Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: 2001
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
I traveled with a friend (Mike) on this most interesting voyage. We left out of Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) on Sunday, March 18th. The ship didn't leave until 4:30pm, but the two of us were on board at 11:30am (we were two of the first twenty on board). Taking advice from this website and others, we immediately went and booked our onshore excursions at the excursions desk (Snorkeling in St. John and Blue Lagoon Island in Nassau). Thereafter, we ran over to book reservations for Monday night at the acclaimed OLYMPIC restaurant. Being one of the first, we were guaranteed our Monday night, 7:30pm time slot. The charge of $25.00 for The Olympic proved a good deal given the awesome treatment and atmosphere on the ship we later were exposed to.
After completing those two "chores", we went to our room, seeing that it would not be ready for another hour or two. Not to worry, we went down to the pool area. I was given the recommendation to bring my swimsuit in my carry-on. I'm glad I did. I got into the hot tub before anyone. Half an hour in the hot tub, I ordered my first BAHAMA MAMA ($7.99 after gratuity and souvenir glass). I would end my trip with five souvenir glasses. Passengers getting on board would pass me, smiling, and then regretting they would have to wait a few hours for their suits to arrive in their room. We left closer to 5pm instead of the noted 4:30pm.
There was a slight overcast, but that would basically be the worse weather the entire trip. As we were getting ready to leave out of port, a nearby passenger told me that we would not stop on Tuesday at San Juan due to a propeller problem of some sort. Seeing as I anticipated going there (I have an Uncle and his family there), my trip started in a lackluster note. Celebrity "compensated" by giving everyone a $50.00 room credit. Big deal! It was quite cheap of them, but the cancellation of San Juan was one of the only disappointments of my journey at sea. Having no reference to other interiors of ships, I can still confidently say that "MILLENIUM" is a beautiful ship!! From the classy Celebrity Theater to The Metropolitan Dining Area, this ship was detailed and beautiful on many different levels. NOTE: Our supposed four ports of call were San Juan (cancelled as mentioned), Catalina Island (a private island in the Dominican Republic owned by the cruise ship), St. Thomas (where we took a ferry to St. John for some incredible snorkeling at the beautiful TRUNK BAY), and Nassau/Bahamas (where we visited the huge and nicely detailed ATLANTIS resort, alongside going to BLUE LAGOON ISLAND - an island with a hundred hammocks tied to swaying palm trees in front of the ocean). Aside from missing San Juan, the other ports were great. Leaving Sunday, we had Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as our full days at sea.
By Wednesday, I was ready to explore a little. We stopped at Catalina Island (I was on one of the first boats to the island at 9am. We were there from 9am until 5pm. I basically spent seven hours tanning in my chair as I dazed at the ocean. It was a beautiful day. You could ride "banana" boats, or you could snorkel. I snorkeled for half an hour, opting then to return to my lazy tanning on the chair. I noticed butterflies flying around all day. The island was beautiful, and the sun was shining. ALOE and Hawaiian Tropics #'s 6 and 15 were my best friends on the trip. The five course meals onboard were amazing!
The food is top rate, and the service was great. The staff, basically one employee for every two guests, was top notch, and I felt like a king everyday with the classy service and respect given to me onboard. There is a shopping section on the ship where you can buy jewelry, alcohol, clothing, and other stuff. I'm male, so I avoided this area like the plague. Thursday, we docked in St. Thomas. We got off at 9am to meet our group on the dock to go on our excursion to snorkel at Trunk Bay in St.J ohn. We boarded a ferry boat. The boat got quite crowded. We were in the front row of the boat. Before we left, the captain warned us that the seas were rough, and he also noted we couldn't move once we got out to sea. My buddy and I said, "This will be the adventure portion of our trip." At sea, we hit many rough waters on our twenty-five minute ride to St. John. We got soaked as we clung to the seat with each crashing wave. It was a blast! Wet and arriving in St. John, we got onto a bus, which then took us on our ten-minute ride to Trunk Bay. Voted one of the top ten beaches in the world by National Geographic, we marveled at the beautiful seclusion of the island. There, we had a very fun but rushed 90 minutes of snorkeling. There should have been an extra hour or two to enjoy the island, but that would be my only complaint. The snorkeling was awesome (one of my first snorkeling experiences ever), and I took about a dozen underwater photos of my little fishy friends. At the end of the visit there, I was underwater trying to snap a photo of my friend. He kept pointing for me to look below (we did this to point out fish we saw). HOWEVER, he was not pointing at a fish or anything like it. Instead, I managed to put us both directly over FIRE CORAL, coral you don't want to touch. Needless to say, we DID touch it, and we both got a rash on our legs. I took a photo right before the damage occurred. On the ride back to St. Thomas, the tour guide gave five brave souls a shot of 151 Cruzan RUM. I later bought a bottle for $5.95 at a grocery store in St. Thomas. We immediately headed into St. Thomas for two hours of looking around. In a bar that escapes me in title, we had a MANGO COLADA drink, the perfect remedy for a full day of sun and snorkeling. Banana Rum complimented it.
