When I boarded the Celebrity Apex in Fort Lauderdale and headed to my stateroom, a crew member greeted me with, “Welcome to paradise.”
He wasn’t far wrong. The new Apex is a beauty and my stateroom in the Retreat on deck 10 is mighty grand. Room 10140 has a queen-sized bed, nightstands, large interactive TV, bedside phone, safe, desk, chair, sofa, roomy closet and drawer space, slippers and robe and a refrigerator stocked with complimentary soft drinks, water, beer and wine.
Best of all, my stateroom has a big balcony with two chairs and a small table. The bed has exclusive eXhale bedding and is situated facing the balcony door for an expansive view of the passing scenery. Curtains can be drawn to block out the daylight and the view but I am keeping them open to see the ocean when I go to sleep and when I awaken.
To greet me is a beautiful bouquet of flowers, basket of fruit and bottle of champagne chilling on ice. Shortly after I arrived, stateroom attendant Daven knocked on the door to show me all the little extras in this special accommodation, such as closing the curtains with the touch of a hand.
Another plus in my cabin is what looks like a jewelry box on the desk. Really it is a hideaway for electric plugs and USB chargers, both U.S. and European. My cabin also features new technology that lets me control room lighting, shades, temperature and television from an app on my phone.
As part of Celebrity’s commitment to environmental protection, the ship’s bottled water in my room is served in reusable recycled aluminum bottles. To me, it also seems to taste better and colder in aluminum rather than wasteful plastic containers.
The Magic Mirror
The big bathroom has a double sink with shelves on both sides, a lighted makeup mirror, oversized bathtub and shower, plus bars of soap and a large dispenser of lotion. In the shower are dispensers of bath gel, shampoo and conditioner. The toilet has a separate room with door.
But it was the magic mirror over the sink that I might not have figured out if Daven hadn’t shown me. The mirror can be pushed apart to each side to reveal a glass window and wonderful view of the ocean scene off the balcony. I took photos of it so you can see what I mean.
Since I am a solo cruiser, I will keep that bathroom mirror/window open during the entire cruise. It is neat to be standing in the shower or brushing my teeth and being able to see the ocean outside that mirror window.
Not long after Daven left, my butler Al knocked on the door to ask if I needed anything. He also told me about some of the perks of staying in The Retreat. I could dine in Luminae restaurant on deck 12, enjoy The Retreat Sundeck, have a complimentary snack or drink in The Retreat Lounge, use unlimited WiFi, book shore excursions and more.
Al also gave me his business card and told me to call if I needed anything. When I left my stateroom for dinner at 5:45 – I like to dine early – Al was waiting in the hallway to escort me to dinner. He was there the next night. And the night after that.
I already knew my way around the ship by then but it is nice to walk with Al to the various restaurants and learn more about his family and see their photos on his cellphone – a wife, son and daughter at home in the Philippines.
One important aspect of every cruise I have taken since the pandemic is the courtesy, kindness and genuine happiness at being back at work expressed by cruise ship crew. By the second time I met any Apex crew member, he or she remembered my name and asked how my cruise was going and how glad they are to be cruising again.
“Because of you, I have a job,” Al said as we were walking to dinner. Because of Al and other ship staff, my cruise on Celebrity Apex is definitely a most memorable adventure in my travel life.
Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch
The magic bathroom mirror open over my bed.
The mirror over the bathroom sink can be open for a beautiful view or closed for a mirror.
The bathroom mirror as it looks when closed.
The bathroom mirror as it looks in the bathroom when closed.
The decorative white box atop the refrigerator cabinet is actually a hideaway for electric plugs and USB chargers.
My big and comfy balcony.
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