Aboard The Celebrity Edge Inaugural Sailing
Luxury Cruise Travel Agents Inspect Exciting New Ship
It is not every day that one gets to step aboard a brand new $875 million Celebrity Cruises ship just days before she welcomes her first revenue passengers. But that is exactly what a team of luxury travel agents and executives from Protravel International and Tzell Travel Group did this week. Setting sail on a technical trip from Ft Lauderdale, Florida to Nassau, Bahamas November 25-27, along with hundreds of guests from the travel trade and press, we had a chance to preview the delights in store for those who take their own VIP voyage arranged by one of our expert cruise travel agents.
“Before we book our valued clients aboard a new ship—even one as eagerly anticipated as The Celebrity Edge—it is important for our advisors to experience it first-hand so they can share their honest impressions with their colleagues,” notes Marni Becker, Senior Director of Cruise Sales for Protravel and Tzell.
What Protravel luxury cruise agents are saying
Terry Freedman: “There is nothing comparable to having experienced the ship personally, to make a believer of a client. They trust you know what you’re recommending. Now we can guide them to the best accommodations, dining experiences, etc. And the EDGE is the ULTIMATE at this time!”
Elizabeth Jordan: “Celebrity’s innovative ‘Edge’ with its transformational Magic Carpet, dynamic lighting effects and staterooms featuring infinite verandas, is truly a destination in itself. Our inaugural sailing was filled with revolutionary venues to explore such as Eden, relaxing discoveries such as the Rooftop Garden, coupled with unique artistic touches throughout, taking modern luxury to a new level!”
Koni Kellough: “The Edge is certainly meets all expeditions. I toured the spa and loved the steam and sauna rooms that the Aqua Class includes for guests. The smaller dining rooms make you feel like you are in a specialty restaurant and it was nice to be able to actually hear the people we were dining with. The food was 9 out of 10 in my opinion; the best escargot we have had in years! I would highly recommend reserving the alternative dining rooms to enhance your experience. Raw looked amazing and if you are expecting lobster, you will want to book with a Virtuoso travel agency like Protravel to cover the cost with shipboard credits. The suites are very spacious but note The Edge Villa Suite has steep stairs, so not for those with mobility issues.”
Walter Nauyoks: “The Celebrity Edge will not only revolutionize the cruise industry but also set new standards for ships to be built in the future. I’m grateful to be alive and given the opportunity to witness this achievement.”
Robert Smith: “The architecture of Celebrity Edge is spectacular. Passengers walk from one amazing venue to the next both inside and out. I loved the restaurants for their food and variety of food. Le Petif Chef stands out and not just the amazing menu. Just before the dishes are presented to the diners, a ‘show’ starts playing on your plate and tablecloth. As soon as the show ends, your food is put in front of you and looks exactly as it did in your show. It was so imaginative and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
PROTRAVEL IN THE NEWS:
Agents say Celebrity Edge delivers on the hype
Vanessa Cohen, an agent for Protravel International in Miami, said after touring the ship the description that came to mind was “spa at sea.” She said the Retreat area was a favorite and that “Retreat is a good label for the whole ship. It’s so elegant and spa-like.” Read the full article here.
Given the many onboard attractions, you may not do much more than rest your head and relax on your veranda, but the staterooms are rave-worthy, with infinite verandas offering amazing unobstructed sea views. We toured the Edge Villa, Penthouse, Iconic [my personal favorite] and Royal Suites where our clients are most likely to stay and can recommend all of them. We were also impressed with the 8 ADA-accessible staterooms, featuring extra-wide doorways and verandas, special pull-down closet hanger bars and well-designed bathrooms.
The central deck pool, with its in-water or deck lounge chairs, nearby bar and grill and hot tubs are the socializing and sunbathing hub of the ship. But don’t miss the Solarium and Retreat deck (available only to suite guests) for tranquil places to read, nap or watch the sunset.
Many passengers commented on the numerous comfortable and stylish places to sit, relax, have a drink and converse on board. The furnishings are top-notch and worthy of a fine hotel. The neutral palette with splashes of color, the play of natural light, the artwork, floral and design details all around the ship are compelling and at times astonishing.
Food & Drink
The ship features 29 unique food and beverage experiences, crafted by a Michelin-starred chef. Our taste tests and tour of the ship’s galley and conversation with sous chef Brian (pictured below) found an immaculate operation and outstanding dining and drinking options. My personal favorites: cream of wild forest mushroom soup at Cosmopolitan and an excellent Parsnip concoction plus one of the best cocktails I have ever tasted “Spicy Passion” at Luminae. Marni’s favorites were the s’mores dessert at the Rooftop Garden Grill and breakfast at Luminae.
Insider tip: for guests with dietary restrictions, we discovered that there is a whole separate galley, oven, grill and cooking team who take care of passengers with, for example, shellfish allergies to avoid any chance of cross contamination from the main galley. Be sure to let your travel agent know if you have any food allergies and you will be well and safely fed!
Spa, Fitness & Salon
It would take a whole essay to describe the variety, opulence and tranquility of the offerings at the Spa. Inspired by the land, the air, and—above all—the sea, there is literally something there for everyone to heal, rejuvenate or beautify. A state-of-the art fitness center, bathed in sunlight, make working out [almost] fun!
Malala Yousafzai is the godmother of the ship and Celebrity Cruises is supporting the Malala Fund and Education for Girls Around the World.
What’s under the hood?
Not content to just personally examine the many room categories, sample the fare and test the onboard activities, professional travel agents also care about some of the most important (but largely unseen to consumers) aspects of ocean cruising: namely the actual construction, navigation and engineering features that allow them to safely entrust their clients to these massive vessels. We were lucky enough to be invited to tour the bridge and learn some important and interesting facts from [hottie] Staff Captain Matt Karandreas (pictured below), who participated in years of training and sea trials before the Edge was launched and why he described this ship as a “game changer”:
- The cutting-edge parabolic bow, which slices through the water more efficiently, contributing to 20% greater fuel efficiency
- 40,000 Horsepower engines and dynamic positioning
- The stability—including during high winds & seas—and 3x thicker steel than previous ocean cruise ships contributes to the quiet atmosphere aboard
- The ability for the crew to centrally control and storm lock outer bay windows when winds reach 80 knots
- 100% wi-fi coverage; 3 GPS systems; video and touch screen instrumentation and other truly cutting-edge technologies that enable the crew to have total visibility into every inch of the vessel to monitor security and functionality