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Cruise Ship Information

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GTS Millennium is the flagship of the Millennium-class cruise ships, operated by Celebrity Cruises line. Her sister ships are Constellation, Millennium, and Summit.

She was built at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France. When launched in 2000, Millennium was the world's first ship to use a turbo-electric COGAS power plant. Combined gas and steam (COGAS) is the name given to marine compound powerplants comprising gas and steam turbines, the latter being driven by steam generated using the heat from the exhaust of the gas turbines. In this way, some of the otherwise lost energy can be reclaimed and the specific fuel consumption of the plant can be decreased.

Millennium has a restaurant that contains wooden panels originally used in the RMS Olympic (sister ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic), removed and preserved when that ship was sold for scrap in 1935.

Sources of food include a two level main dining room, called "Metropolitan", and a buffet that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner on deck 10.

Sources of entertainment include the Celebrity Theatre, in which musical shows, comedians, or big-screen movies can be seen. The theatre is also used for gathering people on excursions, as well as informative talks. Another source is the cinema, located on the third deck. This is used for informative talks as well as daily movies.

Millennium was docked in Athens, Greece, on September 11, 2001, and went into high-security lock-down upon receipt of news regarding the September 11 attacks in the USA.[3] A Celebrity Cruises-sponsored marketing event onboard was in progress but it was curtailed and everyone except passengers and crew were removed from the ship. All other passenger activities except food service were cancelled. The following day, while at sea, a small private plane began to circle the ship, causing panic among several passengers on deck. The plane eventually flew away.[citation needed]

In May 2011, a female passenger in her sixties was declared missing when she failed to disembark at a port call in San Diego. Security cameras on the ship showed that she deliberately jumped off the ship in the waters between Cabo San Lucas and San Diego.[4][5]

After the ship's voyage from Miami to Roatan, Honduras, to Cozumel, Mexico, and back to Miami (April 16–21, 2012), the ship went to dry-dock in the Bahamas for 3-weeks to be renovated.

Depending on the season, the ship visits the following destinations: Alaska from Vancouver and Seward during the summer season, Hawaii and South Pacific Ocean in fall and Southeast Asia from Singapore and Hong Kong during the winter season.

On August 9, 2013, an engine problem occurred aboard the ship, causing a delayed arrival in Seward. After arriving, the Millennium then had to stay in port until August 13, 2013. This caused a drastic change to its following itinerary, originally planned to call at the Alaskan ports of Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. That cruise was shortened and the ship then proceed southbound to Vancouver without any ports of call. Passengers sailing on that voyage were provided a big variety of compensations as well as options; either to stay aboard the ship during its repairs at Seward, or to opt for a full refund. During the Sunday while the ship was undergoing repairs, Seward had two ships docked in port in total, the other ship being Holland America Line's Zaandam.

On August 18, 2013, after leaving Ketchikan on its northward voyage, another engine problem occurred forcing the ship to return to Ketchikan that evening. The U.S. Coast Guard required the engine problem to be repaired before the ship could set sail again with passengers. After several days of attempting repairs, the remainder of the voyage was canceled and Celebrity arranged for all passengers to be flown to Seattle, Vancouver or Anchorage. Customers were compensated similarly to those on the previous weeks cruise. The next 5 cruises on the schedule were also canceled as the ship sailed to their Bahamas dry-dock for major repairs to the Rolls-Royce Mermaid propulsion pod.

Atmosphere on board 

A favorite of many vacationers, Celebrity Millennium was "Solsticized" in May of 2012 and emerged with many award-winning Solstice Class features. She's been renewed with spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms, the AquaClass signature restaurant, Blu, and the addition of verandas to her chic Celebrity Suites. We can't think of a better way to experience the exotic beauty of Asia and the South Pacific than aboard Celebrity Millennium. Out of the ordinary? Definitely.

See behind-the-scenes action and get the latest Solsticizing updates by reading and bookmarking our Solsticizing blog.

Family with Kids/Teens

The well-equipped, bright and cheerful Fun Factory is located forward on Deck 11,

and it has programs for kids of ages 3 to 11. Teens have their own programming and hangout space, called X Club. Between the youth and teen facilities is the ship's arcade.

Participation in the kids' program is complimentary (with some exceptions) and is broken nicely into compatible age groups. Potty-trained children are welcomed from age 3 and join the Shipmates (3- to 5-year-olds). Cadets (6 to 8), Ensigns (9 to 11) and Teens (12 to 17) make up the balance of the groups. Age-appropriate activities are available for each, and trained counselors are in attendance.

The Fun Factory is outfitted with large TV's, a Ping-Pong table and computer terminals. Kids' activities include crafts, Wii games, puppet shows, dinosaur studies, sushi-making, miniature boat-building and pajama parties. Celebrity has partnered with The Nerdel Company to offer activities focused on healthy living -- such as puzzles, sing-alongs and cooking classes -- that feature a puppet named Nerdel. Special family activities include Ping-Pong tournaments, bingo, talent shows and scavenger hunts for kids and parents.

Teens hang out in the two-story X Club, a gaming haven with two Wii and Xbox machines on the first floor and PlayStation 3's on the second. The club also has space for lounging and a dance floor with an iPad-jukebox system. Teens can participate in teen pool Olympics; late-night theme parties, such as "Red Carpet" and "Prom Night"; craft and scrapbook activities; karaoke; and fashion design workshops.

Parents with children younger than 3 are invited to accompany their toddlers into the playrooms at select times. (Infants who sail must be at least 6 months old as of the first day of the cruise. However, for transatlantic, transpacific, select South America and other select cruises, infants must be at least 12 months old.)

It's $6 per hour, per child, for kids ages 3 to 11 to participate in the "Afternoon Party" from noon to 2 p.m. on port days and/or the nighttime Slumber Party from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. A dinner party from 5 to 7 p.m. is complimentary on sea days or when sailing occurs before 5 p.m.; it's the same fee as the other parties when the ship is in port. A V.I.P. pass gives access to all parties, exclusive Fun Factory activities and a gift bag. The price varies per cruise but gives a discount off the cost of individual parties.

In-cabin baby-sitting is available for $19 per hour for up to three children (12 months minimum) within the same family. In-cabin baby-sitting is subject to availability and must be requested 24 hours in advance.

Parents can also borrow toys from the Fun Factory for children to use onboard. The toys, suitable for a variety of ages from 3 to 11, include many LeapFrog interactive toys.

Past Passenger Programs

The Program: Captain's Club, a three-tiered system

Perks: "Classic" members (those who have earned one to four credits for cruising with Celebrity) get perks including access to the loyalty desk and loyalty host, a premium onboard discount booklet, a one-category upgrade (when available), pre-sailing dining reservations at alternative eateries on applicable vessels, and little freebies like wine tasting and golf clinics. "Select" cruisers (five to nine credits) receive all of the above as well as a complimentary wine seminar, priority status to shore excursion waitlist, an invitation to the senior officers' cocktail party, 25 percent off any Internet package, complimentary pressing of two clothing items, and discounted laundry on cruises of 12 nights or more.

Added perks for "Elite" members (10 or more credits) include a private shipboard departure lounge with continental breakfast, priority tender service, priority waitlist for dining room seating, elegant tea service, complimentary use of Thalassotherapy pool use on Celebrity Mercury, complimentary access to the Persian Garden (port days only), access to the new Captain's Club Lounge at Michael's Club (certain hours of the day), 90 free Internet minutes, one free item of dry cleaning, a complimentary bag of laundry (wash, dry and fold), discounted laundry on cruises of 12 nights or more, and the ability to join Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society at the Diamond level.

All members get the traditional invite to the captain's cocktail party, newsletter and chance to cruise on reunion voyages.

Incentive to Belong: As Celebrity's ships get larger, preferential boarding and disembarkation is a nice benefit. Also, because the tier system is based on credits -- not just the number of cruises taken -- there are ways to move up the ranks faster. For example, you'll earn an extra credit for booking a Concierge-level stateroom or higher, or for sailing for 12 nights or more, for a possible total of three credits for one voyage.

