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Inaugural Caribbean Voyage
December 17 - 24, 2000
We had the unfortunate experience of making a visit to the
medical center when my
daughter, Melanie, came down with a respiratory infection. The Ecuadorian doctor we saw, Fabian Bonilla, was professional and to the point, but was sorely lacking in a bedside manner. However, he appeared quite competent and the antibiotic he prescribed did the trick. When you think of how difficult it is on a land based vacation to find a doctor versus the ease of just walking into the medical center on the ship and walking out 15 minutes later with the medication you need, it makes cruising all that much more attractive.
The ship was full at 2400 passengers, but aside from a few lines in the Ocean Café and at pizza time, crowds were not a problem. This ship has a very large guest-to-space ratio, and thus there is rarely a feeling of crowding. There was never a wait for an elevator. Many ships smaller in size than the Millennium carry many more passengers. I was amazed at the wide range of ages on this cruise - babies in strollers, seniors, and everything in between. I felt, for the most part, people were very friendly. Every time I sat down to an open seating lunch or breakfast or got in the hot tub, I had no trouble making a new friend.
As far as the crew is concerned, we had an overall positive experience. Our maitre'd, or assistant restaurant manager as they call him on the Millennium, was never around though. I only saw him once, and didn't even know his name as he never introduced himself to us. He was smart enough, though, to not be around on the night tips were given out. Our waiter received what would have gone to him. On the Galaxy, our maitre'd was at our table every night, knew us by name, and always had stories to tell or games and magic tricks to regale us with. We enjoyed that.
One outstanding crew member was Jim Cannon, the cruise director. He was very professional and top-notch in every way. He was involved in everything and was always around. I'm wondering if he ever slept! On our Galaxy cruise, we never even saw the cruise director.
Although this is not a non-smoking ship, I was never bothered by smoke. One side of the ship was designated as smoking, and the other as non-smoking, and to tell you the truth, I didn't even know which was which, because there appeared to be very little smoking anywhere. This was true on the Galaxy, as well.
So much has been written about the Millennium's famous vibrations. To quote from page 32 in the Millennium book made available to us in our stateroom, "because gas turbines generate energy by rotation, not reciprocation, they are far less likely to produce onboard vibration than multi-cylinder diesel engines." I'm not sure I know what that statement means, and I have only been on two cruises, but I can tell you what I experienced. On the first two nights in the dining room-in the far back of the ship-we felt a slight vibration, almost exactly the same as the vibrations we felt every night at dinner on the Galaxy, which does not have a gas turbine system. On the night of the Grand Buffet at 1am, also in the very back of the dining room, we felt the large vibrations (glasses and dishes rattling, etc.) that I assume the Millennium is known for. It lasted only a few seconds, though, and I can only assume that these are the vibrations for which she went into dry dock in order to try to correct. As far as I know, no one was falling out of their beds, as was the rumor circulating about one of the Carnival ships that was following us.:-)