Celebrity Edge Entertainment & Activities
Celebrity Edge's theater is one of the most high-tech spaces you'll find at sea. It has four stage areas, though three are hidden behind massive 120-foot-wide projection screens (with 18 state-of-the-art mapping laser projectors). The screens comprise several panels, which can be opened to reveal the stages behind them. These stage areas can be lowered and raised for dramatic effect, and two feature spiral staircases. The main stage is "in the round" and juts out into the audience to blend the line between the performers and the audience. In the middle of the stage is a dual-direction platform that can be raised as high as 7 feet above the rest of the stage.
Five production shows are on offer in a one-week cruise, but on our preview cruise we saw only two. They couldn't have been more different from each other, so it's hard to say what all five will be like. One thing they have in common is loud contemporary music. You'll hear songs from everyone from Rihanna, Walk the Moon, Prince and Owl City to Bruno Mars, George Michael, Justin Timberlake and Shawn Mendes.
The first show, "Jewelry Box" is a mix of good acrobatic acts, mostly chintzy special effects and a terrible storyline. We won't give it all away but it involves a talking lion (think Aslan from "The Tales of Narnia"), a tribe of people born of different gemstones, and an epic battle between good and bad in which someone must die for everyone to live. If that sounds awful, the good news is the acts in between all the weirdness are good, involving aerial artists, breakdancing in the rain (for real, it rains onstage), an Indian-inspired song and dance, and dancers performing on hoverboards.
The second show, "Hype" was completely different, showing off the talents of one of the ship's resident talents, Marcus Terrell. It's basically a concert -- think a Las Vegas headline show from Cher or Britney Spears -- during which Terrell walks the audience through the musical decades with songs from Bowie, Prince, Santana and many others. It's high energy, Terrell's voice is amazing, the live band is fantastic and by the end, half the audience is up and dancing. We loved it.
Other shows will include "Kaleidoscope," which we heard the cast rehearsing. We don't know if there will be a story to tie it all together, but what we saw and heard sounded like a fun, high-energy song-and-dance review that we'd enjoy. "The Purpose" will be similar to "Hype" in that it will show off the vocal prowess of a second resident singer, Ashlie-Amber Harris. The final show will be called "A Hot Summer Night's Dream," which Celebrity describes as combining "light-hearted theater and acrobatics"; hopefully it's nothing like "Jewelry Box."
We've never seen anything like Eden before, on land or sea, and we're willing to bet you haven't either. Design-wise, the space is based on the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical equation that is found throughout the natural world and is best visualized in a snail's shell, Eden spirals up and down (just follow the figure-eight ramp way) through three decks at the back of the ship. An esoteric and overly intellectual concept to be sure, but what matter is that it translates to a stunning space filled with light and dark, living plants and an atmosphere that moves from playful during the day to sensual at night.
Eden has several distinct spaces. On the bottom of the spiral is the Eden Restaurant; only those who pay to dine there visit this space. The middle is where most of the action takes places, both as a lounge and entertainment venue and where the bar is. On the upper level and ramp way you'll find lots of places to sit and chat; some of the areas overlook the central space so you can watch the show with less risk of getting pulled into it. (There's also a daytime gourmet deli on the middle level that is called Eden).
Add into the mix a group of performance artists called Edenists, who perform a version of avant garde, interactive theater while decked out in hippy Mad Max-esque costumes; we're told the entire experience was inspired by the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden -- innocence lost and all of that.
It's important to note, when we say the Edenists are interactive, we're being literal. While "onstage," Edenists may try to touch you; they will almost certainly try to speak with you and there's a good chance you'll find them writhing on the ground at your feet or just standing and staring at you at some point. They do mostly stay to the center of the space, and the main "stage," a circular stage of about 5 feet in circumference, on which they might stop to sing or do some type of acrobatic act (there is also aerial rigging and many of the "acts" take place high above your head), though they will wander throughout all of Eden.
If you want to be part of the show, you'll want to stay close to the center, where it is assumed you're OK with the interaction -- plenty of people did just that on our sailing. If you just want to be a spectator, try to find spots off to the side or on the spiraling ramp. It's perfectly OK to shake your head no if you see an Edenist approaching you.
Chances are you'll either love or hate Eden but, no matter what, it will leave an impression -- even if it's just one of befuddlement.
