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LIVE!!! - Edge Preview and Maiden Voyage - Dec 6th & 9th - LIVE REVIEW from the EDGE!

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On 12/6/2018 at 11:24 AM, dugknight said:

Keep it coming. The reviews of Edge so far have NOT been good. Looking desperately for a great one!

Read the Edge thread and you might feel better.  A lot of very positive comments. Definitely a very different ship.

Edited by jagoffee

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On 12/7/2018 at 1:17 PM, jagoffee said:

Read the Edge thread and you might feel better.  A lot of very positive comments. Definitely a very different ship.

 

I think he's commenting on the reviews themselves, not the ship, lol.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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).

 

 

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Thanks for `the review, quick question..........

 

You can’t access Eden from the 6th floor? Walk down after entering from deck 6?

 

Cheers

 

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Thanks for doing this!Looking forward to following your adventure.

I appreciated your January trip report--it inspired me to spend a day @ the St. Kitts Park Hyatt a little later that month... awesome place!

 

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2 hours ago, countess5 said:

Thanks for `the review, quick question..........

 

You can’t access Eden from the 6th floor? Walk down after entering from deck 6?

 

Cheers

 

 

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. 

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50 minutes ago, cmhdoogalsatsea said:

Thanks for doing this!Looking forward to following your adventure.

I appreciated your January trip report--it inspired me to spend a day @ the St. Kitts Park Hyatt a little later that month... awesome place!

 

 

Glad to hear - that Park Hyatt is amazing! 

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5 hours ago, gordylad said:

following your review its great but already know Edge is not for us

It might not be for us either, but I think I will keep an open mind a little longer than you did.  😁

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A few questions / requests:

1) What drinks did you like best at Eden? Ingredients on some of them seem odd

2) Please remember if you have time to check the fitness class prices. Can I just buy by the day or do I need to buy a package? 

3) While you were in your Aqua room, did you have issues with IV been locked by the captain during certain times? I have read reports where people could not lower the IV window because the Captain disabled that. It supposedly lasted hours while in port. 

Thanks

Edited by Sandy1975

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On 12/8/2018 at 2:20 PM, mit429 said:

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.


Tim, ouch re the Sunset Bar!

I live there on the S Class and although the Silhouette is my favorite cruise ship that I have sailed on(ever) the Sunset bar on the Reflection was a considerable improvement-the sunken circular bar, the sheltered banquette seating facing the bar and the sheltered from the wind aft facing banquettes away from the bar were very cosy spaces. On the Edge this space is not a home run, more a fast-ball in the crotch.

Enjoying your review and your new haircut.

Norris, loving your pic in the big Marriott Harbor Beach chair

 

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Thanks for all the photos and information.  I'm sure you'll have a great sailing.  Question:  Were there any seats at Muster Station D2?  Any accommodations made for folks who have difficulty standing for an extended period of time?  Thanks.

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20 hours ago, Sandy1975 said:

A few questions / requests:

1) What drinks did you like best at Eden? Ingredients on some of them seem odd

2) Please remember if you have time to check the fitness class prices. Can I just buy by the day or do I need to buy a package? 

3) While you were in your Aqua room, did you have issues with IV been locked by the captain during certain times? I have read reports where people could not lower the IV window because the Captain disabled that. It supposedly lasted hours while in port. 

Thanks

 

Since i am  sitting on my little veranda in a concierge cabin looking at Key West, I can answer about the "locked IV window". It was locked when we boarded yesterday all afternoon.  There was a short rain storm so understandable, but later in the afternoon still locked.  Once we went to dinner at 6:30 we did not return till 11 and the shades were closed by the attendant, so I do not know if they were unlocked in the evening hours.  I assume at some point they were unlocked but we don't know what time. We are now in Key West and the captain again locked the windows about 9:30'AM this morning as we are trying to catch up on CC and emails.

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2 hours ago, ecslady said:

 

Since i am  sitting on my little veranda in a concierge cabin looking at Key West, I can answer about the "locked IV window". It was locked when we boarded yesterday all afternoon.  There was a short rain storm so understandable, but later in the afternoon still locked.  Once we went to dinner at 6:30 we did not return till 11 and the shades were closed by the attendant, so I do not know if they were unlocked in the evening hours.  I assume at some point they were unlocked but we don't know what time. We are now in Key West and the captain again locked the windows about 9:30'AM this morning as we are trying to catch up on CC and emails.

Thanks. This is absurd IMO. What they are doing is effectively converting the IV verandas to Oceanview rooms. Passengers should have the option to lower the windows at anytime.

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2 hours ago, ecslady said:

 

Since i am  sitting on my little veranda in a concierge cabin looking at Key West, I can answer about the "locked IV window". It was locked when we boarded yesterday all afternoon.  There was a short rain storm so understandable, but later in the afternoon still locked.  Once we went to dinner at 6:30 we did not return till 11 and the shades were closed by the attendant, so I do not know if they were unlocked in the evening hours.  I assume at some point they were unlocked but we don't know what time. We are now in Key West and the captain again locked the windows about 9:30'AM this morning as we are trying to catch up on CC and emails.

 

17 minutes ago, Sandy1975 said:

Thanks. This is absurd IMO. What they are doing is effectively converting the IV verandas to Oceanview rooms. Passengers should have the option to lower the windows at anytime.

 

I agree, that is just ridiculous.  I just learned on another thread about the window being locked during a light rain.  It's appalling that these IVs are being hyped as the next great shiny thing when it comes to cruise ship verandas.  Not!

 

I hope this info about the window being locked gets around quickly.

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Do you have a classic drink package? If so, can you get a classic cocktail at martini bar or do they compel you to purchase one of their higher priced martinis? Just wondering how that works.... we have never had a package before..

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