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

  • We walked in to the @elevatepeople store in Kearney, Nebraska, by mistake. We'd been looking for a coffee shop. Elevate wasn’t a coffee shop, but what we found was a store full of beautiful, handmade leather goods. These ethically sourced products were actually produced around the world by artisans who are working to escape poverty. Elevate, a non-profit, provides them with small, low interest loans to start their businesses. When the money is repaid, it is then re-invested into the same community to help another person start a business. It's a purchase you can feel good about.
  • Florida is a wonderful place to go in the winter. There you'll find sunshine and warmth while much of the rest of the country is experiencing the chill of winter. We love seeing the plants and flowers in bloom when we visit.
  • When our daughter, Meghan, was younger, she wanted an affordable, easy to store souvenir from her travels with her mom. She settled on pencils. Over the years, she's collected a couple hundred pencils from various destinations including the ones that others have given to her. She keeps them in a jar in her apartment, creating a great conversation piece.
  • We won't lie, our cruise aboard the @CelebrityCruise Edge was more about the ship than the destination. We loved sitting in The Retreat while watching others head ashore for excursions. But let's be honest, we really loved just sitting in the Retreat, soaking in the beautiful sun.
  • There is nothing quite like preparing a perfect dish in your own kitchen. Courtesy of @thechefandthedish, Ann prepared a traditional Spanish paella with Cyndi Kane, a.k.a. Ree Drummond's BFF Hyacinth. Sure, learning to make the dish was fun. Savoring the meal, and the friendship that went with it, was the best part of that great afternoon.
  • In the chilly, pre-dawn light of an early spring day on the Platte River in central Nebraska you can be sure of one thing: soon you'll witness one of nature's greatest spectacles, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes taking to the air for a day of foraging for food. If you have never witnessed this incredible sight, you must make sure you @visitnebraska so you can experience this for yourself. @visitKearney
  • A good cocktail is an experience. Instead of just having a drink to throw back, we love savoring a well-crafted beverage. Something we love about @celebritycruise is that good cocktails are easy to find. We aren't huge drinkers. Instead, we are strong believers in quality over quantity.
  • Something that always impresses us is the sheer size of a cruise ship. The fact that something that large can move and float and provide great service never ceases to amaze. But one of our favorite views is when we're docked next to another ship, and walking down a pier suddenly feels like walking through a canyon.

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