A Celebrity Edge Review
When I received an invitation for a preview sailing of the Celebrity Edge, I wasn’t initially excited. Our last cruise with kids with Disney had been decidedly mediocre and we didn’t have another cruise in our travel plans. But I was also intrigued. The Celebrity Edge was supposed to be the most advanced ship ever, with some really cool features like a cantilevered restaurant on the exterior of the ship. And then when I mentioned the invitation to my 8-year-old daughter, she jumped at the opportunity to miss a couple days of school and join me. I mean, how many times would she be able to say she was one of the first kids ever on a ship?
So I accepted the invitation and we flew out from Santa Barbara on a Wednesday morning, connecting in Phoenix and Charlotte, and arriving into Fort Lauderdale around 8pm. The nice thing about Fort Lauderdale is that the airport, several hotels, and the cruise port are all very close together, making the trip easier. Less than 15 minutes after walking off the plane we were at our hotel.
Thursday morning we checked out of the hotel at 11:00 and then headed to the cruise port at noon. Check-in and embarkation were remarkably fast because we had already completed all paperwork online, including uploading photographs. Definitely do this to save time, either through the app (iTunes | Google Play) or website, in order to skip lines. A couple of facial scans and a luggage check later, we were walking onto the ship. We headed straight to our cabin.
Celebrity Edge Review: Staterooms
We were in stateroom 12228, near the middle of the ship on the deck right below the pool. We always prefer stairs to elevators on ships, so it was a little bit of a hike to Camp at Sea (the Deck 3 Celebrity Edge kids club) and the Deck 4 restaurants, but it was extremely close to the pool, the Rooftop Garden and the Oceanview Café – the main buffet spot (and site of the all-important 24-hour coffee).
The cabin felt large compared to cabins on other cruises with kids we’ve been on. There was plenty of storage (drawers and closets), and the bathroom was large by ship standards. 12228 sleeps four. There was one king-size bed and a couch that converted to another bed. There’s a very upscale feel, including the gorgeous bathroom and shower.
One of the coolest elements is that there is, and isn’t, a balcony. It’s basically an enclosed veranda (an “Infinite Veranda”), where you can have the interior door open and have a larger cabin, or close it off and have a separate patio. There’s a window that raises and lowers, giving you the same feel of a standard ship balcony. When we were in the stateroom my daughter spent half her time on the bed and half in one of the chairs on the veranda – typically doing homework.
We LOVED walking around and exploring the Celebrity Edge. It is truly an incredible ship from a design perspective. From the three-level Eden area to the pool and pool cabanas to the previously-mentioned cantilevered restaurant/lounge (the Magic Carpet), it’s spectacular. And it’s colorful (in a very classy way) and there are places to relax everywhere. Our preview cruise was unfortunately only two nights, and I have the feeling that even with all of our exploration, we missed a lot. Over a 7 or 10-day cruise, I’d love constantly finding new places to relax and read. And I went up to the top deck both mornings to watch the sunrise, but both days the sun was in the same direction relative to the front of the ship. I’d love to be able to see the sunrise (and sunsets) from different spots.
Celebrity Edge Review: Dining
There are 29 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges on the Celebrity Edge, from the Oceanview Café that serves all meals (in buffet style) to Luminae and Blu which are reserved for certain suites/guests, to Fine Cut Steakhouse, Le Grand Bistro / Le Petit Chef, Raw on 5, the Magic Carpet, the Rooftop Garden Grill and Eden, with dining on a reserved basis. Plus there are the main four restaurants (Tuscan, Cyprus, Normandie and Cosmopolitan). We had breakfast each day at Oceanview Café, lunch both days at Cosmopolitan, a late afternoon snack at the Mast Grill, and dinner at Le Petit Chef (the transformation of Le Grand Bistro in the evening) and at Oceanview Café the second night. We could have been more adventurous, but when I travel with my kids they get to choose, and buffets are simply easier and more flexible than set seatings. Plus the food at the buffet is legitimately good, with a lot of meat and vegetarian choices and international selections (heads up – some of the Indian dishes are spicy). And there are a ridiculous number of desserts.
I mentioned Le Petit Chef. Do this. Make a reservation and go. Do not miss out. It costs an extra $55 and it’s worth it – a truly unique dining experience where your table comes to life through animation. The basic story line is that four chefs (one for each course) are competing to make the best dish, but the fun is in watching each chef create your dish – right before the real version comes out. It really was fun, and the animation is gorgeous and creative. Plus the food was great.
The Vibe / Kid-Friendliness / Disney Comparison
So we’re not anti-Disney by any means, but our Disney Cruises have really tested us as to how much Disney we can take. Well before the end of our 12-night cruises with them we’ve gotten tired of the constant Disney soundtrack, the characters everywhere, the themed dinners, and honestly, the talking down to us by cast members (like hearing “wipey, wipey” when we would enter a dining room). And with staff constantly interacting with us, we always had to be on and ready to interact back.
By contrast, the Celebrity Edge was low-key luxury; much more the way we like to vacation. The staff was professional – always around when we wanted them, but not in our faces in a fake-cheery manor when we didn’t. We could relax, and we could enjoy the gorgeous ship. And we both felt like the entire ship was kid-friendly. My daughter was comfortable everywhere. She says she liked it better than Disney – specifically the Celebrity Edge kids club (info below) and the pool. She doesn’t need a water park or drop slide to have fun. Give her a nice, uncrowded pool and she’s happy every time. And honestly, my kids don’t want to be around 1,000 other kids.
