Today Celebrity Cruises announced that starting in June they'll be offering seven night Caribbean cruises from St Maarten. Sister company Royal Caribbean also announced they'll be sailing from Nassau - the first resumption of Caribbean cruising by big cruise lines, a major step forward for the industry, and a fantastic opportunity for guests to enjoy what are truly wonderful itineraries.
Confession time: I'm so excited typing this I'm not even sure what to say, so let's start with the basics for Celebrity's sailings - which we'll almost certainly be hopping on.
The Ship: Celebrity Millennium
Celebrity Millennium is a Millennium class ship, and carrying around 2,100 passengers, this is the smallest class of ship from Celebrity (except for their Galapagos fleet). She recently underwent a stem-to-stern refurbishment as part of the Celebrity Revolution program, an effort that we've found is bringing a fresh, modern, and practical take to the entire fleet. We've sailed several ships in this class and appreciate the easily navigable layout, views of the ocean, and "just right" size.
When: June 2021
The first Millennium sailing out of St Maarten will depart on June 5th 2021.
Aside from finally getting to cruise safely, this may be our favorite part. There are two itineraries being offered, both to the Southern Caribbean (given they depart from St Maarten), and all three include some of our favorite spots in the Caribbean. We've often praised the Southern Caribbean as having beauty, architecture, and culture that is distinct from other parts of the Caribbean, and now these spots can be enjoyed without the 9+ nights sailings that are often required when sailing from South Florida. St Maatren is, in and of itself, a great place to visit, so if travel restrictions allow, this could be a beautiful place to extend your trip, and practice your French, your Dutch, or just work on your tan.
Aruba, Curacao, and Barbados
- Tortola, St Lucia, and Barbados
How to Cruise and Book
All guests 18+ must be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to sail (and all crew will be vaccinated as well). 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 (to the side or at the bottom), or click here 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 (and trust me, these folks are as excited about cruising as you are), but you'll be put in the queue to get official quotes as soon as Celebrity makes them available.
Back in November of 2020 Celebrity announced their new fare structure and "Always Included" rates. This means that your cruise fare includes alcoholic beverages, WiFi, tips, and more. According to Celebrity's press release (below), rates for these sailings will start at just $1999 for a verandah stateroom, which includes everything we just mentioned, plus of course entertainment, dining, and more.
AND WE'RE BACK! You’ve been dreaming of getting away. We’ve been dreaming of getting you there. And on June 5, our dreams come true! New sailings from St. Maarten on the revolutionized #CelebrityMillennium! Discover what #WonderAwaits you in the Caribbean: https://t.co/LznHqOuAU0 pic.twitter.com/I4RsxnraWv— Celebrity Cruises (@CelebrityCruise) March 19, 2021
Royal Caribbean Also Resuming!
Shortly after Celebrity announced their St Maarten sailings, sister line Royal Caribbean announced that Adventure of the Seas will start sailing from Nassau, Bahamas in June. The overall requirements for sailing will be the same as those noted above for Celebrity, but additional information is still coming in. You can read more on this over at RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com. Not sure which cruise to take in June? Both? Our travel partners can help sort it out and make the new rules for cruising clear and easy to navigate.
MIAMI (March 19, 2021) – Celebrity Cruises announced its long-anticipated return to cruising today, as company President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo confirmed that the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, the ship at the forefront of the fleet’s $500 million modernization program and featuring the exclusive open-air hideaway The Retreat®, will homeport in the tropical paradise of St. Maarten beginning June 5.
Beginning March 25, eager travelers can turn their vacation dreams into a dream vacation when booking opens for new seven-night itineraries departing through August to some of the best-loved Caribbean island destinations. The ship will sail with vaccinated crew and will be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative test result within 72 hours of embarkation.
Guests can take advantage of special air and sea pricing offering exceptional savings on all Summer 2021 St. Maarten sailings starting at $1,999* per person for a veranda stateroom. The offer applies to new bookings and flights must be booked through Flights By Celebrity and prices include airfare and taxes. No promotional code is needed.
