We waited over a year to board the Edge and of course we've read all the mixed reviews before the trip. We're mid-40 couples who love food and travel. Been on Celebrity, RCCL, NCL, and Oceania.
So in terms of aesthetic the Edge did not disappoint. It was definitely the nicest large-sized cruise ship in the market. Staff spent alot of effort to maintain the beautiful condition of everything. I was very surprised how well they upkeep the upholstery. I once saw a large coffee stain on a white couch at Retreat lounge and the next day the stain was completely gone.The 4 MDR was very nicely designed too. Very contemporary and modern luxury indeed. People complained how the ship looks more like a hotel and not a ship - I don't get how this is bad, I did not miss the traditional wood finishing at all!
We stayed at Sky Suite and we were extremely happy with its layout and furnishing. We loved the long basin and half tub (although the door did leak if showered too long). It was spacious with the right amount of storage. One thing we didn't like was the temperature setting. The lowest we could get was 19°C and on a hot day with down blanket the room felt like 25°C and we couldn't sleep well. Apparently they told us the ship went on ECO mode every night, somehow they assumed that people don't need that much cold air at night so the entire air-con system got turned down automatically. But then magically, one night, our butler with the help of an engineer, was able to turn off the temp sensor in our room and it became freezing cold which we liked!
That was just one example of how happy we were with Celebrity's service. They simply went out of their way to make sure we were happy. That's the reason why we love cruising so much. We felt like cruising is the only place where we would be treated like king & queen every single day :)). Every crew on the Edge was cheerful and courteous. We had Captain Kate but we didn't see her greeting us on embark / disembark day like people have said. Also cruise director was not seen anywhere except during those very short trivias and games. That didn't bother us though. Service in general was exceptional and much better than on other Celebrity ships.
Staying in suite gave us the privilege to use Retreat Deck and Lounge. The deck was beautiful and the area near pool was always full even on port days. So Retreat Deck was not that empty afterall, people did't seem to get off ship on this cruise :) The Retreat Lounge was the best place to chill and have a quick drink / snack. Without a bar was not a problem to us as ordering drinks was quick and easy.
Luminae though, was a huge let down. Service was great but food was not. Menu selection was unimpressive everyday, food quality and taste was mediocre. My husband had the toughest halibut fish one night. And I once saw a Vegetarian Fried Udon on menu. IMO Luminae was overrated. I would say MDR (Normandie that we went) served better food than Luminae most of the nights with better selections too! So we ended up spending only 2-3 nights at Luminae because we just couldn't find anything we liked on the menu!
Oceanview Buffet was simply the best!! It was much much better than the buffet on other Celebrity ships. Not only the food was delicious, selection was very good too. There were themed stations every night matching the country that the ship was staying in, for example when we were at Barcelona, there was a huge Jamon Iberico with lots of tapas served. In Italy, there were Tuna and Beef Carpaccio; in France, there was terrine etc. Pizza was the best too. If you're garlic lover don't miss out the garlic pizzas!
We also went to 3 specialties - Eden, Raw on 5, and Fine Cut. Eden was better than expected - my husband said it was the best among all others, creative recipe with quality ingredients. We didn't interact with the Edenists though :) Raw on 5 was also good, freshest oysters (from Greece!) and lobsters. Omakase sashimi was funny, who serves cooked shrimp as sashimi?
And finally Fine Cut, IMO it was below average. Husband ordered the USDA 30 Day Dry Aged Prime Bone In NY Steak and it was not edible. It could not be cut open with knife. Extremely tough and tasteless. He had to return and change to a Filet Mignon which was more tender but still lacking the delicious taste of beef. We tried not to compare with very fine restaurants on land but even BLT served better steaks than Fine Cut. That steak didn't taste like USDA prime grade to us when it was simply so dry and tough that could not be chewed and eaten. It was not a cheap meal on a cheap cruise ship, we were expecting a bit more. Even the waiter knew this and didn't suggest us to order it but my husband wanted bone in steak. Not a big deal though just something that could be avoided if manager paid more attention
Entertainment was poor as expected. We went to Colors Of Life and Kaleidoscope, both very similar with 70% singing + 20% dancing + 10% acrobats. I remember reading somewhere people didn't like the show as they were "too different" from the ones on previous ships. On the contrary I think they were TOO similar to the ones I saw on Celebrity Reflection with the same old formula and same old gymnast flying around in curtains and big hula hoops. I was expecting real differences, more innovative shows not just acrobats all the time... but then again maybe it was only me... proven too much innovation would disappoint most passengers :)) I hope Celebrity would add more history / cultural lectures as there was literally nothing to do in the afternoon. Trivias cost $ and games only lasted 30 mins max. We had to take afternoon naps zzz on sea days.
Overall we loved Celebrity and we loved the Edge. We didn't think it was "very different from normal Celebrity cruise ships" as we have been on Solstice and Reflection. Similar demographics, similar good service, similar (or better) food. Maybe fewer bars but that didn't bother us. We would not hesitate to choose the Edge (or Apex) again, despite our small complaints above. No cruise line is perfect and you just have to pick on that suits best.
Very quiet with minimal overhang. We chose this because this got a full open balcony with no pole in the middle. The ones next to us got a pole in the middle of balcony which somehow blocking part of the view.