Travel: Inside the Celebrity Edge ocean liner

Today, cruise ships have become elegant floating citadels that offer a taste of the good life on the waves…

By Gustasp and Jeroo Irani

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Celebrity Edge, EG, Aerial, ship exterior, water, ship, open ocean, views
Celebrity Edge, EG, Aerial, ship exterior, water, ship, open ocean, views

Published: Thu 1 Feb 2024, 9:44 PM

In the world of cruising today, big is beautiful. Indeed, the world’s biggest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Sea which will set sail next year with 10,000 guests and crew is where the world of waves is headed. The 20-deck behemoth has seven swimming pools, an ice rink, zip line, mini golf and water park, to name just a few of its on-board come-ons.

However, we got a sneak peek at Celebrity Edge (operated by Celebrity Cruises) which isn’t the biggest ocean liner to sail the seven seas but is an eye-popper of a vessel. Nor is the 15-deck designer mega ship a push over when it comes to on-board blandishments.

Celebrity Edge, Edge, EG, Public Venues, Public Rooms, Onboard, On board, Eden, Eden bar, nightlife,
Celebrity Edge, Edge, EG, Public Venues, Public Rooms, Onboard, On board, Eden, Eden bar, nightlife,

She sports hi-tech bells and whistles including lavish accommodation and 29 restaurants, lounges and bars with menus curated by a Michelin-starred chef, glitzy entertainment, state-of-the-art spa, a casino, rooftop garden and of course itineraries which enable the ship to nose into known and little-known ports of call.

At 129,500 gross tons and the capacity to hold 2,908 passengers, Celebrity Edge exudes sheer class and pizzaz. She is one of the first resorts at sea to receive a Recommended Rating from The Forbes Travel Guide.

Celebrity Edge, EG, Aerial, ship exterior, water, ship, open ocean, views
Celebrity Edge, EG, Aerial, ship exterior, water, ship, open ocean, views

Once aboard, we stepped into the Grand Plaza, which soars three decks into the heart of the ship. We were drawn like moths to a flame by a 7-ton Chandelier, a lighting fixture-cum-art installation. it is composed of five levels of 765 blades illuminated by dynamic LED strips that change colour. The Chandelier soars over the buzzing Martini Bar and is backdropped by a hand-stitched meshed screen combining more than 13,500 pieces of metal, leather and fabric. The Grand Plaza is home to a number of chic specialty restaurants and echoes the lively piazzas of Italy, always thrumming with music and pop-up performances.

Another game-changer is the Magic Carpet, a moveable cantilevered platform that floats 13 stories above sea level and transforms into a chic café or dining area and is also a venue for live performances. The highlight of Magic Carpet are the views – of ports and skylines melting into a glorious sunset.

Celebrity Edge, Edge, EG, Staterooms & Suites, Accommodations, cabins, Penthouse Suite, master bedroom, Suite Class
Celebrity Edge, Edge, EG, Staterooms & Suites, Accommodations, cabins, Penthouse Suite, master bedroom, Suite Class

What we loved about Celebrity Edge is that it is a floating art gallery as well. On the 1,000-feet long ship, art, design and sculpture are on display - a staggering 4,000 works of art that you encounter as you explore the giant vessel. Passengers stop for selfies next to a model of a ship made up of thousands of pearls, or by a massive bronze horse on the upper deck, and gaze at watchful, hooded life-size wooden figures and a blue butterfly with a 5-foot wingspan. On the Resort Deck, passengers may float and soak in hot tubs crafted to resemble a martini glass!

Not surprisingly, accommodation on the Celebrity Edge is not about being sea sick in a cramped dingy cabin with a miniscule porthole but about lolling in suites that are more like urban apartments with sweeping views of the ocean. For example, there are the two-storey Edge Villas which come with a private terrace and a plunge pool; the Iconic Suite offers expansive views from atop the captain’s bridge. Suites and staterooms field vistas of the ocean that open up like a 3D film and all these come with curated amenities. The suites have a dedicated team of attendants and butlers on call as well.

Indeed, Celebrity Edge is avant-garde in terms of ship design as it has an outward facing design so that the ocean is never far away from the cruiser’s line of vision nor is natural light. Everywhere on this ship, the line between the outdoors and indoors is reduced to a mere hyphen. As its designers put it, on Celebrity Edge “the world is front and centre.” It reminds guests that apart from glam and fun, cruises are about the ocean too.

wknd@khaleejtimes.com


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