FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Setting a new standard for modern cruising and elevating the premium travel experience, Celebrity Cruises introduced the world to its newest cruise ship - Celebrity Ascent - in a special naming ceremony.

Headlining the festivities were her inspiring co-Godmothers, Captain Sandy Yawn, star of Bravo TV's hit franchise, Below Deck, and her sister Michelle Dunham, founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism, who officially named the ship in true maritime tradition with the breaking of a champagne bottle on the ship's hull. They were joined by Greek brothers Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis and Captain Tasos Kafetzis, who took the helm of the new ship, after being named Co-Captains of Celebrity Ascent, a first for the brand and the industry.

The ceremony was fitting for a ship that shatters preconceived notions of cruising with its forward-thinking design by the world's leading architects and interior designers; culinary excellence from Michelin starred chefs; expansive onboard entertainment and more. 

Kicking off its inaugural Caribbean season, Ascent set sail from Ft. Lauderdale on Dec. 3 on a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing, where it will visit such popular destinations as St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and the Dominican Republic.

"With each new ship, our ambition is to debut the ultimate vacation experience and Celebrity Ascent achieves this by raising the bar for premium travel," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. "Her elevated design and new onboard experiences set her apart from competitors and serve as a new benchmark for the travel industry." 

"Celebrity Ascent has been designed to feed our guests travel wanderlust and provide unique experiences they will covet and love," said Laura Hodges Bethge, President at Celebrity Cruises. "Captain Sandy and her sister Michelle, co-Godmothering Celebrity Ascent, add another, and more personal dimension, to this already extraordinary ship. Their connection, combined with the brotherly bond of the ship's captains, exemplifies the sense of welcome and warm hospitality we strive for on every cruise."

Vacation Experience Highlights

Celebrity Ascent joins a series of ships without comparison and is a sister ship to Celebrity Beyond which debuted to great acclaim last year. Distinctive ship features and new experiences include:

  • The Retreat, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests, highlighted by a two-story sundeck;
  • Accommodations for modern tastes from modern two-story villas with private plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living;
  • An expanded Rooftop Garden and stunning Resort Deck featuring unique cantilevered float pools;
  • A multi-level, multi-terraced Sunset Bar at the ship's aft;
  • An expanded onboard entertainment program featuring a transformative nightlife experience on the Resort Deck, six new live productions, interactive gaming experiences, and live music from bow to stern;
  • A redesigned casino floor and brand-new games;
  • A new outdoor dining terrace at Blu, the brand's clean cuisine restaurant, available for al fresco daytime dining;
  • An exclusive culinary experience in Le Voyage by Chef Daniel Boulud;
  • And, the return of the Magic Carpet®, an engineering feat soaring cantilevered above the sea, offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.

Setting Sail on Celebrity Ascent

Following Celebrity Ascent's maiden voyage, she will offer a variety of alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations through late April, when she then heads to the Mediterranean for sailings from Barcelona and Rome. Vacation sailing options include:

For more information on all Celebrity Ascent inaugural 2023-2024 season sailings, visit

For more information on Celebrity Cruises, or to book a Celebrity cruise, visit, call 1-800-CELEBRITY, or contact a trusted travel advisor.

About Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises' iconic "X" is the mark of a fleet of 16 resorts at sea taking guests to the world's best places on the world's best places. Celebrity revolutionized the industry with its cool, contemporary design and accommodation; dining, spa, and entertainment experiences for modern tastes; and culturally rich and diverse destination experiences, all complemented by warm, personalized service. Driven by wanderlust and a passion for opening the world, Celebrity journeys to all seven continents, visiting nearly 300 destinations in more than 70 countries. Celebrity Cruises is one of five cruise brands owned by global cruise company Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL).  For more information about Celebrity Cruises, please visit


SOURCE Celebrity Cruises