Photos: My First Cruise In 10 Years On Celebrity Cruises’ New Ship – Business Insider

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The Celebrity Apex floating on the ocean

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider
  • I attended the naming ceremony for Celebrity Cruises’ new ship, the Celebrity Apex.
  • The two-night sailing was my first cruise in about a decade, and my first time sailing as a solo adult.
  • The cruise line is actively targeting Gen X customers, so unsurprisingly, the experience wasn’t for me.

At the beginning of this month, I attended the two-night naming ceremony for Celebrity Cruises’ newest cruise ship, the Celebrity Apex.

The Celebrity Apex floating on the ocean

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

It was my first time going on a cruise in over a decade, and my first time cruising as an adult.

a bed between two night stands

The Infinite Veranda stateroom on the Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

The cruise ship itself was delightful, and the experience showed me how to appreciate the alluring and gluttonous nature of cruising.

the Celebrity Apex cruise ship at sea as photographed through the window of a tender

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

But while the Apex taught me to respect what cruises have to offer, I bluntly don’t see myself cruising for another few decades, if that.

a living room with a Peloton in the back

The Penthouse Suite.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I don’t remember how many times I’ve cruised in my life, but all of the times I did, I was a child with my family.

a large piece of art on the floor at one of the restaurants

The entrance into one of the restaurants.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I’m sure I enjoyed spending vacation time with my family, but I can really remember about my cruising history were the buffets, the unlimited chocolate milk, some of the ports of calls, the warm weather, and feeling bored during days out at sea.

a bartender preparing drinks at Eden

Inside Eden.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Cruising on the Apex presented the opportunity to critically reconsider my opinion on cruises as an adult traveling alone during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

outdoor seating overlooking the ocean

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

But after two nights out at sea, my childhood opinion still holds steady: cruising just isn’t for me yet.

a hanging chair beside the Eden sign

Inside Eden.
Brittany Chang/Insider

If anything, the ship curbed my negative, admittedly maybe pretentious, attitude towards cruises.

Celebrity Apex themed jewelry inside a shop

A jewelry shop on the Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

As a so-called “Zillennial,” the Apex felt more Gen X friendly than the Scarlet Lady.

a large bed in front of a TV and a panoramic view of the ocean

The Penthouse Suite.
Brittany Chang/Insider

That isn’t meant as an insult to Celebrity Cruises: The cruise line is actively trying to attract Gen X customers, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises’ CEO, told Insider.

a person inside the salon at the spa

The salon.
Brittany Chang/Insider

“They’re the forgotten generation, they have all the money, and they care about the same things we do,” Lutoff-Perlo said.

an empty restaurant with all the tables set

Cyprus.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I don’t fall into the cruise line’s target demographic, nor can I speak on behalf of the Gen X customers, but while I don’t think cruising is for me, I did enjoy most of the Apex’s services and amenities.

decorative pillows on a couch by the bed

The Infinite Veranda stateroom on the Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

For one, I appreciated most of the artwork and decor around the ship, especially in the lush Eden restaurant, bar, and entertainment space. I want my apartment to look like Eden.

hanging plants and green decor around the multi-floor Eden venue

Inside Eden.
Brittany Chang/Insider

And how could I hate on this martini bar located in the Grand Plaza, the heart of the ship.

an empty Martini Bar

The Martini Bar.
Brittany Chang/Insider

The martini bar is just a few steps down from a craft beer and sports bar and an excellent coffee shop with rows of enticing pastries.

an empty beer-forward bar

The Craft Social Bar.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I’m not a sports bar enthusiast, but I did appreciate the decision to include one. And if I had a group of friends with me, I could imagine all of us pretending to care about sports here.

an empty beer-forward bar

The Craft Social Bar.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I didn’t have time to go for a swim, but I could definitely picture myself lounging around the multiple pools — especially the adults-only Solarium — for a couple of hours.

a relatively empty Solarium with a bright skylight

The Solarium.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I did manage to carve out some time to go to the gym, which might have been my favorite part of the ship.

