In its 27 eateries, the Celebrity Edge boasts a wide variety of food, from the seemingly endless buffet in the glittering main dining hall with its dazzling 1800-bottle wine tower, to a poolside burger bar and seven speciality restaurants.
Suite Class guests have the use of the flagship dining experience Luminae, where the attentive staff quickly learnt our names and clocked our preference for sitting next to one another rather than on opposite sides of the table. In fact, from just day two our table was set up like that. The chef surprised us daily with a new menu created from his early-morning trips to the local markets at each port.
Luminae aside, our favourite place to eat was Raw on 5, a seafood and sushi restaurant that blew us away with its super-fresh, delicious crustaceans served on a three-tier seafood tower. If there was anything that could top that, it was the exceptional, friendly yet professional service. Undoubtedly, though, the most striking dining experience to be had on board was at Eden, a concept restaurant with an elaborate ‘choreographed series of culinary temptations’, accompanied by a somewhat bemusing performance that had something to do with Adam and Eve and involved a group of acrobats lingering around the tables between stints on a crescent-shaped climbing frame suspended from the ceiling. Interesting, but we much preferred the relaxed, down-to-earth dining experience at Luminae.
In the mood for after-dinner drinks, we had 11 bars and lounges to choose between. The star of the show was the Martini Bar & Crush, at the heart of the ship in the triple-height Grand Plaza, where the impressive chandelier cost a whopping $1 million. Twice every evening, it transforms into a light show, complete with a dramatic soundtrack and a juggling display by some of the cocktail waiters. It’s not all flashing lights though – the Martinis themselves were equally spectacular and we found ourselves gravitating towards the bar for lavender Martinis on more than a few occasions.
On the subject of alcohol, take a moment to study your drinks package quite closely. As cruise virgins, we found it a little confusing.
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With 3,000 guests to entertain, the Celebrity Edge has an abundance of activities, from film screenings and meditation classes to social meet-ups. As a honeymooning couple, we were very happy to chill and, though we took little advantage of what was on offer, it was comforting to know that if we changed our minds, all our needs and wants would be taken care of in one easy package.
For the most part, we relaxed by the pool on the Retreat deck, an area reserved for Suite Class guests, eating our body weight in food and drinking Prosecco. When that became too much – even for us – we hit the impressive gym to burn off at least some of the extra calories.
On the one occasion we fancied a night out, we consulted the Celebrity Edge app and plumped for an evening with singer Marcus Terell, the openly gay American Idol contestant. He’s a Celebrity Cruise favourite and performs one of two specially created shows, incorporating details from his own life and beautifully delivered popular standards, from Motown medleys to modern-day classics mixed with his own compositions.
The Spa on Edge Class is a destination in itself and certainly wouldn’t have looked out of place on Starship Enterprise. High-tech facilities include a Spa.Wave MLW Amphibia table, with water-filled cushions that adapt to your anatomy, as well as customisable colour-therapy lighting, a WellMassage4D table that takes wellness massage to another level and, for crystal therapy, an MLX Quartz table. Elemis Biotec facials are also on offer, alongside other treatments that range from Botox to CoolSculpting and a SEA Thermal Suite. The traditional-style barbershop instantly caught our eye and, though they don’t do haircuts there, we got excellent wet shaves.
As we disembarked at Civitavecchia after a week at sea, we bumped into a few of the people we’d met along the way: a pre-retirement group of friends from Atlanta and a Texan couple we’d joked with about taking our butlers on the VIP lifeboats. Then, as we were about to jump into our transfer back to Rome, a South African couple came up to say how much they’d enjoyed seeing a couple who were so clearly in love.
Celebrity Cruises is so convinced the Edge represents the future of luxury cruising, the company has commissioned two more of the futuristic ships along the same design. A smart move, it seems to us, and one clearly determined to blow the competition well and truly out of the water.