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25 Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Spring Break Cruise Reviews

We embarked from West Palm Beach. Part I : Boarding My son and I left Baltimore at 8:00 AM after a nightmare airport scene we were in the air and arrived at 11ish. We got a taxi from the airport to the port terminal and stood in a ... Read More
We embarked from West Palm Beach. Part I : Boarding My son and I left Baltimore at 8:00 AM after a nightmare airport scene we were in the air and arrived at 11ish. We got a taxi from the airport to the port terminal and stood in a rather short line, that started moving pretty much on time at noon. We were told that we had to check our suitcase, and I asked if I could just take it up the escalator with us but they were adamant that we check them. So we stood in a long line that wrapped around itself and was really poorly designed, it was almost like a figure 8 loop so in the middle there was a traffic jam of people waiting to cross in front of each other. Additionally, the crossover was right in front of the elevator so people coming and going on that were always coming through the line. After getting through this mess we got on the escalator and went upstairs to the main check-in area at the terminal. I had went online to print the check-in documents we would need and had them filled out and ready to go, but when we got to the desk I was informed that the documents were for the wrong ship. When I followed the instructions on my receipt, the website I went to was not functional so I called the 800# for the Cruise line and they directed me to a 'backup' website, which is where I obtained our documents...it turns out that the backup documents were for the old Celebration ship from the lines predecessor. It wasn't a huge problem as the line was short and filling out the correct paperwork only took a few minutes....I turned that in and was directed to a quick moving line to get our boarding passes. In-and-out of that line and then we were sent over to the 'maze' of photographers, excursion deals, liqour and soda packages, dinner reservations, spa reservations, wine deals, etc...we purchased the soda packages and made dinner reservations and then made our way onboard. Maybe it's because it's my first cruise but I didn't realize that we couldn't go to our rooms directly (they weren't ready until 2 PM) It was a reasonable wait time given the fact that they just finished letting past cruisers off, I just wasn't sure what to do. We were told that lunch was being served on the Luna Deck, but when we came onboard there was no direction on how to get there. It would have been nice to have been told "Your rooms aren't ready yet but feel free to enjoy the rest of the ship" and maybe been given a small map or something...so we waited for some people at the customer service desk and then someone directed us how to get to the Luna Deck. Once we got up there we figured it all out but the initial "what do we do" ate up a lot of time. We changed into our swimsuits and then had a quick lunch (see below for food reviews) and then we hung out in the pool areas until the room was ready. Part II : The Room We had room U161 on the Universe Deck, we got the Groupon deal so it was $239 for the two of us, plus taxes and gratuity. I've already posted a review video of it in another thread, so I'll be brief: As I said in the video, I am impressed with the room. It was an outside room, much bigger than I expected. Granted I'm usually camping so I may have low expectations but it was very comfortable, the shower and bathroom were large (and I'm a very large person) and it was fairly quiet. We did hear some people who were partying a little too hard both nights, but they were not extremely loud and on the second night I did open the door and give a little "SHUT THE HELL UP" and that ended the noise. We were supposed to get two single beds but instead got a double bed and a fold-up bunk. My son did discover a piece of bubble gum in one of the grooves on the ceiling, above his bunk, but I pointed out to him that most people aren't going to look up there, and that a kid probably did that. Also, there was a small bare spot in the carpet but I really had to look for things to complain about when it came to the room. We did feel the boat when we came into port and when we were hit some rough spots in the ocean, but it wasn't too bad and no where near the horror stories I've heard. Part III : First Night After we got to our rooms we rested a bit and then went down for the muster drill and the "what to do on the island" presentation. We then went to book our excursion (see below) and I had been trying all day to sign up for the internet but I was having problems, so I went to the customer service desk where they couldn't figure it out either, so I ended up going without the internet for the duration of the trip until we returned to Florida. Not a big deal. While we were at customer service we ran into an older lady who was looking for her friend, it seems that her friend was in the sun too long and wasn't feeling well, and simply....disappeared. The customer service people wouldn't page the friend and instead they put out a photo to staff to keep an eye out for her. Later that night we ran into her again and they still had not yet found the lost passenger, it was pushing 11 PM at that point...very scary! We returned to our rooms and changed, and then went to the theater area for the variety show, it had a mixture of comedy, magic, and dance routines - it was entertaining and my son was glad that I talked him into going. After that we went to Stellar Prime for our 8:30 PM dinner, however, I forgot to bring the card that they had given me when we boarded (along with most of the other diners that evening) and it was a horrible mess waiting in the line with a bunch of angry people. After a lot of waiting we got in, and were seated and were promptly told by the people at that table that we couldn't sit there because they had other people coming. We stood around in the middle of the dining room for about 5 minutes before we were relocated to another table. The waiters were very polite and friendly, and the waitress who was from the bar area was overworked, it appeared that she was the only one working the entire restaurant. Needless to say, getting drinks took nearly the entire 1 1/2 hours we were there. Our waiter at least kept us topped off on icewater. As we got up to leave, we passed the first table where we were told that we couldn't sit, and surprise, no other diners had joined the family there. I thought to myself "what a jerk" and smiled and kept walking... When we got back to our room, my son decided he wanted dessert and I needed some ice for my water so I could take some medication. I called the front desk and asked them for a room service menu, they told me I should just call room service for a selection. I called down to room service and was told "We're not serving food, you can go to the buffet on the Luna Deck and get whatever you need." I found this odd and don't fully understand what the purpose of room service. It would have been nice to have some ice machines in the common areas, I was a little disappointed. So we headed back up to the buffet and thats when we discovered the joy of cruise fooding, and had our second dinner. We returned to our rooms and passed out in bed. Part IV : Day 2 We had our wakeup call at 6:30 AM and were up and at the Buffet for breakfast right away. While we were getting breakfast my son ran into the lady from the night before. It seems that her friend had wandered into an empty room that had the door open, and passed out into a bed. She woke up late at night and came out of the room, disoriented, and someone found her and got her to medical treatment. She didn't recall what room she was in and apparently left her purse in the room, but at least she was safe and sound! We had to be in the lounge area to meet up for our excursion. We chose the Jeep Tour (see below for review) and were there early. It seemed like it took a long time to get the group together and then we went downstairs to the 3rd deck and got off the ship. We went to the bus area and got on busses, and it was clear that we were running late. This threw the whole day off timing wise and we were constantly rushing through the excursion and to get back to the ship. Once we returned to the ship we changed and we hit the hot tubs and pool area, and hung out there the rest of the night. We did wander up to the Sun Deck and discovered the huge 10 person hot tub and spent about 10 minutes in it. Then we went and changed again for our 8:30 PM dinner reservation at The Admiralty Club. Talk about a different experience! We were immediately seated, a violinist came over to us and played a few Beatles songs (my son plays the Upright & Electric Bass and is enrolled in a gifted and talented "Fame" type school for his musical skills, so he enjoyed this immensely) the waiter spent time talking to us about the food and even brought out some dishes for my son to sample. During dinner another guest interrupted us and it was the "jerk" from the night before in Stellar Prime. He said "I just wanted to let you know that last night we were SUPPOSED to have other people show up, but they didn't show, I didn't want you to think I was a jerk or anything...." and then he introduced us to the guests that did not join them the night before. That was a pleasant surprise! We retired to our room and just on a whim, I called room service again, and got the same response, no actual room service available. We put our bags outside the room and they were in the terminal when we left the following day. We awoke the third morning as we were coming into port in Florida, and we had a quick breakfast at the buffet and as I was reading the bill I found that I was charged twice for internet that I never was actually able to use. I took one look at the customer service line and figured that $12 was a small price to pay for not raising my blood pressure, and left without addressing it. Disembarking was a total nightmare - but that's more on the people running Customs than the ship - we waited to get off, and then waited in a line for approx 3 hours to get through customs. We were using birth certificates, so a protip would be to get passports, because if you had a passport you were put right through. Also, it wasn't clear where our bags would be when we go to the terminal, it was only after some snooping while we were waiting in the line that we figured out where they were. Part V : Food Day 1 - Buffet Lunch - there was a nice array of foods, everything was fresh and hot. We had the Beef Borguignon and salads. We discovered the carving station with barbequed pork loin and roast beef, but did not partake in that. Food quality was just a step above what we would get at the local buffet restaurant, so it was better than average. My son had the coconut fried chicken but he said it was too dry. Day 1 - Grill near the pool area - we both got hot dogs and fries, they were tasty but the fries were kind of "limp" Day 1 - Stellar Prime, 8:30 PM Dinner - My son had the Shrimp & Whitefish Cevice, he ate about half of it, but said it tasted good. I ordered the Spinach Turnover and it was delicious! He had Tuscan Minestrone which he said was good again, but didn't eat much of it. I ordered the Chipotle BBQ Smoked Onion Soup, and again, incredible! We both had the Watercress and Endive salad, and he didn't care for the Endive, but it was pretty decent, again fresh and beautifully presented. For the main course he had the Pork Tender Chasseur, which he really enjoyed but he said that the goat cheese cake was too rich for him. I ordered the Chicken Breast Toscanna. It was a litle too moist for me but it was not terrible. I finished with the Washington Apple Crisp and it was just OK. Nothing spectacular but it was a solid dessert item. My son declined dessert until later as described above. Day 1 - Late night buffet - around 11:OO PM - we originally went down for ice cream but the machine was turned off so we ended up getting onion rings, chicken tenders, and some really great pizza. All bad for us but so delicious! My so got cookies and I almost talked him into trying Baklava. Day 2 - Breakfast buffet - around 7:00 AM - an assortment of eggs, pancakes, sausages, bacon, cereals, oatmeal, cream of wheat, various pastries, bagels, cream cheese, fresh fruit and yogurt. I discovered later that there was an omelet station and a waffle station. We went light and had fruit and yogurt, and my son had eggs, I had a little bacon. The eggs were kind of dry looking and he said that cheese would have made them better. The bacon was good and crispy and I enjoyed. Day 2 - Admiralty Club - 8:30 PM Dinner - My son was having a hard time deciding what he wanted, the waiter brought out Bruschetta and some Antipasti - and then brought the Frito Mixto for my son to taste - he ended up liking that and I ordered the shrimp cocktail - it was very good, I'm sure that the shrimp were frozen but you couldn't tell. I ordered Caprese Salad and it was awesome! Several large slices of tomato, different colors, and all very flavorful, fresh basil, INCREDIBLY FRESH MOZZARELLA that was oozing when I cut into it! My son ordered the Tri-Color Salad and again, the Endive turned him off on the whole thing. It looked very good though. For dinner, I ordered the Grilled Angus NY Strip, and I always get my steaks well done so I was expecting it to be dry, and I was quite pleased to find it very moist and full of flavor! It came with creamed spinach which was very good and a loaded baked potato which was "OK". My son went big and ordered the Osso Bucco, he thorougly enjoyed the meat and the polenta was too much for him to eat so he barely put a dent in the meal. I ate some of it and it was very rich and indulgent! Day 3 - Breakfast buffet - around 9:00 AM - exact same assortment as Day 2, my son had waffles and sausage, with sour cherry topping and whipped cream, and I had turkey bacon, fruit, yogurt and oatmeal. The turkey bacon was even better than the regular bacon from the day before, and the waffle was delicious (I had a bit of it) - the sausage was swimming in a giant bowl of grease and I was turned off by that. Part VI : Jeep Tour, Grand Bahama Island When we booked this, I had to sign a waiver because they looked at me and could tell that I have a bad back. I agreed to the waiver and I'm happy to say that there were no problems. We did off-road but it wasn't terrible and to be honest the roads in Baltimore are 10x worse than anything we drove over on this tour. As I stated above, we were delayed getting off the ship so we were "off" all day long. On the bus we were passing around another waiver form to be filled out and I was the last one to get it, just as we were pulling up. I hurriedly filled it out and turned it in, and we got off the bus. The rest of the group was being briefed and were in Jeeps and when the guide said "Who doesn't have a jeep?" I called out. After some confusion he discovered that I was standing with the wrong group and moved me over to the other group who was just finishing up the safety lecture. We followed our guide, Tony, to the jeeps and he put us in one by ourselves, which was a really nice surprise, as everyone else was sharing 4 people to one vehicle. We drove around the island and out onto a jetty, where we were able to get some beautiful photos, then out to Bens Cave, and Gold Rock Beach, where they filmed parts of Pirates of The Caribbean 2 & 3 (which is officially THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I've ever been!), Taino beach, Garden of the Grove (more on this later), driving through a pine forest, and then we were dropped off at the Port Lucaya marketplace. We were thrown off on time and we ended up getting to the marketplace with only about half an hour until the last bus left. We rushed to buy some souvenirs and I really wanted my son to try conch fritters but there just wasn't enough time. Before I get to the only complaint I have about this tour, let me make it perfectly clear: THIS IS A MUST-DO TOUR!! I've been to Grand Bahama Island before, on my honeymoon years and years ago. I went to some of these spots, but I had more fun doing this tour than I've ever thought possible. We got to play with starfish, had a close encounter with a sting ray, played on the most gorgeous beach I've ever seen in my life, got to see lots of the island, and Tony was an awesome tour guide! My one and only complaint: This tour is advertised as "including lunch" - When we got to the first stop on the tour, Taino beach, Tony went around with a menu from The Garden of the Grove, taking orders so they could be called in ahead. It was a small menu and there were prices, but I figured that since it was so small, these were the "limited options" that we could choose from. Three hours later, we pulled into the Garden of the Grove, sat down, and we were told we had two hours to explore, and have lunch. We came in, sat down, and waited 1 1/2 hours for them to bring out our food that was pre-ordered. The food was good, but in NO way was it worth waiting that long. By the time we finished eating, we had barely any time to walk around the park. And it's such a shame because I've been there before, it's a BEAUTIFUL park. We walked a little, got a few photos, and then as we rushed to get back to the jeeps to leave, they approached me and told me that I had to pay for the food! I was surprised because it was supposed to be "included" and after the terrible service we encountered, they should have given us the food - so I had to pay nearly $50 for a hot dog, a quesadilla, french fries, two iced teas and a bottle of water! They included an 18% tip on my credit card bill and I drew a line through it and only paid them for the food. I was truly angry about this! I know this was a long review, thanks for reading, I hope it helps you with your future plans! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Grand Celebration: July 3rd, 2015 Intro: My wife and I booked this cruise about month ago and got one of the last rooms for the sailing. We had a free night at the PGA National Resort to use, so it helped make the three hour drive to ... Read More
Grand Celebration: July 3rd, 2015 Intro: My wife and I booked this cruise about month ago and got one of the last rooms for the sailing. We had a free night at the PGA National Resort to use, so it helped make the three hour drive to West Palm worth it. I've been on many cruises, mostly with Carnival and Royal Caribbean, with a few other lines mixed in over the years. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has been around for awhile now under different names. They used to operate the old Imperial Majesty, and after her retirement they bought the Bahamas Celebration. Bahamas Celebration was damaged last year and subsequently sold. They started sailing the Grand Celebration earlier this year. It seems that they change their company name each time they change ships. As a long time Carnival customer, I knew a bit about what to expect coming onto the GC. She's a former Carnival ship (then known as just “Celebration”) and was last sailing for them out of Jacksonville. After leaving the Carnival fleet she underwent some extensive renovations and updating for her stint with Ibero and then (very briefly) Costa. I never had a cruise on any of the old Holiday Class ships, so I was happy to find out that one was coming back home to Florida. I think the ship looks excellent overall. The cabins look better than some of the newer Fantasy and Destiny class (also Carnival) ships I've been on. The public areas are also very modern. The layout will feel very familiar to anyone who frequents Carnival. The ship even smells cleaner since they have a strict policy against any indoor smoking (even in the casino). It is only allowed on the port side of the exterior decks. Embarkation: We made it to the port without any problems. The mandatory valet parking slows down the process quite a bit. The line of cars stretched out to the main road shortly after we arrived. Luckily we got in just before the traffic jam and only waited a few minutes. Embarkation went quickly once we were in the terminal. They start their beverage and premium dining sales pitches immediately, and it continues throughout the cruise. You can simply bypass them and make regular dining reservations, which is what