The Cruise Ship of the Future is Here!

Richard Fain, the chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., is willing to bet $5 billion that he can take everything you know about cruising and flip it upside down. Or at least outside in.

On Monday, he and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity Cruises—one of three brands in the Royal Caribbean family—announced a new category of ship that, among other transformational design moves, brings stateroom balconies indoors. With a push of a button, the floor-to-ceiling windows of Celebrity Edge-class staterooms retract like a super-sleek garage door, leaving nothing but a simple glass railing between your living room furniture and the crystal-blue sea.

Debuting this week at Florida’s Port Everglades, Edge is the prototype for a new class of vessel that will transform not just the line but the industry, too.

Here’s everything we know about the innovative ship so far…

The Magic Carpet Ride

Imagine a mini-deck—it’s the length of a tennis court—that hovers on the side of the ship, moving up and down along a vertical track almost like an elevator. That’s the Magic Carpet, a new public space that will serve different purposes at different times of the day. When it’s positioned on Deck 2, it’s a stylish disembarkation point. On Deck 5, it becomes a lunch spot with wraparound views. Up on Deck 14, it’s an extension to the pool area, sometimes with a DJ. (Think of it as a pool party that comes and goes, explained Lutoff-Perlo.) And in the evenings, the Magic Carpet will anchor at Deck 16, where it’ll become a fine dining restaurant that’s cantilevered over the sea.

Deluxe Guest Villas

The two-storey Edge Villas take the home-at-sea concept to a new level. They feature private sparkling three-foot-deep sea view plunge pools, direct access to the one of the ship’s sundecks, a Hoppen-green plantation rocker a backlit vanity table with magnifying mirror, eucalyptus-treated cashmere mattresses from Italy, Bulgari bath amenities, butler service and a bar that’s set up based on your own preference. They also come with a hefty price tag of $20,000 a week, but hey, luxury like this doesn’t come cheap.

Infinite Verandas

The more reasonably priced Edge Staterooms have balconies that are incorporated into the main cabin area. Bi-fold doors in the rooms either can be completely closed, creating a traditional room area separated from a balcony area, or left open, creating a wide-open indoor space that is about 23 percent larger than traditional balcony cabins. The glass walls at the end of the Infinite Veranda cabins slide down from the ceiling at the push of a button, descending to the level of a traditional balcony to create a balcony-like feel.

Eden

This three-deck-high, plant-filled lounge, dining and entertainment venue at the back of the ship is encircled in glass. Featuring stunning panoramic ocean views and an atmosphere that changes throughout the day, Eden blends nature with design. It’s a space where nature is so present, Celebrity calls it “a room that lives.” It’s an experience so multi-faceted and innovative, you won’t find anything else like it as sea.

Cutting Edge Spa Treatments

The Elemis Spa on board Celebrity Edge has an MLX Quartz treatment table. When you lie on the warm crystals, the quartz is said to cut through your knotty bits. As well as the quartz bed, there are two crystal-based massage treatments, which use amber and quartz poultice balms, and a giant amethyst crystal is also used in the steam room. As the steam opens your pores, the energy in the crystals should draw out tension.  Also available are the Spa Wave MLW Amphibia®, which combines chromatherapy and ultimate waterbed comfort and the zero-gravity WellMassage 4D®, where choreographed massage soothes every major muscle group, while you feel as though you’re suspended in air. Or take advantage of the latest and most advanced facial technology with Elemis® Biotec Facials which increase your skin’s natural cellular energy with oxygen, light therapy, and galvanic energy.

First Class Dining

Instead of a single large main dining room, Edge offers four smaller main dining rooms, each with its own decor and culinary theme. Named Tuscan, Cosmopolitan, Normandie and Cyprus, the eateries serve a common menu augmented by a handful of specialty dishes that are unique to each venue. Tuscan serves some Italian dishes, for instance; Cosmopolitan features distinctly American fare; Normandie’s specials have a contemporary French flair and Cyprus, which serves Greek cuisine, is an homage to Celebrity’s Greek heritage. And of course there are specialty restaurants as well, including the Fine Cut Steakhouse, Le Grand Bistro, Raw on 5 and the Eden Restaurant.

Edge arrived at Florida’s Port Everglades last week after a 15-night journey from the shipyard in France where it had been under construction for more than a year. It’s scheduled to sail its first cruise with paying passengers on Saturday and be christened in early December.

Edge initially will sail to the Caribbean out of Port Everglades before moving to the Mediterranean for summer 2019. In the Caribbean, the ship will operate seven-night trips starting at $1,049. In the Mediterranean, it’ll mostly offer 10- and 11-night voyages starting at $1,899.

Contact Susan Rogers in our Vacation Department to be among the first guests on this brand-new cruise ship! You can reach her at (678) 420-2510 or email her at vacations@teplis.com

 

(The Guardian, USA Today, Bloomberg)

 

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