No One Comes’: The Cruise Ship Crews Cast Adrift By Coronavirus
From the Galapagos to Dubai crew have been left marooned amid squabbles over who is responsible for their welfare
The Apex was nearly finished. A brand new cruise ship for the Celebrity Cruises line, it was a towering, 117,000-ton vessel with luxuries like a resort deck featuring martini-glass-shaped jacuzzis and a movable platform cantilevered off the side known as the Magic Carpet to be used as an outdoor restaurant. As the builders put the finishing touches to it, the company held parties for crew and contractors, even as the rest of the world was shutting down to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Alexandra Nedeltcheva was one of the waiters. Though she avoided the parties, she served the contractors and crew at one of the ships restaurants. She says she contracted Covid-19 before the Apex even left port.
Its really scary, you dont know how long its going to last, says a coughing Nedeltcheva. She says she had trouble getting anyone to respond to her calls for medicine and help. When I called medical and said, can you get me some medicine, my head is going to explode, they said, there are people sicker than you, stay where you are.
She is one of more than 100 Celebrity Cruises crew members who have joined a class-action suit filed against the company on 14 April, alleging it failed to take timely action to protect workers, despite having weeks of notice that coronavirus was spreading worldwide.
Celebrity Cruises Ships By Size: Biggest To Smallest
The following table shows Celebrity Cruises ships ordered from largest to smallest
The most common way to compare the size of cruise ships is by tonnage. This is a measurement of the overall internal volume of a ship.
The occupancy refers to how many passengers each ship can accommodate based on having two guests in each room. As some staterooms have extra beds for third and fourth passengers, the maximum occupancy will be higher.
Celebrity Cruises Coronavirus Update
RCG-Royal Caribbean Group suspended its entire fleet’s passenger shipping operations worldwide by canceling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 13, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Fleetwide operations are planned to resume on July 1, 2021, including Celebrity Galapagos cruises.
Next are listed all Celebrity ships and their first scheduled departure dates/regions in 2021-2022 – APEX , BEYOND , CONSTELLATION , ECLIPSE , EDGE , EQUINOX , INFINITY , MILLENNIUM , REFLECTION , SILHOUETTE , SOLSTICE , SUMMIT . Celebrity Cruises Galapagos ships and their restart dates in 2021 are Flora , Xpedition , Xploration .
- Celebrity’s Australia and New Zealand 2021-2022 programs were canceled .
- All Celebrity repositioning cruises in 2021 were canceled.
- Most Celebrity’s European schedules 2021 were canceled, excluding APEX and SILHOUETTE .
- Celebrity’s South America 2021-2022 program was canceled.
- Celebrity’s Japan 2021-2022 program was canceled.
All affected bookings received full refunds , including on prepurchased through Celebrity Cruises packages and services. The refunds were in FCC to be used on itineraries that depart up to April 30, 2022. The FCC must be redeemed by December 31, 2021. Changing the FCC to a monetary refund must be done by December 31, 2020. Celebrity’s Cancellation Policy was extended to allow penalty-free cancellations up to 48 hours prior departure and receive an FCC.
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Who Sails Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity appeals to a somewhat older demographic than some of its best-known rivals in the world of relatively big ships . This is, in part, because its onboard offerings are not aimed at families nearly as much as the onboard offerings of the latter brands.
Unlike Royal Caribbean, Carnival, MSC Cruises and Norwegian, Celebrity doesnt load up the top of its ships with sprawling waterparks, go-kart tracks, laser tag courses and other flashy, family-focused diversions.
Instead of bustling attractions, the top decks of Celebrity ships offer lots of quiet and relaxing pool and lounge areas where you can enjoy the experience of being at sea without a lot of hustle and bustle. Inside, the experience revolves around dining, classic showroom entertainment and a classy bar and music scene just as it has on Celebrity ships for years.
Its the sort of experience that draws a lot of couples in their 40s, 50s and 60s but not necessarily a lot of families. The average age of a Celebrity passenger is a tad north of 50.
Still, while families with younger children usually gravitate to one of the abovementioned lines with more family-friendly activities, that doesnt mean you cant bring your kids on a Celebrity cruise. The line does offer a relatively robust childrens program .
Celebrity Brand’s Cruising Experience
- Accommodations: some of the largest cruise suites . Luxurious “ConciergeClass” staterooms, attentive highly personalized impeccable service and enjoying seating preference, priority check-in. 2:1 guest-to-staff ratio
- Dining: award-winning cuisine, excellent alternate dining venues. Celebrity’s “Gourmet Bites” every afternoon, themed lunch buffets. Culinary demonstrations. The line has partnered with “Elizabeth Blau and Associates”, as to menu and wine selections, and all the standards of serving.
- Facilities: the largest cruise ship spa and gym facilities at sea . “Celebrity Theatre” for Broadway-style productions, huge European-style casinos, bingo, themed bars, and lounges, including a discoclub, large pools, poolside recreation programs , onboard boutique shopping.
- Enrichment: “Celebrity Lecture Series”. Rich contemporary art collections. Art auctions, and enhanced golf program.
