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Live from Apex - 6/19


Kreative03
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15 hours ago, little britain said:

Thank you! I can see Prosecco, some PG and a french rose…. I’m happy!  Sadly can’t see an Aperol Spritz… perhaps some kind person could enquire at a bar as to the cost 💲..!?!

On our last sailing, in most bars an Aperol Spritz was above the classic package by a dollar I think. 

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3 hours ago, little britain said:

Nooooooooooooo 😢😭😤😱😪😪!!!!

 

Just in case you didn’t know, you can just pay the difference for any drinks above the Classic package limit. So you can have an Aperol Spritz for $1 😃🍹.

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20 minutes ago, Eloise4Ever said:

 

Just in case you didn’t know, you can just pay the difference for any drinks above the Classic package limit. So you can have an Aperol Spritz for $1 😃🍹.

Yes I know, but it is the principle as it is usually included!!!  Isn't it $1 + 20%?!?!   I'll have to increase my holiday budget LOL! 

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19 hours ago, excited balcony said:

Week booked the catamaran through Celebrity for the July 9th sailing.  A couple of days ago we received and email saying the snorkeling and kayaking will no longer be offered and that is will simply be a sail and swim adventure.  Would you recommend the excursion even without the snorkeling?

It would depend entirely on what you enjoy doing. The boat ride and views were pleasant enough for me, but I probably would’ve walked around town or done another excursion if I had my heart set on using a snorkel. It was a nice excursion but nothing special.

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21 hours ago, little britain said:

I missed that? Did you have to do a test mid cruise? Was it the nose one?

All pax are required to take an antigen test on the last day to re-enter Greece. This is a new cruise requirement. It coincides with the requirement for return to home country, and can be scheduled via the TrustOne website or onboard with a help desk. It was quick and painless (unlike the one I had on land prior to boarding). At around 11am they announced for folks to come down without an appointment and by 6:30pm or so they had completed the whole ship. Crew were tested the day prior. You do need a test even if you aren’t traveling onwards immediately as it was for clearing the ships return to Athens.

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9 hours ago, Mike45LC said:

Great name.  Our first walk through this hallway, there was some creepy guy lurking behind one of the tree trunks, and I told my wife he was a vampire lurking in wait.

The hallway on Apex is slightly different - silver squiggles (almost mirrored) with white sparkly rock sculptures. Definitely a different vibe. Hopefully @PTCruizercan grab you a picture - I can’t believe I don’t have one with how much time I spent in there with my daughter. 

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On 6/23/2021 at 2:31 PM, TowandaUK said:

Thanks so much to all those on Apex who are taking time out to post here - much appreciated.😀   We are on Apex in September. 
Are they doing the chefs table on your cruise?  If so how/where do you book and what is the cost?

Many thanks. 

There was no chefs table or dinner on the Edge (magic carpet) on the first sailing that we saw. They are doing the chefs table on millennium/summit right now I believe.

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On 6/22/2021 at 11:54 PM, 4104ever said:

We are sailing Sept 18th.  Curious as to what terminal # Apex sailed from.  We are thinking of taking the bus from the airport and wondering how far our walk would be to terminal.  Thank you

We docked and embarked from Terminal B. 

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1 hour ago, little britain said:

Yes I know, but it is the principle as it is usually included!!!  Isn't it $1 + 20%?!?!   I'll have to increase my holiday budget LOL! 

I need clarification on the drink package extra charges. We also have the classic. Question: No matter what we order is there an automatic 20% charge - like even for a diet coke in the Oceanview Cafe?

When I look at the restaurant lists there's only one wine for $9 except at the coffee shop which has a few. Anyone have suggestions on what alcoholic drinks to order within the classic price range? I like rum & coke, margaritas, fruity type drinks. Husband doesn't drink, so don't want to upgrade to premium.

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We will have a port day in Athens. We stayed in Athens before.  We might just get off the ship and walk the dock.

 

 Last time, I was not looking around the dock area before getting on the ship.  Is there anything at the dock - Duty Free?

