by Joey Brecker-Richardson
October 29, 2006
We booked this cruise that would take us from Barcelona to Venice, in May 2005 with an embarkation date of October 29, 2006.
We reserved stateroom 9160 upon Celebrity's Millennium. This is a Concierge Class aft cabin, which is approximately 251 square feet with a large 200 square foot veranda.
Boarding this ship has never been easier. Once our taxis dropped us off at the Pier in Barcelona, a porter was very eager to accept our luggage and guide us to the entrance to the embarkation lobby.
We were immediately asked to sanitize our hands before entering a ship-controlled area and would later discover that this is now SOP aboard Celebrity. We were also offered a cool fruit punch while we stood in the proper line.
The line moved quickly and we were thru security and with champagne in hand by 12:00 noon. As with so many cruises that allow early embarkation, our cabin was not "ready" until 1:00, but we just could not resist stopping by and "dropping" off things. Once there, we met Gregorio and Tailer our stateroom tag team that did a pretty good one-two punch in Stateroom cleanliness and attentiveness. Any concern we had throughout the cruise was always met quickly and efficiently.
October 29 was night one and shortly after our sailing from Barcelona, while getting ready for dinner, I became aware of Mediterranean fruit flies that had infested our cabin. I was distraught and after expressing our displeasure firmly with the staff at Guest Relations, we were moved to another cabin while they attempted to correct the problem.
After expressing my displeasure to the Guest Relations Office the entire staff of the Millennium did their best to turn a negative into a positive the Lead Guest Relations Officer Ms. Jann Ramos could not have been more understanding about. Her performance in this situation reminded me of just why we chose Celebrity.
It took a little over 36 hours before we could get back into the cabin we had purchased for this adventure. When things at the start of an Adventure begin to turn negative, and you see all of your dreams go up in a mist, it can become very scary and disappointing to say the least.
Ms. Ramos not only coordinated the cleanup effort between the various departments, but she made an effort to keep in touch with us every step of the way! I must applaud the entire staff for a job well done!
AND we were back in our stateroom where on David's birthday, October 31, we were able to wake up and have breakfast on the veranda. SUCCESS!
The Millennium as a whole is in fine condition. All carpets appear to be in good repair, and the ship shows little signs of age. The support staff have done a wonderful job with maintenance.
We opted for late dining at a table for two and we received table 552, which is at the top of the staircase in the dining room, located adjacent to the Jan Martini Quartet. So our meals were always filled with music. Nice touch.
Our wait staff, the team of (Glenn) Joseph and Richard; were a nice combination that did their best to please. However at times they seemed to be a bit overwhelmed.
Sebastian our Sommelier was attentive and supportive. He accepted our boycott of first night no wine sales with real grace and on night two made an effort to find a specific vintage that we asked for. He was outstanding and very personable.
The food was just as we remembered. The cold soups were just as remarkable, while the roast beef was just as tender and the Escargot, which are now part of the regular standby menu, were outstanding.
With this being a very port intensive cruise, we did not see much of the late night activities. So the entertainment we really cannot comment on.
The exception was for a review of a fantasy type show that the "singers and dancers" "performed" for the passengers. I personally didn't care for it.
On November 4th, a formal night, we had reservations for the Olympic Restaurant. Once again, we had a table for two and this time a great duce by the Harpist. The meal was outstanding and the service exceptional. Thumbs up to Stanislaw Stoyanov, Maitrie d'Hotel. He runs a fine restaurant. Our only exception was for the Sommelier who was unhappy that we chose not to buy wine and refused our request to purchase a second sparkling water.
We were planning a small gathering in our stateroom to sample some wines. Gregorio had anticipated the tasting and offered to provide cheese, crackers, and other things before we had to ask. He was amazing.
The casino when open had a nice selection of slots and our favorites were Little Green Men and Texas Tea, where I was able to pick up a few hundred on this cruise, so that's a nice feeling.
Overall we felt we did in fact receive our money's worth! Got our bang for the buck, as they say.
The Millennium is a fine ship with an outstanding crew and I would not hesitate to sail it again if the itinerary happens to present itself.
Now to Rate the Cruise line:
Accommodations = 4
Onboard Activities = 3
Entertainment = 2
Food = 4
Specialty Restaurant = 4
Overall Cruise Experience = 4.5