One thing to know about Eden, the "show" is both the same and different every night. Composed of several "chapters," the musical and acrobatic acts do not change, but it's the in-between parts -- the parts where the bulk of the interaction comes in -- that are different from night to night. And for those who get to know the Edenists, that relationship will grow and develop as the cruise continues as well.
A third entertainment spot on the ship is the Rooftop Garden on Deck 15, a large outdoor park with lots of alcoves, bench seating and an overall pleasantly chill feel. There's real greenery and funky metallic tree sculptures, many of which have small round stages inside of them, for individual musicians to perch. During the day it's a nice place to relax or participate in garden games, but at night the space perks up with live music on the main stage or movies on the big screen.
There is always a variety of activities to do during the day on Celebrity Edge, but a good majority of passengers prefer to just relax. There are lots of spots on the ship dedicated to relaxation, from the Solarium to the Rooftop Garden and even Eden during the day, when the vibe is chill (and the Edenists aren't around).
You'll find the full list of activities in the Daily Planner, which is printed out each night and delivered to your stateroom. Early in the morning the schedule is dominated by fitness and wellness, with options like group meditation and extra-fee fitness classes.
In the Rooftop Garden, you'll find garden games like ring toss and Jenga throughout the day, though there will usually be one or two hosted sessions, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Other activities could include trivia, spa and shop seminars, hosted board games, iLounge computer classes and a funky laser maze experience in the Club. Also look for an activity called Table Maze, which essentially boils an escape room experience down into a tabletop group of puzzles that you have to solve in order to open up a series of trunks. If you like escape rooms, you'll love it.
Nighttime on Celebrity Edge is all about entertainment, whether in the theater, Eden, the Rooftop Garden or the Club.
You won't find too much live music at night, though there will usually be at least one live set on the stage at the Rooftop Garden, running opposite the second theater show. Before and after these shows, there's usually a movie shown up here. Options on our preview sailing included "E.T." and "Dirty Dancing."
You'll also find live music in the early evening at the Sunset Bar and in the Grand Plaza before and after dinner.
There's usually also a live band in the Club, generally at pre-show times to get everyone pumped up for the theater shows.
All that is not to say there's no music -- there's plenty of that -- it's just more likely to be provided by DJs or pumped out from speakers around the ship, adding to Edge's general contemporary vibe.
The Club usually gets going around midnight, after Revelation at Eden has ended. Music is typically house and loud; this is paired with digital imagery on the giant LED screen lining the back wall including selfies of people in the Club taken by crew members carrying a Hypno camera.
A popular spot at night is the Casino, located midship on Deck 4. It's pushed to the side of the main indoor promenade, in its own separate space, so you don't have to walk through it to get anywhere. There are a large number of slots on either side of the walls and gaming tables for craps, roulette, poker (three card and Texas Hold'em) and blackjack. There are regular tournaments that take place -- look out for them in your daily planner. The entire casino, and next-door bar are nonsmoking.
Celebrity Edge Bars and Lounges
Destination Gateway (Deck 2): One of the most oddly placed bars we've ever come across, the Destination Gateway bar is located all the way down on Deck 2 in a corner of the waiting area for those getting on a tender boat (called "launches" by Celebrity Cruises). There's a full range of drinks available and you are welcome to carry your drink onto the Magic Carpet, before you get onto your launch, but drinks are not permitted on the launch boats themselves. We're not really sure why anyone would stop to buy a drink here unless they've got a long wait for a launch or are returning from being on land and are carrying their drink upstairs with them.
Martini Bar (Deck 3): A Celebrity staple, the Martini Bar on Edge sits underneath the giant chandelier in the Grand Plaza. The circular bar is marble-topped (a departure from the bar on Solstice Class ships, which feature frosted tops) and has loads of seating at small tables. Martinis are the drink here, and you'll find a lot of variety, with interesting options such as the must-try lavender lemon drop or the dill pickle. Skilled bartenders put on a show when they can, tossing bottles and pouring a mind-boggling number of martinis at once. They even step out from behind the bar to interact with the crowds. Not sure which drink to pick? Try a martini flight.
The bar heats up just before dinner. Stick around for the light show, when the chandelier moves in time to music, a fun choreographed experience that sees people stop in their tracks and pull out their cameras to record everything. Live music also takes place here, either at the white, baby grand piano or with roving saxophonists, guitar players or bands. The bar is open during the day, and passengers congregate here in part because of its great central location. It's a popular spillover area for Cafe Al Bacio in the morning, when the nearby coffee bar is busiest.
