Celebrity Edge is heading to Australia and New Zealand for the local summer cruise season. As the first ship in the Celebrity Edge class, Celebrity Edge has loads of new features that will excite (and may occasionally confuse) Australian and Kiwi passengers. To guide you through the ship, here’s our expert Celebrity Edge review for local cruisers.
The Celebrity Edge deck plan is different
As with any new ship, the Edge Class designers wanted to do something new. This is precisely what happened on Celebrity Edge, as we and all our fellow passengers found out when we got onboard. On embarkation, you will generally arrive on Deck 5 but don’t be surprised if you get lost from here, as the flow to get from forward to aft is not so simple as you often have to transit via multiple decks. Even if you have been on loads of other Celebrity ships like Celebrity Solstice before and usually know your way around, you will probably get lost on this ship several times early in your cruise.
Spending some time before you get onboard checking out the deck plan and working out where your favourite Celebrity venues are on Celebrity Edge will help a lot but it’s not foolproof as some of the deck plans that are available online aren’t as clear as they could be. Nothing beats going for a wander on embarkation day to find spots like Eden or a particular restaurant so you can get there again easily if you need to. On the upside, it’s fun finding amazing art, bars, restaurants and cafes by accident.
Better technology and an improved Celebrity Edge app
Celebrity Edge is a much newer ship than the ones we’ve previously seen in our region, and it shows when it comes to onboard technology. Let’s start with the Celebrity Cruises app, which simplifies checking in and boarding the ship, making restaurant bookings, checking the daily program, booking excursions and more.
In the cabins, there is a charging station on the desk that keeps all your cords tidy. Sadly, there are no local power points, but several more USB chargers are next to the bed. Remember to bring an adapter or two if you need to use a plug rather than a USB to charge your devices.
The ship also uses Starlink Wi-Fi, with a choice of Basic and Premium packages. The latter was so fast that it was better than our Wi-Fi back home. The basic package? Not so much. The basic will let look at social media and emails and do some basic surfing, but that’s about it. Remember to be careful when using your mobile phone at sea if you could end up with a huge bill!
Cabins reimagined with an infinite veranda
The infinite veranda concept that debuted on Celebrity Edge is best described as a traditional balcony reimagined into an enclosed space with an adjustable window. If you’ve ever sailed on a river ship, the concept will seem very familiar.
The window is opened and closed using push button controls, bi-fold glass doors seal off the area for added privacy, and electronic black-out blinds can be raised and lowered to keep out light. The latter are so effective that you’ll need to set your alarm.
The new design takes a little getting used to but the additional floor space created by the infinite veranda and the streamlined design that made the room feel bigger won us over. You’ll find a few regular staterooms on Celebrity Edge but we thought the infinite balcony concept was a winner.
We also loved the larger bathrooms on this ship, with a generous shower cubicle and so no silly curtain. One downside of the cabins is the lack of storage space with a small wardrobe and not enough drawers, plus some of the available drawers are very small. There are a few clever hidey holes but be warned these are areas are easy to forget. Don’t be surprised if you leave stuff behind when you depart, like we almost did.
Celebrity Edge dining features multiple main restaurants
A significant change in cruising on Celebrity Edge is the creation of multiple main dining rooms that are incorporated into the 15 dining venues available onboard Celebrity Edge. They are all complimentary and you can either walk in when it suits or make a booking using the app.
These four themed main dining rooms have different menus and styles: Cosmopolitan (American), Cyprus (Greek), Tuscan (Italian), or Normandie (French). Each restaurant features Classic dishes available at each venue, plus multiple options specific to the restaurant’s theme.
The dining rooms are upmarket with a classy design that makes it feel like you’re going to a different specialty restaurant each night rather than a complimentary main dining room. We felt the quality of the MDR food had gone up compared to our previous Celebrity sailings in Australia or New Zealand.
Are the Celebrity Edge specialty restaurants worth it?
Of course, there are multiple specialty dining options onboard Celebrity Edge if you feel like a treat, with options including the Fine Cut Steakhouse, Le Grand Bistro, Raw on 5, Rooftop Garden Grill and the standout, Eden Restaurant.
As food and wine lovers, we often spend up big on these for-a-fee restaurants when we cruise, but the choice of multiple high-quality main dining rooms on this ship meant there was no need to. However, we still tried two to satisfy our curiosity and appetite for good food.
We had a good time at Le Petit Chef which happens in the Le Grand Bistro restaurant but it’s not something we would pay for again. This high-tech experience was more about the fun than the food, but it’s worth doing once if you haven’t tried it before.
Another standout venue is The Magic Carpet “Dinner On The Edge” dining, where you sit out from the ship in the ultimate al fresco dining area. For this dining experience, the majority of the food comes from the Raw on 5 sushi bar, so it’s best suited to seafood and sushi lovers.
If you want to try just one place, Eden Restaurant is the place to go for an authentic specialty dining experience, with each dish prepared to order in an open kitchen. We thought the quality of the food here was exceptional, the service was excellent and we enjoyed the sweeping ocean views.
While all of the specialties offer a step up from the four main dining rooms, the downside is the extra expense in US dollars, which may sour the taste of these delicious dining venues for Australians and New Zealanders (at least until our dollar picks up).
