The NEW “Celebrity EDGE” – Bradley’s Review
When I am asked how I would describe the “Brand New” Celebrity EDGE – the first word that comes to mind is “WOW”!
If you have sailed on a cruise ship in the past, don’t expect the EDGE experience to be the same – the EDGE has dramatically raised the bar and is a totally NEW innovation.
This ship is very high tech and creative. Its design is beautiful. The public areas look spectacular. It reminds me of an ultra-luxury hotel. The colors are calming – nothing loud and brash. As I walked around the ship I kept saying that word “WOW” over and over again.
When stepping on its many interior carpets I noticed how plush they are – you sink into them.
A new cruise terminal was built in Ft. Lauderdale/Port Everglades to accommodate the EDGE. Its by far the most impressive cruise terminal I have ever entered. It definitely matches the quality of the EDGE – it is stunning.
Celebrity now allows you to pre-register for your cruise by using their app. You take a picture of your passport and yourself using your tablet or cell phone – then fill in a few questions and you are basically done. If you take a few minutes at home to do this prior to sailing, it makes check-in at this new terminal an absolute breeze. When you finish this at-home process you end up with a bar code on your phone or tablet which a staff member at the new terminal scans. Next you go through security (just like at an airport) and after one more scan of your unique bar code you walk on the ship. Your stateroom keys are waiting for you at the entrance of your cabin in a very secure package. If the package has been tampered with you take those keys to the front desk for replacement. No lines – no waiting – I could not believe how seamless this procedure is. The competition cruise lines will take note of this. Certainly, Celebrity now has the easiest and quickest check-in process. Well done.
The Edge is 129,500 tons and can cary 2900 passengers. I was very fortunate to be one of the very few invited to the EDGE naming ceremony 2 night innagural cruise.
On board were a few top tier tour professionals but it was mainly VIP’s along with press and bloggers who were invited. I mingled with some very exciting people – the owner of Fine Cooking Magazine, a pair of male bloggers from England who have over 1 million subscribers, a UK film maker who often works with the Royal Family and is personal friends with Price Harry, the publisher of the #1 cruise magazine in Germany, a staff writer from People Magazine and an eccentric instagram foodie from NYC. I learned a great deal from all of them.
Since there were so few of us on board its impossible for me to comment on how busy this ship will feel when it is full, but I have to assume that this was carefully considered when designing this one-of-a-kind cruise ship.
When I entered the Grand Lobby for the first time my first word was WOW. Its design is cutting EDGE. When I walked into my infinite balcony stateroom I said WOW again. I spent hours walking around the ship – and kept repeating WOW over and over again!
Over 80% of the staterooms on board the EDGE are either balcony or outside.
I was fortunate to be placed in an infinite “balcony” stateroom. The infinite balconies on the EDGE are unlike other cruise ship balconies – somewhat similar in design to what you will find on newer river cruise boats.
The EDGE “infinite” balcony is an extension to your stateroom making it 23% larger and features a floor to ceiling window. When I walked into my stateroom for the first time the first thing I saw was the ocean – the view was incredible.
There are up and down buttons beside the balcony window – which allows you to bring 1/2 of that window glass down and back up – this quickly transforms the outside space to inside space. There are 2 very comfortable balcony chairs to sit on while enjoying the vast views and fresh air, but unlike some cruise ship balconies I don’t believe you are going to be able to sit in this area to get a suntan. Easy to close Bi-fold doors make this area even more traditionally Balcony like.
The EDGE Stateroom restrooms are much larger than you are going to find on most cruise ships and the curved glass door shower compartment is SO large which is an added bonus. Electrical plugs are out-of-sight to keep a clean look. The hairdryer is stored in the vanity drawer (glad my rooms steward pointed that out because I didn’t realize a drawer was there as it so easily blends into the vanity). The bathroom towels are thick and fluffy just as you would expect on a luxury cruise vessel.
In the main part of the stateroom there is a decent size closet which contains a very generous 22 removable clothes hangers (you can always request more) along with a number of drawers.
The extremely comfortable stateroom bed has 8 pillows on it (4 oversize useable ones plus 4 decorative), there is also a small lounger and a desk with chair.
