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Crossing the Atlantic with Celebrity Cruises

Updated: 4 days ago

Join us as we cross the Atlantic for Europe on a two-week cruise with Celebrity Cruises on the Apex - The Western Europe Transatlantic. From Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Rotterdam in the Netherlands (last-minute port change from Amsterdam).


Embarking on our 16-day voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 18 April 2023, we set our sights on Bermuda, charting a course across the Atlantic Ocean and through the storied waters of the English Channel.

Crossing the Atlantic with Celebrity Cruises

Throughout our journey, we explored seven countries and ten unique destinations, an experience we're eager to share in detail. Join us as we unravel the intricacies of life aboard the Apex during our two-week Transatlantic cruise, providing valuable insights into our Celebrity experience.


Having sailed with Celebrity Cruises eight times prior, our transition to the Edge class ship marked a notable shift in our maritime adventures. Reflecting on our previous Alaskan cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, which left a lasting impression, we found that the larger capacity of the Edge class ships, accommodating nearly 3000 passengers, posed a notable adjustment. Grappling with the full occupancy, we gained valuable perspective on the dynamics of a bustling cruise experience.


Our first impressions of the Apex were nothing short of captivating. As seasoned cruisers, we couldn't help but admire the ship's modern elegance—a true floating oasis. The art and sculptures adorning the vessel were remarkable, and the overall design exuded a sense of graceful sophistication. The staterooms, the heart of our temporary maritime abode, impressed us with their exquisite design, ample space, and luxurious comfort.




We opted for the Sunset Verandah stateroom, a prudent choice for those seeking a tranquil retreat amidst the vast expanse of the ocean. This stateroom features a spacious balcony adorned with two sunbeds and two chairs, offering unobstructed vistas of the panoramic sunset and sunrise from the stern of the ship—a coveted vantage point for indulging in the natural spectacle. Our experience in this stateroom was exceptional; it served as our private oasis, providing a serene space to unwind and immerse ourselves in the awe-inspiring beauty of the open seas.




It's evident that while the onboard crew is dedicated and hardworking, the impact of understaffing on Celebrity's ships has been deeply felt, leading to a strain on service levels and the overall well-being of the crew. When a ship operates with inadequate staffing, the ability to deliver expedited service in various areas becomes increasingly challenging, often leading to prolonged wait times and congested dining venues. This can significantly detract from the guest experience, especially in high-traffic areas like restaurants.


In such scenarios, dining in specialty restaurants can provide a more conducive environment for savouring your meal and receiving the level of service you expect. These venues typically offer a more intimate and attentive dining experience, mitigating the potential impact of understaffing on the overall enjoyment of your cruise.


When it comes to dining experiences on a cruise, discovering a hidden gem can elevate your culinary journey to new heights. That hidden gem was Raw on Five, the exquisite Japanese restaurant aboard the Apex. We knew we had stumbled upon something truly special from the moment we walked through its doors.


We were drawn to Raw on Five repeatedly, opting to make it our go-to destination for most of our meals. What set this restaurant apart was the exceptional service we received and the consistently outstanding quality of the food. The culinary creations graced our plates were a testament to the skill and artistry of the talented chefs behind the scenes.


But there's more to this hidden gem than just the sumptuous dishes it serves. We discovered that Raw on Five has a secret weapon—a vantage point that offers the most enchanting sunset views.


We couldn't end our story about Raw on Five without expressing our heartfelt appreciation to the incredible team. Their dedication and warmth left a lasting impression, and it's safe to say that we miss them dearly.


So, if you find yourself aboard the Apex, seeking an unforgettable dining experience, our insider's tip is to make Raw on Five your first choice. From the impeccable service to the astounding food quality and the enchanting sunset views, this Japanese restaurant is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Trust us, it's an experience you won't want to miss.



The Fine Cut Steakhouse, another specialty dining venue renowned for its upscale steak and seafood offerings, became our favourite dining spot during our cruise. Boasting exquisite decor and captivating sunset vistas, this establishment truly delivered a five-star dining experience. The impeccable service, complemented by the exceptional quality of the food and wines, left a lasting impression.




Our preference in the Main Dining restaurant was the Tuscan Restaurant, which serves authentic southern Italian cuisine, including homemade pasta. We chose it because of the quality of the meals and seating plans. The decor was elegant, and we were always greeted warmly and enjoyed the atmosphere.



Being on the beverage package was disappointing. Each time you asked for something, it seemed unavailable and out of stock, so you were left with a minimal choice. Alternatively, you had the staff running all over the ship to find something equivalent, which was very unfair to the lovely crew. However, without it, we would have also been paying for water, like getting blood from a stone at times.


In another turn of events, also due to the staffing shortages, Wayne, my hubby, at one point, walked around Eden multiple times and grabbed all the glasses left on the tables. This mishap turned positive, and we met a wonderful, mature couple who thought he was staff. There was plenty of laughter, and we ordered drinks for them.



In the tranquil evenings aboard the cruise ship, the Magic Carpet emerges as a unique floating bar offering unparalleled views of the vast open ocean. It is elevated an impressive 13 stories above sea level.


This remarkable platform frequently repositions along the ship's side, offering a truly immersive experience. Weather permitting, passengers can indulge in a drink while perched at the edge of the ship, creating a memorable moment that perfectly encapsulates innovative design and a dash of daring adventure.




Throughout the expansive eight days at sea, a rich tapestry of entertainment offerings unfolded, catering to diverse preferences and interests. The ship's schedule brimmed with engaging activities, showcasing preview acts for upcoming performances, elaborate cake displays, and captivating twice-nightly shows. The melodic strains of live music resonated throughout the day, enhancing the onboard ambience. At the same time, interactive sessions such as cocktail demonstrations and wine tastings added a sophisticated flair to the experience.


We spent our days enjoying morning coffees in Café Al Bacio, relaxing, having indulgent dining experiences, listening to the talented musicians, and spending time with family.








The impressively decorated cakes were displayed in the Oceanview Café, where buffet-style dining with multiple stations is available. The menu offers made-to-order breakfast and lunch, with a rotating international menu for dinner. Fear not; the tantalising cakes are there to indulge your senses, adding a sweet and captivating note to your dining adventure.



We were fortunate to have only one questionable day at sea, during which Mother Nature provided peace around the ship as many guests navigated the wild oceans. Fortunately, after crossing the Drake Passage six times recently, we are fast becoming accustomed to such thrilling events.



As our transatlantic adventure drew to a close, the allure of booking a back-to-back journey to explore the enchanting Norwegian Fjords over the coming week became increasingly irresistible. Click here as we delve into the seamless transition from one captivating voyage to another, unlocking the hidden gems of the Norwegian Fjords aboard our floating sanctuary.

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8 Comments


Guest
3 days ago

very nice article..also. very glad. that you did not mention Eden as a favorite since we believe it to be very OVERRATED.. we loved Apex. we were on the next cruise after you in Rotterdam. Thanks.


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Wayne Schmidt
Wayne Schmidt
3 days ago
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We loved the Rotterdam segment; that was amazing.

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Guest
3 days ago

You captured the beauty of your cruise perfectly! Having cruised on the Apex twice I felt as I was right there with you. Thank you for sharing - your photos & talent for writing is very appreciated!

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Wayne Schmidt
Wayne Schmidt
3 days ago
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