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I spent $4,600 for a seven-night cruise on Celebrity Ascent. Here's what everything cost, from $860 airfare to $600 in onboard expenses


Celebrity Ascent, Celebrity Cruises' newest Edge Class vessel, launched in November 2023, and even though I have a sailing booked for July, I couldn't wait that long to experience everything this brand-new ship has to offer. 

From the cost of my stateroom to airfare, onboard purchases, rideshares, and more, this trip ended up costing about $4,600. It was well worth it, though, as I can confidently say that Celebrity Ascent is one of my favorite cruise ships. Now, I am eagerly counting down the days until I get to step back onboard. 

Here’s a breakdown of what everything cost during my 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Ascent

I spent $869.70 on my Delta Airlines fare from Charlotte to Fort Lauderdale


Since I booked this cruise a few weeks out, the airfare prices were higher than I'd usually like to pay. Thankfully, as a Silver Medallion flyer, I didn't have to pay to check my luggage. 

Plus, I ended up getting a complimentary first-class upgrade on my flight from Charlotte to Atlanta; it was a great way to start such a memorable cruise. 

I arrived at the Charlotte airport about an hour and a half before my flight and was through security in about twenty minutes! Funny enough, I had left some important medication with my partner, so I had to exit and go through security for a second time in order to retrieve it.


Once finally through, I headed to the lounge for a quick bite to eat before boarding my first flight to Atlanta. I'd estimate that having lounge access through my credit card has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years, as I never have to worry about purchasing overpriced food. 

My pre-cruise hotel cost 37,877 credit card points


To help offset the cost of my plane ticket, I opted to book a hotel with credit card points. Again, since it was relatively last minute, the cost was higher than normal; however, I'm glad I didn't end up spending hundreds on a hotel that I was only in for about 12 hours! Had I paid cash, the hotel would've been over $400. 

I stayed at the Hyatt House Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port and had a great, albeit short, stay. Everything was clean, and the staff was friendly. I also enjoyed the complimentary breakfast. While it was nothing overly fancy, I was able to fuel up with some eggs and fruit before heading to the port. 

Whenever flying in for a cruise, you must avoid flights that depart the morning of your ship's departure. One flight delay could cause you to miss the ship, as they won't wait for you! You might think that you're saving money; however, this is actually one of the most costly mistakes you can make when planning a cruise

My three rideshares were $79.46


While the hotel did have a complimentary 24-hour shuttle, I was exhausted by the time I landed at 11:30pm. Rather than having to wait 30-some minutes for the shuttle, I opted to take a Lyft. This singular ride ended up costing $16.47; however, it was worth the money, as I got to the hotel (and, subsequently, in bed) much faster. 

The next morning, I took a Lyft from the hotel to Port Everglades. I, however, made a quick stop at Walgreens on the way there to pick up a bottle of wine since I didn't have a drink package. This second ride cost $43.63. 

While I wish I could stay on the ship forever, my trip had come to an end. The third, and final, ride of the trip to the Fort Lauderdale airport was $19.36. Thankfully, I didn't have to worry about airport parking or rideshares to/from my apartment, as my finacée was willing to drop me off and pick me up. 

I booked a last-minute obstructed ocean-view stateroom for $2,879.50


In mid-February, I made the decision to cruise onboard Celebrity Ascent. When I reached out to my travel agent, however, she said the February 25 cruise was sold out! I checked the website later that afternoon and found that a singular stateroom had opened up; I was thrilled! 

Unfortunately, there weren't any solo staterooms available, so I had to pay the dreaded single supplement fee. I also wasn't able to book an interior room, either, which likely would have been cheaper. Had I been cruising with someone else, my fare would have been significantly less. Since that wasn't the case, my total fare for the obstructed ocean-view cabin ended up costing $2,879.50. 

For a new ship, I was a bit surprised that it wasn't more expensive, especially considering cruises on Icon of the Seas, Celebrity's sister brand's newest ship, start at over $2,500 per person for an interior room. 


While not a cheap fare by any means, I thought it was worth every penny. From the spacious cabin to delicious dining, amazing entertainment, and beautiful public spaces, it certainly wasn't your average cruise. In fact, after spending a week onboard, I couldn't be more excited for my second sailing in July when I get to experience an infinite veranda for the first time!

Read more: First look: Inside the brand-new Celebrity Ascent

I used onboard credit for a shore excursion in Tortola, but I had to pay $53.89 for my tour in St. Kitts


Tortola and St. Kitts were both new-to-me ports, so I knew I had to do something memorable in each. Visiting the Virgin Gorda Baths had been on my bucket list for years, but when I went to reserve an excursion through Celebrity, they were all sold out. 

While I was initially disappointed, I didn't book anything else in hopes that there might be a cancellation, and I was right! A few days before my cruise began, two spots opened up, and I was quick to claim my spot! The "Destination Highlight: Explore Virgin Gorda Baths" excursion was $98.99, but I had $125 in onboard credit to use, so it technically did not cost me anything. 

Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for my excursion in St. Kitts. The "Safari Island Tour" was $79.99, but I'm so glad I did it! I got to see a lot more of the island than I would have if I chose to do a catamaran or snorkeling tour. 


True to my brand, I got a little sunburnt on the open-air bus, so if you're planning on doing a similar tour, make sure you bring enough sunscreen, as you could end up in an unfortunate seat that's hit with direct sunlight for four hours. 

Moreover, the excursion ran slightly late, and while I would have normally been anxious about the ship leaving, I did not have to stress since I reserved my excursion through Celebrity. Had I booked through an independent operator, there's a chance I could have missed the ship! 

Since I had about $26 remaining in onboard credit, the total out-of-pocket cost for my St. Kitts tour was $53.98. 

Read more: 10 tips for getting the best cruise shore excursion values

I didn't do an excursion in San Juan. Instead, I went out to dinner with a group I had met at an LGBTQ mixer on the first evening and spent $66.15


We didn't dock in Puerto Rico until later in the afternoon, so I knew I wasn't going to have time to go to the beach. Thankfully, a group I had met invited me to dinner with them, and it was an absolute blast. 

If you find yourself in San Juan, I highly recommend visiting Cannon Club. Not only was the restaurant beautiful, but the food was delicious. Even though it has been days since this meal, I'm still dreaming about the ham croquettes. I'll probably be thinking about them until I'm able to have them again! 

For my two small plates and cocktails, I paid $66.15 with a tip. In addition to the croquettes and roasted potatoes that I ordered, I was also able to try the paella, tuna tartare, hummus, and ravioli. I don't think there's a bad dish on the menu! 

While I didn't do any shopping in San Juan, I did grab a few souvenirs in Tortola and St. Kitts that totaled $88


Usually, I don't do too much shopping while on cruises; however, since two out of three ports were new to me, I knew I'd have to allocate more money to souvenirs than other sailings. 

At The Baths, I spent $41 on a t-shirt for myself, as well as a sticker for my fiancée. The following day, I purchased t-shirts for my dad and fiancée in St. Kitts. I also got my sister a little knick-knack with her cat's name on it. These three items were $37. 

I paid for one specialty meal at Le Voyage. While rather expensive at $150 per person, it was such a memorable dining experience, and I'd definitely pay for it again


Everything about Le Voyage, from the complimentary glass of Veuve Clicquot to the decadent desserts and elegant ambiance of the restaurant, made the experience well worth the cost. Initally, I was on the fence, as I usually don't spend money on specialty dining; however, I had heard nothing but positive reviews. In fact, I met people who went twice on the sailing! 

The meal started with a small scallop bite and bread. Then, we received our appetizers. I ordered the Roasted Beet & Carrot Salad, which was rather refreshing; the dressing was divine and made the entire dish! I also had the opportunity to try the beef tartare, and while not my first pick, it had a creamy texture that exceeded my expectations. 

The star of the meal, in my opinion, was the Prime Black Angus Filet Mignon, which I requested to be cooked to a medium temperature. Every bite was truly better than the last, and I was dreading the final bite! The table also got a lobster risotto to share. Since the dish was so rich, being able to have a few bites while simultaneously enjoying our own selections was a smart decision. 


When it came time for dessert, my table of five opted to order one of everything. While all five were delicious, my two personal favorites were the Sauerkirsche Black Forest and Cafe-Cardamom. They also brought out two more desserts: rich dark chocolate bites and madeleines that were light and fluffy. 

At the end of the meal, the chef came out and personally spoke to every table in the room. It was a true pleasure to meet the individual behind the culinary brilliance of the meal. 

Read more: 16 hidden cruise ship extra charges you should know about (2024)

My luck in the casino wasn't great, and I ended up losing $80


I'm not a big gambler by any means, but I do enjoy playing the slots a little while at sea. There have been times when I've played on the same $50 for an entire sailing. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case. I lost $40 within twenty minutes of playing. 

Initally, I told myself I wouldn't test my luck anymore; however, on the final evening, one woman from the group of new friends I had made wanted to spend the $100 that she won from Deal or No Deal. I figured another $40 wouldn't hurt. Again, I was wrong.

That being said, I did appreciate how all guests playing in the casino are eligible for free drinks, which differs from other cruise lines that require you to reach a certain tier in their casino program. 

During the week, I spent $139.36 on beverages, including bottled water, alcohol, and specialty coffee


Yes, water is included on the ship; however, there were some times I was just flat-out lazy and didn't feel like going to refill my water bottle in the middle of the night. 

I spent $19.80 on three Evian bottles in my stateroom, as well as $2.50 for water from the Hyatt hotel the evening I arrived. Finally, I purchased two cold bottles of water in St. Kitts to take on the Safari Island Drive; I didn't want to return to the ship dehydrated! My water alone cost $24.30. 

Since I'm an Elite Captain's Club member, I utilized the nightly happy hour from 5-7pm, rather than paying for drinks. Of course, there were some instances that I did order a drink at dinner and during sail away at the Magic Carpet, which weren't included. In total, these were $97.19. As previously mentioned, I stopped at Walgreens for a bottle of wine en route to the port. Spending $5.87 on a bottle, rather than $10+ per glass, definitely saved me a little money! 


Finally, there were two days I treated myself to coffee from Café al Bacio, which cost $12. Since my stateroom was located midship on Deck 3, I wasn't very far from Celebrity's specialty coffee shop. I had an Americano before getting off the ship in Puerto Rico, as well as an iced vanilla latte before my excursion in St. Kitts. Since I did not have a drink package, these cost $6 each. 

The beverages weren't my only onboard purchases, as I also bought Premium Wi-Fi for $181.93 in the days leading up to my cruise


If you book cruise add-ons, like drink packages, Wi-Fi, shore excursions, and specialty dining, in advance, you'll likely save money compared to purchasing them onboard. As this wasn't a super thought-out voyage, I didn't have time to browse Celebrity's Cruise Planner for great deals. 

7 nights of Premium Wi-Fi was $181.93, or $25.99 per day. Since there was some work that I had to get done while onboard, I wasn't going to risk having a spotty connection with the Basic Package. In other words, I was willing to pay a little extra to guarantee that I'd have a stronger signal. 

Overall, I didn't have any issues. There were a few times I was trying to FaceTime my finacée to check on things back home and the signal cut out, but it never impacted my ability to access basic webpages, pay rent, or keep in touch with those ashore via text. 

On the morning of disembarkation, I left a $50 tip for my cabin steward, Baby. She was such a delight throughout the week and never failed to make sure that my room was well attended to!

In total, I spent $4,637.99 to sail on the brand-new Celebrity Ascent


Sailing on a new ship will always cost more than an old one. I, for instance, have an upcoming cruise on Celebrity Reflection, a Solstice Class vessel that launched in 2012. The cruise fare for two was $1,997.74, coming in at about $880 less than my fare on Ascent. 

Of course, nothing compares to being able to sail on a cruise during its inaugural season. I loved everything about Celebrity Ascent, and I am looking forward to my Greek Isles cruise in July! 

There were definitely some instances when I could have saved some money, such as eating dinner on the ship in San Juan, refraining from purchasing souvenirs, or knowing when to accept my losses in the casino; however, I was able to enjoy the company of a fantastic group of people over cocktails in Puerto Rico, and I know my family will appreciate me thinking about them while I'm gone. 


That being said, if you're looking to book a cruise on Celebrity Ascent, there's a lot of complimentary dining and activities to enjoy. In fact, I didn't have a bad meal in any of the dining rooms. The short rib was one of the best I've ever had in my life! And while I didn't attend too many shows, I did enjoy Smoke & Ivories in The Club, as well as ShimmerBox at Eden. 

My cruise onboard Celebrity Ascent was unforgettable, and despite not being the cheapest cruise I've ever taken, it was an experience I won't forget anytime soon. 

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