If you’ve been following along on social media, you know that I had the privilege of attending the inaugural sailing of the new Celebrity Apex cruise ship last week. I was supposed to attend the naming ceremony for this ship back in March 2020, but for obvious reasons, that was postponed!
I adore Celebrity Cruises, and this was my third experience on one of their newer fleet of Edge-Class ships. Previously, I have sailed on the Celebrity Edge and the reimagined Celebrity Summit, and my experience on the Apex was equally remarkable. Before I sailed with Celebrity, I didn’t think I was a “cruise person,” — but Celebrity continues to surpass all of my expectations and provide an incredible luxury cruise experience.
If you’re thinking of booking a cruise in 2022, here’s why the Celebrity Apex should be at the top of your list!
The Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship: an Exclusive Review
Celebrity Apex: Cruising Tips After 2020
First things first: let’s address the elephant in the room. This was my first cruise since 2019, and cleanliness and safety were a top priority for me.
If you want to sail with Celebrity Cruises, you must provide both proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of boarding to be admitted on the ship. Masks were optional on the ship for guests, but the crew kept their masks on during the entire voyage. Before COVID, Celebrity had a plethora of sanitizing stations on their ships, and you really couldn’t walk too far without seeing hand sanitizer on board. Overall, I felt very safe, and it was amazing to be back on board! You can view the most up-to-date health and safety protocols here.
Another notable update? Celebrity has revamped their cruise packages, and drinks, wifi, and gratuities are always included with their packages. This is a true gamechanger that simplifies the luxury cruise experience, and I love that this is one less thing you have to worry about when booking!
Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship: A True Luxury Cruise Experience
This time around, we got to stay in a Sky Suite, which is one of the many luxury accommodations that Celebrity offers. With the Sky Suite, we stayed in a spacious suite with Celebrity’s signature Cashmere™ Mattress with eXhale® bedding and a spacious, private veranda. I have never slept better, and it was a little hard to get out of bed each morning!
Since we stayed in a Sky Suite, we had access to The Retreat, which has a private restaurant, a 24/7 lounge, and an exclusive pool deck. The main pool onboard tended to fill up by mid-day, so having access to the other pool deck was an absolute treat. If you’re ready to ball out, you can opt for the Concierge Class accommodations, which include extra comforts to enhance the cruise experience further, or the spa-inspired AquaClass® with exclusive clean cuisine dining at Blu and a luxurious suite experience.
All guests onboard can also book an experience at The Spa, which rivals top land-based offerings with a wide variety of soothing spa treatments and therapies. I opted for an Elemis BIOTEC Facial, and my skin has never looked better! I’m a big fan of Elemis products, so I decided to purchase some items my esthetician recommended to bring home with me.
Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship: Dining & Nightlife Options
I never imagined that I could have some of the best travel dining experiences on a cruise ship, but Celebrity Cruises has made that possible! Onboard their Edge-Class ships, dining options include distinctive restaurants with menus crafted by Michelin-starred chefs and an award-winning wine collection (they were honored with a whopping 12 Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards this year!)
There are 29 distinct restaurants, bars, and lounges to choose from on the Celebrity Apex, but some highlights for me include:
- Le Petit Chef and Family: This is one of the most unique, adorable dining experiences I’ve ever had. It’s a fusion of entertainment and dining — here, you can enjoy a 3D animated table show along with a 4-course meal curated by a Michelin-star chef. This new show follows a 12-year-old boy who meets a girl who later becomes his wife. They go on to marry, have children, and grow old together.
- Eden: This was hands down my favorite place to hang out, day and night, onboard. For starters, Eden’s design features dozens upon dozens of (real!) plants, and I love how they brought the outside in. During the day, you can grab quick bites, sandwiches, and snacks, and at night, you can experience some of the best craft cocktails and a show. Try the Garden cocktail; you won’t regret it!
- Luminae: Luminae is located in The Retreat and features globally inspired and cutting-edge dining options. Some highlights for us included the lobster roll and the ceviche (which I’m still dreaming about!) We were blown away by the menu.
- The Spa Cafe: If you’re looking for a quick, healthy dining option, The Spa Cafe is right up your alley. Celebrity has also partnered with goop to offer an exclusive smoothie at The Spa Cafe, which is a must-try.
- Craft Social: A new concept that debuted on the Celebrity Apex is Craft Social, a laid-back bar with a selection of over 40 craft beers. I was surprised at how much time we spent here — while the ship has dozens of more formal dining options, this was a great way to grab a beer (or a wine on tap!), catch the game, or just hang out in a casual atmosphere. We loved the selection of beers here from the ship’s very own cicerone (AKA a beer sommelier) and can’t wait to return!
Celebrity Cruises: Shopping & Retail Options
Hear me out: a cruise is a perfect place to get a bit of shopping done. You don’t have to pay sales tax or duties, so why not make a luxury purchase or two while onboard?
There are dozens of luxury shopping options on the Celebrity Apex. One that stood out to me was the
What Goes Around Comes Around store, where you can shop a carefully curated selection of authenticated, pre-loved designer bags. It’s a great, sustainable way to add a new designer bag to your closet. The Celebrity Apex is also home to Montblanc’s First Lifestyle Boutique at Sea, and this would be a great place to snag a gift for you or a loved one. Lastly, the Bulgari boutique had a great selection of jewelry, watches, and accessories.
At The Gem, you can browse an impressive jewelry selection, and shop the Kallati collection, which is inspired by the architecture of Celebrity Apex. I tried on a bracelet that was made from the steel of the ship — how cool was that? The Celebrity Shops is also a great place to stock up on designer beauty products and branded items. Here, I was able to experience the Virtual Makeover, a unique technology that allows you to see what you’d look like with designer makeup on. It was great to virtually “try on” certain shades before buying!
You can browse the entire selection of shops on the Celebrity Apex here.
Final Thoughts on the Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship
Every time I think my experience on Celebrity Cruises can’t get any better, they manage to outdo themselves. I genuinely loved my experience onboard the Celebrity Apex, and I’m already in talks with friends and family to book an experience in 2022. Everything about the Celebrity Apex is exquisite, from the food to the amenities to the staff. We were well taken care of, and it was a fantastic luxury cruise.
A big thank you to the team at Celebrity Cruises for hosting me on their media trip for the Celebrity Apex! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Do you have any questions about the Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship? Let me know in the comments below!
Photos by Tom McGovern