Why the Celebrity Apex Cruise Left Me Wanting More: My Review

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to sail on one of the most talked-about cruise ships? In May 2024, I found out when I boarded the Celebrity Apex for a four-night cruise from Southampton, UK, with my husband, daughter and Mum.

Spoiler: I really liked it and want to do it again! Whether you’re a regular cruiser or just curious about booking a Celebrity cruise, read on to find out why this trip left such a lasting impression on me. Read on to find out why.

A modern sculpture of two hands forming a heart shape with a sun shining brightly above. The sculpture is positioned on the deck of the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, creating a picturesque and artistic scene.

The Ship

The Celebrity Apex is an Edge-class cruise ship operated by Celebrity Cruises, launched in 2018. It’s an impressive vessel, stretching 306 metres in length, with a capacity for 3,405 passengers and a crew of 1,320. There are 14 passenger decks to explore, each with its own unique charm.

The Celebrity Apex cruise ship docked at a port, showcasing its impressive size and modern design under a partly cloudy sky. The ship's name is prominently displayed on its upper decks, along with the Celebrity Cruises logo.

I thought the ship was absolutely beautiful, with so many interesting areas to discover, each with its own theme. Here are some of the highlights:

Magic Carpet: One of the most striking features of the Celebrity Apex is the “Magic Carpet,” a movable platform that can be positioned at various decks. It serves different functions, such as a bar, a restaurant extension, or a tender embarkation point. I particularly enjoyed getting a drink here while at sea—just make sure it’s not too windy! While you can have a meal on the Magic Carpet, keep in mind that it’s on the pricier side.

The Celebrity Apex cruise ship's Magic Carpet, an orange, glass-enclosed platform extending over the side of the ship. The Magic Carpet overlooks a calm bay with numerous small sailboats, offering a unique vantage point for passengers.

Rooftop Garden: Another favourite of mine was the lush rooftop garden. This serene space is filled with live greenery, artistic sculptures, and comfortable lounges, making it a perfect spot to relax and unwind.

Passengers relaxing in the Rooftop Garden on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, enjoying the sunny weather. The area features comfortable seating, lush greenery, and decorative metal sculptures, with a large screen displaying a floral image in the background.

The Celebrity Apex also incorporates various eco-friendly technologies, including advanced hull designs for better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. This commitment to sustainability is a significant part of what makes this ship stand out.

Staying in a Balcony Room in Concierge Class

We stayed in an Edge Stateroom with Infinite Verandas, which means the balcony space can be fully integrated into the room. I loved this design because it made the room feel much more spacious. It’s also very kid-friendly, as the top half of the glass slides down, giving you control over the opening, and there are bi-fold doors if you want to close it off completely.

However, if you enjoy sitting on your balcony in the sun, you might find the large overhang a bit frustrating. The sun has to be quite low to shine into the balcony and room.

A cozy balcony seating area in a stateroom on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, offering a view of a cityscape with an IKEA store in the background. The setup includes two chairs and a small table, ideal for enjoying the scenery.
A serene ocean view from a stateroom balcony on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, with the sun reflecting on the water. The balcony features a chair with a striped pillow and a small table, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sea.

We chose a cabin on deck 12, and I highly recommend it. It’s just below deck 14 (there’s no deck 13), which is the lido deck with swimming pools, outdoor relaxation areas, and the buffet. However, this may be the reason there was an overhang; it’s unlikely to be like that on other decks.

A modern stateroom on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, featuring a neatly made bed with teal accents and an adjacent seating area with a sofa and pillows. The room has a large window providing a view of the cityscape, including an IKEA store, and is decorated with a beach-themed artwork.

The technology in the room was impressive, too. There’s an app that shows what’s happening around the ship, but if you’re in an Edge Stateroom, you can also set the temperature, lighting, and blinds from your phone. It felt like a touch of luxury to be able to control everything from the comfort of the bed.

A control panel on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship showing the current temperature in the living room set at 21°C. The interface allows adjustments for room temperature, lighting (with options for Off, 50%, and On), and scenes like Morning, Evening, Sleep, and Movie. There are also controls for blinds and an option to switch to television settings.

We were also given a status match with Royal Caribbean, which upgraded us to Elite status. This gave us a small upgrade to Concierge Class, with a few extra perks like an umbrella, dressing gowns, binoculars, treats left in the room, and discounts on certain services like laundry and photos. It was a nice touch, though with such a short cruise, we didn’t get to take full advantage of all the extras.