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6 hours ago, PTCruizer said:

Getting ready to head to the port! Just a quick picture of the Parthenon from our hotel rooftop bar. 

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Have a great week!  Looking forward to week #2 observations and experiences.  We still have to wait 14 weeks.

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15 minutes ago, kjb1466 said:

I need clarification on the drink package extra charges. We also have the classic. Question: No matter what we order is there an automatic 20% charge - like even for a diet coke in the Oceanview Cafe?

When I look at the restaurant lists there's only one wine for $9 except at the coffee shop which has a few. Anyone have suggestions on what alcoholic drinks to order within the classic price range? I like rum & coke, margaritas, fruity type drinks. Husband doesn't drink, so don't want to upgrade to premium.

The Classic package cover drinks  & wine up to $9, Premium limit is $15.

You  an get rum & coke,  margaritas, mud slides, Pina coladas on both packages the difference is the brand of liquor used to make the drink. The info below is from pre pandemic but it is still pretty accurate.  I think when ou get on board you will find that the dining rooms/restaurants have more than 1 wine within the $9 limit. Note: on the chart below the first 1st column is the included liquors for the Classic  package, 2nd is the Premium.

 

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Can anyone comment about the availability of taxis at the airport or port?  If they are available, are the prices reasonable or elevated?  My travel partner is concerned we will arrive at airport to no taxis, so wants to schedule a car service for 20EU more than what my google search for airport to city center taxi normally costs. 

 

Very happy to read about how this first cruise has gone this last week.  I'm very excited to get onboard next month. 

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39 minutes ago, kjb1466 said:

I need clarification on the drink package extra charges. We also have the classic. Question: No matter what we order is there an automatic 20% charge - like even for a diet coke in the Oceanview Cafe?

When I look at the restaurant lists there's only one wine for $9 except at the coffee shop which has a few. Anyone have suggestions on what alcoholic drinks to order within the classic price range? I like rum & coke, margaritas, fruity type drinks. Husband doesn't drink, so don't want to upgrade to premium.

It's my understanding if you go outside your package limit you pay the difference + 20%.  Within the package you don't pay anything.

 

I can see many wines under the $9 limit via the app - which is why we will not bother upgrading.  If you look at the restaurant menus for the included restaurants (like Cosmopolitan) and scroll down you will see the wines listed under each package limit - 3 sparkling, 7 red and 7 white/rose.

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@kjb1466 - you only need to pay the 20% extra gratuity if you go OVER the limit. Best example I can use is my mum likes Baileys - it used to be $1 extra (so $10) - so she (well me as I paid the whole bill!) would be charged $1.20 each time. I like the more expensive wines so I always upgrade my package but it wasn’t worth it for my mum. 
hope that helps.

Wendy

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56 minutes ago, kjb1466 said:

 

When I look at the restaurant lists there's only one wine for $9 except at the coffee shop which has a few. Anyone have suggestions on what alcoholic drinks to order within the classic price range? I like rum & coke, margaritas, fruity type drinks. Husband doesn't drink, so don't want to upgrade to premium.

Your gratuity is paid; you only pay it on an overage drink.

Just you  can upgrade to premium--your husband doesn't have to. 
I've already upgraded mine for our July 24 Edge cruise.

I am a little picky about my wines, so it's worth the $10/day to me.

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We are afternoon napping in Athens so I will try to wrap this up and allow others to also make observations.

 

Internet - the speeds were absolutely abysmal no matter what we did. It didn’t feel slow, and the streaming services worked fine (Netflix, Disney plus, YouTube, hbomax), but the Speedtest barely showed 3mb. I had thought about booking an extra week before the end of the year once my daughter turns 3 and can do kids club so I can work and cruise, but that’s not happening if this speed issue continues.

