This review is long but subtitled for reference. The review is not a comparison to any other ships only intended to share information and experiences we had on our March Western Caribbean cruise. We had Aqua category and all (4) perks plus the Drink package upgrade. We did not have children with us. We did not have access to the Retreat (Suites) area, we experienced only the Stone Massage and did not visit all the onboard restaurants. Finally, we would take a cruise on the Celebrity EDGE again.
EMBARKATION - was easy but could use some signage for guests to know where to move to and lines to be in for security. They released passengers in waves to proceed upstairs and pass through Security. There was an “expedited” line that you needed to have on your ticket in-hand and they used facial recognition (which you provide before arriving) as the only documentation to pass through the detectors. After you pass through the detectors you are directed to sit on a bench area but then moved to a different bench area. Passengers needing assistance boarded first. Then the Concierge category boarded before Aqua. But then in the middle of boarding Concierge they called for ALL Expedited passengers (us) to board apparently regardless of category. Got to our room easily and quickly once Boarding began – maybe 10-15 minutes and we were in our room. We were in our room at 11:00am.
AQUA CATEGORY ROOMS – the rooms are physically pretty much same as other EDGE Veranda rooms. The King size bed is very comfortable. The stateroom room was very quiet all times of the day – never heard anyone next door or above or below. The room technology works as expected although there are switches all over for whatever you might want to control.
The shower is very nice – (5) shower heads. The heated mirror keeps the bathroom very warm. Did not notice any “Aroma Therapy” in the room but, the lotion and bath products did offer some pleasant mild scents. The bathroom is ample in size even for two people together. You do have (2) robes and a hair dryer included.
The bed location was back near the bathroom which left the area near the Verandah as the main living area. We found this orientation most desirable and learned that on the Starboard side of the ship; as you face the room doors, the door on the left (more toward the front of the ship) will have the bed location near the bathroom as we had; cabin #9262.
We were not sure if we would like the EDGE style verandah compared to other ships. As we lived with it and became accustom to the differences we decided it functions very well. Verandah seating was available to us in any weather; wind, sun, hot or cold. On a hot and windy day at sea you could choose to open the upper half and experience the elements or close it and be seated at the edge looking over the water and distant views while being very comfortable. There is a significant increase in the privacy afforded you by the subsumed verandah space. A cool experience is to turn on the verandah overhead light and close the folding French doors at night – the frosted glass creates a beautiful setting inside the stateroom. The French doors also provide privacy inside the stateroom should you find yourself docked across from another ship or hotel.
You do not have the feeling of “openness” afforded the traditional verandahs but with the window completely lowered it offered a similar experience but with the added benefits mentioned here. There is not sufficient room for a lounge chair or two on the verandah but the deck chairs and table work well. The only real disadvantage we found was the divider between the upper and lower glass was at “eye level” for anyone of average height. If you wish to view across to the horizon you had to sit straight upright or slouch in the deck chairs. Traditional verandah railings can present a similar experience.
PERKS – We selected an Aqua Category room with all (4) Perks plus the Beverages and More upgrade. We had a wide selection of premium beverages including a daily replenished Mini-fridge for no additional charge or gratuity, although we did tip occasionally in addition to the pre-paid when warranted. There were no additional charges with exception of some wines and spirits beyond “premium” or if you ordered a bottle of wine from their list.
SEAPASS CARD – attach it to your body because it is used for everything on board and to get on or off the ship. For example, if you order a drink that costs more than the pre-paid package you purchased - when the card is used by the bartender the charge will be found on your folio at the end of the cruise and then be charged to your credit card.
NAVIGATING THE SHIP – was confusing for the first couple days, as to what was on which floor. The interior ship design is “fluid” meaning it flows from one area to the next but not in lengthy straight lines of sight. Along the paths from aft to stern are many points of interest that you eventually learn to correlate with desired destinations. The EDGE is not a very large ship so a walk from one end to the other is a daily event, usually often and there are only about (6) decks of public areas to learn. Navigating the upper two decks with the multilevel jogging track that splits the deck is a bit of a challenge at first finding access points to the elevator banks. There are directions posted everywhere for anyone who prefers to read.
