My sides still ache from laughing – the gang of Irish travel trade managers were in flying form as they reunited onboard the launch of Celebrity Beyond.
It’s not hard to enjoy a Celebrity Cruise ship launch and this week was no exception. Having enjoyed Celebrity Edge on her maiden voyage, Celebrity Beyond proved bigger and even better.
Despite the cruise industry being battered and bruised by the global pandemic, this gleaming, elegant lady has emerged as a beacon of hope. It is every bit as bold and beautiful as you would expect. No expense has been spared. The ship has been crafted with personality, positive energy and glistening style. Pieces of art are at every juncture and every alcove, cushioned couch, swinging chair or bar stool seamlessly blends with the luxurious aesthetic of its environment.
My sides still hurt from laughing. Mr Magic, John Barrett, missed his calling as a Mastermind contestant and no doubt would prove victorious with his specialist subject. More than a few voices were hoarse from belting out tunes at the karaoke and, in Celebrity Cruises style, this wasn’t singing to a backing track but a full band to accompany the singers in The Club.
The silent disco, set in the lush surrounds of three-tiered EDEN had the ladies in stiletto heels with sore toes from dancing till the wee hours of the night and more than a few of the travel trade men were throwing shapes to the tunes.
My personal favourite at night was The Martini Bar, set in the heart of the ship. Cocktails were deliciously crafted but keep an eye on the barmen. These expert mixologists know a trick or two when it comes to performing (think Tom Cruise from the movie, Cocktail). Bottles were thrown, spun, balanced & shaken without missing a beat.
Not satisfied with one favourite, this one is for pre-dinner drinks. Try the expanded Sunset Bar located at the back of the ship. The tiered seating with plush cushions, awnings, leafy greenery and sea views remind me of Santorini or a coastal Mediterranean oasis.
Of course, take in all the shows. Having been lucky enough to enjoy both Arte and Stage Door, these hour-long shows are top-notch with every single person on the stage more than a “triple threat” – the singing, dancing and acrobatics will give you goosebumps. By the end of the show, I was standing, bopping away to the finale (so if you are shy, don’t sit in the front row – every seat has a fantastic view!). At Stage Door’s Debut, Strictly Dancing judge, Shirley Ballas, took to the stage to commend the performances.
The hardest part will be to fit it all in but you could always book a 10-day cruise rather than 7 days and you won’t be bored – not for a moment. And, at least on a cruise, it’s easy to get home from a night out – with plush carpets apparently a “godsend” for tired feet in heels.
ITTN’s Shane Cullen was on board the ship launch of Celebrity Cruise’s latest edition to her fleet, Celebrity Beyond.