The writer was hosted.
Wow! The Celebrity Ascent cruise ship is just gorgeous. It is the fourth ship in Celebrity’s Edge series and can accommodate up to 3,260 passengers. It is registered in Malta. The Celebrity Ascent will begin its inaugural season with itineraries cruising to ports in the Caribbean and the Bahamas from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Plus it has just received the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide (“FTG”) Star Award in recognition of its innovative design and guest-centric service. Here’s what you need to know about this luxury cruise ship.
What Is Different On The Celebrity Ascent?
The Celebrity Ascent has all the best features of the Edge class ships with some redesigned spaces, new entertainment, and some dining changes. It is similar to its sister ship, the Celebrity Beyond.
Here are the highlights of what is new and different on the Celebrity Ascent.
Onboard is a new space called “The Annex.” This is a private room that can be booked for up to 15 people. The versatile space can be used for karaoke, movie screenings, and a game room.
Themed dining is available as well. The Annex can work well for business or family trips. I can imagine it for birthday parties, family reunions, girl’s trips, and so much more.
Dining Changes on the Celebrity Ascent
- Le Voyage has been redesigned. This is the signature restaurant of Chef Daniel Boulud, Celebrity’s Global Culinary Ambassador. As the name suggests, the cuisine is inspired by world travel,
- The fabulous Eden restaurant now offers a new vegan-tasting menu.
- Blu, the restaurant for Aqua Class guests, now has a beautiful outdoor terrace for al fresco dining,
- Le Petit Chef has a new animated storyline with food pairings.
New Entertainment On Board The Celebrity Ascent
- Shine the Night – Pack your best metallic wardrobe for this themed event with live music, a DJ, entertainment, and more.
- 3 new production shows, and new nighttime shows in Eden, live music events in The Club, and throughout the ship.
- A new gaming experience where guests’ bodies serve as the controller. With a retro 80s theme, this augmented multiplayer game is sure to delight young and old alike
The casino, the Art Gallery, and Cosmopolitan, a main dining venue, all have a new look
The Retreat On The Celebrity Ascent
This over-the-top enclave is reserved exclusively for guests staying in suites. Many luxury cruises take place on much smaller ships than the Celebrity Ascent. I think the Retreat is a game changer. It offers luxury market guests a high-end experience in a boutique space yet they can enjoy the amenities that a larger cruise ship offers.
The Retreat provides a peaceful oasis for guests to relax and enjoy a premium experience with outstanding service.
The Retreat on the Celebrity Ascent offers a variety of suite sizes.
The Iconic Suite, the largest and most opulent suite, books at a price point between $50k – $70K. This is not in my budget so I was very excited to have the opportunity to tour all of the suite types aboard the Celebrity Ascent. The amenities in this luxury enclave make it worth the price.
Sky Suites book at a much lower price point and have access to all the amenities of the Retreat.
The Edge Villa is my favorite. These two-story suites are exclusive to the Edge series ships. It feels more like a luxury villa than a ship’s cabin with two stories and floor-to-ceiling windows. The indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly blend with stunning views of the ocean and ports, especially when cruising Europe and the Mediterranean.
SheBuysTravel Tip: These are the only suites that are actually in the Retreat enclave. From Deck 15 and 16, the villas can access the Retreat Lounge, the lower Retreat sundeck, and Luminae, the Retreat restaurant.
Luminae is reserved for guests staying in the Retreat suites. What an incredible experience! Luminae was designed by the award-winning Kelly Hoppen, CBE and it is so elegant. The dark woods of the walls are lightened up with magenta-colored seating and silver accents. The service and food are equally outstanding.
My meal started with an amuse-bouche, which I love. It is so nice when the chef sends out a surprise to start the meal. I enjoyed a Roasted Pork Belly with Anise-Carrot Puree and Balsamic Glazed Beets topped with a Chicarrone on top. It was a great start to this outstanding meal.
I had the Turbot for an entree and it was served with leeks and fennel croquette all atop a sauce with Pernod. So tasty!
I am a dessert gal and Luminae did not disappoint. Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud’s Chocolate Pill ranks in my top desserts ever. A milk chocolate filling shaped like a pill sat on a thin wafer slathered with praline and then covered with dark chocolate. Garnish included gold leaf. A visual delight as well as being so tasty. I ate every bite.
I stayed in a Concierge Class Stateroom with an Infinity Veranda.
Retreat Lounge and Deck
The Retreat Lounge is a relaxing reprieve from the outside world. Drop in for light gourmet bites and beverages throughout the day or events such as afternoon tea. There is a dedicated concierge to make all your arrangements both on and off the ship. Another beautiful design by Kelly Hoppen, CBE who created a relaxing space enhanced by the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Retreat Deck offers plenty of outdoor space on two floors. Enjoy cocktails served poolside and two hot tubs. Kick back in a cabana or one of the chic seating areas. The Retreat Bar has a fun, beach vibe. This is a beautiful oasis and private from the rest of the Celebrity Ascent.
Dining On The Celebrity Ascent
The Celebrity Ascent cruise ship has a mind-boggling 32 food and beverage venues. This includes 14 cafes, bars, and lounges; 8 specialty restaurants; 4 main dining rooms; 4 casual dining venues; and 2 exclusive restaurants (one for AquaClass guests and one for Retreat guests).
Between this cruise and a previous one on the Celebrity Beyond, another Edge Class cruise ship, I have eaten at just about all of them. Here are a few of my favorites.
Eden is my top choice of all the restaurants on the ship. I love the open kitchen concept and I was fascinated with the attention to detail in the garnishing and plating of all the dishes. A meal here is a culinary journey with innovative dishes and an emphasis on fresh and unique ingredients.
An example is the Pan Roasted Carabinero Shrimp with melted peppers, chorizo, garlic, lemon, and olive oil. This dish uses Carabineros, the most coveted prawns in the world. These large prawns are renowned for their jumbo size and bright red color.
I ate at Eden on the Celebrity Beyond and on the Ascent I attended a cooking demonstration where I learned what goes into creating these unique dishes.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Eden now has a new plant-based tasting menu so those on a specialized diet can have an upscale dining experience.
Rooftop Garden Grill
I just love the Rooftop Garden on the Celebrity Ascent. It is such a beautiful space.
Before dinner, head to the Sunset Bar designed by Nate Berkus, designer to the stars. Located in the back of the ship on Deck 14, the views are stunning. It is the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail and a sunset before heading to the adjacent Rooftop Garden Grill for dinner.
I enjoy the more casual al fresco vibe while still enjoying a high-end meal. The cuisine is American-style barbeque with a variety of meat and seafood options that are served either smoked or grilled. If the weather is nice, enjoy a movie under the stars after dinner.
The Magic Carpet
The Magic Carpet is a unique place to enjoy a cocktail. The venue seats around 90 and is very versatile – it can be moved up or down the side of the ship. Throughout a cruise, guests will see it used in many different ways.
Dinner on the Edge is an over-the-top tasting experience that is on my list to do. Alas, it wasn’t available on my cruise. Keep an eye out for it when you book a cruise on Celebrity. It is very popular and is usually only offered once during a cruise. Reservations are a must and it sells out. If you miss out, you can still enjoy a cocktail with beautiful ocean views.
There is so much to see and do on the new Celebrity Ascent cruise ship that guests will need at least a week-long cruise and an itinerary with a few days at sea to explore it all.
And the Celebrity Ascent has an exciting lineup of cruises throughout 2024. First-time cruisers might be overwhelmed by all the options, so a travel agent is a good idea to help book your first cruise.
The Celebrity Ascent cruise ship will begin its inaugural season cruising both the Western and Eastern Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Mexico with a variety of itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Ports of call on the different itineraries include Nassau, Bahamas, Cozumel, Mexico, George Town, Grand Cayman, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tortola, BVI, Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis, Bimini, Bahamas, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Philipsburg, St. Maarten. This is a nice variety of familiar ports as well as lesser-known ones. Experienced cruisers will be able to visit something new to them.
In the spring, the Celebrity Ascent moves to Europe with cruises departing from Barcelona, Spain; Rome, Italy; and Athens, Greece. Ports of Call include Valencia, Spain; Nice (Villefranche), France; Portofino, Italy; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; Provence (Marseille), France; Santa Margherita, Italy; Naples, Italy; Mykonos, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi) Turkey; Santorini, Greece; and Ajaccio, Corsica.
A Mediterranean cruise is on my bucket list. I love the idea of boarding the ship and unpacking once before exploring some of these fabulous places.
Book a Veranda Cabin
Booking a Veranda cabin or stateroom is well worth the cost when cruising through such scenic waters and ports. I especially love the Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda. The veranda is part of the stateroom with full walls on either side giving guests privacy from the adjoining rooms.
The floor-to-ceiling window converts to a veranda with the touch of a button. I am a huge fan of this technology, which increases the value of this cabin by increasing the square footage of the room by making the veranda part of the room.