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Old March 25th, 2010, 02:45 AM
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Default Millie Alaska - first time cruise questions

Hi and thank you to anyone that can answer. We need to decide in a few days if we are going to book this or not, and I'm not really sure about a lot of things.

It appears food is free, but any drinks have to be paid for or various packages purchased. Soda package, hard liquor (gin), and wine packages are all different and have to be bought separately? Otherwise you pay-by-the-drink?

I've always had in my mind that a cruise was a paradise of all the wonderful free food you could eat at any time... but perusing the boards/reviews it looks like there are sit-down menus at appointed times that are somewhat limited, a buffet where you may get handed a portion depending on noro, then any other time it's pizza/hamburger/hot dog/sushi takeout?

The millie doesn't really appear geared towards kids. I've seen the pictures of the kids area and it doesn't look very big. There are mentions of an "arcade" but I can't find any info on it... my guess is it has a few games but isn't ever used. My concern is that the 9 and 11 y/o boys will get bored during cruise days, and there won't be many other kids on the ship. (Seems like this is mostly 'older' cruise too.)

And it appears that summertime in Alaska is still too cold to swim, so it is just the spa pool, which doesn't look too big from the pictures.

Excursions run $200-$400 per person per day?

Given the opportunity, it seems we would want the balcony room due to limited deck space and weather, correct?

I'm mainly trying to get a feel for how expensive the whole thing is going to be... it sounds like in order for it to be enjoyable it is going to end up being a multiple of the room cost!

(Now the only cruise we have been on is a Disney cruise... that one was fun because it really was geared for the kids and there was plenty on board for them to do. It was also about 6 years ago. Food was horrid, but we knew that going in!)

Thanks again!
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Old March 25th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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When you cruise Alaska you want a balcony...the inside passage is beautiful!

Having only experienced a Disney cruise have you thought about the Carnival cruise line? Carnival is also geared up for families with active kids, and from all I've heard their food has improved dramatically and may even be on par with Celebrity.

This is not to even suggest that Celebrity isn't great because it is and they do have things for active families but it really is like trying to compare 'apples and oranges'.

Cruise ships offer tons of food and some passengers tend to overeat. There's also a shameful amount of waste. (but that's another thread) So if we're handed just one portion that doesn't mean we can't go back for more or even try something different. It isn't a big deal and theres soooooo much food everywhere and anytime. It's just not always at the same spot. :-D

We went to Alaska on the Infinity. The ship was full and there was plenty of deck space...The Milli and Infinity are big ships.

I think your excursion cost of $200-$400 per person per day are high. There are some excursions that are high end...like the 'Dogsled rides' Helicopter rides out to the Glaciers, etc. But from what I remember most were a lot less than $200 per person.

We've only been to Alaska 3 times, but there are some real veteran cruisers on this board...I'm sure they will have good suggestions and comments!
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Old March 25th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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Drinks are not included....well, coffee/tea/milk with dinner is and as I recall juice/milk with breakfast is, but any soft drinks, specialty coffees, alcohol is extra.
Food on ships is always an interesting topic of discussion. You'll read a post from someone who'll complain the food was horrible and another post from someone on the same cruise that the food's terrific. It just depends on what you like and expect. Personnally other than a specific meal here or there, I've found the food very good. And the menus are quite diverse, including kids menus. Something for everybody.
We've sailed 3 times to Alaska with our son when he was 8, 9, and then 10. NCL,, HAL, Celeb Mercury. Assuming you're going when shool's out....your kids will not be bored. There were a ton of kids of all ages on the ships and plenty to do. Kids clubs were great and geared towards the proper ages of the kids. Arcades while not really large were plenty fun. And there's always the pool, basketball, ping pong, shuffleboard on the Sports decks.
The days are not necessarily going to be cold. Alaska weather is hard to predict. One day will be cloudy, drizzly, and cool and others relatively warm. It's a real crapshoot. And there were kids in the uncovered pools on the cool days. We found time to swim in the uncovered pools on the ships we were on. If you get unlucky weatherwise, maybe not.
I'll begin this by saying that I'm a balcony person for Alaska. Scenery is too stunning and I want to see as much as possible. We spend a lot of time on the balcony. Covered is preferred in case it does rain. That said... there is plenty of open deck space on the ship. Inside and outside. Don't worry about finding viewing spots if you opt for an inside cabin.
How locked are you on the Millie? I'm not familiar with this ship. But if you're flexible you might want to look for a ship that does have a covered pool if you're really concerned about that.
I also love Glacier Bay and again, if you're flexible you might want to find a ship that goes there. Celeb ships don't. Again though...Celeb goes to Hubbard Glacier which is stunning.
You can find excursions that are more affordable. Whale watching in Juneau's about $100 or so each and worth it. Trip to Mendenhall glacier can be combined in some tours and I recommend going there. Train in Skagway not too high either and wonderful. The flightseeing type excursions are pricey.
The Duck tour in Ketchikan is relatively cheap too and a lot of fun, especially for the kids.
Certainly research and budget excursions you might like......but don't feel you must. We've really enjoyed just walking around the towns and not spending any money except the occasional souveneer. The closer to the ships, the more shopping available of course but there are also museums to see (pretty cheap) and plenty of history by just strolling around in all the main towns where the ships stop.
In other words......DO IT! You and your boys won't regret it.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 03:22 PM
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I can tell you that the first time we took our boys to Alaska (They were 9 and 13) they preferred the Alaska cruise to all the caribbean cruises we had done prior. They felt their was much more adventure in Alaska, and the cruise was so busy the kid's programs were almost irrelavant.

