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Transatlantic crossing on Celebrity Edge (April 2019)

Since my first cruise with Celebrity in 2013, I have always been pleasantly surprised by the class of their ships and the very good quality of service in general. The launch of a new generation of ships, the Edge class, obviously caught my attention, and very quickly made me want to try, it seemed so innovative. And what better choice than a long transatlantic (15 nights) to have time to appreciate all the nooks and crannies of Celebrity Edge? The itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, King’s Wharf (Bermude, overnight), Ponta Delgada (Azores), Lisbon, Bilbao, Le Havre, Southampton.

Even if there are some classics onboard Celebrity Edge that made the success of the previous generation (Celebrity Solstice, Equinox, Eclipse, Silhouette and Reflection), the concept has evolved significantly with some unique innovations!

The Infinite Veranda is a new type of cabin with balcony. Instead of the very classic balcony outside the cabin (where do you want it to be?), the designers incorporated it into the rest of the room. It becomes modular, either by forming an integral part of the cabin (a motorized window completely closes the balcony), or a little old-fashioned (the balcony, open, is separated from the cabin), or a mixture of the 2, balcony both open to the bedroom and to the sea. Apart from the slowness of the opening and closing sequence (which can be a bit noisy too), the idea still wins support. This makes it an even nicer cabin.

A characteristic common to all the cruises that I have been able to do with Celebrity (this was my 5th), is that I have each time chosen an “Aqua Class” cabin. These are cabins with balconies, having an included access pass to the spa, and which also offer a few “detox” drinks each day. They also have their own restaurant (the Blu) whose menu guarantees a selection of more healthy dishes …

The Edge spa contrasts with those of its predecessors, both in size (much larger) and in the grade of the different places that compose it. The changing rooms are modern, bright and spacious. They open directly onto the thermal part (the one to which access is therefore included in the price of the Aqua Class cabin). Divided into several themes, this part is dedicated to calm and relaxation. There are the classic dry saunas, hammam and themed showers (in the form of tropical rain, autumn drizzle, etc.) and ideal seats for resting. Adjoining the spa, a well-equipped gym is easily accessible.

The other novelty brought by the Edge is the “magic carpet”. It is a bar, suspended on one of the ship side and which can go up or down to position itself at the level of the different decks. It moves throughout the day, sometimes a bar near the swimming pool on the upper deck, sometimes close to restaurants and other bars in the center of the ship… This platform can also descend to the water level, where it becomes a pier from which the shuttles can embark and disembark passengers, as easily as from a real wharf. The Celebrity Edge also offers one of the best-thought-out boarding rooms (called Destination Getaway).

The pool could be called a “real” pool. Unlike the small water holes that can be found on the majority of ships, in which swimming is illusory, this one is long enough to make real lengths. And like on most Anglo-Saxon ships, going there at dinner time (from 6.30 p.m.) is almost a guarantee of having the pool to yourself!

The swimming pool is overlooked by 2 Jacuzzis shaped like glasses of champagne. A rather original and varied jogging track makes a wide turn and goes from one bridge to another. The walkers appreciate their tour here. A private door (reserved for passengers in the suites) gives access to The Retreat, a luxurious place, littered with deckchairs, cabanas, jacuzzis and with a small swimming pool (a water hole this time!). A lounge serves drinks and snacks depending on the time of day.

Aft, on this upper deck, is the Sunset Bar, another company classic. You can have a drink there in peace, with a view of the ship’s furrow. Quite magical too. Right next door, you can get lost in secret in the Rooftop Garden, by sitting in one of the benches in the middle of the vegetation (real vegetation). We stay close to civilization, however, with a giant screen that broadcasts images of magnificent landscapes or, sometimes, a movie. Obviously, there is a restaurant not far away, the Rooftop Garden Grill, ideal for eating out, when the weather permits!

Also on the upper decks of the ship is the buffet, called Oceanview Café, where you can help yourself, like in a cafeteria [it was before the pandemic …]. Lots of choice. Very nice place, with a wide view of the sea, and a few tables outside.

