03 Aug “Someday is Here” on the Celebrity Edge
After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.
She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.
“Someday is Here” on the Celebrity Edge
Last month I had the opportunity to sail on the Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Edge from Fort Lauderdale on a 7-night cruise. It was the first ‘mega-ship’ ship to leave an American port in over 15 months. This historic sailing was at 40% passenger capacity, with 99% of the guests and 100% of the crew vaccinated. All had to show their original vaccination card and passport in the new Port Everglades Cruise Terminal 25.
My daughter and I were welcomed onboard by an enthusiastic staff who were giddy to be back to their home-at-sea. Captain Kate McCue welcomed guests at the entrance of the ship. She is still the first and only female captain sailing a luxury cruise ship.
All Celebrity Cruises’ ships meet the highest standards by following CDC and other local government protocols for providing a healthy cruise experience for its guests and crew. Most of the passengers onboard and some of the crew stayed in rooms with a window or sliding door that opens to enjoy fresh sea air.
Finding our Sky Suite on the 9th deck, we discovered the king or two twin beds face out to the extra large outdoor veranda offering ocean and sky views. There is plenty of storage and a spacious sitting area offering a sofa and small table.
Beds were fitted with eXhale cashmere bedding and 100% pure cotton soft sheets. Premium Bigelow bath amenities were in the spacious bathrooms. The Sky Suites have a large bathtub and shower, and inside the closet there are plush slippers and 100% cotton thick and luxurious robes.
Suite guests have privileges to The Retreat, with access to a private restaurant, Luminae offering a menu curated by a Michelin star chef. It’s the highest-rated restaurant onboard, featuring a daily changing menu that is not available in any other restaurant on the ship.
The Retreat guests also have a dedicated butler who attends to your room, excursion, entertainment and culinary needs. The exclusive Retreat Lounge offers complimentary small bites and full bar, and wine tasting opportunities. Outside the exclusive sundeck has multiple cabanas and day beds near the heated pool and bubbling hot tub.
Stopping in three ports – Costa Maya, Cozumel and Nassau, Celebrity Cruises offers passengers outdoor cultural excursions that have been vetted to comply with health and safety mandates. A Celebrity Cruise crew member led us off the ship to the approved excursion host. Each tour vendor had strict health and safety protocols that included wearing a mask and hand sanitizing.
In Costa Maya we were transported by a comfortable van to Bacalar, known as the ‘Lake of Seven Colors’. Paddling on bright pink inner-tubes, we noticed varying hues of blue in the fresh water with a white sandy shallow bottom.
In Cozumel, we boarded a large catamaran to sail to a snorkel area near a coral reef. Afterwards, we stopped at a sandy beach to swim, paddle board, kayak, and sit in the sun.
Stopping in Nassau, we walked along the dock to another catamaran boat that took us out to a popular snorkel site. We were the only boat in the area to see a variety of colorful fish and coral.
Returning to the Celebrity Edge, passengers could leave the ship at this port to walk into town. Sadly, Nassau had been hit hard by the pandemic and hurricane Isaias in August 2020. Many of the shops and restaurants were boarded up, however the city has grand plans to renovate and improve the cruise terminal.
Back onboard the Celebrity Edge, there are a wide variety of unique food and beverage experiences. In the evening, the Martini Bar offers some of the most skillful bartenders at sea performing gravity-defying skills to music and a dazzling light show. This soaring ceiling area in the middle of the ship offers cocktails, a flight of martinis, and wine by the glass or bottle.
Passengers are welcome to experience all four complimentary main restaurants, each with a distinctive design and ambience inspired by a specific region of the world. There are seven specialty dining venues that include the elegant Fine Cut Steakhouse, a French inspired Le Grand Bistro that turns into Le Petit Chef and Friends interactive theatre in the evening. Guests watch their courses be prepared right at their table for an engaging and whimsical culinary experience.
Raw on 5 is a fresh seafood raw bar offering Japanese delights and on certain evenings, the Magic Carpet lounge is positioned on deck 5, outside of the restaurant. This reservation-only opportunity allows guests to enjoy the most spectacular ocean views outside of the ship, while sipping champagne, a cocktail or sake with sushi and sashimi prepared by expert sushi chefs.
Cruising is back on Celebrity Cruises and this month the cruise line will have more ships sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska, Greece and Galapagos Islands. Call your cruise specialist or go to https://www.celebritycruises.com.