Cruise on Celebrity Beyond, the new billion-dollar luxury ship

For years, my parents have been telling me to go on a cruise.

“It’s all in one place”, “there’s good entertainment” and “you can have whatever you want for dinner” were all selling points they tried. But I was hard to convert.

I recently got a two-day preview of Celebrity Cruise’s latest ship, Celebrity Beyond, and it’s fair to say I get it.

I came aboard not really knowing what to expect, and while two days non-stop in port wasn’t enough to understand the full cruise experience, it provided enough of a taste for me to understand. the lure of cruising, especially on a boat like this.

Celebrity Beyond is the third ship in Celebrity Cruises' Edge series.

Provided

Celebrity Beyond is the third ship in Celebrity Cruises’ Edge series.

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The first thing to note about Celebrity Beyond – the third ship in the Celebrity’s Edge series that cost an estimated US$1 billion ($1.56 billion) – is that there are no gimmicks. There are no go-kart tracks or waterslides, but rather relaxation, wellness and luxury – Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow has served as a wellness advisor for the company.

So if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday – without the kids – where you only have to lift a finger, then this might be the one for you.

The cabins

There are 1,646 cabins on the ship (179 more rooms than previous ships), accommodating 3,260 guests and varying in price. There are interior rooms, balcony rooms, luxury suites (one that even costs around US$80,000 for a 10-night itinerary and comes with its own Peloton), and two-story villas with private plunge pools.

The Infinite Veranda room on Celebrity Beyond.

Provided

The Infinite Veranda room on Celebrity Beyond.

The last two room options give guests access to an exclusive part of the ship called Retirement. Celebrity describes it as a resort within a resort, with guests having access to a private restaurant and lounge area.

Although I didn’t stay in one of these rooms (Ronan Keating was on board, he may have) I was able to peek inside Retirement and discover the high-end suites on offer. The Iconic Suite (the one with the Peloton) was the size of my apartment in Wellington.

I stayed in an infinite veranda room. There was a firm but comfortable bed, a television, a desk, a living room and a wardrobe, with a shower in the bathroom. Its name is derived from the floor-to-ceiling window that could be opened to transform the room.

The food

An important point to make after spending only two days on this ship… no one will go hungry.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of the dining offerings on this ship, but I’ve really tried my best to sample as much as possible (for research purposes, of course).

You'll find a classic breakfast buffet aboard Celebrity Beyond with breakfast delights from around the world.

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You’ll find a classic breakfast buffet aboard Celebrity Beyond with breakfast delights from around the world.

There are 32 food and drink locations on the ship. Yes, 32 – 15 restaurants, five cafes and 12 bars and lounges.

For breakfast and lunch, several casual dining options are available. The Oceanview Cafe was my favorite hangout while on board.

At breakfast, it served a variety of breakfast foods from around the world, then changed its offerings throughout the day. Although it was a buffet, the staff served customers the food they requested.

In terms of between meals, the various cafes are always open to meet your coffee and snack needs. You can even sip a signature Goop smoothie at the Spa Cafe And Juice Bar (for an additional cost).

There are a number of cafes onboard Celebrity Beyond for guests who fancy a snack between main meals.

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There are a number of cafes onboard Celebrity Beyond for guests who fancy a snack between main meals.

There are four main restaurants which are included in the price of the cruise – the Tuscan, Cypriot, Norman and Cosmopolitan restaurants – as well as eight specialty restaurants which come at an additional cost – Eden, Rooftop Garden Grill, The Magic Carpet, Raw on 5, Le Petit Chef, Le Grand Bistro, Fine Cut Steakhouse and Le Voyage.

Raw on 5 on Celebrity Beyond serves delicious Japanese cuisine.

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Raw on 5 on Celebrity Beyond serves delicious Japanese cuisine.

Each restaurant offers different cuisines and dining experiences. Raw on 5 transports you to Japan with a range of sushi, sashimi and dumplings – and definitely stood out. Fine Cut Steakhouse, as the name suggests, specializes in quality cuts of steak with mouth-watering sides – the Gruyere cheese tater tots were mouth-watering – and an extensive wine list (one of the most expensive bottles menu costs US$4,500). The Rooftop Garden Grill offers more casual dining options with sandwiches and sharing plates. And Le Voyage, world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud’s first restaurant at sea, offers a menu inspired by culinary experiences from around the world.

A culinary highlight of my cruise was dinner at Le Petit Chef. It’s a digital immersive dining experience that brings your plate and table to life with animation that educates you about the food being served to you. If you book on this ship and have the option of dining at Le Petit Chef, I would recommend it as it is quite a pleasant and unique experience.

The view from the Sunset Bar on Celebrity Beyond.

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The view from the Sunset Bar on Celebrity Beyond.

In terms of bars, the Sunset Bar, as the name suggests, was a great place to have an afternoon drink to watch the sunset. The decor in this bar is beautiful and makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean – and this boat even crosses the Mediterranean, so isn’t it perfect?

The Martini Bar in the center of the ship is also a great place to have a drink and every night, several times a night, the bar staff throw a cocktail party, tossing drinks into the air and pouring nearly a dozen martinis blindfolded.

And that brings me to the main entertainment on board the ship.

entertainment

I don’t know what I expected from this ship in terms of entertainment, but I was definitely impressed with the performance.

Wonder at Eden is one of many performances aboard Celebrity Beyond.

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Wonder at Eden is one of many performances aboard Celebrity Beyond.

I was able to watch two of the three theater performances – arta performance bringing iconic works of art to life, and Stage Doora spectacular collection of some of Broadway’s greatest hits, including Chicago, hamilton and red Mill. If you love musicals – and, like me, you’re dying to see hamilton performed live – the latter is a show I would definitely recommend.

If you don’t like big stage productions, you might enjoy the more laid-back performances of Admire Eden and The Jazz Joint. the Admire Eden the performance had my jaw on the floor; the stunts performed by the talented group of dancers and acrobats were simply outstanding.

The commodities

On top of all that, the ship has the basics you’d expect from a luxury cruise liner – multiple pools and hot tubs, lounge chairs and places to relax (Eden is a great place to relax with a book and a coffee).

If you can’t wait to work off some of the food you’ve eaten on the ship, there’s a gym with great views over the water as well as a variety of exercise classes – the fitness class cult F45 is on board, there are also sunrise and sunset yoga classes and a running track around the upper decks.

This elephant sculpture on the top terrace of Celebrity Beyond is eye-catching.

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This elephant sculpture on the top terrace of Celebrity Beyond is eye-catching.

The paths

Beyond currently has 35 itineraries on its schedule, ranging from five nights to 14 nights around the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Some itineraries include nine nights in Italy, Croatia and Montenegro, 11 nights in Italy, Turkey and the Greek Islands, and nine nights in Aruba, Curacao and Cayman.

The cost

Prices vary depending on the room you choose and the route.

For a six-night cruise to Bimini, Mexico, and Grand Cayman, an inside room for two people costs about $1,621 ($2,598) per person, on average, while a suite at The Retreat costs about $5,539. USD ($8,879) per person. , on average.

A Covid-19 note

Passengers boarding a Celebrity cruise must be fully immunized and test negative before departure.

Fun facts

  • At the helm of the ship is Captain Kate McCue, America’s first female cruise ship captain
  • There are over 1400 crew members from 60 different countries
  • The ship left for its maiden voyage on April 27, 2022

The writer was a guest on Celebrity Cruises.

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