. A few other tips: • Try the spa food • Check out the aquarium in Monaco • Barcelona was fun, but avoid the flamenco show and watch for pickpockets Read Less
Sail Date August 2005
Having heard nothing but praise about Celebrity Cruises, my family of four was expecting a great cruise experience. Unfortunately, Celebrity fell well below my expectations. First the positive- the staff was very good and in some cases ... Read More
Having heard nothing but praise about Celebrity Cruises, my family of four was expecting a great cruise experience. Unfortunately, Celebrity fell well below my expectations. First the positive- the staff was very good and in some cases excellent. Our stateroom was comfortable, clean, and well attended. The concierge was excellent and provided first class service. Having cruised previously on both Carnival and Crystal we expected the food to fall somewhere in between. I can honestly say that I have had better food at an IHOP. It was my impression throughout the cruise that the goal of Celebrity was to save as much money as possible and squeeze every last dime out of the passengers. I would not find fault with a cruise company trying to make money but their efforts in this case were painfully transparent. The dining room selections were minimally varied and uninspired. The desserts were consistently school cafeteria quality. Room service food was a joke and twice the order never arrived. When we tried to eat in the Olympic, we were faced with a 45 minute wait for our drink order to arrive. The attitude of the waitstaff was arrogant. I believe this was because we chose not to order the recommended wines with dinner which seemed to put them off. We left after the 45 minute wait for our drinks and no one on the ship bothered to inquire as to why. I am not sure if this is a problem with other cruise ships in the Mediterranean, but leaving at 5pm created a time crunch. This was especially true when the port was not actually near the primary city listed on the itinerary. After riding 2-3 hours on public transportation without air conditioning, we had to rush through the sites in order to sweat our way back to the ship. It is my impression the short stops save the cruise line port fees as does stopping in ports far from the primary destination. I plan no more Celebrity cruises and it may be that my cruising days are over. Read Less
Sail Date June 2005
The trip did not start out well (with misplaced passports my fault coupled with a lot of fault by Delta airlines who found the passports and locked them away until the next day causing us to miss our plane) and lost luggage both Delta and ... Read More
The trip did not start out well (with misplaced passports my fault coupled with a lot of fault by Delta airlines who found the passports and locked them away until the next day causing us to miss our plane) and lost luggage both Delta and Alitalia's fault). We spent much of our day in Florence chasing our lost luggage. We didn't have our luggage for the first few days. (we had to shop in Nice). We missed Barcelona (because of the lost passport problem and had to take 5 planes to get to Nice (second port). Venice was our favorite port (we spent 2 days there). (But watch the high pressure Murano sales people.) We stayed at the Hotel Grand Canal which was very nice for the last day. Venice was the final stop. The porters at the airport (after arriving by water taxi extorted 40 euros to bring our bags to the airline gate (We should have traveled by land not water taxi (which also charged extra for our luggage) The Greek Isles were beautiful. Athens was a great port. There was a lot to see. We did private tours in Civitavecchia and Florence. (Prestige tours- they were pretty good and are in all major Italian cities). We just had a driver. To do it again I would have arranged for an actual tour guide (Italy has special regulations regarding tour guides who must be licensed). Dubrovnick was out of a story book (reminded me of Estonia). There was a lot to see but the old town itself is very small. There was not a lot to do in Mykonos. (Just shopping.) (A lot of the same gold jewelry.) Santorini was one of the most beautiful places on Earth. (That is how it had been described to me.) It is featured in an an old movie Summer Lovers one of Darryl Hannah first movies. Athens was exciting. A lot to see. So were Naples and Florence. (what we saw of it). We missed a lot of Florence chasing our luggage. Don't waste your time at the outlet designer mall there was nothing to buy. I heard you can go the Gucci and other factories and shop directly at the factory at a discount for the newest items (I heard this after the trip. The visits need to be booked in advance). We found no shopping bargains anywhere (except small glass items in Venice). The ship was in pretty good shape. The food was excellent. The walls of our cabin were very thin and we heard the people next store often in the middle of the night. I believe they were teenagers