There is plenty of shopping for electronics and jewelry. We browsed for about an hour, and then we walked back to the ship. Friday was a full day at sea. Onboard, we layed out in the sun on the Sports deck (Deck 11) while the ship band, PRODIGY, played reggae and plenty of music from the legend himself, BOB MARLEY. Next to our sunning spot, there is the popular AQUA SPA, supposedly the finest spa at sea. It was very nice, with a workout spa area, pools, and plenty of rooms to pay high prices for massages, manicures, etc. I never bought a massage ($95 or so for an hour). In the afternoons, you could find food just about any time of day. There was an afternoon pizza buffet. There is a section on the ship called THE CAFE MILANO. In the early evening (around 6pm) my friend Mike and I would do what became a tradition onboard - we would go around 6pm for a great hot chocolate ($2.24 after gratuity - NOTE: Before you board, they make a copy of your credit card so you can use an all purpose, white MILLENIUM card that scans every order to your card - You can check your "damage" by turning on your television in your room). Anyways. With our hot chocolate every night, we would watch a woman named Barbara play her HARP in the safe. A classy touch in my opinion! She was very nice and melodic.
Our late seating was at 8:30pm every night. Our waiter, Pawel, was from Poland, and he was honestly hard to understand. In time, we got the just of what he was trying to say. Celebrities pride themselves in food preparation, and I must admit they did a great job. I was never left hungry after my meal (which didn't keep me from eating an hour or two later though!). The entertainers were Michael James, a guy who was a comedian and did routines on a ladder. He was the best we saw all cruise. There was a mediocre ventriloquist. He was quite talented in his art of ventriloquism, but his routines often fell flat in my opinion. One of the surviving members of THE LETTERMAN was the Vegas lounge act of the ship. He was talented but often tacky. Shifting gears, our rooms were cleaned twice a day. They always provided water and ice twice a day in your rooms. The entire ship itself, for the most part, was a smooth journey. There were nights at dinner (the fifth deck) at the Metropolitan where you could feel the boat moving quite a bit. Overall, it was very good because I was quite certain I would feel seasick at some point. Luckily, I never felt sick. In NASSAU, we got into port early. Having two hours before our trip to Blue Lagoon Island, we went to the famous ATLANTIS resort. For 4 dollars each way, we took a taxi to the resort (travel time was only about eight minutes). The resort is beautiful. We found out it costs $280.00 a night. There is a casino. I won a whopping $2.50 with the one-quarter I gambled with (Hey, it's better than losing right?)
Satisfied, we went back to the ship and went on the ferry to Blue Lagoon Island. My friend went to snorkel, but I got on a hammock facing the ocean and kicked back with a reggae band playing faintly a few hundred yards away. Still there, we walked by DOLPHIN ENCOUNTER ($94.00), and we walked in for a look. We went at the perfect time (it was feeding time). The Dolphins were awesome! There isn't much to at Blue Lagoon Island, but that is the point! That was our last port of call. Overall, "MILLENIUM" was a very great experience filled with a few minor bumps. They were quite cheap for only giving us a $50.00 credit for not going to San Juan, but I really don't have much to complain about. This was my first cruise, and I can easily tell you that if you haven't ever been on a cruise before, it is quite addicting. I am back in Colorado now ready for my next cruise. Email me at FilmFan311@hotmail.com if you went on this cruise or if you have any questions. Looking forward to going out to sea again,