If you listened to the podcast episode that we recorded aboard the Celebrity Edge, then you already received a taste of our experience on this posh ship from Celebrity Cruises, but we’ve only scratched the surface. This blog post will dig a little deeper into all things Celebrity Edge so that you can decide if this ship is right for you to book your vacation sail.
Background on Celebrity Edge
Celebrity Edge is the largest and the lead ship from the Edge-class series from Celebrity Cruises. Her inaugural season was in 2018. Of course, due to the pandemic, it still feels like a very new ship since it had some downtime and low usage, like most cruise ships over the past few years.
The Edge is the first ship with the “Magic Carpet” experience- though we will discuss our experience with that a bit later in the need to know section. The Magic Carpet protrudes and is suspended from the starboard side of the ship. It can rise or descend alongside the ship on its track and otherwise hosts additional dining and bar space.
Pre-boarding and Embarkation of Celebrity Edge
It seems that technology has advanced post-covid. Celebrity Edge begins its pre-boarding and embarkation process with its app. The app takes you step-by-step through exactly what you need to do before embarkation day. Scanning a copy of your passport, entering your covid-vaccine information, etc. There is a health questionnaire you will answer. You will also enter your payment information so that it is loaded into the app to take care of your folio charges on the ship. You will also take a selfie, so doll up friends! Heads up, this will be seen by all staff when you enter anywhere and pay for anything, so be prepared. We thought we would just take a morning blah photo, but found out at embarkation by a very nice staff member that it would be our “go-to photo”. The nice young man allowed us to take ours over quickly, but we cannot promise this will be allowed all the time. We arrived early with plenty of time. This photo, in the app though, is used ahead of time to match your passport. Just go through the steps of the app and you will be fine.
Two days before sailing, we had to have a covid test and provide those results at the port before walking inside the Celebrity terminal. On embarkation day, we answered another health questionnaire via the app. These questions went through current symptoms if any.
Children– there are different rules regarding children. These may change before your sailing, so please check if you book. At the time of our sailing, unvaccinated children are required to take a COVID-19 test before embarkation, just like adults, but of course, they do not provide vaccination information. Also, before re-entry into the U.S., they must take another COVID-19 test. This complimentary test will be administered onboard. Lastly, regarding children, unvaccinated children may only go ashore with their families, on a shore excursion provided by Celebrity Cruises.
The muster drill was very easy, and again, has changed since the pre-covid days. We were allowed to watch it from our room, which was nice. Here is information from their website which shows an infographic of the guest safety briefing. The app will show if you do not go through this briefing, so make sure that you do, and check in at your muster station before sailing. It is very easy!
The Service Aboard Celebrity Edge
We really cannot explain how wonderful the service was on our sailing. To give you an example, on the last day of our trip, knowing it would be the final time we would be seeing many of the staff, we avoided the last encounter so that we would not cry. Yes, we have issues and we are seeking therapy for them, but that is for another blog post.
With my (Shannon) tree nut allergy, mom has a stone fruit allergy, the dining/restaurant staff bent over backward for us to make sure that we were safe. This service surpassed allergies, though. Overall, with every single greeting, and conversation, we had nothing but positive, genuine service.
With the hospitality industry, especially the cruise industry being where it is right now, they deserve so much respect. During our sailing, the Celebrity Edge was almost at full capacity but the service did not lack. It was truly impeccable.
Our Cabin Aboard Celebrity Edge
We stayed in the AquaClass Stateroom, which Gerry and I had stayed in before on a previous ship, but oh my, the AquaClass has had a glow-up on the Celebrity Edge. AquaClass prides itself on being very spa-like, in fact, with AquaClass, you get an all-access pass to the Thermal Spa, which we will talk more about in a bit. Visit our Instagram stories for a sneak peek of our room. Our room also had a veranda/balcony area that was more like an extension of the room. There was a floor-to-ceiling glass window that had an automated window opening that with the push of a button, opened to make a balcony-like opening. It was extraordinary use of space.