whose parents were in a different room. (Finally we had to call security- knocking on the wall didn't help.) The entertainment was ok. Just average cruise ship. We went for the ports anyway. TV movies were the same over and over. So were the pay movies. Breakfast selection needs improvement. The same thing was served every day (no variety no specials). It got old after a couple of days. The buffet was better than the "sit down" for breakfast. Lunch was more varied. Dinner was 5 star. Great variety and service. The gym was very nice and almost always empty. The pools were crowded on sea days. All and all a once in a lifetime great trip. We missed embarkation and luckily the lifeboat drill. Disembarkation was smooth (we snuck out early). Read Less
Sail Date June 2005
All in all this 12 day Mediterranean cruise was wonderful. Embarkation in Venice was quite simple. We took a water taxi from our hotel, the Duodo Palace to the ship. As you get off the taxi, you put your luggage right on a conveyor belt ... Read More
All in all this 12 day Mediterranean cruise was wonderful. Embarkation in Venice was quite simple. We took a water taxi from our hotel, the Duodo Palace to the ship. As you get off the taxi, you put your luggage right on a conveyor belt that virtually extends into the water. Check in at about 1PM was fast with no hassle. Celebrity provides its passengers with a free shuttle boat to San Marco Square and it is right next door to the vaporetto stop. We used the shuttle on Monday and Tuesday. The ship is very clean but you can definitely see it can use some sprucing up. The furniture is somewhat threadbare in spots. The shower could use a grouting. The carpeting also could be replaced. However, the ship is spotless. Our cabin which is was a standard outside was fine. There was plenty of storage space and the closets were quite adequate. Our cabin steward, Gleno was excellent. He was never in our way and we would leave and he would enter. The food is of excellent quality. However, the menus could be more varied. You could see this is a standard menu, fleetwide. No longer are there special menus for the specific ports of call. Service in the dining room was excellent. Our waiter, Angel, was very accommodating and quite friendly. Service in the dining room for breakfast was also quick and efficient. We never went to the dining room for lunch. The breakfast buffets had many choices, with an omelet station and pancake and waffle station. Lunch had many choices at the buffet, including a pasta station, pizza station, sandwich station and your usual lunch specialties. There was also hamburgers and hot dogs by the pool. I have to say though Princess does have better food. Entertainment is your usual cruise fare. Because of the port intensity, it really did not matter. There was also a heatwave in Europe which led to even more exhaustion on the part of the passengers. Except for the first production show which highlighted Broadway musicals and the Newlywed Game, the shows were poorly attended. The ports of call are excellent. We were on our own in Venice which was pretty easy to get around even though you get lost all the time. Celebrity provided a free bus to the center of Dubrovnik which was easy to do on your own. It is an old walled city but not that much to see, except the beautiful Adriatic. Please note, we were six adults so the use of guides was quite reasonable. We used a guide, Rania for a half day tour of Athens. There was a public transit strike with demonstrations on that day but she managed to navigate around the city and we were able to see the highlights including the Parthenon. She was excellent. In Santorini, we were on our own. The views were breathtaking. If you like jewelry, this is the place for you. In both Naples and Rome we used Sorrentolimo. In Naples we had Gennaro, who took us along the amazing Amalfi Coast and then on to Pompei where he arranged a two hour tour with a guide. In Rome, we had Salvatore of Sorrentolimo who also had to navigate through closed streets. He got us into the Colisseum through the Roman Forum gate and there was no waiting for tickets. He was open to suggestions on what we wanted to see and accommodated us. Both Gennaro and Salvatore are drivers. In Florence, we used Paola Migliorni, who is a licensed guide. She took us to Pisa and then on to Florence where she virtually drove onto every square like she owned the city. In Villefranche we used Sylvie DiCristo, a licensed guide, who was so charming and lovely. It was like touring the French Riviera with your new friend. Disembarkation in Barcelona was quite easy for us. The ship comes in the night before so the unloading of the luggage begins very early in the morning. We were off the ship by 8:30AM. There were very long lines for taxis as the Splendor had come in as well. We used taxiinternacion (Angie) and her driver was waiting for us with a sign. We just walked past everyone and there was a van with a small u-haul attached for the luggage and off we were. Due to the heat and the numbers of ports we were exhausted. However, it is a trip of a lifetime because of all the great experiences and sights that you see. Millenium was an excellent means of doing everything. Read Less