I would say that if you have very active teens and are exploring cruises with kids, they may be bored on the Celebrity Edge. There’s not a basketball court, or climbing wall, or arcade, or crazy pool like we’ve seen on other ships. There are a couple of ping-pong tables, and we loved playing giant Jenga and ring toss at the Rooftop Garden, and there’s a jogging track, but it’s definitely not an amusement park. Again, that’s perfect for how we like to travel. But you may be different.
Celebrity Edge Kids Club – Camp at Sea
Camp at Sea is the Celebrity Edge’s kids club. There are actually three different sections, for 3-5 year olds, 6-9 year olds, and 10-12 year olds. My daughter loved the section for 10-12 year olds. It’s all STEM-based, with LEGO, robots and computers galore, plus video games and interactive toys like Rubik’s Cubes. We also played Foosball for a while.
My daughter was one of only four kids on our sailing and she was completely welcomed at Camp at Sea every time we went down there, but we can’t speak to any of the group activities (scavenger hunts, hula hooping, obstacle courses, coding, robotics, and more). Next time.
Note: Camp at Sea is complementary several hours a day, and there’s an hourly charge for other periods, or for sleeping (camping) overnight. Or you can purchase a package that includes everything Camp-related.
Celebrity Edge Basics
The Celebrity Edge holds 2,900 guests. Our preview sailing had 1,943 guests, so we were roughly 2/3 full. It never felt remotely crowded anywhere, and I can’t imagine that sailing at capacity would feel crowded very often.
Celebrity Edge 2023 and 2024 Sailings
In 2023 the Celebrity Edge is in the Caribbean through April for 10-11 night sailings (with several different itineraries).
From April through October the Celebrity Edge is in Europe, with 7-12 night sailings to Italy, France and Spain. Note: Please don’t do a day trip to Rome or Florence off the Edge or any other ship!
In October 2023 the Edge heads through the Suez Canal to Bali and then will spend six months around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific before heading to Hawaii and Alaska in May 2024.
Depending on the sailing, prices start at $999 per person in the Caribbean and $1,117 in Europe and the Mediterranean. The South Pacific sailings start at $920 per person. There’s a discount for groups/families.
Celebrity Edge Review: Summary
The Celebrity Edge made me like cruises again! My daughter and I both wished that our cruise was a lot longer. We didn’t stop at any ports, so I can’t speak to the disembarkation/embarkation process, but Celebrity seems to have everything else down to a science so I’m optimistic that there won’t be issues in port. My kids aren’t super-social. They like reading and relaxing and appreciate luxury and really good food, and this is an absolutely perfect (kid-friendly) atmosphere for that – basically, a wonderful upscale floating hotel where you can unpack once and see different destinations every day. Kind of perfect if you’re not looking for an amusement park!
Loved this review! Thank you!
Thank you for the review.
We are looking at the Celebrity Apex for in the summer 2020
My daughter is 13 years old.
We love the pictures.
Danielle from Holland
Loved this review! Great detail and enjoyed the Disney comparisons 😉 – we r over Disney too! Looks like the Edge will be a great ship like Royals Oasis.
Thank you for the thoughtful review! We are looking for summer 2020 and have 5 and 10 yo boys 🙂
Thanks for the review!
Going on a 7-night Caribbean experience with my family on the Celebrity Edge in February, can’t wait!
Eric Stoen says
Have a great time! We would love to be on the ship again.
Taking my 5 and 7 year old on the Celebrity Edge early February and we are all excited! Recently sailed on Celebrity Solstice in Alaska, but this will be the first time for the kids to join. I am hoping they enjoy the Camp at Sea and they allow our 5 year old to join the 6-9 group since he is shy and doesn’t like leaving his sister’s side!
Eric Stoen says
Have fun! If you think of it after the cruise, please let me know whether they’re flexible on the Camp at Sea age. Would be great for other families to know.
Lauren Price says
Hi there, just curious how your kids liked it. We are taking our 8 and 5 year old in April, and I’m a little concerned if there will be enough for them to do/ enough pool space. Please let me know if you have a min. thanks,
We are confirmed for our family! Wife and I, Daughter 18, Son 12 and Daughter’s friend 17. Looking forward to our 7 day cruise on Edge in August 2021!!!!
Eastern Caribbean Sailing – FROM FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
Eric Stoen says
Have a great time!
Loved your review! Thanks for this. May I ask what was the Covid PCR test at the terminal like for your kids? Did the testers go way up in their sinuses or not so deep? I know it may sound like a silly question but it would put my mind at ease because I’m worried we will travel across the country and my child may panic and refuse. However, if it’s the basic painless nose swab, it won’t be an issue.
Eric Stoen says
We traveled pre-pandemic, so I don’t have direct experience, but in the past year I haven’t seen any long swabs at all. Between my kids and me, we’ve probably gotten 100 covid tests, and all have been shallow. I’m assuming it’s the same at the port.
Trying to convince my wife to allow my 3 year old grandson (turns 4 at the end of the cruise to come with us.
Eric Stoen says
That would definitely be a different cruise experience, but fun. The kids club is good.