4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Just returned from a 2 dayer on the Grand Celebration. July 25-27. A few things have changed and some I did not know about. If you receive a match comp for the casino it is for the tables only. Not for the slots. If you receive free ... Read More
Just returned from a 2 dayer on the Grand Celebration. July 25-27. A few things have changed and some I did not know about. If you receive a match comp for the casino it is for the tables only. Not for the slots. If you receive free drinks. You pay the 18% gratuity when ordering your drink. So if you get a free $9.00 drink your cost is only $1.62. Can’t beat that. Bingo has changed and not for the good. Price is way out of wack. Extremely high for what it is. $25.00 for 7 cards and only ONE game. Cover all. Normally there are 3 games. The slot tournament does not pay out cash. Only casino play for tables or slots. No evening buffets unless the ship is basically full and then maybe. Last cruise on there the evening buffet was excellent. The first evening in the MDR, neither my wife or I cared for anything on the menu. I ordered a burger and fry’s. Second evening we ate at the grill before they closed at 5:30. The ice-cream was ice milk. At lunch is was OK . Just before they closed it down, it was terrible, gooey. The pizza was very good. As were both of the lunch buffets. Everything was excellent. Breakfast was excellent. The shows were really very, very good. Better than what I remember. The comedian was very good. Getting on and off went very smooth and fast. Frozen drinks were terrible and tasted real bad. First one was a so called Miami Vice YUK! Took it back. Then a Pina Colada, YUK took it back. Mixed drinks were excellent and they even had my wife’s Moscato wine. On the Celebrity ships you had to purchase the bottle $45.00 + 18% By the glass on here. She was very happy. The day at Freeport Harbor was hot, but a beautiful day. Took our usual walk over to there. Three other ships were docked there. The area has been added to. A lot of new buildings and businesses. Everything was very clean and freshly painted. Less than a 10 min. walk from the ship if you cut through the Taxi parking area. The ship as usual, was very clan and looking good considering its age. Everyone working on the ship had smiles and were very nice. It is a great short getaway, considering the cost of the cruise. Worth it for sure. One couple we talked to hated the island but liked the cruise and the ship. It was their first cruise. Not sure what they did not like. Typical island and nothing much different from other island activities. I attached a picture of the vendors and business right there at Freeport Harbor. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I went on this cruise expecting a bad experience due to the reviews here but it was beautiful! The food was very delicious in the buffet and the restaurant that was included in our ticket had delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts to ... Read More
I went on this cruise expecting a bad experience due to the reviews here but it was beautiful! The food was very delicious in the buffet and the restaurant that was included in our ticket had delicious appetizers, entrees and desserts to choose from. The room was very clean and everything worked fine. There are only two outlets, one in the room and one in the bathroom. If you need more, I suggest bringing an extension cord. The tv in the room had good channels and good reception so that was a plus. The live show featuring the dancers was admittedly cringy at times but there were good parts for it being free. There was a very funny comedian on board and the tickets were $9 per person. The staff was extremely kind and were eager to pull strings to help in any way. We only drank beer buckets so we did not get the drink coupons. We chose the excursion that took us to Vivas resort in the Bahamas and it was beautiful. Very clean beach, beautiful decor, great food and helpful locals. Overall, a great experience and worth the money. Very clean, comfortable, great food and tons of helpful people to answer any questions. I 100% recommend! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I purchased directly through the cruise line and felt that I saved a few dollars and received a better package than going through groupon. After reading other reviews, I had low expectations before boarding. I brought a power strip to ... Read More
I purchased directly through the cruise line and felt that I saved a few dollars and received a better package than going through groupon. After reading other reviews, I had low expectations before boarding. I brought a power strip to overcome the one plug available in the room, a yeti cup since the cups in the buffet were small, and a white noise machine - all were needed and useful and I recommend bringing if you decide to take this cruise. We have US passports and purchased the Express Pass for $49. I felt the Express Pass was a waste of money, I will go into detail below. We arrived at the port around 11 am. Valet was efficient, we received our parking slip and were sent to have our luggage tagged. We were approached about adding a concierge package, we declined. We were then sent inside to go through security, quicker than airport security. Once through, you drop your checked luggage down a long hallway and then head upstairs to begin the check in process. Upstairs, there were few people in line, we only had a moment wait before being helped (no need for the express pass). From research, I knew about needing a card on file and the $100 hold. I had prefilled the form and had it ready for checkin. After receiving our cruise cards, we saw all the "extras" available for purchase. We had booked our excursion in advance over the phone. We knew in what we wanted, but were confused on where exactly to go. We figured it out and was able to book a fine dining experience at the Rock Grille (highly recommend!). The employee kept trying to upsell us to a package and push us to eat at the Admiralty Club instead. We declined and headed to purchase a soda package. We had ten free drink coupons through our package, yet the next employee did try to sell us another, we said we just wanted one soda package. We signed a form, received a copy, and got our soda cup. After a twenty minute wait, where there were cookies and lemonade available, we were able to line up for boarding. An announcement was made that the buffet would open at 12 PM on deck 10 and rooms would be ready at 1. The room key is in the cabin door. Boarding was efficient, swipe your cruise card, security checks your picture and you're on. We went straight to the buffet, but were led to a table by the pool area. We were confused, we wanted to eat but there were others sitting at these tables. Decline to sit, this was an upsell to get you to buy a $17 alcoholic drink cup. I was close, since the drinks were twice the size of the ones you get at the bars, but with the drink coupons you still have to pay $3 per drink. With this info, I declined. We then headed to the buffet and were surprised at the good quality of the food. There were employees walking around attempting to sell the $17 cups. With my soda cup, I was unclear where to receive soda - you have to go to a bar for soda. There's one in the back of the buffet. All the bartenders I went to were nice and happy to fill the cup. After lunch, we explored the ship and relaxed for sometime in one of the cabanas on deck 12. They made the announcement at 1 that rooms were ready, we headed to our room on the 7th floor. The whole ship was clean, the room included. It was an oceanview, with a nice, large window. There were two small beds pushed together to make a queen bed, the bed was very comfortable. Our housekeeper checked in on us, made sure we had what we needed and when I asked about our excursion passes, he brought them directly to me. With the express pass, we were supposed to have luggage priority, many people on our hallway had their bags before us and the two bags came at different times (another reason not to bother with the extra expense). While on board, we found there weren't many activities that we enjoyed. We don't care for clubs or dance contests and the included entertainment was ... not good. Think a poor high school musical. We actually walked out. Dinner at the Rock Grille was amazing. It was hard to find, they actually convert one of the sides of the pool deck 10 midship into the restaurant. It was warm, but they had fans blowing. It was well worth the $39 pp upcharge. The next morning brought rain as we arrived in Freeport. We went to the meeting area for our jeep excursion, received our wristbands, and waited. After a while, we were informed our excursion had been canceled due to the weather and we were sent to deck 5 to receive a refund and book another. We were not offered any specials (though they were being offered pre-boarding as a b1g1 free) even