Celebrity Cruises specialises in modern luxury aimed at affluent travellers who want to see the world from the comfort of a floating boutique hotel offering the best in food, drink and entertainment. The Edge in particular has a “beautiful people” vibe and is the first of four Edge-class ships, with Celebrity Apex coming in spring 2020 for a short pre-season sailing from Southampton before repositioning in the Mediterranean. The company’s 13 other ships include luxury expedition vessels with four based in Galapagos such as Celebrity Flora, which was designed especially for the region and delivered in May 2019. Nine Celebrity ships – starting with Celebrity Millennium, Summit and Equinox – have been selected for a Revolution refit with Kelly Hoppen stateroom interiors and a new Retreat lounge and pool for suites.
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Edge: Cabins, dining, entertainment and prices explained
THE WOW FACTOR
There are several: from the wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows of the three-deck high Eden bar, lounge and restaurant to the ridiculously pleasing Magic Carpet.
From land Magic Carpet looks like a huge orange industrial cradle and essentially it’s a just deck for boarding tenders but it can be moved up and down the outside of the ship to become a tangerine dream bar and restaurant with unobstructed views of the sea.
Designed by British architect Tom Wright, who created the sail-like Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, it feels unexpectedly sophisticated perhaps because it’s next to the for-hire cabanas and a bit detached from the main pool area – although anybody can eat or drink there for a price.
Eden is equally special, with the biggest windows at sea – almost indescribably massive – where you can drink cocktails at night entertained by performance artists and aerial dancers or sit in the conservatory-like sunlight surrounded by plants during the day. The open-air Rooftop Garden, another Tom Wright creation, is simply beautiful with real plants and sinuous wooden benches curled into suntraps, while his Solarium – an adults-only glass-roofed pool – is a peaceful sanctuary away from the crowds.
Laid-back, casual smart fits the bill at all times although you can dress down on the Resort Deck, which has one of the longest pools at sea – you can actually swim lengths in it.
You’ll also want to get a selfie taken with the butterfly wings sculpture next to the pool or sit in the martini glass hot tubs looking down on the pool. The adjacent Solarium pool allows you to enjoy the sunshine under glass in northern waters, although the roof retracts for hotter areas, and the Rooftop Garden on the same deck is the perfect hideaway spot.
Celebrity Cruises caters for families and there’s a good paddling section in the main pool but you won’t find any aqua parks, slides or other end-of-the pier attractions. The Camp At Sea children’s clubs offer 500-plus activities from cooking to computers with partners including Xbox, Fat Brain Toys and Anturus.
Most of the passengers are likely to be adults, though, and most days they’ll be immersed in shore excursions.
On days when the ship can’t dock in a harbour the Magic Carpet is lowered to Destination Gateway on deck 2, a lounge for those waiting to get on one of the ship’s luxurious tender boats, where you can get a drink in comfortable surroundings when you get back.
And for those who don’t want to get off to see the world there’s a large complimentary gym and an exquisite Kelly Hoppen-designed spa. Not only does this have a hammam, infrared sauna, salt steam room and amethyst crystalarium, it also has the first Kerastase hair lab at sea – plus medispa for non-surgical face and body treatments.
The theatre is the heart of every cruise ship’s night life and Edge’s is one of the most technologically advanced with massive projection screens wrapped around the back of the circular stage. Music, dancing, acrobatics and aerial skills are showcased to brilliant effect although the shows are more concept-based than traditional musical theatre.
Eden is even trippier, with Edenists – or performance artists – coming out at night to entertain you with their acrobatic, often interactive, displays.
The best place to find live music in the early evening is the Rooftop Garden or the Grand Plaza on deck 3, 4 and 5, where you’ll find most of the bars and speciality restaurants.
But late-night live music or DJ dancing can be found in The Club, tucked away on deck 4 and 5, and there’s a casino on deck 4 strategically placed opposite the onboard jewellery shops where you can dispose of any winnings.
When plans for Celebrity Edge were first announced the idea of including a balcony space inside the cabin and just lowering a full-length window to waist height was revolutionary. These “infinity” balconies make most of the cabins bigger than the industry standard.
