Written in partnership with Celebrity Cruises.
Many will be scratching their heads looking at these pictures and wondering why their image of a cruise ship is so different from what’s being presented here. Never fear. You more than likely haven’t been wrong about what you may have “thought” cruising looked like. But, this is the dawning of a new day in cruise ships. No longer are we in an era where you are travelling in what is, more or less, a caravan at sea. In this day and age, cruise ships are moving luxury resorts, complete with walk in closets and full bathroom suites that give many of London’s five star hotels a run for their money. The newest ship to sail the seven seas is Celebrity Edge, from Celebrity Cruises, and is has shaken up everything we all thought we knew about cruising. You may remember in December of last year I travelled to Miami to sail aboard the Celebrity Edge for its launch and naming ceremony. At the time, I was blown away by the quality of rooms and my tour of the ship (you can read about it here). It was a short cruise, but I was able to see just about everything. My only missing experience? Well, I didn’t have quite as much time as I would have liked in exploring the suites. Fast forward six months and I’m back on board and guess what? I’m been invited back to live the Suite Life aboard Celebrity Edge. For the UK launch of the ship, from Southampton, I was asked to sail while resting my head in a Celebrity Edge Royal Suite. This is the tale of my journey…
From the start, travelling aboard Celebrity Edge as a Suite Class guest is full of perks. When I arrive, I’m taken to a special area for pre-boarding treats and I am only in situ for five minutes before we are told our class of travel is able to board the ship. I feel like I’m flying first class on an airline, only there’s no turning left instead of right. We’re all headed in the same general direction, which in itself is nice. While I may be in suite class, Celebrity is a cruise line that likes to make all their guests feel special, so all the perks of travelling “suite” are subtle in the beginning, but definitely worth mentioning. I quickly make my way to my suite, feeling a little too excited at the idea of having such a luxurious space all to myself for this trip. Seems rather indulgent, but I’m ready to lap it up.
I walk into my room and the first thing that springs to mind, I say out loud. “Kelly Hoppen, you absolute goddess. You’ve only gone and created the dream space.” Yes, all the suites aboard Celebrity Edge are designed by our London favourite, interiors guru Kelly Hoppen. The Royal Suite aboard Celebrity Edge is an education in using monochrome for sophisticated interiors. Even the tiles in the foyer are inviting and begging for a shoefie to share on Instagram. As I walk into the main room, I’m overcome by the size of the living area. A full kitchen table awaits, sitting across a mini kitchen area and full bar. Beyond that there is a sofa that sits opposite a massive television that I’m pretty sure I won’t get a chance to turn on for the duration of my cruise. I’ll be too busy looking in front of me, sitting on the balcony in front of the sofa, that has two rocking chairs and a full view, floor to ceiling, of the ocean out in front of me. I note the bottle of champagne chilling on the coffee table and the finger foods that have been laid out for my arrival and begin to move into the bedroom and bathroom area. As I step into the bedroom, the doorbell to my suite rings.
My butler, William, has come to introduce himself. He wants to check that the room is to my satisfaction and he has a card to give me with his private number so that he can be reached if I need anything at all during my stay. William will be a godsend, but more on that later. William exits after the introduction and I’m left to continue my personal tour of the Royal Suite.
Back to the bedroom I go, where I do what I always do first on any cruise ship. I swing open the doors to the balcony. This is a double balcony room, with spaces, featuring unobstructed views of the ocean, in both the living room and bedroom. The joy of sleeping with an ocean breeze blowing in over the bed makes for the best night’s sleep you’ll ever have. Trust me on this one. So, I’m basically already counting down the hours until I can crawl into that oversized bed and listen to the ocean waves crashing against the ship.
I notice a remote on the bedside table, across from the vanity of dreams, but I can’t seem to spot a TV anywhere. I make a mental note to ask William about that later.
Into the bathroom I go, where a bathtub of a monstrous size is waiting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bath so big on any cruise ship, ever. It is the main feature in the space, until you turn around and notice that the double sink, which must be at least six feet in length, has retractable screens that open to showcase a view of the ocean. You can brush your teeth in the morning and watch as the ship sails into new destinations. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
Around the corner I walk, to discover the walk in shower that is hidden behind the bath, but is every bit as large and impressive. You could get lost in this bathroom late at night on your first night on board. It’s huge!
The toilet is in a separate compartment and across from it I discover the walk in closet. It was there eagerly awaiting my arrival and unpacking. I’m only on board three days, but the closet gets an impressive look at a sizeable chunk of my wardrobe. I felt the need to overpack and be prepared for any occasion while on board. And of course you’re encouraged to pack as much as your heart desires. So, I went for it.
