Impressed by Celebrity’s “Edge” class vessels, I continue my cruises aboard these magnificent ships. With Celebrity, I have always had a preference for cabins in the “Aqua Class” category, which offer access to the spa and the dedicated restaurant, the Blu. Only good memories, such as during my transatlantic on the Celebrity Edge, or more recently, a week in the Caribbean.
I had also tried a Sky Suite aboard the Celebrity Apex, the 2nd ship of this class, departing from Athens in September 2021, with access to the dedicated restaurant, the Luminae, slightly disappointing compared to all the marketing spiel, and at the Retreat, this private enclave, made up of a lounge (rather small), and a sundeck. Bad luck on this cruise, Celebrity had decided to upgrade a large number of passengers to the suites, which meant that the Retreat was more saturated than the rest of the ship (which was rather lightly loaded at this time post-covid)… a shame.
The 3rd ship of the Egde class, the Celebrity Beyond is an extended version of the previous vessels. Among the new features, a combination of Aqua Class cabins (which are basically cabins with a balcony) and Sky Suites (which do not offer access to the Spa, unless this option is purchased): the Aqua Sky Suites. We therefore combine all the advantages: access to the Spa, to the 2 dedicated restaurants, the Blu and the Luminae, and the entire Retreat, lounge and sundeck. Note that Retreat guests (who therefore have a Suite) can eat at the Blu, but subject to space, as they are not given priority.
The cabin, although called Aqua Sky Suite, has no difference with the Sky Suites. Only their location, a few decks directly under the spa, avoids having to cross the whole ship to access it. The color of the curtains has also changed to purple, the only noticeable visual difference. The bottle of “detox” juice as well as the petit fours left in the Aqua Class cabins in the afternoon have disappeared.
The restaurants dedicated to suites (Luminae) and Aqua Class cabins (Blu) are only open in the morning for breakfast and in the evening for dinner. At noon, it’s a buffet for everyone. The staff explains that there are not enough passengers on board for these restaurants to be open for lunch. Passengers who paid a high price to be there appreciate this matter (many of them complain about it, of course). The Luminae, unlike the Blu, opens its doors at noon, when the day is spent at sea, but it is closed when the ship is not at sea.
Although it is certainly a matter of taste, the daily comparison of the menus of Luminae (restaurant for suite guests, photos of some dishes above) and Blu (restaurant for Aqua Class guests, photos of some dishes below) show a much more varied choice on the Blu side, and the dishes are systematically more interesting (and, according to Celebrity, more “healty”) than at Luminae. I had already noticed it during my cruises on the Apex. The suite restaurant itself has however increased in capacity and has been moved to Deck 16, closer to the entire Retreat and with a panoramic view now.
The different places that make up the Retreat, on 3 bridges, are connected to each other by external stairs, in addition to access from the inside. The lounge part hasn’t changed much, and is very small compared to the ambition and emphasis of Celebrity. And still almost impossible to have access to an electrical socket or a USB plug at the different tables… a real failure when you see what Virgin Voyages or Viking have managed to do, more rooted in their time and undoubtedly more aware of the needs their passengers a little “geeky”.
The Retreat Sundeck is the part that has undergone the most significant evolution and now extends over 2 levels. A little more space then, a good thing. Too bad this was not applied to the Retreat Lounge as well.
Directly below the spaces dedicated to the Retreat are the fitness center and the spa. No notable change either for these places, compared to the previous ships. Access to the spa has a fee, either by booking a treatment or by obtaining a pass (for one day or for the entire cruise). This access is included for guests in the Aqua Class and Aqua Sky Suites cabins, so it is possible to go there as much as you want.
Changing rooms offer lockers with code locks for changing and showers as well. They have direct access to the spa area, the Sea Thermal Suite. Bathrobes and towels are available at will. There is a dry sauna, a hamam, a Crystalarium, a Salt Room, not to mention the “float room”, with a few cocoon seats suspended and giving the impression of floating. “Rainfall” showers hot, cold or varying from one to another complete the equipment.
The ship, compared to these 2 predecessors (the Edge and the Apex), has been lengthened by about twenty meters. This made it possible to extend certain public parts a little, or to add new places. A short tour of the modifications and additions… next pages…