Fans call her Millie, definitely not short for Mildred, a popular name for long dead relatives.
This was our second time sailing with Celebrity, and in general the Millennium was an improvement over the Infinity.
First, we never ran into passengers complaining about subsidizing those passengers who paid less than they did. Nobody seemed concerned that the uneducated, uncultured, riff-raff (aka anybody clever enough to get a low fare) were sailing on this ship and lowering the Celebrity standards.
That was refreshing. Then again, we didn’t have much opportunity to eat lunch with others as the Main Dining Room does not serve lunch on port days, and the majority of our days were port days.
Here is a brief overview of our experience:
Very quick, mostly because we boarded close to 4 pm. The separate lines for suites and Captain’s Club were closed down and we were informed that those didn’t mean anything anyway. We thought it meant priority registration. Nevertheless, the line moved quickly, although we weren’t so thrilled when the security people closed the line that we were in, just when we were next to go through and sent us to the back of another security line. Go figure.
We had to fight our way to the champagne table. There weren’t people with trays serving the champagne, but rather a station just like in the buffet where you grabbed your own glass. After grabbing our glass of champagne, we were directed to, but not escorted to our cabin – #2164.
What a surprise when we were told that we did not need to bring our life jackets to the drill. They claim that this is a new rule. We met in a designated spot and then were led to our life boat stations. Read more about this here.
We found our cabin comfortable and really appreciated the attempt to block the light with the new shades. Unfortunately, our shade was cut just a tad too small and part of the track was broken. Our bed was comfortable, but we still haven’t gotten over the surprise of worn sheets with holes and the pilled bedspreads. The pilling makes these bedspreads look like they were purchased at a garage sale. The person in charge of buying the bedding needs to consider more durable bedspreads that don’t show wear. We toured Concierge Class level stateroom 9101 and while a bit bigger than ours, we also noticed worn furnishings, like the lamp below.
This would be a great deal at a garage sale, but most purchasers would probably add a coat of spray paint to make it look nicer. The bedspreads here were the same pilled ones that we had. Guess that these things weren’t considered during the May 2009 drydock.
We had a very efficient and cabin steward who took good care of us and our stateroom. We did notice that some of the toiletries, like shampoo, weren’t replaced when they got low. We also received invites to functions after the functions happened. Guest Relations says that this was the fault of housekeeping.
Food is so subjective, so obviously this is just our opinion. The food was edible, but nothing special. The beef, although tasty enough, was always tough and difficult to cut and chew. The fish was consistently good. We had great waitstaff in the main dining room. We were disappointed that the main dining room doesn’t serve lunch on port days. We much prefer this style of dining to the buffet. We did try the pizza, which was probably the worst that we have had on any ship.
There is a part of the buffet that is sectioned off for table service with a $2 surcharge. Although reservations are needed, we made them half an hour before we wanted to eat. Many people aren’t aware of this, and this option was available in the way of themed dinners on the Infinity. Perhaps that has changed across the board.
We were most disappointed with the Aqua Spa Cafe. On the Infinity, there were lots of choices with a good selection of healthy juices. On the Millennium, there were not many food options and the juices came with a charge. We were as surprised as the person who accepted orange juice from a server and was then told that there was a charge for the fresh-squeezed orange juice. We don’t recall anything like that on the Infinity.
For us the best thing in the buffet is the Small Asian Plates. Unfortunately, that has very limited hours. It offers a good alternative to the buffet and a small, but varied, selection of Asian food. The home made ice cream is also a real treat, but what’s with the toppings? Gummy Bears, M&M’s and other weird things. This isn’t Disney. How about nuts and sprinkles? There are some walnuts on the buffet near the salad area. That’s the place to go if you don’t want kids’ toppings.
In addition to the buffet and Asian food, we also tried the sandwiches, which are made to order, and the burgers, which are the typical frozen patties.
We found the ship to be better maintained than the Infinity. Of course, it was recently in drydock so that may have had some bearing. Although we expected the layout to be the same in each ship because they are in the same class, we found that not always to be the case. We enjoyed the different bars on the ship and found the entertainers there to be good as well. We didn’t attend any lectures, although we did watch some of the Alaska lectures on the TV and the person seemed quite knowledgeable about the area. This is a welcome change from the previous lectures that we have attended through the years. We didn’t go to any of the production shows, so can’t comment on them.
How can any itinerary to Alaska be bad? We took full advantage of every port, organizing our own excursions. We hike, biked, whale-watched and kept active in every port.
Our stops included Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point and Anchorage. We thoroughly enjoyed each and every port.
We would definitely sail to Alaska and on the Millennium again. We did do a cruise tour afterwards and will be discussing that next time.