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CruiseRQA

HAL veteran sails the Edge

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My wife and I have been solid HAL fans for many years but were disappointed in our Oosterdam cruise last winter.   Our disappoints were in many of the things that have been discussed here:  lack of main theater entertainment,  declining food quality,  being hit with the $10 entree surcharge, etc.

 

This year we considered doing something other than a cruise but after discussion with our TA we booked one week in Aquaclass on the Edge.   I posted some questions here for the HAL crowd who have been on Celebrity recently and you all were quite helpful.  A few asked for my review of the Edge from the HAL perspective at our return, so here goes.

 

The ship:  at the end of the day, it's a cruise ship.  Theater in the front, pool in the middle, dining venues aft.  Our overall impression was very positive.  We liked the modern decor.  It was easy to navigate with good signage.   Some thoughtful areas like the rooftop garden.   We missed the promenade deck from HAL and the aft pool typical of HAL.

 

Food:  much better than HAL.  I think we ate at most of the venues from buffet to MDR to Blu to various specialty restaurants.   The buffet offered a better variety of choices of surprisingly good quality.  We enjoyed the variety of specialty restaurants and thought they were better than Pinnacle.  Our issue with the Edge MDR and even Blu was that the table for two were way to close together - I would guess some tables were spaced a foot apart, not like the tables for two  by the railing in the HAL MDR.   So the Edge food was better but we like then layout of the MDR on HAL better.

 

Entertainment:   much better than HAL.   Quality production shows, although one was a little weird.   Guest musical acts and comedians were a notch above what we have seen on HAL of late.  And they even had a late night comedy show twice.  There were other musical acts at various locations throughout the afternoon and evening.   Onboard activities that seem to be lacking on HAL were up and going on Edge - we had a dance class every day from the production show cast members. 

 

Spa:   I thought the Spa on Edge was lame.   No pool of any kind.   They had a walk through shower area - dumb!.   The heated ceramic chairs were nicely placed with a view forward but a walkway just behind them made it a noisy rather than relaxing area.  We missed the HAL hydrotherapy pool. 

 

Room:  we had the controversial Infinity Balcony and we loved it.   Added space to your room and wonderful views to the outside.  Yes, you don't get the complete feeling of being outside but the pluses far outweighed the minuses.   The room otherwise was gorgeous and modern - great bathroom. 

 

Bars and nightlife:  again the Edge was alive at night.  You really had the sense of a night out on the town.  We typically would go to the Martini Bar for a cocktail and then to the early show and then off to dinner.  We could always find some music to listen to after dinner.

 

At the end of the day we felt the Edge was a superior product to what is currently going on at HAL.   We did miss some things from HAL:  hydrotherapy pool, promenade deck and quiet deck spaces during the day but if we cruise again it would more likely be Celebrity than HAL and we would definitely go on Edge class again. 

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Thank you for your review.  I've watched a few videos on You Tube that illustrate some of the points you made such as the infinite balcony.  Looks like a beautiful ship that would interest me, but the fares are high.  I guess you get what you pay for.

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Thanks for the honest review. I am glad you enjoyed Edge and your cruise. We have weighed trying Celebrity multiple times. I have run the numbers and weighed the itineraries and amenities but HAL always comes out on top for us and we have so far been very happy with the HAL product. But who knows. HAL's big wigs makes wacky choices sometimes and if they screw up too much, Celebrity will probably be where we go first so it is good to read others thoughts. 

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Just note for ppl wandering by, the entree charge was a test on certain vessels, was never implemented, and has never come up again.

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1 hour ago, CruiseRQA said:

 

Room:  we had the controversial Infinity Balcony and we loved it.   Added space to your room and wonderful views to the outside.  Yes, you don't get the complete feeling of being outside but the pluses far outweighed the minuses.   The room otherwise was gorgeous and modern - great bathroom. 

 

At the end of the day we felt the Edge was a superior product to what is currently going on at HAL.   We did miss some things from HAL:  hydrotherapy pool, promenade deck and quiet deck spaces during the day but if we cruise again it would more likely be Celebrity than HAL and we would definitely go on Edge class again. 

