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Hi everybody. My name's Alex and to be honest, this is a first for me. I've never reviewed so much as a toaster before - let alone a 2 week cruise - so you may have to bear with me a little... Before I start, a little background info. Several years ago I was diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Although I still look perfectly healthy my mobility is - to my endless annoyance - getting steadily worse year by year. I knew that with regard to disabled access visiting the Far East (especially China) was rapidly turning into a case of now or never. My parents have been cruising for many years but recently my mother had both hips replaced and didn't want to fly long haul any more. My father, however, still wanted to go on holiday... So with the backing of my wonderful wife and 3 young children it was decided that me and dad would do the cruise. (This, of course, was with the understanding that I would bring back many, many presents) We booked the cruise directly with Celebrity instead of going through a Travel Agent. It was very straightforward to do through their website although if you're disabled you have to discuss it with them over the phone if you want an accessible cabin or suite. Luckily for us there was an Offer at the time of booking for both of us to have the Classic Drinks Package and free shipboard Wi-Fi included in the price. We then booked the flights separately using Travelup.co.uk as they happened to have the best deal on flights. To get a head start on the jetlag (and also see more of Shanghai) we flew out of Heathrow on 28th March giving us a day and a half to see the sights while staying at the Radisson Blu New World as recommended by Celebrity. The hotel kindly booked us a taxi to Baoshan Cruise Terminal to meet the ship. I have no idea if it was a good price or not but we were charged 200rmb for the 45 minute drive which seemed quite reasonable. Embarkation at the cruise terminal was very swift and from arriving at the Terminal to being in our Cabin took less than 30 minutes. I should point out that the only perk (if you can call it that) of being disabled is that you do tend to be able to 'jump the queue' for things like cruise embarkations and airport security. Trust me, I take no pleasure in it and would rather queue and have my health any day of the week. My first impression of the cabin was that it was very well planned and laid out and amazingly quiet considering it was bang amidships and literally back to back with the elevator. We quickly unpacked and then set off to explore the ship. I've only ever been on one other cruise ship which was P & O's Adonia - a much smaller ship with only 500 passengers so Millennium was a ship on a whole different scale. I really should have had a plan on exploring the ship but instead settled on random wandering (probably sub-consciously looking for the nearest open bar). I'd seen pictures of Millennium before the refit but none since and I have to say I was extremely impressed by the quality of the furnishings and decor throughout what is, in reality, a 20 year old ship. The only advice I would give with regard to moving around the ship, however, is to use the staircases whenever possible. If you use the elevator each time you want to change decks, you will be spending half the cruise waiting for one - they are always very, very busy and don't always stop on the deck you wanted! In giving a review of the individual venues on the ship I can only comment on where I visited. For some unknown reason I never ventured up to Decks 11 and 12 except a brief visit to the Cosmos Lounge (which does have excellent views over the bow). Deck 10 has the swimming pool and Jacuzzis which were very sparingly used due to the weather. I also found that Deck 10 just forward of the midship staircase has the strongest Wi-Fi signal on the ship (and is a nice quiet area) if you're looking to skype or Facetime those back home. Deck 10 is also home to the Oceanview Cafe which wraps around nearly the entire rear half of the ship. There are many pros and cons to the OV cafe. At breakfast time on Port days and for most of the day on Sea days it can be a very busy place indeed. However, for lunch during Port days and for late night snacking it really is a very nice space and has a huge amount of choice including the usual Carvery, Indian, Pizza, Pasta & Salad stations etc. There is also permanent tea, coffee and juice on tap plus when it's quiet there are always staff waiting to take your bar order if you fancy a nice glass of something cold with your lunch. Decks 9, 8, 7, 6, 3 & 2 are all largely guest accommodation and it is here that the Cruise Critic forums are worth a mention. I found out (as a cruising novice) that there is a 'Roll Call' forum for each individual cruise on the Cruise Critic website - you get to chat with the people you will be cruising with, exchange tips and even make plans for shared excursions. It's pretty obvious who the Old Hands are and they really do have some very useful advice (my favourite - being a fireproof ship the walls are made of metal. Use fridge magnets to stick up the daily activities programs!) I felt the important thing was that even before we boarded I already knew a whole crowd of interesting people from all over the world that I wouldn't have met otherwise and it was amazing putting faces to the people I had been chatting to for many months (You know who you are!) Also, if there are over 50 people on the cruise 'Roll Call' then Celebrity arranges a Meet and Greet for all concerned on the first sea day. After that as a group we also had a 'Slot Pull' where several dozen of us all crowded into the casino to try our luck (the ship broke down just before we started - perhaps we should have taken it as a sign as we didn't win a bean...) Also arranged through the Roll Call was the 'Cabin Crawl'. This was not the noisy and boozy affair I had envisaged originally but involves having one of the Roll Call members from each grade of cabin or suite allow their fellow cruisers to have a good nose around their home at sea. Obviously this is not to everybody’s taste but I found it a brilliant way to get to know my fellow cruisers a little better and have a look at all the different types of accommodation (The top grade suites are just amazing) My cabin seemed a lot smaller with a dozen people in it all chatting away at the same time! Decks 5 & 4 are where most of the activities and socialising goes on. It’s worth mentioning that there is a Celebrity app available for smartphones. It gives all the details of what’s going on and where while on-board and you can set reminders for shows and activities and even use your phone as your room key if the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are activated. It took a couple of days to remember what was on which deck and I ended up in the Art gallery several times when I'd meant to be in the Casino. Furthest forward is the Theatre. This is a huge space that covers both decks and is really well decorated with very comfortable seating and small fixed drinks tables. It has very good sound and lighting for the shows, talks and films (more on the entertainment later). There is also (non-disabled) access to the helipad from the Deck 5 level for those lucky enough to get invited to view the ship docking from the bow. The only small criticisms I have of the Theatre are that to enter it without going outside you have to either walk through the Art Gallery & shops on Deck 5 or through the Casino on Deck 4 as both are the entire width of the ship and the Casino can end up as a bottleneck before and after any performance. The only other annoyance was that during any films, talks, shows etc. the overhead spotlights were left on which caused a very bright reflection from the drinks tables if you were sitting in the Deck 4 level of the Theatre. Like I said - very minor niggles for a very impressive venue. Moving back from the Theatre on Deck 5 are the shops. These are the usual mix of high-end clothing, watches and fragrances. I assume somebody must be buying these things otherwise the shops wouldn't be there but they always seemed to be deserted. Back from the shops is the Art Gallery. The artworks are changed daily and there is usually a varied mix on show. There is also a huge touchscreen where you can browse all of the artwork on board. Aft of the Art Gallery is the 'Grand Foyer' and central staircase that descends from Deck 5 down to Guest Relations on Deck 3. It's very impressive and creates a very bright and open space right in the heart of the ship. On either side of the staircase on Deck 5 are the Gelateria on the port side and the very popular Cafe al Bacio on the starboard side. The cafe serves a huge variety of coffees, liquors and wines and has, without a doubt, the most comfortable seating on the entire ship in the shape of several huge wing-backed chairs. Many times I walked past and saw my fellow cruisers snoring away! The only gripe I have with the Grand Foyer area is that at night quite often there was a DJ playing music from the Deck 5 balcony over the stairs. This was often loud enough to make conversation difficult and saw people deserting the area in droves. Back past the cafe is Cellar Masters. During the day this is the place to go for Wine tastings (which occur almost daily but at a price). It's got a sort of cosy wine-bar feel at night and usually has live music in the evening - normally a duo or trio so nothing overwhelming. The bar usually opens around 5pm and was always staffed by the ever cheerful Arie who is one of those amazing people who has the capacity to remember everybody’s name. Unless using the Aft staircase or elevators you have to walk through here to enter the Metropolitan dining room. A quick tip - If you’re eating in the MDR then fixed-time diners are seated on Deck 5 and anytime eating is Deck 4. I went for the anytime to stay flexible and never had to queue. Also if it’s just the 2 of you then you can ask for the extremely comfy 'Dalek' chairs right against the big back windows. Moving down to Deck 4 and back from the Theatre is the Casino. As I've said before, the Casino spans the entire width of the ship (presumably to catch passing traffic) and has the feel of a mini Caesars Place or Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas. It's a very comfortable place with a large bar and TV screens showing either news or sports. It was never overly busy or crowded and the few times I visited I pretty much had the pick of whichever opportunity to lose my money I wanted. There were 2 nights during the cruise that each passenger was given a $5 free play on the slot machines (always nice to gamble with somebody else’s money) and somehow I managed to walk away $18 up at the end of the cruise! Again only a single gripe with the Casino and that is that the bar service was for some reason much slower than the rest of the ship. Aft of the Casino is the middle level of the Grand Foyer. On the port side is a large amount of comfy seating and on the opposite side of the Staircase is the very popular Martini Bar. With its frozen bar-top and bar staff who juggle bottles and perform all sorts of drink pouring-related tricks it's often very difficult to get a seat from early evening onwards. Just for sheer entertainment value it's worth hanging out here for a while if waiting for dinner or a show. Past the Martini Bar and aft of the midship staircase is the Rendezvous Lounge. Also the full width of the ship, this space is, as the name suggests, a great place for meeting up for pre-dinner drinks in the evening as there is a very large