The Food and Drink

Celebrity Cruises is renowned for its amazing food, and our experience was no exception. We had a delightful three-course dinner in one of the main dining rooms when we arrived. The meal was fantastic, and the staff were incredibly polite and attentive, making us feel very welcome.

An elegant dining room on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, featuring white tablecloths, neatly arranged table settings, and plush seating. The room is adorned with a large, sparkling chandelier, creating a luxurious atmosphere for guests.

We also spent a lot of time at the buffet, known as the Oceanview Café. There was an impressive variety of choices, and we enjoyed sampling all the different foods. At the back of the buffet, there’s a pizza area where they make fresh pizza, which was a favourite spot for us. There’s also an ice cream station with a wide range of flavours, sprinkles, and sauces, which was a big hit.

A colorful display of various cakes in the buffet area on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, including a mango cake with green and yellow decorations and a red velvet cake adorned with heart-shaped designs. The cakes are set behind a glass barrier, highlighting the ship's diverse and artistic dessert offerings.

As I mentioned, we’re now Elite members, which means we could enjoy three drinks from a special menu between 5 and 7 PM. However, there was a bit of a catch – you could only get one drink at a time, and these were only available in the bars. If you were dining in the main dining room, you’d have to go to the bar to get your drink and bring it back yourself. The system wasn’t perfect, but it was still nice to enjoy a few complimentary drinks as a treat.

We also decided to pay for a special dining experience at Le Petit Chef, located in Le Grand Bistro. I had always wanted to try this, and it did not disappoint. The dining experience was unique and memorable. You can read my review of Le Petit Chef here.

A dining table on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship featuring an interactive digital projection of a garden scene, complete with animated vegetables and greenery. The table is set with white plates, glasses, and cutlery, creating an immersive and playful dining experience for guests.

By the end of the cruise, we felt like we had eaten way too much, but with only four days on board, it was nice to indulge and make the most of the incredible food and drink options available.

Things To Do

On our sea day, we were particularly lucky with the weather—the sun was out, so we made the most of it by enjoying the pool. It was a perfect way to relax and soak up some rays.

The main pool area on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, featuring clear blue water and sun loungers partially submerged for relaxation. A modern sculpture of two hands forming a heart shape is visible in the background, along with the ship's distinctive logo and upper deck. Passengers are enjoying the sunny weather by the pool.

We also took part in a few quizzes in the Club, located on decks 4 and 5. It was a fun way to pass the time and test our (lack of) knowledge on various topics.

The Club on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, featuring a modern, spacious interior with comfortable seating areas and a large digital screen displaying "The Club" logo. The venue offers a social space for passengers to relax and enjoy entertainment, with a stylish and contemporary design.

Much of our time was spent relaxing in different spots around the ship. The Grand Plaza was one of our favourite places to unwind. We enjoyed looking at the art displays and strolling around the various shops on board. One evening, we decided to try our luck at the casino, but our gambling budget ran out quickly, so our casino visit was short-lived.

A serene ocean sunset with a large cargo ship sailing in the distance, captured from the Celebrity Apex cruise ship. The sun casts a golden glow over the water, creating a peaceful and picturesque scene.

Sometimes it’s just nice to watch the world go by

If you compare the activities on Celebrity Apex to those on Royal Caribbean, there aren’t as many things to do. On a longer cruise, I think I might personally get a bit bored. However, the Celebrity Apex is perfect if you’re looking for a cruise where you can mostly relax and just do a few activities.

Overall, there was no shortage of things to do on the Celebrity Apex, whether we were looking for a bit of fun, relaxation, or a little bit of both. The ship strikes a great balance for those wanting a more laid-back cruise experience with occasional activities to enjoy.

The Entertainment

The main theatre on Celebrity Apex is a hub of activity, hosting a variety of production shows, live music, and entertainment performances. The theatre itself is impressive, featuring a big wrap-around screen and cutting-edge technology that enhances every show. 

We made it a point to visit the theatre every evening, and all the shows were fantastic. I particularly enjoyed “Rockumentary,” which was a standout performance for me.

The theater on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, set up for a show titled "Rockumentary." The stage is surrounded by a large circular seating area, and the backdrop features various rock music posters and memorabilia. The atmosphere is set for an exciting and immersive rock-themed performance.

Live music is a big part of the entertainment on board, with performances happening all around the ship. One venue that stood out to me was Eden. This multi-purpose venue combines dining, performance, and socialising in a dynamic, nature-inspired space. 

Eden offers aerial performances, immersive shows, and an interactive atmosphere, making it a truly unique experience. I found the space particularly beautiful and enjoyed spending time there.