Food won't be a problem either. Aside from dining room for all meals, and the buffet, and the grill... free room service is also included.

The flight excursions, and glacier trips, or dog sledding can get expensive. I'd do at least one despite the costs, because it will be something they remember.

However there are other tours, like whale watching, wildlife tours, or salmon bakes, etc. that are much more reasonable.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 03:41 PM
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Food is not something to worry about, it is all free unless you go to the specialty restaurants. Celebrity has Select Dining which is their version of anytime dining, bascially you can eat in the main dining room at any time it is open. You mentioned about the buffet serving you a portion depending on noro. It is like any buffet you can have as much as you want. If they are serving tell the guy to give you as much as you want.

My kids have been on numerous Celebrity cruises as they were growing up and their childrens programs are excellent. Also, they do not stay in the rooms, they go throughout the ship with the counselors....

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Old March 25th, 2010, 04:55 PM
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My son is now 16 and even now, after 3 alaskan cruises, he tells us he wants to go back....and soon.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 08:47 PM
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smoked,

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It appears food is free, but any drinks have to be paid for or various packages purchased. Soda package, hard liquor (gin), and wine packages are all different and have to be bought separately? Otherwise you pay-by-the-drink?
The cruise lines charge for "bar" beverages -- which generally include sodas and juices as well as cocktails and "mocktails" (virgin cocktails). However, you can buy a "soda sticker" for a fairly nominal price that entitles the bearer of the cruise card to which it's affixed to unlimited complementary sodas for the duration of the cruise.

The following beverages are included in the cruise fare.

>> 1. Milk, chocolate milk, iced tea, coffee (regular or "unleaded"), and a selection of teas in all dining areas and from room service

>> 2. Juices in dining areas during breakfast

Note that the "premium" coffees and teas at the Cova Cafe di Milano also have an extra charge.

There is always one beverage station open in the buffet restaurant where you can get complementary beverages at any time of day or night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I've always had in my mind that a cruise was a paradise of all the wonderful free food you could eat at any time... but perusing the boards/reviews it looks like there are sit-down menus at appointed times that are somewhat limited, a buffet where you may get handed a portion depending on noro, then any other time it's pizza/hamburger/hot dog/sushi takeout?
Well, that's not exactly accurate.

>> The main dining room operates on an "open seating" basis for breakfast and, when the ship is at sea, for lunch. The staff seats passengers to form tables as the passengers arrive. Only dinner has assigned times, which are synchronized to the shows and the other evening entertainment.

>> The buffet restaurant, located aft of the main pool area, serves its regular breakfast, with omelette and waffle stations, until about 9:30 or 10:00, then keeps one or two buffet lines open for a late breakfast that runs until just before lunch. The full buffet reopens for lunch from noon until 3:00 PM, and pizza and pasta bars remain open from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM or later. This restaurant also serves formal tea from 4:00 until 5:00 and it has a sushi bar that opens, IIRC, from 6:00 until 10:00. Also, a section of the buffet restaurant offers "alternative casual dining" (reservations strongly recommended; $2.00 per person service charge) for those who do not wish to dine in the main dining room.

