Celebrity Beyond Review and Specifications
Specifications of Celebrity Beyond
|Year built||2021 new ship|
|Builder||Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, France)|
|Building cost||EUR 770 million (USD 900 million)|
|Owner||Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL)|
|Speed||22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph|
|Length (LOA)||306 m / 1004 ft|
|Beam (width)||39 m / 128 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||129500 gt|
|Passengers||2918 - 3373|
|Decks with cabins||10|
|Sister-ships||Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex|
Review of Celebrity Beyond
Scheduled for launch in 2021, Celebrity Beyond cruise ship is the third is a series of all five Edge-class passenger liners - with sisterships Celebrity Edge (2018), Celebrity Apex (2020), TBN1 (2022-Q3) and TBN2 (2024). Fun fact is that Celebrity Apex was initially to be named "Celebrity Beyond", but the name was changed during vessel's construction.
History - construction and ownership
Celebrity Cruises was founded in 1988 as the Greece-based Chandris Line (cruise shipping operations between 1974-1996). In 1997, Royal Caribbean International (RCI) merged with "Celebrity Cruises Ltd" to become "Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd" (RCCL). The "X" on ship funnels is the Greek letter chi (standing for "Chandris"). Common features of Celebrity Cruises ships include aft located glass-walled dining rooms, signature alternate dining venues, bars and lounges, spacious Atrium lobby areas, a large number of balcony staterooms, large sundecks with swimming pools, The Retreat (adults-only sundeck with full-size swimming pool, Jacuzzi, cabanas, poolside full bar service). Rooftop Terrace (top-deck outdoor lounge-restaurant-cinema), large Spa (with Thermal Suites), premium retail shops selling top-brand merchandise.
The 2900-passenger cruise ship Celebrity Beyond is the 3rd newbuild by "Project Edge" (ship class). These new ships are bigger than Millennium-class but smaller than Solstice-class. The company advertised "small-ship itineraries with large-ship amenities", destination-rich experiences and iconic maritime architecture. The following YouTube video (official release) is about the Edge ship's unique features.
Cruise itinerary program
Celebrity Beyond cruise itinerary program is yet to be announced. Traditionally, the ship could spend an inaugural (mini) season in Europe with roundtrips from homeport Southampton (England UK). Next, the liner could be repositioned to the Caribbean (USA) or even Asia-Australia.
Most Celebrity Beyond staterooms are Balcony rooms. Of all the 1467 staterooms, 918 are Edge Staterooms (with Infinite Verandas) and 176 are Suites.
All staterooms are fitted with keyless cabin entry technology that uses digital keys (on smartphones), as well as standard keycards and RFID bands.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
Celebrity Beyond ship has 4 main dining rooms and 6 new-to-Celebrity Cruises specialty restaurants. In total, the cruise ship has 15 restaurants and cafes, 12 bars and lounges.
Passengers in AquaClass staterooms or Suites eat at Blu Restaurant, offering lighter "spa-inspired" cuisine. The Luminae Restaurant is named "Luminae at The Retreat" and (along with Blu) is part of the private, Suite Class passengers exclusive complex "The Retreat". Suite passengers have also the option to eat in the Main Dining Rooms / MDRs (Normandie Restaurant, Tuscan Restaurant, Cosmopolitan Restaurant, Cyprus Restaurant). These 4 complimentary restaurants serve menus inspired by the itinerary/destinations visited. Each restaurant offers regional wines and themed cocktails, dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients, also a rotating menu of Signature dishes for dinner (changing every evening) and a Classic dinner menu. The ship's main restaurants are served by dedicated to each table wait staff (sommelier, assistant waiter, head waiter). Passengers are assigned to one of the 4 MDRs but still have the option (upon request) to dine in the other 3.
Celebrity Beyond offers company's traditional "Celebrity Select Dining" (your-time dining for dinners) option, which is renamed to "Celebrity Select Dining Plus". Passengers can make reservations in any of the 4 MDRs if they know they want to eat at a specific restaurant and dinner time, or they can simply show up and enjoy dinner on their own time.
In addition to the 4 MDR restaurants, there are plenty of complimentary dining venues, such as Oceanview Cafe (live cooking stations, bakery), Mast Grill (poolside), Spa Cafe & Juice Bar (healthy food and beverages), Eden Cafe (wide variety of breakfast and lunch items). The ship also has two outdoor alfresco seating venues.
The ship has a total of 11 bars and lounges, including Eden, Cafe al Bacio, The Club, Sunset Bar, Theatre Bar, Casino Bar, Martini Bar, Pool Bar, Il Secondo Bacio, The Retreat Pool Bar, The Retreat Lounge.
