Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Just Back from Millennium


Recommended Posts

Overall, we had a wonderful time this week on the Millennium. My review of the Millennium?? Some good, some not so good.


Several things surprised me from what my expectations were by the reports I read on here. Other things overly impressed me based also on my expectations from what I have read.


Here is my synopsis. And remember, this is only my opinion. I do not want a fight here. :) If your experience was different, then I will respect that. Okay, here it is:




THE GOOD (things that exceeded our expectations):


Food - better than expected in the Buffets! Pizza, pasta, salads, breakfast, lunch, etc. was better than my expectations.


Room - nice! organized! Loved the mirrors! And I just had a small, outside room.


Bed – Very comfortable! We asked for feather pillows and something soft on my mattress, and it was awesome!


Ship Condition – VERY nice! I was so impressed with the condition. I have read so much about her being “old” or “tired”. No way!! Overly impressed!


Theater – Very pretty. Liked it better than the Princess theater.


Dining Room – Gorgeous!


Service & Staff – The best! Unbelievable! Made us feel like a million bucks! The staff is so friendly! Over-the-top!


Embarkation and Debarkation – much better than talked about on the boards.



THE BAD (things we didn’t like, but they weren’t deal breakers):


Sewer Smell – We had a weird sewer smell in our bathroom. I think it was from the shower drain. We told our cabin attendant, and he switched the shower curtain, but it did not help. It got better in the middle of the week.


Older crowd – Wow. Older people everywhere. We aren’t really “young” (42), but it seemed like this crowd was extremely old. Even the comedian joked about it. It was almost comical! I never saw so many walkers and wheelchairs in my life. One day, a man (probably 90+ years old) got on the elevator with his walker, in a SPEEDO!!!!!



THE UGLY (things that are deal breakers for us):


Sea of People – I am not sure what the deal was, but there were people EVERYWHERE. This was, by far, the most crowded feeling cruise I have been on (this was our 8th). All public areas were too crowded for me. I know, the Millennium has the most sq ft per person than any ship. I just don’t get that. I don’t know how they calculate it, but I question that stat. The buffet lines, pools, lounges, etc. where always packed with people.


1 outdoor pool – Man! I have read about the chair hogs. I was expecting them. What I wasn’t expecting is not being able to find a chair on either the pool deck or the upper deck!!! It was ridiculous! One day, we have to keep walking around for over 20 minutes until we could find a chair. And this was all the way at the back of the ship (way away from the pool)! I think since they only have 1 pool, everyone on the ship is jammed around it. I can say I was missing the Princess on this one! Princess Grand and Star carry 1,000 more people and I have never had trouble getting a chair. Not always right next to the pool, but somewhere. I think one reason is that Princess spreads the people out over 3 pools. All I know is that if this is a big deal to you (like it was for us) do not sail on Celebrity.


Smoke – Smoke is everywhere on this ship. If I was a smoker, I would love it. They will let you smoke almost anywhere (and believe me, they did).


Buffet system – This was also very frustrating. If just want an egg (for example), you have to stand in this long line and wait your turn. I asked once if I could just jump in the line and get what I needed, and the answer was “no”. I like the pod system much better where if you want a desert, you go straight to that pod.



Things that Under-whelmed us:


Champagne Greeting – Not very impressive. We personally don’t care about this, but I think the hoopla about this is overdone.


Sorbet by the pool – Way over rated. It only happened at 2:00. They come out and make a big deal waving towels, and walking around the pool. The hand them out…well, as far as they go. A lot of people didn’t get one. They said they would be back with more, but never returned. No big deal for us though. If you want ice cream or something, it is a few feet away from the pool.


Therapy pool – It was okay.


Olympic – It was good, but out of this world? No. The steak was the exact same meat we got in the dining room the next night. In our opinion, the food and selection was as good in the dining room (without having to pay $30 pp). Same bread and bread sticks, but instead of you getting your own you waiter served it to you on with a fork and spoon. I don’t know. It just didn’t overly impress me. Our steak was cooked wrong, etc. And the cheeses? I personally don’t care about a cheese just because it was “cultured in the caves of France”. It tasted like cheese.




We have a fantastic time, like we do on all of our cruises. There were some things that were so great!! There were some things that were not. The only problem is that some of the things that are important to us, Celebrity didn’t cater to. That’s okay though! There are tons of people that like different things. I would cruise Celebrity again tomorrow! But I am not sure it going to be my cruise line of choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DeRon, Celebrity Millennium is one of my favorite ships due to the service the staff provides as you indicated above. I'm glad you did feel you received this special treatment. Thanks for the review and glad you did enjoy your cruise even with the few negatives. I felt the same way about Holland on the first cruise I sailed with them regarding age of passengers. On my second one, it was totally different. They are all great, just different in many ways. Happy sailing!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi DeRon !


