What's new on Celebrity Cruises' newest ship, the Ascent

Andrea Zelinski

It’s difficult to stand out as the fourth ship in a class, especially when many of the innovative characteristics that formed the class identity have rolled out on three previous ships.

But Celebrity Cruises’ fourth ship in the Edge class, the Celebrity Ascent, offers a few changes and experiences that are certainly worth a second look.

I sailed for two days on the brand-new Ascent after its naming celebration in Port Everglades this weekend, where the ship will be based for the next two winter seasons when not sailing in the Med.

Like its sister ships, the Ascent includes elements that make it a distinct Edge-Class ship, like the glass-lined Magic Carpet traveling platform, the trendy Eden Restaurant and a high-tech, rounded theater with oversized moving screens.  

In size, the Celebrity Ascent is a mirror image of the Celebrity Beyond. Both of ships are 140,600 gross tons, nearly a 9% increase over the Celebrity Edge, which debuted in 2018, and the Celebrity Apex in 2020. The Ascent and the Beyond carry 3,260 passengers at double capacity, up from the roughly 2,900 on the Edge and Apex.

But Ascent’s main differences from the Beyond include redesigned spaces. One example is Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud, one of the ship’s specialty restaurants, with smooth curves on the ceiling and furniture. The sleek space was designed by KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group.

The Celebrity Ascent's casino.

The casino, an area Celebrity Cruises president Laura Hodges Bethge called “super important to a lot of our guests,” has also been redone. While maintaining the same footprint, it now has a new layout with new slot machines.

The Ascent also introduced a private experience called the Annex. The rentable space includes games like a golf simulator and karaoke or a private area to watch a sports event. The space meant for up to 15 people can be rented out for two-and-a-half hours at a time; it’s stocked with soft drinks, and guests can order alcohol and food from the Craft Social bar. Prices vary by activity and whether the ship is at sea or in port, but they range from $150 for a movie night or game-day streaming in port to $350 for the golf and sports simulator on a sea day.

“It’s a really great place if you’re celebrating a birthday or you just have a large group on board or you just met some new friends and you want to go enjoy there,” said Hodges Bethge.  

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