though I asked. We were only offered 1 excursion, the best of the Bahamas city tour and beach visit. The couples next to us were offered different ones and received 20% off, so I'm not sure why. The tour was a charter bus, with a funny guide and driver. The guide had poor time management skills. We had to cut many stops short because of this. Freeport is not nice, many run down buildings. We ended up at a beach owned by the tour company, included lunch was nice and the coconut drinks ($16 each) were amazing. We ate at Stellar Prime this night, which is challenging to find. We were seated with three other couples at an eight top. The food was just ok. Once we arrived back to WPB, we went to the express disembarking area at 830am, we lined up and went right through with our passports (another reason to not need the Express Pass). Total time from line to car was less than 20 minutes. This ship can go 19 knots, meaning at full speed the trip to Freeport should take less than four hours. This company takes 14 hours, with the only reason is to get you to spend more money on board. The boat must stop many times during the night. It began to list the morning we were arriving in Freeport, not sure if this is usual. The first night I continued to hear a loud thud and what sounded like someone running down the hallway (there wasn't anyone out there). I'm not sure what this was, it could be heard over my white noise machine and only happened between 1am and 5am the first night. Also, the next morning we heard maintenance knocking on doors, we looked out to see that the hallway had standing water about 4 doors down. This didn't impact us. Another reviewer discussed the clientele on the ship. With this price point, the Dollar General crowd is a good description. The ships elevators are small and slow, we opted to take the stairs rather than wait. My fitbit stated I went up 25 flights of stairs each day of the trip. We did not use the pools or hot tub, they were always full of too many people in the small spaces. I checked my final bill, it was correct at $117, the hold my credit card account was $195 instead of $100. A side note about the valet, I drive a sports car and have a driving app through onstar on my phone. Once on board, I pulled up my app and discovered the valet took my car for a joy ride, with many hard accelerations and hard braking. I had to disembark and finally spoke to the COO of the port who assured me they would investigate and the valet would be fired. If you have a nicer car, take precautions in advance or explore other transportation options. Overall, I would not take this cruise again. It met my low expectations, but did not exceed them. The only positive I have was eating at the Rock Grille. There are other options in Florida to enjoy similar things without the cost or clientele, especially in the keys. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Me and my roommate chose this cruise as a quick getaway due to our demanding work schedules. We booked a "Limited-Time Offer" where you bought two tickets, and got two more for free. We paid right at $990 for 4 tickets and 2 ... Read More
Me and my roommate chose this cruise as a quick getaway due to our demanding work schedules. We booked a "Limited-Time Offer" where you bought two tickets, and got two more for free. We paid right at $990 for 4 tickets and 2 cabins (one interior, one ocean-view) on the Grand Celebration. Overall I was satisfied with my experience, but I also went in with low expectations. This was my 4th cruise, I've been on two Carnival cruises to the Bahamas, and a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Bermuda. Pros: Very inexpensive Ended up getting 2 ocean-view rooms (by luck), and the cabins were quite spacious for a cruise ship Plenty of activities on board for two nights Although the boat was old and small for a cruise liner, it was very clean and tastefully remodeled. The staff was very friendly and did an excellence job of accommodating guests The casino, although small, was very entertaining Off-boarding and On-boarding at Freeport was a breeze The formal dining staff provided excellent service Cons: Alcohol was very expensive (more-so than other cruise lines). Virgin Pina Coladas were $11, and mixed drinks were $12-$19 each. Beer was not too awful, priced at $6.25 each for domestic. The "alcohol pass" was about $90, and only got you 10 coupons to use toward drinks. If all you drink is beer (like me), it's actually more expensive than just buying them individually. Casual food options were very limited, with only 2-3 options of places to eat. The taste was not bad, but definitely nothing worth going back for seconds for. I was very underwhelmed with the taste of the formal dining food. Very bland and not worth it. If I were to ever do this cruise line again, I will be purchasing the specialty dining option beforehand. The off-boarding process at the end of the cruise was an ABSOLUTE disaster, it took well over 2 hours of standing in line just to get through customs. Not what you want to do on your way back home after the cruise is over. They need to find ways to expedite the process. I really wish this cruise had went to Nassau or somewhere else besides Freeport. I have been to Freeport before so I knew what to expect, but the island is very underwhelming, run-down, and not very clean. I purchased all four of us day-passes to the Grand Lucayan Resort in advance ($27 each on shoreexcursioneer.com), and I'm very glad I did. The resort was very clean, with tons of amenities such as free lounge chairs (by the pool and ocean), free umbrellas, a huge infinity pool, a hot tub, corn-hole, an outdoor ping-pong table, bars for food and drinks, and more. Renting towels for the day cost about $4 each. Spending the day at the resort, followed by hitting the Lucaya Marketplace on the way out, was in my opinion the best way to spend a day on the island. In conclusion, I would recommend this cruise to someone like myself, who has a very demanding career that doesn't allow ample amounts of time off, or to someone who has never cruised before. They wouldn't have high expectations, and it's a great way to just try it out to see if cruising is for you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise about 3 months ago to take my family on a first cruise vacation. I also took my 2 year old which was a huge mistake because there was nothing for him to enjoy also my 12 year old sister wasn’t able to enjoy anything ... Read More
I chose this cruise about 3 months ago to take my family on a first cruise vacation. I also took my 2 year old which was a huge mistake because there was nothing for him to enjoy also my 12 year old sister wasn’t able to enjoy anything the pool was always full of people smoking around it, the so called game room only had 6 games in total which 3 were broken the machine stoled my money and I told one of the employees he did absolutely nothing just walked away. There were people smoking pot on the ship in the cabins and the outside area I reported it and again nothing was done. My family and I got no sleep at all with all the loud people running and yelling down the hall ways. Food was served cold and it wasn’t good at all I can say we survived by munching on a few things the food was not great at all and I was not offered no type of milk Or food for my son after telling them that he was lactose and tolerance. I gave him apple juice all weekend to keep him hydrated at least. The food they say is included is trash and they charge for absolutely everything plus an 18% fee for every little thing. Absolutely nothing is included please don’t let these people scam you they will charge your card for things that you never ordered or they will say it’s free but still ask for the card to charge it. The room refrigerators were not working I told an employee about it and he said the other one he has wasn’t much better so changing wasn’t going to make a difference. Also the water they give customers to drink is not filtered it’s sink water with ice. I am very disappointed everything that was promised during booking was not even half the service I expected. When I went to the kids club area they tell me that my son can’t stay because he’s under 3 and has to be potty trained this was never clarified to me when I booked this vacation they told me over the phone there was going to be child care service for my son on the ship if I was interested they will sell you the world to get your money. I will not recommend anyone to go with this cruise line at ALL ! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Decided to take a cruise for our Anniversary literally hours before the ships departure, booking online was very easy. This was our 33rd cruise and knowing it was an older ship we didn’t expect much. Boarding was easy and parking at ... Read More
