I booked the Celebrity Edge while onboard the Celebrity Silhouette for a transatlantic cruise. It was just recently announced and cabins were going fast, but I was able to score a C2 - Concierge Class stateroom for a 7 Night Western Caribbean sailing within a month of its inaugural.
Takes the cake for the fastest embarkation ever!
The newly renovated Celebrity Terminal 25 at Port Everglades was flashy and beautiful, but getting on the ship happened so fast, I didn’t even get a chance to look around or take pictures. Being in Concierge Class and having already checked in via the mobile app, in which you take a “selfie” security photo of yourself, there was a dedicated security line with no wait. You just get your face scanned and then your bags; we always walk-on with our luggage for convenience. Within minutes, we had a glass of champagne in hand and were allowed to go to our cabin right away to drop off our bags. Like Carnival, you no longer have to check-in to show your credit card and pick up your keys, as they are waiting for you outside your cabin.
Stateroom - C2 Concierge Class 12114
The Infinite Veranda stateroom is controversial!
Leading up to the cruise, I was reading the reviews about the revolutionary, new infinite verandas. Some were bad, and some were good. Here is my take. The floor to ceiling window really brightens up the room and the view is amazing. Opening the window, which garnered a ton of complaints, was tricky. I learned right away that the button had to be pressed just right to get the window to open. If you keep pressing rapidly, then nothing happens. This could be why people thought that the window didn’t open. However, there were times when the window was not operational, but that was only for like an hour when they were washing the windows. Actually, one day a crew member had to come into our cabin because there was a lever or something that had to be moved so that the automatic window washing unit could be released. We were the last cabin in a row that jutted out overlooking the Magic Carpet (more on that later), so that is where the unit was stored.
There is a reason why this is not called a balcony. Only a folding glass door separates the main cabin area from the veranda. And the space between that and the window is very small, so the miniscule table and 2 bulky chairs are very clunky and have to be moved out of the way in order to open and close the folding doors. Even with the folding doors open, they jut out into the space, which is why there are no longer curtains. Instead, there is another button for a flimsy brown shade that comes down in front of the outer window. If you have moved the chairs out of the way to open the folding doors, you then have to move them again so the brown shade doesn’t get caught on the chairs.
Celebrating your birthday on a cruise ship is highly recommended!
The bed was super comfortable. I wasn’t super thrilled with the color palette (or lack of color) of the cabin, which comprised of mostly shades of grey, black & white, with just a few accents of purple. The birthday decorations really helped. The highlight of the bathroom was the large shower with a curved door that opens outward.
Would I choose an infinite veranda cabin again? Probably not. It just seemed like a super oceanview cabin with an oversized window that descended down, kind of like what they try to consider as a balcony on river cruises with limited space. There are still several real balcony cabins on the Edge class though, and I am booked on one of them on the aft of the forthcoming Apex for my birthday in 2021!
Best food ever on a cruise ship!
The main dining room (MDR) has been replaced by 4 complimentary dining venues. I didn’t miss the one MDR concept at all since each of these four was unique in design and dishes. The presentation and quality of the food along with top notch service and decor were what you would expect in a fine dining restaurant on land.
All the specialty restaurants exceeded my expectations. My birthday dinner at the Fine Cut Steakhouse could not have been better with the largest and most tender filet mignon I have had at sea. We didn’t get a chance to dine on the Magic Carpet (Dinner on the Edge) as they were sold out for the only event they had scheduled for the week. However, we did score a dinner at the Eden restaurant which was Michelin-star quality with fun show-stopping presentations. This, after being blown away by the coolest animation dining experience at the Le Grand Bistro (Le Petit Chef and Friends).
We also didn’t dine at the Rooftop Garden, but the seafood tower at Raw on 5 was pretty amazing. I am also glad we had lunch at Le Grand Bistro. There was an extensive menu of French specialties including escargot, a spectacular presentation of onion soup, and coq au vin, to name a few. I was bummed to hear that this may be replaced (if not already) with just a grab and go concept for lunch. The Oceanview Cafe (buffet) had really tall windows that really opened up the area and as always, the variety of cuisines made for perfect casual lunches.
Bars & Entertainment
What was different on the Edge compared to the other Celebrity class ships was the lack of laid-back lounges with bars. The central focus is the Grand Plaza where the Martini Bar has been relocated. This area would get extremely busy in the evening so it was sometimes hard to snag a table and get a drink quickly because service was overloaded. It would also get really loud, especially when there was live music.
The Rooftop Garden was pretty chill, but it was mostly empty the couple times we went there after dinner. Service was somewhat non-existent so it was hard to get a drink. The music also didn’t really fit the decor as I was expecting something a little more loungy, tropical. And instead of a movie, sports was playing one night on the big screen. This space seemed underutilized as I would think that the dinner with a movie concept would do really well here.
The Theatre was an impressive space where the audience literally wraps around the stage. I am not big on broadway-style musical shows but the quality of the costumes, singing and dancing, and acrobats was top notch.
The star of the ship would have to be Eden. Along with the stellar restaurant in this huge, glass-backed spiraling space, the performance in the open area by the bar blew me away.
The storyline continues for hours and I think most people didn’t get it, but it definitely was the most unusual and breathtaking combination of dance, audience participation, singing, and expression I have ever seen. I have heard that Celebrity was going to shorten the performance and pull back on the audience participation (if that has not happened already) because people complained, but I hope that is not true.
Cool art and architecture.
High-end expensive shops.
And a great place to have a prosecco while docked in Costa Maya: the Magic Carpet. In fact, we didn’t get off the ship in any of the ports because this ship was so amazing.
This cruise will be hard to beat. But I’m booked on the Apex for 2021. Celebrity is running out of superlatives to call their ships.