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Grand Celebration Trip Report - 6/7 - 6/9


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Wanted to give my review of our weekend trip on the Grand Celebration:

 

Embarkation:  We got to the port right around 11am.  The valet took the car and we proceeded into the building for embarkation.  After a short wait in line (the Passport line was a LOT shorter than the birth certificate line), we got checked in and received our S&S card.  Very easy.  After checking in, then you move to another area where you can sign up for a dinner time in the main dining room, get reservations for the specialty restaurants, as well as purchase excursions or the drink package.

 

We purchased the drink package which gives you 10 drink coupons for up to $12.  It ends up costing you around $80 or $8/drink.  A couple things about the drink package...  1) Not all drinks are $12.  Beer is $7, for instance.  So, if you are a beer drinker, do NOT buy the package.  The mixed drinks, drink of the day, frozen drinks are all $10 and up so use this for those.  2) The souvenir cup is $17 dollars.  To refill the cup, you can use a coupon from the package PLUS $3 extra.  The cups are 22oz so it works out to about 2 drinks for $15 instead of $24, so, it's still a decent deal, but just be aware of the pricing craziness with these.  Buckets of beer are NOT covered.

 

We were on the ship by noon.  Very easy embarkation process.  

 

Once aboard, our rooms weren't ready and wouldn't be ready until 3pm.  We went to the buffet for lunch.  To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect about food.  Had heard different things so was hoping that it would be at least Golden Corral quality.  I was happy with the flavor and the food on the buffet.  It wasn't a big buffet with lots of options like you would get on Carnival, for instance.  But, the food was tasty and plentiful.  

 

We then walked around the ship to get a lay of it.  Even though it isn't a "big" ship, it's still plenty big.  The nice thing was that it didn't take very long to move around the ship.  The ship itself was in excellent condition.  I was extremely pleased with it's upkeep.  

 

After checking out the ship, we changed and went out to the aft pool on deck 10 to start our vacation.  The bar wait staff was great.  Not pushy but also not invisible.  Once they figured out what we were drinking, were quick to return when our drinks were empty.  We enjoyed the hot tub and pool in the back while waiting for 3pm (as well as using 5 of our drink coupons plus purchasing the souvenir cup).  

 

Once our room was ready, we went down to the room and changed and unpacked.  The room was nice and typical of an inside cabin.  Nothing special.  The beds weren't great and if I have one ding, it would be about the beds.  They might be better in the queen configuration, but, as single beds, not overly comfortable.

 

We went back up to deck 10 for the sail away and sat at the pool bar.  We had a bucket of beer, which is 5 beers that cost 4.  Not bad.  Didn't use our coupons for that.  Safety brief was around 5pm and was brief.  One of the better ones.  Our muster station was the casino lounge.  

 

After the safety brief, we went back to the room and changed for dinner.  The main dining room does have an enforced dress code (which was nice).  We didn't have an assigned table and were seated with 2 other groups.  We had a nice dinner.  Service was excellent and the food was tasty.  I had the summer squash ravioli as an appetizer and it was fantastic.  Should have ordered about 10 of them (it only had 3 small raviolis).

 

After dinner, we changed and went to the casino.  I was on a casino package so we had our drinks in the casino comped.  The casino had $10 tables which was surprising.  We didn't do well at the tables, but, the casino staff was the best I can remember on any cruise, as well as the bar service.  Can't say enough about the service.

 

After losing our daily bankroll, we decided to get some late night pizza on deck 10.  The pizza was pretty good and free.  

 

I have to say, after the pizza, we explored a little more and was shocked at the energy on the ship.  It was definitely a party.  On deck 11, they had a HUGE dance party going on.  In the casino lounge, they had crazy games led by ship's staff, and by the mid-ship pool, had karoeke.  All were well attended.  The ship was pretty full and there was a fight between two drunks in the pool (yes, in the pool) on deck 10.  Security handled it and hopefully they were put off the boat in Freeport.  I guess that's an expectation with some of the cruisers who were cruising on such a cheap package.

 

Day 2:

 

Got up and went to the breakfast buffet.  Standard american breakfast.  Nothing special but it was also good quality.  The bacon, in particular was very good.  I also very much enjoyed the coffee!

 

We have been to Freeport before so we decided to stay on the ship.  Ship was pretty deserted so we had our run of the amenities.  We hung out at the pool in the back, drank the rest of our coupons, and enjoyed the lunch buffet.  The lunch buffet on day 2 was MUCH better than day 1.  There was Goat curry, eggplant masala, very, very good jerk chicken, a black bean and sausage stew, jasmine rice, and fish fritters.  