Thanks for your excellent review. Sorry to hear it was less than perfect, as I know you have waited a long time for this Cruise. Overall, it sounds like you had a pretty good time though.


I am still laughing from the 90 year old man in a speedo. I think I would have laughed my head off seeing that..... and trust me, I have seen a ton of weird and humorous things on Cruise Ships !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just returned from the same Millennium cruise and have zero plans for a repeat!


The little "luxury" touches were so inconsistently provided that the experience made me laugh when I think of Celebrity commercials. Some of the staff were great; others we heard whinning and yelling at guests in the Ocean Grill the first day. It became a game to watch the guys who were to carry trays line up in a position so that they were nowhere near where they would get trays from passengers.


Our bathroom was dirty and the toilet seat there and in some public restrooms looked like they had been carved up and were filthy underneath. We ate in the Ocean Grill 10-12 times and all the tables were filthy along the beveled edge...packed with food, drink, and dirt.


While it was not an issue for us, it did appear to be very crowded around the pool.


Food seemed unimaginative. We liked our inside cabin on deck 3.


We had never left from that pier before and found it a time-consuming nuisance to have to take a shuttle back and forth to the parking.


We found many more families than we expected and, consequently, fewer people our age or older. Our tablemates included two retired professors from my alma mater...small world.


I felt more crowded on the Golden Princess because of the deck design forcing everyone through one busy, narrow passage to get to back showroom.


My wife and I are a little sensitive to smoke, but only found it a bother when we walked through smoking areas, like the smoking side of Cova.


We chose to do the wine paring in the Olympic and had a great meal and service....now I am in debt up to the top of my bald head.


Our conclusion was that we were "overwhelmingly underwhelmed" by the Celebrity experience and look forward to our second Princess cruise in Dec. This was especially disappointing to me because my first cruise in 1974 was on Chandris... T.S.S. Fiesta, a small, old ship with one bar and Greek dancing by the crew as entertainment! But I was hooked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andy, thanks for the welcome home! And yes, we had a good time. You can tell we were disappointed in some areas, but we still had fun.


Another thing I kept reading about was the chilled towels when you returned from port. Maybe we just timed it wrong, but I never experienced or saw a chilled towel. No biggie for us. (Just a random thought.)


The service was great in all areas except dining (for us). We seemed to get put on the back burner while eating in the dining room. It didn't seem as attentive as it was when we sailed the Galaxy years ago.


I guess our expectations were too high based on our first voyage on Celebrity back in 1997. Not sure if the company has changed, or if I have become older, more picky, and harder to please. Ha! Probably the later.


I too will go back to Princess. We just enjoyed the overall experience more. Princess has its flaws also, but they are flaws that don't bother us as much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair comment all around.


BTW, personally, the last thing I would order in the Olympic is the steak. What special thing can you do with a steak???? That is why, in part, the menu has been expanded. The wine pairing menu is, as stated, a bit expensive, but worth it.


What I consistently find interesting is that there are a larger number of people who just like the Princess product better and find Celebrity comes up short. Similarly, there are a large number of people that like the Celebrity product better and find Princess comes up short. I think both are good products, but many of the things that "underwhelmed" are just not important (cleaning issues aside) to those who like Princess better, so it becomes more of a "So what's the big deal" issue.


For example, I have never met a single person who likes the Princess buffet that found the Celebrity buffet anything but disappointing.


I would note that I found many many little things better on the Constellation than on the Millennium. Not enough to say anything bad about the Millie, just more positive about the Constellation.


I'm glad you all had a good, if not great, time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


We were on the Millennium the week prior to your cruise. Overall I agree with your conclusions. This was our 5th cruise ( 4 previous on RCCL ) and overall it was our best. Just some random comments:

I agree the champagne on boarding is no big touch.

I saw the chilled towels at every single port. There was an employee with two big white coolers dispensing them and they were chilled.

I did not detect any sewer smell in our stateroom bathroom but I did notice several times after showering that water and trash would backflow into the tub. I generally noticed this while shaving and then draining the sink but I do not know if there was any connection. I never told DW as I was afraid of her reaction.

I personally thought the buffet food was very limited in selection but did taste good. I like the pods or islands that RCCL has in their Windjammer better than the buffet lines. I had read previous comments on these boards that the wait staff would carry trays in the buffet but I only saw a couple of elderly people having their trays carried. No big deal to me but I had this perception that it was normal Celebrity policy.