The ship has a number of for-fee restaurants (at surcharge per person), including Qsine (USD 45 pp), Tuscan Grill (Italian steakhouse, USD 45 pp), Murano (French, USD 45 pp), Lawn Club Grill (DIY steaks, USD 40 pp), Bistro on 5 (creperie, USD 10 pp), The Porch (USD 5 pp, panini restaurant open for breakfast and lunch). At Qsine, passengers can order on iPads, then waiters bring the food in the order of choosing.
Craft Social Bar (debuted on Celebrity Apex) features large selections of premium wines (sold by the glass), craft cocktails and craft beers (50+ brands, including several of world's rarest). Craft Social Bar is served by certified beer sommeliers.
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
Ship's Lawn Deck is equipped with real grass and the vessel has more deck chairs than others, offering a calm atmosphere under the sun. The Celebrity iLounge gives guests computer tutorial classes and is also a representative of Apple, providing access to the most affordable Mac products available at duty-free prices. Another feature of Celebrity Beyond is the AquaSpa Cafe, ideal for a quick lunch after the spa.
Sky Observation Lounge offers live music at sunset, or you can test your luck at Fortune’s Casino – there’s something to do onboard at any time.
Virtual Concierge app allows booking dinner and spa reservations, drinks ordering, room-service, and other services. Smartphone sensors are used to track passengers on the ship in order to improve services based on their location.
Celebrity Edge-Class ships also have fleet's most technologically advanced Theater Lounge spanning on 3 decks. Here are held fleet's largest number of production shows, with the largest number of performing crew on any premium-brand ship.
Theatre Lounge has all 7 stage areas - 3 large and 4 smaller. Theater's main stage is extending (into the audience) and flanked by two directional rotating platforms raising over 2 m (7 ft) above the main stage. Lounge's design and technology also feature 2 rotating spiral staircases, 10 synchronized (mobile) projection screens, 16 video mapping laser projectors, rigging for aerial performances. Ship's Theatre offers 5 new full shows, including Shakespeare-based "A Hot Summer Night’s Dream" (with acrobatics), "The Jewelry Box" (technological), "Kaleidoscope" (high-energy music and dance), and 2 new "Headline Residency" program-based shows – "Get Up" (pop concert by Black Skull Creative) and "The Purpose" (celebrating the inner self).
The Club is another new (dual-purpose) venue with large dance floor, a stage for live performances, giant LED screen and served by its own 2 bars. During the day, The Club offers fun activities and games (including Funovation Laser Maze Challenge, Drone Hunting, laser obstacle course, dance classes, trivia). At night, it transforms into the disco nightclub "Undercover at The Club". The nightly program is themed on the US Prohibition era, with a menu offering signature 1920s craft cocktails and aerial saxophonist performances. Andromeda body scanner allows passengers to become someone else for the entire evening. Hypno Cam Experience is a dance party, in which an Ultra HD camera is passed around and all photos are instantly displayed on the LED screen.
Ship's Kids Club offers by the "Camp at Sea" program over 500 complimentary activities for children of all ages. The facility features two (new for the fleet) separate spaces (for kids and teens) called "The Basement".
Celebrity's signature Rooftop Garden (top-deck dining-entertainment bar lounge) offers expanded facilities and show programming (Rooftop Concert Series, Garden Cinema Series, Taste of Film experience under-the-stars, with 5 new live musical performances).
The Grand Plaza serves as ship's epicenter (midship location) and spanning 3 decks. The venue mixes modernity and simplicity and was inspired by the charming era of Transatlantic ocean liners. The concept was designed by Jouin Manku Studio.
The unique space has a striking lighting feature - The Chandelier, an art installation rising over Martini Bar to the ceiling 3 decks above. It is composed of 5 levels and a total of 765 blades illuminated via dynamic LED strips changing their colours from day to night, The Chandelier weighs 7 tons.
The Grand Plaza houses many of liner's new specialty restaurants, including Fine Cut Steakhouse and Raw on 5 (Deck 5) Le Grand Bistro and Cafe al Bacio (Deck 4), Grand Plaza Cafe (Deck 3), Italian piazzas. Midship-Deck 3 is the Martini Bar. Adorning the edges of Grand Plaza are hand-stitched mesh screens that combine over 13,500 art pieces made of leather, fabric, and metal.
Grand Plaza's cafes are the perfect choice for "coffee breaks" - from morning cappuccino to afternoon tea and pre-dinner cocktails - while enjoying live entertainment. In the evenings, Grand Plaza transforms into the ship's social hub with live music performances.
