Well, some of them. We have some outline deck plans with lots of information missing – we know that there will be 7 accommodation decks plus a few areas on other decks, and we know quite a lot about those cabins (sorry, Celebrity, “Staterooms”). We also have quite a lot of information about the upper decks (14 to 16) – deck 14 will be the pool deck, 15 will include the Rooftop Garden for use by all passengers (I think) and also another area reserved for passengers in suites, and deck 16 will include the Retreat. And finally, we know her itineraries – from the date of her introduction in December 2018 to the end of period for which we’ve got information – April 2019 – she’ll be cruising exclusively in the Caribbean, doing 7 night itineraries in the Eastern and Western Caribbean alternately.
The stuff we don’t know is all about the lower public decks – decks 2, 3, 4 and 5. This is where the restaurants and bars will be, and so far there’s no real information about them.
So what are the standout features? To me, there seem to be three:
- “Edge” staterooms with the Infinite Veranda;
- The Magic Carpet; and
- The split-level Edge Villa suites.
Let’s take these one at a time.
Infinite Verandas: I do like what I’ve seen of the Infinite Veranda cabins in the video. It looks if two things can be done with these: a) the partition between the cabin and the balcony can be folded away completely, leaving completely open access to the balcony and b) it also looks as the outside of the balcony can be glassed-in. So you can either use the cabin in the conventional balcony fashion; or you can fold away the doors and just walk out to the balcony; or you can put the railing window up, and include the balcony area in an extended, enclosed cabin. That looks good and innovative. (Have a look in the video, starting at 1:58.)
Not all balcony cabins will feature Infinite Verandas. It looks as if there will be a small number of standard balcony cabins with standard balconies, but there won’t be many of them, and it also looks as if they’re located at the forward end of each side of the ship. Concierge and Aqua class balcony cabins – Celebrity’s name for balcony cabins with enhanced fittings, furnishings or services – will also enjoy Infinite Verandas. What does look odd is that suites won’t get Infinite Verandas, as far as I can see. There’s nothing in the accommodation description suites on the Celebrity site that suggests it, and looking at the deck plans there appears to be a little icon on the cabins with Infinite Verandas which is missing from the suites. So suites won’t have the best balconies.
The Magic Carpet: This is an odd one. It’s an interesting idea, but it also looks like it’s come from someone who isn’t familiar with cruise ships! I would have though that combining two such different functions such acting as a tender platform and a restaurant area would be hard – the requirements are so different. I can’t help wondering how much it will actually be used, and for how long. It could end up a real nuisance – if it’s their tender platform then they have to use it whenever they tender, but it sticks out and therefore has to be moved out of the way for docking starboard-side on. Hmm. I wonder how well this has been thought through. Have a look in the video, starting at around 5:00.
Edge Villas: Well, these look great, but I don’t I’ll ever get closer to one than looking at the brochure!
Of course, it’s not entirely good news. As with the Solstice class, it doesn’t look as if there’s a wrap-round promenade. And I’m not sure about the reservation of certain areas exclusively for guests in certain classes of cabin. Smacks of 1st class to me – harrumph, harrumph…. Overall, though, I think there’s a lot to like in this design. Eventually there will be at least 4 Edge-class ships. The second, to be called Celebrity Beyond, will go into service in spring 2020, and the remaining two currently on order will appear in autumn 2021 and 2022.
Here’s the video:
Finally (and here’s a shameless plug): if you’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted in the last couple of weeks or so, it’s because I’ve been on a non-cruise holiday to Asia. You can read all about it here.