bar and a huge amount of comfy seating with waiters constantly circulating with drink requests. More importantly during the day this is the place to go for daily Board games, Trivia quizzes and various presentations. It really is a very pleasant, bright and airy place to meet and socialize. Aft of the Lounge on the starboard side of the ship is the Anytime diners entrance to the MDR where the staff welcome you and hand you off to a waiter who will escort you to your table. Each table has a Waiter, Assistant waiter and a Sommelier who is responsible for a small group of tables. We were always seated in the same area and so usually had the same staff each night which was a real pleasure as they seemed genuinely enthusiastic in their jobs (especially the sommeliers Manuel and Jelena who always made us feel so welcome after a long day exploring ashore). I've seen the pre-refit pictures of the MDR and I have to say it now looks so much lighter, fresher and more modern. Deck 3 has its public spaces around the base of the central staircase and includes Guest relations, Destination concierge and Shore Excursion booking. It's also usually where the gangplank ashore is located. Guest relations always seemed to have a queue regardless of the time of day or night but the staff were always tirelessly helpful and cheerful. Many thanks here to Caesar. In Beijing one of the straps on my rucksack snapped so when back on board I went down to Guest relations with a rather odd request and asked Caesar if it would be possible to source a couple of cable ties for a temporary repair. Within 5 minutes the ships electrician appeared with a whole selection - very impressive service! My review of the food is rather short - we simply found the food in the MDR to be of such high quality and choice that we didn't visit any of the speciality restaurants on board. When the MDR was open at lunchtime we ate there. If closed we used the Oceanview Cafe. As I've already mentioned, the food in the OV cafe was hugely varied and of very good quality. The food in the MDR however, was on another level. There was a 'core' menu of 4 starters (Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, French onion soup & Escargot) and 3 mains (salmon, chicken breast & sirloin steak) that were always available. The rest of the menu - 7 starters & 6 mains - varied on a daily basis. I can honestly say that every single meal was a pleasure and I was consistently impressed throughout the cruise by quality and variety of the food. The portions were on the small side of what I was expecting but this is in no way a criticism as it meant that there was always room for one of the many choices of desserts. Again, a rather short review for Shore excursions. Looking at the excursions on offer from Celebrity, it seemed that they didn't actually offer much for rather a lot of money. We therefore decided to risk doing our own thing at each port of call and didn't book a single excursion through Celebrity. The only time we made use of them was a free - but very poorly advertised - shuttle bus from the Port of Incheon into town and the same in Yokohama. It was the Immigration processes for each Country that the cruise failed miserably on. Obviously it was in no way Celebrity's fault as they have no authority over the immigration process. Going ashore once primary face-to-face immigration procedures were completed was fine - you could literally just walk straight off the ship. However, initial arrival in each country seemed to take an inordinately long time. For example the ship docked in Kobe, Japan at 9:00am but we didn't actually walk out of the Cruise terminal until 11:45am by which time our plans for travelling to Kyoto for the day were totally ruined. The only area where I felt that Celebrity themselves were very much below par was the on-board entertainment and presentations. The opening item I saw was the first in a series of talks about Buddhism. The advertising for it sounded very interesting and I was looking forward to attending. However, within 10 minutes of the start of the presentation I, and several others in the audience were fast asleep! The poor presenter had one of those voices that is so quiet and monotonous that you can't help but nod off. I kicked myself afterwards for not recording it to play to my children when they won't go to sleep at bedtime... Suffice to say, the following presentations in the series were very sparsely attended. The evening productions in the Theatre unfortunately appeared to be extremely amateurish with some of the singing little better than a karaoke night down the local pub. Very often I'd leave after a few excruciating minutes along with a fair number of others. As mentioned before, the DJ in the Grand Foyer was way too loud and fortunately only appeared near the beginning of the cruise. Perhaps Celebrity took note of the mass exodus? The same unfortunately goes for the rest of the singers and musicians spread around the rest of the ship - Celebrity seems to have very much gone for the Quantity over Quality approach and I think they have badly let themselves down with this approach. Only one act actually impressed me (sorry, can't remember their name but it was a couple of chaps doing a silent comedy routine) and they only came on-board for a single performance. The entertainers on-board weren't actually terribly bad, but neither were they any good and certainly didn't make me want to sit and listen to them. And so to briefly sum up - the ship was absolutely fantastic, the food, crew & facilities were top notch and above all the company of my fellow cruisers was a total pleasure. If you're not too fussy about quality on-board entertainment and organized excursions then I can absolutely recommend Celebrity and I will certainly be cruising with them again at the earliest opportunity.

