Background information-Avid single traveler, 27 cruises with Celebrity I’ve sailed 5x on Century class, 11x on Milleniun class, 11x Solstice Class, 1X Edge Class, and about 5x with other cruise lines
Pre-Embarkation-Well , Well, Well, they did they truly did reinvent the wheel with the new embarkation process. Two weeks before sailing I received a few reminders encouraging me to use the newly modified Celebrity Cruises App to check in. To be perfectly frank, I didn’t have high expectations for this as I tried it last year on Reflection and it really hadn’t been helpful. In fact it had been more frustrating than helpful. I downloaded a fresh copy on my Android phone, plugged in my data, uploaded a picture. After completion I printed out a copy of the completed Expedited Arrival form, and was set.
Embarkation-It was the smoothest quickest embarkation ever. Terminal 25 is lovely architecturally. That being said it was more lovely is the fact that I didn’t spend much time in it at all. I arrived by Uber at the terminal ~1130, there were two other cars at the same time. Baggage guys were everywhere, so moved my bags all of 4 feet before there was a smiling face to take them away. I said thank you, tipped him, and walked the 50 feet to the terminal.
I rode the escalator up to the main part of this sleek glass and steel/aluminum modern terminal. Gone are the long lines of work stations and laptops, and instead, smiling faces with I pads greeting you with the words “Welcome to Celebrity Edge” , as I heard that at least 4 times while in the terminal. Two folks scanned my expedited arrival form. I used the one on my phone once, and the printed one once, and it made no difference, and then was directed to the Xray scanners for security which moved quickly, and 5 minutes later, I was pointed to the boarding area. I was told I would find my key on my door, which I did.
So from being dropped of curbside, to arrival at my cabin, was a period of about 10 minutes. The room key was waiting at my door, was able to drop my carry on items up there and then began to explore Celebrity Edge.
Ship information- When I first started exploring Edge, I noticed many transformational changes, but also seeing my old mainstays. The main lobby is visually a masterpiece. It’s a very tasteful, bright, but not in an overload your senses casino way. It’s calming and welcoming, so figured I would take a look down by guest relations.
I loved what they did with the main part of the lobby. Guest Relations, Shore Excursions, and the other stations down are kind of like islands/kiosks rather than traditional desks, which gives the area a much more open flow and floor space They also have some self help ipad stations than can answer questions, and roving concierges to help the flow. For example the first day I went to guest relations the first day, and noticed 4 people queued up, so asked the concierge my question, “Do I purchase a beverage package here?” He responded that I could go to any bar and have it added there. I think in 7 nights, I went to guest relations 3X, and never waited more than 10-15 minutes.
Some areas I really thought to be exceptional, others more traditional. The 4 main dining rooms were traditional just on a smaller scale. Café El Baccio same thing. Some stunning changes to the Sunset bar. Its bigger with sweeping views, it feels much more open and grand than on other ships, has a small smoking area on the starboard side, but impressed with the design aspects that allows the smoking areas smells being somewhat isolated from the rest of the sunset.
I admired to that they took the eco-friendly path too. Paper straws actually to me felt better than I expected them to, actually better than plastic ones. I appreciated that when they did activities that in the past they did with pen/paper/pencil, you can now participate just using your phone/tablet/ipad, and a HUGE plus to me was didn’t receive any Art Gallery flyers (or any other flyers) announcing their sales, promotions, etc. the entire cruise. I admire that they took these steps, and not just one of them. Like we used to say in the Navy, Walk the Walk, not just Talk the Talk. The only negative was a missed seeing the one page whos/who on the ship where it states who they key executive team members are (Captain/Staff Captain/Head Chef/ GRM), and never did find a cruise directors TV channel where they summarize the day ahead and introduce you to key events things.. I wish they would just have that information available on one of the television channels.
Eden-FANTASTIC. First thing I noticed about Eden was as you walk in you go through a kind of dark maze of funky sculptures that I just didn’t get, It’s interesting, but just odd, looks like something from a James Cameron Sci Fi movie. As you approach you see multi-dimensional layout, and incorporating many, many, many nooks and crannies to hideaway as much or little as you like. I LOVED the colors and designs, plants and seating area on every level, both inside and outside. Also a great little cafe inside Eden where you can go for breakfast or lunch (no upcharge either), that’s generally uncrowded.
The Edenites are a unique set of characters and you could see they threw some people off base a little. They stay in character, like you might find at disney, A renaissance fair, cirque de solei, so just go in with an open mind, as it’s a different type of performance. It’s not Edie Gorme on the love boat, but it’s a lot fun if you want it/allow it to be.