>> The Aquaspa Cafe, located at the aft end of the Magrodome, offers a "fit fare" breakfast during breakfast hours and plated lunch/dinner meals, IIRC, from noon until 7:00 PM.

>> And yes, there is a grill by the pool that offers a variety of lunch fare and snacks -- hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
The millie doesn't really appear geared towards kids. I've seen the pictures of the kids area and it doesn't look very big. There are mentions of an "arcade" but I can't find any info on it... my guess is it has a few games but isn't ever used. My concern is that the 9 and 11 y/o boys will get bored during cruise days, and there won't be many other kids on the ship. (Seems like this is mostly 'older' cruise too.)
I don't know where you saw what you claim to be the pictures of the children's area, but the ship actually has three separate areas for various age groups. There's one area for children age 7 and under, another area for ages 8 through 12, and a third area for teens (ages 13-17). The first two are part of the area labelled as the "Ship Mates Fun Factory" while the third is separate, labelled "Extreme," in the deck plans. Note, however, that these youth and teen activities often take place in other locations throughout the ship when the numbers warrant. (The cruise director and his staff coordinate scheduling so they are not crossing paths with adult activities.) You also should be aware that the youth program often schedules evening activities as well, though your children certainly are equally welcome to attend the shows and other evening events if they (or you) prefer.

The worst challenge that parents face with the youth program seems to be that the young people don't want to leave it when the parents decide that it's time for another activity, or bed, or whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
And it appears that summertime in Alaska is still too cold to swim, so it is just the spa pool, which doesn't look too big from the pictures.
Your take on the weather is about right. Shore excursions that involve swimming, snorkeling, or diving in Alaska use wet suits.

Shipboard pools generally are not huge, as large free surfaces of water create major stability issues for the ship. Even the main pool area has two smaller pools rather than one big pool.

Of course, this arrangement also permits the cruise staff to schedule activities in one pool while keeping the other open for general swimming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Excursions run $200-$400 per person per day?
More correctly, a few excursions -- glacier "flightseeing" (yes, by airplane), shore excursions that involve helicopter flights onto and off of a glacier, and perhaps a few others are that expensive.

But each of Alaska's major ports of call offers sixty to eighty shore excursions, some of which cost $30 per person or less. The overwhelming majority of shore excursions, including some "high adventure" options like ziplining and sea kayaking, are in the range of $50 to $60 per person. You can get actual prices for theshore excursions offered in each port of call from Celebrity's web site.

Also, shore excursions are completely optional. The cruise ships dock right in the heart of town in Juneau and Ketchikan, and perhaps a ten minute walk from the heart of town in Skagway, so there's plenty to do if you just walk off the ship on your own.

That said, I strongly recommend taking the ride to Summit Lake and back on the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR), a narrow (3') gauge railroad built to haul prospectors with their gear and supplies up to the Yukon during the Yukon Gold Rush, while you are in Skagway. The scenery from this rail line is truly awesome, and the narration sheds a lot of light on the history of the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Given the opportunity, it seems we would want the balcony room due to limited deck space and weather, correct?
I would not bother with the balcony. The promenades beneath the lifeboats are much closer to the water than the balconies, most of which are above the lifeboats, and thus provide a much better view of marine and coastal wildlife. Also, there are plenty of public lounges with panoramic windows where you can sit and take in the view. If you are concerned about cost, go with inside cabins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I'm mainly trying to get a feel for how expensive the whole thing is going to be... it sounds like in order for it to be enjoyable it is going to end up being a multiple of the room cost!
You can have a fabulously good time on a cruise ship for not much money because all of the entertainment and meals onboard are included. You probably will find that soda stickers for the youth will be a good investment. Also, be aware that the cost of "adult" beverages can add up very quickly if you drink a lot.

Finally, I do have one additional recommendation. If possible, plan to spend at least a weekend in Anchorage while you are there. It's a fascinating city with an imminently walkable and safe downtown area where shops sell products that you won't find elsewhere, lots of great restaurants, and many points of interest. There's also an open air market on 3rd Avenue every weekend and street festivals most weekends (a couple years ago, I was there for an Irish festival called "Galway Days on G Street"). If you rent a car, there are also several easy day trips that you can do ranging from a drive up to Talkeetna where a scenic overlook offers spectacular views of Mount McKinley (but check the weather report to confirm that it's going to be a clear day in the valley before you set out on this one...), a visit to the famous Mount Alyeska Resort, or a "day boat" cruise from Whittier to view the glaciers in College Fjord.

Of course, if you have more time and more budget, it's quite reasonable to rent a vehicle to drive to Denali National Park and Fairbanks. I do recommend reserving hotel rooms in advance if you decide to do this, however, as the summer is the peak season for tourism and it may be a long way to the next available lodging if you encounter those persnickety "No Vacancy" signs at an intended destination. If you decide to do this, you might find that it's less expensive to drive back to Anchorage for your flights home than to rent a car "one way" and fly home from Fairbanks.

Much to my surprise, you did not raise any questions about the one thing that tends to differentiate Celebrity from other cruise lines. Celebrity still offers a very traditional "premium" cruise product that daws upper middle class to upper class customers who tend to "dress to the nines" for the "formal" evenings -- and there are two "formal" evenings on most cruises to Alaska. The expected norms of dress will be the same for your children as for adults. If dressing for "formal" evenings is not a good match for your family, you might want to consider cruising with Royal Caribbean International instead.

Have a great trip!

Norm.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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There is also a casual dining area in the buffet area for dinner which is $2.00 pp and reservations are requested but not alway necessary. This is dining off of a menu with waiters and is not a buffet. Celebrity does not have a full buffet for dinner on any of their ships.

I bring up the casual dining because it is an alternative to dressing up for formal nights if you desire. Although you would be missing the best nights in the Main Dining Room it is an alternative to bringing aboard suits and fancy dresses for the women.

Don
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Old March 26th, 2010, 12:45 PM
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Hi Smoked,

First of all welcome to cruisemates. This is a great place to get all information about various cruise ships.

As a new poster and relativity new to cruising you should, when asking about the Millennium, also be aware of the history of a recurring mechanical problem on that particular ship. I feel that everyone should have the right to be aware of these problems and then make an informed decision. There is a thread called "Is the Millennium class ships still premium" near the bottom of this board that gives the true facts about this problem. In reading the thread you will be able to tell that many are of the opinion that this should not be mentioned to new cruisers, but that is what these boards are for - opinions.

Another thing to consider is that Celebrity is not allowed into Glacier Bay National Park, which for me is one of the highlights of any Alaskan cruise. I think there are only four major cruise lines that are allowed into Glacier Bay.

Good luck in whatever you decide and enjoy Alaska as you are in for a great experience.

Debra
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Old March 26th, 2010, 05:00 PM
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Another thing to consider is that Celebrity is not allowed into Glacier Bay National Park, which for me is one of the highlights of any Alaskan cruise.
Debra
Really? I didn't know that...Why is Celebrity singled out?
We're they naughty???
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Old March 26th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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Hi Fieldmouse,

Yes they were very naughty. Celebrity or possibly RCCL (can't remember which) was caught for illegal dumping of waste and other toxic materials into the water many years ago. Both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, their parent company, were fined and banned for five years from renewing a contract to enter Glacier Bay National Park. Since their is a very high demand and only a very limited amount of these long term contracts issued to enter the Park, unless one of the cruise lines gives up their permits, which is not very likely, Celebrity will never again cruise to Glacier Bay National Park. That is the reason that all Celebrity and RCCL ships only choice to view a large glacier is to go to Hubbard Glacier, which is not a National Park.

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Old March 26th, 2010, 06:25 PM
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Another thing to consider is that Celebrity is not allowed into Glacier Bay National Park, which for me is one of the highlights of any Alaskan cruise. I think there are only four major cruise lines that are allowed into Glacier Bay.
Hi Nurse Debra, I have been a member here for about 2 weeks and I have already figured out you have some major beefs about the Millennium. I can understand that given your justifications in other threads. I am wondering where the above information has come from however.. I have done some searching and I can't find anything that verifies it.

Where did you find it?
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Old March 26th, 2010, 06:56 PM
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Nurse Debra,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
Another thing to consider is that Celebrity is not allowed into Glacier Bay National Park, which for me is one of the highlights of any Alaskan cruise. I think there are only four major cruise lines that are allowed into Glacier Bay.
Having been to both, I think that College Fjord is much more impressive than Glacier Bay.

