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Adventures With Robin

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Welcome! This space serves as a platform for travel agent Robin Norell to share her trips, experiences and expertise with you. Exceeding your customer service expectations is Robin’s primary goal. Having worked for Disney for 2.5 years, she knows how to make your vacation magic. 

Robin has visited 25 countries (Caribbean, Europe, Asia) and 31 states, and has been on 26 river and ocean cruises (so far), visited Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris multiple times, and she is happy to share her travel experiences and knowledge with you to make your vacation the best it can be.

Robin has been awarded the distinguished certifications of CLIA’s (Cruise Lines International Association) ACC (Accredited Cruise Counselor) Certification, as well as earning her CTA (Certified Travel Associate) certification, has completed the College of Disney Knowledge, and continues to learn more about the travel industry every day.

Excelling in administration and customer service, she takes care of all the details, leaving you free to relax and enjoy!

Independent Vacation Planner

  • Robin Norell

Celebrity Edge Cruise Ship Review

Updated: Jan 31, 2019


So you think you know what cruise ships look like? Not anymore! Celebrity has designed a new cruise ship that is unlike any other. It was designed in 360-degree virtual reality, allowing them to truly visualize spaces. It is “outward facing,” so you are always reminded you are at sea. It is socially conscious, with 30% of the staff being women (twice the average on other ships), and next year this ship will be captained by Captain Kate McCue (female).


But how does that make it look different? I will share details and photos of the most unique areas with you, so check out all the posts in this series!


Magic Carpet

This is the most iconic architectural achievement on the Edge. It is 100’ long and 20’ wide, weighing over 90 tons, essentially hanging off the side of the ship. And it moves up and down, from deck 2 to deck 14! When it is on deck 2, it is adjacent to the Destination Gateway, an area for disembarking the ship when tenders are required (if the docks at a port are not deep enough, ships can’t “pull in” and have to send people to shore by tender boats). You scan your card to disembark, walk onto the Magic Carpet, and into the tender (which by the way is very comfortable).


Other times it is brought up to deck 5 where it is adjacent to Raw on 5 and lunch is served here. Reservations are not required but it is first come-first serve, so plan to arrive a few minutes before it opens for lunch (watch your daily schedule for meal times) to make sure and get a seat. The menu is a reduced offering from Raw on 5, and prices are a la carte.


The Magic Carpet can also float up to deck 14, where it is adjacent to the private cabanas that can be rented by passengers. Here it is either a lounge, or on two evenings during each week-long cruise it is a special dining experience.


No matter when you visit, the view from the Magic Carpet is unparalleled, “hanging” 20 feet off the side of the ship. Best time to visit? Sunset!


Eden

Does the name invoke images of the Garden of Eden? Then you can begin to imagine what this space looks like on the Edge. This 3-story area is at the back of the ship, with floor to ceiling windows. It is a lounge, a restaurant, a bar, a café, and provides a show. It is over 11,800 square feet of space that is quiet, a space for reflection or relaxation or conversation. The café offers breakfast and lunch on most days and is a quiet alternative to the large buffet upstairs. Dinner is a unique experience, with the food being as much a show as the entertainment provided during the meal. The bar offers drinks made from some of the greenery that grows in Eden. At times there are costumed performers wandering through the lounge, interacting with guests or performing an interpretive dance on the raised platform in the center of the lounge area. Late at night, a show is offered that presents an artistic view of the story of the Garden of Eden.

There are chairs and couches and booths at which to sit in the main bar/lounge area, but all throughout the 3-story sanctuary are various nooks and crannies, places large enough for a group of 20 to sit in relative privacy, or a couple to sit and watch the sunset out the windows.


The restaurant is on the lowest of the three levels and dinner reservations are required, $65 per person. Your specialties are inspired by nature and delivered by performance artists (called Edenists).


There are also two outdoor areas at Eden – one right next to the café on the starboard side of the ship, and the other under a cover with a variety of seating options on the port side.


Make sure to visit this at various times of the day, as it feels like an entirely different space after the sun sets.

