Celebrity Millennium is not one of those glitzy, brand-new mega-ships with rock climbing walls, trampolines and craft breweries. Yet, despite its age (the ship launched in 2000) and smaller size, Millennium still shines. The cruise line has maintained the ship well and it retains a timeless, yet modern beauty that can be seen everywhere onboard.
As you walk around the ship, you'll appreciate details like the exterior midship elevators that offer panoramic views of the ocean and let in reams of natural light; the soothing Cosmos Lounge/observation deck with stage, dance floor and wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows; and the expansive two-level Metropolitan Main Dining Room) that's decorated in an array of gentle neutrals and has subtly tinted windows that bring bright light into the space no matter what the outside weather is.
For anyone seeking to avoid the crush of humanity you'll find on many mega-ships, Celebrity Millennium is just the right size, with a double occupancy of just more than 2,200 passengers. It's small enough that the ship feels intimate, but large enough to support multiple restaurants, lounges and a true theatre experience.
The ship has a touch of sophistication we loved, but it never comes across as stuffy or tedious, perhaps because the naturally inspired decor found throughout gives the ship a light, airy feel. Add to that friendly crew with ready smiles and a genuine interest in helping, and Celebrity Millennium provides a truly pleasant and relaxed cruise experience.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the suite experience, which is excellent on Celebrity Millennium. Suite passengers have access to an exclusive restaurant, lounge (drinks included) and sun deck, and an always-on-demand concierge who can help with any requests. At the highest suite levels, the cruise is also fairly all-inclusive, with speciality dining, drinks and Wi-Fi all rolled up into the price.
However, one of the things we loved most was you don't have to be in a suite to get that lush suite feel in your cabin with stylish furniture, clever storage and glass-fronted cabinetry, all of which is usually reserved only for the highest-paying cruisers.
Daytime: Casual is the name of the game during the day, with most people dressing for the climate of the destination they're travelling. You'll see lots of shorts, capris and jeans paired with T-shirts and polo shirts.
Evening: Mostly smart-casual. Men wear long pants and collared shirts and women don pants or skirt with a blouse. During Evening Chic nights (two for seven-night or longer cruises), women wear cocktail dresses or nice pants or skirts with an elegant top and men don nice slacks and a dress shirt or sweater, plus an optional sport coat or blazer.
Not Permitted: T-shirts, swimsuits, robes, bare feet, tank tops, baseball caps, shorts and sandals are not permitted in the main dining room or speciality restaurants at any time. You can go to the buffet in shorts and a T-shirt, however.
Millennium's main theatre is home to a number of evening big-stage shows, from traditional song-and-dance productions performed by a resident troupe to comedians and other travelling acts that could include aerialists and tribute bands. During the day you'll also find educational lectures from a naturalist when the ship is in Alaska, along with the occasional movie and, in the early part of your cruise, port and shopping talks.
The theatre can be accessed from Decks 4 and 5, but there are four tiers of seating and sightlines are pretty good from almost everywhere.
Depending on how long the ship is in port, each day will be filled with a variety of activities that include trivia (general knowledge, music, themed), open or crew versus passenger sports play (basketball, soccer, archery), art lectures and auctions, dance classes, Bingo and other similar options. There are also movies on the Rooftop Terrace, wine tastings for an extra fee, iPhone and iPad learning classes that are probably too basic for anyone under 60, and health and wellness seminars, which are, ultimately, trying to sell you something.
On top of that, the schedule is padded with lots of retail sales, which make the schedule look more robust than it actually is. We found long stretches of time where there was actually very few organized activities to participate in.
Celebrity Millennium is not a party ship, but it is hopping until around 1 a.m. most nights, with much of the action centred in Deck 11's Cosmos Lounge and in the casino. In addition to the shows in the theatre, you'll find live music in a number of venues, movies on the Rooftop, the occasional trivia game, themed dance parties (Motown, 80s, British Invasion, etc.) and twice per cruise a silent disco that draws people of all ages.
In the casino you'll find slot, poker and blackjack tournaments and lucky seat competitions.