 

Service - despite the crew to pax ratio, service was a bit lacking overall. Some areas were over staffed, others woefully under. Some consistent problems and other intermittent. I know this is a part of a larger restart problem but the crew is constantly being tweaked and hopefully it will even out (e.g. you can’t anticipate where folks will randomly gather in larger crowds when you only have 700 guests). We were disappointed by some of the experiences that we had come to expect from the Retreat team, but others made up for it in certain areas. Would’ve preferred a more consistent service approach.

 

Food/beverage - some of my family said this was the worst f&b experience they’ve had since we started cruising Celebrity. It wasn’t their best showing. Ocean view cafe was miserable at most options. Breakfast was fair to ok (omelettes were poor, eggs Benedict were long premade and limited, pastries were minimized  and not a donut to be found onboard - and where were the amazing croissants and fresh pastries/breads/cookies from Edge?! The oven sat unused) lunch was sad most days (no pasta station, same set of asian foods were on repeat, deserts seemed recycled, pizza lacked oomph and sauce,) minus the last day Greek feast. Even Mast Grill burgers weren’t cutting it  for me. We ate 5 dinners in Luminae, 1 at Fine Cut, and 1 at Eden. The food at fine cut was the best. My family is now officially over the Luminae menu to the point that I don’t think we will eat there in 3 weeks on Summit. On the second to last night about 5 of us ordered the beet risotto which was so undercooked we all sent it back (with explanation). The teens and adults were looking for high end service and foods, not necessarily things that they have to google to figure out what it is. The MDR does a better job of allowing those with different palates a way to explore new items with a twist; the current Luminae doesn’t allow that as easily.

 

happy to give our opinions on anything else or follow up on any questions I didn’t quite get to. And thanks to the next voyagers for answering the rest of the queries live!

 

I’ll leave you all with a smattering of requested photos taken onboard. I didn’t take as many as I hoped since I was usually carrying 30lbs of deadweight instead of a phone😂🤷‍♀️
 

 

 

 

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Edited by Kreative03
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Eden dining photos - including the menu. I missed getting the rest of the deserts (yes we had them all) and my gnocchi starter.

 

Food and concept are different than Edge. No welcome drink, no interactive performances (or at all when we were there) and no set menu. They brought us plates to share as well as our choices of appetizers and mains. Also was the only place onboard utilizing real menus for all guests (available upon request only elsewhere), but they didn’t for the beverages.

 

Didn’t love the food but the experience overall was vastly improved for me and I hope they continue to evolve it so it works and makes sense. Right now it’s not quite there yet.

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5 minutes ago, Kreative03 said:

Service - ... We were disappointed by some of the experiences that we had come to expect from the Retreat team, but others made up for it in certain areas. Would’ve preferred a more consistent service approach.

 

Do you think that the relative poor service of the Retreat team was due to regular "A" team members not being available as a result of the pandemic?  

 

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Kreative03- thanks for your final thoughts on the food and service.  Hopefully after a couple of cruises the APEX will come to more of a rhythm and be OK.  Most new ships have a few trial short cruises under the belt before they start sailing with passengers for full itineraries.  Not so for APEX with its new crew and procedures.  Hoping it will become a lot better!

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Fine Cut Photos -

apparently I eat and photograph a lot of fish! This crab cake was the best thing I ate all week. Also pictures is the lobster entree,  the king Caesar salad, and the brownie without ice cream.

 

everyone else had steak and enjoyed it. My niece has become obsessed with Celebrity’s bordelaise sauce and ate it several times including at fine cut. Most of our party had the filet, but one had the bone in tomahawk solo and enjoyed it.
 

Best side for us were the tater tots - worst was the macaroni.

 

The sundae was huge and I wish I had a photo to share with you all! 

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35 minutes ago, little britain said:

It's my understanding if you go outside your package limit you pay the difference + 20%.  Within the package you don't pay anything.

 

I can see many wines under the $9 limit via the app - which is why we will not bother upgrading.  If you look at the restaurant menus for the included restaurants (like Cosmopolitan) and scroll down you will see the wines listed under each package limit - 3 sparkling, 7 red and 7 white/rose.

