Year Started: 1988
Ships in Fleet: 10
Summary: This premium cruise line features beautiful ships on itineraries world-wide. Excellent cuisine, great service, roomy staterooms. Modern Luxury at value prices.
Regions:Caribbean Western, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Eastern
Good for: Overall Service. Foodies. Seniors.
Regions:Caribbean Southern, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Western
Good for: Seniors. Foodies. Overall Service.
Regions:Caribbean Southern, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Foodies. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, Inland Waterways
Good for: Seniors. Families. Foodies.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Mediterranean Eastern, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Mediterranean Eastern
Good for: Foodies. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Australia, Hawaii
Good for: Foodies. Seniors. Group.
Regions:Caribbean, Panama Canal, Europe
Good for: Seniors. Families. Luxury Travelers.
Regions:Bermuda, Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Southern
Good for: Foodies. Seniors. Group.
Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.
Let me state this first. The cruise itself, its crew, and its food rated 6 stars out of 5. The ship itself rated a 3 and support from Cruise Air rated negative stars.
This was our first trip with Celebrity. We are Diamond Plus with its mother company, Royal Caribbean. We had four disappointing cruises with RCCL in a row, so we decided to see what the "Higher" rated sister company would do for us. Again, as far as the actual cruise, It was superb
(UGLY) We booked through Celebrity's Choice Air due to the "guarantee" that they will work with the airlines to get you to your cruise. Well, about all I can say is this is a lie. As soon as our initial flight broke (engine wouldn't start) and we knew we would not be able make our connecting flight in Los Angeles, I talked to the airlines. For all practical purposes, their response was "so sad...too bad". They would get us to Vancouver B.C., but it would be 5 hours after our ship departed. I immediately called the travel "emergency" phone number. The lady I spoke to toldme to "talk to the airline". When I told her that I had, she "in effect" told me "so sad...too bad". And then she went on to say that we could not connect with our cruise at the next port due to the "Jones Act" (also know as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 and was originated in Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886). All she would do is send an email to the ship and see if they would make an exception and take us on in Ketchikan, AK. I called back and was to she had no news yet. I raised cane with the airlines because there was a direct flight to Vancouver and they were making no effort to get us on it. They then started trying to get us seats. In the meantime, I called Cruise Air again to ask if we should go ahead and go to Vancouver or stay in Phoenix. I got a man this time whom I told multiple times I could not hear or understand him. He did absolutely nothing to try and raise his volume or adjust his mic position. I finally determined he said he didn't know if I should go or stay or if the cruise line would provide accommodations if we did miss the ship. When the airlines finally released seats to us, I called Cruise Air a fourth time to tell them we were on our way to Vancouver and to notify the ship we were coming and would be cutting it close. I got the same guy and still could not hear or understand him, so I had no clue if he was going to pass on the message or not. BOTTOM LINE: Only use cruise air to identify flights that the cruise line say will get you there on time and nothing else they are only there to duck, weave, and avoid when something goes wrong!
We did arrive in Vancouver sans luggage. From this point on Celebrity went out of its way to get us to the ship. They had an employee go out and flag down a cab for us. The told the ship we were on our way, even though we were going to get their substantially after the normal cutoff time. We were run through the check in line and security in very short order. Finally we were on the ship!!!
We immediately went to guest relations to notify them that our baggage would be a couple of days behind us. To our surprise, they gave us toiletries and some underwear to get us through the first couple of nights with spending an arm and a leg aboard the ship. That was a very pleasant experience. It actually buoyed our spirits and relaxed us.
(BAD) I will take two negative shots at the ship itself and then everything else was superb.
#1 The ship windows in the public area were horrible. The were streaked, coated with salt, and very difficult to enjoy any type of view through them. This ship just came out of a 17 day dry dock. Are you telling me they could not have done something about the windows and other corrosion before entering into a schedule that is taking passengers through some of the most beautiful waters/terrain found on this earth?
#2 The setup of the food in the Ocean View buffet constituted a safety hazard. If you tried to reach food in the back trays you frequently grabbed ladles that would burn you and you were also frequently be burned by rising steam. The food was pretty good, but you had to take care trying to serve yourself.
