Recently I boarded the grand celebration, Bahama paradise cruise line. From the moment we valet parked customer service was awful. The staff employed by this cruise line treated every customer as if they had taken the cruise line hundreds of times. This being my first cruise and a birthday gift from a friend, I was excited to celebrate on board the grand celebration. I now regret ever booking this trip. As we boarded the ship there were two women standing at the entrance. They did not say, "welcome aboard", "thank you for choosing grand celebration", "please let us show you to your cabin", nothing at all. A young lady walking down the hallway, said you can go and have lunch go to your cabin or not but, later at 5 p.m. there will be a meeting on deck 5.
Not knowing which direction to go we begin to look for our cabin. Every staff member we passed did not even glance our way. They did not make us feel welcome, if anything we felt as if we were intruding in someone's personal space. Many of the announcements were made after we were finally in our cabin. By the way, the room was spacious, very clean, and exceeded my expectations. Our housekeeper John, was amazing.
I wish that I could have the same positive words for the rest of the crew. At the very least there should have been a written program, explaining the day to day activities and when they are available. Our first dinner in the stellar prime restaurant was horrible. Our waiter, again, made us feel as if we were intruding on his dinner break. He did not explain the menu at all. For example; how we should order, if we could substitute or what was available. When I spoke with what I thought was the manager, he immediately spoke to the waiter who then proceeded to tell me the reason he could not speak very well to us was because he was having dental pain. It was not that I could not understand the waiter, it was that he did not speak at all when he first began to take our order. At one point the waiter even showed me his bridge in his mouth by sticking his finger in and pulling it down as I was eating, to demonstrate his dental issues.
After dinner we decided to walk the ship and find a club or bar or show that was available. We found the club that played descent music but who's bartender scowled the entire time she was making cocktails. The DJ proceeded to change the genre of music he was playing to cater to a young group of passengers that began to dance very provocatively on the dance floor. As this occurred you could see the more mature patrons slowly leaving until the only people left were the people on the dance floor. I was so thoroughly disappointed by our first day we called it a night very early.
The next day we decided to begin things on a positive note. At about 10 o'clock we decided to go and have breakfast. When we arrived at the ocean buffet breakfast was closing up. The staff was taking all of the breakfast away, and after asking someone we are told breakfast would be served at the grill outside. We went outside where there was powdered eggs, undercooked potatoes, two or three pastries and some sausage. There were no alternatives as far as turkey bacon, cereal (hot or cold) or even pancakes. Being that I do not eat beef or pork I had the powdered eggs, the undercooked potatoes and a pastry. They powdered eggs tasted disgusting, I can't stress enough how undercooked the potatoes were and the pastry was a plain roll with raisins in it.
We then decided since we were in the Bahamas we would book an excursion. We asked one of the staff members where we needed to go to book an excursion and they said that all of the buses for the excursions had already left. We asked how could we get to the beach, we were told you can take a taxi. We asked where do we find a taxi, the staff member pointed in the direction of the door, leading to where don't know. We began to walk towards the door and we were stopped by a crew member who said I need your blue cards. She then shouted "Blue Cards Out". We gave our blue cards to a gentleman who swiped them and said to be back by 5:30. We began to walk out, off of the ship and in to another building.
As we walked through the building there was what seemed to be a checkpoint. We waited to be instructed on what we should do, when I heard someone giggle. I looked in the direction of the giggle and it was a crew member. This crew member continued to giggle and asked myself and my friend why are you just standing there. I said, what do we do now. She said you go out that door and pointed in the direction of a door. We went out the door and there were several people standing outside waiting. A woman comes up yells out, taxi anyone for taxi. We raise our arms she tells us to walk towards her, we stand next to her and she says one minute we need more passengers before we can leave. After more people arrived to take the taxi we are walked to a van, where there were also two other passengers waiting to get on who were blind. They were told to step up, however the van was about a foot up from the ground. There was no step stool or foot plate for people to step up onto. As the blind woman and man tried to board the van, the blind man missed the foot up where he had to step and fell on his knee inside the van. He was then nudged up into the seat. I observed other passengers having the same difficulty getting into the van. The beach was lovely, however the taxi driver informed us that the Lucyana beach was too touristy and we should try the Junkanoo beach. This beach was beautiful, small, private, there were beach chairs to rent for a nominal $3, there was a restaurant and bar and flea market right on the beach. We were curious as to why the cruise line suggested the other beach and not the Junkanoo.
After spending several hours at the beach we took a taxi back to the ship. We boarded and wanted to have lunch it was now 2:30 p.m. . And again lunch was cleaned up and we instead had to have pizza. I was so frustrated I decided to go back to the cabin and rest until dinner. We had upgraded to the Admiralty restaurant, which I am pleased to have dined at. Our waiters Adie and Jhon were wonderful. Our meal was excellent and we were extremely pleased. We went walking around the ship after dinner trying to find another place to hang out and have a cocktail or two. We found the dancing Martian, the dancing Martian was amazing and the music was great. The bartenders were friendly, happy, positive, and talkative. We went to sleep very pleased that our second evening was great.
The next morning we were back to port at West Palm. There are announcements being made outside of our cabin, but we were unsure as to what was said. In a hope to not miss breakfast we left our cabin at 9:30 a.m. . We were able to catch breakfast, get back to our cabin, shower, pack and leave the ship. What I expected as we were leaving was the same treatment we received as we were boarding. Instead I was delighted and confused at how friendly the staff was as we were leaving. Almost as if they were happy we were leaving. We then had to stand in a slow moving line for over an hour in order to officially be home. My vehicle was valeted so I had to wait for it to be pulled around. Unfortunately my friend was delayed in getting through customs and out of the building so I had to park and wait for her. As I see her coming out of the building I drive up to retrieve her. A man who is directing traffic quickly comes over to my vehicle and says what are you doing you need to move. I said I am picking up my friend, she is right there but she can't see me, so I'm driving closer. He says what is your friends name so that you guys can get out of my way. He then proceeded to yell her name and tell her your ride is over here you need to hustle. And that was the end of our awful trip on the grand celebration.
Clean, and exceeded my expectations.