Guest post: Mark
The first cruise ship I ever sailed on was the Celebrity Equinox and I remember being pretty astonished when I first stepped on board at just how big the ship was and how many amazing facilities they’d managed to fit in, not least of which was a real grass lawn covering over half an acre of the top deck.
With that in mind, I was pretty curious to see what Celebrity had got planned when they recently announced the launch of a new class of ships in 2018, as it was clear that they’d have to come up with something pretty impressive if they were going to rival their existing Solstice class, of which there are now five – Solstice, Equinox, Eclipse, Silhouette and Reflection – all of which are regularly rated as being amongst the most popular ships in the world.
The answer it turned out was Celebrity Edge, an ultra-modern new ship with some pretty unusual twists on the normal principles of cruise ship design. It will be a while before we get to see the ship in the flesh (it is scheduled for launch in December 2018), but here’s a quick round of up what we know so far:
The ship will be big, but not too big
There was a time when the press release for any new ship launch used to start off by saying that the new vessel would be the biggest cruise ship ever created. Now we’ve somewhat reached the limits of what is physically possible and, perhaps more importantly, the limits of what customers consider to be desirable. Most cruise travellers have come to appreciate the advantage of bigger ships (more space, better facilities, and less susceptibility to rough seas), but most still draw the line somewhere and don’t want a 20-minute walk to dinner. So the Edge will actually be a similar size to the Solstice and will accommodate around 2,900 guests.
The design will be very modern
Celebrity has long marketed itself on the basis of offering “Modern Luxury” so it’s no surprise that the Edge features a modern design. What is perhaps surprising is just how modern that design is. Computer-generated previews of ships often make them look more futuristic than they actually are, but I must say that so far the Edge looks less like a traditional cruise ship than pretty much any ship I’ve seen before. Dramatic sweeping curves replace the straight lines that are normally a key part of cruise ship design and light colours and glass are very much the order of the day in place of traditional dark wood and metal fittings, all aimed at providing a much brighter and airier feel on board.
The cabins will have no edge
Ironically for a ship called the Edge, one of its main selling points is the fact that there will be no boundary between ship and ocean and the ship will feature so called “infinite” balconies on all of its veranda staterooms. These are effectively automated foldaway doors which allow the whole cabin to be opened up to the outside, rather than the balcony being a separate space. This of course also makes more efficient use of the available room and allows Celebrity to offer what it says will be class-leading cabins in terms of size and space.
There will be a Magic Carpet
That’s not something I ever imagined writing in a ship review, but Celebrity have announced that the Edge will feature a “Magic Carpet”. This it seems will be an overhanging cantilevered deck featuring a bar and seating area which moves up and down the side of the ship, allowing guests to enjoy a drink anywhere from high up above the top deck to right down at the waterline. Whilst unquestionably a bit of a gimmick, this is a clever idea as it will allow guests to get far closer to the sea than is ever normally the case on big cruise ships, which is seemingly a big part of Celebrity’s vision for the Edge.
The lawn has been replaced by a garden
Unsurprisingly there will be no lawn on Edge (they’ve already got that well covered on their previous ships) but in its place will be a roof top garden which will double as a bar and entertainment space. This is a nice touch as it recognises the fact that some people want peace and quiet even on board a massive cruise ship, and means that there is big outside area for people to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the traditional pool deck.
The heart of the ship will be a “chillful”, “playful” and “sinful” venue called Eden
No, I don’t know what that means either, but I can say that the pictures look very impressive indeed. In a nutshell, Eden is an enormous three deck atrium space constructed almost entirely out of glass, which will combine a lounge, café, bar and restaurant. The use of the venue will change during the course of the day, initially offering a relaxed setting for breakfast and lunch, before becoming a smarter restaurant in the evening and then a bar and dance venue after that. Although perhaps not quite as unique as Celebrity might suggest (it does share certain similarities with the “Two70” venue found on board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class ships) the use of real trees and plants and the sheer scale of the construction looks set to make this one of the most impressive venues on board any cruise ship.
Emma says: That looks amazing! I love the idea of the open plan balcony cabins/balconies. That makes so much sense. I also have no idea what the ‘sinful’ venue is about though, I wonder what is sinful about it… or do I not want to know?
I was lucky enough to visit my first Celebrity ship a few weeks ago, the Celebrity Eclipse. I absolutely loved the lawn so am honestly a bit upset that they haven’t continued this onto the edge. The magic carpet is a bit of a strange idea for me, I’m not overly sure if I like it. One thing is for sure, the ship definitely is Edgy. I think I may rename her the Celebrity Edgy…
Thanks a lot for this one Mark!
Mark is the founder of CompareThatCruise.com, the UK’s leading price comparison site for cruises. He is a keen traveller and a big cruise fan, and was inspired to set up the site by his own experience of how difficult it can be to book cruises online.
You can find him on twitter @CabinGuru
and at www.CompareThatCruise.com