Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by mkesolo
- Sail Date: February 2018
- Destination: Asia
Although we've cruised over a dozen times between us, neither my partner nor I had ever cruised with Celebrity before. The cruise exceeded our expectations. Despite its age and what some of the other cruisers stated, the Millennium was well-kept and did not feel outdated. It had a lot of different, large areas for music, dancing, and activities. It was a joy to walk through a smoke-free casino without holding my breath.
Captain Alex, was very outgoing and friendly. We met him several times, and he was a significant presence on the ship...even playing pool volleyball with other officer vs. guests. The cruise director, Paul, and his small, but energetic staff (Valentina, Emily, Ashley, and DJ Lenny) were a lot of fun. I can't believe so few people provided plenty of activities like SAFE archery, 80s night, trivia, baggo, etc. Like the captain, Paul was a constant presence and knew us by name. We've never had that experience. Overall, the staff on the Millennium was friendly, accommodating, and one of the most engaged staff we have ever encountered on a cruise ship---from our room steward Edi, to our waiters, to the man who cooked my eggs every morning, to Immy, who brought us drinks a single time and said hi to us when she saw us around the ship.
The food was good. Great buffet with a lot of variety. Smaller portions (but that's ok!) and tasted great. They had special dining rooms for guests at higher levels, which we were not. Also, my biggest complaint aboard the ship was the strong sales push for the specialty restaurants at an upcharge. Every time we went to the MDR, someone was there encouraging us to have sushi or Italian elsewhere. This overbearing tactic was also used to try to sell spa services. It felt non-stop.
The evening entertainment was mostly good, but with the occasional dud. We really enjoyed the three production shows, Monique (solo artist backed by the ship band), and the Sonz of Soul (Motown trio). The production singers and dancers were very talented. The house band Next Stage was amazing! They played every evening, backed up Bandaoke, and livened up most of the parties. All five members were talented musicians. They had an extensive repertoire and super high energy. At the Full Moon/Chinese New Year party, they had the guests energized. Even after they were supposed to finish, the crowd cheered them on for 3 encores.
We would definitely sail with Celebrity again!
250,000+ people have entered their email
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Bangkok (Laem Chabang)We had almost 2 full days near Bangkok. Due to a naval vessel using our berth in Laem Chabang, we actually docked in Sri Racha nearby. This complicated things getting off the ship as many people had booked tours and had to rearrange. Because I've been to Bangkok before, we did this port on our own. In Sri Racha, buses out of the industrial port were provided. There were a bunch of taxis, but seemed to be all the same company so negotiating a lower rate was more challenging. It is cheaper to arrange a round trip than a one-way. Another couple and we shared a cab to Bangkok, about 2 hours away. Our driver agreed to take us to a hotel we had booked, drive us around Bangkok, and take us back for a total of $180 USD ($45pp). I had read cabs were $50 each way, but we were unable to negotiate down...maybe because of the different arrival port. Although the driver would take us around the city, it is so big and congested that it takes forever by car. So we ended up dismissing our driver and using public transit...tuk tuks, river ferry, canal taxi, and MRT, which was faster and more interesting. Because of the timing getting off the ship, the distance to Bangkok, and traffic, we barely missed getting into the Grand Palace, which closes its gates for the last tours at 3:30pm. Also note that there is a dress code for the palace and various temples for both men and women. We were able to get to Wat Pho (the reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun across the river before they closed. We stayed in the Sukhumvit area, which has a happening nightlife and lots of restaurants. Because of our short schedule the next day, we didn't feel we had enough time to get to the palace and back, so we spent the time in Sukhumvit. Our ship repositioned to the Laem Chabang port the afternoon of the first day, so our cab took us back there. There was a cruise terminal, but our ship was not next to it, so I don't know if it had much. While I loved Bangkok on a previous trip, the compressed schedule and distance from the port made it feel very rushed and less fulfilling.View All 212 Bangkok (Laem Chabang) Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Bangkok (Laem Chabang) Cruise Port Review
Da NangWe docked at the port in Chan May. My research suggested that this was a large industrial port with few cabs to be found and over an hour to anything of interest. We booked the Hoi An On Your Own through the ship, which provided bus transportation there and back with 3 hours of free time. I'm really glad we did, because we did not see any cabs once outside the port. Hoi An was about 1.75 hrs away, but an interesting drive around the city of Da Nang and the countryside. Once parked, our guide walked us to the old town and provided the tickets required to enter the old town (if we did this on our own, they are available for approx. $5 USD). The tickets allow you to enter up to 5 different assembly halls/temples, old houses, museums, the Japanese Bridge. We wandered the market...lots of handicrafts and Under Armour for cheap. Definitely haggle as I was able to get things for 50-60% off the initial asking price. There are several restaurants along the water front, and we went to the Cargo Club because of its extensive menu including some western food. Also had some chili ice cream at the Nu Eatery, the first alley to your right after crossing the Japanese Bridge. Hoi An was a quaint, if touristy, town, and we would have liked more time there.View All 12,792 Da Nang Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Da Nang Cruise Port Review
Halong BayWe had 1.5 days in Halong Bay. We had to tender to land. We took a ship-provided shore excursion to Hanoi the first full day. Although it's only 115 miles away, due to road conditions, it takes 4 hours each way. The bus stops at a hospitality center on the way there and back with decent bathrooms and a large handicraft and convenience store. Our excursion included a walking tour of the old quarter, which we found most interesting. Hanoi is a large city--8 million people, 4 million motorbikes--and felt frenetic. We had lunch at a nice hotel with a variety of dishes served family style. Afterward, we went to a temple for Confucius and the Ho Chi Minh complex to see the exterior of the mausoleum, a couple of his houses, and the one-pillar pagada. Then back on the bus for another 4 hours. We arrived after the tenders were supposed to have stopped for the night, but they continued until all the buses were back. We met up for our tour at 7:30am, got on the bus at 8am, to Hanoi by 12pm, tour for 5.5 hrs, 4 hours back to Halong Bay, tender back to ship after 10pm. A LONG Day.View All 40 Halong Bay Cruise Port Reviews
The ship left port at 1pm on the second day in port. We did a ship-arranged 1/2-day boat tour of Halong Bay as we didn't feel we would make it back in time if we booked it on our own. However, if doing it on a full day, it would be very easy to tender ashore and book separately, and probably less expensively. The tour we did book was good. The junk boat pulled right up to the ship and then took us to a couple of caves. We toured one as a group and the second cave was optional. Then the boat piloted through part of the bay, between and around different rock "islands", and back to the boat.
