We stayed a couple of days in Rome beforehand and took a Rome Airport Transportation car down to the port at Civitavecchia on embarkation day. Celebrity’s organisation at the terminal was excellent, it really did exceed expectations - we had booked a retreat class suite and the check-in service could not have been better. There is a dedicated suite section and we were on the ship within 15 minutes - how it should be done. We went straight up to our room to be welcomed by the suite concierge and then checked in at our muster station - all so much better than it used to be with no sitting in the lounge watching videos.
We have been on Edge before, on it’s maiden European voyage in 2019, so we knew what to expect. The retreat deck and the lounge are really good, though a bit more shade on the deck and a better range of lunchtime food would be welcome. The ship was, according to the crew, at 60% capacity, so nowhere was crowded and seats at the Martini Bar were easy to get hold of. While staff wore masks, despite Celebrity's advice that masks should be worn by guests in the theatre and casino, we saw no evidence of this. Only one of our tour buses asked for them to be worn.
We only ate twice at the retreat restaurant, Luminae - mainly because we felt that the menu was uninspiring, and Daniel Boulud’s ‘celebrity’ dishes need to be changed - they are the same as three years ago. We ate at three specialty restaurants, Eden was excellent, the Lawn Club Grill was OK, the Prime Cut Steak House was poor - we had to send our steak back twice and the maitre’d was very aggressive when we complained. The highlight on the food front was the MDR restaurants (retreat guests can use them) and we tried Cyprus and the Cosmopolitan - both were good with a really wide choice and very friendly staff.