The art of cruising is a whole new world for me. As my blog has grown, I’ve been able to experience all kinds of new forms of travel that I might never have experienced on my own. My favorite types of trips tend to be midrange adventure travel experiences but a long time ago I decided to push myself out of my norm and try a wide variety of vacation styles. So I jumped at the chance to experience the inaugural sailing of Celebrity Edge when they invited me to preview the ship. Before sailing on two different ships this past month, I was fairly convinced that the whole cruising the high seas thing wasn’t for me.
Boy, do I ever stand corrected.
Lesbian cruises are very popular, with one company really ruling the roost in the space, but there are a lot of options for lesbian cruisers looking to board general LGBT friendly cruise lines. I was always a bit nervous about cruising because I wasn’t sure if a cruise that wasn’t specifically a gay cruise, could be for me. There are a few stereotypes about cruising that are rooted in some truth. They are either the super high-end brands focused on coat and tails service, global itineraries, longer stays in ports and fine dining targeted at our grandparents demographic. Or the mass market family-centric mega-ships that offer floating amusement parks with water slides, surf riders, zip lines, rock climbing walls and lots of dining and entertainment options.
The Celebrity Edge is somewhere between the two. Sure, you’ll find surf and turf dinners at restaurants worthy of your good pumps and you’ll also find performances and shows similar to the mass market cruise ships. But what stands out about Celebrity Edge is that the 2,918-passenger ship is its adult-focused modern style. It’s a cruise ship designed for the noncruising cruisers – the newcomers to cruising – if you will.
This is not your neon plastic based cruise ship. It’s contemporary and elegant with soothing color schemes of cream, dove grey and oatmeal, with splashes of aquamarine and burnt orange. But it also has nods to the luxury end of cruising like the fabulous martini bar at center ship and the technological innovations in the staterooms. I loved the Infinite Veranda stateroom, half the glass wall slides down to let the sea breezes in and provides an infinity pool like effect on the balcony.
The Edge is filled with venues for ultimate relaxation like the strolling ship’s rooftop garden, take a dip in one of many ocean-facing pools, work up a sweat in one of the onboard fitness classes or get a massage at the on-site spa.
For dining, passengers have 29 options to choose from. Yes, 29. These include four main restaurants and specialty options serving a range of cuisines, from sashimi to French bistro classics. At Le Petit Chef, the tables are made with digital screens that showcase tiny 3D figures running around your plate, chopping and preparing virtual food, stepping back with a flourish as waiters appear bearing an exact, real-life version for you to eat.
The highlight of the Edge were the cocktails and bars. This is where the Edge truly shines. I already mentioned the breathtaking martini bar but Eden is bar far the coolest spot on the ship. The sinfully inspired cocktail lounge is flooded with light and filled with tropical plants, creating the feeling of a jungly conservatory meets greenhouse vibe. A living ‘plant library’ behind the bar grows the garnishes for the cocktails, while dancers and aerialists, called Edenists, perform throughout the day. The vibe of the performance switch from relaxing in the morning to playful in the afternoon to sinful in the evening.
While the cocktails were very pricey – we’re looking at $20 for a social media worthy bowl-shaped number served in a pseudo treasure chest. The Magic Carpet Bar is another cool feature that’s unique to the Celebrity Edge. It’s a bar and lounge built on a large elevator on the side of the ship. Depending on where the elevator is parked, the views and ambiance change.
One of the big deal cruising insiders told us that the best part of Celebrity cruises is that they have a tendency to offer free beverage packages as a booking bonus. The drink packages range from $45 – $65 USD per day and unlike other cruise lines, Celebrity doesn’t force everyone in your party to buy the packages. Which is great for all those folks who aren’t interested in drinking. If you are planning to drink two or more alcoholic beverages a day, you’ll definitely get your money worth.
Are there any negatives? Yes, a few. The poolside cabanas seem overpriced, at $400 per day, we had hoped for more high-quality entertainment options beyond the bars and you’d need quite a few pennies to enjoy the specialty restaurants, which cost as much as an additional $65 a head.
Who’s the Edge perfect for? The mid-thirties foodie couple looking to experience a wide variety of restaurants and cocktails from innovative chefs and mixologists. Looking for more cruise options with Celebrity? Check out their Caribbean Cruises setting sale from the US.