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  #1  
Old May 10th, 2012, 11:39 AM
wagonis's Avatar
wagonis wagonis is offline
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Location: Tampa Bay
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Thumbs up Just my opinion about Bahamas Celebration

First of all...lets get this out of the way. You bought this cruise because you needed one that was on a budget or because it just seemed like a straight up good deal. With that being said, remember these 2 things:

1.) If you're a past cruiser on other lines such as Carnival, RCI, Princess, Celebrity, etc, etc...do not compare this cruise to any of those in terms of ship appearance and amenities. They have more money.

2.) If you're a first time cruiser, just get on board with an open mind and enjoy yourself.

Basically it's an outdated ship that has non-stop service all year round so it won't be all that fancy. Some elevators don't work, lamp shades can use replacing, blah blah blah...it's the Red Roof Inn of ships in a shipyard full of Hiltons, Sheratons and Marriotts. But, a FUN one at that.

My wife purchased our cruise through Groupon, a 2 day cruise to the Bahamas for 2 people in a superior ocean view room for $199? Damn right that's a good deal. However if you call and try to upgrade to a suite, they will not if your trip is purchased through Groupon. But...I'll let you in on a little secret shortly.

First day:
Boarding was a breeze, pull right up, hand the valet $30 and off your car goes. Take your luggage to the bag check in, give the attendant your room number and last name, he'll tag your bags and off you go into the building.

Inside is where the little secret from above comes in. They usually do not sell out the suites and offer them to any guest interested and at this point, they don't care how you got your tickets. They offered an upgrade to a deluxe suite for $249 total. Not per person, TOTAL. So we paid $199 + $249 = $448 total for 2 people in a royal suite!

Get on board, and it's just like any other cruise. Lunch on top deck, friendly faces, drinks flowing (for a charge of course) and your rooms are ready at 2:00 PM. We walked in our room and were a bit disappointed that this was a "suite" but hey, we paid $448 for this "suite" for a 2 day cruise to the Bahamas...we're keeping that in mind.

Not too many activities through the day other then pool time, water slide, hot tub and food.

After all the deck time we headed down to The Cove which is a dinner setting that requires an extra charge of $25 per person. But...WELL WORTH THE MONEY!!!! Food was awesome, service was well above attentive and friendly, so much that we made sure we filled out the comment cards just to compliment the service in that restaurant.

Most activities start in the evening, dancing, a variety show with some acrobats, comedy and singing and followed up with more dancing. Not a bad time at all. Dancing is open until 3:00 AM and all bars are open late so...practice self control. lol

Second day:
Next day we spent at the Grand Lucayan Beach Resort which is A MUST. You get on the bus by 9:00 AM, arrive in 30 minutes and can stay as late as 5:00 PM. Beautiful resort, real fun, lunch included in package and a great time.

Back on ship by 5:30 PM with more top deck time. We went to the Crystal restaurant but the menu was a slight let down after eating at The Cove. Since both restaurants are close to each other, I ran to The Cove and asked if we can still be seated even though it was already 8:45 PM and they welcomed us. So yes, we're happy again.

More food, more drinking, more late night show and dancing.

Here's the part we hated: Getting off the boat. Nothing to do with the cruise line, it's the port that kind of sucks. You stand on line for nearly an hour before you finally get to customs and they let you through. The port is not as organized as it should be but, if that's the worse then we're ok with that.

All in all, if you get on board with the mind set to have fun rather then pick on everything, you WILL have a good time. Enjoy it for what it is...a 2 day getaway from the real world and to the Bahamas for a budget price. If that's not enough to make you smile, nothing will.
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Sailed
:
05/05/2012 - Bahamas Celebration
12/17/2011 - Norwegian Epic
03/03/2011 - Carnival Sensation
12/18/2010 - Carnival Dream
12/18/2009 - Norwegian Sky
12/18/2008 - Carnival Sensation
12/21/2007 - Carnival Fascination
12/22/2005 - Carnival Fantasy
12/16/2004 - Carnival Fantasy