The bathroom in this stateroom was the largest we have ever seen! It was very spa-like! The shower was spacious, with glass doors, a rain shower faucet head, tons of counter and cabinet space as if we were staying for a few weeks.
The room could be set to sustainability mode with the switch of the a/c unit and adjusted when we left the room to conserve energy. We had complimentary room service from 7 am-11 pm and a very responsive concierge. Let’s not forget that every day we received an afternoon canape and every evening chocolates with turndown service. It was the best service, ever.
Covid-Safety Aboard Celebrity Edge
We felt very safe regarding the Celebrity Cruises Covid Safety that was taken prior to our boarding as well as during our sailing.
- Masks are optional- but staff wears them. We felt fine with that since everyone was vaccinated and had tested negative for covid.
- Hand sanitizer stations are everywhere you look, as well as a handwashing station in dining areas.
- The staff is tested daily. Also, the captain makes an announcement every day letting us know if anyone has tested positive for covid, if anyone is symptomatic, and we appreciate that transparency.
- Muster drill, as we mentioned, is contactless.
- Masks are required at some locations when in port. You will see signs and be advised if rules change or when they are mandated.
- Note- mask mandates continually evolve, so please check directly with Celebrity Cruises before your voyage.
The Aesthetic Aboard Celebrity Edge
Having cruises with Celebrity Cruises prior to sailing aboard The Edge, I will say that this ship had a very different vibe. It was very posh!
Nate Berkus is the design ambassador and you can feel that if you are familiar with Nate Berkus’ design aesthetic. The Edge’s architect Tom Wright said it best in Architectural Digest, “We put a strong spine down the middle of the ship, so we could get rid of the bulky metal exoskeleton that limited views and space. People can move closer to the edge near the water.” That is exactly what you find yourself doing aboard The Edge. The space along the sides of this ship is so inviting and appealing, you are constantly enjoying the space on the ship.
It has a modern, global appeal that allows you to feel that you are a part of something luxurious, but also natural. Even The Retreat, which is an exclusive part of the ship, has a very clean aesthetic that exudes detail. The Retreat is designed by Kelly Hoppen, an interior designer- CBE- ahem, Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Yes, we googled CBE. It’s super fancy and prestigious.
Celebrity Edge’s Culinary Game
The part everyone is drooling for me to talk about, is the food!
Let’s start with the primo dining area on the ship, Luminae. We had access to The Retreat, which is just amazing. It’s an exclusive part of Celebrity Edge, which gives you tons of VIP access, including this phenomenal dining experience. It’s difficult to stray from Luminae once you have dined in Luminae.
Luminae’s menus were designed by Daniel Boulud, a Michelin-starred French chef. Boulud has restaurants in New York City, Boston, DC, Palm Beach, Miami, Toronto, Montréal, London, Singapore, and Dubai. It was the first meal we had on the ship, and we were hooked!
Rooftop Garden Grill was a specialty restaurant that we dined at one evening. We really enjoyed this as it was al fresco, a change of pace. It had American-style, food, on the roof of the ship, so it was almost as if we were at an upscale cookout, though being waited on, in the middle of the ocean, under the stars, so very posh.
One of our favorites and our last evening dining experience was at Eden, another specialty restaurant. Eden is at the back of the ship and allows for the most amazing views! It takes up three floors, so there are floor-to-ceiling windows, and it makes you feel like you are dining in the garden of Eden. There are plants everywhere, and it is just magical. Oh, and the food is amazing!
Since we have an Aquaclass stateroom, we have the availability to dine at Blu, a restaurant that focuses on clean cuisine, and a healthier lifestyle. We dined one evening in Blu and that was also a great experience! We highly recommend this as well, if you are in the AquaClass stateroom.
For those of you asking about the traditional dining- yes, they still exist, but selfishly, we did not go to those because we loved Luminae so much. Also, buffets still exist, but you do not serve yourself, the staff serves you, thankfully, should you wish to go that route.
