October 2016 - Celebrity Millennium to Asia & Indian Ocean
We took this short cruise as an easy way to get out of town (we live in China) without taking a lot of vacation days. I've been on the Millennium before for an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle about 10 years ago, so it was nice to back in a familiar place. My comments are:
Food: Average buffet, Average Dining Experience - There was plenty of food and the variety was exciting (shrimp, steak, escargot, bass, etc.) but the flavor left me with an average feeling. The included drinks are extremely limited and there is HIGH pressure to buy a drink package from the employees - I'm assuming the employees get a nice commission or the sales manager is pushing them hard; either way it was a big put-off to be pressured so much. That being said, I bought my drinks a'la carte and the prices were very reasonable ($6 with gratuity for a Mocha).
Entertainment: The acrobat couple were amazingand one night there was a runner up from some TV show that was also very very good. The house dance troupe is obviously talented, but their show was boring and excessively sensual for a family cruise. We ended up leaving their first show early and skipping the rest. I would personally request more movie options throughout the cruise and more wildlife lectures (or similar type lectures).
Ports: Kagoshima was very disappointing. It was like being taken to a farm village without any tourist amenities. We also arrived VERY early (7 am), so everything was closed until a few hours before departure. Jeju was nice and is geared towards tourists with many good things to do. We hired a private car from the cruise terminal at a reasonable price (US$40) and were taken to three local destinations. (Note: The excursion packages are overpriced but obviously convenient for those that want the extra care. For example - a one-way downtown bus transfer in Shanghai was going for US$60, but you could hire a taxi to the local subway station for US$3 and then take the nice subway into town for another US$2 ... or hire a private taxi all the way to downtown for about US$30-$40)
We'd take the cruise again, but I'd wait for the last minute deals that most of the passengers were able to get. We paid around US$600/person for an inside bottom level room when I booked 8 weeks out from the sail date; but most of the people we talked to paid around US$180/person for an upper deck balcony room when they booked 2 weeks from the sail date. We were not offered an upgrade, discount, on-board credit, or ANYTHING to compensate for this gross price difference...this was highly discouraging and I feel like it was bad customer service from Celebrity.