The dining room experience was a mystery to me and still is. On RCCL the dining staff seemed to me to be better organized and more crisp and efficient. You sit down and immediately your water glasses are filled, bread is served and your drinks are waiting for you. Within moments the waiter is there greating you and taking your order. On Millenium the first night we sat for over 15 minutes waiting on a bar server to arrive. Overall the service seemed very laid back and not as efficient. What I am not sure about is maybe the Celebrity Dining Room is meant to be laid back and relaxing with dining meant to a leisurely unhurried experience. If that is the case then I misjudged the dining room staff. It just seemed so different than what we had experienced on our previous cruises.

I would cruise the Millennium again and will cruise Celebrity again as I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I were also on this cruise.... our 7th with Celebrity. There are always minor issues, however we do not worry about those. We had an excellent time on board. The entertainment was among the best we have ever had. We are already planning our next Celebrity cruise for next year. It is hard coming back to work today, after having such great service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with your comments. And we, like you didn't worry about issues. These were just our post-cruise thoughts and analysis.


Entertainment was great!! (with the exception of the magician).


I thought that some things tasted better on the Millinnium, and some better on Princess. For instance, we thought the taste of the lobster was far superior on Princess. It was large, but we did not like the flavor. Soups are better on Celebrity. There are trade-offs.


Steaks can be great if prepared correctly. If this was "the best place I would ever experience" in dining, I would think they could prepare a steak wonderfully. Maybe not?


Everyone (me included) could nit-pick a lot of stuff, and I am sure it sounds like I have. That's why cruisers just have to deceide what things are important to them and choose your cruise line accordingly. This is no cut on Celebrity. We LOVED our week on board. They do MANY things in a wonderful way!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We just returned and loved it!!! This was our second time on the Millie and I wish I was still there, having my butler bring capaccino to me on the verandah. The royal suite was great! The food unbelievable. I never found the ship crowded or smokey, but spent a lot of time in gym/spa and cabin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DeRon, I think we were on the same cruise if it was 3 April - 11 April. Regardless, I agree with you on the smoking. I cruised the Mille 5 years ago and did not encounter the smoking at the pool deck as I did this time and it didn't matter where you sat PORT or Starboard and everywhere in between. They were there. Once when talking to another guest about the "Chair hogs" she suggested I just sit down somewhere and light up then more chairs would open up since that is what she did. Non Smoking areas were NOT enforced.

Even the casino reeked of it everywhere that you couldn't sit down at a table or the slots without it around you. They should only have smoking at certain slots or tables.

The reason so many wheel chairs were on our cruise was because there were 200 in a group for "MS for a Cause". We encounted many from the December generation but they did not inhibit us or prevent us from enjoying ourselves.

Sorry, you had a bad steak in the Olympic. I ordered Steak Diane as my entree with the wine pairing and it was cooked perfectly. I am sure if you would have complained they would have prepared you another or compensated you in someway.


I hope you enjoy your future cruises and thank you for your comments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I thought about saying something about our steaks (we asked for medium, and they were very well done), but the guy worked so long and hard on them. I didn't have the heart (or time) to have them redo them. I know, my fault. They would have rather me say something than get on here and complain, but we didn't.


Let me be clear...the wheelchairs and walkers did not bother us. My comments were merely a reflection of the age of cruiser we saw. I have no problem with people in wheelchairs taking cruises. And they sure did not bother us in any way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just returned from the April 17 Millie cruise. Our comparison was to cruising 20 years ago (we are in our early 40's) – where everything that is now considered extras were all standard back then. Even so, we found Millie to be a very pleasant experience. It helped that we were upgraded two levels on our room upon arrival! Here's our lowdown:




Food – Very satisfying and comparable to cruises 20 years ago. Meat was "medium" when I asked for medium. Nothing was tough, overcooked, or undercooked. Food was varied, tasty, hot and comparable to many fine restaurants. If we were curious about two dinner options, our waiter brought both! Our waiter anticipated our table's needs – we never had to ask for much. Service was appropriately timed and correct 99% of the time. I imagine service could vary substantially according to your wait staff.




Room – very clean and serviced often. Our butler and room attendant straightened out the room several times a day, and kept water, towels, accoutrements well supplied. There were some signs of wear on the furniture, in the bathroom, but not to the point of being bothersome. The occasional odor from the bathroom – I do not believe, was sewage, but rather mildew from the drain being drawn out from the bathroom fan. It only occurred a few times, and really wasn't foul in any way. Millie is due for an upgrade – so the planned drydock will bring some of these minor wear issues back to "new" ship status.




