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mit429

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Everything posted by mit429

  1. Eden is on deck 5, but there is a ramp up to a deck 6 balcony overlooking most of the venue - but you can not access that area from outside. If you're familiar with Two70 on the Quantum Class, you could access the upper level of the venue by the library - which you can't do on Eden. It seems like an odd and unnecessary oversight.
  2. After muster we headed to the rooms to unpack (and take a slight nap, haha). I’ll probably do a full stateroom review in a later post, but for the most part the rooms are really, really nice - just a few oddities that I don’t understand. Chad and Cole decided they were going to nap for sail-away, while Erin and I made our way up to the Sunset Bar and then the Thermal Spa deck. I’m not sure if you’re really allowed to have drinks on the spa deck, but no one seemed to be bothered by the concept, though as you know they’re very loosey goosey on embarkation day about people in the spa area. But we did get some nice pictures around the ship during sail-away. After sail-away, Erin went to get a pedicure and I went to take a nap (which was desperately needed).
  3. After lunch we made our way down to Eden to grab a cocktail before muster. Quite the impressive space - similar to Two70 on the Quantum Class, but I see what people were saying, it’s also quite different. Eden is really segregated into 3 or 4 distinct spaces, each while being a part of the whole can sort of function independently. The lowest level is the Eden Restaurant - from everything I’ve read and seen, I don’t have a strong interest in dining there, but I really feel like I should, to see it for myself. The mid-level is the main seating and bar area - there are plenty of unique seats and a lot of bartenders. The drinks require a good amount of work, so definitely plan to be patient. Also on the mid-level is Eden Cafe, I’ve yet to be there while it’s open, so I can’t really tell you much about it, but it looks nice and large (the pictures are of Eden Cafe)! On the ramp up to the top area are lots of random seating nooks, they all have menus, which leads me to believe that there will be waiter service throughout. On the upper-most level (which is on Deck 6, but only accessible from within Eden - annoyingly), there are more loungers and seating. If you are ever looking for somewhere to sit, go to Eden; I think there’s enough space for the entire ship to sit in Eden, lol. There are a few $15 cocktails in Eden (for those of you with the Premium Beverage Package), but about half of them are over $15. They’re definitely craft cocktails, with a lot of work put into making them, so in my very humble opinion, they are worth the slight upcharge. We enjoyed our cocktails while walking around and exploring Eden, and then it was time for muster - yay! Our muster station is hands-down the worst muster station I’ve ever had - so if you’re in D2, buckle up! We were assigned to the embarkation lobby on Deck 5, outside the Bulgari, among the wooden statues. Another note, I don’t know if it was just because it was a preview, but muster seemed oddly sporadic, with people moving around and talking during the drill. Celebrity seems to have introduced a new video which is clearly an attempt at getting people to pay more attention. It was partially horrible, partially kind of fun, but mostly just cheesy and an unnecessarily long way to explain some very basic information. Someone asked about muster stations, the list is pictured!
  4. After all this, we were absolutely starving. One of the strangest things about AquaClass is the fact that Blu is not open for lunch, I used to not really mind it, but ever since they started offering Concierge Class an embarkation day lunch, it’s just seemed odd to me. I don’t see why AQ shouldn’t be able to, at the very least, attend the CC lunch - just strange! Anyway, we had decided we would go to the Oceanview, went up there and very quickly decided we’d rather eat in Raw on 5. We came down to Raw, we’re eagerly presented with a menu, looked it over and we were hooked (I’m so punny), said we’d like to have lunch and we’re greeted with a blank stare and then told they stopped serving lunch 5 minutes ago, at 130pm. Certainly our fault for not looking at the app … but annoying, and even more annoying because we were insanely hungry. We made our way back up to the Oceanview, got some food, and ate out on the back deck. As other reviewers have mentioned, the Oceanview is absolutely stunning. I actually thought it was a super nice space on the S-Class ships already, but they definitely made some major improvements. From the seating, to the lighting, to the two-story windows and larger ceilings throughout - the Oceanview is definitely a lot classier than it used to be! A major bottleneck continues to be the lack of dedicated bar - as on the S-Class and M-Class ships, the bar is also Il Secondo Bacio, so you have some people getting complicated coffee beverages, and others waiting for a beer. I always liked the tiny little Oceanview Bar on the non-Reflection S-Class ships, but I understand why it was removed. I do think that this space could use a dedicated bar, or at least a better separation between coffee shop and bar. My only other suggestion is that the pizza place at the back of the Oceanview is extremely removed from all the other food. This is the case on pretty much every ship I’ve been on, there is always either a pizza place, or a sandwich place, or something in the back by the outdoor deck and I don’t understand it - why not just put it with everything else. Maybe something that I don’t know, but I don’t see the reason to separate it.
