top of page

Caribbean Treasures and Pleasures

By Amy Lively Jensen

If you intend on exploring the Caribbean islands, you can embark on your journey and anticipate bliss during a Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Beyond. Even if you're serial cruisers or newcomers to luxury holidays on the sea, you will find that this ship exceeds your expectations with unparalleled hospitality and elevated dining experiences that will serve as a stylish prelude to your island adventures.

Celebrity Beyond is the ultimate cruise ship for foodies as they offer 32 expansive food and beverage venues. We were captivated by the cuisine at the eight specialty restaurants offering a sophisticated atmosphere with innovative culinary creations, in addition to the Celebrity Classics.

For example, Le Voyage, a three-Michelin-star caliber restaurant allows you a glimpse into the heart and soul of a French culinary artist. A pilot project designed by internationally acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud, it has a global gastronomic menu inspired by Boulud’s worldly travels. In an intimate setting, you know that this restaurant is special from the first complimentary glass of Veuve Cliquot to the last chocolate truffle and madeleine. Extremely attentive and professional servers explain each exquisitely presented course as they are simultaneously unveiled. Irresistible starters include the Alaskan King Crab Salad with mango and avocado, Smoked Salmon with caviar cream, and the tamarind and peanut crusted Thai-style prawns. Memorable entrees are the 5-Spice Duck layered with foie gras, the Lamb Chop a la Grecque with pistachio-pepper pesto and the Prime Black Angus Filet Mignon with truffle sauce. Knowledgeable sommeliers pour exceptional wines commensurate with the fact that Le Voyage has the most awarded wine collection at sea.

Eden is another upscale, innovative restaurant on Celebrity Beyond. Diners enjoy panoramic views from the expansive three-deck glass wall. Filled with greenery, the atmosphere is fun and lively. The kitchen creates innovative dishes such as Nova Scotia lobster casserole, truffle risotto and sheep’s milk gnocchi. The most popular dish is the delectable crab cakes with fresh crab enveloped in a delicate pastry crust.

The most unique restaurant is Le Petit Chef at Le Grand Bistro. Here your dinner is an immersive experience, starring a 2-1/2-inch-tall chef projected onto your table who is adorable and surprisingly funny. The delightful tiny cook walks you through a theatric presentation of each course before the dish is brought to your table.

One of the wine tasting venues that we attended was a champagne tasting featuring some of the foremost Champagne bottlings in the world. The astute and amusing sommelier began by describing champagne as the “Rolex watch of wine.” Lovely delicacies enhanced the tasting as we sipped Krug, Dom Perignon, Taittinger, Perrier Jouet and Louis Roederer champagnes.

In addition to the array of gustatory delights, Celebrity takes entertainment at sea to a whole new level. Each night the award-winning theatrical presentations were stunning and well beyond other cruise lines that we’ve sailed.

Cheese and wine_edited.jpg
Celebrity Le Voyage Restaurant
Cheese and wine_edited.jpg

The two-story theatre has dazzling, state-of-the-art technology. Adding to the entertainment is a 20-foot-tall LED backscreen curving around the stage, which reportedly cost five million dollars to install. We were continually mesmerized by the acrobatic talents and choreography. Gifted singers and dancers performed high-energy, captivating shows. During two nights we roared with laughter at the hilarious stand-up comedian.

There is much more to describe about Celebrity’s resort at sea, so after future cruises we’ll expand this story.

After our relaxing and tranquil days at sea, we visited the Eastern Caribbean islands of St. Martin, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. John’s and St. Kitts.

St. Martin is the first stop of the five-island journey. It is the smallest island in the world hosting two separate nations; half is ruled by the Dutch and the other half by the French. Called St. Martin/St. Maarten, each side has a storied history. The most popular beach is Maho Beach on the Dutch side, where beachgoers observe large commercial airliners and private jets land and take off just above their heads.

The “no pressure island” is St. Lucia where locals are very laid back and encourage all visitors to follow suit. Here are dense rainforests with exotic flowers, banana plantations, colorful houses (the women choose the paint colors) and cascading waterfalls. Our expert driver maneuvered hairpin turns around rocky volcanic mountains called Pitons and volcanos that haven’t erupted in 200 years. Don’t miss the sulfur mud baths situated in a volcanic crater. We gingerly immersed ourselves in a hot mud bath and let the grey mud dry on us in the sun. Then we expressed our inner Picasso painting, each other with black mud. The results were hilarious. After showering off our artwork, our skin felt so smooth and polished.

Barbados is where rum was invented in 1650. If you want to try world-famous rum, spend the day at the stellar West Indies Rum Distillery, home of Plantation Rum. Owner and master blender Alexandre Gabriel proudly shares his passion and expertise in crafting rum using the unique processes at this 130-year-old rum distillery. On tour, you will see the oldest pot still in the world, which Alexandre restored to its original condition and continues to distill rum in the traditional style. The distillery is situated on the white sand beaches and sparkling, aquamarine seas of Barbados, so you can relax and savor their portfolio of exquisitely crafted rums. Refreshing breezes further enhanced our enjoyment of these rums during a delicious luncheon including fresh fish cakes and other island specialties, which paired well with these spirits.

After several days of strenuous excursions, you might want to make the island of Saint John’s a beach day. At Ffryes Beach you can soak up the sweet island life, relaxing in the shade of palm trees on this tranquil, uncrowded beach. Walking down the crescent shaped white sand beach we splashed in the calm surf of the warm, clear turquoise Caribbean waters. Steel drums and a beguiling singer serenaded us during lunch.
For our final island visit, we chose Grey’s Island Excursions for the Grand Tour of St. Kitts. In contrast to the other Caribbean beaches, St. Kitts has black sand from the volcanic origin of the island. St. Kitts is enchanting with an interesting history, but the main attraction for us was our tour guide and owner Mr. Grey. His encyclopedic knowledge of the island’s history, people, plants and animals was immensely entertaining in his deep voice reminiscent of Morgan Freeman. A native of the island, his love and pride in his home is evident. He even regaled us with songs including their national anthem, pithy observations and amusing anecdotes.

Also on St. Kitts is Romney Manor, with its lush tropical gardens and backdrop of the vibrant ocean. Adjacent to the manor is Caribelle Batik where they demonstrate how Batik is created by laboriously waxing the material five times for each color. Be sure to peruse the shop.

Brimstone Hill Fortress, built in 1690 by British soldiers, sits atop towering limestone cliffs. An ambitious climb up the Citadel of the fortress rewards visitors with stellar views, imposing sentinel cannons, quarters for the soldiers and interesting artifacts showing their daily life. While touring we saw many monkeys; Mr. Grey said that there were more monkeys than people on the island, although he was not quite sure of the monkey census. At one overlook we saw the infamous view of the Caribbean Sea on one side of the island, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. We finished at Shipwreck Beach with a lunch of fresh fish and fried plantains, plus several special island cocktails.

If you have a desire to visit the enchanting islands of the Caribbean, try to arrange a cruise aboard Celebrity so you can fully absorb all the pleasures and hidden treasures this unassuming paradise has to offer. You are certain to find it as memorable and awe-inspiring as we experienced.

Cheese and wine_edited.jpg
Wine review photo alternate.jpg

Wine Review Archive




bottom of page