Rooftop Garden

The highlight of this area is not the greenery growing all around the outdoor seating area and under the large screen where simple images are projected with quiet music playing in the background. The “trees” are unique sculptures that are eye-catching during the evening, but literally glow at night.


The garden is on the top deck and is another area where you can come for quiet relaxation or to gather with friends for drinks and conversation. The Sunset bar (at the back of the ship) is nearby, making it convenient to refill your beverages.

Also in this area is another premium dining option – the Rooftop Garden Grill. So much of the dining done onboard cruise ships is done indoors, it’s wonderful to have the option to dine under the stars while at sea. The food here is not fancy, it’s more like an upscale barbecue. Reservations are required, and lunch is $25 per person, dinner $45 per person.


A note – check the daily schedule for the entertainment in the Rooftop Garden during dinner before making reservations – they might be showing a football game or there might be live music, so the atmosphere can vary greatly.




Dining

I’ve shared some of the premium dining options, and there are a few more. Fine Cut is a premium steakhouse that is $55 per person, Raw on 5 is a sushi/Japanese restaurant that is open for some lunches and for dinner daily (priced a la carte).

And then there is Le Grand Bistro, serving French fare. Breakfast is $10 per person, lunch is $20 per person, and dinner is $25 per person. Inspired by French bistros, this is reminiscent of a boulangerie-patisserie and twice during each week-long sailing, Le Grand Bistro is transformed into Le Petit Chef and Friends for dinner ($55 per person). Four mini-chefs are presented in 3D animation on your table, preparing dishes from their homeland and bringing your table to life.



Are all the dining options an additional cost? No, these are just alternatives to the complimentary dining. At no additional cost are the main dining rooms, the buffet (called the Oceanview café), breakfast and lunch at the Eden Café and the Spa cafe, and snacks at the Café al Bacio.


The dining rooms on this ship are also unique – there are four, the Normandie (French themed), the Cosmopolitan (New York City themed), Cyprus (Greek themed) and Tuscan (Italian themed). Each night, one-third of the menu is different at each restaurant, with signature meals served based on the theming of the restaurant. Another one-third is the menu that changes each night and is the same at each of the four dining rooms. And the final one-third is the “default” menu – favorites that are offered every night (in case you don’t see any daily specials that look appetizing) such as chicken, salmon, steak, shrimp cocktail, French onion soup, etc.


I sailed on the first sailing open to the public (prior sailings were only for Celebrity employees and staff, and media and industry professionals). We were assigned Traditional Dining at the Cosmopolitan dining room at 6pm at an assigned table with the same wait staff at each meal.


We could also have chosen Select Dining which would have offered us total flexibility – we could dine whenever we wished, and we could have tried each of the four main dining rooms. As times are not assigned, there might be a wait when you arrive at the dining room, and you will have different wait staff at each location.


The Ocean View Café (buffet) is open almost 24 hours a day. For breakfast there was an omelet station and waffles were being prepared at another station. At dinner there was a pasta station and a stir fry station. These are in addition to the extensive selection of foods offered throughout the buffet. There is even a Gluten Free section at each meal, and an ice cream “shop.” You can sit inside near the buffet, or outside at the back of the ship.


An additional option that is open for most days at breakfast and lunch is the Spa Café, located in the Solarium (adults only area). They offer healthy food options in small portions (you can take as many as you want). You can also purchase smoothies and fresh juices here as well. Near the pool you can also find the Mast Grill, complimentary burgers, salads and sandwiches.


Room service is offered around the clock. Most items are complimentary, but there are some premium options. There is also a $4.95 late night service fee for food delivered from 11pm to 6am.


If you are in a suite, your meals can be taken in Luminae, a premium private restaurant just for suite guests. And if you are in an Aqua Class staterooms, you can dine in Blu, which offers more “clean” food options.


