Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the Celebrity Edge
1/13/19 to 1/20/19

 

Click on the above link buttons that will take you directly to a particular page or area of the review; or you can just click through to the next page at the bottom of each page.

Page 1 – Embarkation, Ship, Cabin, Dining, Activities, Entertainment
Page 2 – Ports of Call:  San Juan, Puerto Rico; Tortola, B.V.I.; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten

Preface

Our first cruise on the Edge was a very rushed 2-day experience in November 2018.  I spent most of my time on the ship taking photos of the over 60 public venues on the ship, along with many menus.  As a result, I didn’t comment much on the positives and negatives of the ship.  I wanted to wait until I had a full week’s experience.  I am glad I waited, since I feel more qualified to give a fairer opinion.  Overall, I really loved the ship and cruise itself.

 

Embarkation

When cruising out of Port Everglades, we normally use Park’N Go (https://bookparkngo.com/ftlauderdale.php).  It is very convenient, and they provide great service at the lot; as well as when they drop you off and pick you back up at the ship.   The earlier you book, the lower the price per day, so book early if you plan on using them.  The shuttle dropped us off right in front of the new Terminal 25.  We moved quickly through security and went through the new check in process, which we love.  We had done all the online check in, including attaching our photos ahead of time, so it was extremely easy.  We walked up to one of the attendants that was standing with his iPad.  He scanned our boarding passes and passports and told us to head for the ship.  Too easy!  We didn’t get to even walk around and look at the new terminal.  Probably the only line we had was a couple of people ahead of us at the terminal exit scanning our paperwork before we headed for the jetway onto the ship. 

Once on the ship, we were able to go directly to our cabin and pick up our key cards just outside of the cabin next to the cabin number, where mail and announcements are left. 

 

The new key card system allows you to just pass the card in front of the sensor on the door to unlock it.  After I signed into the Celebrity app, once onboard, I was able to use my iPhone to unlock the cabin door also.  Kind of a nice feature, especially if you left your key card in the cabin.  With the new check in process, we were allowed to drop off our carry-on luggage in the cabin, rather than wait until after all the cabins were ready.  This is a great improvement, and much appreciated.

 After lunch, I showed Carol some parts of the ship that she hadn’t seen while on the Edge in November.  I also made dinner reservations and took some photos of venues I had missed on the first cruise. 

With the muster drill starting at 3:15 PM, we wanted to arrive early, since seats can get filled up and I had no desire to stand through the whole drill.  Our muster station was in the Casino, which is a terrible place for it.  There aren’t many seats and most of those are at slot machines.  It wasn’t easy for people to look around the slot machines to watch the silly new movie that Celebrity has created to try to make people pay attention to the safety information.  Especially since there were just a few small screen monitors in the casino. 

Our Cruise Critic roll call group had arranged to meet at the deck 15 Sunset Bar at the back of the ship for sail-away.  Some people did show up with the Mardi Gras beads and name tags so that others on the roll call could recognize them.  We met some nice folks that we had communicated with on the roll call for a long time.  It always makes a cruise better to be able to finally meet friends that you have been chatting with online.  As is normally the case for sail-aways, the Sunset Bar area was packed.   The area is relatively narrow, which is a shame, since it is a great location where people congregate. 

We always enjoy leaving Port Everglades.  It is fun to wave at people in the high rises and along the beautiful long beach.  It also means that the cruise has begun.

 

   

   

 

Ship

Since we did a very complete review of the many venues and cabins on the Edge when we did our two-day cruise in November (LINK), this section of the review will focus on things that I missed and my opinions based on a full week’s cruise.

 

Accessibility
After the first Edge review, several people asked me about how handicapped accessible the ship was.  Since my darling wife Carol, uses a TravelScoot mobility scooter, I asked her to let me know if there were any issues.  I also looked around myself.  The only place where we did not find a ramp for her to use was around the main pool area.  There were only steps going up to it.  But since there were only 3 steps to each level, she would be able to get to the pool if she wanted to.

On our first cruise, Carol only visited deck 5 of Eden, since she didn’t see anything but stairs to go up to deck 6 or down to deck 4.  I had told her that there was a ramp near the bar on the starboard side that would take her up to deck 6.  It is one of the nicer areas of the Eden to me, since it is a nicely decorated seating area with killer views of the ship’s wake.  The view of the wake from anywhere on deck 6 is also quite a treat.

But the main accessibility feature is the elevator that I didn’t even see the first cruise.  On deck 5, it is located on the port side not far from the stairs to deck 4.

On deck 6, it is located near the top of the ramp.