The dining room was outstanding. We had open seating for the very first time in nearly 30 cruises. But, we were able to sit with the same serving crew on all but 2 nights. I have never had a Head Waiter (Diego) show up at my table EVERY night and greet you wherever he saw you throughout the rest of the ship. The Waiter (Jaime) and Assistant Waiter (Sharma) were truly outstanding. After the first night they had our wants down to a science. We never had to ask for ice tea for an example, because they had it ready when they saw we were headed for their table. The food was truly outstanding.
The on board entertainment was very good and very enjoyable. The ship's production company did a great job. The contracted entertainers were definitely a cut above those we have seen on RCCL over the last several years. Finally, the groups singing in the bars were good. There were a couple of entertainers that we actually looked up to see where they were playing so we could listen to them each evening.
For shore excursions, we viewed them as bucket list trips as we were unsure if we will every come this way again in the future. So, we booked high end excursions and they we absolutely outstanding. Of course it did not hurt that we had unusually good weather everywhere except Juneau where it was its usual cool, rainy self. But even there the helicopter trip to the glaciers was fantastic. Our ports included Ketchkan (float plane), Sitka (on our own touring), Icy Strait Point (Hoonah)(whale watch), Juneau (helicopter to glaciers), Skagway (canoe trip to glacier), Cruising Hubbard Glacier (you can't legally get any closer that we did that day!), and disembarking at Seward (5 hour cruise tour). I could write a dissertation on how each one was so fantastic, but I will spare you that.
We had an on board naturalist by the name of Milos Radakovich. He gave three different seminars that were very good. His presentation was not only informative but it was presented in a humorous fashion that insure you paid attention. I would had signed for his college classes if he had been teaching at my university in days gone by.
Embarkation was a snap and our luggage was easy to locate. Of course it didn't hurt that we were among the last off the ship because of a booked excursion.
In closing, I will state that yes, I will most definitely sail Celebrity again. The crew goes above and beyond what we are seeing with most other cruise lines. Their look you in the, smile, greet you, and just go out of their way to make you want to be there. The food is great. Service is beyond reproach.....Just please clean the windows!
Great experience, great room, catering varied, spacious without getting lost. service pleasant with the right balance.
In my personal opinion, the best reason to book Celebrity Cruises can be summed up in two words. First word: Jayne. Second word: Curry. Jayne Curry is a phenomenal entertainer with a clear, powerful, pitch perfect alto voice, a warm stage presence and is a true Funny Gurl (read her highly entertaining blog for the reason for the unusual spelling). Ms. Curry can take a lyric and wring as much emotion from it as could Judy Garland. She appears to be a totally grounded, down-to-earth entertainer with enough droll wit and humor to fill an auditorium. And her speaking voice is gorgeous; very resonant, relaxed, sincere. If her agents are not marketing her for voice overs they should send out demo reels immediately. I have just written Celebrity to suggest they make her their spokesperson. Also, Celebrity should provide this treasure with ground transportation (taxis) and not ask her to pay for it out of her own pocket.
We were travelling with a group of seven: my husband and myself, our two grown daughters, one son-in-law and two grandchildren. Every Celebrity crew member could not have been friendlier and more professional. Several evenremembered my Granddaughter’s name and would bring her cookies. You could tell each employee had been exquisitely trained.
The rooms were clean and used storage space most efficiently. The food was consistently excellent. The pool is quite small. I’m not sure this particular ship would be best for older teens unless Jayne Curry was performing and then they would just have to grin and bear it if they were travelling with me.
The entertainers in addition to the incredible Jayne were all good but there was one glaring exception: the children’s show on the final night of the cruise was abominable. I’m not referring to the performers. They were on a par with theme park talent. It was the writing that wilted all comprehension. Our group felt that the writers of this disjointed show must have spent three days straight downing martinis in the martini bar. We could hear them claim “we’re so drunk let’s just grab a song here and a song there, throw them all into a story that defies reason, add glittery scenery and no one will notice!” We noticed and are forthwith issuing a plea to Celebrity – rewrite that ghastly show!
