I went aboard Celebrity Cruises' newest cruise ship — see what it's like inside the $1 billion Apex

I went aboard Celebrity Cruises' newest cruise ship — see what it's like inside the $1 billion Apex
The Celebrity Apex floating on the ocean
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider
  • Celebrity Cruises' latest ship, the Celebrity Apex, has begun its inaugural US sailings from Florida.

  • The $1 billion ship was initially set to debut in March 2020 but was delayed amid COVID-19.

  • See inside the Apex, which has an adults-only pool, a martini bar, and a gym with Pelotons.

Leisure travel levels are quickly creeping back to pre-COVID-19 levels as borders continue to reopen and pent-up demand for travel remains high.

the Apex log on the ship
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider

As a result, several major cruise lines have seen strong bookings into the future, with some itineraries selling out in record time.

a relatively empty Solarium with a bright skylight
The Solarium.Brittany Chang/Insider

Source: CNBC, Insider

To usher in the return of the cruise industry, Royal Caribbean Group's Celebrity Cruises has launched its latest luxury ship — the Celebrity Apex — in the US after over a year of delays.

The Celebrity Apex floating on the ocean
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider

The ship was once set to make its grand debut in March 2020.

the Celebrity logo on the ship
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider

But after a year of no sailing, the summer of 2021 provided a glimmer of hope for the company and its ship: The Apex began operating several Greek Island itineraries.

artwork next to the track
The track.Brittany Chang/Insider

And now, the luxury ship is finally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and has already begun bringing eager passengers to a variety of warm weathered Caribbean destinations.

the lounge chairs in a relatively empty pool.
The pool.Brittany Chang/Insider

Let's take a look inside the over 1,000-foot long ship, a $1 billion investment — a spokesperson told Insider in an email — in the sustained success of the cruise industry.

people hanging out on different decks inside the ship
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider

The 16-deck Apex is manned by almost 1,320 crew members.

A whirlpool above the larger pool
A whirlpool.Brittany Chang/Insider

These crew members then serve a little over 2,900 guests, all of whom will stay inside Apex's almost 1,470 staterooms and 176 suites.

two empty chairs and a small table overlooking the ocean
A stateroom.Brittany Chang/Insider

All staterooms have a king bed and a touchscreen that controls features like the temperature, lights, and shades.

a bed and TV with a living room area in the back
One of the staterooms.Brittany Chang/Insider

But those with deeper pockets and finer taste might want to opt for the more ultra-luxurious accommodations, which include the Iconic and Penthouse Suites.

a large bed in front of a TV and a panoramic view of the ocean
The Penthouse Suite.Brittany Chang/Insider

The former is the largest suite on all Celebrity ships and includes a terrace with a hot tub, a bedroom with sweeping views of the ocean, and an in-suite Peloton.

a living room with a Peloton in the back
The Penthouse Suite.Brittany Chang/Insider

And what would be a luxury cruise without a variety of food and beverage options?

a bartender preparing a drink at Eden
Inside Eden.Brittany Chang/Insider

… which range from the "casual country club atmosphere" Sunset Bar ...

an empty bar with a person behind teh bar
The Sunset Bar.Brittany Chang/Insider

Source: Celebrity Cruises

… to the classic cruise ship buffet …

people walking around the buffet
The buffet.Brittany Chang/Insider

… to an outdoor grill-forward eatery.

Rooftop Garden Grill under a white awning
The Rooftop Garden Grill.Brittany Chang/Insider

The Celebrity Apex has 29 eateries, bars, cafes, and lounges …

a large piece of art on the floor at one of the restaurants
The entrance into one of the restaurants.Brittany Chang/Insider

The new ship also has a Celebrity first: the Craft Social Bar, a craft beer and sports bar.

an empty beer-forward bar
The Craft Social Bar.Brittany Chang/Insider

But if you're more of a cocktail aficionado, there's the Martini Bar, which sits at the heart of the ship under the glow of the LED chandelier in the Grand Plaza.

an empty Martini Bar
The Martini Bar.Brittany Chang/Insider

Or try the Eden Bar, a cocktail bar extension of the Eden Restaurant, one of the cruise ship's seven specialty restaurants.

a bartender preparing drinks at Eden
Inside Eden.Brittany Chang/Insider

If you're looking to pay a little more for specialty dining, there's also a raw bar called Raw on 5, the Fine Cut Steakhouse …

an empty restaurant by windows showing the ocean
Raw on 5.Brittany Chang/Insider

… and French bistro-themed Le Grand Bistro, to name a few specialty options.