On deck 4 it is located near the kitchen on the slightly lower level.  If a person can’t use steps at all, they can’t get up to the main Eden Restaurant dining area, because there are 2 steps up to it.

It is a small elevator and can only hold one wheelchair or scooter and a couple other passengers at a time.  It is also kind of unusual, since you enter or exit the elevator in three different directions depending on the floor.  When you enter on deck 5, the controls are directly in front of you.  If you go up to deck 6 from deck 5, you have to turn the scooter 90 degrees to the right, since the door is on the right side.

   

If you go down from deck 5 to deck 4, you need to turn your scooter 90 degrees to the left, since the door is on the left side.

The turning wasn’t an issue for Carol’s smaller scooter; but some people have said that it can be a bit challenging for larger scooters.  I did find a serious safety issue with the elevator that I reported to a couple of officers.  The elevator is open to the shaft, and you can look up to the other floors.  I took a photo from deck 4 that shows that you can see the doors on decks 5 and 6 on different sides.  

There is no issue with it being open, because you need to be able to go out of doors on 3 different sides of the elevator.  So, the elevator is basically a moving platform with a control panel on one side.  To make the elevator move, you need to hold your finger on the button for the floor you want to go to.  The button needs to be depressed the whole time it takes to get to the floor.  With the elevator being quite slow, painfully slow, I had a tendency to rest my hand on the edge of the controls.  If someone were to rest their hand as in the below photo, they could seriously hurt their fingers if they were pulled into the side opening when the elevator is moving up.  You would immediately let up on the button; but could still do some serious damage.  It wouldn’t be difficult to just add a small ledge on the control panel to prevent an accident. 

 

The Basement

On our first cruise the teen area, called the Basement, was being used by media, so I couldn’t get photos of what it would look like during a regular cruise.  It did look like a pretty cool area for teens to hang out.

   

 

The Meeting Place

The meeting rooms were also full of media during the first cruise.  The large room can be divided into separate meeting areas.  The day I was there, the one room was set up for a classroom type meeting in the front and lounge meeting in the back.

   

   

 

Destination Gateway
I am a big fan of the new destination gateway concept.  It is a large attractive comfortable space that makes leaving and entering the ship much more pleasant than on other ships.  It will also be amazing when it is used to access the Magic Carpet to board tenders.  During the week, I was able to attend a presentation there about Galapagos Islands cruises on Celebrity’s expedition ships.   The large video screen and comfortable space was just perfect for presentations.  I was also very pleased that it was where the art auctions were held.  Being on deck 2, it kept the other floors and venues free from being clogged up with art on easels during the day.

   

The three ports on this cruise were all dock ports, so we didn’t get to see how tenders worked; but it was quite easy and fast to exit and board.  I thought it was interesting when I came back on the ship in San Juan, after taking night shots of the Edge, to see the large openings to the Destination Gateway, that will be used for tendering via the Magic Carpet. 

    

 

Sunset Bar

The deck 15 Sunset Bar only has a very small canopy covering just the bar and stools around it.  There are plenty of seats in the bar area that are not covered.  The area just below on deck 14 is a large covered space that is used for the Oceanview Buffet outdoor seating.  On the first cruise, I didn’t see the stairs between the two decks on the starboard side.  These stairs make it very convenient should it start to rain to finish drinks in a protected area; or to just get out of the sun after getting drinks.  The stairs are quite valuable on this and Celebrity’s Solstice Class ships, since they don’t have a rear elevator or stairwell.  So, I wanted to show photos of the stair entry from deck 15 and 14.

     

 

Eden

In my haste to get photos of the 60 venues on the Edge, I failed to realize that Eden had outdoor seating.  I can’t believe that I missed it, especially since it is such a nice sitting area.  The port side is really pretty with the multicolored furniture and wall paintings.  It is also partially covered to protect from the sun.

   

   

The starboard side is open and not decorated as nicely; but it is a nice outdoor seating area if you get food from the Eden Café.    

Blu

I also didn’t get photos of Blu’s outdoor seating area.  It is a fairly large area broken up into two sections with a path through the middle.

   

Grand Plaza Café

On our pre-inaugural cruise, there was a café in the Grand Plaza across from the Martini Bar.  It has since been closed down and the space is being used for more tables for the Martini Bar.  There is definitely a need for more seating in the Grand Plaza, since it is a very popular place.

