Celebrity Millennium Entertainment & Activities
The Celebrity Theater, at the front of the ship on Decks 3, 4 and 5, feels like a real theater. It has comfortable banquette seating in rich red and purple hues, a double balcony and excellent, nonobstructed views. Space for wheelchair seating has been added. Most of the shows are typical cruise fare with a live orchestra and "The Celebrity Singers and Dancers." Guest entertainers also perform.
Celebrity Millennium Activities
Cosmos, the forward-facing lounge at the top of the ship, is surrounded with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides. It's used during the day as an observation station and for various activities. At night, it's turned into a fabulous disco/dance hall.
Deck 4 is the entertainment hub on Millennium. Anyone looking for some excitement and camaraderie can easily find it in the Rendezvous Lounge, lined with windows opening onto the promenade, which is great during the day. In the evenings, people actually dance on the center wood floor and sing karaoke until the wee hours. The Martini Bar and Crush, complete with ice-topped bar and juggling bartenders, make great pre-dinner cocktail spots.
The casino, located midship, seems impossibly small for a vessel of this size, and the 10 tables were busy most evenings.
The suites-only Michael's Club feels like a private men's club with cushy chairs, flat-screen televisions showing sports, and a stocked bar. The piano has been removed, though a live guitarist may make an occasional appearance.
Up one deck is Cellar Masters, with a bit of wild red, green and purple decor trying to liven up the state-of-the-art, yet somewhat cold, enomatic wine-dispensing machines. Taste wine on your own or during a scheduled wine-tasting led by a sommelier.
Celebrity's enrichment and activity program, called Celebrity Life, is split into four categories -- Taste, Learn, Revive and Play -- but the terms aren't used in the daily Celebrity Today newsletter, and all the passenger sees is a variety of onboard programming. Taste activities include cooking demos and wine appreciation; Learn encompasses dance classes, language learning with Rosetta Stone, and computer skills workshops; Revive is just your typical fitness classes and spa seminars; and Play includes "Dancing with the Stripes" officer-and-passenger ballroom competition, trivia contests and pool games (weather permitting). Other activities include bingo, karaoke and Wii games.
Celebrity offers the usual gamut of tours in port. One nice touch is that the booking form divides up the excursions into categories; on a five-night Pacific Coast wine cruise, categories included Wine Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Wildlife Tours and Private Tours. Specific tours were marked with a "manager's recommendation"; interestingly, these seemed to be the most expensive offerings in each port.
Celebrity Millennium Public Rooms
From bow to stern, the public areas on this ship offer both surprises and charm, whether it's the unique (and often unexpected) modern art around every corner, the wow factor when entering Cosmos for the first time or the clubby, calming surroundings in Michael's Club.
This is one classy vessel.
The decor is an eclectic mix of contemporary, Old World, Art Deco and resort chic, which could, if done poorly, create a schizophrenic ambience. But, that's not the case here; everything fits and flows smoothly from one venue to another, and the most impressive attribute is the use of natural light whenever possible. The glass elevators along the outside of the ship are a nice touch, as is the dramatic Grand Foyer with its long drapes and sweeping staircase.
The Grand Foyer rises from Deck 3 to Deck 5. Its lower level covers all the administrative functions -- guest relations, shore excursion, concierge, Captain's Club and future cruise sales desks are all there. Aft of this area is the conference center, which can be divided up into two or three rooms, each with plasma TV's and projectors.
The photo gallery is located on Deck 4, across from Michael's Club. Up one deck and forward of Cafe al Bacio is Millennium's enormous shopping venue, the Emporium. Along with the usual logo shops and duty-free items, there are several jewelry and watch shops, as well as an Apple store. Instead of cluttering the aisles with specials as on most ships, there is a circular central kiosk area for the daily discount offerings. A presentation area with rows of seating and a big screen is used for port and shopping talks.
The Celebrity iLounge is found on Deck 6 midship. There, iMac computers are available for Web browsing, or you can sign up for a Wi-Fi account, as wireless Internet access is available shipwide. Prices start at 75 cents a minute, or you can purchase a package. Computer and technology classes, mostly focusing on Apple products, are held there and cost extra.
Words, the ship's two-story library on Decks 8 and 9, features a spiral staircase, glass walls and deep armchairs.
There are no self-service launderettes. Also, the movie theater has been removed.
