By John Pedler
Published: Thursday, November 18, 2021
When a cruise ship is listed as one of Time magazine’s ‘World’s Greatest Places’, there’s a fair chance it’s not your average seafaring tub. Celebrity Edge received this nod in 2019 – and for good reason.
In the summer of 2023-24, the Edge will pull into Sydney Harbour for her debut Australian season of local and international cruising. This is a vessel that oozes style, from the magnificent Grand Plaza, which serves as an opulent meeting place, to the luxurious two-storey Edge Villas – each with two bathrooms, a plunge pool-equipped terrace and expansive ocean views.
Wander with us through the multiple decks of this incredible cruise liner as we show you exactly why you need to book a berth, sooner rather than later.
When it comes to innovation, the standout feature of the Celebrity Edge has to be the Magic Carpet. The length of a tennis court, this six-metre-wide exterior platform moves up and down between decks on the outside of the ship.
At decks five and 16 it’s an alfresco dining venue, at pool level it transforms into a lively outdoor bar, and on deck two it’s a relaxing, well-appointed platform for passengers boarding the Edge’s tenders – a major improvement on the traditional tender boarding experience.
The Resort Deck has also benefited from the creative flourishes of this vessel’s design team. As well as a 25m-long pool – ideal for either lap swimming or lounging beside – there are a couple of two-storey high, martini glass-shaped spa tubs, complete with sea views.
If you’re after a little more poolside privacy, sumptuous seaward-facing cabanas can be rented. At sundown, the whole pool area is bathed in a colourful light display.
The Rooftop Garden is a place of lush greenery and contemporary sculptures. Here, you can grab a gourmet burger from the Rooftop Garden Grill and watch a movie on the big screen. Or simply sit back and marvel at how they keep all those plants looking so healthy at sea. When the sun sets, it’s just the spot for cocktails and stargazing.
The fully enclosed adults-only solarium is surrounded by windows – including the roof – and offers a kid-free haven with a pool, spa, café and magnificent sea views.
A particularly clever innovation from Celebrity is the ‘Infinite Verandah’, which features in many of the ship’s staterooms. The push of a button lowers the outside window to balcony height, opening the whole room as a verandah. If needed, a section can be isolated from the main room by a retractable divider.
Wining and dining
First up, the classic drinks package and Wi-Fi are now included in the fare on every sailing in the Celebrity fleet. Woohoo!
While most cruise ships have a single main dining room, the Edge has four separate restaurants –Normandie, Tuscan, Cosmopolitan and Cyprus – so guests can choose from a variety of eating experiences. Of course, if you find a favourite, you’re welcome to book the same restaurant and table each evening.
Other complementary dining options include burgers, salads and sangers at the poolside Mast Grill, the Solarium’s Spa Café, the aptly named Oceanview Café, and breakfast and lunchtime treats at the Eden Café.
There’s no shortage of specialty dining choices either – from premium steaks at the Fine Cut Steakhouse, to lobster, sushi and sashimi at Raw on 5, and the incredible Le Petit Chef tabletop animations and family-friendly dishes at Le Grand Bistro (if you’ve cruised on other Celebrity ships, you’ll have experienced Le Petit Chef in Qsine Restaurant).
There’s also Eden Restaurant’s quirky cuisine and floor-to-ceiling windows, with ocean views clear through to the horizon.
Come evening, there’s usually plenty going on at the Resort Deck, including musical acts, but the Edge has its fair share of dedicated entertainment venues too.
With four stage areas, The Theatre offers an immersive entertainment experience, where the dazzling lighting and technical wizardry on display are as much a part of the show as the live performances.
The Club’s nightlife is all about DJs and dancing, live music, and secluded lounge cul-de-sacs where you can discuss world events or plan your cocktail strategy.
Eden is a vast, multi-level space offering all sorts of sensory delights. Part fantasy garden, part secluded getaway, part strange otherworld, there’s something weird and wonderful to check out around every corner – plus, there’s plenty of live entertainment.
So, where’s it cruising?
Cruises departing from Sydney in the summer of 2023-24 include:
- 10-night Queensland escape, visiting Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas
- six-night Tasmanian cruise visiting Hobart and Port Arthur
- nine-night Australian wine cruise calling in on Melbourne, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and Hobart
- 10 nights in the tropical South Pacific, visiting Noumea, Lifou, Mystery Island, Maré and Isle of Pines
- 13-night Christmas cruise, taking in Australian and New Zealand destinations, including Newcastle, Fiordland National Park (scenic cruising), Dunedin, Christchurch, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland and Bay of Islands
- 11-night cruise up the Queensland coast to Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Port Douglas
- 12-night New Zealand cruise to Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin and Fiordland National Park (scenic cruising).