During the day, "Le Grand Bistro" (in the Atrium on Deck 4) operates as patisserie and cafeteria serving French cuisine. In the evenings, Le Grand Bistro transforms into "Le Petite Chef" - new dining-entertainment concept via an exclusive partnership with TableMation Studios (US multimedia company) and Skullmapping (a 2010-founded collective of filmmakers and visual artists). Dinner experience includes visual mapping technology with animated 3D characters projected (from above) onto tables and on plates. The VIP dining is at a fixed surcharge. It costs USD 25 pp (Le Grand Bistro) and USD 55 pp (Le Petite Chef).
The following official YouTube video reviews the ship's glass-walled Eden Observation Lounge combining dining and nightlife.
Eden is a 3-deck high (aft-location on decks 4, 5, 6) lounge-bar-restaurant venue with live music and shows programming changing throughout the day. Eden Lounge measures 10439 m3 (368640 ft3) and covers a total area of 1175 m2 (12650 ft2). The lounge has outward-facing design and combines a signature gastronomic experience (light lunch, 5-course dinner, wine tastings) with live performances, daily lectures, promo events. The lounge has alfresco dining areas on both its sides. In the evening, the lounge transforms into "Eve at Eden", with more provocative entertainment (fusion of performance art, dining, and nightlife.
The Eden Restaurant is part of the lounge. The Eden Bar is a food and drinks bar, also serving hand-crafted cocktails.
The lounge's 90-m / 295 ft long ramp envelops the entire space and provides panoramic views. The lounge's unconventional furniture and interiors are designed by Patricia Urquiola (Spain). She also designed the lounge's "Library of Plants" (living garden) and the hanging plant pillars. Lounge's designer is Scott Butler (Wilson Butler Architects, Boston MA). The evening show programming is by Variety Worldwide (NYC New York).
"The Meeting Place" is named the ship's Conference Center (sized 183 m2 / 1970 ft2). This large meeting room is designed by Wilson Butler Architects (Boston MA) and provides advanced audio-visual equipment, varied seating arrangements, private office (event planning space), as well as mobile bars (for food and beverages) and a fully equipped pantry.
Magic Carpet ("outdoor elevator lounge")
A unique feature of the Celebrity Beyond ship is its Magic Carpet - a glass structure (glass-roofed, cantilevered platform) the size of a tennis court, able to traverse 14 stories, like a large elevator. Mounted on the ship's starboard side, the open-air Magic Carpet offers stunning ocean views, comfortable seating, full bar, a stage for live music performances, This "travelling venue" changes its theme, function, and location by extending from Deck 2 up to Deck 16.
Passengers can't simply ride on the Magic Carpet (using it as an elevator). In each location, the "moving lounge" is safely locked, then guests are allowed to step onboard. While repositioning, the venue is without any passengers. Some of its furniture is fixed.
The structure repositions and transforms into a new venue depending on which deck is locked.
- When positioned on Deck 16 (above pool deck), it becomes a specialty restaurant offering the unique “Dinner on the Edge" al-fresco dining under the stars.
- When positioned on Resort Deck 14 (in front of the cabanas), it becomes an extension of the pool deck area, also offering live music performances.
- When positioned on Dining Deck 5, it becomes a specialty restaurant - alfresco dining appendix to the ship's main dining room restaurant.
- When positioned on Tendering Deck 2, it becomes an extension of the Destination Gateway (embarkation station serving ship's tender operations). Destination Gateway boarding area is dedicated to the so-called "Edge Launches" - luxurious passenger tendering ashore, providing seamless embarkation and disembarkation in all ports of call along the cruise itinerary. This spacious area is fitted with large LCD screens (displaying destination, itinerary and port highlights), comfortable seating (capacity 130 seats), air-conditioning.
"Destination Getaway" is a dedicated embarkation point when the platform is positioned at its lowest level (Tendering Deck 2).
Magic Carpet's repositioning schedule is published daily.
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Edge-Class ships were designed via an exclusive partnership with Nate Berkus - US interior designer establishing his own company at the age of 24. On January 29, 2020, started vessel's construction with the steel-cutting ceremony held at STX France (Chantiers de l’Atlantique Shipyard) in St Nazaire, France. The ceremony was attended by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (Celebrity Cruises President and CEO) and Laurent Castaing (Shipyard's General Manager).
On April 11, 2019, the shipowner RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd) signed a MoU agreement with Chantiers de l’Atlantique to order a 5th Edge-class vessel with scheduled delivery in 2024 fall.
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