We departed from MLU on January 15, 2013 via Delta airlines. I had checked the price of using Delta all the way to Singapore and found using Singapore out of LA was cheaper than Delta all the way. We spent the night in Monroe on Jan 14th because of a freeze and fear of iced over roads in the early morning. We spent the night at LAX Marriott Courtyard and flew Singapore air to Singapore on Wednesday January 16 via SX11.(stopped in Narita Japan), and arrived in Singapore on January 18th at about 3:30 AM. SQ37 none stop to Singapore did not fly on Tuesday or Wednesday. We returned from Singapore on SQ 38 nonstop to LA and spent the night in LA at the same hotel.
We arrived In Singapore at about 5:00 AM on Friday January 18th and met up with our English friends that were already checked into the Marina Mandarin hotel. We looked for another couple from Cruise Critic at the hotel, but did not come across them until boarding. While in Singapore I had a tailor made shirt and Vance had a jacket made. We wereallowed to check in around 8:00 AM on the 18th, a pleasant surprise. We had dinner one night at the East Coast Seafood Company at cab ride toward the airport. One night ate at Ruth Chris steakhouse in the hotel.
On Friday, we visited the Marina Sands hotel an Eight Billion project which is a new hotel on the Marina in Singapore, Unfortunately it rained all day on Saturday so we just made our way over to the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel to meet up with other Cruise Critic members. While there my LSU hat attracted a lawyer from Vacherie, La and we chatted awhile regarding mutual friends.
We boarded the Millennium on Sunday around 12 noon and our Penthouse Suite was ready about 1:00 PM. The concierge Jennifer (Jenny) Knights from England was superb in making arrangements for us throughout the cruise. Our 74 tourist for the Komodo island tour were in the first tender off the ship thanks to Jenny.
Monday we were in Singapore, but elected to stay aboard and enjoy our cabin.
Tuesday we were at sea and ate with the Staff Cabin at the late dining for the first formal night.
Wednesday we were at sea and ate at the Olympic Restaurant in the wine room which is nice, but it tends to be a little warm, so be-fore warned.
Thursday Jan 24 Bali-- We were scheduled to visit Lombok, but the captain stated that Indonesian officials were making it difficult to remain on our schedule so the captain changed the schedule and sailed to Bali arriving much earlier than previously scheduled and on a different day. We all had to change our previously scheduled private tours. When we arrived in Bali, we just took a cab tour to Denpasar, the capital of Bali, visited a market, then stopped at the Batik factory and bought some beautiful shirts and many very reasonably priced gifts. When we returned to the dock we did not go back to the ship, but waited around for 30 minutes to go on our previously arranged Tanah Lot Pan Pacific Sunset dinner tour. We used PT.BEWISH INTERNATIONAL TOUR CO. We visited the Taman Ayun temple used by Hindu people. We visited Alas Kedaton (Monkey forest) which had monkeys just running all around free and many huge winged bats in the area. Tanah Lot temple (A Hindu Temple) was viewed from a distance since the sun did not co-operate for a beautiful sunset. We ended up eating at the Pan Pacific hotel in Bali we a beautiful view of the sea. We returned to the ship 12 hours after we left so it was a long day.
Friday we were still in Bali, but it rained so we did not go on a tour. I went ashore to just buy from the locals that were giving the hard sell on the previous day when I didn't have time to work with them.
Saturday- we arrived at Komodo Island and met our tour group with 74 of us that Art had arranged. Everything worked fine in spite of the change of venue. We received everything that was promised. We visited the village for a few minutes and then the pink beach and had lunch on board our little boat.
Sunday we went to Lombok (originally scheduled for Thursday) and did our private tour with Jane's arrangements. Visited the Lembar Harbor, the Sukarara village where weaving is done, Sengigi Beach, the Batu Balong Temple and the Banyu Mulek village. We had a very good fried shrimp dinner included in trip cost. We did drive to Mataram city and visited a Mayura floating Pavilion.
Monday - we were at sea and enjoyed some Joker Poker games.
Tuesday we were at sea and ate in the Q-sine Restaurant which was an eating experience.
Wednesday-Jan 30 we docked at Port Klang to go to Kuala Lumpur via a private tour arranged by Eileen. We went to the Batu Caves, but 276 steps was too much for us. Made a photo stop to take a picture of the PETRONAS Towers, and went up in the KL tower, and then to the Central Market and had a nice meal and did some shopping visiting Chinatown.
