Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

First Timers' Guide to Celebrity Edge

12 Feb 2021

There's no doubt that Celebrity Cruises broke the mold when it launched Celebrity Edge in 2018. Its sleek exterior design houses many surprises for cruisers. 

As the namesake vessel of the line's Edge Class of ships, Celebrity Edge introduced several industry firsts, including a top-deck garden, a new type of balcony cabin, unique acrobatic performance art and an outdoor bar that moves up and down the side of the ship.

If you're considering a cruise on Celebrity Edge, check out this guide, which highlights everything from dining and cabins to entertainment and activities. 

Dining and Restaurants

Celebrity Edge boasts more than a dozen dining venues, plus room service (which is free, except for late-night deliveries which levy a small surcharge). Here are some -- but not all -- of the key options.

Note: Celebrity now includes a basic beverage package in most of its fares, meaning that passengers no longer have to shell out additional money for soda, juice, specialty coffees, bottled water or alcohol.

Main Dining Rooms

Edge has four main dining rooms, all of which are included in the price. If you opt for set-seating dining at dinner, you will be assigned to a specific time and table at which to eat in Cosmopolitan, the closest thing the ship has to a traditional dining room. 

Passengers can also find breakfast served there every day, along with lunch on sea days. 

Those who, instead, opt to have dinner on their own schedule can head to any of the four MDRs, with or without a reservation. 

The other three include Normandie, which is French themed; Tuscan, featuring Italian fare; and Cyprus, which focuses on Mediterranean cuisine, with an emphasis on Greek food. 

Although one section of the menu stays the same daily across all four dining rooms, each offers a section with items specific to each eatery -- French, Italian, Mediterranean or contemporary.

Buffet Dining

The Oceanview Cafe is Celebrity Edge's buffet, which offers free food galore. Cruisers will find everything from eggs, bacon and pancakes for breakfast to sandwiches, salads, carving stations, Asian stir-fry, pizza, roasted vegetables and much more for lunch and dinner. 

We also have to shout out the standalone ice cream stand, which serves up free soft-serve in cones or bowls, along with a selection of hard ice creams and toppings for an extra fee. 

Near the buffet entrance, Celebrity has also included a massive handwashing station -- a convenience before the pandemic and an absolute godsend now. 

Special-Access Dining

The ship houses two complimentary dining rooms that are exclusive to travelers booked in select staterooms. 

The first is Blu, which is reserved for anyone staying in an AquaClass spa cabin or a suite. It focuses on healthy fare and is open for dinner only.

The second is Luminae, which can be accessed only by cruisers in suites and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. While breakfast is fairly standard, the lunch and dinner menus are small but impressive, and they rotate daily.

Fine Dining

Fine Cut is the ship's added-fee steakhouse, featuring a variety of cuts, as well as chicken, fish and a selection of sides. 

If you're more a fan of seafood, check out Raw on 5, which sells a la carte items like lobster, crab, oysters, clam chowder, lobster rolls, sushi, caviar and more. 

Quirky Dining

Eden is one of the ship's most notable areas. It functions as a lounge during the day and a nightclub with performance art by night. With a spiral walkway around the outside -- an homage to the Fibonacci Sequence -- it also encompasses a bar with creative drinks, a gratis lunchtime deli and a pricey restaurant that's open for dinner. 

We highly recommend splurging and reserving a dining time that will coincide with performances by acrobats and a sitar player. The menu, themed around the elements, offers tasty dishes that are prepared in ways that are curious but genius.

Le Grand Bistro is a French-themed alternative eatery that is open for brunch on select days, as well as dinner, when the space presents Le Petit Chef. Between courses, projections of miniature chefs appear on your tabletop to compete in a whimsical cooking competition. 

The interactive experience offers a set menu, which coincides with the show, and an alternate menu for pickier eaters.

Dinner on the Edge is a special (and expensive) option that's offered on the Magic Carpet, an exterior open-air room that looks out over the water and moves up and down the side of the vessel to serve different functions -- bar, lounge, restaurant and tender platform, depending on the conditions. 

Because the platform can't be raised when the ship is at sea or when the weather is particularly windy, passengers can never be certain when Dinner on the Edge will be available for booking.  

Grill Fare

For those seeking more outdoor options, free grill fare can be found at the Mast Grill (by the main pool), while the Rooftop Garden Grill features a wider range of barbecue choices for a charge during lunch and dinner.

Snacks and Coffee

There are various locations on Edge to snag a nibble when you're feeling hungry between meals. They include the Spa Cafe, which puts on a spread of free healthy food. It also sells juices and smoothies. 