Thank you!  After reading your comment, my husband just showed me the additional wine lists for the restaurants. Whew, I feel better! Lol

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3 minutes ago, CalTexCruiser said:

 

Do you think that the relative poor service of the Retreat team was due to regular "A" team members not being available as a result of the pandemic?  

 

Yes and no. I’m not blaming any one element but new ships are an absolute draw and crew dream of being selected for this team. They aren’t fully crewed yet and I’m guessing they sent the first full quality crew to millennium given it was to be the maiden voyage of the return to seas. I would have liked to see better coordination between the team for service. By day 3 we skipped the lounge for pre-dinner drinks altogether.

 

Our last retreat host pre-pandemic from Equinox was onboard and he had been great (gave my daughter a stuffed bear that she literally talks to daily) so there are clearly some high functioning members onboard. They are working on the basics before they can go beyond and that i think unfortunately shows. It’s really the little things that count - surprise and delight - that make having a retreat host a thing and not just an accessory to your room steward. My host this time was pleasant but he did exactly one thing without being requested. My least favorite was when he called the room to tell me that the DND sign had fallen off and he had put it back up. Way to go….my child *had* been napping 🤯.

 

We had a server once (not retreat) who said she had only been 3 months into her first contract on Edge before pandemic and then she got shifted to Apex. There are a lot of former Edge and Equinox staff onboard. 

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24 minutes ago, Kreative03 said:

We are afternoon napping in Athens so I will try to wrap this up and allow others to also make observations.

 

Internet - the speeds were absolutely abysmal no matter what we did. It didn’t feel slow, and the streaming services worked fine (Netflix, Disney plus, YouTube, hbomax), but the Speedtest barely showed 3mb. I had thought about booking an extra week before the end of the year once my daughter turns 3 and can do kids club so I can work and cruise, but that’s not happening if this speed issue continues.

 

Service - despite the crew to pax ratio, service was a bit lacking overall. Some areas were over staffed, others woefully under. Some consistent problems and other intermittent. I know this is a part of a larger restart problem but the crew is constantly being tweaked and hopefully it will even out (e.g. you can’t anticipate where folks will randomly gather in larger crowds when you only have 700 guests). We were disappointed by some of the experiences that we had come to expect from the Retreat team, but others made up for it in certain areas. Would’ve preferred a more consistent service approach.

 

Food/beverage - some of my family said this was the worst f&b experience they’ve had since we started cruising Celebrity. It wasn’t their best showing. Ocean view cafe was miserable at most options. Breakfast was fair to ok (omelettes were poor, eggs Benedict were long premade and limited, pastries were minimized  and not a donut to be found onboard - and where were the amazing croissants and fresh pastries/breads/cookies from Edge?! The oven sat unused) lunch was sad most days (no pasta station, same set of asian foods were on repeat, deserts seemed recycled, pizza lacked oomph and sauce,) minus the last day Greek feast. Even Mast Grill burgers weren’t cutting it  for me. We ate 5 dinners in Luminae, 1 at Fine Cut, and 1 at Eden. The food at fine cut was the best. My family is now officially over the Luminae menu to the point that I don’t think we will eat there in 3 weeks on Summit. On the second to last night about 5 of us ordered the beet risotto which was so undercooked we all sent it back (with explanation). The teens and adults were looking for high end service and foods, not necessarily things that they have to google to figure out what it is. The MDR does a better job of allowing those with different palates a way to explore new items with a twist; the current Luminae doesn’t allow that as easily.

 

happy to give our opinions on anything else or follow up on any questions I didn’t quite get to. And thanks to the next voyagers for answering the rest of the queries live!

 

I’ll leave you all with a smattering of requested photos taken onboard. I didn’t take as many as I hoped since I was usually carrying 30lbs of deadweight instead of a phone😂🤷‍♀️
 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Kreative03 said:

My family is now officially over the Luminae menu to the point that I don’t think we will eat there in 3 weeks on Summit.

What week are you specifically on the Summit?  We are on the 7/17 sailing and if on the same, would love to say hello!

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