Really thought the design and layout of the Rooftop Garden was exceptional. The area seems very expansive and very green. Super pleased to see the massive screen that they had for watching sports and or movies under the daylight/skylight. It’s a very well designed area, as you don’t get a lot of random traffic interfering with viewing. I was a bit under impressed by the offerings at the rooftop garden grill as it seemed to lack identity on its offering. I guess it’s supposed to be BBQ, but not really sure.
Pool Area-Another grand slam design. It’s a new ship with new loungers, towels, and pools, and all are well thought through. The loungers are set up in a more tiered design which makes it feel a bit more private. In the 8 days on board I used the main pool area probably 4 days, and the retreat 3 days, and never found a time where I couldn’t find an open lounger. Pool seems massive and never seemed overly crowded or noisy even on sea days. I even tried the 3 story martini glass Jacuzzi, which gave beautiful high top views of the decks below One thing very important you notice about the Edge is design. Nothing seems like a last minute “lets squeeze in a ….”, everything is in a place where it makes sense it should be. The spaces generally seem well suited for their function both in size and flow. I found a lot less dead space on the ship (like Cellar Masters, Hot Glass, World Class Bar), and less emphasis of forcing your path through the shops, casino, art galleries. Now those are a little more discreetly placed rather than being in your face, and I really appreciated that.
Activities-I didn’t see a whole lot of activities on this cruise other than “Deal or No Deal” and one or two game shows, Silent Disco, Silent Disco DJ, like activities. I did think it was cool that they had creative new things like drone races in “The Club” , so I’m sure as the Edge matures so will the activities. I was mostly there for R&R, so I probably of glossed over any of the activities they had scheduled.
Bars-The Martini Bar itself has much less seating than on other ships, but there are a lot more adjacent areas for seating to compensate. Same holds true on the Pool Bar. Maybe 10 seats total, but another 12 stools about 10 feet away. Looked to me that the Sunset Bar is bigger and almost gives you about 120 degrees view of the aft end of the ship. I think The Club is the most traditional larger bar onboard behind the Sunset, and the biggest venue outside the theater for traditional seating
Service-Service has is and always been Celebrity’s hallmark, and this cruise was no different, if anything service excellence was even more pronounced. This could be since they took the best of the best of Celebrity’s team to man the Edge. EVERY single Edge team member I met during the 8 days went out of there way t do anything possible to make my stay better, smoother, and happier.
Port & shore excursions-Didn’t do any. I left the ship once in St Maarten when my earbuds broke
Shopping-Onboard shopping was too rich for my taste, Tiffany, Cartier, Bulgari Etc, someone said one shop had Edge T shirts starting $50+
SPA-Nothing New, had a 75 minute massage on a port day and it was the special 50% off rate, so with mandatory gratuity, it was $248, was it a really good massage, no not really.
Art Auctions-They are there and I’m sure they sell, but research before you buy, as always found them like the casino. Don’t consider it an investment; consider it fun money that you can afford to lose. There might be a rare winner but generally if you play/buy, it will be a losing financial decision.
Cabin(s)-I had two cabins on this voyage. I book the ES (Edge Single w Infinite Veranda) , and stayed there two nights , and then heard about the availability to upgrade a SS1 so moved there
Edge Single Infinite VerandaCabin(ES)- Cabin 6218 100% Excellent design. It’s a modified version of a normal Infinite balcony cabin. It’s as wide as a normal cabin just not as deep. I think the actual numbers are ES=131ft2 w 40 ft2 balcony, E1,2,3,4= 200ft2 w 40ft2. First thing you notice is the bathroom, such a HUGE improvement compared to ANY other Celebrity ship. Has kind of a marble looking tile and large farm type marble sink with plenty of storage under the sink. A discreet outlet/switch can be found by the shelving under the sink area. The shelving in the bathroom is plentiful. The shower is especially large by cruise ship standards, and is glass/polished chrome design, and even is tall enough for those over 6’ tall. Inside the shower you find dispensers for body cleaner, shampoo, and conditioner. Plenty of hot water and pressure and the shower design lets you adjust height and position of spray as needed.
The bed, mattress, and bedding was the most comfortable and luxurious one I’ve ever slept on.
The cabin although small was very comfortable, although storage is very limited. There is a 6’x2’x2’ closet with a higher and lower bar for hanging clothes, and two shelves under the safe(~16”x20”x8”), and three 8”x*’X8” cubbies and that’s really it for storage. I ended up using the shelving in the bathroom for shirts and pants, a foot rest that opens up at the top for socks and underwear, so you just need to be a bit creative.
Two easy solutions Celebrity could do is put some shelving in bottom of closet in lieu of the second bar for hanging clothes,and/ or put storage bins under the beds, since under the beds you have about 18” height, so plenty of room for storage bins AND luggage
The only other negatives about the ES are, I would consider a partially obstructed view as the lifeboats sit about 1 foot above the balcony area floor, so if you look straight out it’s fine, but if you look down at all, you see the tops of lifeboats below or to the left or right.
I think they would be an attractive option if they priced them more realistically. Right now they sell at ~85% of a regular Infinite Vernada cabin which I think is high considering you are getting 70% of the floorspace/storage of a regular cabin, and getting a partially obstructed view of the sea
Infinite Veranda-It’s a great design, as is the cabin itself. The view is outstanding, the whole end of your cabin is glass, adds light, view, space to your cabin. The drawbacks some, are occasionally the captain can exercise control over your balcony window, sometimes coming into port, or in cases of bad weather. This happened for a few hours on our 7 days voyage, with no impact on us whatsoever. I also liked the window shade that could make the room completely dark, when fully closed. I found you needed to balance the sun coming in with the AC as the AC was not up to cooling the additional space without some adjustment. Worked much better at night with the bifold doors closed, reducing the amount of space the AC needed to cool. Two three prong 115V, one 220V two prong outlet and two usb ports on desk area, there is also an additional outlet with a pair of USB ports by the night stand. One odd thing is the addition of many hard decorative pillows, which are completely unusable. When the bed is made there are four regular pillows, five hard decorative pillows, plus two more large and small on the sofa. They look nice but really take up a lot of space with not much purpose. However, I felt the Infinite Veranda was one of the best parts of the Edge
Sky Suite-The Sky Suite (SS1) Cabin 9180 seemed much more balanced than similar ones on other ships. I’ve always thought the Sky Suites on the other classes looked like regular veranda rooms with dance floors as they just seem to have a lot of dead space rather than using it to enhance the room. With these sky suites, they take it to a new level.
Storage is expansive. You have a ~6’x6’ closet for all your hanging needs, you also have a second closet that has shelving. Drawers, and a safe, it stands about 6’ tall and about 2’ wide and deep. If that’s not enough, you also have a dresser that’s attached to the desk area. This dresser I’m guessing is about 5’ wide by about 3’ tall, so really makes storage abundantly available, again a superb design compared to other designs.
They have a nice discreet looking white box that has two three prong 115V, one 220V two prong outlet and two usb ports, there is also an additional outlet with a pair of USB ports by the night stand, and another outlet discreetly placed in the bathroom.
Bed, TV and nightstands all pretty standard, but the new linens are nice. I liked the electronic keypad for temperature and room control (drapes, lighting, etc). You can also use the Celebrity Cruises app for this, but noticed maybe 10% of the time it wasn’t available. Wasn’t really able to get the electronic key to work, I ran into the digital manager the next to last night and she mentioned it was probably something to do with my email not being linked to the key, but it wasn’t worth the trip to guest relations to get it fixed, so just used the key card instead.
I thought the redesign of the Sky Suite was exceptionally good. A major improvement is the tub/shower as it’s easily stepped into, rather than in other classes you literally had to climb into it. There is no shower curtain, but because the shower head is about 2 feet inside, one is not needed. The shower head height was adjustable, so even if you’re 6’ tall or greater it works fine. I read some people complaining about without a curtain they accumulated water outside the tub area. My personal opinion is it’s possible you could do that if you weren’t paying attention, but really don’t see how it would happen on any type of normal showering.
Toilet is in a separate room in bath with a frosted door around it. Sink large with two faucets. There is plenty of shelving and storage in bathroom as well. I know they are trendy now, but bathroom mirrors also slide open to form a picture frame window above the bed allowing you to bring more light into the bathroom (or for people in main space to see the tub/shower area of bathroom. I’m not a big fan of that (window to the bath from the bed) as recently saw the same thing at both Mandarin Oriental in Miami, and Four Seasons in Buenos Aries , but I’m guessing it’s a popular feature right now. For me I’d rather just keep it closed and use the mirror.
The only negative I could find is that because the tub/shower opens to the bath room, the mirror does fog up easy. I know on other classes they had heated mirrors to alleviate this, it would be a good idea down the road to modify these as well. It’s a minor tweak to an almost perfect design. It’s the finest cabin I’ve ever been in at sea in terms of smart design, functionality, pure opulence, and being well thought through from the moment you walk in and look at every feature and function.
