As I enter the terminal building basic documentation is checked such as the fact I have a passport and a boarding pass. Lines are labeled as to boarding times. There is none for 12:00 to 12:30. We are directed to the shortest one. The guests in front of me have all the proper documents, but don't speak english. Processing still only takes a few minutes.
My boarding pass is verified. Passort, ID, vaccination card, proof of negative covid test - all is in order. While many of these items can be on your phone, it is much easier to have paper copies as they are much quicker to find, easier to read, and don't disappear when your phone dies.
Next step is carry on luggage X-ray and metal detector, not for me. Metal detectors are a no no. Go around the metal detectors and wanded by hand. Within a few minutes I am on my way to boarding. One more check of some of the documents.
Officially I am on the gangplank, masks can be removed. No one that is not vaccinated and has not tested negative for covid can get this far. I am probably safer than shopping in Publix.
The Celebrity Edge was launched in 2018 making her 3 years old, but she sat idle for nearly a year and a half, void of passengers and staffed only by a skeleton crew. She shows no sign of use. A new design that in some ways has departed from tradition.
First impressions - the ship is georgeous! Very elegant. Design unlike any ships I have previously sailed.
There are four main dining rooms, each seating about 500 passengers. Each with a different theme and different menu. Italian, French, etc.
Each dining room is small enough so that everyone has a view of the ocean. Small enough that the dining room remains quiet. Small enough that the distance from the galley to the farthest table is much less than on most ships.
The central area, Grand Plaza, is much larger and more spacious. Lounge chairs around the pool deck and solarium, are heavily cushioned and set out in pairs with several feet between each pair. The rooftop garden is lush with vegetation. Lots of seating is spread out around the ship. Inside, outside, in the sun, or in the shade. There is a space for everyone.
My cabin is pretty typical in total size for an inside cabin. What is different is the bathroom which seems much more spacious. An effect that was accomplished by smart design more than by adding more square footage.
Storage space in the cabin is abundant with every nook and cranny turned into storage space concealed by clever woodwork. Even the top on the footstool can be reversed to make an end table, and the space inside used for storage.
Of course all lighting is LED and controlled to different intensities by the simple tap of a button, or from the app on my phone.
For the engineering types, the outlets in the bathroom are on a GFI circuit, which they should be, and the circuit breaker is nearby. The most likely circuit to be tripped by a guest can be reset by the guest.
Power strips on the desk accomodate many power system plugs and voltages used in the US and many foreign countries. USB charging outlets are built in at the desk and beside the bed.
In cabins with a balcony the design is such that the balcony space is part of the cabin space when the balcony is not in use with the glass wall closed. This configuration also provides a floor to ceiling window at the edge of the ship with a view of the ocean.
Throughout the ship design elements make excellent use of space.
After a beverage at the pool bar, it is time to clean up for dinner. We have a 6:30 reservation at the Tuscan dining room.
The edge has a rated capacity of just over 2900 passengers. On this voyage there are just 1100 passengers. The cruise line in conjunction with CDC guidelines is limiting capacity to 50%, and we are sailing at a much lower number than that. The service crew is also at about 50% of normal.
It is dinner time. Each dining room has its unique menu choices for each meal related to the theme of the restaurant along with several items that are offered in all four dining rooms, and 4 or 5 basic items that are available everynight in every restaurant. We are seated next to the window with a view of Ft Lauderdale in the distance as we head south.
My turkey parmegan was excellent as was everyone elses meal. Service was impeccable, made easier by the obsservation that I doubt there were more than 75 guests in the dining room at one time while we were there.
As we headed south along the southern coast of Florida there was a slight roll to the ship caused by the remanants of Sam far to our north east. A motion I have missed. I think it only took about 15 minutes to adjust. Soon the stabilizers were deployed and the roll decreased to imperceptable.
Having the ship at only 35% of capacity has its advantages. No waiting for elevators, no lines, empty hallways. Abundant seating everywhere.
I end the evening listening to a comedian in the main theater. The first performance he has done in 19 months. It did not show. One line that was particularily enjoyed: "All these people that don't want anyone jabbing vaccine down their throat. I wonder how they will feel about having a ventilator tube jabbed down their throat?" A loud applause ensued.
We get an extra hour of sleep tonight as we turn our clocks back one hour in preparation for the next time zones.