Sail Date June 2005
My husband and I were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary along with some friends and we chose the Millennium. We picked this cruise for the itinerary not because of the ship. The ports were incredible and the weather was great as ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary along with some friends and we chose the Millennium. We picked this cruise for the itinerary not because of the ship. The ports were incredible and the weather was great as well. We flew from Baltimore to Venice a few extra days before the cruise which was perfect. I loved Venice and although very expensive we had a great time. We stayed at the Sofitel Venezia, which was the hotel the cruise line uses for pre-stays, but we booked it ourselves and saved quite a bit of money. It is not far from the Pizzale Roma which is where land taxis let you off and although we had quite a bit of luggage we managed the short walk. The hotel staff was very helpful and we had a beautiful room with balcony overlooking the canal. Embarkation was a snap. We were in no hurry to get on the ship since it was a overnight in Venice. We arrived around 3:00 pm and were on the ship in minutes. Celebrity provided free shuttles to St. Marks Square that evening and the next day. Ports: Dubrovnik- Beautiful!! We explored on our own. Athens: Arranged Spiro's Taxi- Highly recommend them, great tour and driver, Tasos. Santorini: Beautiful, loved it, great shopping, took a cab to Oia, loved that too! Naples: Arranged Sorrento Limo for tour of Amalfi Coast and Pompeii, again I would recommend them, had a great day! Civitcheccia: Arranged Driverinrome for highlight tour of Rome. Saw all the main sights of Rome and Vatican City, a lot to do in one day but we were very satisfied. Livorno: Arranged Driverinrome again for trip to Sienna and San Gimigano (we had been to Florence and Pisa last year), not as crazy about the driver but the trip was nice but quite a distance from the port. Villefranche: Arranged Revelation Tours (highly recommend) to Monaco, Eze, St.Paul de Vence, had a wonderful day in a beautiful place. Barcelona: Debarkation was also a snap, we were off the ship and at our hotel (Atrium Palace) before 9:00 am. Took a trip to Montesarat and toured city on one of those Hop on Hop off buses. The ship itself was very nice on one hand with a few disappointments. I had read in several reviews about the overall condition of the ship and must agree that it needs a renovation in some areas. Everything was very clean and our cabin attendant, Nadja, was the best we have ever had. The food in the dining room got a little boring after the first week, although I have no complaints about the quality, but the variety was lacking. The Olympic Restaurant was terrific. The Ocean Cafe was good as far as buffets style dining goes, although the set up was confusing with the way they close down sections. The decor of the ship was disappointing, we were not fond of the art work displayed and overall the ship had a very plain look about it, I had expected "grander" appearance. I must say that the ship glided through the water without any movement, I imagine that might also be that we had very calm waters. Because of having late seating for dinner and being exhausted from our busy schedule we only saw 3 shows out of 12 nights so I cannot give much information concerning that. We had looked at this cruising experience differently than cruises we had done before, we were mainly using the ship as our hotel for our tours were most important to us. So, we really did not use any of the other services offered by the ship, Overall it was a terrific vacation, wonderful ports and I would definitely cruise with Celebrity again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
This was an Atlantis charter cruise. After seeing all the advertisements in print and on TV my partner and I had very high expectations. Unfortunately most of my high expectations for superior cabins, amenities and food were dashed. On ... Read More
