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My wife and 12 year old have been on maybe ten cruises and my wife and I did this exact cruise in 2002 (sans child). In 2002, it was the best vacation we ever had, great people, food, ports and rather cheap with the euro 1 to 1. Not this time. Pound was over 2 to 1 and the euro was 1 to 1.50. The purpose of this trip was to introduce my son to the trials and rewards of travel. (vs. the Playstation game "Euro and Europe in summer.") We flew from LAX to London (AIR NEW ZEALAND--A+) and stayed for two days before taking the Eurostar to Paris ... and then taking the Artesia night "sleeper" train to VCE. Do not take this train unless you want no sleep! "Not possible" as the French would say. That magic dream moment of seeing my son walk out of the VCE train station and be impressed with the beauty of Venice was marred by 26 hours of no sleep and the throngs of summer heat and tourists. I grabbed a water taxi to take us to the ship dock. That is the only way to go. Walking in the heat... "Not possible." I talked the driver down to 85 Euros but some got it for 65. We were beat and Celebrity started loading passengers at 11am and we had lunch and were in our room by 1pm. We had cabins 7002 and 7003. They looked bigger and really were! Probably double the size of any other OV room. There was a full sized sofa bed with a very comfortable mattress. It was the best designed and most comfortable mattress I've ever seen on a sofa bed. There was a small entry way where we kept our suitcases, a desk with three feet all around it, two chairs beside the sofa and a window that both my son and I sometimes sat on to get a free internet signal. (Found on only in Croatia) The windows in these room face forward and had a "tunnel" view. The rooms are also not next to each other. There is a crew thing between the room and require a long walk between. Be careful with M-class forward rooms. The diagram makes rooms look close that are very far apart! The Port forward rooms are NOT across from the inside rooms as shown. Since we were at the dead end of the forward hall, there was NO noise of people walking by and it was a long way to the back or anywhere for that matter. We had one rough seas night and there was a lot of motion (expected at the front) and we were next to the anchor chain dropping during tender days. But I'd try for these rooms again. These were wonderful rooms for a family. Last trip on the Infinity we nearly killed each other because the space was so tight. The rest of my review if somewhat jaded. Europe was HOT and HUMID and my 12 year old is not interested in old stuff that doesn't have a video screen. The goal of our trip was to get him off the ship, take pictures, no suffer and back to the comfort and joy of shipboard life. We avoided all shore excursions that would trap us in a bus for 9 hours. This was to expose him the world but not too much. We had a lot of five to nine Euro cokes in front of most of the best parts of Europe. We trained to Rome, and took the Celebrity shuttles elsewhere. Some shuttles are sort of a rip compared to our 2002 trip where the docking was within walking distance of the city. Either security prevented walking or just the miles of walking made the shuttle sort of blackmail. Celebrity charged between 6.00pp each way to 20.00pp in Venice for a day pass. Adds up quick. We had early dining and the four of us had our own table. We had requested a large table (we like strangers). Food was okay to good, not the special small portions of tasty treats I remembered from 2002. We tried the specialty dining room but I think we were just too tired and hot to enjoy it properly. My son loved the Children's Club once we got him into it. The menu of the next day's activities left on his bed each night was wonderful. This is basically a tough trip in that every day is a great and exciting port. We looked into the showroom nightly but it seemed like all they did was old 50's show tunes and we were too tired to even tap our feet. Disembarkation was easy. Barcelona's had a zillion cabs (get the cabbie to commit to a meter BEFORE you get your luggage in his cab (if going close). We stayed in a H10 hotel. Clean, close and reasonable. Summary: Mission "not possible" was accomplished. We had some problems with airports and connections. Heathrow took hours in many lines and security before they let us into the "shopping center" they call an airport, then more security at the gate. Try to avoid Heathrow (and all airports....I know, "not possible") What I learned...make direct air connections with same carrier. AVOID: night sleeper trains, any hotel called "Mad Hatter" (London), summer in Europe, credit cards that charge 3%+ on all foreign transactions, Heathrow, expecting any "educational" vacation with a 12 year could be relaxing.... The most rewarding moment was after 26 hours of travel, we were about 30 minutes from home and my son says, "So where are we going next year?" Mission accomplished....

