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- 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.
It was my first time going on a cruise in over a decade, and my first time cruising as an adult.
The cruise ship itself was delightful, and the experience showed me how to appreciate the alluring and gluttonous nature of cruising.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But after two nights out at sea, my childhood opinion still holds steady: cruising just isn’t for me yet.
If anything, the ship curbed my negative, admittedly maybe pretentious, attitude towards cruises.
As a so-called “Zillennial,” the Apex felt more Gen X friendly than the Scarlet Lady.
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.
“They’re the forgotten generation, they have all the money, and they care about the same things we do,” Lutoff-Perlo said.
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.
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.
And how could I hate on this martini bar located in the Grand Plaza, the heart of the ship.
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.
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.
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.
I did manage to carve out some time to go to the gym, which might have been my favorite part of the ship.
Riding a Peloton while staring at the ocean is a kind of luxury I will likely never get again.
However, while I respected the numerous dining options, I was never wowed by the food in the buffet or restaurants.
My meals were satisfactory, maybe good at best, but I didn’t find anything to be too memorable.
Having an unlimited supply of food felt luxuriously gluttonous, but I don’t dream about any of the meals I had.
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).
Overall, the one aspect of the sailing that has stuck with me the most has been the COVID-19 protocols, or maybe lack thereof.
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.
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.
Other than that, I truthfully forgot there was a global pandemic ravaging outside the confines of the cruise ship.
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.
“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.
Regardless of the health protocols, I’ve realized that going on cruises just isn’t my ideal vacation.
Exploring the Apex for the first time felt like I was walking around an adult amusement park with excellent service.
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.
And soon, I remembered my biggest childhood gripe about cruising: how the hell am I supposed to keep myself entertained?
I can only eat and drink so much, and I can only waddle and wade around the pool so many times.
I was on the ship for work, so my work schedule and seasickness throughout the second day kept me occupied from morning through night.
But if I was on the Apex for a week-long vacation, I wouldn’t know how to purposefully busy myself after day three.
The ship offers several programs and entertainment options throughout the day, but none of them enticed me.
And I’m okay with that. I know I don’t fall in Celebrity’s target demographic.
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.
But for now, I think I’ll just respect it from afar.
I have no animosity towards Celebrity Cruises or people who enjoy cruising. I’m just not in Celebrity’s target demographic yet.