Review: Sky Suite on Celebrity Edge during Alaska Cruise in May

We just returned from a 7-day Alaska cruise in May, staying in a Sky Suite on the Celebrity Edge. It was the six-year-old ship’s first time cruising to Alaska. Our captain managed to get the Celebrity Edge close enough to the Dawes Glacier for a breathtaking view, which was one of the highlights of our week.

I didn’t expect to love this Alaska cruise as much as I did, especially since I’m generally not a fan of cold weather. However, this turned out to be my favorite trip of all time. The experience aboard the Celebrity Edge was overall amazing, but there are still a few things I wish I had done differently, which I’ll share with you in this post.

Itinerary for Our 7-Day Alaska Cruise on Celebrity Edge in a Sky Suite

Dawes Glaciers in Alaska on Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Edge’s first cruise to Alaska was a repositioning cruise that brought the vessel from Vancouver, BC, to Seattle, WA. This itinerary meant guests had the option to spend some time in Seattle after the cruise (which many did, especially if they had never been to Seattle) or return home immediately after. Since we had already been to Seattle many times before, we decided to spend just one night near the Seattle airport after disembarking before flying home. We did this to avoid a full day of travel.

DAYPORT
1Vancouver, BC
2At Sea
3Juneau, Alaska
4Skagway, Alaska
5Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier
6At Sea
7Seattle, WA

Sky Suite at The Retreat on Celebrity Edge


The Sky Suite was our first suite on a cruise. I had previously stayed in an oceanview room on the Quantum of the Seas and a balcony room on the Royal Princess. Neither of them came remotely close to the Sky Suite on the Celebrity Edge. I watched a lot of review videos prior to the cruise and had high expectations. I’m happy to report that the room exceeded all of them.

The Retreat on Celebrity Edge Amenities

  • A welcome bottle of wine
  • Access to a Butler and a team of concierges
  • Access to The Retreat Lounge and The Retreat Deck
  • Access to the Luminae at The Retreat
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service

The butler and concierges were a nice touch, but our favorite amenity was access to the suite-only areas. The Retreat Lounge was calm and quiet most of the time, providing a nice escape from the lively rest of the ship. Eric and I took full advantage of the hot tub on The Retreat Deck, which was often empty for hours due to the cold and windy weather. We only ate at one of the four main dining rooms and Oceanview Cafe (the buffet) a handful of times, as we enjoyed the food, atmosphere, and service at Luminae at The Retreat more. Luminae was also more spacious with better views.

We also ordered room service several times, even though the menu was rather limited. I’m still thinking about the salmon I had three times in one week!

What We Liked About the Sky Suite

  • the Sky Suite had a functional layout despite being just under 400 sq. ft.
  • offered unobstructed view from the shower and your bed so you can wake up to snowy mountains on an Alaska cruise
  • plenty of storage space as it had two closets and many drawers
  • large bathroom with “double sinks,” bathtub/shower and a vanity area
  • the ability to control the lights and blinds from the Celebrity app on our phones
  • comfortable bedding

What We Didn’t Like About the Sky Suite

  • very limited options on the TV and you can’t cast from your phone or connect to HDMI (we didn’t try so this was per someone else on the cruise)
  • lack of comfortable way to eat in the room so you either had to sit on the floor and eat on the low coffee table or use the small pull-out desk enough for one person only
  • the toilet seat wasn’t soft-close (Sun Princess, Princess Cruises’ latest ship, has them)
  • the in-room fridge made noises at night (I’m a picky sleeper)
the retreat deck on celebrity edge

What to Pack For Alaska Cruise in May

I won’t list everything I brought on the Alaska cruise in May; however, I want to mention some specific items that everyone should consider.

  • sunglasses (it can get pretty bright even when the skies are cloudy)
  • sunscreen & body lotion (our skin got pretty dry)
  • wind-proof and water-proof: hard shell jacket, fleece jacket, inner layer, pants, ankle-length socks and shoes
  • comfortable leggings (to wear under pants if you’re afraid of the cold like I am)

What We Should Have Packed

  • More comfortable clothes to lounge around (hint: I indulged too much)
  • More technical gear for the outdoor and on the deck as it was windy and cold in mid-May
  • Slippers for the hot tub
  • Laptop to watch Netflix / Prime Videos
  • Binoculars for wildlife watching (Celebrity Cruises provided them in our suite but the quality was barely better than our bare eyes)

Excursion: White Pass Railway and Klondike Highway Journey

Our reservation for the zipline excursion in Juneau, Alaska was canceled the night before due to weather. I was looking forward to it, even though I wasn’t sure if I would have fun in the cold and wet weather. Since we wanted to do at least one excursion on this cruise, we re-booked the White Pass Railway and Klondike Highway Journey when we found out.

