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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Celebrity Cruise Line

GTS Millennium

Your Rating:Four Stars
Reviewed by: David Gordon
# previous cruises: 5
Date of Trip: December 9, 2001
Itinerary: Caribbean - Eastern

Celebrity's Millenium is a magnificent ship in size, passenger space ratio, comfort, quietness, stability, and elegance. The Olympic dining room with its original wood panels from the sister ship to the Titanic is a 3 hour experience worth doing for the ambiance. The Platinum Club offers the best Martini-Bar with the best expert bartender: "Ronnie"! You will meet the classiest people at the Martini-Bar!

Public Areas
The ship has beautiful public areas, most of which are architecturally well planned. The bank of elevators with ocean views is flashy but not obnoxious. The grand staircase is magnificently grand! Any woman would dream of making her entrance from the top landing. Much of the ship's interior reminds me of the quality you expect from Hyatt Regency Hotels. Lots of marble, beautiful warm wood tones, not too much glitz but just the right amount of dazzle to make you feel special and affluent!

The artwork on the staircases is sparse and reminds me of paper-mache children's sculptures (not my favorite!). The Celebrity theater is multi-level and very well sloped so that every seat has virtually an unobstructed view of the stage! The ship lacks a wrap around promenade, but its gymnasium makes up for it with plenty of equipment and views of the ocean to satisfy any athletic enthusiast. The Casino is large, very classy, and not too loose.

The Aqua-Spa has a great pool and was free to use on this cruise. If it isn't, Celebrity should always make it free to use, as the outside pools can be more popular than some can appreciate. The Aqua-Spa pool with its Roman architecture, glass dome, and soothing massage background music is very relaxing and unaffected. There is a great lean-cuisine cafe next to the pool with fresh seafood, sushi and fruit dishes.

Food and Service
The food in the main dining room and the Olympic dinning room is quite good for cruise ships. Compared to Princess and Norwegian, this food is rich, tasteful and often well prepared. But, the beef is hard to get cooked the way you might like it. You can always ask for shrimp cocktails with your meals (even though it isn't on the menu).

The kitchen is not passenger oriented. That is, the waiter must turn in all his tables' orders at the same time; so if guests are late to being seated at another table, then your table suffers. The kitchen will only prepare all your waiter's orders at one time. This made for a very drawn out and uncomfortable dinner experience most of the nights. Even though I tipped my waiter early in the cruise (hoping to ensure prompt and attentive service) our table was still treated poorly. I think some of the wait staff is culturally prejudiced against some of the passengers (mostly Jewish patrons from New York and Florida on this cruise) and they showed it! This did not make us happy at all, in fact we were angry at the lack of class and respect the wait staff had, especially on the formal nights!

The buffets were well stocked, well-staffed, appetizing, and clean. The daily pizza bar by the outside pool is excellent! You have to try at least one slice of pizza!

Our cabin was upgraded upon arrival, to my surprise, from a category 5 to category 1A-outside balcony on deck 9. This is an excellent room. The balconies are all set back under the pool deck overhang, thus, the balconies were not effected by rain showers or high winds! This made them usable at anytime, and are well worth the extra comfort. Cabins are well appointed, with warm colors and wood textures. Make sure your suitcase is a low profile one or it won't fit under the bed or in the small closets. I miss the individual soaps, shampoos, and other toiletries that make for great souvenirs after the voyage.

By the way, the ship provides terry cloth bathrobes to be worn in your cabin and to/from the pool areas. Also, they provide a cloth carrying bag for you to use and keep. The cabins are very quiet and the air conditioning is efficient and yet not obtrusive. There is a stocked refrigerator, but if you are smart, you will bring your own items to stock it. The showers are large, the toilet worked most of the times, and the water had a few times when it was more grey than clear. There were some "technical difficulties" about 3 times that kept the ship's plumbing from functioning. In fact, the ship was without power for several hours on the day of embarkation (which led to a late departure)! But, all in all, the ship cabins are great with a few complaints about the closet space from fellow passengers.

The stage productions are about senior high school quality. The use of flesh tone microphone headpieces made the performers look like they had "Pinnochio" noses when they were at profile angles to the audience. It was laughable! The productions are typical broadway show tunes from the past 50 decades. You probably have heard and seen them all before! However, this ship had an excellent pianist who gave Liberace type performances (and the people were lined up for miles to buy his CD's after the shows). The ship has excellent singers and musicians in all the restaurants, night clubs, and the classic English tea room. You will be impressed by the musicians and in the many venues they perform.

Ship's itinerary included San Juan, St.Thomas, their private island beach (forget the food on their island, go back to the ship for lunch!), and Nassau. You can have Nassau, only thing there is the Atlantis Casino resort, which you are safer to get to by taxi rather than water taxi! At all the ports you will find your visit is shared with several other large passenger ships. Be careful purchasing the on board shore-excursions, you usually can do just find by taking a local taxi who will gladly tell you all about their community!

Who Goes
On this cruise, the ship was undersold still several weeks before the sailing. So, apparently, Celebrity ran ads in the New York Times and Miami Herald offering extremely discounted fares! This attracted some of the rudest and obnoxious passengers who normally would not pay the extra $150 to be on a classy ship.

For some of us who had booked our cruise months in advance, expecting to be sharing the cruise with a more refined clientele, Celebrity's deep discounting of their cabins cheapened our cruise experience. However, I appreciate the fact that Celebrity had automatically upgraded us to compensate for the discounting. (Our cabin would have cost an additional $400.) The best thing was that Celebrity seated us at a table with six other fellow passengers who had paid the higher fares; thus, we had at our table very warm, friendly, educated and broad minded young retired couples who are now new friends (in fact we email each other regularly!).

If it weren't for them (and the group we made friends with at the martini-bar) then the cruise would have been a let down! From our past cruise experiences, table mates can make all the difference on how well you enjoy a cruise. Since I travel with my male friend, wondering what quality of customer the cruise ship attracts has always been a concern. So far, on all our cruises, we have met the nicest people looking for a memorable good time. With that in mind, Millenium and Celebrity does offer a good product with room for improvement in the courtesy and integrity of the wait staff.

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