Launched last December, Celebrity Edge has ushered in a variety of new enhancements and technological advancements, making this 2,900-passenger ship a model for the future of cruising. Combined with Celebrity Cruises’ stellar service and modern luxury approach to cruising, it makes for a fabulous experience.
After sailing on this ship for seven nights in the Caribbean, we walked away believing that many cruise lines will be quick to emulate the Celebrity Edge experience. Here are six reasons Celebrity Edge represents the future of cruising.
Celebrity Cruises’ modern and efficient new terminal in Ft. Lauderdale is your first indication that cruising on the brand-new Celebrity Edge will be unlike most large ship experiences. Long lines, silly forms and confusing instructions are a thing of the past with the embarkation process on Celebrity Edge. By using the Celebrity app, cruisers can load all of their information to a smart device. After completing the simple check-in questionnaire before the cruise, you should be able to get onto the ship in just minutes. Security procedures are also improved, making the entire process seamless from curbside to the ship.
Reconceptualized interior design
For a ship just under 130,000 gross tons, Celebrity Edge feels less like a cruise ship and more like a five-star resort. The reconceptualized interior design and distinct décor set this new vessel apart even when compared to the other elegantly designed ships in Celebrity Cruises’ fleet. While it is a large ship, many venues are strategically designed to make them feel smaller and more intimate.
For example, Le Grand Bistro has the feeling of a streetside Parisian restaurant. And the Club’s posh atmosphere and engrossing live music make you forget for a moment that you are on a moving vessel. Each space on Celebrity Edge transports cruisers to a new, immersive place, whether it's a restaurant, lounge or entertainment space.
With cruise ships getting bigger and cruise passengers wanting more privacy, we see future ships adopting this design aesthetic with smaller venues, as opposed to large mall-like promenades.
Engaging outdoor spaces
This luxurious design is not reserved to only indoor venues, it's even carried over to the outdoor spaces. The ship’s Resort Deck reinvents your typical pool deck. The Resort Deck is a playful, sophisticated space that you would expect to find in a trendy Miami or Las Vegas hotel. Not overly loud or crowded, it's a stylish and refreshing place to spend those sunny sea days.
To complement the Resort Deck, you'll find the Rooftop Garden. Here you can escape to enjoy the ocean breeze with a good book or perhaps a midday acoustic musical set. With lawn games that entice you to challenge fellow cruisers to a friendly competition, this space is truly like your hometown park in the middle of the Caribbean, complete with benches and comfy lounge furniture.
With these outdoor spaces encouraging interaction, it naturally invites individuals to meet and mingle on their own terms. Don't expect the kind of blaring loud music and other cheesy entertainment offerings found on other cruise lines.
Perhaps one of the major game changers on Celebrity Edge is the entertainment. With a high-tech, new theater design that includes high-definition projection backdrops and a circular stage, the audience becomes completely engrossed in the show.
Another big departure from typical cruise entertainment is the storytelling aspect. Celebrity Edge offers three signature shows, each with a unique plot. These shows make fabulous use of the digital technology and the talented production cast of singers, dancers and acrobats, while being more modern and relevant to younger generations.
Your typical headliner shows have also been revamped on Celebrity Edge. Offering a concert-like performance, the two resident headliners put on arena style productions with integrated backdrops, powerful voices and nonstop music spanning several generations.
The theatrical entertainment on Celebrity Edge is not only first rate, but it comes with no additional hurdles. There are two performances each evening and reservations are not required. You can simply walk in, find a seat and enjoy the show!
More complimentary dining options
With the new Celebrity Select Dining Plus, Celebrity Cruises has found a way to mirror the traditional dining experience with more flexible dining options.
On Celebrity Edge, you can still enjoy a rotational dining menu each evening, along with traditional classics. In addition, there are four complimentary, themed main dining rooms, each with distinct menu offerings. From the Italian-flavored Tuscan Restaurant and the French Normandie restaurant to the Greek-inspired Cyprus and the more traditional Cosmopolitan, the décor and food were well themed and on par with our expectations for food quality in a main dining room on a Celebrity ship.
The best part of this new dining program is that cruisers have the option of making reservations pre-cruise at an exact restaurant and time of their choice or they can walk up to a restaurant and request a table. From our experiences, we never had an issue getting a table whether we walked up or had made a reservation. Even with this flexible dining option, we still had spectacular service with well-prepared meals.
Digitally connected staterooms
While newer ships have begun designing staterooms for this century, no cruise ship to date has delivered a truly connected stateroom until Celebrity Edge!
Along with a well-designed room layout, the staterooms on Celebrity Edge have outlets and USB connections where they count. Along with bedside plugs, there is a large charging station conveniently located on the desk. Discreetly designed, this station offers plugs and USB outlets for the devices everyone now takes on a cruise yet is stylishly concealed, avoiding the sea of messy cables and cords.
The rooms also come equipped with an LCD touch screen where you can change the temperature, dim the lights or open the blinds with a few taps. The Celebrity Edge app on your smartphone acts as a remote control as well. You can manage all of the in-room amenities, as well as your television, from your handheld device without ever leaving the bed. Even better, you can order room service, review your account or book a shore excursion on the app. You can even use your phone to enter your room, eliminating the need to use your key card.
The future of cruising is Celebrity Edge
Cruise ships have come a long way from simply being a mode of transportation between ports to becoming destinations themselves.
Celebrity Edge embraces the dual purpose of traveling by ocean liner. Superb service, unmatched décor and an inviting layout give the ship a five-star hotel feeling. Still, there's plenty to see, eat and enjoy while aboard this superb ship. None of the amenities or activities is too over the top; they appeal to almost everyone regardless of age. Cruisers from all corners of the world can appreciate the simple elegance of Celebrity Edge.
During our seven nights on Celebrity Edge, it quickly became apparent that more cruise lines will have to adopt many of these features if they're going to compete in the large ship market of the future.