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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!

Fun getaway!

Grand Celebration Cruise Review by bthrustr

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
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!
bthrustr’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin U74
Standard large Carnival layout. I did have problems getting hot water in the shower on two occasions.