Having an opportunity to be with the people behind the creation of the Celebrity Apex gave us a unique perspective about what goes on behind the scenes and the time and effort it takes to make a modern cruise ship a remarkable experience. We watched for almost two years as the cruise industry was forced to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To witness its rebirth, and to see all they are doing to make cruising a safe, fun, and memorable experience, was exciting and reassuring.
Immediately after the naming ceremony, we headed to the Sunset Bar to enjoy an al fresco cocktail and the amazing panorama of the ocean beckoning us in the distance. All over the ship, people were in a celebratory mood as the Apex set sail from Fort Lauderdale for the first time.
That night, as we settled in for two days at sea, it was time to explore the ship and enjoy all the pleasures that Celebrity provides its guests. We had signed up for an 8 P.M. dinner in the Normandie Restaurant, which celebrity describes as “contemporary French cuisine in a refined environment that evokes springtime in Paris with a color palette reminiscent of cherry blossoms in full bloom.”
As Paris is one of our favorite cities, the atmosphere was ideal for our first evening on the Apex. The vodka martinis were perfectly chilled and dry (olives or the side), and the menu offered a great selection of tempting options. If you want classic French cuisine, the Escargots with shallots, garlic, parsley, and Pernod is a great choice, as is the French Onion Soup with herb croutons and melted Gruyère cheese.
For our main course we chose the Slow Roasted Rack Of Pork with caramelized turnips, rosemary, honey, and orange, and the Broiled Salmon with hollandaise sauce, mashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetables.
Everything was prepared just right, and for a couple of hours we felt we had been transported to an elegant restaurant along the Right Bank of the River Seine.
After dinner, it was time to stroll the upper decks of the ship and enjoy the night air, the sounds of the sea, the stars shining above, and the joy we felt being together away from the nightmare of COVID and being able to enjoy life again.