Sometimes, the best things in life are not planned. All my life, I've said I was going on a Mediterranean cruise. I didn't know when or how--I just knew it was going to happen. I, February, we were out of state, on a short trip, when my husband received a late night phone call from one of his sons, asking if we'd be interested in cruising on the new Celebrity ship with them. My husband is retired, and though not stingy, he does watch his money. We already knew we were going to Costa Rica the second week of July with another one of our eight children, so we just said we couldn't make it happen. Our son called us back and asked if they took care of the airfare to Rome, if we would go. We looked at the link they had sent us and saw $1847 and my husband said we could probably do it. Mind you, we've only cruised Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival before, and the only time we had a balcony was on the Alaskan trip with Princess and an ocean view with HA, so the most we've probably ever paid was for the Alaskan trip (around $1200.00). We called around 10:30 PM to book it, and after he hung up, my husband told me they had charged him double the down payment. My sister and I looked at him and told him that was for two people, not one. He thought the $1847 was for both of us. He slept on it and we decided the next morning that we would call and cancel before April 25.
My birthday was April 1 and his was April 15, so we decided we'd treat ourselves and keep our reservations. Then, we noticed a drastic price drop, so we called and took the four perks option, rather than upgrade our room. We knew after booking, we would be in Cabin 7101 and it was at the very front of the ship. We liked the layout and really thought we'd have access to the front of the ship (we did not) to stand out and enjoy the water. I usually only drink coffee, tea and lemonade, and purchase 1-2 drinks a day, so I did enjoy having the premium drink package. Probably a little too much!
We arrived home form Costa Rica on July 16 and thought we would have nine days to enjoy being at home and resting up for our next journey, but my sister-in-law passed away on the Friday before we were heading to Rome on the next Thursday, so we packed our suitcases early and headed to Illinois from east Texas on Monday and left after the funeral on Wednesday to head back home. We arrived home at 1:30 am on the 27th, I did payroll for a company I work for, along with 2 loads of clothes, and we headed to DFW for our flight to Rome at 8:00 am. We got to Rome at 7:00 am on the 26th, dropped our suitcases off and headed to the Vatican and Sistine chapel for our pre-booked tour, then on to the Coliseum for that tour, before eating at a little café outside our hotel and crashing until the next morning. Operating on about 3 hours of sleep up until this point ( I had the darn middle seat, so my husband could have the aisle seat) I just knew I could relax on the cruise for the next week.
But darn----the Edge was so exciting and beautiful, I was afraid I would miss something if I relaxed too much. The ship itself, is different from any I had ever been on before. She's sleek, she's modern, but she has all the charisma that makes a person want to enjoy every minute on her. I really like our cabin and it was the best and largest inside cabin I had ever stayed in. The bathroom was almost luxurious (mind you, this is only an inside cabin). The wall switch for the a/c and lights was very convenient. There was plenty of storage. Our bed was so comfortable. Our steward, Franco, was very attentive and after I asked for ice once, he usually saw I had ice in my room at all times. We are early risers, but from our busy schedule the previous week and maybe one martini too many the previous night, we slept until noon one day. I have not done that in 20 years! At noon, I hopped up, anxious that I might have missed an activity. I did enjoy watching A Star is Born while relaxing one afternoon in the Rooftop Garden. The pool did always seem to be full, and I would like to throw all the towel clips overboard. I still don't see why people can't be decent and take turns with the lounge chairs and don't see why the clips are even allowed. But, we can swim every day at home if we choose, so I just laid out a little and read.
We always had set dining times on my other cruises, so did not know what to expect with select dining, but it ended up working out well for us, and we never had to wait. We enjoyed every restaurant. We even enjoyed the buffet, and we usually avoid it on most cruises. The servers always acted happy to see us, even if they had not seen us before. I worried that the service would not be as good, if they didn't see us for most meals. The wine selection was excellent, too. We also never felt rushed, as I was afraid we might. It was a tossup if we enjoyed Normandy or Cosmopolitan the most, but we did like to the other two, also. I also blame the coffee bar and sweets for my extra five pounds from the cruise.
I thought the shows were good, but did not understand the one in Eden. My granddaughter loved it, though, especially when she and her dad were encouraged to participate. So, just remembering the smile on her face keeps me from thinking it was a waste of my time. I enjoyed all the singers and the bands. I loved sitting in the Martini Bar and listening or dancing to the bands and singers and we also enjoyed The Club. No matter what we were doing, we would always swing by The Club on the way back to our room. We had so much fun with our son, daughter-in-law and her family, enjoying the karaoke and the dancing!
My husband and I had trouble with our internet and wifi connection, but every time it messed up, I went to customer service and they took care of my problem within an couple of minutes. Our keys stopped working at one point, and they also dealt with that problem immediately.
We booked the scenic Naples-Positano tour and loved every exhilarating minute of it. The only tour we booked before we got on ship was the Train to Florence. We also did the scenic tour of Cannes, Nice and Eze. The Monaco tour was very informative. With the traffic being what it is in some of those places, I wanted to book a tour from the ship, just in case there was any trouble getting back to the ship. The only mistake we made, was doing a beach day in Isla de Mallorca. The taxis or services are happy to drop you off at the beach, they just will not pick up you. Dry or not, if you have any beachwear on, they will not let you in their vehicles, because of the sand. We were afraid to hop on a bus, not knowing where they would take us, so we hooved it back from Cala Mejor to the ship. Thank heaven for my Chacos, but it was still a long, sweaty trek! About midway back, I would have gladly ridden in the back of a chicken truck! I worried about going to a beach where tops are optional with the grandkids, but they never even noticed. I truly feel the excursions offered from the ship gave me glimpses of what life in the places we visited is actually like or what it was like in the past. My husband is very active, but has drop foot on one side from a previous injury, so we were very careful in our choices. Any of the tours, even though some were described as strenuous, were fine with him. At Eze, he did end up sitting at the restaurant while I made a quick trip the rest of the way up the mountain. But, the people at the Shore Excursion area can answer almost any question you may have about any of the tours.
Embarkation and Disembarkation: Well, this is what sealed the deal for us! It really wasn't a process at all. I did have a slight problem when one of the agents asked to see something that we had put in our suitcase before handing to the baggage stewards. I went back and the lady at the table told me to tell him it was ok, they had what they needed on file. When I ran back, he said ok, and we took off. We kept thinking, "When are we going to have to stop and wait?" And, we never did. For disembarkation, we put our luggage out before 9:00 the night before and the next morning, when they called our number, we walked straight off the ship to the area where our luggage was located. Very easy!
I am kind of upset with Celebrity because it will be much harder for me to book a cruise with anyone else after sailing on the Edge. I travel with my sister and her husband much of the time, and also some other friends from my area, so we usually do RC, Carnival or a more budget-friendly line, but I have to admit, I felt spoiled with Celebrity. I did not know what to expect, but I am happy to say that whatever my expectations were, they were exceeded! Thanks for a wonderful time!