1st time with Celebrity

Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by Alex1973

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Class 2
Hi everybody. My name's Alex and to be honest, this is a first for me. I've never reviewed so much as a toaster before - let alone a 2 week cruise - so you may have to bear with me a little...

Before I start, a little background info. Several years ago I was diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Although I still look perfectly healthy my mobility is - to my endless annoyance - getting steadily worse year by year. I knew that with regard to disabled access visiting the Far East (especially China) was rapidly turning into a case of now or never. My parents have been cruising for many years but recently my mother had both hips replaced and didn't want to fly long haul any more. My father, however, still wanted to go on holiday... So with the backing of my wonderful wife and 3 young children it was decided that me and dad would do the cruise. (This, of course, was with the understanding that I would bring back many, many presents)

We booked the cruise directly with Celebrity instead of going through a Travel Agent. It was very straightforward to do through their website although if you're disabled you have to discuss it with them over the phone if you want an accessible cabin or suite. Luckily for us there was an Offer at the time of booking for both of us to have the Classic Drinks Package and free shipboard Wi-Fi included in the price. We then booked the flights separately using Travelup.co.uk as they happened to have the best deal on flights. To get a head start on the jetlag (and also see more of Shanghai) we flew out of Heathrow on 28th March giving us a day and a half to see the sights while staying at the Radisson Blu New World as recommended by Celebrity.

The hotel kindly booked us a taxi to Baoshan Cruise Terminal to meet the ship. I have no idea if it was a good price or not but we were charged 200rmb for the 45 minute drive which seemed quite reasonable. Embarkation at the cruise terminal was very swift and from arriving at the Terminal to being in our Cabin took less than 30 minutes. I should point out that the only perk (if you can call it that) of being disabled is that you do tend to be able to 'jump the queue' for things like cruise embarkations and airport security. Trust me, I take no pleasure in it and would rather queue and have my health any day of the week.