we did. The Ship: Guests enter the ship into the main lobby on Mercury Deck (old Main Deck), as was the case on the older Carnival Ships. Carnival oddly kept the deck name system on the newer Fantasy Class ships, even though their lobbies and main entrances are on Empress Deck. The Grand Celebration's decks have since been renamed, but still start with same first letters. Our cabin was R-17, which is forward on Regulus Deck. It had a single porthole view. It has been updated and looked modern. Certainly a huge improvement over the room we had on the old Bahamas Celebration. The door locks still use the old hole-punched "Ving Card" system. I haven't seen them in a very long time. Our room steward Donnie did an excellent job throughout the cruise keeping our room spotless. Lunch in the buffet was typical cruise fare, not amazing but not bad either. In addition to the salad and entrees there is also a hot bar on the side that usually has special dishes. At one point it was fresh pasta and carved roast beef. At night it becomes the pizzeria.The crew does an admirable job at keeping the chaos cleaned up. The pool areas are still mostly in their Carnival era configurations, with a new sunning area added to the top-forward deck. That area also has its own hot tub now, but no pool. I never saw many people up there, since its out of the normal guest flow. It's all a huge improvement over the old Bahamas Celebration. That ill-fated ship was a converted European car ferry. Her lido deck was very oddly laid out. The pools, hot tubs and dining areas were all added later. The Grand Celebration was created just for Caribbean cruises, so everything up top flows and works much better. A new bar area has been added above the aft pool called the Dancing Martian. They refer to it as a "beer garden". It has artificial grass, bean bag toss games, a band shell and daily drink specials. At night they have a DJ up there and dancing under the stars. The band shell has a new speaker and lighting system that works well during the dance parties. The promenade is the heart of every former and current Carnival ship, and Grand Celebration is no different. Her Promenade Deck (now called Paradise Deck) has most of the attractions of the ship. The ship's casino and nightclubs are on that deck. There is also a live music lounge called Encore next to the casino. The live singers and bands were excellent each night. The Latin music club in the Regal Room was frequently full with a packed dance floor. She's got an all new spa and gym area built at the aft end of the promenade deck. This area was a show lounge in her former life. The gym isn't huge, but it is well equipped with newer machines and weights. She's also got a Turkish bath and sauna area, but I believe it costs extra. The main theater at the front of the ship appears unmodified, although the furnishings looked to be new. The two main dining rooms are also on Aries Deck. The forward dining room is called The Admiralty Club. It costs extra, $20 per person plus a 15% gratuity. The aft dining room is called Stellar Prime and is included in the cruise fare. Just forward of The Admiralty Club is the Commodore Martini Bar. Along with specialty martinis, this lounge also has a live piano bar sing along in the evenings. The Helm library is right next to the martini bar. It's a very nice place to sit and relax. It's also where the internet cafe is located. The room has lots of cool ship memorabilia and models. Stuff I just eat up. Day 1: After the relatively brief embarkation, we dropped the bags in our cabin and explored the ship. The muster drill went as scheduled and sail away was right about on time. After watching sail away we got ready for the evening. First stop for the night was the show in the main theater. There really isn't a way to compare their current show with what they had on the old Bahamas Celebration. That ship didn't have a true theater, so the show was limited to what they could put on in a lounge. The shows are now much improved and on par with others in the short cruise market. Both the first and second night's show followed the same formula of dancers, a comedian (Brian Bradley who was very funny), an acrobatic act, a magician and a dance finale. I would have liked to attend Bradley’s adult comedy show on the second night, but they charge $11 per person for tickets. I’m not sure if that is their usual practice now, but I don’t recall paying anything for the comedy show on their old ship. After the show it was time for our late-seating dinner in the Stellar Prime dining room. The food was good and service was very fast. Kamel and his assistant Shuhada were very friendly and did a great job. I think this ship not having the disruptive "anytime dining" option helps keep service fast. It's been my experience that ships not originally designed for that system don't work very well when it's added later. Late in the evening we spent time in the various bars and lounges. They had country line dancing led by some of the dancers from the show in Encore. The Regal Room got packed once the live Latin band started playing. The only oddity was how empty the Voltage nightclub was. It's a really nice place. It's got a great sound system, new furniture and a ton of modern disco lighting. I later figured out once we went topside that the disco suffers from too many competing options. The Dancing Martian's outdoor club and karaoke next to main pool drew many would be patrons. Day 2: We had breakfast in the Stellar Prime dining room which was included in the fare. Food quality and service speed were again very good. We were lucky to have the same table and wait team from dinner. They also offer a premium breakfast in The Admiralty Club, but we never tried it. The buffet has breakfast each day for a casual experience. After breakfast we made a trip up to the gym for a workout. We had already decided to stay on board and skip Freeport. While the beaches there are nice, you have to take a taxi twenty minutes into town to get to them. The port only has a small shopping area with no beaches. Even that small shopping area is currently shut down though due to construction on the two main cruise ship docks. As the ship emptied out for day we headed up to the aft pool area. The aft pool has always been a favorite spot of mine on the Fantasy Class ships, and it was the same on the GC. It gets more breeze than the sheltered main pool and having its own bar, plus the nearby Dancing Martian, is convenient. The aft pool also had two hot tubs, whereas the main pool has none. In the afternoon they put on a Fourth of July barbecue by the aft pool and a craft beer fest as well. Beer pong and bean bag toss competitions were also held in the beer garden during our day in Freeport. The pool attendants were constantly coming around cleaning up empty drinks, plates and replenishing the towel supply. While I’m on the topic of drinks, the GC has some decent drink specials for a cruise ship. They have a buy five, get one free bucket of beers. They also have many BOGO and discount specials at various bars throughout the cruise. Guests can also buy booklets of discounted drink coupons. The only thing the cruise line needs to add is unlimited packages. The second evening went much the same as the first. I spent more time in the piano bar, the player did a good job keeping the audience participating. Broslyn the bartender was friendly and entertaining with his flair-tender skills. The second night's show was also good, maybe a bit better than the show on the first night. We had the same table and staff for dinner, but new table-mates. The Grand Celebration picks up and drops off passengers at Freeport, so you might see different faces on the second night on board if you don't do the resort package. The disco was dead again, so we spent quite a bit of time enjoying the Latin music in The Regal Room. The bartender in there, Dean, was a really nice guy. Later that night we stopped by the Dancing Martian, but it too wasn’t very active. On the way down to the room we walked through the buffet. They do a nice late night meal spread in there. I saw gyro pitas, pizza, buffalo wings, onion rings and more. They know how to feed late night boozers, Royal Caribbean could take a lesson from them. Debarkation: We learned the hard way that debarkation from the old Bahamas Celebration was a nightmare.The problem is mostly with the customs check. The GC, like the BC before her, doesn’t come back with the same passengers that she leaves with. She drops off and picks up guests at Freeport. On BC we waited until later in the morning to debark and the line for customs took over an hour to get through. We decided not to make the same mistake on Grand Celebration. On the last morning we got up early and got in line around 7:15 am. They had just started letting guests off, and we were off the ship in minutes. They have also set up a new line just for American citizens with passports. We got in that line and were through customs very quickly. The entire process took less than 15 minutes. Unfortunately, as with arrival, the valet parking held up departure while they brought the car around. Conclusion (or TL;DR version): For a two night cruise at generally low prices you really can't go wrong here. Food and service were great, in some ways better than what I’ve had on the big cruise lines. Their entertainment, especially the live music around the ship, is excellent. And of course the ship itself has been well taken care of. For the most part, she doesn’t look her nearly 30 years of age. Hopefully they get a past guest program in place at some point, because I’m looking forward to many more trips on GC! This review plus pictures can be found on the Cruise Critic message boards by following this link: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=47034904 Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We read many reviews, heard many horrors. Turns out if you believe everything you hear then you're naive to reality. We boarded the ship with ease after leaving our car with Valet. Nice option to parking garage. Once on ship we found ... Read More
