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Our experience on the Grand Celebration Maiden Voyage


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So, we have just returned from the Grand Celebration maiden cruise yo Freeport, Grand Behamas. While we are not the seasoned cruisers many of you are, we have been on five other cruises so kind of know the drill. First let me say, yes we did this cruise as part of a time share package. I will break the review into sections.

 

Boarding: valet parking went smoothly, as did the initial screening. We arrived on the second floor to be met with a line to get our tickets and boarding details. Things seemed to take a long time for some travelers, perhaps because they were part of the group meant to leave a few days prior. We waited about an hour to get to the ticketing counter, once there things moved smoothly. One couple had been at the counter dealing with ticketing the entire time we were in line. This followed with the drink packages which are tickets to turn in as used. I believe non-alcoholic package of 10 was $30. I don't rember the alcoholic package price. We did have extra releases to sign because of extra video and photos for maiden voyage.

 

Cabins: these were ready as we boarded, which was very nice. You end up with a sea pass and the clunky plastic key with holes in one end. We were not greeted by cabin attendants. We had an outside cabin. Other than carpet and textiles the rooms look as they did under the previous ownership. The cabins are small but livable for a short time. There was a desk chair and low triangle shaped shelf/table/seat thingy, as the only seating beyond the bed. The path room was standard in size but no extra storage beyond a shelf over the sink. Towels scratchy.

 

Pool areas: These were clean with lots of sunning places, towels readily available. The pools were small, but since it was cooler weather it wasn't a major thing. There is a nice outside area for families on a different deck. I assume in its previous life the ship had a kids program and this area was for that.

 

Smoking areas: there were two sections for smokers on the same deck

 

Food: there were three dining room options: buffet, formal dining room with two seating times (6:30 and 8:30), a second formal dining room with what was to be a more upscale menu for an up charge of $13 per person. We opted for 8:30 dining in regular dining room. This was a downfall of the trip for us. They were running 20-30 minutes behind on the first service which made our seating almost 9. Food was acceptable, but not exceptional. No options fir drinks was offered with the meal beyond water or bar/wine. The servers were so busy it was difficult to stop them to ask for other drinks. Buffet lunch was limited, while there were several buffet serving areas most were duplicates....three areas offering identical salad, sandwich fixings and desserts. I had difficulty at breakfast finding hot water for tea, I asked two different teams and got responses of over there. On other cruises I would have been to,d to sit down and they would go get it for me. Breakfast buffet was a similar experience...bacon was leather! Food was Luke warm at most meals.

 

Entertainment: we obviously did not see the first show since we were still being served dinner at 10:30, the show started at 9:30. Both nights were variety shows. The second night consisted of a tap dancer (excellent), dance numbers (very good), comedian (so so), magician (good), a gal that did a silks type dance on a hammock(different and very enjoyable). Piano man in bar was so so. Rock band was louder than room needed and strobe lights were distracting and hurt our eyes. Our favorite was the steel drummer at pool side, wonderful!

 

Disembarking: first at Freeport, was 30 minutes late and again unorganized. We were among the first leaving the ship and they scanned our sea pass but wanted to check names off a printed list. The list did not seem to be organized alphabetically or by room assignment. We were greeted with red carpets, dignitaries, and press. LOL.

 

Excursions: we chose to take a taxi into the shopping/casino/beach area. $27 for two or $5 each in a group of 8-10.

 

The return trip was very quiet, since many had stayed on the island for a few days.

 

Casino: older machines, and pleasant dealers.

 

In general, if you want a fast get away and are local I might go again, but being from PA probably not. It seemed to be a wannabe ship, trying but not quite there yet

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Sounds like there are a lot of kinks to be worked out. Glad I won't sail until May. The weather will be nicer and the ship for all intense purposes completed. The thing I like about the Bahamas Celebration was that it was small and intimate, I hope that this ship will be exude that kind of vibration. I still think it will remain a Florida ship for a fast Floridian getaway. If I lived anywhere else I don't think I would book but I live 8 miles from the port and can't be away from my husband for a long period of time so that works for me.

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So, we have just returned from the Grand Celebration maiden cruise yo Freeport, Grand Behamas. While we are not the seasoned cruisers many of you are, we have been on five other cruises so kind of know the drill. First let me say, yes we did this cruise as part of a time share package. I will break the review into sections.

 

Boarding: valet parking went smoothly, as did the initial screening. We arrived on the second floor to be met with a line to get our tickets and boarding details. Things seemed to take a long time for some travelers, perhaps because they were part of the group meant to leave a few days prior. We waited about an hour to get to the ticketing counter, once there things moved smoothly. One couple had been at the counter dealing with ticketing the entire time we were in line. This followed with the drink packages which are tickets to turn in as used. I believe non-alcoholic package of 10 was $30. I don't rember the alcoholic package price. We did have extra releases to sign because of extra video and photos for maiden voyage.

