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  • Writer's pictureBill Hernandez

Celebrity Millennium Review

Review By: Andrea M. Rotondo / Cruise Critic Contributor

Celebrity Cruises has a saying that's chanted at HQ and aboard its ships during staff meetings: "Happy crew. Happy guests." The phrase aptly describes Celebrity Millennium. During our voyage, we were continually struck by how happy, friendly and caring every single crewmember appeared to be. No matter if we were interacting with a maitre d', waiter or sommelier; a guest services representative; or our cabin steward, every single staff member made sure our needs were met and our expectations exceeded. Those human connections elevated the experience and made us feel at home aboard the ship -- starting on embarkation day when we were invited to enjoy a special lunch for Concierge Class passengers in the main dining room.

Celebrity Millennium is not one of those brand-new mega-ships with rock climbing walls, surf simulators and craft breweries. But, despite its age (the ship launched in 2000) and manageable size, Millennium still shines. The cruise line has maintained the ship well, and in 2012 it was "Solsticized" with a renovation that upgraded public areas and staterooms (including the addition of AquaClass accommodations), and installed some of the company's most popular specialty restaurants along with the Cafe al Bacio coffee shop and gelateria. The line also improved the ship's ADA-compliance, so guests can expect things such as improved wheelchair-accessible cabins, ramps in shops and a lower guest relations desk.

While staterooms and some common areas are ready for another refresh, you'll find yourself continually remarking about the ship's beauty. Celebrity Millennium is just the right size, with a double occupancy of 2,158 passengers; it's small enough that the ship feels intimate but large enough to support multiple fantastic restaurants, lounges and a true theater experience. As you walk around the ship, you'll appreciate details like the tortoise-shell onyx staircase that's the centerpiece of the atrium between guest services on Deck 3 and the Martini Bar on Deck 4; the exterior midship elevators that offer panoramic views of the ocean; the soothing Cosmos Lounge/observation deck with stage, dance floor and wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows; and the expansive two-level Metropolitan Restaurant (main dining room) that's decorated in an elegant motif that mixes modernism with Art Deco flourishes.

Beyond being a knockout in the looks department, Celebrity Millennium is incredibly well run. Shore excursion operations have been perfected and the line for independent tender tickets is quite manageable, even with the ship at full capacity. The main dining room absolutely hums at dinnertime, but instead of being chaotic, the wait staff are friendly while being efficient. And the specialty restaurants make you feel like you're dining at a five-star restaurant on land.

Sure, we could quibble about some furniture that needs to be refreshed or the lack of USB outlets by the bed in cabins, but the overall beauty of the vessel, the acumen of the crew and the incredible, value-oriented itineraries make Celebrity Millennium an absolute winner.

Celebrity Millennium will be overhauled in February 2019; all cabins will be redone, Michael's Club will be transformed into the Retreat Lounge for suite passengers, and all cabins will be updated.

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