Back in May, I travelled to Southampton for the European premiere of Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship which was unveiled in Fort Lauderdale last November. I remember following news coverage closely at the time and being amazed by how beautiful the ship’s interior design looked in pictures. And so, when I received an invitation to spend two days and two nights on Celebrity Egde, I immediately said yes! The ship was everything I hoped for and more. Here are 12 reasons to spend your next holiday on board of Celebrity Edge.
Cruising is not for everyone, I know. I lost count of how many times I have had conversations with people who say they’d never go on a cruise. I try to explain why they might actually like it but it’s hard to put it in words… it’s one of those things you have to see and experience for yourself.
I used to be one of them. I used to hate the idea of being “trapped” on a ship with the same people for days. “Why would anyone choose this over a traditional flight + hotel holiday?” – I thought. Then, I went on a week-long cruise in the Mediterranean sea and everything changed. I found the whole experience very relaxing: for the first time ever, I didn’t have to plan every day of the holiday, which was liberating. I knew where I would sleep every night: in the same bed, rather than moving hotels every morning. I could unpack the suitcase on the first day and repack it on the last. I would wake up every day with the excitement of discovering a new destination. I could sit on my balcony reading with the blue sea as my backdrop. I could eat in different restaurants; relax in the spa; exercise in the gym. Every day was different and filled with activities. At the end of the week I felt incredibly relaxed and truly sad to leave. So, this is why I would totally go on a cruise again and recommend anyone to try it – at least once.
12 Reasons To Choose Celebrity Edge For Your Next Cruise
Celebrity Cruises continually pushes the cruise industry forward with their stunning ships, and they have done it again with Celebrity Edge, the first ship in the new Edge Class by Celebrity Cruises. It may not be the world’s biggest ship, but it is certainly big enough to get lost in it! The ship – which took four years to build – has 14 passenger decks, 1,467 rooms and weighs 129,500 tonnes. It can hold a maximum at 2,918 guests and 1,320 crew members.
Celebrity Cruises wanted to shatter all expectations and create a new way of cruising. And boy, have they succeeded! From the designer rooms to the elevated dining experiences, Celebrity Edge is a true wonder.
1. Design by Kelly Hoppen
Kelly Hoppen, MBE is one of the most celebrated and sought-after interior designers in the world. She designed Celebrity Edge’s key elements like The Retreat, the suites and staterooms seamlessly blending inside and outside living spaces.
For the rooms, Hoppen used a warm and harmonious palette to evoke the intimacy of an inviting, indulgent urban apartment. The modern, colourful yet elegant and refined design of Celebrity Edge is certainly the ship’s biggest asset.
2. World-class restaurants
There are 29 restaurants and bars inside Celebrity Edge and around 700 members of staff work directly in hospitality.
There are four main dining rooms that you can eat in under the standard Celebrity Select plan: Tuscan, the Italian restaurant where all the pasta is made in house; Cosmopolitan, serving classic European and American dishes; Cyprus, which celebrates Mediterranean seafood; and Normandie, serving contemporary French cuisine. About 20% of the menu comprises of classic dishes that remain the same through the voyage, while the rest of the menu changes daily, so every day you will find something new and different to eat.
In addition to the complimentary restaurants, the Edge Class ship have new speciality restaurants such as RAW ON 5, an Asian-inspired raw bar by chef Yoshi who is a third-generation sushi chef and sake sommelier; or Fine Cut Steakhouse has everything to satisfy even the most devoted steak lover.
Suite class guests can also book dinner at a private restaurant, Luminae, the highest rated restaurant in the Celebrity Cruises fleet.
Casual dining venues on Celebrity Edge include a variety of cafés from Al Bacio and Eden to Oceanview and Grand Plaza.
The Grand Plaza is a majestic hall spanning three floors from deck 3 to deck 5. This is the spiritual centre of Celebrity Edge, the first place you see after you board the ship and the place you will spend most of your time. Several restaurants and cafés are situated around it, while at the heart of it is the popular Martini Bar: the perfect spot for an aperitivo before dinner!
3. Celebrity Cruises app
Thanks to the official Celebrity Cruises app, I could check into my room before I arrived in Southampton facial recognition boarding. This made the embarkation process very speedy! I could also preview all the events and shows planned on board that week; look up shops and restaurants opening times and menus; make dinner reservations and book shore excursions.
Inside your stateroom or suite, you can use the Celebrity Cruises app on your smartphone to control the lights, blinds, TV, heating and air conditioning.
Every corner of Celebrity Edge is beautifully designed, elegant and comfortable, but one place above all stole my heart: Eden.
Eden is a lounge, dining and entertainment space like anything you’ve ever seen. It is located on deck 5 but the glass windows spread over three floors. The décor is inspired by nature; Eden is “a room that lives”.
