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Apex Sky Suite experience...


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Okay, now that (despite what some posters keep insisting) we are going to return to cruising, it is time for me to (hopefully) enjoy the planning and anticipation phase.  Our first post-pandemic cruise is now only 112 days away...and, despite having cruised so many times and on Celebrity so many times, this will be a new experience for us.

 

First of all, it will be on the Apex...and we've never been on an "Edge-class" ship before.  Heck, nobody's yet been on the Apex, but I'm sure some of you who have cruised on Edge have a few ideas and thoughts.

 

Second, although we've been in Sky Suites before, it hasn't been for several years...and I know things have changed.  For example, when we last cruised in a Sky Suite, you still ate in the MDR...and there really weren't many extra amenities other than a butler and the stateroom itself.  And, I am sure it will all differ even more with it being the Apex.

 

We've booked #10191...which looks to me to be a good cabin.  It's the forwardmost cabin on the part of the ship that sticks out, meaning the cabin in front of us is recessed a bit.  I am picturing that means a pretty good view forward from the balcony, no?

 

It's right next to the aft elevators.  I usually like that location for the convenience...but, though I have never been bothered by noise before, some talk about this as an issue.  What do you think?  If there is a location negative to this cabin, it might be that all of the Retreat facilities are near the forward elevators...I'm guessing it's not that bad...It's not like we have any mobility issues...

 

Now I understand we can eat all of our meals in Luminae...which I am excited to try...I'm guessing we just show up, no reservations needed like we always make for the MDR?  If we want to eat a meal with friends not in a suite, no problem eating in one of the other restaurants, right?  How about specialty restaurants?  The Celebrity rep that helped us said we get free specialty restaurants, but I seem to remember that only goes for the higher priced suites, not the Sky Suites...which is it?

 

When we've typically cruised in Concierge class, one of the newer benefits is lunch in the MDR, rather than buffet, on embarkation day...Does that go for Sky Suites as well?

 

What is the atmosphere like in the Retreat Lounge and other facilities--quiet?  Stuffy? Is the crowd much older?  Less friendly?  What should we expect?  How about dress code...Can I have pre-dinner drinks in the Retreat Lounge in my cargo shorts and T-shirt...or do I need to dress in long pants like for dinner?

 

The cabin:  

The photos all show a cool looking rocking chair...On one Edge thread I saw someone wrote that was gone...Anyone know--is it there?  I've seen some balcony photos with some very smallish cheap little chairs...are they not lounges?  Seriously?

 

Our booking includes Premium Beverage package, gratuities, Streaming WiFi and a whole lot of OBC...Anything else from it just being a Sky Suite?  Most of our Elite Plus perks become completely moot (save the free laundry).

 

Okay...What else should we expect from the Apex?  From the Sky Suites?  From Sky Suites on the Apex?  Any other surprise benefits?  Thanks...

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I can tell you what to expect in a sky suite, although not specifically on Apex.

 

Yes, Luminae is your assigned dining room.  Just show up.

 

The Celebrity rep who helped you was misinformed (what a surprise!).  Specialty restaurants are not included in the price of a sky suite.  You may dine in any of the specialty restaurants for a fee.

 

As for embarcation day lunch, no you are not included in the CC lunch in the MDR.  You have a much better benefit:  lunch in Luminae.

 

Yes, you may dine with your friends elsewhere.  Or you can invite them to dine with you in Luminae for a fee (space available).  Discuss with the maitre d'.

 

In my view (again, not on the Apex), the Retreat Lounge is not an improvement over Michael's.  No one is serving you, it's all self serve.  Sometimes it's not well staffed and it's difficult to get a drink.  YMMV.

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The Retreat Sun Deck on the Edge was very nice and service was great. 
 

Personally I have never seen anyone in cargo shorts having pre dinner cocktails in Michaels Club/Retreat.  Of course if you have pre dinner cocktails at 2 in the afternoon you may run into us grabbing a drink to take back to the suite.

 

It is my understanding that the rocking chairs in the SS were removed so unlikely they were put in the Apex.  
 