Thursday Jan 31 we toured Penang, Malaysia via a private tour run by Kimmy. We landed in Georgetown and then visited the Kek Loksi Temple and the Funicular. We drove through Little India, drove up Penang Hill and came down on a funicular. We past Kapital Keling Mosque and St. George church but did not get to the Botanical Gardens.
Friday Feb. 1 was a tour of Phuket, Thailand arranged by Art which was very good. Phuket is approximately the size of Singapore and is Thailandâ€™s largest island. We cruised on a Chinese Junk, the JUNE BATHRA to James Bond Island (KoTapu or Nail Island) ($6 fee to stop on the island) We cruised in the beautiful Phang Nga Bay. We had to transfer to a long tail boat for a wet ride to Ko Tapu and also to the Sea Gypsy Village. This island became famous from the 1974 Bond film "The Man with the Golden Gun" starring Roger Moore and Christopher Lee- (Scaramanga). As we made our way back from a long day we noticed how active the downtown area of Phuket was. This Friday night we were invited again to the Captainâ€™s table for a formal dinner.
Saturday was a day at Sea and we had to pack to disembark the next day. It was an easy disembarkation and well organized and we toured the Botanical Gardens in Singapore on the way to the airport where we had plenty of time in the wonderful Singapore lounge to eat a nice Buffett meal complimentary to guests on Singapore's flight SQ38 none stop to LAX. We spent the night at the LAX Marriott Courtyard and flew home the next day.
to much bad to say about staff in main dining ,also food was not very good compared to other cruises we have taken. getting off ship final day was a disaster
You never forget your first cruise. Like your first kiss, the memory sweetly lingers.
It’s those warm fuzzies that drew us back to Celebrity’s Constellation in December%u2014eight years after she introduced us to a whole new way to travel.
But those were the days of midnight buffets and chocolates on our pillow. They’re long gone and the Constellation is a different place, run by the same%u2014but yet a very different%u2014cruise line.
The Ship: Wearing the Years Well
The Constellation has held up very nicely since its 2002 inauguration. Its upgrade and “Solsticization” in 2013 brought new beds to the cabins, refreshed carpeting throughout, new restaurants, bars and more. It’s a handsome ship, with a commanding marble staircase dominating the Grand Foyer on Deck 3.
One of the ship’s highlights is at the very back of Deck 10, what I call the “Teak Deck” for its upgraded picnic furniture (officially, it’s the “Sunset Bar”). The little patio, like most of the ship (including rooms and balconies), is now smoke-free, enabling all of us to enjoy the view of the stern’s wake without wheezing.
The ship is compact and easy to get around; we had the layout down in aday. Its relative smallness at 91,000 tons gave it an intimate feel, which, after many trips on larger vessels, was a nice change of pace.
The Entertainment: Mixing It Up
There’s been a big change in the daytime activities. Where once there were guest speakers, there are now “Life Enhancement” lectures on health and fitness. “Enhance Your Life Through Exercise” and “Happy Feet for Healthy Life” were some of the offerings.
There are also more pool and game show activities, as the cruise line works to appeal to younger cruisers. An officer vs. guest pool volleyball game made its debut on this trip, joining the usual “Newlywed Game” takeoff, “Battle of the Sexes” and “Liar’s Club,” which%u2014a first for us%u2014featured the ship’s captain on the panel.
Evening entertainment was good quality, albeit standard fare%u2014Broadway-style shows, a comedian, violinist, magician and singer. Off-stage entertainment ran the gamut, from folk music to classical to rock and salsa.
The Food: A Turn Toward Ordinary
Alas, from this foodie’s perspective, quality was sacrificed for quantity. When we first took the Connie, the three-star Michelin winner Michel Roux was running the show and each meal in the main dining room was a gastronomical high. Today, the food is plain at best. Entrees ranged from good (there was a nice crispy breaded pork chop and decent tenderloin) to poor (one steak had a very strange consistency). Desserts are merely ordinary. Instead of the rich and decadent “Opera” pastry I enjoyed on Princess, for example, the Constellation serves up chocolate layer cake.
