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March 26, 2019, Florida, United States

Smooth sailing

Step into a world of luxury when you board the Celebrity Edge for a memorable holiday on the high seas, says Nivani Elangovan

Nivani Elangovan

Cruising along the coast of the Bahamas and sipping on a Tequila Sunrise on the highest deck of a luxury cruise is the height of indulgence for me.

Some people may think that less is more, but on Celebrity Edge, extravagance is the name of the game. From the moment you arrive at Deck 3 right after boarding the ship, you’ll be greeted with one of many stately chandeliers and nouveau art decor that exude sophisticated opulence.

The ship, which measures 306m in length, has 15 guest decks that can accommodate up to 3,373 guests. The massive ship has everything to bring your cruise holiday to new heights — literally.

Behold the Magic Carpet, the world’s first cantilevered floating platform that can go up to 13 stories high — over the open ocean. Its functions vary, depending on which deck it visits, from being an open-air dining venue to a comfortable space for guests to make their transfer to land.

Here are five memorable experiences that I had the privilege of enjoying on Celebrity Edge:

WHAT TO EAT:
Performance art on a plate
Dining at Le Grand Bistro (located on Deck 4) is a one-of-a-kind experience with Le Petit Chef, created by Belgian art collective Skull mapping. When I sat down in anticipation of a delectable dinner, little did I know that I would go on an innovative animated journey, during which a four-course meal would be served.

The virtual experience, enabled by 3D animation technology, began when four mini chefs from Italy, Spain, France and Japan appeared on the table to compete for my attention as they “prepare” an appetiser, two entrees and a dessert. They danced across my plate and around the table till it was time to serve each dish. The moment the animation stopped, real servers placed a real — and tasty — version of the animated dish.

At the end of the meal, I got to vote for my favourite chef by applauding as loudly as I could when the virtual chefs were projected on the table again. Nothing brings you closer to neighbouring diners than some friendly competition.

WHAT TO WATCH:
High-tech entertainment
Not to be missed is the state-of-the-art entertainment at The Theatre on Deck 4, where I caught the headliner Marcus Terell at a 90-minute concert that showcases modern pop songs and throwback tunes. I was blown away by the performance led by the America’s Got Talent Season 4 finalist, who rocked the place with his charismatic stage presence, strong vocals and sleek dance moves.

Stunning light projections provided visual effects that added to the electrifying party atmosphere. I was also amazed by the stage with three moving projected backdrops, rotating spiral staircases and 18 synchronised projectors — a sight you can only see to believe.

The Theatre also hosts other performances, such as A Hot Summer Night’s Dream, which is a light-hearted take on the Shakespearean play with music and acrobatics; and The Jewelry Box, which tells the tale of a kingdom shrouded in darkness with special effects from stunning props and projections.

WHAT TO DRINK:
Concoctions from paradise
A good tipple is best enjoyed at Eden, a chill-out venue that spans three levels on Deck 3.

Its drinks menu offers a variety of handcrafted cocktails, each served in a unique way. My favourite was Veldt, a delightful combination of Del Maguey Mezcal and verdita. It comes served in a quaint wooden chest filled to the brim with fake moss. A chunk of dry ice in the drink sublimates once the chest is opened, causing an almost ethereal white fog effect.

Eden is like an urban garden haven that is just the perfect place to chillax in. The 12,654 sq ft venue is dotted with indoor plants at every corner and a swing descends from the ceiling in the centre.

Its awesome chill-out vibes made me feel like I could hang out there all day. At night, the venue transforms into an entertaining playground that integrates song and dance. The audience is welcome to join in the merrymaking. Be sure to book a front row seat for a truly immersive performance of interpretive song and dance by performers called “Edenists”.

WHERE TO STAY:
Posh accommodation
I stayed in the luxurious Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda, of which there are 918 in the entire ship. The “Infinite Veranda” refers to floor-to-ceiling windows which I could activate with a touch of a button to slide them open to enjoy the ocean view.

Just imagine waking up to a gorgeous view every morning from the king-sized bed from Celebrity’s new Cashmere Bedding Collection. I could laze in bed all day.

I was able to customise the room to my own preferences easily too. By using a touchpad at the entrance, I could change the intensity of the room’s lighting, temperature and privacy status, depending on the time of day.

Other accommodation options on the ship include the Iconic Suite above the bridge of the ship. It has a veranda with a hot tub and private resort-style cabana. Guests in large groups can consider the two-level Edge Villa (of which there are only six), which has plunge pools (with a depth of 3 ft) and direct, exclusive access to The Retreat Sundeck.

WHAT TO DO:
Spa-cial treatment
There are lots to do — or not do — during the cruise. But my favourite is pampering myself at The Spa on Deck 14. With a wide variety of treatments available, I was spoilt for choice.

I was impressed with the SEA Thermal Suite, a natural healing zone with eight rooms for AquaClass guests — ideal for those who desire a quiet retreat. The Suite has a stretch of heated tiled loungers that warm you up nicely in seconds. They face the exterior of the ship, offering panoramic views of the ocean too.

There is also a Kérastase Institute premium salon within where you can go for a relaxing hair treatment. But if your idea of rejuvenating yourself is to sweat it out in the gym first, you’ll be glad that the spa is linked to a fitness centre on Deck 15. You can always go for a massage after your workout.

GETTING THERE
I took a 17-hour flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida via Emirates, with a stopover in Dubai. Port Everglades Terminal 25, where Celebrity Edge is docked, is a 15-minute cab ride from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

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