Cruise Day 1

Finally! It was Sunday and time to board the Millennium. Several days prior to the cruise we received communication from Celebrity not to show up at the cruise terminal any earlier than 1:30 pm due to a full customs inspection that would delay embarkation. Consensus online was that no one was waiting until 1:30 pm and hotel checkout was noon. A few minutes after 11 am we were packed and ready to leave the hotel. We hailed a cab, made the stop at Publix for a case of bottled water, and headed to the cruise terminal. We arrived there right around noon. Porters immediately relieved us of our luggage.

Our first glimpse of the Millie:

Port of Miami

To get on the ship there are a number of steps you must go through:

  • customs, there were only 4 people in line in front of us.
  • security, no delay at all. No one asked to see the two bottles of wine that were packed in my carry on.
  • cruise check in. We waited no more than 5 minutes and from here we could see that people were boarding the ship. Yay! Almost there. At check in you verify your credit card to be used of on board charges, sign a health statement, and get your ship pass.
  • security photo, this took the longest. There were probably 30 people in front of us and it seemed to take forever, which in reality was about 10 or 15 minutes. As you enter the ship, security takes a photo of you that is linked to your ship pass and is used to verify your identity when you re-board at port stops.

Finally you are free to roam around the ship (except for staterooms which were not ready)!

Embarkation photo (dates are incorrect and ports are in reverse order, I have requested a corrected photo):

Celebrity Millennium, Boarding

We started to explore the ship and Richard was GRUMPY. He complained about the weight of his carry on – and it was heavy with the laptop, tablet, camera, and video camera – but I think the bigger problem was nicotine withdrawal. He got a whole lot less grumpy once we found one of the smoking areas. Smoking is limited to 3 areas port side on deck 10, 1 area on port side deck 11, and a couple of spots on the port of deck 4. No smoking is allowed on the stateroom balconies. All of this sounded great to me since I think smoking is disgusting, though Richard made a few grumbles about not being able to smoke on the balcony. He got over it though and as it turned out, he met a lot of people because they frequented the same areas he did.

I took advantage of how few people were around to take a few snapshots of the ship and of Miami before sail away.

Deck 11, port, looking toward the Mast Bar where we hung out a lot in the afternoon. This deck was never crowded during the cruise. It was so hot that only the diehard sun worshipers used the loungers up here. Actually the jogging track probably got more use than the loungers.

Miami from the Millennium

From the Mast Bar looking aft. I love this view. There were always plenty of people in the pools and even some in the hot tubs, and TONS of people in the shaded loungers. But what I love most is sitting or standing at the Mast Bar and watching the ship rise and fall in relation to the horizon. This was the best afternoon bar – Alba and Elena were awesome bartenders, always having fun and playing good music (but not so loud that you couldn’t have a conversation). Halfway through the cruise we began meeting our table mates, Dieter and Irma, at this bar from 4 pm until we had to get ready for dinner.

Celebrity Millennium, Deck 11

A couple shots of Miami and some very expensive houses across the water from the port.

Miami from the Millennium

Miami from the Millennium

The cabins were ready about 1 pm or was it 2 pm? I don’t remember for sure. Since I still have to tell you about our dinner I’m going to save discussion and photos of the cabin for another day. The good thing is that now we could leave our carry ons in our room while we wandered around the ship unburdened. Our departure was scheduled for 4:30 pm, but they were still loading stores onto the ship. Due to the late departure I figured there may not be many people having dinner in the MDR, choosing to watch us sail away instead. It seemed like a good time to go to Qsine, one of two specialty restaurants on the Millie. They were also offering a 2 for 1 discount.

Dinner at Qsine

Qsine is described as “uniquely unordinary”. The menu is on an iPad with caricatures of the menu item. When you click on the item it gives you a description of the dish and you can add it to your favorites. For the most part the dishes are appetizer sized. Having skipped lunch, we asked our waiter about how dishes most people eat. He said 6 was a good number so we picked 6 that sounded good, taking into account what I had read on Cruise Critic about some of the dishes. Oddly enough the waiter then writes down your order and takes it to the kitchen. You would think the iPad would be plugged into a docking station and would transfer the order to the kitchen. Anyway…

This is what we had:

  • Spring Rolls – Baby back spring rolls with white truffle BBQ sauce and vegetable melange spring rolls with cilantro and sweet and sour sauce. Served with chipotle coleslaw. We received 2 pork and 2 veggie rolls. Both were good, but the pork were a bit heavy for my taste. The coleslaw with chipotle seasoning was
    delicious, smoky and not too hot! This is one I’d like to recreate at home.
  • Celebrity Millennium, Qsine

  • Lobster Escargot – “Lobster & escargot fritters with parsley garlic butter sauce.” This was interesting. I thought it was going to be lobster cut and served in an escargot dish, but actually I believe it was lobster and escargot chopped together. It was okay.
  • Celebrity Millennium, Qsine

  • Treseviche – “Tiger shrimp and bay scallops with lemon juice, tequila, cilantro, tomato and jalapeno oil. Salmon with yuzu citrus, cucumber, vodka, and basil. Sea bass with lime, red onion, choclo, avocado and EXVOO.” These were all delicious. No, I don’t know what choclo is either.
  • Celebrity Millennium, Qsine

  • Soupe and Souffle – Chilled soup: celery root, green pea, and tomato basil. Hot souffle: Crab and asparagus, lobster and yellow corn, cheddar cheese. I swear the waiter said the pea soup was supposed to be green pea mint which didn’t taste of mint at all, tomato which tasted like salsa, and corn which I passed on. The soups were served in test tubes. The souffles were okay. I would pass on this one next time.
  • Celebrity Millennium, Qsine

  • Painter’s Mignon – Filet Mignon with palatable pleasers. This is served on a painters palette with the ‘pleasers’ in small paint jars. You get two small filet mignons with sauteed mushrooms (brown), mac’n cheese (yellow), truffle oil mashed potatoes (white), creamed spinach (green), red wine sauce (red). We enjoyed this one very much. So much that I forgot to take photos of the serving dish until after we had sampled everything.
  • Celebrity Millennium, Qsine

    Celebrity Millennium, Qsine

  • Persian Kebob – “Skewered tender chicken, garlic and spices with vegetables, yellow rice pilaf and tooni sauce.” The veggies were green and red bell peppers, and onion served on a bed of saffron rice. The chicken was very moist and this dish was quite good, but we were very full at this point.
  • Celebrity Millennium, Qsine

  • Cupcake Affair – “Red velvet and vanilla cupcake with playful garnishes, strawberry, chocolate, and peanut butter frosting.” The frosting was served in individual pastry tubes. The strawberry frosting and vanilla cupcake were ok, but nothing special. The red velvet was tough. I wouldn’t order these again.
  • Celebrity Millennium, Qsine

  • Silver Bullet – “Refreshing gelato, mango, strawberries, coconut, and berries.” Richard thought it was okay. I didn’t try it as I need to limit my dairy intake.

Overall it was good and we enjoyed the variety. I’m not sure it’s worth $40 per person above paying nothing to eat in the main dining room, but it was worth $20 per person. They do adjust the dishes slightly depending on the number of people. For example, I received one each of the two types of cupcakes since it was just for me. I believe if I had ordered the filet mignon only for me it would have only come with one filet. The rectangular plate you see with the filet is about 6 x 8 inches. The silverware is on the large size.

Wonder where we are going from here? This is our itinerary:
Day 1 Sun, Oct 07 Miami, Florida; depart at 4:30 PM
Day 2 Mon, Oct 08 At Sea
Day 3 Tue, Oct 09 At Sea
Day 4 Wed, Oct 10 Cartagena, Colombia; 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Day 5 Thu, Oct 11 Colon, Panama; 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Day 6 Fri, Oct 12 Panama Canal (Cruising); 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Day 7 Sat, Oct 13 At Sea
Day 8 Sun, Oct 14 Puntarenas, Costa Rica; 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Day 9 Mon, Oct 15 At Sea
Day 10 Tue, Oct 16 Puerto Quetzal,Guatemala; 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Day 11 Wed, Oct 17 At Sea
Day 12 Thu, Oct 18 At Sea
Day 13 Fri, Oct 19 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Day 14 Sat, Oct 20 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; 7:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Day 15 Sun, Oct 21 At Sea
Day 16 Mon, Oct 22 San Diego, California; arrive 6:00 AM

One Response to “Cruise Day 1”

  1. Anne Says:

    The first day and I’m already stuffed! But I can’t wait to see some “in action” photos once you guys are underway to the various ports!

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