This was an Atlantis charter cruise. After seeing all the advertisements in print and on TV my partner and I had very high expectations. Unfortunately most of my high expectations for superior cabins, amenities and food were dashed. On the plus side, the Millenium is a beautiful ship and the Med ports were almost all fantastic. The crew were also, for the most part very professional and friendly. The downside was the quality of the Concierge Class staterooms. They were recently replaqued as such but other than the plaque there was no discernable difference in room quality or amenities. Soggy appetizers and droopy, cheap flowers don't really count as extras. The carpet in the room was stained and aging, (I wouldn't walk in there barefooted) the walls were scuffed, there was dirt, dust and crumbs in the mattress frame, the balcony paint was chipped and rust-stained. In short these cabins are due for a major refurbishing. The other major downside was the food quality in all areas except the Olympic. The food was institutional and bland. A huge let down after spending a few days in Italy. The Olympic was marvelous. I do wish that Celebrity would add some more specialty restaurants. As other postings have noted, the 9th deck is indeed noisy due to the fact that it is located just below the pool deck. If Celebrity refurbished the cabins and upgraded its food offerings the Millennium might live up to its reputation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
I will start off by saying my wife and I are avid cruisers and have been on 7 cruises (NCL, Carnival, RCCL) and now "X" Celebrity. The ports of call were absolutely excellent. The shore excursions were great (somewhat pricey, but ... Read More
I will start off by saying my wife and I are avid cruisers and have been on 7 cruises (NCL, Carnival, RCCL) and now "X" Celebrity. The ports of call were absolutely excellent. The shore excursions were great (somewhat pricey, but worth it in my opinion). My one complaint about the excursions is that it was EXTREMELY HOT and the buses used had very weak air conditioning. On one of our excursions in Malta the air conditioning broke down, but they continued the tour. The bus was stifling and we feared the person sitting in front of us was going to pass out. The bus was also EXTREMELY cramped with almost no leg room. The entire tour was a bus tour so we had no choice but to sit on the bus and endure the heat. At the various photo stops everyone rushed to get off to get some fresh air. It was better outside in the 96 degree weather than it was on the bus. We complained to the tour guide and driver, but were told only that they had put in a call to their office, but no one was available. When we arrived back on the ship we filed a formal complaint with the shore excursions desk and were given a form to fill out. Several people did the same in filling out the form. We were told that we would be contacted by 8:30 pm on the last night of the cruise because they had to contact the main office in Miami. True to their word, at 8:34 pm on the last night a paper was slipped under out door stating that they would give a 25% refund for the inconvenience. I wasn't completely satisfied, but at least they made an effort. During the morning of disembarkation the final bill was slipped under our door and we noticed that the amount for the tour refund WAS NOT reflected on our bill. I told my wife that perhaps the final bill was printed before our refund was processed. Sure enough, our bill had been printed at 1pm the previous day and we received notice of our refund at 8:34pm. I thought nothing of it, but when we got home we noticed that the refund was never given to us AND they screwed up the final bill because what they charged my credit card was NOT what was reflected on my final bill. I am working to get this rectified. Concierge Class in my opinion was great! I liked the fact that we had upgraded linens and pillows (very comfortable and soft on the skin) and we had a full breakfast menu to order from. We were also able to have dinner on our veranda (absolutely fantastic) as we sailed away from Villefranche. Because we were in Concierge Class we were able to have dinner in our room or veranda and we were able to order from the actual dinning room menu. The one draw back was that the meal was NOT brought out in courses, it was delivered all at once. The Concierge Class room is a regular ocean with balcony room, the only difference is that you have all the amenities offered to the suites. You should also note that the tipping for the stateroom attendant is slightly higher in this category ($4.00 p/p per day instead of $3.50). I didn't mind this since we really worked our attendant we had dinner on our veranda for four nights in a row due to the fact that we had 10½ hour tours, we would miss dinner in the dinning room by the time we got back. Food was better than the average cruise line that I have been on, but I think it was over rated. The food in the dinning room was very good, but I agree with an earlier review that I read. The pastry chef should be fired. Most of the selection was chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Everything else was very limited. The casual dinning was just as bad. Also, it seems like they were skimping on food. What I mean is that food WASN'T always available like on other ships. After 10:30pm everything shut down except the pasta and pizza place on deck 10. If you wanted a snack or dessert--too bad. Room service offered chocolate black forest cake and chocolate chip cookies or apple pie THAT'S IT in terms of sweets. The cova cafe open only for 2 or 3 hours for snacks and pastries and that was during the