And you can do College Fjord on a day boat from Whittier. It's an easy day trip from Anchorage.

Norm.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
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Yes they were very naughty. Celebrity or possibly RCCL (can't remember which) was caught for illegal dumping of waste and other toxic materials into the water many years ago. Both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, their parent company, were fined and banned for five years from renewing a contract to enter Glacier Bay National Park. Since their is a very high demand and only a very limited amount of these long term contracts issued to enter the Park, unless one of the cruise lines gives up their permits, which is not very likely, Celebrity will never again cruise to Glacier Bay National Park. That is the reason that all Celebrity and RCCL ships only choice to view a large glacier is to go to Hubbard Glacier, which is not a National Park.
It appears that you confused Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., (RCCL), which is a holding company that owns Celebrity Cruises, with Royal Caribbean International (RCI), which is another cruise line owned by the same holding company.

Also, IIRC, it was only Royal Caribbean International that was involved in the illegal dumping incident.

Norm.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 07:43 PM
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Juno,

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Hi Nurse Debra, I have been a member here for about 2 weeks and I have already figured out you have some major beefs about the Millennium. I can understand that given your justifications in other threads. I am wondering where the above information has come from however.. I have done some searching and I can't find anything that verifies it.

Where did you find it?
When the ships of the Millennium (now Celebrity Millennium) class first entered into service, they had some major problems with their propulsion pods that resulted in abnormally frequent failures -- about one failure per ship per year. Those failures were well documented on this site as they happened. Since the ships have two pods and can operate on one, albeit at somewhat reduced speed, the failures never put anybody in any real danger. Unfortunately, these pods are beneath the hull so each failure required cancellation of a cruise so the affected ship could go into a drydock to repair or replace the pod. Additionally, the reduction in maximum speed sometimes resulted in shortened or cancelled ports of call on the remainder of the cruise on which the failure occurred and on any additional cruises that occurred before an affected ship could go into drydock.

Celebrity was very generous with compensation to the affected passengers whenever these failures occurred. Those who had booked on a cancelled cruise received a full refund of the cruise fare plus a voucher for a free cruise of equal duration at a later date, subject to availabilty, while those who missed ports of call received shipboard credits that were generally proportionate to the amount of time in port that they missed. Every one of the failures became the subject of at least one thread on this discussion board when it happened, so you can get the complete history of these failures by going back through the posts beginning in late 2000 on this board.

These failures also put Celebrity between the proverbial rock and hard place, in that replacement of the pods with pods from another manufacturer would have jeopardized a lawsuit for damages against the supplier of the original pods, who refused to acknowledge that the pods were defective, while failure to do so meant continuing operational problems. When it became clear during discovery that the pods were defective, Celebrity reached a settlement with the pod manufacturer and the pod manufacturer did supply new pods that seem to have corrected the defect. Like most settlements, however, the agreement contains a nondisclosure clause so Celebrity cannot say anything officially, like "the pods have been fixed!," that might reveal its provisions.

While the problem with the pods was at its peak (c. 2002-2003), the poster known as "Nurse Debra" took a cruise to Alaska on a ship that had a problem with one of these propulsion pods, and she was not satisfied with the compensation that Celebrity offered. Shortly after that experience, she appeared on this board whining that her "trip of a lifetime" had been totally ruined and that she would never be able to afford another cruise to Alaska, and went on to say that she would continue to post about the problem until she received a settlement that met her satisfaction. Of course, she has subsequently taken cruises that are at least as expensive on other lines and posted about doing so on this board. Nonetheless, she still has not received the "hush money" that she wants from Celebrity. She continues to post about the pod problems whenever anybody -- especially anybodh new -- mentions planning a cruise a ship of the Celebrity Millennium class. Many of us have communicated quite clearly that we think that she is overdoing it, but she persists.

Norm.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 08:37 PM
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Norm, I have definitely picked up on it after only being here a few weeks. Yes, it is disconcerting.

I just wanted to know where this dumping incident and banning was documented. I have looked for any online information, but the most I can find is that the park has limited the number of cruise lines who have access into the park. Celebrity doesn't have this access and therefore tenders ships into another bay and also spends a half day at a different glacier.

I am booked on the Millennium next month and have read nothing but positive reviews on the ship and the line.

To the original poster, I was in my early 20s on my first cruise. I remember having a lot of fun on the games deck.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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This thread sure has taken a left turn from the original question.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 09:42 PM
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This thread sure has taken a left turn from the original question.
That happens when someone has an "axe to grind" and won't wait for the smith to show up!

I'm one of the most laid back, non-concerned, easy going people in the world, but it's driving me nuts, too ! Enough is enough. Everyone has had a problem on a cruise. I had a Room Steward curse at me and tell me I was a liar once ! I got over it... . I didn't post that I'd never sail that line again (in fact, I did sail it again and had a wonderful time!).

"Stuff" happens and most of us "go with the flow", "make the best of it", "do what we can with what we have", "make lemons out of lemonade", ... but, sadly, some can't let go .

I'd suggest you look at the big picture and not rely on any one person's post, not even mine !
JMHO,
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Old March 26th, 2010, 09:52 PM
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It appears that you confused Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., (RCCL), which is a holding company that owns Celebrity Cruises, with Royal Caribbean International (RCI), which is another cruise line owned by the same holding company.

Also, IIRC, it was only Royal Caribbean International that was involved in the illegal dumping incident.

Norm.
I did find the RCI dumping incident and litigation. Apparently over 3 million dollars was paid to Alaska alone.. nowhere does it say that RCCL and affiliates were to be banned from Glacier Bay.

Also, try to find a cruise line that has not been charged, fined or accused of illegal dumping - they were all guilty at some point. Because of these incidents and watchdog environmentalists, cruiselines have been forced to modify their ships to meet standards.
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June 1996 - Crown Princess Anchorage to Vancouver
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old March 27th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
Juno,



When the ships of the Millennium (now Celebrity Millennium) class first entered into service, they had some major problems with their propulsion pods that resulted in abnormally frequent failures -- about one failure per ship per year. Those failures were well documented on this site as they happened. Since the ships have two pods and can operate on one, albeit at somewhat reduced speed, the failures never put anybody in any real danger. Unfortunately, these pods are beneath the hull so each failure required cancellation of a cruise so the affected ship could go into a drydock to repair or replace the pod. Additionally, the reduction in maximum speed sometimes resulted in shortened or cancelled ports of call on the remainder of the cruise on which the failure occurred and on any additional cruises that occurred before an affected ship could go into drydock.

Celebrity was very generous with compensation to the affected passengers whenever these failures occurred. Those who had booked on a cancelled cruise received a full refund of the cruise fare plus a voucher for a free cruise of equal duration at a later date, subject to availabilty, while those who missed ports of call received shipboard credits that were generally proportionate to the amount of time in port that they missed. Every one of the failures became the subject of at least one thread on this discussion board when it happened, so you can get the complete history of these failures by going back through the posts beginning in late 2000 on this board.

These failures also put Celebrity between the proverbial rock and hard place, in that replacement of the pods with pods from another manufacturer would have jeopardized a lawsuit for damages against the supplier of the original pods, who refused to acknowledge that the pods were defective, while failure to do so meant continuing operational problems. When it became clear during discovery that the pods were defective, Celebrity reached a settlement with the pod manufacturer and the pod manufacturer did supply new pods that seem to have corrected the defect. Like most settlements, however, the agreement contains a nondisclosure clause so Celebrity cannot say anything officially, like "the pods have been fixed!," that might reveal its provisions.

While the problem with the pods was at its peak (c. 2002-2003), the poster known as "Nurse Debra" took a cruise to Alaska on a ship that had a problem with one of these propulsion pods, and she was not satisfied with the compensation that Celebrity offered. Shortly after that experience, she appeared on this board whining that her "trip of a lifetime" had been totally ruined and that she would never be able to afford another cruise to Alaska, and went on to say that she would continue to post about the problem until she received a settlement that met her satisfaction. Of course, she has subsequently taken cruises that are at least as expensive on other lines and posted about doing so on this board. Nonetheless, she still has not received the "hush money" that she wants from Celebrity. She continues to post about the pod problems whenever anybody -- especially anybodh new -- mentions planning a cruise a ship of the Celebrity Millennium class. Many of us have communicated quite clearly that we think that she is overdoing it, but she persists.