 

At 2:30, they also opened a BBQ station of smoked food.  We had pulled pork and brisket.  It was nice.  We didn't eat from the grill but it did look good.

 

On day 2, the casino opens at 3pm so we went back and gambled until dinner.  Dinner on day 2 was also good.  We had the sirloin steaks which were thin but cooked correctly and tasty.  Also had the peach cobbler which was also very good.  Neither dinner the dining room was full.  You can also order from the steakhouse in the dinning room for the upcharge.

 

After dinner we went back to the casino to lose the rest of our bankroll.  It wasn't a good gambling trip.  We still had a blast as the dealers and casino staff was excellent, and, by now, the bar service knew what we were drinking and brought us fresh drinks without having to ask.

 

We decided to go get some pizza to make us feel better about our losses, so went up to the buffet and... THERE WAS A GREEK SPREAD FOR A LATE NIGHT SNACK!  It was very good.  I had naan bread with red pepper hummus.  My son made himself a gyro.  It was a nice surprise.

 

Next morning we woke once in port, packed up our room, and went to breakfast.  After breakfast, essentially walked off the ship.  From finishing breakfast from getting our car from the valet, it took about 30 minutes.  Very easy debarkation.

 

Overall I was very impressed.  With only a 2 day cruise, you really wouldn't expect the staff to have the service that they did, much less learn your names.  I am looking forward to the next trip!

 

If you have questions, post and I'll answer best I can.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Clemson Cruiser said:

Nice review, thanks! Did you notice if the cabins had hair dryers?  Also, wondering whether pool and beach towels are provided?

 

 

Yes to both. They had hairdryers in the desk drawer and pool towels were available. 

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22 hours ago, pinkie60 said:

That’s why I’ve cruised on her 5 times. I live 8 miles from the port and when it’s time to take a breather I book a cruise. 

We do a typical 4-6 regular cruises a year. We go on the Grand Celebration as a fill in. Early in the year and late in the year for the best regular cruise deals. So end of June, July and beginning of August for the Grand celebration. Might take two during that time. Also try to book when they have the great deals. While not cruising we get a withdrawal😥 and cannot wait to go again. Every time when a cruise ends, my wife always says. No more for awhile, please. Yet 3 weeks or so before the next cruise. She cannot wait to go. So I do not listen. I just keep on bookin😎

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On 6/12/2019 at 12:40 PM, twodaywonder said:

We do a typical 4-6 regular cruises a year. We go on the Grand Celebration as a fill in. Early in the year and late in the year for the best regular cruise deals. So end of June, July and beginning of August for the Grand celebration. Might take two during that time. Also try to book when they have the great deals. While not cruising we get a withdrawal😥 and cannot wait to go again. Every time when a cruise ends, my wife always says. No more for awhile, please. Yet 3 weeks or so before the next cruise. She cannot wait to go. So I do not listen. I just keep on bookin😎

Do you do any non-cruise vacations?

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16 hours ago, clo said:

Do you do any non-cruise vacations?

Haven't in a very long time. To expensive. Stay in one place and it gets boring fast. Travel to different places and unpack, pack repack, unpack. Where to go to enjoy the day, where to go to eat and needless pay. Want to see a live show. $$$ Want to gamble. That narrows it down where to go. Our thinking is simple. Cruising is the best bang for the buck. Lots of variety going on different ships. Thing top do every day. We live in Florida, so just to go to the beach is no big deal. However, the water is nothing like what the Bahamas or the Caribbean have. So beautiful. We might go to Bush Gardens or Sea World in the future. Not been to them in many years. No Disney for us. Been there several times over the years. Burned out with Disney. I do not like driving very long and my wife does not like flying any more so kind of narrows that down also. Did Vegas a few times over the years. Had fun there but needless to say. Not inexpensive. Between the cost of flying, renting a car, hotel room, eating, shows and donating to the casinos. It adds up. Vegas. Went there in a $50,000 car and returned in a million dollar bus.😥

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4 hours ago, twodaywonder said:

Haven't in a very long time. To expensive. Stay in one place and it gets boring fast. Travel to different places and unpack, pack repack, unpack. Where to go to enjoy the day, where to go to eat and needless pay. Want to see a live show. $$$ Want to gamble. That narrows it down where to go. Our thinking is simple. Cruising is the best bang for the buck. Lots of variety going on different ships. Thing top do every day. We live in Florida, so just to go to the beach is no big deal. However, the water is nothing like what the Bahamas or the Caribbean have. So beautiful. We might go to Bush Gardens or Sea World in the future. Not been to them in many years. No Disney for us. Been there several times over the years. Burned out with Disney. I do not like driving very long and my wife does not like flying any more so kind of narrows that down also. Did Vegas a few times over the years. Had fun there but needless to say. Not inexpensive. Between the cost of flying, renting a car, hotel room, eating, shows and donating to the casinos. It adds up. Vegas. Went there in a $50,000 car and returned in a million dollar bus.😥

To each their own.  Wouldn't it be boring if every did the same thing?  

 

You caused to think when the last time was, when traveling, that we rented a car.   I can't even remember.  We're big public transpo users.  And when we "stay in one place" it's going to be a place where there's tons to do.  Say Barcelona.  We're also into food and when traveling that means eating with the locals.  Here's an amazing soup we had in Vietnam.  Life is good.

PS:  Two huge bowls of that soup were about $4 IIRC.

 

bun bo hue.1.jpg

pork blood.jpg

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6 hours ago, twodaywonder said:

Haven't in a very long time. To expensive. Stay in one place and it gets boring fast. Travel to different places and unpack, pack repack, unpack. Where to go to enjoy the day, where to go to eat and needless pay. Want to see a live show. $$$ Want to gamble. That narrows it down where to go. Our thinking is simple. Cruising is the best bang for the buck. Lots of variety going on different ships. Thing top do every day. We live in Florida, so just to go to the beach is no big deal. However, the water is nothing like what the Bahamas or the Caribbean have. So beautiful. We might go to Bush Gardens or Sea World in the future. Not been to them in many years. No Disney for us. Been there several times over the years. Burned out with Disney. I do not like driving very long and my wife does not like flying any more so kind of narrows that down also. Did Vegas a few times over the years. Had fun there but needless to say. Not inexpensive. Between the cost of flying, renting a car, hotel room, eating, shows and donating to the casinos. It adds up. Vegas. Went there in a $50,000 car and returned in a million dollar bus.😥

 

100%  agree with this post.

I could have wrote it myself.

 

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15 hours ago, clo said:

To each their own.  Wouldn't it be boring if every did the same thing?  

 

You caused to think when the last time was, when traveling, that we rented a car.   I can't even remember.  We're big public transpo users.  And when we "stay in one place" it's going to be a place where there's tons to do.  Say Barcelona.  We're also into food and when traveling that means eating with the locals.  Here's an amazing soup we had in Vietnam.  Life is good.

PS:  Two huge bowls of that soup were about $4 IIRC.

 

bun bo hue.1.jpg

pork blood.jpg

You must be younger than we are. Once upon a time I’d do things like you do but after 70 your options start to begin to be limited. Enjoy life while you can. For me cruising is the only way to go.

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Cursing is the only way to go. By far the best bang for the buck. Not at all repetitious. Usually when you cruise, you do not get to do everything available to you. So many things happening at the same time or over lapping. Every time we cruise we find more things we did not do last cruise. Luggage and our room sits as we explore. How great is that?

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Bringing this here to inform. There is a lot of talk about the company selling cabins on there cruise ship. Storyline. The talk is that they are purchasing the Grand Classica and changing it so you will have a cabin just like a efficiency or better. All talk. I just got off the phone with my contact at PBCL and was told they know nothing about any selling of the Grand Classica to anyone. Did not know who Storyline is. You can google Storyline Cruise Ship for info on them.

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1 hour ago, twodaywonder said:

Bringing this here to inform. There is a lot of talk about the company selling cabins on there cruise ship. Storyline. The talk is that they are purchasing the Grand Classica and changing it so you will have a cabin just like a efficiency or better. All talk. I just got off the phone with my contact at PBCL and was told they know nothing about any selling of the Grand Classica to anyone. Did not know who Storyline is. You can google Storyline Cruise Ship for info on them.

 

This may warrant a separate thread.

I had not heard of this before the above post.

 

Seems some others feel the Classica is going to Storylines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdsYmZohmZ8

 

 

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Host Jazzbeau quoted you in a topic: Storylines, MV Narrative - cruise condos

Asa you can see. Costa cannot sell the ship. They do not owning.