Embarkation/Debarkation – for us it went very smoothly. We were on the ship in 15 minutes and off the ship in the second wave around 9 am (there was a slight delay due to customs clearance). We caught a bus leaving for FLL almost right away. I imagine that the experience in this area can vary widely though, as groups started backing up on the ship due to the customs delay, and the onslaught of departing passengers could more easily overload the capacity of the pier personnel. Our key was looking for personnel who looked like they knew what they were doing, and ask them. Some staff had confusion written on their faces – we stayed away from them and we were fine.




Ports – drop Casa de Campo – for us it was a waste of time. We talked to several passengers and none of them found the stop fascinating. Most just said it was "interesting" (code for "why did they pick this place?"). The fact that it was overcast didn't help. San Juan – it rained, but we did the rain forest tour – so rain was planned. I think we actually got less rain in the rain forest than they did in San Juan (this was kind of funny!). St. Thomas – we had earlier planned a beach trip, but changed to shopping because of the weather forecast (it turned out to be a beautiful day!). St Thomas is one of the best stops – wish the ship had stayed longer! Nassau turned out to be better than we had expected. Because we had already done our shopping, we decided it was going to be a beach day. Took a taxi to Cable Beach ($5/person), they left us at the Wyndham resort. We like quiet, uncrowded beaches, so we walked away from the resort and found a nice quiet beach to catch some sun. A very pleasant day!




On-board activities – Our goal was to relax and not work too much to any schedule. There seemed to be plenty to do, although as the week progressed, the same type of activities kept popping up (BINGO!; ART AUCTION!). We weren't into Bingo, trivia, movies, or big production numbers, but found the comedians and magician to be entertaining, and took advantage of the AquaSpa (DW – manicure; moi – massage) and some of the classes (yoga, dance). There was always music playing that suited our tastes or at least came close. The pool was often crowded and many chairs reserved by the "hogs". I found an empty chair near the pool and got some sun while my DW took a yoga class. For a full 1.5 hours, the two chairs next to me were empty, even though they had towels opened and a paperback book left on them. When my DW showed up after the yoga class, we decided that the "fair and reasonable" wait time had been exceeded, so we moved the "chair hog paraphernalia" and occupied the chair. About an hour later (at least 2.5 empty hours), the folks showed up looking for their chairs. They started complaining that they had reserved chairs, but before I could say anything, about four nearby passengers chimed in that the daily program clearly prohibited the saving of chairs. The "hogs" backed off! It was a small victory in the chair hog war - there is power in numbers, and it helps that the program makes the policy clear!




Overall experience – we had a wonderful time! For those looking for a classy experience with minimal hassle (i.e, loud partiers, lots of announcements, etc.), Celebrity is the right cruise line. I did notice that there were some passengers who were just looking to complain. Before we got on the cruise, we decided we were going to have fun, no matter what. When we sat at a table with a couple who started berating a waiter for the most mundane thing, we looked at each other with surprise, looked at them with disdain, got up without saying a word, and walked away. You could almost predict who the complainers would be – they just had a scowl on their faces! We avoided them like the plaque.




Millennium was just the right size for us – we noticed some crowded areas, but could always find places on the ship that were not crowded at all. It was large enough to vary offerings, but not too large where you got lost. One big difference from 20 years ago is the hawking of services and products that seems to be prevalent with all cruise lines, not just Celebrity.




We are faced now with a difficult decision - we want to take out kids (ages 15 and 9) next Summer (2006) on a cruise to Bermuda. We know that Celebrity sails there, but with the smaller ships. Another option is RCCL from Boston or Port Liberty, but we've heard mixed reviews of the ships (Explorer class), and although they probably offer more for the kids, it might be too big and much less …..tasteful… Any advice?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave, nice review. What did you do on the Rain Forrest excursion? We have the same exact thoughts on ports. Nassau was more fun than expected.


Also, our food was cooked perfectly also in the dining room. I felt the food was as good or better in the main dining than the Olympic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For all of you that were on board on the Millie last week with us, I had a few questions. What was your favorite meal/food on board? Did anyone try the pumpkin sherbert or banana ice cream? They were both incredible. Also I thought the sushi was awesome. Did you catch Pepe de Jose playing the guitar on deck 10 outside? He was really good and personable. Do you all enjoy watching the ship come into port? I love standing out on the deck and watching how manuverable the ships are. I have been to Nassau several times and enjoy the ship doing the 360 in the harbor!


As far as ports, we did not mind Casa de Campo too much. We thought that the river view and little "town" was a nice place to walk around for a while. Besides the shady looking characters popping up from behind the fence to try to sell us braclets. In San Juan we did the city tour and Bacardi factory, which were both nice. How about that thunder..... we almost jumped out of our skin with a couple booms.... tremendously loud. In St. Thomas (our favorite place also) we did the island drive and Coral World. There were some really interesting exhibits there and it was a beautiful setting. It was great coming into Nassau on Saturday. The ocean looked like a big lake, the water was so calm. We just walked around in some of the stores there and went back to the ship.