Martini Bar & Crush (Deck 4): These twin bars are extremely popular in the late afternoon and early evenings, especially on sea days when the DJ pumps up the volume. Located along the main thoroughfare on Deck 4, the oval-shaped Martini Bar has an ice-topped bar and, if you're lucky, you'll catch bartenders showing off their martini pouring skills. The Crush bar is located just a few steps away; in fact, you might not even realize it's technically a separate bar, as it seems to serve more as a spillover space for the Martini Bar.
Rendezvous Lounge (Deck 4): Located smack in the middle of the ship (you have to pass through here to get between the front and back of the ship on Deck 4), the Rendezvous Lounge is one of the main spots for daytime activities ranging from trivia and other games to art auctions, and in the evening for live performances from the house band or a solo acoustic guitar player.
The Retreat Lounge (Deck 4): This glass-enclosed bar is reserved exclusively for suite passengers. It's a quiet space with snacks available most of the day and a full bar, with all drinks on the house. The suite concierge has her office here and is always available to help with all kinds of services.
Cellar Masters (Deck 5): Located along the main thoroughfare on Deck 5, Cellar Masters is Celebrity's signature wine bar and offers a number of varietals from around the world by the glass or bottle. There's also usually one or more wine tastings a day here, and in the evening you'll usually find a violinist and cellist duo playing classical or light jazz.
Sunset Bar (Deck 10): Located at the back of the Oceanview Cafe, the Sunset Bar serves as an alfresco seating for the buffet during meal times and as the perfect spot for an evening cocktail while the sun goes down.
Cosmos (Deck 11): Cosmos does double duty as a quiet spot for reading and taking in the gorgeous views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows during the day, and as the main entertainment venue in the evenings. This is where you'll find nighttime trivia and game shows, as well as DJ-spun music for dancing into the early hours of the morning. On Alaska sailings, it's also one of the best spots for glacier viewing if you want to stay warm and toasty.
Rooftop Terrace (Deck 12): Located outside on Deck 12 at the back of the ship, the Rooftop Terrace, is where you'll find morning, afternoon and evening movie showings. There are tons of loungers and even a handful of day beds for movie watching, and the area is stocked with blankets. It's also not a bad alternative for anyone looking to soak up rays in between movie showings. The space can only be accessed by a staircase on each side; though there is a specialized wheelchair lift, you'll have to find a crew member to help.
Celebrity Millennium has three pools: two outside in the main pool deck area, and one in the Solarium. The main pool deck also has several hot tubs, while the Solarium has one. The main pool deck can get crowded and noisy on a busy sea day with a DJ spinning tunes, while the Solarium is a dedicated quiet zone.
Note that children must be fully toilet-trained to use the pool or whirlpools. If your child is under 16, he or she must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian when using the whirlpools.
There is limited outdoor recreation on Millennium beyond a basketball court (Deck 12) that also doubles as a soccer court. There are two Ping-Pong tables, each one tucked in a corner outside the entrance to the Oceanview Cafe, and you'll often find a setup for a bean bag toss by the main pool.
There's plenty of sun deck space on Celebrity Millennium, with the bulk of it on Deck 10 surrounding the pools and on Deck 11 overlooking the pool. But, you'll also find places to lay out in the sun on Deck 12 toward the front by the basketball court, and when there's no movie playing at the Rooftop Terrace, which has a bunch of loungers and a handful of day beds under palapas. It can get windy up there, but blankets are always available if you need one.
Suite passengers have their own exclusive sun deck. The Retreat Sundeck offers two tiers of seating that includes lush loungers, plush clamshells, day beds, sectional sofas and even thick pillows on the deck for just lying on. There are also a handful of tables, though we never saw any signs of food service; at select times, a crew member was available to take drink orders, but that was it.
You'll find most of the ship's main services on Deck 3, including the guest services and shore excursion desks, as well as meeting rooms and a small internet cafe tucked in behind the midship elevators. Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship, and you can purchase either a basic or unlimited package, with prices based on how many devices you want to be able to connect.
The future cruise office is on Deck 5, tucked in between retail shops that sell high-end jewellery, perfume, designer clothing and Celebrity-branded logo wear and souvenirs. You'll also find the Innovations Apple Authorized Reseller store on Deck 5.
The Park West art gallery and the photo gallery, where you'll find all the pictures ship photographers have been taking all cruise long, are both on Deck 4.
There are no self-service laundry facilities, but you can pay to have items washed, dry cleaned or pressed for you.
There's a medical facility on Deck 1, but hours are limited and you'll pay to visit the doctor.
Celebrity Millennium's spa is operated by Canyon Ranch and offers a wide range of body treatments and salon services, all of which are quite pricy. Massages range from $150 for a 50-minute Tension Zone massage to $248 for an 80-minute deep tissue, plus there are a number of add-ons (hot stones, scalp or foot massage) for an additional $36 each. Facials cost anywhere from $124 to $289, with several add-ons that range from $37 to $46. Men's services, hair dressing, Botox and dermal fillers, nail services and acupuncture are also available.
Tucked away inside the spa, around the corner from the gym, is the Persian Garden thermal suite, which features a Hamman Turkish steam room, salt therapy sauna, infrared sauna and rainfall showers, along with a handful of ceramic loungers. It's pretty small, only open to people 18 or older and you must purchase a weeklong pass (about $100) to enter (the Persian Garden is free for passengers staying in an AquaClass cabin).
Millennium has a large gym with a mix of Technogym and Life Fitness machines, a selection of free weights and several free and for-fee classes. You can also pay for a number of personal training-style sessions that range anywhere in price from $67 for 25 minutes of assisted stretching to $154 for an 80-minute fitness assessment. Yoga, cycling and Pilates classes each cost about $18 a session. Deck 11 has a jogging track, where six laps equals 1 kilometer.
The fitness center is open 24 hours a day, but is only staffed from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and cruisers must 16 or older to use the facility. On our Alaska sailing, the gym seemed to be at its busiest every morning between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Get there a little before 7 a.m. to grab a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical before the crowd arrives.
Foodies love Celebrity Cruises for its care and attention to cuisine throughout its free dining venues as well as in its for-fee, speciality restaurants. If you don't mind the busy nature of the main dining room, buffet and pool grill, you can eat for free for the duration of your cruise and keep your stomach pretty happy. Or if you want to splurge, the for-fee, speciality restaurants are worth every penny. Speciality dining packages are available, but with just two speciality dining venues onboard might not be worth the money unless you really want to "dine out" more than once.
Service across the board, whether in a free or extra-fee dining venue, is excellent, with the attentive and friendly wait staff.
The ship does an excellent job of catering for different dietary requirements, and waiters will always ask if you have any allergies the first time they serve you, but you'll get the best results by alerting the cruise line to your needs before sailing. Once onboard, see the restaurant manager or assistant maitre d' who will outline your options and take any special requests.
Metropolitan Restaurant (Decks 4 & 5)
Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D)
Celebrity Millennium has one large main dining room. Passengers can either select an early (6 p.m.) or late (8:30 p.m.) dinner seating or the flexible Select Dining program. Those with set seatings will be seated on Deck 5, while those with Select Dining will be seated on Deck 4 and waits for a table there can take up to an hour if you arrive between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. To avoid waits, dine earlier or later, or make a reservation for the time you want. (To reserve a table, call the restaurant between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.)
Breakfast every day, and lunch on sea days (there is no lunch most port days), are open seating. Breakfast offers a menu of traditional morning items from pastries, fruits and cereals to eggs a number of ways, griddle options and various breakfast meats. Lunch features salads, sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, hot dishes, and desserts.
Dinner is served banquet-style and features an eclectic menu of appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts. You'll always find fish, poultry, beef and pork dishes, along with vegetarian options. Each day the menu changes with the exception of four "timeless" starters and three "timeless" entrees.
We found the service to be excellent, even if the food was sometimes just OK.
Oceanview Cafe (Deck 10)
Meals: B, L, D
The ship's buffet restaurant on Deck 10, the Oceanview Cafe, has an open layout with multiple food stations spread around the space. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is closed in-between meals. Some food stations are duplicated on each side of the buffet, so it's always best to do a complete circuit (especially for lunch and dinner) if you don't want to miss out on anything.
