Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

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

suzyv

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

Recommended Posts

Here is the fourth post in a review of the Eastern Caribbean cruise that my husband and I returned from in April. One day down...only six more to go. To reach the previous three posts, go to:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=172949 for the first post,

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=173634 for the second and

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=176377 for the third.

 

 

Sunday, April 17th – And still… on the Atlantic

 

As we walked down the hallway heading for the staircase, the dance began. Fellow cruisers will know the one I’m talking about. The Cruise Ship Hallway Waltz. Maybe you’ve never heard it called that, but don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. We all do it. You start out walking on one side of the hallway. In the next minute, you’ve waltzed your way to the other side thanks to the rocking motion of the ship. It happens in common areas as well, but it seems to be far worse in confined areas like hallways. I love this. I think it’s the funniest thing to walk down the hall when there is another person coming towards me. Watching them glide from one side to the other while trying to maintain some semblance of dignity is hilarious. Yes I know I’m also executing the waltz as well, and of course I attempt to remain passive about it the whole time. But I can’t see myself, and therefore have no idea if I look as comical as others do. The ladies in heels, myself included, do me in. All gracefulness goes out the window when you’re trying your hardest not to lose your balance every few steps. The more…youthfully challenged guests bring another dimension to the dance as well. Every movement is accompanied by a “Woo-eeee! We’re rocking tonight!!!” Or some version of that comment. Doing the Hallway Waltz is somehow more acceptable when you’re with your spouse or significant other. After all, waltzing on a dance floor by yourself isn’t exactly kosher. Why would it be in a cruise ship hallway? Look at it this way, if you start to stumble you can always send a glare in the direction of your “dance” partner to save face. It was their fault you lost your balance…not yours. Even more fun than walking around on the ship when it’s rocking to beat the band is trying to take a shower. There’s nothing like having to plant your feet on each side of the shower, waiting for just the right moment to reach behind you for the shampoo. Or there’s the wedge-yourself-into-the-corner method of maintaining your balance while you shower. How about the wrestling matches with the shower curtain that seems bent on wrapping itself around you every time the ship rocks? Always amusing. And don’t get me started on shaving in the shower. If I could make one suggestion to Celebrity about the staterooms, it would be to install a little ledge in each shower for women to use when shaving. But I digress…

 

We waltzed along to the Theatre and joined the short line that had formed outside the entrance. According to our Celebrity Daily, the show to be performed was Spectacle on Broadway featuring the Celebrity singers and dancers. I was curious to see how this crop of talent would hold up as opposed to those on our previous cruises. For some reason Celebrity takes a lot of grief for the entertainment they offer. I don’t really understand this. On occasion the party bands are a bit lacking, and I suppose some of the DJ’s in the nightclubs could play a better selection of music, but I’ve never found anything in the entertainment that stood out as being out and out bad. Maybe I’m just easy to please. I can honestly say that I’ve never had any complaints about the production shows that they put on. On previous cruises I’ve been known to attend both shows in one evening because I enjoyed the performances so much. I think that the singers have always been fantastic, bordering on excellent in many cases. The dancers are always great and the sets for the production shows are elaborate and quite impressive considering the fact that the shows are being presented on a moving vessel. Because of that movement we’d unfortunately have to wait a day to get our first taste of the singers and dancers. The Atlantic was churning away beneath Millennium, and for safety reasons the singers and dancers could not go on as scheduled. Instead, we were treated to the Juggling/Comedy of Thien Fu (I hope I’m spelling that right). Greg and I had seen Thien on a previous cruise, and really enjoyed his performance. On this particular evening, I had the feeling that his show was sort of thrown together at the last minute. Not surprising since he wasn’t scheduled to go on at all. Regardless of the circumstances, he gave a good performance, and his juggling skills drew delighted gasps from the audience. Of course he had to pull out the oft-repeated cruise ship joke about everyone flushing their toilets at once. As the joke goes, if said action occurred we would reach the next port…in this case Casa de Campo…in five minutes. It’s easy to gauge how many first-time cruisers are in the audience by their uproarious laughter to this joke. We veterans tend to roll our eyes the instant the joke begins and chuckle with tolerant amusement at the punch line.

 

During this show we also had our first introduction to Cruise Director, Stewart Turnbull. Here I will lodge a bit of a complaint. I don’t believe that Stewart made a very good CD. In my opinion a Cruise Director should be charismatic, funny, knowledgeable, and above all, have excellent stage presence. Stewart delivered information, told a cheesy joke or two, and delivered more information. He wasn’t terribly articulate, and I just didn’t enjoy listening to him. This is only my opinion, and I will readily admit that I may have missed the times when his personality came out. I really try to give the staff on cruise ships the benefit of the doubt. It’s unrealistic to think that every staff member will be in top form every single day of every single week. It’s just not going to happen. Maybe this was Stewart’s first experience as CD, and in the future he’ll be an absolute riot. I’ll never know, unless he shows up on a future cruise. In no way did this diminish my cruise experience. I wouldn’t even have written about it but this is a review, and I need to keep it real.

