The first in Celebrity Cruises’ newly launched Edge Series, Celebrity Edge offers a design-, culinary-, destination-, and service-forward experience as she plies the waters of the Caribbean this winter and onto Europe this summer and fall. “Edge, with Celebrity Apex to follow in 2020, offers distinctive modern spaces and is a piece of art itself—in addition to the art on the ship, which amplifies the experience,” says Richard D. Fain, chairman & CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Edge Class Difference
“Edge,” says Celebrity’s president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, “is the future of cruising coupled with Celebrity’s modern luxury values.” With this new series, “we want to bring new cruisers to the industry,” adds Lutoff-Perlo.
Here are some of the features and experiences Edge offers:
The flexibility of dining—both choice of dining venue and dining time. Edge offers four main dining restaurants—Cyprus, Tuscan, Normandie and Cosmopolitan—with a choice of seating times; all feature global menus with signature dishes and “classic entrees” led by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher. In addition to the main dining rooms, there are also specialty restaurants, including Eden, Fine Cut Steakhouse, Le Petit Chef, and Le Grand Bistro, as well as exclusive restaurants for Suite and AquaClass staterooms—Luminae and Blu, respectively. Add in other choices such as the Oceanview Cafe, with two-story floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping around the aft of the ship, and your clients have 29 restaurants, bars and lounges to choose from.
My favorite spaces? Eden, which changes personality from morning to evening with whimsical, playful and sensual experiences. This area, three floors completely wrapped in glass, connects passengers to the sea and is perfect for a light bite in the morning, cocktails before dinner or a unique dining experience.
Located in the Grand Plaza in the center of the ship, The Martini Bar, a meeting point where passengers can order creative or classic martinis, is another favorite, as is the Rooftop Garden, ideal for relaxing during the day and being entertained by night.
A new style of staterooms that invite the ocean in—and boy how it delivers that setting. During our time on board, we stayed in one of the Infinite Veranda staterooms, where, with the touch of a button, the entire living space becomes the verandah, affording passengers a feeling of being one with the surroundings.
There’s an array of stateroom categories, including the spa-inspired AquaClass as well as the 2-story Edge Villas that take luxury to another level.
The Retreat, the line’s “ship within a ship” concept, available to Suite Class guests, who can enjoy an array of benefits, including a spacious outdoor lounge area with full-sized pool and bar, concierge service, a 24/7 lounge, and an exclusive dining venue with menus not available anywhere else on board.
The Magic Carpet experience. This is first of its kind at sea. This floating platform reaches heights of 13 stories above sea level, and depending on the deck it’s stationed at, the Magic Carpet offers a different experience, always embracing the stunning ocean scenery.
Technology reigns supreme on board, whether clients experience it first-hand during one of the shows in The Theatre such as “HYPE”—a visual extravaganza that had the audience out of their seats and dancing—or behind the scenes—Edge is 20 percent more energy-efficient than any of the line’s other ships.
The new terminal at Port Everglades, Terminal 25, reflecting the modern design of the ship itself, and offering a boarding process sans stress.
Message of Inclusivity
Celebrity wants the world to know that they applaud and support cultural, religious, gender, and sexual orientation diversity and equality. To exemplify this goal, they chose Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai as the godmother of Edge and support the Malala Fund, helping to educate young girls around the globe; and they are commited to gender equality—20 percent of its marine and engineering staff are female and 37 percent of its staff in all services is female.
When asked what type of customer travel advisors should book on the new Edge, Lutoff-Perlo makes it clear that travel advisors should book “like-minded customers to their brand message of inclusiveness, equality as well as those who are looking for modern luxury in Celebrity’s five pillars of design, destinations, accommodations, culinary and service.
“We are like a boutique hotel and care about such fine details as cashmere bedding; our destinations are worldwide; and 82 percent of our guests have to fly to get to a port where we cruise from so they must want to explore and be part of global cultures. Also, Edge customers are looking for our quality service levels from the 1,300 crew members from over 70 nationalities that reflect the diversity that the Celebrity brand stands for.”
Celebrity Cruises: celebritycruises.com
What’s In it For Travel Advisors
Dondra Ritzenthaler, Celebrity Cruises’ sr. v.p. of sales, is proud of the business relationship the cruise line has with travel advisor partners. “Travel advisors book a large part of our business and those who know us know we are authentic in our appreciation for their services.” She is also proud that Celebrity empowers its sales team with the authority to make decisions on commission programs with advisors. “We think outside the box and deliver solutions to our travel advisor partners and we pick up the phone and talk with them. We are all part of the sales process together.
“Our president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo started out in the industry as a travel advisor, so from the top our stakeholders understand the importance of the travel advisor market.”