 

Cabins: these were ready as we boarded, which was very nice. You end up with a sea pass and the clunky plastic key with holes in one end. We were not greeted by cabin attendants. We had an outside cabin. Other than carpet and textiles the rooms look as they did under the previous ownership. The cabins are small but livable for a short time. There was a desk chair and low triangle shaped shelf/table/seat thingy, as the only seating beyond the bed. The path room was standard in size but no extra storage beyond a shelf over the sink. Towels scratchy.

 

Pool areas: These were clean with lots of sunning places, towels readily available. The pools were small, but since it was cooler weather it wasn't a major thing. There is a nice outside area for families on a different deck. I assume in its previous life the ship had a kids program and this area was for that.

 

Smoking areas: there were two sections for smokers on the same deck

 

Food: there were three dining room options: buffet, formal dining room with two seating times (6:30 and 8:30), a second formal dining room with what was to be a more upscale menu for an up charge of $13 per person. We opted for 8:30 dining in regular dining room. This was a downfall of the trip for us. They were running 20-30 minutes behind on the first service which made our seating almost 9. Food was acceptable, but not exceptional. No options fir drinks was offered with the meal beyond water or bar/wine. The servers were so busy it was difficult to stop them to ask for other drinks. Buffet lunch was limited, while there were several buffet serving areas most were duplicates....three areas offering identical salad, sandwich fixings and desserts. I had difficulty at breakfast finding hot water for tea, I asked two different teams and got responses of over there. On other cruises I would have been to,d to sit down and they would go get it for me. Breakfast buffet was a similar experience...bacon was leather! Food was Luke warm at most meals.

 

Entertainment: we obviously did not see the first show since we were still being served dinner at 10:30, the show started at 9:30. Both nights were variety shows. The second night consisted of a tap dancer (excellent), dance numbers (very good), comedian (so so), magician (good), a gal that did a silks type dance on a hammock(different and very enjoyable). Piano man in bar was so so. Rock band was louder than room needed and strobe lights were distracting and hurt our eyes. Our favorite was the steel drummer at pool side, wonderful!

 

Disembarking: first at Freeport, was 30 minutes late and again unorganized. We were among the first leaving the ship and they scanned our sea pass but wanted to check names off a printed list. The list did not seem to be organized alphabetically or by room assignment. We were greeted with red carpets, dignitaries, and press. LOL.

 

Excursions: we chose to take a taxi into the shopping/casino/beach area. $27 for two or $5 each in a group of 8-10.

 

The return trip was very quiet, since many had stayed on the island for a few days.

 

Casino: older machines, and pleasant dealers.

 

In general, if you want a fast get away and are local I might go again, but being from PA probably not. It seemed to be a wannabe ship, trying but not quite there yet

 

 

Fascinating and enlightening.

 

Questions: What about all the other bars and snack venues? Were they not in use?

 

How were the prices of the alcoholic beverages and do you recall the price of the alcohol packages?

 

How was the disembarkation and the wait for customs? (As I recall, it was a long, grueling experience on the old Bahamas Celebration, was it the same?)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing the review. Sounds very similar to what we experienced on Bahamas Celebration. Makes sense considering it's probably the same crew and administration on board. Hopefully they get the kinks worked out, they've got a very nice ship now (compared to the old BC anyway), so she should be able to compete in the short cruise market nicely.

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I will be going on the Bahamas Celebration on March 17th and so appreciated the review.

 

Do any of the readers out there know what/how the Bahamas Celebrartion was disposed of?

 

Thanks

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the Bahamas Celebration is in Freeport Grand Bahamas right now. But she was sold for scrap and might be at the breakers at Freeport now. I couldn't imagine whoever bought her for scrap moving her anywhere else. It is a sad ending for a grand ship/ferry. Very sad for those who have sailed on her. I have sailed on her 3 times and have great memories.

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the name of the ship you will be sailing on is the Grand Celebration. She was the Carnival Celebration back in 1987. She has been upgraded and is still a beautiful ship. Probably is nicer looking than the original without all its nasty neon lights from Joe Fargas (sic). I am referring to her interior. Have a wonderful time and don't forget to post a review! I am sailing on her in May.

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I will be sailing on her tomorrow very excited. I will post a review. I will miss the Bahama celebration also. I was on her 10 times. Many great memories.

 

Thanks, make sure you find out what all the entertainment venues are as well as dining and over all differences. Have fun on your cruise!

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I will be sailing on her tomorrow very excited. I will post a review. I will miss the Bahama celebration also. I was on her 10 times. Many great memories.

 

 

I too am anxious to hear your review as the number posted on their website is no longer in service and I am very afraid this company has already folded !?

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I too am anxious to hear your review as the number posted on their website is no longer in service and I am very afraid this company has already folded !?

You're right; neither phone line is working this evening! Nothing in the Palm Beach Post or Freeport News about it though.

 

BobK/Orlando

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Curious about the smoking area, you said there were 2 smoking areas on the same deck, what deck was that on? and in what areas of the deck were they in. I remember on the other boat, it was on the deck 9, I remember because I was dieing for a cigarette by the time we got on the boat.... thx in advance...

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