Yes, the staterooms are beautifully finished, the entertainment is spectacular and there is food to die for, but it was the brilliant design of Celebrity Edge’s public spaces that really took my breath away.
I was fortunate enough to be on board for Edge’s maiden European voyage (a jolly 2-night jaunt around the sunny Isle of Wight!) and I honestly felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day to enjoy the amazing spaces that the team of talented architects and designers have created on this magnificent ship. Working my way from the very top of the ship down to the fabulous Grand Plaza, I’m going to give you a tour of my four favourite places on board Celebrity Edge.
Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Tom Wright, the stunning Rooftop Garden is unlike anything you will have seen on a cruise ship before. Celebrity Edge is all about bringing the natural world onto the ship in innovative ways. There are lots of living plants here and throughout the ship, a touch that I really appreciated, but it’s the Rooftop Garden’s amazing tree-like sculptures that give this space a fantastically futuristic, otherworldly feel. Another theme that is present here and throughout the ship is the versatility of the space: here is a place to relax in seclusion, find a corner and read quietly or simply enjoy the views with the sun on your face, but it’s also a place to gather and socialise and in the evening it’s a unique venue to eat, drink and party.
Some people love a buffet, others are not so keen but food aside (which, by the way, I thought was excellent!) the Ocean View Café is a glorious place to enjoy a meal. Ingenious floor to ceiling windows – and the ceilings are amazingly high for a cruise ship – invite a staggering sense of expansive space into this informal dining area. These huge windows are the key to what makes this space so wonderful, bathing you in light and blessing you with beautiful ocean vistas as you eat. Finished off with gorgeous soft furnishings in sea-to-sky blue tones and dusky pinks, if there weren’t so many other places to explore, I could have happily sat here for hours.
Like the Rooftop Garden, Eden is, unsurprisingly, inspired by Mother Nature herself, from features like the towering plant wall right down to its Golden Ratio-inspired dimensions. It is also fantastically versatile, transforming from a relaxed hideout in the day to a gleefully hedonistic venue in the evening. My first taste of Eden was at night, when the bar area was packed with enthusiastic revellers all mesmerised by the Midsummer Night’s Dream-esque performers who were singing and dancing through the crowd – actually dancing doesn’t quite do it justice, it was more a combination of circuslike contortionism and acrobatics! When I came back in the day I was blown away by the scale and openness of the space and ambling around the curved walkway, I couldn’t stop marvelling at how beautiful it was from every angle.
Last, but certainly not least, we come to the Martini Bar which is located at the heart of the Grand Plaza. It’s a tough choice but if I were forced to choose, I’d say that this was my favourite spot on the whole ship. In my opinion, the martini is still the classiest drink on any cocktail menu and the martinis at this bar, from a straight-up classic to the most modern and inventive twists (my favourites were the Lavender Lemon Drop and the perhaps controversial Dill Pickle Martini – a perfect aperitif!) are expertly made – beautifully presented, strong as you like and, most importantly, delicious. But it’s not just that the martinis are to die for, a good cocktail needs ambience and martinis as good as this deserve the splendid surroundings they’ve been given. From the white piano to touches of deep blue velvet and and the dazzling light show overhead, sitting in the Martini Bar feels like an evening on a fabulous cruise ship should – plush, classy, stylish, glamorous, elegant… all adjectives relating to the golden days of travel apply. And to finish it all off, the people watching here is second-to-none; as guests come down the stairs for a pre-dinner drink you can sit back with your martini and enjoy your own private fashion show!
To book or find out more about Celebrity Edge, give our cruise experts a call on 0191 285 9321, email firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by our store on Gosforth High Street.