Bahamas Celebration 2 night cruise from Palm Beach, FL to Freeport, Bahamas - 1 cabin - 2 people
Let me start by saying I was very apprehensive about this cruise. I've experienced the best cruising has to offer (Mediterranean/Alaska). My expectations were very low for this cruise. I'm very picky! There isn't a lot of information about this cruise available online and there is only one ship. There aren't many reviews from people who have sailed on other cruise lines. Many of the reviews seem to be from inexperienced cruisers that are miffed by the simplest things. Such as the parking and gratuity charges that are standard on every cruise.
You will pay $16 per night for parking which totals $32 at the time of vehicle drop off. However this port has complimentary/mandatory valet service, which is unusual. They valet is speedy. We drop off the car and go thru the customs/cruise check in around 1pm. There is a line at customs which is expected. You can choose to check in the luggage or carry it to your room. There is an area you go through where they take dinner reservations and offer drink packages. I suggest reserving the dinner reservations online, which is what we did. You have the option to do the semi-formal Crystal dining room at 6:15/8:30pm each night. Or the more casual Rio, which has a similar made-to-order dinner menu as Crystal, as well as some buffet items; at a variety of times throughout the evening. There is also the very casual Tratoria Italian buffet available. These options are all complimentary. There are pay for options available which aren't necessary.
Day 1: We arrive on board around 2pm. We did not check our bags so we take our luggage to our room. Our room is spacious for a cruise cabin at 130sq ft with a window. **Some of the rooms are only 86sq ft w bunk beds. You get what you pay for. If you want a spacious room, then pay for it! They tell you exactly what you are getting when you book.** We go for lunch. The Rio buffet has fresh, delicious food with no lines! The bars are open. I'm very pleased. At this point you can get familiarized with the ship. Go swimming or just relax in a beach chair! We choose to do the Rio again for dinner so we can have a 7pm dinner time. The food is good. We caught the 8:30 show with 3 acts. There was a vocalist, very talented acrobat, and a comedian. It was a very entertaining show.
Day 2: The breakfast buffet on the pool deck is fresh and delicious with no lines! This port is a bit different than other ports I've visited. Because other than a very small marketplace you can't really walk anywhere. You NEED to take an excursion. Normally, when I cruise, I will just find things to do around the port. That is not an option here. We chose the Taino Beach day excursion because it's the most reasonably priced at $29pp. You get more than you pay for! They tell you in the description that you need to pay for chairs and umbrellas but there are plenty of complimentary chairs and a few tiki shade areas available at the beautiful, uncrowded beach. They give all adults 2-4-1 topical drink tickets ($8 for 2 drinks). There is a fun water slide and lazy river w/ large pool. They give complimentary inner tubes for the lazy river. Fun fun fun! You then take a (free) ferry to the Lucaya marketplace. We chose to pay for a Bohemian lunch at Le Med, in the Marketplace. The food was good. We return to the ship and get ready for a show and dinner. We see the 7pm show. 3 acts again. A juggler, the same acrobat but an even more spectacular performance, and a new comedian. Wonderful show again! We chose the Crystal dining room for dinner at 8:30. There is a line for this dining room since all of the diners arrive at once. The food is on par with other cruises, but not quite as upscale as some of the formal dinners you find on other cruises.
Day 3: The breakfast buffet on the pool deck is again fresh and delicious with no lines! As expected, we were charged $24pp in gratuities on our room charges/bills. Disembarkation is the easiest I've experienced on any ship. You get to choose when to get off during a 3+ hour window. (Most cruises herd you like cattle at your given time.) There was no line to exit the ship at 9:00am. There will be a line at customs after you leave the ship. The valet takes about 15mins to get your vehicle.
This cruise exceeded my expectations by far! I would recommend it to anyone! We did not have children with us, but the cruisers who did said how much the kids enjoyed the complimentary kids clubs.