Third Edge-Class Ship Makes U.S. Debut
By Gerry Barker
North Palm Beach Life
Published November 7, 2022
First there was Edge. Followed by Apex. And now -- Beyond.
The newest ship in the Celebrity Edge series, Celebrity Beyond, came to Ft. Lauderdale Nov. 4 to kick-off its first season in the Caribbean as well as host its official naming ceremony, featuring the ship's Godmother, U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. Some 2,500 travel specialists, media and company executives were on hand to mark the occasion. Beyond was launched earlier this year in Europe.
While you'll find all the familiar features and places that have marked the Edge-class, this ship takes the initial concept "beyond" with a number of changes, the most evident being size. Longer and taller, it added 179 more staterooms and refigured the Grand Plaza by moving the Martini Bar to the center. By popular demand, the Sunset Bar almost doubled in size and the sundeck in the Retreat was expanded as well.
Beyond also added a new specialty restaurant -- Le Voyage -- the first from Celebrity's Global Culinary Ambassador, acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud. Its multi-course dining experience has a per person-surcharge of $75 or $125, plus an additional fee if you would like a wine pairing. Also new is the World Class Bar, a fixture borrowed from Celebrity's Solstice-class ships.
Unchanged is the line's dedication to high style and art, with signature pieces placed throughout the ship, including a poolside sculpture of a man lifting an elephant and Fredrikson Stallard's multi-sensory, walk-through experience on deck five, "Odyssey." The tradition of award-winning entertainment continues as well, with shows like "Elements" and "Stage Door" that showcase dazzling effects and a talented cast.
At the naming ceremony, 19-time World Champion Biles was joined by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity's president and CEO, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean and vocalist Leona Lewis. Also present was Beyond's Captain, Kate McCue, "the first and still only woman to be named captain of a 'Mega' cruise ship."
From their press release, Biles said,“It is an honor to be selected as Beyond’s Godmother and to join such a distinguished group of strong, barrier-breaking women who have been named as Celebrity’s Godmothers before me. I appreciate the important message this designation holds in recognizing our accomplishments as empowering women, and I am honored to share the stage today with fellow brave, boundary-breaking leaders like Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Captain Kate McCue.”
At a press conference with the media, Ms. Lutoff-Perlo, Liberty and Ms. McCue talked about the state of the industry and what's next for Celebrity.
In the wake of the pandemic, Ms. Lutoff-Perlo said "consumers are ready to live their lives again," and pointed out their bookings are at an historic high, which is good news since Celebrity's fleet has 27 percent more capacity than in 2019. And while their guest mix is mostly the same, she said "Gen X" represents "their fastest-growing segment."
The next Edge-class ship, "Ascent," will launch in late 2023 and will be very similiar to Beyond. But Liberty did say the last Edge ship, coming in 2025, will feature tri-fuel engines for more carbon efficiency.
Celebrity's new marketing campaign is "Journey WonderFULL." Ships like Beyond are leading the way to make that happen.
Photos/Video by Gerry Barker
Slideshow Tour of Beyond