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27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We returned from our 2 week cruise on the Celebrity Millennium Monday 10/30/16. This review is posted in hopes that it can help others avoid similar miserable experiences. Unfortunately we did not look at Cruise Critic reviews before going ... Read More
We returned from our 2 week cruise on the Celebrity Millennium Monday 10/30/16. This review is posted in hopes that it can help others avoid similar miserable experiences. Unfortunately we did not look at Cruise Critic reviews before going on this cruise. If we had we would have seen that for the last two years there are many reviews about the Millennium noting the same problems we experience. This leads me to the conclusion that Celebrity is budgeting the operations of this ship at a very low level; the problems are not going to be fixed as they’re not actually problems …. they are the business plan which the company executes perfectly. • Boarding experience: okay • Once one steps on board there is immediate pressure to buy drink packages and specialty restaurant packages. One is approached over and over by different staff members offering the same thing …. It’s much like the unpleasant hawking that goes on in an Indian bazaar. In addition, you are approached numerous times asking if you want to purchase soft drinks or bottled water. • 10th Floor Buffet Dining: some days the food is mediocre, other days it is terrible. Even when the food is tolerable the buffet is way over-crowded. People are reaching in front of one another to serve themselves. Serving spoons are mixed up so a spoon that is for one dish ends up with food on it from another dish. Some are grabbing food with their hands others are eating in line. It is disgusting and unsanitary. On other recent cruises (Oceania and Disney) the guests are served by staff at the buffet. Much more sanitary. The foods offered at this (Celebrity) buffet are relatively cheap; narrow selection and in many cases previously frozen, tasteless and unappetizing. Very few, if any, fresh vegetables. Mostly cheap carbs, which is very difficult for anyone on a low sugar, low-carb diet. With the exception of the ice cream area, desserts in the dessert area are not labeled sugar free or no sugar added even when that designation is applicable. We suggested to the person in charge, more than once, that labeling should be done; he agreed, but it never happened – you had to ask each time. Big supply of pork dishes. There is a shortage of places to sit. One of us would hold a table while the other assembled their meal in the buffet lines …. although we were seated at the same table we weren’t really eating together. After the first day or two we began to dread going to the buffet as it was such an unappetizing, unpleasant experience. Wait-staff is focused on what they can sell you, liquor, etc. If you ask for something that’s free, like ice-tea, they tell you to get it yourself. • Metropolitan Dining Room: service is good but the food isn’t. Menu selection is highly repetitive. The daily menu contains three items that one can pay extra for (lobster, fish, steak). Fish and steak are also offered at no extra charge but the extra is required if you want something that is of tolerable quality. That there is extra charge for better food pretty much says it all: that the regularly offered food is not good. Fish smells and tastes fishy; meats are fat or tough; usually no side orders of fresh vegetables offered, or when offered, in tiny amounts. The dining experience is focused on upselling you to the items that cost extra (but who would trust them when the other food is so bad?) One evening the waiter even said to us that he would not recommend we order either the chicken or beef as it was “of such low quality”. The only option left was fish. My wife ordered salmon. It was undercooked and had the fishy smell and after-taste of all the fish they serve. It was inedible. We often ended up just stuffing ourselves with bread in order not to leave hungry. One morning I requested some half-n-half to put on my breakfast cereal. I was told that there wasn’t any. I pointed out that there was plenty on each table to put in coffee. Waiter checked with his boss and was told there wasn’t any more. I told him I didn’t believe it and wanted to see his boss. Then, and only then, was I allowed to have some additional half-n-half. • Specialty restaurants: these are okay, but only okay, not really good. And, one shouldn’t have to pay extra $35 per person per meal to get food that’s just okay. • Port information: the company does not circulate maps or port information other than lectures about the tours they sell for each port. Most ships give one a map and port information before arrival so that you know how to get around. Not this ship. They give almost no information which appears to be a purposeful method of forcing people to book their tours. • Library: the two floor tall library has mostly bare shelves …. Most of the books have been removed. Very, very disappointing as we like to read onboard. It appears that since the library is not a revenue generator, Celebrity has removed most of it. • On board movies: there were only two or three movies offered on the big screen during the entire 14 day voyage. Instead, each day two free movies are offered on the TV. These are junk movies that teenagers might like although there are almost no teenagers onboard. There is a good selection of pay-per-view movies. Once again, Celebrity has found a way to get the customer to pay for something (movies in this case) which should have been included at no charge. • Stateroom: although we were concierge class, our stateroom was the smallest that I can remember, however it was adequate. What wasn’t adequate were the electrical outlets: there were only two in the entire stateroom; none in the bathroom. Items like electric razor or toothbrush had to be charged in the two outlets by the desk while alternating with mobile phones; computer, etc. The outlets are on the opposite side of the room from the bed which meant that to power the CPAP machine that I use when sleeping, an extension cord had to be run across the floor … we hoped not to trip on it when we got up in the middle of the night. Stateroom attendant was good; cheerful and conscientious, however out on our balcony the paint was peeling off metal surfaces and there was corrosion all around the balcony door. This is true for other parts of the ship as well. Celebrity has deferred maintenance. It’s shoddy. • Towels: the bath towels are smaller than usual --- like one would find in a Motel 6. Not easy to get dry with the small towels. Only two bath towels are provided, no extras. Obviously a money saving measure. Our shampoo and conditioner was not replenished until the day before the cruise ended. • Concierge Class meant that we received hors d’oeuvres daily. These were usually about 6 peanuts; a handful of stale chips and some kind of tasteless dip. Basically nothing you’d want to put in your mouth. Occasionally fresh fruit in the form of an apple or pear, an orange and sometimes a few grapes were provided. For most of the trip we thought the concierge was our room steward as there was no evidence of a concierge. It was towards the end of the cruise that we learned that a woman who sometimes sat in the library could offer concierge assistance. Concierge class on this ship means almost nothing. • Entertainment: 3 or 4 good stage shows; we saw some of the other entertainment also … it wasn’t good. We weren’t the only ones in the audience to walk out of a show after 10 minutes. The company certainly saved money on the entertainment. Most daily activities were focused around drinking, spa, shopping in boutiques …. Again, the emphasis was on activities for which money could be charged. Actual free activities were minimized. • Internet: expensive and worked very, very poorly. When trying to send or receive a simple email my connection would be dropped so often that it could take an hour just to send or receive. If they’re going to charge about $20 per day for internet, it should work reasonably well but it doesn’t. • Staff training: Celebrity is obviously saving money by not giving staff adequate training. When we had a question about a port or logistics the guest relations and tour staff usually did not know the answer; typically, we knew more about the destination or situation than they did. These are untrained people who have been given a narrow script to follow. This problem is typified by a situation in the dining room at breakfast. I would order ½ grapefruit but it would arrive mashed up because the staff didn’t know how to cut a grapefruit. When I discussed the matter with the maître d he admitted he didn’t know how a grapefruit should be cut and that he’d never eaten one. When the maître d has never had experience with a simple food item like a grapefruit, how can the item be served properly? Again, untrained people are following a narrow script. It quickly became quite clear that Celebrity’s intent was to deliver a cruise at the lowest possible cost to the company and sell the passenger as much additional as possible. They have become extremely skillful at forcing one to spend extra money by offering cheap food, depriving one of port information and alternatives to their tours, orienting onboard activities towards those for which they charge. The problems this review outlines are not related to the age of the ship which was refurbished just a few years ago. The ship is nice, even though the railings and paint is not maintained. Adequate electrical outlets could have been put in as part of the refurbishment; paint and exterior maintenance should be performed whether a ship is old or new. The problems are those caused by Celebrity cheapening the experience to save money and guide the customer towards spending more. Although our two previous Celebrity cruises had been very enjoyable, this one was so bad that I couldn’t wait for the trip to end. If they had offered us the opportunity to stay aboard at no charge we would have declined. This experience has made us feel that Celebrity should definitely be avoided and that we have been defrauded by the company cutting quality in so many ways. This may be likened to going to Tiffany’s where one expects quality but making a purchase only to learn it’s gold plate not gold. The difference is I can return something of lower than expected quality to Tiffany’s. With Celebrity, both my time and money are gone and I can’t recover either. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The best thing about this cruise we thought was the exciting ports. After that, there was nothing good about this ship. Neither the ship nor the staff.....No one smiled and clearly they were over worked and tired. Not enough help on ... Read More
