Celebrity Edge, the hottest new cruise ship of 2018, is here. The shiny vessel sails out of Fort Lauderdale, and I was onboard a two-day preview sailing to get a taste of what Celebrity Edge has to offer.
While the 2,900-passenger vessel arrives riding a large wake of fanfare, I learned that this ship delivers plenty of innovative and exciting features and spaces that help it live up to all the hype.
There is so much I enjoyed during my time onboard that I was genuinely disappointed that we didn’t get time to more fully experience its numerous fun and relaxing spaces. Or dine at all of the wonderful eateries. You have 16 restaurant options!
Celebrity Edge offers a refined feel of modern design and elegance. The ship is filled with gorgeous art pieces and quirky eye-catchers. This is a ship for adults, mainly, with no waterslides, ziplines of wacky poolside contests. (It does offer a nice kids’ club program, however, that focuses on interactive games and learning.)
Here are five things that stand out on Celebrity Edge.
They call it an urban playscape. This is an oasis on Deck 15 that features live plants, beautiful tree sculptures and dozens of cushioned couches and chairs organized to create a delightful area for intimate group conversations or to sit back and enjoy live music on the stage or watch the big-screen TV. (The ship showed prime-time NFL games here during the weekend we sailed.)
This is also the spot for activities like outdoor yoga classes and the “A Taste of Film” dinner-and-a-movie experience.
Just steps away is the Rooftop Garden Grill, which is offers specialty (for a fee) barbecue lunches or dinners al fresco.
A true cruise industry innovation, Celebrity Edge’s Magic Carpet is a flexible space that cantilevers off the starboard side of the ship and is utilized in various ways on Decks, 2, 5, 14 and 16. It’s about the size of a tennis court and can fit 100 people. It offers a full bar and space for live music events.
On Deck 2, it connects to the Destination Gateway area and serves as a platform offering seamless entry onto the ship’s “launches,” which tender passengers ashore at ports where Celebrity Edge anchors. This changes the tendering experience in so many ways. The platform makes entry onto the small boats much safer, and cruisers also have a bar and lounge to use as they wait for the next available launch or immediately upon their return from a day ashore.
As the platform rises, the panoramic views get better and better. On Deck 5, the Magic Carpet becomes an outdoor dining and bar expansion of the sushi eatery Raw on 5.
When this bar and lounge is situated on Deck 14 (Pool Deck), it’s a nice space for passengers to relax and refresh in between dips in the longest swimming pool on any cruise ship. At the very top, on Deck 16, passengers can reserve a specialty dining experience, “Dinner on the Edge.”
The hub of the activity inside the ship, the Grand Plaza is anchored by the Martini Bar, a Celebrity Cruises favorite. The plaza has the feel of a posh resort, with restaurants and shops at the perimeter of the corridors and railings that encircle three-deck-high wide-open space that overlooks a white piano and the three-story-tall “Chandelier.”
This is no average chandelier, though. It’s a massive electronic marvel that hangs down from the ceiling and frames the Martini Bar. Its lights dance in time with the beats during occasional special music features that bring people scrambling to the rails to watch and record.
The Grand Plaza is a fabulous spot to settle in for a pre-dinner cocktail or any time there is a live music performance. We saw the pianist perform a duet with a saxophone player.
As I mentioned, this is a highlight you’ll notice right from the start. Celebrity Edge features four main dining rooms (no fee), each offering menus with classic favorites and all sharing the basic nightly offerings. The difference is that each restaurant also offers its very own “featured” menu. Cyprus is a Greek-themed dining room; Normandie has French cuisine; Tuscan features Italian; and Cosmopolitan offers American and other global specialties.
Other options included in your fare: Oceanview Cafe (buffet), Grand Plaza Cafe, Mast Grill and Eden Cafe.
Celebrity Edge has so many more options. Specialty for-fee options include Rooftop Garden Grill, Dinner on the Edge, Raw on 5, Fine Cut Steakhouse, Le Grand Bistro and Eden Restaurant.
Le Grand Bistro deserves special note for its “Le Petite Chef” dinner experience. This is a 4D animated dinner show in which a set of tiny chefs scurry about your table and simulate and plate the cooking of your meal, course by course. You watch them make an item, then, you get to eat the real deal as it’s brought to your plate after each part of the show. It’s cute and quite entertaining.
Eden Restaurant is also an interactive dinner show, with live performance artists (Edenists) spicing up the night and adding to the sensory experience. Menu items play on natural organic themes, with appetizers like “vegetables grown above and below the soil” and a main dish of halibut bakes in seaweed.
The restaurant is part of the Eden three-deck “nature” space at the back of the ship (see below).
With glass letting in light across this marvelous venue that is built into a three-deck-high space at the back of Celebrity Edge, Eden connects passengers to the sea and nature. It is designed to be a sensory experience, and the lush greenery and playful vibe of Eden is evident from the moment you first approach along the corridor.
The thrilling reveal delivers almost 12,000 square feet of space with winding pathways and multiple levels of seating in nooks and secluded spots to bask in the sunlight during daytime. Plants hang from the ceiling and also fill the space in pots and planter boxes throughout Eden, which is an architectural wonder.
The venue has a bar and Eden Cafe (for breakfast and lunch), and nighttime brings performances from the Edenists, who interact with cruisers in a playful (some might say bizarre) way.
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