Celebrity Millennium - Western Mediterranean

Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by Thomasadv

Trip Details
My wife and 12 year old have been on maybe ten cruises and my wife and I did this exact cruise in 2002 (sans child). In 2002, it was the best vacation we ever had, great people, food, ports and rather cheap with the euro 1 to 1. Not this time. Pound was over 2 to 1 and the euro was 1 to 1.50. The purpose of this trip was to introduce my son to the trials and rewards of travel. (vs. the Playstation game "Euro and Europe in summer.")
We flew from LAX to London (AIR NEW ZEALAND--A+) and stayed for two days before taking the Eurostar to Paris ... and then taking the Artesia night "sleeper" train to VCE. Do not take this train unless you want no sleep! "Not possible" as the French would say. That magic dream moment of seeing my son walk out of the VCE train station and be impressed with the beauty of Venice was marred by 26 hours of no sleep and the throngs of summer heat and tourists. I grabbed a water taxi to take us to the ship dock. That is the only way to go. Walking in the heat... "Not possible." I talked the driver down to 85 Euros but some got it for 65. We were beat and Celebrity started loading passengers at 11am and we had lunch and were in our room by 1pm.
We had cabins 7002 and 7003. They looked bigger and really were! Probably double the size of any other OV room. There was a full sized sofa bed with a very comfortable mattress. It was the best designed and most comfortable mattress I've ever seen on a sofa bed. There was a small entry way where we kept our suitcases, a desk with three feet all around it, two chairs beside the sofa and a window that both my son and I sometimes sat on to get a free internet signal. (Found on only in Croatia) The windows in these room face forward and had a "tunnel" view. The rooms are also not next to each other. There is a crew thing between the room and require a long walk between. Be careful with M-class forward rooms. The diagram makes rooms look close that are very far apart! The Port forward rooms are NOT across from the inside rooms as shown. Since we were at the dead end of the forward hall, there was NO noise of people walking by and it was a long way to the back or anywhere for that matter. We had one rough seas night and there was a lot of motion (expected at the front) and we were next to the anchor chain dropping during tender days. But I'd try for these rooms again. These were wonderful rooms for a family. Last trip on the Infinity we nearly killed each other because the space was so tight.
The rest of my review if somewhat jaded. Europe was HOT and HUMID and my 12 year old is not interested in old stuff that doesn't have a video screen. The goal of our trip was to get him off the ship, take pictures, no suffer and back to the comfort and joy of shipboard life. We avoided all shore excursions that would trap us in a bus for 9 hours. This was to expose him the world but not too much. We had a lot of five to nine Euro cokes in front of most of the best parts of Europe. We trained to Rome, and took the Celebrity shuttles elsewhere. Some shuttles are sort of a rip compared to our 2002 trip where the docking was within walking distance of the city. Either security prevented walking or just the miles of walking made the shuttle sort of blackmail. Celebrity charged between 6.00pp each way to 20.00pp in Venice for a day pass. Adds up quick.
We had early dining and the four of us had our own table. We had requested a large table (we like strangers). Food was okay to good, not the special small portions of tasty treats I remembered from 2002. We tried the specialty dining room but I think we were just too tired and hot to enjoy it properly. My son loved the Children's Club once we got him into it. The menu of the next day's activities left on his bed each night was wonderful. This is basically a tough trip in that every day is a great and exciting port. We looked into the showroom nightly but it seemed like all they did was old 50's show tunes and we were too tired to even tap our feet.
Disembarkation was easy. Barcelona's had a zillion cabs (get the cabbie to commit to a meter BEFORE you get your luggage in his cab (if going close). We stayed in a H10 hotel. Clean, close and reasonable.
Summary: Mission "not possible" was accomplished. We had some problems with airports and connections. Heathrow took hours in many lines and security before they let us into the "shopping center" they call an airport, then more security at the gate. Try to avoid Heathrow (and all airports....I know, "not possible") What I learned...make direct air connections with same carrier. AVOID: night sleeper trains, any hotel called "Mad Hatter" (London), summer in Europe, credit cards that charge 3%+ on all foreign transactions, Heathrow, expecting any "educational" vacation with a 12 year could be relaxing.... The most rewarding moment was after 26 hours of travel, we were about 30 minutes from home and my son says, "So where are we going next year?" Mission accomplished....
Thomasadv’s Full Rating Summary
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