It’s almost 7 p.m. in St. Maarten, and during my first three hours onboard Celebrity Millennium, the atmosphere has been one of sheer jubilation. Crew have enthusiastically welcomed back passengers, and every cruiser seems to be in genuine awe of the fact that they’re onboard again for the first time in more than a year.
With that out of the way, I assumed it would be smooth sailing (pun totally intended), and it was. Almost. Another unexpected snag came when St. Maarten rejected my Electronic Health Authorization System application, which is required for entry into the country. After reapplying with clarified test results — I was told the screenshot I submitted the first time didn’t list the type of test I took — I was approved in less than an hour.
From there on out, my experience was fairly painless, with minimum waiting at the airport and even less waiting at the cruise terminal.
I arrived during my half-hour boarding window, which I chose via the Celebrity app during check-in. After sanitizing my hands, I was directed to a health screening area with numbered sections and plenty of seating.