By: Joel Dash Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
When will Celebrity be getting a new ship? It has been six years since the Reflection, the last of the Solstice Class, entered service. Celebrity’s newest ship will debuted in December as the Celebrity Edge.
It will be the first of four ships in the Edge Class. The ships will be 117,000-gross registered-tons, with a double passenger capacity of 2,900 people. All four ships are being built at the STX shipyard in France. The second ship, Celebrity Beyond will set sail in spring 2020. The two unnamed ships will sail in fall 2021 and spring 2022.
Perhaps the most innovative feature cruisers will find on Celebrity Edge will be a moveable deck, dubbed by the company called the Magic Carpet. The tennis-court sized deck is cantilevered off the side of the ship and can move up and down, all the way from the bottom at Deck 2 and up to Deck 16. Its function will vary depending on which deck the Magic Carpet has been placed. When stationed on Deck 2, the Magic Carpet will serve as a throughway for passengers getting onto and off of tender boats, as they will be able to walk directly from the ship onto the Magic Carpet and then onto the tender without any need for ramps or unwieldy stairs. This will make it much easier for mobility challenged cruisers to get between the cruise ship and the tenders. When not in use for tendering the Magic Carpet will be stationed either on Deck 5 as an al fresco extension to a raw bar restaurant there or on Deck 14 where it will serve as a location for happy hours and late-night parties. At dinner time, the Magic Carpet will become an alternative restaurant on Deck 16, with a theme that changes daily.
Celebrity Edge will have the first on any ship, the Infinite Veranda, designed to blend indoor with the outdoor. Infinite Verandas make the balcony a part of the overall cabin, thanks to bi-fold doors that can be ether completely closed creating a true balcony or left open, creating a sunlit indoor space that adds about 23 percent more space to the room. The balcony features a floor-to-ceiling window that can be opened when the bi-fold doors are closed—again creating the real balcony feel. When the bi-fold doors are open and the window is closed, the entire section is air-conditioned, giving passengers an expansive view of the outdoors with the creature comfort of A/C. Edge will have 918 Infinite Veranda cabins, including 16 single-accommodation cabins, the first cabins the line has ever created specifically to solo travelers. All double occupancy cabins will feature king sized beds with cashmere bedding, while the single occupancy Infinite Veranda rooms will have queen beds. New door lock technology in the rooms will enable cruisers to open their cabin doors using an app on their phones. The Edge will also have 146 one-bedroom Sky Suites on board, all with outward facing king-sized beds. 12 percent of the cabins will be suites. As with all other Celebrity ships; the Celebrity Edge will feature an adults-only Solarium.
Designed to immerse passengers in the destinations, Flora will boast wall-to-wall ceiling windows in many public areas and passenger rooms as well as an expansive deck-top-lounge area that is unlike anything found on existing Galapagos based ships. It’ll also have an open-air stargazing platform—a first for the destination. Other unusual-for the-destination features will be a marina at the back of the ship with an easy-on, easy off Zodiac loading area. Flora will also house a permanent Research Laboratory that will be available to scientists conducting research on the Galapagos. Other public spaces on the vessel will include two restaurants, an indoor lounge, an outdoor lounge overlooking the marina and a library.
For more information on these wonderful additions to the Celebrity fleet. Contact Dash Travel, 280 NE 2nd Ave, Delray Beach, Florida 33444, 561 498-8439 dashtravelandcruises.com celebrating our 59th year.