More and more cruise lines have been launching and announcing new plans for ever bigger and bolder ships. These are exciting and fun, for sure.
But many cruisers are still seeking to experience a classic cruise ship that gives you the right combination of elegant and sleek design, excellent service and an all-around enjoyable and relaxing vacation.
Celebrity Cruises launched its first ship in the Millennium Class in 2000, and a recent refurbishment has Celebrity Millennium, which can carry just over 2,100 passengers, looking great. The ship boasts modern designs that look fresh and inviting.
I joined for a voyage on the ship as it became the first vessel to restart cruises to the Caribbean, and I have discovered five reasons cruisers will love sailing on Celebrity Millennium.
Focus on Food and Entertainment
Celebrity Millennium earns its loyal following because of its fine lineup of dining, shows and activities. We ate at all the venues during our trip and found the service, taste and selection to be outstanding. For a smaller ship, passengers get a wide variety. The Oceanview Café is the buffet-style eatery, and it’s filled with stations that feature all types of cuisine, with a carving station, salads, fresh breads, desserts, fruits, Indian, Mexican, a grill for burgers and a pizza and stromboli station. You’ll also be tempted by the ice cream case, which offers fresh-made hard ice cream and a soft-serve machine (plus toppings).
Specialty dining includes Sushi on 5, Luminae for suite guests, Tuscan Grille (steaks, seafood and pastas), Blu for Aqua Class (breakfast and dinners) and the main dining room, Metropolitan.
The ship also offers Le Petite Chef (I highlight that eatery below) and meals at the Retreat Sundeck (also discussed separately in a section below in this article).
Suite passengers are offered an array of amenities. This includes concierge services to help book dinner reservations or shore excursions. The big benefits, though are three exclusive venues onboard Celebrity Millennium.
The Retreat Lounge is a bar and lounge area where you will find a bartender and concierge on duty at all times and ready to help fill your glass or make arrangements. It’s a quiet spot to chat with new friends, read a book and enjoy a pre-dinner drinks. You can also get a light breakfast there, as well as snacks at the small buffet area throughout the day.
The Retreat Sundeck at the top of the ship (Deck 12 forward) is a sun-splashed and serene enclave with a hot tub, a small dining area and a range of sun beds, clamshells, couches, chairs and loungers. The lunch menu features salads and sandwiches, and I found myself returning several times for the juicy and large gourmet burger. Staff check on you often to bring a cold towel, fresh drinks (you get a selection of soda, beer, wine and cocktails) and snacks like fresh fruits kebabs and an afternoon dish of gelato.
Once you try this spot once, you will be back every day.
And of course, the exclusive restaurant, Luminae, is a highlight. The space is small and intimate, and it offers a rotating menu every night, with a few always-available options developed by Michelin-Star chef Daniel Boulud.
Le Petite Chef at Qsine
Le Petite Chef debuted on Celebrity Edge, and the super-cute concept is now on Celebrity Millennium and other ships. The high-tech dining experience features animations projected right onto your plate. The storyline follows a competition among four chefs, and you watch them prep each course of your meal. Everyone in the restaurant is getting the same show on their plates at the same time, and you’ll notice the smiles and laughter emanating throughout the venue as the hilarious tale unfolds. The choreography of the waitstaff delivering the plated meal right on time to match the animations is also quite impressive.
This specialty dining option comes with a fee and has replaced the old Qsine dining concept.
The Rooftop Terrace
This space is a quiet lounging area, a sundeck with day beds for all passengers to use that offer a peaceful place to relax during the day with shade if you like. The Rooftop Terrace is located on Deck 12 at the aft of the ship. This also is where you find the outdoor movie screen on Celebrity Millennium, which offers two movies with multiple showings each day.
If you, indeed, are a cruiser who craves the more classic experience, Celebrity Millennium’s lower passenger capacity will thrill you. This ship features so many places to escape the crowds, whether at Café al Bacio, the Rendezvous Lounge or numerous other secluded nooks around the vessel.
I only noted larger gatherings in the casino after dinner and at showtime in the main theater. The pool areas (the ship has a large outdoor pool deck as well as a solarium all-weather pool venue) also don’t tend to have cruisers fighting for loungers.
Overall, Celebrity Millennium has proved an enduring and beloved ship because it delivers the relaxing and satisfying getaway that it promises. I’ve really enjoyed my time onboard.