The 4 night Bahamas Cruise was part of a package that I purchased over a year ago. The package contained 7 day car rental, 6 night accommodations outside Walt Disney World, 4 night Bahamas cruise with accommodations at the Island Seas Resort at Freeport Bahamas and a 3 night stay at the Coconut Palms Resort at New Smyrna Beach. The initial cost was $598 US currency. With upgrades of my choice the package cost us just less then $2,000 Canadian With this package we were able to break it up so this year we took the Smyrna beach and Bahamas portion of the package. We took the car rental and Orlando accommodations last year. The whole package was part of a Time share promotion and we were aware that we had to attend a presentation in Orlando and New Smyrna.
All the arrangements were done over the phone and on line with the marketing company of which the staff was very thorough and honest. Meagan and Tory were fantastic to deal with. We received all our receipts and confirmation via email of which I printed off and took along with us on the trip for back up in case we needed recorded documentation.
We flew into For Lauderdale and hired a car service to shuttle us to West Palm Beach prior to the day of sailing. The Cruise ship departed from the Port of Palm. The process for getting on the ship was well organised. However we did wonder why the Bahaman officials needed to keep our passports. The passports were given back to us prior to departing to the Island seas resort. We surrendered our large suitcases to be delivered to the stateroom upon completing customs.
Once on board the ship we proceeded to check in and go to our stateroom on the 3rd level. I had paid for an upgrade to an outside cabin with a double bed and pillows that were very firm and thick. The room was small with a small place to hang a few garments, a small bathroom with shower. the room also had a pull down bunk bed that we did not use. The room was cold with too much air conditioning. Note within the room there if 3 large bottles of water - do not drink them for if you do you will be charged over $3 for each bottle. The baggage was to be delivered outside of our stateroom later in the afternoon. They were not delivered together but about an hour or two separately. This was upsetting for my spouse for he was concerned with security and the possibility of someone taking the luggage into their stateroom. So we constantly were checking for arrival of the baggage during the afternoon so that it did not sit outside the state room to long unattended.
After checking out the stateroom we proceeded to check out the ship. It was noisy with all the loud music by the really small pool area and in all the public areas. The ship was smoke free except for the pool area, deck and casino. We are non smokers and found this very annoying
For meals we opted for the Rio Restaurant buffet for lunch & breakfast and the sit down meal for dinner. The food was good however I expected more fruit and vegetables.
Later my husband & I went to the casino. The casino was smoky and gave me a headache and made our clothes smell. Why they had a non smoking area on the outside of the perimeter is beyond planning. They even had a non smoking card table in the middle beside the smoking tables. I guess they thought the smoke would hit an imaginary force field and not affect the non smoking areas. Duh Smoke floats.
Because of the smoke I took in some entertainment down the hallway. The couple doing the musical act was great and made it a point to see them again on the return trip.
The ships Cruise Director Steve was very talented but LOUD. Loud announcements occurred over the PA system regularly to announce entertainment attractions and activities that were taking place on the ship.
The departure from the ship to the Island was scheduled for 8am. With little sleep and sore necks and backs from the stiff thick pillows we made our way to breakfast then to the check out and on to the Bahaman customs.
On the return trip we requested an extra blanket but did not receive it. However we did get softer pillows. So we took the blanket off of the folded bunk Instead of having the staff tend to the luggage we carried it ourselves to eliminated the waiting for it arriving outside of the stateroom. We had the same type of cabin beside our old cabin. Still tried to find a quiet smoke free area was next to impossible.
We did meet a young couple on their honeymoon of which they invited us to see the 5 star suit that they were randomly upgraded to. We had a 2 star stateroom; what a difference. The 5 star suit had a queen size bed, larger ocean view window, mini bar, large closet, roomier bathroom with separate shower stall, a dresser, coffee table, sofa, corner lounge chair and nice carpet.
Overall Celebration Cruise is just that for those who want to celebrate. For one night each way it was ok. They want to build you up for the Time Share tour and meeting once you disembark to the Island resorts. So that you will buy into the program. We did not due to the bad review we had with the Island resort......but that is another story and another review.