Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: April 23rd, 2006
Celebrity Cruise Line
Millennium Cruise Review
We were reluctant to take a cruise - we didn't want to feel trapped and forced to participate in silly games and activities (our perception of cruises). We were very cynical and used to "doing our own thing" on vacation. The Millennium changed our mind about cruising and we were surprised at the privacy that the ship offers for times when you'd rather just relax and have a quiet conversation with friends. The ages in our large (company) group of 160 people ranged from 30's to 60's and about 1/2 had taken other cruises. Most of those who had taken other cruises said that this ship, the food and service was about the best they've experienced.
FOOD - The food was excellent - everything was delicious and prepared and presented nicely. We mostly dined in the Metropolitan (main dining room), but had several meals in the casual dining area (buffet-style food) and at the aqua-grill (healthier casual buffet). We had one meal in the Olympic Restaurant, which was the upscale dining room where you pay for a 6-course gourmet meal and impeccable service. I would highly recommend dining here for a very special night out. For wine lovers, they select and serve a different wine with every course/dish. It was really a treat and all the wines selected were very good.
SUITE - The accommodations were nice and plenty of space for us - the balcony on our suite (sky suite) was the best part of the room. The bed was very comfortable and closet roomy. The bathroom was a little small, but adequate (two people definitely would not be able to use simultaneously). A perk of a suite was the butler (ANTONIO) who was tremendous and brought breakfast, tea-time cookies/sweets and appetizers before dinner and basically just about anything you need. This was a special treat and we wish we could have taken Antonio back home with us. The room was always kept clean and towels refreshed every time we left the suite (Thank you Violeta in housekeeping). I am picky about dirt/hair/smells and was pleased with the suite and upkeep. I did get choked by a cigar from a neighboring balcony and it kept me from going out there several times and from opening our door to get ocean air. (I think his wife banished him to the balcony because he was out there a lot.) I hear smoking is not permitted in rooms or verandas, but guess it's hard to enforce and you feel like a tattle-tale if you report it.
ACTIVITIES/SPA - Although I did see kids on the ship (I love kids), they were VERY unobtrusive and well behaved - even the little ones. Occasionally we would see the kids club walking around and it looked like they were having fun. I would say this is mainly a ship for adults, but they have a nice area for kids to play. The pools were very nice (especially late afternoon when there's not many people around). The spa pools were great - warm salt water. We both had 2 massages at the spa and they were great (loved the treatment with the warm stones!) The Gym was beautiful and they had a lot treadmills facing the ocean, which was neat. They have classes daily (yoga, spinning, etc).
ENTERTAINMENT - We don't gamble much, so in addition to feasting at night, we saw 2 comedians (both pretty good), went to hear the bands and the final show on the last night. One band was great (played lots of 70's - 90's hits and were very close to the real bands) and we danced all night. The 50's/60's event had an oriental band that couldn't pronounce the words right - it was amusing and everyone was having fun. They had some bands playing Sinatra, etc., but the crowd was mostly from 60-90 yrs old. The Final show was pretty good and the cruise director was always there after the shows providing information. We like to go to NY for Broadway shows, so we're a little spoiled by these. Smoking in the clubs and casinos makes it unpleasant for non-smokers. Hard to avoid it, you just have to leave - especially in the casino.
EXCUSIONS - Skip going on an excursion in the Dominican Republic, unfortunately there's just not much there to look at except a poor, depressed area. Nice people there that aren't pushy or soliciting tips. San Juan was nice - we went horseback riding and they had ATV's at the same place. Both of the groups had fun and it was worth going, although one bus was acting up and stalling out. (Buy rum before you leave Puerto Rico!) St. Thomas, VI is one of my favorite places and the snorkle trip called "Buck Island Sail & Snorkle" and it was the best! We took a sailboat with only 2 other couples aboard and had a wonderful time. The boat captain guides you snorkeling and points out everything and takes you to the best spots. We preferred this trip to the large boat that had approx. 50 people (catamaran). The last stop was the Nassau, Bahamas and we went on the Historic Harbor tour to Atlantis/Paradise Island resort. Very nice tour through the aquarium/resort, but the boat ride over (10 min) was elbow to elbow, but was bearable. Kind of pushy folks in the markets in Nassau and soliciting on the streets. It was worth it and I would recommend going to Paradise Island/Atlantis on this stop.
1- Take 2-way radios to keep in touch on the ship - otherwise it's hard to find each other if you separate.
2- Make sure that you get on one of the top decks when the ship is pulling in and out of ports - it provides the best view and picture taking opportunity. Nice place at sunset too.
The whole experience turned us into cruise lovers and we are looking forward to our next one (maybe Alaska?).