Ahoy mates, you’re National Cruise Examiner is heading out to sea, after a fairly tedious trek that involves taking the Amtrak to San Diego, California from Los Angeles, then hopping a cruise line bus to Ensenada Mexico to board the revitalized Celebrity Millennium for a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands.
We have sailed on 2,158 passenger ship since her inaugural in 2000 when we rode her to Acapulco, Mexico ensconced in stellar suite in the back of the ship where we watched the glorious wake day and night.
Alas this time we only have a stateroom, but one with a balcony, suites were taken, but we’ll survive. Since our first sailing with her, the Millennium® has been what the line calls "Solsticized" . She underwent the transformation in May of 2012 and came out of it with spa-inspired AquaClass®staterooms, the extra-fee added AquaClass signature restaurant, Blu, and the addition of verandas for her Celebrity Suites.
Our journey begins in Ensenada because maritime law doesn’t allow a foreign flag ships to take passengers to disembark at a U.S. port (a law that has much contention among industry insiders and many passengers). Thus the ship sails out of the Mexican port so we can all get off in Honolulu (after visiting each of the islands beginning with Maui and slowly steaming onto Hilo, Kona, Kauai and Oahu (last stop where we actually overnight happily for us because we will use the opportunity to dine a Chef Mavro, our favorite Waikiki restaurant.
Following the cruise Richard and I will wing it to Maui via Island Air, which we’ve never flown before, and spending a few weeks in the little paradise. Look for daily updates from the ship in this column and pieces about Maui at the LA Travel Diva Examiner page.
Until then mahalo and aloha.