After unpacking, enjoying one glass of champagne as I go, and reading over my itinerary on my balcony, it all begins to set in that I only have 48 hours to explore the life as a suite class member. I have a lot to get through, so down goes the champagne, back on go the shoes and I’m out the door.
My first port of call is dinner in the suite class restaurant, Luminae. There were quite a few celebs on board, sadly that I’m not allowed to mention, and they seemed to all be there, sipping gorgeous looking cocktails and enjoying one another’s company. I was seated with other press on the night and enjoyed a wonderful three course meal, with wine pairing, as the ship left Southampton and began its journey out and about in the Channel. The meal started with burrata and freshly sliced tomatoes and basil – heaven on a plate. From there it was onto Filet Mignon followed by grilled pears. I left wondering if I should have packed clothes that were larger in size. Eating like this for three days may keep me from wriggling into a few dresses.
After dinner I went for one drink in Eden, a bar that feels more like Neverland than a space aboard a ship. As I stood, mojito in hand, at the bar, people in costume wandered around guests, before a show started for the masses. That was my queue to sneak off and indulge in my favourite part of sailing – the wonderful sleep. I know that may sound terrible. But, if you’ve never slept on a cruise ship before, there’s no way I can describe this for you. I can only say it’s like being in a cradle again and having someone gently rock you to sleep. If you sleep with the door open, the smell of the salt air mixed with crashing waves and a gentle breeze, make this a sleep that’s deeper than anything I’ve ever known. So yes, I’m the sad early-nighter on cruise ships. Celebrity Edge is no exception.
However, before going to bed, I make sure to order room service for the next morning. While on board, I was filming a video (which you will see later) and it meant an early start for the next day. So, I was wanting my caffeine and food fix before leaving the room. My butler delivers the food and offers to set the table for me while I continue getting ready. I leave him to it and rush off to get dressed. When I return, he has laid a beautiful display on the balcony. I had told him I like eating out in the fresh air. Naturally he’s kept the plates covered so that no seagulls can make off with my fresh pastries! The food is as delicious as if I was eating in the restaurants itself. It’s piping hot and makes for the perfect start to the day ahead.
This is my only full day on the ship, and a great deal of it is spent filming with a crew. This part I love. We explore every corner of this beautiful creation and I’m instantly reminded of just how massive a space this ship occupies. The number of bars, restaurants and public spaces is so grand, I can’t imagine being able to enjoy every space as it was intended, even if I was sailing for a full 14 days. Trying to squeeze it into two is nearly impossible, but it’s always fun to try. I’m amazed that this is my second time on Celebrity Edge and I’m still finding new spaces.
For lunch, I head back to the room to file a few pieces online and William suggests ordering some room service while I’m working. He is trouble for my dress size! “The burger,” he declares, “is amazing.” I then remember I haven’t asked about where the TV is in the bedroom. With one flick of a button, a TV comes down from the ceiling and I gasp, which I think surprises even William. The TV was in the ceiling all this time?! So, William leaves, I grab a quick shower and decide to take a disco nap before the food arrives, all the while with the TV on in the background. Twenty five minutes later, I’m awake, I have a movie on and the food has arrived. My butler was right. The burger is noteworthy and hot. Sorry if I keep mentioning the temperature of the food, but it is so hard to get room service right in even a hotel that’s on dry land. Doing the same aboard a ship with thousands of people seems impossible. But, they make it happen every single time.
After my lunch, movie and “snooze with a view” break, I head back out to explore the ship. I spend a little time in a swing chair with a book, I visit the spa, I get a bit of sun on the deck of the retreat and I decide that my next time on this ship has to be for a proper cruise. Two days simply isn’t enough. It’s enough to get a taste of just how good a vacation this is, but it’s not the full experience. The real joy in cruising is discovered in opening your curtains every morning to a new vista. It’s found in meeting new people on board that you arrange to meet for drinks in the club or at the famed martini bar. It’s having a full day in the sun, being absolutely exhausted from doing nothing at all and collapsing in the most comfortable bed of your life, for a sleep that will change everything. But this, this was my taster of the Suite Life aboard Celebrity Edge, and I’m afraid it’s ruined me for life. How can I ever go back to any other way of travelling aboard a Celebrity Cruise?
Now, enough talking. Let’s talk you on a photo tour of my room, some of the suite perks and a quick trip around the ship!
For more information on booking a suite on Celebrity Edge, click here
A look at The Royal Suite aboard Celebrity Edge:
The Suite Class Restaurant, Luminae at The Retreat
The Retreat, Suite Class only deck
Exploring the rest of the ship (read more and see more images from the launch of Celebrity Edge).