I shared on my Instagram story right after the excursion that we didn’t enjoy most of it. This is how the excursion went:

  • 30 minutes: stood in line in the rain
    • meet up time was 12 PM but we didn’t get on the coach bus until 12:30 PM which was the actual tour start time
  • 10 minutes: coach bus brought us to the train
  • 1 hour 45 mins: the train trip on White Pass Railway
    • it started off slow with trees and mountains (we are too spoiled by what we see daily in Vancouver) but I did fall in love when the train entered the snowy moutains as the seasons just changed like that
  • 15 minutes: waited for everyone to get on another coach bus
  • 1 hour: coach bus brought us back to the cruise shuttle in town after making 2 photo stops including the Welcome to Alaska sign

The entire excursion took just under 4 hours, but we spent over half of that time either standing in line or sitting on the bus. It’s my fault for rushing into re-booking after our zipline excursion was canceled. I should have asked more questions or done more research on this excursion, as we wouldn’t have booked it if we had known more about the itinerary.

Tip #1: I booked the zipline excursion before the cruise when it was 25% off. Since they were the ones who canceled, I asked if they could offer a discount on any excursion I re-booked. They ended up giving me a 20% discount on the re-booked excursion, so make sure you ask if that happens to you (though I hope yours doesn’t get canceled, as it was definitely disappointing).

Tip #2: It would’ve been nice if we had gone on a morning excursion and spent the afternoon in town, as the town near the port was idyllic. Since we didn’t get back to town until around 4 PM and our boarding time was 5:30 PM, we didn’t get to spend any time in town at all.

Dining on the Celebrity Edge

There is a wide variety of dining options that are either included in your cruise fare (e.g., Oceanview Cafe) or cost extra (specialty restaurants like Raw on 5). I’m going to highlight the ones we tried on this cruise.

Luminae at The Retreat

We took advantage of this suite-only restaurant and ate there two to three meals a day. The service was efficient and attentive, and the food was among the best we had on this cruise (with Eden being a close second). The restaurant also had floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, offering some nice views as we dined.

Main Dining Room – Cosmopolitan, Normandie, Cyprus & Tuscan

Out of the four main dining rooms, we dined at all of them except for Cyprus. They actually shared the same core menu with some exclusive options at each (e.g., Italian food in Tuscan and Greek food in Cyprus). I highly recommend the French Onion soup from Normandie.

On the lobster night, the lobster tail we got from Normandie was much better than the lobster dish they served at Luminae at The Retreat on the same night (yes, we had dinner twice!). Tuscan was our least favorite as the pasta we had was below average.

Café al Bacio

Café al Bacio is the go-to café for specialty coffees (extra charge without a drinks package) and complimentary desserts. It’s conveniently located on Deck 4, right above the Martini Bar. It was always busy, but the line moved quickly. You can either get your order to go or sit down for table service. Eric loved their desserts.

Eden (Specialty Restaurant)

We weren’t planning on trying any of the specialty restaurants originally. On the fourth morning, a server approached us in Café al Bacio and offered a same-night Eden reservation for $70 USD all-in. Knowing that Eden is normally $85 USD plus 20% tips (expect 5% to 8% off if you book before the cruise), I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try. We chose the 6:30 PM dining time, so we weren’t able to see the sunset as it set around 9 PM that day. However, Eden was definitely worth it for me, especially at the price we paid.

Oceanview Cafe (The Buffet)

Activities on the Celebrity Edge

We didn’t participate in many activities, even though there was a long list of free and paid activities onboard each day. Free ones included production shows, concerts, live music, informative seminars, slot tournaments, trivia, silent disco, and more. Paid ones included fitness classes, vodka tastings, Deal or No Deal, poker games, behind-the-scenes tours, and others. From my observation, people seemed to have a blast at all of these events. I enjoyed all the ones we attended and now wish we had made an effort to attend more. Next time!

Live Music & Concert

Karaoke

Captain’s Talks

Cost for Our 7-Day Alaska Cruise on Celebrity Edge in a Sky Suite

Cruise Cost – Sky Suite in The Retreat

As the Sky Suite we stayed in was part of The Retreat, the premium drinks package (unlimited drinks priced under $17 USD) and premium Wi-Fi were included in the cruise cost. I also included the mandatory gratuities and excursion in the calculation, as I recommend doing at least one excursion on an Alaska cruise (though not the one I did, as I detailed here).