Last edited by wagonis; May 10th, 2012 at 11:46 AM.
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  #2  
Old May 10th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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pinkie60 pinkie60 is offline
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I couldn't have said it better, a good honest review. And yes the Port of Palm Beach Homeland Security sucks but I guess its necessary. Love the ship too!
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06-11-2013 Bahamas Celebration
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  #3  
Old May 10th, 2012, 12:10 PM
wagonis's Avatar
wagonis wagonis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkie60 View Post
I couldn't have said it better, a good honest review. And yes the Port of Palm Beach Homeland Security sucks but I guess its necessary. Love the ship too!
The ship was actually not bad if you put aside the little things that didn't work. We were on the NCL Epic in December and while it was nice, you tend to kind of lose your place in such a large ship. A small ship such as the Celebration is large enough to accommodate yet small enough to allow you to roam around it easily.

This is our 11th cruise since 2004 and with all the other cruises we've been on, we've actually enjoyed this one A LOT. We WILL be going back again and most likely will take on the 2 or 4 night stay at the resort as well.
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Sailed
:
05/05/2012 - Bahamas Celebration
12/17/2011 - Norwegian Epic
03/03/2011 - Carnival Sensation
12/18/2010 - Carnival Dream
12/18/2009 - Norwegian Sky
12/18/2008 - Carnival Sensation
12/21/2007 - Carnival Fascination
12/22/2005 - Carnival Fantasy
12/16/2004 - Carnival Fantasy
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  #4  
Old May 11th, 2012, 07:42 AM
Gathina Gathina is offline
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Good, fair review! I kinda like the "outdated" look because I'm into retro stuff anyway and the ship still reminds me of the old Norway. That's a long time to wait to get off..we got off at 7:15 and I was literally at work by 9am on a Monday.

My favorite is still LaTrattoria for a snack..where else could you get a giant cappucinno and giant piece of cake for $4?
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  #5  
Old May 11th, 2012, 10:15 PM
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loubetti loubetti is offline
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Good review. I enjoyed the ship, then again I loved her predecessor, Regal Empress, which I once spent 11 nights on a B2B (spent way more nights than that too over other cruises). It really is not a bad ship at all, and I certainly agree with you about the Cove restaurant. It was excellent, and Max, the restaurant manager made that evening and the next night's dinner at the Crystal even better. It really is a good, honest ship.

Seriously, it's just two nights. Don't expect "Allure of the Seas", but she really is a very nice vessel and well-suited to the mission.

I just think it's a shame that these time share sales are giving her a bad rep.
__________________
Best regards,

Lou Betti
Boca Raton, FL

The late, great Regal Empress. One of the
longest serving passenger ships of all time.
...............1953 to 2009.....................

On board QE2 for the last trans-Atlantic
of the 20th Century, December 1999 & 2000

On board QM2 for her maiden trans-Atlantic
to New York, April 2004

I love to cruise, but my flying comes first!
Cessna 210N Turbo Centurion.

44 cruises since 1985 and I am too lazy to mention them all! However, I do own the Builder's Certificate to the the RMS Queen Elizabeth. A lot of good that does me! Ships sailed on: Costa Riviera. Home Lines Atlantic. Cunard QE2 & QM2. Premier Cruise's Sea Breeze & Rembrandt. Celebrity Zenith, Century, Galaxy & Millennium. Bahamas Celebration, and my favorite ship of all, Regal Empress! Cunard Diamond, Celebrity Elite, RCI Diamond (and I've yet to sail on RCI!!)
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  #6  
Old May 11th, 2012, 10:23 PM
loubetti's Avatar
loubetti loubetti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gathina View Post
Good, fair review! I kinda like the "outdated" look because I'm into retro stuff anyway and the ship still reminds me of the old Norway. That's a long time to wait to get off..we got off at 7:15 and I was literally at work by 9am on a Monday.

My favorite is still LaTrattoria for a snack..where else could you get a giant cappucinno and giant piece of cake for $4?
Retro indeed. I was looking at the light fixtures in our cat 3 suite, and they were original; very Norwegian / Scandinavian. Hey, the ship has an atrium and glass elevators. She really has some nice features for a former ferry and a two-night ship. They really put some money in her, and it shows. I LOVED the casino bar- very attractive.

She really is a nice ship!

