Celebrity Ascent Dining

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Editor Rating
49 reviews
Le Petit Chef on Celebrity Ascent has a fairytale theme
The seafood counter on Celebrity Ascent has a huge shrimp tower
Amuse bouche dish in Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud on Celebrity Ascent
Dishes served in Sunset Bar on Celebrity Ascent include hummus and pita bread
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Adam Coulter
U.K. Executive Editor

There are 18 restaurants onboard Celebrity Ascent, and almost the same number again in terms of places to grab a snack, including four main dining rooms (each serves the same food, they just have a different design); as well as a buffet; eight for-fee restaurants and two “private” restaurants.

The quality of food on Celebrity Ascent is generally very high, whether you eat in the buffet the MDRs or the specialty restaurants, including stand out venues including Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud’s Le Voyage and Fine Cut Steakhouse.

Room service is free if you order a (limited) Continental breakfast; if you want anything hot it’ll cost you $9.95 plus an 18% gratuity.

Free Restaurants on Celebrity Ascent

Main Dining Rooms The four main restaurants onboard Celebrity Ascent are Cosmopolitan, Cyprus, Normandie and Tuscan. The names are different – as is the design – but the menus are the same, just with the occasional dish unique to the restaurant. Cosmopolitan has had a makeover, “inspired by the culture of champagne”, with a new layout and seating.

Every restaurant serves dinner, but check your Celebrity today or app for which ones are open for breakfast and lunch.

Oceanview Cafe Buffet We tend to avoid most cruise ship buffets at peak times, but this is an exception: Beautifully designed, light and airy, with loads of seating stretching all the way to the aft of the ship, this sets the standard for cruise ship buffets, both in terms of design and food quality. So much is made fresh – cakes, breads, pasta, pastries and fruits and veg sourced locally – plus there a number of live cooking stations and outstanding themed cuisine nights (the Indian cuisine is not to be missed).

Blu This restaurant is dedicated to AquaClass passengers and has a more intimate setting than the MDRs. The menu options are healthier and include so-called “clean cuisine”, which are usually plant based, but will also include one or two meat dishes such as pan-seared filet mignon.

It also offers a selection of signature cocktails (the gin-based Spice Market is delicious) and dishes unique to the restaurant, such as phyllo crusted chicken paillard and creamy wild mushroom risotto.

Blu on Ascent debuts an intimate outdoor terrace that will be available for daytime dining.

Luminae is the dedicated restaurant for suite passengers and as on sister ship Beyond, on Ascent it’s integrated into The Retreat complex so feels more exclusive. And like on Beyond, it’s also much bigger so you should always be able to get a table, with front-facing windows offering lovely views.

As well as the regular dishes on offer, such as roasted turbot or tamarind-glazed chicken breast, there is also a Daniel Boulud Signature selection, or you can always order the “always available” choices of grilled chicken, New York strip and seared salmon. We found the service here particularly good.

Eden Cafe is our favorite venue on the ship for a light bite during the day, serving a breakfast of smoothies and muesli and bagels and delicious sandwiches, paninis and pre-prepared salads for lunch, in the gorgeous surrounds of Eden.

Note: Dinner is for fee (see below).

Cafe al Bacio Always popular (Celebrity ought to double the serving area), Café al Bacio serves the best specialty coffees (for a fee), and free pastries onboard. Lots of seating in a prime spot overlooking the Grand Plaza.

Mast Grill This is tucked beside the stage end of the Retreat Deck, wedged a level down from the poolside bar en route to the Solarium. Ideal for a casual snack such as a burger, dog and fries.

Spa Cafe and Juice Bar The Spa Cafe is inside the Solarium Pool area and makes a quiet change from the Oceanview buffet if you are happy with a light bite at breakfast and lunch.

What Restaurants Cost Extra on Celebrity Ascent

Dinner on the Edge
$$$$ You’re paying more for the setting – stuck out over the water 14 decks high – but it's worth a one-off splurge. There is no menu offered, it’s chef’s choice. Dinner on the Edge is offered once per cruise and is not heavily advertised, so if you want a one-of-a-kind experience, ask at reception as soon as you board.

Le Voyage
$$$$ Daniel Boulud’s restaurant made a splash on Beyond, and reappears on Celebrity Ascent, complete with a makeover including a new chandelier, plush banquet seating and a private dining room. This is as close to Michelin-starred dining you’ll get on a cruise ship, but significantly cheaper – the five-course tasting menu is just $125 – the most expensive restaurant onboard, but less than half the price you’d pay in his New York restaurant.

