Celebrity Ascent has arrived as the newest, highly-anticipated cruise ship for Celebrity Cruises. This award-winning vessel is the fourth ship in the cruise line’s revolutionary Edge Class. Although a sister ship to Celebrity Beyond, Celebrity Ascent is the most innovative cruise ship ever built by Celebrity Cruises.
From the minute we stepped onboard, I was wowed by everything Celebrity Ascent had to offer. Like her name implies, Celebrity Ascent is a cut above the rest.
Every nook and cranny of the ship feels thoughtfully designed. The Edge Class ships are truly in a ship class without comparison; even after 40+ cruises, there is absolutely nothing that compares to these innovative cruise ships.
Everything from Celebrity Ascent’s intricately designed interior to her warm and welcoming environment lived up to the hype. Having sailed on her sister ship Celebrity Beyond last year, I had high hopes for Celebrity Ascent—and she did not fall short.
All of the award-winning experiences from the Edge Class can be found on Celebrity Ascent, plus a few enhancements to make the ship even more elevated. The new Celebrity Ascent features the best of the cruise line’s Edge Class with the signature Magic Carpet, along with an expanded Sunset Bar, numerous world-class bars, and a vast array of luxurious accommodations.
Holding 3,260 passengers at double capacity, Celebrity Ascent has 32 unique bars, restaurants, and lounges onboard. Thanks to an additional length of 20 meters, the ship has 179 more staterooms than the original Edge Class ships: Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Edge. This means she can also hold slightly more passengers than the original Edge Class ships, which each had occupancies of around 2,918 passengers.
With Celebrity Ascent's inaugural season just beginning, we were lucky enough to be invited on a two-night media sailing onboard the brand-new ship. As a note, this quick sailing was paid for by the cruise line, but all opinions are my own.
Here's a first look at everything onboard this incredible new ship.
Boarding the ship in Fort Lauderdale, we were welcomed by the dazzling Grand Plaza. This atrium is the heartbeat of Celebrity Ascent. Because of the Grand Plaza’s popularity on Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Edge, this centrum was expanded to be bigger than ever.
Similar to Celebrity Beyond, you’ll find an even grander space designated at the heart of the ship. By the end of the night, the Grand Plaza was filled with people dancing and drinking martinis.
Celebrity Beyond first debuted a redesigned, larger Grand Plaza, and Celebrity Ascent features the same changes. You’ll find a bigger Martini Bar with expanded seating options. Whether you stop here for a martini or want to listen to live music, the Grand Plaza is the place to be.
In addition, the Grand Plaza features a massive LED chandelier that simply cannot be missed. The large light fixture illuminates the entire space with a warm glow, immediately making you feel welcomed.
Under the chandelier, you’ll find Celebrity’s famous Martini Bar. Since I had a busy day exploring everything Ascent has to offer, I have yet to try a martini from here. Rest assured, it’s on my agenda for this sailing, as it’s one of my favorite bars on Celebrity’s cruise ships.
The Grand Plaza expands across three decks with bars, lounges, and restaurants surrounding the space. For example, you can find the World Class Bar, another new addition from the original Edge Class design, serving up some of the highest quality cocktails at sea.
Along with the World Class Bar, you can watch your favorite sports team at Craft Social. This area has numerous TVs, so you won’t miss the big game during your cruise. On Celebrity Ascent, a new Bluetooth feature was added to Craft Social, so you can personalize which game you want to watch and subsequently listen to.
One of the changes made with Celebrity Ascent was also an expanded and redesigned restaurant for Le Voyage, which features a menu created by Chef Daniel Boulud.
After walking around the Grand Plaza, we made our way to the top deck to get some fresh air. On Celebrity Ascent, the top deck is named The Resort Deck, and it reminds me of a lush beach club in the French Riviera. Between the decor and the plush loungers, the Resort Deck is beautifully designed. The entire space is stunning!
One of the signature art pieces of the Celebrity Ascent is the massive octopus at the entrance of the Resort Deck. Each Edge Class ship has its own unique artwork on the Resort Deck. Celebrity Beyond, for example, has a large elephant statue.
Along with the octopus, you also can’t miss the Magic Carpet’s presence on the Resort Deck. This catapulted, multipurpose venue doubles as a tender launch port and top-deck bar. Large and in charge with orange coloring, the Magic Carpet first debuted on Celebrity Edge. Essentially, this revolutionary platform can be levered from the top deck to the bottom deck depending on its need.
Adjacent to the Resort Deck is Celebrity Ascent’s adults-only Solarium. This indoor venue features its own pool and whirlpools, along with multiple rows of loungers for relaxing.
If you need a quick snack or you’re looking for a healthy bite to eat while in the Solarium, you can enjoy The Spa Cafe and Juice Bar. You will find fresh sandwiches and salads here. The Spa Cafe was also serving freshly squeezed juices, which looked refreshing and delicious.
The serene area is surrounded by plushy loungers with towels ready to be used. Because Celebrity Cruises is Royal Caribbean Group's mid-tier brand, you will find more upscale amenities and perks, such as towels on your chair that do not need to be checked out.
I was surprised to see the minimum age for the Solarium on Celebrity Ascent was still 16 years old, as Royal Caribbean recently increased the age limit on their ships to 18 years of age and older.
Also located on the top deck is Celebrity Ascent’s Rooftop Garden. This open-aired space is surrounded by lush greenery, all of which is catered to daily by a resident horticulturist. The space also has interactive games for guests to use, along with a large TV screen and live music performances.
On Celebrity Ascent, the Rooftop Garden was expanded to include two new floating pools that hang over the side of the ship, along with more seating and private nooks.
The Rooftop Garden Grill, an American grill serving up BBQ, is nestled into the corner of the expanded Rooftop Garden. If you want to spend time outdoors but not necessarily poolside, this is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
After exploring the Rooftop Garden for a bit, we made our way to one of my favorite spots onboard: The Sunset Bar. Located at the aft of the ship, Celebrity Ascent features an expanded Sunset Bar compared to the original Edge Class ships.
This space has a European vibe from the white arches to the green tiled backsplashes. You’ll find multiple levels of seating in The Sunset Bar, along with plush daybeds surrounding the ship’s aft to sip on a cocktail. With expanded seating, the Sunset Bar is busier than ever on Celebrity Ascent.
There is truly no better spot to connect with the ocean and sea views, and the Sunset Bar was designed with this idea specifically in mind. It's also the perfect place to watch the sunset and the ship's wake, which is a favorite view of many cruisers.
For lunch, we opted to dine at Oceanview Cafe to see what the buffet was serving. Similar to Celebrity Beyond, this huge eatery is one of the largest buffets at sea that I’ve ever been to. The ambiance is less like a buffet and more like a chic food hall.
The tall ceilings are illuminated with giant Edison bulbs, which accentuate the natural light coming from the floor-to-ceiling windows. I particularly love the pink velvet booths with warm Edison lights. I’ve never seen a buffet so stylish!
Even better, you can find so many food options inside Oceanview Cafe. You won’t find standard chicken tenders and burgers here. Instead, you can dine on international cuisine like Spanish paella and authentic Indian dishes.
My favorite part of the Oceanview Cafe is the gorgeous assortment of desserts. I could mistake this area for a French Cafe in Paris with how elegantly decorated the desserts are. I tried the caramel brownie and it was delicious, although everything looked amazing!
Another signature venue onboard Edge Class ships is Eden. Located at the aft of the ship, Eden is another versatile space onboard Celebrity Ascent that serves as a restaurant, bar, and entertainment venue.
Eden is filled with greenery on the walls and ceiling, which is accented with green decor around the space. This space provides so much natural light; it's a great place to relax if you're looking for peace and quiet without sacrificing ocean views.
I love the vibe and aesthetic of Eden, as it's a large space that still feels intimate, warm, and welcoming. Like the rest of Celebrity Ascent, this venue was thoughtfully designed.
Late into the evening, Eden transformed into an entertainment venue with a showing of Wonder at Eden: The Shimmerbox. This interactive show was both risque and amusing with a variety of singing acts and featured music from the 70s to modern-day hits.
Speaking of entertainment, Celebrity Ascent also features six brand-new production shows. Although our sailing is only two nights, we were able to see a few of these new performances.
Like other Edge Class ships, Celebrity Ascent has an immersive-style theatre that is unlike anything at sea. The Theatre has multiple stages, moving staircases, and curved screens to blur the lines between the stage and the audience.
Late into the evening, Celebrity Ascent also debuted its newest party called Shine The Night on the resort deck. Guests were encouraged to wear a shimmery outfit to dance the night away with all things that shimmer. The Resort Deck lights up thanks to new lighting and flooring technology.
The party was popping with light-up bulbs floating on the pool and everyone's shimmery outfits lighting up the night sky. Even Celebrity Ascent's massive octopus was shining bright at the party!