Jump to content

Southbound Millennium Cruise and Excursions Photo Review


Recommended Posts

Good afternoon fellow cruisers. I just returned from a fabulous Alaskan vacation that included the southbound Millennium cruise from Seward to Vancouver. I've done a few photo reviews and I think this trip is very worthy of sharing in pictures. Although my experience was mostly excellent, fair warning to all reading, I have no problem pointing out where Celebrity was a little disappointing. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask away.

 

I'll start out by saying the one-way, southbound trip, was really attractive to me, so I wrestled with booking the Millennium or the Radiance of the Seas. ROS was a little more expensive, but with my balcony discount for being D+, the prices evened out. I had open bookings for both, so OBC was the same. The deciding factor was my DW who thought Celebrity would be a better fit for this cruise. Spoiler Alert.....in hindsight, I would book the ROA for on-board reasons I could not have known beforehand, but that's something I'll save for closer to the end. This was still a great cruise.

 

To be continued.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our trip started out with a flight into Anchorage. We rented a car and headed out southbound on the Seward Hwy. This is an awesome drive with great views of Turnagain Arm.

 

ry%3D400

 

Our first stop was a 2 night stay in Girdwood. We stayed at Hotel Alyeska. This was a beautiful hotel and the service was excellent.

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our room had a great view of the Black Diamond ski run and the tram leading up to Seven Glaciers restaurant up on the mountain.

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Edited by Aquahound
Link to post
Share on other sites

We rode the tram up to Seven Glaciers for our first night's dinner. The tram is free if you have restaurant reservations.

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

 

Here is a view from the platform at the top:

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

On Thursday, we drove to Whittier. You have to time this drive right because the train tunnel is 2.7 miles long and is only one lane. So, traffic alternates every 30 minutes.

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

In Whittier, we booked the 26 Glaciers cruise on the Klondike Express. If glacier viewing is your thing, this is an excellent cruise. It was 3.5 hours long. It is a high speed catamaran that rides smooth as glass. The competiton was a company called Major Marine. Klondike Express was able to visit more spots because the boat was considerably faster.

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our first stop was at Surprise Glacier. The glacier was actively calving, but I was enjoying the sights and sounds of the falling ice too much to catch photos of the calving in action.

 

ry%3D400

 

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much. The weather was unbelievable. It was bright and sunny, 60s-80s almost the entire trip. It was overcast in Icy Straight Point, and not until the last day cruising the Inside Passage did we have any lasting rain.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After playing with the otters for a little while, we went over to Yale Glacier:

 

ry%3D400

 

...and then Harvard Glacier:

 

ry%3D400

 

..and then there was this large glacier. Sorry, I don't remember the name of this one:

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

Leaving Whittier, we stopped by this avalanche chute on the side of the road. Pictures don't do it justice because it is larger and steeper than it appears in the photo.

 

ry%3D400

 

Walking up to the foot, I spotted something moving near the top, so I zoomed in with my camera and saw this wild animal ;):

 

ry%3D400

 

I'm not sure what he was up to and for being so far up the avalanche chute, I'm surprised at his clothing and lack of gear. Then he decided to have a little fun:

 

ry%3D400

 

I didn't stick around for him to get to the bottom.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We decided to drive back to Girdwood and attempted to do a night hike at Crow Pass. We drove 3 miles up the dirt road to the trail head, but ran into this. The road was blocked by an avalanche.

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

On Wednesday (Sorry I said Thursday earlier....I meant Tuesday), we drove down to Hope, where we did a hike on the Hope Trail. It was a beautiful hike.

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

We passed the above lookout area and came back to it 15 minutes later. This is what appeared in the mud in the 15 minutes we were gone:

 

ry%3D400

 

We made our way back to the trail head. All in all, we hiked about 3 miles and had a great time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday night and Thursday night were spent in an awesome vacation rental called the Cottonwood Corner. Sorry, I didn't take pictures here, but I do highly recommend it over a hotel room. It is very convenient to both downtown Seward and the Exit Glacier. Here is one photo I took on my hike to the Exit Glacier:

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

On Friday, we boarded the ship at about 2 pm. Boarding was effortless. There were no lines and we were aboard very quickly. Initial impressions were good. The ship appeared to be clean and in good shape.

 

This is the main atrium:

 

ry%3D400

 

...and here are a couple shots of Café al Bacio:

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

I visited Café al Bacio every morning for a cappuccino. It was delicious and the girls working their were very friendly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Then we got to our room, Concierge Class 8167....which brings up my first complaint. Knowing Millennium to have been through a recent refurbishment, I was a little surprised at the condition of the fixtures and several other things I'll point out later. I didn't take a picture of our sofa bed, but it would not close all the way. It stuck up about 6 inches in the front, exposing the metal frame and sitting on it in that condition was uncomfortable. I tried to fix it, but couldn't figure out what was preventing it from closing. I also mentioned it to our room attendant, but he said it had been like that for a while and they tried to fix it in the past.

 

It doesn't show up real well in this picture, but the lamps were covered in rust. This isn't the Celebrity I had come to love:

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday was a sea day that included Hubbard Glacier. We knew to book a port side balcony for the southbound cruise and we did not regret it. The views along the shoreline were stunning. This is Mount St Elias, an 18,000 ft peak.

 

ry%3D400

 

Here, we are starting to make the turn toward the Hubbard Glacier. The glacier is a lot further away than it appears here....something like 20 miles.

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here, we are getting into the ice field off Hubbard Glacier.

 

 

ry%3D400

 

We were on the bow. This is looking down at the bow's shadow on the ice.

 

ry%3D400

 

Slowly we creeped in, making our way through thick ice patches:

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

With the wind coming down off those peaks and from the glacier, this was the only day I felt really cold. This Key West boy really had to bundle up for this one.

 

Here we are still going through the ice:

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D400

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Cruise Critic's State of the Industry Report - Trends & Future Outlook
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...