I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited for a cruise as I am to go on Celebrity Edge. While there’s a fair amount of hype surrounding Celebrity’s newest ship class in over a decade, early reviews suggest she lives up to the hype. That’s about all I can say about early reviews. While Billy dove into the Periscopes and YouTube videos, I haven’t. My Celebrity Edge sailing was so close and certain that there’s no reason to spoil the surprise, so when I see how an Infinite Veranda stateroom controls work through my phone, I’ll be seeing it for the first time.
One part that is a surprise is who’s joining me on this cruise. The original Passenger 2 was not able to go, and the price for such a short cruise is a hard sell to someone who isn’t into cruising like a guy who does a cruise podcast is. At the last minute, my friend Jose stepped up and was able to get his schedule covered to join me. Here’s the thing… This is Jose’s first cruise. He intended a Symphony of the Seas sailing later in the year to serve as his first cruise, instead, he’ll get 3 nights on a ground-breaking high-tech vessel.
Planning like crazy
The app seems to have the entire Celebrity Today loaded into it. Through the app, I’m seeing show times, restaurant hours, club and music events, and activities. I’ll make a comparison when I’m on the ship, but it looks to be a complete listing.
We’ll be attending several shows in Eden including Eve at Eden and Sinful at Eden. Jose and I have also booked dinner at Eden for Day 2. Because morning hours are when Billy is not awake, expect me to be the one reviewing breakfast at Eden Cafe.
There will be one production show, The Jewelry Box, on this short preview sailing. The show I’m most interested in based on promotional materials and press releases is the one loosely based on Midsummer Night’s Dream. I suspect The Jewelry Box is not that show, but I don’t expect them to debut 3 new stage shows so early into the ship’s run. Whatever the show winds up being, the space the performers will be working in is something totally new. With a hybrid thrust and theater-in-the-round stage, the audience gets 270º views of the action. I’m not sure about the backdrop, but I’m sure the set designers have put to good use whatever technology the backdrop features.
I like an ultra-lounge on a ship. It’s a kind of place I’d never go on land, but on a ship, it’s my favorite night time spot. On Celebrity Infinity, it was a great sail-away spot. One of my disappointments about Norwegian Escape and the Breakaway and Breakaway Plus-class is how the interior nightclub space feels like an afterthought. Compared to how much I enjoyed Bliss Lounge on Norwegian Epic, I was surprised. Celebrity Edge has an interior nightclub space, but I hope it’s more of like Celebrity Infinity. There are a few parties going on in the nightclub like Hype, Hypno, and Club Andromeda. I’m good for at least two out of three.
Most Excited About
Next to anything having to do with Eden, I can’t wait to try the Edge Launches. Celebrity is listing two opportunities to try the launches the mornings of Day 2 and Day 3. This may be the thing that gets Billy out of bed at 8am. I’ll be in line either way.
I had a great time at Le Petit Chef at Qsine (which I wrote about here). At the time, I heard that Edge would offer a new animation and a new menu to match. Just a few days ago, Celebrity announced Le Petit Chef and Friends where the little French chef returns joined by three equally diminutive chefs specializing in other cuisines. Now I have to ask myself: Is Le Petit Chef a one-and-done? Because Jose has not seen this show, and in the interest of research, I’m using some of the onboard credit to book Le Petit Chef and Friends for dinner on Day 3.
When Celebrity designed the Edge and its associated Terminal 25, they sought to improve the aesthetics of some of the less-considered parts of cruising. For example, the part of the ship passengers walk through to go into port and return again has never been a part of the ship designed to the standards of other public areas. This changes on the Celebrity Edge as the company has created the Destination Gateway. Now the gathering area before the gangway is a public space and a multifunction public space at that. On the third night this short sailing, Celebrity will use the Destination Gateway as a nightclub space with “Society X Presents: Silent Disco.” I’ve had a great time at other silent discos and I’m looking forward to this one, but I’m not sure how the Destination Gateway will work as a place to party.
When I heard Edge would be ready early and Celebrity would be offering preview sailings, I knew I had to book something. As soon as they became available, I found the sailing with the most time over the weekend and booked it. At the time I booked, it was possible to add perks to the reservation, so I added all four perks (premium beverage package, internet, gratuities, and $150 onboard credit per person). The cruise itself is $1943 and trip insurance adds $173 for a total of $2116 or $353 per person per night. If you think this is insane, I agree. The number is staggering. However, if someone told me I could get a long weekend at a brand new resort where all my food and drinks were included, gratuities and internet access were already paid for, and I’d have a $50 credit every day, $353 might sound less outrageous. Throw in the shows, the views, and the ride on the Edge Launch and I’m sold. Apparently, I’m not the only one. At a recent quarterly conference call, Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Fain said Edge bookings are driving revenue for the company.
Make sure you follow along as we enjoy this sailing. We'll be live blogging and posting photos and videos to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We'll also be broadcasting LIVE from Edge, so be sure to follow along on Periscope as well as YouTube! You can also check out our Celebrity Edge Preview episode of The CruiseHabit Podcast.