The ship’s buffet, the Oceanview Café, runs until 9:30 p.m. at dinner, but compared to buffets on competing lines, seems an afterthought. There are some nice features, such as made-to-order grilling (choice of steak, salmon, chicken and pork), stir-fry and pasta, good pizza and an ice cream bar with syrup and candy toppings. But the desserts seldom varied from puddings or cupcakes.
On the other hand, the breakfast and lunch buffets offered a huge variety. (Although sorely missing was the array of fabulous rolls we once looked forward to.)
The Extras: A Few Still Remain
Some of what earned Celebrity the reputation of a premier cruise line is still there%u2014the welcome champagne at embarkation, iced towels greeting you after a hot day at port, but we find it a changed cruise line, and the Constellation, a changed ship.
Those sailing on the Constellation for the first time will enjoy a smaller ship experience, quality entertainment and a crew eager to please. In short, a good cruise, but not a spectacular one.
--Musing About Cruising, http://musingaboutcruising.blogspot.com
This was my first of so far 4 cruises, from Rome to Ft L 16 nites. Everything was perfect all in all. The coffee was not great and internet way too expensive, but I can go on and on about all that was great, Had a window room.
this was a 16 day transatlantic cruise rome to fort L. They changed 2 port itenerarries for the worse, Great experience, no complaints,
I enjoyed the larger newer Solstice more because it had a sports bar and movie theater, many experenced cruisers differd with my opinion. This was my 3rd celebrity cruise and they all were excelent xxxx
We took a two week Spain and Transatlantic Cruise on Celebrity Equinox in November. We left home a few days early and spent three days in Madrid, then took the high speed train to Barcelona where we spent two more days before we boarded the Equinox. Madrid and Barcelona are both interesting cities with lots to see. We thought Spain was pretty easy to visit even thought we don't know much Spanish.
In Madrid we took the Airport Express bus from the airport to the train station and the metro from there to a stop a few blocks from our hotel, Francisco I. Everything went very smoothly even with bags. The location of the hotel was great, right on the pedestrian mall and the hotel was very nice. We visited the Royal Palace, The Prado Art Museum, and Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. The city is very easy to get around on foot. We went to Casa Patas for a Flamenco Show and had hot chocolate and Irish Coffee at San Gines. The food was great and we were able to get along with very minimal Spanish.
We took the Metro backto the train station and took the train to Barcelona. The train ride was smooth and very easy. We took the Metro from the train station to a stop near our hotel, NH Hoteles Barcelona Central. The hotel was very nice and in a great location. We did a fun Tapas Walking Tour the first evening and then spent the next day on Montjuic. We walked all the way up to the Castle. The views were amazing. We visited El Poble Espanol. There is an entrance fee to the village. I thought it was fun, but it is mostly shopping and restaurants. We walked to the Barcelonetta area and had very good sea food for dinner at Saluda del Mar. Then we went to a Flamenco concert at the Palau de Musica which was good. We wandered around the market and the Gothic quarter the next morning before we boarded the ship. We took a cab from the hotel to the port. We had been in Barcelona before so we did not go to Sagrada Familia.
Ship check in was easy. Our room wasn't ready until 1:00 so we had lunch at The Bistro on Five which wasn't crowded at all. All aboard was at 3:30 so we decided we didn't have time to go back into the city. Sail away was at 5:00. The Equinox is a beautiful ship. The public spaces are well maintained. The one thing that always bother us on the S Class ships is the scheduling of the dance bands in the foyer on Deck 3. Lots of people dance and the dance floor is very small with the steps from Deck 4 ending right on the dance floor. It just doesn't work! We were in Aqua Class which we liked a lot. The cabins are about the same as regular balcony cabins, but eating in Blu was a great experience. I think the food was better than the main dining room and probably a little healthier depending on what you ordered. The atmosphere was very nice: open seating at whatever time you liked and mostly tables for two. Breakfast in Blu was really good, too. Service was great except for the sommeliers. They seemed overwhelmed and we had trouble getting service and then problems getting more wine poured during dinner when the bottle was in an ice bucket away from our table. Red we poured for ourselves! Our cabin steward was great.