The best thing about this cruise we thought was the exciting ports. After that, there was nothing good about this ship. Neither the ship nor the staff.....No one smiled and clearly they were over worked and tired. Not enough help on board..can you imagine that??? They always have enough help that seem to trip over each other. Clearly cost cutting.. Let me explain some..How many times have seasoned travelers noticed the level of help attending to their needs.? We were never asked if we needed more of anything in the Ocean View cafe, and the wiping down of tables were done with dirty cloths and way to much bleach smells all through the buffet line....o.k...so this may not be to much of a turn off to some, but he smells throughout the ship of sewer order was simply unacceptable. Celeberty made money on me...I simply could not eat while on the ship..only off the ship in ports..It was a very difficult trip . After almost a year after our trip, I can still smell the sewer and bleach in my nostrils....Dramatic ....maybe, but It has made my lust for travel dulled to say the least. How many of us look forward to the trip,entertainment, food ..drinks etc??? We were so bored on sea days..that never happens...but seems the cruise line was and is on sever budgets to make a bigger profit each year. The couple who gave a so called lectuer about a few ports only showed slides of there experiences and no information that would help us generally about places to visit or eat on shore...very boring..did no one see his program before hiring them?? There are a few reviews on this site that actually say it all..so I won't take the time.....but, It became completely clear that Celeberty does not pay the fees to dock at the better docks , like in hong kong..Last time we docked a year before we docked at the fabulous port that allows you to get right off the ship directly into the massive and exciting mall, and enjoy the night electronic light show from the deck. Not one ship was docked in that slip this year.....The fact that we were docked half way around the island and spent over $100 between cabs and hop on bus to get into the town area...also, since budgets are Celeberty's concerns we were told that the cruise before us did not stop in Bali...the highlight for many people who chose that cruise. Other ships were docked there, but Celebrity seemed not to want to pay for dockage and suggested it could not safely dock..hummmmm?????Same story in Shanghi..we could not get off the ship until about 11:00 and only left about 5 hours to enjoy a massive city. We were told the government wanted $50,000 more to allow us to disembark on time...hummm? but....bottom line for me was we traveled half way across the world and we did not learn much at all..My fault..we should have hired private tours in each port. The level of tour guide Celebrity hired was middle of the road. They could have hired better from the pool of guides all cruise companies hire from, but did not. I understand much better now that the cruise companies scare you saying if you can't get back to the ship on time with private guides they will simply leave..they need to sell the tours of course......well....if you have enough money to get there in the first place you may have enough money in an emergency to get to the next port.... all in all..We will never go on an old ship again,and We will be much smarter than last time . Hireing private guides that flood each port is a good way to go unless you take care of it before you leave home. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
just got back from a cruise from Yokohama, Japan to Hong Kong. This has got to be the worst cruise ever. Embarkation was a nightmare and totally disorganised. I had originally booked for a standard balcony cabin but because of mistakes ... Read More
just got back from a cruise from Yokohama, Japan to Hong Kong. This has got to be the worst cruise ever. Embarkation was a nightmare and totally disorganised. I had originally booked for a standard balcony cabin but because of mistakes made during booking had to accept a more expensive concierge class cabin as all the standard cabins had gone by the time they sorted out the mess they had made. Once on board I found that having a more expensive cabin gave no improved benefits. Cabin steward was great but dining arrangements were a nightmare. Done select dining before on other ships and found it worked well but on this ship it was impossible to select dining times even when you booked the day before because the only time slots available were 5.30 or 8.45 which defeats the point of select dining. When in the dining room for breakfast service was poor and there didn't appear to be enough staff to do the job. The maitre d'hotel was not running the restaurant in fact spent most of his time clearing tables due to staff shortage as a result the management was no existent and the waiter please themselves as to what they . Some even wander around doing nothing at all. Evening dinner was rather better as waiting on staff were assigned to tables but food quality was poor and many mistakes were made with orders. Mostly drank red wine with meals as I had a bad experience when I ordered a white wine. During the meal opened bottles were stored in ice buckets standing in a line by a wall. both times i ordered white wine I suspect they had mistakenly served my bottle to other guests as i feel I didn't get full measure but they denied it when i questioned them. They ran out of food supplies during the cruise eg. English Bacon was only available on first two days and never appeared on the menus again. They had a wine on special offer price but it was unavailable during the first three days because they had none on board. The Shore excursions were badly managed with too many trips leaving at the same time and many arriving at the same destination together making it impossble to enjoy the visists. On one occasion they had 10 coaches arrive at a museum at the same time resulting in a huge queue to get in and resulting in spending less than half an hour inside. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Short Summary for the Quick Readers: Overall ... not good. This is going to be a detailed (and negative) review, so to spare those just scanning a long read, in summary: this cruise on Celebrity Millennium starting in Tokyo and ending in ... Read More
Short Summary for the Quick Readers: Overall ... not good. This is going to be a detailed (and negative) review, so to spare those just scanning a long read, in summary: this cruise on Celebrity Millennium starting in Tokyo and ending in Hong Kong (15 days) in October-November 2014 was a non-stop set of disappointments. As one of our friends said: “if this was your first cruise, it would be your last cruise.” We, as a group of three couples, have over 70 cruises between us (several with Celebrity -- two sets of Captain's Club Members in the group) – none were as bad as this one in terms of the ship experience. I will elaborate further below. Septic/Sewer: A floating benjo ditch? The main issue we had on this cruise involved the ship’s apparent (but never fully admitted) problem with its sewage/waste system. Not just in our cabin(s) but in most parts of the vessel, the strong smell of latrine permeated. It was most noticeable forward – especially on Deck-5 just past the shops heading toward the theater. And it was CONSTANT. One of our members commented: “so this is what is meant by the nautical term poopdeck!” Literally, not a day went by until day 13 that anywhere we went onboard, you were nearly overcome with the smell of sewage. So much so that in Taipei when we walked by an open sewer line near Taipei 101, one of us commented: “makes me homesick for the Millennium!” The waste system problems also impacted each of us individually. One never knew when the toilet in the cabin was going to flush – or not. This was especially true the very last night when two of our group lost working toilets at midnight – both occasions after having used them and left unable to dispose of the waste. This was also encountered in public washrooms, where again, it was a gamble as to whether the little button would work or not. Often for me (4 times on the voyage) the answer was ‘NOT’ leaving me somewhat sheepishly skulking out of the commode stall hoping no one was queued to follow me. Now Celebrity – when informed of this, and acting quite dismayed – did compensate our group, providing each of us with a $200 voucher toward a future voyage. That was okay, but hardly compensated for 15 days of revisiting the lower rungs of Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy! When one goes on a cruise, and especially on a line with the reputation of Celebrity, one expects basic things to function – like the toilets – and to not have the main aroma being that of raw sewage. On day 12, when we were handed from Customer Service to the head of housekeeping, he did quietly admit that they had some issues with “… the main line …” in part of the ship. We noted that on our penultimate stop (Taipei), water was shut off on our end of the 7th floor, and a crew showed up as we were leaving for the shore excursion (~9am) to begin working in our port-side corridor. So indeed, something was amiss! And the next day the foul aroma on Deck-5 did dissipate significantly. Next up: Service in the main dining room. Our adventures in the main dining room began on the very first night when we showed up to our table only to find that it was double-booked! Or perhaps even triple booked! The maître d' showed up after several uncomfortable minutes and resolved things (we did get the table). The waiter and assistant we had were very pleasant and tried very hard, but later events would overcome their ability to serve us well. This first night was also problematic due to a 6pm sailing time, meaning the required drill was scheduled at 7:45pm – right in the last part of our dining time, meaning we had to overcome the initial delay due to the table-seating issue, wolf down our food, and then rush to our assigned drill locations – on the complete other end of the ship! I’m not sure what can be done about this, and imagine in the wake of the Costa calamity, that these drills on the first hours are now more mandatory. However, this made for a horrid first-night experience in dining. This was on top of being jet-lagged from a 12-hour time difference of travel from the States to Japan. Our next few nights in the main dining room were at best passable, but then we had a real disaster on the 4th night: Everything went wrong. For starters, for some reason, our waiter’s assistant was re-assigned to ‘chase down’ starters that were slow coming from the kitchen. This left our waiter alone to service his assigned tables – of which I’m sure there were more than four (more on staffing levels later in this discourse). This meant that several of our party who ordered a salad got no dressing for it (offered 20 minutes later), meant our water glasses were filled only once the entire dinner, and that a glass of ice tea ordered at the outset was never delivered. The coup de grâce was that our family matriarch – on the eve of her 80th birthday – was brought a plate of nearly raw lamb shank, which was also mostly fat and gristle, and she was provided only a butter-knife to cut it. Our waiter, when he was finally able to come back to check on us (at nearly 7:45pm for our 6pm sitting) offered to get her something else, but by then, everyone was finished and waiting to order dessert. So for dinner, she had a dry salad, some bread, one glass of wine, and a dessert. Other meals for the family were served at room temperature at best, and a gluten-free pasta meal looked like it had fallen fresh from a microwave plastic package and was strange-tasting and completely inedible! Only two of us had passable meals. Needless to say, this was our last night in the main dining room until night 12, when we were less than enthused with the quality of the food and never again went back. We had hoped that our special meal in the Olympic Restaurant for our matriarch’s 80th the next night would make up for this. Sadly, that was not to be the case. We had five orders of lobster and one of sea bass. The lobster, cooked tableside, was tough and chewy. We watched the young fellow cook it (two of our party had enjoyed it thoroughly on the previous voyage), and he basically tossed all five helpings into a single pan, overcooked it all, and added the seasonings AFTER the meat was cooked, rather than as preparation in the pan before a quick sauté of the meat. The accompanying sides were not hot (tepid at best), and the birthday girl’s fish was dry and tasteless. This, by the way, was after she had ordered Dover Sole but was ‘highly recommended’ to instead go with the sea bass. The staff also brought a special birthday cake, which was very nice. But after cutting six pieces, removed the rest of the cake and didn’t offer that remnant to the birthday girl as ‘take-out!’ Finally, a liter bottle of sparkling water was only poured to its recipient twice during the meal, and the rest of the bottle was not in sight when it came time to leave (so it, too, was left behind). All in all, the experience – for a cost of $215 for the six of us – was well below expectations. Now I want to add that Celebrity management offered us a make-up meal (after significant complaining to them) and that meal was much, much better in all facets, though we didn’t order lobster and there were only five us as one of our party was feeling tired/ill that day (the very person for whom the original meal was to honor). Finally in this area, having to resort to eating in the Deck 10 café/buffet area, we found the food okay (edible and usually satisfying) but must ding the Celebrity for the fact that their two-deep serving-dish arrangement and self-serve approach were a bad mix. Why? Because utensils left in the back trays had their handles over the front trays – bad on two counts: 1) because you were often eating food that had the handled-handle of the back dish dropped into it; and 2) because said handle was usually scalding hot from the steam system used to keep the serving dishes warm! I personally was burned to the point of needing ice in one instance –after which I asked for a server to spoon it for me (noticing they used a rag to wrap the handle)! This often led to a longer wait for the food, due to the next item of issue. Next up staffing: Hello? Is there anyone there? It was our combined impression(s) that Celebrity had reduced their overall service staffing levels by more than 20%. Waiters seemed overtaxed with at least 1-2 more tables than we’d experienced on previous cruises. The bar staff was almost invisible on the decks – it was rare, sitting out by the pool, that someone would come by to ask for a drink order. Some of our party –who had the drink package – were of the opinion that because they weren’t adding to revenue in a direct fashion, our service was inhibited. This may have been the case, but we also agreed that there were just less staff visible everywhere. This was never more apparent than in the Cellar Masters wine-bar on Deck 5! There only seemed to be one person there at a time, staffing the bar, so you had to walk-up and ask for a drink. And it wasn’t uncommon for there to be NO ONE anywhere in bar area! Also, for our members on the drink-package, smaller glasses were often provided and lower volume of liquid in them. Finally: O Captain? My Captain? This is the first time on a cruise that NONE of us could recall meeting the Captain, or even seeing him in the public areas. We were fortunate to be traveling with Captain’s Club members so we went to the Captain’s Party one night. And I’m sure one of the older, stoic, uniformed officers at the entrance was the Captain, but as we shuffled in we got only a nod as whomever it was, was engaged in conversation with another officer (note: NOT engaged with other guests). Basically, we knew the Captain only from the half-dozen or so times he gave us the 10am update over the loudspeaker. Now maybe he as on the bridge, dutifully guiding the ship so we had no Costa-like incident? Or maybe he had a cold and didn’t want to infect any of us? Or maybe he was phoning it in? We don’t know, but again, we never saw him. And the same was true for many of the senior-grade officers. We saw a few ‘blue suits’ up eating in the café but then they were keeping to themselves. In fact, the last night I saw at least a half-dozen officers I’d never seen before on any of the previous 14 days! As one of our party said: “Good management requires attention to detail, and if you’re not around it’s unlikely you’re able to pay attention!” I will end this on some good notes. Our cabin attendant (Lydia) and her helper (Irwin) were the BEST we’d ever had. She attended to another cabin in our party and they felt the same. Everything in the room (other than the toilet) was always perfect. We asked the first day to have four towels (rather than two) – and there were always four fresh towels for our use. Our friends asked the first night for ice to be in the room in the evenings, and the bucket was always filled after both day and evening servicing. She was simply 100% on the spot and was so sweet and friendly – always smiling, always saying ‘hello’ and always chatting with us. One of the waiters in Café al Bacio on Deck 5 was the finest crewmember we’d ever encountered – April was his name. He was always there, and had a GREAT sense of humor. Simply, we all fell in love with the guy. We spent a lot of time with him and he quickly learned our names and what we liked and often had it to us before we could order. I have to say, for me, he made the cruise memorable for a good reason – compared to all the other things above that were bad. I’ll not forget those bad things, but will also not forget April and the joy he brought us all. The ‘crepe restaurant’ (Bistro on Five?) was also very good – food was great and service was excellent for the two times we ate there. While having a $7-per meal up-charge, it was worth it. In the end, though, we were very displeased with the experience on Celebrity Millennium. I’m highly skeptical that we’ll ever use the $200 credit provided, nor the $100 future cruise coupon that we purchased early on (though it is transferable). The Millennium is showing its age, and may as one of the older less glamorous ships in the fleet, be getting ‘not the best’ in crewmembers. Celebrity is supposedly one of the top class of cruise lines – approaching Oceania in some views. Well, this ship – this crew – and this experience certainly doesn’t live up to that reputation.   Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had heard good things about Celebrity but sadly it did not live up to them. We booked Aqua Class for the so called exclusive Blu restaurant at which you just turn up - no need to book. What they did not make clear was that there was ... Read More
We had heard good things about Celebrity but sadly it did not live up to them. We booked Aqua Class for the so called exclusive Blu restaurant at which you just turn up - no need to book. What they did not make clear was that there was not enough tables for all the Aqua class guests, so 5 nights out of the 11 we turned up and were given a bleeper and told to go away until a table became free - totally unacceptable when we had paid extra for exclusivity. We dined elsewhere for 2 nights so only 3 nights out of 11 could we 'just turn up'. When challenged as to why we could not reserve a table we were told its not company policy. Ha! The safety drill was a farce - we got held up in one of the lounges for nearly an hour while they were looking for people who hadn't turned up - not our fault but not allowed to leave. The disembarkation was a mess - no instructions where to go and no-one at the portside to check in with for our transfer. On the first day we booked a shore excursion we arrived at the assembly point and only then told we needed our passports to go ashore - no warning beforehand. As we were as far away on the ship as you could possibly be without falling into the sea this involved a run the entire length of the ship - twice! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our second Celebrity Cruise, and it was chosen for its Ports of call rather than the Cruise Line although the ports of call in Japan and South Korea were fascinating the weather could have been better. Quite a few passengers ... Read More
This was our second Celebrity Cruise, and it was chosen for its Ports of call rather than the Cruise Line although the ports of call in Japan and South Korea were fascinating the weather could have been better. Quite a few passengers including ourselves could not understand why Celebrity was caring out this cruise at this time of year as it was the start of the Typhoon season ?. It turned out it was repositioning from Alaska. On arrival at check in we were told that our specifically booked inside cabin 9115 in the middle of the ship on a higher deck, had been upgraded to a ocean view 2023 on deck 2 bow !!!, and they called this an upgrade. After a heated discussion we eventually got the cabin we had booked but every time the Customer Service staff left us some one tried to sell us drinks, restaurant, spa or excursions packages not one but half a dozen times. Not the best way to deal with upset customers. Our cabin was as we had booked, but bed linen was worn and threadbare, dust, dirt and previous passengers tablets found on the floor and having to ask Cabin steward to restock toiletries!. Not what we would expect from a 5 Star Cruise Company ?. Meals in main restaurant ranged from very good to dire with the Celebrity Classic Meals being very good, while the daily restaurant menu was often bland and tasteless especially the ethnic meals, we often wondered if the Chefs ever tasted the food ? because if they did they would not have served them. Cafeteria was the only venue open for Lunch and often closed before Celebrity Organised Shore Tours returned to the ship, showing a total lack of coordinator between departments. Entertainment again ranged from very good to embarrassingly poor, and daytime activities for those who did not go ashore were non existent. Customer service and quality of service with the exception of out waiter Jorge was non existent, and to added $12.50 dollars per person per day gratuities and 18% on to your drinks etc. bills added insult to injury. I should point out that my background is over 50 years in the hospitality industry at a executive level and so I know what I am talking about, and we have done in excess of 20 cruises. We were not impressed by our first Celebrity cruise on the Eclipse in Europe, but our tour operator had said we would definitely be impressed with a Long Haul Celebrity cruise!. Wrong, we will never use this company again and its Chic Elegant replacement of Formal nights is a FARCE. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
the ship is older much to my disappoinment.the food was ok the tours were ok the disembarkation was long the entertanment was ok nothing to do around the ship when at sea not long enough at some ports .in some of the halls were smelly they ... Read More
the ship is older much to my disappoinment.the food was ok the tours were ok the disembarkation was long the entertanment was ok nothing to do around the ship when at sea not long enough at some ports .in some of the halls were smelly they really support drinking even if you have the drink package by triying to upgrade you to a higher package.the day of dembarkation when i came to pick up my passport it seem to be misplaced the lady seemed to be confused about where it was she looked everywhere then she started handing me one from India and i told her does that look like me then she handed me one from Canada and i again told her does that look like me.meantime the lines were getting longer and the lady behind me asked what was what was going on I told her they had misplaced my passport and i wasn't leaving without finally after about 15 minutes she found it in the same box she had looked in the first place all she said was a simply i'm sorry> Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
So we are what is known as "cruisers"...and love the carefree way to travel around the world,but we will never sail again on an old ship..refurbished or not. Our trip a few weeks ago to Asia resulted in a very unpleasant ... Read More
So we are what is known as "cruisers"...and love the carefree way to travel around the world,but we will never sail again on an old ship..refurbished or not. Our trip a few weeks ago to Asia resulted in a very unpleasant experience with surely help,not enough help,smells of sewer backup all around the ship with passengers finding the toilets in the rooms had filled up with sewage in the mornings and therefore infected the smells of the whole ship.it is impossible to get that out of your nose not to mention the Buffett had been scrubbed every night with bleach which lingered every day for breakfast and lunch..not good at all!.. The ship is old and dirty. The dresser drawers in our cabin smelled of dirty clothes not to mention our bathroom and water from the tap had sewage orders.the schedule to visit ports looked good on paper, but in reality was impossible to enjoy. Time spent on a bus brought you to sights around dusk or into towns that were not even open when we arrived and then had to depart. Clearly we should have checked with on line reviews,but we have always loved Celebrity and trusted them to give us a great trip... Never would I have thought that the entertainment would be poor or tired,nor that we would have been so boarded on sea days..but it was and we were. Food is always something to look forward to,but shortly into the cruise we sent much back and ate up in the Buffett for salad and cafeteria type selections. Very few staff seemed to enjoy the job,nor was there enough help. The ship docked at a high spread train in Kobe,nut instead of a tour starting off on the train to visit Kyoto eight hours away on a but, the tour would have been better utilizing this experience of a high speed train then to a bus.. So sorry for this review, but necessary for travelers who go halfway around the world expecting a good adventurer.we understand the ship is due for yet another makeover...but beware..how do you think they will reduce the sewage problems? Len Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
the places she was sailing.to were amazing but the ship needs to retire. She's old and needs to go to the 'great harbour in the sky!'. The food was often tepid on the buffet - in fact I complained about the cold garlic ... Read More
the places she was sailing.to were amazing but the ship needs to retire. She's old and needs to go to the 'great harbour in the sky!'. The food was often tepid on the buffet - in fact I complained about the cold garlic bread so much that every time I entered the restaurant I was presented with piping hot garlic bread! I also got the enhanced breakfast baked beans with added ingredients to normal plain baked beans with tomato sauce. The crew were marvellous and tried to make do with what can only be described as a second-hand boat. There were several holes in the floor under the carpets in the main dining room and also in the passageways outside the cabins. There were large drain holes round the covers on the deck and many people nearly hurt themselves. For half the holiday the spa pool was out of action. I had a concierge cabin which, unbeknown to myself, had changed facilities and as far as I was concerned had been seriously down graded to a cabin that didn't warrant the extra costs. Pathetic binoculars, no afternoon tea, no umbrella. the most amusing was fresh fruit - this consisted of two oranges and a manky apple yet in the restaurants the fruit selection was magnificant. The entertainment was only mediocre and the theatre shows lasted only 25 minutes. I tripped up in the buffet restaurant and had to be taken by stretcher to the doctors quarters which was designed in such a stupid way that the stretcher had to be tipped on its side (which had me hanging on for dear life). I have never been compensated for this diabolical cruise as it was booked with an American travel agent and Celebrity UK don't want to know anything. I have even told them I wanted to book up a new cruise, but still I didn't get an incentive even though I know of 2 couples who were either given some refund or a reduction on a further cruise. AVOID THE MILLINIUM LIKE THE PLAGUE! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
I've been on two other Celebrity Cruises, both on Solstice-class ships. Had wonderful experiences on these prior two cruises. Unfortunately, Celebrity's brand has been tarnished by having the cruising public being exposed to the ... Read More
I've been on two other Celebrity Cruises, both on Solstice-class ships. Had wonderful experiences on these prior two cruises. Unfortunately, Celebrity's brand has been tarnished by having the cruising public being exposed to the Millennium. We had a Sky Suite with an enormous balcony that was not usable due to the stench of sewage. While we did not have this stench in our suite, we could smell this sewage smell in various places in the ship. Check out other reviews, and one will verify that this was not an isolated problem. Repeated requests for a fix were met with indifference until I complained to corporate. While Celebrity never fixed the problem, they did offer compensation. Oh, by the way, did I mention that on occasion, the toilets would not flush? But this was not the only problem with this ship. Walking around in our suite, step in certain places and the floor creaks so badly that one fears waking a sleeping spouse. Walking through the main hallways, one can step in certain places and feel an "dip" in the floor. Boy, this ship is old. I bet Celebrity has plans to take it out of service ASAP and not further expose its brand to negative perceptions. The internet was significantly slower than on other ships. The crew had the audacity to blame the Japanese and Chinese governments. Funny how the speed did not increase when we were out of territorial waters. Celebrity: Better to be honest with your passengers about shortcomings. Don't lie. It just compounds the problem. You are trading short-term financial impacts for longer-term deterioration of your brand. Oh, there were some good things about the cruise: The itinerary was as promised. The Blu restaurant was acceptable, and much better than the alternatives. The Blue and Cafe a Baccio staff were great. The cabin attendants were good, but did leave an occasional cleaning towel after they left. As suite guests, we did get an escort off the ship in Shanghai, thereby avoiding a very crowded disembarkation and a lengthy delay which others experienced. The ship was kept clean, and a previous cruise's problem with norovirus did not appear to occur on our cruise. The captain and crew brought our cruise to a safe end.   Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while ... Read More
While the overall cruise was very enjoyable, since we were with friends, we have for the first time, being Elite members, have found some issues with the food and/or the prep. This was the first time we sailed in Aqua Class, and while the smaller dining room is nice & Blu, gave us access to two menus (Blu and Main), we do not feel the extra cost of Aqua class was merited. There were some instances where the entrees lacked flavor and were overcooked. One of our travelling companions made the remark that the crepe suzettes dessert tasted like "hockey pucks." Early on, we expressed our disappointment to Guest Relations. Subsequently the Head Chef came to our table and explained that the food comes frozen from the US. and that may alter the freshness factor and taste. Having been on numerous Celebrity cruises, Europe, Caribbean and the TransAtlantic, this was quite a unique explanation. On a positive note, service in Blu was excellent and the wait staff were always willing to exchange any food that was not to your liking. The Blu hostess was also extremely accommodating. As on all our Celebrity cruises the cabin attendant "Z" kept our room in excellent shape. Also we had fun with the Celebrity Life staff, particularly with Jaz and Tim. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on ... Read More
As the caption suggests, my main dissatisfaction with the cruise was the was overly-amplified "ambient" music everywhere, and it was always of the thump-thump variety. There was no escaping it. I will never cruise on Celebrity again. For those who do not object to this terrible noise, I am adding a few comments on other aspects of the cruise. The promotional material said the port of embarkation would be Yokohama. With no explanation and no apology Celebrity sent out an e-mail saying the ship would leave from an freighter port about ten miles from Yokohama. I had to change my hotel reservations. Some people said they didn't get the e-mail, went to the wrong port, and had to scramble. Some poor souls probably failed to make it on board at all. Changes must sometimes be made, of course, but failing to acknowledge inconveniencing your customers and to apologize is a serious breach in good service. Regarding the cabin, the shower was roomy and functioned perfectly. It was the best cruise ship shower I've seen. The little lady who tended to my needs was sweet and responsive. Sheets were changed every three days, which was nice. The bed was over-burdened with huge pillows. I stowed them over the closet and under the bed. My cabin attendant got me a reasonably-sized pillow. The mirror had a big circle of light around it. If I sat on the sofa, the light reflected off my glasses, producing an image in the mirror of me with luminous circular eyes. I was amused. The TVs are bolted to the wall, so when the TV was playing next door, I could hear it. The food in the dining room was mediocre, meaning it wasn't very tasty. The emphasis seemed to be on what is called “presentation.” Typically, food is placed in a heap, rather than segregated on the plate. Maybe this is artistic, but the assemblage has to be taken apart before one eats it. As for the specialty restaurants, I didn't try them. Two [Luminae and Blu] were reserved for people higher up in Celebrity's caste system. As a peasant, I was not allowed in them. There was no library on board. A room called “The Retreat” looked like it served that purpose, but it was off-limits to serfs like me. The ship does not have a card room, but we were allowed to play in the upper dining room near the door into the service area, where there was an escalator in serious need of grease. The throbbing of the escalator, along with thumping ambient music, did not make for a relaxed card game. I imagine dining there would be less than ideal, too. Nearby were tables for two with seats enclosed in a cove of foam. That might help a little with sound abatement. One of the bars had two talented chanteuses and a dance floor. It was a pleasant and entertaining way to spend a little time in the evening. The shows in the auditorium were all grossly over-amplified. The grandest featured elaborately-costumed and energetic dancers wearing fake microphones and lip-syncking to recorded music. I don't expect an orchestra on a cruise ship, but at least the singing should be real. Enrichment included a man who talked interestingly about crime in Los Angeles. The other lecturer, while a dynamic speaker, did not have much of interest to say. His lecture on the Pacific Ocean basically said it is big. I like to go to the gym and use the treadmill. Who needs music playing at all or, if it is necessary, why at such high volume? Maybe you want to watch TV, listen to content on your phone, or just read. The loud music is an annoying distraction. All this noise is a deal-breaker for me. I'll never cruise on Celebrity again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Chose this cruise because of the ports we visited. Japan was on our bucket list. We did our first cruise on Celebrity a few years ago and considered it to be a high class cruise line. Embarkation in Tokyo was somewhat chaotic and slow. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the ports we visited. Japan was on our bucket list. We did our first cruise on Celebrity a few years ago and considered it to be a high class cruise line. Embarkation in Tokyo was somewhat chaotic and slow. It took over 2 hours standing in line in a rather gloomy area. There was little seating and amenities. Once on board we were surprised not to be directed to the buffet but were pleased our cabin was ready. An outside cabin forward on deck 8 which was considerably larger than the adjacent balcony cabin. It was an excellent choice and well attended by Felix who worked efficiently and discreetly, spoke good English and was always smiling. We had set dining and were extremely well looked after by Nino and Gary. The menu did not have a lot of choice although there was a section of "always available" dishes for all courses. By the second week there were only 2 dessert offerings plus the "always available". Must emphasise again though that our waiters were superb. Breakfast was not as consistent in service or food quality as the evening meal. Some options were not always available including skimmed milk. Some guests were disappointed there was no lobster on the menu unless you paid extra for it.. Not my taste but is usually regarded as a cruise treat. It was eventually served on the last evening chic night but we heard it was not available in the pay restaurant that night. We used the buffet once as we were late back but were not impressed with the food which looked as if it had been there for some time. It was a quiet evening as a lot of guests were ashore but I think the food should have been kept fresh. We would have liked a few more activities that were hosted. For example table tennis and basket ball were not often organised but were promoted as free play. Also the table tennis was located in one of the smoking areas. Not a good idea, especially in a hot and humid location. Unlike other cruises my husband found the complimentary gym sessions were few and far between. Part of the fun of cruising to us is dressing up on formal nights. Didn't check before packing but Celebrity now have "evening chic" instead of formal. This can be anything from jeans to a tux. My husband's tux and my long dresses were a very small minority. Entertainment was good and the resident singers and dancers put on some good shows. Disappointed that there was no show on last night. We missed the penultimate show so we could get the packing done and enjoy the last night's show, so we ended up with little to do on the last night. Itinerary was good and we mostly made our own arrangements to view the areas. We did the ship excursion to Chiufen village in Tai Pei which we enjoyed and did the tour on disembarkation day which took us to the airport in Hong Kong where the airport is some distance away. Quite a few elements to this trip and we enjoyed it. Overall a good trip with just a few personal niggles. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I have to begin this review with the fact that the Monday prior to sailing (October 10, 2016) I was told by Celebrity personnel that we would not be allowed to board the ship without a China Visa. I checked with the Chinese Consulate who ... Read More
