With celebration and fanfare, Celebrity Cruises’ much-anticipated return to cruising became a reality on June 5, 2021, as the new-luxury Celebrity Millennium set sail from the picturesque Caribbean port of Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Both a first for the industry in North America and the first of Celebrity’s fleet to return to sailing, Celebrity Millennium embarked on a seven-night itinerary visiting the treasured islands of Aruba, Barbados and Curacao, thrilling guests who have waited 15 months to experience the wonders of the world by sea.
The sailing also represents the first time Celebrity Cruises has homeported in St. Maarten, one of the most beautiful and vibrant Caribbean islands, 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. “I am so happy to have our crew back onboard doing what they love and providing amazing vacations and service to our guests. I also am extremely grateful to the leadership of the St. Maarten government for their vision and support to make this moment happen. What an honor to now be the first to enthusiastically say, once again – ‘Welcome Aboard!'”
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome our guests back to relax and start enjoying the travel experiences they’ve been craving all this time. Once onboard, they 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.”
Celebrity Millennium Captain Theodoros Zakkas added, “For the past several months, I had the privilege of maintaining this beautiful ship with a small 75-person crew. Today, with a full crew who were all smiles as we welcomed our guests onboard once again, has been very emotional for me. It has been a beautiful and historic homecoming, one that everyone involved – guests and crew – will never forget.”
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.
With the new measures, guests return to experiencing all of the distinctive touches they have come to love and expect from a Celebrity cruise: industry-leading ship design with impeccably stylish accommodations and remarkable outdoor spaces; unparalleled culinary experiences in captivating environments; impeccable hospitality elevating personal, friendly service to an art form; and a penchant for wellbeing woven into every aspect of the onboard experience.
As guests and crew work together to promote onboard health and safety, some of the new measures include:
- Vaccinated Sailings – Celebrity will sail in the Caribbean with a vaccinated crew and at least 95% 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. Guests are encouraged to regularly check the guidance on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience at CelebrityCruises.com/healthy-at-sea. For more information visit CelebrityCruises.com/2021-2022-cruises.