Celebrity Ascent

Specifications of Celebrity Ascent

Year built2023 new ship
BuilderChantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, France)
ClassCelebrity EDGE
Building costEUR 770 million (USD 900 million)
OwnerRoyal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL)
OperatorCelebrity Cruises
Speed22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph
Length (LOA)327 m / 1073 ft
Beam (width)39 m / 128 ft
Gross Tonnage140600 gt
Passengers3276 - 3950
Crew1400
Passengers-to-space ratio36
Decks16
Cabins1646
Decks with cabins10
Sister-shipsCelebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Beyond
Christened bytba
Celebrity Cruises Coronavirus update

Celebrity Ascent Review

Review of Celebrity Ascent

Scheduled for delivery and inauguration in 2022-Q4, Celebrity Ascent cruise ship is the fourth is a series of five EDGE-class passenger liners - with sisterships Celebrity Edge (2018), Celebrity Apex (2021), Celebrity Beyond (2022) and TBN2 (2025).

The vessel (IMO number tba) will be Malta-flagged (MMSI tba) and registered in Valletta.

History - construction and ownership

Celebrity Cruises was founded in 1988 as the Greece-based Chandris Line (cruise shipping operations between 1974-1996). In 1997, Royal Caribbean International (RCI) merged with "Celebrity Cruises Ltd" to become "Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd" (RCCL). The "X" on ship funnels is the Greek letter chi (standing for "Chandris"). Common features of Celebrity Cruises ships include aft located glass-walled dining rooms, signature alternate dining venues, bars and lounges, spacious Atrium lobby areas, a large number of balcony staterooms, large sundecks with swimming pools, The Retreat (adults-only sundeck with full-size swimming pool, Jacuzzi, cabanas, poolside full bar service). Rooftop Terrace (top-deck outdoor lounge-restaurant-cinema), large Spa (with Thermal Suites), premium retail shops selling top-brand merchandise.

Celebrity Ascent cruise ship

The 3300-passenger ship Celebrity Ascent is the 4th newbuild by "Project Edge" (ship class). These new ships are bigger than Millennium-class but smaller than Solstice-class. The company advertised "small-ship itineraries with large-ship amenities", destination-rich experiences, iconic maritime architecture.

New features (Edge-Class ship design changes)

In comparison to the Edge-class sisterships Apex and Edge, Ascent is longer (20 m / 66 ft), taller (1 deck), with bigger capacity (179 more staterooms), and ~12% larger (GT 140600 tons). Celebrity Ascent also features significant design changes, with added new venues and expanded public spaces.

New venues and spaces on Celebrity Ascent include "Le Voyage Daniel Boulud" (50-seat specialty restaurant by Daniel Boulud/celebrity chef and restaurant chain owner), redesigned Luminae (Suite-only restaurant designed by Kelly Elaine Hoppen/ South Africa-born British interior designer), redesigned Pool Deck, expanded Rooftop Garden (deck 15/with larger shaded seating areas, 2x infinity pools, bigger Rooftop Grill Bar), twice-larger Sunset Bar (aft on deck 15), larger Retreat (Suite-only bar lounge forward on deck 15).

  • The Resort Deck (deck 14) was also redesigned, having a 23-m / 75-ft long lap pool (swimming pool with in-pool chaise loungers) surrounded by a terraced sundeck, The pool deck also features 2-deck high Jacuzzies (martini glass-shaped whirlpool hot tubs), sunken seating areas, a real-size Elephant statue.
  • Sunset Bar (decks 15-16) is a 2-deck, Casablanca Morocco-themed outdoor bar lounge (designed by Nate Berkus and Tom Wright/WKK) with a pergola-covered entrance, cascading terraces, covered enclaves, conversation niches.
  • The Retreat is a 3-deck-high exclusive (Suites-only) forward-midship located complex with The Retreat Lounge (on deck 15), Lower Sundeck (deck 16, with a glass-roof cover over The Solarium's pool/on deck 14) and The Retreat Sundeck (on deck 17). The Retreat Sundeck is an outdoor area served by The Retreat Bar and offers as amenities cabanas (available for rent), premium furniture (deckchairs, padded loungers, cushioned sofas, daybeds), a round-shaped swimming pool, two plunge pools (cantilevered hot tubs), outdoor showers, restrooms. The Retreat's Edge Villas (2-deck accommodations) were also redesigned.
  • 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.
  • World Class Bar (fleet's first) is via partnership with Diageo plc (1997-founded, London-based beverage alcohol company) which by annual alcohol production volumes was the world's largest distiller until 2017 (when was surpassed by China's Kweichow Moutai Co). World Class Bar is a premium wine bar and cocktail venue served by expert mixologists.

WKK Architects' Tom Wright redesigned and expanded most of the ship's outdoor spaces - including Resort Deck, The Retreat, Rooftop Garden. Resort Deck is ~40% larger than on the ships Apex and Edge.

Celebrity Ascent ship (Rooftop Garden)

The 3-deck-high Grand Plaza (open-floor designed midship area) is larger which allowed the Martini Bar to be moved to the venue's center (on Lobby level/deck 2) as a full-circle bar. Grand Plaza's chandelier features a new shape and hundreds of LED lights.

 

New to the Celebrity cruise ship Ascent are the AquaClass SkySuites, featuring floor-ceiling views, large private terraces, premium bedding and wellness amenities. With the new ship is also introduced a new partnership with Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (1972-born American actress, model, entrepreneur, businesswoman) serving as Celebrity Cruises' "Well-Being Advisor". Since 2022, all Celebrity AquaClass passengers (fleetwide but excluding the Galapagos boats) enjoy complimentary wellness amenities (including fitness kits from Paltrow's goop brand) and custom wellness programming part of the Celebrity's new initiative "Women in Wellness".

Decks and Cabins

Most Celebrity Ascent staterooms are Balcony rooms. Of all the 1646 staterooms, 918 are Edge Staterooms (with Infinite Verandas) and 176 are Suites. All staterooms are fitted with keyless cabin entry technology that uses digital keys (on smartphones), as well as standard keycards and RFID bands.

The boat has 16 decks, of which 15 are passenger-accessible and 10 with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Celebrity Ascent ship offers 32 food and beverage serving venues, including 4 main dining rooms and 6 new-to-Celebrity Cruises specialty restaurants. In total, the cruise ship has 15 restaurants, 5 cafes, 12 bars and lounges.

 

Passengers in AquaClass staterooms or Suites eat at Blu Restaurant, offering lighter "spa-inspired" cuisine. The Luminae Restaurant is named "Luminae at The Retreat" and (along with Blu) is part of the private, Suite Class passengers exclusive complex "The Retreat". Suite passengers have also the option to eat in the Main Dining Rooms / MDRs (Normandie Restaurant, Tuscan Restaurant, Cosmopolitan Restaurant, Cyprus Restaurant). These 4 complimentary restaurants serve menus inspired by the itinerary/destinations visited. Each restaurant offers regional wines and themed cocktails, dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients, also a rotating menu of Signature dishes for dinner (changing every evening) and a Classic dinner menu. The ship's main restaurants are served by dedicated to each table wait staff (sommelier, assistant waiter, head waiter). Passengers are assigned to one of the 4 MDRs but still have the option (upon request) to dine in the other 3.

Celebrity Ascent offers the company's traditional "Celebrity Select Dining" (your-time dining for dinners) option, which is renamed to "Celebrity Select Dining Plus". Passengers can make reservations in any of the 4 MDRs if they know they want to eat at a specific restaurant and dinner time, or they can simply show up and enjoy dinner on their own time.

Celebrity Ascent cruise ship

In addition to the 4 MDR restaurants, there are plenty of complimentary dining venues, such as Oceanview Cafe (live cooking stations, bakery), Mast Grill (poolside), Spa Cafe & Juice Bar (healthy food and beverages), Eden Cafe (wide variety of breakfast and lunch items). The ship also has two outdoor alfresco seating venues.

The ship has a total of 11 bars and lounges, including Eden, Cafe al Bacio, The Club, Sunset Bar, Theatre Bar, Casino Bar, Martini Bar (at Grand Plaza), Pool Bar, Il Secondo Bacio, The Retreat Bar, The Retreat Lounge.

The ship has a number of for-fee restaurants (at surcharge per person), including Qsine (USD 45 pp), Tuscan Grill (Italian steakhouse, USD 45 pp), Murano (French, USD 45 pp), Lawn Club Grill (DIY steaks, USD 40 pp), Bistro on 5 (creperie, USD 10 pp), The Porch (USD 5 pp, panini restaurant open for breakfast and lunch). At Qsine, passengers can order on iPads, then waiters bring the food in the order of choosing.

Craft Social Bar (debuted on Celebrity Apex) features large selections of premium wines (sold by the glass), craft cocktails and craft beers (50+ brands, including several of the world's rarest). Craft Social Bar is served by certified beer sommeliers.

 

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Ship's Lawn Deck is equipped with real grass and the vessel has more deck chairs than others, offering a calm atmosphere under the sun. The Celebrity iLounge gives guests computer tutorial classes and is also a representative of Apple, providing access to the most affordable Mac products available at duty-free prices. Another feature of Celebrity Ascent is the AquaSpa Cafe, ideal for a quick lunch after the spa.

 

Sky Observation Lounge offers live music at sunset, or you can test your luck at Fortune's Casino - there's something to do onboard at any time.

Celebrity Cruises Edge-class ships "pool deck"

Virtual Concierge app allows booking dinner and spa reservations, drinks ordering, room service, and other services. Smartphone sensors are used to track passengers on the ship in order to improve services based on their location.

Celebrity Edge-Class ships also have the fleet's most technologically advanced Theater Lounge spanning on 3 decks. Here are held fleet's largest number of production shows, with the largest number of performing crew on any premium-brand ship.

Theatre Lounge has all 7 stage areas - 3 large and 4 smaller. 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 feature 2 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 Club is another new (dual-purpose) venue with a large dance floor, a stage for live performances, a 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.

Ship's Kids Club offers by the "Camp at Sea" program over 500 complimentary activities for children of all ages. The facility features two (new for the fleet) separate spaces (for kids and teens) called "The Basement".

Celebrity's signature Rooftop Garden (top-deck dining-entertainment bar lounge) offers expanded facilities and show programming (Rooftop Concert Series, Garden Cinema Series, Taste of Film experience under-the-stars, with 5 new live musical performances).

Grand Plaza

The Grand Plaza serves as the ship's epicenter (midship location) and spans 3 decks. The open-floor designed venue mixes modernity and simplicity and was inspired by the charming era of Transatlantic ocean liners. The concept was designed by Jouin Manku Studio.

 

The unique space has a striking lighting feature - The Chandelier, an art installation rising over Martini Bar (in the Lobby level's center) 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 colors from day to night, The Chandelier weighs 7 tons.

The Grand Plaza houses many of the 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. Midship-Deck 3 is the 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 the ship's social hub with live music performances.

During the day, "Le Grand Bistro" (in the Atrium on Deck 4) operates as patisserie and cafeteria serving French cuisine. In the evenings, Le Grand Bistro transforms into "Le Petite Chef" - new dining-entertainment concept via an exclusive partnership with TableMation Studios (US multimedia company) and Skullmapping (a 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 a fixed surcharge. It costs USD 25 pp (Le Grand Bistro) and USD 55 pp (Le Petite Chef).

Eden Lounge

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 shows 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 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. Lounge's designer is Scott Butler (Wilson Butler Architects, Boston MA). The evening show programming is by Variety Worldwide (NYC New York).

Celebrity Cruises Edge-class ships - Eden Lounge

"The Meeting Place" is named the ship's Conference Center (sized 183 m2 / 1970 ft2). This large meeting room is designed by Wilson Butler Architects (Boston MA) and provides advanced audio-visual equipment, varied seating arrangements, private office (event planning space), as well as mobile bars (for food and beverages) and a fully equipped pantry.

Magic Carpet ("outdoor elevator lounge")

A unique feature of the Celebrity Cruises EDGE-class ships is the "Magic Carpet" - a glass structure (glass-roofed, cantilevered platform) the size of a tennis court, able to traverse 14 stories, like a large elevator. Mounted on the ship's starboard side, the open-air Magic Carpet offers stunning ocean views, comfortable seating, full bar, a stage for live music performances, This "traveling venue" changes its theme, function, and location by extending from Deck 2 up to Deck 16.

Celebrity Cruises Edge-class ships Magic Carpet

Passengers can't simply ride on the Magic Carpet (using it as an elevator). In each location, the "moving lounge" is safely locked, then guests are allowed to step onboard. While repositioning, the venue is without any passengers. Some of its furniture is fixed.

The structure repositions and transforms into a new venue depending on which deck is locked.

  • When positioned on Deck 16 (above pool deck), it becomes a specialty restaurant offering the unique "Dinner on the Edge" alfresco dining under the stars.
  • When positioned on Resort Deck 14 (in front of the cabanas), it becomes an extension of the pool deck area, also offering live music performances.
  • When positioned on Dining Deck 5, it becomes a specialty restaurant - alfresco dining appendix to the ship's main dining room restaurant.
  • When positioned on Tendering Deck 2, it becomes an extension of the Destination Gateway (embarkation station serving ship's tender operations). Destination Gateway boarding area is dedicated to the so-called "Edge Launches" - luxurious passenger tendering ashore, providing seamless embarkation and disembarkation in all ports of call along the cruise itinerary. This spacious area is fitted with large LCD screens (displaying destination, itinerary and port highlights), comfortable seating (capacity 130 seats), air-conditioning.

"Destination Getaway" is a dedicated embarkation point when the platform is positioned at its lowest level (Tendering Deck 2).

Celebrity Cruises Edge-class ships - Magic Carpet - Destination Getaway

Magic Carpet's repositioning schedule is published daily.

Itineraries

Celebrity Ascent ship's inaugural cruise itinerary program (deployment, homeports, destinations) is to be announced sometime in 2022.

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EDGE-Class ships were designed via an exclusive partnership with Nate Berkus - US interior designer establishing his own company at the age of 24. On November 17, 2021, started the vessel's construction with the steel-cutting ceremony held at Chantiers de l'Atlantique Shipyard (fka STX France) in St Nazaire, France. The ceremony was attended by Richard Fain (RCG-Royal Caribbean Group's/shipowner's Chairman and CEO), Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (Celebrity Cruises' President and CEO), Laurent Castaing (Shipyard's General Manager).

On April 11, 2019, the shipowner RCG signed an MoU agreement with Chantiers de l'Atlantique for a 5th EDGE-class unit (TBN) which is currently scheduled for delivery in 2025.

The vessel's construction (yard number/hull L35) will officially start with the keel-laying ceremony, to be held at Chantiers de l'Atlantique.

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