ITEMUSDCAD
Cruise$3,750$5,175
Mandatory Gratuities*$276$381
Excursion in Skagway$301$415
CRUISE TOTAL$4,327$5,971

The cheapest price I saw prior to the cruise for the premium drinks package was $50 USD plus 20% gratuities per day per person (50% off). For premium Wi-Fi, they were on sale for $36 USD per day at some point for two devices. Assuming I could’ve purchased at these discounted prices, these inclusions would have been worth about $1,000 USD if we bought them separately. We used Wi-Fi throughout the entire cruise, so that was a lot of value for us.

Between Eric and me, we probably had 15 to 20 drinks per day. Using a conservative $10 per drink for calculation, we took full advantage of our drinks packages, as they would have cost us at least $150 USD per day if we purchased the drinks individually. The drink count went up easily since we alternated between specialty coffee, smoothies, water, soda, beer, cocktails, wine, and juice. It was simply nice not to have to worry about costs when it was already “paid for.”

Excluded Costs Related to the Alaska Cruise on Celebrity Edge

Extra Tips for Staffs

It’s common for cruise guests to tip staff who went above and beyond individually (e.g., room attendants, bartenders), and we did as well. However, this was completely optional as we never felt like we were expected to tip.

Meals at Ports

We only had two ports—Juneau and Skagway. Since our zipline excursion in Juneau was canceled due to weather, we got off the ship to walk around Juneau in the windy and rainy weather. I hadn’t done much research but found Tracy’s King Crab Shack to be one of the highest-rated restaurants within walking distance from where we docked. We waited in line in the rain for about 20 minutes before ordering and grabbing two open seats at a cafeteria-style long table. The eating environment was a bit rough, but the crab was worth it.

We didn’t eat in Skagway as we didn’t get off the ship until excursion time, and the excursion lasted until it was close to return time.

Transportation To & From Ports

Since we live in Vancouver, we took an Uber from home to Canada Place. The driver dropped us off at the luggage drop-off, which was convenient as we didn’t have to carry our luggage far.

The night before disembarkation, we left our larger luggage outside of our room for luggage assistance. After an early breakfast, we got off the ship just after 8 AM. The process was smooth as the crowd was just starting to form at that time. The rideshare pick-up was about a ten-minute walk away (taxi pick-up was much closer). Our Uber arrived in less than ten minutes, and we paid around $70 USD pre-tip (with 20% off on my Uber app) from the Seattle cruise terminal to our hotel near Seattle airport. I found out later that people who got off after us weren’t so lucky with rideshares as pricing surged to $100+ USD as another cruise was also offloading their passengers then.

I also paid around $280 USD ($140 USD each) for our one-way flight from SEA to YVR. Interesting note: the flying time was only 26 minutes!

Tip #3: Uber worked out well for us, but you can also take public transit (bus then train for Seattle), book airport transfers with your cruise line directly (~$40 USD per person in a coach bus), or arrange for private transfers (someone reported $100 USD per car for up to 4 passengers).

Hotel Stay Post-Trip

Staying another night wasn’t necessary from a logistical standpoint. I simply didn’t want us to spend the rest of the day traveling after getting off the cruise, so I booked one night near the airport. I booked a few months ago, and it was $200 USD for the renovated Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport steps away from the airport.

We arrived at our hotel before 10 AM, and our room wasn’t ready yet. There was nothing to do within walking distance of the hotel/airport, so we took another Uber to Westfield Southcenter mall after dropping off our luggage. The mall is one of the bigger ones in Washington, and we had been there before. However, we quickly got bored after lunch but still had to hang around. We took another Uber back to the hotel when the room was ready in the afternoon.

Tip #4: If I could choose again, I would have paid more and stayed in Downtown Seattle instead, as Seattle would have been more interesting to walk around after arriving so early.

Casino on Celebrity Edge

The casino on Celebrity Edge was small, but it wasn’t any smaller than the casinos on the Royal Princess and Quantum of the Seas, as far as I can recall. In addition to slot machines, there was a table area with the usual games: blackjack, three-card poker, roulette, etc.

There’s not much else to say about this other than I had fun but lost. Your mileage may vary.

*You can technically remove the mandatory tips/gratuities added to your onboard account automatically (e.g., $23 USD per person per day in Suites), but it’s generally not recommended as they go to the staff that served you.