Set Sail on the Edge, Celebrity Cruises' Newest Ship
Will Cruising Ever be the Same?
Celebrity Cruises consistently tops popularity charts with its emphasis on “modern luxury.” Its fleet of large vessels deliver a cruise experience filled with great cuisine, glorious interiors and a surprising degree of personal service for ships their size.
After a 6-year hiatus, Celebrity has just launched their biggest ship ever and the first of a new series of four ships. The 129,500-ton Celebrity Edge has arrived. And it’s everything Celebrity is famous for and more.
Don’t expect to find ziplines, water slides, race car tracks or 5,000 other passengers aboard these Celebrity ships. Instead imagine a ship loaded with new features, all selected with 2,950 passengers in mind. Yes, there’s an entire Camp at Sea, a paradise offering over 500 activities with areas for both younger kids and teens. It even offers a youth coding class, a first for Celebrity.
But this is an adult playground and it’s apparent from stem to stern. From its bow, designed to both cut fuel consumption and make for smoother sailing, to its 3-story tall Eden with its 7,000 square feet of outward facing glass making it the largest room at sea, Edge astonishes at every turn.
It starts with staterooms featuring Infinite Verandas. The entire space is flooded with light from the floor-to-ceiling window. The upper part of the window retracts, literally making what is a balcony on other ships an integral part of the room. Folding glass doors allow you to separate the indoors and out.
All staterooms are teched out with control panels that do everything from adjusting the lighting to setting the temperature. You can even use your mobile phone to do this from anywhere on the ship. Staterooms on Edge are on average 23% larger than on other Celebrity ships. And there are an astonishing number of suites — 12% of the accommodations are suites.
At the top of the ship there’s the Retreat, a suites-only area which includes a generous pool area, lounge and Luminae, the restaurant reserved for suite guests.
In close proximity to the Retreat are the top-of-the-line luxury suites designed by Britain’s Kelly Hoppen. Hoppen’s work is so esteemed she received a Member of the Order of the British Empire for excellence in interior design.
She had never stepped foot on a cruise ship before being tapped by Celebrity, but you would never know that from the extraordinary work she has done on the Edge.
2-level “Edge Villas” are completely self-contained featuring a large living room, not one but two master baths, and a master bedroom on the second level. On their balconies are private plunge pools.
The piece de resistance are the even more extraordinary Iconic Suites. These are fully decked-out apartments with two bedrooms, private Jacuzzi’s and cabanas on their 700 square foot balconies. There are two of them, mirror images of each other, and they’re placed right over the Bridge of the ship so that passengers lying in their master bed facing out to sea have basically the same view as the captain.
It might be entirely possible to spend your entire cruise in he Retreat, but then you would miss the other remarkable features mere mortals enjoy aboard the Edge.
A second British designer, Architect Tom Wright, was also a cruise ship virgin when he took on the task of designing the extraordinary Resort Deck. Right behind the Retreat is the adults-only Solarium, an oasis of calm. Right outside is the pool. Featuring 2-story windows, the large pool area features two hot tubs that look for all the world like giant martini glasses.
Next up is the Rooftop Garden, an homage of sorts to both the Lawn Club found on Celebrity’s Solstice Class ships and the Rooftop Terrace, a well-loved feature of their Millennium Class ships. This is an area filled with living plants as well as sculptural ones. The Rooftop Garden hosts daytime yoga sessions and various games and activities. At night, there’s live music, and a garden grill.
The restaurants and bars aboard Celebrity Edge include no less than 29 venues. The one thing you won’t find is a Main Dining Room. That’s been done away with and in its place there are four separate restaurants. Hewing to tradition, passengers can choose set dining times or opt for Celebrity Select where cruisers can eat at any of the dining rooms whenever they want.
Each of the four restaurants offers the same menu items as well as a section of their menu featuring Exclusives, which are specialties of each venue and available all cruise long. Past passengers may recognize the genesis of the four restaurants.
- Normandie is inspired by Murano, the French fine dining restaurant aboard the Solstice-class ships. Its Exclusives are French classics.
- Tuscan is Edge’s salute to the Italian food in Celebrity’s specialty dining Tuscan Grille.
- Cyprus is a salute to the Greek heritage of Celebrity which started its life as a cruise line under Greece’s Chandris Group. Open only for dinner, Cyprus specializes in fish and other Mediterranean fare.
- Cosmopolitan is as close to a traditional main dining room as possible, without the double levels and sweeping staircases. Of the four it’s the only one that serves breakfast every day and lunch on sea days.
Suites-only Luminae is located in the Retreat section of the ship. It serves all three meals to its cosseted clientele.
Aqua Class passengers retreat to Blu, the spa-centric restaurant open for breakfast and dinner. Veterans of Aqua Class aboard other Celebrity ships may miss the ocean views. Blu aboard Edge has none.
Celebrity’s signature Oceanview Cafe is a huge wow on Celebrity Edge. It’s wide open with double height ceilings and has an outdoor open seating area overlooking the stern. It’s hard to imagine a wider selection of food offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s also open a staggering number of hours.
Mast Grill, another Celebrity signature, offers burgers and hot dogs and fries.
Eden Cafe offers breakfast and lunch.
Grand Cafe Plaza offers pastries and finger sandwiches if you find yourself peckish at some point of the day.
You could also call room service, although that will set you back $4.95 if you do so between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
As with almost all cruise lines — even those at the absolute luxury end — Celebrity Edge offers Fee Dining in no less than nine venues, serving everything from steakhouse standards to a raw bar complete with caviar.
The most entertaining of these is surely when Le Grand Bistro is transformed into Le Petit Chef. An animated experience takes place right on your plate as miniature characters prepare your dish course by course. It’s a lot of fun to watch and each course features a charming surprise.
Real servers then appear with the actual dishes (four of them), which, in this writer’s experience, were each excellent. It’s a fun experience for families, but at $55 per person, it may limit the number of visits to once a voyage. There are just two menus, one of which is vegetarian.
Unique Celebrity Attractions
Dining aboard the ship is but one of the many adult diversions. There are a multitude of others. Not the least of these are the many nooks and crannies of the ship showcasing contemporary art and particularly sculpture. However, the big draws are several attractions unique to Celebrity Edge.
The Magic Carpet
The Magic Carpet it the one that sticks out most — mainly because this orange movable deck literally sticks out over the side of the ship. It’s an open-air lounge and bar with a purpose. Moving from its usual position high in the ship on deck 14, it shimmies down the side to become the most luxurious tender platform imaginable.
Then there’s Eden, a decidedly different experience to be had in the enormous 3-story room — the largest at sea — at the stern of the ship. Here nymphs perform in a spiraling restaurant cum theater cum lounge. During the day it’s tame. At night it’s quite the sensual experience.
Finally there’s the Spa, a magnificent place designed by Kelly Hoppen and one of the most beautiful on the ship. Serene, pampering and sophisticated, it’s the perfect place for relaxation on a ship that is full of excitement, style and up-to-the minute technology.
Is Celebrity Edge for you? If you appreciate the absolute pinnacle of contemporary design, if you want to experience a very unique and adult cruise experience, if you are intrigued by technology, you’ll love the Edge. And if you prefer the tried and true, Celebrity always has eight other Modern Luxury ships to keep you happy.