Cruising on the new Celebrity Ascent


After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.

She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.

Cruising on the new Celebrity Ascent


     Anywhere in the world, when a Celebrity Edge class ship arrives in a port, everyone recognizes her iconic orange Magic Carpet design outside of the ship. This dining and beverage venue has the capability of rising or lowering with the push of a button.During the debut of the Celebrity Ascent, I was lucky enough to walk onboard the Magic Carpet to attend the ship’s naming ceremony cruise in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale. It was a family celebration with two Greek Co-Captains, Dimitrios and Tasos Kafetzis. These brothers embody the spirit of the ship, and are known as the Maritime Dream Team. With three decades of experience, the older brother Captain Dimitrios apprenticed on the Line’s first vessel, Horizon in 1990. He played an integral role in the start-up teams aboard many other ships across the fleet. Captain Tasos has followed his beloved brother’s footsteps sailing with the cruise line since 1998.

During the special ceremony on the deck of the ship’s main pool, these two captains escorted co-godmothers to the center stage. Captain Sandy Yawn from the Bravo hit show ˜Below Deck”, and her sister Michelle Dunham, founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism (JSA) joined other VIPs onstage. Celebrity Cruises’ President, Laura Hodges Bethge shared with invitees, “I am so excited to introduce the world to Celebrity Ascent and continue the legacy of Celebrity’s Edge Series.”

The first Edge Series launched in 2018, transforming elevated cruising with the Edge, Apex and Beyond. “Celebrity offers the best premier vacation with it’s luxury Retreat – Service, Accommodations, Destinations, Entertainment, Food and Drinks are the five main categories we focus on daily,” said Hodges Bethge.

     After the ceremony, we went back to our Infinite Veranda style cabin. Edge Class ships offer an exclusive wellness spa-inspired AquaClass stateroom. They hire land based resort designers to transform their ships into floating resorts. Guests staying in these Infinite Veranda style staterooms receive spa-inspired elements that include a pillow menu, the exclusive eXhale bedding, plush cotton robes and slippers, a massaging shower-head, eco-friendly bathroom products, yoga mats, on-demand wellness programming on your stateroom TV, daily bottled water service, and an enhanced air filtration system.The Retreat is another unique offering on Edge Class ships featuring private suites, a restaurant just for Retreat guests, plus a relaxing lounge and sundeck with a pool and two hot whirlpools.

With 32 distinctive restaurants, lounges and bars, diners can experience Global Culinary Ambassador and award-winning chef Daniel Boulud. His culinary Le Voyage by Daniel Boulud is one of the many specialty dining venues on the luxury ship. This fine dining French cuisine experience allows passengers on a culinary journey at a much more reasonable price than they would experience on land at one of his restaurants.

     Another evening while dining at Fine Cut Steakhouse, we enjoyed the signature crab cake, The Steakhouse Wedge, pan seared Dover Sole and a New York steak, before indulging in a chocolate lava cake. One of the most exclusive dining experiences on the Celebrity Ascent is Le Petit Chef: The Magical Cooking Book. Created by world-renown artists of Skullmapping, the Le Grand Bistro is turned into an elegant white cloth dining experience. Diners are entertained as 3-D table animation is illuminated to life on the table. From soup to dessert this dining experience is beautifully choreographed with an elegant menu created by Celebrity Cruises Michelin Star Chef.

Other inventive culinary experiences, include the popular three-story Eden Bar and Restaurant. This space at the aft of the ship features floor-to-ceiling views, and a multi-sensory food and beverage experience. The new seasonal plant-based menu offers healthy options among a garden-like setting.

    During the day, I woke early to attend a morning stretch and meditation class. Yoga and cycling classes are also available throughout the day at the fitness center above the  world-class spa, and up at the outdoor Rooftop Garden. There is live music in the afternoon, movies and alfresco dining at the Rooftop Garden Grill. Beyond the rooftop garden is the main swimming pool lined with wood cabanas, and eye-catching two-story high martini-glass shaped hot tubs. An elegant bigger-than-life silver octopus statue is the signature outdoor art piece in this area. Nearby the adult Solarium retreat is a tranquil and quiet spa-like space with a swimming pool, lounge chairs and elevated hot tub. Before the sun set, we gathered at the stunning Moroccan inspired Sunset Bar, designed by celebrity designer Nate Berkus. It is the quintessential sunset viewing spot for a cocktail before dinner.

Also in the evening, The Grand Plaza is the soul of the ship. Magnificent chandeliers hang above the Martini Bar, where talented bartenders juggle and pour a variety of martinis in the evening during their exciting Flash Flair Fusion performance. Nearby live music and dancing enhances this lively spot on the ship. Visiting the deep red and gold colored casino, we played on some of the brand new games and new slot machines featured with the latest in technology.

     Before retiring to bed, we sat in comfortable seats in the main theater to see ‘Bridges’ a new type of musical variety show using kinetic lighting, lasers and IMAG to display real-time live performances on a large LED screen. It’s one of the many  entertaining shows we watched throughout our cruise.

     The Celebrity Ascent is cruising in 2024 to the Caribbean for 7-night getaways. They will be sailing on Eastern Caribbean to explore the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, The Baths of Virgin Gorda, and lush mountain views on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway. On the Western Caribbean cruise, passengers visit dolphins in Nassau, shop and visit Maya ruins in Cozumel, and relax on Grand Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach. Cruise on Celebrity in 2024. For specials go to

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.