My favourite spot to relax and spend time on board (aside from The Retreat sundeck) was Eden Café. You can get snacks and drinks from the café and sit anywhere in Eden, though I particularly loved the hanging chairs!
5. The Spa and Fitness Centre
The Spa on Celebrity Edge is a luxurious sanctuary with a design (by Kelly Hoppen, MBE) that rivals the world’s leading spas. Guests can choose between an array of restorative spa and beauty treatments, including Elemis facials, a hairdressing salon for women and a barber shop for men.
At the heart of The Spa is the Sea Thermal Suite offering 8 distinct sauna and steam experiences. Guests who booked an Aqua Class accommodation have complimentary access to The Spa, while all other guests need to pay for access and treatments.
The large fitness centre is open to all guests. There are several classes scheduled everyday from boxing to yoga, which you can pre-book via the app.
6. Adults-only Solarium
Even though there are several outdoor swimming pools on Celebrity Edge, sometimes when you are at sea all you really want is an indoor heated pool. I have been on cruises where it was too cold to swim outside, so I was particularly happy to see the adults-only Solarium on Celebrity Edge.
7. Resort Deck and Rooftop Garden
Two-storey high hot tubs that are shaped like glasses? Yes.
A 23-metre lap pool? Yes.
A jogging track that spans two decks and nearly a quarter-mile long? Yes.
The rooftop garden on deck 15 is the outdoor space where you can enjoy live musical performances, dance classes and games all throughout the day. In the evenings, the garden is the setting for live concerts, a Rooftop Garden Cinema, or dance parties with live music and DJ.
8. The Magic Carpet
The Magic Carpet is the world’s first cantilevered, floating platform that moves up and down the side of the ship reaching 13 floors above sea level (from deck 2 to deck 16).
The Magic Carpet boasts breathtaking views and can act as anything from a bar, a space for live music performances and a disembarkation point.
I couldn’t believe how spacious and bright my stateroom on board of Celebrity Edge was, particularly the bathroom which featured a large shower and plenty of cabinet space. The room itself was decorate in light cream and purple colours with soft carpet on the floor, a sofa, a foldable desk, full-sized mirror and a comfortable cashmere mattress.
Celebrity Cruises’ design team took guest feedbacks on board to make the staterooms 20% larger than on previous ships. To achieve that, they integrated the outdoor balcony into the room space by turning it into an “Infinite Veranda”. Glass doors divide the room from the veranda and you can choose to keep them open or closed. A window (controlled through the app) lets the sea breeze come drifting in.
Iconic suites, Penthouse suites, Edge villas, Royal suites, Celebrity suites and Sky suites: these are the categories of rooms you can choose from if money is no issue. They are magnificent homes onboard and fine examples of understated sophistication.
Every suite comes, of course, with all the amenities of the staterooms. On top of that, you will also have all the perks of being a Suite Class guest, including exclusive access to The Retreat lounge and sundeck.
I had a tour of the suites and my favourites were: the Edge Villa, a 950-square-foot, split-level residence with a terrace featuring a three-feet-deep plunge pool; the Penthouse suite, featuring the finest linens and toiletries, its own hot tub on a private terrace, a spacious dressing room, separate living room area and a private butler to ensure your every need is taken care of.
The Iconic Suites are the most luxurious and spacious suites in the fleet. It is positioned high on top of the ship, above the bridge, so guests will have the best panoramic views on board from the floor-to-ceiling windows and terrace.
11. The Retreat
All guests of the Celebrity Edge suites have access to an exclusive lounge area called The Retreat. Nice perk, uh? The indoor space is basically the living room of my dreams with soft carpets, bright walls and sofas upholstered with green-leaf block prints.
The Retreat is located on on decks 15 & 16 (within close walking distance to all the suites) and boasts around-the-clock butler service. The open-air pool at on the private sundeck is beautiful and the perfect place to reset and relax.
It’s worth noting that large cruise ships are not the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly places. However, it is great too see Celebrity Cruises taking many steps towards making their cruises more sustainable. The engineers at Celebrity have created a new Parabolic UltraBow which increases fuel efficiency: Edge ships will be 25% more energy-efficient than Celebrity’s Solstice class.
Furthermore, on board of Celebrity Edge all lighting is LED and there’s solar power technology on board. Celebrity Cruises eliminated 90% of single-use plastics on board: bottled water comes in aluminium packaging; there are water fountains to refill your won water flask; and plastic straws are banned.
Celebrity Cruises have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to continue the effort to conserve the oceans.
The cruise industry is the fastest-growing category in the leisure travel market, so it is important for cruise liners to make steps forwards to be as sustainable as possible. Of course, there is much more that can be done to: first and foremost by educating travellers on respecting the destinations they visit, minimising waste and recycling.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest on the European sailing of Celebrity Edge. All views are my own.