First of all the question of whether we would sail on the Edge again--absolutely! Celebrity has listened to people who sailed earlier and taken steps to made the Edge experience better. Two senior Celebrity staff members also met with us during our meet and mingle and took and answered questions concerning future improvements to Edge and the Edge follow ons. We booked this cruise well over a year ago just because we wanted to sail on the Edge with its latest and greatest technology. The itinerary did not matter as we planned to maximize time on the ship as opposed to excursions on shore. We flew to Ft Lauderdale from Raleigh, NC the day before sailing. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn near the cruise port and used their shuttle service to get to the ship. They charged $10 pp but it was worth it as it was a comfortable passenger bus that delivered us right to the baggage off load spot.
Embarkation was the easiest and fastest we have ever done. I had downloaded the mobile app when it first came out and had our Xpress passes loaded on it. That' what we used during boarding and it worked like a piece of cake! We really liked that we could go straight to our cabin and leave our carry-on bags in the cabin while we explored the ship. We took the 1215 pm ship tour that we learned about on the mobile app before boarding. That gave us a good overview of the ship plus learning some of the trivia details about the ship.
Our cabin was an ocean view stateroom on deck 3, 3143. It was the largest oceanview we have had by about 10 sq feet, most of which seemed to be in the bathroom, especially the shower which was roomy and feature lots of glass and chrome. The only downside to our cabin was it was directly below the Le Grande Bistro/Le Petit Chef and we could hear noise from the galley as they cleaned as late as 1100 at night. The cabin had a very large TV, kingsize bed, lounge couch, safe, mini fridge, ample docking stations for phones/tablets, ample storage, and my favorite--fully adjustable lighting for morning, daytime, evening, movie watching on a keypad next to the bathroom. On the first sea day, a lot of us cruise critic members did a cabin crawl where we saw about 10 different cabins and locations.
There are 4 main dining restaurants on the Edge, different from other ships with just one large restaurant. We liked the fact that there was more adherence to dress codes on this ship--one man was turned away the 2nd night for wearing shorts and 2 people were asked to remove their hats before they were seated. Our main dining room was the Cosmopolitan, early seating. The food and service there was outstanding. We dined one night at the Tuscany and had planned to dine at each of the other two but we really liked our wait staff at Cosmopolitan so we returned there each night. The staff was very accommodating to special requests, such as one night when we brought 4 guests in and they gave us a large round table. We did not dine at any of the specials restaurants. Breakfast was either in the Oceanview or Cosmopolitan depending on our mood of the day. We liked sitting outside on the back of the ship when the weather was good so we would eat at Oceanview those days. Lunch was usually at the Mast Grill (great hamburgers) or Eden grill which featured more healthy fare. Eden grill also has a small seating area outside which was nice.
Entertainment in the main theater was probably the weakest area of the cruise for us. We had come to expect several large productions featuring the singers and dancers, but there was only one such performance--A Hot Summer Night. Some of the solo entertainers were just fair, but some were also very good. The comedians were good as were the Hard Days Night Beatles tribute band. Jordan Bennett was also very good. We also went to productions in The Club and Eden. The club is an interesting area that gets a lot of use, but the support columns in the middle limits viewing from several angles. The Revelation performance in Eden lasts 90 minutes and is probably the most talked about performance on the ship. There is no playbill, the performers do not talk, people from the audience are brought into the action, and we still don't know exactly what we saw. But that is one of the things that made it interesting and we are still talking about it and trying to analyze the performance. Beyond the Podium series gets an A-plus. It featured Mr. Jim Kennedy, former director of the Kennedy Space Center, lecturing on space history, future of space, and stories from 50 years of NASA space exploration.
The fitness area was very nice with ample machines of all types and lots of free weights. The jogging and walking path was the best on any ship we have sailed, departing from the typical boring oval instead with a meandering track that covered two decks, giving you an incline in one direction and a downhill in the other. It is also long, a little over 4 circuits for a mile.
The Magic Carpet is an interesting concept but is more limited than we thought. There was only one dining experience available on this cruise, and it was totally booked long before the cruise, so no one else could dine on it. Its primary utilization during the day was as a bar, propositioned at one of a few locations. As a launch pad for the tenders, though, it is excellent, as were the tenders. They are air conditioned with large comfortable seats and 2 large tv screens.
As for debarkation--excellent! We were off the ship, had our luggage, and through customs before we knew it. We took a taxi to the airport and the line for the taxis was staffed with people directing you to the taxi and it went very fast.
Roomy with lots of storage space, safe, mini fridge, kingsize bed, large tv, ample docking stations for phones/tablets. The bathroom was roomy and the shower was the best we have had in this class. Only downside for this cabin was its location directly beneath the galley of Le Grande Bistro. We could hear the staff cleaning and moving furniture until past 1100 pm.