Recently I took a cruise and I stayed in a “balcony cabin” that has features that I’d never seen on a cruise ship before!
It’s very different from what you’d expect when you hear the word “Balcony” and I spent most of the week trying to work out why the cruise line made this decision!
Usually, when you look at cruise ship balcony cabins they are pretty similar. The designs do change between ships and the layout inside might change -but the actual balcony space is pretty standard. An Infinite Veranda Cabin is very different!
The balcony is usually a rectangle of some size, with two chairs on it. There’s not much that can be changed with that layout – there may be the addition of a table if you’re lucky!
The ship I sailed on, the Celebrity Edge was built in 2018. She’s the first in Celebrity’s “Edge Class” of ships. She was game-changing for Celebrity in lots of ways, and the cabins are no exception.
Infinite Veranda Cabin On the Celebrity Edge
When I booked this cruise I decided to book what is called an “Infinite Veranda Cabin.”
There are 918 Infinite Verandas on Celebrity Edge, and they are up to 23% bigger than balcony cabins on other, older Celebrity ships.
I usually am an “inside cabin” kind of girl, but I do love a controversial cabin!
I had read lots of very good and very bad reviews about the Infinite Veranda, so I wanted to find out for myself if I would like it.
- One person described it as “the best room they’ve ever stayed in”
- Another person said that it was so bad that it “ruined their vacation beyond repair”
I did have somebody tell me recently that their cruise was ruined by the “Library being too cold” – So I always try to take these reviews with a pinch of salt!
The description of the cabin promised to:
My cabin was assigned at the time of booking, and I was allocated cabin 7156. This is towards the front of deck 7.
Quite often cruise lines will give you a discount if you don’t pick your specific cabin location, but Celebrity didn’t have any option to do that. I just let my travel agent pick the cabin as I always trust her decisions!
In the past I’ve had cabins right at the top of the ship, right at the bottom, at the front, at the back, besides the Atrium, under the nightclub – you name it I’ve probably tried it at some point!
I am not fussy when it comes to cabin locations!
The cabin that I was assigned looked good cabin on paper, so I was feeling pretty optimistic and excited.
I was on this cruise with my Mum, and I really hoped that the room would be a place where we could relax and watch a few sailaways together.
One of the biggest complaints I’d heard about this cabin type was that there wasn’t enough separate space. I hoped that there would be enough room for me and Mum to have our time together – and also our time apart!
You don’t always want to be in somebody’s way 24/7 – Even if that somebody is your Mum!
Initial Impressions of the Celebrity Edge
When we boarded the ship we headed up the stairs to deck 7.
I immediately was impressed with the signs and the fact that there were clear labels for which side of the ship had the odd and even-numbered cabins.
It’s a small thing but it makes a big difference if you are like me, and as my Mum puts it “Can’t find your way out of a paper bag.“
The decor in the corridors felt very modern too, and I liked how the cabins were set back a little bit from the main walkway.
Our cabin was located close to the front staircase and we found our cabin cruise cards waiting for us in a little package just by the door.
These cruise cards control everything on a cruise, this is what you charge your drinks to, how they know who is on and off the ship and how you get into your room.
I do often get comments from people who worry that others could take their cruise cards from outside and break into the room.
The way I see it is that if they get into the room before me, I won’t be there and neither will any of my stuff – so why they’d want to break into an empty room I don’t know! (Maybe to use the toilet or something – but either way that isn’t something that I’ve ever worried about!)
The Infinite Veranda Cabin
When we walked into the room I was very impressed by the design. It felt modern and bright and spacious.
I think the cabin may be a bit narrower than on some other ships, but the length and clever design definitely made up for it.
The first thing I noticed were the big beds and USB sockets which is always a perk.
The sockets were only by one bed though – so if you are staying in this cabin, make sure you claim that one quickly!
My mum has one of those phones that doesn’t need charging very often – whereas I’m on team iPhone and need to charge every night. She very kindly let me have the bed next to the sockets.
Moving a little further into the room there was a big sofa and a desk in front of a mirror.
Sadly there was no kettle, as Celebrity is an American cruise line, not a British one.
There were a couple of bottles of water and some Kettle Chips here. These do cost money though and once I found that out I stopped looking at them as items of food and just thought of them as decorations for the room!
I never buy things from the mini bar and I soon forgot that they were there.
Maybe it would be different if it was a can of Pepsi – but these things didn’t tempt me – which was good!
On top of the desk was a weird-looking white box – at first glance you might not know what it was for.
I looked inside and found out that this box held the plug sockets and the idea is that this keeps the wires nice and tidy.
Maybe my chargers are just extra huge but I couldn’t ever close the box when charging my things. It was a nice idea though, and there were also USB sockets inside here.
Inside the box was a European socket, a US socket and two multi-country sockets. The two in the middle actually fitted UK plug sockets which is a rare treat.
I don’t usually find UK-compatible sockets in cruise ship cabins.
Underneath was a minibar, and what looked like lots of extra storage.
The Infinite Veranda Area of The Cabin
At this point the balcony area looked pretty normal, it just looked like we had a different type of doors. You could see through the doors a little which did look quite cool.
Heading into the balcony area though I realised that this was very different from what I’m used to.
Normally balconies are outside – and that might sound like a weird thing to say – but the balcony of this cabin didn’t feel like it was outside, it was inside the ship.
We weren’t ever out in the open air the cabin was set into the side of the ship.
On some cruise ships, you’ll find balcony cabins that are called ‘sheltered balconies’ which are similar in some ways to this.
Normally, standing on the balconies of cruise ships you feel like you are outside and you are exposed to the elements. Infinite Varandas don’t feel like this at all.
If it’s raining or windy you wouldn’t want to be on a normal cruise ship balcony, but one benefit of a cabin like this is that you could still use this space regardless of the weather – Unless of course, the Captain had locked all of the windows from the Bridge.
The balcony area itself was pretty big and there were two comfortable chairs with a little table.
The area was all very nicely designed in neutral colours.
Looking at the buttons on the side I managed to find the button to slide down the glass to transform it into a balcony. One button was for the blind and the other was for the window.
The sun was shining in Barcelona and the breeze was lovely. I did notice right away that the glass moving down was noisy, and it wasn’t exactly fast!
I hoped that this wouldn’t disturb us during the cruise, I can’t be described as an “early bird” by any stretch of the imagination – and I didn’t want to wake up when others opened their windows.
I suppose that is no different from balconies with doors though, I’ll often hear people slamming their doors early in the morning or late at night on cruises.
When the balcony area was open it made the whole room feel very spacious.
Being able to hear the water was so peaceful and I knew that we would be sailing away from Barcelona soon so I wanted to stay in the cabin to watch the sailaway.
I headed back into the main part of the room to have a look at the bathroom. I was very impressed by the size.
The shower was large, I loved the overall design and the mirrors made it feel very modern and spacious.
There was lots of storage space too, with shelves on both sides and more space to put things under the sink.
All cabins come with Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash in the showers, which is lovely. There is also Body Lotion by the sink along with hand soap.
The shower itself was a really good size too and this is definitely one of my favourite cruise ship bathrooms.
It could have done with one of those magnifying makeup mirrors – that would be my only suggestion to improve it.
I’d discover later in the cruise that there was a built-in night light inside the bathroom which was great when using the bathroom in the dark.
There was a strong magnetic catch on the door, which meant that there was no way that you could close it quietly. Even if you closed it as carefully as possible it’d still make a loud bang!
Plenty of Storage Space
As we had a little bit of time before our sailaway we decided to unpack.
There was LOTS of storage space over by the bed with a few shelves and three very big drawers over by the desk.
After unpacking I put my suitcase under the bed and there was plenty of space for it down there. I didn’t get under the bed to check out the space like I did on Norwegian Prima – but still, my suitcase fitted fine.
There were two of us sharing this cabin and we had no problem with lack of storage space at all. In fact, there were some extra cupboards that we didn’t discover until five days into the cruise!
It was great to be able to have the veranda window open while we were unpacking, and it definitely felt more like we would see and hear what was going on outside than in a regular balcony cabin.
Celebrity did promise to “Blur the lines between outside and inside” and it really did feel like that.
As we started to sail away from Barcelona I sat in the balcony area. The glazing bar was right at my eye level when sitting so standing up definitely was better.
We had the most amazing view of the sail away. There are lots of cranes and shipping containers in the port of Barcelona so it wasn’t the most picturesque but as the cruise went on we did see some beautiful sights from the window.
My favourite thing about this Varanda set-up was that because it was glass on the bottom we could see the view – even if we were inside the main part of the cabin.
I could lay in bed and watch the beautiful scenery go by. It was so relaxing!
I did enjoy the sofa too. It became my office for the week, and I could sit there working away while watching the scenery going by outside.
The Magic Carpet
Looking to the right from the window I noticed that I could see what is called the “Magic Carpet.”
This is basically like a piece of deck that sticks off the side of the ship. It moves up and down, depending on where it’s needed and we often sat on it when it was by the pool deck to have a drink in the evening.
We had a couple of tender ports on this cruise, and on those days it would be used as a platform so that everybody could get from the ship to the tender boats.
Usually, when you get on a tender boat you go through the crew areas on the lowest decks of the ship. Having the Magic Carpet down there made it feel as though tendering wasn’t an afterthought.
Watching the tendering from my balcony was great fun too! I had hours of fun watching the boats sail by – and would often be joined by Seagulls sitting on top of the lifeboats stored on the side of the ship, just below us.
To find out more about the amazing Magic Carpet, watch this video next:
The Cabin Mirrors Steamed Up!
After our sail away from Barcelona. I went back into the main part of the cabin and noticed that the mirror was steamed up.
Usually, the heat on the balcony is kept outside – but with it being one big room, things did get steamy in the main cabin quite fast!
It wasn’t ever a problem for us and the air conditioning did work fine – when the window was closed.
I imagine that this would be really nice if you were on a cold weather cruise because you could spend time in the balcony area without having to deal with whatever the cold temperature is outside.
Some Disadvantages of the Infinite Varanda Design
It’s important to note that the team on the bridge do control all of these windows, so if it is bad weather they will automatically close and there’s nothing you can do about it
I am somebody who gets seasick on occasion, and the best thing about having a balcony in that situation is being able to get the fresh air whenever I need it.
If you have any bad weather on this cruise ship, You wouldn’t be able to open the veranda window, which would be a shame. The Captain is able to close and lock all the windows from the Bridge.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather on the cruise though, we had glorious sunshine every single day and the ship felt like one of the smoothest ships I’ve ever been on.
There wasn’t one point that I noticed that we were moving at all, I don’t know what kind of magical technology they have in this ship but it was a very comfortable journey!
By now I was enjoying the Infinite Veranda – but did still have a few concerns.
I thought that it might be noisy and wondered what I would do in the mornings. Usually, I wake up and open the curtains a little to see where we are.
I like to slowly let in the light and have a peek at what’s outside. Quite often the person I’m cruising with will want to sit on the balcony while I stay inside – or vice versa.
The next morning I would find out why that wasn’t really possible in this cabin!
When we woke I realised that I had been right about the curtain and blind situation.
I was sharing the cabin with my Mum who likes to get up earlier than me. Usually, she would head out onto the balcony, but there was no way that she could let in any light without raising the motorised blind and waking me up!
I can sleep through most things, but it always woke me. You can’t just open it a little bit either or you’d have to sit on the floor to look out – which I suppose you could in theory but that’s a bit odd.
You can’t peek around the edge of the blind when it was down either. You had to open it up to find out what the weather was like outside.
The window itself was very good at blocking out the sound, even when we docked in busy industrial ports you never heard a thing until the window was opened.
f you are on the same schedule I’m sure this isn’t a problem, but it does turn the balcony and inside area into one room so you lose having two separate spaces.
A little later in the cruise when I was walking along the corridor I got the chance to have a look in at one of the ocean-view cabins.
The one that I saw was basically the same as my Infinite Veranda cabin apart from the fact that the window was smaller and didn’t open. This is called a Panoramic Oceanview cabin. Everything else in the cabin was the same – so I think I’d be quite happy in that room.
The inside cabins also looked really nice too, and it is clear in all of the cabins that Celebrity have taken the time to organise and decorate the space well. Little details – like the design of the carpets, I really liked.
Like any cabin, there are some people who would love it – and some who definitely wouldn’t like it at all!
If you are somebody who likes to spend time inside your main cabin and wants to be able to see the scenery go by while hearing the noise from outside and feeling the breeze or the heat, this cabin would be great for that.
If you’re somebody who likes to use the balcony area as a separate space, or you like to feel the sun when you’re on your balcony, a normal balcony cabin would be a better option.
We never had the sun come actually into our balcony and I did miss having a separate outside space.
Would I Choose an Infinite Veranda Cabin Again?
For me, personally, I’d pick a traditional balcony cabin over an Infinite Veranda – but I would be more than happy to stay here again for the right price!
I view it more as an “in-between” category between an oceanview and a balcony.
Even though this cabin is definitely a controversial one I do understand the logic behind it. I can’t say that for all cabins though.
I recently stayed in a cabin on the Costa Smeralda where my balcony cabin had a feature that I still can’t work out why it even exists. To find out what I thought of this cabin, and who should avoid this cabin type, read this next:
Before You Go!
Another controversial cabin I stayed in was on P&O’s Iona. It had a separate conservatory area, so was much better for sharing with your family – but it did have one major disadvantage. To find out what that was, read this article next:
Celebrity Edge was an amazing ship with many new “State of the Art” Features. As well as the Infinite Varanda cabins and the groundbreaking Magic Carpet, there was a Rooftop Garden with over five thousand real plants!
To find out more about Celebrity Edge, watch this video next:
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