There is no doubt Celebrity Edge looks good. All those Kelly Hoppen greys and beiges. But does it feel good? Well not to this seasoned traveller. Celebrity have made a great effort to lower the age demographic of their passengers. They have succeeded - but I think at the expense of the older guest. Take the bars: I want a comfortable lounge to enjoy a drink. The biggest bar is the Martini Bar on Deck 3 but the seating is on the edge of a three-deck high atrium. Yes it looks impressive. But it feels cold and impersonal.
The nicest space is the Al Bacio coffee bar lounge on Deck Four. I took to getting a drink from the casino bar (also on deck four) and carryimng it through to the Al Bacio lounge. So I noticed did others. In fact Al Bacio does serve some limited drinks in the evenings and the solution would be to open it as a full bar plus coffee after say 6 o'clock.
I and many others in my age group like to hear a pianist or a classical duo. Alas - Edge is an almost non-stop diet of over amplified pop music. Even worse there are designer muzak tapes on a loop in the restaurants - designed presumably by someone who didn't try listening to them every day.
The atmosphere on the Magic Carpet - the bit that hangs over the side- was much better. For one thing -- being outside you couldn't hear the music. It is an idyllic place for those balmy evenings in the Med.
I got that "all fur coat and no knickers" feel about the Speciality restaurants - especially Eden. It is approached via a dark mirror glass room, negotiating a series of twisted floor-to-ceiling columns and lit only by twinkling ceilng lights. What's that all about? And Aquaclass passengers dining in Blu have to pass through this for every meal. The food itself was good though not exceptional and it certainly wasn't helped by being served by a girl dressed in rags and a man, also in rags, wielding a stick. Adam and Eve? Caliban?
Le Petit Chef and friends features overhead projections of animated figures dancing on your plates as they prepare each course. Entertaining - certainly. But sadly the animation food looked a sight better than the food we actually received. Neither restaurant was worth the extra money.
On the plus side - the three main non-paying restaurants were all excellent. Great friendly service, a wide choice of dishes all very well presented and tasty. And no gimmicks.The a la carte breakfast in the Cosmopolitan (I think) was particularly enjoyable and a better choice for me than the scrum at the buffet!
The cabins are very well designed in general. But I was in a single cabin (and God Bless Celebrity for thinking positively about we solo travellers), Again the Hoppen influence looked good- but there was enough hanging space for clothes but only one shelf (under the safe) and no drawers. What to do with the smalls? And the plus side: The best shower I've ever found on any ship - proper walk-in, no clingy curtains and a powerful spray. Bliss. The single-panel control for everything including the excellent air conditioning, the window and the blinds, was a definite plus and the ability to transform the cabin into an infinity balcony was fun.
Other pluses: Embarkation at Civitaveccia was a dream. Almost straight aboard and keys waiting outside the cabins. Disembarkation was equally smooth with lots of staff on hand to guide us all to the correct buses.
And as always the biggest plus of all - the cheerful, efficient , friendly staff who are keeping this ship spotlessly clean and who do put the customer first. Especially the younger customer!