In the center of the ship, a few decks lower is the Grand Plazza, with its Martini Bar. This enclave, carved into the heart of the ship, occupies 3 decks and can be very lively at the end of the afternoon. The waiters often juggle there and prepare lots of colorful cocktails. You can sit at the bar or find a table overlooking a small stage where musical groups perform regularly.

From there, you can find restaurants (the Grand Bistro, the Petit Chef, the Fine Cut Steakhouse, the Raw on 5…), the casino, the Internet cafe (iLounge, in partnership with Apple), the El Bacio cafe …

Further back of the ship are the main restaurants (Normandie, Tuscan, Cosmopolitan and Cyprus) and Blu (restaurant reserved for passengers in “Aqua Class” cabins). The restaurant reserved for passengers in the suites (The Luminae) is located higher up, deck 14 at the front, very close to the Retreat, the private area also attached to the suites.

So I mainly frequented the Blu, linked my Aqua Class cabin. Even if not all the dishes deserve the qualifier of dietetic, the effort is nevertheless appreciable in terms of putting lighter options on the menu than in the main restaurants.

Some photos to illustrate the dishes. Note that during the cruises that I have done in Aqua Class, even over a long period (like a 15-night transatlantic), the menu changes every day, without repeating itself!

Eden is another place that spans 3 decks with stunning views from the back of the ship. It’s a pretty heavenly place where you can find a bar that serves many very original cocktails, a dining area for snacking during the day and the Eden Restaurant, for a fee, if you want to treat yourself to a gourmet dinner.

Not only is the setting beautiful but the dishes that follow one another are original and very very good. It’s not cheap ($ 65 per person), but the experience is unforgettable.

The theater at the front of the ship is equipped with giant screens lining most of the walls, which allows Celebrity to present shows in which one feels completely immersed. Obviously, we do not cut to the classics of the genre (hanging acrobats, hoops, jugglers … which tire me after all these cruises where we find them, invariably). But some more elaborate shows, taking advantage of the original organization of the place, are doing well.

In the direction of the theater, you pass the disco, The Club, which is also on 2 floors. A dance floor, a giant screen and several corners to sit at lounge-style tables.

One of the quite innovative features of the Celebrity Edge is also its embarkation and disembarkation area. Not only can it benefit from the Magic Carpet as a landing stage, but it is also an area called “Destination Getaway”, which has nothing to envy to its land equivalents in some airports: it is spacious, bright, well thought out, and avoids the feeling of congestion that one often experiences when returning from excursions on most cruise ships.

This transatlantic’s ports of call made me discover or revisit some beautiful cities. I always appreciate Bermuda where you can take beautiful bike rides, and enjoy the beaches. Coming back to Lisbon is always pleasant. A big crush on my first visit to Bilbao, as interesting for its historic city center as for its modern part, with its Guggenheim museum that you come across while strolling on the docks of the Nervion. As well as a stopover in Le Havre, before ending the cruise in Southampton …

Some information on the price of this cruise: for an Aqua Class cabin (with access to the spa included, as well as its private “healthy” restaurant) and with a drinks package included (promotion of the moment), the price per night and per person was approximately $ 300 (250 €).

The Edge class will be completed by 4 other ships thereafter (the Apex in 2021, the Beyond in 2022 then 2 others), all built at the shipyards of Saint-Nazaire, France.

And given the incredible pleasure of having spent these 2 weeks on board, I will definitely come back to this ship and its little brothers! Whether for the beauty of all the places on the ship, for the quality of the food, included or extra, the high level of service and crew members, the very classy spa … and the real large swimming pool … see you soon!

Some menus for information (and for the most curious …):

2 Comments

  1. Ted Abbott Ted Abbott 23 July 2021

    Hey Jean-Philippe! Great read on the EDGE. Kim and I are doing a TA with my parents on the APEX October 28th…… Have you been on that one?
    Better yet, JOIN US!!!! Would love to see you again

    • Jean-Philippe Jean-Philippe 23 July 2021

      I replied via email !

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