Shows and entertainment were pretty standard. One of the production shows is a Cirque type show. I like the regular production shows better. The Elton John tribute by Neil Lockwood was very good. Some of the musical groups were not as good as we have had in the past. The speaker on forensics who talked several times on the cruise was interesting. The other speakers who talked on culture and history and astronomy weren't quite as good.
Our first port was Cartagena where we wandered around on our own. Cartagena is small and we docked right in town. The city has a number of Roman Ruins that are all well signed and easy to find. We had lunch at a local bar. Our next port was Malaga where we participated in a private tour to the Alhambra in Granada. The Alhambra is beautiful and well worth the long bus ride. The next day we docked in Cadiz and did another private tour to Sevilla which is another beautiful city and again worth the bus ride. The next day was Lisbon which we did on our own. We used Rick Steve's book on Lisbon and wandered around the Alfama and Baixa areas. We had lunch and pastry in town and tried the cherry liqueur. It was fun, but not as memorable as Granada and Sevilla. We had a sea day and then stopped in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. We did a ship's tour for a half day into Teide National Park. It was a big bus, but it was pretty good. The volcanic area was interesting to see. The rest of the day we spent on our own in Tenerife having lunch and walking around. We were there on Sunday so it was pretty quiet, many shops were closed.
The next seven days were at sea. We kept very busy. The ship scheduled dance lessons, speakers, and lots of activities so we didn't get bored. Seven days of ship in a row were just too many for us. I wouldn't do that many sea days again. We had very good weather, fairly warm with a few showers and no high seas. Customs in Fort Lauderdale was really slow, almost an hour in line. We did a ship's excursion since we had a late flight. The bus tour was good, but the boat portion was pretty boring but better than sitting in the airport.
We sailed the Celebrity Millennium 3 times prior to her refurbishing in April 2012. During these 3 sailings, she had become one of our favorite cruise ships. Based on that liking, and earlier pleasant sailings on the older Celebrity vessels Galaxy and Century, we assumed the Solstice class ships would be superior to the earlier Millennium class, thus we sailed a Mediterranean B2B in 2012 on the Solstice and booked our Asia B2B2B, Singapore to Vancouver, BC trip, for 2014 on the favored Millennium. Though the Solstice had not meet our expectations, we were extremely disappointed, when Celebrity suddenly eliminated one of Millennium's scheduled Asia segments leaving us no choice other than to cancel our 2014 Asia trip, and replace it with comprehensive Europe sailings on a new Celebrity ship. Nonetheless, we targeted the same, originally offered Asia Millennium itinerary again for 2015 when Celebrity repeated its initial 2014 itinerary.
Luckily, the opportunity arose to choose our then still favorite Millennium for an ad hoc stint to Alaska in June 2013, prior to the anticipated 46 day long Asia voyage in 2015. At first, we planned to sail her as a B2B, butafter some consideration decided to stay for several days exploring Anchorage-Denali-and the Copper Valley area before returning south. Thus, we bit the bullet of repeated unpacking, luggage handling and additional checking in procedures by using a different cruise ship from Vancouver, BC Canada to Whittier, AK to book the Millennium for our return voyage from Seward, AK to Vancouver, BC Canada.
Upon returning home, we cancelled all bookings for our 2014 and 2015 Celebrity cruising, extremely grateful that we "survived" the 7 day lasting trip just endured on the Millennium, our previously favorite cruise ship.
Below follows a somewhat detailed report with pictures delineating our experience and consequent disappointment.
Prior to "refurbishing" in April 2012, the Millennium was a well-designed ship with good traffic flow, plenty open deck spaces, friendly and efficient crew, impeccable dining room personnel, the usual adequate dining room menu, ok lunch buffet selections (mediocre in the evening) and tasteful, warm decor throughout. She was in generally good condition, except for some cosmetic wear and tear plus minor blemishes, but, we assumed, was surely to rise like a phoenix from the ashes, after refurbishing, - to be even more beautiful and better than before since she was also to undergo the highly advertised enhancement of “Solsticizing” as part of the refurbishing process.
We arrived in Seward, AK port @ about 13:00 hours, anticipating that we would then be able to immediately go to our stateroom. The check in was fast, efficient and painless; so indeed, we were on board by 13:25 hours. We were greeted with the question, whether we would like to go to the buffet for lunch or to our stateroom first. Our choice was the stateroom to lie down after a few strenuous days of exciting exploration and adventures between Anchorage and Fairbanks and an early morning train departure.
