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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I just got back from a 2-night cruise on the Grand Celebration with a group of 7 others and we had a great time! For an older ship, it's in very good shape. The carpets and furniture still look new and since they don’t allow smoking ... Read More
I just got back from a 2-night cruise on the Grand Celebration with a group of 7 others and we had a great time! For an older ship, it's in very good shape. The carpets and furniture still look new and since they don’t allow smoking in the casino, or in ANY indoor areas, there was no musty smell at all. Food – We all ate in the MDR the first night and a few of us hit the buffet the second night. We all thought the food was good. Even the gluten-free and vegan members of our group were well accommodated. Breakfast was a bit hit and miss as it is on a lot of cruise ships, but there was an omelet station for anyone who wanted fresh eggs and plenty of standard breakfast items in the buffet. There was pizza and a late night buffet that featured tacos one night and Greek selections on the second. No one ordered the room service but it featured some basic sandwiches or the gourmet burgers for an additional charge. We also missed out on the poolside BBQ but heard good things about it. Entertainment – We were all surprised at the range of entertainment options available on this ship. There was champagne piano bar which was low-key and relaxing most of the time except when the Tina Turner impersonator took to the floor. She was fun! There is a lounge connected to the casino which featured a band playing classic rock, a Latin dance club, a sports bar/ disco, karaoke out by the pool and an area on the aft deck called the Dancing Martian with party lighting that perfect for a glow (black light) party. The production shows featured the dancers along with a magician and the comedian the first night and an “around the world dance styles” show the next. Overall, I’d give the shows a B- as the singing didn’t quite measure up to the dancing. There were plenty of audience participation games in the lounges and pool deck for those that wanted to play along. Outside – One of the disadvantages of the older ship design are the small pool areas. The main pool is a bit small but the one on the aft deck allowed for more pool options along with two Jacuzzis. There is a larger Jacuzzi on the forward top deck that serves as an adults-only area. They are putting the final touches on a new bar to serve that area which should be open soon. Although the sailing was sold out, we never felt like any part of the ship was overcrowded. Cabins – The cabins are on the larger side as this is a former Carnival ship. I had some issues getting hot water in the shower a couple of times which was one of my few complaints about the cruise. Staff – We found everyone on the ship to be pleasant and accommodating. Our cabin steward always greeted us with a smile and assistant cruise director Dohne was very helpful and took time to assist us with our questions about the ship. Port – There is absolutely nothing to do around the Freeport cruise terminal, so any day trips need to be arranged with the tours desk or on your own with a taxi. Overall, we found the ship to be a good value and a lot of fun. It would seem most of the complaints posted here seem to be coming from people who were expecting an amazing bargain. Yes, you have to pay for parking, port fees, taxes, a $1 terminal fee and gratuities. I wouldn’t call those “hidden fees”. They are pretty much standard in the cruise industry. I spoke to several people who were repeat cruisers on the Grand Celebration. For the locals, it’s a quick, fun, affordable getaway that doesn’t eat up all of your vacation time. I agree! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We attended this cruise as part of a 20+ persons group celebrating our friends renewal of vows after 30 years of marriage. The ship and the rooms were clean, spacious and comfortable. The staff was very attentive and friendly. We had ... Read More
We attended this cruise as part of a 20+ persons group celebrating our friends renewal of vows after 30 years of marriage. The ship and the rooms were clean, spacious and comfortable. The staff was very attentive and friendly. We had an issue upon boarding when some of us who had purchased a Drinks Package were not listed on the Ship's roster. within 5 minutes they had an officer solve the issue. The food was average at best, which we expected. For those cruising for the first time on this ship, please realize you should not expect 5 Star dinning !! Regardless the food was acceptable with the service being above average. The only annoying occurrence was that even though we had an 'All you Can Drink" package, the ship's rules are that a bill was printed (with a $0 Balance) and had to be signed every time a drink was ordered...I had writer's cramp, halfway through the cruise!!! Entertainment was enjoyable...Overall, we had a pleasant experience and will more than likely sail again in the near future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because it is convenient for us to leave from the port of Palm Beach and being only a 2 night cruise, it was easy to getaway. It was my husband's birthday & the cruise visited his home town, of Freeport , ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is convenient for us to leave from the port of Palm Beach and being only a 2 night cruise, it was easy to getaway. It was my husband's birthday & the cruise visited his home town, of Freeport , Grand Bahama. The ship was very comfortable & clean. Our cabin, which had been upgraded to an outside room, was well appointed, even providing a blow-dryer for hair! We really prefer to do our own thing, especially since we have experience on the island, so we did not take any of the offered shore excursions. We found our way to some shops & cafes for some Bahamian dishes...conch fritters & peas & rice...plus banana daiquiris served in coconut shells. Then made out way to a beach near the ship & swam & did some beachcombing. We had perfect weather, never even a white-cap on the ocean. Absolutely the calmest seas of any cruise I have ever taken. The food on board was never ending. There was always something being served near the pool or just inside at a buffet. We dined in the Stellar Prime didning room both evenings and were very pleased that our request for a private table for 2 was honored both nights. Our waiters & wine stewardess were very friendly & gave us great service. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We took this cruise as a girls' trip with a group of 8. We booked through Groupon. We purchased the voucher for the cruise through Groupon, but then you have to call the cruise line to redeem the voucher and give them all your ... Read More
We took this cruise as a girls' trip with a group of 8. We booked through Groupon. We purchased the voucher for the cruise through Groupon, but then you have to call the cruise line to redeem the voucher and give them all your information to book the sailing. When we called the cruise line we were able to give the cabin numbers of other people in our group, so we could request rooms close together. We're from Tampa, but decided to drive over the night before so we wouldn't have to get up so early. We stayed at the Hawthorne Suites which was pretty nice and only about 6-7 miles from the port. The night before, we went out to eat/drink at CityPlace which is a big outdoor mall/restaurant/bar area. We had a lot of fun there hopping from bar to bar and exploring. We ate at Copper Blues and the food was really good and fun atmosphere. The area was only about a $7 Uber ride from the hotel. The next morning we arrived at the port around 11:40. We used the valet to park our car, paid up front $18/day. Valet was fairly quick and the valet attendants were friendly. We got our bags tagged with our room numbers and headed into security. No one took our bags at the curb, you have to bring your luggage up to security and put it up onto the conveyor so they can x-ray everything. I had a large bottle of water and a couple of cans of soda in my bag. They scanned it and made me open my bag and I thought they were going to confiscate my drinks, but they just made me show them my water bottle so they could make sure it wasn't booze and gave it back to me. I saw a shelf in the corner that already had a bunch of confiscated beer/wine/liquor, so if you're trying to sneak alcohol, you better be sneaky about it! This cruise doesn't allow any outside liquor, not even a bottle of wine per person. It took us about an hour to get through all the lines and get on board. Once on board, the ship layout was familiar. It's an ex-Carnival ship, so it's very similar to previous older Carnival ships I've been on (Paradise and Inspiration). They had burgers and hot dogs on the pool deck and the buffet inside was open as well, so we grabbed some food and started exploring. One thing we were kind of surprised at was how small the elevators are, even for a cruise ship! They seriously only fit about 4-5 people without being squished. Very strange. We decided to hang out on the aft deck for a while. This looks like where a Carnival ship would have the Serenity deck with the 2 hot tubs but this area had a pool and a hot tub in addition to a bar. I actually enjoyed it more than the Serenity deck because I like to cool off in the pool occasionally while I'm tanning. This pool is also a little quieter than the main pool. The main pool was fun, but there was always a lot of people there and that's of course where the DJ is set up playing music and hosting competitions and stuff. Some of us got the drink coupon book-10 drinks for $65. It's a decent deal if you're drinking the tropical fruity liquor drinks since those run about $7.50 but regular domestic beer is $6 so skip the package if that's all you plan to have. The coupons are literally just a coupon book, so you can even share if you don't feel you're going to drink that much. We went to our room shortly after 2:00 and our bags were already delivered even though they weren't promised until 3:00. The room was a decent size, but everyone in our group had asked for the beds to be separated when we made the reservation, and out of our 4 rooms, everyone's bed was together. It wasn't that big of a deal, so we didn't mention it to the attendant. He was friendly and greeted us by name the entire stay. They had some activities the first night: Karaoke, Bingo, and there was a Rave Party on the top deck and of course the casino was open. We went to the rave and it was fun, good music, crazy rave lights, and I think they were handing out glow sticks and stuff. We stayed for a little but had to go to bed to get up early for our excursion the next day. That's the bad thing about the 2 day cruise, no sleeping-in days! We did the Our Lucaya Resort Beach Day with the lunch included. We were off the boat quickly and escorted to a bus stop area to get on a bus to the resort. Most of our group got on the first bus and a couple of the girls had to get on a second one. Unfortunately, the first bus was a horrible experience! It was a nice enough coach style bus, but the A/C was not working and there was no way to open the windows. The heat was stifling and although it was only about a 15/20 minute ride to the resort, it seemed like forever and we were miserable. When we finally got to the resort and scrambled off into the fresh air, the resort itself was beautiful. Right on the water with several pools including an infinity pool and a swim-up bar. We all loved the resort and had so much fun. The only downside is that for the bar service, they only take credit/debit cards, no cash. If you bring cash, they make you put it on a gift card and use that at the bar. The included lunch buffet was okay. It was just hamburgers, hot dogs, fettuccine alfredo, rice and beans, salad, etc. You can choose to leave for the excursion at 9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. and they have several options for return times: 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30. Needless to say, we were having such a good time we stayed until 4:30. The bus ride back was much better, it had A/C and the driver was great, cracking jokes and telling us about the island as we rode along. I guess we just drew the short straw on the way there, since the girls who got separated from us and took the second bus on the way there said their bus was really fun, basically a party bus that blasted music and had an open air top deck you could ride on. Disembarkation wasn't great. We left our room around 9:30 and took the elevator down only to be told "The lines are too long right now, come back later on." So we went up and had some food from the breakfast buffet and hung out there for a little. We tried to leave again at around 10:30 and we were allowed to get in line,but it was quite a line. We were out of the terminal and in the car by around 11:20, but only because we had passports. People in our party without passports said they ended up waiting about an hour and half. We had another obligation that day so we needed to leave quickly, but honestly next time I would be fine with clearing my schedule for disembarkation day and just taking my time getting off the boat. Overall, we had a really fun time. This cruise is nothing fancy but it was really pretty good for what we paid. I thought everything was clean and well maintained and everyone from the crew that we encountered was friendly and professional. The food was good for cruise fare. Next time I think I would consider staying a few nights at the Lucayan resort since that was the highlight of our trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This being my second cruise and with a short time to to spend on our honeymoon, Bahamas Paradise Cruise was the best option for us. We could cruise the next day and be back for work a few days later. However, I didn't know much about ... Read More
This being my second cruise and with a short time to to spend on our honeymoon, Bahamas Paradise Cruise was the best option for us. We could cruise the next day and be back for work a few days later. However, I didn't know much about Bahamas Paradise other than it was at Palm Beach. Finding out that this was a fairly new company I quickly realized what great potential they had. Staff were excellent and engaging, from the moment you step aboard the ship you are greeted with a smile and a helping hand. Finding the room was a little complicated but it was a fun adventure, and any time we met a staff member they were eager to help you navigate the ship. Once we got to the cabin it was well kept and comfortable. The experience was great, from the food and quality of food to the formal dining. You were pushed to buy drinks but what do you expect!? Drinks were made stiff too. It was a great experience for my wife who had never been on a cruise and loved the attention and service provided. We look forward to many more quick trips on the Grand Celebration in the future! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I decided to take this short getaway cruise because it was going to just be the two of us for Thanksgiving. Honestly we didn't know what to expect since the reviews were all over the place but we decided to go for it ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take this short getaway cruise because it was going to just be the two of us for Thanksgiving. Honestly we didn't know what to expect since the reviews were all over the place but we decided to go for it anyway. You could say we are open to a little adventure. Since we typically cruise on Celebrity, our standards are pretty high, but decided that we were getting a great deal (Thank you Groupon!!), and hey, it was only 2 nights! We were so pleasantly surprised!! We drove down to Palm Beach the day before the cruise so we could make sure to get on the ship as early as possible to look around and enjoy the time we were onboard. We stayed the night at Courtyard by Marriott, great stay as usual. The next morning, we ventured out to find a good breakfast and stumbled upon The Southern Kitchen and would highly recommend to anyone in the area. We arrived at the Port and Valet parked the car, be prepared and bring cash for this, $17/day. Easy 20 foot walk into the building, walked thru security, dropped off our luggage and up the escalator to check in and give CC info for onboard expenses. Since we were celebrating Thanksgiving with this getaway, we splurged and upgraded to a Balcony cabin. Would definitely spend the extra money again for this little treat! We walked thru the typical 'take your photo' in and then were escorted to the excursion desk. We had previously decided to just rent a car and explore Freeport on our own, which is typically what we do rather than an escorted excursion. At the excursion desk, we were offered free transportation, admission to an all inclusive resort, lunch, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), use of the resort amenities all for free!! We just had to sit and listen to a 90 minute presentation for a 'vacation club'. Well, who could say no!? So we signed up, knowing what we were in for. The next stop was at the beverage package table. Neither my husband or I drink much, but opted for the 10 drink booklet deciding we would just split them. 10 drinks for $65, pretty good deal, Morgan and Coke runs about $6.50, and I found the Martini bar which were $9.50+ each. Definitely worth the expense if you think you will use them. After this, it was straight up the gangway and on the ship! Really