I hear so many different opinions and misconceptions about ocean cruising. Misconceptions of confined spaces and bumping into people you don’t like are torn apart by Celebrity Cruise’s Celebrity Edge – 14 decks of unadulterated luxury sailing the seas. Boasting a 3:1 guest to staff ratio, Celebrity Edge navigates the Caribbean during winter months and Europe for summer. It also has bags of personality and many never seen before at sea features.
According to scientific research in the Journal of Happiness Studies, the maximum beneficial effect on your health and well being begins after 8 days on holiday. I’m not a scientist but cruises for me speed up that process as they are hassle free holidays that drive amazing value by visiting different places in style, safety and comfort. This means you are able to truly relax.
Before the cruise – On Celebrity Edge, the experience all starts long before you climb aboard. A Celebrity Edge app allows you to board faster by using the app to check in via facial recognition, the first cruise line to introduce this. Not only that but you can also see all details of your voyage including weather, booking trips and much more. This really worked as we breezed through check in in under 5 minutes and before we knew it, we were on board.
Is this one of the most technologically advanced ships at sea? We definitely think so. Technology on board Celebrity Edge made our life so easy and fun. With its first new type of ship in 10 years, Celebrity Cruises upped the technology stakes. And here’s how:
*Keyless entry to your stateroom with a digital key on a smart phone, a first on any ship.
*Precisely adjust nearly every comfort feature in your stateroom with a simple touchscreen – everything from lighting, window shades, temperature and service. Our favourite was a setting that dimmed the lights for sleep and also gently woke us up in the morning.
*A virtual concierge app uses artificial intelligence allowing you to order drinks, book dinner, chat to other passengers or even reserve shore excursions.
*A Magic Carpet that Aladdin would be proud of, this tennis court-sized mobile deck on the ship’s side houses 700 square feet of glass and is the world’s first cantilevered, floating platform. It is a multi-purpose space that can be raised and lowered and used in any number of ways including a bar, restaurant or party space. Another never before seen at sea feature.
What about the rooms? Rooms (or staterooms in cruise language) are your haven at sea and a space to provide rest and solace. Our balcony stateroom (9286) was spacious and quiet with a king size bed. What I loved most was the privacy. Looking out of our window, you can’t see your neighbours unless you lean out. This is because of a new Infinite Balcony – a large window that slides open at the touch of a button to the level of a traditional balcony railing. This new design therefore simply makes your stateroom bigger. There are still foldable doors a few feet away from the window to create that separation between balcony and room.
My other favourite thing were the spa inspired touches including a Bossini shower panel (which wonderfully shoots out water at you from all angles if you so wish!), aromatherapy diffusers, pillow menus and daily deliveries of teas.
With 1,467 staterooms onboard, you will have a wide choice of room including suites and villas.
Iconic Suites and Edge Villas – These stateroom categories come with a whole host of additional perks including unlimited specialty restaurant dining. Positioned above the bridge, the Iconic Suites are the largest suites in the whole Celebrity Cruise fleet—1,892 square feet plus another 689 square feet of outdoor space. Inside, you’ll find two bedrooms, two bathrooms (with hot tubs) and sweeping front to back views. Outside, discover a large balcony with sunbeds for and you guessed it.. another hot tub!
When it came to designing new suites, they didn’t stop at just one. Six two-floor luxury villas are 950 square feet of split-level, indoor-outdoor grandeur. With one bedroom and two bathrooms, Edge Villas also include a private balcony and private plunge pool.
Design – You may be thinking why this ship was named Celebrity Edge. The team looked no further than the very thing that makes the ship so visionary and unique – that during two years of exploration, every single design element has been taken to the leading-edge of possibility. A lot of this was made possible by Kelly Hoppen, of the most sought-after interior designers on the planet who has made a bold, modern luxury statement on Celebrity Edge.
As well as designing all staterooms on board Celebrity Edge, Kelly also masterminded The Retreat – a stylish country club style space for Suite Class guests. This includes an indoor 24 hour indoor lounge, sun deck, pool, pool bar and Luminae restaurant.
Did you know that every cruise ship has a Godmother? It’s a longstanding tradition for new ships to have a Godmother, to bring good luck and protection to the vessel. Celebrity Edge named Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzi as Godmother, the inspirational co-founder of the Malala Fund, which invests in education programmes to help girls go to school and reach their full potential. Behind the glamour and exhilaration of every cruise is a hardworking crew making sure that everything is perfect. On Celebrity Edge, 1,320 crew members from 73 different countries work tirelessly to deliver world class service.
