What an awesome sight! As you drive into the port at Southampton and you see your home for the next two nights. The Celebrity Edge is an amazing sight and anyone would be impressed as they approached her.
Parking at Southampton, as usual, is so easy and being a no-fly cruise you can, of course, take as much luggage as you can carry!
Celebrity Edge has a brand new expedited check-in procedure – basically, you download the App onto your smartphone, they take your photo at the terminal with an iPad and that’s it you’re checked in and on board the ship within minutes! Very swift.
The ship is being called a ‘Game Changer’ – let’s find out why!
Our first stop, of course, is the buffet restaurant for some lunch. The number of food stations is vast and range from healthy snacks to a full-blown meal – not sure why my plate always has such a random mixture of food!
The next stop was on to our stateroom. We were lucky to be allocated an Infinite Balcony Cabin. These are different from a traditional balcony cabin and whilst some people will like them, others will prefer the traditional balcony. Personally, I like it. The room is really spacious and very well designed with little touches like a USB charger point, a table and plug near the mirror and lots of storage space. The bathroom feels big and is very well equipped. The balcony is where the difference is in my opinion. It has a very large window that opens halfway to down with a sitting area that can be closed off with bi-fold doors but the tricky part is the blind which is on the outer window. Therefore it is either all dark or all light. I imagine for couples where one is an early riser but the other isn’t, this could prove difficult. For me, it would be fine.
A quick whistle-stop tour of Celebrity Edge’s outside areas including a huge swimming pool with plenty of sun-loungers facing all directions. It has a great atmosphere here; the rooftop terrace and bar are really modern and again a really nice place to spend some time. The indoor solarium is a good layout and plenty of comfortable sun loungers and space.
Our lifeboat drill was organised very well and seemed to be over very quickly – this is compulsory on all cruises.
Already it is time for more food! This time there is not one but four main restaurants – a new concept for Celebrity – and depending on your choice of either early or late dining you will be allocated a table in either an American restaurant, French, Italian or Mediterranean. All four will have the same menu with the exception of three choices exclusively for that particular restaurant. If you have chosen Select Dining, you can choose which restaurant to dine in each night for no extra charge – so Speciality Dining at no extra cost.
The food on Celebrity Edge was amazing, the service was great and it is nice to have a choice – especially so on a longer cruise.
Our evening had been arranged for us and there are so many things to do with much variety including shows, dancing, acrobatics and bars to investigate. The theatre on board Celebrity Edge is a nice size and layout and the stars of Midsummers Night Dream were very talented singers and dancers. The acrobatics show in the club was amazing. On board the choice of bars is varied from live music in the Grand Plaza to chilled out tunes in the Eden bar at the very rear of the ship – this was my favourite perfect for the end of a very busy day!
Up early with no time to spare, in time for a fact-finding mission today. A quick visit to the buffet restaurant for another huge breakfast, followed by our first visit to Deck Two where they have an area which is used for destination talks and also where they launch the tenders from – making use of the Magic Carpet platform.
There were plenty of show cabins available to view and the range of cabins available on board is great, from the Inside Cabin grades up to the Iconic Suite which is the biggest and best on board.
The inside cabins and the ocean view cabins were both a good size and felt spacious, but my favourites were the Edge suites with the split level and their own plunge pool – yes, I think I would like one of those!!
My top tips for selecting cabins would be:-
For a traditional balcony choose a Sunset Veranda at the rear of the ship.
Try to avoid a cabin near the Magic Carpet – I would choose the other side of the ship.
Some of the top deck cabins have an overhang and wouldn’t get much sunshine so this may suit some people and not suit others.
We had the perfect opportunity to look at the great selection of restaurants on board. They were all open to look at and also taste a sample of one of their signature dishes this was a great idea to compare them all and take photos.
A quick break from our tour to join in one of the many activities organised by the entertainment team. We chose a quiz and a table escape room which were really good fun, with one of my favourites being a lazor maze challenge which involved climbing between lazor beams in the quickest time possible from one side of the room to the other – of course, I was probably the slowest but it was great fun. There really is so much choice for you to be as busy or as relaxed as you want.
We were invited to a private party in my favourite bar Eden to celebrate being in the top 200 sellers. It was nice to be thanked by the Celebrity Cruises and good to hear about the plans for the future included Apex which is a sister ship to Celebrity Edge and will be based for a short while in Southampton next year.
This evening we chose to watch a comedian in the theatre, an interactive dance production which involved dancers within the club performing acrobatics which the passenger guests were able to close up to in a small roped off area – very clever how it all worked safely.
Our evening meal again was superb, the food is so well presented and tastes just perfect and altogether another superb and information filled day!
Disembarkation – a quick breakfast in the buffet restaurant which, for the first time, actually felt very busy but there are plenty of seats and passengers would normally have a choice to either dine-in or have a waiter service breakfast. A rather long queue was forming to disembark so I am sure if this was a real cruise, passengers would be able to take longer over breakfast and maybe choose to either queue or have another coffee and take their time.
What a wonderful experience – thank you!