GOING ASHORE – was efficient and effortless. Using the facial recognition technology made the process of going ashore quick and without the need of a Passport.
ELEVATORS – there are two banks of elevators – one forward and one aft with six elevators in each bank. The elevators are well marked with where you are and where you might want to go. They are large and operation is quick.
INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR DESIGN – We loved the interior design of the EDGE. It’s definitely “new”, contemporary, fluid, beautiful color pallets throughout, eclectic, open, and easily navigated. Many features are interwoven into the design that help define specific areas of interest for guests. There are also décor features intent to make a statement amidst the warmer colors. Many different materials have been used to decorate walls and ceilings and to create pseudo walls. There was even much attention given to the floor designs. The overall feeling is one of an “upscale” environment that we found appealing and comfortable.
SERVICE – was evident everywhere we went onboard. Not only was the service always available but the attitude of the individuals providing the service was upbeat and pleasant – at least 95% of the time. This included every service member we experienced while onboard the ship.
INSIDE SHIP TOUR – was well worth the cost and time. The tour took about 2 ½ hours. You were able to see a couple of the kitchens, a spirits room, a pantry, a crew lounging room, the laundry room, the engine room and the Bridge. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet Captain Kate and her cat on the Bridge. You also saw a lot of activities as everything was in constant motion as you walked from one end of the ship to the other along what they refer to as “Route 95” that extends the length of the center of the ship on Deck 2. By the end of the tour you will wonder how it is all possible - on any cruise ship.
GRAND PLAZA – includes the Martini Bar and all the tables surrounding the central (Piazza) area. The Martini bar is small and exasperating the issue is the size of the chairs at the bar. The chairs are wide and comfortable but the space only accommodates a limited number of chairs. In addition, a third of the bar is for standing with a few high chairs. If you want to sit at the bar get their early or be lucky enough to grab a seat if someone near you happens to leave the bar. The bar top is not iced but the bartenders periodically put on a great bottle and shaker show – very entertaining. There is musical and vocal entertainment each day in the Grand Plaza which can be watched from the floor or from above from the surrounding floor overlooking banisters.
ENTERTAINMENT – music seemed inconsistent with the quality of the ship. It was marginal in all the venues. There were however, some shows in the CLUB and EDEN that were quite entertaining and worth the time to be in the audience.
THERMAL SPA ROOMS – were very nice and we enjoyed them all one afternoon. The Quartz and Salt rooms were completely un-eventful but the other rooms really functioned well – very nicely done. The thermal beds offer a beautiful view out over the ship’s bow and there is a deck you can go out on to enjoy more of the views. The use of the Thermal Spa rooms was included with the Aqua Category room – a nice to have benefit. There are a number of Treatment rooms, of all different types available for additional costs. Access to the Thermal Spa rooms was easy for Aqua guests – you simply exchanged your Seapass for their key card before entering the rooms.
POOLS – were usually very busy areas on the ship. The main pool is large and has a lot of lounges around and some in the water to enjoy. But as usual you have guests who feel they have purchased the lounges and own them for the entire voyage by laying claim with towels and clips. Celebrity does not enforce the “not in use” policies. There is an adults only pool in the cellarium which is much smaller and seems to attract an older demographic than the main pool. There is a 3rd pool in the Retreat that we did not have access to which is exclusive to Suite guests.
MAGIC CARPET – was not all that was hyped but it was interesting and enjoyable in good weather. The wind often curtails use of the outboard platform which becomes totally susceptible to the wind. There is plenty of cocktail seating available and there is a bar. We never had the occasion to be onboard the platform other than when it was on Deck 14. Dinner is served here one night but advance reservations are required and must be made when onboard. It is an experience to enjoy.
