I could barely contain my excitement this weekend, as my mam and I boarded an Aer Lingus flight to Athens to set sail on Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Apex. I’ll do my best between all the wonderful activities, land visits and fabulous dining to report on the experience – so let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? Cruising is back, but with a couple of important differences!
Flying into Athens
We flew Aer Lingus and the flight was seamless. We checked our bags in at the self-service check in and brought our carry-on luggage with us as we had booked that. It clearly states on the boarding pass that it’s included.
The direct flight with Aer Lingus is now available to book through celebrity’s Airwaves booking system.
On arrival in Athens, there was staff to check our Covid requirements. We’re both vaccinated so all we had to do was show them our EU Digital Covid Certificate which we both had in the Covid tracker app.
The transfer to the ship took 40 minutes in total.
To board Celebrity everyone aged 12 and above has to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks before embarkation.
There is also a passenger location form to fill out before arriving into the airport. This was checked upon arrival in Athens.
Testing at Port
There is a tent set up at the port for testing. We arrived and as we had registered for our appointment, a team member scanned the QR code we received another QR code to be able to check our results.
We then followed the arrows to were the staff tested us and we went to a waiting area for the results. The wait was about 20 minutes and there was staff to bring us water while we waited.
Once we received our negative result, we were cleared to go onboard we received a sticker so we could be identified as clear.
The check-in process is very easy and can be done on the website or the app. I’d recommend downloading the app as you get notified when to fill out each form – which makes everything that bit easier and less challenging!
Create an account on the app and the cruise you’ve booked will appear. You can check in online by scanning passport into the app and filling in your personal details name, DOB, address, telephone number, emergency contact and contact details.
Twenty-four hours before you board you need to fill out the COVID health and safety form.
Celebrity will send a link to TrustOne to register for an account and to book your antigen test – don’t worry if you don’t get this or forget to register, you can register in the testing centre at the port.
We went through security, similar to the airport, and our bags were checked; we then went into the check in section and the staff had iPads, they scanned our xpress pass and the profile myself and my mam had set up appeared.
We then walked across the drawbridge and boarded the ship. Our XPress passes were scanned, we got our photo taken and that was it – WE WERE GOOD TO GO!!
First impressions? I was pleasantly surprised by how many young people are on board. As for the ship itself, it’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before with Celebrity – Apex is so modern and high-tech! Right off the bat, the WOW factor was pretty high.
All Celebrity staff are masked, and all passengers have to wear masks when walking around the indoor parts of the ship – but once you’re outdoors, you can take them off.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update!