Sailing on the EDGE

Celebrity Edge

Celebrity’s newest and certainly flashiest ship, Edge, is the first in a new class of ship, and it takes everything the line values — food, design, and adult-focused comfort — to the next level.

If you are one of those people who says “I don’t cruise” think again! I was invited to join a 2-night pre-inaugural sailing on Celebrity’s revolutionary brand new ship Edge. This ship is unique in every way and sets the bar high for the entire cruise industry: Contemporary zen-like decor; immersive theater; the Magic Carpet hydraulic deck that serves as pop-up bar, tender station or poolside lunch patio depending on its current location; Eden which transforms its mood 3 times a day from chill to playful to sinful; Petit Chef experience where each course’s preparation and plating is projected in animated form from cameras above your place setting prior to enjoying each course; elaborate spa including salt room, crystal room, aroma rain showers, swinging pods for relaxation. The Edge sails the Caribbean in winter, the Mediterranean in summer. 

What I Love

It’s Downright Gorgeous: There are plenty of ships at sea that try to emulate the kind of high-style, high-impact decor like the kind you’ll see in slick, modern hotels. None are doing it as well as this ship does. Balancing contemporary, residential-style furnishings with eye-popping accents (a glittery ceiling insert, walls covered in curved emerald green tile, an enormous crown of lights above the martini bar, a sculpture-filled rooftop garden), the wow factor here is high.

 You’ll Get More of What Was Already Great: Successful elements of other Celebrity ships have been transferred here and ratcheted up for maximum impact. The spa now sprawls across two decks. Private spaces for suite passengers are more spacious and elegant than ever. There’s art around every corner. And then there’s that martini bar. You’ll find it on other Celebrity ships, but here it’s been radically expanded to serve as the ship’s central gathering space. With talented bartenders showing off their best bottle-flipping (and drink mixing) moves, and an occasional light show courtesy of the bar’s LED chandelier, this buzz-y space almost feels like martini-making theater. 

 It’s All About the Food: From the Indian food station at the Oceanview Cafe buffet (the seating area has floor-to-ceiling windows) to the towers of crab legs and lobster tails at the Raw on 5 specialty seafood restaurant, much attention has been paid here to the quality of the food. The complimentary main dining restaurants — split into four venues and covering Italian, Mediterranean, new American, and French cuisines — offer plenty of variety and quality, while specialty restaurants, like the rest of the ship, aim to dazzle. In one, Le Petit Chef and Friends, you can watch a tabletop projection of your meal being “prepared” by an animated cast of characters. 

Best Known For

The Magic Carpet: Much has been made of this first-at-sea cantilevered elevator deck, which hangs over the surface of the water and has different uses depending on its positioning. It can be used as an extension of the Raw on 5 restaurant, as a bar and lounge, as a standalone specialty dining venue, and can even facilitate faster boarding of tender boats when it’s situated at the ship’s lowest decks. It’s hard to deny the beauty of this space, which is furnished with comfortable loungers and offers a truly up-close view of the sea. Note that guests aren’t able to actually ride the Magic Carpet as it moves between decks for safety reasons, but they’re welcome to step over the edge, so to speak, once the venue is set up and opened for business. 

 Eden: This performance space and dining venue makes an incredible first impression. Three decks tall and with dozens of smaller spaces to eat, drink, socialize, curl up with a book, or watch a show, you’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a dream-like greenhouse, albeit one that serves particularly good cocktails. As for the theater part, this space is where you’ll find the Edenists, a troop of performance artists who dance, contort, and interact with guests in the evenings.  

 A New Take on Balcony Cabins: Celebrity Edge has re-imagined the basic balcony cabin into the Infinite Veranda. Instead of a fully external balcony that’s separated from the cabin by a wall, the balcony here is simply an open extension of the cabin’s space, making the room feel significantly longer than balcony cabins on other ships. To let in the sea air, simply hit the button on the wall and the top-half of the floor-to-ceiling window whirrs open. In nice weather, this innovation truly makes you feel close to the ocean, and lets in lots of light. If you want to close this part of the cabin off and enjoy a more traditional balcony experience, folding French doors let you separate the space without blocking out the light.  

Who It’s Best For

Twenty-, Thirty-, and Forty-Somethings  Who Love to Eat and Drink: If you crave memorable meals, excellent cocktails, and plenty of socializing, this is your ship. You can, of course, spend the rest of the time relaxing in an outdoor lounger or paddling around in the enclosed, adults-only solarium pool — another popular element from previous Celebrity ships that’s found a glammed-up home here — but the eating and drinking venues, and the ship’s other gathering places, define this experience as one where social butterflies will thrive. 

 Land Snobs Who Have Never Tried a Cruise: If you love cruises but are having a hard time convincing friends or family members who just don’t see the appeal, this is the ship to help them get their feet wet. 

 The Entertainment Options Are Far from Standard: Don’t come on this ship expecting the same shows that you’d see on Broadway. (That’s what Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line are for.) The performances here, especially in Eden, can feel arty and abstract, and occasionally confounding. If you crave more typical fare, check out what’s happening in the main theater, where you’ll find music, and LED and projection-focused shows.

 

This report was prepared by Kelly Corbett[954 452 8800 | sbloss@www.cruiseco.com] on November 1, 2017. The views expressed as solely those of the author and not necessarily those of WWTCA.
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