Cruising is making a comeback, albeit slow, as cruise lines hobbled by last year’s chaotic shutdowns are once again pulling up anchor and testing the waters.
The sailing also represents the first time Celebrity Cruises has homeported in St. Maarten, a vibrant and popular Caribbean island, where the cruise line now begins sailing Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries through August.
“Today, we sail, again! This is such a significant moment for our company, our industry and the Caribbean. That this day has finally arrived for our guests and our crew is truly special – beyond words, really,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises.
“Once onboard, guests will discover reimagined accommodation, spa and entertainment offerings, along with considered and thoughtful health and safety measures,” said Celebrity Cruises Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Brian Abel. “The end result of all that we have implemented will make cruises one of the safest ways to explore the world, while enjoying a wonderful and uncompromised vacation experience.”
Healthy at Sea
Celebrity Millennium sails with enhanced health and safety standards that are the culmination of more than a year of diligent work with public health authorities, government agencies and its Healthy Sail Panel of scientific, medical and public health leaders.
In addition to launching its phased restart with reduced capacity to allow for more natural spacing, Celebrity has leveraged technology to create new arrival, departure and muster safety drill procedures; and updated onboard and shoreside experiences to reflect new standard health and safety practices; all with the well-being of guests, crew and the communities visited by Celebrity ships at the forefront of the planning process.
Some of the new sailing measures include:
- Vaccinated Sailings – Celebrity will sail in the Caribbean with a vaccinated crew and at least 95 percent vaccinated guests.
- Staggered Arrivals and Departures – Terminal arrivals and departures will be staggered by appointment, with guests having the ability to select their preferred times based on travel plans.
- Contactless Transactions – Celebrity’s digitally advanced mobile app* transforms the decades-old large-group-gathering Muster safety drill into a personal “eMuster” experience that guests can complete on their mobile device or interactive stateroom TV, avoiding large group gatherings. The app also expedites the boarding process; and allows guests to read menus and book dining reservations and shore excursions via their smartphone.
- Appropriate Face Coverings – During the Terminal check-in and check-out process, all guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear an appropriate face covering. Once onboard, and unless otherwise stipulated by local governments, masks will not be required in accordance with recent CDC guidance for sailings with vaccinated crew and guests.
Celebrity’s new measures may evolve in keeping with current public health standards and may vary in accordance with local guidance in the destinations visited.
Cruise with Confidence
Providing travel flexibility, Celebrity’s Cruise with Confidence policy allows guests who have booked by July 31, 2021 to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure on sailings through Sept. 30, 2022 and receive a 100% credit for a future cruise.
Celebrity Millennium guests are also the first to experience Celebrity’s new “Always Included” approach where Wi-Fi, drinks and gratuities are always included in the cruise fare.
Celebrity Cruises has announced plans to sail eight of the 14 ships in its fleet as part of its phased restart. Celebrity Millennium will soon be joined by: Celebrity Apex – sailing the Aegean beginning June 19; Celebrity Edge – sailing the Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale, FL on June 26; Celebrity Silhouette – sailing the UK coastline as of July 3; Celebrity Flora – returning to the extraordinary Galapagos islands as of July3, followed by Celebrity Xpedition and intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration on July 24, and September 18, respectively; and sailings to Alaska from Seattle begin July 23.