I had the pleasure of being on one of the newest cruise ships, the Celebrity Edge on a fabulous 10-night itinerary around the Mediterranean from Rome back to Rome. I am a big fan of Celebrity cruises having done the Caribbean a few years ago on Millennium and then 2 years ago on Eclipse from Dublin to Iceland and the Shetlands back to Dublin, so I was really delighted to be able to experience EDGE in her maiden year.
We started our trip pre-cruise with 2 nights in Rome staying at a hotel about 15 minutes’ walk from the Termini Train station, as we were taking the train from the Termini to the Port of Civitaveccia, (takes about an hour), on the morning of cruise departure, then a short bus ride to the port and our check in port side for EDGE. Check in was very quick and smooth (about 5 minutes) as we had uploaded our photos online along with all passport details prior to our departure from Ireland. This is what sets EDGE apart, in her approach to technology and innovation.
We had booked an Infinite Veranda Stateroom, which the best way of describing is incorporating the balcony into the room. Full floor to ceiling window and at the press of a button the top half comes down halfway. Big Wide Screen TV which we did use as the Rugby World Cup was on whilst we were away. The cabin had good storage and a very useful USB port for charging phones, Tablet's etc. There is also an app you can download once onboard and that gives you everything that is happening on a day by day basis as well as this you still receive a daily new bulletin to your stateroom.
Edge has changed the standard dining experience and instead of one massive Restaurant split over 2 floors, they had 4 different restaurants each with a theme and while they all had the same basic menu, they each had an additional different themed menu. This meant we had a great choice of dining for the 10 nights on the basic package. We only used the Buffet Restaurant once at night when we were late back from a trip. There are several Speciality Restaurants where you pay a supplement and we did try EDEN which was a very interesting experience. Acrobatic entertainment and a living wall with plants, 2 tasting menus of which we tried one each. The food was excellent and service second to none, in fact service all over the ship is just as excellent as the food was. We used the Buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch every day and selection and choice was really good. We also had a wonderful waitress, Anushka from Mauritius in the buffet at breakfast, who also worked in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant at night.
So, to the ship itself, facilities and entertainment on board, there is a beautiful pool area with 2 amazing Jacuzzis shaped like a martini glass spanning over 2 decks. There is also a walking/jogging track that merges outdoor over 2 decks and has a bit of an incline to give you a challenge, 2 laps of this track is the equivalent to 1KM and it was lovely first thing in the morning followed by a jacuzzi watching the sunrise. Also, the Spa Area and Swimming pool is fantastic and relaxing on a wet day to just read a book and listen to soothing music.
The Rooftop Garden on top deck also has a cinema sized screen, bar and restaurant and another amazing feature on board is the Magic Carpet. The Magic Carpet is a very large open-air moveable deck on the side of the ship, with an open air bar/lounge, with very comfortable couches and armchairs. During the day it is on Deck 14 poolside, and at night transforms into a restaurant. Best of all is if you have to be tendered ashore, the Magic Carpet comes down to Deck 3 and acts as a tender platform making the process of transferring onto the boats a breeze. You can even have a drink at the bar while you are waiting.
The theatre is spectacular and the shows on board are very high end. We had a Whitney Huston, Elton John and Beatles Mania tribute. The main cocktail bar in the central plaza area is stunning and every night about 10.30 there is a short Tom Cruise Cocktail show by the bar men which is fantastic. We also enjoyed the Silent Disco in the Central Plaza as well!
One of my favourite areas was Al Bacio Cafe serving Speciality Coffee and Teas, French pastries and every type of chocolate delectable you can think of. Here you can just relax and watch the world go by. It is a very popular onboard the ship both day and night.
The itinerary which included, Naples, Palma, Barcelona, Monaco, Tuscany region Florence/Pisa is great. Our longest day was at Naples where we visited Vesuvius and Pompeii. Barcelona was an overnight so that left us with plenty of time to explore. My advice would be pick maybe 2 tours on the trip that you really want to do, and then just get off and wander around the cities on the other days. We spoke to a few people who were trying to do everything and were exhausted with no time to enjoy the ship’s amazing facilities.
To my mind EDGE is a destination in itself and needs to be enjoyed. You will not be disappointed, and I will definitely be going back. Her sister ship APEX is being launched in April and will be sailing in the Med this summer. I would highly recommend a voyage on the EDGE for a special birthday, anniversary or just treat yourself.
If you are interested in learning more and booking this cruise ship or any other cruise, please contact me for more information.