Casino Bar (Deck 4): Unlike most casino bars, this is not deep in the middle of the Casino but in its own spot accessible from a walkway running past the Grand Plaza. It has more of the feel of a sports bar, with slots against one wall and games on the bar itself. There are barstools so you can sit up at the bar to watch TVs showing sports, as well high tables and chairs to sit down and have a drink. On Sundays during NFL season, it's an especially popular spot.
The Club (Decks 4 & 5): This two-deck lounge serves as the ship's main nightclub. You'll find a largish dance floor on Deck 4, surrounded by tiered seating. The bar is situated against one side, and on the back of the club is a massive LED screen, which is used for daytime activities like lectures and games, and for lighting effects at night. Deck 5 has limited seating that looks down on to the action below.
Eden Bar (Deck 5): The Eden bar is part of the Eden complex, which includes a lounge area and a daytime grab-and-go deli. The bar is near the central stage, and it's a little small for the size of the room it is serving. During the day, this is a quiet spot when most people are sitting around having a coffee, but at night it transforms into Eden after the Fall and it can get very crowded, with people two or three deep at the bar. The bar itself is ensconced by trailing plants and herbs, many of which end up in the specialty cocktails served here. There's plenty of seating in, around and above the bar, in little alcoves and raised sections of the room, as well as outside, but the main action centers on the stage, where Edenists come and go, encouraging the audience to get involved (when we were there, the performers encouraged the audience to form a conga line, which struck us as not particularly cutting edge). Edenists are deliberately provocative and will try to make you feel uncomfortable, staring right at you or coming up to you, and they will also try to get you to participate, so if you don't like this, stay away from the stage area and you should be OK to watch as a passive observer.
Magic Carpet (Decks 2, 5, 14): While the Magic Carpet serves different purposes depending on where it's positioned on the ship, it always has one thing in common -- the bar is always open! Even when positioned on Deck 2 to help with the loading and unloading of launches, cruisers can stop to have a drink and relax in one of the comfy outdoor couches. At lunchtime on Deck 5 it's primarily an eatery, but at night when it's stationed there it's mostly a lounge with drinks and light bites; one of the specialty drinks here is the Magic Carpet, which has Tito's vodka, vermouth, allspice dram housemade grenadine and fresh grapefruit. In the late afternoon, the Magic Carpet shifts to Deck 14, where it serves up drinks and a gorgeous view out over the ocean.
Prism Bar (Deck 14): The Prism Bar is the main pool bar. It's set at one end of the pool below a stunning piece of artwork that changes color at night. The bar itself is slightly raised, with a few chairs and tables set just in front. Above here, to the left, is a raised, covered smoking area.
Il Secondo Bacio (Deck 14): Located just inside the Oceanview cafe, this is a spot to grab a drink to go with your buffet meal. While you can order just about anything, it specializes in "sunrise" cocktails including the Celebrity bloody mary, Julio's greyhound and Paris screwdriver. You can also get some zero-proof cocktails (watermelon tropic, strawberry-banana tonic, sparkling mint lemonade) as well as Vitamin Waters, Arizona ice teas and premium orange or grapefruit juices.
Sunset Bar (Deck 15): Located all the way at the back of the ship, the Sunset Bar is hopping before dinner. As in, good-luck-finding-a-seat busy. But if you're lucky enough to grab a seat, it's a brilliant spot for watching the ship's wake and having a casual conversation. The bar itself is fairly long, taking up a solid chunk of space. You'll find a narrow seating area behind the bar, and more seating around the sides. Smoking is allowed on the starboard side, and smoke carries, so if you're sensitive to it, stay to the port side.
Retreat Pool Bar (Deck 16): Located on Deck 16, the Retreat Pool Bar is part of the private enclave for suite passengers only. The bar serves a variety of cocktails, beer and wine, while waiters circulate to make sure passengers don't go thirsty while hanging poolside.
Celebrity Edge Outside Recreation
Celebrity Edge has one long all-access pool, located smack-dab in the middle of Deck 14. The pool is flanked by hundreds of lounge chairs, with many facing out toward the ocean. (This is a theme on Celebrity Edge, which aims to connect its cruisers with the sea.) There's also a limited number of hot-ticket loungers sticking out over the shallow lip of water around the pool. A huge pair of white butterfly wings -- a sculpture -- sits at the foot of the pool and might be the most Instagrammed spot on the ship. At the forward end of the pool, you'll find some couches and cushioned chairs surrounding tables, as well as barstools around part of the pool.