   
Before                                                                       After

 

Promenade Deck
The Edge does have a promenade deck, but much of the view to the ocean in the middle section of the ship is obstructed by the tenders.  I had read before our November Edge cruise that it didn’t have a promenade deck, so I just looked at a few of the outdoor restaurant areas and at some tenders on that cruise.  This time I walked around much of the deck 5 promenade and found it to be rather nice.  During the day when the restaurants aren’t using their space for dining, it is a great place to watch the ocean pass by or look out to a port.   There aren’t any lounge chairs to use on the promenade, like on traditional promenade decks; but it is a nice place walk around or to rest outside Eden or the other restaurants

   

 

Night Time

On the first Edge cruise, I forgot to get evening photos of the Solarium, so that was on my photo check off list. 

   

With the Edge being such a beautiful ship, especially during the evening when it is illuminated, I had to take some shots of areas I missed or just wanted more of. 

   

   

   

   

Photo Gallery

On our first Edge cruise, I didn’t bother with the photo gallery.  We normally don’t get photos taken any more on cruises, since we have more than we need.  On this cruise we figured it had been long enough since we have had photos taken, so we might as well let the photographers do their thing.  The Edge, like most of the newer ships is going away from racks of hard photo copies to selecting photos on digital displays.  A great improvement.  When photos are taken, they will ask for your cabin number, or if they don’t ask, facial recognition will match your photo with your cabin number.  When you go to one of the display stations, you just tap your card on the reader and all of the photos that have been taken of you during the cruise are displayed.  You can “like” the ones you want to go back to at a later time.

We did find one photo that we wanted.  The cost of one 8X10 is $25 for a print or $20 for a digital copy.  I have put the photo package pricing below.  I much prefer digital copies, so I asked how do I get the copy.  The attendant said that I could download it immediately to my iPhone and/or have it emailed to me.  I chose both.  It was nice to have it on my iPhone, where I could Air Drop it to Carol.  When we got home, I had an email from Celebrity with a link to my photo.  I was very pleased to see that all my photos were on the site.  This is a great benefit for those that wish they had gotten a photo while on the ship; but didn’t.  It can also be a nice revenue generator for Celebrity.  This process is a win-win for sure. 

 

Cabin

We really wanted to love the new infinite veranda type cabin, since it should be perfect for us.  Living in south Florida, we don’t care that much about laying in the sun when on a cruise, so the extra cabin space would be nice to have.  The cabin itself is great!  We chose infinite veranda cabin 7228, which has the bed close to the veranda, rather than the closet, since it is easier to get Carol’s scooter into and out of the cabin.  Although, when I checked it out, I was able to get her scooter past the bed without having to lift it over it, which was most surprising.  With the infinite veranda type cabin, it appears to be much deeper, since there isn’t a wall between the cabin and veranda, which was nice. Although the veranda section itself is pretty much filled up with the two chairs and table.  I also thought that the carpet and colors used in the cabin were quite appealing.

   

   

The cabin was designed to provide a lot of storage, which we really appreciated.  We had more space than needed for a one-week cruise.  I was very pleased that the beds were high enough to where it was very easy to slide our large suitcases under them without having to lift up a corner of the bed to force it in.  There is a nice three-drawer dresser next to the desk and refrigerator.

The closet area is full of storage areas for lots of stuff. In addition to the two hanging areas in the closet, there are three nice sized drawers below the safe.

   

On the corner of the closet area, there are several nice shelves that are hidden until you pull open the doors.  We were able to put a lot of things in there.

For this cruise we didn’t use the little tom-tom table, that has a soft top that can be flipped over to be used as a flat-topped table.  On our previous cruise, it made for a great foot rest when we were in a suite with the very nice Kelly Hoppen lounge chair; but we didn’t use it at all on this cruise.   I did find the couch to be quite comfortable.

A very neat feature of the desk is that it can be pushed in to provide more floor space.  This area worked perfectly for us to leave Carol’s TravelScoot during the day and night. 

   

The bathroom was, by far, the best we have had with a standard size cabin.  There was so much storage space and even the ledge next to the toilet was a great place to leave things.

       

Although we were only in an infinite veranda cabin for a few hours on our first Edge cruise, I had not realized that there was a nice sized drawer under the sink.  It definitely got put to good use on this cruise.  Some cabin stewards put the hair dryer there; but ours had put it in the main chest of drawers.  Perhaps because some guests don’t even realize they have a hair dryer if they don’t find the drawer under the sink.

I couldn’t have been happier with the shower.  I was surprised at how roomy it was.  I am a pretty good size guy, but my elbows never hit the sides while taking a shower the whole week.

