This much anticipated occasion of reuniting with a familiar acquaintance had been in the planning stages for almost two years. The agony and the ecstasy of waiting so long added to the excitement. Before anyone thinks this is going to get juicy I should clarify that the occasion was a Southeast cruise and the acquaintance was the Celebrity Millennium. The last time we sailed on a Millennium class ship was six years ago on the Constellation. However with "solstilization" what is old is new again and we looked forward to seeing the improvements since the April 2012 refurbishment. Like assessing an old flame that has had some major Botox you see the improved exterior but wonder if what lies beneath is a shallow personality. Would the cruise and refurbishment be tantamount to being dazzled by all the bells and whistles only to be sullied by bad behavior and broken promises?
Unfortunately that was the case. While the Millennium had some classy new venues including Cafe al Bacio, Bistro on Five, Qsine, Blu and a bevy of new aquaclass staterooms, the final result was more style but lacking in substance.
We had reasonable expectations for this new journey since our last Celebrity cruise on the Solstice a year and half ago. We expected to be returning to the comfort and familiarity of a good friend. However, the embrace was lukewarm and the result was more akin to feeling like a jilted lover. By the end of the cruise as in many relationships it was evident that we had ultimately grown apart. Being past Celebrity cruisers we had always thought they offered great value and service once onboard. We were sailing at the Elite level for the first time and were ill prepared for what was to unfold over the next two weeks
AQ 1141 was very basic. Nothing special at all. It was hard to believe it was Aquaclass. There was a orange sheer curtain, red sofa, strange bed rails and boring bland walls. The bathroom did have the Hansgrohe showerhead and a glass door for the shower. The best thing about the room was the location overlooking the wake. However this was also a negative as they still allowed smoking on the terrace below on Deck 10 and the smell of smoke especially while touring Halong Bay was quite annoying.