We read many reviews, heard many horrors. Turns out if you believe everything you hear then you're naive to reality. We boarded the ship with ease after leaving our car with Valet. Nice option to parking garage. Once on ship we found the party already started. Food at poolside was fantastic. Not made then placed in warmers, made to order Burgers, hot dogs and Brats. Sides were a perfect fit. Not stuffy food most other cruises offer, having to guess what you're eating. Our Suite was perfect, fruit basket presentation was exceptional. Very clean and large. Nuyasa and Fauzon from Indonesia made sure our time on ship was perfect. Can't tell them thank you enough. Stellar Prime was perfect, family style seating so you get to meet people on ship for dinner. You also get great service staff like Nenad and of course the Great Helder to make sure everything is perfect for dinner. The buffet was one of best we've ever experienced on a cruise. Food you actually know. Not fancy creations to impress. Just plain good. Fresh made pizza . Barbeque on deck with corn hole brings the picnic to the boat. The on ship entertainment needs some help, however it was still enjoyable. The comedian sucked. Wasn't worth the extra 23.00. After walking out of show we found entertainment in other parts of the ship. For a low cost cruise you can't beat the quality of service and amenities. Of course we've traveled on many ships and our expectations were short on this one. However on returning to port my wife and I decided we'd take this boat a couple times a year for a short affordable getaway. Don't believe everything you read experience it for yourself. Highly suggest renting car from Avis, they'll pick you up at port and you can navigate this island with ease on your own. Be adventurous Read Less
Sail Date October 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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Sail Date November 2015
When booking this cruise, a friend and I decided on a whim to go for it. We found it on groupon for a very low price and had never been on a cruise before. We didn't even bother to check reviews until the next day. Our expectations ... Read More
When booking this cruise, a friend and I decided on a whim to go for it. We found it on groupon for a very low price and had never been on a cruise before. We didn't even bother to check reviews until the next day. Our expectations were lowered after reading reviews for hours. Fast forward a month and we arrived in West Palm at 11:00. A family member of mine dropped us off and right away we headed inside. The women checking us in was very helpful in all of our 'first timer' questions. We headed to the gate and got our picture taken and purchased the $63 ($76) drink package. I say ($76) because the 18% charge to EVERY purchase is very real. Each ticket covers a drink up to $10.25 and you get ten tickets. Do the math and you'd see that the drink package is very worth its price. Most of the drinks aren't that expensive, the most expensive glass of wine was $9.50, plus the 18% charge. My friend even got away with using a ticket to get a $10.75 martini. Any way, the check in process took only 5 minutes. The crew was a little late letting us on (only about 20 minutes, 12:20ish). We were within the first 20 people on the ship so we were able to get our hands on the food first. With the price we paid, the food was pretty good. I was unfortunately sick the whole weekend with a sore throat and cough so I didn't have much of an appetite. In the buffet, I just snacked on some sad, fruit and bread. Once we finished in there, we headed right outside to the pool and played some corn hole. I kept getting approached by employees to buy Bahama Mamas in these souvenir cups for $14. I kept declining because I'm only 20 and couldn't drink until we left the port. One employee ended up letting me purchase one and allowed me to put a margarita in my cup instead. My drink was VERY strong. Definitely worth it and saw a lot of people ended up purchasing the cups. Before we boarded the ship, we decided to make reservations at Stellar Prime. You could only chose between a 6:30 and 8:30 dinner time, we wen't with the 8:30. We started getting ready for dinner right after we left the port. After being in the room for 15 minutes, we could feel everything rock and started feeling extremely seasick. Our room was on the 6th deck in the very front of the boat. We heard EVERYTHING the boat did, which resulted in very early wake up calls both mornings.. The dinner was good.. Just good, not great. But again, what do you expect when you paid $112 a person? The buffet didn't really appeal to us and didn't really make sense. It had stuff like mexican rice, chicken, meatballs then cole slaw and burgers. It didn't flow. Freeport was just meh. It was overcast so we didn't really lay out on the free beach, plus it was really small. We wondered onto the resort beach and after what felt like a mile of walking, we sat down on some steps to look at our map. An employee came up to us and semi-nicely told us we had to leave because we didn't pay. That night, we went back to Stellar Prime and I really only enjoyed the Pot Stickers and the dessert because my throat hurt so bad. My friends and I went to see the Adult Scavenger Hunt. I ended up participating and had the best time! Out of all the little events they had going on, that one was my favorite. We also saw a show and spent time in the casino and dancing at the rave and the 70's/80's pop rewind. So overall, three first time cruisers between the ages of 19-20, we really enjoyed our time. The ship is clean, drinks were good, hot tub was hot and had really good BBQ on the second day. We made friends with a bunch of the staff and people of all ages! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
OK so just got back from this cruise, at the airport right now actually and I must say this was a very fun cruise. Now a little background about me. I have cruise 26+ times ALL will carnival cruise lines do my expectations going into this ... Read More
OK so just got back from this cruise, at the airport right now actually and I must say this was a very fun cruise. Now a little background about me. I have cruise 26+ times ALL will carnival cruise lines do my expectations going into this was very very low. But to my surpise, the check in and demarkation wad the fast Ever 20 mins total from my cabin to in a cab. Food was cool.. with most items being tast, entertainment was awesome! My cabin was nice and cleaned often. I had an ocean view. The liquor process was pretty awesome, u can by a bottle that last u the whole cruise for about 96 bucks or drink tickets for 65 bucks. In all I will do this cruise again in a heart beat. The complainers on here, please go with the royal snob cruise line or be a Lil more open. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my very first cruise and I didn't know what to expect ..boy was I pleasantly surprise..From beginning to end it was an excellent cruise "smooth sailing" I have so many Pics of the ship I will never forget how ... Read More
This was my very first cruise and I didn't know what to expect ..boy was I pleasantly surprise..From beginning to end it was an excellent cruise "smooth sailing" I have so many Pics of the ship I will never forget how happy I was.. For all the negative reviews we must not have been on the same ship.. This ship was so clean and every one bent over backwards to accommodate U.. My cabin was very clean and U have Ur own personal attendant that will assist U with your cabin needs.. The entertainment was on point. the dining was exquisite having an array of foods to choose from even those of us that are "Vegan"...Ports an shore excursions, was very organized and safe... I really enjoyed the entertainment we were entertained by Comedians Dancers that were very good and had several different styles of dancing. I really love the the Lady who did the acrobats I was thrilled, I never seen any one with that type of agility... We also was entertained by a magician he was funny and had a great act .I really like the interaction he had with the audience.. From the start to the end and I really didn't want it to end it was truly an amazing trip so once again if U looking for a short or a long cruise the Grand Celebration is the ship you want to take your first,second or third etc on...Can't wait for my next cruise but I'll never forget my first "Grand Celebration"... Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife and I sailed aboard the grand Bahamas on May 10, 2016. Our experience during this time was both memorable and one that will never happen again. Consequently, My wife and I would like to express the issues that arose with the ... Read More
My wife and I sailed aboard the grand Bahamas on May 10, 2016. Our experience during this time was both memorable and one that will never happen again. Consequently, My wife and I would like to express the issues that arose with the information that was provided to me by the agency, the service in Ramada Hotel, and the service aboard the grand Bahamas. I was contacted by the booking agency stating, I won a cruise; the agent proceeded to advertise of an upgraded package that was available. I agreed to the package of 2 nights at Ramada hotel in Ft. Lauderdale (all inclusive), 2 nights in Bahamas (all inclusive), and the 2 nights on aboard the Grand Bahamas. Thus, I was promised an ocean view aboard the grand Bahamas. Upon arriving the Ramada Hotel we were instructed to a different check in satiation where we were told “in order to get your booking tickets it is mandatory to attend a timeshare tour at 8:00 am, which is approximately two hours”, also a proof of attendance form that would be given to us after the tour (image my amazement to find out that instead of relaxing with my wife on our vacation we had to attend a presentation that is an hour way from the hotel that we are staying at). However, that was not the only interesting information that was bought to my attention; having to pay 25% gratuity (for him to serve you a drink in plastic cup), and $30.00 of taxes (which was suppose to be $25.00). Thus, in both cases I addressed the staff member of my concern and in both cases the staff member was extremely intimidating, unprofessional, and rude. On the next day, arriving back to Ramada (After a long stressful