Decided to take a cruise for our Anniversary literally hours before the ships departure, booking online was very easy. This was our 33rd cruise and knowing it was an older ship we didn’t expect much. Boarding was easy and parking at the port was by valet a bit pricey for me but this was last minute and we didn’t have time to shop around, the ship appeared to been built in the 60’s and has never had a noticeable upgrade. The lighting, furnishings , and avocado colored walls were straight out of my youth. Our room was spacious with plenty of cabinets and drawers, it was very well maintained. Food on this trip was just okay, lido during the day and the dining room at night, the daily planner said that lido was open for dinner but it never was. Food highlights were a late night Mexican buffet and a smoked barbaque one afternoon, wish we had eaten during these off hours instead of the regular planned meals. Highlights of this short cruise were a well priced wine tasting $12.00 that included many wines that allowed you to come back for more also had a cheese, cracker and fruit tray serve yourself style, if you enjoy wine this is not to be missed. Our favorite thing of the whole ship were the nightly shows which I’m usually not a fan of. Their very talented singers and dancers were accompanied with acrobats doing their act while the singers preformed. It was like Circus de Solei on a smaller scale. Kudos to whomever put together this show. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I have NEVER been so happy for a vacation to be over!! Booked this 4 day Cruise & Stay for myself and my daughter as a graduation celebration for her and birthday celebration for me. On the ship...Only thing Good was the Food ... Read More
I have NEVER been so happy for a vacation to be over!! Booked this 4 day Cruise & Stay for myself and my daughter as a graduation celebration for her and birthday celebration for me. On the ship...Only thing Good was the Food (Restaurant not the Buffet) and the Comedian (Loose Canon) There was lots of musical entertainment but it was strictly for the young twerking crowd or Hispanic... meaning the music was either raunchy rap / twerk music or Hispanic. Fortunately, for me I do like Cumbia, Salsa, Reggae (which they did not play) but would have loved to hear some good R&B or decent Hip Hop. They actually had 2 Parties going on at the same time and they were both Rap & Hip Hop and not the good Hip Hop either. I got into a conversation with a couple who looked to be in their late 40s and they said the same thing...”what are we supposed to do if we want to dance and enjoy music”. When I booked, the Rep put in an order for birthday cake on my birthday. When I mentioned this on the ship, they looked at me like I was crazy; they had NO idea what I was talking about yet “Birthday Cake” it was clearly noted on my Travel Confirmation. But I didn’t press the issue and I just let it go. I was looking forward to a better time on the island. Uh….Nope...not happening. So on the Island…. We left the ship around 10:30am and arrived on the island around 11am. Room checkin wasn’t til 3pm so we had to hang out on the beach til 3pm. So we ate and walked around and walked around and walked around some more in 101 degree weather. So, comes time to check in. We check in and get our luggage. We trek our way down 4 buildings, of course we were in the farthest building. We get to the room and the room key doesn’t work. I asked one of the Housekeepers if she could open it and she said it’s not the key, it’s the door. Apparently she had mentioned this to someone before but it was ignored. So we trek back past these 4 buildings again to Guest Services, stand in line to explain to them the key is not working and mention what the Housekeeper had told me. Guy swipes the key and said it should be working now. S0...we trek our way back down past these 4 buildings AGAIN to our room and try the key AGAIN. Key STILL not working!! So Housekeeper says they’re sending Maintenance down. So, we’re just standing outside the room and by now it feels like it’s 150 degrees. We’re sitting on our luggage waiting for Maintenance who NEVER showed up. Housekeeper said that I could get another room if I went back to Guest Services and I told her NO! I’m not walking all the way back up there again! She said she would do it for me so she took my key and returned about 40 minutes later with the key to a new room. The room they gave us was one they were still cleaning, so we have to wait until they were finished cleaning it. So Housekeeping is rushing trying to get it ready. Finally they let us in and floor is still wet and all we could smell was a super strong overwhelming chemical smell. Kid you not, this smell was so bad it made my eyes water and nose burn and that was with the keeping the balcony door open (and it lasted the whole time we were there). But at least we had a room; close to 2 HOURS later! Now it’s close to 5pm and we’re in the room waiting for towels and pillow cases which took another hour. I just went ahead and took a shower and dried off with the face towel. Finally, we had a room BUT the room they switched us to DID NOT have ocean view as advertised….”All rooms with Oceanview” Yea, if you get an Ocean View on the ship! The view was of a little dirt road that lead to the beach. No beach could be seen from that room / balcony. Entertainment was a DJ that closed up shop at 9pm; 9pm!! WTH! So when the music stopped, you were basically on your own for entertainment….go get another watered down drink and that’s it. NEVER AGAIN!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Cruise over all was moderately okay. The ship was clean and easy to navigate. The cabins were presentable and just enough space for the 4 of us, having the bunk bed really helped. Dining was nice at the included buffet, the food was good ... Read More
Cruise over all was moderately okay. The ship was clean and easy to navigate. The cabins were presentable and just enough space for the 4 of us, having the bunk bed really helped. Dining was nice at the included buffet, the food was good and plenty of choices. Every night for entertainment we headed to the theater to watch singing and dancing which was fun to watch. Service was good they were very quick if you need anything at all like plenty of milk at night for the baby. Shore excursion was the best part swimming with the pigs was AMAZING and I highly suggest it. Once 3rd day which is day off the boat the whole family which includes 18 month old and 10 year old ( this was her bday gift) got red little itchy, stinging bumps all over our back, legs, and arms. Went to family dr once back home in Atlanta and diagnosis Bed Bug Bites. Tried reaching over 5x now to manager Maria at the cruise line but she is always in a "meeting". The cruise is what you pay for. Not hot food, small pool, decent service. I was going to suggest cruise to family and friends until this happened. I hate for other children to go thru this. Not the out come I was hoping for my daughters birthday cruise. Best part was swimming with the pigs. The staff was great and tour guide was very informational and friendly. Maria call us back! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I only picked this cruise since I was on a budget and wanted to do something for my birthday. I should have known better and saved a little bit more to get on a different cruise line. Where do I start....The port was not a bad drive, ... Read More
I only picked this cruise since I was on a budget and wanted to do something for my birthday. I should have known better and saved a little bit more to get on a different cruise line. Where do I start....The port was not a bad drive, however the fact that you have to use valet is not okay. Plus you have to pay $20 a night. At the port when you take your luggage to the tag guy he tells you that after he puts the luggage tag on then you have to take your own luggage inside and wait for him at the end so that he can put the luggage away? Okay...what was the point of that if I have to take my luggage inside myself after you put a lousy paper tag that's not even printed, it doesn't have your name on it or cabin #? But yet he's expecting a tip. Inside was so unorganized some people were getting frustrated. The staff just doesn't have it all together. Inside the ship is horrible and OLD. Guest relations is actually called customer service, however the ladies were very nice and I had no issues with them. The cabin was an ocean view and it was a typical cabin. It was okay but one of the pillowcases had blood on them and housekeeping swapped it out really fast. Housekeeping normally would introduce themselves and that didn't happen. We had to ask for towels since those were very limited. The buffet was disgusting and smelled awful. The silverware was dirty, the cups smelled really bad. The seats were in horrible condition. There were about 4 selections to eat from for lunch and dinner besides the salad bar. Each island had the same food on each side. There was a pasta station...never ate there. They did have a grill by the pool and an ice cream machine which was horrible. I've never been so disgusted with a buffet ever! For dinner at the main dining room you don't have assigned seating which sucks because you can get placed with random people which in our case that happened, however I wasn't having it so I spoke with the restaurant Manager and he quickly took us over to the Admiral restaurant and we were accommodated there. This restaurant was okay and of course was way better than the buffet. The restaurant Manager there was very nice and attentive. The pool looked like it belonged in a horror movie. They have a stage on the ship that also had showers attached to it......what in the world....This ship had things that I've never seen before. This ship does not enforce anything. During the muster drill people were on their phones. The staff didn't even count the people they had. Some people walked in after the drill was done. Like who does that? Smoking is allowed anywhere on the ship which is disgusting. Normally on any other cruise line the staff is always working and cleaning the ship, we never saw that. There were cigarette buds and food thrown all over and none of the staff cleaned anything. The gift shops were basic and overly priced. The entertainment sucked. They had 2 shows a night and they were repeats. The adult comedy show has an extra fee of $9. What!!!! You have to pay for a comedy show? And on top of that the comedian was walking around the ship trying to sell these tickets himself! The casino was very small and we almost witnessed a fight with a young woman and an elderly woman. You had teens walking around the ship with boom boxes. Kids running around everywhere taking the elevator with strangers and the parents no where to be found. This cruise line is beyond low class and should close indefinitely. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Very poor planning. The first night had no plumbing on half the ship but no one woke the managers up so we had to wait until 7:30am to know what options we had. There were no working public bathrooms and no one was able to help us. Finally ... Read More
Very poor planning. The first night had no plumbing on half the ship but no one woke the managers up so we had to wait until 7:30am to know what options we had. There were no working public bathrooms and no one was able to help us. Finally at 4pm, the plumbing was fixed. They did give us rooms to use with working bathrooms but we paid for a suite and these were small rooms. The staff was good. Some of the people on the ship were rude. Everything cost extra, even the free drink coupons since there was an 18% service charge added. Don’t get room service since you pay $6 service charge. Save $ and take a different cruise. The suite was beautiful. Regular dining food was not good. We did get upgraded to fancy restaurant and the food in that restaurant was excellent. The buffet food was just ok. Typical buffet food. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship was full of sorority college students. Their drunken behavior 24/7 was over the top and nothing was done. The ship was nice but fragmented and confusing. The staff were all very nice . The vendors outside of customs are a little ... Read More
The ship was full of sorority college students. Their drunken behavior 24/7 was over the top and nothing was done. The ship was nice but fragmented and confusing. The staff were all very nice . The vendors outside of customs are a little pushy . I do wish a diabetic selection of foods had been offered in the dining room. The food was yummy but soo rich and sweet. The coming and going from port was fun for us first timers. We took the cove snorkel tour which we highly recommend. You can walk out into the ocean very far and we took pics of turtles, Ray's and fish. The cabins are nice size, plenty of room to store luggage and huge closets. Roomy shower. Bring a regular extension cord for your chargers. The view out our window was fantastic and seeing the wake if the ship with the lights from the ship was really pretty. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
2-days cruise price awesome. Neither pools on ship were operational for the entire cruise. Both had closed signs on them. Ship needs a major overhaul, caution tape everywhere and not sure if its always like this or if they are updating ... Read More
2-days cruise price awesome. Neither pools on ship were operational for the entire cruise. Both had closed signs on them. Ship needs a major overhaul, caution tape everywhere and not sure if its always like this or if they are updating but there were no signs that they were remodeling or a sign saying excuse our mess. Everything is an up charge. You pay for an add on packages and when you go to cash in on them there is like 18% charge + a gratuity added at the end of your cruse for each person in your party. Returning boat left port late at night so they view while cruising was null. Food was nothing to write home about and drinks were $$$. When you first board they hound you for drinks, following you around trying to sell Bahama mama with souvenir cup, to the point you have to get rude with them to leave you alone. The room was clean and nice size. Overall was not impressed i would give it a D. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
It was an OK first timer cruisers mini vacation, the service suck, no one knows anything there, they don't know how to make people feel like they on a vacation,specially a paid vacation. from start to finish crew members were NOT ... Read More
It was an OK first timer cruisers mini vacation, the service suck, no one knows anything there, they don't know how to make people feel like they on a vacation,specially a paid vacation. from start to finish crew members were NOT welcoming, if you walked tours someone they quickly look the other way not to help and once you get their attention they know nothing is like they all robots, they clean, clean and clean, that was about all they knew how to do. They where rude and it was everyone there not just one or two crew members. We felt so disappointed, they first day we was really having a bad day trying to get and know places at the ship so we can take advantage of all the perks, but no one there to help, because no one knew anything. Trying to make it to the restaurant for dinner was a disaster, we got lost three time with the crew giving us three different directions and we was told we needed reservations by some and the others said the contrary. Every crew member was rude and looked bother every time we ask something, even when purchasing photos and at the bar.The dinner at the restaurant was a total disaster,the waiters where so trying to do everything so fast that they got everything wrong, bumping into everyone just ridiculous, it was a joke, the food was the best thing of the cruise and the cleanness of it all, you can tell they were on top of things, but it was so unpleasant and felt very uncomfortable. I don't think I will ever do it again. I think the crew is under paid and over worked that is why they all unhappy...my suggestion fired everyone and get new welcoming happy faces, people are on vacation and they deserve one not all this mongoloids messing up their vacation. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I booked this cruise for my daughter's 18th bday. I was afraid of getting sea sick on a longer cruise so I thought we would test the waters on a shorter one. I read about a million reviews and was very skeptical. However, the cruise ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my daughter's 18th bday. I was afraid of getting sea sick on a longer cruise so I thought we would test the waters on a shorter one. I read about a million reviews and was very skeptical. However, the cruise was relaxing and everything that you could expect from a Groupon deal. The food is ok. I was exhausted so I didn't make the late night shows or farewell party but heard that both were great. The best part was the Grand Bahamas excursion. We really enjoyed spending the day in the Bahamas. The staff was friendly but I must say that some passengers were very rude. I heard a lot of them complaining about service, but hey if you're a jerk customer, you get what you ask for. The cabin was a good size and we were both comfortable. My daughter loves basketball so we watched a few games in the sports bar and listened to some great music. Tips:(1) Check in around 2 pm as the rooms are not ready until then and there's not much to do until after dinner. (2) Disembark -Skip the breakfast on the last day and get in line. The process is much easier with a passport. (3) Read the fine print for up charges. I don't drink sodas or alcohol so I had no problem with missing out on either. I probably won't do the cruise again because it's an 8 hour drive and the Jacksonville cruise if closer. If you are looking for a lot of activities and free drinks, then book another cruise. If you're looking for a quick get a way this is perfect! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship is not bad. Scheduled to leave at 5:30 pm, I waited until 8:00 pm to see the ship leave the Port and was still there ...... Few activities on board. Restaurant good. Friendly service. The destination: Grand Bahama is terrible, ... Read More
The ship is not bad. Scheduled to leave at 5:30 pm, I waited until 8:00 pm to see the ship leave the Port and was still there ...... Few activities on board. Restaurant good. Friendly service. The destination: Grand Bahama is terrible, poor, ugly . Better not even get off the ship. On the way back, you are practically pushed out of the ship and we could not dispute the bill they leave at the door of your cabin. To make matters worse, the bag I left in the car that was in the parking lot of Porto, exclusive to who embarks on the ship, was stolen !!! Clothing, Shoes, Cosmetics... Positives: friendly crew, nice restaurant, quiet trip. Negatives: noisy cabin, disembarkation And immigration slow and without respect for the elderly, few options for drinks on board and expensive, besides the rate of 18% on top of everything, the destination of this Cruise is a very bad idea..... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Where to begin, paid for WiFi that didn't work, food was terrible, and they cost me more money due to the fact we didn't get back until 2pm when we were suppose to be back by 7am. They don't return your messages and you can ... Read More
Where to begin, paid for WiFi that didn't work, food was terrible, and they cost me more money due to the fact we didn't get back until 2pm when we were suppose to be back by 7am. They don't return your messages and you can never get ahold of anyone. They were doing maintenance on the busy while your on it which is very tacky! The drinks were defiantly over priced. The buffet was the same on both sides, you only got water or juice to drink unless you wanted to pay for a soda. They charged you for gratuity each day and an additional 18% on anything else you purchased! This was my first cruise and I was very disappointed. I understand things happen, but when its not your fault they should make things right! It send cheap on the computer but its not on paper! Be very mindful! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I would not recommend a cruise with this company. My daughter and I went on the Grand Celebrations Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. What a disaster! The price to book was a good deal but all the extras that they add on later once onboard can ... Read More
I would not recommend a cruise with this company. My daughter and I went on the Grand Celebrations Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. What a disaster! The price to book was a good deal but all the extras that they add on later once onboard can get very expensive. We could have taken a 5 or 6 day cruise with a much more organized ship for what we paid to go on this 2 night cruise. Most of the cruise ships have the information in your cabin waiting for you on your arrival. We had to ask where to pick up the drink package coupons. No wash cloths in our cabin. We had to call to have someone bring them. We did not get our room serviced the next day. No clean washcloths or towels, bed did not get made. Once again we had to call. Ship was in port when a crane fell on the Royal Caribbean ship in the Bahamas. Our ship was delayed leaving the Bahamas because we took on 600 crew members from the Royal Carribean so they could shower, eat and sleep. Many passengers on our ship were going to miss flights and lose money on other reservations they had made previous to coming on this ship including my daughter. I even saw and heard a higher up crew member get very nasty and yell at passengers who where concerned about missing flights because of the delay. It was very obvious he didn't care about the paying passengers on his ship. He was only concerned with helping the crew from the other ship. Once we arrived back to West Palm Beach getting off the ship was a nightmare. No organization what so ever!! Terrible cruise line!! Would not recommend to any one! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on a quick trip on this cruise line. We had previously gone on a longer trip with them about 5 years ago. Here are the pro's: The Admiral's Club dinner was excellent. I had steak and pork and my wife had a chicken ... Read More
We went on a quick trip on this cruise line. We had previously gone on a longer trip with them about 5 years ago. Here are the pro's: The Admiral's Club dinner was excellent. I had steak and pork and my wife had a chicken salad. Everything was great but the service was absolutely the best. Our servers Ellot and Dan were simply perfect. The Crow's Nest Sports Bar was excellent. The bartender Luh did a great job. Another pro was the excursion we chose. We originally were going on the kayak adventure. The cruise website shows 1 person per kayak but we were told that they put 2 people in each kayak. Not wanting a divorce from both of us being in the same kayak, we cancelled that excursion and went on the Jeep safari. We were glad we did.....constantly moving from one location to another was great. Beach visits were very nice. Final check out was unbelievably easy. We walked down to Customs, were the only ones there and were out in about 3 minutes. Here are the con's. Check, recheck and triple check times. We had several problems on times because the crew all have different ideas on times. Times stated in writing were not the same crew members told us on multiple occasions. It started right after arrival. We were told 4 different times by different crew members when the Muster Station drill would take place. One crew member even told us not to worry about going to the "mandatory" drill. The next thing that was off was the excursion time. Ticket said to be there at 8:15 but come 15 minutes earlier. The cruise ship rep showed up late...about 8:25. We were told 3 different times by crew members on when our luggage should be left outside out door. We were told midnight, 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. This is a pretty important time that all crew members should be in sync on. One last thing to keep in mind is that wake up calls were shaky. Our first call on arrival to the Bahamas was supposed to be 6:30 a.m. Call came at 6:50. On departure day in West Palm, our 7:30 wake up call came at 7:55. All in all, we had a good trip. The inconsistent information was a pain. A couple of times, the 2 reps side by side at the customer service desk would say different times to us. This got old. Check, recheck, and triple check times. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I just returned today from our 2 day cruise package to Grand Bahamas. Our largest concern in selecting this particular cruise was the cruise ship itself, The Grand Celebration, due to it's age (30+ years). Our concerns ... Read More
My wife and I just returned today from our 2 day cruise package to Grand Bahamas. Our largest concern in selecting this particular cruise was the cruise ship itself, The Grand Celebration, due to it's age (30+ years). Our concerns were unfounded! The ship was in great shape...super clean, and the entire crew and staff were super friendly, courteous and helpful. The ship accommodates approximately 1500 guests but we sailed with 300 guests. This made embarkation, debarkation, dining, drinking at the bars and excursions a breeze. We dined in the main dining room both nights. The service was excellent. The food was adequate and the presentation of the food was above average. There was always some variety of food available throughout the ship almost the entire day and evening. We booked an excursion to "Swim with the Pigs". It was the highlight of my wife's trip!!! Booking was fast and easy. On the day of the excursion we were provided with a time and location on the ship to meet. We were led off the ship and onto our transportation van. The driver/tour guide provided a history of the island as well as door to door service. At our location we had a private beach, bar, tables and food (drinks and food were cash only). The only negative we found was that there was only one electrical outlet available in our ocean view cabin. Also our request for a wake up call was confirmed by we never received the call. Our neighbors got their wake up call an hour early. All in All its a great little trip that exceeded our expectations. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I went on the Grand Celebration Jan 16-18, with my wife, 2 sisters and a brother-in-law, and we all had a good time. The weather was fine, the staff very helpful and amenities, food, etc., were sufficient to make it an enjoyable time, ... Read More
I went on the Grand Celebration Jan 16-18, with my wife, 2 sisters and a brother-in-law, and we all had a good time. The weather was fine, the staff very helpful and amenities, food, etc., were sufficient to make it an enjoyable time, echoed by other passengers we met. True, the ship is oldish, but it was very clean, had sufficient elevators and its age wasn’t a real factor. Personally, I was in a wheelchair and the staff were always offering assistance, including getting on and off the ship, which was handled very efficiently.. My only disappointment was the lack of disabled restrooms on the other decks. The only disabled restroom I found was on Deck 5 which was the same deck as my cabin so I went to my cabin each time. The entertainment was ok. The crew provided plenty of entertainment poolside during the day but I could have done without the late night karaoke. We all went to see one of the shows - a comedian who had some good original jokes. His material was very adult though, with a lot of cursing that could have been cut out. We all like to gamble on cruises but didn't spend a lot of time in their casino. It was clean, smoke-free but not very busy. There wasn't a Texas Holdem table, which was disappointing, only the 3-card game. The slots played pretty much as well as other cruises. We didn't go on any prearranged excursions. Instead we too a taxi to Port Lucaya marketplace. The driver was very helpful, waiting for us while we shopped (or window-shopped) before taking us back to the ship. He also gave a pretty good commentary about the Bahamas as he drove. The marketplace was a typical tourist place, selling lots of local souvenirs and providing a variety of restaurants. Unfortunately the nearby hotel/casino, we had been to before, was closed because of hurricane damage. The food on board had sufficient variety and was available throughout the day. The dinners were good, though the entree choices were limited, and there were no complaints from any of us. The wait staff were friendly and efficient. Overall we all had a good time and are looking forward to our next cruise on one of their ships. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We sailed on this ship when it started about 15 years ago when the ship was called the Bahamas Celebration and it was terrible. A local family purchased it and now it is very nice. In many cases better than carnival. The ship is in ... Read More
We sailed on this ship when it started about 15 years ago when the ship was called the Bahamas Celebration and it was terrible. A local family purchased it and now it is very nice. In many cases better than carnival. The ship is in excellent repair for as old as it is. Most all the personnel are wonderful, the drinks are NOT water down at all. Excellent drinks. There 10 coupon drink offer is only $82.00 with gratuity, $8.20 a drink is a super price for excellent mixed drinks, What is nice about it. If you purchase a drink package on other ships, you MUST purchase one for everyone in your cabin. That is because they are unlimited. With this one you can offer the coupon to anyone for a drink. A couple that are moderate drinkers, it is a great deal. The soda package for only $24.00 with gratuity is UNLIMITED soda. That also is a great price considering a single can is $3.54 each with gratuity included. Not offered a great selection but the normal sodas. Both days the buffet lunches were excellent, yes excellent. Far better than on many of the big Cruise lines. Dinner buffet was not so good at all. Ether night. We did the dining room on the last cruise and it was as expected. Far better than the buffet but not as good as the big cruise lines. Unless you love Mexican food than stay away from the 11PM-1AM snacks. ALL MEXICAN both nights. Very disappointing for sure. No variety at all. Also disappointing is the soft sever machines are closed down after lunch. It would be nice if they closed them down at 1AM . Getting off the ship at the end was a very long wait. Not all booths were taken by customs. They split up those that had pass ports and those that did not. About 10% of the guests had pass ports. That line was very short, but still slow. Very slow, many got irritated at they staff and they had no control. People need patients some times. Now for the negative. We had cruised on both of there ships before, both are very nice but we prefer the Grand Celebration and this time was shocking for sure. Over 80% of the 1600 guests were of Spanish origin. So they catered to them 100% of the time. Not happy with that, but understandable. Almost every announcement was in English and Spanish including the bingo. Again, certainly understandable. All guests were super nice people that we were able to talk to. New Years Eve was no exception. We decided to do New Years Eve in the sports bar. Did not know it should have been called the Spanish Bar. All the DJ played was Spanish music all in Spanish. When I asked him if he could mix it up a bit. I was taken back by his answer to me. He replied sarcastically, . If we do not like it, we could just leave and go somewhere else. Everywhere else was jammed packed and most of the music there was live but Spanish, however you could hear different songs every other song or so. That was nice. But no room. So we sat outside of the bar and enjoyed ourselves anyhow. The sports bar had very few people in it. I wonder why? The DJ was the ONLY arrogant employee we had encountered. ALL the others were super nice and made up for him. There is always one, isn't there? So all in all if you do not mind rubbing elbows with mostly Spanish travelers this cruise, but this ship in particular is excellent for an inexpensive get away. I do recommend it. One last think. My wife left her nice favorite sweeter on the bed when we left. i call as soon as we arrived home. Still no reply from the cruise line about the sweeter. i am sure they had it. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
As a Cancer patient recovering from a life saving major surgery, my doctor advised me I could not fly or take long road trips. I saw a commercial for this cruise line and knew that I could handle a two night cruise. So I first booked a ... Read More
As a Cancer patient recovering from a life saving major surgery, my doctor advised me I could not fly or take long road trips. I saw a commercial for this cruise line and knew that I could handle a two night cruise. So I first booked a cruise on the Grand Classica for my birthday in July. It was perfect. No long lines, no dealing with crowds, everything from embarkation to disembarkation went smoothly. The rooms were spacious, the restaurants and food were outstanding, great entertainment. Do not be fooled by the price. The quality of the service you receive is unbelievable. This first trip allowed me to find a venue where I could get away safely. I truly enjoyed myself. The experience lifted my spirit so much that we booked another two night cruise on the Grand Celebration. Please be sure to check out their Suites. Both cruise ships allowed me to experience the luxury and adventure offered by the major cruise lines but in a smaller and safer scale. Not compromising the service of excellence. I not only highly recommend this cruise line, I look forward to cruising with them soon. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Bahamas Paradise Grand Celebration 1-3 September 2018 I have been on more than 30 cruises over many years, on multiple cruise lines, with varying levels of technology and age of ship. I hold elite status on Princess and Disney and know ... Read More
Bahamas Paradise Grand Celebration 1-3 September 2018 I have been on more than 30 cruises over many years, on multiple cruise lines, with varying levels of technology and age of ship. I hold elite status on Princess and Disney and know what a cruise should look like. In reading the reviews of this line I find a lot of inaccurate information some of which comes from an expectation level that is misplaced. I am trying to provide a complete review of the experience we had. We booked 9 people across 4 cabins on this cruise for a family getaway. We made our booking directly through the BPCL telephone number. We expected an economy get away on a modest cruise ship. There were high points and low points of the BPCL experience. The bottom line up front is we will probably not return to this line. The first thing to realize is this cruise line is far far behind in any kind of technology. There are many pricing structures available including Groupon and eBay. Realize unless your booking starts without a Groupon directly through BPCL, there will be additional fees like a fuel surcharge. Pre-Cruise In general I found the telephone customer service to be awful. The agents are not well trained and if you get an answer you don’t like, call back - it will change. When we booked out cruise, at full price, the agent told me they would take 50% up front and automatically bill our credit card for the balance 30 days before sailing. It was a good thing I kept track of the dates. 30 days prior I noticed they had not changed the balance to my credit card. No e-mail, no notification of any kind. I called the customer service line to find “we do not automatically take final payment any more.” When i asked if they were going to notify me the agent said “Sir if you want to keep the reservation I need a credit card right now.” Nice! This was typical of the customer service throughout the cruise. There are no tickets, no contracts, no mail, no nothing except a very poorly formatted and unprofessional looking invoice sent to e-mail. The invoice listed passengers and the cabin numbers we booked but without showing which passenger was assigned to what cabin. BPCL offers no online check in of any kind and the instructions are lacking on what the exact boarding process entails. A few days prior to the cruise we contacted customer service again to ask if Birthday celebration cakes were available. The first call we were told the only way to have a Birthday Cake was to order one 2-3 weeks prior to sailing. Since we were inside that window - sorry. We were also told it didn’t matter as the staff did not make any recognition of Birthdays onboard. The second call (3 minutes after the first) yielded an agent who said she could waive the fee for cakes and would send us a confirmation for 3 cakes (the number of people with birthdays in our group). Once onboard we needed to show that invoice to the restaurant to get the cakes. In reality, like every other line in the world, you just need to inform your waiter and they provide complimentary cakes in the restaurant. Embarkation The cruise terminal is located in a bad part of town and is not close to anything. In reality it is in Riviera Beach and not West Palm. The only parking is provided by the Port of West Palm Beach. It is valet only for $19/day. If you arrive around noon expect a 20-30 minute wait from the turn to the port to the actual valet. Once at the curb the process is very manual (like everything else at BPCL). You get in line for a porter to look up your cabin number and attach a bag tag to you luggage. DO NOT lose or remove this tag (more on that later). Each bag is weighed so take the 50 pound limit seriously. During this process I was approached by a guy who unfolded a VERY old piece of paper offering me the concierge package and telling me what in included. For only $329/per person this gem could be mine and HE would personally walk me to my cabin. No thanks!! This was the first of the up-sell experience of BPCL. A general comment here - If you arrive early before they are boarding there is really no space to wait in the terminal. The physical space is small and they are not equipped for passengers to just be waiting around. After the standard security you are directed to a table with forms. The form they have can be downloaded online. I recommend doing that and filling it out but keep reading so you don’t screw it up. The form they really want you to fill out is the credit card payment for incidentals. THIS IS CRITICAL - The person whose name is on the credit card MUST be the one at the top of the form. It doesn’t matter if you live in the same house. Doesn’t matter if you are in the same cabin. Doesn’t matter if you are married. THE PERSON ON THE CARD MUST PUT THEIR NAME AT THE TOP OF THE FORM. By the way, there are no instructions on this or anyone to help you. The best thing I can say is they had a decent space to fill out forms and enough pens. Another note. If you are in a group (like we were) you better know your cabin assignments from the initial booking call or remember it from the bag tag they slapped on the bag which is gone by this point. Not a single document ever correlates the passenger to the cabin they put you in during booking. Once the form is signed you have two options for a line. US Passport or no US Passport (unless you arrive at the end of the boarding window when they collapse the line). If you have a Passport find that line and wait. It will be quicker. There are few to no people helping during this process. There are BPCL personnel who act you you should just know their system and where to go. Once you get to the front of the line you will turn in your form and present your ID/Passport. If you are really into personal security get ready to be violated. In the check in process they will make a photo copy of your credit card and ID on a single page, then staple it to your check in form that has your address on it. After all this the agent will go away and print a cruise card, they will associate your picture with it, and you will be on your way to up-sell alley on the way to the ship. Boarding First you get the boarding shot which is standard across cruising. Second comes the shore excursion desk. At this point you are informed your destination port is 12 miles away from anything and you should really book a tour (that statement is correct). It is easier to book your excursion here because there are more people however, on the ship they haggle so you may want to go there. We eventually booked the Wyndham beach day onboard. Our group was offered a 12% discount. I went to the Shore Excursions desk several times and heard the agents offer special prices to people who were on the fence. Even during the sail away party the Cruise Director alluded to “specials and two for one deals” available from the the shore excursion desk. The agents were conveniently wandering around the pool area during sailing to solicit bookings. Third comes the dining staff. The welcoming question is “what upgraded dining package would you like?” You have to decline this to book a table reservation for one of the fixed seatings in Stellar Prime. I suggest booking a fixed seating reservation as the rush for tables in the open side of the dining room was huge and there were many bad attitudes going on over there. There are dining options included in the cruise fare but everything on the ship is driven to get you to pay for food. Unless you are at the buffet, in Stellar Prime ordering off the left side of the menu, or at the pool grill you will pay for the food you are looking at. If you have been on other lines you will find the dining up-charges high. Fourth is the bar staff. If you drink this may be a great place to stop. No all inclusive packages at BPCL - instead you buy packages which are literally ticket books in bundles of 10 for drinks. Each ticket is good for one drink up to $12 on the ship. Beware there are more expensive drinks. You prepay the tips so don’t buy more books than you will drink. In my opinion the soda package is atrociously priced and you can take a carbonation break for 2 days but if you are dying for soda they have a package. Fifth is the spa. If you want a spa service this is a good stop. They have a boarding special (20% off if I remember right) which is ONLY available at this desk. If you really want a spa service you should call customer service ahead of the cruise. We wanted a couples massage and 1.5 hours into boarding they were sold out. The agent told us you could book ahead of time with the 800 number. FINALLY - The ship…. The Grand Celebration The ship itself is a blast from the past. Originally built as the Carnival Celebration and most recently the Costa Celebration. It has been reasonably maintained and for the level of the product I would say BPCL has done well maintaining the ship. That said, realize you are walking onto an old ship that has been modified for the 2 day market. Decor is a combination of what Costa did to the ship and modest changes made by BPCL. Think less Hilton or Marriott and more Holiday Inn. In general the public spaces were nice and utilitarian. The show lounge was pretty but showed age especially at the frayed bottom of the curtain. The buffet area is OK but can get crowded. The staff does well trying to clear tables but large groups hang out here and seating can be a challenge. Be aware there are areas of the ship that are hard to find like Stellar Prime. You can only get to this dining room via the aft stairwell from above or below. Everything on the ship is adequate but shows age like the buffet dishes that are chipped. A word about elevators. This ship was designed in an age where elevators were a luxury. There are few on the ship. When you do find them they are small and slow. Realize there is not a central call button. If you want the elevator on the other side of the lobby go over to that side and push that button. If you depend on elevators for mobility this may not be your ship. There are plenty of stairs and once you learn the quirks of the design, you can find some great places onboard like the little stretches of rail on the pool deck outside the buffet. A word on smoking. BPCL has a “strict” policy of only smoking outside on the port side of the vessel. Problem is nobody explains what side that is and nobody enforces the policy. If you are outside expect smokers, ash trays, and cigarette butts. We had 4 cabins. Each was well sized and there was enough storage especially for only 2 nights. I found it funny that you could see the decal they placed over the Costa