  5. We eventually made our way to spa and were offered a tour, which was quite extensive. As seems to be the trend in the cruising world, the spa on the Edge is massive, and beautiful. There are so many different treatments, each in their own beautiful rooms. The barbershop and salon look equally amazing, and of course the best part is the Spa Thermal Suite. We are in AquaClass for this sailing, so we were really looking forward to what the Thermal Suite offered in comparison with the Persian Garden on the S-Class (which I think is also beautiful). The Thermal Suite takes everything offered in the Persian Garden to the next level - the space is truly amazing! If I get some time later in the review, I will go through all the treatment rooms, but my fingers are getting tired and the marketing on Celebrity’s website is shockingly accurate for the spa offerings.
  6. We walked aboard and I about died out of pure amazement. We boarded onto Deck 5, which is the embarkation area, as per usual there were staff members handing out sparkling wine and mimosas - always a nice touch. We had developed a plan, based on what I had heard, there would be a dining host up at the Magic Carpet with whom I could book Dinner on The Edge (and I was under the impression you could only do this from this host specifically), so I ran up there, Erin, Chad, and Cole went to speak to a host at Fine Cut about our dinner reservations - as you can remember they all were deleted when we had our booking issue during final payment. I got up to the Magic Carpet and there was no host there, just a bartender, who informed me that I could speak to any dining host/maître d' - so I went back downstairs to Fine Cut. We were able to secure a reservation at 9pm that evening at Fine Cut, which worked perfectly for us. The hostess at Fine Cut, a lovely young lady named Nena made a few calls about the Magic Carpet for us - she found that Dinner on The Edge was fully committed, but told us that we could do Raw on 5 for lunch and the Magic Carpet would be serving as an extension. So, hopefully we’ll be able to secure a night with Dinner on The Edge for the next cruise, but I’m not holding my breath. After making our dinner reservations, we went to the rooms to drop off our bags - which was a first. We were informed upon boarding the Edge that our rooms were not ready, but we were welcome to pick up our SeaPasses (which are outside your stateroom in a sealed envelope) and drop our bags in the room. I really liked the ability to drop off my backpack and put some things in my safe, I hope it’s something they are doing on other ships and continue doing on the Edge. After dropping off the bags we made our way up to the Magic Carpet for a drink - wow, what an amazing spot. The bartenders up there were great, poured us a few Chandon Sparkling Rose’s and we sat on a lovely couch and looked out over Port Everglades. We then started bopping around the ship, passed through the Rooftop Garden which is quite nice … it’s no Lawn Club, but it’s still very nice. We then made our way to the Sunset Bar for a few more drinks. This confirmed my worry from looking at previous pictures that the Sunset Bar is an abomination in comparison to previous ships. I’m especially surprised because the Sunset Bar was improved so amazingly on the Reflection and then they did this. I’m fairly certain that someone designed the entire ship and then was like “oh we have some extra space back here, let’s put up some stencils on this wall, put in a weirdly high glass roof, and call it a bar” I really don’t understand what they were thinking. I understand they needed the kitchen/support space for the Rooftop Garden Grille, but I really think this entire area could’ve been handled better. I really think they should have extended the Rooftop Garden completely to the aft of the ship and made the Sunset Bar more integrated into the garden area. Anyway, we had a few drinks at the Sunset Bar - I took some pictures of the menu, looks like there are some interesting libations back here, so I may come back for those! We then made our way around towards the front of the ship, passing by one of the martini glass hot tubs - they really do look awesome. We then made our way into the Solarium, which like the rest of the ship, is also absolutely beautiful. The pool does seem slightly smaller, and I’m disappointed that there is only one hot tub, but the slight bulge out and the two-story windows really make the space feel a lot larger than on either the S-Class or M-Class ships. The entire space seems just as serene as ever, though I will note that the Spa Cafe seems to have slightly expanded its footprint, or at least seems more “present” in the space. Chad also pointed out that he missed the water feature that is present in the S-Class solariums, which I’d agree was a nice touch.