   

Now for the bad part.  Unfortunately, we just don’t care for the veranda portion itself and would probably not book this cabin type again because of the veranda, unless some major changes were made to it.  I would just as soon have an oceanview for a cheaper price.  The veranda area itself is quite small and crowded.  There is no footstool, which is just as well, since there isn’t room for it. 

   

With the warm outside temperature, we needed to close the bifild doors to keep the cool air in the main cabin if we wanted to put the window down. 

This is quite a hassle, since the chairs need to be moved closer to the window to be able to shut the bifold doors, then you need to move the chairs back after the doors are shut to be able to sit down.  At the same time, you need to move around the small round table to get into position to lower the window and/or open the shade.  Kind of frustrating.  Putting the window down, takes about 16 seconds, putting it back up 28 seconds.  This is after you already spent 50 seconds putting the blackout blinds in front of the window up, which previously took 40 seconds to close to keep the sun from heating up the cabin. 

Once the hassle of setting up the veranda is completed and you sit down in the chairs, the view through the window is not that great.  The windows are tinted plus they are dirty with water drops, both wet and dry.  I don’t know why we had wet drops on the window during the whole cruise.  I wouldn’t think that spray would come up to deck 7, especially in the mild sea conditions we had.  Looking through the window isn’t that bad when the window is closed; but when open, there are two thicknesses of tint and window dirt to look through.  Not enjoyable.  Below are some photos of the view we had looking through the bottom when the window was open.  The water drops were always there, even thought it didn't rain during our cruise.

   

Below is the difference seen through the open window versus the lower window.

With the bottom pane of glass being a bit more than half the height of the veranda, you can’t see directly through the opening, unless you stand up.  I will say, however, that it is pleasant when standing up and looking out to the sea.  It is just not a quick and easy process like with a normal veranda.  And it is an impossible process in the morning when I like to sit on the veranda before my wife wakes up.  The motors used in the blind and window motion is loud; and the whole cabin gets too bright when the blinds are up for someone to sleep.  I would much prefer to have a blackout curtain between the bifold doors and bed.  That way I could have seen what was happening outside without waking up Carol.

With our cabin being on the starboard side, we could look forward out the window and see the Magic Carpet.  The view down was mostly of a lifeboat, with the back view being more lifeboats; but still plenty of ocean to look at.  But I did expect this type view being on deck 7, just 2 decks above the lifeboats.    

   

   

We didn’t put the window down too much, since it seemed like the sun was on our side of the ship a lot and we kept the blind down much of the time.  One time when we did open the window, I thought we had a mechanical problem, since it wouldn’t open.  Then I realized that there was an electric eye on the edge that prevented the window from moving if something, like my hand, was on the window ledge.

The new Celebrity app is very nice to have if you are on the Edge.  You are able to control the lights, blinds, temperature, tv and door locks with it. 

   

   

The scenes option does different things based on what you select.  I believe that the morning one opens the blinds, which can be a problem if you hit it by mistake and don’t want them opened.  I really appreciated that the cabin had bright LED lights.  I don’t like dark cabins.  The lights could be reduced to 50% if you requested, which was nice if you didn’t want them so bright.  The two lights on either side of the desk did not go lower when the rest did.  They were bright all the time and it was most frustrating that I wasn’t able to them off.  Then I found the button on the side of the electric/USB outlet box that did turn them off.  I was so pleased to find it.

   

The room environment is also nicely controlled from the wall panel near the bathroom.

I must say how nice it was to have a large screen TV in the cabin.  We didn’t use it much, but when we did it was a pleasure.   The TV has so many options available including current free movies and the ability to stream from your mobile device.  The TV controls are also work much faster than previous sets, when finding channels or checking your cabin statement.

I was also very impressed with the Celebrity’s Xcelerate high speed internet on the Edge.  It was much better than any other ship we have been on.  A reason it is so good is that there are routers all over the ship.  Each cabin has their own router, which makes a huge difference in speed.   We received 240 free internet minutes with our Elite Plus loyalty level benefits.  The cost for additional would be quite expensive.

I recently started using a CPAP machine and finally realized why people were always so concerned about where to put them near the bed.  The Edge has tables on both sides of the bed that fit a CPAP quite nicely.  Plus, one side has an electric outlet and USB ports, so it is very convenient.

   

We were so pleased that the Edge has solved the problem of the Do Not Disturb sign falling off the door handle.  On the Edge, the signs are magnetic!  What a great idea.  Thank you, Celebrity.

