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Thoughts on Celebrity Millennium for a Japan cruise?


jbinpa
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Hi - I'm considering this 12-day Japan itinerary (with a stop in Busan, South Korea as well) on Celebrity Millennium next August. https://www.celebritycruises.com/itinerary-details/12-night-best-of-japan-cruise-from-tokyo-yokohama-japan?packageID=ML12I092&sDT=2024-08-07&cCD=CO&search=startDate:2024-08-01~2024-08-31

 

Has anyone ever been to Japan on Millennium? If so, how was your experience? Are there a lot of onboard activities for the 4 full sea days (and a partial 5th) on this itinerary?

 

I realize August can be unpleasantly hot and humid in Japan but going in the spring or fall won't work for a number of reasons.

 

Thanks for your help!

 

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I did a  Japan cruise April 2019 on the millennium. However ours was port intensive. Really wonderful experience and yes as always the usual activities on board.
 

I believe this has been my favorite cruise, I did not care for Busan. Jeju was amazing if you have that stop. 

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We did a Japan cruise on Millenium in late November 2019. Tokyo to Hong Kong. 


We loved the ship although we spent little time on our sunset verandah due to the cool

weather. 


Our port days were busy ones so we were happy to have some sea days in the mix. There was always something to do on board if you felt like it. 
 

Most of our excursions were organised with people in our roll call.
 

It was a fabulous trip and we would love to return to Japan. 

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Have heard good things about the Millennium Japan cruises. Am booked in April 2024. Most of our tours are booked privately with Tourswithlocals & https://gowithguide.com/japan/guides. Private tours can be more difficult to arrange as the guide cannot drive too so there is a reliance on separate taxis and the excellent public transport. Did find a helpful company in Busan too. 
 

A lady has arranged a tranche of tours on our cruise and I have booked a few small groups. Otherwise seems most folk are using Celebrity or DIY with the public transport. 
 

There are some good trip reports on cruises. Miaminices come to mind.

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We board next Tuesday, the 24th, for our 12 night southern Japan cruise on the Millennium!  I'll try and post a report when I'm back.  This cruise will be very port intensive.  We have a few ship excursions (using OBC), and others through Tripadvisor and toursbylocals.  Only two sea days.  We are leaving Friday and spend a couple of days in Tokyo.  It will be our first trip to Japan.

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Good luck for August !   Our experience on Millennium in April just before COVID was

perfect. Probably our favourite cruise. Japan was delightful and we had the best

entertainment staff one could wish for. Thank you Marianna, Al and Kyle. We had an

Aqua cabin and enjoyed Blu restaurant for almost all our dinners. The atmosphere

on the ship was as good as one could wish for. There was some magical ingredient 

which made it so memorable.

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On 10/17/2023 at 9:06 AM, txtechmk said:

We board next Tuesday, the 24th, for our 12 night southern Japan cruise on the Millennium!  I'll try and post a report when I'm back.  This cruise will be very port intensive.  We have a few ship excursions (using OBC), and others through Tripadvisor and toursbylocals.  Only two sea days.  We are leaving Friday and spend a couple of days in Tokyo.  It will be our first trip to Japan.

Looking forward to hearing more....we booked for April 2025 right when the itinerary came out and hopefully will be able to secure business class flights with points otherwise airfare cost is prohibitive.

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6 minutes ago, librarylady19 said:

Looking forward to hearing more....we booked for April 2025 right when the itinerary came out and hopefully will be able to secure business class flights with points otherwise airfare cost is prohibitive.

 

 I used points on United to book our flights in economy for our cruise in May.  Then I paid a small fee to upgrade us to Business Class (United Premium Plus). Other wise it would have been a very long and uncomfortable flight after the first four or five hours. 

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I'd take a look at Diamond Princess to compare itineraries. The ship is there year-round so they get more varied trips, often tied to Japanese festivals, like the Nebuta festival in Aomori at the tip of the mainland, which will be August 2-7 or so (I lived there for a few years, and the floats and parades were amazing). The further North you get in August, the less-hot it will be. The benefit of August is that there are festivals all over, and you'll be on a ship with a/c to come back to. The Celebrity solarium is also temperature-controlled, which is nice. 

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 We recently got back from B2B (Transpacific and then Best of Japan) on the Millennium. The ship for the most part is well maintained and we enjoyed the size of the ship. Completely different experiences on each leg as you can imagine. 

 

Regarding the OPs question about things to do on the 4 full sea days, I would say yes. The cruise director, Patrick and the activities team were very good. Of course there seemed to be less planned activities on the sea days for 2nd leg compared to TP, but there was still plenty to keep guests busy or to relax as per preferences. The service was excellent for the whole cruise, the food in BLU was outstanding and the Celebrity and guest entertainers were awesome. 

 

I‘m hoping to write a review and post shortly since I realize it‘s been a long time since Celebrity was last in Japan, but in the meantime, I‘m happy to answer any specific questions. 

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On 10/18/2023 at 6:31 PM, FolsomMike said:

To anyone who has done this cruise…is the food quality/variety any different from a European cruise?

