Celebrity Millennium

Celebrity Millennium

Join Kaleidoscope Travel & Cruise for this fun filled fully escorted 9 day cruise sailing from Vancouver with ports of call in Victoria, Nanaimo, Seattle, San Francisco, Monteray and ending in San Diego - September 2013

Celebrity MillenniumThis 91,000-ton, 965-ft cruise liner is a Malta-registered vessel with European officers and international crew members. The Millennium accommodates 2,034 passengers double occupancy and 1,000 crew.

Completed at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France in 2000, this ship shows off some of the best interior decor to come along in decades. Combined with her European flavor, she exudes a more sophisticated feel than mass-market ships. The three siblings that followed - Constellation, Infinity and Summit - have carried on this design. Outside, she is a complete break from the pleasing lines of her predecessors in the Century class, and from some angles, is much less attractive.

In May 2012, the Millennium was the fourth and final Celebrity ship to receive the "Solticizing" plan. Along with spa cabins, the ships got the Mediterranean-themed Blu restaurant, which is offered exclusively to guests staying in AquaClass accommodations. Another restaurant is the Tuscan Grille, billed as Napa Valley meets an Italian steak house. Also new are Bistro on Five for crepes, a new Martini Bar paired with Crush, a Vodka Bar, and Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria, replacing the Coba Cafe. Other additions are new ocean-view and inside cabins; and new verandas for suites.

The ship is dressier than mass-market ships as is appropriate to the surroundings, with formal, informal and casual nights. Dark suits are fine for the formal occasions, though passengers who do not wish to dress up can eat dinner quite happily in the Ocean Grill.

Passengers enter into a subdued, three-deck foyer with marble floors and wood-tone paneling, flanked with white curtains centered around a grand staircase with gold-onyx stairs lit from below. The ship boasts a noticeable collection of dramatic artwork, and throughout are touches of whimsy ranging from statues suspended overhead in stairwells to glass cutouts in the floor in the Lido directly above the ocean.

Trademark watering holes are the Cova Cafe rimming the grand foyer for specialty coffees and pastries and wines later in the day, and Michael's Club, a handsome woody piano bar that might have been transported from a London hotel. The 14 elevators, some glass-enclosed external ones, give rapid transit between the decks, so reaching the Cosmos Lounge high up and forward is a pleasure. This spectacular space has floor-to-ceiling glass windows on three sides, giving outstanding views during the day transforming into an atmospheric disco at night.

The Coliseum-shaped theater puts on Broadway-style production shows. The Millennium maintains the tradition of a proper cinema, and though small, the screen does better justice to the films than do the cabin TVs. Special-interest lectures take place here when there are days at sea cruising to Alaska and Down Under. Additional public spaces are a two-level library, the Extreme sports bar by the pool, a card room, Internet access for a charge, the Emporium for shopping, and facilities for children ages 3-17 in the Sea Mates Fun Factory.

The vast AquaSpa provides all the treatments, saunas and steam rooms one would seek in a landside resort plus an elaborate gym. Sports enthusiasts have a golf simulator, basketball court and a much longer circular jogging track than found on the Century class.

Prior to meals in the main dining room, the Platinum Club, with its Martini and Champagne Bars, and Rendezvous Lounge provide adjacent watering holes. The big window, two-level Metropolitan Restaurant situated aft provides a handsome quasi-art-deco setting for Celebrity's celebrated food services overseen by chef Michel Roux. Traditional two sittings prevail for dinner with breakfast and lunch at an open window. All the food is tasty. For less formal dining at night, a section of the Ocean Grill Cafeteria becomes a wait-served restaurant while still maintaining buffet choices. During the day, there is always freshly made pizza and pasta dishes, and the Riviera Grill dispenses hot dogs, hamburgers and one changing special. Light healthy fare is available at the AquaSpa Cafe.

The piece de resistance is the RMS Olympic Restaurant, for gourmet French dining set away from the traffic flow to provide some of the best food available at sea with tableside preparation, and for an extra charge. The name refers to the White Star liner RMS Olympic, built a year before her sister, the Titanic, and one that happily had a full and successful career plying the North Atlantic. Paneling and artifacts from the original ship were found in England, and they serve to create a special setting. Cooking demonstrations are held here, too.

The afternoon Champagne High Tea that takes place here once on a 7-day cruise and twice on longer ones. For a $25 charge, the event includes a selection of teas and coffees, a glass of Champagne, savory sandwiches, dessert pastries and a string quartet in attendance.

The 975 cabins include 780 outsides, of which 590 have private balconies and 195 are insides with no view. The smallest is 170 sq ft, so none is cramped. Standard cabins are spacious and inviting, and all feature hair dryers, TV with a wide range of programming and the ability to order room service, play games, and check the bill. Minibars (for a charge) and safes are in all. Shower stalls are roomy, and there is ample closet, shelf and drawer space.

A step up are the concierge cabins with lots of extras such as fresh fruit and flowers, a choice of pillows, better quality towels and balcony furnishings, a concierge for making dining and spa reservations, and priority embarkation and disembarkation and tender tickets. Several suites are stunning, and many of the aft-facing cabins have balconies that seem larger than the cabin itself. The two Penthouse Suites are among the largest afloat at 2,530 sq ft plus a 1,098-sq-ft balcony that wraps around. Suite level provides many extras including butler service. All cabins have 24-hour room service.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia, is known as Canada's emerald jewel for its lush rain forests. On a clear day, from downtown you can see the Strait of Georgia's blue-green waters, glacial fjords, islands, and mountains with snow caps and dense forests.

