We were excited to experience the recent refurbishment of Celebrity Millennium, so jumped at the opportunity to ride along on the repositioning along the West Coast to its summer home in Vancouver. The ship had just finished adding the popular Solstice features like Qsine and Cellar Masters. A repositioning cruise, where a ship is moving from one market to another is one of the exceptional bargains in cruising.
The Celebrity brand identity is Modern Luxury and the theme is reflected by the modern subdued decor in the ship. No Vegas glitz and mirrors here. Luxury is featured in the food, wine and service. A growing theme in cruise ships is offering cabins with a unique level of experiences. Celebrity offers this in the Aqua Class® veranda cabins. Aqua Class® guests have unlimited access to the Aqua Spa® Relaxation Room and Persian Garden, along with seating in Blu, the restaurant exclusive to Aqua Class® guests.
We found much to like on the ship. There are plenty of quiet corners to relax and read on sea days. Our favorite hangout was Cafe Al Bacio, the coffee shop and Gelateria. We were able to really enjoy because of another of our favorite features for Celebrity, the All Inclusive Beverage Package. For $44 per person per day (plus 15% gratuity) we got unlimited glasses of premium teas, specialty coffee and glasses of wine and cocktails up to $8 in value. Since our wine and coffee tab can normally exceed our cruise fare, this was a great deal for us. Also offered is the premium package for $54 a day, which we will try on our next Celebrity cruise.
Qsine, the specialty restaurant on deck 11 was one of the top 5 dining experiences of our life. It is a must do experience for foodies! In addition to the unique, mind blowing flavor combinations and creative presentations, we got to enjoy sailing out under the Golden Gate Bridge while we had our meal. A priceless experience.
Cellar Masters features self service dispensers of premium wines. No need to wait for a wine tasting to enjoy an extra special wine. While I would never buy a bottle of Opus One, I would share a glass. The wine selection offers enjoyable quality wine with prices and wines from moderate to exceptional.
We had been wanting to go to San Francisco for months, and are glad we did so by ship. San Francisco is an ideal cruise port. While we were in San Francisco, we enjoyed a view from our balcony that was better than any offered by the expensive hotels downtown. Considering the per day cruise price that included the ride under the Bridge, meals and a room with an awesome view, we got a great deal! Between walking and cable cars, it is easy to enjoy much of The City by the Bay in a day.
We walked up to the North Beach area and then went to the Ferry Building to enjoy a plate of oysters at Hog Island Oysters. Shore excursions are offered for San Francisco. Napa and Sonoma shore excursions are also offered for wine lovers. I can see the difficult decision for passengers not from the West Coast. Spring is a beautiful time to be in the Napa area, the vineyards are every bit as picturesque as Italy or France.
One of the signature entertainment features for Celebrity is an a cappella singing group. This group along with a chamber group, a piano player and a classical guitarist rotated through the ship’s public areas during the day and evenings. We rarely enjoy the evening entertainment in the theater, usually opting for the smaller venues. The night we did go to the theater, we found it large enough to accommodate everyone who wanted to see that performance.