My first impression of the cabin was that it was very well planned and laid out and amazingly quiet considering it was bang amidships and literally back to back with the elevator. We quickly unpacked and then set off to explore the ship. I've only ever been on one other cruise ship which was P & O's Adonia - a much smaller ship with only 500 passengers so Millennium was a ship on a whole different scale. I really should have had a plan on exploring the ship but instead settled on random wandering (probably sub-consciously looking for the nearest open bar). I'd seen pictures of Millennium before the refit but none since and I have to say I was extremely impressed by the quality of the furnishings and decor throughout what is, in reality, a 20 year old ship. The only advice I would give with regard to moving around the ship, however, is to use the staircases whenever possible. If you use the elevator each time you want to change decks, you will be spending half the cruise waiting for one - they are always very, very busy and don't always stop on the deck you wanted!

In giving a review of the individual venues on the ship I can only comment on where I visited. For some unknown reason I never ventured up to Decks 11 and 12 except a brief visit to the Cosmos Lounge (which does have excellent views over the bow). Deck 10 has the swimming pool and Jacuzzis which were very sparingly used due to the weather. I also found that Deck 10 just forward of the midship staircase has the strongest Wi-Fi signal on the ship (and is a nice quiet area) if you're looking to skype or Facetime those back home. Deck 10 is also home to the Oceanview Cafe which wraps around nearly the entire rear half of the ship. There are many pros and cons to the OV cafe. At breakfast time on Port days and for most of the day on Sea days it can be a very busy place indeed. However, for lunch during Port days and for late night snacking it really is a very nice space and has a huge amount of choice including the usual Carvery, Indian, Pizza, Pasta & Salad stations etc. There is also permanent tea, coffee and juice on tap plus when it's quiet there are always staff waiting to take your bar order if you fancy a nice glass of something cold with your lunch.

Decks 9, 8, 7, 6, 3 & 2 are all largely guest accommodation and it is here that the Cruise Critic forums are worth a mention. I found out (as a cruising novice) that there is a 'Roll Call' forum for each individual cruise on the Cruise Critic website - you get to chat with the people you will be cruising with, exchange tips and even make plans for shared excursions. It's pretty obvious who the Old Hands are and they really do have some very useful advice (my favourite - being a fireproof ship the walls are made of metal. Use fridge magnets to stick up the daily activities programs!) I felt the important thing was that even before we boarded I already knew a whole crowd of interesting people from all over the world that I wouldn't have met otherwise and it was amazing putting faces to the people I had been chatting to for many months (You know who you are!) Also, if there are over 50 people on the cruise 'Roll Call' then Celebrity arranges a Meet and Greet for all concerned on the first sea day. After that as a group we also had a 'Slot Pull' where several dozen of us all crowded into the casino to try our luck (the ship broke down just before we started - perhaps we should have taken it as a sign as we didn't win a bean...)

Also arranged through the Roll Call was the 'Cabin Crawl'. This was not the noisy and boozy affair I had envisaged originally but involves having one of the Roll Call members from each grade of cabin or suite allow their fellow cruisers to have a good nose around their home at sea. Obviously this is not to everybody’s taste but I found it a brilliant way to get to know my fellow cruisers a little better and have a look at all the different types of accommodation (The top grade suites are just amazing) My cabin seemed a lot smaller with a dozen people in it all chatting away at the same time!