An oversize flat screen television sits on the wall in front of the bed.
The colors in the staterooms are calming – greys and dark purples with a pop of red in the framed wall print.
A white box on the desk nicely keeps out of the way, many electrical outlets and usb plugs. There are also usb plugs conveniently located next to the bed making it easy to charge your cell phone and tablet. The phone which is next to the bed is a treated anti-bacteria device.
Bedding is of a high tread count.
The wall panel controls are very simple to use.
The EDGE staterooms are very high end – so beautiful yet so comfortable.
There are some outside and a handful of single occupancy staterooms that also have incorporated floor to ceiling windows but they do not open – another innovation improvement over other other ships that feature small port holes or no-view single staterooms.
I toured all the suite categories – these include some very glamorous suites that are bi-level.
Ok – what next?
Let’s talk about the restaurants on board.
The EDGE dining is innovative too. There isn’t just one main dining like you find on almost all cruise ships – on the EDGE there are 4 smaller, very intimate main dining rooms that are as elaborate as any cruise “speciality” restaurants. These main dining rooms are themed – French, Italian, Greek and Cosmopolitan. Their interiors are totally unique and remind me of very high end, big city restaurants – absolutely beautiful.
These restaurants offer extensive menus with some items exclusive to that restaurant (these themed selections don’t change from day to day), and there are classic food items that are the same in all 4 restaurants and remain the same from day to day (Caesar Salad, Shrimp Cocktail etc) and then there are a variety of food items that are just offered that evening ONLY in all of the 4 restaurants.
It is my understanding when reserving your cruise if you decide on “Select Dining” you can switch among the 4 different main dining rooms. If you pick “Early or Late Dining” you will be assigned to 1 of these dining rooms for the duration of the cruise.
There is also a massive, large selection buffet area that features vast views of the ocean, a spa cafe, pastries in the Coffee Bistro and in another corner off the atrium lobby plus a lighter entree salad/sandwich/soup location next to the 3 level Eden Area. Don’t forget to try out the outdoor Grill for burger/fries.
There are also a number of speciality “for a fee” restaurants that you will not currently find on other Celebrity Ships – including a very glamorous Steak House, French Bistro, Raw Bar, Outdoor Garden Cafe, and the Eden sit down restaurant. One of these speciality restaurants features an unique “one of a kind” experience. Your dining room table comes to life as you watch small characters create your meal – I watched patrons constantly clapping for these “make believe” characters. I can’t wait for the opportunity to try the “Le Petit Chef” experience when I sail on the EDGE next time.
Most Edge cruisers will be thrilled with the four “no fee” main dining rooms and won’t find the need to pay for a speciality restaurant because the atmosphere in the main dining rooms is very “speciality dining” like and the menu selections are extensive and very impressive.
If you have been reading about this cruise ship I’m sure you have heard about its Magic Carpet. When I first learned about it I wondered if it was just a gimmick but when I experienced it I loved it. The magic carpet is basically a luxurious moveable platform deck the size of a tennis court that hangs over the side of the ship with many purposes including a relaxing seating area with commanding views, a lounge, at other times it transforms into a speciality restaurant. Its main home is on Deck 14.
The Magic Carpet can magically be lowered to Deck 2 where it becomes a spectacular landing for boarding tenders heading to shore. This landing makes it ideal especially for those with mobility changes to get between the cruise ship and tenders. In fact a young lady who is confined to a wheelchair was smiling from ear to ear when she very easily rode her motorized large wheelchair on the tender.
I had the opportunity to try this “Magic Carpet Tender Landing” and it was just incredible. I was “actually excited” about boarding a tender boat because of it. The area that you gather in before getting on the Magic Carpet platform is also very beautiful. The “Magic Carpet” lounge remained open as we boarded the tenders. Many passengers were enjoying beverages on this platform before boarding a tender.
Currently there isn’t any other ship that can state their tender service experience comes anywhere close to on the EDGE.
Wait until you board the EDGE tender boats. As the travel writer that was sitting next to me stated, these tender boat seats are nicer than what United Airlines offers in business class. They are wide and so comfortable. These tender boats are even air conditioned! I can’t believe I am calling tender boats “luxurious” but on the EDGE they are! I hear rumors that these tenders cost over 1.6 Million each!