  7. Okay, I 100% apologize, I completely fell off the live wagon yesterday, which started because the cell service in Terminal 25 is absolute garbage (despite having 4 bars there was no real data). There is also, oddly enough, no WiFi in T25. That aside, holy S*%&, Terminal 25 is amazing. I’ve often wondered why we are embarking and disembarking cruise ships through glorified warehouses, but it is what it is, so I just kind of deal with it. I’ve sailed on the Oasis, through Terminal 18, which is fairly nice. If you’ve been in T18, T25 makes it seem like a dirty barn. I am blown away with the effort that RCI/Celebrity put into the design of this place, this is 100% what it should look like when to board a world-class cruise ship. Other cruise lines (I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess) can continue boarding through warehouses, if they so please, but this is clearly where cruising is going and I hope to see RCI/Celebrity lead the charge on this. The new check-in process is insanely easy, if you can check-in through the app in advance, do it. You’ll be blown away with how easy the process is - gone are the long lines queuing up to talk to someone at a counter, staring at a camera, signing paper forms, giving your credit card - it’s all handle on an iPad. As you walk through the check-in area, before security, a camera scans your face and sends it to a staff member’s iPad, they then greet you by name and check you in by scanning your passport with the iPad camera. They ask you the normal “have you been sick, etc” questions, and that’s it, you’re on your way. I’ve sailed on the Ovation of the Seas, which uses a similarly automated process, but this was honestly much, much better and easier. The massive seating area is gorgeous, and the seats are quite comfortable. We arrived around 10am, got through security and check-in by 10:15, and then sat around waiting until boarding around 11am. They made consistent (and annoying) announcements about boarding not beginning until 11am - they really should’ve just had a few display panels to share that information, and the announcements should be automated. This leads me to my first (and really only) “suggestion” -- there is no clear queuing process once you are in the seating area. If you’re a nutcase, eager cruiser like me, I want to be seated, and boarded to the ship, in order of arrival, by class. There isn’t much of an organized process for this, but they did attempt to board by class: Concierge and Expedited Arrival, Aqua, ElitePlus, Elite, everyone else. (Suite’s have their own boarding area, which looked quite nice and I’m sure they were boarded right away.) We had expedited arrival and were among the first dozen through “the gates” - boarding is equally as easy, they have an iPad which scans your XpressPass and they verify your picture and you’re on. This process could very clearly be automated and I expect it to be in the near future.
  8. I think he's commenting on the reviews themselves, not the ship, lol.
  9. I haven’t forgotten about you all, it’s just been an insanely busy day, I promise I will get caught up tomorrow (or today)!
  10. After the Mai-Kai, I came home, repacked and tried to get some sleep. I succeeded I’m sleeping about 4-5 hours, in fits, which is pretty good for me before a vacation. I woke up at 5 to see where the ship was and noticed on the MarineTraffic app that the Edge was nearing port and was due in around 545am. I paid the extra 99 cents to be able to see her location and route live. I went out on the balcony and saw her (I won’t bother posting those pics because they’re super blurry). I left the hotel and hopped on a Lime scooter over to the Fort Lauderdale jetties. I was able to get onto the beach and arrived just as the Edge was passing by, and I’m just AMAZED. Just WOW.
