Cruise on Celebrity Beyond for the ultimate cruise experience. See why this “journey at the intersection of elegance and approachability” is one of the best cruises.
Could I trust that this new ship’s name hinted at my upcoming experience? Having already sailed on her sister ships, Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex, I knew the chances were good. I boarded Celebrity Beyond expecting minor tweaks and changes, but I was in for a surprise. Fortunately, because this was just a two-day cruise to nowhere, my previous experiences on Celebrity Cruise’s other two ships in the Edge Series® gave me a head start on my explorations. I will share my observations of those changes that impressed me.
One of my favorite spots on the Edge Series® ships is The Retreat®, the resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests. Knowing that this area was expanded and improved upon, I prioritized inspecting this exclusive area. What a great surprise! On a previous cruise, I spent plenty of time in this area, under an umbrella, enjoying the connection to the sea and the perks offered there.
On Celebrity Beyond, The Retreat® now consists of three areas: The Sundeck, Luminae at The Retreat®, and The Retreat® Lounge.
Food and beverages are available on the sun deck area, which has now been expanded to two levels. The 40% extra expanded space on the Retreat® Sun Deck gives you plenty of lounging options. Pools and hot tubs complete the private beach club area.
On the lower level, suite guests have access to daily snacks, beverages, and a fully stocked bar in the Retreat Lounge. The atmosphere soothes the soul and induces relaxation. A concierge assists you with dinner reservations, information, and any other assistance you may need.
Luminae, the dedicated dining venue for suite guests, now positions itself with The Retreat® area. With this new location, it’s easy for you to enjoy cocktails in the comfort of The Retreat® Lounge before or after dining.
A favorite spot aft of the ship, Sunset Bar expanded with multi-tiered levels and a new design. This is the best place to enjoy a cocktail, soak up the fresh sea air, or watch the sunset. The welcoming bar designed by Nate Berkus incorporates elements of Mexico, California, Greece, and Uruguay.
With 180% more space than on its sister ships, the bar welcomes you to sit at the bar itself or enjoy the areas that are ideally laid out for conversation. Watching the sun drop below the horizon from here ended my days.
Just around the corner from Sunset Bar, the Rooftop Garden is a vast space where you can relax among the greenery or catch a movie on the big screen.
The popular Rooftop Grill, located in the back area of Rooftop Garden, offers open-air dining. This venue nicely complements the other specialty restaurants with a menu reminiscent of a backyard barbecue. Think of dishes like mac and cheese, watermelon and feta salad, burgers, dirty rice, pulled pork, and filet mignon.
Upscale Dining on Celebrity Beyond
The newest dining venue and the first at sea by this chef is Le Voyage. In this more intimate space, serving just 50 guests at a time, Michelin-rated Chef Daniel Boulud imagines this as the finest restaurant at sea. My experience suggests that he accomplished his goal. Everything about this restaurant makes it a standout. The light and airy décor makes a stunning first impression and raises expectations for the meal.
The menu gives a nod to travel and dishes from throughout the world. I started with an onion tart. The pastry was perfectly baked and the taste of onions shone through nicely without being overwhelming.
Thrilled with this tasty appetizer, I correctly anticipated that my Argentinian Filet Mignon with Chimichurri Compound Butter and Grilled Vegetables would please. I appreciate the portion size and the combination of flavors. Great care had been taken in the preparation of my dish. My table mates also expressed similar praise for their selections.
Just glancing at the menu, I saw many geographic names and descriptions: Alaskan, Greek, Argentinian, Black Forest, Tunisian, Brazilian, Thai, and more. A meal here truly is a voyage around the world.
Familiar Favorites Courtesy Celebrity Cruises
Although I focused on some of the new offerings aboard Celebrity Beyond during my short cruise, I would be remiss to not mention that one reason for my excitement and anticipation of this new ship resulted from my previous sailings on Celebrity Edge and Apex. The attention to detail impressed me, but I noticed how comfortable and relaxed I felt whenever I stepped onto these ships.
Dining Options on Celebrity Beyond
Food is so subjective, but I must say that after trying several of the specialty and included restaurants, the food throughout takes dining to a new level. The four main dining rooms won’t disappoint. Although basically the same, they do serve some dishes special to that particular dining room. Mediterranean, Cosmopolitan, French, and Italian are the featured dishes of those dining rooms.
Other specialty restaurants include steak, seafood, Italian, the animated Le Petit Chef, and more.
A pastry and coffee bar draws quite the crowd. One of my favorites, more utilized on this cruise than on my previous voyages, is the Eden Café. Complete with fresh-made sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts, this smaller dining area offers an alternative to the buffet. Inside dining is one option, but I usually head out to the deck and enjoy the fresh air.
The Rest of the Ship
Celebrity Beyond holds many areas and experiences you can discover during your cruise. The cantilevered Magic Carpet serves multiple purposes ranging from a bar to a dining area to the best tender-loading platform at sea. The Grand Plaza, newly expanded and designed using elements of opera houses, features the central Martini Bar, complete with performances by the bartenders.
Speaking of performances, you can check out various innovative shows, many occurring in the state-of-the-art theater. When first introduced on Celebrity Edge, interactive shows took place in Eden. Many of those shows verged on uncomfortable as often unwary guests become part of the performance. While some guests did thrive on this, many left unsupportive feedback. On Celebrity Beyond, shows still take place, but are greatly toned down from the original.
Sailing on Celebrity Beyond
Celebrity Beyond sails in various locations, depending on when you book. It offers fall in the Caribbean, spring in the Bahamas and Mexico, summers in the Mediterranean and Greek Isles, and grand cruises across the Atlantic to Spain and Portugal.
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Final Thoughts About Cruising on Celebrity Beyond
Celebrity Beyond continues its calming effect on me. Kelly Hoppen, the designer, created a perfect ambiance for relaxation. I never imagined that a concept that fits so well with my cruising preferences could be taken to the next level. But Celebrity Beyond does just that.
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo says it best, “Celebrity Beyond shatters any preconceived notion of the cruising experience. This exquisite ship offers a journey at the intersection of elegance and approachability filled with what’s important to our guests today: forward-thinking design, culinary excellence, unparalleled well-being, and incomparable service.” When you are ready to set sail, check out our cruise experts’ suggestions for the best cruising options on Wander.
Celebrity Beyond: Cruising Beyond Expectations