Additionally, Cafe al Bacio showcases complimentary pastries, cakes and cookies, along with specialty coffee drinks and premium teas. The Grand Plaza Cafe also presents gratis pastries and finger sandwiches, as well as coffee.



Eden's nighttime performances are, by far, the most noteworthy onboard. They involve heady, artistic performances that center on acrobatics (some aerial), dancing and feats of strength, often set to sitar music in dimly lit surrounds on a tiny center stage called the nucleus. 

The storyline is loosely based on Adam and Eve and the sensual temptations they experienced in -- you guessed it -- the Garden of Eden. 

The performers, known as Edenists, might try to interact with you and draw you into the fun. If you're not interested, sit farther away from the stage, or simply politely decline as they approach.

Edge's main theater consists of several stages backed by giant screens used for high-tech laser projections. A ticket of several shows runs throughout each sailing, with two performance times per night. 

Most are high-energy song and dance shows that highlight contemporary music that appeals largely to Generation X and Millennials. 

Live music and smaller-scale performances can be found in The Club. 


Celebrity Edge has one long main pool surrounded by loungers and two martini glass-shaped hot tubs a deck above. There are also six cabanas for rent nearby, but they come at a premium, and if you don't reserve one early, you'll be out of luck.

Those seeking respite from the elements or the usual pool deck hubbub can check out the covered adults-only Solarium, which comprises a pool, hot tub and lounge chairs. 

The only other onboard pool is exclusive to cruisers booked in The Retreat, the ship's private suite enclave. The space also includes a hot tub and plenty of seating. 

Signature Attractions

We've already filled you in on the Magic Carpet, the ship's swath of movable open-air deck, which shows up on different decks to serve a variety of purposes, from bar and lounge to restaurant and tender boarding platform. If nothing else, it's an engineering marvel, so pay it a visit, even if just for the views. 

For an outdoor lounge space that features private alcoves and leafy greenery, you can't do better than the Rooftop Garden. Tables and chairs abound in cozy nooks, making the venue perfect for hosted games like Jenga and nighttime live music or films on the nearby outdoor movie screen. 

Celebrity Edge's spa is one of the most impressive at sea, with a variety of treatments. Passengers can also purchase cruise-long access to the thermal suite, which comprises tile loungers and areas for aromatherapy, salt and crystal therapy and a hammam. 

If fitness is your forte, you won't want to miss a trip to the onboard gym, which is stocked with Technogym equipment, free weights and even Peloton bikes, all of which passengers can use on their own for free. Organized exercise classes are scheduled, and you can sign up for a fee. 

What also sticks out to us is Edge's jogging track. What's special about it is that it's huge, looping around the ship's top decks in a figure-eight layout, part of which is on an incline. Whether you prefer to walk or run, the change in scenery is a welcome change from typical cruise ship tracks. 


Celebrity Edge offers the same standard types of cabins you'd find on any mainstream ship: insides, outsides, balconies, mini-suites and suites. However, there are a few that stand out from the crowd. 

Infinite Verandas 

These are 131- to 200-square-foot balcony cabins that, instead of traditional verandas, each have a floor-to-ceiling window you can raise and lower with the touch of a button, allowing fresh air into the stateroom without taking away any interior space. 

The area near the window offers a couple of chairs and a small table, as well as clear partitions that allow space to be sectioned off from the rest of the room so the open window won't affect the climate control. 

Instead of curtains, these cabins are outfitted with blinds that can be controlled with a switch on the wall or by using the Celebrity cell phone app. Sometimes the blinds get stuck or don't work properly, which has been a complaint of many cruisers.

For those who don't think they'd like the setup, the ship does offer regular balcony accommodations.

Edge Villas 

Celebrity Edge offers six Edge Villas -- the first of their kind in the fleet. What makes them special is that they offer 739 square feet with a walk-out balcony that's more than 200 square feet. 

The room is a two-deck setup with an upstairs and a downstairs that encompasses one bedroom, two bathrooms and a living room are. 

Edge Villa residents also have exclusive access to a private plunge pool, sun deck and lounge, as well as the Blu and Luminae restaurants.

Other perks include premium canapes, two bottles of premium spirits, complimentary laundry, unlimited specialty dining, butler and concierge service, priority embarkation and tendering, upgraded toiletries, onboard credit, and the highest-tiered Wi-Fi and beverage packages. 

