Celebrity Edge is spending the summer cruise season in Australia and New Zealand, the first time an Edge-class ship has been seen in our region.
We boarded the ship in Europe for a first-hand look at what local cruisers can expect on this first-in-class 2,918-passenger ship which will be based in Sydney, with one sailing available from Auckland.
Itineraries range from six to 15 nights and focus on the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, with overnight stays in towns like Cairns and Hobart so cruisers can make the most of their time in these popular ports.
Here are eight things Australians and New Zealanders will love about Celebrity Edge.
Edge-class ships are designed to bring passengers closer to the sea and each destination visited, with a design that brings the outside in. There’s loads of light and space in the comfortable public spaces, restaurants, and numerous sun decks with plenty of sunloungers available for all. Eden has colourful swing seats in front of a floor-to-ceiling window and views from pretty much every position. And the scenic jogging track including an incline for an extra challenge is worth working up a sweat for.
Celebrity Edge is a much newer ship than the ones we’ve previously seen in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region and it shows when it comes to the technology onboard. There’s an app that’s simple to use for checking in, boarding the ship, restaurant bookings, checking your daily program and more.
In cabins, a desk charging station keeps all your cords tidy (although, sadly, there are no Australian power points) and there are several more USB chargers next to the bed. The ship also uses Starlink WiFi, with a choice of Basic and Premium packages. The latter was so fast that it was better than our WiFi back home.
The Infinite Veranda concept that debuted on Celebrity Edge is best described as a traditional balcony that has been reimagined into an enclosed space with an adjustable window, similar to a river ship balcony. The window is opened and closed using push button controls, bi-fold glass doors seal off the area for added privacy and electronic black out blinds can be raised and lowered to keep out light. They’re so effective you’ll need to set your alarm.
The design takes a little getting used to but the additional floor space created by the Infinite Veranda and the streamlined design that made the room feel bigger won us over. You’ll find a few regular cabins on Celebrity Edge, but unless you’re a staunch traditionalist, the infinite balcony concept is a winner.
Incorporated into the 15 dining venues onboard Celebrity Edge are four themed main dining rooms, each with a different menu. Each one features Classic dishes that are available at all venues, plus options that are specific to the restaurant’s theme. Choose from Cosmopolitan (American), Cyprus (Greek), Tuscan (Italian), and Normandie (French).
The dining rooms are upmarket with a classy design that makes it feel like you’re going to a different specialty restaurant each night rather than a complimentary main dining room. We felt the quality of the food had had also gone up as well compared to our previous Celebrity Cruises sailings.
This multipurpose Magic Carpet deck really does feel rather magical as it can be raised and lowered and used in any number of ways -- from a tender platform at sea level to a party space and dining venue high in the air. It’s also great spot to enjoy an afternoon drink on sea days.
The tender boarding area created on Level 2 is a game changer with a dedicated waiting area and a level surface that makes it easy to get on and off the tenders, particularly for passengers with young children or mobility issues. It’s a welcome change from clambering up and down metal stairways which is often the case on other ships using a tender service.
Eden is a stunning three-level multi-purpose venue that’s positioned around the aft of the ship and incorporates great views plus two dining venues, a bar and a stage for performances.
It might sound like a lot but the design makes the incorporation of so many different spaces seamless. A rotating array of performers playing low key acoustic music keeps things interesting and we enjoyed their creative reworking of popular favourites and lesser known songs.
When hunger strikes, you'll find a light breakfast or lunch at Eden Cafe. There’s also Eden Restaurant on the lower level, a for-a-fee (US$60) dining venue that’s well worth the spend. Ocean views, great service and an open kitchen add yet more reasons to visit, with each dish prepared to order instead of being partially pre-prepped.
If you would like to try Eden Restaurant for yourself, you’ll need to reserve a table as soon as you get onboard this isn’t available to book in advance and seats disappear faster than what’s on your plate.
Located in the for-a-fee Le Grand Bistro restaurant, Le Petit Chef takes you on a whimsical virtual dining journey that will have you entertained and delighted as a three dimensional food story appears on your plate and then in reality your table. This experience is all about having fun rather than a fine dining experience and is perfect for those travelling with kids.
The SEA Thermal Suite on Celebrity Edge is no ordinary spa experience and a must if you’re after some pampering. With eight separate spaces that come together to create a DIY spa journey, AquaClass guests can enjoy this area as much as they wish at no extra charge which makes it worth considering upgrading to an AquaClass cabin.
Work your way around facilities like a hammam, rainfall room, crystalarium, a salt room, steam room, infrared sauna, float room with swing seats, and a row of heated lounges that share the same view as the captain on the bridge directly below the spa area.
Sitting back on a heated lounge while Milford Sound unfolds or taking in the view of Sydney Harbour at sailaway from one of the swing seats is the stuff of holiday dreams. There’s no need for guests who aren’t staying in AquaClass to miss out as whole of voyage SEA Thermal Suite passes are also available.
Celebrity Edge will begin sailing in Australia from December 9.