1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 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
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Went with a group of friends and had a great time! Embarkation was easy, not crazy like it is when departing from Ft Lauderdale or Miami. We had read about the valet-only parking, so we parked elsewhere and took an Uber to the port. You ... Read More
Went with a group of friends and had a great time! Embarkation was easy, not crazy like it is when departing from Ft Lauderdale or Miami. We had read about the valet-only parking, so we parked elsewhere and took an Uber to the port. You can shop for shore excursions and buy drink coupons before boarding, or wait until you get on the ship. We are beer drinkers, so were pleasantly surprised that there were many good choices on board, not just the bland light beers they show on the promotional materials. We checked our bags with a porter and just took our small backpacks on board and headed for the dining room. The lunch buffet was a bit meager on choices, but quality was good, especially the desserts. Cabins were ready at about 1:30-2:00. Cabin was fine; more spacious than I would have thought. It was a bit confusing trying to figure out when and where our dining time was, but we got there. The food was great and the service very attentive and friendly. The lounge entertainment was terrific; the production show in the theater - not so much. I was pleasantly surprised that the casino was non-smoking. It also offered more games than I would have expected on a smaller ship like this. Public areas were nicely maintained and the decor was great. Overall, I was surprised at how well the ship was maintained, because I know it is an older ship.. We were not part of the time-share sales pitch, so I can't speak to that. We did our own thing in Freeport, renting cars and scooters and checking out various beaches. There are some beach clubs that look like they would be a lot of fun. Overall, I would say that this was a very fun cruise, and well worth what we paid. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was my first cruise. I had a great time from the start to the finish. Every step along the was was very well organized. The staff from the beginning to the end were very polite, professional and friendly. Everyone in their own ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I had a great time from the start to the finish. Every step along the was was very well organized. The staff from the beginning to the end were very polite, professional and friendly. Everyone in their own specialties catered to our needs; the help desk, waiters and the housekeeping staff. I only eat veg and seafood and I had lots of selections. Entertainment was for every age group; and the entertainers ensured everyone had a great time. Thanks to everyone involved for the excellent memories and for a relaxing vacations. The tours the next day were also fun and filled with activities of my selections. My only recommendation is that I thought the music was too loud and always blaring from the speakers. It would be nice to have a quite time to listen to the waves and gentle humming of the engines. Again thanks for everything, hopefully I will be back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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
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
82 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I did a lot of research before I purchased this cruise. I got a 'deal' through groupon, $269 for two people. When I called to book the cruise, I had to pay $65 per person for port fees. We arrived at 130pm, only way to park ... Read More
I did a lot of research before I purchased this cruise. I got a 'deal' through groupon, $269 for two people. When I called to book the cruise, I had to pay $65 per person for port fees. We arrived at 130pm, only way to park your car is valet, $18/ night, and only cash. There were about 300 people as we entered, no clear direction as to what was going on, we had to fill out paperwork for our on board credit account. We waiting about 2 hours in a line to get the room keys, and our info inputted ( which I had already done when I booked the cruise) . After this process we headed on board. The cruise ship is an old Carnival ship, VERY clean and polite staff ( this was the highlight) . They had a variety of entertainment that was suitable, nothing over the top. An adult comedy show was $12/ person, and wasn't that great. Check your weather as we had terrible motion sickness. We chose to venture out on our own once we arrived in Freeport. They loaded up 10 people per taxi for a 15 minute ride ( $10 round trip / person ) here you got to see the hurricane damage and a 'shopping center' with each store selling the same expensive stuff. $20 for a DORA shirt that said bahamas. AWFUL!! Honestly I would've just purchased souvenirs at the freeport port as you exit the boat and then spent the day on the now quiet boat. The excursions were expensive $100+ and I heard they weren't the best. A lot of people did they 2/4 night stay at a resort in the bahamas and apparently that was awesome. We had two twin beds pushed together to make a makeshift bed, it was awful and didnt lock even after asking housekeeping. Alcohol is very expensive, cheapest bottle is $100 of absolut, and soda you pay $20+ for unlimited . I would recommend getting drinks individually ( they had 50% off drinks during the entertainment, so wait for that) the drink package was $70 and was 10 8oz drinks, not worth it. $12 for a cocktail. Food was okay, set up was great, but certain things didnt taste right. we were sick and left the Stellar restaurant but the food looked amazing , also, there are two restaurants that are an additional charge, The Bull and Admiral club. You need your room key to get towels, and if you dont return them at the given time you are charged $20 per towel, same with room towels, if housekeeping comes by and you have taken a towel you get charged. Overall, we spent over $600 and this is without the excursions, definitely a waste for two mediocre days. DONT get this cruise, rather go to the Keys in a 5 star hotel. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 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
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
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
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! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
I went with my entire family to celebrate my sisters birthday, she had a wonderful time because the entire crew made sure everything was perfect, from a delicious dinner with a birthday cake, to having a little note in the cabin. There are ... Read More
I went with my entire family to celebrate my sisters birthday, she had a wonderful time because the entire crew made sure everything was perfect, from a delicious dinner with a birthday cake, to having a little note in the cabin. There are so many things to do on board! After dinner we enjoyed the shows in the theater and after they were done we enjoyed different live performance in different lounges. I am not very big on casinos, but the casino looked super busy and it looked very fun! We all had a great time and I wouldn't think twice about coming back, its a short but definitely a fun cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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: June 2015
The staff was very nice and the food was good (but did have watered down juice). However, the boat is old and nothing impressive. I even think what I paid for this cruise family was too much. I wished I could of spent $2000.00 else where. ... Read More
The staff was very nice and the food was good (but did have watered down juice). However, the boat is old and nothing impressive. I even think what I paid for this cruise family was too much. I wished I could of spent $2000.00 else where. My initial room stunk like sewer and by the third complaint I got another room but that one smelled like urine and it was hot. It rained and the boat had leaks everywhere and buckets had to be laid out to catch the water. It was very crowded and hard to get food or drinks in the cafeteria during BK, lunch and dinner times. You can go to the restaurants and shows but are for an additional fee. Grand Lucaya resort was nice but that is the only word I can used to describe it, nothing I wouldn't see in any other average local resort. It had pools and a beach, that's it. I paid $40.00 per person to swim in an average beach and pool. The food in the resort was very expensive and not good. When we were leaving my family (including 2 small kids) waited in customs for 2 hours, just to check our ID's and birth certificates not even to check our bags. The other passengers too, not just us. It just wasn't worth the money or the time. Read Less
Grand Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 5.0 3.5

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