Celebrity Edge has made it to Florida.
The first in a new class of ship from Celebrity Cruises arrived to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale today amid water-spraying tug boats and helicopters flying overhead.
The 2,918-passenger ship arrived to the cruise line's new terminal at the port before it begins Caribbean duties starting Nov 21.
The arrival was attended by Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain who took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with port and city officials.
"We always knew we were going to come to South Florida in its first season," Lutoff-Perlo said. "It also made sense to come to Port Everglades because from the very beginning, Port Everglades was extremely interested and determined to bring this modern luxury ship here."
Edge's new home the $120 million renovated Terminal 25, and officials expect to see 500,000 passengers move through it annually.
"For me personally to be sailing in with this transformational ship into this beautifully designed and Celebrity designed terminal, it's the first time we have ever had a terminal specifically and branded specifically for Celebrity Cruises ever," Lutoff-Perlo said. "So it's a really special day for us."
The 1,004-foot-long vessel’s unique features include the Magic Carpet, a large multi-use elevator of sorts that moves up and down the side of the 16-deck ship while playing the role of mass transportation, but also as an entertainment and dining venue.
Another unique feature on Edge is the three-story venue called Eden that will feature an 18-foot-tall wall of plants over a bar that uses ingredients from the plants in its drinks. The venue will act as relaxing lounge during the day and dinner theater venue at night with aerialists and musicians. Other features include martini glass-shaped jacuzzis, staterooms without sliding doors and two new suite categories.
"When you go on board, the thoughtfulness of the design throughout, and the elegance of that design, the artwork that goes into it are simply stunning," Fain said. "It's all small touches. It's the details that make such a difference on a ship in a really great design."
Fain said one of his favorite spaces on the ship is the atrium area called The Grand Plaza, which features a seven-ton chandelier that hangs three decks above the Martini Bar, and features LED light strips that adjust the color depending on the time of day.
"It took some courage to invest in the kind of ship that we built with Edge," Fain said. "But now that she's here and finished there's absolutely no doubt that she will not only be an aesthetic success, but a commercial success."
Fain said the demand for the ship has been unprecedented.
"I don't think we've ever had a ship that's had so much anticipation and such excellent forward bookings," he said.
The ship will continue sailing seven-night alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries until summer 2019 when it migrates to the Mediterranean. It’s one of five new ships debuting in Florida this year including the recent arrival of the largest ship in the world. Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas.
Celebrity Edge is the first of a new class of ship. The line’s last class of ship, the Solstice class, debuted more than 10 years ago. A sister ship, Celebrity Apex, is slated for delivery in spring 2020 with two more on order for 2021 and 2022.
"When I got the opportunity to design a new ship for the first time in 13 years, we had a great opportunity to transform the brand," Lutoff-Perlo said. "I think we found along the way that we have not only transformed the brand but we've transformed the industry with Celebrity Edge."
By Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
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