I have to begin this review with the fact that the Monday prior to sailing (October 10, 2016) I was told by Celebrity personnel that we would not be allowed to board the ship without a China Visa. I checked with the Chinese Consulate who referred me back to Celebrity. The consulate said I might qualify under the 144 day (no visa needed for US citizens) rule, however, check with the Cruise Lines because they could not say whether or not I could board the ship. I spent 7 1/2 hours on the telephone and the bottom line was that we NEEDED the Visa before would could board the ship. This came from Celebrity Cruise lines. After frantically looking for a way to get a Visa in 4 days (because they had to be in my hands before Friday - we were departing on Saturday to catch the ship on Sunday), and finally found an expediter in San Francisco who (for a fee of $259 over the cost of the Visa, and that was very reasonable compared to others) could get the Visas for me. Going back AGAIN to the fact that I was TOLD REPEATEDLY that I could NOT BOARD the ship without this VISA, after boarding, one of the first signs that I saw was one that said "Guests who wish to participate on tours in Shanghai but do not have a Chinese visa may obtain a provisional visa to be able to participate on a Celebrity Shore Excursion." I later learned that these people got these provisional visas for $10.00!!!! Compare that to $432!!!!! I also learned that other people on this cruise had been told the same thing. If you were one of them, I would love to hear from you!!! Along with being hoodwinked by someone who (I hope) didn't know any better because they do NOT COMMUNICATE properly, after boarding I found the food choices to be very limited, (You are strongly encouraged to purchase food from a specialty restaurant if you want variety) the on-board activities very good if you had one foot in the grave (during a line dance instructional class on the Lido deck, one of the guests asked the instructor to turn the music down!!), practically no activities during days at sea, the Guest Services Staff limited in knowledge. They had no stamps aboard if you wanted to mail postcards. They had no money aboard if you wanted to exchange currency. They said they were waiting on stamps. Also told we could get money exchanged in port (what if we were going on a tour and had no time to exchange?). I still have to give credit where it's due. The waiter and his assistant were wonderful, and the dining room manager was extremely accommodating. The ship is still a nice ship, but most of the staff did not seem very happy. I was also told that there were Leadership people on this cruise from Celebrity. No one told me that while I was aboard and the leadership did not think enough of me and my predicament to have a face-to-face with me. even though she was presented with my circumstances. NOT EVEN TO APOLOGIZE OR TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN MIS-COMMUNICATION. They have a disclaimer on all documents that says each individual is responsible for knowing whether or not they need a Visa. How much good does finding out that you don't need a Visa do, when Celebrity turns around and tells you that you will not board if you don't get one?? I am going to write everyone I know to tell them that I think that CELEBRITY SHOULD TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY for my loss of almost $2,000 to expedite the visas, and my guests' loss of $170. each. I always thought a lot of RCCL, and felt that since Celebrity was supposed to be their higher end, the service, food, etc., would be also. IT IS NOT!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Perhaps my expectations were tainted by a cruise on the Eclipse back in May because I found the cabins and the wall veneer damaged alongside the beds (although you wouldn't have seen this if the beds hadn't of been brought ... Read More
Perhaps my expectations were tainted by a cruise on the Eclipse back in May because I found the cabins and the wall veneer damaged alongside the beds (although you wouldn't have seen this if the beds hadn't of been brought together to form a double which also showed pieced in bits of veneer in a slightly different colour) and the bathroom mirrors missing their silver backing along the bottom and in the corners. The shower cubicle had traces of black mould and you couldn't adjust the shower rail to fix the shower heads position in place and had to rely on getting it to balance in just the right place to give you a continuous soaking. Unfortunately the cabin sprung a leak one morning after just getting up fortunately and deposited yellow water on the pillow end of the bed! This was sorted very quickly, however the bed side cabinet still showed signs of this when we left the ship with a caked in mess around the table lamp. As for the cruise and the ports, these were great, although service levels on the ship, which was tired in many places were not the best I have experienced with other competing premium cruise lines providing better all round service or in fact when compared to the Eclipse, however the this ship probably had some of the best senior officers that we have sailed with and who seemed to look forward to mingling with passengers. Food choice was what I would call adequate and edible in the main dining room, however, it very much depended on what you ordered as our table never had a bad rare or medium steak and the food was on many occasions just warm which possibly could be accounted for by the occasional slow table service. One thing that was great though, was the fact that Celebrity finally got the 144 hour transit free visa process in place for the Shanghai disembarkation. Chinese officials sailed and processed the passports on our only sea day from Sth Korea and we never had a problem getting off the ship. In all, I found the ship a mixed bag, tired in places, excellent entertainment and stressed crew especially in the coffee bar area. Overall I rate the ship 3 star, because it wasn't an outstanding experience as a so called 5 star should be, but that could be because after sailing now for many years, that my expectations are that much greater! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
SHIP’S CONDITION Despite substantially advertized efforts of “solsticizing” the Millennium, her age shows up in various places. I didn’t specifically look for the signs of aging, just noticed things here and there. It is clearly ... Read More
SHIP’S CONDITION Despite substantially advertized efforts of “solsticizing” the Millennium, her age shows up in various places. I didn’t specifically look for the signs of aging, just noticed things here and there. It is clearly seen in quiet corners, and – sadly – in the staterooms. Glasstop table in our stateroom had a heavily rusted base ring; multiple hinges in the wardrobe were refit (yet, all the doors were loose), balcony door sill was rusty and painted over oh so many times, and the stateroom a/c unit behind the toilet wall was making all sorts of weird and strong noises during the whole cruise – despite continuous complaints, the techs were unable to fix that... However, understanding that the ship is in service for 16 years, and honoring the efforts of the crew to keep it neat and clean, one should be quite impressed with the overall Millie’s condition. Public areas – stateroom hallways, staircases, foyers, bars, spa, I-café, etc. – were refurbished impressively nice. One thing that sells Millie’s aging easily is the condition of the bathrooms, both in the staterooms and in the public areas. Outdated fixtures and sinks, cheap mall-like separation walls, last century floor tiles, and wall décor is nowhere near the elegant and modern bathrooms on S-class ships (we have sailed on every S-class ship, just for the record; we also cruised on Millie’s sister ship, Infinity). I am vouching a 100% for environment protection, but I kinda doubt that installing a sulfur oxide scrubber in ship’s exhaust system during the cruise is a sizeable effort in that direction, specifically if this makes the top deck messy and unsightly. If anything, it could’ve been done during recent Millie’s dry-docking. MDR smells. Period. This is another sign of the ship’s long-time wear-and-tear. CREW Only positive things to say, from the Captain, who I met literally in every corner of the ship (e.g., wedding chapel, running deck, medical bay, hallways, basketball court converted into construction site for scrubber...) to our stateroom attendant to our waiter. One of the tests that I have on every cruise ship for the waiting staff is a request of something atypical, like asking to get me a glass of tomato juice during breakfast. It is not a standard item, and it takes for a waiter a trip to the galley to pour it there and to bring it back to the table. It may take somewhere from 10 mins to eternity to get it, depending on the class of the cruise line, eagerness of the crew member to serve, etc. ... but on Millie I was getting it within 10 mins every time. Reception staff was always helpful and resourceful; very refreshing and pleasant experience. This is the first time that we saw a decimation of the stateroom attending staff on Celebrity ship: now they have only a single attendant, no assistants anymore, and with 10+ cabins to clean, it is a tough chore for one guy! DINING Let me correct this. If you are not forking extra dineros for specialty restaurants, or you are not in the suites or Aqua Spa level cabins, it is not a DINING any longer on Celebrity. It is a good level Applebee’s or Red Lobster’s eating, with rare infusions of occasionally tasty dishes from good old days of Celebrity’s glory. Food quality and taste on Celebrity cruise line ships continues to deteriorate. It is amazing how it varies even among supposedly similar menus on S-class ships, but Millie’s galley is far behind those. However, if you have a good, experienced and – importantly – honest waiter, you still could find a good meal choice. Fish was prepared better than meat/poultry on this cruise, and seafood choice was also wider. Desserts were (again) of Applebee’s level. Lavazza coffee was noticed only by the brand-labeled paper cups and coffee-making machines; other than that, the taste of the regular coffee across the whole ship was close to atrocious, unless you are paying extra in Bistro on 5. (Even in the Captain’s Club Breakfast Break (we are Elite members) we had – twice! - a Cappuccino with extra espresso shot that resembled an espresso machine wash-down water...). The sitting capacity of Millie’s Oceanview Café is adequate and even bigger than on S-ships (proportionately to the number of guests), but the design of “all-in-line” stations is outdated and needs to be changed to the “islands” like on S-ships. It was easy to find a table during breakfast or lunchtime, but lines – especially to cooking stations (omelets, pasta etc.) – were often too long. To summarize Millie’s eating experience, for a regular folk who does not want to pay additional fees it is not a great one. Yes there are nice dining options, but it costs extra, and paying 90 bucks for a couple in order to get a tasty dinner on the top of what you already paid for your cruise meals is outrageous. I only can compare this with Oceania ships, where specialty restaurants come free, and btw, Oceania’s Red Ginger restaurant beats Sushi on Five hands down even without 45$ pp surcharge. There was an incident related to how eagerly the specialty restaurants do want to get their seats filled. On second day, we received a flyer in the cabin (by the way, the amount of paper that is wasted on ANY cruise line for this useless and annoying advertisement method is incredible... If this stops, and the amount of food waste is halved, why would Millie need a SO2 scrubber? :)) – so we received a flyer with Celebrity Today newspaper that offered a bundled deal (89$ pp) for three dinners at all three specialty restaurants. When I called to inquire, I was told that it was the deal “from previous cruise” and that now the price is $109 pp... Huh??! One additional thing to mention. This was not a booze cruise by far, but it was quite noticeable that during the whole cruise the bar staff was pushing VERY hard to sell the beverage packages. To say the least, the first thing that was literally shoved in our faces once we stepped onboard was an iPad with beverage package “promotions” – in fact, the bar staff guy almost grabbed the stateroom keys from our hands to “enroll” us... EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION Embarkation in Yokohama was flawless. Disembarkation in Shanghai was disorganized, although ship’s personnel tried to help local operators as much as they could. We purchased Celebrity’s pier-to-city transfer for $54 pp, and instead of 9:30 am per schedule we disembarked