The Edge was beautiful but there was a lot of form over function , desk/vanity chair that arms wouldn’t fit under the desk so it stuck out into the room, tons of decorative pillows taking up space, uncomfortable chairs and similar cool looking useless items.  We are booked on the Apex and hoping some of these things have been improved. 

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I see people in the Retreat in shorts during the day but usually they are in clothes they would wear to dinner (Luminae or specialty restaurant) during pre-dinner time happy hour. We love meeting people in the Retreat and have made some really nice friends there. You will love Luminae - so much better than MDR. 

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11 minutes ago, cmoore5524 said:

You will love Luminae - so much better than MDR. 

Last cruise we had pre-pandemic (British Isles-July 2019), we were in Aqua/Blu on Reflection...and my wife said she actually liked the MDR more...It will be interesting to see what she thinks of Luminae...

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1 hour ago, Bruin Steve said:

Last cruise we had pre-pandemic (British Isles-July 2019), we were in Aqua/Blu on Reflection...and my wife said she actually liked the MDR more...It will be interesting to see what she thinks of Luminae...

 

 

Please note, my comments are based on S and M class Luminae experiences, as yet we have not cruised Edge class.

 

I think your wife will be pleasantly surprised by the service level and ambiance in Luminae, we have no criticism regarding either. We have only dined in Blu at breakfast time (pre Luminae days) and always felt it would be so much nicer if there were fewer tables and chairs...We know it needs to have that many tables and chairs or there would be queues but it does take away from the feeling of a fine dining experience. For guests who either enjoy dining at a large table making new acquaintances or prefer to be in a larger ‘space’ the MDR can have advantages.

 

The negative comment I would make re Luminae is that some of us find the menu choices quite restrictive. We are in this group. We have never had a ‘bad’ meal in Luminae but there have been occasions when either one or the other of us have struggled to make choices. This is very subjective, many prefer Luminae to the speciality restaurants. I suggest you look at some of the menu reviews (many have great pictures) and see how well you feel you the options will suit you (and more importantly!) your wife.

 

On M and S class ships the limited menu matters less as you can also order from the full MDR menu. On Edge (and I would think Apex) you simply have the Luminae menu plus a few regular ‘favourites’. With 4 new MDR choices you could simply at breakfast each day look at the evening Luminae menu and if it is (in your opinion) a poorer selection that day ask the M’D to book you into one of the 4 new MDRs...This would give you some insight into if you feel the suite dining experience is giving you value...Certainly on M and S class you can arrange something off menu in Luminae with 24 hours notice, I would think this would be the case on Apex too.

 

Hopefully someone with Edge experience will comment on how easy it is to get off menu items and get a booking in the assorted MDR restaurants...

 

Hope you have a fantastic cruise!

 

 

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The retreat Lounge can be a double-sided sword....

 

Our friends had a Sky Suite on Edge - unfortunately so did a couple with a dog which 24/7 was around with them.

 That did negatively affect most of their moments there and I know for sure that our friends where not the only ones with that feeling.

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12 hours ago, Bruin Steve said:

Okay, now that (despite what some posters keep insisting) we are going to return to cruising, it is time for me to (hopefully) enjoy the planning and anticipation phase.  Our first post-pandemic cruise is now only 112 days away...and, despite having cruised so many times and on Celebrity so many times, this will be a new experience for us.

 

First of all, it will be on the Apex...and we've never been on an "Edge-class" ship before.  Heck, nobody's yet been on the Apex, but I'm sure some of you who have cruised on Edge have a few ideas and thoughts.

 

Second, although we've been in Sky Suites before, it hasn't been for several years...and I know things have changed.  For example, when we last cruised in a Sky Suite, you still ate in the MDR...and there really weren't many extra amenities other than a butler and the stateroom itself.  And, I am sure it will all differ even more with it being the Apex.

 

We've booked #10191...which looks to me to be a good cabin.  It's the forwardmost cabin on the part of the ship that sticks out, meaning the cabin in front of us is recessed a bit.  I am picturing that means a pretty good view forward from the balcony, no?

 

It's right next to the aft elevators.  I usually like that location for the convenience...but, though I have never been bothered by noise before, some talk about this as an issue.  What do you think?  If there is a location negative to this cabin, it might be that all of the Retreat facilities are near the forward elevators...I'm guessing it's not that bad...It's not like we have any mobility issues...