Recreation and Activity Options

There is one pool on the upper deck for all passengers, and a heated pool in the Sanctuary area for adults only. These are fresh water pools, not salt water. The hot tubs are elevated above the main pool in what look like large martini glasses. There are 6 private “alcove” areas available for rent for $149 on sea days and $99 on port days near the main pool. These include bottles of water, fruit platter, loaded ipad use, handheld fans, chilled washcloths, and board games.


If you are in a suite, you have access to The Retreat, which is an outdoor lounge area with plush furniture, its own pool, dedicated pool butlers, and a lounge with beverages, gourmet snacks and live entertainment.


The fitness center is at the very front of the ship, so the treadmills and elliptical machines have a wonderful view to admire as you work out. Fitness classes are also offered.


The spa is also located at the front of the ship, just below the fitness center. It hosts a beauty salon, barber shop, and many treatment rooms.


The spa also has the Thermal Spa, with a Rainfall Water Therapy room, Hammam (Turkish bath), salt room, steam room, infrared sauna room, and heated tile lounge seats.


You can purchase a day pass or a pass for the length of your cruise - but you must do this right after boarding as they do sell out and only a limited number are offered. Or book an Aqua class stateroom and you will have access to this area throughout your entire cruise at no additional cost.


The jogging trail is very unique – it starts on deck 15, goes up a ramp to deck 16, around and down the length of the ship, and then down another ramp, and around the back of the Rooftop Garden Grill. It is the most unique jogging track I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship, as they are generally just a track that runs around the top deck of the ship.


The Rooftop Garden, the theater, and the Club host various activities during the day, especially when the ship is at sea. There might be games in the garden, a laser tag maze in the club, and/or a movie in the theater.


Evening activities also vary each day, and might include a show in the main theater, a show in Eden, entertainment in The Club (nightclub), the Casino (open when not in port), football or music or a movie on the large screen in the Rooftop Garden, and/or entertainment in the Martini Bar.


The Martini Bar is on the lower level (deck 3) of a three-story atrium and is the social center of the ship. The unique design of the lights above the bar look like a martini glass. There is a piano there, and lots of seating. Deck 4 in this atrium hosts Café al Bacio and the Blu dining room (for guests in Aqua class staterooms). Deck 5 has Raw on 5 and Le Grand Bistro.


Staterooms

When you think of cruise staterooms, you generally think of inside, oceanview, and balcony as the typical options. Not on this ship! There are actually very few inside staterooms. And the ocean view staterooms, instead of having a small window or porthole, actually have floor to ceiling windows.



And then there are the balcony staterooms. While there are some with actual balconies outside your cabin, most are “infinite verandah” staterooms. Picture your stateroom extending out to include your balcony, but still with outdoor flooring and chairs and a small table. The window is floor to ceiling glass, and you reach over and push a button and the top half of the glass wall lowers down to the middle. Your stateroom is now your balcony! Push another button and the full-length blinds come down from the ceiling.


The next level up beyond this is the Aqua class stateroom. This looks like an infinite verandah stateroom, but has additional amenities in the cabin (aromatherapy diffusers, shower panel, and pillow menus), plus access to the Blu dining room, and access to the Thermal Spa throughout the cruise.


Concierge staterooms also look the same as the infinite verandah, but includes access to the Concierge services.


And then there are the suites, all of which offer additional amenities depending on the suite class (some even offer butlers, called Royal Genies!):

Sky Suite – king size bed facing floor to ceiling window, split bathroom with large spa tub with shower and separate toilet area (with sliding panel that provides views to the room and the ocean beyond). 146 sqft with 79 sqft veranda. Can be connected to an inside stateroom for larger groups. Sleeps up to 4.


Celebrity Suite – bedroom and living area are separated by a glass divider, 460 sqft with 51 sqft balcony. Can connect to an Infinite Veranda stateroom for larger families or groups. Sleeps up to 4.


Penthouse Suite – two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and master dressing room. 1378 sqft with 197 sqft veranda. Sleeps up to 6. There are just 2 of these on the Edge.

Royal Suite – one bedroom and one bathroom with large soaking tub and separate shower. Can connect to the Iconic Suite for larger groups. 687 sqft with 72 sqft private veranda. Sleeps up to 4.


