Fine Travel’s Travel Consultant, Jennie Ready, recently voyaged on Celebrity Edge. Read her thoughts on the experience.
The beautiful Celebrity Edge recently had her inaugural visit to New Zealand. She is currently based in Australia / New Zealand for the 2023–’24 cruise season, and was on her first roundtrip New Zealand cruise from Sydney.
Celebrity Edge is the first of the Edge-class ships for Celebrity, costing US$1 billion to build. She has a gross tonnage of 130,818, a length of 306 metres, and had her maiden voyage in November 2018. The maximum number of passengers onboard is 2,918, and there are plenty of spaces onboard to go and relax, so it never feels overcrowded.
Celebrity Edge has a modern, luxurious, and contemporary feel to it. Onboard it feels bright, light, and elegant and is filled with an amazing collection of artwork and quirky sculptures. There are more than 4,000 carefully selected art pieces throughout the ship, including seven life-sized wooden figures (each one with its own name), a bronze horse named Arion (weighing more than a ton), the beautiful ‘Jiao Long’ sailing ship that was created using pearl necklaces and brooches, and the stunning Grand Plaza chandelier, weighing seven tons and spanning three levels. With huge dimensions of 15x8 metres, it is illuminated using 170,000 LED bulbs.
During my voyage, my stateroom was an Infinite Veranda located on deck seven. These staterooms are a new concept for Celebrity, and they’re currently unique to the Edge series. The Infinite Veranda design means that the space of your veranda is incorporated into the living space of the stateroom, making the whole room feel a lot more spacious. With the touch of a button, you can open the window and use it as a veranda.
The stateroom was light and bright, modern, spacious, and the bed (with an eco-friendly cashmere mattress) was extremely comfortable. The bathroom was also much larger than most cruises I’ve experienced, with a large shower and sink area. It felt more like a bathroom in a 5-star hotel than a ship. The Edge-series ships are also very technologically advanced. With a touch of a button I could open the veranda window, open or close the blinds, and, using the onboard app, I could even turn the lights on or off from the other side of the ship (apologies to my roommate who I later found out was in the cabin when I was testing this out).
Another unique addition to the Edge series (and an amazing engineering feat), is the Magic Carpet. This is a large, orange, floating platform off the side of the ship that moves up and down. The area has plenty of comfortable seats, a full bar, and is the perfect place to sit and relax in the evening and listen to live music. It is a multi-purpose area, and at the highest deck, which is 13 stories high, converts to a restaurant for guests to dine at the unique Dinner on the Edge experience. The Magic Carpet also has a very practical use, and on port days it goes to the lowest deck and can be used to get guests across to the tender boats.
Dining options onboard are numerous — there are 29 food and beverage options to choose from. These include options for complimentary dining, such as the four main dining options (Tuscan restaurant, Cosmopolitan restaurant, Normandie restaurant, and Cyprus Restaurant), the Ocean View café (which is the onboard buffet), Edge Café, Spa café, and the poolside Mast Grill.
As well as Dinner on the Edge at the Magic Carpet, there are also several specialty dining options available onboard, including Eden, Fine Cut Steakhouse, Raw on 5, Rooftop Garden Grill, and Le Petit Chef — a unique 3D animated experience that brings your tabletop to life with a menu created by a Michelin Star Chef.
There are activities to suit almost everyone, including quizzes, dance classes, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, fitness classes, movies, mini golf putting, martini tasting, and the silent disco (which is a must do), just to mention a few. If you want to sit back and relax, the Rooftop Garden (with its giant sculptures and greenery) is a great escape. There is also the spa or the expansive pool deck, which has a large pool, stylish sunbeds, martini-shaped hot tubs, and — the most photographed place on the ship — the beautiful butterfly artwork, named Dream Machine.
The evening entertainment is phenomenal and changes each night. The theatre design is quite different to other ships I’ve experienced, giving great visibility to most seats and almost immersing the audience into the performance. While onboard, we saw a fascinating show by the Celebrity Edge production cast called The Colors of Life, and also an amazing violinist called Yoomia, who completely rocked the audience on her 100-year-old Italian violin (playing songs from Queen to Guns and Roses). Later in the evening the entertainment continued with late night shows, the silent disco, live music, DJ’s and dancing that went into the night.
As well as being innovative, state-of-the-art, and a stunningly beautiful design, the Edge-class ships are also revolutionary from an environmental perspective. The parabolic ultra-bow hull is designed to reduce fuel consumption by 20% (compared to older ships), and this design also gives a smoother and faster sailing experience. The ship also has an advanced wastewater purification system onboard — the end-product is of drinkable quality and so clean that the water is legally allowed to be discharged in Alaska. The Edge ships are also equipped with shore power technology, which enables them to use local electrical grids when in port — this also cuts down on fuel consumption.
Celebrity Edge is an amazing ship, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time onboard — it certainly wasn’t long enough. It’s exciting to have her based in New Zealand this cruise season and wonderful to know she will be back again for the 2024–’25 season.