Review: Celebrity Apex
With 2,910 passengers, it’s big, but that just means room for lots of restaurants and bars
Location: Celebrity Apex is sailing the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale in Florida this winter, relocating to Amsterdam from May 2022 and ending the summer with a few Med departures from Civitavecchia.
First Impressions: With a funnel fashioned into Celebrity’s trademark X and a huge orange arch on the side (hello, Magic Carpet!), there’s certainly no missing this beauty. With 2,910 passengers, it’s big, but that just means room for lots of restaurants and bars, a swanky spa and The Retreat, an exclusive ship within a ship solely for suite passengers.
The facts: More than simply a name, The Retreat is a byword for designer looks and luxury living. Decor is down to UK designer Kelly Hoppen, the lifestyle thanks to butler-serviced all-suite accommodation and exclusive lounge and sun deck, which comes with its own pool, bar and grill, and the personal service you’d expect on a private yacht. Exclusive Retreat restaurant, Luminae, serves dishes created by Michelin-starred French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud, Celebrity’s culinary ambassador. If by any chance guests want to go off menu, waiters will serve a dish from one of the four main restaurants. It is tempting never to leave The Retreat, but that would mean missing out on a host of other experiences including cocktails among the greenery in Eden or above the ocean on the Magic Carpet, dinner in Fine Cut steakhouse, the brilliant Le Petit Chef (which is as much a fun show as it is great food), Eden’s experimental dishes, fishy Raw on Five and dining under the stars at the Rooftop Garden Grill. Retreat passengers can eat in them all for free, and also enjoy other perks including a premium drinks package and complimentary laundry. Tips and unlimited Wi-Fi are included for all.
Wow: The Edge Villas are not the most expensive suites in the house, but they are the most spectacular. Set over two storeys, they have living space downstairs, a bedroom upstairs, bathrooms on both floors, a hot tub on the balcony and a private door that opens directly onto The Retreat sun deck.
Book it: From £2,453 per person cruise-only for a seven-night cruise round-trip from Fort Lauderdale to Puerto Rico, St Thomas and St Kitts departing April 23, 2022, staying in a Sky Suite and including premium drinks, tips, Wi-Fi and unlimited speciality dining.