Breakfast serves typical morning buffet fare with cereals, pastries and breads, omelettes your way, griddle options and more. Lunch and dinner offers premade and DIY salad bars, sandwiches, pizza, a carving station, Asian and Indian favourites, and a variety of hot dishes that change daily.
The dessert station features a range of cakes (though the chocolate is the same every day), an ice-cream bar with five ice-cream flavours and a soft serve machine, with a different flavor most days. The fixings bars has sprinkles and various sauces, and there's a jelly bean jar for those who can't get enough sugar. There are also always a few jars of cookies where you can grab your favorite all day long.
The dishes ranged from really good to just OK, and some of the Asian items were spicier than expected. We tried a small number of things first before deciding what we ultimately wanted.
Seating is challenging for breakfast (port days) and lunch (sea days), but we always eventually found a table if we walked around the entire space once or twice. There's some bar-style seating along the windows, if you don't need to be at a table.
Pool Grill (Deck 10)
The Pool Grill is the spot onboard to get hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as turkey and veggie burgers, and, of course, crispy French fries. There's a small toppings bar with standards like cheese, lettuce and tomato, bacon, sauerkraut and more. The grill closes at 6 p.m., so it's really just open for lunch and late afternoon snacks.
Spa Cafe (Deck 10)
Meals: B, L
For a selection of small-plate, light fare items, you can head to the Solarium on Deck 10 where healthier breakfasts and lunches are served every day. The lunch menu is divided into sections with names like "energize," "balance" and "recovery," and features a variety of premade salads (typically using low-fat mayonnaise or yoghurt), fresh fruit plates and other healthy offerings.
Blu (Deck 5)
Meals: B, D
Another small, exclusive restaurant, Blu is reserved for passengers staying in AquaClass cabins only, though if there's room suite passengers can also request to dine here. Breakfast is, like everywhere else, a usual blend of morning favourites, but also includes a variety of healthy starters such as a low-fat yoghurt parfaits or bowls of crunchy muesli.
Dinner offers spa-style cuisine that is typically lighter than what is served in the main dining room, with fewer rich sauces and sauteed items on the menu and more natural reductions and herbs. In addition to the rotating menu, there is a three-option Timeless Classics section with fish, chicken and beef choices.
Luminae (Deck 4)
Meals: B, L, D
Luminae is a small restaurant open only to suite passengers, and it serves as a quiet alternative to the main dining room and buffet.
The breakfast menu offers a mix of morning standards, while lunch offers a limited selection of appetizers, sandwiches and entrees (three of each). You'll usually find several vegetarian and seafood selections, plus pastas and burgers.
At dinner, diners can choose from an exclusive Luminae menu or the main dining room menu.
The Luminae menu is smaller than what you'll find in the main dining room, with just five appetizers and six entrees. One of each, which stays the same every day, has been created by acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud and can only be found in Luminae. The menu is primarily Pan-American, with vegan or vegetarian, fish and meat dishes available each night. Dishes range from edible to excellent, and service is impeccable and proactive.
Meals: B, L, D and Snacks
Room service is available 24/7, and includes a mix of just-for-breakfast and hot and cold all-day items (salads, soups, starters, main courses, desserts and a kids menu), all of which are free, except from 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. when a $4.95 surcharge is applied. Breakfast is ordered via a door-hung card on which you make your selections and then hang on your door the night before. Tipping a few dollars for room service is customary.
Pricing was accurate at time of review but may have changed since.
Tuscan Grille (Deck 3); $45 per person
One of two date-night venues onboard, Tuscan Grille offers delicious Italian fare, along with steaks and seafood, all tucked away in a quiet spot on Deck 3. The menu is divided into starters, salads, soups, homemade pastas, seafood, butcher cuts and sides. It's all tasty, and we recommend coming with an empty stomach.
In Alaska, Tuscan Grille also offers a one-time Alaska-themed lunch (pricing varies) with local seafood as the main draw.