Our last Celebrity European cruise was on B2B inaugural + an additional week sailing on Apex in 2021 (which was during the pandemic) so it‘s a bit unfair to compare. There were less than 500 people on the brand new ship and so everything was perfection. 

 

Not that on the recent Japan sailing there was anything wrong, but I‘d say overall similar to what Celebrity regularly offers. They seemed to not be able to get berries, so that was an exception. No blueberries or strawberries at the spa breakfast yogurt station after about 6 days in Japan. There were lots of provisions brought on board while in Busan, which seemed to come from the US and Australia, so the quality seemed similar to previous Celebrity cruises we’ve taken. I don‘t eat meat, so can‘t comment on that.

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2 hours ago, MMG3 said:

 We recently got back from B2B (Transpacific and then Best of Japan) on the Millennium. The ship for the most part is well maintained and we enjoyed the size of the ship. Completely different experiences on each leg as you can imagine. 

 

Regarding the OPs question about things to do on the 4 full sea days, I would say yes. The cruise director, Patrick and the activities team were very good. Of course there seemed to be less planned activities on the sea days for 2nd leg compared to TP, but there was still plenty to keep guests busy or to relax as per preferences. The service was excellent for the whole cruise, the food in BLU was outstanding and the Celebrity and guest entertainers were awesome. 

 

I‘m hoping to write a review and post shortly since I realize it‘s been a long time since Celebrity was last in Japan, but in the meantime, I‘m happy to answer any specific questions. 


 

Looking forward to your review. I have a couple of questions. Firstly, did you use any private guides for tours or did you take ship tours? How was immigration after you’d visited South Korea in your first Japanese port? Did you stay in Yokohama pre-cruise, if so where? I’m sure I’ll have lots more once I’ve read your review 🤭. TIA.

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Wasn't recent, but took a TP from "Tokyo" (Yokohama) to Vancouver in May of 2017.  Was in a CC.  Had sailed in a CC on an M Class before, the only thing new about the suite was the added balcony.  Ship was in great condition the crew we came in contact with were excellent.  The Captain was the best we ever had!!!  He was sailing with his wife and young daughter.  He was very personable and engaged with the passengers.

 

The weather turned out to be much colder than anyone anticipated and they had to break out their stores of parkas sold on Alaskan cruises, with Alaskan logos on the front of the parkas.  They heavily discounted the price to $25 each.

On 10/18/2023 at 3:56 PM, DaKahuna said:

 

 I used points on United to book our flights in economy for our cruise in May.  Then I paid a small fee to upgrade us to Business Class (United Premium Plus). Other wise it would have been a very long and uncomfortable flight after the first four or five hours. 

 

Smart move DaKahuna.  Are you flying out of SFO?  If so, UAL Business (Polaris) lounge is excellent.  They actually have two of them; one of them has a decent buffet, the other an actual sit down restaurant.  We lived and worked in Tokyo for 4-years.  We did a frequent amount of travel to and from the States.  From a jet lag perspective, it was always the east bound flights that kicked us in the butt.  They didn't have lay flat seats back then.  In 2017 we flew over on ANA Business out of Vancouver with lay flat seats.  What a world of difference it made! 

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3 hours ago, Traveling Fools said:

 

Smart move DaKahuna.  Are you flying out of SFO?  If so, UAL Business (Polaris) lounge is excellent.  They actually have two of them; one of them has a decent buffet, the other an actual sit down restaurant.  We lived and worked in Tokyo for 4-years.  We did a frequent amount of travel to and from the States.  From a jet lag perspective, it was always the east bound flights that kicked us in the butt.  They didn't have lay flat seats back then.  In 2017 we flew over on ANA Business out of Vancouver with lay flat seats.  What a world of difference it made! 


 Thank you.  
 

 No we are flying direct from Dulles to Haneda.  Do not think our Premier Economy seats qualify for the Polaris Lounge.  I will check into that.  Otherwise we shall make do with my United Club membership. 
 

 
 

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12 hours ago, DaKahuna said:


 Thank you.  
 

 No we are flying direct from Dulles to Haneda.  Do not think our Premier Economy seats qualify for the Polaris Lounge.  I will check into that.  Otherwise we shall make do with my United Club membership. 
 

 
 

 

Flying directly to Haneda instead of Narita will save you up to 3-hours getting to your hotel

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3 minutes ago, Traveling Fools said:

 

Flying directly to Haneda instead of Narita will save you up to 3-hours getting to your hotel

 

Yes, especially since our hotel is in Yokohama near the cruise terminal. 

 

Our plan is to take advantage of the Airport Limousine Bus service that runs from Haneda to a number of hotels in Yokohama, including ours. 

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1 hour ago, DaKahuna said:

 

Yes, especially since our hotel is in Yokohama near the cruise terminal. 

 

Our plan is to take advantage of the Airport Limousine Bus service that runs from Haneda to a number of hotels in Yokohama, including ours. 

If going on a Japan cruise, do you recommend staying in Yokohama beforehand or in Tokyo itself? I know the latter is more expensive but how easy is it to get from Yokohama to downtown Tokyo for sightseeing?

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