Iconic Suite – has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, in-suite use of Peloton fitness bikes, in-suite butler’s pantry for entertaining. 1892 sqft with private veranda and sleeps up to 6. There are only 2 of these on the Edge.



Edge Villa – has one bedroom and two bathrooms, direct access to the Retreat, in-suite use of Peloton fitness bikes, two stories. 739 sqft with 211 sqft veranda with jacuzzi tub and sleeps up to 4. There are only 6 of these on the ship.


Cruise ship details

I took a Behind the Scenes tour of the Edge and learned some very interesting things!

The ship holds approx. 3000 passengers and 1300 crew members from 70 different nations, including 170 chefs on board.


The crew’s areas are nicer on this ship than any other in the Celebrity fleet. Their cabins have TVs, they have 3 bars, a mess room (cafeteria with a wide variety of international foods), game room, library and gym. This is also the first to have cabins for married crew members to share together.


All waste is separated, and they have an extensive recycling program. New crew members complete a training on the program when they begin. The recycled materials (those not already sorted by crew members) are sorted by a team of 6. On a 7-day cruise, they will generate 10 tons of glass recycling. The recycled materials are sold to facilities in the Everglades, and the monies are given to the crew for entertainment, and for their “relief” fund to help crew members with their travel expenses if they have an emergency and need to go home.


The food waste goes through a “pulping” machine (similar to a garbage disposal). They can then either deliver to waste facilities on shore (who burn it for energy), burn it onboard for energy, or dump in specified areas.


ECR (energy control room) is staffed 24 hours a day by 3 people who work on a schedule of 4 hours on and then 8 hours off. They can control everything on the ship from there, down to the temperature of the individual staterooms.


The engine is diesel electric. Azimuth thruster propulsion system includes 2 Azipods that spin 360-degrees independently at the back. Tunnel ball thrusters are used at the front. The delay between pushing the button to start the engine and ignition is 30 seconds.


Reverse osmosis is used for water filtration, and their systems provide more water than is needed. Condensation from the air conditioning units provides the water for the laundry. There are 4 desalinization plants on board, with 2000 tons of water in the potable water storage tanks.


There are 22 crew members in the laundry area, which operates 24 hours a day. They do 1 kilo of laundry per hour which can include 400-500 sheets or 5000 napkins. They have a machine that folds 900 towels per hour.


Itineraries

Where is this ship going? How do I get the best price? Are there more ships coming like this one? This winter, the Edge will stay in the Caribbean, doing 7-night Eastern and Western itineraries. In May, it will sail to Europe where it will stay until November when it returns to Florida and the Caribbean.


There are 4 ships in Celebrity’s Edge class – the next one is the Apex, and it will set sail in 2020, followed by two more ships in 2021 and 2022.


The best price on cruises are always as soon as the itineraries are released – the only bird not only gets the best price, but the best options on staterooms. With only 2 Iconic suites and Penthouse suites and 6 Edge Villas, these will book up immediately after release.

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Robin is an Independent Travel Planner who has been awarded CLIA's (Cruise Line Industry Association's) Accredited Cruise Counselor Certification and The Travel Institute's Certified Travel Associate designation. Her excellent service is yours at no cost - she's paid by the suppliers (hotel, cruise line, etc.), nor does she charge a fee for services. She may even save you money over booking it yourself, as she follows all the specials and will get you a better price after you book with her. When you are planning a family vacation or celebrating a special occasion through travel, you want the best experience possible, and Robin is ready to help you! She provides excellent customer service, and your happiness and satisfaction is her top priority. With the knowledge gained by her extensive travel experience (25 countries, 31 states, and 26 cruises so far) and customer service experience (2.5 years employed at Walt Disney World Resort), she's excited and ready to help you plan new adventures!

Location: Alexandria - VA
Email: Robin.Norell.Travel@gmail.com
Phone: (567) 307-3476
Toll-Free: (866) 779-4830

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