Sushi on Five (Deck 5); a la carte, $3 to $13
Not enough passengers discover Sushi on Five, tucked behind Cellar Masters on Deck 5, but this restaurant is a gem. On the menu you'll find a variety of starters, sushi rolls and sashimi. Standout items were the ramens, and the tempura rolls all got the thumbs-up as well.
Cafe al Bacio & Gelateria (Deck 5); a la carte
Cafe al Bacio and the Gelateria are located across from each other on Deck 5. At the cafe itself, you'll find a selection of decadent pastries, all available for free. What you will pay for are the gelato, speciality coffees and teas. The gelato, of which there are usually four to five flavours, costs $4 for a small cup with two scoops or an ice cream cookie sandwich.
Juice Bar (Deck 10); a la carte, $5 to $6
The Juice Bar is tucked into the Solarium and shares space with the Spa Cafe. A variety of freshly pressed juices, including mixed juices ($5) and smoothies ($6), are available here.
Qsine (Deck 11); $45 per person
All the way at the top of the ship, this gourmet restaurant interprets comfort food in a way you've never seen before. All meals are served in innovative vessels -- never a standard plate or bowl -- and are meant to be shared by larger groups. Couples will enjoy the experience but be stuffed by meal's end. The menu, presented on an iPad, includes standouts like sliders, sushi, shrimp and, for dessert, decorate-your-own cupcakes. In Alaska, Qsine is also the location for one or more Alaska-themed lunches or dinners (pricing varies).
Qsine will be replaced by Le Petit Chef in December 2019.
From the smallest inside room to the largest Penthouse Suite, all cabins on Celebrity Millennium have an airy, modern feel that invites cruisers to unwind and relax. We particularly love the care that was taken in the design to give all the rooms a touch of sophistication normally reserved for suite passengers. Glass-fronted cabinets, for instance, are a design feature rarely found outside of suites on cruise ships, but you'll see them in every room onboard Celebrity Millennium.
Other features you'll find in all standard cabins include twin beds that can be pushed together to form a queen, dual closets with shelves and room for hanging items on both sides (one short, one long), a desk with chair and lighted mirror above it, three- to four-drawer dresser, mini-fridge (feel free to ask your room attendant to remove the pre-stocked -- and extra-fee -- items from inside), bedside stands with small drawer and cubby hole, and bedside lights with stand into which are built an 110-volt outlet and USB ports.
You'll also find 110- and 220-volt outlets by the desk, a hairdryer in the top drawer of the desk, a safe in the closet along with robes to wear in the room, an armchair or loveseat, and an interactive flat-screen TV with several channels as well as the ability to check your bill, make shore excursions, order room service and watch movies on demand (for a fee). Every room also has reusable Celebrity-branded totes that you can take home with you.
Bathrooms have plenty of storage space both above and below the sink, and showers with a glass door. Soaps, shampoos, conditioners and shower gels are all in large, reusable plastic containers.
Our sole complaint about the rooms was a lack of hanging space outside the closet for our jackets.
There are accessible versions of most types of rooms onboard.
Interior: Though small (only 170 square feet), inside rooms on Celebrity Millennium are, nevertheless, as comfortable and stylish as any other cabin onboard. Additionally, the way the bed(s) are placed in the room creates extra space so you never have to feel cramped.
Oceanview: Ocean-view cabins are the same size as inside accommodations but have the addition of a panoramic window.
Balcony: Not including the balcony, these rooms are the exact same size and layout as inside and ocean-view rooms. On the 38-square-foot balcony, you'll find two chairs and a knee-high drinks table.
Family Veranda: These cabins (270 square feet, with either a 112- or 191-square-foot balcony) can accommodate up to five people, have separate living and sleeping spaces and an expansive balcony, but only have one bathroom. The master bedroom has two twin beds that can be combined to form a king and there are pull-out couches in the living area. The oversized balcony has extra furniture, including two loungers and a second drinks table.
Concierge Class: Concierge Class staterooms (233 square feet, including balcony) are nearly identical to standard balcony rooms, but are slightly larger and come with the services of a dedicated concierge who can help with dining arrangements and shore excursion reservations. Other perks you'll get for staying in a Concierge Cabin are priority check-in, debarkation and tendering; plush robes and slippers; daily canapes; welcome sparkling wine; complimentary use of umbrellas and binoculars; and upgraded bath amenities.
