Review of Celebrity Ascent deck 4 (Restaurants-Casino-Shops1-Eden1)
The fore-located Theater (mid-level 2 of 3) is the fleet's most technologically advanced show lounge with 7 stage areas (3 large and 4 smaller). Here are held fleet's largest number of production shows, with the largest number of performing crew on any premium-brand ship. Theater's main stage is extending (into the audience) and flanked by 2x directional rotating platforms raising over 2 m (7 ft) above the main stage. Lounge's design and technology also features 2x rotating spiral staircases, 10 synchronized (mobile) projection screens, 16 video mapping laser projectors, rigging for aerial performances. Ship's Theatre offers 5 new full shows, including Shakespeare-based "A Hot Summer Night's Dream" (with acrobatics), "The Jewelry Box" (technological), "Kaleidoscope" (high-energy music and dance), and 2 new "Headline Residency" program-based shows - "Get Up" (pop concert by Black Skull Creative) and "The Purpose" (celebrating the inner self).
"The Meeting Place" is the ship's Conference Center. This large meeting room (sized 183 m2 / 1970 ft2)) provides advanced audio-visual equipment, varied seating arrangements, private office (event planning) space, mobile bars (for food and beverages), a fully equipped pantry.
The Club (lower level 1 of 2) is a dual-purpose venue with a large dance floor, stage for live performances, giant LED screen and served by its own 2 bars. During the day, The Club offers fun activities and games (including Funovation Laser Maze Challenge, Drone Hunting, laser obstacle course, dance classes, trivia). At night, it transforms into the disco nightclub "Undercover at The Club". The nightly program is themed on the US Prohibition era, with a menu offering signature 1920s craft cocktails and aerial saxophonist performances. Andromeda body scanner allows passengers to become someone else for the entire evening. Hypno Cam Experience is a dance party, in which an Ultra HD camera is passed around and all photos are instantly displayed on the LED screen.
Le Grand Bistro ($25 PP) is a French patisserie / bistro-type restaurant for breakfast and lunch, with available grab-and-go options. Menu selections include macaroons, premium cheeses, fresh-baked bread. In the evenings, Le Grand Bistro hosts "Le Petit Chef" - 90-min VIP dining experience with 2 menus ($55 cover charge PP). The experience features 4K projections bringing on plates animated 3D characters to life. At breakfast and lunch, a counter offers a la carte light- and fast-food (pastries, sandwiches, breads, quick bites). Dinner starters include French onion soup, arugula, roasted tomato crepe, two salads, escargot, lobster bisque, steamed mussels with white wine. Entrees include trout, steak fries, roasted chicken. Different plat du jour is offered each evening (slow-cooked duck breast, short rib bourguignon). The restaurant also has an extensive wine menu.
Cafe Al Bacio is a la carte-priced dining lounge (patisserie) with comfortable seating (part lounge, part eatery) offering specialty coffees and gourmet sweets.
Cafe Al Bacio is a la carte-priced patisserie / Gelateria / specialty coffee bar (open between 6:30 am - 12-midnight) selling Italian Gelato ice cream, Lavazza coffee drinks and Tea Forte, complimented with gourmet snacks (free of charge assorted pastries, croissants, mini sandwiches, truffles, tarts, cookies, cakes /incl cheesecake). The gelato ice cream is homemade and served in fresh-baked waffle cones (toppings are included).
Craft Social Bar sells premium wines (by the glass), craft cocktails, 50+ craft beers (including several rare brands) and is served by certified beer sommeliers.
Ascent Casino is the ship's Vegas-style gambling lounge (age limit 21 yo, smoking not allowed) served by the Craft Social Bar. The Casino Lounge has gambling tables (Blackjack, Single Deck Blackjack, Roulette, 3-Card Poker, Craps, Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em, Electronic Pokermates /Texas Hold 'Em, Lotto) and 276 slot machines (player tracking). By request are available Baccarat and Let It Ride. The Casino opens at 9 am and is closed while the ship is docked in ports of call. Occasionally, the Casino hosts gambling (Slot or Blackjack) tournaments. Cash prizes are for the leading 6 players ($15000, $5000, $2500, $1500, $1000, and for the 6th - $150 /in free play or promo chips). Age limit for gambling tournaments is 21+ yo. Blue Chip Club members accumulate points (according to the money spent in the casino) and receive various perks (incl free casino drinks, cocktail party invitations, even free Celebrity cruises). During tournaments, they receive either a complimentary round or discounted buy-in.
Future Cruise Vacations/Shore Excursions is the Celebrity Cruises sales office providing onboard next cruise booking at discounted rates.
Le Voyage Restaurant (capacity 50 seats) is via partnership with Daniel Boulud - Chef-Owner of 7x NYC restaurants plus 6x in other cities. The food menu (developed by the Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud) is complemented by a premium wine selection menu and top-quality service by professional sommeliers. Le Voyage Restaurant was designed by Jouin Manku and features Intimate seating cocoons and designer lighting.
Photo Gallery and The Studio provide photo- and video services and also sell equipment and accessories.
The Celebrity Shops are duty-free boutiques and shops that sell Celebrity Cruises-logoed merchandise, brand watches and jewelry, shoes, fashion clothing and accessories, souvenirs and gifts, alcohol, tobaccos, sundries, travel essentials, snacks, beverages, confectioneries. The list of shops includes Serendipity (souvenirs, clothes, accessories), The Sundialer (watches, sunglasses), Glitz (jewelry), Spirits & Such (alcohol, tobaccos, handbags), Sol Y Mar (sunglasses, lotions, pool-beach merchandise, books), Travel Made Easy (accessories, hats, towels, bags, luggage, electronics), The Ascent Shop (Celebrity-logoed goods), also boutiques selling Kate Spade, John Hardy, Hublot, Shinola, and other premium brands.
Cosmopolitan Restaurant is a complimentary MDR (Main Dining Room, 1 of the ship's all 4 MDRs) which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It offers modern American cuisine with international influences. The exclusive menu includes dishes like Seared Scallops and Braised Beef Short Ribs. Dress code is smart casual, with evening chic attire required on Evening Chic nights.
Cyprus Restaurant is a complimentary MDR serving Mediterranean fare with Greek specialties.
(aft location) Eden Lounge, Restaurant and Bar complex (lower-level 1 of 3).
Eden Restaurant ($65 PP surcharge) is a premium dining venue with a 5-course menu with "experiential dishes" served by performance artists (called "Edenists"). Each of the dinner courses offers 2 menu items (with names like heavenly sin, morning dew, raindrops). The dining experience ends with "The Crescendo" event held at the restaurant's bar.
The following official YouTube video reviews the ship's glass-walled Eden Observation Lounge combining dining and nightlife.
Eden is a 3-deck high (aft-location on decks 4, 5, 6) lounge-bar-restaurant venue with live music and show programming changing throughout the day. Eden Lounge measures 10439 m3 (368640 ft3) and covers a total area of 1175 m2 (12650 ft2). The lounge has an outward-facing design and combines a signature gastronomic experience (light lunch, 5-course dinner, wine tastings) with live performances, daily lectures, promo events. The lounge has alfresco dining areas on both its sides. In the evening, the lounge transforms into "Eve at Eden", with more provocative entertainment (fusion of performance art, dining and nightlife.
The Eden Restaurant is part of the lounge. The Eden Bar is a food and drinks bar, also serving hand-crafted cocktails.
The lounge's 90-m / 295 ft long ramp envelops the entire space and provides panoramic views. The lounge's unconventional furniture and interiors are designed by Patricia Urquiola (Spain). She also designed the lounge's "Library of Plants" (living garden) and the hanging plant pillars. The lounge's designer is Scott Butler (Wilson Butler Architects, Boston MA). The evening show programming is by Variety Worldwide (NYC New York).
The Grand Plaza serves as the ship's epicenter (midship location) spanning 3 decks. The venue mixes modernity and simplicity and was inspired by the charming era of Transatlantic ocean liners.
The unique space has a striking lighting feature - The Chandelier, an art installation rising over Martini Bar to the ceiling 3 decks above. It is composed of 5 levels and a total of 765 blades illuminated via dynamic LED strips changing their colours from day to night, The Chandelier weighs 7 tons.
The Grand Plaza houses many of liner's new specialty restaurants, including Fine Cut Steakhouse and Raw on 5 (Deck 5) Le Grand Bistro and Cafe al Bacio (Deck 4), Grand Plaza Cafe (Deck 3), Italian piazzas. At its center (Deck 3) is Martini Bar. Adorning the edges of Grand Plaza are hand-stitched mesh screens that combine over 13,500 art pieces made of leather, fabric and metal.
Grand Plaza's cafes are the perfect choice for "coffee breaks" - from morning cappuccino to afternoon tea and pre-dinner cocktails - while enjoying live entertainment. In the evenings, Grand Plaza transforms into ship's social hub with live music performances.
Le Grand Bistro (Le Petite Chef)
During the day, "Le Grand Bistro" operates as patisserie and cafeteria serving French cuisine. In the evenings, Le Grand Bistro transforms into "Le Petite Chef" - new dining-entertainment concept via exclusive partnership with TableMation Studios (US multimedia company) and Skullmapping (2010-founded collective of filmmakers and visual artists). Dinner experience includes visual mapping technology with animated 3D characters projected (from above) onto tables and on plates. The VIP dining is at fixed surcharge. It costs USD 25 pp (Le Grand Bistro) and USD 55 pp (Le Petite Chef).