July 27/28: Cruising out of Vancouver

In the morning we drove from our lodging at “Along with the Home” to Ian’s place in Burnaby where we left our car. Ian drove us and our luggage to Canada Place in downtown Vancouver on his way to work. Since we were a bit early to board, I went looking for an extension cord in various stores in the area. I finally found one at London Drugs. On my way back to the ship, I ran into Alice and Larry Hogue our traveling companions for the cruise and so was able to direct them to the proper location in Canada Place. Before too long we could get in line and begin the boarding process.

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The Celebrity Millennium is one of the mid-sized cruise ships. It was built in 2000 and refurbished in 2012. It is 965 feet long and 105 feet wide. It has a crew of 1000 and can hold 1950 passengers. The docks of Canada Place were very busy as the stevedores loaded tons of food, drinks and other stores for the coming cruise. The onboard staff was also busy cleaning and refitting the cabins to get them ready for their new occupants.

Our Oceanview cabin, 3015 for the Northbound cruise was quite nice. Once we got on board we headed up to the Ocean Cafe & Grill on Deck 10 for lunch. After lunch we began our tour of the ship on Deck 11 where we had an excellent view of Vancouver and area.

There was a pool and hot tubs on Deck 11. While in port the sea gulls came around looking for handouts. As we walked around Alice took a photo of us. The Cosmos Lounge at the front of the ship on Deck 11 served as a warm observation area during inclement weather. In good weather there were other areas that provided better viewing opportunities.

Alice and Nancy relax

On the port side at the front of Deck 11 there was the area for kids. It featured TVs, video games and the “Fun Factory.” The Celebrity Theater was forward on Deck 5. This is where the evening shows were held. There were small lounges all over the public areas of the ship. Here Alice and Nancy relax in one of the lounges. Alice particularly liked the tall backed chairs.

Band playing in the Cellar Masters on Deck 5

Towards the rear of Deck 5 there was a self serve wine bar. At the rear of the ship was the Metropolitan Restaurant on decks 4 and 5. We usually ate supper on the upper level of the restaurant at 5:30 so we could get to the early show at 7:00. The third photo is of one of the bands that played in the Cellar Masters lounge on deck 5.

Fortunes casino was midship on Deck 4. It was open whenever the ship was not in port. It was nearly time for the ship to sail and so the last few passengers hurried up the gangway. Before we could get underway there was a mandatory life boat drill.

Sail away party on Deck 11 Sailing away from Vancouver Larry orders a beer at the sail away party.

As the ship pulled away from the dock, there was a “sail away” party complete with live band on Deck 11.

The ship sailed out of the Burrard Inlet, under the Lions Gate Bridge and out into the Straight of Georgia that separates Vancouver Island from the mainland. We headed north along what is known as the Inland Passage.

The ships singers and dancers

Our cruise director, Casey, was from Australia introduced the evening’s entertainment. She always wore outlandish shoes! First we were entertained by a male quartet who sometimes sang barbershop style but could also do a good imitation of the Beach Boys. The ship’s singers and dancers did a preview of some of the numbers they would perform later in the week.

Here we see Larry and Alice enjoying the air on the promenade that ran around most of deck 4. The RMS Olympic was the gourmet restaurant on the port side of deck 5. There was a $30 per person surcharge for eating in this restaurant.

Our second days on the cruise was a sea day so we had plenty of time to explore the ship, watch the passing scenery and eat. The scenery was beautiful as we sailed north. As we got farther north we began to see snow-covered mountains. While watching the scenery slide by, I noticed a TV crew setting up for a camera shoot.

It seems as though they were filming one of the episodes of “Top Chef” on the Celebrity Millennium. I got to talk to Tom Colicchio and see Padma Lakshmi and the rest of the crew. We even got to sample some of the appetizers made by the competitors. The TV crew didn’t stay on the ship all the way north. They left the ship at Skagway.

In the first photo Alice is enjoying a complimentary glass of champagne provided by the “Top Chef” crew. In some areas the Inside Passage is quite narrow and we had an opportunity to get a good look at the passing scenery such as this small lake and waterfall.

During the evening show our cruise director sang, the captain introduced the ship’s senior officers, and the ship’s singers and dancers did a tribute to Broadway.

The Broadway tribute was a very high energy show. When we got back to our cabin we found our cabin steward had fashioned a towel animal, provided a couple of chocolates as well as the next day’s schedule of events, and artfully arranged Nancy’s nightgown.