Decks 5 & 4 are where most of the activities and socialising goes on. It’s worth mentioning that there is a Celebrity app available for smartphones. It gives all the details of what’s going on and where while on-board and you can set reminders for shows and activities and even use your phone as your room key if the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are activated. It took a couple of days to remember what was on which deck and I ended up in the Art gallery several times when I'd meant to be in the Casino. Furthest forward is the Theatre. This is a huge space that covers both decks and is really well decorated with very comfortable seating and small fixed drinks tables. It has very good sound and lighting for the shows, talks and films (more on the entertainment later). There is also (non-disabled) access to the helipad from the Deck 5 level for those lucky enough to get invited to view the ship docking from the bow. The only small criticisms I have of the Theatre are that to enter it without going outside you have to either walk through the Art Gallery & shops on Deck 5 or through the Casino on Deck 4 as both are the entire width of the ship and the Casino can end up as a bottleneck before and after any performance. The only other annoyance was that during any films, talks, shows etc. the overhead spotlights were left on which caused a very bright reflection from the drinks tables if you were sitting in the Deck 4 level of the Theatre. Like I said - very minor niggles for a very impressive venue.

Moving back from the Theatre on Deck 5 are the shops. These are the usual mix of high-end clothing, watches and fragrances. I assume somebody must be buying these things otherwise the shops wouldn't be there but they always seemed to be deserted. Back from the shops is the Art Gallery. The artworks are changed daily and there is usually a varied mix on show. There is also a huge touchscreen where you can browse all of the artwork on board.

Aft of the Art Gallery is the 'Grand Foyer' and central staircase that descends from Deck 5 down to Guest Relations on Deck 3. It's very impressive and creates a very bright and open space right in the heart of the ship. On either side of the staircase on Deck 5 are the Gelateria on the port side and the very popular Cafe al Bacio on the starboard side. The cafe serves a huge variety of coffees, liquors and wines and has, without a doubt, the most comfortable seating on the entire ship in the shape of several huge wing-backed chairs. Many times I walked past and saw my fellow cruisers snoring away! The only gripe I have with the Grand Foyer area is that at night quite often there was a DJ playing music from the Deck 5 balcony over the stairs. This was often loud enough to make conversation difficult and saw people deserting the area in droves.

Back past the cafe is Cellar Masters. During the day this is the place to go for Wine tastings (which occur almost daily but at a price). It's got a sort of cosy wine-bar feel at night and usually has live music in the evening - normally a duo or trio so nothing overwhelming. The bar usually opens around 5pm and was always staffed by the ever cheerful Arie who is one of those amazing people who has the capacity to remember everybody’s name. Unless using the Aft staircase or elevators you have to walk through here to enter the Metropolitan dining room. A quick tip - If you’re eating in the MDR then fixed-time diners are seated on Deck 5 and anytime eating is Deck 4. I went for the anytime to stay flexible and never had to queue. Also if it’s just the 2 of you then you can ask for the extremely comfy 'Dalek' chairs right against the big back windows.

Moving down to Deck 4 and back from the Theatre is the Casino. As I've said before, the Casino spans the entire width of the ship (presumably to catch passing traffic) and has the feel of a mini Caesars Place or Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas. It's a very comfortable place with a large bar and TV screens showing either news or sports. It was never overly busy or crowded and the few times I visited I pretty much had the pick of whichever opportunity to lose my money I wanted. There were 2 nights during the cruise that each passenger was given a $5 free play on the slot machines (always nice to gamble with somebody else’s money) and somehow I managed to walk away $18 up at the end of the cruise! Again only a single gripe with the Casino and that is that the bar service was for some reason much slower than the rest of the ship.

Aft of the Casino is the middle level of the Grand Foyer. On the port side is a large amount of comfy seating and on the opposite side of the Staircase is the very popular Martini Bar. With its frozen bar-top and bar staff who juggle bottles and perform all sorts of drink pouring-related tricks it's often very difficult to get a seat from early evening onwards. Just for sheer entertainment value it's worth hanging out here for a while if waiting for dinner or a show.