 

The show ended just before 8:30, so we waltzed outside for a weather check and found the air still chilly and a bit damp. After shivering in the salty air for a moment or two, we made our way to the Metropolitan Restaurant. Unsure of where we would be seated, we chose to enter through the starboard entrance on the lower level. Jackpot. We were led quickly to our table, situated on an aisle in the back left corner of the restaurant. Within moments, Svilen, our waiter from Bulgaria, and Eli, our busboy from Honduras materialized beside our table to introduce themselves. In contrast to each other, Svilen was quite outgoing and smiley, while Eli seemed cordial but very shy. We had a very hard time understanding Eli when he spoke, but Svilen was fairly easy to follow. After our napkins were placed in our laps and menus handed out, we were left alone to peruse the selections. The menus had been changed from our previous cruises, and we found that there were some new choices. After 5 cruises we pretty much had the menus memorized, so it was great to see that Celebrity had updated and we would have different things to try. I’ve read on these boards that Celebrity’s menus are uninspired and boring. I personally don’t see that at all. I think Michel Roux’s meals are inventive, without being so far out in left field that no one would want to try them. They look good on the plate, but more importantly they taste fantastic. I’m continuously amazed by the consistency of quality in every meal not only from night to night, but also from cruise to cruise. I very, very rarely have a complaint about anything on my plate when I’m finished eating. Unless it’s zucchini. I just can’t do the zucchini.

 

I’m not going to be able to recall everything that we had each evening, but for the most part I chose a fish or poultry meal and Greg decided on the beef, steak or veal. I do remember that I had some sort of fish the first night, and it was excellent. The artfully arranged veggies that accompanied it were great as well. The soups and salads are always very good, but what I’d really been waiting for came right at the beginning of the meal. Shrimp Cocktail. Such heaven these little shrimpies are. Celebrity’s cocktail sauce is perfection in my opinion, and if I hadn’t been worried about frightening Eli, I’d have demanded about eight spoonfuls of it. I refrained, settling instead for only three. I gave serious thought to ordering the Shrimp Cocktail every night as my appetizer, but decided to be adventurous and actually order different things.

 

In between courses we tried, usually unsuccessfully, to avoid reaching for yet another roll or piece of bread. (Just a little tidbit of information…we always take our butter out of the tin as soon as we sit down for dinner. By the time the bread arrives the butter is usually soft enough to spread. Try spreading it right out of the ice and you’ll butcher your roll. Trust experience on this one.) With interest, we watched the flurry of activity around us as waiters, busboys, bar attendants and sommeliers jockeyed for space among the tables and in the aisles. We happened to be seated on one of the main paths from the kitchen to the prep area in the back of the restaurant. We felt the breeze more than once from trays of dinners held inches above our heads and quickly learned that we needed to check behind us before getting up to leave. How there aren’t continuous collisions is beyond me. Of all of the staff members on a cruise ship, I give the most credit to the dining room staff. They work harder than anyone else on the ship, and their service tends to be something that you remember for years after your cruise. They know they have to be exceptional every single meal, and I can’t imagine the pressure they must feel before they get to know the guests they will be serving. Our service was slow the first night, but because I enjoy the entire dining experience so much, it really didn’t bother me at all. Greg tends to get a bit antsy when dinner stretches out, but even he wasn't upset with the lag time in between courses.

 

As we sipped our coffee and discreetly licked our dessert plates, we realized that it was 11pm. (I'm just kidding about licking the dessert plates. We used our fingers like civilized folk.) Exhaustion, along with the expected food coma began to set in by the final phase of Waistband Expansion for the day. We waited for Svilen to come around to tell us a little about the evening activities, said goodbye, and headed for the casino to make our initial contribution. We chose roulette as our casino poison, plunked down ten bucks, and watched it disappear. The gods of the wheel weren’t in our favor to say the least. Stuffed to the gills and tired beyond comprehension, we dragged ourselves to 3078. Some happy noise was made about the Welcome Aboard gift of Cova chocolates that Mario had left on our bed, but the very thought of eating them, or our pillow chocolates, was more than I could handle just then. With our tiny nightlight casting a soft glow over our cabin, Millennium rocked us gently into a deep, restful sleep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...