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Cruising is Back and We're So Excited

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

Review our experience of the first cruise out of a U.S. port since COVID-19 shut down the industry

Photo album with Celebrity Edge and Someday is Here text on the cover to commemorate the first sailing since COVID
Commemorative gift from Celebrity to celebrate the first sailing since the pandemic shut down the cruise industry

How It Started

We absolutely love cruising and really missed traveling during the 2020 pandemic shutdown. As soon as we heard cruising had the greenlight to resume sailing from U.S. ports again, we quickly secured our room onboard the historic sailing of the Celebrity Edge in June 2021. This was the first cruise back, so we had no idea what to expect, but the cruise exceeded our expectations and will forever be remembered as one of our favorite vacations.

We arrived at Port Everglades a few minutes ahead of our time window for boarding and waited in a short line behind several media teams and excited guests before meeting with the port staff member. Before we could go up the elevator and into the secured area of the port building, we had to show our proof of vaccination cards along with the standard boarding and travel ID documents. After adding our vaccination information into our profiles and double-checking our information, our mobile boarding passes were scanned in the Celebrity app, and we could proceed through security. Checking in was quick and easy.

people waiting to check in at the cruise terminal
Checking in at the cruise terminal in Port Everglades

We were met with celebratory cheers and fanfare as we stepped foot above the ship. As soon as we entered the ship, we were greeted with champagne and so many smiling eyes. The crew was masked, but it was easy to see the excitement anyway. They were thrilled to be back at work after spending weeks in quarantine awaiting clearance to go back to work.

The room was ready when we arrived, so we stopped by the room to grab our SeaPass cards and drop off our carry-on backpacks. In the room we found branded Celebrity facemasks and hand sanitizer to use while in port as face masks weren't required to be worn by vaccinated guests onboard. After dropping off our stuff, we headed to our muster station to check-in. We absolutely love the new muster process. No more sitting in a theater or standing outside in the heat waiting for instructions. Now, guests complete a set of steps on their mobile app and then proceed to their muster station to pass the drill. So quick and easy!

balcony stateroom on the Celebrity Edge
Our balcony stateroom on the Celebrity Edge

Our next stop was lunch at Oceanview Cafe. Upon entering, we were required to wash our hands at one of the many sinks. Instead of a self-serve buffet, guests were served directly by crew members to avoid having hundreds of people touch the utensils. There were beautiful cakes to celebrate the welcome back voyage and so many special food treats along the journey as well from ceviche to churro stations.

strawberry frazier layer cake with welcome back sign
Welcome Back cake in Oceanview Cafe

We spent the afternoon up by the pool deck enjoying drinks and soaking in the sunshine. There was also a ton of activity up there since most major national media networks were onboard along with hundreds of travel agents, and the executive team from Royal Caribbean. There was a ton of excitement in the air all cruise and so many large cameras for us to avoid as well since we didn't care to be featured in a national news story. We did end up with one photo in the Washington Post, but otherwise we avoided the media.

Richard Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, being interviewed by the media
Richard Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruisis, Ltd. being interviewed

Sailing out of Port Everglades was an incredibly joyful experience where people cheered from the dock, played musical instruments from their condo balconies, and waved flags as we left port. Even the boats and ships got in on the action. Cruising was back and everyone was excited!

Tug boat spraying water
Tug boat and pilot celebrated as we left port

We met our stateroom attendant later that day and he told us about their updated safety protocols. For this sailing, we had to let him know when we wanted our room clean so that way he could maintain distance and perform his cleaning duties safely. He couldn't enter the room for several minutes after we left for an added level of protection.

Cruise Highlights:

Our favorite part of this cruise was the feeling of pure excitement, joy, and thankfulness everywhere we went. Everyone was thrilled to be back cruising. The crew was happy to be back at work again and the guests were in such a jubilant mood all cruise. It was such a light and enjoyable atmosphere. Everyone there was a part of something magical.

To celebrate the first sailing since COVID, guests received daily room surprises twice daily. In the afternoon, special treats would be delivered to the room like chocolate-covered strawberries or mini cupcakes. In the evening, we'd receive a commemorative gift such as a photo booklet, bag, and stemless wine glass. The surprises were such a special treat.

What really made this cruise so special and memorable was the crew. They were all so incredible. We loved cruising with them so much that we booked a second Edge cruise in August to spend time with them again. Special shout-outs to Captain Kate, DJ Drag@n, Cruise Director Lauren, Brittany from Canada, Marc, Lais, Crystal, Darren, Bennett, DJ Pyro, Mambo 4, Nu Image, flair bartenders at the Martini Bar, and all the talented sommeliers.

Everything about the cruise was amazing from the food to the service to the entertainment. It was truly a vacation to remember.

Happy to be back cruising!

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