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said, “Returning to the Caribbean after more than a year away is such a significant moment for us. It marks the measured beginning of the end of what has been a uniquely challenging time for everyone. We have been in constant contact with the leadership of St. Maarten these past months to support each other and share learnings and best practices. That we’re able to offer people the opportunity to safely vacation onboard the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, is incredible, and that we will sail from the magical island of St. Maarten is very special. I am forever grateful for the support and collaboration of the St. Maarten Government.”
“Having a major cruise line such as Royal Caribbean Group’s Celebrity Cruises homeport here is a significant economic milestone for St. Maarten. It’s an historic agreement, the fruit of continuous dialogue and a testament to the strength of our longstanding relationship,” Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever declared. “Celebrity Cruises homeporting here will help rejuvenate our economy and drive opportunities for our people. I would like to thank the management team at the Royal Caribbean Group for their commitment to St. Maarten and their confidence in the Ministry of TEATT as a reliable and responsible partner. I look forward to the successful re-launch of their Caribbean cruising,” Minister de Weever concluded.
Cruising the Caribbean: Experience Highlights
Celebrity’s new summer season of Caribbean cruises provides a week of indulgence on a luxury cruise ship with world-class dining experiences, thrilling shows and dreamy, stylish staterooms all while basking in the sun, culture and history of some of the most beautiful islands on the planet. Two different itinerary offerings include:
- Aruba, Curaçao and Barbados - This trifecta of spectacular islands offers plenty of wonder from Aruba’s natural rock pools, caves and volcanic lava formations; to the colorful Dutch-colonial-style buildings and the Willemstad City Center UNESCO World Heritage Site in Curaçao; to snorkeling and catamaran sailings in the cool blue waters of Barbados.
- Tortola, St. Lucia and Barbados – In addition to the many water adventure offerings in Barbados, this itinerary adds in St. Lucia’s lush green landscape and relaxing Sugar Beach; along with one of the British Virgin Islands’ treasures, Tortola, with its mountainous landscape and beautiful sandy coves that are enough to make any beach lover swoon.
With cruise vacations beginning and ending in St. Maarten, guests have plenty of time to experience this island’s fusion of Dutch, French and Caribbean culinary classics, stunning beaches and renowned snorkeling and diving options.
Celebrity will offer a range of curated tours for all interests and price points at every port of call. Private Journeys and Small Group Discovery Tours will also be available for those guests preferring to explore the destinations with only members of their family or traveling companions.
The Celebrity Revolution
From bow to stern, Celebrity Millennium has undergone one of the largest re-imaginings in history to ensure an unparalleled new luxury experience for guests. The ship now boasts brand new staterooms, freshly appointed restaurants and lounges; and a redesigned spa offering guests unparalleled ways to relax and recharge. At the all-exclusive The Retreat, guests enjoy a private sundeck and redesigned lounge offering complimentary beverages, gourmet bites, live entertainment, and around-the-clock butler and concierge service.
Some of the additional onboard enhancements include:
- Completely redesigned, contemporary staterooms and suites inspired by award-winning British interior designer Kelly Hoppen’s designs for Celebrity Edge and featuring Celebrity’s eXhale bedding with its luxurious Cashmere™ mattresses;
- Stunningly reimagined restaurants, bars, and lounges where guests can enjoy unparalleled culinary experiences in captivating environments;
- New boutiques featuring the hottest designer names;
- Celebrity’s Advanced RFID lock technology with digital key access to every stateroom door.
Healthy at Sea
The company’s first priority is the health and safety of guests, crew, and the people in the places that its ships visit.
Celebrity Millennium will sail with comprehensive, multilayered health and safety measures developed with expert guidance from parent company Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Sail Panel and Global Head of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer; and local health and government authorities. These measures, including vaccination requirements, will evolve in keeping with current public health standards. Details on all health and safety measures across the entire Celebrity Cruises vacation experience can be found at https://www.celebritycruises.com/healthy-at-sea. In addition, guests must meet St. Maarten’s travel requirements, which currently include presenting a negative PCR test taken within 72-hours of arrival to the island.
Simplifying the luxury vacation experience, Wi-Fi, drinks and tips are now ‘Always IncludedSM’ on every Celebrity cruise. And, Celebrity’s “Cruise with Confidence” program provides flexible cancellations and best price guarantees.