five hour timeshare) we once again missed the opportunity to use a lunch voucher (since check-in was at 3:00 and lunch ended at the same time we were unable to eat breakfast or lunch the day before) had to wait until dinnertime. Therefore, we returned to a representative with proof of attendance when she replied: “are you guys early birds”;…… if so we have a system that is only offered to 10 parties a day, consisting of first priority in boarding lines and in the immigration lines while entering and exiting the ship”. She went on in saying “do not worry there will be no timeshare tours”. So we agreed to a deceiving system that lured us to a different type of sales pitch (vacation club) and did not get the “VIP” status that was promised. Next was experiencing poor levels of customers service in several different crewmen which expressed hostile remarks and the upmost selfish tendencies that I ever have encountered. For example, I ordered a hamburger (in the hamburger station) when the chef replied “ go inside, they have food inside”. Another example was when we were given a different cabin with two rolled out beds(which I suffer from back conditions) side-by-side and a portwhole window which was suppose to be for the “ocean view”; I immediately went to customer service to express my complaint when the customer service representative stated “do you want to say where you or do you prefer the back of the ship where there is a lot of noise. Knowing this individual is not in my best interest I requested the corporate’s number, which he then proceeded to through the business card on the counter. The intention of this letter is to make aware that not many people are fortunate to travel with their loved ones; thus, it is imperative that if a vacation company advertises fun, exciting, and special memories that they measure up to what the customer is expecting and not scheduled events that are mandatory. Therefore, what we experienced was feelings of being deceived, tricked and forced to situations that were out of our control. If I knew that we were going to experience 75 % of our vacation in misery, then I would have just booked our vacation to the Bahamas only (which was the only highlight of our vacation, and were we felt at ease and where we could be out of our room and have fun!!) if your think about taking this trip think about it "TWICE" Izzy Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I purchased my tickets on Groupon for a great price, $269 for a seaview cabin. From beginning to end EVERYTHING was on point. Sure you get hit with a few side charges (drinks and/or soda package, excursion fee, parking fee) but again, well ... Read More
I purchased my tickets on Groupon for a great price, $269 for a seaview cabin. From beginning to end EVERYTHING was on point. Sure you get hit with a few side charges (drinks and/or soda package, excursion fee, parking fee) but again, well worth it. The ship was clean, the food was good, the entertainment was great...hey, NO complaints here!! I'm going again, this time to Bimini (I guess they change their destination in the Fall) and I can't wait. Take a chance, I'm more than positive you will have a wonderful time! While I was onboard I checked out all the little "clubs" and casino. The Dancing Martian at the rear of the ship and under the stars was the best. The Voltage Club on the casino level is where I ended my nights after a late night snack...those pizzas hit the spot. Spent a few bucks in the casino and had a BLAST at the beach and uber nice shopping area behind the hotel on Freeport. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date August 2016
memorable and enjoyable place to vacation. It looked like a poor third world country. We refused to even get off the cart and had it take us right back to where we came from. We ended up walking down to the Hilton and having a few drinks ... Read More
memorable and enjoyable place to vacation. It looked like a poor third world country. We refused to even get off the cart and had it take us right back to where we came from. We ended up walking down to the Hilton and having a few drinks at the outdoor bar until we were able to go back to the ship. The food provided in the “cafeteria” was embarrassing. All everyone kept telling me was how much I would love the food and the variety of items offered. Every time we went to the buffet the food looked like it was frozen, processed and reheated. We ate each meal at the outdoor grill where we could watch it be prepared or in the Prime restaurant. To add insult to injury when we finally made it back and were ready to de-board the next day we were told that we had to go back to the service desk as there was a “hold on our release”. I got upstairs to the service desk and was advised that my card was declined for $86 worth of incurred charges, that even included FUEL for the boat… I can’t even begin to understand how you would have the audacity to charge each passenger for fueling the boat but nonetheless I called my card company and was advised that there was a fraud protection hold that was on my card for a suspicious charge. Come to find out it was the drinks at the Hilton bar in Bimini but because it was in another country they took security measures. I advised the charge was authorized and was told the hold would be released in 24 hours. I relayed this to your customer service representative who then stated that I would be held on the boat until the balance was paid. After I explained to him that that was unlawful imprisonment, I asked to speak with a supervisor. I was first told there was not one available and when I insisted I was asked to wait. In my HOUR LONG wait for a supervisor I overheard dozens of passengers who had issues with credit card authorizations, one young lady had actually been asked to come the night before because they could not read the imprint on her card, she supplied it again on a new authorization form and THEY LOST IT!!!! Needless to say, after listening to complaint after complaint after complaint about charges I never actually saw a supervisor. The same gentleman kept telling me that “she” was on her way and when I started reiterating that I had a flight to catch he understood the importance of them moving expeditiously. However, I never spoke with a supervisor. I was told to wait for another half hour and then asked to sign a promissory note BY THE SAME GENTLEMAN WHO TOLD ME TO WAIT for the remaining balance (which I could have done from the very beginning when I advised they could run the card again in the morning as they had all the necessary information) After an hour and a half of waiting we were released to get off the boat but immediately heard an announcement that the customs area was full and they were asking people not to de-board until they could get caught up. We waited another 30 minutes before we were allowed to proceed off the boat and spent 2 hours in the customs area. Not only did I miss my flight but I missed a second flight home and we were not able to leave Florida until 8pm that evening (from a 10:40am flight). I spent my entire birthday sitting in customs and then sitting in an airport. My fiancée made dinner plans for the family that evening as my flight would have put me home at 2pm and the guest of honor was unable to attend as she was stranded in Florida, though we had family travel from out of state to celebrate with me. I have never been more disgusted with a company in my entire life. The professionalism, the un-organization, the blatant disregard for your passengers time, when offering such a poor experience is mind blowing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We originally purchased this cruise through groupon for spring break, being that it was the cheapest we could find. I had purchased 2 separate vouchers for the four of us and last minute one of our friends needed to cancel. We found a new ... Read More
We originally purchased this cruise through groupon for spring break, being that it was the cheapest we could find. I had purchased 2 separate vouchers for the four of us and last minute one of our friends needed to cancel. We found a new person and I called 2 days before our cruise to do a name change(which I had to pay $50 for). Upon arriving they tagged our suitcase with our room number (U72, U74) and we walked through security to get into line. As we are about to check in we are informed that our reservation had been cancelled and I had to directly call customer service to find out why. After being on hold for almost an hour, and very rude women informed us that the taxes were never paid and our trip had been cancelled, after we paid the taxes almost a MONTH in advance. She told me that the payment never went through, although I could see a charge from the company of my bank account for the $265. At this point I was furious but had no option but to ask her to rebook and repay the taxes. She put me on hold AGAIN for another 15 minutes to "find a room" to which we were reassigned the same rooms for the original trip that had been "cancelled". If they knew for a month that our trip was cancelled why was I not informed when I called about the name change and how could I have possibly been assigned a room. I have yet to call about my refund but from prior reading of reviews I feel like I will not be receiving my money back. On the way back the water was so bad(and considering the boat is small) we were literally tipped to the left side to the point that paintings were falling and all our things were flying off the shelves for the entire nigh. Overall I would just shell out the extra couple hundred and go on an actual cruise ship were you don't have to stress about them messing something up and being worried about what is an extra charge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I want to saw, my hats is off to the employees at Grand Celebration Cruise Ship. Everyone was super nice and very helpful. The food was excellent and their was plenty of it, must have gained 10lbs or more. I have been on other cruises but ... Read More
