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Celebrity have announced a whole load more details about the dining arrangements on their new ship, Celebrity Edge. You can find the details here (Celebrity site); and Malcolm Oliver covered them as well, here.

I’m not going to go through the list exhaustively, just pick out what seems interesting to me.

Complimentary Dining:

This means the traditional Main Dining Room, or MDR. Here we have a definite break with Celebrity tradition. Celebrity (and Royal Caribbean, their parent) have long featured a single, large MDR on their ships. I remember the Orion restaurant on Galaxy, which we cruised on twice; and the Grand Epernay MDR on Celebrity Solstice, which was very spectacular. Both these dining rooms were on two levels, and both were enormous. Now, it seems, Celebrity Edge will have four (smaller) ‘main’ dining rooms, and they will be named Tuscan, Normandie, Cyprus, and Cosmopolitan. These will offer different menus – Tuscan will feature Italian dishes, Normandie will feature French, Cyprus will highlight Mediterranean dishes, and Cosmopolitan will feature “new American with international influences”.

The big question with the traditional dining rooms is “when do we eat?”, and the answer is that Celebrity will still provide both traditional (fixed time and table) and flexible dining options, after a fashion. If you opt for traditional dining you will be assigned to a time and table in one of the four restaurants, but you will have the option to dine in the other three “upon request”. That sounds to me as if you won’t necessarily get your usual time slot (and obviously not your regular table) if you request to go into another restaurant for a meal. And there’s no indication at the moment as to what you should do if you would prefer a regular table and time, but in a different restaurant from the one you’ve been assigned to. I expect that the Maitres’d will be very busy on the first night of the cruise….

Then there’s Select Dining, Celebrity’s name for what other lines call Freedom or Freestyle dining – i.e., different times and, on Celebrity Edge, places each night. For this, Celebrity are going to try to offer everything. They say that if you opt for Select Dining you will be able to reserve a specific time slot, if you want, in the same restaurant, or different restaurants (of the complimentary ones, of course) for each night. Or, you can just show up at random and take your chance. This sounds wonderful, until you think about the impact of having table reservations to manage. Say there are a number of reservations for 8pm (for other diners). You (without a reservation) turn up at the restaurant at 7:45, and are told that there will be a long delay; yet when you glance into the restaurant all you can see are lots of empty tables. They’re being kept empty, of course, for the diners with the 8pm reservations. Alternatively, you turn up at 7pm, get seated, and then find that you are being rushed through your meal because the Maitre’ D needs your table back at 8pm for the reservations. My view is that having a reservation system simply blocks up the freestyle dining system. It’s best, I think, to not have reservations and just have cater for people as and when they turn up. Pretty much as P&O do it, in fact, which in my experience works well.

Special Complimentary Restaurants:

There are two other complimentary restaurants, Luminae and Blu. These are complimentary, but only for passengers in certain classes of accommodation: Luminae for suite passengers, and Blu for passengers in Aqua class cabins. Blu has certainly been around for a while; I don’t know about Luminae.

(Actually, those four MDRs mentioned above sound so tempting that I’m not sure I would want to eat anywhere else, even if I could….)

Speciality Dining: (i.e. at Extra Cost!)

These days no new cruise ship is complete without its extra-cost speciality restaurants (although Viking seem to manage…) so Celebrity Edge will have its compliment thereof. There will be a steak house and a french bistro, and both of those sound perfectly sensible. Then there will be some others which frankly sound – well, I’m not sure. Here’s the list:

  • Magic Carpet: this is the bit of the ship that changes position (honest!). It’s stuck out over the edge (“Edge” – get it?) and can move up and down the ship’s side. By day it will be on deck 5 and will be associated with Raw on 5, and will offer casual sea food dining. At night – well, I think the best thing I can do is quote Celebrity: “As the Magic Carpet makes its way up the side of the ship, it reaches the very top level, where it becomes an extraordinary sky-high restaurant where we host an exhilarating and mouthwatering experience we call Dinner on the Edge. Get ready for a unique, al fresco culinary journey that satisfies your taste buds, your eyes, and your sense of wonder all at the same time.
  • Raw on 5: This will be a sea food restaurant.
  • Rooftop Garden Grill: this will feature a “backyard BBQ-inspired menu”. And the setting will be “a living urban playscape designed to satisfy your inner child“.
  • Eden: “Eden Restaurant is a place where dining is taken to new and exciting places” (Wasn’t that Magic Carpet?) Actually, I think the best thing I can do is point readers to the explanatory page about this one. I can’t wait to see what happens to diners when they hit The Cresendo….
  • Le Petit Chef. Ahem – here’s the quote: “We’re bringing your tabletop to life with Le Petit Chef – an animated character who appears beside your plate and prepares each course you’ll be enjoying right in front of you“. Of course they are.

Bars and Lounges: (this sounds more like it!)

Well, it seems there’ll be 11 of them, but no real details yet.

And that’s it! Who would have imagined that getting some food could be so exciting?

2 Responses to “Celebrity Edge – Dining Details”

  1. manju says:

    Thanks for sharing nice information.celebrity dining is traditional.There are two other complimentary restaurants, Luminae and Blu

  2. […] then we have what look two of the complimentary restaurants, Cosmopolitan and Cyprus (see this earlier post about restaurants on Celebrity Edge); […]

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