Our First Look at the New Celebrity Ascent

We have just returned from one of the first cruises on Celebrity Ascent and share all the details of this brand new Celebrity Cruises ship!

We Just Returned from One of the First Cruises on Celebrity Ascent

Celebrity Cruises received an early holiday gift this year. The cruise line’s newest ship, Celebrity Ascent, has debuted in Fort Lauderdale. This meant that we were lucky enough to get on board for a two-day preview cruise. Did this latest ship in the line’s Edge Class live up to our high expectations? Well, we are back and share all the details with our first impressions of the new Celebrity Ascent.

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Celebrity Ascent First Impressions

Celebrity Ascent is the fourth ship in the popular Edge class. Last year, the cruise line ushered in a number of enhancements on its third ship, Celebrity Beyond. Thankfully, these improvements have carried over to Celebrity Ascent as well.

These upgrades include additional outdoor seating and a reconfigured Resort Pool and Resort Pool Bar. The cabanas were also redesigned to now face the pool deck, instead of the Magic Carpet.

Celebrity Ascent First Impressions

This midship pool is open to everyone. Plus, cruisers can often find the Magic Carpet docked on one of these outdoor decks. Doubling as a bar and lookout point, this cantilevered outdoor space is a popular hangout. Forward on the same deck is the ship’s Solarium which is for adults only.

Heading aft outside is the Rooftop Garden. With the new cantilevered float pools, this deck offers more options to enjoy the Caribbean sun. Here, cruisers will find some garden games, a pickleball court, live music, and the big screen television for nightly movies or sporting events.

Keeping with the updates found on Celebrity Beyond, cruisers will find an expanded 2-story Sunset Bar on Celebrity Ascent as well. Which is, well, the perfect spot to grab a drink and watch the sunset.

Not to mention, the Retreat, centralized forward on Decks 15 through 17, now includes a 2-story sundeck, Luminae restaurant, lounge, pool, and outdoor bar.

Of course, Celebrity Ascent also features several restaurants, bars and lounges, and entertainment spaces mostly focused on Decks 3-5 with the Grand Plaza being the heartbeat of the ship day and night.

All of these additions are possible as Celebrity Cruises lengthened and expanded both of these latest Edge Class vessels, with Celebrity Ascent now coming in at just over 141K gross tons. With the additional space, venues like the redesigned Grand Plaza are roomier too.

Celebrity Ascent First Impressions

Although, the additional space comes with only a modest increase in capacity, with an overall guest capacity of 3,260 at double occupancy. Celebrity Ascent has only 179 additional staterooms when compared to the first two ships in the class, Edge and Apex.

What’s New on Celebrity Ascent

While very similar to her older sister, Celebrity Ascent has some new to brand innovations as well. A chief focus for President Laura Hodges Bethge was to enhance the onboard activities and entertainment.

On Celebrity Ascent, cruisers will find the new Resort Deck party, Shine the Night. So, be sure to pack your best metallic attire for this high energy pool deck party. There are also new musical productions in The Club, new gaming experiences, brand-new shows in the main theater, Eden, and The Club, and the addition of pickleball at sea.

Amping up the technology for cruisers of all ages, Celebrity Ascent debuts the Game On Augmented Reality experiences. In these retro-style games, which are digitally mapped on the floor of The Club, cruisers become the controllers and avatars. Along with a healthy does of nostalgia, these new games are a lot of fun whether you are competing against one another or working together to earn points.

This venue also sees the addition of some old-school video games on the second level, like Golden Tee, for more friendly competition.

The best part is that these new digital games are in addition to the traditional cruise staples. Celebrity Ascent still features all the favorites, like trivia, tabletop escape games, and other hands-on activities.

The Annex

Another technological upgrade is the Annex. While the cruise line is still flushing out the details of this new space, this private room can be rented out for parties of up to 15.

For 2.5 hours, cruisers can enjoy a selection of small bites from Craft Social, along with several entertainment offerings. There is a state of the art karaoke system with intelligent mics that can improve anyone’s singing abilities. There are also interactive sports simulators with games including golf, baseball, football, and even corn hole or beer pong.

Celebrity Ascent First Impressions

Or, groups can rent the room to watch a live sporting event or enjoy a private movie night with extended family to celebrate a special occasion.

For now, this room can only be booked onboard with the shore excursions team. Packages range in price from $250 to $350.

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Entertainment on Celebrity Ascent

With three unique entertainment spaces, Celebrity Ascent offers a variety of entertainment options. The ship boasts two production casts offering 6 completely new shows.

In the main theater, cruisers can marvel at three signature shows exclusively designed for Celebrity Ascent. During our trip, we experienced Bridges and Awaken.

Famous bridges throughout the world serve as the backdrop and inspiration for the music setlist of the first show. According to the show’s producer, the main theme of the production showcases the various connections individuals make throughout their lives.

While we enjoyed both shows, Awaken was our clear favorite. This spectacle transports viewers into a realm where anything is possible. This performance utilizes the technological elements of the theater to its fullest and incorporates more dynamic physical elements and acrobatics, making it an engrossing and compelling look at the power of dreams.

In the three-story Eden venue, guests become engrossed in other world delights with one of three modern day circus performances. Two shows are new to Celebrity Ascent, with the fan-favorite Dreams also returning to the lineup.

During our two days onboard Celebrity Ascent, we previewed The Shimmerbox. Having seen Eden shows on all the ships in the Edge Class, we can attest that they are all very similar but still a lot of fun. Make sure to arrive to the venue early for any chance of getting good seats.

Additionally, the same Eden cast of performers take on The Club for another brand-new show, Smoke & Ivories. Part of our Night 2 entertainment lineup, this show transports cruisers to a Hollywood club at the golden age of cinema.

This intimate space does not have the most ideal sightlines for a show. Still, the 2-story venue comes alive during this high energy performance complete with vocals, dance, tap, and aerial acts.

Food and Drinks

Casual Eats on Celebrity Ascent

When it comes to food and drinks on Celebrity Ascent, there are plenty of options to choose from throughout the day. Casual dining includes the line’s signature buffet, the Oceanview Café, with diverse international offerings and late-night snacks like freshly made pizza. While we tend to avoid cruise ship buffets, Celebrity Cruises does have one of the best offerings at sea.

Additionally, healthier grab-and-go options are available in the morning and afternoon at the Spa Café, and there is the Mast Grill serving burgers, fries, and self-service frozen yogurt near the pool. The Eden Café is open for breakfast most days and lunch on sea days as well. With a selection of sandwiches, salads, and continental items, this is like your local café at sea.

However, to get your java fix you do need to visit Café al Bacio. This coffee shop serves up a variety of premium coffees and teas. All of these beverages are included in the cruise line’s classic beverage package.

While at Café al Bacio, cruisers can’t help but indulge in one of the sweet treats. In the morning, these include breakfast pastries, while in the afternoon there is a wide selection of cakes, cookies, and other desserts.

We did notice Café al Bacio on Celebrity Ascent has spruced up its menu a bit. On our sailing, there were a few small sandwiches available in addition to the desserts. We have always thought this venue could use additional food items. So, it appears the cruise line was listening!

Restaurants on Celebrity Ascent

For dinner, cruisers can opt for one of the 4 themed main dining rooms. Along with a rotational Signatures Menu that changes nightly, each restaurant features an Exclusives Menu. These options are only available at each venue, offering modern twists on classics like Strozzapreti Carbonara at the Italian Tuscan. Further, one main dining room is open everyday for breakfast and on sea days for lunch.

For those looking to upgrade their dining experience, the ship is home to 8 specialty restaurants. Among the selections is one of the best steakhouses at sea, the Fine Cut, as well as the al fresco dining at the Rooftop Garden. Other options include sushi and Asian specialties at Raw on 5 and experiential dining at the Eden Restaurant.

During this preview cruise, we dined at Fine Cut on Night 1, and it was fabulous. My medium-rare filet mignon was seared to perfection. The trio of sides, including the to-die-for bacon mac and cheese, mushrooms, and truffle fries, were the ideal accompaniments. And the apple walnut cobbler was the perfect ending to the meal.

Another one of our favorite Celebrity restaurants, Le Voyage, returns to Celebrity Ascent with a new layout and decor. From celebrity chef Daniel Boulud, this restaurant, which debuted on Celebrity Beyond, has the same menu of globally inspired cuisine with a modern French twist. There is also the option for a 6-course tasting menu. While it is the most expensive restaurant in the fleet, it is well worth the upcharge.

On the second night of this short cruise, we dined at Le Petit Chef. New show, new menu, but same tiny chef. The magical cookbook set the stage for this digitally-based four course menu.

Each selection is paired with a different chapter as the story unfolds on the table top in front of you. This unique dinner and a show is made possible thanks to high definition projectors in the ceiling of the restaurant. I enjoyed the pasta course and the main course of beef tenderloin. This at sea experience is unique to Celebrity Cruises and is definitely something worth trying at least once.


We stayed in a Sky Suite, stateroom 10120. This 319-square-foot stateroom includes a 79-foot veranda. Yes, a real balcony, not an infinite veranda like most cabins on the ship.

This starboard side cabin is located right next to the forward elevators. Immediately upon entering the room, the oversized bathroom is to the left with the bed facing out to the balcony.

Honestly, it is hard not to fall in love with this room. These upgraded suites come with extra space, a true balcony, and a full bathroom larger than many hotels on land.

Celebrity Ascent First Impressions

Inside the stateroom, there is a love seat and coffee table positioned to the left near the balcony. The desk and armoire are across the room on the right side. With plenty of counter space, drawers for storage, the mini-fridge, and a charging station, what more could you want.

There is a bit more closet space when compared to a traditional cruise ship cabin as well, with one full closet including a bar and hangers and one smaller closet with shelves, more drawers, and the safe.

When it comes to the bathroom, this upgraded space features a soaking tub with a rainfall shower and jets, a vanity with double sinks, and a separate makeup desk. Premium bath products and plenty of room make getting ready each day effortless.

Not to mention, the king-sized bed and Celebrity eXhale bedding and cashmere mattress provide a wonderful night’s sleep. While there are adequate USB and power outlets on the desk, only one side of the bed has power connections for devices though.

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Overall First Impressions of Celebrity Ascent

We try to never pick favorites when it comes to cruise ships or cruise lines as they all offer something unique in the market. Still, we are very fond of the Celebrity Edge Class and have sailed on these ships quite a few times including a recent sailing in the Med for our anniversary.

While Celebrity Cruises has not changed much in this fourth ship, Celebrity Ascent certainly raises the bar for the brand in terms of entertainment and onboard experiences. It is clear the cruise line wants to appeal to a wider audience and give guests more options to utilize the uniquely themed public spaces.

Celebrity Ascent boasts more outdoor competitions on the Rooftop Garden and Resort Deck. Cruisers will find more themed shows and musical events around the ship. While there is still the silent disco and other fan favorites, new experiences elevate the brand’s nightlife like the brand-new Shine the Night party.

Yet, the cruise line does not lose sight of its core cruiser. Celebrity Ascent is gorgeous and well-appointed, and the new amusements do not detract from the ship’s upscale resort vibes.

For us, Celebrity Cruises has always ranked among the best when it comes to dining. Celebrity Ascent is no different, meeting our high expectations when it comes to both complimentary and specialty dining.

Likewise, the entertainment on Celebrity Ascent rose to the occasion. These dynamic shows are leaps and bounds better than typical cruise revue shows. The storytelling and use of digital technology give Celebrity an edge on the competition. The entertainment has certainly come a long way since our first cruise with the brand on Celebrity Solstice in 2014.

With the cruise line’s next ship, Celebrity Xcel, setting sail in 2025, we are eager to see how the cruise line will raise the bar even further!


Do you have plans to cruise on Celebrity Ascent? What do you love about sailing with Celebrity Cruises? Drop us an anchor below with your latest cruise reviews.

Don Bucolo, or “DB”, loves everything about cruising- the ocean, the food, and the atmosphere. While he may be obsessed with doing extensive amounts of research on ships and all elements of a cruise, Don enjoys sharing his new found knowledge with fellow cruisers. When he is not sailing the high seas, he does whatever his wife tells him to do-it only took 10 years to realize this.
Don Bucolo
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Our First Look at the New Celebrity Ascent

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