Celebrity Millennium Spa & Fitness
The ship's main pool area, located on Deck 10 midship, is a sophisticated affair, with cushioned loungers, day-beds and wooden accents. The pool itself is divided into a shallow end for dipping and a deeper end for swimming; a circular lounge area sits on a raised platform in the middle. Anyone who wants to swim laps can do so early in the morning before the pools get busy. There are four hot tubs, a bar and table tennis on the port side.
Please note that only fully toilet-trained kids can use the ship's pools.
A jogging track and shuffleboard can be found one deck up on Deck 11, along with a basketball court on Deck 12 at the top of the ship.
Forward of the main pool is the Solarium, with a thalassotherapy pool (free of charge to use) under a retractable roof, teak loungers with head pillows, and round tables by the AquaSpa Cafe. It leads into the Canyon Ranch SpaClub itself, where spa service and treatment areas are accompanied by the for-fee Persian Garden steam and sauna area, a hair salon and a forward-facing gymnasium and fitness center that is appealing.
Day-passes to the Persian Garden are free to AquaClass passengers and cost $20 per day for everyone else. (Cruise-long couples and singles passes can be purchased for a discount off the daily rate.) Spa services at the facility include facials, massages, hair styling and nail treatments with specials offered on port days. More unusual options include the Bamboo Massage, where bamboo shoots of various sizes are rolled and used to massage muscles. Celebrity Millennium has licensed doctors onboard and offers Restylane and Perlane treatments, as well as Botox.
Celebrity also has a trained acupuncturist onboard Millennium. In fact, it was one of the first lines to introduce the now-standard cruise spa option. A special acupuncture area is located on Deck 7 with four treatment rooms.
The fitness area offers the usual cardio machines and weights. In the aerobics space, abs workouts and stretching sessions are free, but classes in Pilates, spinning and yoga are offered with an additional fee of $12 per person (plus 15 percent gratuity). However, some of the best workouts onboard are to be found in the dance classes, which are offered free of charge.
The AquaSpa area is for adults only, and -- thank goodness -- it seemed to be enforced.
Celebrity Millennium For Kids
The well-equipped, bright and cheerful Fun Factory is located forward on Deck 11, and it has programs for kids of ages 3 to 11. Teens have their own programming and hangout space, called X Club. Between the youth and teen facilities is the ship's arcade.
Participation in the kids' program is complimentary (with some exceptions) and is broken nicely into compatible age groups. Potty-trained children are welcomed from age 3 and join the Shipmates (3- to 5-year-olds). Cadets (6 to 8), Ensigns (9 to 11) and Teens (12 to 17) make up the balance of the groups. Age-appropriate activities are available for each, and trained counselors are in attendance.
The Fun Factory is outfitted with large TVs, a Ping-Pong table and computer terminals. Kids' activities include crafts, Wii games, puppet shows, dinosaur studies, sushi-making, miniature boat-building and pajama parties. Celebrity has partnered with The Nerdel Company to offer activities focused on healthy living -- such as puzzles, sing-alongs and cooking classes -- that feature a puppet named Nerdel. Special family activities include Ping-Pong tournaments, bingo, talent shows and scavenger hunts for kids and parents.
Teens hang out in the two-story X Club, a gaming haven with two Wii and Xbox machines on the first floor and PlayStation 3's on the second. The club also has space for lounging and a dance floor with an iPad-jukebox system. Teens can participate in teen pool Olympics; late-night theme parties, such as "Red Carpet" and "Prom Night"; craft and scrapbook activities; karaoke; and fashion design workshops.
Parents with children younger than 3 are invited to accompany their toddlers into the playrooms at select times. (Infants who sail must be at least 6 months old as of the first day of the cruise. However, for transatlantic, transpacific, select South America and other select cruises, infants must be at least 12 months old.)
It's $6 per hour, per child, for kids ages 3 to 11 to participate in the "Afternoon Party" from noon to 2 p.m. on port days and/or the nighttime Slumber Party from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. A dinner party from 5 to 7 p.m. is complimentary on sea days or when sailing occurs before 5 p.m.; it's the same fee as the other parties when the ship is in port. A V.I.P. pass gives access to all parties, exclusive Fun Factory activities and a gift bag. The price varies per cruise but gives a discount off the cost of individual parties.
In-cabin baby-sitting is available for $19 per hour for up to three children (12 months minimum) within the same family. In-cabin baby-sitting is subject to availability and must be requested 24 hours in advance.
Parents can also borrow toys from the Fun Factory for children to use onboard. The toys, suitable for a variety of ages from 3 to 11, include many LeapFrog interactive toys.