about an hour later and still had to wait in the “sardine corner” of terminal for another 20 mins until being escorted to the bus. PORTS We checked the excursions available from Celebrity beforehand. The story is standard: hugely overpriced and not really diversified or attractive by content. Example: Celebrity excursion from Kobe to Kyoto was priced at about $240 pp and included only Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu-Dera as highlights plus lunch, all for 9 hrs with trip on Shinkansen (bullet train). For comparison, we hired a local driver-guide with minivan from MK Taxi Co. in Kyoto for 5 of us, and paid about $600 for everything, including lunch in fabulous traditional Japanese restaurant in Gion district. We saw four UNESCO heritage sites, including Golden Pavilion and Kiyomizu-Dera, plus Gion district in 6 hrs (not counting the train time to/from Kyoto) and rode a super-rapid train Kobe-Kyoto for 1/4 of the price of Shinkansen, spending about 45 min each way. This is certainly not the first and not the last complaint about the cost and the quality of Celebrity’s excursions. Actually, for many other cruise lines it is even more absurd, but I won’t go yapping further about this – it seems that cruise companies really don’t care. I also do understand that this is a matter of personal preference. What bothers me more concerning shore excursions on Celebrity ships is the lack of in-depth information about the ports of call. This can and should be organized better. The on-board TV programming about ports of call seems to be done by middle-school students, very generic and oblivious. Oceania ships have local guides coming onboard right after ship is cleared, so cruisers could consult on the localities BEFORE they go ashore. You may say it is not that important, but it is: you learn what to take ashore additionally or how to dress appropriately for, say, temple visits etc. – all that before you leave the ship. Small but often valuable detail. TOKYO/YOKOHAMA This is a very popular destination and many things are said by others, I don’t want to be redundant. If you stay overnight onboard in Yokohama like we did, it’s a nice city on its own, and lots of places are just next to the international terminal. Train system is extremely useful and efficient, it is not that complicated to learn on the spot how to buy tickets (English-written instructions are available in the ticket machine touch screens), and Japanese people are so polite and helpful that even if they do not speak English well, they sympathize your trouble and will go a long mile (sometimes literally walking with you to point out!) to help. We bought SUICA IC cards, rechargeable electronic multi-pass tickets that we used everywhere when traveled by trains or when bought stuff in the Family Mart stores, this is a very good way to spare the hassle of figuring out the fare etc. You can charge the card with up to 20,000 JPY. SHIMIDZU-SHIZUOKA This was a relatively short stop, only 7 hrs, and we sailed off at 3 pm. The highly touted attraction there is the magnificent view of Mt. Fuji, which is considered a premier spot for all of Japan for this purpose... Millie clipped the tails of two typhoons during this trip, and naturally, except a couple of days in the middle of the cruise (Kagoshima/Nagasaki and somewhat sunny day in Busan) the rest was just rain, often drenching, like in Shimizu... So no Fuji in site anywhere. But forget Fuji! I wanted – for years – to visit Kunozan Toshogu Shinto shrine, one of the sacred places in Japanese history, the place of the first mighty shogun of Edo era, Tokugava Ieyasu. It was a dreamlike experience, because when we reached the shrine, the rain started pouring crazy, and except us, there were only three other people in the whole complex. One thing related to the early departure (3 pm) from Shimizu. All-aboard was 2:45 pm, many people came early and conveniently wanted to have lunch onboard. I have never seen such a stampede in the Oceanview café – it seemed that everyone on board decided to eat at that time. I saw folks taking plates down a deck and eating in the library (I kid you not). Naturally, lines to the stations were mile-long and it looked like café staff was unprepared to that – more popular dishes were flying off the stations, and replacements were not hurried in... KOBE First day we took a super-rapid train to Himeji, where the famous Himeji castle is placed. Two stops on port liner train took us to Sannomiya station, from where we went to Himeji. From Himeji station you can walk straight to the Himeji castle (20-25 min walk). Very well-preserved and unique site. Highly recommend for those who likes Japanese samurai movies :) You walk six stories up through a wooden maze of the rooms breathing history in the palace... For a second day we booked the excursion in Kyoto (see above). Incredible place. I cannot name any other city in the world that has over a dozen UNESCO Heritage Sites, and many of them are within a walking distance. Surreal tranquility of ancient but well-kept gardens. Millennium-old amazing stories and traditions. You breathe all that in Kyoto. KOCHI Nothing spectacular, except we happened to arrive during their local holiday and the city was booming with crowd plowing through the mega-store (three huge malls linked with underground passages). Sushi, bakery, ramen, udon, sweets of all kinds... Everybody was so nice and kind! They had a few dozens of elderly volunteers who navigated Millennium cruiser’s way through the city – they wore yellow jackets, seen from afar. KAGOSHIMA Spent a few hrs downtown; neat port city, amazing view of the active volcano Sakurajima from the ship. Last eruption – February 2016! There is a nice market downtown, and a XVI century old castle nearby, well kept and impressive. NAGASAKI Very touching welcome on arrival from local tourist board. The top attraction for this strategic Japanese port is A-bomb memorial and Peace Park. I did not want to see that. Personal reasons. We opted out to walk the line of temples and cemeteries along Teramachi, Temple Street. Amazing experience on early Sunday morning. Again, as at Kunozan Toshogu in Shimizu, only a few people where with us there, locals who came to prey or to visit their loved ones... Rich history (I was moved mightily when read a few obituaries in English next to the tombs, for famous locals... They talk about times when Dutch and Brits were fighting to establish the control over the port!). Unbelievable spirituality. JEJU ISLAND Miserable weather the whole day. Nothing close to Hawaii, although the island is claimed to be Korean Hawaii :). We hired a cab straight from port and went around, visiting a few places of various interests, including Loveland sculpture park. Quite unusual way of inspiring young Koreans to have more children. Waterfalls seemed to be popular as well, but they are relatively far from port. (Big difference between Korea and Japan is an often-cold reaction of Koreans related to your attempt to ask the direction...) BUSAN For us, it was an incredible discovery of the modern, massively populated, well-developed city-port. Great organization of free shuttle service to downtown – no waiting in line at all. Haeundae I’Park complex is like a snapshot from futuristic sci-fi movie. Google it, you’d be stunned. We took a 2hr City Bus tour, very much recommended! SHANGHAI Again, this is a well-documented point in many itineraries. We stayed post-cruise for three days there. The Bund, temples, noodles, soup dumplings, People’s Park, shopping. Unfortunately, Saturday October 1 was the first of the National Day holidays in China, and Shanghai streets were jammed with visitors. Scary experience of being caught underground, during the closure of Nanjing Rd East subway station in the evening – the police were shutting down the exits one by one, and the crowd was frantically trying to get out at the nearest exit, with no avail... Qi Pu market is a mecca for cheap clothes, bags etc. in Shanghai. Went there just to soak in the experience. Interesting trend: once you are “glued” by the street picker, a man or a woman who aggressively calls you to see “el cheapo” bags or watches or clothes, he/she will follow you anywhere in Qi Pu, and try to lure you to his/her “sister”-“brother”-“untie” stalls. It is a fascinating tactics to watch :) SUMMARY Great itinerary often makes for a great cruise, even if the ship is not perfect. This was exactly the case with us. We are devoted Celebrity cruisers, and will sail with Celebrity again, but on S-class ships. Millie was a pride of Celebrity for years, and if tradition needs to be held high, she needs to be fixed well, not just brushed on the surface. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was my first cruise. I was so excited All my cruise friends had raved about cruising -the food,the intertainment etc. Here is my reflections: The food was vile. The service terrific. How difficult it must be to serve food that ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I was so excited All my cruise friends had raved about cruising -the food,the intertainment etc. Here is my reflections: The food was vile. The service terrific. How difficult it must be to serve food that isn't up to standard in the main dining rooms and deal with the complaints. The new trend now is to push passengers to the speciality restaurants. The Canyon Ranch Spa was terrific. No need to pack anything nice to wear. I did wear all my pretty dresses to dinner,but everyone else wore shorts. I especially enjoyed (not) the wife beaters at breakfast. I liken this experience to the deregulation of the airlines. If you want good food you will have to pay for it. Guest services and porter staff outstanding. Entertainment good: As far as theatre is concerned. However, there wasn't all that much. The casino could not be operated due to Japanese laws. So knowing this information ahead of time, it would have been nice to have something else to do. Movies??? Trivia at ten not so exciting. Cleanliness of ship, not so much. I was told not to expect much as the ship was 16 years old. Excuse me, hotels are old,but there are PIP standards that must be met In order to keep the franchise. There was a terrible smell in my cabin that could not be eradicated. Cracks in the tiles as well. Shore excursions were okay, but very expensive when alternatives are cheaper and cover the same or more. The Captain and his crew were amazing. We encountered two typhoons during our cruise. Never felt unsafe. It is my understanding that the Celebrity had once been a family owned enterprise. Standards were high all over. Now the celebrity is owned by Royal Caribbean, No longer are there high standards. I worked in the airline industry for many years. Passengers dressed to board a plane and travel eregulation changed all that. Peanuts and no food is now the standard. Looks like the same occurrence has taken place in the cruise industry. A shame Would I go again. Yes but my expectations would be much lower. It was the best and cheapest way to see Japan. However, if I consider another cruise I will ask how old the ship is and who owns it. I will look for other cruisers who will tell me about the standards. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Celebrity Millennium, Tokyo to Hong Kong Autumn 2015 The cabin, sorry, state room was inside, 9063, not because I’m tight, which I am a bit, but because all the others had been booked. The cabin was fairly large, with a good, ... Read More