We had one of the best stateroom attendants ever for this cruise, Koowarsingh from Mauritas.  He wanted us to call him Singh, thank goodness.  He was so pleasant and always trying to help us in any way possible.  He was also so quick to get in our cabin and do his cleaning as soon as we left, so that he wouldn’t be in our way when we returned.  Every time that Carol returned to the cabin alone, he was right there ready to open the door for her.  She actually got a little spoiled by him.  We really liked Singh.

 

Dining (LINK TO MENUS)

There is no shortage of places to eat on the Edge.  On this cruise we weren’t able to go to any of the specialty restaurants in the evening, since they were fully booked before we got on the ship.  We will normally wait until we are on the ship to book them, since they usually offer more attractive pricing when you are there.  When checking on the first day, there were no reservations available for the whole week, so we decided to just enjoy the four main dining rooms at night.

Main Dining Rooms - I really like the four separate dining rooms concept on the Edge.  Other than 3 appetizers and 3 main courses that are unique to each of the restaurants, the menus are exactly the same.  We had Select dining for the cruise, which meant that we could choose to go to any of the four restaurants each night.  Other than the few unique menu items, the main reason to choose one over the other is the décor.  Each of the restaurants are attractive in their own way, as the photos from our pre-inaugural cruise review showed.  The other minor difference was that the butter dish in each of the restaurants had different items than the others.  Cyprus had the best selection with Tzatziki, hummus, butter and olive oil.   The other restaurants only had 3 items in the dish, which were different in each restaurant, other than the butter.

Since we normally like to eat at 6:00 PM when on a cruise, I decided to make reservations for the main dining rooms about 2 months before the cruise.  I should have done it earlier, since there weren’t many options other than seatings at 9:00 PM.  I was only able to book 4 nights, 2 at Normandie, 1 at Cyprus and 1 at Cosmopolitan.  I kept checking regularly to see if anything was available but was unsuccessful.  Five days before the cruise, I decided to try again and was able to get reservations at Tuscan and Cosmopolitan.  The only night I wasn’t able to get a reservation for was the first night.  As soon as I got on the ship, I headed to the Tuscan Restaurant and was able to book that night for 6:00 PM.  I highly recommend booking any dinner reservation you want way ahead of time, when they first come available.  We went to the Tuscan, Normandie and Cosmopolitan restaurants two times each and Cyprus just once.  The food in each of them was similar to other Celebrity cruises and most edible.  Since this was our 25th Celebrity cruise, we wanted to try some different items, so the unique items the restaurants had were nice options.  For the most part, the ones we had were quite good.  The one exception was the Manhattan Cut NY Strip Steak in Cosmopolitan that both Carol and I ordered.  The flavor was good, and the gravy was too; but it was one of the toughest steaks we have ever had.  We were really surprised.  Hopefully, it was a one off, since it was a nice thick cut of meat. 

The Saganaki appetizer in Cyprus is quite nice.  It is a thick cheese served in a small skillet.  The waiter warned us that the skillet was very hot.  He was right about that.  Even being aware of it, I did touch it once, since the skillet needs to be somewhat stabilized to get the cheese out of it.  After the first slight burn after I nudged into it, I used my napkin to hold onto the skillet. 

Oceanview Café – I went to the Oceanview for breakfast every morning and for most lunches.  With the venue itself being so open to the sea with the very tall windows, it is a pleasure to be there.  I also thought that food looked and tasted better than other Celebrity buffets we have been to.  Maybe the nicer environment just made it seem better.  A friend of mine had raved about the Mexican Eggs Benedict he had for breakfast on a recent Celebrity cruise.  Since both Carol and I are big Mexican food lovers, I decided to try some.  It was really good, and I will get them again on future Celebrity cruises. 

Another outstanding breakfast item was recommended to me while we were on the ship.   In the morning when the croissants are fresh, they are to die for.  I am sure the chocolate and other flavored ones are good to; but the plain croissants are just perfection when they are fresh.  Try one, you will thank me for it.

The selection in the Oceanview is so large.  They have counters to serve Asian, Indian, Deli, pasta and almost anything else you could ask for.  For some reason, the pizza station is off by itself near the back of the room, but it still got plenty of business. 

On the last day of the cruise, they had boiled shrimp at one of the stations.  These were large shrimp, and needless to say, they were very popular.

One issue that most buffet venues have on ships is that it is difficult to find a table during peak eating times.  The Edge Oceanview seems to have more seating than others, and we didn’t have as much of a problem finding seats.  I believe one reason for that is that there are quite a few long tables where single eaters can sit, which helps them from tying up larger tables. 