OCEAN VIEW CAFE – the Buffet was open by the time we got there around11:30. A number of island stations and more stations along the walls. Plenty of selection of everything. Nice open feel to the Buffet and especially the dining areas along the perimeter of the ship. Abundant tables and chairs all around the two-story glass windows. A Pizza station in the rear of the dining area with great pizza selection hot from the oven.
CAFE AL BACIO - provides a great place to relax and enjoy a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, although there are coffees with spirts. Comfortable and casual large lounge where servers will take you order and bring it to your table. There are also about (18) varieties of pastries to select from to accompany your coffee.
BLU RESTAURANT - where we didn’t need reservations and was only available to Aqua and Suite category passengers is an excellent venue. Well decorated and not very large with plenty of staff. Interesting menu selection that varies each day with some staples each day. The wine list although pretty good vineyard selection offered no older vintages and only a few older than 2017. The restaurant is not loud and very comfortable seating.
EDEN RESTAURANT – provided our party of (4) with the finest meal we enjoyed on the ship. When looking over the menu and making our reservation we were skeptical of the EDEN based on the menu selection descriptions. Our dinner took no less than (3) hours. Each of the five courses were prepared to perfection. The food kept your interest and were small enough to try more than one per course. The food and service were exceptional, including the sommelier. The preparation and attention to presentation detail is what you might identify with a fine Test Kitchen.
EDEN CAFE – offered a small assortment sandwiches and salads that were tasty and offered a pleasant area inside EDEN or outside to eat. There were also juices and teas available, as well as coffee.
CYPRUS RESTAURANT – was good but neither the service or food were as good as expected for a restaurant offering their specialty Mediterranean seafood selections. Some entrées were better than others so it’s still worth having meals here. The dining room is nicely decorated and it doesn’t feel crowded.
RAW ON 5 RESTAURANT – was a real disappointment for all of us. The menu selection is relegated to basic Asian and seafood selections that could be found at any Asian or average seafood restaurant. Only one Asian beer was available and they had to go somewhere else for it. The rolls were presented nicely, as was the Negri but, the selections were void of what should have been opportunities to demonstrate culinary capabilities.
In addition, to the mediocre menu selections, the atmosphere was loud due to the proximity and openness to the Grand Plaza with evening entertainment performances.
Overall, “Raw on 5” needs a Celebrity “re-make” with an objective to make a statement worthy of being on the Edge. “Raw on 5” is simply not consistent with the standards demonstrated at the other restaurants on the ship.
SPA CAFE & JUICE BAR – offered interesting cold lite fare for lunch and breakfast. There were 10-12 different selections to choose from that were continually being refreshed. There were also 4-5 juices pre-mixed that were very good or you could have them prepare one of a half-dozen based on ingredients listed at the juice bar or if you have a concoction you prefer they will blend accordingly. Here you have to pay for the juices unless you one of the Celebrity packages that include the juice bar. There are also coffee, tea, dispensed juices and milk available.
DISEMBARKATION – was not quite as well orchestrated as embarkation but it did move along quickly. We had luggage tag for Group #11 – 7:45 meet at the Theater. We were up at 6:00am, got cleaned up and packed up the final few items into our carry-on bags. Left the room and went to BLU for a quick lite breakfast. We headed toward our gathering spot in the Theater – Lvl 5. On the way there we passed the disembarkation doors so we stopped and waited for our number to be called - #11 – rather than proceeding to the theater as the doorways were completely clear. Soon after we decided to just walk-off (@8:00am) and on the way down they announced all baggage Groups 1 thru 15 were ready. We easily found the row with our luggage then found a Porter. The Porter took our luggage and we followed him to the pick-up point for “Park-n-Go”. The van dropped us off at our car and we headed out for 595 East then to I95 north. Reaching I95 at 9:00am.
Refer to the overall Review