 

Now I understand we can eat all of our meals in Luminae...which I am excited to try...I'm guessing we just show up, no reservations needed like we always make for the MDR?  If we want to eat a meal with friends not in a suite, no problem eating in one of the other restaurants, right?  How about specialty restaurants?  The Celebrity rep that helped us said we get free specialty restaurants, but I seem to remember that only goes for the higher priced suites, not the Sky Suites...which is it?

 

When we've typically cruised in Concierge class, one of the newer benefits is lunch in the MDR, rather than buffet, on embarkation day...Does that go for Sky Suites as well?

 

What is the atmosphere like in the Retreat Lounge and other facilities--quiet?  Stuffy? Is the crowd much older?  Less friendly?  What should we expect?  How about dress code...Can I have pre-dinner drinks in the Retreat Lounge in my cargo shorts and T-shirt...or do I need to dress in long pants like for dinner?

 

The cabin:  

The photos all show a cool looking rocking chair...On one Edge thread I saw someone wrote that was gone...Anyone know--is it there?  I've seen some balcony photos with some very smallish cheap little chairs...are they not lounges?  Seriously?

 

Our booking includes Premium Beverage package, gratuities, Streaming WiFi and a whole lot of OBC...Anything else from it just being a Sky Suite?  Most of our Elite Plus perks become completely moot (save the free laundry).

 

Okay...What else should we expect from the Apex?  From the Sky Suites?  From Sky Suites on the Apex?  Any other surprise benefits?  Thanks...

I can speak about the sister ship the Edge.  First, as long as you cabin is away from the Magic Carpet- the other side of the ship, you made a great choice.  No noise from elevators at all-  Luminae was great- never needed a reservation as we typically dined at 6 PM.  We also enjoyed the sp restaurants, and tried them all- the only one we really didn't enjoy was Eden.  To much gimmick and poor food.   We also were able to dine in the other "regular" restaurants, and really found them suprisingly good.  Much smaller venue then the old ballroom type dining.  The retreat lounge was really nice, very comfortable seating, and wait service for drinks and snacks. I think, that you need to be dressed at light, long pants for men- but not sure- in the day we wore swimsuits and coverups.  

 

Upstairs from the lounge was the retreat deck.  It was the best! Wonderful confortable seating.  A nice albeit small pool, a full bar.  We also had lunch at the nice tables on the deck most days-  Limited menu, but enough for us.  Great service.  The cabins, while might not look huge, had ample storage, and we travel heavy!  They used to waste space with a huge rocking chair that was removed.   The balcony isn't huge and lacks a nice big table- but so much nicer and more comfortable then the infinite balcony cabins.  You will really love the service from your butler even if it is just minor things he/she does for you.

 

Have a great vacation.  

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There are unlisted suite benefits.  Use the concierge in the Retreat for everything.  Or your Butler.  They are members of Guest Services.  Book shore excursions with no waiting in lines.  Resolve issues without ever having to stand in line at Guest Relations (except for cash type transactions).  Get personal appointments to the Spa.  Or just about anything else.  Book dining reservations at Specialty Restaurants if you want to venture out of Luminae on occasion.  The concierge will escort you to the area for tenders (no waiting in line) and at the end of the cruise off the ship on the last day. The Retreat Concierge will even arrange a private appointment with somebody from the Future Cruises area.  I'm sure I'm leaving out a few things.

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15 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

In my view (again, not on the Apex), the Retreat Lounge is not an improvement over Michael's.  No one is serving you, it's all self serve.  Sometimes it's not well staffed and it's difficult to get a drink.  YMMV.

Our experiences were on the Edge.

The Retreat lounge is not quite all self serve. In the afternoon for Tea, and the following “happy hour” before dinner, there are pastries and hors d'oeuvres which are self serve. We actually liked this arrangement because there was no waiting for anyone to serve you. Waitstaff were available and always came around to take our drink orders. There was also a table and small cooler near the entrance to the Retreat where Wine, usually 3 varieties, and Champagne were available 24/7, which was also very convenient.

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3 hours ago, C-Dragons said:

Our experiences were on the Edge.