Norm.
Norms post is for the most part correct, the only item which needs to be corrected is that the pods have never been replaced. They have been trouble free for a couple of years. I don't have a problem with Debra posting but you should also be aware of the background, there is a long history both here and on other boards....

Don
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Old March 27th, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
..........While the problem with the pods was at its peak (c. 2002-2003), the poster known as "Nurse Debra" took a cruise to Alaska on a ship that had a problem with one of these propulsion pods, and she was not satisfied with the compensation that Celebrity offered.......... Norm.
To be more accurate, I believe Nurse Debra took the affected cruise on Summit in May of 2006.
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Old March 27th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Norm, I have definitely picked up on it after only being here a few weeks. Yes, it is disconcerting.

I just wanted to know where this dumping incident and banning was documented. I have looked for any online information, but the most I can find is that the park has limited the number of cruise lines who have access into the park. Celebrity doesn't have this access and therefore tenders ships into another bay and also spends a half day at a different glacier.

I am booked on the Millennium next month and have read nothing but positive reviews on the ship and the line.

To the original poster, I was in my early 20s on my first cruise. I remember having a lot of fun on the games deck.
Glad to see that you picked up on the attitude of some posters. As the moderators have said in the past, as long as one does not personally attack another poster, anyone is entitled to their views, that's what these boards are for. It's also good that the more experienced posters point out to newer members if they feel that someone does have an agenda.
It's good to realize that there are some with personal agendas, which may be pro or con regarding any ship or cruise line, & in the end, draw your own conclusions.

Enjoy your Millennium cruise, she is a beautiful ship with a great crew. We'll be back on her in a few weeks & can't wait!
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Old March 30th, 2010, 01:45 AM
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Thanks everyone for the helpful answers and tips. I really do appreciate the time and effort you all have put into your replies.

Our Caribbean cruise on Disney was fun for the kids, but it was horribly hot and a sunburn caused a lot of problems for one of the kids. After giving it a lot of thought and also from your responses we've decided that we will be going on an Alaskan cruise with the kids. But, we are going to wait one more year for the littlest one to get a bit more manageable, and to save up the money to make sure we can do the excursions with the older ones and also have a land vacation with it. We might do the Disney one for the girls... we'll just have to see how things pan out next year. (I'd prefer to go on a 'posh' cruise without the kids, so we could enjoy it.)

Thanks again!
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Old April 5th, 2010, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
Juno,



While the problem with the pods was at its peak (c. 2002-2003), the poster known as "Nurse Debra" took a cruise to Alaska on a ship that had a problem with one of these propulsion pods, and she was not satisfied with the compensation that Celebrity offered. Shortly after that experience, she appeared on this board whining that her "trip of a lifetime" had been totally ruined and that she would never be able to afford another cruise to Alaska, and went on to say that she would continue to post about the problem until she received a settlement that met her satisfaction. Of course, she has subsequently taken cruises that are at least as expensive on other lines and posted about doing so on this board. Nonetheless, she still has not received the "hush money" that she wants from Celebrity. She continues to post about the pod problems whenever anybody -- especially anybodh new -- mentions planning a cruise a ship of the Celebrity Millennium class. Many of us have communicated quite clearly that we think that she is overdoing it, but she persists.

Norm.
Just a point of fact here Norm:

I have held back here and I have been accused of just about everything short of causing 9/11, but somewhere these kinds of lies and character assassinations have to stop.
I stand by the fact that a trip of a lifetime was ruined for most who were on that cruise in 2006 and several since because of a decision to sail these ships by Celebrity, while failing to inform the public of this additional risk.

As for the rest of your diatribe, realizing you are a "motivated" stockholder I see still don't see where it serves any purpose other than hiding the truth. I defy you to find where I ever said I could "never afford to take another cruise" as I continue to cruise albeit on a reliable cruise line, I have NEVER asked for "hush money" from Celebrity or anybody else for that matter. I feel that the "over doing it" is the constant personal attacks and in saying things like the problem was at its peak in "2002-2003", when you know full well that is not true. The true facts say otherwise, five of these failures did occur between 2002-2003, with two before those years and at least 11 failures since 2003!

Don, appreciate your kind comments correcting the mis-information, by Norm, about no new PODS were supplied by the manufacturer. One point that was inaccurate in your post was the last failure was not two years ago as you stated, but rather in March of last year (2009) on the Millennium while cruising Sidney to Auckland.