Vancouver is relaxed and outdoorsy, yet cosmopolitan. It's also sports-minded, and Vancouver hockey fans cheer hard for their NHL Canucks. The city also boasts high-fashion boutiques, a vibrant arts scene and a fondness for health-conscious eating. The winter weather of gray skies and drizzle only emphasizes Vancouver's attractions at other times of the year


Victoria, British Columbia

Although Victoria is in British Columbia, it feels more like England than Canada. The city was founded in the 1800s as an outpost of the British Empire and populated by settlers attracted to its mild climate. Historic Victoria boasts several grand buildings, lots of shops, and aesthetic touches reflecting its English heritage. Today, part of the city's charm comes from old-world traditions juxtaposed with new-world experiences.

Victoria is also a modern, prosperous provincial capital with a diversified economy. The education, tourism and technology sectors are strong, and specialty farming has burgeoned in the nearby Saanich Peninsula and up-island Cowichan Valley. The result is a city with an international reputation for good restaurants and a penchant for outdoor activities such as whale-watching, sea kayaking, sailing and cycling. For a city of its size and scale, Victoria has an energetic, eclectic buzz. And it's only a short ferry ride or flight away from Vancouver.

Nanaimo, British Columbia

Nanaimo is officially known as Harbour City for good reason. Stretched like a long, lean finger along the east coast of south-central Vancouver Island , British Columbia's sixth-largest city gets its identity, history and a wealth of recreation from a lovely, island-sheltered harbour right in the heart of town. Hiking, boating, kayaking, biking and world-class scuba diving and snorkeling are everyday activities at the bustling waterfront, as seaplanes take flight from sparkling blue waters.

Today, Nanaimo (population 84,228) is a fast-growing urban centre that is no longer merely the premier gateway to Vancouver Island. A boldly revitalized downtown core, delightful harbourfront walkway, sparkling new museum, affordable art galleries and a wealth of cool shopping and dining alternatives are good reasons to visit.

Seattle, Washington

The combination of water, hills and lush greenery in a mountain setting on the shores of Puget Sound make Seattle, Washington, one of the most beautiful urban areas in the U.S. With its efficient bus system and compact downtown district, Seattle is also user-friendly.

Seattleites have plenty to brag about: There's the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, plus the Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders FC sports teams. There are fine restaurants, good museums and a vigorous arts scene.

Even Seattle's infamous rainy winter weather has a good side. All that rain helps make Seattle the evergreen "Emerald City" and produces wonderful flowers. And Seattle is where Starbucks got its start, in 1971, at Pike Place Market.

San Francisco. California

San Francisco, California, is a world-class destination, a favorite of international travelers and domestic tourists alike. An unmatched spectrum of dining experiences, first-class cultural events, exceptional scenery and a pleasant climate combine for an enjoyable visit. Tourism is its prime industry, and the city has a thriving convention business that keeps its hotels and restaurants busy throughout the year.

You'll find San Francisco one of the world's most scenic cities—it's all the images and ideas come to life: the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Chinatown, pastel Victorian houses, steep hills, extraordinary restaurants, earthquakes. See the white-capped waters of San Francisco Bay, eat crab cakes along Fisherman's Wharf, attend a game with one of the Bay Area teams—the 49ers or the Giants. The roller-coaster landscape of hilly streets, the diverse population, and the spectacular setting on San Francisco Bay charm visitors from all over the world.

Monterey, California

Monterey offers iconic California experiences. Experience the top road trip in the United States as you wind along the breathtaking Big Sur coastline on Highway One. Explore the shops and attractions of iconic Cannery Row. Sip handcrafted wines at tucked-away tasting rooms where the winemaker might just be the person pouring. Take a surfing lesson and catch a glimpse of a barefoot beach wedding as you ride your board to shore. Play 18 holes at legendary golf courses, or just hang out at the 19th hole and watch the pros practice. Monterey County has something special for everyone.

San Diego, California

San Diego, California, is sunny and mild—not just in weather, but in personality, as well. This is a place where the people are friendly and the insects don't bite. To top it off, San Diego is blessed with considerable natural beauty: broad, gorgeous beaches on its west side, creviced canyons on the east, and sweet-smelling tropical flowers everywhere.

A quintessential U.S. Navy town, San Diego has also boomed in recent years. While new buildings have sprung up all over, the trendy downtown neighborhood, the Gaslamp Quarter, plus such nearby attractions as Balboa Park, continue to pull in locals and tourists alike.

North of downtown San Diego, in La Jolla, prestigious scientific research institutes with names such as Salk and Scripps attract top researchers, while the glorious beaches still draw surfers and sun-worshippers in droves. Unfortunately, this growth has brought traffic - San Diego highway congestion can rival Los Angeles at morning and evening rush hours.

The greater San Diego area is actually a series of individual towns, each with its own personality. La Jolla is San Diego's answer to Beverly Hills. Coronado, a pristine spit of land connected to downtown by the Coronado Bay Bridge, has the palatial Hotel del Coronado and broad avenues running past Victorian homes; it is also home to several aircraft carriers.

Then there are San Diego's beaches: Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla Cove, Del Mar and many more.


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