Finding your chi at sea
The SEA Thermal Suite on Celebrity Edge might be a little hard to find, but it is no ordinary spa experience and a must if you’re after some pampering. With eight separate spaces that come together to create a DIY spa journey, AquaClass guests can enjoy this area as much as they wish at no extra charge, making it worth considering upgrading to an AquaClass cabin.
Start by working your way around the facilities like a hammam, the rainfall room, crystal atrium, salt room, steam room, infrared sauna, and float room with swing seats. To finish, relax on one of the heated lounges that have the same view as the captain on the bridge deck below. You can do any or all of these experiences while in the spa, making it excellent value for the Aqua Class cabins.
Welcome to Eden on Celebrity Edge
Celebrity Edge has a number of new-to-Australia restaurants, bars and experiences, including Eden which encapsulates all three of these things. The space spans multiple levels and has loads of nooks and crannies to discover and great floor-to-ceiling views from Eden’s large windows.
Curl up with a book on a comfy seat, catch a live band in the evening or enjoy a fine dining experience in Eden Restaurant, the choice is yours. The Eden Café is also open on sea days and mornings for light meals, coffee, and juice with stunning indoor and outdoor seating.
One secret venue most people miss
One secret venue is Eden Café, which is open on sea days and in the morning. This stylish café inside Eden offers complimentary light breakfast and lunch options for those in the know. This spot also has some of the best seating with a great choice of stylish indoor and outdoor spots with views to enjoy your food.
The Retreat for the suite
Offerings for suite passengers on Celebrity Edge are impressive with an expanded version of The Retreat, a ship-within-a-ship area that takes up a large part of the ship. This is an area you won’t want to leave, and the good news is you don’t have to with everything available at your fingertips.
There’s a separate pool deck which has a dedicated swimming area, sun loungers, a pool bar and a hot tub. The Retreat Lounge is more modern, and the Luminae suite restaurant on Celebrity Edge is much larger compared to other ships that have previously sailed in our region.
Celebrity Edge tender boarding from the Magic Carpet
Boarding tenders on Celebrity Edge is easy thanks to the dedicated air-conditioned area and platform created by the Magic Carpet. A platform on the side of the ship can be raised and lowered which makes it easy to get on and off the tenders for parents travelling with young children and travellers of all abilities. It makes a much-needed change from trying to navigate steep metal stairways.
The exchange rate is a killer
This isn’t the fault of the ship, but the combination of onboard expenses being charged in US dollars, a poor exchange rate and an increase in prices for everything means you might need to brace yourself for a hit to your hip pocket. Especially, after you add the extra 20% service fee when you buy a drink (Top tip: if you purchase a drinks package, this is included in the cost).
If keeping to a tight budget is important to you, you may like to to stay out of the bars, for-a-fee restaurants, high-end shops like Bulgari and the casino and focus on enjoying the complimentary dining, welcoming public spaces and entertainment included in the cost of your fare.
Service on Celebrity Edge
We noticed a change in service on this Celebrity cruise, our first after the pandemic. It is noticeably more understated and relaxed (i.e. slow). This is not just on Edge but on ships in general, so you need some patience and also respect for the people who work so hard to make sure you have a great holiday to make the most of your cruise experience.
Celebrity Edge entertainment
As for entertainment, you can look forward to big theatre shows and great live music throughout the ship with multiple venue styles and genres. The best music venues included Eden and the Grand Plaza if you want to catch a band.
Celebrity Edge coffee options
If you love coffee as much as we do, head to Café Al Bacio on Level 5 with its stylish ocean view seating and great people-watching. Oceanview Café and Secondo Bacio are where you will get your coffee for breakfast, lunch or dinner to accompany the buffet-style dining. The espresso style coffee made by a barista at all of these venues isn’t complimentary but it’s very good.
The overall Celebrity Edge package
Technological innovations, new main dining restaurants, the magic carpet, and a spa area to die for are all the things that will excite you about getting on board Celebrity Edge. You also have surprises like Eden, the specialty restaurants, and The Retreat for suite guests.
While the onboard US dollar currency and automatic 20 per cent gratuity for all beverage and mini-bar purchases (18% for spa and salon services) make the ship’s water and free dining look appealing, this won’t bother you if you don’t spend too much at the bars or at the spa.
Celebrity Edge offers an excellent cruising experience and is well worth trying when the ship is in our region. Save up or wait for an all-inclusive deal and get onboard this great ship. Throwing caution to the wind and blowing the budget on a suite with lots of extras included would be even more fun.
Disclosure: The writers travelled as guests of Celebrity Cruises.
Want more great cruise advice? Check out our tips for choosing the perfect cruise, cruising with grandchildren, cruising with tweens and cruising with kids of all ages, solo cruising, Celebrity Edge, Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas plus the best activities on Ovation of the Seas, doing a Transatlantic cruise with kids, cruising in Australia or Papua New Guinea, cruising on a megaship, scoring a bargain cruise fare, cruising the Mediterranean, making the most of a cruise ship kids club, luxury cruising with kids, and the Byron Beach Club onboard P&O Cruises. We have also reviewed Pacific Adventure, Pacific Encounter, Carnival Splendor, Voyager of the Seas, Nieuw Statendam, Viking Helgrim, Pride of America, Coral Expeditions in Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef, Celebrity Solstice, and Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.