Mast Grill – I mentioned in my prior review how much I liked the Mast Grill facility on the Edge.   Especially since it is a large covered area, rather than being outside in the direct sun, like on Celebrity’s Solstice class ships.  The hot dogs were great; but the hamburgers weren’t as good as we are used to on Celebrity.  The meat just didn’t have enough flavor.  I never went back to try another burger to see if it was just an inferior batch of meat that day.

 

Eden Café – We had been anxious to try the Eden Café, which is located in Eden on deck 5.  They have a small selection of salads, soups and sandwiches.  We both got the Reuben panini and I got the tomato soup.  The meal was OK, but we never went back again.  Not because it wasn’t good; but we just enjoyed the buffet and weren’t hungry between meals.  Probably the biggest issue with the Eden Café was that there weren’t any tables in the restaurant to eat at, just some chairs to sit in.  I guess we could have easily just walked outside to the starboard sitting area I had previously seen; or gone up to deck 6.  But with no sun protection on that side of the outside deck, we didn’t try it.  It also would have been a hassle to go up to deck 6 with Carol driving her scooter.

 

Activities

Celebrity has cut down on the activities for all their ships in recent years, so I was not surprised that there weren’t many activities during the day that interested me.  Most items listed on the daily schedule related to shopping, spa or things that were extra charge.  Granted, the ship is designed for a younger crowd and I am a senior, so there are even less things that I am interested in attending.  The main activity that I missed was what has been one of Celebrity’s fortes in the past, enrichment speakers.  They had none, which was most disappointing.   Even though I have no interest in Bingo, I was also surprised that they had none on the Edge.  There were way too many evening activities for anyone to be able to attend them all.  Evenings are very busy and enjoyable on the Edge.

During the last few days, I decided to check out some of the activities that were listed that I wasn’t familiar with.  I was pleasantly surprised with some of the new things they had that would appeal to many cruisers.  Even if they were just spectators rather than a participant.  I discuss them below and other activities we attended below.

 

Cruise Critic Meet and Greet (www.cruisecritic.com) - We always look forward to the this gathering, where the people we have been communicating with for many months on our roll call get to meet each other.  Over 160 people had signed up for the gathering and a good amount of them showed up in Eden at 10:15 AM on the first sea day.  Cruise Director Damian De Lorenzis hosted the event. 

With the Edge not having the larger lounges found on Celebrity's other ships, I had been concerned where they would have the gathering.  So, when we got the invitation telling us it was in Eden, that sounded interesting.  Eden’s seating is a bit more spread out and the small stage area does break up the room; but it seemed to work out fine.

   

Damian welcomed us and told us how much Celebrity appreciates Cruise Critic members.  He introduced the officers that were in attendance.  After he was finished with his brief talk and people were meeting and mulling around, Damian and some of the officers personally introduced themselves to people and were quite friendly; as well as interested in guests’ opinions on how they liked the Edge.

 

Archery – I had not seen this activity before, but it did look like fun for those that had at least a little archery skill.  It was held in the Club using arrows with large foam heads, rather than sharp arrows, thank goodness.   They were aiming at a large box with 4 tabs near the bottom of the opening.  The participants had 60 seconds to try to hit and knock over as many of the 4 tabs as they could.   At one time, when I was a kid many years ago, I did enjoy archery; but I didn’t have the guts to attempt it on this cruise.  If I had found this activity earlier in the cruise, I might have tried my hand at it, so I could get better as the days progressed.

   

 

Cooking Demo – They had a cooking demo at the Eden Restaurant one morning.  With it being at Eden, many people were interested in what they would be cooking, as well as those folks that just enjoy cooking demos.  As a result, the place was packed.  I saw people walk in and just turn around and leave, since there was no place to sit and few places to even stand.  The way the restaurant is set up, there aren’t a lot of seats close to the kitchen where the chef was making the dishes, so you really couldn’t see what he was doing.  They really needed a camera focused on the preparations and some large screen monitors around so the audience could see what he was doing.  Although the Eden Restaurant is a lovely venue for eating, it doesn’t make for a very good cooking demo venue.

   

   

The chef showed how to make a couple of different items, while other kitchen helpers were making up the same thing for samples for the audience to try after the demo.  He apologized in advance for not having enough samples for everyone.  It was obvious that they hadn’t planned for this large of a crowd.
 

Drone Racing – This was another activity that I have never seen on a ship.  Perhaps it has been on other cruises we have been on; but I might have not been looking for a new activity because I had others to attend.  I have always been curious about drones and enjoy watching videos made with drones.  I have never tried to fly one, so I thought this could be an interesting event to attend.  It was also held in the Club, which is the perfect place for it, since it is a large two-story room.  People were asked if they wanted to participate in the qualifying matches to see if they could be in the actual race that would take place after the qualifiers.  Several people came forward to be participants.  I didn’t since I have no experience with drones, and I assumed I would need to.  Bad assumption!

   

They had 3 small drones that were each around 12 inches in diameter.  When the batteries got week in one, they would use the others while batteries were being replaced.  The activity leader showed each participant how the drone controls worked and gave a short demo.  He then let the participant do it.  He told them to fly the drone around one of the poles in the second story of the room.  Well, I guess I wasn’t the only one that had never flown a drone.  Most had no experience and struggled for a while.  Eventually they figured out how to make the drone not immediately crash and actually go kind of where they wanted it to go.  I should have volunteered, since I couldn’t have been any worse than some of them.  Of course, a few did pretty well, but they even had challenges completing the course.  It was a lot of fun and I will do it on future cruises if they have this activity.

 

Laser Maze – I arrived at the Club a little while after this activity had begun.  I knew by the title, that it wasn’t something that I would participate in; but was most curious as to how it would be done on a ship.  What a cool game!  The participants had to walk through the path trying to avoid the laser beams.  The participant that completed the course missing the most beams won.  Some of the participants were quite impressive with their moves to avoid the beams.  It was almost as much fun being a spectator as  it was to be a participant.  Well, I guess the participants probably had a lot more fun; but I was glad I went to see it.

   

   

 

Meet the Performers - As an Elite Plus level member in the Celebrity Captain’s Club loyalty program, we get invited to some special events.  Normally during a Celebrity cruise, we get invited to an event in the theater where we get to hear from some of the singers and dancers in the production shows.  They tell us about their professional lives, how they came to be a Celebrity performer and how many contracts they have had.  The guests also ask them questions.  I always enjoy attending these.  After watching them perform for several days, you are familiar with them and interested to know more about them.  Usually after the question and answer sessions, the guests are given a backstage tour; but not on this cruise.  Perhaps there were too many participants, or they don’t do it anymore since it is part of a special access program you have to pay for.  It is a shame, since I was curious about the backstage area with this new type of theater.

   

 

Time Play Live – This is Celebrity’s new form of trivia.  To introduce the game to guests, they did short demonstration games before a few of the evening shows.  Rather than writing your answers on a piece of paper, you can use your mobile device.  It is actually rather a cool way to do it, since you can see your ranking during the game play on your mobile device, at least on the sessions done in the theater.  The games were played in the Club and the atrium area.  The Club version looked better because they had the screen with questions, similar to how it was done in the theater.

   

When done in the atrium, the questions were just spoken.  You could also play by writing your answers on a piece of paper; but I don’t think that would be as much fun.  Also, your score on the games with screens was based on your speed to answer the questions, as well as getting the correct answer.  Some people might not enjoy the time pressure of those games, so the atrium games might be better choice for them.  Some of the sessions also had a fee and a monetary reward could be won, like in bingo.

 

Shows

The cruise director was Damian De Lorenzis.  I really like Damien.  He is just a good guy.  He is very friendly and regularly engaged passengers.  We had previously enjoyed Damien on our 2017 Alaska cruise, so I was glad to cruise with him again.  During the evening shows he just provides information and doesn’t try to do a monologue and make the show about him; which I really appreciate. 

   

The Edge has a lot of entertainment options onboard.  During the late afternoon and evening, there is something going on almost all the time.  For this one-week cruise, there were 3 production shows and 5 guest performers; although one of the guest entertainer shows was more of a production show.  The theater is a modified “in the round” type, which makes it different from most other ships.  The lighting and sound systems are first class and make the shows quite interesting and entertaining. 

   

   

In addition to the evening shows, there were some excellent entertainers performing around the ship.  My favorite was the Reckless Charms.  I enjoyed the all female group’s performance while in the Martini Bar before dinner.

I also want to mention the entertainment that is unique to Eden.  During the two-day cruise, I was very disappointed in it.  I thought that it was quite unusual with strange spaced out appearing characters.  I don’t know if something has changed with the shows or I have just become familiar with it; but I actually did enjoy the Eden entertainment this cruise.  The cast is very friendly, and they get the guests involved in their show.  Although it won’t be for everyone, I do think that one should at least give it a chance and go to watch it a couple times during a cruise.  My only minor complaint was that there wasn’t enough good seating for the show, since Eden is more of a casual living room environment with comfortable couches and chairs facing different directions.  It was difficult to find unobstructed views of the main stage area; but there were many performers to watch all around Eden that weren’t on the main stage.

 

Guest Entertainers

Dan Grueter - Dan is an outstanding comedian.  He is just hilarious.  I was thrilled that he had a late-night comedy show in the theater the next night that was a bit more risqué; but not much.  He was an audience favorite and talked about during the rest of the cruise by people I talked with.

       

 

Marcus Terell – When we saw this show on the first cruise, it was a production show called Hype.  On this cruise, it was presented as guest entertainer performance.  Since it had the production show singers and dancers performing with Marcus, it was a production show in my opinion.  Marcus is a talented singer, but I wasn’t familiar with most of his music.  I will say that since it was the second time I had seen the show, some of the unfamiliar songs were a now slightly familiar, and I enjoyed the show more than I did the first time.  To me, the stars of the show were the dancers.  It has to be the highest energy show I have seen on a cruise ship.  They have to be exhausted at the end of the night.  Since I put photos of this show on the November pre-inaugural cruise review, I’m not including them again in this review.

 

Marc Eddie – Marc is a different type of comedian.  He tells jokes while playing his guitar and reminiscing about old songs and TV shows.  He will sing a song and change up the lyrics to make it funny.  He really is also a pretty good impersonator, since he sounds so much like the singers of the songs he is changing up.  He had so many different expressions that he made during his songs.  It was surprising that he didn’t do one of the main evening shows; but instead did a late-night and a matinee show a couple of days later.

       

   

 

Katerina Rossa – We have previously seen this violinist twice.  In 2016 we saw her on a Celebrity Constellation Holy Land cruise, and then a few days later after we boarded a transatlantic cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette.   She is a very talented person, so I was quite pleased to get to see her again.  She plays a very enjoyable music selection that mixes up different types of music to please the audience’s various tastes.  She also changed up her outfits on this show.  Near the middle of the show, she removed the gown portion of her outfit and played the rest of her show in tights.  This woman is a little powerhouse and just a pleasure to watch.

       

   

 

Ashlie-Amber Harris – She is a soloist who was an American Idol Season 11 contestant in 2012.  When I got home to see how far she got, I looked online to see when she was eliminated.  It appears that she was eliminated during the Hollywood rounds, since she wasn’t mentioned after that.  Whatever happened with American Idol, she has worked hard to create a show that was very well received on the ship.  She had a nice mix of music and put on an enjoyable show.  I will say that her hair style was unusual.  She even made a joke about it herself.  I guess it does make her unique. 

   

   

 

Production Shows

I was disappointed in the production shows during our first Edge cruise, since they appeared to be designed for a much younger audience than previous shows.  Plus, even with my eclectic taste in music, I was unfamiliar with most of the music used in the shows.  I was very pleased on this cruise that the other two shows were much more enjoyable for me; but they might not be as much for some folks that are more into oldies and musical show tunes.  The production show cast had some excellent singers and outstanding dancers. 

Ten years ago, when Celebrity’s Solstice class of ships were first introduced, we were amazed by the aerialist shows that were performed.  We are still amazed at the talent of these performers; but after seeing so many of these shows, it is getting to be a bit passé for us.  But I am sure it is still a treat for newer cruisers who have not experienced it as many times as we have.  However, we are still thrilled to see the very talented gymnasts perform.  We are always amazed at their unique skills and incredible strength.

Kaleidescope – This show is called a “powerful mashup of music and emotion”.  And it was that indeed!  It was a most enjoyable show with familiar music and very entertaining dancing.  It was also fascinating to see how they used the theater’s rounded background screens.  Interesting and colorful graphics are projected onto it.  It also has sections of the screen open to reveal performers.  By using projections, it allows the cast to not need to have as many props on stage. 

   

       

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

 

A Hot Summer’s Night Dream – This show is described as a lighthearted journey that fuses music with extraordinary acrobatics.  Although there is some type of minor story line to the show, it didn’t get in the way of the show like some do.  The performers did a great job and the show was most enjoyable.  As the description stated, there were lots of extraordinary acrobatics, much more than normal.  I did think that there was a bit too much aerial activity in the show; but that’s just my preference.  I still thoroughly enjoyed it. 

   

   

   

       

   

   

   

   

   

   

Jewelry Box – I saw this show on our first Edge cruise and was most disappointed with it.  The projections and effects used in the show, especially the scene with water falling to the stage, were most impressive.  Most of the music was unfamiliar to me; but the very silly story line was most distracting and hard to understand.  To me, it took away from the show.  Since I put photos of this show on the November pre-inaugural cruise review, I’m not including them again in this review.

 

© 2019 ThePreismans.com • All Rights Reserved