Celebrity Edge is the first new ship in Celebrity Cruises’ fleet in almost a decade. This new class of ship debuts several unique experiences, some of which are new to the fleet as well as to cruising. Celebrity Edge displays a modern and elegant design that is a mixture of the Solstice-class and sister brand Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships. Having sailed on both classes of ships, we could certainly see elements of both classes in the layout and venues.
This new mega-ship is now the largest ship in the Celebrity fleet and manages to rank as one of the largest classes of ship in the world. Despite its size, the ship still manages to feel intimate and warm. The design creates alcoves and tucked away areas that make you feel like you are on a much smaller ship. The outdoor venues offer more open space and remain uncluttered with amenities like water slides or rope courses. Inside, there are several new restaurants and entertainment venues. Celebrity Edge has the look and feel of a five-star hotel, not your typical cruise ship. Celebrity Edge is certainly a distinct addition to the fleet that truly delivers a new take on modern luxury.
Beside the new ship appeal, Celebrity Edge’s Western Caribbean itinerary was a bit different. Of course, there were two stops in Mexico, Cozumel and Costa Maya. Having just visited these ports six weeks prior, we stayed onboard in Cozumel and did a beach break in Costa Maya.
While we have cruised over two dozen times, we have never stopped in Key West, FL. If you have been reading our blog for a while, then you can probably guess that we spent the day doing all of the “touristy” things. The cruise stopped in Grand Cayman as well, a port that has not made it on to many of our cruise itineraries. In fact, Grand Cayman was one of the stops on our first cruise together on Legends of the Seas in 2007, and we have not been back since. We had plans to see and do as much as possible while tendered at the island, but rough sea conditions and delays with the tour lead to a rather rushed and disappointing day on the island.
For us, the ship’s design was a refreshing take on a mega-ship. The outdoor decks were sleek and open, with a modern Resort Deck featuring one large pool, an adults only Solarium, and the Rooftop Garden complete with garden games and pop up musicians. We spent a great deal of outdoor time at the Rooftop Garden enjoying the views and some friendly competition. Unlike the loud and crowded feeling of the outdoor spaces on many mega ships, these spaces on Celebrity Edge were inviting and spacious.
Inside, the ship offered equally stunning spaces. The centrally located Grand Plaza and Martini Bar, while a minimalist design, was a chic place for drinks and live music in the evenings. The Club was also a nice departure from the typical dance club, featuring a multipurpose design that allowed for game shows, music and dancing, and other events. Perhaps the most impressive new design was the main theater. Featuring a circular stage and high definition screens for backdrops, this theater offered a more visually stunning and immersive entertainment experience. While the shows themselves were hit or miss for us, the space offered something new and fresh for future vessels in the class.
Another unique space on Celebrity Edge is the 3-story Eden. While we were not fans of the entertainment or drinks at Eden, the venue itself is beautiful. As another multipurpose space, Eden was a nice alternative to relax indoors and enjoy the panoramic views, challenge yourself to a brain teaser puzzle, or grab a snack from the Cafe.
Most of the venues on Celebrity Edge are well designed and offer fresh takes on some cruise favorites. The ship executes its branded areas well, but it does lack some diversity. When compared to other ships in the fleet, we felt there were more limited options when it comes to evening activities. Reviewing our own routine, we basically did the same thing every night, stopping at the Club and/or the Martini bar for drinks and music in between main theater shows. We did enjoy the activities and specialty cocktails, but other options would have been nice.
Additional venues like the Ensemble Lounge, Passport Bar, and Cellars Wine Bar were all missing on this new class of ship. While Eden is a new space, it was an odd mix of overpriced cocktails and performance art that was too abstract for us. While the large Grand Plaza is visually appealing and a great gathering space, it almost makes the Martini Bar lose some of its character. The bartenders were always busy, limiting the bar tricks and other little touches that we enjoyed at this venue on the Solstice-class.
Celebrity Edge certainly shines on many fronts. For us, the cruise line has always differentiated itself by offering stellar service and superior food. Being a new ship, we were skeptical that these two areas would suffer. Luckily, we were wrong. The staff was friendly and attentive, and venues were never too crowded. We were able to find seats in the Oceanview Cafe and even loungers by the pool at peak times.
Even the new take on any time dining, Celebrity Select Dining Plus, was a success. Our waitstaff ensured we had a pleasurable dining experience in each restaurant. The food was excellent, including a mix of the new Celebrity Exclusives menu items. And, it was nice to rotate through various restaurants with a unique theme and decor. Two thumbs up to this new dining option.
We can not overstate how much we liked the design and decor throughout the ship. Evening the dining rooms felt more like gourmet restaurants than your typical cruise ship MDR. The cruise director, Maarten Breuls, was a pretty typical director, hosting all of the obligatory events, but didn’t really add anything to the ship. It is clear that the ship design, entertainment, and dining are aimed to appeal to a younger crowd. Celebrity Edge is certainly a ship for couples and groups of adults. While there are children’s areas, there were very few kids on the ship. The Edge-class is designed for cruisers looking for an upscale cruise experience without all the distractions of modern cruise ships.