1st time cruise; need guidance

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3 Posts
Joined May 2011
I have never been on a cruise. Is the Caribbean Cruise Line a scam or legit for free two night cruise?

I have read so many reviews (good and bad) especially MATTT6511, TracyESQ, pinkie60 and DarthGardy (by the way beautiful pictures-so clear (really enjoyed them)).

I live in Illinois and not sure what to do, where to fly into (city, state) where to pick up boarding pass, etc. Was confused at a review about the Welcome Center and the timeshare refusal. I appreciate any advice and assistance before calling the Caribbean Cruise Line or Bahaman Celebration Cruise departing Palm Beach, FL.

Thank you a little nervous.

West Palm Beach, FL
245 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BOOK through the Carribbean Cruise Line. That is a timeshare and you will wind up upgrading your cabin anyway. Time shares are a waste of time and somewhat of a scam. Go straight to the Bahamas Celebration Cruise Line webstie. They own the ship and they will give you the best deal and cabins. This is not the Carnival Cruise Line. The ship is a converted ferry but very well appointed on the inside. I was told that the outside of the ship does not reflect on the inside of the ship. As I previously stated, I will be sailing in about two weeks but my friend has sailed on many ships and if you keep your expectations low you will have a good time. I don't know how old you are and how financially set you are but you do. So if you are an older person and want luxury and have the money to do it, then don't sail on this ship. But if you are about 20-30 years old, need to have some fun, visit another country for cheap by all means take this cruise. You can book a suite on this ship for what it costs to cruise on RCL or Carnival, etc. I hope I answered your questions.
West Palm Beach, FL
245 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
P.S. You would be better served if you flew into Palm Beach Intnl. It would take approx $30 to go from the airport to Port of Palm Beach. Its less than 10 miles. If you flew into Ft Lauderdale you would have to rent a car and drive an hour (its about 30 miles in a lot of traffic) to get to the Port of Palm Beach. Good Luck!
1,825 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
It really wouldn't be free. With port charges and other fees. And no time share lecture. Book with them directly.


Been on this ship and had a great time.
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3 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by pinkie60
P.S. You would be better served if you flew into Palm Beach Intnl. It would take approx $30 to go from the airport to Port of Palm Beach. Its less than 10 miles. If you flew into Ft Lauderdale you would have to rent a car and drive an hour (its about 30 miles in a lot of traffic) to get to the Port of Palm Beach. Good Luck!
pinkie60 thank u for responding; much appreciated
SouthEast Florida
1,236 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
This isn't a jab as I really like Celebration, but we did the Caribbean Cruiseline special, and althought it's only $59/person for the port charges and taxes, they ALSO collect $10/day (or $9, I can't recall) for fuel surcharge, per person. Whereas it's already included in your total if you book directly with Celebration.

As another poster said, it is indeed a fine ship, as long as you're not expecting Royal Caribbean or Celebrity.

I sailed last year, booked directly. I'm sailing saturday through the "special" (we did have to go to FTL to get our boarding passes, but since my mom and I are going without our husbands, they couldn't rope us into any timeshare presentation...), and we are sticking with the room we got - albeit 86 sq feet. they TRIED (and TRIED) to convince us to upgrade, but as we just did a Carnival cruise last month, and I'm about to do another at the end of June, we are considering it an adventure to be in the tiny room.

That said, if you can swing a little extra $$ and do the Carnival Imagination, you would indeed get more for your money. We like the Celebration because we live very close. But if low cost is important, you will have fun on this!
West Palm Beach, FL
245 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Wow, I was on the Carnival Imagination two years ago. I booked their Suite and paid a fortune. So I had a good reason to have high expectations. It was kind of a let down. It might have been the fact that I was sailing with my teenage granddaughter and had to keep an eye on her constantly. But the suite wasn't that spectacular. As previously said before, I do have low expectations with the Celebration, so I will be sailing in less than two week, it ought to be interesting. As for the $9.00/day are you sure that wasn't the gratuities that all ships charge you.
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06-14-2011 Bahamas Celebration
06-11-2013 Bahamas Celebration
SouthEast Florida
1,236 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
If you did the regular suites on Imagination, sadly, they are the same size as oceanview rooms on most other ships. Only the "grande" suite is bigger. I've cruised the Imagination 3 times now, 2 in a 1A (bunk bed room) and once in an oceanview. I liked the window, but I have no problem being in the bunk bed room. I laugh about the Celebration cabin that we're doing on Saturday, becuase it's less than half the size of the smallest cabin on Imagination - LOL! (it's truly 86 sq ft. We refused to pay for upgrade, just because they assumed we would... it's an adventure!)

Yes, the $9 (or $10) is their fuel surcharge. We will also be charged $12/day for gratuities. I didn't mention that because the gratuities are the same regardless of whether you book through the marketing company (Caribbean Cruiseline) or right through Celebration. It's the fuel that's included in your total through Celebration, but an "after charge" through the marketing company. In the end, we're still saving money, so we're not complaining, but that part was a surprise.

You don't have to have LOW LOW LOW expectations, it's a fun little cruise. Living so close, if I had a friend who would want to this once a month, I would! It's just all about knowing ahead of time that it's not like the typical cruiseships, and to not expect the typical cruise ships. Take everything with a grain of salt and have fun.
The shows are decent, the bingo is a blast, the casino is small but still good (I won $150 in a slot last year ON MY BIRTHDAY), my daughter loved the kids club. But, the pool is barely a pool, the water slide has a weight limit (basically for kids). The restaurants are not like regular cruise ships (one night you get a regular "sit down" dinner, soup to nuts, so to speak. which we actually enjoyed more than the Norwegian Sky... The other night you get a "half buffet". You get seated, but then the appetizers are up at a buffet, already plated. Salad, shrimp cocktail (if I recall correctly), etc. Then they come around with meat like at a brazilian steakhouse. You do get waiters to order the entree, drinks and whatever extra. Some people HATED this, as they were expecting "main dining room" service. The food was good, the service was good, and everyone was friendly - what's not to like?)

Sorry to go on! People either like this or hate it, and as long as you're not expecting Carnival, RCCL or otherwise, you should like it.

Last year we did have to exit the ship through the end ferry door (picture the back of the boat opening up where they would drive trucks through), but that was because the Freeport pier was being constructed... not sure if that's done yet. But that added to the adventure