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Millie Eastern Caribbean Sailing (Post #2) 4/17/05 - 4/24/05


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This is Part Two of a continuing review of the cruise my husband and I recently returned from. Part One can be reached by clicking the following link: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=172949


Still Sunday, April 17th - Atlantic Ocean


I always have to laugh about the food jokes surrounding the cruise experience because they’re completely true. Cruise lines feed you 24 hours a day. And whether you’re hungry or not…you’re going to eat. Why? Because…it’s…THERE. And it requires no preparation on your part. Want some Italian? Hit the pasta station at 3:30 in the afternoon. Pizza craving? Stroll on by the Build Your Own Pizza station for a little pre-dinner snack. Jonesing for something cold? Try some frozen yogurt or sorbet…available all afternoon and into the evening. Six flavors a day to choose from! Coffee and hot water dispensers for tea make it easy to consume caffeine…all the better to keep you up well into the night eating and drinking. The only thing that is offered to you more than food on a cruise is alcohol. And what could possibly go better with your cheesburger and french fries than a nice Bahama Mama? Or in my case, it’s the Yellow Birds. They get me every time. By the way…if anyone happens to have the recipe for these blissful, fruity concoctions, please pass it on. I would be most grateful.


Food-wise, our cruise started out very well. Celebrity delivered right off the bat, as they always do. The welcome aboard lunch buffet was great, and offered more choices than we could possibly fit on our plate. Fooling myself into thinking I was being good, I dove into the salad makin’s and prepared myself a nice, healthy, leafy salad. To that I added a dollop of Celebrity dressing (heavenly), and some tasty pasta salad. Moving down the line past the beautiful carved fruit displays, I began to realize that I was doomed. My plate just wouldn’t be complete without a bit of the fish, some baked ziti, some potatoes and one…no…two desserts. Cringing at my decidedly rocky start at attempting to eat healthy on this cruise, I grabbed some Passion Fruit/Guava juice (new to us, and a fast favorite of Greg’s) and tried to find a table outside. No dice, so we carried our things to a table with a view of the port outside. Whenever possible, we ate on the back deck outside of the Ocean Café. Trying to contain the food, sugar packets and napkins that randomly take flight in the wind can be a bit bothersome, but there’s nothing like enjoying a great meal, and taking in the serenity of the ocean around you as you eat. Besides, the amusement factor of watching your lettuce part company with your plate is well worth the very minor annoyance. When we finished our initial waistband expansion, we decided to stroll around the decks for a bit. The sun had taken the chill out of the air, but a steady breeze kept the temperatures well below what we would have expected in Ft. Lauderdale. At around 1pm, the announcement was made that the cabins were ready for passengers. Gathering our bags, we headed down to Deck 3 and cabin # 3078.


On all but one of our cruises, we’ve chosen to stay in an inside cabin. Our needs have always met quite nicely by this type of stateroom, especially on Millie. There was plenty of room to move around, more than enough storage space, a queen bed (two twins pushed together), a sofa, a desk and a typical cruise ship bathroom…tiny, but efficient. The cabin was decorated simply, as you would expect for the least expensive type of cabin on the ship. We opted for a balcony on one of our previous cruises and really enjoyed it. However, we decided that we don’t spend enough time in the cabin to make it worth the extra expense. Besides, sleeping is quite easy in a pitch-black room, as will be evidenced in a future installment. A note to all…should you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, take a minute to look inside your toilet while the cabin is completely dark. There’s a mysterious glow in there. I’m not kidding. I know we’re not the only ones who have noticed it. We’ve decided that maybe it’s to show male passengers where to aim when the room is dark. Don’t believe me? Take a look one night. Trust me, I couldn’t possibly make this stuff up.


While I set about unpacking our carry-on bags, there came a gentle knock on our door. Our stateroom attendant Mario, and his assistant Andrew, had come to introduce themselves. Silently grateful that we could understand most of what Mario said, we chatted with him for a few minutes, and then he left us to our unpacking. Well…left ME to the unpacking, as that’s my area of expertise. It wasn’t long before the rest of our luggage magically appeared outside of our stateroom, prompting a sigh of relief from me. I’m not sure why, but I’m always nervous that some luggage troll is going to thieve our suitcases and we’ll be left wearing the same pair of shorts and shirt for the entire cruise. How embarrassing would that be on formal nights? I’m sure it’s happened many, many times to many, many people and I really feel for them. Greg passed me clothes on occasion, but mostly stayed plastered against the wall so as not to get in my way. Our lifeboat drill was set for 4pm, and I was on a mission to have everything in its place by then. The familiar BING-BONG sounded just as I was putting the last of the clothes away. Feeling smug, I donned my fashionable lifejacket and we headed to our muster station. As we climbed the stairs to Deck 4 on our way to our meeting area outside of Michael’s Club, I looked up in time to see that we were being filmed by some of the ship’s crew. Fantastic. Our moment of glory in the Cruise in Review DVD would show us trudging up the stairs in full emergency garb. I was probably playing with the whistle at the time too. By the time we’d learned how to put our lifejackets on (both in English and in Spanish) and made our way outside for the final part of the lifeboat drill, it was going on 4:30. Sail-away was scheduled for 4:30, and we were hoping to have time to dump our fashion statements in our cabin and grab our camera before the ship started pulling away. Unfortunately we were partially into the harbor before we were able to claim a spot at the railing. We both enjoy watching the ships leaving port and docking. There’s something pretty amazing about the maneuverability of these massive ships. If only our cars had side thrusters…parallel parking wouldn’t be such an adventure for those who have issues with it.


Millennium sailed away from Ft. Lauderdale skirting around a storm, which quickly put a damper on the sail-away festivities. Once outside of the protection of land, the ship immediately began rolling with the waves. We’ve only felt seas like that on one other cruise, and that was to Bermuda. While this wasn’t nearly as bad as crossing the Atlantic, the ocean was certainly angrier than we had ever seen it on a Caribbean cruise. It wasn’t the most promising beginning to our trip, to be sure, but the weather did nothing to curb our expectations for a great cruise. After months and months of waiting for it, we were finally back on the ocean, and that was all that mattered.

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  • 1 month later...

Am enjoying reading your reports on the Millie-- we just booked 2/5/06 to Eastern Aribbean-- can;t wait--this is cruise number two for us and first on Celebrity-- last was on Mariner of the seas on RCCL-- anyone done both and could make suggestions or tips for me? Thanks Pam:confused:

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