Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
CruiseRQA

HAL veteran sails the Edge

Recommended Posts

Food quality fell last year on X, fairly significantly, into 2nd quarter.  I made a point not to discuss it with other passengers unless they brought it up first, yet it was discussed frequently.  Negative reviews spiked here on CC.  I don't disagree with anything the OP has said, and believe X is putting their best foot forward with Edge cuisine, but beware the older ships.

 

Examples, lukewarm buffet, frozen mixed veggies in the buffet, stale bread, watered down soups, vegetable shortages, missing ingredients, carrot and pee filler.  We even ran out of pinapple while anchored in Maui!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours 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.  

 

If you go on You Tube, there are videos posted by passengers who have stayed in infinite balcony cabins. I didn't really understand the concept until I watched the videos. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

......pee filler.  

 

I sure hope not! 🤢 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As 4 star mariners who have booked an Aqua class suite on the Apex later this year, we very much enjoyed reading your review. Change can be difficult, but hearing your positive experience is very reassuring!  Thank you for taking the time to post your comparison of the two lines.

Did you need to make reservations for Blu and/or the MDR? Any other surprising differences that caught you off guard? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HALrunner said:

Did you need to make reservations for Blu and/or the MDR? Any other surprising differences that caught you off guard? 

 

Reservations are nor accepted in Blu; though your Cruise Planner may show a set dining time on a placeholder basis, you may dine when you wish with waits--and then, short--very rare...  Upon boarding, you will likely have a letter from the Blu Maitre 'D suggesting a dining time for the first evening--they try to get a sense of guest preferences--but know that the suggested time for first night is not binding...  Show up when you wish...

 

If you wish to try one or more of the four Main Dining Rooms, it is probably advisable--though surely not necessary; one can just show up--to have the Blu Maitre 'D [or the Maitre 'D in any of the Main Dining Rooms (Cosmopolitan, Cyprus, Normandie and Tuscan)] make a Select [anytime] Dining reservation so as to minimize demand-based wait times should they occur...

 

If you choose to use the Celebrity smart phone app [an internet package is not required once aboard], you will find that the night-by-night menus for Blu and each of the other dining venues will be available for advance review [on a preliminary basis prior to your cruise; on a "final" basis once aboard]...

 

Based upon what I've read or experienced relative to anytime dining on other cruise lines, it is my impression that Celebrity [I've sailed with them about 500 nights (top-most loyalty status in Captain's Club)] handles the process very well...  Enjoy Apex!  I've done 2 cruises/22 nights on Edge and thoroughly enjoyed the experiences...   

Edited by Xport

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ronbe65 said:

Thank you CruiseRQA,

So there were no performance in the theater at all?

I am trying to get the picture: is it fleet-wide now?

Honestly I cannot believe it, but who knows these days. Maybe the management is destroying the brand much faster than I can expect.

 

Happy cruising!

On my cruise on Oosterdam last year there was nothing in the theatre on the first night.  There were no production shows at all.   There were movies two other nights and guest entertainers on 3 nights (if I remember correctly) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, HALrunner said:

As 4 star mariners who have booked an Aqua class suite on the Apex later this year, we very much enjoyed reading your review. Change can be difficult, but hearing your positive experience is very reassuring!  Thank you for taking the time to post your comparison of the two lines.

Did you need to make reservations for Blu and/or the MDR? Any other surprising differences that caught you off guard? 

I am sure you will love the Apex.

 

Reservations not needed for Blu or the MDR.   Really no need to go to the MDR - you can get any dish you want from the MDR in Blu if you want.  We often got the shrimp cocktail or Escarcot as an appetizer in Blue even though it wasn't on their menu. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, HALrunner said:

Any other surprising differences that caught you off guard? 

Nothing that really caught me off guard.   The service was great, certainly on par with what we are used to on HAL.   There were some clever spaces - check out Eden - they have a healthy grill for a simple breakfast or lunch.   Check out the Magic Carpet, again an interesting space. 

Certainly a much livelier ship that I was used to on HAL but generally in a good way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ronbe65 said:

Thank you CruiseRQA,

So there were no performance in the theater at all?

I am trying to get the picture: is it fleet-wide now?

Honestly I cannot believe it, but who knows these days. Maybe the management is destroying the brand much faster than I can expect.

 

Happy cruising!

 

I can't tell you 'fleet-wide" but we were on the N.A. mid-Nov 2019 and there were three evening theatre shows: the dancer troupe two nights and a rather unfunny comedian one night.  He announced he'd be on stage later in the cruise that didn't happen. The dance troupe was 5-6 dancers dancing to pre-recorded music with some projecting of their images onto background screens. It was okay the first night but we didn't race away from dinner to see them the second time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HAL Sailer said:

 

. The dance troupe was 5-6 dancers dancing to pre-recorded music 

Live music with the production shows on the Edge as well as live music to accompany the guest groups - a Motown group and a Four Seasons cover group.   Both were great, especially with live music. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/23/2020 at 9:38 AM, Himself said:

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. 

