Celebrity ~ Millennium
by Andy Taylor
Having had our November 2000 cruise on the
Millennium canceled, we were anxious to finally get to see what this ship was all
about one year later. Our only other Celebrity experience was sailing
on the Horizon twice previously, so we wondered how we would react to the ship
being twice the size. Having not done a Century class ship (but booked for
the Mercury next March), the comparison between the Horizon and Millennium
doesn't seem quite fair as the ships are 10 years apart in age and really quite
I'm not going to get into the décor issues too much since everyone has seen
countless pictures and opinions of this ship. Basically, she is a stunning ship
with Celebrity's well-known tasteful elegance and wonderful art.
We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the night before and stayed at the Amerisuites. I
was not impressed with this hotel and would stay elsewhere in the future. It
just didn't have any style at all.
We went to the port about 10:30 AM on
embarkation day. People were still
leaving the ship, but they started embarkation after only about a half-hour
wait. Being Captain's Club members, we thought we would get preferential
embarkation but what we got was just a different door to go through into the
check-in area. Once in there, they had only two Captain's Club lines so we queued
up with the regular passengers. It didn't take long, though, and we were on the
ship by 11:30 AM. This early embarkation gives you a chance to tour the ship but
cabins are not ready until 1 PM.
As mentioned, a lot has been said about this ship and her décor so I won't
spend too much time on it. She is classy and beautiful with very few exceptions.
I still don't understand or like the Casino, it just doesn't look like Celebrity
to me. That said, it was one of the busiest Casinos we have seen on a cruise and
we both came out ahead about $100 for the trip, a first for us!
The cabins are beautiful and restful. We had a 1B balcony cabin on deck 8 and
found it to be the nicest cabin we have had to date. Plenty of room, soft
lighting and a decent sized balcony combined with a good use of mirrors,
travertine marble, and light wood paneling suited our tastes perfectly. The only
down side that we noticed was that the closet space and bathroom seemed less
than on the Horizon class ships. Also, our sliding glass door and balcony glass
railing weren't cleaned until the last day of the trip. Guess they only do them
every other sailing. It was no big deal and I cleaned it myself with little
effort. I would not recommend the 1A cabins on deck 9 however. The overhang from
the pool deck is just too close to your head and limits the view of the sky from
There are plenty of lounge areas on this ship and they were all well used. It
was a vibrant happy crowd and we enjoyed watching everyone have a good time.
The main dining room is stunning and we managed to get one of the best tables.
We had a table right next to the Captain's Table right by the two story wall of
glass at the stern. It was great.
The Olympic restaurant is unbelievable. We had a table in the back part (larger
and lighter). The food was to die for, you haven't lived until you have tasted
the goat cheese soufflé, and the service was the best we have ever had in any
restaurant in the world. High praise indeed, and well worth the additional cost.
The Ocean Café was a mess. Lines every time we were in there. They had the
capacity for four lines but frequently only had two open at a time. I also had a
real problem with their sneeze guards. It was really hard to reach in to get
anything. We also frequently had problems finding tables. During afternoon tea,
they only had one coffee/tea station open and if you were on the wrong side of
the ship it was quite a hike to get over to it. For some reason, the aft stairs
don't have a passageway from one side of the Ocean café to the other and this
made for long walks to get from one side to the other. This area definitely
The pool area is barely adequate for a ship this size. I also think that the
trellis type things they have all over the space just makes it look junked up
and messy. They don't provide any shade or any purpose that I could tell either.
That said, we never had any problem finding a deck chair on this ship. One of my
favorite spots was on the promenade deck on the shady side of the ship.
Perfect for reading, snoozing or just watching the sea go by. Very few people
seemed to find this space, too.
The spa pool is nice but I just prefer an outdoor pool. The spa itself is lovely
and large. I heard tons of complaints about Steiner, though, and don't
understand why the cruise industry doesn't try to tone them down. We met a
couple who got conned into purchasing $600 in products after their massage!
After my massage, the therapist tried to add some product to my bill without even
telling me the cost. This type of selling by intimidation is appalling.
I guess this happens on all cruise lines, but, since this was our third time on
Celebrity, it was really noticeable. Why do we have to see the same menu the same
day on every cruise we go on? I would think that they could at least vary them
by ship. The food was still very good for the most part, but it is starting to
become repetitive. Except for two meals, the main dining room was wonderful. The
two meals that we didn't care for were just wrong choices on our part, but that
doesn't excuse them being overcooked and dry.
I thought the food in the Ocean Café didn't seem as good as on the Horizon but
Chuck didn't agree with me. The afternoon tea however, remains wonderful and a
highlight of our days. I just love how they have different little imaginative
sandwiches every day.
We found the service on the ship to be basically up to Celebrity's high
standards. Our cabin steward was superb, our waiter great and of course the
service in the Olympic, unbeatable. The bar staff was very good and we ran into two of our favorites from our last
Horizon cruise. It was great to see them.
We did seem to notice less maintenance going on around the ship and once
in the Ocean Café we noticed a server eating some pizza (I'm sure that is a
no-no). The ship was still gleaming and clean though and seemed in great shape.
What can I say? San Juan is San Juan and St Thomas and Nassau are nothing new. Catalina
Island was pretty, but it got really crowded by noon and we retreated to the
empty ship. We took this cruise for the ship and the relaxation. Didn't do one
shore excursion and only went to one show in the theater (having seen all of
them before, another problem with cruising the same line over and over again).
The two days at sea were great, though, and all-in-all we enjoyed the cruise.
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. It was wonderful to get away for a week after
all the mess going on the world lately. The Millennium is a lovely ship with
many positive points to her. She really didn't seem too large to us but we are
really looking forward to trying out the Mercury next. I have a feeling that the
Century class ships might turn out to be our favorites. Only three and a half
months until we sail on her!
If you are interested in pictures from this cruise, look at Andy's cruise page