Best for: Couples and friend groups looking for a sophisticated cruise with an array of great dining options
Not for: Guests looking for lots of family activities and onboard whiz-bangs
Bottom Line: Celebrity Apex is a modern cruise ship with excellent dining and refined public spaces
The ship represents a revolution for Celebrity, which for years has pushed the bar when it comes to design and delight. The cruise line partnered with some big-name designers -- including Kelly Hoppen and Jouin Manku -- to bring an airy, modern feel to every space onboard, inside and out. And while it's fancy, it's not stuffy. There's a relaxed vibe that feels natural and right.
Celebrity Apex shines when it comes to dining and nightlife, striking the right balance between fun, flair and familiar. The quality of food, no matter the restaurant, will make every passenger happy, whether you're seeking simple or elaborate. Likewise, the nightlife ranges from quiet corners to full-on participatory performance in the spectacular Eden complex.
Passengers looking for features like waterslides or climbing walls will have to look elsewhere, and while Apex is open to families -- even offering solid kids programming -- it's not designed with the big and bold activities that are aimed to thrill children of all ages.
When it comes to innovation, Apex is tops, with unique features including the heralded Magic Carpet, a cantilevered platform that juts from the side of the ship and can move up and down depending on its use. At the lowest deck, it serves as a gateway to your ports, making embarkation and debarkation easy. On other decks, it's a restaurant or bar space, with unparalleled views.
The ship also offers infinite verandas, staterooms that have a modified approach to the traditional balcony. This gives passengers more internal square footage while offering a more customizable balcony experience.
And then, there's Eden, a gorgeous, window-filled space designed for entertainment, dining and drinking. The whimsical area is both relaxing and evocative, thrilling and peaceful.
Apex is also notable for its exceptional offerings to suite guests. The Retreat experience encompasses private and exclusive dining, a lounge and splendid sundeck, aimed at giving suite passengers seclusion and comfort. It's the perfect balance to luxury and big ship cruising.
Cruises on Celebrity Apex taking place from the ship's homeport in Athens, Greece, during the summer 2021 season are open only to fully vaccinated passenger ages 12 and up. Children 11 and younger are not required to be vaccinated but will need to have proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken no more than 72 hours before boarding the ship. All crewmembers are fully vaccinated and tested weekly.
The ship is sailing at reduced capacity to encourage physical distancing. Guest numbers initially were capped at 50 percent but will continue to rise as additional sailings set out.
Celebrity Apex is following the rules laid out by Greece when it comes to health and safety protocols. That currently means passengers are required to wear masks in all public spaces, indoors and outdoors, except when actively eating and drinking. Crewmembers will hand out masks to those who forget theirs in their cabins, and they will gently remind guests of the policy.
Because of the distancing requirements, Celebrity Cruises has temporarily limited all public gatherings that involve food and shared platters. This includes Cruise Critic's Meet & Mingle onboard events. More casual gettogethers still are permitted, and most take place outdoors.
All passengers returning to the United States will be required to take an antigen test onboard before disembarking. The cost of this is covered by Celebrity. The rapid test will be administered the day before passengers disembark.
Policies are evolving and changing all the time as policies on land change as well. Policies outlined here are current as of this writing, but can change at a moment's notice, even mid-cruise.
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