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Grand Classica dry dock


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Yesterday, Bahamas Paradise took the Grand Classica/Nassau off of its schedule for the months of March, April and May. They told staff it needs to go into dry dock, but didn’t tell them much more than that. So now, the last regularly scheduled sailing is on February 29th.

 

In January, Bahamas Paradise put the Grand Celebration in dry dock for one week, and the staff were told that prior. Now they are not being told anything at this moment.

 

Anyone know what’s going on?

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That doesn’t sound right. The Grand Classica is advertising a new cruise in April with a well known psychic. And the Grand Ce,ebration hasn’t been in dry dock. Not sure where you’re getting your information  I was on the Classica only two weeks ago and that ship doesn’t need dry dock. The Celebration needs to be replaced. She is a great old girl but she isn’t navigating very well lately. 

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I noticed the advertisement of the psychic cruise as well.

If you look at Bahamas Paradise’s website, you cannot book a cruise to Nassau in March, April or May at the moment.

There are also people posting on the Bahamas Paradise Facebook page saying they have a cruise booked in March but are being told it is now cancelled.

I have friends that work on board the Grand Classica so that is how I first heard about this.

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Bahamas Paradise responded to a comment on one of their Facebook posts:

 

“Beginning in March the Grand Classica will move to wet dock, however Grand Celebration will continue to sail to Grand Bahama Island. We apologize for any inconvenience and are happy to assist in offering all those with Grand Classica sailings the opportunity to transfer their cruise to a Grand Celebration Grand Bahama Island itinerary.“

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3 hours ago, aliahdance said:

Bahamas Paradise responded to a comment on one of their Facebook posts:

 

“Beginning in March the Grand Classica will move to wet dock, however Grand Celebration will continue to sail to Grand Bahama Island. We apologize for any inconvenience and are happy to assist in offering all those with Grand Classica sailings the opportunity to transfer their cruise to a Grand Celebration Grand Bahama Island itinerary.“

Wow, I’m shocked. The Classica is in such good shape. It’s the Celebration that isn’t doing well with the high seas lately. Something is up, maybe they are really going To upgrade the suites and add a nicer dining room. But if it’s a wet dock that usually means a coat of paint but not interior improvements. I wish they would replace Celebration. Get a brand ship.  

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7 hours ago, aliahdance said:

f you look at Bahamas Paradise’s website, you cannot book a cruise to Nassau in March, April or May at the moment.

 

If the wet dock is a 3 month one, that is unusual.  Most don't last that long; not even dry docks usually do, either.

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Word on the ship is that Bahamas Paradise was losing money with the Classica. Not enough bookings. During the week, they typically only had 300 passengers. I was on the ship a couple of weeks and this was true - the ship was dead.

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6 minutes ago, aliahdance said:

Word on the ship is that Bahamas Paradise was losing money with the Classica. Not enough bookings. During the week, they typically only had 300 passengers. I was on the ship a couple of weeks and this was true - the ship was dead.

Taking a ship out of service won’t help them financially. I would think if they use it as a charter that might work. I think the weather has been working against them. Did your friend say if they were planning on upgrading her? I guess they would save money on gas and docking fees. I know that Nassau docking fees are higher than Freeport. I’m kind of bummed about that. I know they were struggling but they were so good for the people of Freeport. Sad 😞 

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No, they weren’t told anything about that but I found this article: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/22520-bahamas-paradise-trims-capacity.html

 

Just sucks for all the staff as they just found out about this yesterday and they’ll probably be sent home right after the February 29th sailing. Apparently the CEO is coming on board to talk to them tomorrow.

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Reading the link to the Cruise Industry News article is discouraging.  Spending money for refurbishments to a ship, as would customarily be done during a wet dock, when their cruise business is "weak", seems to me, to be a questionable business decision.  If BPCL is considering to replace Grand Celebration, which a previous poster has said seems to be having some issues for whatever reason, then a further upgrade of Grand Classica makes sense.  

 

The cruise industry is heading into a very rough patch due to this corona virus.  This, too, will pass.  Does BPCL have the financial resources to survive? 

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On 2/28/2020 at 8:02 PM, rkacruiser said:

Reading the link to the Cruise Industry News article is discouraging.  Spending money for refurbishments to a ship, as would customarily be done during a wet dock, when their cruise business is "weak", seems to me, to be a questionable business decision.  If BPCL is considering to replace Grand Celebration, which a previous poster has said seems to be having some issues for whatever reason, then a further upgrade of Grand Classica makes sense.  

 

The cruise industry is heading into a very rough patch due to this corona virus.  This, too, will pass.  Does BPCL have the financial resources to survive? 