Celebrity Millennium, Tokyo to Hong Kong Autumn 2015 The cabin, sorry, state room was inside, 9063, not because I’m tight, which I am a bit, but because all the others had been booked. The cabin was fairly large, with a good, comfy double bed, a bit of a waste at our age. There was adequate wardrobe and storage space, TV with both satellite and pay per view, although apart from the news we didn’t watch it much, there was also a strange, horizontal shower that we were unable to adjust, on the whole the ship was spotless. Food: On the whole it was very good. Apart from the specialist restaurants which we didn’t use, see above, there are four main venues. The Poolside Grill, made that mistake once, cold, greasy, overcooked food, and, strangely for a cruise ship, apathetic staff, all the other staff were great, many with a sense of humour, which was appreciated. The healthy eating option, surely an oxymoron on a cruise ship. The Ocean View Café, this is the buffet area. It has quite a strange layout and you can use 500Kc just looking for food. The food is good and varied, although seldom hot and many had a sweet taste. It also had a good Asian option at breakfast, some of the dishes I chose tended to turn my wife’s stomach, she has always been a delicate flower! The main, Metropolitan Restaurant is the waiter served area. We went ‘any time dining’ which in reality was ‘anything but anytime dining,’ it was a shambles. You really do have to book and be prepared to wait. The conversation went something like this. “Can I book a table for about seven o’clock?” “We only have six or eight.” This is not an exaggeration. The food was very good, the portion size at first looked quite small, but at the end of the night it proved to be just right. Although like the buffet none of the meals were hot, maybe this is the American influence as we have found that most meals in the US are served this way. Also many of the meals had a sweet taste, perhaps another Americanism. Unfortunately with the main restaurant ranging over two decks it does tend to get very noisy, and if you’re on a large table it can be very hard to hear the conversation. Drinks: The one thing that Celebrity are good at is charging, which they do like a Rhino. They have little draft beer, Heineken and Millar Light, which don’t really count, these are $5:50 an American, 16oz pint, although given the bar staff’s inability to fill glasses these turn out to be more like 14ozs. There is also an 18% service charge on all drinks. You are encouraged, should you have exceptional service to tip more. The waiter is bringing it from the bar! All the other beer is bottled and ranges from $6 to ‘I have just won the lottery’ Wine starts at about $9 a glass to ‘I have just won the Euro Millions,’ Coffee and soft drinks are about $3:50. The do, do a drinks package which starts at about $55/day. Entertainment: The main entertainment, ie the big shows tend to be singing acts and solo performers brought on board as the cruise proceeds. While some of these were very good many of the singers couldn’t hold a tune in a bucket. The entertainment during the day, we found to be quite poor with a large part of this, maybe 50%, being either selling led, art auctions, health seminars etc, or subscription required. Excursions: We tend not to do too many booked off the ship, as these tend to be, as on all cruises, quite expensive, although if you do take one of these the standard, especially of safety will be excellent, they also have the great advantage of not leaving you on the quay side should you be late back. In Shimizu, we just walked round the town finding many of the attractions quite easily. Nagasaki, again is quite easy to get round, the trip to the peace park involves two trams, day ticket about Y300, but again using them is a piece of cake. The peace park and museum could take you most of the day. Kobe, some of the more adventurous took trains to Kyoto, we just wandered round again and found enough to do. We did get the loop bus, all day Y600, to Mount Rokko and the herb garden. You get the cable car, Y1100 return with discount if you produce the bus ticket, to the top and walk back about half way through the garden. There is also a free shuttle into town. Shanghai, there was a lot of confusion about whether you need a Chinese visa even if you stay on board, we found we didn’t but please check in good time whether you need one or not. Visas could be obtained on board but again please check before you go. Okinawa, we got the mono rail to Shiru Castle which was easy, although there is no shuttle and the walk to town takes about 30-40 minutes. Taiwan, we did book a trip to Taipei here because there is very little to do in Keelung, although the night market is amazing. Hong Kong, here we went for the Hop off-Hop on bus, if booked through the ship, it is slightly more expensive, but they do provide a shuttle into town, which is worth the extra. Don’t try and do too much on the bus, we did and spent the day in traffic. This is the first time for us with Celebrity and it was very good, but we do feel we’ve been on better. Would we go with them again? Yes, but only if it was a good deal and the itinerary was right. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
This ship needs to be retired now and not in 2 years time as planned. There are holes in the floor under the carpets both in the main dining hall and also on the decks in front of cabins. The drainage covers near the pool were loose and ... Read More
This ship needs to be retired now and not in 2 years time as planned. There are holes in the floor under the carpets both in the main dining hall and also on the decks in front of cabins. The drainage covers near the pool were loose and wobbly and were either dropped or stuck up on one side so were dangerous. The food in the self service cafe was often cold, especially the soup and the garlic bread. The entertainment was pathetic and only lasted 3/4 hour in the main theater The tables in the theater often fell out of their 3 prong housing onto your feet if someone went past to go to other seats and therefore the glass was often chipped. The tea on sea days finishes at 5pm but nobody told the staff on the first day at sea so they closed teatime at 4.30pm. I was in a 'concierge' class cabin on the 9th deck. I was expecting fresh fruit when I arrived, sparking wine and flowers. The fruit consisted of 2 apples & 1 orange (which was our fruit for the following 14 days), a bottle of the cheapest sparkling wine the boat carries and I am still waiting for the flowers. The towels were hard and uncomfortable, luckily I had my own towel. The lifeboat drill was a farce, we had to go to our muster station in one of the lounges where they ticked off our name and we sat there without our life jackets whilst a talk was held and that was it. I have still to find my lifeboat or my life jacket! This is the first cruise ship out of 6 cruises where there was not 24/7 food. All the food closed at midnight. You were able to get tea/coffee but no food unless you ordered room service. Early disembarkation was meant to be for my cabin class, we were the second to last number to disembark. I WILL NEVER SAIL WITH CELEBRITY AGAIN. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much ... Read More
We tend to prefer longer cruises with sea days. Celebrity almost always has excellent speakers and this cruise was no exception. We tried to catch all the talks. This is our second cruise in Aqua. The ammenities make the trip so much more enjoyable so thats what we look for now. Our cabin, an A1 was a long way from the spa and because of the weather we didn't use it. The room was very well done and the bed was very comfortable. By the time we finished breakfast our room was usually finished. Very clean.did n The buffett was usually crowded but never so much that we couldn't find a place to sit. I noticed, and reported, when a guest came back and dumped his leftover food back into the container. After that I only ate what was served. No more self serve. I feel that they should have someone at all the stations. I have no desire to eat a strangers leftovers. The lounge music venues were very nice. The service in Blu as always was excellent. Daniell and Jet, our waiters, Yudie(sp) the Maitre d' and the wonderful hostess were were so friendly and professional. Overall the shows we great with one notable exception. The music was so loud it overpowered the singers and the guest piano player. It was also.was damaging to our ears. Some of the performances we had to leave because of the music. I don't know why the music director thinks that louder is better. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are in our early 70's - this was our 40th cruise - but only the 2nd with Celebrity (usually we cruise with either Princess or NCL) - We choose this for the itinerary - always wanted to see Hong Kong ! We are spoiled, and have ... Read More
We are in our early 70's - this was our 40th cruise - but only the 2nd with Celebrity (usually we cruise with either Princess or NCL) - We choose this for the itinerary - always wanted to see Hong Kong ! We are spoiled, and have cruised in suites for the last several years. The Room - we had a Celebrity Suite - #9096 - yes - we did hear chairs scrapping, etc. noise from Deck 10 above (but this was the last Celebrity Suite available) - and the noise was not so bad that it actually woke us up from sleeping or anything. The floor to ceiling windows were wonderful, and the extra space with the dining table were great. The balcony was indeed, narrow - but no problem - just turned the chairs sideways ! The totally negative part about the room (which we had read about, and were fore-warned) was the bathroom - very small - and the HUGE step in and out that you had to take to get in and out of the tub or the shower (combination tub and shower) The ship did show a little wear and tear - but nothing all that horrible (or worth reporting as far as I am concerned) The service and the food in the Luminae Restaurant was absolutely outstanding ! - You could pretty much ask for anything that you wanted. You could always order from the menu from the main dining room if there wasn't anything on the Luminae menu that caught your fancy. The wait staff were beyond great - welcomed you by name whenever they saw you. Our meals were, without a doubt, the highlight of the trip ! We did eat in the Italian Restaurant one night - it was OK - expensive wine. We found no reason to venture out of the Luminae after that. The entertainment was hit and miss. The production shows with the ship singers and dancers were very, very good - and very well attended. The other entertainment were things like jugglers and harmonica players (!) - not so good, and not so well attended. (of course, there were a couple of ports that the ship overnighted at, so passengers may have stayed ashore on shore excursions later than normal. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was my and my husband's first trip to the Far East. Since we cannot take a long vacation at this stage, we opted for a cruise , and since we have happily sailed in the past with Celebrity, and the itinerary offered by them was ... Read More
This was my and my husband's first trip to the Far East. Since we cannot take a long vacation at this stage, we opted for a cruise , and since we have happily sailed in the past with Celebrity, and the itinerary offered by them was quite outstanding (Yokohama/Shimizu/Kobe overnight/Nagasaki/Shanghai/Okinawa/Taipei overnight/Hong Kong) we decided to sail with the Millie, even given the vast lack of consensus about her (opinion ranging from "the grand old lady" to "that old hag of a ship"). Having left our teenager son at home, I thought it a good time as any to splurge on an AquaClass stateroom. The cruise was fully booked a full year before sailing day, and when stateroom 9051 became available, I happily pounced on it. We arrived in Tokyo two days before the cruise, as many other cruisers did. It was a very good idea as it gave us the time to start adjusting to the time difference and to the very different culture and food. A couple of days more would have been even better. We spent a day touring Tokyo a bit with a private guide; others preferred to take a bullet train and visit Mt. Fuji, Kyoto and suchlike. All were very happy and impressed with Japan, its sites and the kindness and warmth of our Japanese hosts. On Sunday we boarded the ship at Yokohama port, a short train ride from Tokyo station and a few minutes' journey by taxi from Yokohama station. The embarkment process was a total mess. Hundreds of people were waiting in a huge group in the cavernous hall. Somehow, Captain Club/Aqua Class passengers had been grouped with all the other staterooms, whilst Concierge , Zenith and Suites passengers had a (very short) queue of their own. Moreover, Celebrity had requested a few days before the cruise to prepare three copies of the photo page of our passports, but had not specified that each passport had to be photocopied separately, so the smallish photocopier in the hall was put to task and another big queue formed there. At a certain point AC passengers were told by one port assistant to go to the shorter queue, but then another assistant started arguing with her, and the confusion multiplied. On the other hand, during the cruise itself, the complicated process of immigration and emigration in and out of Japan (twice), China, Taiwan and Hong Kong SAR was effectuated on the ship in a very smooth and professional manner. The ship is not new, that is sure - but it is lovely kept, and the crew is friendly and seems to be genuinely concerned in you having a happy and carefree vacation. There is indeed a big overhang due to the enlargment of deck 10, especially