, 2022-06-27 11:00:00,
A lifesize silver peacock guards the entrance to the Cyprus restaurant on Celebrity Beyond. Clarita Brinkerhoff’s Homage to Hera, part of the ship’s 4,500-piece art collection, is studded with some 28,854 sparkling Swarovski crystals, all set by hand. Like everything on this sleek new vessel, it makes me look twice.
The 3,260-passenger Celebrity Beyond was launched in May, slightly bigger and arguably even better than its sisters, Edge and Apex. While the ship looks enormous as I gaze up at it from the dock in Southampton — and distinctive, with a large tangerine-coloured platform cantilevered over the side — I walk up the gangway and step into a world far removed from all the cruising clichés of Vegas glitz or floating retirement homes. Instead, Beyond is a little bit South Beach, with touches of the Mediterranean, Mexico and Morocco thrown in.
Celebrity considers itself a luxury cruise line, but this doesn’t mean white-gloved waiter luxury or dressing-for-dinner posh. Over the course of my two-day mini-cruise, Beyond turns out to be, quite simply, just good chilled-out fun, with imaginative food and a steady flow of martinis in a setting not unlike a much larger W hotel.
An Infinite Veranda stateroom
There’s more than a little star-quality sparkle thrown into all of Celebrity’s newest ships. The “queen of neutrals” Kelly Hoppen did the interiors for the Retreat, a collection of 196 suites and the soothing communal spaces shared by their occupants. These include a gorgeous private deck with cocoon chairs suspended over the pool, an exclusive lounge and Luminae, a smart restaurant where only the biggest spenders can dine.
There’s more. Daniel Boulud, the superstar French chef whose dishes already appear on the menu in Luminae, has opened…
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