Members-Only Deals: Captain's Club members are offered several special discounted sailings per year, some of which can be a good deal compared to retail rates, especially if it also includes an onboard credit or discount certificate. Compare prices to verify the savings.

For More Info: Visit the Captain's Club section on Celebrity's Web site or call

Fitness And Spa

The ship's main pool area, located on Deck 10 midship, is a sophisticated affair, with cushioned loungers, day-beds and wooden accents. The pool itself is divided into a shallow end for dipping and a deeper end for swimming; a circular lounge area sits on a raised platform in the middle. Anyone who wants to swim laps can do so early in the morning before the pools get busy. There are four hot tubs, a bar and table tennis on the port side.

Please note that only fully toilet-trained kids can use the ship's pools.

A jogging track and shuffleboard can be found one deck up on Deck 11, along with a basketball court on Deck 12 at the top of the ship.

Forward of the main pool is the Solarium, with a thalassotherapy pool (free of charge to use) under a retractable roof, teak loungers with head pillows, and round tables by the AquaSpa Cafe. It leads into the Canyon Ranch SpaClub itself, where spa service and treatment areas are accompanied by the for-fee Persian Garden steam and sauna area, a hair salon and a forward-facing gymnasium and fitness center that is appealing.

Day-passes to the Persian Garden are free to AquaClass passengers and cost $20 per day for everyone else. (Cruise-long couples and singles passes can be purchased for a discount off the daily rate.) Spa services at the facility include facials, massages, hair styling and nail treatments with specials offered on port days. More unusual options include the Bamboo Massage, where bamboo shoots of various sizes are rolled and used to massage muscles. Celebrity Millennium has licensed doctors onboard and offers Restylane and Perlane treatments, as well as Botox.

Celebrity also has a trained acupuncturist onboard Millennium. In fact, it was one of the first lines to introduce the now-standard cruise spa option. A special acupuncture area is located on Deck 7 with four treatment rooms.

The fitness area offers the usual cardio machines and weights. In the aerobics space, abs workouts and stretching sessions are free, but classes in Pilates, spinning and yoga are offered with an additional fee of $12 per person (plus 15 percent gratuity). However, some of the best workouts onboard are to be found in the dance classes, which are offered free of charge.

The AquaSpa area is for adults only, and -- thank goodness -- it seemed to be enforced.

Food & Dining

All of the food selections -- from the always-available pizza and pasta to the delectable savories in the Olympic Restaurant -- were exceptionally good, beautifully presented and served with a smile and a flourish.

The Metropolitan, Millennium's main restaurant, is a two-deck-high room located at the aft of the ship on Decks 4 and 5; the entire back wall is glass. When it isn't yet dark outside, the views from almost anywhere in the restaurant are stunning. And, when darkness falls, Millennium uses a series of drop-down screens to hide the windows and the glare from the inside lighting.

Two things stand out about the Metropolitan dining room: The decor, a mix of contemporary and Art Deco, is lovely and elegant, setting the stage for the equally elegant dining experience. Although it's a large space, it's been designed in a way that makes it quiet enough to actually enjoy conversation. In fact, when seated at a large table in the middle of the lower level, probably the least favorite spot in any dining venue because of noise and activity, you'll be able to speak to and actually hear your dining companions.

Menu options run the gamut from chi-chi French-inspired cuisine, such as filet mignon with foie gras and bleu cheese topping and escargots, to more plebian roast chicken and grilled fish. Service in the main restaurant is excellent and traditional.

There are two options for dinner in the Metropolitan. Passengers can go with traditional, set seating (at 6 and 8:30 p.m.) or opt for the more flexible Celebrity Select dining option. With Celebrity Select, passengers have the option to dine any time between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and to decide whether they want to eat with their own party or at a mixed table with other passengers. They can also make specific dinner reservations for each day of their cruise online in advance, make reservations onboard or simply show up when ready to eat.