an empty restaurant with a view of the ocean in the back
Le Grand Bistro.Brittany Chang/Insider

The latter also doubles as the restaurant for Le Petit Chef and Family …

large metal artwork in front of a shop
The shopping.Brittany Chang/Insider

… which uses overhead projectors to display an animated storyline onto the dining table before every course.

a plate of pasta above a table with projected animations
Le Petit Chef and Family.Brittany Chang/Insider

Besides these few eateries, the ship has four main restaurants that come with the base price of the cruise: Cosmopolitan (American), Cyprus (Greek) …

an empty restaurant with all the tables set
Cyprus.Brittany Chang/Insider

… Normandie (French), and Tuscan (Italian).

a table by a window overlooking the ocean
Tuscan.Brittany Chang/Insider

If you're tired of indulging during long days out at sea, the Apex has several venues that can keep passengers entertained.

The Grand Plaza and the Martini Bar with a large centerpiece
The Grand Plaza and the Martini Bar.Brittany Chang/Insider

This includes the Theatre, which is lined with 23-foot-tall curved LED screens and laser projectors ...

people on stage in the empty Theatre
The Theatre.Brittany Chang/Insider

… and the Club, which is conveniently located right next door.

an empty Club venue
The Club.Brittany Chang/Insider

The Club serves as the venue for on-board activities like game shows, archery, and, of course, clubbing.

lounge chairs facing the ocean
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider

If you take the elevator up a few decks, you'll hit the resort deck, which has the Rooftop Garden, an outdoor lounge with a large screen for movies, …

outdoor lounge seating by a large screen
The Rooftop Garden.Brittany Chang/Insider

… an open-aired pool and whirlpools ….

bird's eye view of the pool deck
The main pool.Brittany Chang/Insider

… and the adults-only Solarium, a covered swimming hole under a transparent roof.

a relatively empty Solarium with a bright skylight
The Solarium.Brittany Chang/Insider

If you're looking for a view of the ocean but don't want to lounge by the pool, head to the Magic Carpet. Just make sure you know which deck it's on.

people standing on the market carpet as it's above the water
The Magic Carpet.Brittany Chang/Insider

As the name might suggest, the Magic Carpet is a suspended open-aired platform that can move vertically to other decks of the ship.

people stepping off of a tender onto the Magic Carpet
The Magic Carpet.Brittany Chang/Insider

Here, you can find a bar and lounge.

a walkway next to the pool
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider

But when it moves down to the second deck, the platform doubles as a tender dock at ports of calls, as shown below.

a view of part of the Celebrity Edge
The Celebrity Edge.Brittany Chang/Insider

If you're looking for the thrill of losing (or winning), money, try your luck at the casino, which is lined with over 2,015 slot machines.

slot machines in an empty casino
The casino.Brittany Chang/Insider

Source: Celebrity Cruises

But if you'd rather get a quick workout in, you can jog around the track …

a person walking on the track
The Rooftop Garden and track.Brittany Chang/Insider

... use one of the gym's Pelotons, or try an F45 training class.

People inside the gym facing the ocean
The gym.Brittany Chang/Insider

The latter two are located inside the spa, which also has amenities like a hair salon and barber shop.

a person inside the salon at the spa
The salon.Brittany Chang/Insider

There are plenty of spaces that are accessible by all passengers, but some venues — like a sundeck, lounge, and restaurant by a multi-Michelin starred chef — are reserved for guests who've booked a stay under the more exclusive "Retreat" segment.

a person walking through an empty restaurant
Luminae at The Retreat.Brittany Chang/Insider

Interested in cruising on the Apex?

an ice cream stall at the buffet
The buffet.Brittany Chang/Insider

The Apex still has some available staterooms and suites on its Fort Lauderdale to Caribbean itineraries, which will continue into April 2022.

a window looking out onto the walkway and ocean
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider

These sailings start at about $520 per person for the five-night Bahamas cruise in January 2023.

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

Source: Celebrity Cruises

This price then jumps to over $3,000 per person for a nicer stateroom on the seven-night Bahamas, Belize, and Mexico sailing from December to January.

outdoor seating overlooking the ocean
The Celebrity Apex.Brittany Chang/Insider

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