Past the Martini Bar and aft of the midship staircase is the Rendezvous Lounge. Also the full width of the ship, this space is, as the name suggests, a great place for meeting up for pre-dinner drinks in the evening as there is a very large bar and a huge amount of comfy seating with waiters constantly circulating with drink requests. More importantly during the day this is the place to go for daily Board games, Trivia quizzes and various presentations. It really is a very pleasant, bright and airy place to meet and socialize. Aft of the Lounge on the starboard side of the ship is the Anytime diners entrance to the MDR where the staff welcome you and hand you off to a waiter who will escort you to your table. Each table has a Waiter, Assistant waiter and a Sommelier who is responsible for a small group of tables. We were always seated in the same area and so usually had the same staff each night which was a real pleasure as they seemed genuinely enthusiastic in their jobs (especially the sommeliers Manuel and Jelena who always made us feel so welcome after a long day exploring ashore). I've seen the pre-refit pictures of the MDR and I have to say it now looks so much lighter, fresher and more modern.

Deck 3 has its public spaces around the base of the central staircase and includes Guest relations, Destination concierge and Shore Excursion booking. It's also usually where the gangplank ashore is located. Guest relations always seemed to have a queue regardless of the time of day or night but the staff were always tirelessly helpful and cheerful. Many thanks here to Caesar. In Beijing one of the straps on my rucksack snapped so when back on board I went down to Guest relations with a rather odd request and asked Caesar if it would be possible to source a couple of cable ties for a temporary repair. Within 5 minutes the ships electrician appeared with a whole selection - very impressive service!

My review of the food is rather short - we simply found the food in the MDR to be of such high quality and choice that we didn't visit any of the speciality restaurants on board. When the MDR was open at lunchtime we ate there. If closed we used the Oceanview Cafe. As I've already mentioned, the food in the OV cafe was hugely varied and of very good quality. The food in the MDR however, was on another level. There was a 'core' menu of 4 starters (Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, French onion soup & Escargot) and 3 mains (salmon, chicken breast & sirloin steak) that were always available. The rest of the menu - 7 starters & 6 mains - varied on a daily basis. I can honestly say that every single meal was a pleasure and I was consistently impressed throughout the cruise by quality and variety of the food. The portions were on the small side of what I was expecting but this is in no way a criticism as it meant that there was always room for one of the many choices of desserts.

Again, a rather short review for Shore excursions. Looking at the excursions on offer from Celebrity, it seemed that they didn't actually offer much for rather a lot of money. We therefore decided to risk doing our own thing at each port of call and didn't book a single excursion through Celebrity. The only time we made use of them was a free - but very poorly advertised - shuttle bus from the Port of Incheon into town and the same in Yokohama. It was the Immigration processes for each Country that the cruise failed miserably on. Obviously it was in no way Celebrity's fault as they have no authority over the immigration process. Going ashore once primary face-to-face immigration procedures were completed was fine - you could literally just walk straight off the ship. However, initial arrival in each country seemed to take an inordinately long time. For example the ship docked in Kobe, Japan at 9:00am but we didn't actually walk out of the Cruise terminal until 11:45am by which time our plans for travelling to Kyoto for the day were totally ruined.

The only area where I felt that Celebrity themselves were very much below par was the on-board entertainment and presentations. The opening item I saw was the first in a series of talks about Buddhism. The advertising for it sounded very interesting and I was looking forward to attending. However, within 10 minutes of the start of the presentation I, and several others in the audience were fast asleep! The poor presenter had one of those voices that is so quiet and monotonous that you can't help but nod off. I kicked myself afterwards for not recording it to play to my children when they won't go to sleep at bedtime... Suffice to say, the following presentations in the series were very sparsely attended. The evening productions in the Theatre unfortunately appeared to be extremely amateurish with some of the singing little better than a karaoke night down the local pub. Very often I'd leave after a few excruciating minutes along with a fair number of others. As mentioned before, the DJ in the Grand Foyer was way too loud and fortunately only appeared near the beginning of the cruise. Perhaps Celebrity took note of the mass exodus? The same unfortunately goes for the rest of the singers and musicians spread around the rest of the ship - Celebrity seems to have very much gone for the Quantity over Quality approach and I think they have badly let themselves down with this approach. Only one act actually impressed me (sorry, can't remember their name but it was a couple of chaps doing a silent comedy routine) and they only came on-board for a single performance. The entertainers on-board weren't actually terribly bad, but neither were they any good and certainly didn't make me want to sit and listen to them.

