We now know what will be the second cruise ship that will restart operations in the United States from Celebrity Cruises.
The Celebrity Equinox will begin sailing from Fort Lauderdale on July 25, with itineraries that visit Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Nassau, Bahamas.
According to the cruise line, Equinox has been approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to sail.
Celebrity Cruises does not need to operate test cruises because they will mandate at least 95% of its cruise passengers will be fully vaccinated, which means the CDC fast-tracks the ship to restart sooner.
Celebrity made headlines when they announced Celebrity Edge would be the first major cruise ship to sail from the United States at the end of June.
Edge will sail beginning on June 26 on 7-night cruises.
Celebrity Equinox joins eight ships in the Celebrity fleet that have been announced as part of its phased summer restart, including:
- Celebrity Millennium, which began sailing seven-night Caribbean itineraries from St. Maarten on June 5; and will reposition to Seattle to sail seven-night Alaska Dawes Glacier cruises beginning July 23. Celebrity Summit will then sail the remaining St. Maarten season through August, followed by plans to sail a new series of four- and five-night sailings from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean through late October.
- Celebrity Apex – sailing seven-night Greek Isles itineraries from June 19;
- Celebrity Edge – sailing a rotating schedule of Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, beginning June 26;
- Celebrity Silhouette – sailing the UK coastline as of July 3;
- Celebrity Flora – returning to the extraordinary Galapagos islands as of July 3, followed by the award-winning Celebrity Xpedition and intimate 16-passenger Celebrity Xploration on July 24, and September 18, respectively.
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo shared her thoughts about the new restart plans, "It is so exciting to announce yet another ship on the heels of Celebrity Millennium leading the industry’s Caribbean comeback to rave reviews just this past Saturday. From the outpouring of comments and emotion from our guests and crew on that sailing, it’s clear that people are ready to cruise back to normal."
"We’ve all been waiting for the day we could get away, again, to the places we’ve been dreaming of and that ‘someday’ is here."
Guests sailing on a Celebrity ship restarting operations this summer can expect a myriad of health protocols:
- 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 – All guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear an appropriate face covering in the Terminal. Once onboard, and unless otherwise stipulated by local governments in the destinations being visited, masks will not be required of vaccinated guests in accordance with CDC guidance for sailings with vaccinated crew and guests.
All Celebrity ships will sail with a vaccinated crew. U.S. guests ages 16 and older must be fully vaccinated and, as of August 1, 2021, all U.S. guests ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated.