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

  • Late breakfast, early lunch. Time got away from us this morning so we had a bit of a brunch. We have been on an oatmeal kick this year for several reasons. It's inexpensive, filling, tastes great, and is typically readily available at grocery stores and hotels that serve breakfast. ⁣
⁣
One cup of oatmeal cooked in water is about 160 calories (and a "green" food on our @noom weight loss app). We like to add a teaspoon of brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and lots of fresh berries. Other options are: bananas, nuts, nutmeg, diced apple, flax seed, or dried fruits. ⁣
⁣
What is your go-to breakfast these days?
  • See how we lost a combined 150 pounds in a year while traveling! It was one year ago this week that we began our healthy living journey. We are travel bloggers with a new post (just click on the handy dandy link in our bio) about what we've lost and gained in one year.
⁣
See what we've learned about calorie density, exercise and ourselves in the process. We are so thankful for the resources that have helped us, including @noom and the @mayoclinic Healthy Living Program. (This is NOT a paid partnership) We feel like new people and hope our story will encourage someone else who wants to make a healthy lifestyle change. To stay up to date with our weight loss and healthy living journey, be sure to follow @PostcardJar on social media.
  • Our daffodils are in full bloom here in Nebraska and they just make us smile. We brought the  bulbs for these flowers from Ann's first house when we got married and moved here. Ann had dug them up from her grandma Rashleigh's home in Fremont, Nebraska, and her grandma had brought them to the U.S. from a trip that she took to England. ⁣
⁣
Ann's grandma passed away several years ago. Each spring, these flowers bloom and remind Ann of her grandma and her beautiful soul.
  • We love to travel but we're staying home to flatten the curve. As travel bloggers, writers, and influencers, we all have canceled trips, postponed adventures, and rescheduled experiences. ⁣
⁣
We know this is temporary and soon enough, we'll be traveling again. But for now, we are all staying safe at home and encourage you to do the same. And while you’re home, check out some of these influencers’ feeds for travel inspiration.
  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
⁣
You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
⁣
We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
⁣
Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
⁣
This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
⁣
Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
⁣
Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
⁣
Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
⁣
It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
⁣
What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska