The 3,260-passenger ship was christened by two godmothers – Captain Sandy Yawn of Below Deck fame and her sister, Michelle Dunham; and also has two captains, brothers Dimitrios and Tasos Tafetzis.
Celebrity Ascent feels like a high-end hotel, with design at the forefront, whether that’s in the dazzling public spaces, the redesigned dining rooms or the modern cabins.
Celebrity Ascent has a sophisticated, grown-up vibe, and although there is a robust kids’ program, the ship is geared more toward teens or couples with grown-up children.
Overall, Celebrity Cruises keeps raising the bar, whether that’s in design, entertainment or food, and Ascent is an outstanding addition to the Edge series.
Celebrity Ascent is the same length as Celebrity Beyond and includes the extra deck added to its sister ship.
But it is not an exact copy; the popularity of Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant, Le Voyage, has led to a private dining room added, as well as a new chandelier.
Celebrity Ascent also sees a redesign for AquaClass dining venue, Blu, and one of the four main dining rooms, Cosmopolitan.
Elsewhere, Celebrity Ascent has the same deck plan as its sister, with standout spaces including the Nate Berkus-designed Sunset Bar, which has been completely remodelled in a Moroccan design and serving food from that region.
The nearby Rooftop Garden now has two plunge pools either side; and the Rooftop Grill is more enclosed for windy sea days.
The Resort Deck, or main pool deck, retains the wow factor of the first Edge ship – and with a new Insta-friendly sculpture –a silver octopus. And, as on Beyond, the cabanas now face inwards rather than toward the corridor.
Inside, the Grand Plaza, with the Martini Bar its beating heart, is where all the action starts, surrounded by World Class Bar, Craft Social, Café Al Bacio and The Club.
There’s also a fun new spot – the Annex – a multi-use space you can hire by the hour for simulated sports and karaoke.
Celebrity Ascent has a wide range of cabins and suites, from the duplex Edge Villas, complete with outdoor plunge pools, to the Manhattan loft-style Iconic suites, with views that beat the Captains’, to the gorgeous Penthouse Suite, ideal for large families.
The vast majority of rooms are Infinite balcony cabins, which are not typical balcony cabins with a door leading to an outside space, but rather a space, separated from the room by bi-fold doors, with an electronic window. The advantage is you get more space; the disadvantage is it’s not a balcony.
Cabins to avoid are those deep in the bowels of the ship on Decks 3 & 4, particularly those just beside the Martini Bar, where you’ll get a lot of ambient noise till late.
Celebrity Cruises is no slouch when it comes to food, and dining on its latest ship is no exception.
Apart from the aforementioned Daniel Boulud restaurant, Le Voyage, which debuted on Beyond, the line has also upped its food game in a number of other venues.
One such is Eden, in which Chef Cornelius Gallagher has completely rethought the menu, bringing an eclectic mix of worldwide dishes in an a la carte and seven course set for both carnivores and vegetarians.
Blu, too, moves away from its slightly bland offerings to a more adventurous choice of food including lobster tail.
Elsewhere, all four main dining rooms and the buffet, punch way above their weight when it comes to serving quality cuisine.
Meals in the four main dining rooms, the Oceanview Cafe buffet, Continental breakfast room service and select other eateries
All theater shows and most entertainment options
Most daily activities, unless otherwise noted
Use of the fitness center
Drinks & Wi-Fi (if you opt for the All Included Fare
Automatic gratuities for beverage, mini-bar, spa and salon purchases (20 percent for all)
Drinks & Wi-Fi (if you do not opt for the All Included Fare
Bottles of wine
Meals at several specialty restaurants and snack venues; room service
Most fitness classes and all personal training sessions
Access to the ship's Sea Thermal suite (except for people staying in AquaClass staterooms, for whom entry is free)
Activities like alcohol tasting events
Photographs and artwork
Celebrity generally attracts a sophisticated crowd of 50-somethings who may or may not be traveling with their teenage children. Although the line has facilities for younger kids, it’s not a go-kart/water slides kind of ship (CEO Laura Hodges Bethge has said on the record that sister line Royal Caribbean is much better for that).
The line has also traditionally been extremely welcoming to LGBTQ+ passengers, and has long been recognised for that. Meet-ups for solos and LGBTQ+ passengers take place daily, and a Pride Night is held every cruise.