A deck up, on what Celebrity has dubbed the Resort Deck, passengers can relax in one of Edge's two martini-glass shaped hot tubs. These tower over the pool deck and are covered in white tiling and LED lights, which change color at night. In fact, the whole of the pool and the resort deck are awash in colored LED lights, which could have been tacky but instead is vibrant, tasteful and exciting.
The design of the pool deck and the way it integrates with the resort deck above is unique, as there's actually a ramp between the two decks, around the back of the ship, and back. The ramp doubles as a walking/running track but also is a visually interesting feature.
Also on Deck 14 are the ship's cabanas. Located on the starboard side, just a few steps from the pool, the ship's six cabanas are available to rent for a per-day charge (several hundred dollars per day). These accommodate up to six people for a flat fee. Each cabana has resort-style furniture, including large white couches and chairs, with a cushioned ottoman. Your rental includes a day in the cabana, four bottles of water, six beers, unlimited soft drinks, fresh fruit skewers, a limited food selection, including burgers, BLT wraps, shrimp cocktail and chicken sandwich, facial spray and cold towels. Renters also get a choice of either a bottle of wine, vodka or Champagne.
The cabanas are visually stunning, with rich wood walls dividing one from the next, two-deck high ceilings, plenty of shade and unlimited views of the oceans. There is, however, a total lack of privacy, as other passengers can walk right through the middle of the cabana area, separating paying customers from those coveted views.
For adults only, the solarium offers up serene pool time under a unique geodesic dome. The area has a wonderfully large pool flanked by a giant hot tub. It's a quiet space designed for those 18 and older, though it's also a passageway for passengers getting from the back of the ship to the Oceanview Cafe, so there's a lot of walk-through traffic.
Finally, the Retreat area has its own pool, located on Deck 16. This area is open exclusively to passengers staying in the ship's suites. The large pool is the centerpiece of the outdoor space; several swinging chairs hang above the pool, so passengers can dip their toes in the water while reading a book or chatting. A large hot tub is mixed in here, along with lots of seating around the pool on benches, sunbeds, at tables and on lounge chairs. There's even a corner featuring plush rocking chairs.
When it comes to recreation, the ship actually is fairly quiet. Edge features two funky-looking black Ping-Pong tables, located above the pool deck. It also hosts "garden games" in the Rooftop Garden, where passengers can play Jenga or toss rope rings over the necks of glass bottles.
The Resort Deck is sweeping and massive, and you'll find lounge chairs virtually everywhere. We love that there are both full sun and shaded options throughout. The ramp makes for some interesting architecture, but consequently, it can be difficult to navigate from one end of the ship to the other. Lounge chairs are positioned each day to face outward, toward the water.
Celebrity Edge Services
You'll find the guest services desk and shore excursion area buried down on Deck 3 in a quiet spot that's just down a hall from the Grand Plaza. Shore excursions can be browsed and purchased on tablets, but there's usually someone there to answer questions as well, though there's no proper desk with someone standing behind it.
One deck up on Deck 4 you'll find a slew of small shops spread out throughout the deck -- each one selling a distinct selection of items like Edge-branded clothing and souvenirs, liquor and cigarettes, perfume, watches, high-end jewelry and designer handbags.
About midship on Deck 4, you'll find the Future Cruise space and photo gallery and Portrait Studio. The gallery is entirely digital; just tap your cruise card on one of the touch screens and get started browsing your photos. You can also book a session at the Portrait Studio (for photos in black and white, or color) or arrange to have a private session done around the ship. One other difference from other ships: on chic nights instead of the cheesy backdrops most cruise lines set out, you'll find green screens on Edge. Have your photo taken in front of that and then the photographers will insert a variety of digital backdrops and you can pick which ones you like.
Nearby is the iLounge and Internet Cafe, which has seven laptops for checking your email or for use during classes. You can also buy various Apple devices. You need to purchase a Wi-Fi package regardless of if you're checking email in the iLounge or on your personal device.
At the forward end of Deck 4 is the Meeting Place, with conference rooms.
One more deck up, on Deck 5 is the Park West art gallery, which includes a tiny museum section with ceramic works and sculpture, as well as a long corridor with Park West's typical fare of Peter Max and other contemporary artists.
Also on Deck 5 are Celebrity Edge's most high-end shops: Cartier, Bulgari and Tiffany.
There are no self-service laundrettes onboard, but you can pay to have your clothing cleaned for you.
A medical center is on Deck 2.