Celebrity Cruises has been hoping for a warm reception for the arrival of Celebrity Edge to Australian and New Zealand waters. So, what has she got to offer that other ships don’t, and that the Aussie cruise audience is going to appreciate.
Cruise Passenger has spent the past week onboard for Celebrity Edge‘s inaugural sailing from New Zealand to Sydney. Here’s what we discovered.
The Celebrity Edge does have a strong point of difference and one that will most definitely appeal to the Aussie market. She offers affordable luxury.
There are many different definitions of luxury, but to most cruisers these days, it’s about feeling a sense of space. On this voyage, at 100% capacity and 3,170 guests, at no stage did she feel crowded.
In fact, you would more likely believe you’re on a mid-size ship, at 50% capacity. It’s a combination of a clever use of space and light, modern ship features throughout that use pale muted tones and no giant crowded areas such as a traditional dining room.
Dining on the Celebrity Edge
There is no main dining room. This adds to the sense of intimacy onboard and personalised attention, plus the sense of luxury Celebrity is aiming for. Complimentary dining spaces are broken up into several small restaurants ranging from Normandie, Tuscan, Cyprus and Cosmopolitan (with menus to reflect their names) plus Eden café, Mast Grill and more.
Then there are the specialty dining restaurants that take dining to the next level with signature menus at Eden Restaurant, Rooftop Garden Grill, Raw on 5, Le Grand Bistro, Fine Cut Steakhouse, Le Petit Chef, and the Magic Carpet.
Aqua Class guests can also choose from Blu and Luminae for that extra exclusive dining experience. In all, the dining is a major focus for guests.
Celebrity Edge does not exclude kids, casinos or premium drink packages like some of the rivals in the line’s premium category. But they’re not pushed. In fact, nothing feels like it is in your face, not even the entertainment options.
Instead, Celebrity Edge offers a range of pretty impressive productions with modern music, young up-and-coming stars and venues that can be theatre style or intimate club-like immersions.
A real standout when it comes to the affordable luxe onboard is the spa. Of course there are the 170 different spa treatments to choose from, with the usual USD price tags. But, the real pearl is the Thermal Suite which is like a day spa and at USD$37 for a full day pass, any guest can spend a day luxuriating like Cleopatra amongst the different steam and sauna rooms, the hammam, the crystalarium, the desert spa, the mist room, the heated daybeds and more.
How much is it?
If you consider the fact that the 12 night sailing from Sydney to New Zealand on Celebrity Edge and back, with a premium drinks package and an infinite balcony suite will set you back roughly $4000 per person, and then compare the same itinerary onboard a luxury line at around $8000 per person, then you realise just how affordable the new Celebrity Edge offering really is.
Captain Matt Karandreas insists that Celebrity Edge offers “the same feeling of luxury you would expect on a Viking ship, but without the price tag.”
Now that’s something that will most definitely get the attention of an Aussie cruiser.