The couch, balcony were comfortable, and really enjoyed the rocking chair in the room as well.
Dining-Tried a few different venues, so will touch on each
• Cosmopolitan-Enjoyed it, reminded me of a mini me version of the MDR on any ship. Broiled scallops appetizer especially nice. Ate here 3X
• Normandie-Enjoyed it, felt like a better design, and more open than Cosmopolitan. No real standouts, but no complaints either. Ate here 1X
• Buffet-Really expansive and more epicurean themed than on other cruises. They really upped their game on this. The construction and efficiency of the design is noticeably better than other classes, and really like the hand washing sinks at the entrance. I just think the warm water and soap is a much better way than purel. It was never out of towels, soap etc. Food quality of the buffet was excellent as were the station setup.
First ship ever where I have seen EXCELLENT food at a buffet including filet of beef cooked to order, rack of lamb. Etc. The breakfast seem better organized with the stations set up to streamline the order and deliveryprocess. Also the larger windows in the Oceaview make a big difference, You don’t feel like you’re in a typical buffet, instead you feel you are eating in a fine dining spot…..which you are.
• Luminae-The new Luminae is superb. I like that it’s at the forward end of the ship, and its own lovely venue. The menu looked to be the same as any other Luminae, but it feels so more grand. Hats off to the designers as it feels far more spacious and open, and really like the details (linens silverware, etc) and the staff makes you feel like royalty on each visit.
• Prime Cut Steakhouse-First the location of Prime Cuts is super special. It’s located on deck 5, One side of the steakhouse overlooks the Ocean, the other side overlooks the martini bar, grand foyer area The restaurant itself kind of reminded me of a blending of Tuscan Grille and Murano. The rich woods and leather of Tuscan, and a balanced menu of mostly steak, but also includes lamb, sea bass, lobster, etc.. The pan seared scallops with chorizo were spectacular as was my 9 0z filet. The sides (spinach w garlic, a five mushroom sauté, and a bacon infused mac n cheese were also excellent. The double brownie with ice cream was a great way to end the meal. Service was above par
• Raw on Five-Raw on Five like Prime Cuts reminded me like mentioned above as a blending of two favorites. It was part sushi on 5, part silk harvest, menu itself was about 20% raw, and 80% cooked dishes. They had a page of sushi dishes for the sushi lover (I’m not a big sushi fan), but I listened to the waiter and tried the Green Leaf Tuna Roll which was awesome. I followed that with some beef carpaccio, and then thin slices of tenderloin served with some type of sauce that really enhanced an already spectacular dish. They also had some stir fry dishes in the menu. Generally I’m not a fan of places that try to a wide variety of palettes, but they really do it well at Raw on Five.
• Le Grand Bistro-I thought this was one of the hidden gems of dining on Edge. Try it at least once for breakfast or lunch,. I think the surcharge was $20 for lunch, and less for breakfast, and the food was fantastic. The daily specials were out of this world delicious and included rack of lamb, seared sea bass, Coq Au Vin, Short Rib Bourguinon, etc. Food was fantastic all around, and it’s just a nice airy place for a snack or a fully meal.
• Rooftop Grill-Le Petit Chef- I didn’t try either as loved Le Petit Chef twice on Reflection last year, and Rooftop Garden reminded me of Mast Grill, so I passed on both this time.
• Eden Restaurant- It was great eating in Eden for breakfast or lunch, and no upcharge and never crowded, but alas dinner. How do I explain dinner, other than saying it was odd at worst, uncomfortable at best. There were 6 of us, and the menu seemed unique to put it nicely. The food was pretty good overall, but didn’t seem to carry any type of theme or reason to it. Just kind of a random amalgam of foodstuff. It was five courses, and all was ok (except what my friend call the asbestos biscuit, which really had an odd taste). The performance (or show) with the Edenites during dinner was uncomfortable though. I think part of the problem is you don’t have a perspective of what’s going on around you. I found watching the performance from different parts of the venue is really wonderful and enjoyable, but IMHO it doesn’t work while dining. I met a nice lady one day on the cruise who said she was dining alone in Eden, and just felt when the Edenites came by here, she felt like a display not a dining guest. I think like anything dining in Eden will evolve into a great experience, but right now it’s just awkward. That being said, try it for one of the performances.
Children's clubs-The kids I saw onboard seem to be having fun, but no personal experience to relate to
Entertainment-I was so happy to see that Celebrity was trying some new forms of entertainment. The Celebrity singers and dancers are still there, and went to one performance, and it was actually visually and artistically pleasing. First thing I noticed was the music. It wasn’t just music from the 30’s -50’s that had low royalty licensing fees. Instead it was a blend of old and new (Coldplay, Ed Sheeran), blended beautifully with music of the past. The show itself kept my interest, where during normal shows I leave after 15-20 minutes, so really happy they re-invented rather than repackaged.
Especially liked the onboard talent, I think 4 performers and 2 DJ’s (2 singers with guitar, two bands, two DJ’s). The one band Impulse was fantastic , did flawless covers of Green Day and other bands in the Rock format and they did them well. Acoustics down around martini bar aren’t that great, much better in the club. Also loved that they were combining shows and bands, where one of the solo acts might join a band or the bands performers would join each other.
The comedians and solo singing acts in the main theatre were forgettable, so I was so happy when the bands or DJ’s were performing
Smart thing they did is made the theater a bit smaller on Edge. I think I was told it holds 900 people per seating now, and although I only went to one show, it wasn’t crowded for any performance they had.
The Retreat-The suite only retreat lounge and outside area are a beautiful addition to the ship. All of these areas are located at the front of the ship, and are key card accessible. The lounge is nicely laid out, it reminds me of a business class lounge in an major Asian airport, with a couple of small glass refrigerators stocked with beer and soda. It also has a palette of hot and cold snacks all day, and generally two hosts are readily available to help with questions, reservations, guest relations issues, etc. I really liked that they also had copies of all the menus of the dining establishments onboard. There was two or more servers constantly roaming through to take drink orders as well. It was such a friendly cheery venue.
Retreat Sundeck/PoolBar-I really found this area lovely. The very front area is more active with a small pool (suitable for cooling off, not really swimming), a hot tub that could sit 6-8 and loungers, pergolas, swings and chairs everywhere. Probably could easily seat 125+. Back a little towards the main pool is a quieter area that adjoins the main pool. And I found this area a bit quieter with less kids. It again is discreetly separated from main pool area with a key card access I think it sat about 100. Also a bar/food area that sat about 25, didn’t eat there but it looked good. There definitely was an overabundance of staffers in the Retreat Sundeck area to meet any needs or help you have.
Disembarkation-Was simple and easy, I opted for the Luggage Valet program where if you are flying from SEA, FLL, or MIA for a $25 fee, you can do your airline checkin on Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, United or Southwest onboard, and have your bags picked up the last night of cruise, and transferred directly to the airline (you avoid claiming them at cruise terminal). This went off flawlessly as they arrived with my flight.
Summary- When I first saw the drawings of Edge and followed its construction, I thought they went too neutral with the design. It seemed to be saturated with earth tones, and not much color. I was super pleasantly surprised to see it in person, as the colors and textures, really make it a standout in more ways than one. From the greens and browns of Eden to the grays with pops of crimson in the carpet in the hallways, all the spaces really have their own identity, but also have a cohesion to each other. Like all Celebrity ships, the art is everywhere which whether you like a particular piece or not, it still adds to the mood of the space.
TRY IT TRY IT TRY IT. Make a decision for yourself. Yes it is something new, yes it may have a few nuances that need to be work out, but it is a spectacular ship. I love the new bells and whistles, and the outside the box thinking that created it. Happy that it’s not Love Boat 8.0 or a ship with an amusement park, it redefines elegance and fun at sea. I also admire that they have trust in their onboard team to modify and try new things, and change things that will be adjusted. You have the best of the best onboard this ship from a crew perspective, and each is anxious to make the experience beyond your imagination. On a scale of 1-100 I’d give it a 98. I had about 40 friends onboard ranging from 30ish to 80ish, inside cabins to suites, from US, Canada, Australia, UK, France and Germany and not one was disappointed with the experience, or felt it was a bad decision. I’m already booked for the November Transatlantic.
I’m sure the 5% of the population will only be happy if they are miserable, another 15% finds happiness in any situation, and the rest of the lot are open to being WOW-ed.
Celebrity Edge has the WOW factor, and it’s a well thought out adaptable ship and organization, that will only strengthen as it rolls into the waves near you.
There will always be people that live to complain. I actually overheard a passenger at guest relations complaining that the towels were TOO SOFT for her taste. I hear the common complaint on message boards that Celebrity is trying to draw in Millennial’s, and a younger crowd. I would think of course they would since only 35-40% of their passenger base are returning Celebrity cruisers. My reaction to that is so what, do they do it at the expense of other passengers? , IMHO no they don’t. Being in single cabin or a suite, I was treated like an honored guest from the moment I entered terminal 25 till the moment I stepped off. Read Less