1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Bahamas Celebration
For a special birthday celebration, I booked the four night cruise to Grand Bahama on the Grand Celebration out of Port of Palm Beach. I paid for two tickets, not part of a promotion or give-away, paid additional for upgrades, and when I received the itinerary, found out I needed to go to Ft. Lauderdale to pick up the boarding passes (I live about a mile away from the port in West Palm Beach). Several phone calls later, I was talking to a woman who could arrange to have the tickets picked up in my area, but I would have to attend an hour-long presentation about time shares, first. I phoned both the agency and Grand Celebration customer service, stating I paid outright for my tickets, thinking it was just a cruise, and I should not have to attend the presentation. The customer service was just amazing - they simply said that this is how you get the passes, period. So I arranged for the tickets to be sent to my area, got the address and time to attend. This seemed too calculated, so I went online (something I wish I did before buying the tickets) and found the cruise is a quasi-scam, usually luring people with free tickets or promotion prices, the goal being to sell them time shares. As the cruise left at 6 pm, and presentation was 10 am for about an hour or so, I planned to see a couple of patients in the early afternoon. When I arrived at the presentation, I mentioned that I had to be out by 11:30, and boy, did it hit the fan. The ladies became flustered, fluttering hands and saying I had to stay for the whole presentation. I explained that I was told it was only to be an hour long. A "gentleman" suddenly appeared, and said I could not have heard "an hour presentation", as he has known the woman I spoke with for years, and she would "never" say that (she did choose to not mention the tour of the time shares after the TWO hour presentation). I really tried to comply, saying I could call my first appointment and push back later, when the "gentleman", realizing an inevitable outcome, suddenly and tersely said I could get the passes and leave. I heard from several other passengers that a few who did not get roped into buying a time share were given the same rude and icy treatment by this charming man. The computers were "down" for a spell at the port, so we arrived to a chaotic scene, something akin to those film clips of the hoards passing through Ellis Island at the turn of the last century. Disorganization, rude and unhelpful staff, the frustration of an hour and a half wait a poor way to start a celebratory weekend. On board, the room was hot, so another line, for the boats customer service, along with a small army of fellow passengers complaining of hot rooms, not getting the room paid for, or missing luggage. Not much satisfaction from the customer service, but fortunately one of the stewards produced a fan, which helped. Once under way, an announcement that those of us staying at the Grand Lucaya on Grand Bahama needed to pre-register, and gave the deck number. Another line, and I guess the total time spent line-standing from time of arrival to finishing pre-registering was just about two and a half hours. Remainder of the cruise fine, a bit of a wait checking through customs on Grand Bahama, then the longest wait at the hotel, almost five hours while the rooms were "readied" for us. You would think they would have this down to a science by now, and avoid this ridiculous and senseless wait. And it prompts one to ask - why stand in line on board the boat for almost an hour to pre-register, when it did nothing to speed up getting into the room, and registering at the hotel would have at least been an activity to take up some of the wait time. But once settled, Grand Lucaya was very nice, beautiful view (paid for), kayaking, the gym, swimming, and nice room. Food was okay, a lacking buffet (and I am not very particular, especially with a buffet), but there was a coffee/sandwich/pastry shop which was sensational. Really aggravated that the better part of the first day was wasted waiting for the room. Best advice - book with a reputable cruise line, not this shoddy and scheming line.

Go with a reputable cruise line for a nice get away, not this one.

Bahamas Celebration Cruise Review by Celebrationslousy

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: Bahamas
For a special birthday celebration, I booked the four night cruise to Grand Bahama on the Grand Celebration out of Port of Palm Beach. I paid for two tickets, not part of a promotion or give-away, paid additional for upgrades, and when I received the itinerary, found out I needed to go to Ft. Lauderdale to pick up the boarding passes (I live about a mile away from the port in West Palm Beach). Several phone calls later, I was talking to a woman who could arrange to have the tickets picked up in my area, but I would have to attend an hour-long presentation about time shares, first. I phoned both the agency and Grand Celebration customer service, stating I paid outright for my tickets, thinking it was just a cruise, and I should not have to attend the presentation. The customer service was just amazing - they simply said that this is how you get the passes, period. So I arranged for the tickets to be sent to my area, got the address and time to attend. This seemed too calculated, so I went online (something I wish I did before buying the tickets) and found the cruise is a quasi-scam, usually luring people with free tickets or promotion prices, the goal being to sell them time shares.

As the cruise left at 6 pm, and presentation was 10 am for about an hour or so, I planned to see a couple of patients in the early afternoon. When I arrived at the presentation, I mentioned that I had to be out by 11:30, and boy, did it hit the fan. The ladies became flustered, fluttering hands and saying I had to stay for the whole presentation. I explained that I was told it was only to be an hour long. A "gentleman" suddenly appeared, and said I could not have heard "an hour presentation", as he has known the woman I spoke with for years, and she would "never" say that (she did choose to not mention the tour of the time shares after the TWO hour presentation). I really tried to comply, saying I could call my first appointment and push back later, when the "gentleman", realizing an inevitable outcome, suddenly and tersely said I could get the passes and leave. I heard from several other passengers that a few who did not get roped into buying a time share were given the same rude and icy treatment by this charming man.

The computers were "down" for a spell at the port, so we arrived to a chaotic scene, something akin to those film clips of the hoards passing through Ellis Island at the turn of the last century. Disorganization, rude and unhelpful staff, the frustration of an hour and a half wait a poor way to start a celebratory weekend. On board, the room was hot, so another line, for the boats customer service, along with a small army of fellow passengers complaining of hot rooms, not getting the room paid for, or missing luggage. Not much satisfaction from the customer service, but fortunately one of the stewards produced a fan, which helped.

Once under way, an announcement that those of us staying at the Grand Lucaya on Grand Bahama needed to pre-register, and gave the deck number. Another line, and I guess the total time spent line-standing from time of arrival to finishing pre-registering was just about two and a half hours. Remainder of the cruise fine, a bit of a wait checking through customs on Grand Bahama, then the longest wait at the hotel, almost five hours while the rooms were "readied" for us. You would think they would have this down to a science by now, and avoid this ridiculous and senseless wait. And it prompts one to ask - why stand in line on board the boat for almost an hour to pre-register, when it did nothing to speed up getting into the room, and registering at the hotel would have at least been an activity to take up some of the wait time.

But once settled, Grand Lucaya was very nice, beautiful view (paid for), kayaking, the gym, swimming, and nice room. Food was okay, a lacking buffet (and I am not very particular, especially with a buffet), but there was a coffee/sandwich/pastry shop which was sensational. Really aggravated that the better part of the first day was wasted waiting for the room.

Best advice - book with a reputable cruise line, not this shoddy and scheming line.
Celebrationslousy’s Full Rating Summary
Embarkation
Dining
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Bahamas Celebration price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin
Upgrade to larger room, adequate, not very cramped, but hot. Needless to say, air was not working, and on-board customer services did not do anything to help ease the situation. Fortunately, a steward found a fan and that helped.
  Bahamas Celebration Deck Plans