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Cruise ships: A 'Solsticizing' makeover for the Celebrity Millennium

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It was 12 years ago that Celebrity’s Millennium, the first in its class, was launched. This week, it finished its first significant makeover and with almost $40 million in renovations became the last ship in the Millenium class to be “Solsticized” – a number of elements from the popular Solstice class were added to the older ship.

The work had taken three weeks in dry dock in Grand Bahama. The ship made a brief stop in Miami Saturday before leaving for a Panama Canal transit, and I got a tour.

Among the changes:

New restaurants include Qsine, with its small plates and eclectic menu that guests order on an iPad; Blu, with its healthy but not quite spa cuisine, open only to guests in suites, concierge staterooms and the new “AquaClass” staterooms; Bistro on Five, a casual eatery featuring crepes, paninis, salads and desserts; and the Café al Bacio and Gelateria, offering pastry and gelato.

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Qsine and a selection from the drink menu that is ordered via iPad.



New bars and lounges include Martini Bar and Crush, a vodka and caviar tasting bar; Michael’s Club, a former cigar bar that has been converted to a craft beer bar; and Cellar Masters, a wine bar.

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Crush, above, is a new vodka and caviar tasting bar.

The ship has 107 new AquaClass spa-inspired staterooms, which have priority access to Blu, a special room service menu, the “shower tower” with extra jets, complimentary access to some spa facilities, and a concierge to make spa appointments.

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The new iLounge, above, is an internet room with Mac iBooks. There is a charge for accessing the Internet, but the ship offers free lessons in using the iBooks.

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One of the more interesting rooms on the Millennium, although it’s not new, is the Olympic dining room, above, a French-influenced alternative restaurant with a $40 fee. The room has some of the original paneling from the RMS Olympic, sister ship to the Titanic.

The Millennium, with a capacity of about 2,000 passengers, is one of Celebrity’s smaller ships. It is headed through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast to Alaska, where it will spend the summer. The Millennium will then sail to Hawaii, the South Pacific and Australia and then to Asia, becoming the first Celebrity ship stationed in Asia.