Things to do while at sea
Get pampered – The Spa design is inspired by the sea, harnessing the power of nature. With over 100 treatments available, the multi-level spa also has of the best kept ‘secret’ outdoor decks on Celebrity Edge. Within the spa, a SEA Thermal Suite redefines relaxation with a Turkish bath, rainfall water therapy, heated loungers, infa red sauna and a salt room, which simulates a natural salt cave. You will also find a state of the art gym with every machine you can imagine.
Pools and hot tubs – The resort deck is adorned by two heated giant martini glass shaped hot tubs as well as an indoor (adults only) and outdoor pool. In case you wondered, it would take around 127,000 (gin) martinis to fill one martini glass hot tub!
Hang out at the rooftop gardens – This is a great place for wondering around under the sun or stars. During the day, we roamed the gardens and played a game of giant chess. By night, we went to a rooftop cinema and then sat back and watched the energy of a Latin dance party.
Restaurants – There are 29 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges so you will never be bored. Cruising tradition is broken with not one, but four main dining rooms each inspired by a region of the world which are included for everyone. Buffets at Oceanview Café were massive with plenty of variety especially for lunch which included made to order pasta and pizza. A must try is the lobster soup for lunch at Le Grand Bistro. Thick, creamy, rich lobster soup encased in a delicate puff pastry.
There are also several speciality restaurants which although you need to pay extra for, they are impressive. We had dinner at Le Petit Chef, which brings your table to life as animated characters prepare your food in mind blowing detail before the plate is placed in front of you. We enjoyed an immersive 3 course dinner with the most tender fillet of beef, fries and béarnaise sauce as a main course and a matcha tea creation for dessert. For the second night we chose an a la carte experience of scallops and biodynamic wines at Blu. Celebrity Cruises boasts the largest wine collection at sea with 40,000 bottles!
Bars –Out of the 11 bars, our favourites were the Martini bar and Eden. The Martini Bar is where you can try over 30 martinis in The Grand Plaza – a majestic three floor playground that is the heartbeat of Celebrity Edge inspired by lively Italian piazzas. Eden is more than just a bar – It’s a multi-sensory fusion of nature and design that becomes an immersive dining and theatre experience when the sun sets. Views from the seating area upstairs are also mega. Look out for an 18 foot library of plants providing ingredients and garnishes for cocktails.
Entertainment – Whether you are in the theatre watching jaw-dropping acrobatics and choreography or in The Club being surprised by a flying saxophonist, lines between audience and performance are excitingly blurred so you have memories and stories to tell when you leave. The immersive nature continues in the main theatre, where the stage extends into the audience with two rotating spiral staircases, 10 synchronised panoramic projection screens, 16 video mapping laser projectors and aerial performance rigging.
Overall, Celebrity Edge will inspire even the most hardened anti-cruiser to take to the seas with so much on offer. If that wasn’t enough, a brand new sister Edge Class ship (the Celebrity Apex) will be launched in 2020. Whilst writing this, Celebrity Flora also made her debut in the Galapagos Islands which features all-suite luxury accommodation, a first ever glamping experience at sea and much more.
Celebrity Edge will have called into 49 different ports in 24 different countries by the end of 2020 including Santorini, Copenhagen, Barbados, Barcelona and Monaco so get on board and find out what all the excitement is about.
For more information and to book:
Call 0800 441 4054, visit www.celebritycruises.co.uk or talk to your travel agent.
My top 5 tips to make the most out of Celebrity Edge
Plan – I’m not a planner but planning a little bit ahead by reading the daily information sheet in your room will help make the most out of your trip and book popular restaurants on board, excursions and more.
Have an early dinner – This way you can enjoy more entertainment, another snack elsewhere later on or if you fancy it, another dinner! Between dinners, bars and entertainment, there are also over 4000 pieces of art to see on board.
Magic Carpet – This is really popular so be sure to book any special events well in advance. You always know where the Magic Carpet is from the lifts which indicate what floor it is on.
Mobile phones – WIFI on board is excellent so make sure you turn off your mobile data when you are at sea as maritime networks can be very expensive to use. Instead, use WhatsApp, Skype and FaceTime to contact loved ones and show off where you are.
Walk around – Using 106 cameras, you can experience an augmented reality tour of the ship through the Celebrity Edge Access Tour app. Discover the ship early on in your cruise as around every corner there is something to discover so make sure you don’t miss out on the best bits of Celebrity Edge.
By Mark Captain