Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by NZCruiser1950
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Ocean View 5
Let me say at the outset that the Celebrity Millennium has just been refurbished and was in great condition. As regards the ship, the crew and the food, I can't think of any criticism of any nature at all. It was a pleasure to be aboard! As an aside, we didn't go to the specially restaurants, being quite content to use the standard food services. Unlike a previous cruise with a different cruise line, the food choices were excellent and seating was plentiful.
As regards the cruise itself, the highlight, without doubt, was the Hubbard Glacier. What an impressive sight. In clear second place was our trip to the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau. However, its recession over the last 100 years has been dramatic, so best see it while you can! While other ports of call were of interest to us, most especially Skagway and Ketchikan, they didn't hold the same interest for us as the first two. At Skagway, we enjoyed a bus tour up the Yukon which we had booked online with a private company. At Ketchikan we attended the Lumberjack show which was well done. In total, though, while these places were of historic and scenic interest, the glaciers were more of a focus for us.
Unfortunately, we had mostly grey days during the cruise with a smattering of rain (typical Alaskan weather some told us). However, these are factors that one can't control.
We found the evening entertainment in the theatre to be very good. We attended four shows, all of which were very well done. Two Russian gymnasts were the highlight for us. We didn't attend any enrichment activities so can't comment on them.
I like to keep up a regular fitness program and found the gymn to be well appointed. While not to the level that one typically finds in a shore-based gymn, it was certainly quite adequate. There were also plenty of opportunities to go running during the port calls.
While embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, it is helpful to be aware of three things. Firstly, when booking our cruise (we do all our travel arrangements ourselves), we could find nothing on the Celebrity website when it came to the issue of embarkation in Seward. Our questions were simple: How does one get from Anchorage to Seward, and, is this transfer included in the cruise price? A Google search answered the first question, but the second remained uncertain for some months. Celebrity certainly didn't reply to an email that I sent asking about this issue. In the end, we presumed that nothing was provided and so ended up booking on the Alaskan Cruise Transfers bus. This proved to be just fine. Others seemed to have something arranged with Celebrity, but how and where they did that, we never found out. .
Secondly, at the end of the cruise we had a 1:55 pm flight out of Vancouver. The ship had arrived in Vancouver by 7:00 am. As it turns out we could have made a 12:00 noon flight. It is quicker (and less expensive) to take a train to the Airport (Canada Line from Waterfront Station) than take the bus laid on by the shipping line. However, an important word of warning here. If three of four ships arrive the same morning than you can have as many as 40 buses offloading people at the airport. United Airlines, for one, can't handle these numbers and so the check in lines become very, very long. In this case, expect long delays. Fortunately, the Millennium was the only large cruise vessel to arrive in Vancouver on 21 June - resulting in about 10 bus loads of people. Had there been other liners arrive an airport staff member warned me of the chaos this causes.
My third issue relates to the excessive cost of any extra packages you might purchase from the cruise line. For example, $US 300 for their internet package. Outrageous! Our solution was to buy an AT&T SIM card with 40 Mb of data that we used for internet access whenever we had cell phone coverage. Having iPhones we had the SIM card on one and then used that as our local Hotspot for our other devices. While we didn't have outstanding coverage, it worked. I was constantly impressed with the many creative ways that Celebrity had dreamed up to try to entice their passengers to buy high-priced extras of one type or another. Just be aware.
All in all, though, a very good trip, done in comfort and with the pleasure of seeing some beautiful scenery.
Ah, yes, one other thought. We visited both Denali plus Kenai and the Kenai Peninsula prior to the cruise. While the Denali is beautiful I would highly recommend a visit to Kenai, if time is available.
250,000+ people have entered their email
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
JuneauThe highlight of the tour was the glacier. Our tour included the fish hatchery which we found quite disappointing.View All 1,526 Juneau Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Juneau Cruise Port Review
SkagwayA very interesting historical tour.View All 1,106 Skagway Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Skagway Cruise Port Review