 

I think what they mean is that due to the uncertainty right now, moving future plans for refurbishment forward is a smart choice. This temporarily lowers the overhead of operating costs such as on board wages and lowering the requirements for filling space. When the industry picks up again after this process they can bring the ship back and continue their business model as is.

 

One thing that will have effected this decision is that most guests on this line are relatively last minute cruisers who come from drive able areas. We are starting to see some 5-7 night sailings on other lines drop to about $350pp which is obviously diverting some of BPCL guests away.

 

Yes, it's worrying, but I think ultimately a good decision that will work in the long run!

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I think the business model for BPCL was to sail every day, and be the cruise line for those who had a budget of $500 vs $1200 for the larger lines, and for those who had limited time off.  The damage to their main Bahamas port cannot have helped and the drop in fares for the big lines is not helping.  If every trip was losing money on the Classica it is time to park the ship.  It might be as development continues around Freeport and the new partnerships island-wide get going they can go back to daily service.  

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I wonder if they have considered offering ferry services and selling one way or round trip tickets also?  There are a lot of these in Europe.  The idea is the cabins are full as the ship is sailing anyhow.  They could designate a deck for that, and have a café that sold inexpensive food also.  The  Bahamas people would use it I'll bet also.  

 

So the idea is to make a new product like the European ferries - there are seats for overnight, food for purchase, and you can shop and use the casino as you wish.  There are some days I would prefer a Bahamian meal.  So you would compete with the airlines.  This drops the price even more.  

 

If 95% of your voyage costs are fixed, if you sell 200-300 ferry tickets that might help a little.  

 

There might be an objection to mixing of "luxury cruise" and ferry passengers, but this is new product and the idea is to market it as funky and hip.    On our last cruise I had an idea for a having a "crew galley" where passengers and crew can hang out - this is no different than on the Island when you land.  

 

So after drydock there is a "Bahamas Deck" - a re-creation of "steerage" in the old Titanic days.  You can have a BBQ going and $3 Caribe beers.  

Edited by ew101
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11 hours ago, ew101 said:

So the idea is to make a new product like the European ferries - there are seats for overnight, food for purchase, and you can shop and use the casino as you wish. 

 

And, cabins would be available for booking, if one so wished.  

 

The S. S. Badger that sails across Lake Michigan has a similar concept, although it is not an overnight trip.  Day or night sailings, cabins are available for booking if one wants a few hours of shut-eye.

 

11 hours ago, ew101 said:

I had an idea for a having a "crew galley" where passengers and crew can hang out - this is no different than on the Island when you land.  

 

A novel idea.  Would the "crew" want to hang out with the guests during their off duty hours?

 

11 hours ago, ew101 said:

So after drydock there is a "Bahamas Deck" - a re-creation of "steerage" in the old Titanic days.  You can have a BBQ going and $3 Caribe beers.

 

I am unclear as to what you are proposing with this idea.  

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We were booked on the Classica for next week (3/12-3/14) and got that email last Friday. We ended up cancelling for a full refund and booking with NCL for May. Between the money already spent on this cruise plus two $100 credits from NCL, we only had to spend about $200 more. So instead of next week, we'll be on the NCL Breakaway May 6-10.

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Short update. Even though we called on Friday to cancel and get our money back, they didn't put the request through, and they called today asking if we really were sure about cancelling and offered to give us even more perks than what was offered in the original email.

For those that weren't booked and didn't get the email, they were offering:

  • All perks that we had originally booked (half priced 2nd guest, 5 free drinks, and something else)
  • Upgrade cabin
  • 50% a future cruise
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On 2/28/2020 at 7:12 AM, aliahdance said:

Yesterday, Bahamas Paradise took the Grand Classica/Nassau off of its schedule for the months of March, April and May. They told staff it needs to go into dry dock, but didn’t tell them much more than that. So now, the last regularly scheduled sailing is on February 29th.

 

In January, Bahamas Paradise put the Grand Celebration in dry dock for one week, and the staff were told that prior. Now they are not being told anything at this moment.

 

Anyone know what’s going on?

The email I received today.

Dear Valued Guest, 

 

We have made the decision to temporarily pause our cruises to Nassau onboard the Grand Classica. The ship is going into wet dock for improvements designed to further enhance the overall guest experience for her return to Nassau this coming June.

 

Please know we are doing absolutely everything possible to alleviate the inconvenience this causes, and we are offering you the opportunity to transfer your cruise to a Grand Celebration, Grand Bahama Island voyage.

 

 

As a gesture towards rebooking onto an alternative date on the Grand Celebration, to sail in either March, April or May, we are happy to offer the following:

 

  • The price you paid for your canceled cruise we will protect, including any offers that may have been applicable at the time of that booking.
  • We will upgrade your cabin based on availability; excluding suites
  • For you and those sailing with you in the same cabin, we will offer complimentary one-night dining in our specialty restaurant.
  • Plus, a 50% future cruise credit off the original booking for an additional cruise to be taken any time before the end of the year, excluding New Year Eve cruises.

