Today, Celebrity Millennium—a 975-foot luxury liner that has been in dry dock for almost two years—sailed up the Saint Maarten Channel, ready for its first Caribbean cruise in October. However, some of the Celebrity Millennium’s employees have been made to wait longer than expected for the ship’s departure.
I have been lucky enough to be able to travel the world for work for over a decade. I have worked with some of the most prestigious names in the travel industry over the years, but I still think being on a Celebrity Millennium Cruise is the pinnacle of my career so far.
Celebrity Millennium , the largest cruise ship in the world, left from St. Maarten at 6:20 this morning, a journey that will last 12 days. Ferry to Barbados, back to St. Maarten, then to the Bahamas, then on to Miami. The ship is very big, and has a lot of people on it, so it will take us a while to post all the pictures and write about our trip.. Read more about celebrity millennium st maarten and let us know what you think.In a historic moment of a new beginning for 2021 Cruises, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Cruises’ refurbished 90,040-ton ship, departed Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Saturday night, becoming the first major cruise with guests on board to leave North America since the pandemic shut down cruises last spring. We are setting sail again today, said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. This is such an important time for our company, our industry and the Caribbean. The fact that this day has finally arrived for our guests and our team is truly something very special. The ship, which was launched in 2000 and renovated in 2019, is the first of Celebrity’s eight ships to return to service in the coming months. Lutoff-Perlo said he’s excited to have the crew back on board to do what they love: provide guests with a quality vacation and service. I am also very grateful to the leaders of the St. John’s government for their support. I want to thank all of you in St. Maarten for your vision and your support in making this moment possible. I am honored to be the first to say this with enthusiasm: Welcome aboard. The 90,280-ton Celebrity Millennium is currently on a seven-day cruise in the Caribbean, with stops in Barbados (where it docks on Monday and guests can go ashore for tours), Aruba and Curaçao. The ship will also spend three days at sea. Celebrity Millennium at anchor in Phillipsburg, St. John’s St. Maarten // Photo: Susan J. Young In August, the ship will depart from Phillipsburg in both directions to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Celebrity expects to be close to 50% capacity in the near future. The travel agent is on site and the company informed us that the ship has a capacity of about 1,800 passengers in double occupancy, which means that a maximum of just under 900 passengers will depart for this Caribbean cruise. All crew members are vaccinated and all guests 16 years of age or older must be vaccinated (i.e. 95% of all guests) and provide proof of a negative PCR test to be allowed on board. Guests must also possess a document of prior approval from the Government of St. John’s. This document must be shown when boarding a flight to St. Maarten.
It can be very difficult to navigate the pre-trip documentation and audit requirements, and the processes change almost daily. As for the theft and the trial. I found it interesting that they checked all our forms when we checked in with Delta, when we landed, when we were at the hotel and when we boarded, said Michael Consoli, a travel consultant and Cruise Planners franchisee in Roswell, Georgia, who is sailing on the Celebrity Millennium this week. I was glad I had everything organized before I left. Cruisers are advised to bring their original vaccination card as well as printed copies of boarding passes, itineraries, negative COVID PCR test results and a letter from the Government of St. John’s. This is the first time the authorities of Sint Maarten have given their prior approval. Travel Agent observed travelers whose documents had only been scanned with a smartphone at an airport checkpoint and were told they needed paper copies, not just the image on their phone. Tip: Cruise travelers should carefully read the cruise line’s written instructions (especially deadlines) regarding vaccination or testing requirements and check each country’s website daily for the latest requirements. The situation is changing rapidly. Several people on our cruise had to take two COVID-19 PCR tests before departure because of a change in requirements at one of the ports of call. But once cruise passengers reach St. Maarten and enter Philippsburg Harbor, a large check-in tent awaits them on the pier. Celebrity schedules terminal arrivals and departures by appointment, allowing guests to choose a time that is convenient for them based on their travel plans. All guests two years of age and older must wear a mask at check-in and check-out. Overall, we found the process of registering at the port easy and smooth. Bags that customers want to take on board the ship are marked and quickly removed. Guests then enter the tent, where there are cruise line check-in desks, a health/security check for passengers who have not answered certain questions online, immigration and other services. Soon the passengers will board the tram to the pier and cross the footbridge. It was clear that guests were happy to be aboard Celebrity Millennium, and the crew seemed equally enthusiastic and grateful for the new beginning. Over the past few months I have had the privilege of leading this wonderful ship with a small crew of 75 people, said Theodoros Zakkas, Captain of Celebrity Millennium. Today was a very emotional day for me as the entire crew smiled as we welcomed our guests aboard. He continued: It was a beautiful and historic homecoming that all participants – guests and crew – will never forget. Theodoros Zakkas and Brian Abel welcome the media to the deck of the Celebrity Millennium. // Photo by Susan G. Yang On embarkation day, Zaccas and Brian Abel, Celebrity’s senior vice president of hospitality operations, also hosted a cocktail reception on the ship’s deck for invited media.
