Celebration Cruise Line
Celebration Cruise Line Ships
OnboardWhile it's not quite a mega-ship, Bahamas Celebration sits very much in mainstream cruise ship territory. Onboard, passengers will find four restaurants (one specialty eatery available at extra cost), several bars (including a venue for karaoke), a disco, a 630-seat main theater, a spa and gym, sun deck space and an adults-only pool. For the youngest cruisers, there are age-specific kids' clubs and a 180-foot-long waterslide, which, of course, is fair game for everyone.
There are a few important things to note, regarding cabins. As the ship is a converted cruise ferry, cabins are generally quite small, with roughly 50 being of the upper-lower berth variety. Moreover, there are no true balconies. (There are four suites with enclosed balcony configurations.) That's because the open deck space is somewhat limited, also attributable to the fact that the ship was built as a cruise ferry that served in icy climes.
Editor's Note: The drinking age is 21 in U.S. waters and 18 in international waters and in Nassau.
About Celebration Cruise LineCelebration Cruise Line offers two-night budget sailings to the Bahamas aboard its converted ferry, Bahamas Celebration. The line began sailing out of Port Everglades in March 2009, but has since switched to the port of Palm Beach. Celebration is currently the only cruise line offering sailings out of Palm Beach.
Celebration Cruise Line is filling the void left by Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, a similarly budget-minded offering that ceased operations in March 2009. In fact, Celebration's parent company is Ft. Lauderdale-based Celebration Cruise Holdings, which previously owned Regal Empress and chartered it out to Imperial Majesty Cruise Line. Two main executives from IMCL, President Martin Salzedo and Chief Financial Officer Edward Levitan, came over to start Celebration Cruise Line, but Salzedo has since left his post and was replaced by Charles Kinnear.
In addition, a good number of crewmembers who worked on Imperial Majesty's Regal Empress were retained to work on Bahamas Celebration.
While the short Bahamas itineraries and emphasis on low, low prices are still there, Bahamas Celebration itself is quite a departure from the classic style of Regal Empress -- a 1953 ocean liner that left ship buffs drooling. Instead, you'll find a more mainstream offering, featuring multiple bars and lounges, kids' clubs and even a small waterslide.
Celebration is aimed squarely at first-time cruisers looking for a way to try out a cruise, as well as drive-to-port Floridians who are seeking quick getaways. Base rates for the two-night cruises, which depart every other day, as low as $99 per person, per cruise (plus taxes and fees). The line also packages its cruises with two- and four-night Bahamas hotel stays at Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort.
Celebration Cruise Line FleetParent company Celebration Cruise Holdings purchased Prinsesse Ragnhild, a former Norwegian cruise ferry, in the fall of 2008. News reports put the cost was 23 million euros. The ship was built in 1981 by HDW Kiel, Germany and served the frigid Oslo to Kiel route for the Jahre line before transferring to Color Line in 1990. For Color Line, Prinsesse Ragnhild sailed the same route, then started on a Bergen-Stavanger-Hirtshals route in 2005. Following purchase, CCH put some $10 million in renovations and upgrades into the ferry, and the 35,000-ton, 1,500-passenger Bahamas Celebration debuted in March 2009.
Fellow PassengersThe demographic runs the gamut from young couples and families to singles. According to the line, roughly one-third of the passengers are Floridians.
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