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Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 4:28 AM 

Celebrity excites the senses at Eden launch

Celebrity excites the senses at Eden launch
Pictured, L-R: Scott Butler; Patricia Urquiola; Richard D. Fain, chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president & CEO, Celebrity Cruises; David Ley.

Chillful, playful, and sinful.

Those are the three styles of experience that await guests in Eden, a culinary and entertainment space spanning three decks aboard the Celebrity Edge, when the ship launches next year.

Celebrity Cruises hosted a surreal, extravagant event in the picturesque environs of Brooklyn’s historical Botanic Garden last night to mark the launch of Eden, with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain joined by Celebrity’s president and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, onstage to unveil the intriguing new space.

“[We had] 1.4 billion views for the initial reveal of Celebrity Edge – so we’re expecting nothing less from this reveal,” joked Lutoff-Perlo to a rapt audience.

The space itself is billed by Celebrity as ‘design with an edge.’ Spanning Decks 4, 5 and 6 of Celebrity Edge, it’s an onboard venue aimed at creating a fusion of design, culinary and entertainment. Eden is an amplification of three of the company’s five pillars – design, destination, and culinary.

The space’s programming will see it transform between three themes throughout the day – starting out as 'chillful' (a quiet area for guests to relax, practice yoga or read with a coffee), morphing to 'playful' (a social space with hands-on enrichment seminars and tastings) and finally becoming 'sinful' by night, marked by a range of decadent culinary experiences and special performances during Eve at Eden.

Lutoff-Perlo and Fain introduced David Ley, Patricia Urquiola, and Scott Butler, three of the 'world-class' designers whose creative input had been integral to the conception of Eden.

Butler, Fain said, was a Celebrity Cruises stalwart who had been influential with many of the arts spaces previously devised by the company – "he's been part of what has been our secret sauce for a long time." Urquiola, meanwhile, was brought on board for the creative vision she brought to many of the world's most visually striking hotels, including Barcelona’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the Das Stue Hotel in Berlin, Germany.

Lutoff-Perlo said that Ley and his company, Variety Worldwide, "have fused culinary experience with performance in a way that's never been done before, and we’re very excited about that as well."

The size of the space, which was conceived with design's 'golden ratio' in mind, was put into context for the audience. At 368,640 cubic feet, its volume surpasses that of New York’s vast Hayden Planetarium; the height of its glass wall, at 32 ft., matches the entry of the city’s Apple Store, while Eden’s space dwarfs that of the Radio City Music Hall stage – at 11,520 sq. ft. compared to the latter's 9,432 sq. ft. It’s also set to boast more outward-facing glass than any other room at sea.

Some of the beverages on offer - featuring plants that'll be included in the library at Eden's bar

One of Eden's most striking features is its Tree of Life, intended to represent the continuation of tradition and evolution of living tree installations aboard Celebrity’s Solstice Class ships. It’s one of the aspects of Eden that reflects the space’s prevalent nature theme, which was at the forefront of Arquiola’s mind as she set about devising its physical design, furniture style and colour palettes.

“I've never seen someone so focused on ensuring that the inspiration and the space lived up to everything that we wanted it to be,” noted Lutoff-Perlo. “It's truly magnificent, and this is a manifestation of all that hard work.”

Eden's immersive, interactive surroundings include a 20-foot-tall library of plants and herbs behind its bar, with bartenders scaling ladders to pluck something to spice up your drink. By night, the Eden Restaurant plays hosts to a range of experiential culinary temptations, the result of a collaboration between David Ley and Cornelius Gallagher and served up by 'Edenists' through a choreographed series of performances. Having witnessed a preview last night, it’s quite something.

Celebrity Edge is set to homeport in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., with her first sailing scheduled for Dec. 16, 2018. It's slated to house 2,918 guests, with the new offering doubling the number of available suites and featuring two new Iconic Suites, covering nearly 2,600 sq. ft. each.

Bookings are open for the ship's two seven-night itineraries - an Eastern and a Western Caribbean cruise, with travellers also having the option to book back-to-back sailings for a 14-night journey.

The Edge’s maiden voyage is to be followed by the launch of three sister ships in 2020, 2021 and 2022.