Iconic Suites 

Even more coveted are Edge's two first-in-class Iconic Suites, featuring 1,892 square feet and a nearly 700-square-foot balcony. They're located directly above the bridge; anyone staying in one of these suites will see a view that's similar to the captain's.

The two-bedroom, two-bathroom setup makes these digs great for family travel, as well. Also included are a living area, a whirlpool-style bathtub, dining in Blu and Luminae, and access to a reserved lounge and sun deck. 

Because these rooms are part of The Retreat, passengers staying there are also entitled to the services of a butler and concierge; priority check-in, boarding and tendering; onboard credit; the highest-tiered drink and Wi-Fi packages; unlimited specialty dining; upscale toiletries; and a welcome bottle of Champagne among other amenities.


Edge is one of the most technologically advanced vessels afloat, offering interactive dinners (Le Petit Chef), impressive theater shows and a cell phone app that allows passengers to unlock their cabin doors, raise and lower the blinds, and control the TV and air-conditioning. 

Additionally, it employs digital signage to help cruisers find their way around, and as mentioned above, the vessel's theater productions use a specially designed stage and cutting-edge laser projections as backdrops. 

Kids Programming

Camp at Sea, Celebrity's program for kids, is divided into several age-appropriate groups: Stay and Play (younger than 3), Shipmates (3 - 5), Cadets (6 - 9) and Captains (10 - 12). 

Parents must sign kids into and out of the kids club on each visit, with the exception of Stay and Play, where parents are required to stick around the whole time. 

The Basement is the dedicated space for cruisers aged 13 to 17. Teens are allowed to come and go as they please. 

How is Celebrity Cruises different from Royal Caribbean?

27 Jan 2021

Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are sister cruise lines, owned by Royal Caribbean Group. So how much do these cruise line have in common?

Many cruisers choose between a sailing on either brand because they are both under the same corporate umbrella, and their experiences are more similar these days than different.  However, there are definitely some ways each cruise line stands out from each other.

Both cruise lines target the mass market, but Celebrity tends to skew to be a more premium experience, while Royal Caribbean offers a cruise that tries to give everyone something to enjoy.

Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about the differences between Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

Approach to cruising

Off the bat, Celebrity takes a more modern take on cruises and tries to incorporate a contemporary vibe onboard its ships with culinary experiences, workshops and more. 

Celebrity even went as far as to tackle cruise line dress codes to modernize them by removing the notion of a formal night, and replacing it with "evening chic".   On Evening Chic nights, the dress code is dressier than smart casual but less so than a traditional formal night.

Royal Caribbean focuses on the family experience, and loads its cruise ships with as many things to do and innovations in order to "wow" their guests.

You will find fun, upbeat and a lively atmosphere on Royal Caribbean, and they pride themselves on featuring the latest in cruise ship technology.


It is difficult to come up with guidelines for how each cruise line prices itself, but generally speaking, Celebrity Cruises will come in a bit more expensive than Royal Caribbean.  

However, Celebrity Cruises includes more in its base fare.  In fact, Celebrity recent made a change to its pricing model that is much closer to all-inclusive, with your cruise fare now covering gratuity, drinks & WiFi.

Royal Caribbean tends to price its cruises based on how new a cruise ship is, and includes less with the base fare.  This offers guests the choice of what they want to add onto their vacation and skipping what they do not.

Both cruise lines include nearly all of their entertainment, although both have exceptions (themed parties on Celebrity or dining shows on Royal Caribbean).


Both cruise lines have placed an emphasis on dining onboard its ships, although Royal Caribbean tends to offer more specialty and complimentary dining choices.

Everything on Celebrity is looked as elevated, including their dining.  Celebrity Cruises often compares their dining experience to James Beard level culinary experiences, with some of its chefs actually having won awards. 

Some of the best complimentary food is found on Celebrity's ships, and the cruise line has a reputation for great food in its dining room and buffet.

Royal Caribbean's food stands out more when you hit the specialty restaurants, which offer a wider range of cuisine and creative options.

Just like activities, Royal Caribbean gives guests a lot of choices in what they can eat onboard.

Both cruise lines offer specialty dining choices that will cost you extra to dine there.


Staterooms on both cruise lines are more similar than different, and you will find choices among the core categories of rooms.

Royal Caribbean has a few unique stateroom types, such as interior balcony rooms and virtual balconies. 

Royal Caribbean has also upped its top tier cabins with the Royal Suite Class, which is available on Oasis and Quantum Class ships. Royal Suite Class includes more than traditionally available with a suite, and its Star Class rooms include an incredible amount of service and options.

Celebrity places a larger emphasis on its suite offerings, with broad suite privileges on almost all of its ships.

