FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Celebrity Edge isn’t just another new ship for Celebrity Cruises.
The soon-to-debut, 2,918-passenger vessel is designed to be transformational for the brand, says president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.
“We wanted to really catapult (Celebrity) forward with this new design,” Lutoff-Perlo tells USA TODAY in an exclusive interview in the ship’s soaring Grand Plaza.
Debuting this week at Florida’s Port Everglades, Edge is the prototype for a new class of vessel that will transform not just the line but the industry, too, Lutoff-Perlo suggests. Celebrity already has ordered four of the ships to roll out between now and 2022. The line currently operates nine large ships, not including Edge, and three tiny vessels in the Galapagos.
“We believe there will be a lot of people talking about it,” she says.
USA TODAY EXCLUSIVE: First look at Celebrity Edge
Offering a striking profile when seen from a distance, Edge boasts outward-facing cabins that are fronted with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling glass – a new concept for ocean cruising made possible by redesigning the internal architecture of the ship.
“It took a lot of re-engineering (and) … a lot of different thinking,” Lutoff-Perlo says. “It took a lot of people telling us ‘I don’t think we can do that.'”
Dubbed Edge Staterooms with Infinite Verandas, the new cabins have balconies that are incorporated into the main cabin area. Bi-fold doors in the rooms either can be completely closed, creating a traditional room area separated from a balcony area, or left open, creating a wide-open indoor space that is about 23 percent larger than traditional balcony cabins.
The glass walls at the end of the Infinite Veranda cabins slide down from the ceiling at the push of a button, descending to the level of a traditional balcony to create a balcony-like feel.
Lutoff-Perlo says outfitting Edge with the Infinite Veranda cabins required adding about 2 percent more volume to the vessel than otherwise would be needed.
“That was a big deal,” she says.
The creation of the Infinite Veranda cabins was just one of several major initiatives designed to orient Edge to the sea to a greater extent than traditional cruise ships of its size, Lutoff-Perlo says.
Also noteworthy was the creation of a three-deck-high, plant-filled lounge, dining and entertainment venue at the back of the ship called Eden that is partially encircled in glass. Offering unusually wide-open views of the ocean, it’s full of seating nooks facing outward to the sea.
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