logo on the sign in the cabin to make the ship Grand Celebration. The ship map also included the old Coast names of public spaces. Another fun note was the TV in the cabin. Each cabin has an old Best Buy Insignia brand TV modified for ship use with wood screws drilled through the feet into the shelf below. There were also variances cabin to cabin. In the inside cabin there was supposed to be a curtain simulating a window. That curtain was only present in two of the three inside cabins. Climate control is old school. There is a knob on the only vent in the cabin twist one way for cold and the other for warm. In our outside cabin there was essentially no airflow out of the vent in our inside rooms (all on Deck 5) the airflow would freeze the room on full cold. We did talk to customer service. The first night they said there was a deck wide problem with the AC which wasn’t true. The second day they sent an engineer to the outside stateroom who explained the system was operating normally and the lack of airflow, while unfortunate, could not be fixed. This is an old ship with old climate systems. Take that into account when and if you book. BPCL has a history of AC problems on the Grand Celebration (feel free to Google). In general I liked being on an older, small ship. I do feel the public spaces can be overwhelmed easily and that, when full, the Grand Celebration can seem cramped. I like seeing older ships and that part of the cruise was fun. BPCL does a reasonable job of upkeep and I felt the ship was safe to sail. Dining I have seen reviews complaining there was no free food on the ship. Those claims are false. The buffet, Stellar Prime restaurant, and the pool grill (most of the time) are all included in the fare. We had varied experience with the food. One meal in Stellar Prime was great, the other was over cooked and bland. Our servers in Stellar Prime did well and we enjoyed their service. The buffet was mixed. I had a great breakfast there but the rest of the time the food was spotty. The grill at the pool was pretty good when it was serving. The pizza was universally bad. I found there to be more processed food on the menu than other ships. This is a budget product so you get what you pay for. If you choose the upgraded food options they seemed to be good but, in my opinion, expensive. In my opinion the included dining options on any ship should be good enough that you do not miss upcharge options. Freeport The ship docks in an industrial port. There is NOTHING at the port except a few vendors in a sort of straw market. It is 12 miles to any kind of tourist beach or town. The minimum you will pay is $20/ per person to and from the ship. Buying an excursion is one of the only ways to see anything. As I said previously the Shore Excursion staff haggles so there are deals. We went to the Wyndham all inclusive. It was sold as a 5 star resort. It was nice but not 5 star. The beach, bathrooms and pool were nice and clean. The food was ok and plentiful. The drinks were rail liquor but plentiful if you wanted them. One of the best parts was the narrated tour on the half hour ride to the resort. We didn’t get to use any of the water sports items due to the weather but it looked like they had a good selection of equipment. My only real complaint was my fellow passengers who went on a drunk fest and were obnoxious on the bus ride home. The tour staff handled that well andBPCL can’t control bad behavior. Entertainment Overall I think BPCL does a pretty good job in this area. There were multiple bands on the ship and a cast that did two production numbers. The Tina Turner tribute artist got high marks. We went to both production shows which were ambitious and had moments of greatness. The magician, acrobats, and comedian were high points. We also saw the comedy show on the last night which was good. Again, upsell Cruise Lines struck with a $9/ per person charge to see the comedian. Having seen any shows across many lines I would say BPCL really does a credible job booking talent and using what they have to their advantage. The production show cast worked really hard with challenging shows. If you don’t have a good time on the ship in the evening, you are in your cabin watching fuzzy cable TV on your Insignia television! Debarkation Debarkation was frustrating. The instructions for debarkation did not arrive until turn down service on night 2. In a nutshell you were supposed to be able to leave the ship at 7:30 AM if you carried your own bags off and had a US Passport. The ship was supposed to dock at 7:00 AM. There were supposed to be Cruise Staff announcements. If you didn’t carry off your bags there was a system to get off based on floor and bag tag color. That would be the bag tag nobody told you to keep attached to your bag at embarkation. We had folks with tight connects out of Fort Lauderdale and we were trying to get off early. Talking to the staff they said be on line at 6:45 AM. We did that. The line starts at the doors on the starboard side of the ship on Deck 5 by the Customer Service Desk. It extends either direction up the interior hotel hallway. If you have a room in this hallway it will be EXTREMELY noisy on the last morning as people line up outside your door. In my opinion rooms in this hallway are the least desirable on the ship for this reason. On our cruise the ship did not actually get into the dock until 8:15 AM. No announcements were made. Cruise staff were in the lobby but had no direction or explanation for the delay. The hallway became packed and passengers were not behaving well stacking up to leave. ANY information from the crew would have been helpful. I mean ANY information but nothing came. We left the ship about 8:40 AM and made it through customs quickly. The valet got our car quickly. We were told by our busboy that later in the process the customs line could get to be 2-3 hours long and the valet backed up significantly. The lack of information was frustrating but our debarkation went pretty well once we were off the ship. Overall Experience BPCL is a budget getaway. This is something you read a lot. People in reviews say you get what you pay for. I think all that is true however, BPCL gets a per day fare from each passenger that is the same or higher than main stream cruise lines like RCCL, Carnival, NCL, Holland America, or Princess. If you shop sales on the other lines you can sail for much less than the major lines. If you pay the up charges for food or cabins on BPCL, they are much more expensive per day than the major lines. BPCL is not in the same league as any of those other lines which is interesting since they are owned in part by an investor who founded NCL. The passengers on BPCL run a wide range. There are those looking for a quick getaway. There are those looking to party. There are those on their first cruise. Those looking to relive an older age of crushing. It is a varied crowd. I really hope first time cruisers do not use this as a measure of the entire industry. If you read this review and still want to go do it knowing the pitfalls and be ready. I would also recommend buying directly from BPCL. There is not enough space for me to write the bad experiences I heard from time share and Groupon customers. I will also tell you the FIRST question asked when there is any problem is “how did you book the cruise?” While I felt the cruise was safe I do have to mention the muster drill. There were announcements made for the drill but I saw no accountability. People wandered in during the drill, some appeared to never make it. That did not make me feel great and is a lower accountability level than I have seen on other lines. Everything at BPCL felt almost but not quite right. I could not help but think that ay employee of this line was not there for a career but rather as a step to the other cruise lines or because they had something in their past preventing them from being hired at other lines. We found individuals providing good service but were generally treated as a necessary evil for the employee to get paid. The entire BPCL experience was designed to get more money from us and that got tiring. On the last day we got a “typical” BPCL moment. We prepaid our gratuities which they call “housekeeping and dining fees.” We noticed on our bill a charge for the fees and a coupon representing what we prepaid. From the time we booked until we sailed they changed their “fee.” Rather than just call it even (Like Princess did for passengers when they increased their gratuities) for the people who prepaid, they made a point fo charging $2.00 extra. They also added a West Palm Port fee of $1.00 that was previously undisclosed. Is $3.00 going to kill me? No. It was a cheap move on the part of the cruise line. That is the best way to describe the entire experience. Cheap! Read Less
Grand Celebration Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.6
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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