With an unprecedented upswing in luxury cruising, there are numerous voyages being offered by cruise companies to suit travellers of every age and genre. But Celebrity Cruises have truly brought cruising to the Edge, writes Harmeet Sehgal
When Celebrity Cruises designed their new EDGE class ship, it had a few firsts that would re-define cruising. They pushed traditional ship design to the limits when they sketched the first, unique outward facing bow design of the ship and added the incredible new, ‘Magic Carpet’ the world first cantilevered platform that rises 13 stories above sea level with the ability of independent positioning. When it was built at a cost of $1Billion, it was 129,500 tonnage of pure pleasure.
And for the delight of Kiwi cruisers, Celebrity Edge is now positioned strategically for Transpacific crossings meaning it will sail New Zealand waters for an extended period of time giving Kiwis an opportunity to enjoy luxury sailings to the Edge.
Stunning design and reception
If you’re a first-time cruiser, checking-in to the Edge for your cruise is a breeze. You’re issued your on-board ship card, the only card you’ll ever need to enjoy the vast variety of dining and entertainment options that the ship has to offer. Your entitlements are also explained so you’re clear about what is included in the cruise and what’s not. Settlements are done the day before disembarkation. And then it’s all on-aboard.
First impression of the ship is jaw-dropping. It feels like entering an entire new city with a total disconnect to the world outside. The feeling is transformational. The stunning Martini Bar is what draws first attention – the architecturally designed, centre venue of the ship with a three-storey chandelier. It puts things into perspective of what to expect on the Edge. A perfect place to visit for a Martini or an aperitif of your choice to welcome yourself to the most amazing holiday you’re ready to embark on. Celebrity Edge has a max capacity of 3,000 passengers and crew. However, they don’t hit max capacity to ensure that the staff to guest ratio is maintained ensuring optimum service is offered to guests. Regardless, it never feels overcrowded due to the sheer size and length of the vessel and the carefully conceived public areas.
On the Edge, the sky is the limit as far as accommodation options go. From the very opulent, multi-level Edge Villas to the inside staterooms, there is a vast selection of cabins and inclusions as per your budget.
Accommodation options start from just over $1,000 up to $50,000 subject the voyage in plan. Depending on this choice you are allocated dining and entertainment options including beverage packages and on-board credits. A good mid-budget option is the Infinite Veranda stateroom. At 23 Sqm it’s spacious to allow a generous double-bed, a sofa, workstation, and a retractable window that can be opened to let the freshness of the sea in.
Bathrooms are well appointed with luxury amenities and are spacious too. Wi-fi is available but is not free and needs to be an extra to your cruise.
Great outdoor spaces for everyone
The notion that cruising is for the elderly gets de-bunked on the Edge. It offers a range of spaces both indoors and outdoors to enjoy true togetherness of the people you’re travelling with and to make new friends.
On the Resort Deck you’ll find one of the most popular spots – the adults-only Solarium offering a covered pool area where adults can unwind in modern luxury style. The Solarium features a 3-dimensional art wall that represents the beautiful colours and movement of the ocean.
The very sensational Rooftop Garden is a fantastic garden escape to sink into a cozy chair as you gaze at the vast openness of the seas all while sipping a refreshing cocktail. At Rooftop Grill, tuck into the juiciest burgers and BBQ at sea. The Rooftop Garden is a remarkable conceptualisation of art and greenery at sea where all hydroponics and plants are natural and maintained by the ship’s on-board gardening team. However, it comes with a warning during high winds at sea, this is not the best place to be.
The Resort Deck offers endless ways to enjoy the outdoors with everything from an asymmetrical outward-facing pool deck to a jogging track that winds up, down around Rooftop Garden. The outward-facing, terraced Pool Deck is a stunning space that puts ocean views in focus. At the centre is a 25-yard lap pool featuring in-pool loungers. Positioned above the Pool Bar is an ever-changing mirror installation along with unique tree sculptures, two striking martini Jacuzzis, and private cabanas.
Top gastronomy at sea
What would a travel celebration be without top food? The Edge doesn’t disappoint in this arena too. With a selection of 29 exciting bars, restaurants and cafes, there is a choice to please your palette.
In the ticket standard dining options are included at the ship’s main buffet restaurant, Oceanview café, offering ever-changing buffet options. Food is generally of high quality and the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For those afterhours hunger knocks, head up to the cafe and tuck into hot pizza. Also included are restaurant style table-service dining options at restaurants offering Mediterranean and Italian cuisines. There is a fair selection of dining styles for what’s included in the price of the cruise. Then, there are specialty restaurants that are at an additional cost. Some that are open to everyone and others that are reserved for a more expensive class of ticket.
Fine Cut Steakhouse is a destination for meat lovers with some of the finest cuts of beef on offer with an extensive wine list.
Tastefully grilled to order, these dishes are served with perfect accompaniments that are carefully prepared to guests’ dining choices.
Raw on 5 is Edge’s signature Japanese restaurant where trained chefs carve out the freshest sashimi at sea. Japanese food art is on display at the Raw bar and is served at the table for savour with a soothing Sake. The luxurious and leafy Eden Restaurant at the aft of the ship is another specialty restaurant that doesn’t disappoint with multi-level windows and view out to the majestic ocean.
Celebrity Edge’s partnership with award-winning Australian Four Pillars Gin is a top collaboration that offers a range of cocktails and concoctions while highlighting the importance of incorporating local purveyors and suppliers.
A variety of entertainment options
On the Edge, you will never be bored. There is something to do on the ship right from the first stroke of sunshine to the starry late nights. The ship’s daily planner delivered to the stateroom outlines it all. From music shows to comedy in the theatre, from silent disco to a quiet evening under the stars, if you can imagine it, it’s probably happening on the ship.
With big entertainment personalities delivering sensational shows like international violin maestro, Yoomia, there is an opportunity to enjoy entertainment from some of the most celebrated names in showbiz.
Wellness and self-care
Offering a full range of wellness and spa facilities on-board, there is a package available for anyone who is willing to invest in how they look and feel. Offering treatments that are deep and indulgent to manicures and pedicures, the highly trained wellness and spa team will ensure you look and feel your best with innovative new firsts in beauty, fitness, and wellness.
The indulgent SEA Thermal Suite features eight distinctive therapeutic experiences, all inspired by nature to create one incredible place to relax and connect with fellow wellness enthusiasts before or after your treatments at The Spa.
Its safe to say that the best experiences on Celebrity Edge are in it’s elements. Whether its soaking the afternoon sun on the deck, an afternoon cocktail or enjoying an evening sundowner – the most pleasurable time on the ship is best spent outside the stateroom. There is so much to do that something will surely be missed, only to be enjoyed on your next cruise on-board the Edge.