day early hours while we were in port. The casual dinning place CONSTANTLY ran out of cups!!! It was so annoying. Whenever we went up to get lemonade or ice tea, we had to hunt for cups! One night my wife went up for pasta and 3 out of 4 of the beverage stations was closed and the one that was opened had NO CUPS. We asked someone in the kitchen for a cup and waited 10 minutes until they returned. I must also note that there were numerous flies throughout the casual dinning area. They invested the beverage station and lingered around the bread (someone was posted there to swat the flies). Also, I MUST AGREE with all of you who wrote about the HORRIBLE BUNS at the grill. The hot dog and hamburger buns were AWFUL!!! I think they freeze them and defrost them as needed--NOT a good thing. For those saying that this was not a party ship--I wish I would have sailed when you did and perhaps you sail when I did. When I vacation I want to relax. This cruise had 550 children on board and at one point I was sure that I heard all of them running over my stateroom. A word of warning to those looking at rooms on deck 9. THE POOL IS OVERHEAD!!! The kids never slept and ran back and forth all night and then they were up early to start all over. 2 nights they had pool parties and I could hear all 2,100 passengers overhead. A lot of people complained, but the crew did nothing about it. Granted it is out of their control as to how many children are on board, but they could have atleast enforced the curfew or posted someone to make sure the kids were not running back and forth after a certain time. Sure, it's the kids' vacation too, and I think they should be allowed to run around and have fun, but not at 1:00 am while people are trying to sleep. Overall, everything was good, but I do think the ship is over rated. I had the feeling on this ship more than any other that they really wanted to be rated excellent. It was being mentioned everywhere they almost forced it upon us. "We know you had an excellent time and you should rate us as excellent because that really means everything was good." They say that below excellent doesn't fly with the corporate office--well then they should really make the experience excellent and in my book they fell short of that. A word about the stateroom, the sink was stained, the remote control for the TV was all taped up and the curtain at the veranda was worn and the hooks were rusted. The cooler underneath the TV was terrible it wasn't even cool. I did enjoy having the ice cold towels waiting for me at the gangway after touring in 95 degree + weather. Another great thing was the disembarkation. I have NEVER been on one that has gone as SMOOTHLY it was FANTASTIC!! Really--very, very civilized--we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
My wife and I have cruised 6 times usually on Costa, NCL, Holland, America, and Seaborne lines, this time we switched to Celebrity Millennium. Overall if one is looking for STRICTLY rest and relaxation this is the place to find it. Also ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 6 times usually on Costa, NCL, Holland, America, and Seaborne lines, this time we switched to Celebrity Millennium. Overall if one is looking for STRICTLY rest and relaxation this is the place to find it. Also the ports of calls are excellent. Getting on and off the ship was quick and easy. Now with that said I was totally disappointed in the Millennium and its staff. First of all and most important DO NOT BOOK and SPEND extra money for the CONCIERGE FLOOR. WHAT a waste of money!! I was totally mislead by the brochure saying that this floor and its services were special; well it is not. Secondly, we booked a dinner in the special Olympic Restaurant for a special night. Well, after hearing so many complaints regarding the poor quality of food and UNKNOWN corking fees for wine ($15.00) we cancelled the night reservations. Thirdly, The big grand formal night at the end of the cruise was a joke! The dining room was not ready for the second seating. I.E. no napkins or silverware on the table, melted baked alaska, and much more. Fourthly, the overall quality of food at dinner time was poor. If I was Michael Roux the award winning chef I would take my name off this relationship with celebrity. By the way the hot dog and hamburger buns served at lunch time literally fell apart from being old. Fifthly, for the money we all spent as passengers I can't understand why the drinks were measured pour 1 ounce instead of free pour at a cost of $5.25 per drink. Sixth, there is still more but I will stop here I will not even get into the grand review shows and entertainment. My wife and I would like to give this Line a second try but things would greatly have to improve. I would love to hear from others on this cruise and see what your thoughts were regarding your experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
