My husband and I were looking for a European adventure that we could do with his sister and her significant other and flying to a bunch of countries or traveling by train was just not feasible, due to time constraints and expenses. We found this particular cruise, and itinerary, and it seemed like a no-brainer. We wanted to sail on the Edge and we wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise and this filled both of those. Perfect.
We flew in the night before, staying at a little boutique hotel in the center of Rome, and spent that evening walking through the streets and getting pizza (stereotypical but face it - the pizza in Italy is amazing). The next morning we did a tour of the Vatican, which is something I think everyone should do. I'm not religious and I found it to be simply amazing. It included visits to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.
After the tour, we took a taxi from Rome to Civitavecchia. It's about an hour away but the drive isn't bad.
Check in was an absolute breeze, but I'm attributing that more to the fact that we didn't get there until about 130p so most people were already on the ship. My sister-in-law didn't have her check in paperwork and her app wasn't working so she was able to quickly get checked in by the staff at the cruise terminal.
Walking onto this ship has been like no other experience. It blew me away from the very first moment. The ship was immaculate and the staff was just fantastic. The Celebrity Edge is very modern in terms of cruise ship decor. I do enjoy sort of the kitchiness that other cruise lines have but I really, really enjoyed the modern look of the Edge.
We had a concierge class cabin up on deck 12, which was right under The Spacafe. We heard no noise from the deck above us, which was surprising. Then again, the Spacafe is located in the Solarium so it doesn't see the sort of foot traffic that the Resort Deck sees. Our cabin had an Infinite Veranda, which is so nice to have. The balcony is truly a part of your room so when you have the doors to the veranda open, it becomes just an extension of your room. There's a window that you can lower to actually turn it into an open air veranda. We heard very little noise from either stateroom beside us and no noise from other verandas when we had the window open. The Edge has fantastic soundproofing in the cabins. The shower is a little bigger than other ships and the bed seems to be a bit wider, too.
I was a little disappointed with some of the food in the MDR on this particular trip. None of it was bad, by any means, but there were certain items I felt could have been done better. For example, I had spinach and ricotta ravioli one evening and the pasta was flavorless and a little mushy. I'm not a pasta snob but I appreciate a pasta that's cooked correctly. This was just overcooked and underseasoned. On our previous cruise, on the Celebrity Equinox, we had a variety of butters and spreads each night with the bread. On the Edge, 4 of the nights, we got exactly the same three spreads and the other 3 nights were the same as well. I miss the variety that we'd experienced previously.
The MDR is no longer one or two large dining rooms on this ship. They split the MDR up into 4 distinct restaurants, which I felt was very nice. It gave dinner more of an intimate feel. We had dinner in the Tuscan Restaurant, which had an Italian theme. The menus between all 4 MDRs are mostly identical - but there is a section of drinks, appetizers, and entrées specific to the restaurant that you're in. I found that to be interesting. Each section of each restaurant, comprising of about 10 tables or so, had its own sommelier. That made getting wine a little easier. The downside to the entire dining experience was there being only 1 coffee machine for all 4 restaurants. Many of the nights, my husband and my sister in law's SO didn't get their coffee until well after dessert had been finished.
We, unfortunately, did not get to eat in any of the specialty restaurants. They all sold out very quickly. We were really wanting to do dinner on the Magic Carpet but we'll save that for next time.
We saw many of the shows offered and I will say that, hands down, Celebrity has the best onboard shows that we've seen. The entertainment is just fantastic. The Theatre has sort of a wrap-around screen which made the entire experience just a bit more amazing. We didn't participate in many of the activities onboard because we had excursions every single day, save for our one sea day, but they did a silent disco twice on the cruise and that's just the funnest thing ever. I really wish they'd offer it every night.
Overall, the service on the cruise was just above and beyond. There were a few hiccups with some staff members but all in all, it was the best staff of any cruise I've been on. Our room steward was wonderful. When he introduced himself to us, he asked us what we wanted to be called instead of just referring to the names on our information. Our server and assistant server in the MDR were great, too. They were engaging just enough but not disinterested. They didn't interrupt very often, which I've experienced sometimes on other cruises.
We had fantastic excursions in every port except for Cannes and Palma. And it was NOT the fault of the port itself. Cannes, for example, was an excursion that left the ship before 8am and it was about 815am (I think) when we got to our first stop, a little town called Antibes. There was basically nothing to actually do, other than get some coffee, walk around, and check out the farmer's market. Our guide said this was because it was so early. She also cut our time in Antibes by an hour, which gave us less time to do any of the things that WOULD open later. When we went to Nice, we were given about an hour and a half. Again, not much time for anything. I think this particular excursion could have been fantastic had Nice been the first stop since it took longer to get there, thus increasing the chances of things being open. Then, the things to do in Antibes would have been open as well.
We toured the Drach caves in Palma. It's a 75 minute bus ride from one side of the island to the other and when we got there, our guide essentially said, "Okay, here you go. You have an hour and a half." and off she went. There was a HUGE queue outside to get in. It takes about an hour to get through the caves. We were in line, just to get in, for close to 20 minutes. It didn't really leave much time at all to really enjoy the caves. There's a boat ride across an underwater lake but we had zero time to do it because of so much time being spent just waiting in line. Our second stop of that tour was a pearl factory that was literally 50 feet from the caves. Yes, we got back in the bus and drove that 50 feet before getting out again. We had about 45 minutes at the pearl place. I think it would have worked out much better if there had been more time just in that area to enjoy the caves, the pearl shop, and the town of Porto Cristo.
The rest of our excursions were fantastic. We saw the ruins of Pompeii and hiked up Mt. Vesuvius. If you do this excursion, the hike is brutal. You NEED good shoes and plenty of water. It's worth it, though, when you get to the top. We toured Florence and Pisa, both of which were lovely. We took a hop-on hop-off bus around Monte-Carlo. We visited the casino but if you have any desire to get into the casino past the slot machines, there is a dress code and you have to buy tickets. You can't wear shorts past the slot machines.
Disembarkation was a breeze as well. It went very, very smoothly. It was probably the quickest we've been off the ship and into a taxi that we've ever done. Barcelona is a lovely port to end the cruise in and we spent 2 days there before we headed home.
All in all, my wedding cruise aside, this was the best cruise I've ever been on. The ship is the best ship I've been on. I loved this cruise.
Wonderfully spacious. The location was very good - close to the elevators without being too noisy due to hallway traffic. The infinite veranda is an amazing thing. Love being able to raise the blinds without having to open the window and get a full view of the ocean.
Absolutely amazing experience! Even if you're not religious, it's worth it to visit the Vatican.
Very strenuous hike up to the summit of the volcano but it's worth the climb.
Good tour, covered major parts of the ruins.
Great tour guide, she gave us lots of information about everything we were seeing.
The Piazza dei Miracoli is really only the 4 things you see - the bapistry, the duomo, the tower, and the cemetary. No need to an extended period of time here but amazing to see.
An hour-long bus tour but it covers all of the major stops.
It was too short and our tour guide seemed very uninterested
It was too short and our tour guide seemed very uninterested
Long wait time that cut into the amount of time you had inside the caves.