A suite on Celebrity truly stands out with the AquaClass cabins that come with unlimited access to the Relaxation Room and Persian Garden thermal suite, as well as exclusive access to Blu, a health-centric alternative restaurant.

Other amenities include daily delivery of flavored teas, a pillow menu, upgraded bath toiletries and an expanded room service breakfast menu.

Both cruise lines offer rooms that can accommodate families, but Royal Caribbean tends to have more of these types of rooms (including connecting cabins).  Also, Royal Caribbean's suites can come in very large sizes that work well for some families too.

Things to do

Regardless of the line you choose, throughout the day cruisers can participate in a range of activities like trivia, bingo, dance lessons.

Wine tastings are part of the daily schedule on many of Celebrity ships, too. Celebrity's are presented through a partnership with the United Kingdom's "The Wine Show."

Celebrity ships have two to three pools each, and boast a number of hot tubs for cruisers looking to relax. Celebrity also houses a kids' splash area on select vessels.

For more outdoor fun, Celebrity's Solstice-class ships boast real grass lawns on the ships' top decks, offering a space for passengers to play bocce, enjoy picnics and take part in art classes. Throughout each sailing, glass-blowing demonstrations are also offered there.

Some ships restricts access to the Lawn Club area because of the presence of the Lawn Club grill.

On Celebrity's Edge-class vessels, passengers won't want to miss the impressive  acrobatic performances in the Eden lounge.

Royal Caribbean offers more adrenaline-pumping activities like rock climbing, bungee trampolining, laser tag, trapeze classes, bumper cars, ice skating, simulated surfing and skydiving, and zip lining, most of which are free.

Further amenities -- like fitness centers, for-fee arcades and nightclubs with DJ-spun music -- allow cruisers to make their own fun without a schedule. Further, Royal Caribbean presents a variety of game shows, including "Battle of the Sexes," the "Love and Marriage Game" and adult scavenger hunt "Quest."

There is plenty to do outdoors on a Royal Caribbean cruises with multiple pools on every ship, along with children's splash areas, mini-golf courses, jogging tracks and basketball courts on most ships.

Royal Caribbean has also begun including water slides on some of its ships.

In the evening, something that makes Royal Caribbean stand out are its Broadway shows. These are included with your cruise fare and include the full-length productions of "Cats," "Grease",  "Hairspray", and more.

Both lines feature casinos.

Family cruising

If you are traveling with kids, or doing a multigenerational trip, there are advantage to both lines.

Both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity offer supervised children's care onboard. Both of the offerings for kids 3-17 years old is complimentary, although there are after hours charges.

Camp at Sea on Celebrity is available for guests 3-12 years old, and there is the X-Club for teens 13-17.  The kids clubs are not available on expedition ships.

Royal Caribbean offers Adventure Ocean on all of its cruise ships, as well as offering a nursery (6-36 months) onboard on many of if its ships. Celebrity has an extra cost babysitting service for children 12 months and older, except on expedition ships.

Adventure Ocean also offers a family dinner option, where a counselor will pick kids up from the dining room during the first seating of dinner so that parents can enjoy the rest of the meal without the children.

As mentioned earlier, you will likely find more stateroom configurations that are better for larger families on Royal Caribbean. 

Deciding between Royal Caribbean and Celebrity

Both cruise lines do a good job at serving nearly all types of cruises, but inevitably the decision comes down to your personal tastes.

The difference between the lines has gradually been shrinking over the last number of years, so the experience between the two is less substantial than you may think.

Families, people looking for as much to do as possible onboard, and those that value the largest cruise ships will find Royal Caribbean a good fit.  Royal Caribbean prides itself on adding the "wow" factor to its ships, and you will always find the latest and greatest in cruise innovation here.

Celebrity Cruises appeals to those that want a quieter cruise than Royal Caribbean, as well as those who enjoy a trendier choice in their cruise experience. 

Could Royal Caribbean follow Celebrity Cruises move to all-inclusive pricing?

11 Nov 2020

Royal Caribbean's sister brand Celebrity Cruises announced a major change on Tuesday that includes a number of add-ons that are now part of the cruise price, leading many cruise fans to wonder if Royal Caribbean might do the same.

Celebrity Cruises rolled out the "Always Included" plan, which means cruise fares now include automatically Wi-Fi, drinks and gratuity.  

The cruise line says they made this change in an effort to avoid "confusing promotions, complicated add-ons and limited-time offers."  

