Celebrity Cruises is bringing aboard some star power for its newest ship. Celebrity Beyond has tapped Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star chef Daniel Boulud to open his first on-the-sea restaurant, goop guru and actor Gwyneth Paltrow to be its well-being advisor and celebrity designer Nate Berkus to craft the interiors to a hot spot bar.
This is all for the third vessel in the Edge Series, which will supersede its siblings, Edge and Apex, in size. The 1,073-foot Beyond will be both longer and taller than its predecessors while offering 179 more suites and staterooms.
“It really is beyond anything I think anyone is going to expect — I know we’ll use that pun a lot, but it’s so appropriate,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises president and CEO, during a press conference.
Beyond will set off on her maiden voyage April 27, 2022, from Southampton, England, and make her way around Western Europe on a 10-night cruise. Afterward, Celebrity Beyond will embark for a variety of Mediterranean destinations through early October, when it will head for the Caribbean.
Here’s what we look forward to seeing on the supersized ship:
Daniel Boulud’s new restaurant
As Celebrity’s global culinary ambassador, Boulud previously created several dishes for the onboard dining outlets. But on Beyond, he will debut his own 50-seat restaurant, Le Voyage. “I love that word,” he said. “As a young chef I always dreamed of traveling, and le voyage means traveling all over the world and taking a food journey.”
Those dining at the restaurant will make their way on different food journeys, depending on where the ship sets sail. “The process of creativity will definitely be based on the journey Beyond is taking, but also the journey I’m taking and where I want people to go,” Boulud said.
Setting the stage for these culinary explorations, Paris design firm Jouin Manku (which was behind the dramatic interiors at Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris’ Le Bar and the recent renovations to La Mamounia in Marrakech) has created sophisticated and modern seating cocoons made of see-through glass flutes. Your dinner journey will end in a separate room, where curated books, sweets and nightcaps await.
You will want to linger over cocktails at the Sunset Bar, where an added deck nearly doubles its size. The graduated terraces from architect Tom Wright of WKK (which designed the distinctive sailboat-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah building in Dubai) provide architectural flair and additional places to lounge.
While Berkus already serves as Celebrity Cruises’ Edge Series design ambassador, the Sunset Bar marks his first designed space for the brand. “I took inspiration from some of my favorite places in the world — the best parts of Mexico, the best parts of Greece, the best parts of Uruguay with the best parts of California,” he said. “I wanted this space to represent aspiration. I wanted it to represent relaxation, in an upmarket way.”
White archways, which mimic the white pergola entrance, lead to a bar that feels Moroccan but draws on other influences as well. Berkus used traditional design elements like ceramics, terracotta, metal, bronze, brass and carved wood, combining them in a way that feels vibrant and energetic. Elsewhere, alfresco enclaves with banquettes and soft lighting provide intimate gathering areas.
“It has truly become what I’ve always believed it could be and wished it was,” Lutoff-Perlo said about the bar.
Wellness by goop
When Paltrow was introduced as Beyond’s well-being advisor, the actor/entrepreneur said she was “sworn to secrecy” on the details. Paltrow did share that she and her lifestyle company goop will seek to bolster individual and collective well-being by curating onboard wellness programming, putting together fitness kits for AquaClass guests across the Celebrity fleet (except for the Galapagos sailings) and participating in Celebrity’s forthcoming Women in Wellness initiative.
Celebrity calls The Retreat its hotel-within-a-hotel, since it encompasses suites and dedicated amenities. Beyond enlisted London-based Kelly Hoppen to design the sleek two-story Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools and the Iconic Suites, the largest accommodations in its fleet.
“A lot of what we were focused on was lifting up — particularly in the suite section — to give more space, more feeling of openness, more feeling of height and spaciousness,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Group.
A new addition to the roster is AquaClass Sky Suites, which have wellness perks such as the use of the Sea Thermal Suite (it includes a hammam, a crystalarium, a salt room, a steam room, an infrared sauna and a space with swinging basket chairs), priority spa reservations, a dedicated spa concierge and complimentary fitness classes.
All suites come with a butler and access to the expanded two-story sundeck, the 24-hour Retreat Lounge and a fine-dining restaurant, Luminae, which Hoppen saturated in hues of merlot and gray.
More Outdoor Spaces
While open-air areas are a premium perk in these times, adding outdoor space to Beyond was part of the plan long before the pandemic, Lutoff-Perlo said.
Celebrity Beyond kept many outdoor features from its predecessors, including the revolutionary Magic Carpet, a tennis-court-sized cantilevered platform that moves up and down the side of the ship and can function as a tender or a dining patio.
The difference is that everything is bigger on Beyond. The main open deck is 40 percent larger than previous Edge Series vessels. It contains an expansive Rooftop Garden, more seating and nooks, alfresco dining at the expanded Rooftop Grill and two pools dangling 6.5 feet over the side of the ship. The enlarged Resort Deck houses an asymmetrical space with a 25-yard lap pool, two-story cabanas, a terraced pool deck and new sunken seating areas.