one of the easiest boardings we've ever had. They told us our cabin would be ready about 230, so we decided to explore. We went to the upper deck before it started raining and walked to the back of the ship. Very roomy, not very crowded and to our surprise, probably one of the cleanest ships we've ever been on. Considering this ship makes the journey back and forth to the Bahamas pretty much every day, thats pretty impressive. The bars and restaurants were very clean, food was really fresh, hallways, common areas were virtually spotless. There were a few pools, (can't really say how many, we didn't use them) but they looked really clean and well kept, towels were available everywhere. We meandered back to our cabin V1, about 225 and decided to see if it was available. They leave the key in the door so we tried and voila, in we went. I was so pleasantly surprised!! The cabin was so incredibly spacious, even with a walk-in closet!! Not that we brought a lot of clothes, but still, the space was there! There was a large vanity that was across from the bed, which was separated from the living area by a decorative glass wall. The living area was large and incredibly spacious with a couch, coffee table and 2 chairs, with a slider leading out onto the large balcony. Let me say that all of the balconies will have a partially obstructed view forward and aft, but this one was unobstructed if you were looking straight out. 2 chairs out on the balcony and this is where i planted myself to read for a little bit before we departed down to our wine tasting event! We are wine drinkers, and have done many tastings on many ships. This one wasn't as well organized and left a little to be desired when explaining the different wines, but as it was explained, we could have as much as we wanted in the 90 minutes of the event. For the price, it was definitely worth it. I think it was $12, and there were some wonderful wines from France, South Africa, America, Italy and Australia. Great variety along with some cheeses, breads and fruit. It was here that we were given the option to sign up for the Wine Connoisseur Dinner the next night. 7 wines with 7 courses... more about that later... After this we went back to the cabin to change for dinner. We dined in Stellar Prime, which is included in the cost of the cruise with no up-charge. I had the turkey (again celebrating Thanksgiving) and my husband had the prime rib. The turkey was pretty good, different spices were used that I couldn't quite recognize, but definitely tasty, with they typical sides of dressing, sweet potato mash, peas and gravy. My husband said the prime rib was cooked well, but it was definitely not a 'hefty' cut, and could have been a little more filling. I don't recall the sides but I can say the dessert was great! We were so full we went back to the cabin to relax for a bit, and watched the sights as we pulled out of port. We changed and went down to the martini bar for a few drinks and enjoyed the piano man and his songs! Great martinis!! We stayed for a bit and then decided to turn in, so full and relaxed, never made it to any of the shows or other bars! Bed was comfy but I kept waking up because of the ship rocking from the waves and wind, so can't say I got a great nights sleep, but not for lack of trying. We got up the next morning, had a few pastries and then went down to meet our group for the adventure that awaited. Group was about 24 people, we got on the first bus driven by Nell... I actually kept her card, we'll call her to drive us around when we go back to go diving!...They dropped us off at the Casino, which we walked thru, then took us over to the 'vacation club presentation'. We met with a nice woman, who explained everything to us, took us to a restaurant for breakfast, pretty generic, and then a tour of the resort. Nice resort, beautiful pools, gorgeous beaches, plenty of restaurants, spacious rooms...etc, etc. Went back, sat down, prepared to say no and said no, then got the hard sell.. Almost felt trapped, they were trying to make the best deal so we could come back.. etc. anyway, we finally made our point and left, heading over to try one of the restaurants we had seen. Food was ok, again generic chicken sandwich, (didn't have the fajita wrap because it was being prepared, burgers and chicken only) Anyway, enjoyed a little bit at the beach then decided to head on back to the ship on the next shuttle. Lucky enough to get Nell again and she gave us more info about the island! Easy boarding process back on the ship. Went to the room to get a nap and then get ready for the Wine Connoisseur Dinner. (Did get a good nap in this time). We were told to meet about 600 in the Martini Bar (lucky me!) for first course and wine. We had the understanding we would be with a group of people who signed up for this dinner, but it turned out it was our own private table! At this point, I can't tell you all the foods we ate, but I can say it was all absolutely wonderful and perfectly paired with all of the wines, and the sommeliers were attentive and explained all of the wines. If you're in to this kind of thing, it was well worth it! 7 courses took about 3 hours, and we enjoyed every minute of it!! Stopped at the martini bar to use my last drink coupon and then went back up to the cabin to sit on the balcony and enjoy watching the light of the Bahamas fade in the distance. Again, wind and rain that night, bed was comfy but not much sleep because of the rocking. Disembarkation was easy!! Had breakfast, took our luggage, walked off the ship and got our car! Overall this was a great trip! Although this ship is 28 years old, you can tell she is loved and well taken care of and so clean!!. The staff was there at every turn to help with anything we needed and our cabin attendant Ernesto was wonderful!! Can't wait to plan another short getaway with them! 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