February 28, 2018
(7 p.m. EST) -- Celebrity Cruises' first new ship in 10 years will feature four main dining rooms, each with selections unique to it, as well as six new-to-Celebrity specialty restaurants. Only two of the line's signature restaurants -- Blu and Luminae -- will return. In total, Celebrity Edge will have 15 restaurants and cafes, and 12 bars and lounges.
"When you have a clean slate to begin with you think about the things that you do right, that would be unique and that amplify a main pillar of our DNA, which is culinary," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises.
Below is a breakdown of the new dining venues.
Four Main Dining Rooms
Rather than offer the same restaurants loyal Celebrity cruisers will find on other ships, Celebrity used several of them as inspiration for its four new main dining rooms.
"Having four main dining rooms is a way to offer a more intimate dining experience and also offer more variety in the restaurants," Lutoff-Perlo told Cruise Critic. "The basic menu will be the same across all four and it will change nightly, but there will also be a featured menu in all four restaurants, inspired by the restaurant itself."
The featured menus will stay the same every night and will include dishes that can't be found anywhere else and which reflect the restaurant's theme. Additionally, the line's "Classics" section always will be available.
"We're not walking away from anything," Lutoff-Perlo added. "Instead we're using this as an opportunity to add to all of the experiences we already have… What we've done is take some of the main menu items and some of the current specialty restaurants and incorporate them into our main dining."
For instance, one of the main dining rooms, Normandie Restaurant, was inspired by Murano, the line's French fine dining venue found on its Solstice-class ships. In addition to the main dining room menu, Normandie will feature contemporary French cuisine, some of which has been pulled directly from the Murano menu, and some that's all-new for the line.
Similarly, Tuscan Restaurant was inspired by the line's other signature dining venue, Tuscan Grille and features menu items from the south of Italy, in addition to the main dining room menu.
Celebrity didn't just look to its specialty restaurants for inspiration. Cosmopolitan Restaurant is a "nod to the current main dining rooms," Lutoff-Perlo said. On top of the same menu the three other main dining room restaurants will feature, the specialty menu here will feature new American with global influences.
The fourth main dining room, Cyprus Restaurant, is a nod to the line's Greek heritage -- Celebrity Cruises was founded in 1989 by the Greece-based Chandris Group -- as well as an acknowledgement of the growing popularity of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
"Mediterranean food is really popular and, oh by the way, Edge is going to the Mediterranean and the Greek Isles," Lutoff-Perlo said.
The main focus here, again outside of the standard main dining room menu, will be seafood and Greek dishes.
Celebrity Select Plus
Cruisers on Celebrity Edge will be able to choose between set dining and the flexible Celebrity Select program. The big difference on Edge, however, will be that cruisers who select set dining do not have to stick to just one of the four main restaurants. Instead, they will be able to change their restaurant nightly if they'd like.
Celebrity Edge will also feature seven specialty restaurants -- one of which will offer a pop-up dining experience on select nights.
Fine Cut Steakhouse will be the ship's fine dining venue offering a wide selection of steaks and seafood, in a space decorated in a warm palette of ruby, amber and gold design elements.
Not content to only offer a small selection of French dishes at Normandie Restaurant, Celebrity Edge will offer Le Grand Bistro. Inspired by classic French bistros, seating options will range from tables on a planter-edged "sidewalk" to the inner cafe with sea views.
Once or twice per cruise, the menu at Le Grand Bistro will be replaced by the TableMations Studio Experience, during which Le Petit Chef, an animated character, will appear besides your plate and "prepare" each course you'll be eating before waiters serve the actual dish. (For instance, Le Petit Chef might use a dragon to heat your soup, or he might stomp on some peppercorns to get ground pepper.)
The TableMations Studio Experience will feature two fixed menus for diners to choose from, so what the person dining next to you sees Le Petit Chef do might be different from what he's doing for you.
Lutoff-Perlo added that the TableMations Studio Experience will be rolled out to the rest of the Celebrity fleet, starting with Celebrity Reflection.
Raw on Five will be a raw bar with oysters, crab and lobster, as well as casual offerings like shrimp salad, Celebrity's signature lobster roll and sushi and sashimi. When the Magic Carpet (a moveable platform located on the outside of the ship) is positioned on Deck 5, it will add an open-air extension to Raw of Five.
Also on Magic Carpet will be Dinner on the Edge with menus that will be locally sourced, with an onboard chef going into local markets to pick up ingredients.
Alternative Complimentary Dining
Celebrity Edge will have four alternative dining venues that are included in the cost of the cruise fare. They will be Oceanview Cafe, Mast Grill, Eden Cafe and the Grand Plaza Cafe.
Bars & Lounges
There will be 12 bars and lounges on Celebrity, which most past Celebrity cruisers will recognize. Among them are the Martini Bar, Eden Bar, the Retreat Pool Bar, Sunset Bar, Pool Bar, Il Secondo Bacio, Casino Bar, Theater Bar, Cafe al Bacio, Retreat Lounge and The Club.
Dining aside, Celebrity Edge will feature several industry firsts including a revolutionary new ship design that has allowed for the creation of so-called infinite balconies, in which the balcony can be either an outdoor space or provide extra space indoors with the touch of a button. Another game changer is the Magic Carpet "floating platform," which can double as a tender station, restaurant or bar depending on where it's located.
Celebrity Edge will sail its inaugural cruise November 21, 2018, from Fort Lauderdale. The ship will operate a series of Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, before repositioning to the Mediterranean; it also will sail a mini-cruise from Southampton.
Get a glimpse of what Celebrity Edge will look like, in this slideshow.
--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor