BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (November 29, 2023) Today, Port Everglades welcomed Celebrity Cruises’ newest Edge-Series ship Celebrity Ascent, which is one of six Celebrity homeported ships to sail from Port Everglades this cruise season.

In a plaque-and-key ceremony onboard Celebrity Ascent, Port Everglades CEO and Port Director Jonathan Daniels presented a plaque to brothers and Co-Captains Dimitrios and Tasos Kafetzis and a special gift to Celebrity Cruises President Laura Hodges Bethge. Port Everglades Deputy Director Glenn Wiltshire bestowed the co-captains and Hodges Bethge with challenge coins, which is a military tradition that symbolizes unit pride, camaraderie and excellence.

The port leaders were joined by Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy, who presented a plaque to Co-Captains Kafetzis; Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman, who read a proclamation for Hodges Bethge; and representatives of the port’s law enforcement partners, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Broward Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Also in attendance to extend their well-wishes was Port Everglades Association Executive Director Lori Baer, International Longshoremen’s Association President Johnnie Dixon and Seafarers’ House Chaplain Father Sanford “Sandy” Sears. The co-captains of the fourth ship in Celebrity’s Edge Series also presented attendees with a token of appreciation. In exchange, the brother duo doled out tokens of appreciation to the attendees.

The celebration of Celebrity Ascent’s debut will continue this week with a naming ceremony on Dec. 1 at her Port Everglades homeport presided by the ship’s godmothers Captain Sandy Yawn, from Bravo TV's Below Deck, and her sister Michelle Dunham, founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism. Celebrity Ascent will then embark on her inaugural Caribbean season with alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

About Port Everglades
Port Everglades offers everything under the sun from Caribbean cruises to world voyages to fast ferry getaways -- all from the vacation paradise of Greater Fort Lauderdale. Port Everglades’ enviable location in the heart of South Florida and the neighboring Caribbean, makes it one of the three busiest cruise homeports in the world, typically hosting nearly 4 million passengers annually. Guests enjoy the Port’s proximity to three international airports, including and rapidly growing Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) less than two miles away. For pre- and post-cruise stays, Port Everglades is a short drive to sweeping beachfronts, a vibrant art scene, world-class restaurants, craft breweries, entertainment, shopping, casinos, and family-friendly activities -- including the area’s namesake, the Florida Everglades. View details on the latest cruise offerings at or contact us by emailing

Nov. 29, 2023

Joy Oglesby
Public Information Officer, Port Everglades