Accommodations and Stateroom Service
Tommie and I enjoyed the relative luxury of a Sky Suite on Deck 6 (#6099) right in the middle of the ship. The 251 sq ft cabin was a bit larger than our Sky Suite on the Mercury, but the balcony was only about a the size of the one on the Mercury. It was well laid out, with a king size bed, large writing desk, console with mini-bar, VCR, and big screen TV (all cabin categories on Millennium feature interactive TV's where guests can review their shipboard account, order room service items, book shore excursions, and order pay-per-view movies), sitting area with a sofa bed and lounge chair, walk-in closet, large marble bathroom with bathtub, and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door out to the balcony. The suite balconies were also a bit different from the Category 1 and 2 balconies in that they had teak decks and teak furniture, which included a table and 2 chairs (that could be reclined into loungers). However ALL the Sky Suites on the Millennium are missing several advertised facilities. These include: 1) NO whirlpool tub, 2) NO internet access or equipment, 3) NO dining table, 4) NO entertainment center, and 5) NO water spigot on the balcony. We were told by our butler, room steward, and Guest Relations that the lack of whirlpool tub, internet access, and water spigot were all 'mistakes' made by the shipyard during construction; that the entertainment centers had originally been installed but didn't work, so they were removed; and that the crate containing the dining tables for all the Sky Suites was dropped in St. Nazaire when it was being loaded onto the newly built ship and all the tables were smashed. Guest Relations also told us that when the Millennium goes into drydock at the end of November, it is anticipated that the sky suites will be upgraded with some, if not all, of their missing facilities. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
Unfortunately our Sky Suite suffered from other problems as well, at least one of which seems to be a common complaint of virtually all cabin categories - poor insulation. We could clearly hear even low toned conversations in adjacent cabins, and every opening and closing of a drawer, or flushing of a toilet! Someone also thought it would be clever to install door activated light switches for the interior of the walk-in closet. These switches are located in the door frames, so that the light comes on and goes off when you open and close any of the four closet doors. However, that same someone seems to have forgotten that a ship can move quite a bit in rough seas, and the slightest movement of any of the doors would cause the light to come on. Thus, on two nights when we encountered moderate seas, we were up several times turning the light off! We ended up stuffing socks under the door, but this only helped a bit. Our butler told us that all the Sky Suites suffered from this problem and in some of them the doors had already warped, such that they no longer even came in contact with the light switch. Shoddy construction techniques were also evident in wood paneling that was already buling, and in a bathroom door that wouldn't close properly (we had to call 3 times during the 13 day cruise to have it repaired again and again).
Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments of our Sky Suite was the view, and this is where our earlier comment about the 'aesthetically pleasing exterior look of the ship not being attractive from within many of the staterooms' comes into focus. Since ½ of Deck 6 (and the 3 decks above it) are narrower that the deck below, we had a wonderful(?) view of the top of a lifeboat and the glass elevators to the left! We couldn't see over the side of the ship and obviously couldn't view activities pier side when in port. Thankfully the balcony was at least covered and private. But the Sky Suites are also not all the same size and two of them (#6145 and #6146), located at what appears to be ideal locations between the Penthouse and Royal Suites, have only one conventional glass door (not the advertised floor-to-ceiling double sliding glass doors) leading to a completely exposed balcony with four decks of white steel walls towering above.