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Category: Cruises

We’re on a boat! A breakdown of our sea days on the Celebrity Millennium

TL;DRWhen you’re in the middle of the ocean for five full days, it’s easy to get a little stir-crazy. We’re definitely doing a shorter cruise next time (or checking out…

TL;DRWhen you’re in the middle of the ocean for five full days, it’s easy to get a little stir-crazy. We’re definitely doing a shorter cruise next time (or checking out a boat with more physical activities (zip lines, anyone?).

Five days.

That’s exactly how many full days we were on the open ocean, with no Internet and nowhere to go. Alright, I’m totally exaggerating. If you remember from my post ages ago about the detailed daily itineraries the ship posts, then you’ll remember that they have multiple entertainment options at all times of the day. Also – the ship is HUGE.

Breakdown of all the decks on the Celebrity Millennium

Decks for days!

 

While most people on vacation would’ve been living it up, I was sorely missing my laptop! I could have been blogging in real time instead of attempting to catch up on it *cough* four months later *cough*.

That being said, we did get to spend a ton of quality time together with the fam, which was awesome. Lots of eating, playing games and just goofing off. Below is our highlight reel of ship events!

Eat. Eat. Eat.

We checked out the steak and pasta specialty restaurant (specialty = not included), but on most nights we were low key and just opted for the buffet at night. What can I say, we liked the variety. So much so that we usually went to the buffet even after we had dinner in the main dining room. Dessert parties, ftw!

While it’s neat to have room service as an option, room service choices were pretty limited, and the only time we really made use of it was when we ordered breakfast on port days. Beat the crowds in the buffet area + a whole carafe of coffee delivered at 630a = best ever! Also useful when you feel like hell because you caught what can only be the flu. Getting tea and water delivered throughout the day saved Ryan a few trips up and down (and let him leave the quarantine area knowing I was capable of picking up the phone).

Working off all the food

Celebrity Millenium - Gym

Nothing quite like running while you stare out at endless ocean. On days when the water was really rough, going on the treadmill was basically impossible. The waves look tiny, but the captain reported they were around 17 feet!

Celebrity Millenium - Waves

It’s hilarious because I never really go to the gym when we’re at home, but we went a bunch while on vacay. I’m sure part of it was because the in-laws are gym rats and I got the guilts knowing they were running at 5am!

We also checked out one of the “line dancing” classes – which turned out to really just be a zumba class. Not my favorite of classes, but we still had fun. Pretty sure we’re on that cruise DVD they hand out at the end since the guy was filming us for so long. Haha.

Ping Pong

Ping Pong

To Ryan’s delight, there was a ping-pong tournament. There were some REAL competitive folks on this ship – talking about how they won previous ship tournaments and getting pretty aggressive. I held my own for …exactly half a round before being totally crushed. I swear if they had bowling alleys, though!

All the Games

What cruise experience is complete without BINGO? Hahaha. What can I say – we never stayed up long enough to check out those “young people next gen parties” and we instead got excited about trivia, bingo and playing volleyball on the Xbox.

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There was also a pretty lonely basketball court up on the top deck. The winds were pretty chilly most of the time, but Ryan went up and played.

Casino

I’m not really much of a gambler, but there was a casino on one of the decks. We played one of those crazy addicting coin drop games in there for a bit, and maybe even a few slots, but I didn’t jump in on any of the card tables, though Ry played cards for a bit.

Show(s)

Celebrity Millenium - Theater

Really, we caught ONE show – a magic show that was surprisingly good. There were different shows every night, but usually, by the time we were done with dinner (and buffet dessert!) we were ready to have someone roll us back to our rooms for a nap.

Spa Day

All the wives (Ryan’s mom, sister and myself) went to get our nails done the day before we had the super fancy night. The nail tech did a great job, but for a standard manicure, it was something like $60. Crazytown. It was a fun experience, especially since it was one of our last sea days and there wasn’t a ton of other things we wanted to do, but I have to admit that was $$$$$ for just a mani!

All the things we didn’t use

There were actually a ton of other amenities that we didn’t really use much. Being on a cruise through Asia in March meant temps in the 40-degree range on the decks which really dampened our desire to hop in the pool.

  • Multiple pools and jacuzzis
  • Shopping deck
  • Outdoor movie area
  • Library

Overall

I think Ryan will agree with me, that while the cruise was fun, it’d be better to either have fewer sea days or be on a bigger ship. I kind of wish there was a zip line or a rock climbing wall! I’d probably also bring my laptop next time – even if I’m not online, I swear it’s my security blanket these days.

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What to pack on a 14 day cruise

If you’re planning on taking a cruise, trust me when I say that cruisecritic.com will be your new best friend. We spent hours on that site (the forums are addicting) looking up…

If you’re planning on taking a cruise, trust me when I say that cruisecritic.com will be your new best friend. We spent hours on that site (the forums are addicting) looking up everything. Here’s what we learned from our first cruise:

How big is your stateroom?