Dishes include tuna crudo, tamarind encrusted prawns and a deliciously light poached Brazilian moqueca, which comes with shrimp and squid. As well as being supremely tasty, the portions are generous – a pleasant surprise in a high-end restaurant where portion sizes are often meagre. The whole experience takes about two hours. There is also wine pairing available for a $100 supplement. The restaurant also offers an a la carte menu, which includes items from the tasting as well as some additional ones including Alaskan king crab salad and lobster risotto for $75.

Note: The emphasis here is meat heavy, with few veggie dishes and no vegetarian tasting menu.

Eden Restaurant
$$$ Tucked away below the main stage, Eden Restaurant has been given a significant refresh by Celebrity’s in-house chef Cornelius Gallagher, who is also a Michelin-starred restaurateur, who describes the food as “cooking without borders”. To that end, he has some fun with the dishes, ranging from the Mediterranean (Aegean sea ceviche) via the Middle east (Bazaar Bowl with chilled labneh yogurt) to India (tandoori style beef) and NYC with a Reuben raclette – and that’s just the starters! For the main, expect a great selection of seafood (salmon, Nova Scotia lobster, branzino, snapper) as well as a delicious free range lamb loin. There is a set price a la carte ($60) and a 7-course tasting ($120) menu, with an alternative full seven-course vegetarian tasting menu.

Fine Cut Steakhouse
$$$ In a prime spot overlooking the Grand Plaza, the ever-popular steakhouse is the same size as the expanded restaurant on sister ship Celebrity Beyond. And like on Beyond, there are wine barrel booths that overlook all the action. Expect typical steakhouse fare – different cuts of beef, ribs, fish and chicken, and a large choice of sides. Celebrity Ascent also sees a new dish -- the Lemon Poached Lobster Tail with melted leeks, shiitake mushrooms, lobster ravioli and a house-made beurre Blanc sauce.

Le Petit Chef at Le Bistro
$$$ We’re torn on this (and have been since its debut on Celebrity Edge). If you want a fun experience where the animation is definitely the star of the show (rather than the food), then this is for you, particularly if you have kids. If not, then we might suggest to spend your hard-earned dollars elsewhere. The basic premise is that you follow the adventures of the titular character, who gets into various scrapes and situations as he “makes” your meal. On Ascent it’s a new show, involving a fairytale where the chef gets three wishes from a fairy godmother. Each story ends with a dish that all arrive for everyone at the same time. The three-course set meal, in our opinion, is average at best, as everyone has to be served at the same time and it’s often not hot. We don’t want to sound like killjoys, as it’s clear a lot of time and effort goes into Le Petit Chef, but it’s just not for everyone.

Rooftop Garden Grill
$ (lunch), $$ (dinner) If you have sailed on Solstice-class ships, then this space will remind you the Lawn Club Grill, except it looks out over the funky Rooftop Garden space rather than a real grass lawn. No matter, the aspect is gorgeous and the space is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, which afford great views wherever you are sat. Lunch is lighter, offering a nice mix of sandwiches, salads and flatbread pizzas. Dinner is when you’ll find the more substantial eats – think burgers, baby back ribs, BBQ grilled chicken and grilled branzino. It’s one of our favorite spots to eat onboard – just make sure you book ahead.

Raw on 5
$ Our go-to for a sushi and noodle fix, Raw on 5 is a firm favorite across the fleet. The name “Raw” is a slight misnomer; there is a raw bar, heaped with fresh fish, but there are also a lot of hot dishes such as chicken gyoza, ramen, teriyaki, skewers and dips and much more – all supremely tasty and very reasonably priced.

Le Bistro
$ This is only open for lunch as it’s given over to Le Petit Chef at night. It’s hidden away, toward the aft of the ship, and offers French cuisine such as mussels and frites, sandwiches on a French baguette and Celebrity’s signature and highly recommended French onion soup.

Sunset Bar
$ A hidden gem at the aft of the ship, The Sunset Bar is an unexpected surprise. Completely remodelled, as it was on Beyond, the Rooftop Garden Grill channels a Middle Eastern/southern Med vibe both in terms of design and flavors. You’ll find a delicious array of light dishes, perfect for sharing or snacking, including labneh, baba ganoush, hummus, Marrakesh salad, mini chicken shawarma and merguez lamb. Each perfectly cooked and deliciously tasty and light – and at just $8 a plate, a steal (plus all the pita you can eat).

Room Service
$ Room service is available 24/7. Continental breakfast is free; hot dishes come with a $9.95 per order charge, plus an 18% gratuity.

Dietary Restrictions on Celebrity Ascent

At every restaurant we ate, waiters asked beforehand whether any guest had dietary restrictions, however, there are no indicators on menus in terms of allergens. All restaurants offer a wide range of vegetarian and vegan dishes, and Eden has introduced a seven-course vegetarian tasting menu.

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