Our ship’s escort leading the way to the stateroom found the hallway door to the rooms still closed, thus surmised the rooms may not be ready. By now it was 13:35 hours and we made our way to the reception desk asking for access to the room. At that time wheelchair bound, citing the need to lie down and having scheduled our boarding to co-inside with the customary access time to the stateroom.
The receptionist then called the International Customer Service Representative who introduced himself, grimacing a smile, as Steven De Winter; a curt, unpleasant, slimy chap who arrogantly stated that he had not yet released the announcement for stateroom occupancy. Therefore, we could not go to our stateroom until he announces that they are ready. Wheelchair bound, I pointed out, that I really would like to lie down, that it was now past 13:45 hours and customarily, staterooms are available at the latest @ 13.30 and room stewards likely moved on to getting checked-in luggage ready for stateroom delivery. His reply was, that Celebrity is a very special cruise line and does things much different than other cruise lines, but I would be welcome to go down to the sick-bay and lay down on a stretcher until he releases the rooms for occupancy.
Less than 3 minutes later, his loudspeaker announcement released all cabins.
The stateroom was as expected from previous sailings. The room steward introduced himself later that evening “checked in luggage arrived by mid-afternoon. The lunch buffet featured the previously experienced lukewarm, dried out “Paella” (in name only) and other standard buffet style fair including the heavily watered down lemonade.
Except for the “Paella-Welcome-Specialty”, the buffet choices remained more or less the same throughout the 7 day cruise. A circumstance particularly unpleasant as the main dining room was closed for lunch every day, except on the first sea-day and the last sea day, opening for the Brunch Buffet in which all daily breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet choices were lined up together, but now were presented among Ice sculptures and other colorful decorations.
Unfortunately, extraordinarily inattentive dining room personal failed to serve coffee or water, or juice until after one was seated for quite some time, almost having finished the first course of brunch. Moreover, very unpleasant, was the fact that no-one of the dining room waiters cleaned up the tables of those people who had left, or the used plates on our table. Thus, we were surrounded by seven tables, fully laden with dirty dishes up to and including our departure from the dining room. The personnel, largely Serbian, Slovenian and Croatian servers, avoided eye contact, and were certainly not inclined to clear tables; presumably, that was to be someone else’s responsibility who was apparently not in attendance.
Dinner at the dining room had sufficient choices of well-prepared good quality food, we were served by some excellent waiters and some so, so “but still OK waiters in the “my time dining” section of the upper level.
Less pleasant was the bickering of some female waiters on the outer buffet deck, who among themselves discussed their misfortune, disappointment and unjust treatment experienced working on this ship, without any regard to nearby sitting guests who could not help overhearing their loud complaints while clearing tables with disgusted faces.
The ship itself is in desperate need of eliminating the obvious signs of neglect without subjecting on- board passengers to its upkeep, repairs and maintenance.
There were too many issues to mention: an example of some is:
Mint tea bag hunt,
Broken Solarium windows,
Missing top railing on upper aft decks,
Double loungers placed next to pool get constantly wet from water plashes
Loungers on upper decks remained unusable and tried together
Loungers were dirty and partly broken
Balconies added in recent “upgrading improvements” are in part not covered and lack privacy
In the meantime complaints from outraged passengers on board the Millennium have escalated. Thus, without going into further details, as I am resenting the time already spent on the unpleasant task re-living the journey, I refer to the reviews of others and the complete failing of Celebrity’s Cruise Ship Millennium’s operational functions in Seward and Ketchikan, AK were they prematurely disembarked all passengers.
Celebrity cancelled its remaining Alaska sailing season 2013 for the defunct Millennium, planning to maneuver her into dry dock for taking care of the desperately needed maintenance and repairs. Unfortunately, these obviously needed repairs had not been done prior to subjecting boarded and sailing passengers, including those booked for August/September, to despair, inconvenience and costly repercussions in addition to their now ruined holidays.
Well done, Celebrity - you are “truly special and do it very differently”, reverberating the statement of STEVEN DE WINTER, the on Board International Customer Relations Executive.