 

 

Storylines are planning a floating seniors residence. They intend to acquire the cruiseship COSTA neoCLASSICA from Costa Crociere and to convert into M/V NARRATIVE.

Grand Classica -- previously Italian cruise line Costa's neoClassica

On 2 August 2017, Costa Cruises announced that the vessel had been sold to an unnamed buyer and will leave the Costa Cruises fleet in March 2018.[4] On 13 December 2017, it was revealed that the ship had been purchased by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, who would rename the vessel Grand Classica.

History

Name:

· 1991–2014: Costa Classica

· 2014–2018: Costa neoClassica

· 2018: Grand Classica

Owner:

· 1991–2018: Carnival Corporation & plc

· 2018: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

Operator:

· 1991–2018: Costa Crociere

· 2018: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

Port of registry:

· 1991–1994: Naples Italy

· 1994–2000: Monrovia Liberia

· 2000–2018: Genoa Italy

· 2018: Madeira Portugal

Builder:

Fincantieri

Launched:

2 February 1991

Completed:

December 1991

Acquired:

7 December 1991

Maiden voyage:

17 December 1991

Renamed:

2014, 2018

Identification:

· Call sign: ICIC

· IMO number8716502

· MMSI number247819000

Status:

In service

 

 

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41 minutes ago, twodaywonder said:

here is the Cruise critic topic to read. Storylines, MV Narrative - cruise condos

Look at the youtube video. it is the ship before Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line purchased it. Costa Classica. No longer available. What is confusing. Read just below it. Cruise deck That information is super old even thought it is dated March 31, 2019

 

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Well, based on the other thread, there are people that already bought into the MV Narrative.

They say that they have been on the Classica and were told that was the ship to be refurbished, and that they were buying into.

Why would they lie about it, unless they were lied to?

 

My guess is that the CS reps over at BPCL either don't know (which I doubt), or were told to keep quiet about it.

 

Safe bet is that she's soon to be gone, as know her.

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A very big scam. My opinion. They do not even have a ship. They are not buying the Grand Classica. There own video shows the Costa Classica long before Bahamas Paradise Cruise line purchased the ship. The reports on it were expect to purchase. they did not. All the information has them buying the Costa Classica from Costa cruise lines. Not the Grand Classica. I would be very concerned about any one giving me a free two day cruise and at the same time asking for $5000.00 deposits for something they do not have or even started on and expect to sail in 2020. Impossible. I sent them an email asking what ship they intend to by. No reply,. Wonder why? So you tell me. Would you give them a $5000.00 deposit? Did you see the cost of the so called condos. Starting with only 172 sq ft. Around $350.000 for it. You are kidding me, plus $70.00 pp per day every day all year as long as you own it. That is $51,100.00 a year. Even if they were able to purchase the ship. To redo it the way they are showing can not be accomplished in a few months. A two year project. Who are they screwing? Basically it would need to be totally gutted and rebuilt. Inside and out. Again, impossible. 

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Yes, I've seen the prices, and they are insane, and I agree that something SEEMS very, very, suspicious.

But, at this point in the game I will take the word of the folks that already bought in, and the media, as opposed to someone at BPCL, unless it was from either Kevin Sheehan or Oneil Khosa.

 

And if it is all a scam, why haven't either of them come forward and flat out deny it.

I don't understand why you are upset about all this.

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If you are referring to me being upset about this you are very mistaken. I am only doing my best to bring this to light.

None of it makes any sense at all. That address is not the main office. It is in Plantation Florida. That main office just handles the cruises. The actual corporate is not even in Florida. I gave my info to an agency that will do some investigation into this. We shall see how legit it really is. Those that can afford the cost of a condo lowest is $352,000.00 plus $140.00 pp per day for a 172 sq ft room on a ship (There web site info) can loose $5,000.00 and not get burnt.

I sent an email to Storylines asking what ship will they buy. You will notice no answer. they want to talk. Why not give me the ship in an email. because it is a statement. They can tell you anything they want on the phone, it means nothing. This was the reply.

 

Considering Costa no longer owns the Classica. What ship will you purchase for this venture?

 

Storylines Sales <sales@storylines.com>

Tue 6/18/2019 12:33 PM

HI

Thank you for your interest. I am happy to call you to discuss this. To whom am I speaking?

 

Kind Regards, 

Storylines Sales
Storylines Team

sales@storylines.com
Phone: +1 (866) 255-4240
www.storylines.com

 

 

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