The Retreat lounge is not quite all self serve. In the afternoon for Tea, and the following “happy hour” before dinner, there are pastries and hors d'oeuvres which are self serve. We actually liked this arrangement because there was no waiting for anyone to serve you. Waitstaff were available and always came around to take our drink orders. There was also a table and small cooler near the entrance to the Retreat where Wine, usually 3 varieties, and Champagne were available 24/7, which was also very convenient.

It may be different on the Edge.  I was on an S class ship.  No service in the Retreat.  A person could have died of thirst waiting to get a drink.

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1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

It may be different on the Edge.  I was on an S class ship.  No service in the Retreat.  A person could have died of thirst waiting to get a drink.

Wow, that's surprising and pretty awful.  I've never had that problem on a X ship before.

Which X ship was it?

 

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1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

It may be different on the Edge.  I was on an S class ship.  No service in the Retreat.  A person could have died of thirst waiting to get a drink.

 

What ship were you on? We have cruised on Equinox post (part) Revolution and service in the Retreat was similar to what we had experienced in Michael’s...

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6 hours ago, C-Dragons said:

Our experiences were on the Edge.

The Retreat lounge is not quite all self serve. In the afternoon for Tea, and the following “happy hour” before dinner, there are pastries and hors d'oeuvres which are self serve. We actually liked this arrangement because there was no waiting for anyone to serve you. Waitstaff were available and always came around to take our drink orders. There was also a table and small cooler near the entrance to the Retreat where Wine, usually 3 varieties, and Champagne were available 24/7, which was also very convenient.

There were two large self serve dispensers with flavored water when we were on the Edge

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Cruise a holic said:

I can speak about the sister ship the Edge.  First, as long as you cabin is away from the Magic Carpet- the other side of the ship, you made a great choice.  

Curious what your objections to the Sky Suites between the Magic Carpet are.     From what I read, the MC only moves a couple times a day, and at times you are unlikely to bein your room.   I understand the orange pillars are there for the two suites on the outer edge, but the balconies are a bit larger, aren't they? 

 

Also, if anyone knows how many suites a butler services, that would be good info.    We travel with a group of 8, and we will have 4 suites next to each other.   Since our schedules are usually all in sync, we'd love to have the same butler service all 4 cabins.   That could make for some fun times.

 

Always curious of both positive and negative views.

Edited by zdad59
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1 minute ago, zdad59 said:

Curious what your objections to the Sky Suites between the Magic Carpet are.     From what I read, the MC only moves a couple times a day, and at times you are unlikely to bein your room.   I understand the orange pillars are there for the two suites on the outer edge, but the balconies are a bit larger, aren't they?     

 

Always curious of both positive and negative views.

We were in a S3 on deck 6 along the Magic Carpet rails.  Balcony was 104SF, also we were in one of the end suites had a window that faced forward we loved it!  Only saw the MC move twice, once when I was just sitting in my room reading, barely heard any noise and the other was when I popped in the room for 45 seconds because I had forgotten something.

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I am glad they have taken, or are taking out the bar stools in Michael’s or the Retreat.   When we were on the Reflection only the folks who lived on the bar stools were able to get drinks.   I wanted a sprite with ice and I had to go to the servers station and then the bartender just handed me a can.   Service was not satisfactory so we went to other bar venues.   

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1 hour ago, KWW88 said:

We were in a S3 on deck 6 along the Magic Carpet rails.  Balcony was 104SF, also we were in one of the end suites had a window that faced forward we loved it!  Only saw the MC move twice, once when I was just sitting in my room reading, barely heard any noise and the other was when I popped in the room for 45 seconds because I had forgotten something.

Thanks.     Our gang has the 4 suites on Apex in between the MC rails on deck 8 for a cruise in April '22.      We researched the rooms a lot being in the line of the MC and couldn't talk ourselves out of booking them.   Got a crazy good  casino rate too.  I have the aft most room, with the additional aft facing window on the balcony.    Glad you had a good experience there.    Gives us even more confidence in our choice.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, zdad59 said:

Thanks.     Our gang has the 4 suites on Apex in between the MC rails on deck 8 for a cruise in April '22.      We researched the rooms a lot being in the line of the MC and couldn't talk ourselves out of booking them.   Got a crazy good  casino rate too.  I have the aft most room, with the additional aft facing window on the balcony.    Glad you had a good experience there.    Gives us even more confidence in our choice.

