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.
As a result, several major cruise lines have seen strong bookings into the future, with some itineraries selling out in record time.
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 ship was once set to make its grand debut in March 2020.
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.
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.
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.
The 16-deck Apex is manned by almost 1,320 crew members.
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.
All staterooms have a king bed and a touchscreen that controls features like the temperature, lights, and shades.
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.
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.
And what would be a luxury cruise without a variety of food and beverage options?
… which range from the "casual country club atmosphere" Sunset Bar ...
Source: Celebrity Cruises
… to the classic cruise ship buffet …
… to an outdoor grill-forward eatery.
The Celebrity Apex has 29 eateries, bars, cafes, and lounges …
The new ship also has a Celebrity first: the Craft Social Bar, a craft beer and sports bar.
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.
Or try the Eden Bar, a cocktail bar extension of the Eden Restaurant, one of the cruise ship's seven specialty restaurants.
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 …
… and French bistro-themed Le Grand Bistro, to name a few specialty options.
The latter also doubles as the restaurant for Le Petit Chef and Family …
… which uses overhead projectors to display an animated storyline onto the dining table before every course.
Besides these few eateries, the ship has four main restaurants that come with the base price of the cruise: Cosmopolitan (American), Cyprus (Greek) …
… Normandie (French), and Tuscan (Italian).
If you're tired of indulging during long days out at sea, the Apex has several venues that can keep passengers entertained.
This includes the Theatre, which is lined with 23-foot-tall curved LED screens and laser projectors ...
… and the Club, which is conveniently located right next door.
The Club serves as the venue for on-board activities like game shows, archery, and, of course, clubbing.
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, …
… an open-aired pool and whirlpools ….
… and the adults-only Solarium, a covered swimming hole under a transparent roof.
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.
As the name might suggest, the Magic Carpet is a suspended open-aired platform that can move vertically to other decks of the ship.
Here, you can find a bar and lounge.
But when it moves down to the second deck, the platform doubles as a tender dock at ports of calls, as shown below.
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.
Source: Celebrity Cruises
But if you'd rather get a quick workout in, you can jog around the track …
... use one of the gym's Pelotons, or try an F45 training class.
The latter two are located inside the spa, which also has amenities like a hair salon and barber shop.
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.
Interested in cruising on the Apex?
The Apex still has some available staterooms and suites on its Fort Lauderdale to Caribbean itineraries, which will continue into April 2022.
These sailings start at about $520 per person for the five-night Bahamas cruise in January 2023.
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.
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