And so to briefly sum up - the ship was absolutely fantastic, the food, crew & facilities were top notch and above all the company of my fellow cruisers was a total pleasure. If you're not too fussy about quality on-board entertainment and organized excursions then I can absolutely recommend Celebrity and I will certainly be cruising with them again at the earliest opportunity.
Alex1973’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Concierge Class 2
Cabin C2 7141
This was the last available accessible cabin available for the cruise. According to previous reviews it's the only accessible cabin without a sofa (although it does have an extra wide chair). First the bad - The beds are designed to be either a double or split into singles which makes them rather narrow. Also when the beds are split there is not enough room to get a wheelchair out onto the balcony which rather ruins the idea of having a balcony cabin in the 1st place! Unfortunately no ramps were provided to get over the balcony door frame. The other disadvantage to this cabin is that the balcony is literally 2 feet away from (and in full view of) the glass midship elevator so there is absolutely no privacy whatsoever on the balcony. On the other hand, however, you could have endless fun waving at your fellow cruisers as they glide past... The TV, while a good size, had terrible reception for 90% of the cruise and the films which were advertised as free then asked which account to charge when selected. There was a kettle supplied with tea bags but no coffee or milk which I thought a little strange (athough you can order room serivce for morning coffee to save the scrum in the OV cafe). The mini-bar fridge was just big enough to store our bottled water (although the temperature inside the fridge usually seemed to be identical to the cabin temperature). While many new switches and sockets were added during the refit it seems that they neglected to take the old ones away as there were several mysterious dials and switches that seemed to have no function whatsoever!

However, the many good points were - The post-refit fit and finish of the cabin was excellent with plenty of storage, plug sockets, USB charge points and very comfortable (if narrow) beds. The wet room was very spacious, immaculately clean and supplied with excellent toiletries. The sound insulation was also superb - I never heard a noise from above, below, next door or outside the cabin during the whole two weeks.

Our cabin steward seemed to be on 24 hour duty and was always very busy and unfailingly cheerful and helpful - a credit to Celebrity.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Beijing
    Beijing, to a Westener can be a big culture shock! Everytthing is built on a grand scale such as the Forbidden City, the National museum and Tiananmen Square.Again, like Shanghai, the Metro is very easy to use with it's colour coding. The only problem is actually getting there as it's 3 hours by road from where the ship docks at Tianjin. We shared a minibus with 6 other Cruise Criticers which was certainly the cheapest and most convinient way of getting into Beijing. However, also like Shanghai, China is in no way set up for disabled access and only the most modern buildings have elevators - everywhere else you can expect a LOT of steps.
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  • Kobe
    It was very difficult to tell with Kobe as the 1st day we had planned to travel to Kyoto but immigration took so long that we never got the chance and the queue for the shuttle bus and portliner metro was so long that I had to return to the ship as I can't stand for an decent amount of time. The 2nd day in Kobe it poured with rain so again our plans were totally ruined. I'm sure it's a great place to visit but I remember it most clearly as the port where I nipped off the ship late at night and did my washing at one of the local laundrettes.
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  • Seoul (Incheon)
    We didn't venture as far a Seoul but got the free shuttle bus into Incheon. Apparently this was the first time that a Cruise ship had used the new Intewrnational terminal. It really is nowhere near Incheon and it takes a fair while to get to downtown on the bus. Once there, disappointingly, there really wasn't much to see and everything seemed rather run down. We were probably in Incheon for an hour or so before returning to the ship.
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  • Shanghai
    Shanghai is an absolutely amazing place! We got the Maglev direct from the Airport and then straight onto the Metro. All the subway lines are colour-coded so you can't really get lost. We stayed at the Radisson Blu next to People's Park which is pretty much in the middle of the City. Nanjing Rd is very expensive for shopping but a visit to the Jade Bhudda temple and Yu gardens is a must!
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