The creme de la creme of dining spots on Millennium is the exquisite Olympic Restaurant, the ship's original for-charge alternative restaurant on Deck 3 midship. It's $45 per person to eat there; dinner is served from 6 - 10 p.m. Adorned with original panels from the MS Olympic, sister ship to the Titanic, the atmosphere and presentation is as magnificent as the cuisine. I'm usually too impatient to enjoy the pomp and circumstance of this kind of atmosphere, but the well-trained teams in the Olympic made it showy and fun. The menu, which doesn't change, is wonderful, offering French-influenced selections for every type of diner. One of the most popular entrees is the melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon. The dessert platter, with a trio of pastries, each filled with a different flavored cream, was so beautiful that it was a shame to eat it -- but we did, with gusto.

In addition to the regular menu, you can opt instead for the Five Senses menu, which presents six courses paired with wines, for a higher surcharge of $89 per person.

Within the Olympic is the Wine Cellar room, used for private, wine-themed events.

Celebrity's Champagne High Tea, which takes place once or twice a cruise, is also offered in the Olympic. While a string quartet plays, premium tea and coffees, savory sandwiches and desserts are served on fine china for a $25-per-person charge.

Carved out of a portion of the main dining room on Deck 5 is Blu, Celebrity's spa-dining venue, exclusively for AquaClass passengers. Those booked in suites are allowed to dine there, space permitting. The fee-free restaurant (a $5 gratuity is recommended) is open for breakfast (7:30 to 9 a.m.), serving light meals like smoothies and muesli, and dinner (6 to 9:30 p.m.), with a changing menu of clean and simple cuisine, such as a roasted chicken breast or blackened ahi tuna. The venue is gorgeous, done in white with bright blue accents and a row of large porthole windows along one side.

All the way at the top of the ship on Deck 11 is Qsine, which has taken over the space formerly occupied by the Conservatory. The focus there is a gourmet interpretation of ethnic comfort food, served in innovative vessels -- never a standard plate or bowl -- and meant to be shared. The menu, presented on an iPad, includes standouts like Kobe beef sliders, sushi lollipops, lobster fritters, "chintinis" (Chinese melange served in martini glasses), "disco" shrimp (poached tiger shrimp) and,

for dessert, beignets, decorate-your-own cupcakes and cheesecake bites. The decor is equally funky with mismatched chairs and table lamps hanging upside down from the ceiling. The cost is $45; open hours are from 6 to 10 p.m.

Reservations are required for both Qsine and Olympic. These dining hotspots book up quickly, especially on shorter cruises. Consider booking online prior to your cruise, but know that both venues take walk-ins, so it's worth checking for cancellations.

Celebrity Millennium offers specialty dining packages (for three or five visits to Qsine and Olympic) and couples' wine and dine packages (for three to five restaurant reservations, plus three to five bottles of wine), offering discounts on for-fee restaurant charges and select bottles of wine. Pricing varies, depending on the package purchased, but can save you up to 35 percent off the individual cost. Prices are subject to change.

The final for-fee venue is the casual Bistro on Five. Bistro's main fare is crepes, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert crepes. It also features panini sandwiches (steak, chicken or vegetable), soups and salads. Popular choices include the sweet banana, nutella and pistachio crepes and the savory Cowboy crepe, featuring marinated flank steak. Bistro on Five is open from 6 a.m. until "late" and requires no reservations, though there is a $7-per-person service charge.

The Oceanview Cafe, the pool deck buffet, is open 24 hours a day for coffee, tea and juice and from 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. for breakfast, lunch, dinner and mid-afternoon or late-night snacks. At breakfast, you'll find an eggs and omelet station, as well as typical waffles, pancakes, pastries, cereal and some Asian fare. Lunch stations include hot entrees, ethnic fare and desserts. The many flavors of scrumptious ice cream (served from noon to 9:30 p.m.) are not to be missed. A salad bar, pizza and pasta stations are open from noon until the late evening. Casual afternoon tea is served from 4 to 5 p.m., and at 5:30 p.m. passengers can choose from around-the-world offerings, including sushi, Indian food, a churasco grill and a stir-fry corner.