I want to saw, my hats is off to the employees at Grand Celebration Cruise Ship. Everyone was super nice and very helpful. The food was excellent and their was plenty of it, must have gained 10lbs or more. I have been on other cruises but this one was the best by far. Our room was fresh and clean, their were plenty of activities that kept us busy, one big party. If anyone is planning a cruse the Grand Celebration won't disappoint. Thanks again for the great memories. The price was affordable and we booked the Bahamas stay for 5 days and 2 day Cruise through Royal Seas Cruise Line. Everything was included from 3 nights in Orlando and 5 days in Bahamas and then 3 night in Ft Lauderdale. What a wonderful time we had, well worth the money spent. Again if your looking for a cruise you simply cannot afford to pass up the Grand Celebration Cruise Line. This cruse is for everyone who wants to have a good time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose this cruise simply because I found a groupon online and i was able to book it last minute. WORST DECISION. I've been on several cruises (Norwegian) and never have I experienced such movement of the ship before. Everyone was ... Read More
I chose this cruise simply because I found a groupon online and i was able to book it last minute. WORST DECISION. I've been on several cruises (Norwegian) and never have I experienced such movement of the ship before. Everyone was feeling sick and the beds were shaking and I have a high tolerance for motion sickness. Also, very dirty. Silverware and towels were dirty and had to be sent back. Also, I requested a towel to my room and it took an hour for it to come to my room (after midnight). When I complained about it, they said there was nothing to do about it so I just took a shower with no towel. Only go on this cruise if you are a first timer and keep your expectations very low. Cabin was extremely dusty and me and my friend were constantly sneezing. I never thought I'd say I was excited to get off of a cruise ship before. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My experience of the Bahama Paradise Cruise Line ship “Grand Celebration” sailing 3/13/18. Sitting in a garage with my best friend and girlfriend 5 days before spring break thinking about what we are going to do. My best friend says ... Read More
My experience of the Bahama Paradise Cruise Line ship “Grand Celebration” sailing 3/13/18. Sitting in a garage with my best friend and girlfriend 5 days before spring break thinking about what we are going to do. My best friend says “let go on a cruise”. We did a little research and found the Bahama Paradise Line. I didn't believe that you can go on being only 18 and drinking at 18, so I decided to call. That's when I met Branden. He answered every single question of mine, including pricing, what we need, and all the extra (normal) fees associated with cruising. I asked for his extension (343) so I could contact him later to book. Branden called me the next day just checking in to see how we were looking. I want to make it clear that I did not feel pressured at all into booking the cruise. I felt like I was one of his family members and he just wanted to see if he could make anything easier. A few calls were exchanged, and I let him know we are just getting the money situation figured out and I will call him back. A day went by when I later called him, “Hey Kevin how are you” was the first thing he said. To which I replied “Im great, and hope you are ready to take some credit card numbers”. Booking was extremely easy and I highly praise Branden for how easy it went. Getting on the ship was extremely easy and everyone was very welcoming. The ship was vibrant and clean and made me feel comfortable. The ship departed on time and everything couldn't be more perfect. Of course when we were in international waters it was time to hit the bar. I feel that all the food onboard was well prepared, and everything was absolutely amazing. Although a little seasick the first day and night on the ship was fantastic. The Bahamas was very fun as well although we did not do a shore excursion as we just wanted to relax on the beach. That night on the ship was even better than the first!!! The comedy club was absolutely amazing, and 100% worth the $12 per ticket. I can't put into words how amazing this trip was and how great everyone was. Hashi my room staff men even took the time to learn my name and upheld the most professionalism. I want to thank everyone on that ship for making my vacation fantastic. The wait staff at dinner was amazing and all the bartenders especially the one at the Oasis deck were absolutely amazing. And a huge thank you to Brandon for making this all possible! Honestly, reading google reviews and watching youtube videos about this ship I was a little skeptical and I started to judge it before I even got on board. I had head horror stories and to watch out for cheap cruises. But this cruise was amazing. I have been on a Royal Caribbean ship 3 times and Carnaval 4 times. The service on the Grand Celebration definitely competes with those lines. The google reviews do this cruise line no justice. I am a seasoned traveler, and extremely experienced with timeshare and vacations as executives of two of the largest hotel chains are in my immediate family. This cruise was absolutely amazing for the price. People say you get what you pay for… However on this ship, I feel that I recieved way more than what my $276 should have gotten me. Summer for me is in 4 months, and I am already planning my next trip. It won't be on Carnival, it won't be on Royal. Because I felt like I was part of a family on Bahama Paradise, I want to sail again with my family. I have been recommending this cruise to everyone I talk to since i've been back. And I will absolutely continue to. So thank you Bahama Paradise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Mid March 2018 All aspects of this cruise adequate to wonderful. We arrived at the Port early and were dropped off by Uber, so that part was super easy. Because we didn’t use the Valet service, I can’t comment on that part. ... Read More
Mid March 2018 All aspects of this cruise adequate to wonderful. We arrived at the Port early and were dropped off by Uber, so that part was super easy. Because we didn’t use the Valet service, I can’t comment on that part. The attendants taking our luggage were quick & efficient, watch closely to be sure all of your tags have your exact cabin # . The process to receive your cabin key and be given your “onboard materials” is a bit choppy, I’m not sure how that could be improved but it involves quite a bit of standing and waiting. Once on the ship, everyone is allowed to go immediately to the Main Buffet. Personally I found the choices ok to very good, it was easy to make a nice salad, meat choices were delicious and the cooked veggies were all quite tasty. The included beverages were better on Bahamas Paradise than on other ships. We could choose from: 1. Sweetened Açai Iced Tea 2. Unsweetened Iced Tea 3. Lemonade 4. Tea , Coffee, Decaf Yes, I understand that most cruises offer the above beverages without an extra charge, however on this ship the Serving area was more accesible, better organized, kept very neat and of a high quality when compared to Royal Caribbean & Carnival. It wasn’t presented as an afterthought or done in such a way that one felt forced to purchase a soft drink package. I had an empty reusable water bottle, it was useful for bringing iced tea back to my cabin easily.....wash it out and use for refills. Mine had a shoulder strap and secure top. We purchased the one hour unlimited wine party tasting, it was $12 and lots of fun to sample wine that one wouldn’t ordinarily obtain. I’d read on other reviews that the Cruise ship employees really push the ( $70.00) ten drink package, however once we purchased the “wine tasting cocktail party” , we were left alone. The luggage arrived to the cabin in a timely manner, the cabin was spacious, beautiful & clean. The mini fridge, balcony , terry cloth robes, closets, toiletries etc were all adequate. Both tub and shower were in fine working condition. . . although not simple to figure out. Fresh fruit, Free room service food choices, hot coffee etc were a pleasant surprise, I did tip the wait staff extra. The one problem area were the European electrical plugs, even though we knew ahead to bring adapters and extension cords , they still seemed inconveniently placed and there were not enough of them. My advice would be to bring two longer extension cords and 5/6 European adapters. Comedians, music and Entertainmnt were all ok. The swimming pools were adequate and it was easy to leave the ship in the Bahamas and return to it. Cab rides were about $10 round trip, hot and not really comfy. That part is in need of improvement. Going thru customs using our passports was quick without any issues or endlessly waiting in slowly moving long lines. Considering how many very negative reviews I’d read about this mini cruise, overall I was pleased and did not have or see those awful things published by so many others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Great weekend cruise! Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy! Ship is old but was very clean and kept up nicely. Our oceanview cabin was clean and spacious. Storage was plentiful and the bathroom was comfortable. Shower was ... Read More
Great weekend cruise! Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy! Ship is old but was very clean and kept up nicely. Our oceanview cabin was clean and spacious. Storage was plentiful and the bathroom was comfortable. Shower was great! There were 2 pools and 4 hot tubs. Our cruise was at capacity but you could still get a lounge chair. Many bars with great service and tasty drinks. All of the bartenders and servers we met went over and above to make us feel welcome. Food was adequate. Menu was more limited than on longer cruises but was good. Same with the buffet, good but not as many choices. The Entertainment was outstanding if you are into shows. The theater was very nice with comfortable seating and spacious aisles. It was easy to see from nearly any seat. The first night show was a variety show that included a comedian (great), an illusionist (very good, too) and song and dance acts. The second night was a variety of eras and genres of music and dancing. This was probably more appealing to a little older audience (40+). We were in port at Freeport, Bahamas from 8am to 5pm on day 2. There are many things to do uf you go ashore but they akso have many activities going on on the ship, if you dont want to get off. You cannot beat this cruise for value. If you've never cruised or just want a 2 night getaway, this is a wonderful choice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I know a lot of people say this cruise is a scam, but I don't think it is the actual cruise line that scams people, I think it is the private contractor's that book these cruises. We impulsively bought a "great deal" ... Read More
