If you’ve spent any time with me, you know that if you say the word “cruise,” I’m likely to pull out my laptop and start helping you find one to book. I am crazy addicted to cruising, because cruises are, well, the best vacations ever conceived by humankind.

I love nothing more than to just watch the wake while cruising.

I love nothing more than to just watch the wake while cruising.

To me, cruise ships are like moving world class resort hotels. They take you from place to place and you only have to unpack your suitcase once. I love the fact that most of our travel expenses are paid upfront and almost everything’s included. There are many wonderful choices available for dinner and entertainment. You don’t take a chance on a bad hotel, or have to find transportation to get where you want to go. Cruise ships have it all.

Four Celebrity Cruises ships in port at the same time in St. Maarten .

We saw four Celebrity Cruises ships in port at the same time in St. Maarten .

If you’ve read our blog at all, you know that I’m especially fond of Celebrity Cruises. The accommodations, food, beverages, and service are second-to-none. We’ve cruised six times with Celebrity, though honestly, if money were not an issue it would 600 times.

The new Edge Class of ship

About two years ago, Celebrity announced it was building a new ship, called the Celebrity Edge. The Edge would be a totally new design, created from the ground water up. Celebrity and its designers re-imagined everything on this ship. Balcony rooms are totally re-designed and there is a giant, movable platform on the side of the ship. That feature, called the Magic Carpet, is like a giant elevator and has different functions at each of its stops.

Steve watches the Celebrity Cruises website like a hawk.

To say I was intrigued is an understatement. Ann and I talked about the new ship and booking a cruise when rooms became available. For months, I watched the internet intently, desperately seeking any piece of information I could find about the then, nonexistent ship. In early 2017, and as soon as I heard the date that cabins would be available for booking, I contacted our travel agent. I’m glad we booked early, too, as the price for our room has more than doubled since we secured our reservation almost two years ago.

But first, the ship had to be built

Finally, construction of the ship began at the STX France shipyard. Ships today are built in parts, called blocks, and then those blocks are fitted together. Here is a picture of some of the first blocks of the Edge being laid in the ship yard. Once put in place, the pieces are welded together so that the ship’s hull becomes one solid piece of steel making it exceptionally strong.

Celebrity Edge block

The first block marking the next phase of Celebrity Edge’s evolutionary design is lifted during the Keel Laying at STX France. (Photo Courtesy of STX France – Bernard Biger)

As the shipbuilders put more and more of the blocks together, the ship takes shape. The ship is built in a large dry dock, which is a place the ship sits out of water, but that can be filled with water at the right time to launch the ship.

The float out of the Celebrity Edge

After the blocks are put together, it’s time to take the ship out of the dry dock. On the appointed day, water is pumped into the dry dock until the ship begins to float. Next, tug boats pull the ship out of the dry dock and move it to a pier where work continues. Watch this short video by Celebrity Cruises to see how that process works.

For weeks, I watched videos like these because that’s all I got to see.

The fitting out of Celebrity Edge

Just because the ship has been floated out, it doesn’t mean that it’s ready to go. While the Edge was floated out in late January of 2018, it still had to be “fitted out” or finished. On a ship this large, workers needed almost 11 more months! During this time, I combed the internet and cruise boards for any photo or information that I could find. My excitement and anticipation built with each new glimpse of the ship I had.

The first block marking the next phase of Celebrity Edge’s evolutionary design is lifted during the Keel Laying at STX France. Photo Courtesy of STX France – Bernard Bige

The first block marking the next phase of Celebrity Edge’s evolutionary design is lifted during the Keel Laying at STX France. Photo Courtesy of STX France – Bernard Biger

Finally, the build was complete, and on November 4, 2018, the $1 billion Celebrity Edge set sail from its builder in France for Fort Lauderdale. I watched social media daily and tracked its progress across the ocean. It arrived at the port in Fort Lauderdale November 19, 2018, and began a series of preview cruises before its first few regular runs.

I've had a countdown on phone for almost two years.

I’ve had a countdown on phone for almost two years.

Tomorrow, my long wait is over and Ann and I will board the Celebrity Edge for a Western Caribbean cruise. After two years of saving, planning, and dreaming about boarding the Edge – I can hardly wait to see her.


PIN FOR LATER

  • The Pioneer Woman's Boarding House in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is a special hotel. There are eight rooms, each beautifully decorated, and no two rooms are alike. With large bathrooms, a mini-bar, evening reception, room service, valet parking, high-speed internet, and friendly service, a night here is a real treat. Ann snapped this picture of the arrangement of fresh flowers in the Butterfly Room. The bed in the background? That's a Tempurpedic mattress with some of the softest bedding around. We can't think of a better place to spend a cozy night when you @visittheosage and Pawhuska.⁣
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@pwboardinghouse
  • While in Italy, we took a cooking class in the home of a the owner of a small vineyard. During the class, we learned to make several dishes including pasta (which we rolled and cut by hand) as well as Tiramisu. Looking at this picture, we can still taste the freshness of the pasta, the tomatoes picked that morning from vines in the yard for the sauce, and the herbs clipped from a pot on the porch. It was a magical meal, paired with wines they had produced using grapes they'd grown on their own land. Talk about a farm to table meal.
  • The Enchanted Highway near @visit_dickinson, North Dakota, is a 30 mile stretch of road that runs from I-94 to Regent. Along the way you'll find a number of huge metal sculptures that have to be seen to be believed. The size and scale of these creations is such that you'll be filled with a sense of wonder, and a desire to drive on to the next one. This particular creation is called, appropriately enough, "Grasshoppers in the Field." This road is just one more reason for you to hop on up to North Dakota. @NorthDakotaLegendary
  • One of our favorite restaurants whether on land or at sea is @celebritycruises Luminae restaurant. Every morsel of every dish has been thoughtfully considered, prepared, and presented. Take this Chocolate Palet dessert for instance. It's so rich that more than a few bites would be almost overwhelming. But that's okay, as the serving size is perfect. Paired with the scoop of gelato on a bed of chocolate crumbles? Well, it makes a perfect end to a scrumptious meal. A true masterpiece.
  • One of the things we love most about traveling is discovering new things. New destinations, new foods, new cocktails, and new people. What do you like to discover?
  • Our imaginations run wild when we find ourselves in a place so chock-full of history like Deadwood, South Dakota. As we took in the town, we closed our eyes and listened for echoes from the past when Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok lived here. If only the streets could talk. @tripscout @midwestliving⁣
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#southdakota #blackhills #mwtravel #midwestliving #midwestlivingmag #mymidwest #midwestmoment #postcardjar #midlifetravel #emptynesttravel #travelblogger #travel #goplaces #emptynest #emptynesters #midlife #couplestravel #couplestrip #deadwood #dakota #wildbill #calamityjane #historic #mainstreet #historytour #familyvacation #summervacation #tourists #mainstreetusa #
  • Standing on a hill in present-day Rome, you can look down on the Roman Forum, the center of activity in ancient Rome. We've all heard of Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Marcus Agrippa, and the Apostle Paul, and we know them as ancient historical figures who almost don't seem real. And then you see this space, the very streets where they walked and the buildings they knew. This is why Rome is the eternal city. You can still walk streets and cross bridges built thousands of years ago. Being there makes it's real, and suddenly history comes alive.
  • Is there anything more relaxing than the thought of a beautiful sandy beach? How about one with pink sand, like at Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda? We made a stop here during our visit to the island nation and loved seeing all the folks there enjoying their time splashing in the warm summer sun. ⁣
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Would you like to visit this beach?

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