We're big fans of Celebrity's buffets, in general, and Millennium's did not disappoint. It offers both high-quality food -- rather than sad, sodden items that look like they've been sitting out too long -- and a varied menu, allowing something for all tastes. The salad bar has a good selection of fresh ingredients, rather than the wilted lettuce and pale tomatoes sometimes found on other lines.

Just outside by the pool the Oceanview Grill serves hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey burgers and veggie burgers, grilled to order. It's a perfect spot to grab a bite while enjoying the pool deck. It's open from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Across Deck 10 in the Solarium is the AquaSpa Cafe. It serves light, healthy meals buffet-style for breakfast and lunch by the thalassotherapy pool. It's open from 7:30 to 10 a.m. and from noon to 2:30 p.m.

On Deck 5 by the atrium is Cafe al Bacio, a combination coffee house and gelateria. The coffee shop serves Lavazza coffee and Tea Forte for a fee. Bar drinks are also available. Snacks, ranging from morning croissants to light sandwiches, truffles and mini desserts, are free. A selection of gelato flavors costs $3 for a small cup and $5 for a large. The cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. or midnight.

Room service is available 24/7; passengers can order selections from the menu during dinner, and a door-hung card assures you'll get breakfast when ordered. Tipping for room service is customary and greatly appreciated.

Entertainment

The Celebrity Theater, at the front of the ship on Decks 3, 4 and 5, feels like a real theater. It has comfortable banquette seating in rich red and purple hues, a double balcony and excellent, nonobstructed views. Space for wheelchair seating has been added. Most of the shows are typical cruise fare with a live orchestra and "The Celebrity Singers and Dancers." Guest entertainers also perform.

Cosmos, the forward-facing lounge at the top of the ship, is surrounded with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides. It's used during the day as an observation station and for various activities. At night, it's turned into a fabulous disco/dance hall.

Deck 4 is the entertainment hub on Millennium. Anyone looking for some excitement and camaraderie can easily find it in the Rendezvous Lounge, lined with windows opening onto the promenade, which is great during the day. In the evenings, people actually dance on the center wood floor and sing karaoke until the wee hours. The Martini Bar and Crush, complete with ice-topped bar and juggling bartenders, make great pre-dinner cocktail spots.

The casino, located midship, seems impossibly small for a vessel of this size, and the 10 tables were busy most evenings.

Michael's Club feels like a private men's club with cushy chairs, flat-screen televisions showing sports, and a bar stocked with more than 60 international and craft beers, along with high-end Scotch and whiskey. Of course ladies are welcome. The piano has been removed, though a live guitarist may make an occasional appearance.

Up one deck is Cellar Masters, with a bit of wild red, green and purple decor trying to liven up the state-of-the-art, yet somewhat cold, enomatic wine-dispensing machines. Taste wine on your own or during a scheduled wine-tasting led by a sommelier.

Celebrity's enrichment and activity program, called Celebrity Life, is split into four categories -- Taste, Learn, Revive and Play -- but the terms aren't used in the daily Celebrity Today newsletter, and all the passenger sees is a variety of onboard programming. Taste activities include cooking demos and wine appreciation; Learn encompasses dance classes, language learning with Rosetta Stone, and computer skills workshops; Revive is just your typical fitness classes and spa seminars; and Play includes "Dancing with the Stripes" officer-and-passenger ballroom competition, trivia contests and pool games (weather permitting). Other activities include bingo, karaoke and Wii games.

Celebrity offers the usual gamut of tours in port. One nice touch is that the booking form divides up the excursions into categories; on a five-night Pacific Coast wine cruise, categories included Wine Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Wildlife Tours and Private Tours. Specific tours were marked with a "manager's recommendation"; interestingly, these seemed to be the most expensive offerings in each port.

Staterooms

Celebrity Millennium features a variety of cabin categories to suit any passenger's needs, from tiny insides to lavish 1,500-square-foot suites, and 60 percent of all accommodations feature verandahs.

Millennium standard cabins -- insides, outsides and balconies (called "Deluxe Oceanview") -- average a paltry 170 square feet (38-square-foot balconies), about 15 to 20 feet below the industry average.