Unfortunately HAL dances  to the Carnival  drummer    boy 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From lots of experience on both lines The biggest difference in comparing HAL & Celebrity  is that Celebrity prices are much higher across the board . Additionally  , rarely sails from California ports  .Also ,HAL has much better itineraries 

 

It comes down to what is important for  you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks OP and Roz.  Checked out the videos...looks like a glorified ocean view but better.  Not sure yet if we will try it or not.  Having trouble convincing hubby to do the Transatlantic instead of flying 😳 after our HAL cruise.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are four star mariners and decided to try Celebrity once again (we sailed with them one time prior many years ago for an Alaskan cruise).  We do enjoy HAL and find the crew almost always a pleasure to interact with and always have a good time.  Tastes, whether it be in music, food or wine, is all subjective and varies from individual, so what we may find disagreeable, others may love, as is their right.  The cruise lines are different and I will try to point out a few of the differences we observed and our take.  First, we were on the Equinox, which is larger than the largest HAL ship by about 500 passengers.  When we were on Nieuw Statendam, I believe the crew complement was about 900 to 2600 passengers, while the Equinox has 1288 crew to 3100 passengers, which gives Celebrity a much higher staff to passenger ratio.  Where HAL seems to be trimming the Cruise Director staff and consolidating positions, the Cruise Director on the Equinox seemed to have several staff members to assist him.  There were many more activities going on during the day than on HAL.  We enjoy playing trivia on occasion and on HAL the last few cruises, there were actually no prizes, just a trophy that they handed to the team that won that round that was taken back until the next game.  On Equinox, we were given a punch card and each time we won the card was punched and the next to last day, they set up a prize table and you could collect a prize(s) depending on how many punches were on the card.  Nothing spectacular, decks of cards, a USB memory stick, etc., but at least it was something.

 

The main show room entertainment we enjoyed more on the Equinox.  They still have productions shows, and while the HAL shows are a bit better than some give them credit for, we have seen the dance show Humanity about 6 times, so we would just skip it if we were on another HAL ship.  The music walk, which seems to be where HAL has placed its emphasis, is something we enjoy.  We do hear the complaints about the loudness of the BB King and Rolling Stone Rock Room, but having been to a few Springsteen, Doobie Brothers, and other concerts,  the volume did not really bother us. Rock is meant to be loud.  The Equinox did seem to have the band playing in more locales at different times which encouraged dancing which was fun.  They have a "white party" by the pool with the band playing, drink mixing contests and the dance troupe putting on a show between the passengers dance times.  Also, the dance troupe from the main stage shows works with the Cruise Director and gives dance lessons at different times of day.

 

Food is very subjective, we found the variety and quality to be somewhat equal to HAL.  We were in an Aqua Class cabin so Blu was our main dining room and it was quite good.  We ate in Murano which I would equate to Pinnacle, with a slight edge to Murano as they prepared our lobster tails table side.  We found the Tuscan Grill on the Equinox to be superior to Canaletto.  As far as the buffet, each has several stations with a fair variety of food if one takes the time to look around.  We do prefer HAL in having them serve the food as we see people who get caught up in the moment and do some unsanitary practices when they self serve.

Our room was about the same size as on HAL, but with more limited closet space and a smaller shower.  The bed was equally comfortable and we really enjoyed having a sliding door for our balcony (on our last HAL cruise, our neighbors were constantly slamming their balcony door and with 3 kids it would happen several times in a short period).

We have enjoyed all our cruises and we have opted to book a couple more Celebrity Cruises, but I am sure we will be using HAL again.  If you peruse the boards, it seems to be universal that all the mid market cruise lines are offering less, but, in our opinion, it still is a bargain.

Edited by VACARITraveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celebrity went through a period a few years ago where they cut way back on entertainment staff similar to what HAL appears to be doing currently.  I think they finally figured out that it's hard to keep people entertained when only 2 or 3 people are expected to be everywhere at once.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, canadianbear said:

Thanks OP and Roz.  Checked out the videos...looks like a glorified ocean view but better.  Not sure yet if we will try it or not.  Having trouble convincing hubby to do the Transatlantic instead of flying 😳 after our HAL cruise.  

 

Good description.  That was my takeaway after watching the videos.  Not sure if I would book one or not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Roz said:

 

Good description.  That was my takeaway after watching the videos.  Not sure if I would book one or not. 

I’m thinking it might be ok for a transatlantic but still can’t convince Mr Bear!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/23/2020 at 8:51 AM, CruiseRQA said:

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Thanks for your comments. We are sailing HAL in February with a back to back on the Edge. We generally prefer smaller ships but have really been intrigued by the Edge and an pious to sail on it. 

 

I agree, the food is much better on Celebrity. It isn't "bad" on HAL but simply better on Celebrity . I also get really annoyed at attempts to upsell on the menus.

 

When we sail HAL, we will only sail on the ship class that has B B King or the Rolling Stone lounge. Otherwise you basically eat dinner and go too bed because there's basically nothing happing otherwise.  

 

Bottom line-both Celebrity and HAL in my experiences offer a solid experience with extremely good service throughout the ship. As a self professed "foodie" I can debate food on any cruise line but know I will never go hungry. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...