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Retail report on two of cruising's newest ships: Celebrity Ascent and Carnival Jubilee

PHOTO: ANNE KALOSH CRUISE_Lisa_Kauffman_Lisa_Bauer.jpg
Starboard Cruise Services' Lisa Kaufffman, left, and Lisa Bauer aboard Celebrity Ascent
Starboard Cruise Services curated the retail collections aboard the new Celebrity Ascent and Carnival Jubilee, bringing a destination focus and firsts to both.

For the fourth Edge-class ship, the selection is designed to resonate with Celebrity Cruises' brand pillars of premium vacations and bringing the destinations to life on board.

Spanning a grand total of 8,966 square feet across two decks, Celebrity Ascent's offering features a retail corridor of beauty, fashion, resort/Caribbean lifestyle, Swiss timepieces, spirits and Celebrity-branded offerings on Deck 4 and a luxury district on Deck 5.


The shops are found across two levels adjacent to Celebrity Ascent's Grand Plaza

'Starboard, our long-time partner, has created an exceptional retail experience for our revolutionary Edge series, aligning seamlessly with our innovation and refinement of the fleet. The results and positive feedback from our guests have truly exceeded our expectations,' said Celebrity's Keith Lane, SVP hotel operations.

Carnival Jubilee, meanwhile, boasts Carnival Cruise Line's most expansive retail — a Texas-sized shopping experience across three decks for the Galveston-based ship. In collaboration with Starboard and Effy Fine Jewelry, the retail offerings include an array of Fun Ship favorites and a line of new Texas-inspired selections.

'These exclusive new collections help us to build on the already expansive retail offering our Excel-class affords, delivering a truly next-level shopping experience for our guests,' according to Luis Terife, Carnival’s VP on-board commerce.

Touring Celebrity Ascent with Lisa Bauer and Lisa Kauffman

A tour of Celebrity Ascent's shops with Starboard President/CEO Lisa Bauer and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Lisa Kauffman gave insight into the effort and customization that goes into retail design at sea today.

'Bringing the destination to life and first-at-sea brands are really important to the cruise lines,' Bauer said. 'We're very aligned. That's important to us, too.'

Activations and personalization are key, Kauffman added, and there are many examples of that — from an interactive quiz on how select a whisky to your taste to personalizing the ribbon that wraps a gift or engraving a frangrance bottle. Items are also displayed to show shoppers how to put together a look.


The Sunset Collection curated by Nate Berkus is inspired by his design aesthetic for Celebrity Ascent's Sunset Bar

The ship debuted fragrances from luxury brand Loewe, with its nature ethos, for women, men and for the home. Exclusively on Celebrity Ascent and Celebrity Beyond, The Sunset Collection curated by Nate Berkus and inspired by his design aesthetic for The Sunset Bar features a sophisticated array of travel and home accessories.

Starboard’s 'Beauty for All' concept expands categories with a diverse range of hair care offerings with first-at-sea brand Olaplex as well as Moroccanoil Styling Tools, along with body care assortments from Mario Badescu and L’Occitane.

For resort-style fashion and purpose-driven brands, first-at-sea brand Coradorables is a woman-founded, family-run Hawaiian line of textiles and custom patterns — all handmade in Hawaii, Kauffman said, supporting local communities.

Luxury brands

The newest Piaget boutique at sea debuted on Celebrity Ascent with fine jewelry and watch collections, alongside timeless Richemont sister-brand Cartier showcasing iconic Swiss-made watches. Bvlgari continues its presence on Celebrity ships with a stand-alone lifestyle boutique offering jewelry, watches, handbags and accessories.  

The Time is Now shop showcases iconic Swiss timepiece brands Tag Heuer, Hublot and Breitling. In addition, for the first time at sea, passengers can enhance their Swiss timepiece gifts with a personalized message printed on satin ribbon in English, Spanish or French.

Half of cruisers are celebrating something

Bauer noted 50% of cruisers are celebrating something, so personalizing a gift's presentation makes the occasion all the more memorable.

John Hardy unveiled its first revamped store at sea with a modern design ethos spearheaded by new Creative Chair Reed Krakoff, who came from Tiffany. The line showcases exclusive jewelry, the new Spear Collection, and engages shoppers in John Hardy's sustainability story through an interactive chain-weaving installation.

Catering to discerning male travelers, the Mankind boutique on Deck 5 delivers a dynamic brand lineup in various categories, from watches and jewelry, grooming essentials and accessories to the latest in fashion.

In the Attraction boutique, Kauffman pointed out the N1 Skincare Collection by Chanel's latest range, personalized experiences and services. Complementing this milestone, an extended makeup selection from Chanel and Dior is showcased, elevated by dedicated beauty specialists providing consultations and seminars.

Additionally, passengers can personalize a fragrance gift with onsite bottle engraving.


The Spirited shop offers a range of wines including limited production vintages

Also aboard Celebrity Ascent, the Spirited shop was transformed to entice with flavors and aromas. This new approach introduced an immersive experience blending digital elements, personalized tastings and engagement.

In partnership with Diageo, Celebrity Ascent features the 'What’s Your Whiskey' interactive experience involving a short quiz on a tablet to discover whether shoppers lean toward smoky, spicy, fruity or sweet whiskeys. 

In the shop, a Macallan whisky aficionado was looking for a rare bottle to complete his collection that he said would be valued at $20,000 to $30,000.

The Spirited shop also offers a range of wines including limited production vintages.   

Purpose-driven retail

Celebrity Ascent also presents brands infused with meaningful purpose including Eva Innocenti, Fahlo, Tagua, Mary Frances and Les Iles du Monde. All have inspiring founder stories and artisanal goods that resonate with Celebrity Ascent’s itineraries.

Inside the Sense of Self boutique, woman-founded brand Farm Rio debuted on Celebrity, featuring its vibrant clothing line made in Brazil that embodies the feminine spirit and colors of Rio.


Pre-owned designer items in What Goes Around Comes Around

Enhancing these offerings is an expansive collection of vintage luxury designer handbags and accessories from What Goes Around Comes Around. The selection includes 'amazing brands like Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, all well-received by guests,' Kauffman said.

Bauer noted that, in line with Celebrity's destination focus, the current collection — tailored for the ship's winter Caribbean deploynent — will change when Celebrity Ascent heads to Europe for the summer.

Carnival Jubilee's curated collections

Carnival Jubilee's vast retail selection includes jewelry, watches, fashion, fragrances, cosmetics, spirits and Carnival-branded items.


One shop is dedicated to Carnival-branded items

Carnival Saloon incorporates designs with denim and iconography, with drink koozies shaped like cowboy boots, trucker caps, fringed T-shirts and cowboy and cowgirl hats.

Inaugural Americana is a full-on celebration of America and what Carnival President Christine Duffy calls 'America’s Cruise Line.' The colors of the US flag, which are also Carnival’s colors, can be seen in recurring hues, often applied with a washed finish that evokes a weathered, vintage feel.

Heroes Collection provides a new patriotic assortment, honoring the men and women who’ve served in the armed forces, along with their families.

As passengers browse through these new collections inside the Carnival Store, they are surrounded by an experiential activity where an interactive floor comes alive, engaging them in a wide range of Carnival-themed moments via eye-catching graphics, itinerary-themed beach scenes and other visuals.

Effy Fine Jewelry

Serving as Carnival's exclusive fine jewelry provider, Effy Fine Jewelry's latest store at sea invites shoppers to high-fashion rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces that are as much art as they are jewelry.


Christine Duffy is pictured with a commemorative coin for Carnival Jubilee during the ship's construction

Effy also offers the 'Return to Sea' collection, a special edition assortment of fine pieces curated by Christine Duffy that reflect a love for the ocean.

And Carnival Jubilee sports the largest TAG Heuer stand-alone boutique in the fleet and houses exclusive novelties such as the 60th Anniversary Carrera collection.

AI beauty and wellness

A cutting-edge, interactive AI skin analysis experience delivers a detailed skin assessment in seconds. Shoppers step up to the mirror, see their reflection in augmented reality and watch the AI tool scan their skin and recommend personalized regimens with the products available for purchase.

Luxe Legacy, Starboard’s new proprietary brand of pre-owned luxury collections, debuted on the ship in the most extensive footprint for certified pre-owned luxury Swiss watches.


Vintage handbags in Carnival Jubilee's What Goes Around Comes Around

Like Celebrity Ascent, Carnival Jubilee has a What Goes Around Comes Around collection of pre-owned handbags and accessories from labels like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci, all certified authentic.

Rounding out the retail selection is a variety of beauty brands such as Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Skin, Sol de Janeiro, Olaplex and Patchology, among others.