So this is it: The ship that aims to change the way you experience your future “Modern Luxury” resort ship cruise experience: EDGE. After the first steel-cut in November 2016 at the STX France shipyard in Saint Nazaire (read more about it here), Celebrity Cruises has officially launched the first images of its new flagship fleet member. And it does look different, I have to admit. But before going endlessly on, come along and take a look on what will await passengers from late 2018 on …
One thing that I was thrilled to find out about were the future accommodations onboard. During the early project planning stages I had trembled over design studies by British design firm Softroom Ltd. which I had published in my first blog post about Project EDGE.
A few months later, I was asked by Softroom Ltd. on behalf of Celebrity Cruises to withdraw these pictures which had shown possible design studies for an exterior and a balcony stateroom due to infringement with Celebrity´s copyright. Seeing now the official interior styling, these designs may not have resembled the final product, yet they were definitely an early stage idea of what could be expected of the EDGE staterooms. And what can we?
Staterooms & Suites
And here we go. Apart from the new “Open Veranda” concept that will be introduced to all balcony staterooms onboard EDGE, premium cruisers will mostly look forward to the enhanced Suite Class experience which displays in the design and addition of new super-deluxe suites that will add to the existing suite categories.
One thing that passengers can look forward to is definitely more cabin space (23 percent more room than on the present Solstice class vessels). As seen in the layout, there is much more room for a full sofa or recamiere and a longer vanity desk than on offer on the current Solstice class ships. The bathroom seems to come in a light marble style appearance, yet the most interesting feature will be the balcony that can either be included into the living area (when opening the folding glass doors) or that may be used as some kind of winter garden. The upper part of the outer floor-to-ceiling windows can be lowered, adding even more privacy to balcony stateroom passengers than ever before. That truly is an amazing achievement. Altogether 918 Infinite Veranda staterooms will be installed on EDGE.
There have been at this time no reveals about interior or exterior cabins yet, but it can be expected that they will continue the same design language as shown in these images. What I can confirm though is the introduction of sixteen Single Infinite Veranda staterooms on EDGE. As the bookings for some January 2019 sailings are already open, it seems that Deck 6 forward is one of the locations for these new cabin category. Also a first for Celebrity Cruises.
Like suspected before in my previous blog post, suite guests will see a further development in the line´s high end product category with the introduction of a ship-in-ship concept similar to the ones that Norwegian Cruise Line (The Haven) or MSC Cruises (MSC Yacht Club) have on offer.
This will not only include upgraded interiors of the existing suite categories (like the Penthouse Suites, i.e.), it will also mean the addition of two brand new high-end accommodations such as the ship´s two exclusive Iconic Suites and the six duplex Villas.
The latter is a duplex hideaway located on the forward upper decks with panoramic windows and a large veranda for sunbathing and relaxation, similar to the Himmel & Meer Suites which debuted on Royal Caribbean´s German subsidiary TUI Cruises Mein Schiff a few years ago.
The two two-bedroom Iconic Suites are set right above the ship´s bridge and include a private terrace with almost 360 degree vistas. She is the largest suite available on Celebrity EDGE and will be exclusively available on the line´s new class of cruise vessels.
The two Iconic Suites offer a living space of 1,892 square feet with an additional 689 square feet terrace on top and promise to grant the most elaborate services to enjoy for up to six travelers. Impeccable views included. The number of suites onboard EDGE has been more than doubled from 5 percent on the current Solstice class to 12 percent on EDGE class.
Another big move is the introduction of a dedicated Suite only area to the top deck around the mast, The Retreat. This includes an elegant lounge, the Suite Class only speciality restaurant Luminae and, for the very first time, an exclusive and private sun deck with pool, bar and hot tubs.
The lounge features indoor and outdoor seating and serves 24/7 snacks and beverages as well as life entertainment.
Guests have also access to an exclusive Concierge service that will assist with any inquiries regarding activities or reservations on the ship as well as ashore.
EDGE will also be the first of the four vessels to have Luminae, the Suite class exclusive restaurant, already integrated into the Retreat. While I personally like the current design implemented on the Solstice class ships much better, the menus will be designed by Michelin-starred chefs to guarantee an utmost exclusivity possible.
