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Celebrity Apex Review

Celebrity Apex (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)
Celebrity Apex (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)

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Celebrity Apex
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About

Passengers 2,900
Passenger to Crew 2900:1
Launched 2020
Shore Excursions 708
Cruise Critic
Cruise Critic Staff

Celebrity Apex Overview

Celebrity Apex is the second of four new cruise ships that will debut under Celebrity's Edge Class moniker. Apex's March 30, 2020, debut in Southampton has been postponed as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.

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Celebrity Apex will now be named in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in October 2020 by best-selling author, activist and CEO of non-profit organisation Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani.

Apex will feature several innovations debuted by its sister, as well as a number of new-to-the-ship features. Among those innovations will be a movable deck cantilevered off the side of the ship, known as "the Magic Carpet"; cabins with "infinite" balconies designed to blend indoors and outdoors with frosted bi-fold doors and retractable windows; and a Resort Deck, which features a large pool flanked by sculptural trees and two "Martini glass" Jacuzzis that overlook the deck below.

Measuring 117,000 gross registered tons, Celebrity Apex and its three sister ships will have a double passenger capacity of 2,900 people, making them larger than the line's Millennium-class ships but slightly smaller than the Solstice Class.

All four ships are being built at the Chantiers de L'Atlantique in France. The thrid ship will be called Celebrity Beyond and launches in fall 2021. The fourth ship is as-yet-unnamed and will launch spring 2022.


A Roving Deck

Perhaps the biggest wow feature on Celebrity Apex will be a movable deck, which Celebrity calls "the Magic Carpet". (This debuted on Celebrity Edge.) The tennis-court sized deck is cantilevered off the side of the ship and can move up and down, from the bottom at Deck 2 and up to Deck 16.  Its function will vary depending on which deck the Magic Carpet has been placed.

When stationed on Deck 2, the Magic Carpet will serve as a throughway for passengers getting onto and off of tender boats, as they will be able to walk directly from the ship onto the Magic Carpet and then onto the tender without any need for ramps or stairs. This will make it much easier for mobility challenged cruisers to get between the cruise ship and the tenders.

When not in use for tendering, the Magic Carpet will be stationed either on Deck 5 as an al fresco extension to a raw bar restaurant with seating up to 100 diners, suspended over the sea; or on Deck 14 where it will serve as a location for happy hours and late-night parties.

At dinner time, the Magic Carpet will become an alternative restaurant on Deck 16, with a theme that changes daily. One night passengers might be treated to a lobster bake, the next bubbles and barbecue.

At no point will passengers be permitted to "ride" the Magic Carpet when it's moving between decks.


Cabins

Celebrity Apex will feature the same cabin classes that debuted on its sister, as well as cabins for solo travelers.

Infinite Verandas make the balcony a part of the overall cabin, thanks to frosted bi-fold doors that can be either completely closed creating a true balcony or left open, creating a sunlit indoor space that adds about 23 percent more space to the room. The balcony features a floor-to-ceiling window that can be opened when the bi-fold doors are closed -- again creating the "real" balcony feel. When the bi-fold doors are open and the window is closed, the entire section is air-conditioned, giving passengers an expansive view of the outdoors with the creature comfort of A/C.

Apex will have 918 Infinite Veranda cabins, including 16 single-accommodation rooms, the first time Celebrity has catered cabins specifically for solo travelers.

No other non-suite cabins have been revealed, but the line has said all double occupancy cabins will feature king-sized beds with cashmere bedding, while the single occupancy Infinite Veranda rooms will have queen beds.

New door lock technology in the rooms will enable cruisers to open their cabin doors using an app on their phones.

Celebrity also revealed two new suites, as well as an exclusive suite enclave called The Retreat.

The largest of the two new suite categories will be the two Iconic Suites, each coming in at more than 5,000 square feet. Both will be located above the bridge, facing forward, giving occupants the same view as the captain.  Iconic Suites have two bedrooms and 700-square-foot balconies placed over the bridge wing; balconies will have private Jacuzzis and cabanas. The two Iconic Suites are mirror images of each other.

The second new suite category is the two-level Edge Villa, which features an elevated master bedroom, large living room and two full bathrooms. The six Edge Villas will each span decks 14 and 15. Each Edge Villa balcony will feature a private plunge pool. Additionally, cruisers staying in Edge Villas will have direct walk-out access to The Retreat sundeck, a part of a suites-only complex called The Retreat. (This suite-only enclave is another first for Celebrity.)

The Retreat, which will be free to use but only be available to passengers staying in suites, includes a private pool and sundeck, lounge and restaurant. The lounge will serve breakfast and host a happy hour daily.

A total of 12 percent of cabins on Celebrity Apex will be suites -- an increase of 7 percent over the line's Solstice class.


Public Spaces & Activities

The pool deck, referred to as the Resort Deck,  will be located on Deck 14 and is designed by British architect Tom Wright. It features two-story windows, with chaise lounges positioned about them facing out to sea. The deck's large pool is flanked by sculptural trees and two "martini glass" Jacuzzis that overlook the deck below.

The Resort Deck will also feature six oversized, private, for-fee cabanas.

Not far from the Resort Deck, The Rooftop Garden, is a unique space that combines the popular top-deck Lawn Club found on the Solstice-class ships with the Rooftop Terrace that is so popular on Millennium-class ships.  The Rooftop Garden is an area filled with live greenery inspired by childhood playgrounds. Following feedback from passengers on Apex, the line has installed sunroofs and windbreaks around thhe space.

The sculptures double as seats for musical performers. During the day, The Rooftop Garden will host yoga and various games and activities. At night, passengers can show up for live music and the line's "A Taste of Film," which pairs movies and dining.

As with all other Celebrity ships, Celebrity Apex will feature an adults-only Solarium.


Dining

Celebrity Apex's dining venues will be the same as its sister's, but new menu items have been created for Raw on 5, Magic Carpet, Fine Cut Steakhouse, Rooftop Garden Grill, and the four Main Restaurants: Cosmopolitan, Cyprus, Normandie and Tuscan.

As on Edge, the line has done away with a single main dining room and opted for the four MDRs, all serving broadly the same menu but with regional dishes.

The menu in Eden has been completely overhauled, so that the new ship discards the tasting menu for a menu blending meals sourced from local farms and fisheries.

The quirky "Le Petit Chef", which includes animation, also has a different menu, reflecting the seasons.

Within the Rooftop Garden will be a Rooftop Garden Grill, a for-fee alternative eatery, which will serve gourmet burgers during the day and transform into a swanky barbecue joint at night.

For suite passengers, the line's suite-only Luminae, which is a partitioned section of the main dining room, has been turned into the Luminae at The Retreat, a standalone restaurant located on Deck 11.  Luminae will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Bars

Apex will feature one new bar, positioned in a prime spot overlooking the Grand Plaza -- Craft Social Bar -- which replaces the Casino Bar. Described by Celebrity as a "modern sports bar", it's a casual space that will offer draft cocktails, wines on tap and more than 50 of the world's rarest craft beers served by a certified beer sommelier. In addition to drinks the bar will serve up comfort foods such as mac and brie, Kobe beef sliders, crispy chicken sliders and meat and cheese boards. It will also have screens to watch all the games and matches.

Other bars making a welcome return are the ever-popular Martini Bar, Sunset Bar and Prism (pool) bar.

Entertainment

Celebrity Apex will feature three brand new stage shows in The Theatre, which has been fitted with a new 23-foot-tall 4K LED screen curving around the stage, a "scrim" (kind of like a circular curtain); and a ribbon of light which runs righht around the room.

Among the new shows will be "Rockumentary," which will celebrate some of the greatest classic rock moments in history and give audience members the chance to vote for their favorite finale via the Celebrity app. A second show, "Tree of Life" will take the audience on a journey through life's most relatable moments and will feature a 20-foot-tall Tree of Life, complete with more than 3,000 LED leaves that change color as the seasons of life change. And "Crystallize" features aerialists and an "underwater" ballet.

In Eden, a series of new experiences will see the vibe in the lounge change throughout the day. For instance, an eclectic afternoon tea party morphs into a wonder-filled journey in a "Night of Dreams," complete with live performances and audience interaction. As the day winds down interactive art displays will lead into "Night of the Arts," which celebrates the arts through interactive experiences and performances.

Debuting in The Club, "Caravan" will be a cabaret-style production featuring new takes on classic circus acts with aerial acrobatics, acts of balance and precision, and more. Later in the evening, there's a chance to exercise your vocal chords with "band-oke", in which you become the lead singer.

Wellness

The fitness center will be significantly larger on Apex than it is on Edge, allowing Celebrity to offer the Mark Wahlberg-endorsed F45 Training, a series of 45-minute, station-based, heartrate-monitored team training workouts.

Additionally, wellness will spill out of the spa and fitness center and into the main dining rooms with a new Destination Wellness program featuring locally inspired spa menus inspired by the destinations the ship visits.

Family

The ship's onboard Camp at Sea will expand it's S.T.E.M. programs with educational coding classes offered in collaboration with Girls Who Code, following its link up with godmother Reshma Saujani's organisation.

Itineraries

Celebrity Apex will be named in Southampton on March 30, 2020. Following the naming, the ship will sail a mini-season of five cruises to Northern Europe from Southampton, including to the Norwegian Fjords and a 10-night Capital Cities journey that stops in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Paris, among others.

Following these five sailings, Celebrity Apex will spend the rest of its inaugural summer sailing seven- to 12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean.

 



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