Celebrity Cruises set out to design its newest and most technologically advanced ship, Celebrity Edge, to make a statement. Not with titles -- it's not the largest, nor the most luxurious; it doesn't have the most water slides or the biggest suite at sea. But it is one of the most unusual and appealing cruise ships we've seen in a decade, and it was very much built to appeal to the contemporary traveler. (Note we didn't say cruiser.)
The draw of Celebrity Edge is within its name: It's edgy. The Celebrity Edge deck plan focuses on entertainment and maximizes views over the surrounding landscape. Entertainment in the theater is loud and influenced by today's top hits. The cocktails you'll find in the ship's three-deck spiraling restaurant/lounge/theater called Eden are mind-bendingly one-of-a-kind, and enjoyed while performance artists wander around, drawing people into the show. The Rooftop Garden on the top deck combines the best of Celebrity’s Millennium-class and Solstice-class designs, with a stage for live bands and metallic trees for performers to perch in.
Celebrity Edge didn't just revolutionize entertainment. The ship has turned tendering -- that often unpleasant experience where you have to board a small boat to get to a port -- into an infinitely more pleasant experience. The Magic Carpet is a tennis court-sized moveable deck, kitted out with an open-air lounge and bar. From there, it's a breeze to get onto the tenders, or you can stay to get a drink and watch others get on and off -- talk about people-watching. It's somewhere people actually want to go, rather than escape.
And the Celebrity Edge Magic Carpet isn't just a tender platform. It can be positioned on Decks 5 and 14, where it serves as an eatery or bar. On special days, it climbs to Deck 16 for exclusive brunches and dinners "on the Edge." Additionally, the Celebrity Edge captain is Kate McCue, who is the first – and currently only – American female to captain a major cruise ship.
The experience on the ship also blends edges -- between indoor and outdoor, between stage and audience. There's so much greenery through Celebrity Edge interiors -- and so many massive windows -- it's easy to feel as though you're outside, even when sitting inside Eden or in your cabin. It's especially true if you're in one of the Celebrity Edge 918 Infinite Veranda rooms, cabins that can function as an ocean view with solarium with floor-to-ceiling views and air conditioning or as a quasi-traditional balcony with the push of button to lower the top window. (The innovation also gives you more space.)
Restaurants on Celebrity Edge are straight out of any big city, from a grab-and-go gourmet deli and a reservations-only sushi spot to a high-tech French bistro with an animated dining experience you have to see to believe.
With all these changes, there's a good chance past Celebrity cruisers, expecting the quiet sophistication that they've come to know and love from the line, are not going to be thrilled. In fact, many traditional cruisers may have a hard time with the ship. There are no quiet lounges for casual evenings of light music and a drink with friends, and for those who like to eat at the same table and time every night with the same tablemates, space is set aside in only one of the four main dining rooms.
But those who appreciate stylish, contemporary design will fall in love. In a few short years, Celebrity Edge has become a favorite for many adult cruisers seeking a sophisticated experience.
Meals in the main dining room, the Oceanview Cafe buffet, Continental breakfast room service and at select other eateries
All theater shows and most entertainment options
Most daily activities unless otherwise noted
Use of the fitness center, but not most classes
Gratuities, but only for those booked in Australia or New Zealand and paid in AU and NZ dollars
Automatic gratuities for beverage, mini-bar, spa and salon purchases (20 percent for all)
All beverages with the exception of water, tea (including iced tea), basic coffees and select juices from the buffet
Meals at several specialty restaurants and snack venues
Most fitness classes and all personal training sessions
Access to the ship's Persian Garden thermal suite (except for people staying in AquaClass staterooms, for whom entry is free)
Activities like alcohol tasting events, select game shows and interactive trivia sessions
Select theme parties
Photographs and artwork
Celebrity Edge is a different ship from the rest of the Celebrity Cruises fleet and was designed to attract people who have never cruised before. Celebrity typically draws middle- and upper-class folks in their mid-40s and older. During school holidays, the line's ships usually see a number of families with children, and the same may occur on Celebrity Edge (although the ship was not designed with families in mind).
When the ship is in Europe, you can expect to find a fairly international mix of passengers.
Daytime: The dress code on Celebrity Edge is resort casual most of the time, with most people wearing whatever is comfortable to hang out by the pool or on the sun deck. Many of the indoor spaces are highly air-conditioned, so be sure to bring a sweater.
Evening: At night, people tend to dress a bit nicer; women might put on a skirt and top or a simple sundress, while men will don a pair of pants and a collared shirt. "Chic" nights are held twice per cruise, when cruisers will wear their nicest duds, but you won't see too many people in truly formal wear. Men might wear a suit or a sport jacket, but you won't see any tuxes.
Not permitted: T-shirts, swimwear, robes, bare feet, flip-flops, tank tops and baseball caps are not permitted in any of the restaurants at any time, though we're pretty sure we saw a flip-flop or two in the buffet. Shorts are not permitted in any of the dining rooms at dinner time.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Celebrity.
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