Foodies love Celebrity Cruises for its care and attention to cuisine throughout its free dining venues as well as in its for-fee, specialty restaurants. If you don't mind the busy nature of the main dining room, buffet and pool grill, you can eat for free for the duration of your cruise and keep your taste buds pretty happy. Or if you want to splurge, the for-fee, specialty restaurants are worth every penny.
Service across the board, whether in a free or extra-fee dining venue, is excellent, with attentive and friendly wait staff.
The ship does an excellent job of catering to different dietary requirements, and waiters will always ask if you have any allergies the first time they serve you, but you'll get the best results by alerting the cruise line to your needs before sailing. Once onboard, see the restaurant manager or assistant maitre d', who will outline your options and take any special requests.
Celebrity Millennium has one large main dining room. Passengers can either select an early (6 p.m.) or late (8:30 p.m.) dinner seating or the flexible Select Dining program.
Breakfast every day, and lunch on sea days (there is no lunch most port days), are open seating. Dinner features an eclectic menu of appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts. You'll always find fish, poultry, beef and pork dishes, along with vegetarian options. Each day the menu changes with the exception of four "timeless" starters and three "timeless" entrees.
We found the service to be excellent, even if the food was sometimes just OK.
The ship's buffet restaurant on Deck 10, the Oceanview Cafe, has an open layout with multiple food stations spread around the space. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is closed in between meals. Some food stations are duplicated on each side of the buffet, so it's always best to do a complete circuit (especially for lunch and dinner) if you don't want to miss out on anything.
The buffet is not self-serve. Rather, you are handed a plate at a station, then you ask for the dishes you'd like, and waitstaff serve you. The approach was implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to eliminate cross-contamination on items like serving utensils. A bonus is it cuts down on food waste. It does occasionally require some patience, as even with a person or two in line, it can take a few extra seconds.
The dishes ranged from really good to just OK. We consistently found the Indian station to be our favorite, offering tame takes on Indian standards.
The Pool Grill is the spot onboard to get hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as turkey and veggie burgers, and, of course, crispy French fries. There's a small toppings bar. The grill closes at 6 p.m., so it's really just open for lunch and late afternoon snacks.
For a selection of small-plate, light fare items, you can head to the Solarium on Deck 10 where healthier breakfasts and lunches are served every day. The lunch menu is divided into sections with names like "energize," "balance" and "recovery," and features a variety of premade salads (typically using low-fat mayonnaise or yogurt), fresh fruit plates and other healthy offerings.
Another small, exclusive restaurant, Blu is reserved for passengers staying in AquaClass cabins only, though if there's room suite passengers can also request to dine here. Breakfast is, like everywhere else, a usual blend of morning favorites, but also includes a variety of healthy starters such as a low-fat yogurt parfaits or bowls of muesli.
Dinner offers spa-style cuisine that is typically lighter than what is served in the main dining room, with fewer rich sauces and sauteed items on the menu and more natural reductions and herbs. In addition to the rotating menu, there is a three-option Timeless Classics section with fish, chicken and beef choices.
Luminae is a small restaurant open only to suite passengers, and it serves as a quiet alternative to the main dining room and buffet.
At dinner, diners can choose from an exclusive Luminae menu or the main dining room menu.
The Luminae menu is smaller than what you'll find in the main dining room. It also features a handful of items created by Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud. The menu is primarily Pan-American, with vegan or vegetarian, fish and meat dishes available each night. Dishes range from edible to excellent, and service is impeccable and proactive.
Room service is available 24/7, and includes a mix of just-for-breakfast and hot and cold all-day items (salads, soups, starters, main courses, desserts and a kids menu), all of which are free, except from 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. when a surcharge is applied. Breakfast is ordered via a door-hung card on which you make your selections and then hang on your door the night before. Tipping a few dollars for room service is customary.
Pricing was accurate at time of review but might have changed since.
Tuscan Grille (Deck 3); $45 per person
One of two date-night venues onboard, Tuscan Grille offers delicious Italian fare, along with steaks and seafood, all tucked away in a quiet, somewhat hard-to-find spot on Deck 3. The menu is divided into starters, salads, soups, homemade pastas, seafood, butcher cuts and sides. Devour the branzino, meat lasagna and fillet mignon, but skip the gnocchi. Come with an empty stomach.
In Alaska, Tuscan Grille also offers a one-time Alaska-themed lunch (pricing varies) with local seafood as the main draw.
Sushi on 5 (Deck 5); a la carte, $3 to $13
Not enough passengers discover Sushi on 5, tucked behind Cellar Masters on Deck 5, but this restaurant is a gem. On the menu you'll find a variety of starters, sushi rolls and sashimi. Standout items are the ramens, and the tempura rolls. If you're not a seafood lover, you'll want to forgo this one; you'll have a hard time finding something that will appeal.
Cafe al Bacio & Gelateria (Deck 5); a la carte
Cafe al Bacio and the Gelateria are located across from each other on Deck 5. At the cafe itself, you'll find a selection of decadent pastries, all available for free. What you will pay for are the gelato, specialty coffees and teas.
Juice Bar (Deck 10); a la carte
The Juice Bar is tucked into the Solarium and shares space with the Spa Cafe. A variety of freshly pressed juices, including mixed juices and smoothies, are available here.
Le Petite Chef at Qsine (Deck 11); $45 per person
Le Petite Chef combines entertainment and spectacular food. It's a once-per-cruise kind of meal, which uses table-top animation to tell the story of a chef cooking competition. Each of the four courses comes with its own creation story, which ends with servers delivering you a real-life version of the dish. You'll love this whether you're 10 or 100. The only caveat: The fixed menu is the one paired with the animation. If you have allergies or preferences that take you off menu, you won't have exactly the same experience as everyone else. It's still fun, but that final "wow" isn't quite the same.