Debarkation is an issue due to US Customs usually not sending enough agents. I spoke to a couple of members of BC staff who were very upset by this. One said "all they remember us by is how they get off the ship". Not their fault.
__________________
Best regards,

Lou Betti
Boca Raton, FL

The late, great Regal Empress. One of the
longest serving passenger ships of all time.
...............1953 to 2009.....................

On board QE2 for the last trans-Atlantic
of the 20th Century, December 1999 & 2000

On board QM2 for her maiden trans-Atlantic
to New York, April 2004

I love to cruise, but my flying comes first!
Cessna 210N Turbo Centurion.

44 cruises since 1985 and I am too lazy to mention them all! However, I do own the Builder's Certificate to the the RMS Queen Elizabeth. A lot of good that does me! Ships sailed on: Costa Riviera. Home Lines Atlantic. Cunard QE2 & QM2. Premier Cruise's Sea Breeze & Rembrandt. Celebrity Zenith, Century, Galaxy & Millennium. Bahamas Celebration, and my favorite ship of all, Regal Empress! Cunard Diamond, Celebrity Elite, RCI Diamond (and I've yet to sail on RCI!!)

Last edited by loubetti; May 11th, 2012 at 10:35 PM.
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  #7  
Old May 14th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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Sailfish Sailfish is offline
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We are thinking about doing this cruise when we are in Florida in July. This is the only cruise line I know of where we can get off the ship in Freeport and spend a few days there - that's really the only reason we want to go.

I was hoping to get some feedback about finding the best price; do you have a recommendation as to where to go to get the lowest price? Someone said Groupon, but that's usually in a targeted market, and I think you have to live there to get the deal. Others have recommended the cruise lines website. When I called the cruise line directly, the price was about the same to do a three night cruise with Carnival - didn't seem all that low to me.

Anyway, I have no other expectations but to get to Freeport so we can go diving for a few days - something we can't do with other cruise lines. Your recommendations are much appreciated.

Thanks.
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  #8  
Old May 14th, 2012, 05:36 PM
wagonis's Avatar
wagonis wagonis is offline
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Location: Tampa Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loubetti View Post
Good review. I enjoyed the ship, then again I loved her predecessor, Regal Empress, which I once spent 11 nights on a B2B (spent way more nights than that too over other cruises). It really is not a bad ship at all, and I certainly agree with you about the Cove restaurant. It was excellent, and Max, the restaurant manager made that evening and the next night's dinner at the Crystal even better. It really is a good, honest ship.

Seriously, it's just two nights. Don't expect "Allure of the Seas", but she really is a very nice vessel and well-suited to the mission.

I just think it's a shame that these time share sales are giving her a bad rep.
Yes, we got a chance to meet with Max a couple of times. He and Marius made the Cove experience one of the best dinner experiences I've attended, on AND off a ship.

I do admit I was a bit worried at first as I think I've gotten too spoiled over time, but both my wife and I agreed that this was one of the more pleasant short vacations we've had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loubetti View Post
Retro indeed. I was looking at the light fixtures in our cat 3 suite, and they were original; very Norwegian / Scandinavian. Hey, the ship has an atrium and glass elevators. She really has some nice features for a former ferry and a two-night ship. They really put some money in her, and it shows. I LOVED the casino bar- very attractive.

She really is a nice ship!

Debarkation is an issue due to US Customs usually not sending enough agents. I spoke to a couple of members of BC staff who were very upset by this. One said "all they remember us by is how they get off the ship". Not their fault.
I don't hold the debarkation experience against BC at all, I completely understand it's all in the hands of USC, but it's a shame so many people get that last impression as you said and many are not as understanding and forgiving of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailfish View Post
We are thinking about doing this cruise when we are in Florida in July. This is the only cruise line I know of where we can get off the ship in Freeport and spend a few days there - that's really the only reason we want to go.

I was hoping to get some feedback about finding the best price; do you have a recommendation as to where to go to get the lowest price? Someone said Groupon, but that's usually in a targeted market, and I think you have to live there to get the deal. Others have recommended the cruise lines website. When I called the cruise line directly, the price was about the same to do a three night cruise with Carnival - didn't seem all that low to me.