The Retreat Pool Deck
The area that I personally would enjoy the most is the sleek and contemporary sunbathing area on the top deck. Private cabanas, elegant loungers and a luxury resort style pool area invite for relaxation at paradise levels.
But even if you “only” have to cruise in a “regular ” cabin aboard Celebrity EDGE, it looks like that no one has to miss out on extraordinary edgy design at the main pool and the sun deck.
Resort Deck, Pool & Solarium
It looks a little bit like in a distant science-fiction movie like Elysium. Sleek minimalism in white and cream with warm woods and glamorous high-shine mirror elements.
Designed by acclaimed maritime architect Tom Wright of WKK, the Resort Deck is so different from any relaxation area currently sailing the seas.
From the two gigantic, martini glass shaped hot tubs floating over two decks to the asymmetrical pool with in-water loungers …
… this pool deck is unlike anything that we have ever seen so far. While I am still not sure what I think about those giant flower shaped art installations …
… I definitely am in love with the newly designed cabanas which not only function as loungers during the day, but also as stylish cocktail place in the evenings.
This place is something you will have to see in real life, but I very much like the idea of a jogging track leading over two decks and around the adjacent Rooftop Garden.
And when night falls, you know for sure that you are on a Celebrity Cruise ship…
The Solarium remains an adult-only environment with a roof-covered pool and hot tubs. Yet it will be interesting to see wherever the line will continue my favorite AquaSpa Café on EDGE.
I would have liked to see a more secluded location of the Solarium though as the constant traffic on the Solstice class ships make this spot sometimes rather noisily. But apart from that, the bright and airy design are looking great, aren´t they?
As I had guessed in my last post, it looks like that Celebrity Cruises waives good-bye to Lawn Club with the introduction of EDGE (at least on this ship). Instead, a new venue will be introduced which connects to the currently implemented rooftop terraces on the line´s Millennium class vessels, Rooftop Garden.
This area is meant for slowing down, day dreaming or wandering and will offer daytime and evening entertainment.
While I personally shed more than one tear to not being able anymore to sunbathe on the fresh lawn, I do have to admit that this park like environment does look quite appealing with lots of greens and flowers that actually make it look like that you are sitting in your neighbor’s garden for a little chat.
In the evening, the setting transforms into an outdoor cinema for the line´s newest concept “A Taste of Film”. Located in the rear part you will find Rooftop Garden Grill, a new venue similar to the Lawn Club Grill focussing on juicy burgers and meats.
All these features and inventions will make EDGE a truly remarkable ship when it comes to design, but the one thing that will make Celebrity EDGE truly stand out is the moveable multi-purpose platform called …
The Magic Carpet
Referring to Royal Caribbean´s highly popular viewing platform “North Star”, EDGE will not boast with height but with functionality of the world´s first cantilevered, floating platform on a cruise ship.
Reaching over 13 decks all together, the Magic Carpet is a mixture of outlook and recreational hideaway. A little bit like a new outdoor Martini Bar.
The venue can be used for many purposes, like outdoor dining, meetings, parties or a dance club.
Its most unusual function however is being a floating platform/waiting lounge for tender services called Destination Gateway, taking offshore anchoring to the next level.
Interesting to see is that Celebrity Cruises has decided for a dark blue painted hull, leaving only the upper decks in bright white.
And I am also not sure about the bright orange on the carpet. But I suppose this color had to be chosen due to maritime safety specifications (someone could mistake it to be a life boat, ahem … ). This picture also shows part of a glass covered half dome at the stern of the ship. It will be interesting to see wherever the line will follow Royal´s steps by implementing the onboard theatre there or if this space will remain fitted with a selection of speciality restaurants like on the current Solstice class.
Well, as much as I had issues with Celebrity Cruises these last two years (I am sure they are following these updates!) that have made us decide to take a break from their Modest Luxury for some time, EDGE truly surprises and could be a reason to retry Celebrity´s service promise in the near future again.
But for now, I´ll remain excited for what is to be revealed in the upcoming months before the launch of the vessel as much as you do.