- “Celebrity Escape” concept offers complimentary classes, workshops, themed events, fashion shows, deck parties, etc.
Since 2013, the company has been partnered with “Top Chef” . In late 2014, both companies started the exclusive “Top Chef at Sea” cruising experience. By this onboard culinary program, fans and foodies have the opportunity to travel with a lineup of celebrity chefs on food-themed “Top Chef Signature Sailing” each year. Celebrity also offers an interactive “Quickfire Challenges” and “Top Chef”-inspired menu evenings fleetwide on cruises 5-nights or longer .
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Small Ship Line #: Lindblad Expeditions
This fleet of 15 vesselswith passenger capacities ranging from just 28 to 148sails to rugged, far-flung destinations including Arctic Svalbard, Antarctica, Indonesia, and the Galápagos. A Lindblad cruise typically prioritizes adventure over luxury so on most ships, expect small, simple cabins, but plenty of memorable excursions, like snorkeling in Borneo or hiking an ice field in Patagonia. But some of its recent fleet additions are truly luxe, from its two polar-sailing expedition ships, National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution, to the elegant Oberoi Philae, which sails the Nile. Each sailing has an expedition team made up of experts in fields like marine biology and photography.
Celebrity Cruise Gratuities 2021
Since January 2020, the company’s daily gratuity rates were increased by ~7% .
- Standard cabins’ daily gratuity was changed from US$14,50 to US$15.50 pp .
- ConciergeClass and AquaClass staterooms’ daily gratuity was changed from US$15 to US$16 pp .
- Suites’ daily gratuity was changed from US$18 to US$19 pp .
Daily gratuity is an automatic service charge added to the passenger’s onboard account each day. Passengers can prepay gratuities. Daily gratuities are split between the ship’s staff .
In 2018, Celebrity’s daily gratuities were USD 13,50 , USD 14 and USD 17 .
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Medium Ship Line #: Holland America Line
Of Holland Americas 10 ships, eight of them fall into the medium-size category, carrying between 1,400 and 2,500 passengers. The refined ships sail to destinations across the world, but one of the most popular destinations for the cruise line is Alaska. When cruising resumes, we think you should check out the Noordam, which was refurbished in 2019, as it sails itineraries around the Japanese archipelago, China, and Southeast Asia.
How To Cruise And Book
All guests 18+ must be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to sail . Guests under 18 will be permitted with a negative COVID test 72 hours or less before the sailing. There are special air-sea rates to make getting to and from the island of St Maarten easy – though we’re awaiting clarification on whether you MUST book air through the cruise line. We’ll update here when we find out. Sailings will be available to book starting March 25!
There is a TON of pent-up demand, so we suggest booking ASAP. In fact, fill out the form on this page , or and you can request a quote from TouringPlans, our friends and longtime partners. Doing this will not only ensure you’re getting a great rate from helpful travel experts , but you’ll be put in the queue to get official quotes as soon as Celebrity makes them available.
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Small Ship Line #: Australis
Some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world can be found in Patagonias Tierra del Fuego, and Australis takes its passengers right into the heart of them aboard the all-inclusive Ventus Australis or the Stella Australis. Each day, passengers disembark their ship and navigate the icy waters in zodiacs, getting up close and personal with glaciers and penguins along the way. It doesnt get more off-the-beaten-path than this.
Medium Ship Line #: Seabourn Cruise Lines
Dont think of Seabourn as a typical cruiseit ships are much more akin to mega-yachts, with ultra-luxurious decor, service, and dining. The fleet currently has five vessels, the largest of which carry 600 passengers. Their small size allows the vessels to dock in small ports all around the world . Many of the cruise lines guests are lifelong learners, and they flock to the nightly Seabourn Conversation program, which brings all sorts of intriguing figures, from Steve Wozniak to Elaine Paige, on board for lectures and casual chats. In 2015, Seabourn announced a partnership with celebrity chef Thomas Keller, who crafted new menus for the three existing ships and spearheaded new restaurants on the two newest ships, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.
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Large Ship Line #: Cunard
For those longing for the romantic nostalgia of bygone transatlantic sailings, Cunard is your go-to. The legendary cruise line was established in 1840 and has had dozens of ships in its fleet, though today, there are just three active vessels: the Queen Mary 2, the worlds only true transatlantic ocean liner, designed specifically for ocean crossings, as well as the worlds only pet-friendly ship the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria. Activities havent changed all too much in the last 180 yearstheres still a proper afternoon tea, black-tie dinners, and galas in the ballrooms. Its quite like a step back in time, with all the modern safety measures, of course. Cunards next ship is scheduled to be christened in 2022.
Get The Best Price When You Book Your Celebrity Cruise
The price you pay for your cruise will be different depending on who you book it with, even though what you get will be exactly the same.
Its generally always cheaper to use a specialist cruise travel agent that can access discounted rates.
Of course, not all travel agents are equal in terms of the service that they provide. If youd like to get a quote from a trusted travel agent that Ive used to book multiple cruises myself,.
