I was in a ladies room at Celebrity Beyond, and as I was washing my hands (thoroughly!) I looked in the mirror and said to myself: This would be a great place to take a selfie.
No really. Wallpaper made for a stunning background: A large, colorful floral pattern on a black background. And I wasn’t surprised to see such care taken in a normally nondescript space. Beyond is full of design touches that make you want to whip out your iPhone and document the moment.
I can’t say for sure that this was Celebrity’s stated intention, but creating attractive spaces for social selfies and staged photos is a real design trend. And why not? Photo/video documentation is an ingrained pastime among many travelers, especially those in the Gen-Y and Z brackets, and ship photos are great for marketing and promotional purposes. Celebrity Cruises gave every passenger in our cabin free internet on one device (with the option to upgrade to paid plans for those who want more devices or bandwidth), so the incentive to catch and share was hard to beat. resisted.
Meanwhile, on my strolls during port visits, I saw people of all ages in Instagram-ready outfits, hats and bags Reel-ing and TikToking in charming squares, by azure seas and by glorious monuments (ahem @captainatemccue) . Why shouldn’t a hotel or cruise ship get in on the act?
So, during my walks around the ship, I identified some of the best places in Beyond to take a shot. If you have your own suggestions, @me.
Eden, the back lounge overflowing with photo options. Photo: Rebecca Tobin
Eden, at the back of Deck 5 Beyond, is a green, leafy, cool and ethereal space that is absolutely picture perfect. Hanging basket chairs? Living walls? Green chair in the shape of a flower petal? A tall bar with two decks? Artfully crafted cocktails? I think you can have your own Eden account and never run out of things to photograph.
This sculpture outside the Blu restaurant
Sculpture outside Blu restaurant in Celebrity Beyond. Photo: Rebecca Tobin
Blu is an exclusive restaurant reserved for AquaClass passengers, but this outdoor sculpture is for everyone. Plus, the white floral embossing in the background is a fun, neutral backdrop.
The peacock outside the Cosmopolitan restaurant is also very cool.
The Beyond Arc
Called an ultra parabolic bow, an x-bow or a reverse bow, Beyond’s straight bow is unusual enough to make a photo here memorable. Get your shot now before this bow profile is the new normal (and use the term #parabolicultrabow for extra impact). Plus, nothing says, “I’m on vacation and you’re not,” like a shot of yourself next to a cruise ship.
Stairs of Beyond’s Grand Plaza. Photo: Rebecca Tobin
The Grand Plaza staircase is an official backdrop for Beyond’s professional photographers, who were busy at the line’s Evening Chic nights. But I saw people doing their mini photo shoots here. The staircase pattern is repeated in other parts of the Plaza, and there is also a cool catwalk that takes you across Deck 5 to the Fine Cut steakhouse.
It’s hard for me to express how much I loved Nate Berkus’ Sunset Bar design. Moroccan-style tiles, a palm chandelier, arched doorways and all the lounge chairs grouped into conversation areas surrounded by greenery give the standard back bar a truly stylish upgrade. Celebrity expanded the Sunset Bar on the Beyond, so there are more places to lounge, day and night. This is where you can get your smart shot. On the other hand, the passage from the Sunset Bar to the Rooftop Garden is also a particularly beautiful place. Which brings me to:
Anywhere with a cocktail, really
Hat-trick: The author, holding a cocktail, in Eden, at sunset. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Tobin
Why is this? From coffee cups to mugs, when I scroll through my phone, why do I see so many pictures of myself with a drink in hand? (OK, in my defense, it was a two-week trip.). And of course I have the de rigueur video where my husband and I raise our glasses. The Beyond has 32 food and drink venues, so there are plenty of places to toast and boomerang to your heart’s content.
Anywhere with a sunset view
Also casual, Beyond has a variety of outdoor spaces that make the golden hour vacation photo a ne plus ultra of your supply. The Sunset Bar is a great place to start, but there’s more: I especially recommend the Magic Carpet, the Roof Garden, the gently curving pool treadmill that connects decks 15 and 16, and the infinity plunge pools.
A corner at the Sunset Bar. Photo: Rebecca Tobin