Anyway, I have no other expectations but to get to Freeport so we can go diving for a few days - something we can't do with other cruise lines. Your recommendations are much appreciated.

Thanks.
If the Groupon or Livingsocial sales are on, it's good for any resident of any state and is a great deal. The site itself has some deals every so often so keep your eyes open. But other then Groupon/Livingsocial and the site itself, I wouldn't deal with anyone else, all I hear is horror stories.
__________________



Sailed
:
05/05/2012 - Bahamas Celebration
12/17/2011 - Norwegian Epic
03/03/2011 - Carnival Sensation
12/18/2010 - Carnival Dream
12/18/2009 - Norwegian Sky
12/18/2008 - Carnival Sensation
12/21/2007 - Carnival Fascination
12/22/2005 - Carnival Fantasy
12/16/2004 - Carnival Fantasy
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  #9  
Old May 14th, 2012, 05:46 PM
LMHC LMHC is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: florida
Posts: 207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailfish View Post
We are thinking about doing this cruise when we are in Florida in July. This is the only cruise line I know of where we can get off the ship in Freeport and spend a few days there - that's really the only reason we want to go.

I was hoping to get some feedback about finding the best price; do you have a recommendation as to where to go to get the lowest price? Someone said Groupon, but that's usually in a targeted market, and I think you have to live there to get the deal. Others have recommended the cruise lines website. When I called the cruise line directly, the price was about the same to do a three night cruise with Carnival - didn't seem all that low to me.

Anyway, I have no other expectations but to get to Freeport so we can go diving for a few days - something we can't do with other cruise lines. Your recommendations are much appreciated.

Thanks.

I think if you travel off season the rates will be lower if you can do that.
The cruise is really pretty decent and a relaxing way to go. However if you are just looking at getting to Freeport, this year they just began high speed ferry service from Ft. Lauderdale to Freeport. It takes only a couple hours to get there and the rates are pretty good compared to flying. You can take your car or leave it and rent a car there. You can google it and it will give you another alternative. We did not take it, but met some on the island who had and certain dates are really cheap.
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  #10  
Old May 17th, 2012, 10:51 AM
loubetti's Avatar
loubetti loubetti is offline
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Having first cruised on the Costa Riviera in 1985, which was smaller than the BC, the BC doesn't bother me, especially for two nights. For those who need mega ships for two nights, this is not for you. However, when I take a bridge tour, and the captain (George Pallas) hosts it, I'm impressed!

Again, the time share deal via another company gives her a bad reputation, mostly due to the lowest class cabins that it includes, and the drive to FLL, etc.

Considering what she is and what she does, my 5 star review still stands. 5 stars being relative, of course. Frankly, and maybe this was a fluke, the service I received was as good as the average service I got on Cunard and Celebrity!
__________________
Best regards,

Lou Betti
Boca Raton, FL

The late, great Regal Empress. One of the
longest serving passenger ships of all time.
...............1953 to 2009.....................

On board QE2 for the last trans-Atlantic
of the 20th Century, December 1999 & 2000

On board QM2 for her maiden trans-Atlantic
to New York, April 2004

I love to cruise, but my flying comes first!
Cessna 210N Turbo Centurion.

44 cruises since 1985 and I am too lazy to mention them all! However, I do own the Builder's Certificate to the the RMS Queen Elizabeth. A lot of good that does me! Ships sailed on: Costa Riviera. Home Lines Atlantic. Cunard QE2 & QM2. Premier Cruise's Sea Breeze & Rembrandt. Celebrity Zenith, Century, Galaxy & Millennium. Bahamas Celebration, and my favorite ship of all, Regal Empress! Cunard Diamond, Celebrity Elite, RCI Diamond (and I've yet to sail on RCI!!)
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  #11  
Old May 17th, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Sailfish Sailfish is offline
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I have not booked this cruise yet, but probably will. I am far less concerned with the ship or quality of the cruise "experience" (though it sounds pretty good) than I am with having the ability to spend a few days scuba diving in Freeport and not paying an arm and a leg to do so.

Thank you for the feedback concerning Groupon - I use them occasionally but they are local. I do notice them for this cruise in other parts of the country; keeping my fingers crossed I find a good price.

Suzi
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