The dancers and singers were great in the production shows. We have saw Thien Fu on previous cruises and he is entertaining. We also enjoyed the magician and comedian.


Like I said earlier, we had a great time on the ship. We are thinking about doing the Souther Carr. next year on the Constellation. If any one has any questions about the trip, feel free to let me know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dave,

Glad you enjoyed your cruise, we are sailing on Millie in Dec. We have been on the AOS and MOS the big ships RCCL has. It is also the size ship that goes to Bermuda out of NJ. It is a great ship for teens. We took our 2 teens plus 3 other teens this fall and they all loved the ship.

We must live just a few miles from each other. Take care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our 16th Celebrity cruise and had a great time. Could have done without Caso de Campo, weather could have been better but the one most annoying problem were the unattended kids (mostly 10-13). We thought that spring break was over or we would have booked a later date. We have 3 of our own but have there own lives now. We cruise to relax and get away but there were some of the most obnoxious ill-mannered children aboard this particular cruise AND WE BLAME THE PARENTS not the kids. Talked to a man in the elevator and he said how great it was to let his kids go and see them only at dinner. Couldn't even play pictionary because the kids just jumped in to play and were given all the prizes because they were kids. There should have been more Family events so the parents could play with the kids instead of dumping them on the rest of us. Hard to avoid groups of 6 or 7 11-13 year olds running around the ship looking something to do. Had an aft cabin next to a family aft cabin and just like on planes (luck of the draw) we had a family with 3 of the most whinny, crying kids you could imagine. We really couldn"t even use our balcony because they played lock one out till he cries and screams then do it to the other. Grandma and Mom & Dad thought it was cute. They were in and out of the connecting rooms, opening and slamming the doors and the smell of an unchanged diapered 8 month old crawling down the hallway seemed hilarious (to Grandma). Sorry folks to be kid bashing but this was worse than Carnival. Glad the kids had a good time but we have decided that we will do longer than 7 day cruises and be a bit more studious in children counting. I've purged my myself now and feel better. Food was excellent:Olympic Rest was Superior:service was excellent and the shows, especially the brand new one, were superior. Still love Celebrity but am concerned that they are catering to a more Family oriented cruise experience like Disney and Royay Carib. Hum Bug.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, DeRon


We just got off her last month. Those "port hole" cabins are wonderful! Definitely not your father's port hole cabin. LOL I agree with you on most everything, especially the Olympic restaurant. Did you take advantage of the wine special? What a disappointment. Service was my only beef, I would of thought it wonderful had I not done a few cruises on the Zenith.


Glad you enjoyed yourself,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the great reviews. It's good to know she's looking good, running well and that the staff and food are as expected!


We are less than 2 months from our Millennium cruise and when I think about it I get butterflies in my tummy. I hope I don't explode with excitement before we even get to Venice. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave, nice review. What did you do on the Rain Forrest excursion? We have the same exact thoughts on ports. Nassau was more fun than expected.


Also, our food was cooked perfectly also in the dining room. I felt the food was as good or better in the main dining than the Olympic.



Sorry for the delay in responding... We found the El Yunque Rain Forest excursion to be fascinating. For one thing - the bus ride from the pier is about an hour - and you get to see the island. You travel through the old and new parts of San Juan, areas of poverty and wealth, as well as past Home Depot, Sears and KFC - and the many pharmaceuticals who manufacture in PR. Once at El Yunque, the drive up the mountain on the narrow, windy road is nothing less than white knuckle - with several stops at the visitors center, the observation tower, the "fountain of youth" waterfalls, and a small hike through the rain forest itself.


Well worth the trip if you want a departure from the typical tourist stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did El Yunque during a Princess cruise. We loved it.


One question. Did you get rained on? We did.


The bus driver laughed at all of us when we got on the bus with no towels.


He said "It is a RAIN forest, folks."


And it was.


Nice thing is though, you dry out very quickly.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reviews and notes. Heading out on the Millie Transatlantic this Sun and cant wait.

This will be my 6th Celebrity cruise ( 2 years since the last one) and I cant wait to get back on them. In the meantime I've done RCCL, HAL, Princess. I havent had a bad cruise yet, but prefer Celebrity overall. I'm not very picky when on vacation (I'm there to relax not stress) so maybe that helps.

Appreciate the info again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Explore 5 Unique Destinations With All-inclusive Pricing
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2023
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...