 

 

 

If you wish to rebook onto a future Grand Classica sailing to Nassau, then we are happy to offer the following;

  • The price you paid for your canceled cruise; we will protect, including any offers that may have been applicable at the time of that booking.
  • Plus, a 25% future cruise credit off the original for another cruise to be taken any time before the end of the year, excluding New Year Eve cruises.

(800) 374-4363 where our agents will be happy to make alternative reservations and answer any questions you may have.

 

We apologize for the short notice and inconvenience this change of schedule causes. We value your business and we will work closely with you to minimize impacts on your vacation plans.

 

Sincerely, 

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Team

Customer Service (800) 374-4363

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I too have a cancelled sailing and received the note above. I must say I am very unimpressed with Bahamas Paradise and will be reluctant to book with them again for several reasons. 

1) This is the second time I have had a close in cancellation from them in 18 months. 

2) I feel that it is really poor practice that the letter cancelling the departure does not mention that you are entitled to a full refund of any fare paid. It reads as if changing date is the only option - it is not. 

3) The message seems to deliberately require you to call to cancel or move. If you can book online why not adjust the booking online? I felt when calling as if it was just so the call handler could pressure (albeit gently) to accept cruise fare credit and a different departure. 

4) The letter does not mention, and the company are not offering, and additional expenditure compensation. 

This isn’t the first cruise I have had cancelled but in general for cancellations close to departure, the cruise lines have always made some gestures for the inconvenience. This includes refunding any airfare costs or change fees that cannot otherwise be refunded, and/ or offering a discount off a future booking. The general principle has always been not to leave the passenger out of pocket, and to incentivise them to keep doing business with the company. In my case, as recommended on their website, I booked the Brightline train tickets to get there. Those are non-refundable and I am now out of pocket thanks to BCPL cancelling this cruise. Lesson learned - no BCPL for me. 

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On 3/6/2020 at 2:18 PM, Mattsudds said:

2) I feel that it is really poor practice that the letter cancelling the departure does not mention that you are entitled to a full refund of any fare paid. It reads as if changing date is the only option - it is not. 

3) The message seems to deliberately require you to call to cancel or move. If you can book online why not adjust the booking online? I felt when calling as if it was just so the call handler could pressure (albeit gently) to accept cruise fare credit and a different departure. 

 

I agree with what you've said here. We called and waited quite a while (it was the night the email went out), finally once reaching someone we said we'd like to cancel and get a refund. The agent sounded surprised and said "well don't you want to hear what we are offering you?" If it was me handling the phone I would have flat out said no, but my girlfriend said "uh sure" even though we had our mind set on a NCL cruise. They didn't offer anything different than in the email. 
If you read my last post above, they called back a few days later asking if we were sure we wanted a refund and they'd give even more perks than what was originally offered. But we had already booked with NCL (and told them that).

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I called and opted to have them call me back. Within a minute or two they called me back. Moved to a different date and received a free specialty dinner. I have no problem with that. The last cancellations were because of the hurricane relief situation. I had no problem with that either. It is a super small cruise line and the cruise cost is also super small. They do not have options like the mega lines have to offer. That is the way I look at it. I think they do what they can. Why all of a sudden is the ship going to have something done to it. Only they know and do not want to tell the public. That is also fine by be.

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On 3/9/2020 at 12:27 PM, ALWAYS CRUZIN said:

Most ships take a referb after 3 years. We just changed to June 16th. Not a problem for us. Just wanted to do it before school lets out. I do agree. The ship is a very beautiful ship.

 

I'll be celebrating my birthday with a big group of friends on that cruise!

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On 3/10/2020 at 1:38 PM, ALWAYS CRUZIN said:

Why all of a sudden is the ship going to have something done to it. Only they know and do not want to tell the public. That is also fine by be.

 

It does make those of us who have followed this cruise line for awhile wonder "why"?

 

 

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3 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

It does make those of us who have followed this cruise line for awhile wonder "why"?

 

 

I read somewhere that they had plans to do some work on the ship late this year or early next year.

 

When the other cruise lines started dropping prices for 4-5 night cruises into the realm of BPCL's 2 night cruise it absolutely took some business away from the cruise line. We are all very aware that as a budget option BPCL runs on a tight margin of profit. The best way to ensure financial success throughout this difficult time for cruise lines was to remove one ship from service lowering their daily overhead considerably. 

 

I think it totally makes sense to pull a renovation forward when passenger count is lower than ideal due to corona virus, and have both ships back in service when the industry picks up again.

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