I know a lot of people say this cruise is a scam, but I don't think it is the actual cruise line that scams people, I think it is the private contractor's that book these cruises. We impulsively bought a "great deal" from Holiday Cruise Line that turned out to be working on behalf of a time share company (RCI/Wydham). We ended up spending significantly more money on this "great deal" and it was a nightmare to book. Luckily, aside from the hotel that they booked us at in Orlando (Park Inn by Radisson - don't ever stay here) most of the trip was a lot of fun. Aside from the extra fees that we paid to take this cruise ($82.59 for a beverage package - 10 drink tickets, $116.82 for 3 people to eat at the specialty restaurant - Admiralty Club and $115.80 for gratuity and taxes/port fees), we really had a great time. The entertainment was great and we had a lot of fun playing Name That Tune with the piano player at the martini bar. We also enjoyed playing board games which they had a nice variety to choose from in the lounge next to the martini bar. The main pool was being painted while we were there, so that was kind of a bummer. It was not easy to find a lounge chair either since it was Spring Break and the ship was full of people. The food was decent and they have top shelf liquors to choose from which was nice. I also managed to find a good glass of wine. One thing I want to mention is that dinner we had in the main dining room that you do not have to pay extra for was actually better than the meal we had at the specialty restaurant. Don't waste your money. One more thing - the Belgian waffles at the Buffet were probably the best Belgian waffles I have ever had. Seriously good! We really enjoyed the evening entertainment and I was very impressed with the theatre! It was super nice! They do a really nice job of taking care of this ship. It is very clean and the furniture is in good shape. We had no issues with customer service. Boarding the ship in Port of Palm was fairly painless, it didn't take too long. Boarding the ship in the Bahamas was a little concerning - they could not find our reservation! The reservation attendant had to go on to the ship and it took a half hour or so before he returned and told us he got it straightened out. Luckily it all worked out, except that our room was in the front of the ship on the way back and the vibration from the engine woke us up very early. Definitely will make sure we don't get a room in the front of a ship again! Getting off the ship once we returned to Port of Palm was kind of crazy. We ended up waiting until about 11:00 am until almost everyone was off the ship before we attempted to leave. Once we got off the ship we had to wait for a Valet to retrieve our car which took some time. We had to pay $19.00/day to Valet Park at Port of Palm - Valet parking is not an option, it is a requirement. I would recommend making sure if you are flying out the same day you return to book an afternoon flight and plan on relaxing on the ship until the very last minute. Trying to beat the crowds off of that ship and standing in line for a long time is not a fun way to end your vacation... Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Only good thing on this cruise was the dancers and singers. I loved watching the curly haired dancer, she is by far the best , and it shows. Costumese looked great. The solo boy dancer amazing as well. Not all the dancers knew what they ... Read More
Only good thing on this cruise was the dancers and singers. I loved watching the curly haired dancer, she is by far the best , and it shows. Costumese looked great. The solo boy dancer amazing as well. Not all the dancers knew what they were doing it looked like. Magician wasn’t that impressive to me. Overall entertainment was the best thing on this cruise. The cruise was dirty and wifi didn’t work. Buffet didn’t stay open long enough.. Casino drains you and only ATM does not work. Ice machine was broken and lots of wet floor. Food was average. Very casual party cruise. Fun games and activities on board. Computers didn’t work at all which was strange since there were so many of them. Cheap party booze drinking ship. Good for first time cruisers. Would not go back until everything works properly. I hope this review helps future cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I read through a lot of reviews before deciding to go on this cruise with my 2 kids (ages 10 & 15). I tried to prepare for any potential issues brought up by other reviewers. It turns out I didn’t need to! This cruise was great! I ... Read More
I read through a lot of reviews before deciding to go on this cruise with my 2 kids (ages 10 & 15). I tried to prepare for any potential issues brought up by other reviewers. It turns out I didn’t need to! This cruise was great! I will preface my review by saying I have sailed in Carnival 5 times before. I needed something that would fit my budget and time schedule and this 2 night cruise on the Classica was perfect! Embarkation was a breeze. We were greeted warmly and everything went smoothly during the process. A delicious lunch buffet was waiting for us when we got on board. The selections at this and all meals were great. Our room was a spacious inside cabin for three. If I had to say one thing bad it would be the shower size could have been a bit larger. There were plenty of on board activities to occupy our time with. We dined in the Tellow Elder for dinner and breakfast and the food and service was wonderful! We caught both big singing and dancing productions and LOVED them. We also caught some of the other entertainment around the ship and they were all great! I loved this cruise and look forward to doing another one! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Cheap and very good cruise, the buffet is very varied and in general cleanliness I give a 10. good attention to the customers. Comfortable beds and quite fun. recommended. I want to go back next year. My wife and I were an ocenview room. ... Read More
Cheap and very good cruise, the buffet is very varied and in general cleanliness I give a 10. good attention to the customers. Comfortable beds and quite fun. recommended. I want to go back next year. My wife and I were an ocenview room. the theater show was phenomenal, tremendous dancers. Live music for all tastes willing to please you. I really want to go back next year. I took the excursion to Grand Lucaya. its a Beautiful place. Exceptional The saxophone show in the encore salon. the Game for couples stole laughter from everyone present. If you love to play, the casino is very well suited. Yellow Elder restaurant has excellent entrees included in the price and likewise additional dishes at a moderate price. the cleanliness is spectacular. the staff is concerned about constantly keeping everything clean and very organized. The area for jogging is excellent. I recommend this cruise 100%! ! ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I'd like to begin by stating the obvious, EVERYONE knows that this is not a luxury cruise. Going in with that mindset, I will say it was a fine first time cruz. To give context, I was part of small group of guys in our early ... Read More
I'd like to begin by stating the obvious, EVERYONE knows that this is not a luxury cruise. Going in with that mindset, I will say it was a fine first time cruz. To give context, I was part of small group of guys in our early 20's. It's cheap and a quick trip so it seemed good for us. Clearly our standards were not high however, none of us were let down or overly disappointed. Be mindful of the constant up-charges, lots of pressure to buy drink packages as well. Food was what was expected, nothing fancy but decent. The day trip was spent spear fishing in Paradise Cove, by far the highlight of the trip. Great for spring break trips and for those who aren't looking to drop a fortune. The ship was in decent shape, maybe a little dated, again, BUDGET CRUZ. If you want luxury, pay for it, if you're okay with a little sacrifice but saving money, its definitely worth it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
A group of friends and I (all ages 25-32) did this trip as a birthday celebration. First off, for only $199 per couple- it’s a truly great getaway. If you’re looking for a top of the line cruise experience you won’t enjoy this but ... Read More