So, come on I think it is time for someone else to let it go and give readers the correct information and let them make up their own minds.

Debra
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Old April 5th, 2010, 08:04 PM
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You made a wise decision to save up for the Alaskan cruise. If there is one cruise that should be 'done right', it is this one.

Save your money to do this trip the way you dream it should be. I did, and it was the adventure of a lifetime.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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I totally agree as it is the trip of a lifetime for many people. One should see and do it the way you really want.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old April 6th, 2010, 07:49 PM
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richsea,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
To be more accurate, I believe Nurse Debra took the affected cruise on Summit in May of 2006.
Yes, thanks for the correction. I was working from memory, but I clearly should have remembered that it was well after Princess motivated me to try Celebrity -- which I did in 2003....

Norm.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:11 PM
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Nurse Debra,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
I stand by the fact that a trip of a lifetime was ruined for most who were on that cruise in 2006 and several since because of a decision to sail these ships by Celebrity, while failing to inform the public of this additional risk.
I accept your correction as to the date.

At this point, speaking as a former naval officer who has first-hand experience with shipboard propulsion systems, I would agree completely that the ships of the Celebrity Millennium class were experiencing propulsion failures with abnormally high frequency and that there was a high risk of disruption of one's cruise if one booked on a vessel of that class. Nonetheless, these vessels seem to be performing quite reliably now. Mechanical failures of propulsion systems can -- and occasionally do -- happen aboard every vessel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
As for the rest of your diatribe...
Attempting to recount substantial facts from memory in response to a question is a diatribe???

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
... realizing you are a "motivated" stockholder...
I have fully disclosed my financial interest in the parent company on this board; most recently here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
... I see still don't see where it serves any purpose other than hiding the truth.
I'm not hiding the truth. In fact, I have often spoken the truth quite bluntly on this board, often suggesting to those who inquire about Celebrity Cruises that they might be happier on other lines that may be better matches for their personalities and their lifestyles. Misinformation leads to disaffected customers, and that serves neither the customer nor the cruise line. Celebrity Cruises is a good match for me, but not for everybody.

Norm.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Debra View Post
Just a point of fact here Norm:

I have held back here and I have been accused of just about everything short of causing 9/11, but somewhere these kinds of lies and character assassinations have to stop.
I stand by the fact that a trip of a lifetime was ruined for most who were on that cruise in 2006 and several since because of a decision to sail these ships by Celebrity, while failing to inform the public of this additional risk.

As for the rest of your diatribe, realizing you are a "motivated" stockholder I see still don't see where it serves any purpose other than hiding the truth. I defy you to find where I ever said I could "never afford to take another cruise" as I continue to cruise albeit on a reliable cruise line, I have NEVER asked for "hush money" from Celebrity or anybody else for that matter. I feel that the "over doing it" is the constant personal attacks and in saying things like the problem was at its peak in "2002-2003", when you know full well that is not true. The true facts say otherwise, five of these failures did occur between 2002-2003, with two before those years and at least 11 failures since 2003!

Don, appreciate your kind comments correcting the mis-information, by Norm, about no new PODS were supplied by the manufacturer. One point that was inaccurate in your post was the last failure was not two years ago as you stated, but rather in March of last year (2009) on the Millennium while cruising Sidney to Auckland.

So, come on I think it is time for someone else to let it go and give readers the correct information and let them make up their own minds.

Debra
Debra:

I did not make any comment about when the last failure was on an M class ship.

Also, having been on Equinox and with the quick S class work being done on the M class ships, I would not hesitate to take one in a minute...

Don
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:20 PM
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Don,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
Norms post is for the most part correct, the only item which needs to be corrected is that the pods have never been replaced.
There was a press release about a redesigned pod being installed aboard GTS Infinity for evaluation just before she headed to South America, probably around 2007 or 2008. IIRC, the test procedures required speed restrictions that affected the repositioning cruise and perhaps the first cruise from Santiago to Buenos Aires of that deployment to South America. The indication was that all of the ships of this class would get the new pods when they next went into drydock if the test yielded satisfactory results.

In any case, I'm planning to inquire about the pod issue during the Q&A session at the stockholder's meeting next month. I would like to hear from the company's executives that the problem is really resolved.

Norm.
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