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Inaugural Caribbean Voyage
December 17 - 24, 2000
Dining on the Millennium is a five-star experience not to be missed. Although I felt the presentation of the dishes in the main dining room was slightly better on the Galaxy, I certainly have no complaints about any dining aspect on the Millennium. We dined at the late seating at Table 507 in the far aft area of the Metropolitan Restaurant on Deck 5. We were at a table for eight, and our tablemates, Debbie and Howard from Tucson, and honeymooners Tonya and Greg from the Denver area, were delightful companions with which to share dinner and conversation. Our waiter, Cesar, and assistant waiter, Jose, were exceptional in every way and anticipated our every want and need. Dinners consisted of a choice of four appetizers, three soups, two salads, five entrees, and six desserts including an array of homemade ice creams and sherbets. Every night, the choice of entrée included beef, fish, and pasta selections with two additional selections of either lamb, veal, duck, lobster, shrimp, pork, chicken or turkey. No dish is repeated in the course of the week. The Millennium seems to do beef better than any other dish, as all the beef dishes we had were excellent, especially the filet mignon. Dinner on the Millennium was the high point of our day.
I didn't eat many of the lunch buffets, as I really enjoy leisurely lunches in the main dining room (do not miss the Viennese chocolate pudding offered on the last day). On days when this wasn't possible, I called for room service or ate something out by the pool. Breakfast from the buffet was pretty good, though, and it was really enjoyable out behind the Ocean Grill on the teak deck. The pizza was also excellent, as evidenced by the long lines. We usually went to afternoon tea, even if it was just to meet up with everyone after not being together all day.
There was one small glitch in the cruise concerning the breakfast and lunch buffets. Basically, the times listed in the Millennium Daily for the buffets were incorrect more often than they were correct. The buffet was open when you thought it had closed and, more frustratingly, was closed when you thought it was open. The biggest problem was, I believe, Wednesday morning in Cozumel when the breakfast buffet closed at 9am as did the dining room, and the only option for breakfast after 9am was the late-risers buffet with its 30-minute line and no food when you got there because they had run out. It appears they tried to compensate for this by leaving the breakfast buffet open longer on Thursday (a sea day) and also leaving the lunch buffet open until 4:30pm the day we were in Grand Cayman.
We went to two of the midnight buffets. The Italian Buffet on the first night looked wonderful, but we were too stuffed to think about eating - we had just finished dinner one hour before. The Grand Buffet on the last formal night is a sight to behold, even if you do not eat anything. On the Galaxy, the line to take pictures was long and very slow moving, so we chose to go into this buffet nearer to closing time at 1am. There was almost no one there and we got all the pictures we wanted.
Room Service was very quick (five minutes - and always delivered by our assistant room steward, who I always tipped), but 100% of the time the order was filled incorrectly. For instance, we would get tea bags but no hot water, a huge coffee urn that was completely empty or pita bread instead of a baguette. When I called to correct the problems, they were taken care of immediately. We used room service more on this cruise than on the Galaxy because we had the veranda, but I remember the same problems on that ship as well.
On Friday night, the last formal night, Melanie had just come from the doctor, and was in no shape to get dressed and go to the dining room. Ryan, our assistant room steward, brought us a dinner menu, and we ordered a full five-course dinner to be eaten in our stateroom. (FYI-This meal was delivered exactly as ordered, as I wrote down what we wanted and handed it to him.) Ryan contacted the chef personally about the possibility of our having the evening's special dessert, Baked Alaska, delivered to our room. The chef said he would only deliver it if it could arrive before melting. Ryan brought us petit fours and ice cream just in case it didn't arrive, but about 10 minutes later a dining room waiter arrived and ceremoniously presented us our Baked Alaska - still relatively frozen and so delicious!
The Grand Midnight Buffet in the Metropolitan Dining Room