Both days in Hanoi and Halong Bay were cooler than normal for this time of year so we had to wear three light layers of clothing.
View Cruise Critic's Halong Bay Cruise Port Review
Cu Chi TunnelsWe docked at Phu My, about 1.5 hrs from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). With only one day, and the distance, we originally booked a tour through the ship to the Cu Chi Tunnels about 3 hours away from the port. However, once on board, they offered a slightly longer tour that included both the tunnels and tour of Saigon, so we switched. It was a 12+ hour day. We drove to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where our guide led us around. It was crowded with other groups and felt extremely rushed, as our guide was on a tight schedule. The tunnels were very interesting and really gave me a sense of what it might have been like for American soldiers fighting the Viet Cong. I actually got quite emotional. Of course, the story and exhibits are told from a Vietnamese perspective and heavy with propaganda. There was an opportunity to go into a couple of very tight tunnels in the dark. Some people went down and came back up immediately. My partner and I both went in. At 5'2" I was able to crouch over and walk through, but he (at 5'11") had to crawl at a couple of places. Having read other's reviews about how dark it was, I actually packed and wore a head lamp. If nothing else, a flashlight/flashlight app is needed to maneuver. The tour allows people to shoot on an artillery range for an additional fee. We did not participate, but I did bring ear plugs, which were very handy. After a rushed tour of the tunnels, we drove to lunch, which was in an open-air facility next to a river. The food was served family style. On our way back toward the ship, we drove into Ho Chi Minh City. It's a very large and modern city. The bus drove by major sites like the former American embassy and stopped for 45 minutes of free time near the Notre Dame cathedral. Then it drove to the central market and near the large flower market for 1.5 hrs of free time. Then back on the bus to return to the ship.View All 31 Cu Chi Tunnels Reviews
Hong KongWe spent a few nights in Hong Kong at the front of our trip, which helped us acclimate to the time change and city. It was nice to have another day once on the ship. The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is accessible by green minibus #86. Once checked in, free shuttle buses were available between the terminal and two different mall locations with MRT. Hong Kong is a huge city, but with an extensive and easy-to-use public transit system. We purchased Octopus cards, which could be used on almost all modes of transportation, from MRT, to ferry, to trams, to airport bus. Lots of areas and markets to walk around. The line for the tram to Victoria Peak was long (2.5 hrs), so I'd recommend going early or paying more for tickets that allow you to skip the line. Our favorite thing was taking the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. We took the local bus back.View All 314 Hong Kong Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Hong Kong Cruise Port Review
SingaporeThis was my third time to Singapore so I know it pretty well. The cruise docked there a full day before disembarkation and we spent an extra night at a hotel in Little India. Since the last time I was there in 2015, the city has completed an MRT station within walking distance to the cruise terminal. The walkway is flat, newly paved, with overhead covering so were were able to pull our luggage to the MRT on the last day with no trouble. MRT tickets are available at machines but small bills are required. The counter can also sell tickets, but they must be topped up. Also, you can by a 1- or 2-day tourist pass, but only at select stations, which does NOT include the Marina South Pier station. So you would have to purchase a regular ticket and get the pass at another station later. Singapore has a lot of different areas to walk around. We went to Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street, the Newton Hawker Center (outdoor food stalls), Boat Quay and Clarke Quay on the waterfront, the colonial district, etc. Note that the popular Raffles Hotel/Long Bar is currently closed for renovation (Feb 2018). We spent some time at the Gardens at the Bay, with its large man-made lighted trees. We intended to buy tickets for the Skyway (22 meters up), but the sold out long before the closing time. So if you're interested in that, get them earlier in the day. There are two shows at 7:45p and 8:45p and they are amazing! Park yourself underneath the main set of trees around 15-30 minutes before the show and enjoy. The gardens are definitely better at night.View All 569 Singapore Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Singapore Cruise Port Review