The first day of my celebrity vacation to LA, I had a whirlwind of a day. I had to be up early to pack, which was actually more work than I expected. Then, after a 5 hour flight into LAX, my driver from IHG picked me up and we headed to the hotel. After getting checked in, I went right to the pool to relax for a bit. It was a completely different experience from what I was hoping for.
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Editor’s comment: Unser Korrespondent reiste kürzlich von den USA nach Athen, Griechenland, um sich auf die erste Celebrity Apex Reise vorzubereiten. Here is his account of his first day aboard ship, with details of the training process and his Celebrity suite.
Finally, no more injections, no more booster shots and no more waiting for test results.
And I’ve already heard, how many new passwords did I have to set up? More importantly: What about the time spent following links to forgotten passwords to make an appointment and view your test results?
As I walked out of the registration tent, I left behind the hectic world of the past 15 months. The long awaited, enjoyable and stress free cruise week aboard the Celebrity Apex was upon us.
Who would have thought that this new ship would have such an appropriate name? For me, and many others, including the passengers and crew, it was certainly a highlight.
I felt like a celebrity when I boarded the ship. I walked through a line of genuinely happy and excited crew members at the counter, clapping, smiling and waving as I passed. It was good to be home.
As ships resume service, the number of passengers carried will gradually increase from the initially limited number. Celebrity Apex currently carries approximately 650 passengers and 900 crew – a passenger-to-crew ratio not unlike luxury cruises. Celebrity Apex carries 2,910 passengers and 1,320 crew on a full voyage.
My Celebrity suite was ready as soon as I boarded, which was no surprise since this was the Celebrity Apex’s first trip. I immediately found my way to the elevators. What a pleasure to be able to get into the lift without waiting, even though the secluded private cabin only has room for four people. I walked onto deck 11 and quickly made my way to my toilet, which was at the front of the ship, near the bridge wing.
As I approached my stay, I was greeted by my enthusiastic personal host (PRH), a new term replacing the old one (butler) which might conjure up the stereotypical image of a prudish old man named Giles. After all, Celebrity is modern luxury.
Katharina, my PRH, was eager to show me the special features of my room, as well as other rooms on the ship that are exclusive to guests of the retreat. (I will discuss these provisions in a future post). Katharina is responsible for nine cabins on this cruise. In addition to my personal retreat host, I also have a cabin host.
After the orientation tour, I went for lunch at Luminae, a restaurant specially reserved for guests of the suite. The owner of the restaurant asked me how I wanted to sit, and I asked for a table leaning against a corner. The guests are placed in such a way that an appropriate social distance is maintained. The table I wanted had a sign saying it was too close to the other tables, so I looked for a safer spot.
After a hearty lunch, I went to my collection point to get a sticker put on my SeaPass® card.
Celebrity has introduced a new safety briefing procedure. Remember the days when you had to put on a life jacket, go to the outside deck and take a course? Life jackets were no longer needed and the passengers gathered in different parts of the ship.
Now you don’t even have to leave your room for the mandatory safety briefing. Just download the Celebrity application and look for the security icon. You will find a video with instructions on how to use the life jackets and a short audio recording of the distress signal. Once you have checked them, you can go to your collection point and get a sticker.
Don’t want to add an app or don’t have a smartphone? You can also find important video and audio content on your cabin TV. Just go to the safety information page and follow the instructions there.
An important but often frightening safety briefing can be given without leaving the cabin. You don’t have to worry about other passengers being late. There is no reason to put off drinking or eating. This cyber exercise has many benefits during COVID and will certainly avoid traffic congestion and inconveniences outside of COVID.
READ MORE: New bill would allow U.S. cruise ships to permanently bypass Canada
The Suite Life
My Celebrity Suite is 401 square feet and offers space to relax in a comfortable atmosphere. Neutral colours dominate the decoration and create a relaxed feeling in the room.
It is interesting to note that the slots that held the SeaPass power cards are gone. Just behind the cabin door is a central control center that regulates the temperature of the main room and the operation of the curtains that close the balcony door.
In addition, there are different settings for the lighting of the main room. The front door curtains effectively darken the room and can be opened and closed manually or at the touch of a button on the control panel.
One of the interesting pieces of furniture in the room is a rocking chair. It is located directly behind the work chair and requires some maneuvering room to get around it. I kicked the rocking chair so many times in a short time that it was removed from the room at my request.
The separate room has a double bed with a cashmere mattress. There are hanging reading lights on both sides of the bed and USB ports on one side. There are USB ports near the coffee table so you can charge your electronics.
Access to the bathroom is through the bedroom, but the bathroom is divided into two separate parts. Right next to the bedroom door is a compartment with a shower and a bathtub and a sink. The shower wall is equipped with a rain shower head, body sprayer and hand shower for the ultimate shower experience.
A second door in the bathroom leads to a separate toilet room, also with a sink. This toilet compartment has another door that opens onto a corridor – perfect for a guest toilet that doesn’t have to go through a separate room to use the facilities. The bathroom is equipped with toiletries with a lavender-mint formula from C.O. Bigelow.
The living room and bedroom have separate temperature controls, a real plus for people like me who prefer to sleep in a cooler room. The Celebrity Suite is very space-efficient and offers a lot of storage space.
The sofa bed with its modern design can accommodate many pillows and offers sleeping space for additional guests. When the coffee table is pushed forward, the sofa is ideal for dining or as a place to relax and watch TV or enjoy the ocean view. The umbrellas and binoculars provided are a nice touch. I’ve already settled easily into my cozy space.
Don’t miss Theresa’s pre-cruise travelogue, which details the process of entering Greece and boarding the ship: Celebrity Apex trip report, pre-planning : Tick all boxes.
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