After reading all the positive ratings on Celebrity Cruise Line, we finally committed ourselves to the Western Mediterranean Cruise on June 14, 2004. The Millennium did not live up to our expectation. I read Jeffrey's review, and I ... Read More
After reading all the positive ratings on Celebrity Cruise Line, we finally committed ourselves to the Western Mediterranean Cruise on June 14, 2004. The Millennium did not live up to our expectation. I read Jeffrey's review, and I found our experience to be similar to his. I would like to add more comments to his. Food: We found it to be average only, which was a big disappointment, considering food was the reason why we picked Celebrity. We had tried the Ocean Cafe, the Metropolitan Restaurant, the Olympic, the Cova Cafe, the Ocean Grill and the Aqua Spa light meal corner. These are what we found: •Fish dinners were consistently overcooked and tasteless. •Hamburger bun crumbled up with each bite. I ended up with a mess on my hand, very embarrassing. Never tried it again. •Lack of variety; boiled potatoes cut with cookie cutter were served for the first 3 days for dinner, until our whole table complained. •The only lobster dinner served was VERY dry, again because it was WAY overcooked, and it did not come with dipping butter. •Not enough cooked vegetables to compliment every meal. •Coffee served was undrinkable, but cappuccino was not being served in the dining room as an alternative. •Salads served were bland and unimaginative. They were the type found in Cafeteria. There was also not much choice, just 3 types of salad dressing. •Most beef dinners served (filet mignon, prime rib, etc) were good but I had to know how to order. If I wanted a medium, I learned to order a medium rare. Then I got what I wanted. •Pastry chefs should be fired. I got better pastries from Cosco's freezer section. •The sushi cafe does not live up to the reputation. The sticky rice was dry and tasteless, so it was like eating play-dough. •The Olympic was the only place that lived up to our expectation. We were very pleased with the Sommelier. He listened carefully to our preference and picked the right wine for us. •French fries were very good. Cabin: We found it not very clean and certainly not well-maintained. The carpet looked dirty and worn-out. Fabric of the armchair and couch were worn threadbare, with one big piece of thread actually pulled out and dangled on the side. Shower curtain was not replaced or washed after the previous occupant(s). I could still see soap scum on it. (My tablemate told me hers was moldy) Shelves under the sink were dusty. I put a pair of socks I was going to wear under the sink so they would not get wet, just to discover later that they were covered by dust. (Very obvious on my black socks) The bed was comfortable. However, something needs to be done with the pillows. One was too low and two stacked on top of each other were too high. The TV had poor picture quality. My husband was watching the Euro Cup 2004 and he was not impressed with the picture quality. Public Area: Public area was well-maintained and clean. But improvement needed on signage. We love the Celebrity Theater; there were hardly any bad seats. But I objected to beverages being served during a show. If people came in late for the show, then they should be made to sit through the show without drink, or get up to fetch it themselves. I actually saw a guy went into the Ocean Cafe topless; his whole hairy chest glistened with sunscreen lotion. After 6-8 minutes in the line-up, he was asked to leave. We appreciated the vigilant monitoring of the dress-code. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about smoking. People smoked all over the place. We were told that smoking was allowed in port side only but this rule was never enforced. Entertainment: I would say that they were enjoyable, if not top-notch. A few performers out-shined the others: Pepe Ayala, the Spanish guitarist; the Serenada Quartet. Mr. Jones sounded like he was reading instead of singing and should be replaced. Elegant Tea: Celebrity totally screwed up in this "high-lighted" event, which took place in every formal day. They simply cannot call tea served in tea bags by waiters in poorly-fitted uniform as elegant. I counted at least 5 waiters in close vicinity wearing uniforms that were too short, too long, or too big. One waiter was flapping the napkin he carried in the air like he was swatting a fly! The Gym, the Aqua Spa and pool area: These areas were outstanding. We both signed up for the Persian Garden and totally enjoyed the experience. One stall needs to be re-tiled though, numerous tiles have fallen off and are simply lying around on the floor. In the Ladies' change room (deck 10), the sealing strip around one of the shower doors was simply hanging loose around the door, during the whole cruise. Service: Generally, those who had to work for their tips were OK. The first 2 nights, I received no daily news. When I finally asked my stateroom attendant, I was told that they were left inside the Service Directory