This should be the first thing you figure out, and a quick google will pull up not only the exact square footage, but photos of the interiors of specific stateroom numbers (you should get this when you book your cruise). Our room included:

  • Total of 170 SF
  • Bed: 2 twins pushed together (this is the norm for “queen” beds)
  • Small couch and table
  • Closet with 24 hangers
  • 2nd closet with 6 shallow drawers and some space above
  • Safe that would fit my ipad air, but not Ry’s (15″) laptop
  • Under TV cabinet with mini fridge and drawer
  • Bathroom:
    • Two small shelves on the counter
    • 1 cabinet with 2 shelves (the other cabinet was for trash)

Protips

If you only read one section, read this one:

  • Pack a suitcase in a suitcase, or bring a foldable duffel – For the omiyage/shopping space
  • Dramamine / Ginger pills / those pressure point wrist things – we had 2 days of some pretty rough sea (17 foot waves!) and lots of people were sick. You can bet they were selling and not giving away the dramamine.
  • Take a photo of your luggage – This came in handy when we disembarked since one of our bags went missing. I showed them the pic and they pointed us toward where it was (the tag fell off and it was off in some random area).
  • Bring a pen – Every country has some sort of form to fill out and it’s always when there’s only one pen for 100 people to share.
  • Something to hold your room key in that isn’t your phone – Your room key doubles as your charge card on the ship, so you need it all the time. Mine demagnetized a bunch and was a huge pain (they blamed my cell phone).
  • Bring on Wine and Soda/Water – You can bring on up to 2 bottles of wine when you embark (per room). If you’re into soda/bottled water, this is a much cheaper route.
  • Downey wrinkle release – You can’t bring an iron, and getting your things pressed will cost you a pretty penny.

Note: these are tips specific to the Celebrity Millenium and may not apply if you’re on another cruise line or ship.


Our packing list

Won’t be detailing all the clothes, because when it comes to fashion, I’m probably the LAST person you should be taking notes from.

General

  • Extra hangers – on longer cruises, this is a lifesaver. I brought along 10 of those cheap ones from walmart and left them onboard when we disembarked.
  • Over the door storage – Because you’d be surprised what you can lose in 170 SF. This help beanies, umbrellas, lotions and all the random things we brought along. It was also only $5 at Ross, but I saw some hanger versions on Amazon that were like $2.
  • Hydroflask – for water because you’ll feel bad calling room service for water, but you also won’t want to walk up 8 decks to get it.
  • Hand sanitizer – For when you’re not on the boat. There are literally hand sanitizer machines at every turn when you’re on board.
  • Curling iron – for the fancy nights, also doubled as a make shift iron to get out some stubborn creases.
  • Silicone Makeup Applicator – I wasn’t a huge fan of these until I took them on this trip. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I LOVE them. Saves on so much product and super easy to clean. (This is the brand I purchased)
  • First Aid Kit
    • Immodium / Claritin / Benadryl (Since we were in China, but we ended up not needing at all)
    • Cold pills (Lifesaver, since I got sick then promptly spread my sick to Ry)
    • Cough drops
    • Thermometer (because I overpack)
    • Band aids (mostly used to cover up blisters from epic walking)
  • Febreeze – for when you don’t wash your clothes. KIDDDING. I brought because I hate smoke in my clothes and I thought we might go to an arcade in Asia.
  • Travel sized detergent – I hate paying for laundry and I hate overpacking so I washed some things in the sink. There was a line to hang things in the shower.
  • Razor / Shaving Gel / Shampoo / Conditioner / Bath Soap – Because I couldn’t just not shave for 14 days (haha). My hair is destroyed from coloring and my skin gets crazy dry in winter, so didn’t want to bother with the generic stuff. I just threw some half-empty bottles in my checked bags and tossed them at the end of the trip (more room for shopping!)
  • Covered coffee mug – Good in theory, but we only used it a couple times. If you’re an all day coffee drinker, I still suggest it. Or you’ll be carrying around hot water in those 6 oz mugs while you curse the rough water with burnt fingers.

Tech

  • Extra batteryThis is the beast of a power brick that we brought. It’s heavy, but it charged everyone’s things all day (3 phones, 2 pocket WiFi) without a problem.
  • International adapters – You don’t need this for the ship, as it includes 2 North American 110V outlets and 2 circular European 220V outlets, but we brought it for our nights in Hong Kong/China/Korea.
  • USB / Power strip – Most ships won’t allow you to bring a surge protector on board, but you can bring smaller extension cords. We brought this USB extension cord without incident.

Other Notes

When we were looking things up, there were a few things that I couldn’t find, so including those here.

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