Celebrity Apex, the new Edge-class cruise ship from Celebrity Cruises, appears to be going ahead with her Caribbean winter cruise season plans, as she was spotted making a technical call in Ponta Delgada in the Atlantic.
Celebrity Apex was delivered to Celebrity Cruises in March this year, in what was then the first virtual delivery of a cruise ship.
Due to the travel restrictions and social distancing measures that were in place, Celebrity took virtual delivery of the ship via a video conference between officials from Celebrity and Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
The practice has since adopted by other cruise lines taking delivery of new ships during the COVID-19 pandemic, the most recent of which was Princess Cruises, which accepted its new Royal-class ship Enchanted Princess for delivery from Fincantieri.
Celebrity Apex was meant to sail a summer season of cruises in the Mediterranean before repositioning to Florida to commence a series of winter cruises to the Caribbean out of Port Everglades, but those plans were scrapped by the global shutdown of the industry.
Now, however, the ship is mid-way across the Atlantic, indicating that Celebrity Cruises are betting on the imminent opening of the US cruise industry, following the one-month extension of the No Sail Order for US cruises by the CDC earlier this week.
Celebrity Cruises’ parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises, is among the four largest cruise companies in the world, which recently submitted a plan for the safe resumption of the cruises to the CDC via Cruise Lines International Association.
Those plans are under review, and executives from the world’s largest cruise lines were meant to meet with White House officials on Friday to discuss reopening the cruise industry, following Europe’s example.
Those plans were delayed by the announcement by President Trump that he has contracted coronavirus.
Celebrity Apex is a sister ship to Celebrity Edge, but features a number of new culinary experiences onboard, including the Craft Social Bar, a relaxed, casual bar space serving draft cocktails, wines on tap and more than 50 of the world’s rarest craft beers.
There is also a new 3-D digital animation dining experience at Le Grand Bistro – Celebrity’s first-at-sea digitally animated menu by Le Petit Chef will offer a new animated story on the Celebrity Apex, enhanced by new menu creations from Chef Cornelius Gallagher.
The guest experience in the Eden area of the ship at the stern has also been re-thought, providing a more comfortable experience with fewer disruptions from entertainers.