How Always Included works

Beginning November 17, 2020 all Celebrity Cruises sailings (except Galapagos cruises) will include WiFi, drinks, and gratuities.  

When you book a Celebrity cruise, your fare will include the classic beverage package, Wi-Fi for two devices, and gratuities as part of the price you pay for your stateroom. Prior to this change, these items cost extra, just like on Royal Caribbean.

You can optionally pay more for one of two upgrade packages that includes higher tier drinks, as well as other incentives.

In a statement, Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo called the Always Included plan a “new luxury” culture.

The appeal of this package is it includes a few commonly purchased add-ons that makes getting a sense of the "bottom line price" for a cruise a lot easier to understand.

Will Royal Caribbean do the same?

Including popular add-ons such as tips, a drink package and wifi is something that sounds appealing to Royal Caribbean cruise fans who would also like a simplified approach to cruise pricing.

Traditionally, Royal Caribbean's promotions tend to favor giving guests a discount on the cruise fare, and then allowing guests to add-on things like a drink package or wifi if they want it.

Prior to Always Included, Celebrity Cruises tended to offer promotions that offered cruise add-ons for free, while not touching the cruise fare.

In addition, Celebrity Cruises is usually grouped with other premium cruise lines, such as Princess or Holland America, whereas Royal Caribbean is a contemporary cruise line and tends to be grouped with Carnival and Norwegian.

Meanwhile, gratuities have been part of Royal Caribbean's cruise pricing in Australia for a few years because of the different customs surrounding tipping in that part of the world.

What has been traditionally done may be a moot point, because since the cruise industry shutdown earlier this year, we have seen plenty of offers that were unprecedented prior to the shutdown, such as double Crown and Anchor Society points for all 2021 cruises and unprecedented flexibility in cancelling cruises.

Royal Caribbean Group (the company that owns both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises) has posted billion dollar loses the last few quarters, which means getting revenue flowing again is a major priority.  Thus, anything is possible.

Depending on how well the Always Included change increases bookings, the decision for Royal Caribbean International to move in the same direction may wait to see those results.

Do you want more inclusive pricing?

Since Celebrity made its announcement, plenty of cruise fans have already begun wondering aloud if a similar promotion for Royal Caribbean makes sense.

A discussion on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boards seems to have intrigued quite a few people.

JLMoran thinks this is a really smart move by Celebrity, "This is very smart on their part -- they've clearly been looking at what people have traditionally chosen when they chose the Sail Better (3 perks) option and I'll bet it was always those three."

cruisellama also likes the change, "Great idea.  I've been a proponent of that approach since the nickel and diming started a few years ago."

FionaMG thinks this sort of pricing would not benefit the way her family travels, "This move would ensure a minimum spend from guests like us who normally spend peanuts on top of the basic cruise fare. Not sure I want to play that game."

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast Episode - Royal Caribbean vs. Celebrity Cruises

22 Oct 2014

Listen to the Show

A common question I get on this podcast is what’s the difference between Royal Caribbean and sister company Celebrity Cruises. I’ve enlisted the help of one of our podcast listeners to dive into what Royal Caribbean has in common with Celebrity and how they differ to help you figure out which cruise line you might be interested in going on next. It’s a great discussion into what each cruise line offers

Share with me your thoughts, questions and comments via...

On this episode:
Running time:

Cruises generate over $1 million for a city

23 Aug 2010

Royal Caribbean's Australasia managing director Gavin Smith says that a typical Royal Caribbean cruise that stops in Auckland, New Zealand can put $1.26 million into the local economy.  Royal Caribbean expects 6000 visitors to New Zealand in the 2010/11 season, rising to 36,000 in 2011/12 . Americans and Europeans made up about 70 per cent of guests.

Royal Caribbean's sister company Celebrity Cruises will have their 1800-passenger ship the Celebrity Century start or finish cruises out of Auckland from October 2011.

According to Smith, a full cruise ship helps create jobs in coaches, taxis, baggage handlers, customs and border control agencies that attended the pier and engagement with the airport and local hotels.

"We have local fresh produce provedoring requirements, we have fuel needs and we also have stevedoring needs because we'll do a full store in Auckland, in terms of container movements and the more industrial side of the business. The general figure that the cruise lines use is around a million dollars into the local economy on a turnaround day. And then you've got the additional upside of most of the Americans and Europeans and Australians that are getting on and off the ship will be buying one, two or three nights [accommodation] pre- or post cruise."

Smith also added that cruisers were more likely to spend money in the city on hotel stays because it was the place they would begin or end their cruise.

Subscribe to Celebrity Cruises