felt on deck 9 - but our deck 9 cabin was not dark as I feared and the overhang protected us from torrential rain some days and the hot rays of the sun on others. The noise from deck 10 on our heads was not too bad (cliking of heels a couple of time during elegant evenings and some trolley wheels rolling sounds which could be mistaken for thunder - and we had those too). All in all, the stateroom was pleasant and we spent many happy hours relaxing there. The stateroom's bathroom was very nice. I appreciated especially the shower cabin and the shower column, and the nightlight. The toiletries were Gilbert and Soames, except for the shower gel, which was the Celebrity one. Our stateroom attendant, Lydia, was prompt, clean, honest and friendly. Blu was one of the highlights of the cruise, not only for the high quality of the food, which strived and succeeded in delivering a refined haute cuisine experience whilst taking care to serve healthy alternatives wherever possible without renouncing to the tste and the quality - but also due to the lovely atmosphere there. Linda the maitre d'h and her assistant did a wonderful job of giving each group the best seats available, and many a happy and pleasant conversations took place between tables during supper and breakfast. In comparison, the Oceanview cafe was just ok, crowds being its main problem. We did not feel any need or urge to visit the specialty restaurants. We did not see any shows, so I cannot comment about them, although I heard many passengers praising them. We enjoyed the presentations of the guest speakers , Ms Patricia Bjalaand Welch, who gave four very good talks on the various ports; and Mr Milos Radakovich, who talked about stars, weather, wildlife and the ocean in an engaging and interesting way. Some of the mornings I tried to swim - but the pools outside were either cold or the seas too stormy to swim in a pool which is above one's height to start with. As per the various ports - in Shimizu we met strong and incessant rains, so we saw only Kunozan Toshogu Shrine and went back to the ship. I understand the weather is very fickle in this part of the world, which further justifies stay a few days pre-cruise in Tokyo, and spend a sunny one of them visiting the mount area. In Kobe we decided to leave the ship for the night, and visit Kyoto in depth for a day and a bit. We got back to the ship, our familiar Western bubble, thoroughly "shrined out" but charmed. Nagasaki we - and many other passengers - toured on our own using the day pass for the tram sold in the port for 500 yen. We visited the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Memorial Park, the Spectacles Bridge, Chinatown and Dejima ( from the outside), the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture (recommended) and Hamamachi Dori, getting back long before the all aboard time. In Shanghai we had a glitch due to the fact that the Himja typhoon hitting the area had caused the closure of the port, and although we arrived in good time and decent weather, the port authorities refused to let us in, even when our captain ( a most excellent officer and gentleman, Nikolas Christodoulakis, who with his faithful team made great efforts to keep us safe and made for a very smooth and enjoyable sailing) volounteered to take the ship on his own, without the assistance of the port's pilot. Not only that, the port's authority ordered us out of the port alltogether, so instead of docking at 7 am , we docked at 1pm - and it would have been much later had not our captain, again, volounteered to take the ship on his own, a suggestion which this time was accepted. This cut short our ( independent) and other shore excursions, which was a shame, since we had relatively very little time to start with and Shanghai port (Baoshan) is about an hour way from the Bund ( and the drivers seemed not to show any sympathy for traffic rules). Back in Japan, we took a shore excursion to visit Okinawa, which was quite a letdown. Our guide was a very sweet and quite overeager lady, who did her best to translate in doubtful English what another guide said, and then proceeded to show her similarly doubtful singing and playing skills. Other groups experienced similar problems and the stop was not the summit of the cruise. Taiwan, on the contrary, proved a very positive surprise, with many interesting sites less than an hour drive from the port (Keelung) including the National Palace Museum, Chiang Kai Shek memorial and Taipei 101 in Taipei, and Shifen Old street and Yehliu Geopark. Finally, we reached Hong Kong, where we stayed overnight before disembarking. The Kai Tek terminal is quite far away from the city centre and a very long and narrow building which caused the disembarcation to feel like a long and cumbersome back and forth walk. On the first day, we took the free shuttle to the apm shopping mall, wasting a long time exchanging our leftover yens (most banks in Hong Kong change only to account holders - but with four different financial institutions authorised to issue HK dollars, who wants to risk being given counterfeit money?) and then waiting for the shops to open in the mall ( most opened at 11, some even later) . Then we went to the HK Museum of History - which I found very interesting and visually pleasing. After that, we boarded a sampan for a twilight cruise, which was lovely apart from the sudden intense downpour from the beginning of our cruise to its end - and then it was time to return to the ship, enjoy one more meal at Blu and pack. The disembarkment process was smooth and efficient and we found ourselves at our hotel - after having used the prepaid bus transfer provided by the ship to HK station) before 10am. All in all, a most satisfactory cruise in which we met many very nice people and saw many interesting places. Well done, Celebrity! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
DW and I are in our mid 50's who enjoy cruising. While nothing is ever perfect and pristine, especially if one chooses to focus on negativity, we are generally take things in stride as we feel blessed in the fact that we can enjoy the ... Read More
DW and I are in our mid 50's who enjoy cruising. While nothing is ever perfect and pristine, especially if one chooses to focus on negativity, we are generally take things in stride as we feel blessed in the fact that we can enjoy the luxury of cruising. Now onto our cruise. We arrived in Tokyo 3 days before embarkation and had a marvellous time. Japanese people are so wonderful, very polite and helpful. Tokyo is very clean and with a fantastic transportation system that is easy to use and inexpensive. We stayed at the Grand Central Hotel, which is very well located, about a 10 minute walk to Kanda Station on the Ginza Line. Room was very small, but that is typical for most Japanese hotels, especially if you are on a budget. On embarkation day, we took the train to Yokohama and arrived in plenty of time with very little effort (we only had two large pieces of luggage to drag around). Embarkation was delayed to 12pm due to the late arrival of Millie, but once it started we got onboard fairly quickly and were enjoying lunch in the Oceanview buffet by 12:30. Ports of call were fantastic, with the exception of Shanghai. Aside from Visa issues with visiting Shanghai and a late docking due to the port being closed due to high winds from a passing typhoon, the port is quite far from the Bund and other tourist attractions. Also, some taxi drivers were very dishonest, we were literally taken for a ride. We shared a taxi with another couple for a ride to the Bund, which should cost $85CNY, but the driver took the outer ring road and by the time we got to the Bund the meter was at $280CNY! We later learned that we were not the only victims, as there were at least a dozen other passengers who were victimized. So be careful when travelling in Shanghai. The entertainment on board was quite good, we enjoyed the shows and were appreciative of the efforts of the Celebrity dancers and singers. We had dinner in the MDR and the food was very good, as was the service. Kudos to our waiter Sanjaya, his assistant Supana, our sommelier Miroslav and drink waiter Prince. All were very good and attentive to our needs. Disembarkation was a challenge for most people at the new Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong. Beautiful terminal, but very poor taxi service, fortunately we booked our taxis in advance. All in all, we had a wonderful time. Millie is showing her age, and yes there is rust showing in some spots, including our balcony and at times it is very difficult to find a seat in the Oceanview buffet, but the staff is very friendly. Captain Nicholas was very visible throughout the cruise, cruise director Steve was fantastic and of course Café al Bacio is a terrific place to sit and have a nice specialty coffee and/or tea along with wonderful desserts and sweets. This is our first cruise on an M class ship. While we prefer the S class ship (Reflection is our favorite), we would not hesitate to book another cruise on Millie. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We have recently returned from our extensive Asian travels, and have been very surprised to read such negative reviews of the Tokyo (Yokohama) to Hong Kong cruise. This was a very interesting itinerary, and although not perfect we found ... Read More
We have recently returned from our extensive Asian travels, and have been very surprised to read such negative reviews of the Tokyo (Yokohama) to Hong Kong cruise. This was a very interesting itinerary, and although not perfect we found the Celebrity Millennium cruise to be very enjoyable. The main let down for us was the quality of the food and the service in the MDR. We overcame this by eating some evening meals in the Ocean View Buffet, where we were able to have food cooked to order e.g. stir fries and pasta. We also enjoyed sitting in the outdoor eating area when weather permitted. The ship itself was in good condition for its age, and there were many pleasant bars and places to sit to listen to a wide array of music. The covered pool area was lovely and not too crowded.The entertainment overall was of a good quality and we enjoyed the enrichment lectures very much. Our ocean view stateroom at the front of the ship was large and comfortable ( no balcony) and our attendant was excellent. We took 2 shore excursions; Shimizu was disappointing because of the weather, but that is not anybody's fault, and the tour to Kyoto from Kobe was good, we especially enjoyed seeing the Golden Pavilion. Everywhere we went was crowded, but we found that to be the norm in Asia. Other ports we explored on our own with no problems at all. Overall we don't think that Celebrity deserves to be rated more highly than Royal Carribbean, but this cruise does not deserve the negative reviews it has received. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Although my individual ratings might not reflect my overall 'Very Good' rating, my Wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise with Celebrity and have booked another for early 2018. Ashore, the trip was made special by the ... Read More
Although my individual ratings might not reflect my overall 'Very Good' rating, my Wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise with Celebrity and have booked another for early 2018. Ashore, the trip was made special by the ports of call, especially Japan and Hong Kong. On-board, our fellow guests, comprising of Americans, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, Scandinavians and 'fellow' Europeans including Brits off course, made for an interesting and very pleasant social experience and one which we thoroughly enjoyed, thanks to everyone! The ship was much bigger than we have been used to, but the extra size and amenities were a welcome discovery and we never felt too claustrophobic especially on days at sea. However, Celebrity want to look to Thomson Cruises for instance, for food that actually tastes of something, the food on board, although featuring many of the World's cuisines was very bland at times. Also cleanliness, our cabin was clean enough, but some of the public areas were in need of proper cleaning. The crew were satisfactory, but sometimes a little surly and unhelpful, Guest Relations being a chief culprit. Comparing Celebrity to Thomson cruises once more, the latter's staff are generally always helpful & amazingly cheerful and there always seems to be an army of staff cleaning too! So, don’t be put off booking with Celebrity for one moment, but do please note my concerns. Read Less
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