We wanted to experience the new Celebrity Edge, and having been to most of other ports in the other itineraries, we opted for a Transatlantic to maximize the time on the ship rather than the ports. We were a part of a group of 10 ranging from our 40s to our 60s, and some of us were skeptical about the number of sea days...9 out of 14. Well....after our time on the Edge, we are all looking to do another Transatlantic on the Edge or a sister ship.
I honestly cannot understand some of the prior negative reviews and attribute some of them to the early shows or nuances of a new class of ship. For us, the Edge sets the bar very high for other ships and we were Wowed from the moment we stepped on until we left two weeks later.
The ship itself is stunning, innovative and logical. From the moment you walk aboard, you note the “gaudy” decor of ships of yesteryear are gone as you enter the elegance of a floating 5-star resort. The color palette throughout is tasteful, neutral where necessary, but riddled with breathing green throughout. The public spaces were plentiful, with the multi-story Eden having something for everyone. Eden provides small tables for two along the rear expansive window facade, larger sofa and chair areas, a bar, outside areas for dining and secluded sofa areas in the upper portion.
I previously read complaints of a lack of areas to relax and read...and I find these criticisms unwarranted...seek and you shall find tranquil and tasteful ares.
See below. We were in an Iconic Suite but that is not what steered my positive review or experience. We travelled with friends and family ranging from Panoramic Oceanview, Concierge (with Infinite Veranda) and Sky Suite Cabins, and met many friends and visited many cabins aboard. Having visited all of the cabins, and receiving input from all in our party, our collective opinion is that the cabins, all cabins, were amazing. The Iconic Suite stands out as a floating Park Avenue apartment, with the service commensurate with such accommodation. I cannot say enough about our Butler George and his attention to every single detail throughout the cruise. The little extras Celebrity provides is fantastic, including the Fette robes with our initials on them. HINT: If you go by your middle name and want a different initial on your robe, let them know in advance.
The Sky Suites with the beds facing the ocean (and sliding bathroom mirrors to face outwards) were a big hit and a favorite among those having sailed in Sky Suites in the past. Our friends stayed in the Infinite Veranda cabin. I have read the reviews and it is not for everyone, but our friends quite enjoyed the extra space and ability to open the balcony when desired. Probably 80 to 90% or more of the time one is in the cabin (and especially on rainy days) is spent INSIDE rather than OUTSIDE. The infinite veranda provided that extra space for that 80-90% of the time and gave the room a much roomier feel. I recommend it to those looking to try it...and if you don’t like it, choose a regular balcony next time. I think change is hard for many, but if two cabins were next to each other, one with the infinite veranda, and one without, if you walked into both, I think the majority would opt for the infinite veranda.
In the Iconic Suite, the decor was amazing and tasteful but the true treat was the outside terrace complete with a plethora of live plants, seating, a hot tub, double chaise lounge, and more.
The true treat on this ship is the Specialty Dining. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. With a 14 day Transatlantic w had the opportunity to try every specialty dining venue at least once, including Dinner on the Edge on the Magic Carpet.
Fine Cut Steakhouse: We dine at steakhouses at home, and found Fine Cut on par with or better than most high end steakhouses. They offer a 30 day dry aged steak and a Tomahawk Ribeye for the Fred Flintstone connoisseurs, and poached lobster and Dover Sole for the pescatarians. The Ceasar Salad with a twist (caviar instead of anchovies) is good but the Wedge would be my recommendation. The side options are generous and for a party of our size, all were provided.
Eden: This had the WOW factor...from the Avante Garde drink ingredients and presentation, to the menu and presentation where each morsel of food was placed with a purpose. The menu options are limited and you may need a slightly adventurous palate but the kitchen will accommodate the more limited diners (two in our group have less adventurous tastes and loved Eden enough to go back).
Raw on Five: One of my favorites...open for lunch as well so we went numerous times. The seafood tower is great to share, and the sushi and rolls are high quality with great presentation.
Grand Bistro and Petite Bistro: For lunch the venue serves at the Grand Bistro, with French cuisine including mussels and escargot...not the typical ramekins but loaded atop a flaky tart crust...a must for escargot connoisseur. But at night, the bistro converts to Le Petite Bistro, a 4D dining animated Iron Chef-style experience across a 4 course meal. We expected the venue to be gimmicky and the quality of food secondary, but we were pleasantly surprised and all enjoyed both the experience and the food. At one point I looked up and everyone in our party sat mesmerized with their cell phone videos rolling as the dinner “show” rolled out.
Rooftop Garden: Weather permitting, this is a must. We only visited once and wished we had gone more. Surprisingly good food, under the stars, but cleverly shielded from the wind in the center of the outside open deck. Definitely a must.
Luminae: We have had Luminae on several ships but the number of suites on the Edge makes Luminae a bit larger perhaps at the expense of efficiency. The Maitre D’ and servers were fantastic and never stopped but timing and temperature were sometimes an issue...not their fault. Also, on the Edge, because Luminae is on deck 12 and the main dining and specialty restaurants on decks 3 through 5, the option previously afforded to order off the main dining menu as well as Luminae has been eliminated. For me...not a problem...but a bit of an issue for some of our more traditional diners. We opted for breakfast there most of the time, and dinner several nights. They go out of their way to please...and lunch is a great option as well.
Oceanview Cafe: I am not a buffet lover so I only visited a total of 4 times for breakfast or lunch over the 14 days. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, variety, and freshness of the buffet, even after several sea days. There is something for everyone...but with most buffets, you end up taking a little of this, a little of that....until it adds up to a lot of everything...hence why I try to avoid buffets. But...as buffets go...this one is exceptional. Unfortunately, the pizza was fantastic as well (not helpful when trying to limit the weight gain over 14 nights!!!).
Entertainment and Activities: This was perhaps the area where our group, and others, were most critical. First the positive: The solo vocalists and musicians that performed in Eden and the Martini Bar were great...and the staging areas were central for audio and visual experiences. Ashlie Amber performed many difficult Whitney Houston songs and was fantastic. The adaptation to Hot Summer Night’s Dream with vocals combined with Cirque du Soleil acrobatic style performances was very enjoyable, but not everyone’s style, and the comedians were good. The dancers and shows were good and the Eden performances during dinner were great. However, many of the show outside performers were not up to par, and some were unfortunately just not good. This is the area I feel that the Edge is in most need of improvement. However....we went to the Club instead, and made our own fun. For a Transatlantic, I expected the Club to be empty ...but I was pleasantly surprised and the enjoyment spilled out to the Martini bar late night.
For those with children ...a Transatlantic Cruise is likely not for you. There were either 2 or 4 kids I think on the whole cruise. But for those looking to experience a new style ship ...I recommend the Transatlantic for the number of days you actually get to enjoy the ship, meet your fellow passengers, relax and steal some “me” time.
Would I go again? Can’t wait!!!!
The Iconic Suite is spacious, with a neutral color palette and ample seating areas, but the big plus is the amount of pure light flowing into the room. The windows are angled outward to maximize visibility of the water and the light penetration. The seating is comfortable, the decor modern but not ostentatious, and perfect to enjoy on your own, to watch a movie or to have a party. The terrace is amazing and extremely functional and a great place to hang out alone or with friends.
There are some areas in need of improvement. For example, while a plethora of closet space, the amount of long hanging for coats, jackets or dresses is surprisingly limited. The second bedroom area is great but the second/guest bathroom door is through a hall but faces the dining area. There is room for an additional pocket door there that would be easy to retrofit and recommended. All in all, however, I am very impressed with the design and functionality of the room, though there is always room for some improvement.
Visited Casa Emma Winery and City of Florence Tour