However, although very practical, they are no longer so revolutionary – they’ve been on certain river cruises ships for years now – and you don’t feel the wind through your hair (although can be a good thing).
But the other unusual thing about Celebrity Edge is its large number of suites, starting with the 146 entry-level Sky Suites and followed by three larger types of suites. The stars suites, though, are the six duplex Edge Villas – with dining room and lounge downstairs and a bedroom upstairs plus plunge pool on the balcony – and the two enormous Iconic Suites on top of the Bridge that are big enough to live in full-time.
But whether you’re staying in a suite or a balcony stateroom, inside cabin or one of the 16 single veranda cabins, everyone gets the full Kelly Hoppen interior experience. Famous for her use of neutrals, they are a calming blue-grey with a hint of elephant hide and white, while her resin coral ornaments provide a suitably nautical focal point on cleverly-lit shelves.
In all cabins the shower rooms are bright with large bottles of toiletries designed to stay on the ship after you’ve gone, plus tissues and shower caps (but nothing else). All have TVs with free news, sports and film channels, fridges – and even kettles when the ship leaves from Southampton. And there’s reasonable wardrobe and storage, two bedside USB ports (both on the same side, strangely) and a desk-top box with two British plug sockets as well as American and Continental – although you can’t fit an Apple laptop plug in which is very frustrating.
People who like apps will love the fact you can control all the lights, heating, TV and blinds from your phone, once you’ve downloaded the Celebrity app.
Food and drink is Celebrity Cruises’ raison d’etre, which is why Celebrity Edge has a total of 29 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges. Only five of these dining experiences are complimentary but they’re all good and feel restaurant-sized rather than like huge dining halls.
Each of the four main dining rooms offer the same signature dishes in addition to regional specialities, so the Normandie has a French bias, the Tuscan has an Italian flair, Cyprus reflects the cruise line’s Greek heritage and Cosmopolitan has an American menu with global influences. The fifth main complimentary dining area is the deck 14 Oceanview Café, which has a higher ceiling than many ships’ buffet restaurants with floor-to-ceiling windows letting in masses of light.
Some of the seating even looks out to sea so it truly has an oceanview and the food stations include separate sections of Indian and Latin American dishes as well as more international fare.
There is also complimentary breakfast and light lunch at the café in Eden, possibly the most uplifting lounge at sea thanks to its plants and massive windows; burgers at the Mast Grill near the main pool, free snacks during the day at the Grand Plaza Café and nibbles at the Spa Café. Room service is mostly free and breakfast on your own can be a good way to start the day but there’s a service charge after 11pm until 6am.
Edge has several new paid-for restaurant concepts such as Magic Carpet, which relocates to deck 16 at night to offer Dinner on the Edge. Magic Carpet also stops at deck 5 at midday to become Raw On Five At The Magic Carpet, an outdoor extension of Raw On Five speciality restaurant that has a seafood-based menu.
At night Eden has a speciality restaurant where the dishes are served by the Edenist performance artists and the Rooftop Garden has an open-air paid-for Grill at lunch and dinner time.
Possibly the most unusual dining experience is Le Petit Chef, an option at the paid-for French restaurant Le Grand Bistro every night. Thanks to the magic of TableMation Studios, before each course your plate becomes the screen for a 4D animated film showing cartoon chefs making your set menu meal.
The other paid-for restaurant is Fine Cut Steakhouse, which has a suitably clubby atmosphere, and there are two restaurants with restricted access – Blu, for suite and AquaClass passengers, and Luminae, just for suite passengers. These lucky few also have their own lounge, The Retreat, where drinks and snacks are available all day.
Celebrity Edge will spend summer 2019 in Europe and winter in the Caribbean. An 11-night Amalfi Coast and Greek Isles fly-cruise on Celebrity Edge departing August 19 2019 starts from £3,639pp, two sharing, in a balcony stateroom, including return flights, transfers and drinks package (0845 163 7366; celebritycruises.co.uk)
Source: Read Full Article