Hi CRQA,

Glad you had a good time on the Edge.  This past November, we did 7 days on the Edge, disembarked, and walked 100 yards south, and boarded the Nieuw Statendam for 7 more.  Loved both ships, but the edge does go to the Edge!😉

We, too, loved our IV cabin, as it adds so much space to the cabin.  Feels more like a large cabin with a glass wall.  

 

We do like the 360º wrap-around promenade deck on HAL ships; this is one big epic fail for Celebrity.  Having said that, the Edge does have this unique "running/walking" track that winds in and out around the ship covering two different levels.  For our needs, this did the trick.

 

I would agree that the food is a bit better on Celebrity, and we like the flow of the buffet over HAL's traditional set up.  The four MDRs of the Edge is nice, each having their own theme and speciality items.  We were assigned to the Cypress dining room, but it was nice to order a few unique items from the other three (you just have to know their menus and request it).

 

Because the Edge is so new, the price of the cruise was more expensive compared to HAL and other Celebrity ships.  The Nieuw Statendam was a bargain, and I would say HAL prices are better at this time.  We have a BtoB coming up in March where we will do 11 days on Celebrity's Reflection and then board HAL's Koningsdam for a 44 day South American cruise. As you can see, we like both lines.

 

We've spent 295 days on Celebrity and 103 days on HAL; the reason -- Elite Plus perks are way better than three star perks.  On Celebrity we enjoy a free two hour cocktail session from 5 to 7 every day; free laundry; free internet; priority tendering...,

 

HAL's big advantage is they offer wonderful itineraries and Celebrity is stuck in the same old offerings.

 

Enjoy!

Kel

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15 minutes ago, kelmac said:

 

 

We do like the 360º wrap-around promenade deck on HAL ships; this is one big epic fail for Celebrity.  Having said that, the Edge does have this unique "running/walking" track that winds in and out around the ship covering two different levels.  For our needs, this did the trick.

 

I

Should have mentioned the running/walking track.   We really enjoyed it and in a lot of ways was better for walking then the promenade.   On our last HAL cruise the promenade was blocked off every day for some maintenance issues I suppose and so couldn't use it for walking anyway

 

Still love the Promenade for passing the afternoon reading my book in a lounge chair, watching and hearing the ocean pass by. 

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35 minutes ago, Jammu2 said:

Just note for ppl wandering by, the entree charge was a test on certain vessels, was never implemented, and has never come up again.

True,  but has left a bad taste with us.   

My wife was charged $10 to add a lobster tail to her veal entree on the Oosterdam - no way to treat repeat customers - and so we haven't repeated.

We each enjoyed two very good lobster tails on the Edge with compliments of our waiter. 

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 Thanks for posting your fair & balanced review. Most nights that HAL has lobster we ask for more and were never refused with out having to pay. 

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Thank you!  We're 5-star Mariners who have a few X cruises under our belts.  We're booked on the Edge for a week in December in a Sunset Verandah on the aft.  I agree with your points, I always miss the wrap around promenade deck but I do enjoy the better entertainment.  

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I, too, did not like the Blu dining.  Took a short cruise on X, felt the dining was squeezed into a very small space and you were on top of your neighbor and in their conservation whether you wanted to be or not.

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Thank you for a great review.  We have our first HAL cruise coming up in June and based on your review, it's good to know I have another option that appears to check most of our boxes.

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Thank you for a very candid review of that ugly looking ship called The EDGE.  My question is "Are you reading and listening HAL?" The above was written by a Mariner. 

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Thank you for your Edge review.  The ship looks amazing and I can't wait to give her a try.  

 

Your comments on the food, entertainment and activities blowing HAL away are standard across the Celebrity fleet.  Give Solstice Class a try too.  They are my favorite cruise ships of any line.  

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Thanks for your honest review. We saw the Edge a few times on our recent 10-day Koningsdam cruise and it looked interesting. We are 3* Mariners on HAL (close to 4* at the end of this year) and Platinums (almost Diamonds) on Carnival and it's hard to give up our loyalty casino free/deeply discounted fares with casino cash to try something new. However, Celebrity is coming to Tampa, our preferred port as we live 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa, and we may give it a try. We have friends who are Celebrity loyalists and have also sailed on HAL a few times and they remain Celebrity fans.

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We sailed on the Equinox twice this past year, in June and September. Celebrity's product is better than HAL but the food, cleanliness and service are about the same while Celebrity wins hands down on entertainment and shipboard activities. Can't beat HAL's Happy Hour with the second drink only 2 dollars plus the appetizers before dinner in the Ocean Bar. After all is said and done you sail for a lot less on HAL than Celebrity which if you are fixed income seniors like us, HAL works a little better for us.

One other note, the best Captain on the high seas is Celebrity's Captain Kate.

Edited by MISTER 67

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Thank you for taking the time to compare your Celebrity cruise to your previous HAL cruise.

 

HAL is trying too many experiments to see what people want -- and many have flopped.  JMO

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Yup, Celebrity wins hands down in the entertainment and shipboard activities compared to HAL. Even the trivia prizes can be far better than what HAL offers. Food comparisons depend on what your preferences are. That said, HAL usually has more interesting itineraries outside the Caribbean and cheaper international airfare through Flight Ease. If you are leaving from a US port, chances are Celebrity would offer better value, even it's more expensive on an absolute basis. If you are cruising for an overseas experience, HAL usually is more competitive in value. 

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3 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Thank you for taking the time to compare your Celebrity cruise to your previous HAL cruise.

 

HAL is trying too many experiments to see what people want -- and many have flopped.  JMO

Agree, some of the cost cutting measures on HAL have gone to the extreme, for example cutting out packaged Splenda, Equal and Sweet and Low at the tables in the Lido is a disgrace. Though we like Music Walk, we miss the great production shows with wonderful singing and dancing that HAL once had.

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Lincoln Center Stage on HAL is great for anyone who likes classical music. The production shows on Celebrity don’t make up for the lack of classical music on Celebrity.

 

And if you like production shows, MSC has different, full production shows every evening.

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Thanks for the review.  We have only sailed once on Celebrity (in a suite so were thoroughly spoiled) and are 4* on HAL.  

 

OP-we have a Europe cruise booked on HAL later this year  and are contemplating doing the Transatlantic back on the Edge and are interested in your cabin-infinite balcony?  Do you have photos of your cabin by any chance?  It sounds interesting to try.   Did you find the cabin cramped at all?   Thanks for any info.  

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10 hours ago, summer slope said:

I, too, did not like the Blu dining.  Took a short cruise on X, felt the dining was squeezed into a very small space and you were on top of your neighbor and in their conservation whether you wanted to be or not.

The dining itself was fine and the service was great.   It was just that some 2-tops, not all, were way to close together.

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9 hours ago, ronbe65 said:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Could you be more specific about "lack of main theater entertainment" and declining food quality.

As to the Edge, it's one of a few rare ships that I wouldn't cruise on for free. Just my opinion.

Happy cruising!

On our cruise last year on the Oosterdam the first night out there was NO entertainment in the theater.   Every cruise I have been on the first night they have something going on including a chance to meet the cruise director.  There were no productions shows - replaced on 2 nights by a movie!

 

Food?  In the MDR of the Oosterdam I had a steak that was more like a hamburger, there were no chilled soups that are everybody's favorite.    Food on the Edge was much much better. 

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1 hour ago, canadianbear said:

Thanks for the review.  We have only sailed once on Celebrity (in a suite so were thoroughly spoiled) and are 4* on HAL.  

 

OP-we have a Europe cruise booked on HAL later this year  and are contemplating doing the Transatlantic back on the Edge and are interested in your cabin-infinite balcony?  Do you have photos of your cabin by any chance?  It sounds interesting to try.   Did you find the cabin cramped at all?   Thanks for any info.  

https://youtu.be/IBtIMXZnS8c

 

The above link should take you to a video tour I made of our room.   The room is very modern and spacious.   The infinite balcony with it's large picture window gives a feeling of spaciousness and really connects you to the outside

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