Singular Sensation – Celebrity Edge Is A Gorgeous & Spectacular Success
by Vanessa Lee
Vanessa on the Magic Carpet
Edge Infinite Veranda stateroom
Tuscan Italian restaurant
Beware readers, this column contains far too many superlatives as that is the only way to describe a practically perfect ship – the new and stunning Celebrity Edge.
We have been hearing the hype about her for a few years now and I can assure you, she more than lives up to her advance billing. This is one remarkable, amazing and beautiful ship – in every way.
Here are some of my highlights – however it is important to know that everywhere you turn on this ship, there is an item of beauty, a creative design element, magnificent art, a gorgeous ceiling, an exquisite light fixture, the occasional funky transitional space and delectable food and drink.
Edge is sexy, sublime, spacious, stylish and sophisticated; she is a veritable masterpiece. Your cruise clients of all kinds will love every aspect of her – from millennials up through boomers to silvers – this ship is breathtaking, dazzling and dramatic.
The service was particularly impressive as well – nary a wrong note and as we were the very first guests on board, I must compliment everyone on running a very tight ship, getting almost everything right and for the warm and genuine greetings and smiles.
We stayed in a lovely mid-ship Edge Infinite Veranda stateroom. When one walks in the glass doors to the balcony area are opened up and it really does feel like a part of the room (we never closed our doors). Two chairs and a small table fill the space and you have buttons to bring down the blind for the room and also to lower the upper glass panel to bring in the warmth and the sounds from outside as desired.
Because of this innovation the rooms have 23 more feet of space and it shows. The intuitive stateroom design by Kelly Hoppen is fabulous. There is ample room for two guests, great storage and the bathroom is better and different. Slightly larger than normal, it has one long basin placed on the left side (not straight on) with an under-basin drawer for the hairdryer (which you can plug in here) and other items. The shower is also larger than usual.
The spacious closet backs on to the bathroom and then there's a three-quarter couch and the bed close to the veranda. A mini-fridge, flat screen TV and a desk area as well as a make-up table complete the fittings. And there's one of my favourite things – a white box of plugs and outlets – US and European – so you can charge everything all at the same time.
The colours are mostly neutral with white and an occasional colour accent– a typical palette throughout the ship with splashes of colour and sometimes soft blush tones. The Infinite Veranda can also be found in Aqua Class, Concierge Class and the few Single Staterooms.
The superb design is what makes this ship and it literally draws you in at every turn. Sometimes it's a surprise, at others it's just so tactile you want to run your hand across every chair, every vase, every window covering. Truly I can barely describe how stylish everything is. The quality of the furnishings, fabrics and wall coverings is impressive and there's even gorgeous wallpaper in the public Ladies restrooms!
Naturally the Magic Carpet is a big hit and very beautiful too. The colour is tangerine – not orange or mango – and this 90-ton moveable marvel is usually found on Deck 5 outside the Raw on 5 Specialty restaurant at lunchtime. It's used from Deck 2 for guests to board the sleek launches to tender ashore and it rises up a few times a week to host Dinner on the Edge on Deck 15. There's also a plan to start a weekly brunch on this outstanding venue. Seating is various and casual couches and comfy chairs are the order of the day except for mealtime, when they are replaced by tables and chairs. It's a wondrous spot with the best sea views and a must for every guest to experience.
I loved the four main restaurants, each seating about 350 guests for dinner. They are on two decks with Cyprus the Mediterranean spot across the ship from the Cosmopolitan Restaurant offering new American cuisine on Deck 4.
Down a beautiful wooden staircase we find Tuscan with its stunning black and white décor enhanced by splashes of yellow chairs and a small vase with a single Sunflower on each table to mirror the room's palette. I was in awe of this space. Across the hall on the other side on Deck 3 is the Normandie Restaurant, the last of the four. It has a soft blush palette and also contains a nostalgic nod with both decorative and Lalique panels originally from the Normandie ocean liner and more recently on board Celebrity Summit.
Chandeliers, linens, china and glassware in each are beautiful and one can see great thought and attention to detail has been paid. Cosmopolitan is also open for lunch and dinner and the menus are about 75% the same in each with additional daily offerings to complement each restaurant's cuisine. All are complimentary and offer early or late seating or the dine-around, open seating option.
There are five specialty dining spots and all-in the guests have 29 venues to choose from for meals, drinks and entertainment. A veritable banquet in many ways and there will be more on some of these offerings in a future column.
Eden, which Celebrity describes as 'Chillful, Sinful and Playful' depending on the time of day, is hard to describe; it's a multi-level space accommodating a beautiful indoor/outdoor restaurant on the lower level, a bar and entertainment space and then a partial lounge on the higher level. It won't be for everyone but it's also gorgeous, creative, enticing and esoteric.
The hub of the ship is the Grand Plaza, an open, three-story venue with a remarkable chandelier anchoring the iconic Martini Bar and ever-popular Café al Bacio along with some of the specialty restaurants.
And there's so much more – the Rooftop Garden, The Retreat for Suite Class, the two-storey elegant yet casual Oceanview Café and the beautiful spa. I need many more words to fully do justice and describe this ship. Suffice to say I feel as if I have been waiting for almost 30 years for this Celebrity ship and finally she has arrived. My ship literally just came in.
All photos - Tim Boyles Photography
Vanessa Lee Columnist
An internationally-known luxury cruise expert, Vanessa is publisher and editor of Cruise and Travel Lifestyles magazine. She appears with Nina on the bi-monthly video Cruise Factor.