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Celebrity Beyond Review

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

As the third ship in Celebrity's Edge class, 3,260-passenger Celebrity Beyond offers many familiar features — moveable tangerine-hued The Magic Carpet suspended from its starboard side, lounge/entertainment/dining space Eden, and the gleaming Grand Plaza — that wowed passengers when Edge debuted in 2018. But there are also several new enhancements that give this ship an even more dazzling contemporary-cool ambiance. Beyond is about 65 feet longer and one deck taller than her siblings Edge and Apex. It also offers nearly 180 additional suites and staterooms, even more outdoor space on the Resort Deck (with its 25-yard lap pool) and on the redesigned Rooftop Garden (with its cantilevered infinity-edge plunge pools), and a chicly reimagined Sunset Bar that's 180% larger than its previous version. The Retreat, a "ship-within-a-ship" enclave for suite passengers, has been reimagined by British designer Kelly Hoppen and now features a two-story sundeck and six new 789-square-foot duplex Edge Villas, while new AquaClass Sky Suites combine the spa-centric amenities of AquaClass with the perks of The Retreat. And for solo travelers, Beyond offers twice as many Single Staterooms with an Infinite Veranda. The Theater on Celebrity Beyond is also the largest in the fleet and features 110 feet of LED panels to immerse guests in visual imagery during four new production shows. Most Edge-class dining options are onboard, including Le Grand Bistro and Raw on 5, but Beyond also marks the debut of Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud, the chef's first signature restaurant at sea. Also worth noting: Beyond is 20 percent more efficient than her predecessors and is helmed by Captain Kate McCue, America's first female cruise ship captain; 70 percent of the bridge team under her command are also women.

What We Love

The Sunset Bar: No longer an afterthought — the place at the back of Celebrity ships that some guests stumble upon and others never discover — the Sunset Bar on Beyond has been expanded, enhanced, and given an Andalusia-meets-L.A. vibe by interior designer Nate Berkus. With black-and-white tiles underfoot, rattan-backed bar chairs, daybed niches, and palm-tree-studded wall murals, the two-level Sunset Bar serves specialty cocktails, wine, champagne, and a selection of tapas-style small plates (at extra cost).

The Grand Plaza: A show-stopper when it debuted on Celebrity Edge — and home to the popular Martini Bar with its gravity-defying flair bartenders — the Grand Plaza has been enlarged and given a jazzy new LED chandelier (with a light show choreographed to music). As the ship's social heart, it's the perfect spot for a pre- or post-dinner indulgence: perhaps a passionfruit martini?

The Dining Options: Don't want to spend extra money to dine while onboard? Beyond features eight complimentary dining venues, including four beautifully designed main dining rooms offering menus with 75 percent of items that change daily and 25 percent that reflect the dining space's theme: Normandie for French, Cyprus for Greek/Mediterranean, Tuscan for Italian, and Cosmopolitan for new American with a global influence. Guests can rotate among them for different settings and menu choices. Oceanview Café offers buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a light and airy indoor setting featuring two-story windows and an outdoor dining space as well. Eden Café and Mast Grill are other included casual eateries, while smoothies and select healthy items are available at the Spa Café and Juice Bar. Eight additional specialty dining venues can be enjoyed for an additional charge, including Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud, which offers globally-inspired a la carte and five-course tasting menus in a serene and intimate space seating just 50 people. Other stunning venues include Fine Cut Steakhouse (for steaks, chops, and seafood), Eden (for fresh and natural dishes inspired by the bounty of the Mediterranean), and the Rooftop Garden's Rooftop Grill (for grilled specialties and gourmet barbecue favorites with an ocean view).

 

Best Known For

A Grown-Up, Design-Centric Vibe: From the eye-catching, asymmetrical arches of the Resort Deck's Beyond Cabanas to the otherworldliness of the "Odyssey" installation in the immersive space en route to Eden, this ship offers plenty of Instagram moments. Sculptures, including a towering white Elephant on the Resort Deck and a vintage bronze that was once aboard the circa-1935 French liner Normandie, and other art installations abound. There are plentiful bars and lounges, too: The mixologists at the World Class Bar, in partnership with Diageo, serve artisanal cocktails, while The Magic Carpet, which is suspended over the ocean, is a great spot to connect with the sea while sipping your favorite libation.

The Solarium: Sometimes, a vacation is just more enjoyable without kids around — not to mention the fact that the weather doesn't always cooperate. That's why the cruise line's adults-only indoor pool, The Solarium, makes the perfect setting for relaxing with a good book, soaking in a hot tub, or enjoying an afternoon nap.

Eden: When Eden debuted on Celebrity Edge, it felt edgy (perhaps a little too much so for some Celebrity regulars), but even as the experiential space remains visually seductive, the live performances lean a bit more mainstream. Meanwhile, the dining menu has shifted from molecular-style nouvelle cuisine to globally inspired dishes centered around fresh, natural ingredients and served a la carte from an open kitchen. 

Who It's Best For

New-to-Cruise Gen Xers and Young-at-Heart Boomers: The design-forward style of Celebrity's Edge-class ships is a bid to attract a new (and younger) demographic to upscale cruising, with the primary target of Gen X couples in their 40s and 50s and leading-edge millennials. Plenty of baby boomers in their 60s and older will also enjoy the sleekly-styled onboard vibe, especially in the more secluded spaces in The Retreat reserved for suite guests. 

Multi-Generational Groups With Older Kids: While Beyond does have kids and teens clubs, they're more learning-focused than tricked-out amusement centers. Also, the ship doesn't have an arcade or waterslides. That said, the ship is appropriate for multi-generational families or groups where the youngest members are content to hang out with adults or make friends in Camp at Sea or the Teen Club. 

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

The Fancy Stuff Costs Extra: You can sail on Celebrity Beyond and not accrue a big onboard bill if you're okay sticking with the "Always Included" drinks menu (everyone booking on Celebrity gets a Classic Drinks Package, basic wifi, and prepaid tips as part of their cruise fare) and dining at the complimentary venues. But if you want to enjoy Le Voyage, Eden, Fine Cut Steakhouse, or another specialty restaurant, you'll pay extra. It's also worth noting that most of the fancy cocktails and better wines by the glass are not included in the Classic Drinks Package, which covers beverages priced at $9 and under. Upgraded beverage packages can be purchased before or during your cruise; or, you can pay as you go for specialty drinks.

The Infinite Veranda Isn't For Everyone: While it offers a floor-to-ceiling view by eliminating the door and making the veranda part of the stateroom (with the top portion of the glass window lowering at the push of a button and light-blocking blinds lowering with another button), there's definitely less of a balcony feel to Edge-class Infinite Veranda Staterooms. Paned-glass doors that can be folded away technically create a balcony, and while some guests love the added indoor space, others miss stepping onto a true outdoor balcony.

Donna Heiderstadt
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger
Cruise Expert