Decor features hotel-style white bedding with light brown accents, rust carpeting and striking red love seats thrown in for a shock of color, all of which replaced the flamboyant turquoise-and-yellow Caribbean decor of the old abodes. (For a before and after, check out part three of our refurb slideshow.)

Insides, outsides and balconies feature two twin beds that convert to queens, safes, small desks, stocked mini-fridges, flat-screen TV's and bathrobes. The mini-fridges are locked; have your room steward open yours and clear out the for-fee booze if you want to store your wine or water. Shower-only bathrooms have hair dryers, shampoo, moisturizer and bar soap. There is no shower gel.

Drawers might be some issue for because they were a little stressed for space -- especially with having to pack for a 12-night cruise. There are drawers hidden in a secondary closet in each room, which also houses the safe. There's another drawer above the flat-screen TV, which is also where extra bedding is stored.

For those looking for a little more space and a few more amenities, the ConciergeClass cabins are 191 square feet with 42-square-foot-balconies. Added touches for concierge passengers include welcome bubbly, a pillow menu, nightly canapes, a 32-inch TV and nicer balcony furniture. In 2012, Celebrity expanded the ConciergeClass services to include an exclusive pre-departure lounge with free coffee and juices. Sky Suites come in at 251 square feet with 57-square-foot balconies.

Continuing up in size, Family Oceanview cabins are 271 square feet with enormous 242-square-foot verandahs that feature pairs of loungers and tables with two chairs each. Inside, there's a partition separating the "master bedroom" from the lounge/extra bed area.

Eight 467-square-foot Celebrity Suites feature lovely floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows (but no balconies), a jetted tub and a pair of entertainment centers. The eight 538-square-foot Royal Suites (195-square-foot balconies) add more space and feature whirlpool tubs on the verandahs. On the top of the list are a pair of 1,432-square-foot Penthouse Suites with massive, 1,098-square-foot balconies. These suites also feature a baby grand piano, should you wish for a private concert or to tinkle the ivories on your own.

All suite passengers enjoy the service of a butler, who can help pack and unpack, set up in-cabin meals and help make onboard arrangements. Other suite extras include complimentary dinner at a specialty restaurant (one dinner for cruises of seven nights or less, two for cruises of eight nights or more); priority check-in; in-suite breakfast, lunch and dinner; complimentary espresso and evening hors d'oeuvres.

There are 26 wheelchair-accessible cabins, including insides, oceanviews, balconies, concierge class cabins and Sky Suites.

Tipping

Celebrity suggests a per-person per-day gratuity of $3.50 for the waiter, butler (Suites only) and stateroom attendant; $4.00 for Concierge Class stateroom attendant; $2.00 for the Assistant Waiter; and $.75 for the Assistant Maitre d' and the Assistant Chief Housekeeper.

All guests are given a form to sign if they wish to have these gratuities charged to their shipboard account. Children under 12 who are the third or fourth person in the stateroom pay only half these amounts. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Gratuities for room service, spa, casino and other staff are at your discretion. Note: Passengers who choose "Celebrity Select Dining" before their cruises are required to prepay gratuities (prior to boarding).

Alternatives: If you wish to adjust the amount you pay, this can be done onboard at guest relations.

Extra Charges: An automatic 15 percent gratuity is added to all bar bills.

Fellow Passengers

Celebrity Millennium passengers tend to be sophisticated, well-traveled adults in the 45 to 65 age range, and indeed, the Celebrity experience is ideal for the "baby boom" generation. Millennium's longer cruises tend to skew older, but folks are young at heart, flocking to the gym and partying it up at night. Summer Alaska cruises attract a few more families than usual. Most of the passengers are North American, with Britain and other European countries represented.

Our recommendation

The stylish ships of Celebrity Cruises feature high-end decor, modern technology, excellent enrichment programs, superior dining options and outstanding spas.

Celebrity Cruises is best for: Adult couples, cruise line also attract families with teen-agers, family reunions, multi-generational; Young adults looking for soft adventure and sports activities; Boomers looking for a cruise with lots of enrichment at sea; Spa lovers and Travelers who want a taste of luxury at a premium cruise price.