binder. Whoever looked inside that binder? (The binder disappeared completely later, after I requested to have the daily news left on our bed) I had never met one single officer behind the Guest Relation desk who was friendly and helpful. They all looked exhausted, grumpy, and had an attitude, like you were stupid to even ask them anything. One officer greeted us with a lift of his chin, and looked down his nose, with no smile, no greeting. Another officer shouted out her answer, as if I was deaf. (I never asked her to repeat anything so her shouting was not justified) During the Emergency & Lifeboat Drill, I was late getting back to my stateroom. No one would tell me what to do next. Officers were guarding the elevators, told me (with a stern face) that I had to use the stairs. When I finally got back to my stateroom, there was no one in sight. I was offered no assistance and received absolutely no instruction from any officer. SUMMARY We were not the only people who were disappointed. One couple (who did a private tour with us) had cruised with Celebrity 4 times before. They said that this time was very different. The food was not as good and they felt that they were being nickel-and-dimed on everything. My tablemates who had cruised 8 times before (4 with Carnival) but had never cruised with Celebrity said that they are going back to Carnival. One review I read in Cruise Critic mentioned how bad the fish dinners were; I have the same opinion. Celebrity put forward this promise, that it is a cruise line that treated their customers famously. They did not deliver based on my experience. I did not feel that I was treated like a guest but just like another customer. When I cruised with Dawn Princess, I did not like her officers either. But the waiters and the stateroom attendant were all top-notch professionals. There was not a single meal served in the main dining room that we did not enjoy. Our room was always clean. The ship was immaculate and well maintained, from top to bottom. The same cannot be said about the Celebrity's Millennium. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
We had 2 cabins next to each other with veranda's , it was our families 20+ cruise, 3/rd on CEL, first time in CAT 1/A, cabin was too small, in one cabin we had 3 people, one cabin 2 people, if you have more than 2 people in your ... Read More
We had 2 cabins next to each other with veranda's , it was our families 20+ cruise, 3/rd on CEL, first time in CAT 1/A, cabin was too small, in one cabin we had 3 people, one cabin 2 people, if you have more than 2 people in your cabin, you have no room to do any in-room dining, bummer. I don't think the line has kept up with the maintenance of the ship, after 4 years it was very worn. We had to have the shower head fixed in one room (it should have been fixed prior to us getting on, it took 2 calls to get action by the 3/rd day), the other had several minor problems, but the decor etc looked real worn, carpet etc needs to be replaced. Chair in the rooms is so small, only a 100 pounder can sit in it, a normal adult can't, it's so small. We were ok with the room attendants for each cabin, but I did give them money the first day, a practice I started a few years ago, it seems on CEL that is how you get basic service. No public announcement policy is good, but TV's have only a few channels, but they do have several movies running most of the day, that was ok while in cabin between activities. I will say that the cabin was very quiet, and very little or no noise from the other rooms or hallways. Also no creaks or noises from the walls and ceilings, doors all closed properly, but closet was small. Dining in the casual spots for breakfast after 11am was horrible, pancakes were frisbees, all other food was either cool or lukewarm at best, eggs were not really tasty. If you get up and you're ready to eat by 9:30am and want to wait in lines you can get "made to order" omelettes, eggs, waffles, but each had their own station, again several lines to get your food, but that food was hot and decent. We did not like the constant opening and closing hours of the various food stations in the casual dining areas, also after 12:30am on all but 2 nights, no food available, and forget room service at that time till 530am. The food in the main dining room was very good. I disagree with several of the recent reviews I have read, The lobster night was great, huge 6 to 7.5 pounders, one of my sons had 3, the other had 2, the rest of us had 1 or 1.5 each, best lobster we have had in 20 years of cruising by far. The rack of lamb was also very good, along with the pork, beef and veal, I even commented to the waiter about how much better the food was in the MED vs the Caribbean, he told me they just changed the menus a few months ago, and even he noticed the food was better as the guests were complimenting him more lately. Our Waiter was also very good, Mr. Sandor from Hungary, asst waiter was ok, but either they gave him to many tables