Someone once told me that life’s true adventures are never comfortable. They are rugged, intense and often times designed to push us to our limits. That’s how we discover and appreciate the world around us, right? I’m pretty sure that person has never stepped foot on a cruise ship, ever, let alone the new Celebrity Edge. As I’m certain that half a day on this ship would turn their theory of adventure seeking upside down and inside out.
It has been said, “there are people that cruise and people who don’t cruise.” This time three years ago, I was the latter in that statement. I wasn’t a cruiser. In fact, rather naively, I was an anti-cruiser. And I swear, I can’t remember why that is now. There was no incident in my life that led me to believe cruises weren’t for me. There wasn’t even a memory of ever having had a discussion with someone that had been on a cruise before. But, I want to kick myself for being a later in life cruise discoverer. And, I’m making it my personal mission to share the knowledge here so that no one else has to make that same mistake.
I’m a 38 year old woman that is publicly declaring her love for the cruising life. And for the purposes of this feature, I’m doing so on the latest and greatest cruise ship to hit the circuit. It’s one that’s designed to shake things up and entice a younger, hipper crowd. It’s built to impress, designed to leave you with your jaw on the floor at the passing of every rounded corner and will most certainly make you rethink everything you think you know about cruise ships today. The Celebrity Edge has been called groundbreaking not only for its structural innovations but also its ability to make a ship, capable of holding thousands of people, feel like a personal yacht.
I was invited, in early December, for the trip of lifetime to discover the Edge during its naming ceremony in Miami, Florida. This billion dollar cruise ship, that stands nearly 13 stories above sea level, is instantly recognisable as unique. From the bright orange moving restaurant that hangs off one side of the ship, to the unique design of the boat itself, there’s no mistaking this beauty for another creation.
For anyone that’s ever taken a cruise before with Celebrity Cruises, you’ll know the checkin process is quite straight forward and easy. Within half an hour of arriving, I was in my room drooling over what was presented when I opened my door. Before me was a cabin like none other I had ever seen. The design was clean and contemporary, simple and sophisticatied. But, the real gem was the way in which the balcony of the room was part of the room itself. That’s right. For the first time ever in cruise history, Celebrity Cruises have created a stateroom where there is no division between the outside and inside areas. This creates a space that feels infinitely bigger than any other cabin I’ve stayed in before with a balcony. Your only decision is whether you want your stateroom window up or down to beat the heat outside. My window was eventually rolled down when we woke up in the Bahamas. How could I not? That salty sea air is more healing than anything on this earth.
That evening, before we could sail anywhere, we had more important fish to fry, as we like to say in the South. This was the night of the naming ceremony and this ceremony, in particular, was a pretty special moment for all of us involved. Malala Yousafzai, the young Noble Prize laureate, had been named as the Godmother of the ship and she was onboard to officially welcome Edge to the big blue sea. On this night, Celebrity Cruises was not only honouring Malala, they were also honouring a pretty stellar lineup of women involved in making the ship happen at all. The Edge’s success has been led by the only female CEO of a publicly traded cruise company – Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. The design work has been undertaken by great female talents such as London’s Kelly Hoppen. Oh, and a groundbreaking 30% of staff onboard are women. Why is this groundbreaking? Well, that’s nearly double the usual average on other ships currently at sea. Edge is a ship that is breaking all the rules, and working towards gender equality on board is only the beginning.
Perhaps the most noticeable change in Celebrity Edge, from other ships currently at sea, starts right in your suite. We’ve touched on the new design, but there are also technological updates that are truly landmark here. For example, you can control the lights and temperature in your room via the Celebrity app on your phone. That same app contains your itinerary, information about activities on board and much more. Here I thought I was going to be using my phone mostly for instagramming, but I spent most of my screen time on the app itself, planning my days and adjusting my room for waking and sleeping hours.
I have to be honest, however and fess up to the fact that I didn’t get much sleep with my two nights aboard the ship. This was a sprint, not a marathon, and I was determined to see it all. That isn’t easy when you only have six meals aboard the ship and there are 29 restaurants, bars and lounges that are ready to be explored. Let’s just say there was a lot of jumping around, but I still didn’t manage to squeeze it all in – even after dedicating one night to having a different drink in six different bars on board. Let’s just say the next morning’s pancake meal and coffee was a welcome sight. And yes, the food here is worthy of recognition. The sushi restaurant served up one of the best sushi lunches I’ve had anywhere, on earth. The martini bar, which also serves as a main feature of the ship itself, boasting a rather impressive chandelier, was also a highlight not only because of its extensive menu, but also because of its talented mixers that could have easily been stunt doubles for Tom Cruise’s film Cocktail. All that being said, my favourite meal was at Cosmopolitan, one of the main restaurants on the ship. It was everything you would expect from a five star restaurant, with service, a wide range of food choices and fine wines to boot.
When the big light in the sky finally did go out, Celebrity Edge turned into a bit of an exercise in fantastic hedonism. With the casino lights pulling us all into the late night scene, we stretched our legs in The Club to a live cover band and excellent cocktail choices, we took in the rather sensual experience of Eden, with its roaming actors and elaborate drinks menu, and finally visited the theatre for a show before calling it a night. The options here really are endless for entertainment. Or, if you’re like me and go for a one-night-on and one-night-off option, there’s always your balcony, the ocean breeze, a good book and room service. Yup. That had to happen.
While I missed about 19 of the bars and eateries on board, my biggest regret is not having time in the 13,000sq ft spa. From the pictures I’ve seen, it looks like the most glorious space and the most relaxing bit of square footage on the ship. I can tell you, from talking to other journalists on board, that this is worth the splurge. So, if you’re booking, make this a part of the itinerary.
Now, let’s get into a picture tour of the ship. That’s what you’re here to see isn’t it? The pictures you can’t find online anywhere else… the experience recorded down to the most minute detail? Well, it’s all here, don’t worry. I will just disclose that I stayed in an Infinity Balcony Suite. However, on the second day of our adventure, we were given a chance to look in on some of more premium suites. Naturally, I took loads of pictures, as I couldn’t even really believe what I was seeing. I have never seen anything like this, ever. You will be blown away by what you see below. But, just to reassure you, these are all pictures taken on the ship. There’s no trickery here. Theses are actual suites on board.
With that, I’ll leave you to discover. Having only two days on the Celebrity Edge was nowhere near enough time to truly experience life as you would as an actual cruiser. But, it most certainly gave me quite the appetite to want to learn more, to come back and to make sure my rear end has had a seat in every one of the twenty-nine eateries on board! Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom here, where I’ve also included a video on how to pack for a cruise, with a little tour of all the storage available in the Infinity Suite on board!
For more information or to view the 2019 calendar for Celebrity Edge, visit the website!
Note: Fashion Foie Gras was a guest of Celebrity Cruises.
Looking around the ship
The restaurants and food:
Video on how to pack for a cruise: