This is our eighth cruise, our sixth with Celebrity.
We chose the Edge because we wanted something new, but trusted the company to provide us with the five-star treatment we've been used to. There are reviews from inexperienced new cruisers who loved it, and experienced cruisers who hated it (and a few in between). We weren't disappointed, so this review is aimed towards the semi-experienced cruiser who has previously been on Solstice class ships.
The positives changes:
- Check in and out, no lines at all. Great to get right to your room instead of hauling your carry-on up to the buffet.
- Cabins were larger, with decent storage (when you moved all the art out of the way) and the bathroom very easily handled two adults with, shall we say, no small amount of "product".
- Infinite Veranda came as advertised, seemed to open up the room, especially light-wise. Amazing to come into Malta and lie on the bed and see castle walls right there. Blackout shutter worked when you wanted it dark, bi-fold doors worked when you wanted light but privacy.
- Food was either excellent (Eden, Le Petit Chef), or very good (Normandie MDR, buffet, Pool Grill). Both Eden and Le Petit Chef could be seen as kitschy (hey, its called "Edge" for a reason), but both the food and service were incredible. Our friends ate at the steak house and Raw and said the food was also excellent so if you want only "old school" specialty, you might want to skip the new places and try there.
- Service was excellent, a few (obviously tired) crew near the end seemed to fade a bit, but Paul our cabin steward was amazing and our MDR crew very good.
- The Flying Carpet was pretty amazing, nice view of Messalina and Etna as we sailed past Sicily at 8 in the morning. When we tendered it provided a great platform (and the new tenders are pretty nice too). When on the pool deck it was a great option from the very busy pool bar.
- Cabanas: our friends splurged and got a cabana on the sea day, so I have no idea how much it cost, but it was a great experience, so it might be worth it for some.
- Eden: we loved it. Beyond the actual setup, the service at the bar was excellent, the view amazing and during the day, it was a very quiet and uncrowded spot. The actual 10:15 show was fun if you like that Cirque de Soleil stuff, and don't miss the food options, which were a nice change from the buffet for breakfast.
- Theater: we're not much into this aspect cruising, but went a few times for talks on the upcoming ports, as well as a couple of shows. Sound was amazing and the screens for the shows were great.
- Other entertainment: one great solo male and solo female, (sorry, names aren't coming to me), one great band, one mediocre band.
The negative changes (and some quibbles):
- Shade. Yes, the Negative Nellies are actually not wrong. The Sunset Bar has little, the otherwise amazing Garden Deck basically none. Maybe this might work in Alaska or the Baltic, but not in the Mediterranean in August. We resorted to pulling chairs into the walkway for a breather. Although I didn't really miss the live grass, at least there is a canopy on the top deck of Solstice class.
- Grand Plaza. Ok, not really that negative, but its certainly no Solstice. While many might not miss the atrium with the glass elevators up to the 14th floor, and the new Martini Bar is very nice, with the dance floor, multiple levels and "showtime" bartenders it wasn't near as nice as the Passport Bar. I think more would miss the size (and elegance) of the Passport Bar, Cellar Masters, Ensemble Lounge, the old Martini Bar (with the ice-counter), the World Class Bar, and the Sky Lounge.
- Mast Bar is gone, which was my "go to" as you could get a burger and a beer and not have to deal with the Pool Bar.
- I'm glad we didn't book the Flying Carpet for dinner: our day in Mykonos was very windy, and while the FC is amazing for drinks or simply watching the coast go by, beware of having to eat with the wind.
- Dining: couldn't find out exactly how to move from one MDR to another, so we had to stick to Normandie. As well, we were seated in the far back, and had trouble actually getting into one seat as the curtain was right up against the chair.
- Flow to the ship (I mean walking-wise). As we are now missing being able to access the bow (first class only!), its hard to move from side to side as you often have to walk past the specialty dining areas to get anywhere: you can't simply go straight across to get to portside from starboard.
- Hot tubs. I have no idea if they are any good because I wasn't about to walk upstairs from the pool...as well, the indoor one had a large number of suspiciously young "adults", i.e., over 16...
- Infinite Veranda: window SQUEEEEEKKKKKKEEEEED when used sometimes, which wasn't fun for anyone in the early morning/late nights. As well, the blackout curtain was top-down, which means when you wanted to see what it was like out...you had to open it a bit then duck down...
- I couldn't get the much-vaunted app to load on my (not exactly old) tablet. The ones in our group who could get it loaded found that it didn't update automatically, and we even heard one crew member to trust the printed sheets, not the app. You've been warned...
- Small quibble: no deck chairs on the lower decks. Nice to find a quiet spot on sea days especially and have a nap with the breeze going by.
General Issues (which could happen on any ship): kids. Seriously, I'm not old and cranky enough to always complain about kids having fun, especially on a cruise ship vacation. But the pool was virtually held hostage by kids who continually ran and jumped in, not to mention throwing a ball from one end to the other. Fun for a few minutes but hours of it?
As well, we apparently had an entire stateroom full of children with no adult supervision right beside us - both sides. As they didn't have security cards, they would open the deadbolt, they push the doors open (which would then SLAM closed). From the deck plans we saw, every OTHER stateroom has pull outs...so that means families are on either side of couples. How about...a section for quiet couples?
All in all, 4 out of 5 stars. Will probably be on the Edge again next year...but...all those modern doo-dads don't appear to be very robust. Unless its refurbished more often than Solstice class, I'd hesitate to book five years from now.
Quite amazing. Larger than Solstice Class, bathroom was as advertised much larger. Very bright when needed, very dark when needed.
The Infinite Veranda worked...but it did squeak a bit when opened (not nice early in the morning, late in the evening) and the blackout shade, while excellent for actually blacking out daylight, is nowhere near as efficient as a curtain, i.e., opens form the top, so to see what its like outside, you had to open it up (or duck under).