Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by Top Cats
- Sail Date: October 2016
- Destination: Asia
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2A
From this perspective the cruise worked well with excellent tours at each port but there was no comparison with our previous experience of Celebrity.
Embarkation was pretty smooth and we were aboard in no time at all following a first class overnight stay at the Dorset Hotel in Hong Kong (previously known as the Cosmopolitan).
First imppressions of Millenium was of a tired slightly rusting vessel not a patch on Eclipse.
We knew this was a smaller ship but did not expect standards to be lower.
We had booked a 2A balcony stateroom on deck 7 and it was slightly more cramped than we remembered and with the dreaded shower curtain rather than a screen in the shower cubicle.
Our troubles began and continued with the whole dining experience, both in the Oceanview self service restaurant on deck 10 and also the Metropolitan Dining room on Deck 4/5 where we had booked 8.30 pm fixed dining for a table of 6 but got a larger group of 10 which consisted of 6 Brits and 4 Americans.
On that first nights dinner we left the dining room at 11.15 pm after a lengthy wait for service with the waiter thinking it was alright to serve half the table their starters and taking around a further 10 minutes to complete the service by which time the first served food was stone cold.,.A schoolboy error.
We complained to the Maitre De several times and the second evening the staff were far more attentive and good service ensued for a couple of nights.
It was obvious from the Menus that there has been a cut back in meal options,
I suspect to encourage people to pay extra for speciality dining which is insuting peoples intelligence at best.
We took this up with the Maitre De who insisted the menu was the same on all Celebrity ships and had not changed for 18 months.
This I believe was untrue as previously my wife and I were spoilt for choice each evening, whilst on this sailing it was a job to find something we could eat for a change.
There are the same "favourites" each night of the cruise with only a couple of starters and main courses changing each evening which got to be boring after the first week
By night 4, two of our American colleagues had switched to an early sitting as they found they were missing the late show as finishing time had drifted backwards again.
On several occassions we and our fellow guests sent food back for being either cold, undercooked or overcooked especially the beef dishes which were never cooked the same two days running.
Breakfast was mostly taken in the Oceanview restaurant on Deck 10 which was self service. Poor layout meant that you had to visit 4 different food stations situated at extremes of the restaurant to get a basic engish breakfast. Due to the length of queues at each station the food was normally cold before you could return and find an empty table to sit at, normally we compromised and ate half a breakfast.
Eating breakfast in the Metropolitan was an option we tried and although the first day this was much more satisfactory, however the second day most of the shared table returned their cooked breakfst was served stone cold - again.
As we left the dining room we could see cruisers having heated conversations with the staff over the poor service and poor food.
We and a couple of dining colleagues asked for a meeting with Linda,[ head of the restaurantsa to express our disgust at this consistantly poor dining experience.
She took note of our complaints and said one of the big problems on board was that the galley was 2 floors down from the dining room which meant the food was likely to be cold when it reached our table.She promised a e mail to Miami HQ to pass on our complaints but I won't hold my breath for a response!
Linda was also shocked that it took a vist to 4 different food stations to get a full english and promised to investigate further.
I cannot believe we were the first guests to complain about the food, they had heard it all before and were just paying lip service to our moans.
Entertainment on board was also sadly lacking the wow factor with a few exceptions and most nights people were walking out of the theatre during the performances. The sound was very poor with some of the entertainers screeching at the top of their voice to make themselves heard above the orchestra.
Staff were always very pleasent and always spoke to guests when passing.
Shopping on board was also poor with the usual tat beeing rolled at each evening for a flash sale.
Question - Does the Art auction really work ?
We also picked up that this ship will be decommissioned in 2018 - not soon enough I am afraid.
Whilst we had always looked forward to our next cruise this experience put us off cruising - at least with Celebrity!
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