FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Call it the most unusual new feature to debut this year on a cruise ship.
Celebrity Edge, the new Celebrity Cruises vessel being unveiled this week in Florida, boasts a first-of-its-kind, 90-ton passenger platform hanging over its side that serves a range of functions as it moves up and down the ship.
Dubbed the Magic Carpet, the tangerine-colored structure can serve as an open-air lounge or restaurant with stunning views of the sea when positioned along higher decks.
When moved to Deck 2, it can be used as a "tender platform" where passengers can catch boats to shore.
The size of a tennis court, Magic Carpet is by far the most distinctive feature on Edge, which will sail its first cruise with paying passengers on Saturday out of Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades. It is recognizable from miles away.
Billed as the world's first cantilevered venue at sea and an engineering feat, Magic Carpet has a full bar, comfortable seating and space for live music performances.
During the evenings, it'll be positioned at the summit of the ship alongside Deck 16, where it will be transformed into an al fresco specialty restaurant known as Dinner on the Edge.
During the daytime, it'll often be moved to Deck 14, where it will become an extension of Edge's main pool area with lounge space, an active bar and live music.
It also can be positioned at Deck 5 to become an open-air extension of Edge's Raw on Five seafood eatery.
More than 100 feet long and 20 feet wide, Magic Carpet was developed in collaboration with renowned British architect Tom Wright. It has a maximum occupancy of 100 people. Edge arrived at 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.
By Gene Sloan, USA Today
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