Specialty restaurants– we recommend that you up your culinary game, and go outside of the traditional dining experience. There were 6 available, all with different cuisines. These do require an additional expense ranging from $20-$60ish per person. If you can afford to splurge a bit on your cruise, at least do this once. You won’t regret it.
Entertainment Aboard Celebrity Edge
Similar to most cruises, there is a casino, and there is the main atrium bar with a piano and a lounge singer of some sort. Celebrity Edge had some fun pizazz added at the atrium bar, with a cocktail bartender show in the evenings, which was fun!
Each morning, the cruise director announces the ongoing entertainment throughout the day so you can be reminded of what events you may be interested in. You also receive a program in your cabin each evening as a heads up for the next day. Lastly, you can always check your app, or your television in your stateroom for entertainment or what is going on aboard the ship.
We mentioned Eden Restaurant earlier, but Eden is also a great venue for music. You do not have to pay extra to go and see live music in the lounge area and we loved the vibe there. We saw a show in The Theatre one evening, which was a musical, and there is also The Club which has several games and shows going on throughout the sailing. You can visit this link to see more about what is offered in regards to entertainment aboard Celebrity Edge.
Technology Aboard Celebrity Edge
As mentioned above, you can utilize the Celebrity app for almost anything you need while you are on the ship. Wi-fi is available aboard Celebrity Edge for purchase. Package information is available here. There is an iLounge on board that helps with Apple issues and products. Since we are not Apple users, when we had questions about connecting to the Wi-fi, we simply visited Guest Relations and they helped us.
Celebrity Edge SEA Thermal Suite
As mentioned previously, when you are in the AquaClass stateroom, you have an all-access pass to the Thermal Suite in The Spa aboard Celebrity Edge. Access is available to everyone aboard, just for a fee. The Spa is most desirable while on a cruise, and the Thermal Suite is no exception. The Thermal Suite aboard The Edge has a Salt Room, Float Room, Steam Room, Heated Tile Loungers, Rainfall Water Therapy Room, and even a Crystalarium.
The Spa has traditional spa services, like massage, facials, etc. Tips are not included with the spa services, so you will want to add those when you check out. I had a wonderful massage on our first sea day. It was my first massage since pre-covid and it was life-changing. Truly.
Wellness Aboard The Edge
With all of the calorie intake during your sailing, you’ll want to work some of those off, well, maybe you will. For the AquaClass stateroom, we had yoga mats included in our room, so we could practice yoga during our voyage. There is also a walking/jogging track on floor 14 which goes around the deck of the ship and includes an incline to deck 15, which I took part in each day. Since walking keeps my mental health in check, this was a nice routine to continue, and even better, the scenery was ideal!
Finally, we get to our favorite part, The Retreat. Ok, so listen, The Retreat is not something that is for everyone, we get it. At first glance, you may think, “this is a little too fancy, not for me.” Trust me, I didn’t think that it was something I would venture into more than once, but we ended up utilizing The Retreat access almost the entire time.
So, what is The Retreat? The Retreat is all-encompassing of a bundle package- access to a few things. It’s like having a VIP pass to so many options aboard Celebrity Edge. If you are staying in a Suite or one of the Villas, then it’s automatically included, but you can also purchase access to The Retreat. It includes access to dining at Luminae, The Retreat Sundeck (your private pool area, only accessible to Retreat members), and The Retreat Lounge (a private comfy space with concierges, nosh, coffee, spirits, etc.)
The Retreat Sundeck: we only pooled here. We had cabanas, the most adorable hanging round egg chairs at the pool, hot tubs, a private bar, light lunch, and the most amazing views of the ocean. You truly wouldn’t want to be anywhere else if you have access to this.
The Retreat Lounge: we spent every morning here and became friends with the staff. I’m tearing up right now as I miss them. We lounged on the most comfortable sofa while overlooking the blue sea and sipped on latte macchiato (me) and Cafe Americanos (mom) and dined on cinnamon buns as big as your head! Ooh, la, la!
Any other time of the day, you can visit the lounge and have a spirit or two, a soft drink, an infused water, make dining arrangements, basically have anything is taken care of that you want. We were spoiled!
Shore Excursions Available
Shore excursions are one of the best ways to maximize your cruising experience! It’s one of the ways to make the most of cruising. We like to look at cruising similar to a sampler platter: you try various places to see which one you want to order the next round. Once you have visited several places, you decide where you want to go on vacation next time. Celebrity Cruises has a plethora of shore excursions available, depending on your sailing. We recommend you visit this link to take a look at what is available, and dig in deeper once you decide which sailing you are taking.
We took the San Juan Evening Drive while in Puerto Rico, visited the Baths in Virgin Gorda while at Tortola, and spent the day on Maho Beach plane spotting in St. Maarten. The shore excursions staff were highly hospitable aboard The Edge, and the contracted staff for the excursions were amazing! We recommend all three of these if you are in these ports.
Need To Know
There are a few things that we feel are important for you to know before you go so that you can have the best experience aboard The Edge with Celebrity Cruises:
- Tips are included now, which is different from pre-covid days of cruising. We had a beverage package, but we did notice on menus that there would be a 20% gratuity added to the purchase of drinks, but we didn’t experience that, so we’re not sure what that was about. There are some situations where you may want to tip more and that is welcomed. If this is a concern or if you have questions, you may want to ask prior to ordering.
- Formal night is no more- it’s now called “evening chic”. There is a dress code, and it changes each night for dinner, so be prepared. HERE is more information on the dress code.
- If you have dietary restrictions. e.g. Shannon has a tree nut allergy, just make sure you tell the Maitre d’ or your server. The entire staff aboard the ship was phenomenal about this. Accommodations were made, and often an entirely different meal was made for me without me feeling weird about it.
- Bring an empty reusable water bottle with you on your trip so that you can take it with you off of the ship. Reminder- fill it with water before leaving the ship. Often, when you begin venturing into a new port, you forget how thirsty you may be, and sometimes you cannot find a place to purchase water in a new territory, so in the meantime, you will want to have water until you do find a place.
- If you are excited about the Magic Carpet, please note that during our trip it did not move. We learned later that it is supposed to move to various floors for different experiences, but it stayed in one place during our sailing. In fact, instead of the elevator announcing that you have arrived at Floor 14, it announces, you’ve arrived at the “Magic Carpet” so it’s supposed to be a big deal, we’re pretty sure. We will say that it is a pretty cool bar, and with it extending out further than anywhere on the edge of the ship, that is neat.
Cruising has definitely changed since the pre-pandemic days. You can feel that. This cruise had a lot of people who were booked on this voyage pre-covid and had missed it, so they were anxious to be on this ship. Spirits were high for the most part, but many people seemed to have no patience at embarkation, though once they got aboard the ship, they seemed happy. We hope that people will remember to have grace and compassion as they remember that the cruising industry and the travel industry as a whole have been through a lot and are taking extra precautions to make sure that we are all safe before boarding.
It should also be noted because we have been asked, that yes, the Captain did announce that there were positive covid cases during our sailing, but it was handled very well and we felt comfortable with it. Those individuals were quarantined and cared for while on board, and after we returned to our Port in Fort Lauderdale, they were transported to either medical care or hotels to be quarantined. You do make it home, you are not put off of the ship, and covid does not run rampant as everyone (except children- see Pre-boarding and Embarkation of Celebrity Edge section above) on the ship is vaccinated and precautions are taken.
This ship was almost at full capacity and we feel that is a great sign of what is to come for the industry. We highly recommend Celebrity Cruises and would most definitely cruise The Edge again!
Save On Your Booking
If you would like to save on your booking with Celebrity Cruises, use code: ARNERSAILCC when you book your sailing. This code gives you $100 onboard credit per person and is combinable with the other offers on their site. The book by date is May 31, 2022, and can be used for all sailings throughout the rest of the year excluding blackout dates (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s sailings).
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