The Eden lounge on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, featuring vibrant, nature-inspired decor with lush green walls and unique seating resembling large yellow leaves. The area includes a hanging wicker chair and various plants, creating a relaxing and immersive atmosphere for guests.

The Itinerary

Our cruise itinerary included one day at sea, followed by stops in Amsterdam and Bruges. As I mentioned before, the day at sea was beautiful. As someone who suffers from seasickness, I was thrilled that the entire cruise was very smooth – probably the smoothest I’ve ever experienced. This was likely due to a combination of great weather and a slow, gentle pace of travel.

A view of the open ocean at sunset from a window on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship. The sky is painted with warm hues as the sun sets, reflecting off the calm sea, framed by the ship's structure.
Smooth sailing

In Amsterdam, we had the unique experience of going through the locks, which allowed us to dock right in the city. This was perfect for us, especially with our daughter in tow, as there is plenty for kids to do. 

We decided to visit Nemo Science Museum, which is just a 10-minute walk from the dock. We spent a few hours there, and honestly, we could have stayed much longer. It’s a fantastic place, and I would love to explore more of Amsterdam someday.

The Celebrity Apex cruise ship docked in a city port, surrounded by modern office buildings and lush greenery. The ship's name is visible on the upper decks, and the area features a mix of urban and natural elements, with a body of water in the foreground reflecting the cloudy sky.
A cloudy day in Amsterdam

Our next port was Zeebrugge, but we opted to take a coach into Bruges. The return trip for the four of us cost about 70 euros. Once we arrived, it was another 15-minute walk into the city centre. As expected, Bruges was beautiful, with its charming streets, delicious chocolate, and tasty fries.

The interior of a grand cathedral, featuring high vaulted ceilings, ornate statues, and intricate architectural details. The nave is lined with tall columns and decorative elements, leading to a stained glass window at the far end, creating a majestic and reverent atmosphere.
The church we went to in Brugge was stunning!

The Kids Club

The kids’ club on the Celebrity Apex, part of Celebrity Cruises’ Camp at Sea programme, offers a range of engaging activities and experiences designed for children of four age groups.

My daughter really liked it. She said it was the best she’d ever been to. That might have been because there were only about 20 children in her age range across the ship. So there were about 5 children each time she went, so she got lots of adult attention. 

Celebrity cruises are not known for their range of activities for kids, so there aren’t usually lots on there. However, the summer holidays could be completely different. So if your children do not like kid’s clubs, there isn’t much else for them to do other than entertainment. For example, we took my daughter to the theatre, and she loved it.

There are three sessions a day. I think these were the times (although I could be slightly wrong): 9am-12pm, 2pm-5pm, and 7pm-10pm. They also have slumber parties, so you can drop the kids off and enjoy evening activities. She did lots of crafts, games, and playing on computer consoles.

A vibrant graffiti wall on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, featuring colorful messages and artwork. Prominent text includes "LOVE," "DREAMS," "ENJOY," and "You have the potential to make beautiful things." The mural adds an energetic and inspirational vibe to the space.
This is where the teenagers go.

My Verdict

I absolutely loved this cruise, and it exceeded all my expectations in every way. From the luxurious and innovative design of the Celebrity Apex to the outstanding food and exceptional service, every aspect of the trip was fantastic. The Infinite Veranda staterooms provided a unique and spacious accommodation experience, perfect for both relaxation and family-friendly convenience.

A lineup of crew members on the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, dressed in formal uniforms, standing on stage during an event called "Crystallize." The backdrop is a vibrant purple with sparkling effects, creating a celebratory atmosphere. One crew member is speaking into a microphone, while others, including a chef in a white uniform, stand attentively.
The amazing crew

The ship itself was stunning, with so many beautiful spaces to explore, from the serene Rooftop Garden to the vibrant Grand Plaza. The entertainment options were top-notch, and I particularly enjoyed the Rockumentary in the main theatre and the immersive experiences at Eden.

The itinerary was also a highlight. The smooth sailing made the day at sea truly enjoyable, and our visits to Amsterdam and Bruges were both memorable.

A woman smiling and taking a selfie on the deck of the Celebrity Apex cruise ship, with the pool area and numerous people lounging in the background. The weather appears to be pleasant, with a partly cloudy sky.
Enjoying the ship

While there weren’t as many activities as on some other cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, the Celebrity Apex offered a perfect balance of relaxation and entertainment. It’s ideal for those wanting a more laid-back cruise experience with occasional activities.

I really hope I can go on this cruise again sometime, hopefully for a bit longer. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a blend of luxury, comfort, and a touch of adventure.

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I'm Hannah and I've been cruising for as long as I can remember.

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