The Magic Carpet is one of many unique EDGE venues.
EDEN is a massive 3 level “dream like/fantasy” area that incorporates 2 restaurants and a massive lounge/sitting area. It quickly becomes a favourite day and night destination on the EDGE. Its filled with tropical plants and has a conservatory vibe.
Another hang out area is the impressive designed outdoor garden which features another restaurant, plenty of outdoor park like seating, a big screen for showing movies and a stage for live music performances.
The multi-story main Atrium is the ultimate gathering place for a beverage before heading for dinner. Its so architecturally stunning, its hard to describe. Truly another WOW! The only negative comment I have about it is when this area is at capacity, its loud so if you are going to enjoy a romantic dinner in one of the surrounding speciality restaurants ask for a table away from the noise.
The main “partially in the round” theatre is smaller than on most cruise ships so it’s more intimate. Its audio/visual components are as impressive as the stage show I experienced at a recent “Elton John” concert.
I watched two productions in this space – one show was “pretty far out there” and although it highlighted the theatres impressive technology, I couldn’t figure out what the meaning was of this very futuristic extravaganza. I forced myself to stay thinking that maybe it might get better but I ended up being one of many that left early. This is not to say that some people are going to enjoy this “Jewelry Box” Production but it was not my cup of tea…
The other show I saw was so good I came back to watch it again later that evening. It was basically a high energy live concert event – Marcus Terell, the lead singer was terrific and so was his band and back up singers. The audio/visual effects were mind blowing. An exciting atmosphere.
The EDGE has produced 5 exclusive productions which avoids having to fly in main-stage entertainment. This is now a trend with most cruise lines. I’m not a fan of this but its the way the cruise industry is going.
I feel once Celebrity Cruise Lines gets feedback on its current entertainment there will be some changes, in order to cater to ALL age groups. Currently I believe the entertainment is “somewhat” slanted to a Millennial Crowd. I was told its basically an older demographic that has been flocking on the maiden cruises so I believe the entertainment needs to be more varied. Celebrity will see this need and I expect will make the changes. My fingers are crossed that a piano bar lounge and singer will return.
The extensive gym features Peloton spinning bikes so you can attend a live-streaming class.
Most shops on board are pretty high end – there is even a Tiffany’s and Cartier store. One renowned parfumerie has given the EDGE an exclusive to carry her brand. I don’t think you’ll see the $10. morning sales like you often see on many other cruise ships.
The main outdoor pool is large and very impressive and so is the adults only atrium indoor pool. There is ample “comfortable” loungers surrounding them and vast views of the ocean. Don’t be surprised if a staff member brings around a treat for you to enjoy while you are basking in the sun. Try out the jacuzzis resemble oversized Martini Glasses.
If you are lucky enough to be staying in a suite you can enjoy a wonderful private outdoor retreat with a smaller pool and hot tub.
There are 6 oversize, very beautiful, “for a fee” cabanas on the resort deck but their placement is strange – they do not face the pool and don’t seem to be very private.
I don’t think the EDGE caters to a family audience. There are more suitable ships out there for families.
The Celebrity Edge is the newest cruise ship on the market and you need to put her on your “travel list”. Sitting on the “Magic Carpet” is a must for all! Celebrity Ships are designed for comfort. Grab a free freshly made waffle cone ice cream from Scoops and sit in one of the ships very comfy chairs – they are not hard to find – “private” areas are everywhere. I have never sat on a Celebrity Cruise chair that isn’t overly comfy.
Cruisers have been waiting many years for the EDGE to arrive. It delivers more than it promised. Can you believe, it is possible to open your stateroom door, and dim your interior stateroom lights using your cell phone!
Malala Yousafzai is the 21 year old “godmother” of the Edge. She is the first Nobel prize recipient to christen a cruise ship. The Edge features a crew of 30% women. The EDGE next-in-line Captain is also a woman.
The ship is a blockbuster.
Be sure to join me from Feb 15-23, 2020 as we sail the EDGE in the Caribbean. Space is already limited for this “Travel With Bradley” departure.
The EDGE has defined the NEW future of the cruise in industry.
I can’t wait to sail on her again!