THE BACKGROUND: Continuing a partnership with a global team of interior designers and architects, including Britain’s Kelly Hoppen and Tom Wright, Celebrity Beyond is the third ship in Celebrity’s Edge-class series.
Celebrity Beyond set out on its maiden voyage from Southampton in April and will sail in the Mediterranean before relocating to the Caribbean in October for the winter 2022/23 season. With its feeling of laid-back luxury and incredible design details the line hopes it will attract seasoned cruisers and turn the heads of anyone who claims cruising isn’t there cup of tea.
Carrying 2,260 passengers, and with 17 decks, Celebrity Beyond is 20 metres longer and has an extra deck compared with its Edge-class sisters ships Celebrity Edge and Apex.
THE ROOM: Ultra-stylish public areas are filled with stunning and thought-provoking artwork by more than 700 artists from 40 countries. This extends to the cabins, once again overseen by Kelly Hoppen, which include the all-new Aqua Sky Suites linked to the ship’s wellness programme.
KEY FACILITIES: The entertainment scene is as innovative as the ship and ranges from high-tech shows to informal gatherings in smaller venues. The main theatre is set against the backdrop of a 20ft LED screen that curves 110ft around the stage and creates spectacular special effects during the shows.
I really enjoyed Arte, where characters from famous paintings started talking to each other before the high-energy performance by talented singers, dancers and acrobats. It was worthy of any West End stage.
Eden is a gorgeous multi-purpose area and one night it was the venue for Decadence where the small dance floor became the setting for a cabaret-style show with performers mingling with the audience and, quite literally, dancing on the tables.
With a very large spa and gym, there’s a big wellness vibe and Celebrity has partnered with Gwyneth Paltrow who will be aboard in September for a goop-themed cruise linked to her lifestyle brand.
RESTAURANTS & BARS: Celebrity has enhanced and enlarged popular venues brought over from Edge and Apex and introduced the all-new Le Voyage. Marking the first-ever restaurant at sea for two Michelin star chef Daniel Boulud, the intimate 50-seater speciality restaurant has a travel theme.
Celebrity Beyond has 32 food and drink venues and other for-fee options include Fine Cut Steakhouse, Raw on 5 sushi and Le Petit Chef, an enchanting experience where an animated story is projected onto your plate between courses.
Unlike many ships with one main complimentary dining room there are four to choose from – Cyprus, Tuscany, Normandie and Cosmopolitan. Each one has a very different style, and I especially liked Normandie which is reminiscent of a classic liner. Some 75% of the menus are the same in all of them and the remaining dishes showcase different signature dishes from around the world. Guests can opt for early or late sittings or choose Celebrity Select Dining Anytime and eat when they want.
Suite passengers get the perk of dining in the elegant Luminae and AquaClass guests can head to Blu, with its focus on ‘clean food’.
The tranquil Sunset Bar makes much more of a statement on Beyond, with a new pergola-style entrance and seating on different levels. A livelier spot is the extended Martini Bar where each night bar tenders juggle cocktail shakers and bottles to music beneath an LED chandelier.
THE VERDICT: Retaining the standout Magic Carpet, a cantilevered bar, lounge and dining venue that moves up and down the side of the ship, Celebrity Beyond is a statement vessel for anyone wanting to sail in supreme comfort without any stuffiness, and could well float the boat for first-time Generation X cruisers.
THE DETAILS: A nine-night Italian Riviera & France cruise staying in an inside cabin starts from £1,354pp.