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Medium Ship Line #1: P& o Cruises
The British line P& O Cruises is the oldest in the world, established in 1837 to ferry mail and passengers between the United Kingdom and the Iberian Peninsula, but it began to offer leisure operationsthe very first cruises as we know themas early as 1844. The ships cater to a primarily British audience, and they provide good value for a classic cruising experience. Guests enjoy traditional activities like shuffleboard, dance classes, and pub quizzes. The ships typically sail in Europe, though they do have ports of call in Asia and the Middle East.
Small Ship Line #: Metropolitan Touring
Operating three expedition vessels in the Galápagos, Metropolitan Touring is the ideal cruise line for those seeking a casual experience in the wildlife hotspot. The tiny ships, which only accommodate between 40 and 78 passengers, have a laid-back atmosphere where the focus is very much on wildlife spotting. The company also offers land-based tours in mainland Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia that can be combined with a Galápagos expedition.
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Large Ship Line #: Royal Caribbean International
Though Royal Caribbean is perhaps best known for its mega-ships, it has quite a number of large ships, toothe 3,100-passenger Voyager-class ships, for instance, were once the worlds largest, until Royal Caribbean debuted the larger Freedom class and subsequently the Oasis class. Each class had its own series of firstsVoyager of the Seas was the first ship to have an ice rink and a rock-climbing wall, while Freedom of the Seas introduced the first FlowRider surf simulator at sea.
Choose Solstice Class If You Want Your Drink Crafted By An Expert Mixologist
The World Class Bar is on Solstice-class ships only, and elevates the art of cocktail drinking with top-shelf ingredients, inventive concoctions and service with a bow tie. If you dig the mixology trend and don’t mind ponying up for a seriously well-made cocktail, you’ll want choose one of the Solstice-class ships to try out this chic Celebrity bar.
Or if you want a selection of craft beer.
Craft Social, which replaced the Gastrobar on Equinox boasts a beer menu of about 40 brews. Offerings range from domestic favorites to international IPAs, and a little bit in between.
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Luxury At Sea: Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship Review
Discover the latest ship in Celebrity Cruises luxurious fleet in this Celebrity Apex cruise ship review as we set sail in style on a week-long trip to the Greek Islands.
The smell of the sea, sun on your skin, the taste of new food and the sound of different languages just a few of the things Ive missed from travelling. The last 18 months have been tough on the travel industry, and no sector more so than cruising, which saw ships out of action for over a year. But travel is coming back to life, and cruising with it.
AD: My trip was hosted by Celebrity Cruises, but all views are my own.
My last big pre-pandemic trip was an Alaska cruise with Celebrity Cruises, so if felt strangely apt to be back on board with them for my first overseas trip since. This time Id be travelling on Celebrity Apex, the newest ship in their fleet, sailing through Greece and Croatia. One of the Edge Series ships, shes a radical new departure from Celebritys previous ships. But whats it like on board? This Celebrity Apex review tells you all you need to know.
Large Ship Line #: Princess Cruises
Part of the Carnival family, Princess Cruises has a fun claim to famethe TV show The Love Boat was set on its Pacific Princess ship. If youve never seen an episode, youre in luck, as one of the onboard TV channels airs reruns around the clock. But you wont want to stay cooped up in your stateroom when you discover all the activities on board its 17 ships, from its special Seawitch craft beer program that sees the cruise line partner with breweries around the world to Discovery at SEA, a series of programs based on TV shows from the Discovery, Inc. family of networks, including Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, and the Science Channel. In October 2019, Princess Cruises newest ship, the Sky Princess, set sail, debuting a new class of stateroom called Sky Suites, which is the lines most luxurious offering. Its next two ships, Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess, are scheduled to launch by the end of 2021.
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Choose Solstice Class If You Want A Stylish Top
The unique Reflection Suite onboard Celebrity Reflection gives the Solstice Class a bit more swagger when it comes to top-tier accommodations. At 1,636 square feet with a 193-square-foot balcony, the Reflection Suite is not only one of the most massive accommodations in the fleet, but it comes complete with clear cantilevered shower that lets you float above the waves while you bathe.
Mega Ship Line #: Royal Caribbean International
If you truly want to feel like youre living in a floating city, Royal Caribbean is the cruise line for you, given that it has the four largest cruise ships in the world. Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas top the lists in terms of passenger count , length , and gross tonnage . Given their size, these ships provide every amenity you can think ofand plenty you cant even imaginefrom waterparks to world-class musical productions to autonomous bars staffed by robots to double-decker suites with slides for the kids. Youll find these behemoths sailing the Caribbean and Mediterranean throughout the year, but with so many activities on board, you might not even want to leave the ship.
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Large Ship #: Msc Cruises
Nearly half of MSCs fleetnamely those ships in the Musica and Fantasia classesfalls into the large cruise category, with its newer builds firmly taking a bigger is better stance. The eight large vessels primarily sail in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, though they do offer itineraries in North and South America, Asia, and Northern Europe, too. The family-friendly ships skew on the upscale side, and theyre known for their incredibly international crowds.