Celebrity Ascent Cruise: A Fresh Voyage on the Revolutionary Edge Series Ship

Celebrity Ascent Cruise: If you’ve taken many cruise lines, you are aware that every line and ship has a distinct personality. In other words, there’s always something fresh to experience on a cruise, regardless of how many different ones you take. During our recent maiden voyage on Celebrity Ascent, we were reminded of this.

Celebrity Ascent is the fourth ship in the revolutionary Edge class—also known as the “Edge series”—that the cruise line operates. And although we’ve traveled with almost all of the big cruise lines (including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC, NCL, Virgin, and Princess), Celebrity is one that we haven’t yet visited. It seems that waiting this long to sail on their newest ship makes us feel like fools.

Celebrity Ascent Cruise

Celebrity Ascent deck
(Credit: United Cruise)

For those who are unaware, Celebrity is one of the cruise lines offered by the Royal Caribbean Group. Its stance in the market can be understood by comparing it to an automobile, as it is intended to provide a more luxurious experience.

Royal Caribbean offers the premium Celebrity brand, much like Toyota has the luxury Lexus brand. However, this is not merely a “nicer” Royal Caribbean cruise ship. It’s entirely different, with a distinct vibe, philosophy, and atmosphere. Though kids are welcome, it’s far more focused on grownups and less on everyone else.

Celebrity embarked on a novel course with its Edge series of vessels, first with Celebrity Edge in late 2018. Along with Edge, Apex, and Beyond, the cruise company now presents Celebrity Ascent, the newest vessel in the class.

You have a decent notion of what Ascent can provide guests with if you have previously traveled on one of these sister ships. Should you be unfamiliar with sailing Celebrity, you have no idea what you’re losing out on.

Initial Thoughts on the Cruise

Ascending arrives at Fort Lauderdale’s Terminal 25 and makes a good first impression. The Grand Plaza, a multi-story atrium with The Martini Bar in its center, is close to where you enter. This is undoubtedly one of the ship’s hotspots, and it gets crowded in night. However, it’s also a fantastic way to get a taste of the ship’s aesthetic and ambiance.

You will observe that the room and bar have a distinctly asymmetrical shape. Neither wood tones nor strong chrome accents are present. The location exudes a modern style. It is roomy, open, and spacious. This is designed to be a nice resort, not a great cruise ship.

As we were boarding the ship, our initial impression was something like if you went to a spa and then utilized the design of the ship as inspiration. The hues are soothing. There’s always ideal lighting. Even the music is a soothing blend that gives the ship a little white noise without being overbearing.

However, the area surrounding the ship is what truly drew our attention. Firstly, it should be mentioned that only roughly two-thirds of the initial voyage was filled when we went. Even with most areas at capacity, there would still be plenty of room for everyone (the Grand Plaza’s Martini Bar section being the one exception since it became extremely crowded in the night).

This makes sense because Ascent has a space ratio of 43.1 at 100% occupancy based on tons carried compared to people carried. Anything more than forty ought to be regarded as rather roomy.

Beyond that, though, it’s clear that careful consideration was given to creating a ship that feels roomy throughout. The ship’s passageways are broader throughout, extending from the cabin hallways to the internal sections. Other locations span multiple decks, such as the ship’s theater, the Grand Plaza, and the Solarium. Long sightlines and an airy sense are the end results.

This tendency even extends to the cabin doorways, which appear to be wider than an average domestic door rather than the typically narrow cabin doors on ships.

Put another way, if the overcrowding on cruise ships is your main gripe, this is the ship for you.

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An Examine On Board

It’s difficult to exaggerate how wonderful Celebrity Ascent is unless you’ve taken a cruise on it or one of its sibling ships, which are reputed to be comparable. Pictures don’t do it justice, but we’ve highlighted a few locations with information about what to expect and a few pictures to help you visualize.

Grand Plaza

Grand Plaza
(Credit: Celebrity Cruises)

The Grand Plaza, the ship’s central atrium, is the place to be in the evening. There are eateries bordering the decks on both sides, seating around the perimeter, bartenders who perform fancy acrobatics while mixing cocktails, and a big light bulb in the center.

There’s no better place to spend an enjoyable evening out with your travel companion than during the evening when live music is performed.

The Theatre

With a stage in the center, the Theater on Ascent is a large circular space. Sections of the stage may be raised and lowered, while five moveable television boards serve as backdrops. World-class lighting and sound systems complement the performers’ ability to leap from the roof thanks to a central piece in the ceiling.

The Retreat

Celebrity has its own “resort within a resort” with upscale accommodations, just like several other lines. Exclusive to these guests are a living space and an outdoor pool/sundeck in addition to lovely suites. The Retreat has a separate dining area just for passengers.

Swimming Pool/Solarium

Celebrity Ascent
(Credit: Hispana Global)

There are two primary possibilities if you want to be near the pool. The first is the main pool deck, which has two hot tubs that rise above the deck like flower blossoms, a wide pool, and some amazing artwork (we especially like the chrome octopus).

The Solarium is a fantastic room with a domed ceiling that spans several decks. There is plenty of seating, a private pool, and two hot tubs, creating a tranquil and pleasant atmosphere.

Rooftop Garden

The Rooftop Garden is a feature that is present on Edge series ships and is carried over to Ascent. This is an area of open space on the upper deck with park-like surroundings and chairs. Although there are swimming areas close by, this is primarily a place to unwind and spend quality time with your traveling companions. In addition, there’s a big screen showing sports, daily yoga sessions, and more.


Eden is another iconic space in the class on board Ascent. It’s difficult to characterize the location because you can sit, eat, and be amused there. It is situated aft of the ship and has fantastic exterior views. It is multi-story with loads of natural light. It’s a nice location to relax and unwind during the day. There’s an upscale restaurant and performances by the crew during the evening.

Cabins on Ascent

There is a cabin that can accommodate your preferred mode of transportation. The fact that they are all well furnished and cozy is another pleasant feature. The available staterooms all have a space-themed interior. This is not a little cabin if that’s how you usually travel.

There is just greater space everywhere, even though we just highlighted it in the entryway. Even the inside cabins (which are bigger than many we’ve seen, but still not huge) feel comfortable.

Although the cruise line refers to them as “infinite verandas,” one aspect of Celebrity that is unique is the usage of “infinite” balconies, which are typically equipped with a door leading to a balcony that protrudes out the side of the ship.

Instead of numerous balconies, the cabin’s far wall is adorned with a single, sizable window. The top half of the window glides down when a button is pressed, thereby turning the entire space into a balcony. The balcony space is still divided from a sleeping area by movable bi-fold doors that are opaque.

It is also appropriate to highlight The Retreat. This area of Ascent’s suites offers guests access to a sundeck, a private lounge, and a private restaurant. Additionally, there are more attentive services available, and the rooms include premium drinks and wi-fi.

Entertainment on the Cruise

(Credit: Frommer’s)

The notion that cruising offers “hokey” entertainment with performers that are unfit for any other venue is arguably one of the biggest misconceptions about the experience. Obviously, anyone believes that hasn’t ever set foot on a contemporary cruise ship, let alone Celebrity Ascent.

Numerous entertainment options are available throughout the ship, ranging from live music concerts to events in Eden. Two locations, nonetheless, stick out as special to this class.

There’s a place named The Club first. Like Eden, it’s a multi-story location with a variety of functions. It’s a spot to hang out and play games during the day. This includes various video games as well as what Celebrity refers to as “augmented” games, which are essentially video games that you play with your body projected into the floor.

It transforms into more of a lounge at night with live music and performances, such as the exceptional cabaret-style act “Smoke and Ivories.” There’s always something to do here, regardless of the time of day.

However, The Theater is the highlight of the schedule of events. We have seen many of ships at sea, but none like this.

Ascent is not your typical theater setting; instead, it’s a circular chamber with a round stage in the center. That is only the beginning as it offers more dynamic and visually appealing views on its own. Five floor to ceiling screens that can also move and slide around the stage surround the rear of the stage. The visual backdrops are breathtaking during the performances, offering a breathtaking backdrop that is impossible to duplicate with a conventional set.

Acrobats drop and swing from a position in the middle of the ceiling, there are rising and falling stage sections, amazing lights, and so much more. Of course, none of this takes into account the artists’ extraordinary talent.

During our cruise, we saw the television shows Bridges and Awaken, and we would definitely watch them again. Consider the theater performances a “can’t-miss” if you sail.

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Menu Selections on Celebrity Ascent

(Credit: Cruise Fever)

Food plays a significant role in any trip, and the Celebrity Ascent cruise is no different. The ship is home to over a dozen restaurants in all. Restaurants and food are generally more sophisticated. You’re in luck if you have a serious taste for fine dining. We’ll concede that there are possibilities for individuals with more straightforward tastes, but you’ll have to do some more searching.

The Oceanview Café, the ship’s huge buffet with more space than we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship, is one of the free dining options. At the end of the voyage, it provides everything from pizza to lobster tails. In Eden, there’s a tiny café called the Spa Café that serves light meals like salads and sandwiches. If all you want is something quick and simple, you can have a sandwich or burger at the Mast Grill.

Four primary dining establishments are part of the package for dinner. Each of these restaurants—Cyprus, Tuscan, Normandie, and Cosmopolitan—has the same menu, but for added variation, each has a separate area for appetizers and entrees.

Although it would restrict your options on Ascent, you could certainly eat during the trip without paying more. Specialty restaurants are widely available, and the majority of them emphasize an enhanced dining experience. This comprises:

  • Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud
  • Raw on 5
  • Rooftop Garden Grill
  • Eden
  • Le Grand Bistro
  • Le Petit Chef
  • Fine Cut Steakhouse

Furthermore, guests staying in AquaClass cabins and The Retreat are the only patrons of the two restaurants, Blu and Luminae, respectively.

Can You Take Celebrity Ascent?

What is the ultimate lesson, then? Let’s imagine that you have an upcoming cruise aboard Ascent. We’re not only sure you’ll love the ship, but we’re also envious that you get to sail. We had never taken a Celebrity cruise before, and we were rather impressed.

We’ll state it now: it won’t be for everyone. It might not be the best ship if you are sailing with a family that includes children. Children are allowed, and while parents enjoy, they can play in the designated kids’ area. But aside from that, not much exists, particularly on the pool deck. Though alternative lines and ships might be preferable, kids won’t have a terrible time.

But Ascent is a great choice for people looking for a more upscale cruise; consider it a cruise for a honeymoon, anniversary, or just a fancy vacationer. Furthermore, although though the cost is typically higher than that of other mass market lines, we believe it would be worthwhile.

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