A group of friends and I (all ages 25-32) did this trip as a birthday celebration. First off, for only $199 per couple- it’s a truly great getaway. If you’re looking for a top of the line cruise experience you won’t enjoy this but then you’ll also pay upwards of $3,000. The excursions were great options but we did a local cab fare to Taino beach which was fun and a great relaxing experience. It was just $6 for beach access and there was a great bar and food stand. The van was $14 roundtrip per person. There were plenty of activities on board all day and we were concerned the drinks would be watery but they weren’t at all. The food was great- I didn’t have one meal I didn’t like. I sprang for the extra charge of 27.50 for filet and lobster tail which was well worth it. The nightlife was fun, the casino was great and every single employee was just the nicest. It was a great time and even better for the price! Perfect 2 day trip to relax and leave the world for a while Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have the experience of extending the ship experience to a resort while having more time to enjoy the island. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian. We were not expecting ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have the experience of extending the ship experience to a resort while having more time to enjoy the island. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian. We were not expecting the same level of amenities, however some things should be standard. Like clean linen, ventilated rooms, accurate scheduling of activities and overall cheerful staff. 1. The bath towels were yellow with white bleach spots 2. I had to return face cloths twice because they had black marks on them 3. We requested blankets and were given two very worn/tattered/very linty blankets that were not fit for a homeless shelter. When I expressed the condition of the blankets was not acceptable, the nice room steward offered to cover them in a dingy duvet for us. This was the best that he could do. 4. The same ship comedian was back on board harassing the guest in every common area, pool deck, dining room, lounge, etc. to purchase tickets to his performance. 5. Lack of daily ship activity itineraries. Again, I had to retrieve one from the front desk and they only had a limited supply. Furthermore, the information listed on the itinerary was not accurate. For example, there was supposed to be a lounge singer in the Encore Lounge at 11 pm. The singer announced this time, and this is the time that was on the itinerary. Nonetheless, when we showed up, the performance was ending. Apparently they decided to move her time up and guest planning to attend were unaware of the change. 6. After disembarking the ship, I discovered while in the customs line that I had left my cell phone in the cabin room. The customs area informed me to stay in line yet the guest services staff told me that I had to personally get out of line and come and sign for my recovered cell phone. The customs area staff turned out to have the correct procedures. Even for the price point, the Grand Classica should be held to standards of providing clean linen, accurate information for guest, and a hassle-free environment. I feel this is a more than reasonable ask. Lucayan We were very disappointed that the resort, Lucayan was not as advertised. Although aesthetically pristine, the resort appeared deserted. We were told by staff that the island encountered Hurricane Matthew a few years back and the resort had not recovered. The damages sustained by the resort resulted in the Bahamian Government having to take on the resort allowing some of the citizens to remain employed. Three years later, this resort is still not fully operational and is currently remains under the Bahamian Governments receivership. 1. Much of the resort was not available to the guest. 2. We did not have access to more than half of the amenities that were advertised. 3. There was only one dinner venue available, there were not any shows/productions, there was limited bars, many of the facilities were abandoned and there were unauthorized areas. 4. Since there was nothing to do in the evenings, we sought out the marketplace. The marketplace was not adjacent and we had to walk across a large deserted parking lot which was not adequately lit. 5. A shuttle would have been a safer option. In conclusion, guest have a reasonable right to be informed of conditions that could impact their vacation experience. Since there were alternative resorts in partnership with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines Cruise & Stay, we find it neglectful that another recommendation was not offered. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Royal Seas. Let me first say that there is nothing Royal about this. Don’t let the pictures of the brand new cruise ships fool you. The ship we got on was rusted and corroding away. They called us with an all inclusive package that in ... Read More
Royal Seas. Let me first say that there is nothing Royal about this. Don’t let the pictures of the brand new cruise ships fool you. The ship we got on was rusted and corroding away. They called us with an all inclusive package that in reality, was nothing inclusive about. We gave them a credit card number that we knew did not have enough to cover the initial $1,000 so that it would be declined and they could leave us alone. Well they had a way around that and charged it anyways so that we were way over our limit. After 6 months we decided that this was not something we were interested in. After trying to get a refund, we were refused and told basically that we either take it, give it to a friend, or forfeit the money. After some deliberation we decide to just go ahead and take it. We should have just forfeited the money. There was a bunch of taxes and hidden fees that were not included in our all inclusive package. We also paid $300 to upgrade our resort on the island so that our food and beverages were included. We set our date, book our flights ($400 extra), and arrive in FT. Lauderdale. After also upgrading the rental car (because we aren’t fitting comfortably into a Kia Rio $170 extra), we get to our hotel that Royal Seas booked us claiming to be a Ramada....yeah like 10 years ago. Let’s talk about false advertising here folks. The room itself was spacious, beds were not terribly uncomfortable, but the AC only cooled to about 78 degrees. Top that with only 4 tv stations, and the late night drug deals in the parking lot....we were not happy. Then we find out the next day our “orientation” was actually a Time Share tour. Living in a tourist town we know what a waste of time that was about to be...but they hold our Cruise tickets hostage until you endure 2 hours of “OMG it wont even cost you that much and you get this and this and this” better known as we cost more then a car payment and will bankrupt you into a contract you cant get out of. Come on Wyndham, you could have at least put us up in your “resort” to sell us a time share. After leaving 2 hours of our life that we will never get back, we call Royal Seas to complain about the accommodations, at first we get a rude little girl who very unprofessionally hangs up on us. As business owners, rule 1, never be the first to hang up. After calling back and speaking to management, they acted like they were gonna put us through to HR to put a formal complaint against that person, but we were hung up again, and only after saying they didnt have anything else available. Needless to say, we packed our bags, found the best little AirB&B 1 hour away and hightailed it out of there with our cruise tickets. Honestly, the AirB&B was the highlight of our trip. On day 3 we make our way to the port to board the ship. We get there at 11, stand in line for 1.5 hours, get charged $150 (taxes, fees, taxis, etc) and board the ship. Only to not have our rooms ready so we are forced to be around a bunch of strangers while hoarding our stuff because, well, they let anyone aboard. After barely eating a down right terrible lunch buffet, we sweat our butts off on the outside deck so the claustrophobia isn’t as bad before finally getting to go to our room...Where we promptly tried to hide in for 3 hours until the dang boat finally set sail. Let me say this right here if nothing else, they do not tell you what’s included, help you out at all, or care if you are getting everything you want out of the amenities included. We were afraid to leave the room for fear of having to be charged anything extra and at 18% gratuity alone, no thanks. Skipping ahead to the next morning (because there are just some stresses that needn’t be said) at 830 we all but ran off the ship to the hot island Bahamian air where we had to wait on a taxi to our resort. There’s our first indication that Islanders are not very friendly, especially when you’re a different skin color then them. We were ignored and left waiting for the next taxi because one female driver decided we weren’t her people. The next taxi held 12 people in it, 12 hot sweaty people, barely working AC, and a 20 year old van in desperate need of shocks. 20 grueling minutes later we arrive at the “all inclusive resort” where we were told to make sure we have a day bag packed because for 6 hot miserable hours, we would not be allowed to check into our room. At first we were excited. there was music, white (ish) beaches, and clear blue water. We found our own spot along the beach and took turns in the water (after all, trust no one, especially islanders haggling with you on the beach for Conch shells, marijuana, and Cocaine...yes, cocaine which we were offered 10 minutes after stepping foot on the beach.) 2 miserable hours later we get our buffet lunch (mediocre) and proceed to sit around for 4 more miserable hot sweaty hours before standing in line for 45 mins to get room keys. After walking to the absolute furthest room on the island we are met with a nice cool ACed room, but missing towels which an employee gave to us about 20minutes after getting in there. 7 hours in and we were already dead sick of being trapped in this resort. After looking into tours, excursions, and tourists traps (dont even ask about them unless you got money coming out of your ass because thats honestly the only way you’ll afford anything) the next day we purchased a rental car. $85 with taxes, we set off on day 2 with the resort in the rear view. While we found our own private beaches, coral rehabilitations, and deserted roads, the island is dirty, poor, and literally a living garbage can. Trash everywhere, run down buildings everywhere, abandoned hotels. It was downright sad at the state of what could have been a beautiful island. Day 3 we return the rental to an extremely rude owner who decided overnight that we were no longer worth mannerisms and check out of our hotel to get back on the dreaded cruise ship. I will say the return home was not nearly as bad now that we knew what was included but still, Royal Seas isn’t even comparable to one of those little rescue boats hanging off of a Carnival cruise ship. Before they con you into spending your hard earned money, think twice and read reviews. Splurge for Carnival, or stay away from floating death traps that hold a thousand people who would shove you overboard to save themselves and make your own way. AirB&Bs include house boats if you wanna be on the waters. Just saying. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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