or he could not keep up. We did not like the time dinner started, we had late seating, CEL means "late", the room was supposed to be opened at 8:30 per the brochure, but it did not open till 8:45pm, closer to 8:50pm, and most nights we did not get to order till 9 to 9:15pm, and dinner took over 2 hrs, most nights if we stayed for dessert we left at 11:30pm, and there were over 50% of the people still there. In my opinion because it took so long to eat in the main dinning room, I noticed each night less people in the room, till finally our waiter was down to just our table from the 4 he started with most nights, there were nights when over 40% of the people did not come to dinner, our first cruise that has happened unless the weather was real bad. Also if the ship went over 18 knots the vibration from the engines was noticeable in the dining room, even on 2/nd level 30 or 40 feet from very large windows at rear of room, which I will say was a bonus as from our table we could see out the windows, and CEL kept the drapes up, we all liked the views. Unfortunately the coffee was not very good, and if you wanted espresso or cappuccino there was a very expensive charge, not as good as what you could get ashore and more costly. We found most of the desserts ok, not great, and a little disappointing, both in selection, and taste and presentation/look. I would compare them to something you would get at--- Denney's--- for example. We liked the Sushi cafe, but it had poor selection (each day same 4 or 5 items), ok rice, and wasn't open early or late enough, only a few hrs after 6:30pm, for early sitting--- "no sushi for you"----, if you also want to go to main dining room. We used it as a sort of early pre diner-diner as we came back from our days ashore before our 9pm diners. Hot dogs were very good, hamburgers ok, but buns, not so good, after first day, eat them without the buns. I think overall food was not as good as Princess, about as good as Carnival except casual and breakfast which Carnival does better. Olympic was visited by 2 of our table mates, with wine and drinks they spent over $130 US, they had another reservation, but cancelled it, also you could have had a reservation any night right up to the time they closed. Food was the same as the main dining room except Caesar salad prepared fresh and they offered steak diane prepared at the table. One ordered the fish, thought it was ok. Casino had mostly very friendly dealers etc and while we were there the jackpots were hitting a lot, from $1000 to over $9000, one night in the span of 40 minutes , 2, $2500 slot jackpots and a $4000 were paid, unfortunately not to any of us. Slot attendant told me that the week was way above normal, not a good week for the house. But due to length of time in ports, casino was usually closed around 2am. Which brings us to the age of the cruisers. We were told over 60% of the cruisers were over 60, and after midnight it seemed you couldn't find anybody still up, this was not a party ship. We liked some of the entertainment, Revue shows were not as good as Carnival, better than Princess, individual acts in main showroom were good to very good. Some of the acts in the other venues were ok to poor, but again after we came out of dinner most people seemed to just go off to bed, most of the nights the show for late seating was at 7pm, this was not a great idea, but since dinner took so long, we actually started to go to the 7pm shows about halfway into the cruise. It was that or hardly no entertainment after we left dinner. For that reason, I think the line should start dinner earlier, 6pm for first sitting, not 6:30: and 8:15 for late, and get the people out in 2 hrs, then maybe more would actually come to main dining. Or simply go to open sitting, open times, get people in and out like a normal restaurant. Best part of the cruise was the ports and the drivers/tours we booked on our own. To name a few, Spiros and George in Athens, the very best, our time in Venice, Pisa, Capri, the beaches north of Pisa, Rome, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Nice, Mykonos and Santirini, all memories to cherish, and at most of those locations, we found great hotels to go back to for many summers in the future. That is the one best thing about this cruise, it took us to a lot of great ports, we'll have plenty of trips to Europe to get back to these places, and we already planning our next summers trip to Naples, Capri and Mykonos. We have now decided (the five of us), ages 16 to 55: 61 cruises total between all of us, (9 on CEL) next cruise will be on Royal Caribbean, same type of ships/food as Cel, less money, younger people; or Carnival less money, better entertainment and more fun, or Princess, same money, better service and food. Caio for now!!!! The Cruisin Varrenti's. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Celebrity Millennium Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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