AquaClass: AquaClass rooms (248 square feet, including balcony) are also larger than but nearly identical to standard balcony rooms, but these rooms come with a yoga mat, two bottles of water delivered daily, a pitcher of iced tea refreshed twice a day, complimentary access to the Persian Garden thermal suite and exclusive access to the health-focused Blu restaurant, where breakfast and dinner are served daily. As in Concierge Class rooms, cabins come with plush robes and slippers, daily canapes, welcome sparkling wine, upgraded bath amenities and complimentary usage of umbrellas and binoculars.
Suites: There are four categories of suite onboard Celebrity Millennium. All come with access to the The Retreat, which features an exclusive lounge on Deck 6 -- with free drinks -- and sun deck on Deck 12 reserved exclusively for suite cruisers, and only those staying in a suite are welcome to dine in the Luminae restaurant for breakfast and dinner. Suite passengers also have seats reserved for them in the theatre and get priority embarkation, debarkation and tender service. In some ports, suite passengers may also be invited onto the helipad for a special sail-away.
All suites feature a sitting area with sofa, two twin beds that can be pushed together to form a queen (unless otherwise noted), an upgraded showerhead, a mini-fridge, and balconies with lounge seating and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Suite cruisers also receive fresh fruit and bottles of water on day one of the cruise, daily canape delivery, complimentary in-cabin speciality coffee, pillow menu, Frette robes (at the Penthouse and Royal levels, the robes are monogrammed and you get to take them home) and towels, and upgraded bath amenities.
Cruisers staying in Celebrity, Royal and Penthouse suites also have personal butler service to help with a range of services.
In addition to the full array of suite perks listed above, cruisers staying in Royal and Penthouse suites also get a complimentary mini-bar or full refrigerator stocked with their favourite beer, soda, wine and liquor and replenished as needed, unlimited, complimentary speciality dining, complimentary laundry service and unlimited Wi-Fi.
Penthouse Suite: There are just two Penthouse suites (each 2,530 square feet, including balcony) on Celebrity Millennium, each of which has separate sleeping, living and dining spaces, along with two bathrooms and a small pantry. A massive balcony that stretches the length of the suite and has multiple entry ways.
There's plenty of room for people to stretch out inside, with lots of seating options throughout (we love the pod chair), dining for up to 10 people, and enough storage space to last two to four people at least a month. The marble bathroom has a spa tub, dual sinks and separate, glass-enclosed shower stall. The balcony is stocked with regular chairs, loungers and sofas, a hot tub, and plenty of space for entertaining passengers outside.
In addition to all the standard and Royal Suite-level perks, those staying in Penthouse suites also get free premium beverage packages.
Royal Suite: There are eight Royal suites (733 square feet, including balcony) onboard, each with a discrete living, dining and sleeping area, along with a tiny walk-in closet, and a large bathroom with a separate shower and spa tub and dual sinks. All can hold up to four people. The bedroom has a queen-sized bed with flat-screen TV, small desk area, a port hole view onto the balcony and a balcony entry. There's a second balcony entry in the living room, which has a sectional sofa, part of which can be turned into another bed.
The oversized balcony has a hot tub, two loungers, a two-person loveseat, two chairs and a dining table with seating for four.
Celebrity Suite: The eight Celebrity suites (467 square feet, including balcony) on Celebrity Millennium can each house up to three people and have a separate bedroom and living room, a small walk-in closet with vanity, small dining space, and enlarged bathroom and balcony. The large bathroom has dual sinks, a separate glass shower stall and a jetted spa tub. There's lots more storage space than you and two friends could possibly need in a week.
Sky Suite: There are 32 Sky suites onboard, each with a bedroom and adjacent sitting space; there is no divider between the two spaces. The sitting area has a sofa, larger desk and more storage space, while the oversized bathroom has a separate shower stall, jetted spa tub and dual sinks. Sky suites (308 square feet, including balcony) can hold up to three people.