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This is a cruise of pluses and minuses. The good was the itinerary (mostly) which we had chosen this for. The service by staff onboard was as ever, mostly good. The downside was the feel of the ship onboard, with the feel of even more cutbacks making it feel like nothing special, just an average hotel, and right at the bottom was the food, which was substandard. Edible certainly, but very simple, very limited in choice and variety and even times available. Breaking it down: THE SHIP: Millennium was a superb ship when built, and decently maintained would still be fine. But Celebrity took some of the good features away e.g. the Cinema, and buffet design as a couple of examples, to increase passengers and decrease public areas and facilities. This results in more people, but fewer interesting places to go onboard. As such, she no longer has many special elements, and in addition now feels very worn. THE ITINERARY: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and China. Many fabulous places to visit, but Shanghai should just be dropped. It caused 3 big negatives for the cruise: 1) so much uncertainty and confusion up front with conflicting advice, poor guidance and significant extra cost for a visa just for one port. This could have been resolved in part by a better itinerary that removes it, or re-orders it to have a 3rd country before or after; 2) the pollution (as is normal there) made it a poor visit, and its features were better or equally delivered by other ports on the itinerary - Hong Kong for the waterfront skyline and culture, and Taiwan for the Chinese artefacts 3) visiting there took away our visit to Nagasaki, and meant we sat in the water for a whole day due to fog at Shanghai. Nagasaki is a much nicer city to visit by any measure, so this just compounded all the other issues that visiting Shanghai gave. All the other ports (Hong Kong, Taipei, Okinawa, Nagasaki, Kobe, Shimizu, Tokyo) are excellent and well worth visiting. THE CREW: A great captain, and cruise director Mark was excellent! They were very present and organised from the beginning, and throughout the cruise. They more than proved their skills when we had the delay thanks to Shanghai, with the captain making alternate plans for routing and giving updates, and activities reorganised for the new sea day by our CD. Both kept us well informed. Service from the rest of the crew was top notch BUT it felt like they were really under the pump, had little time to interact, and it also no longer felt genuine. This means while the service was high, it impacts on enjoyment as there is less engagement. ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: As above, the cruise director was very entertaining, and did a good job organising the entertainment services onboard. The guest entertainers weren't standouts; some good, some not so much. The onboard show crew did a good job. The rest of activities were limited and repetitive... and now prizes aren't given out throughout, but only at the end based on your score. You basically had to win every activity onboard to get anything interesting... devaluation again. DINING/FOOD: This was the worst. On two evenings we didn't eat anything as when you come back to the ship the only thing open after 9 is the buffet. Should be fine, but in reality all they have is a few slices of old pizza available, some similarly unfresh pasta and that's about it. Very poor. Even when operating at regular serving times, the selection is very limited with simple choices, lower quality pieces of meat and a much smaller range of choices than they used to have. We had the benefit of dining in Luminae and while the servers will do what they can to please you, and the quality is better there, even there the menu is very limited such that it's standard to offer the MDR menu in addition. However, there were some nights when the very limited range just doesn't appeal. This is the first time on a cruise I've gone to bed some nights without eating anything - including the last night. Good for the waistline - but not an enjoyable experience for all that money and why you go on vacation - to enjoy yourself, and not worry about a schedule. OVERALL: It would be an average cruise given the cutbacks onboard, but given the high costs now loses a point for being overpriced and poor value. Celebrity needs to restore its activities and food standards for us to return again. All the negatives from the cruise come back to head office cost-cutting rather than anything controlled onboard.

Poor value for an average cruise

Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by The_Big_M

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2017
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Sky Suite 1
This is a cruise of pluses and minuses. The good was the itinerary (mostly) which we had chosen this for. The service by staff onboard was as ever, mostly good.

The downside was the feel of the ship onboard, with the feel of even more cutbacks making it feel like nothing special, just an average hotel, and right at the bottom was the food, which was substandard. Edible certainly, but very simple, very limited in choice and variety and even times available.

Breaking it down:

THE SHIP: Millennium was a superb ship when built, and decently maintained would still be fine. But Celebrity took some of the good features away e.g. the Cinema, and buffet design as a couple of examples, to increase passengers and decrease public areas and facilities. This results in more people, but fewer interesting places to go onboard. As such, she no longer has many special elements, and in addition now feels very worn.

THE ITINERARY: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and China. Many fabulous places to visit, but Shanghai should just be dropped. It caused 3 big negatives for the cruise: 1) so much uncertainty and confusion up front with conflicting advice, poor guidance and significant extra cost for a visa just for one port. This could have been resolved in part by a better itinerary that removes it, or re-orders it to have a 3rd country before or after; 2) the pollution (as is normal there) made it a poor visit, and its features were better or equally delivered by other ports on the itinerary - Hong Kong for the waterfront skyline and culture, and Taiwan for the Chinese artefacts 3) visiting there took away our visit to Nagasaki, and meant we sat in the water for a whole day due to fog at Shanghai. Nagasaki is a much nicer city to visit by any measure, so this just compounded all the other issues that visiting Shanghai gave.

All the other ports (Hong Kong, Taipei, Okinawa, Nagasaki, Kobe, Shimizu, Tokyo) are excellent and well worth visiting.

THE CREW: A great captain, and cruise director Mark was excellent! They were very present and organised from the beginning, and throughout the cruise. They more than proved their skills when we had the delay thanks to Shanghai, with the captain making alternate plans for routing and giving updates, and activities reorganised for the new sea day by our CD. Both kept us well informed.

Service from the rest of the crew was top notch BUT it felt like they were really under the pump, had little time to interact, and it also no longer felt genuine. This means while the service was high, it impacts on enjoyment as there is less engagement.

ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: As above, the cruise director was very entertaining, and did a good job organising the entertainment services onboard. The guest entertainers weren't standouts; some good, some not so much. The onboard show crew did a good job. The rest of activities were limited and repetitive... and now prizes aren't given out throughout, but only at the end based on your score. You basically had to win every activity onboard to get anything interesting... devaluation again.

DINING/FOOD: This was the worst. On two evenings we didn't eat anything as when you come back to the ship the only thing open after 9 is the buffet. Should be fine, but in reality all they have is a few slices of old pizza available, some similarly unfresh pasta and that's about it. Very poor.

Even when operating at regular serving times, the selection is very limited with simple choices, lower quality pieces of meat and a much smaller range of choices than they used to have.

We had the benefit of dining in Luminae and while the servers will do what they can to please you, and the quality is better there, even there the menu is very limited such that it's standard to offer the MDR menu in addition. However, there were some nights when the very limited range just doesn't appeal.

This is the first time on a cruise I've gone to bed some nights without eating anything - including the last night. Good for the waistline - but not an enjoyable experience for all that money and why you go on vacation - to enjoy yourself, and not worry about a schedule.

OVERALL: It would be an average cruise given the cutbacks onboard, but given the high costs now loses a point for being overpriced and poor value.

Celebrity needs to restore its activities and food standards for us to return again. All the negatives from the cruise come back to head office cost-cutting rather than anything controlled onboard.
The_Big_M’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Cabin Review

Sky Suite 1
Cabin S1 6146
A well sized cabin, still kept in reasonable condition, but with some maintenance issues. Excellent bathroom, but small wardrobe/storage.

Disappointing after all this time and refurbishments that Celebrity haven't bothered putting an awning over the balcony, like the rest of Millennium class has.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews