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HomeCruise NewsLife on the Edge - Celebrity Ascent

Life on the Edge – Celebrity Ascent

Boarding the latest addition to the Celebrity Cruises fleet, she is sophisticated, sleek and stylish. This is modern glamour and elegance for the affluent who want fine dining, high-end drinking, dancing till dawn and entertainment that will leave jaws on the floor.

If you have yet to venture onboard a Celebrity Edge class ship, she will stop you in your tracks, more than once, twice, thrice… you get the idea. The design team hails from world-renowned designers not known for maritime design (Kelly Hoppen, Nate Berkus, Tom Wright) and this makes the Edge Class iconic. Celebrity Ascent and her sister ships (thus far we have seen Edge, Apex and Beyond with Xcel arriving in November 2025) present themselves as 5-star resorts that just happen to glide through the water.

Celebrity Ascent is the twin sister to Celebrity Beyond, while not identical, she offers a handful of additions and tweaks that the avid cruiser will notice and appreciate.

Defying Biology – Live Shows to Entertain & Thrill

Celebrity Ascent has new live entertainment with six new live productions. The Theatre has three shows, Awaken, Residency and Bridges. Fortunate to witness the outstanding Awaken and electrifying Bridges onboard the inaugural sailing, these will not disappoint. The main theatre has a wrap-around screen with lighting and sound that reaches around the circumference of the venue.

The performers have exceptional vocals, the dancers are mesmerising and the acrobatics will have your heart in your mouth. There is every genre from Kate Bush to The Weeknd, Dua Lipa’s Dance the Night to Beastie Boys’ No Sleep Till Brooklin.

In fact, 17 choreographers, 500 costumes, 100+ production team with 7 world-class acrobats come together to perform a staggering 82 songs. Their voices and bodies defy biology.

The Club delivers three different live music events covering hits from different music genres plus, in an 80s-inspired retro experience, there are new active augmented multiplayer games where the games are projected onto the floor. Ladies, probably leave the stilettos behind for this one – players compete in interactive competitions using their own body as a controller.

For more fun and games, ascend to the Resort Deck which transforms into a unique open-air stage with high-energy live performances, a prism light show and a DJ. As my invite suggested, I’ll pass on the tip, bring an abundance of sparkles and sequins or wear something metallic!

Snowflakes in the Grand Plaza

Not ready to rave or disco boogie till the sun comes up, there are plenty of chilled lounges to sip signature cocktails (Snowflake at the Martini Bar is a must). Cocktail mixologists at the Martini Bar entertain the audience in the multi-story, show-stopping Grand Plaza – the heart of the ship.

Much of the speciality dining is here including Le Petit Chef (interactive dining experience), Raw on Five (seafood), Fine Cut Steakhouse and Le Voyage by Celebrity’s Global Culinary Ambassador, Daniel Boulud. Craft Social for (high-end) comfort food and sports fixtures is here too plus barista coffees for the morning after the night before in Cafe Al Bacio.

32 Restaurants, Bars and Lounges

The four main dining restaurants return at the aft of the ship: Cosmopolitan (try the duck), Tuscan, Cyprus and Normandie (try the brie encased in filo pastry).

The cool, calm greens of Eden return with multi-tiered floors offering dining, bar, entertainment and now a brand new seven-course plant-based tasting menu.

Before the entrance to Eden is the Aqua Class guests’ dining option, Blu. Recommendations from expert servers proved ideal for everyone’s tastes across the table. Do not be put off by “no sugar” in a dessert description, this was still sweetly delicious.

Blu was an exceptional dining experience though I also love Tuscan. The striking crisp black & white decor with a splash of sunflower yellow is stunning. Book to get a window seat, the view is worth it (for all the restaurants).

Onboard, timing a pre-dinner drink for 6.30 pm (the Greek Taverna style Sunset Bar is my favourite), followed by an early show at 7.30 pm meant dining at 8.30 pm gave ample time to enjoy dinner at leisure (the later show is at 9.30 pm).

“A Lifetime of Holidays”

Jason Liberty (President & CEO of Royal Caribbean Group) emphasised this isn’t to attract guests for a holiday but a lifetime of holidays. With 5 Edge ships in total, they may need to consider a twin for Xcel – these are in a class of their own.

For more coverage on Celebrity Cruises and the launch, stay tuned to ITTN as we interview Valerie Murphy and Giles Hawke onboard Celebrity Ascent’s inaugural sailing from Fort Lauderdale.

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.
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