We’re doing a 7 night Eastern Caribbean out of Ft Lauderdale. Now this is only her 6th voyage post COVID and we are at about 50-60% capacity. So needless to say things are still not back to normal. All I can say about the pre-cruising process is be prepared to be flexible and have a little bit of grace. Things are still ever changing, and just remember the ship and port staff are not the ones making the rules. Our boarding experience was perfectly fine and we had zero issues but this was not the case for everyone. However, it was handled well by Celebrity, ship staff, and Captain Kate and I think at the end of the day people were happy with how it was dealt with.
Once on board staff were just as happy, attentive, and amazing as ever. We had an Infiniti Verandah. I really enjoyed it, between the layout of the room and the option to extend your square footage you really feel like you have a substantial amount of space. Nice makeup mirror for getting ready, and a descent size bathroom with nice finishing’s throughout and plenty of storage.
It could use a few more plugs for hair dryers, straighteners, laptops etc. but if you brought lots of USB compatible devices your good to go.
The dining concept on here is different than other larger ships. Instead of one large main dining room they have split it into 4 different dining rooms each with a different theme allowing a more intimate experience for the main dining. They all share the Classic Celebrity menu which is standard every night and a nightly rotating Celebrity menu. Then each restaurant has their own specialties that are exclusive to them. Cosmopolitan is new American, Cyprus is Greek, Normandie is contemporary French, and Tuscan is southern Italian.
There are quite a few specialty dining options on the ship as well that range in price from ala carte to $55 per person. Fine Cuts Steakhouse serves good quality steaks, try the bone-in filet mignon. It was recommended to us by our waiter and was exceptionally good. They also have a private dining area where you could host a VIP dinning for up to 10. Eden is a unique culinary experience. It’s a 5 course meal, there is two options per course. We went with Bruce Setloff and his wife as we were cruising together and we each just ordered one side of the menu each. Everything we had was phenomenal, from presentation to taste. If you’re like the men at our table and not into tiny portions, don’t worry! You won’t leave hungry…. they promise! Le Grand Bistro is open for lunch with a French bistro style menu and doubles at night for an interactive 4 course Le Petit Chef meal. An immersive fusion of dining and entertainment with a wine pairing option, there are 4 set courses as they go with the animation. There is another option is you prefer or have dietary restrictions but you won’t have the animation. This was probably our favorite meal of the week, we recommended it to Bruce and Julie who came away saying the same thing. We give this a solid recommendation for anyone who sails on the Edge. Raw on 5 is an ala carte raw bar and sushi restaurant which is great for lunch or dinner. At night the Magic Carpet moves down and creates an al fresco dinning expansion. Rooftop Garden Grill is an el fresco grill that serves a combination of steaks, seafood, BBQ, salads, wings. I personally feel like they need to narrow their menu down a little. We went the BBQ route and weren’t terribly impressed but the steaks and salads and kababs coming out looked fantastic.
Then there’s the standard fair. The Oceanview Café buffet is done well, and the “new buffet” is actually quite nice. There is a pizza place at the back to grab some pretty decent pizza slices, Scoops serves ice cream and gelato, Mast Grill has burgers and hot dogs pool side. And where I spend most my time Café al Bacio for specialty coffees and pastries.
Now after all that food lets segway into the gym. You may not care, its ok if you skip to the next section it won’t offend me I promise. They have the standard gym equipment, 2 classrooms for spinning and HIIT classes, yoga, Barre, etc. and 4 Peloton bikes. There was a pretty decent offering of classes to choose from (for an additional fee). The spa looked really nice but didn’t get a chance to experience it this cruise.
There is the regular pool deck with floating layout chaise loungers, and live music during most of the day. The Solarium which is an indoor air conditioned pool area, which is a welcomed change to most greenhouse affect hot and muggy enclosed pool areas. The Rooftop Garden plays outdoor movies but could also be used for a great outdoor cocktail party and has built in AV equipment for presentations and could easily be shut off for privacy. One of our favorite thing about all the outdoor space on this ship is that yes there is the obligatory layout loungers for tanning, but there is also a lot of spaces out in the sun, and shade, to sit in comfy chairs and just hang out and talk and drink.
The nightly entertainment was fantastic. Our favorite was the adult only comedian. But the Celebrity shows were great as well. Lots of acrobatics and dancing and singing. We didn’t catch all of them but did see a few and enjoyed them all. The Martini Bar is a fun area at night, with a DJ or live music. Then to get the evening started the bartenders do an act with DJ flair and bottle flipping and pouring LOTS of drinks at once, loud music and bright lights. It’s a great time (if you’re lucky Captain Kate may even jump on the bar and join in the show).
There is also a separate area for suite guests. We were able to get a day pass to experience part of it. The suites get access to The Retreat, there’s a pool, sundeck, pool bar, lounge, and two restaurants available to them. Dependent on the category of suite you are in there is a butler assigned to you. The Retreat pool is a great place to spend the day relaxing, and the lounge is available for coffee, drinks, snacks. This could be a great option for a client who wants full butler service but isn’t ready to commit to a full ship charter yet.
There are two small conference rooms that can be combined into one large space, with all the necessary AV equipment. A couple other options of spaces that could be used for events.
All in all, we were very pleased with the Edge. She us young and modern and elegent yet fun and not stuffy in the slightest. And it felt so great to be back to sea after 16 months of being land locked.
Written by Tara Carpenter August 2021