People inside the gym facing the ocean

The gym.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Riding a Peloton while staring at the ocean is a kind of luxury I will likely never get again.

a row of bikes and Pelotons facing the ocean

The gym.
Brittany Chang/Insider

However, while I respected the numerous dining options, I was never wowed by the food in the buffet or restaurants.

a plate of pasta above a table with projected animations

Le Petit Chef and Family.
Brittany Chang/Insider

My meals were satisfactory, maybe good at best, but I didn’t find anything to be too memorable.

people walking around the buffet

The buffet.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Having an unlimited supply of food felt luxuriously gluttonous, but I don’t dream about any of the meals I had.

a bartender preparing a drink at Eden

Inside Eden.
Brittany Chang/Insider

And while the theater space was grand and the performers were undeniably talented, I wasn’t too amused by the one show I saw on the first night (to be fair, I’m not a fan of most shows, plays, or musicals).

a woman playing violin during a live show

A show in the theater.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Overall, the one aspect of the sailing that has stuck with me the most has been the COVID-19 protocols, or maybe lack thereof.

snacks, water, charging station, packets of face masks, and pamphlets on a table

The Infinite Veranda stateroom on the Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Every guest on the ship was required to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test. But given these circumstances, face masks weren’t required.

people hanging out on different decks inside the ship

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

And aboard the ship, the only reminders of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic were the masked crew members and occasional hand sanitizer dispensers dispersed throughout the Apex.

Rooftop Garden Grill under a white awning

The Rooftop Garden Grill.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Other than that, I truthfully forgot there was a global pandemic ravaging outside the confines of the cruise ship.

a window looking out onto the walkway and ocean

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Despite the lack of robust masking and social distancing protocols, Brian Abel, Celebrity’s senior vice president of hotel operations, believes cruises are the “safest place to take a vacation,” he told Insider.

people on stage in the empty Theatre

The Theatre.
Brittany Chang/Insider

This strict vaccine and pre-boarding testing protocol doesn’t exist widely in any other form of travel outside of the cruise industry. I was anxious to cruise at first, but this might’ve been the first time I’ve been in a space full of people who were all vaccinated and COVID-19 negative.

decor and lounge seating inside the Apex

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

“It [is] safer to cruise than going to Walmart on Sunday,” one passenger said during a question-and-answer session with several Celebrity Cruises executives.

the Apex log on the ship

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Regardless of the health protocols, I’ve realized that going on cruises just isn’t my ideal vacation.

the Celebrity logo on the ship

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

Exploring the Apex for the first time felt like I was walking around an adult amusement park with excellent service.

The Grand Plaza and the Martini Bar with a large centerpiece

The Grand Plaza and the Martini Bar.
Brittany Chang/Insider

But after I gawked at all the whimsical decor and logged all of my dining options, the giddy joy of exploring a new space wore off.

outdoor lounge seating by a large screen

The Rooftop Garden.
Brittany Chang/Insider

And soon, I remembered my biggest childhood gripe about cruising: how the hell am I supposed to keep myself entertained?

the lounge chairs in a relatively empty pool.

The pool.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I can only eat and drink so much, and I can only waddle and wade around the pool so many times.

A whirlpool above the larger pool

A whirlpool.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I was on the ship for work, so my work schedule and seasickness throughout the second day kept me occupied from morning through night.

seating and artwork on an open aired walkway

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

But if I was on the Apex for a week-long vacation, I wouldn’t know how to purposefully busy myself after day three.

artwork next to the track

The track.
Brittany Chang/Insider

The ship offers several programs and entertainment options throughout the day, but none of them enticed me.

a person walking on the track

The Rooftop Garden and track.
Brittany Chang/Insider

And I’m okay with that. I know I don’t fall in Celebrity’s target demographic.

bird's eye view of the pool deck

The main pool.
Brittany Chang/Insider

When I’m older, wiser, and more mature, maybe I’ll learn to enjoy the opportunity to eat as much as I would like while lounging undistributed by the pool for hours on end.

lounge chairs facing the ocean

The Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

But for now, I think I’ll just respect it from afar.

a bartender preparing drinks at Eden

Inside Eden.
Brittany Chang/Insider

I have no animosity towards Celebrity Cruises or people who enjoy cruising. I’m just not in Celebrity’s target demographic yet.

a couch and table in front of two chairs and a small table in front of a glass wall overlooking the water

The Infinite Veranda stateroom on the Celebrity Apex.
Brittany Chang/Insider

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