  11. As I previously mentioned, everyone was getting in much later in the evening than myself. Chad and Cole were due to arrive around 830pm and Erin around 1030pm, so I had planned to do dinner alone. I heard about this Polynesian/Tiki-themed restaurant and dinner show a year or two ago and I’ve been curious. I’m a huge fan of Tiki bars and figured this would be a fairly awesome experience. They do a dinner followed by a show, the cost of the show is 15$ and dinner is ala carte. I had made a dinner reservation for 7pm, followed by the 8pm show, which when I was lounging poolside, seemed like it would be too much. I waivered back and forth about going there or just eating at the hotel and eventually decided I would go, eat/drink at the bar, and not stay for the show. If I thought it was a good experience, I could come back with a group next time I was in town. Eating at the bar had another appeal and that is the Mai Kai’s Happy Hour - half price everything (drinks, apps, salads, entrees) from 5-7pm. It’s probably the best happy hour I’ve ever seen. The Uber ride from the Marriott to the Mai Kai was about 20 minutes and cost $8, I got there around 530pm and found myself a seat at the fairly crowded bar. The staff was fairly nice, but not the most attentive - it was kind of strange. Oh, as an added bonus, on Wednesday’s they had free pork dumplings and a light sushi selection available complimentary if you were eating there. The menu is expansive and everything looked delicious, I ordered a Shrunken Skull as my first cocktail which was both delicious and dangerous. I ended up buying the mug for an extra $12 (I love tiki mugs). I got myself some dumplings and sushi, and also ordered the Wagyu Beef Sliders and Tahitian Cheese Tangs. The dumplings were delicious, the sushi was … okay, I guess what can you expect for complimentary sushi - it was mainly just California rolls anyway. The Wagyu sliders were fairly tasty, especially with the spicy mustard I was given as a dipping sauce with the Cheese Tangs. I had never heard of Tahitian Cheese Tangs before, they are basically fried balls of cheese and they are delicious! The couple next to me, who were visiting from Las Vegas and on their way to Key West, ordered the octopus, which looked amazing, so I had to copy them. It was quite good, albeit a little salty, but I’d definitely recommend it if you find yourself at the Mai-Kai. For my next drink, I ordered the extremely large Hakulai, which was also delicious, and did I mention how big it was! I debated ordering dessert, the chocolate mousse cake looked delicious, but I figure I’d save room for a creme brûlée every night on the ship - lol. When I figure out how to upload a movie from my pixel, I have one. All in all, it was a delicious and extremely filling meal, that only cost me $43 before tip (and before the mug). After dinner, I walked about .3 miles to a Target down the street to pick up some Sundries. They also sell wine at Target down here, so I picked up 6 bottles of sparkling wine for the 4 of us to split up and take aboard with us. We’ve found that we usually like to take advantage of the two wines per person policy, but keep them in our stateroom. We ask our attendant to place them on ice when they come through to clean in the AM, and will often have a glass or two while getting ready in the evening. It’s a nice touch that we’ve really come to enjoy - and you can thank Chad for that fabulous idea many years ago!
  12. I wrote a post at dinner last night and it disappeared, but I know better than to write in the website and not in a document first… oh well. Anyway, I arrived to the Marriott around noon and as luck would have it - a room was ready for me, status has it perks! (Also, traveling on a Wednesday had its perks) I was last here in the Spring of 2016, and the public areas look exactly the same, not that they are in need of any updates. The rooms have been slightly updated, to align with Marriott’s new brand standards. I’m really not wild about tile floors, I wish they gave you an area rug of some kind for next to the bed - oh well. The room did have a great view of the beach! (I included some pictures of the room, in case you were curious!) It was a little too cool out when I arrived to sit poolside, so I relaxed in my room for a bit and then decided to get a mani/pedi. After that, I went and changed into my swimsuit and sat by the pool for a bit. It was honestly a tad too cold to be sitting out there, but I wanted to get some sun, so I took off my shirt and forced myself to stay there til the sun went down. I had decided that I would just skip lunch and have an early dinner, as I was super tired and wanted to be up early. My original plan was to go to the Mai-Kai Restaurant for dinner and the show, but as I was sitting by the pool that sounded like a lot to do, so I was just going to eat at the hotel. I eventually changed my mind and went to the Mai-Kai, but more on that later. I seem to be having trouble keeping this “live” but I’m going to try my best!
  13. Nope, we were a Western Caribbean! The rain sounds half fun and half horrible, but I’m sure y’all made the best of it!
  14. Yup - lots of pictures! Also follow my instagram story to see them quicker!
  15. Well, it’s been a few days since an update, but we’re finally here! I’ve had a busy few days, my vacation officially started on Monday - whoooohooo! I ran a bunch of errands on Monday, like getting my haircut (extremely important!), and started the process of packing. When I mean I started the process of packing, I started trying on clothes to figure out what did/didn’t fit and then put them out. Yesterday, Tuesday, was my big packing day - I woke up early, went to SoulCycle, ran a few more errands and then started packing. It was quite the process, I ended up with more stuff than I had initially intended. My sister and two of my friends came over for a drink after I finished packing to celebrate the “lighting” of my Christmas Tree. So, all-in-all, a great night and got it all done. Packed and Ready to Go! This morning, I woke up bright and early at 6am, ordered a car, and headed to LaGuardia. I’d normally take the subway to LGA, but with two heavy suitcases that just wouldn’t be possible. I ordered the Lyft around 645am and got an amazing driver named Michael, in a Mercedes E-Class, so that was an extra treat. Checking my bags and getting through security was seamless - I had a few seconds to stop in the Delta SkyClub to grab myself a quick breakfast of Cheerios! Cheerios ... and my Chariot to Fort Lauderdale As I mentioned, I work for Delta, and I made the decision to fly down to FLL on standby. Thankfully, being that this was the first flight of the day, and it’s a Wednesday, I was able to get on - the last seat, but a seat’s a seat! Normally, I wouldn’t risk flying standby down to a cruise, but it’s mid-week and I had an extra day, so I figured I’d be fine, and thankfully I was. The flight was fairly uneventful, albeit incredibly long due a long routing from air traffic control. I occupied my time watching Christopher Robin - which was very cute - reading a bit, and then watching some of the better parts of The Hunt For Red October. We landed into Fort Lauderdale around 1120p, I headed to the SkyClub for a mimosa and some hummus. I then grabbed my checked baggage, and ordered an Uber to the Marriott. I had an amazing driver from Senegal, by way of London, named Kwaku - I’ll admit that I often roll my eyes when an Uber driver tries to engage me in conversation, but I found myself wanting Kwaku to go around the block so we could keep talking. Very excited for the warm(er) weather, and ready to get on the Edge! I saw this sitting on top of someone's bag in the SkyClub - how fortuitous!
  16. So, I have a fairly big update, and kind of a strange one, haha. As I mentioned, my friend Brandon was going to be joining me for the maiden voyage. Well, as of yesterday that is no longer the case. My friend Chas expressed an interest in coming, as he found out he had some extra time off from work - and as it turns out Brandon had a busy week coming up. So, Brandon and Chas came to an agreement that Chas would go instead. This has to be *the* latest changes of a roommate I’ve ever done haha, but it was before check-in closed, so they were able to do it. I’m not quite sure how they worked out the flights, that was something I was out of the loop on. There were some issues with Celebrity regarding changing the name at the last minute, despite check-in not being closed and being told the day before that as long as it was done before the end of Wednesday. Our travel agent spent over 45 minutes on the phone with them, as they were claiming the manifest closed early for the maiden voyage, but eventually it was resolved - thankfully! So, Brandon’s out, Chas’ is in … should be a unique change! I’m sure Brandon will be sad missing out, but he’s actually booked on the Edge with his family sometime this spring, so he’ll be on soon enough! (Do GIFs actually work? I guess we'll find out)
  17. Thanks for both of these thorough tips - this is exactly what I was looking for. Happy to know you can leave the hanging clothes!
  18. Thanks for the tip, I just asked my agent about this and he advised me that it's only for sailings 7-nights or longer (we're on a 3-night then a 7-night), but I will keep this in mind in the future!
  19. VT ... random curiosity, but could you by any chance tell me where certain muster stations are. I'm looking for both D2 and E2 Thanks 🙂
  20. Oh, so you don't need to take anything off the hangars? That's quite convenient!
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