New health and safety protocols
Celebrity Millennium now sails to improved health and safety standards, thanks to parent company Royal Caribbean Group’s collaboration with Healthy Sail, an expert team of scientists, medical professionals and public health officials, as well as recommendations from government and public health agencies. A notable achievement was Celebrity’s change in the order of evaluation of on-board training. No longer are all the guests gathered at once – hundreds and hundreds of people in a confined space – for a necessary security drill. Instead, there is a new e-pattern process that Celebrity worked on before the pandemic. According to Travel Agent, this method is very effective for social distance and is also more convenient and flexible for the customers. When you open the door of the cabin, you will see a flat screen TV with information about the exercises. You can then watch a video of the workout in the cabin or via the Celebrity app, perhaps sitting on the pool deck. One couple on board even watched the film from their hotel before the cruise. Instead of asking guests to report to their staging area at a specific time, as was the case in the past, they are now advised to report to their staging area at a time convenient to them before the ship departs. When we arrived, there were only a handful of other guests. The crew member showed us how to put on the life jacket, asked us if we had any questions, and that was that. The exercise was over, we scanned our room key card to sign a waiver of the exercise, and a sticker on that card to show that we had done everything necessary. Onboard masks are not required for flights with vaccinated crew members and guests, unless otherwise directed by local authorities, according to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The travel agency noted that most customers did not wear them on board, while all crew members usually did. Message: Celebrity passengers are strongly advised to read the instructions for all health and safety measures on www.celebritycruises.com/healthy-at-sea.
Celebrity Millennium AquaClass Stateroom with Balcony // Photo by Susan J. Young As part of Celebrity Revolution’s $500 million fleet renewal program, Celebrity Millennium, the oldest ship in Celebrity’s fleet, will receive a $90 million upgrade in 2019. I love the ship, Consoli said. We are in the Royal Suite and it is just amazing after the renovation. The whole ship looks brand new, and the upgrades are reminiscent of the Edge and Apex aesthetics. Overall, we had the same feeling when we entered the AquaClass Balcony cabin #9157. AquaClass cabins range in size from 191 to 209 square feet, with private verandas ranging from 42 to 62 square feet. The space is fresh and airy, the finishes are light and the colors of the decor are soothing. It’s done in a minimalist style, but it’s fun to look at. The bedding is luxurious: four large, fluffy white pillows, an eXhale cashmere mattress, white sheets and plaid. The bed can be divided into two small single beds. On each bed, before guests arrive, is a white bag with two pairs of slippers and two lip balms from C.O. Bigelow Pharmacy. Opposite the sleeping area is a large, wall-mounted flat screen TV, which can be viewed from the bed or the small sitting area. We relaxed in the cabin’s large upholstered armchair (which converts to a pull-out bed for a third berth), with an ornamental pillow and a soft cashmere throw. There is also a small table that can be easily moved. On the other side of the room is the office. Guests will find three drawers, a desk chair and a large round mirror on the wall. There is a small shelf on the side with binoculars for guests. Where is the main cabin storage area? Just outside the front door of this cabin, passengers open two long vertical closet doors to see a vertical mirror, clothes rails, two plush white bathrobes and two yoga mats for guests. In addition, customers will find umbrellas in two sizes, a shoe shine bag, a tote bag and a laundry bag. A nice touch is that two masks and two small jars of disinfectant are on the counter next to the coat rack for customers to use, along with two reusable jugs of spring water. There is also a free bottle of wine on the counter and a bottle of Evian for sale. In the minibar passengers will find mainly drinks and some snacks. A small bottle of Kendell Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon or La Crema Chardonnay costs $24, Heineken beer $6.50 and Tito’s vodka $9. It’s $3.50 for a Coke or $4 for a candy bar. Above the minibar and counter are wall cabinets with glass doors and a personal safe inside. The bathroom of the AquaClass cabin is compact. There will be a rectangular sink, a toilet, several small vertical shelves along one side of the mirror, and a shower with a glass door and a massage shower head. Bathroom products – C.O. pays. No bathtub. For those who like to sit on the balcony to read or have a drink, this cabin has large floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open onto a rather large balcony with two comfortable lounge chairs and a small round table. This particular deck (9) also has a high white ceiling that extends well beyond the balconies. It does not receive direct sunlight like other balconies, but it is still open and spacious. We actually liked that there was shade and that you could sit outside in the rain, which is not always possible on other ships, even on covered balconies.
Breakfast experience at Blu
Celebrity’s AquaClass offers perks like a personal concierge at the spa, unlimited access to the Persian Garden, complimentary lunch at Blu’s exclusive restaurant, use of yoga mats in the cabin and more. Blu, located on deck 5, is a great restaurant where the service is friendly, attentive and professional. Our group had dinner here on Sunday night. The starters consisted of tomato salad, pickled beetroot salad, roasted beetroot bisque, creamed crab bisque, sesame tuna salad, spinach salad and – what everyone at our table ordered – very tasty scallops with macadamia nut crusts. Scallops in macadamia nut crust at Blu restaurant. // Photo by Susan G. Yang Blu served, among other things, a grilled octopus salad, Pacific salmon, truffle ricotta gnocchi, a vegetable dish of the day, and two other great dishes that my partner and I ordered: a sherry-glazed pheasant breast and an herb-crusted lamb rack. Both were delicious. There are also classic dishes like lightly seared Atlantic salmon fillet, fried chicken breast and New York steak. As for desserts, there were many options, but we all opted for the apple pie a la mode, and it lived up to expectations. Red and white wine, as well as ice wine after dinner, were available for free. The sommelier explained the characteristics of each wine. Guests can order a Blu Signature cocktail on request. This selection included Whiskey Blu and Botanical Bliss.
Back on the water
This week, Travel Agent has more details on the return of Celebrity Millennium, including a look at facilities and locations, new services, restaurants, entertainment and more on the ship’s revival. So stay on top of it. Although Celebrity Millennium is the first of the fleet to return to sea, she won’t be alone during the summer. Here’s the program:
- Celebrity Apex – Aegean Sea sailings from 19. June
- Celebrity Edge – Caribbean Sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 26. June
- Celebrity Silhouette – sails from 3. July along the British coast
- Celebrity Flora – Returning to the Galapagos Islands from July 3, followed by Celebrity Xpedition and Celebrity Xploration on the 24th. July or 18. September
In addition, at 23. July flights to Alaska from Seattle. We look forward to welcoming our guests back to relax and enjoy the trip they always wanted, said Abel. On board they will find improved accommodations, spa and entertainment options, and thoughtful and conscious health and safety measures. Mr Abel added that cruises will ultimately be one of the safest ways to explore the world while enjoying a beautiful and uncompromising holiday. For more information, see www.celebritycruises.com.
The carnival returns on the 3rd. July with Carnival Vista back in Galveston Royal Caribbean announces the return of cruises from the United States. MSC Cruises accepts passengers from the 26th. Business resumes in June in Spain Swan Hellenic combines V.Ships Leisure and Oceanic to manage its hotels and ships.Celebrity Millennium is one of the most luxurious ocean liners ever built, designed by the great shipbuilding company, Feadship. It is one of only five ships in the world to be designed and built in the Netherlands. The ship was designed by the famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas whose work has been featured in many international publications and publications, including magazines all over the world, including the New York Times Magazine in 2001. The ship is famous for its unique shape and is a landmark for the shipbuilding industry in the Netherlands.. Read more about royal caribbean and let us know what you think.
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