AKate McCue has long since achieved cult status on Instagram and Co. She is the first and so far only American captain of a cruise ship and lets her fans participate in everyday life on board. McCue is currently on the bridge of Celebrity Beyond, Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, which recently completed her maiden voyage from Southampton to Barcelona and will now be cruising the Mediterranean well into October.
Externally, the “Beyond” hardly differs from its two sister ships “Celebrity Edge” and “Celebrity Apex”. However, she is 21 meters longer at 327 meters and one deck higher at 17 decks. Her 3260 guests have 1646 cabins at their disposal, that’s 179 more. The ship will primarily appeal to vacationers who are “looking for new, casual and very personal luxury experiences,” explains Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. During the tour, the “relaxed luxury” she speaks of is evident in the spacious, newly designed areas, but above all in the many details and extras.
Larger suite area and luxurious cabins
The exclusive suite area, The Retreat, is 40 percent larger than on previous ships. The interior designer Kelly Hoppen designed the rooms of the “resort within a resort” and created a warm atmosphere with clear lines and neutral tones. The Retreat Sundeck with a pool bar now extends over two levels. The exclusive area also includes the Retreat Lounge and the private restaurant Luminae.
Retreat guests can choose from a variety of sized suites, including the new Iconic Suites. Located high above the bridge, they have a total area of more than 232 square meters with indoor and outdoor areas and offer a panoramic view of the entire ship.
Also worth noting are the six new Edge Villas – luxury maisonette-style residences on decks 15 and 16. A total of 88 square meters on two floors can accommodate up to four guests, and each villa has its own mini pool.
Guests of the new AquaClass Sky Suites also have access to the Retreat Sun Deck and Luminae Restaurant. The new accommodations on deck 10 are almost 30 square meters and have a balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows. The wellness equipment includes yoga mats, stretch bands, gymnastics balls, punching bags and gloves as well as meditation cushions. A recovery kit comes from Goop, the lifestyle brand owned by US actress Gwyneth Paltrow, which also curates onboard wellness programs and participates in the cruise line’s new “Women in Wellness” initiative.
Innovative highlights outside of the suites area are the Edge Staterooms with Infinity Veranda. At the push of a button, the floor-to-ceiling, glazed front can be lowered by half, revealing a balcony that can also be used in bad weather.
Casual club feeling on the decks
For the Sunset Bar on Deck 15, designed by architect Tom Wright, designer Nate Berkus was inspired “by the best parts of Mexico, Greece, parts of Uruguay and California”. It extends like a terrace over two decks on several levels and is almost three times the size of those on the sister ships of the “Beyond”. In their everywhere, comfortable seating niches, you can relax wonderfully with soft music.
From the bar you can reach the green planted rooftop garden on the open main deck with two glass, free-floating freshwater pools that protrude laterally over the ship’s side. The upgraded pool bar on the resort deck promises more privacy. There you can enjoy cozy hours of sunshine on “Sunken Seats”, lowered seating areas.
Over 30 restaurants and bars on the cruise ship
With “Le Voyage” on deck 4, there is a restaurant by French star chef Daniel Boulud on board a cruise ship for the first time. It seats 50 guests and offers menus with internationally inspired flavors. Everyone else can switch to 31 other exclusive culinary areas, including 15 restaurants (including four main restaurants), five cafés and twelve bars and lounges.
Accessible from all sides, the Grand Plaza’s Martini Bar sits at the center of a space that spans three decks. Here, too, there are small niches for more intimacy in stylized wine barrels. A huge, striking chandelier with eight new light shows hangs from the ceiling, which sets the scene for the bartenders’ show interludes when mixing cocktails in the evening.
Shows and Art on Celebrity Beyond
Showtime is the order of the day in the evening: electrifying dances, flying acrobats and a touch of London’s West End await the audience in the theater. You will experience three new shows with powerful voices and powerful dancers. Fascinatingly, the huge 4K LED screen punctuates the choreography with amazing visual effects, making it stand out and sometimes even taking a back seat. More new shows in the nightclub The Club and in the event area Eden provide variety.
As on its predecessors, art also plays a major role on the “Beyond”. Its conspicuous “artistic landmark” stands directly in front of the large pool and shows a man balancing a huge white elephant on his back. The sculpture by French artist Fabien Merelle symbolizes overcoming seemingly superhuman problems. Equally striking are the black and white “Peace Maker” sculpture by Brazilian Rubem Robierb at the entrance to the Oceanview Café and the British artist Stephen Newby’s “Ovoid” egg sculpture in the Rooftop Gardens.
On the “flying carpet”
A highlight, with which the predecessor ships of the “Beyond” were able to score points with their guests, should of course not be missing from the “Beyond”: the Magic Carpet (“flying carpet”), a free-floating platform on the starboard side.
As big as a tennis court, it runs from the bottom all the way up to the top deck. Depending on the time of day, it serves either as a bar, a sundowner area, an extension of the specialty restaurant or as a tender lounge.
The “Celebrity Beyond” cruises from Barcelona or from/to Civitavecchia until mid-October on ten and eleven-day trips to France, Italy, Malta and Greece. On October 12, the ship sets sail from Barcelona for the transatlantic crossing via Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon, Ponta Delgada (Azores) and Bermuda to New York (Cape Liberty). In the winter season 2022/23 there are week-long cruises through the Caribbean from/to Fort Lauderdale. Nine days “Italian Riviera and France” from June 4 can be booked per person from 1677 euros (celebritycruises.de)
Participation in the voyage was supported by Celebrity Cruises. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at axelspringer.com/de/Werte/downloads.