5 May 2022 by Alison Nicolle
Wexas cruise specialist and Celebrity first-timer Alison Nicolle reports back from the inaugural sailing of Celebrity Beyond.
Being amongst the lucky passengers embarking on the inaugural sailing of Celebrity Beyond, we were welcomed on board this brand-new ship with a rapturous round of applause from many of the staff who were lined up to greet us. This warm and friendly welcome from certainly set the tone for the whole weekend, with a team who worked tirelessly to ensure a truly fabulous time was had during my two-night stay on board.
Lobby Bar, Celebrity Beyond
Celebrity Beyond is the third of their revolutionary Edge Series of ships – its all about cutting-edge design and innovation, and I was immediately struck by the seamless check-in process with everything being done through an App on our phone to guide us onto the ship and up to our cabin. Although there were plenty of staff on hand should help have been required.
Opening the door to my accommodation, I was amazed, and delighted, to find myself in a Sky Suite on Deck 10. The suite was extremely spacious and comfortable with a huge king-sized bed, a stunning bathroom and a balcony complete with sun loungers and an incredible glass side with views down the side of the ship and out to sea. The suite incorporates all the latest design features and state-of-the-art tech, with lighting and air conditioning controlled by a touch on an app on your phone.
Sky Suite, Celebrity Beyond
Best of all, this suite (which at times I found so comfortable it was difficult to leave!) came with access to the ship's exclusive enclave – The Retreat. This gives access to a private restaurant, Luminae, as well as a private lounge and sundeck. So, having met our Personal Retreat Host who guided us through the many amenities on offer, we headed to Luminae for what turned out to be a fine lunch. It’s a beautiful, contemporary restaurant serving fine cuisine along with a wide range of delicious and delightfully presented cocktails. The afternoon was then spent enjoying the exclusivity of the Jacuzzis and sun loungers on the high decks of the ship, basking in the sunshine whilst sipping a glass of Prosecco as we sailed out of Southampton.
We weren’t due to sail far – in fact, we barely left sight of the Isle of Wight – but this short voyage was all about experiencing as much as we could of what the ship has to offer. Indeed, the captain chose to effectively moor up at sea leaving us to test the amenities whilst enjoying gorgeous sea views and spectacular English Channel sunsets.
This ship has so much to offer, that in just two days we barely scratched the surface. Highlights include some 32 food and beverage venues, including eight speciality restaurants. But our personal favourite had to be The Sunset Bar, spread over two floors at the aft of the ship with gorgeous sea views and a convivial atmosphere, made all the more special by a live pianist and, as the name suggests, picture-book sunsets.
Sunset Bar, Celebrity Beyond
As mentioned, the ship features cutting-edge design throughout, the most striking of which is the so-called “Magic Carpet” – a remarkable floating platform on one side of the ship, which enables guests to move between floors while enjoying a full bar service and more of those sea views.
For me, a cruise is all about relaxation and rejuvenation, and in this area Celebrity Beyond has many innovative features, too. I was particularly struck by the running (or walking) track, the first I have seen to actually twist around the ship and to feature an incline on one side for a perfect training and exercise area. Elsewhere, the state-of-the-art Technogym was also fabulous and I enjoyed a good working here, accompanied by sea views, of course, before heading out on deck for a few fun games of table tennis.
What I loved most about this ship, however, was just how easy it was to relax and find a quiet nook all of your own. The whole ship is designed in a way to maximise the connection with the ocean, but also to provide perfect intimate settings. Two days on board left me wanting more time to explore, and that’s before one even considers the many exciting destinations it's due to sail to in the coming months.