 

 

Absolutely LOVED the window when I sat out there, and I was out there often.  I truly do not think you will be bothered by the MC, it is very unobtrusive and never stops goes to the top and goes to the bottom.  I am on an April 2022, TA, on Apex, but in a different suite this time.  When are you all cruising?

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1 hour ago, zdad59 said:

Curious what your objections to the Sky Suites between the Magic Carpet are.     From what I read, the MC only moves a couple times a day, and at times you are unlikely to bein your room.   I understand the orange pillars are there for the two suites on the outer edge, but the balconies are a bit larger, aren't they? 

 

Also, if anyone knows how many suites a butler services, that would be good info.    We travel with a group of 8, and we will have 4 suites next to each other.   Since our schedules are usually all in sync, we'd love to have the same butler service all 4 cabins.   That could make for some fun times.

 

Always curious of both positive and negative views.

We were on the opposite side S1 and friends in an s3 said it was noisy and the railings obstructed the view.    

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18 minutes ago, Cruise a holic said:

We were on the opposite side S1 and friends in an s3 said it was noisy and the railings obstructed the view.    

The railing or the wide beams on either end of the balcony?  Either way, there is still roughly 10 feet of wide open view above and below the railing between the beams and the large window on the end is great.  

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Cannot speak about Sky Suites because we stayed in a Celebrity Suite on the Edge.  Reservations are not needed in Luminae.  Because Edge class ships have more suites than M or S class ships, we did see guests waiting to be seated for evening dining during certain times.   While meal service is always excellent in Luminae, we found it to be exceptional on the Edge.  We were in a Celebrity Suite and did not have complimentary dining in Specialty Restaurants.  On embarkation day, we ate lunch in Luminae.  Before sailing on the Edge, we would spend sea days on our balcony, but the Retreat Sundeck is so nice and quiet that we spent sea days there instead.  Enjoyed the bar and meal service on the Retreat Sundeck.  The food menu is limited but adequate.  Did not find the Retreat Lounge stuffy.  The Martini Bar gets busy and crowded in the evenings.  Really enjoyed the Edge and have a future cruise on the Apex booked.  

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, OUBaylor1 said:

Cannot speak about Sky Suites because we stayed in a Celebrity Suite on the Edge.  Reservations are not needed in Luminae.  Because Edge class ships have more suites than M or S class ships, we did see guests waiting to be seated for evening dining during certain times.   While meal service is always excellent in Luminae, we found it to be exceptional on the Edge.  We were in a Celebrity Suite and did not have complimentary dining in Specialty Restaurants.  On embarkation day, we ate lunch in Luminae.  Before sailing on the Edge, we would spend sea days on our balcony, but the Retreat Sundeck is so nice and quiet that we spent sea days there instead.  Enjoyed the bar and meal service on the Retreat Sundeck.  The food menu is limited but adequate.  Did not find the Retreat Lounge stuffy.  The Martini Bar gets busy and crowded in the evenings.  Really enjoyed the Edge and have a future cruise on the Apex booked.  

 

 

 

 

Would you recommend Celebrity Suite?  If so, why, even though I know you can't compare it to a Sky Suite, was the balcony adequate?  We have an S1 booked for a TA in April 2022, but a few CS are still available and we are seriously considering the upgrade.  Agree Retreat and Retreat Lounge are fantastic, love the outdoor seating areas in both are fantastic. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, zdad59 said:

 

Also, if anyone knows how many suites a butler services, that would be good info.    We travel with a group of 8, and we will have 4 suites next to each other.   Since our schedules are usually all in sync, we'd love to have the same butler service all 4 cabins.   That could make for some fun times.

The number of suites a Butler services varies. Since your group are all next to each other within the MC, you should all have the same Butler.

Edited by C-Dragons
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4 hours ago, KWW88 said:

There were two large self serve dispensers with flavored water when we were on the Edge

True. But we only drink bottled water on board, which is also available.

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