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Bobbie Talley

Age: 59

Occupation:Admin Assistant

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Millennium

Sailing Date: 2010-06-25

Itinerary: Inside Passage-Alaska

I don't see a category for our 'cruse style' which would be leisure. We have nothing to compare our trip to as this was our first, but the entire 12 night cruise & tour we took with Celebrity (on the Millennium) was fantastic. The scenery for both the land and the sea portion was incredibly beautiful this time of year and the hotels, even the non-extravagant ones, were perfect. The only thing I would change is, if we had it to do over, would be to take the southbound version with the land tour first, as opposed to beginning with the cruise portion. But either way, this is a trip of a lifetime and if you have not visited Alaska, you should.

We opted for the 6 p.m. seating, and never felt rushed, as some have indicated. The food was a little 'complicated' for our simple Texas lifestyle, but always presented with flare and quite enjoyable. The upper deck grill was getting quite a work-out from hamburger and hot dog lovers, and for good reason. They were fantastic! I hated to miss out on the fabulous buffet lunches, but HAD to have those hot dogs! The evening menus offered a full selection of meals which were available at every dinner, and also another full selection that changed each night. I have to say the steaks (beef) were on the thin and dry side, and not great, but there was so much to choose from, if you didn't like one thing it wasn't difficult to find another. The desserts, while great to look at, lacked a little flavor, but we decided that was due to the European flair for desserts and pastry. I'm a big chocolate lover, but I didn't have much luck choosing any of the chocolate based delights. Not to my liking. But the fruit tarts, (and the fruits in general) were to die for! In general, no complaints about food at all. (Gained about 5 lbs, so I can't complain about the food!)

As I said, this was our first cruise and I was all prepared for tiny, cramped staterooms with little space to move around. What a pleasant surprise! The rooms were quite ample in space, and the bathroom, in particular, was absolutely not cramped at all. The shower accommodated my XL husband as well! We chose to travel Concierge Class which gave us a small veranda, but honestly, it was certainly big enough. We had plenty of room to sit outside and relax, eat, read, or just enjoy the scenery, and had all the room we could possibly need. The bed was large and comfortable, as was the couch. Plenty of storage space to hold all our belongings, and the bed was raised high enough to stash our rather large suitcases underneath. Private safe inside the closet, and a mini-fridge which came stocked in case you might want a night-cap, (for a price, of course,) which was actually quite reasonable.

I had read the reviews about mediocre talent on the cruise ships and wasn't expecting much. We were traveling with friends and basically entertained ourselves, but the shows we did see were entertaining and enjoyable. (The magic show and comedy ventriloquist were great. ) I've decided that the people who complain probably enjoy complaining in general. The purpose of a cruise is to relax and enjoy being on vacation, right? If a person wants to be entertained constantly, there certainly appeared to be lot of activities onboard to chose from. The cruise director was fun and animated and worked hard at scheduling events with a wide appeal. The only thing I found a bit boorish were the art auctions. I did drop in for a visit during one of the auctions and found that perhaps I wasn't the only one who felt that way. But due to the abundance of events, activities, onboard shopping or places to hide-a-way and daydream, a person would have to struggle to be bored unless they wanted to be.

Due to the random or sporadic weather changes in Alaska, we opted not to purchase the flightseeing until the day we arrived in port. The day we intended to take a helicopter tour turned out to be overcast and rainy, but the following day was beautiful, so we were glad we had the option to fly on a different day. All the reviews I had read listed the Whitepass Yukon train excursion as a 'Do Not Miss". They were correct, and it was wonderful. Even though it rained for most of the trip, I stood outside on the little platform the entire way and took pictures. Breathtaking views. I would have to say I also was looking forward to the 'Ghosts and Goodtime Girls' walking tour in Skagway. Unfortunately, we were a bit disappointed in that one, and we sort of 'faded away' from the group about halfway through the guided tour.

I was a little worried about disembarking in various ports, but I shouldn't have been. It was seamless, and not an issue at all. We were particularly glad to know that curing the land tour portion, our luggage was handled for us and delivered nightly to our hotel rooms. The only other comment I would like to make here is regarding the dining crew on board the Millennium. By the end of our cruise portion, we all wanted to adopt our waiter and assistant waiter. (If you happen to cruise on the Millennium, be sure to tell Eka and Emel that the Talleys said hello.) On the land portion, our tour director Matt, and bus driver, Emily, were was simply the best. Not only were they extremely helpful and informative, but quite entertaining. Such a combination I would think hard to find, but apparently Celebrity has found this type of individual in abundance. As I've said earlier, this was our first and only cruise experience and frankly, if we do ever cruise again, I would be very hard pressed to look beyond Celebrity.

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