Travel insights from Codie Liermann, managing editor of The Compass
With two Godmothers (Captain Sandy Yawn, star of Bravo TV’s Below Deck, and her sister Michelle Dunham, Founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism) and two brothers as Co-Captains (Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis and Captain Tasos Kafetzis), Celebrity Ascent was officially christened in her naming ceremony on Friday, December 1, 2023.
At 1073 feet in length, the fourth ship in Celebrity Cruises’ Edge Series is longer than others in her class and has 1646 staterooms holding up to 3260 guests, 1400+ crew members from 60+ countries and several new and innovative experiences.
“We are extremely grounded in listening to what our customers have to say,” said Jason Liberty, President and Chief Executive Officer for Royal Caribbean Group, during a “Conversation with Celebrity” session onboard. “And so there were spaces on the ship, for example, the Grand Plaza, in which we noticed that people were congregating and having an incredible time there, and in order to really kind of figure out how to enhance the experience, we needed to make that space bigger, and that resulted in us making the ship a little bit bigger.”
The extra space also allowed for larger engine rooms to improve its environmental footprint, more culinary experiences and a two-story sunset bar which allows guests to enjoy more time outside.
“Anytime you see us stretch something, it’s to put new cool stuff on it that our customers are telling us that they want,” added Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises.
According to Hodges Bethge, Celebrity is always focusing on what its customers and travel advisor partners are saying, and any shift made to a product is with this feedback in mind.
“Our customers tell us that they come to us for five things,” Hodges Bethge said. “Service is first and foremost, one of the most important things to them, our accommodation, the destination, our great culinary, as well as our entertainment and activities.”
For Celebrity Ascent, Hodges Bethge said they focused heavily on taking entertainment and activities to the next level.
Entertainment and Activities
The ship is filled with entertaining experiences that keep guests’ interests piqued at all times. The theater has three new shows on offer: Awaken, Residency and Bridges. The performances don’t stop at the theater though. Eden, which expands three stories in the back of the ship, also has three immersive performances, including Allure, Shimmerbox and Dreams. The show Smoke & Ivories can also be found in The Club.
Guests on board will also find an enhanced nightlife scene, deck parties, plenty of live music, a casino, sketch art classes, pickleball and a number of pools and hot tubs to enjoy. Those looking for a unique private space can rent out the Annex to cheer on their favorite sports teams, sing their hearts out at karaoke or play games.
Those hoping to keep up with their wellness routines can do so by visiting the fitness center onboard. The spacious area has a variety of machines and free weights, and there are separate rooms for classes, including cycling, HIIT, yoga and meditation.
While getting a massage or facial during vacation is always inviting, the spa on Celebrity Ascent takes it up a notch with offerings like acupuncture, detox wraps, personalized IV therapies and more.
Food and Drinks
Celebrity Ascent invites guests to take their tastebuds on a journey with 32 food and beverage experiences. With 14 cafes, bars and lounges, eight specialty restaurants, four main dining restaurants, four complimentary dining venues and two exclusive restaurants, there are more than enough places to satisfy cravings.
“The Oceanview Cafe is the prettiest buffet that I’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Terika L. Haynes, CEO and founder of Dynamite Travel. “I also loved the Rooftop Garden and Sunset Bar as the outdoor spaces are a nice break from being inside. The decor is very comfortable and inviting and gives you outdoor alternatives to the pool areas.” Haynes added that the Magic Carpet is an ideal place for catching the sunset.
Not to be missed is Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud, his second restaurant at sea serving up global flavors; the modern steakhouse, Fine Cut Steakhouse; and Le Petit Chef, which offers a unique dining experience with table animation.
There is really something for every traveler when it comes to staterooms on Celebrity Ascent. Those wanting to be immersed in everything Celebrity has to offer while keeping costs low can choose an Inside or Ocean View Stateroom. Other options include Veranda, Concierge Class and various types of suites (Sky, Celebrity, Royal).
When exclusive places, private dining and additional amenities are of interest, The Retreat or AquaClass is the place to be. And if luxury is the name of the game, guests might look into securing a two-story Edge Villa, a Penthouse Suite or the largest room on board (and in the entire fleet!) with over 2500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, an Iconic Suite.
Whether it’s stunning entertainment, unique culinary experiences, top-notch service or luxurious accommodation – or all of the above – travelers will find it on Celebrity Ascent, all while exploring beautiful destinations.
“The Ascent is a stunning ship that has something for everyone so it will definitely be a ship that I will offer to my clients,” Haynes said.
Celebrity Ascent will offer both Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings through late April before heading to the Mediterranean to sail from Barcelona to Rome. To learn more about this new ship, visit www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-ascent or contact your favorite travel advisor.
About the Author
Codie Liermann is the managing editor of The Compass. She began her career in the industry as a travel advisor prior to working as an editor. With a passion for creating valuable content for travel advisors, she aims to develop meaningful relationships with all types of travel companies in order to share their unique messages with the travel agency community.
Contact us to book your next cruise on the Celebrity Ascent.