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My Husband and I badly needed a little getaway that could fit into just 3 days off work, and the regular departure dates on this line made it happen. Having read some pretty awful reviews I had prepared myself to take the good with the bad. That said, I'm very happy to report we experienced far more of the good than the bad! First thing to report back is that we were originally booked on an earlier sailing date but due to a death in the family had to push the cruise back a couple of weeks. The fact that this line offers daily departures for the 2 night itinerary between its 2 ships made it easy to find another date. Although we had insurance on the trip, we decided the $50 re-booking fee from the cruise line was way more convenient than dealing with an insurance claim and waiting for a refund before being able to travel. (Like I said we really needed this getaway) The person on the phone was very helpful and did this quickly. Although we were told that we would not receive the promotion of 10 free drinks and $50obc on the new sailing date, when we received the new confirmation the promotion still showed and in fact was provided on board, so not sure what that was about. Embarkation was a breeze, from the valet parking, to the opportunity to make dining reservations, it was simple and easy. We sailed midweek so the ship wasn't full, and we did arrive early on in the embarkation process which may have helped. They offer desks in the waiting area where you could buy beverage packages, make reservations at the paid upgrade restaurants, buy shore excursions, and sign up for the wine tasting event (which we really enjoyed) Some reviews refer to this as "nickel and dimeing" but personally I found it a good use of our time while we waited to board the ship. The ship itself is very well maintained and clean. Given it's age there are some interesting quirks in regards to the layout and some features, but I felt the cruise line did a good job of maintaining her. The only thing I didn't like about the appearance were these really strange garish blue and orange signs that were placed over some of the old signage to update for the new venue names and offerings. I get that they acquired the ship and that it's a budget cruise but it really was a shame as the ship is otherwise quite Glitzy and classy. On day one we attended a wine tasting that was $12 and we really enjoyed this. We tried lots of wines that were also available for purchase (obviously) but we also met some great people who we ended up spending a lot of time with. We probably wouldn't have had the time to connect with people otherwise, it being such a short cruise. Our room was ready right on time and our luggage was delivered late afternoon in time to change before dinner. The room itself was standard for an inside room on an older ship. The bathroom was small, and the TV wobbled a lot. But the bed was comfortable, the room was clean, and the steward was attentive. And let's face it, for 2 days, we weren't really there to be in the room. The service on-board was great. Every bar we went to had a friendly bar server, and the lounges and restaurants had attentive waiters. We were offered souvenir cups with discounted refills several times, or the drink coupons, but not hounded like some people said. A polite "no thank you" is all it took to move on. Drink Coupons we found to be a good deal, about $75 got you 10 drinks. Cocktails, wine, and mixed drinks were probably best value. If you only drink beer you probably don't need them. I was happy to see that we paid a gratuity relative to the value of each drink when we ordered. I care about servers and know that this is how they make a living, so that protected them from being "stiffed" by stingy passengers! The food on board was standard for cruise ships. I wouldn't offer them a Michelin star any time soon but it was mostly good. That said, the buffet was less than great, but with so many options from the grill, to the main dining room, that didn't effect us. PRO TIP 1: Listen when the servers suggest a dish, that means its good and fresh. On the first night we didn't follow the recommendation and our dish was not as good as our table mate's. PRO TIP 2: If you are dissatisfied with your dish at any of the meals, simply ask to have something else, the servers were so accommodating, and in the event above we switched to the recommended dish and it was wonderful. The on board entertainment was fun and high energy and we enjoyed every single one. The lounge artists were wonderful, and so professional. The theater group were awesome and both shows were very enjoyable. We did pay to see the late night comedian and we are glad we did. Seriously good entertainment! We did not do any shore excursion as we had been to Grand Bahama Island before and were really just looking to relax on the ship, however we did go for a walk around the port area. We sailed before Hurricane Dorian devastated the island, and when we go back we will make sure to go off the ship and spend some money top help them recover. We also donated to the Relief Cruise fund and the Grand Celebration has already sailed on two missions with supplies and volunteers. It is great to see the cruise line is dedicated to helping the island recover! Overall, I would say to approach the cruise with an open mind. Don't expect miracles and you will be pleasantly surprised. We placed a deposit down while on board for another cruise and hope to sail in February.

A wonderful short cruise despite the reviews.

Grand Classica Cruise Review by expatcruiser88

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Bahamas
My Husband and I badly needed a little getaway that could fit into just 3 days off work, and the regular departure dates on this line made it happen. Having read some pretty awful reviews I had prepared myself to take the good with the bad. That said, I'm very happy to report we experienced far more of the good than the bad!

First thing to report back is that we were originally booked on an earlier sailing date but due to a death in the family had to push the cruise back a couple of weeks. The fact that this line offers daily departures for the 2 night itinerary between its 2 ships made it easy to find another date. Although we had insurance on the trip, we decided the $50 re-booking fee from the cruise line was way more convenient than dealing with an insurance claim and waiting for a refund before being able to travel. (Like I said we really needed this getaway) The person on the phone was very helpful and did this quickly. Although we were told that we would not receive the promotion of 10 free drinks and $50obc on the new sailing date, when we received the new confirmation the promotion still showed and in fact was provided on board, so not sure what that was about.

Embarkation was a breeze, from the valet parking, to the opportunity to make dining reservations, it was simple and easy. We sailed midweek so the ship wasn't full, and we did arrive early on in the embarkation process which may have helped. They offer desks in the waiting area where you could buy beverage packages, make reservations at the paid upgrade restaurants, buy shore excursions, and sign up for the wine tasting event (which we really enjoyed) Some reviews refer to this as "nickel and dimeing" but personally I found it a good use of our time while we waited to board the ship.

The ship itself is very well maintained and clean. Given it's age there are some interesting quirks in regards to the layout and some features, but I felt the cruise line did a good job of maintaining her. The only thing I didn't like about the appearance were these really strange garish blue and orange signs that were placed over some of the old signage to update for the new venue names and offerings. I get that they acquired the ship and that it's a budget cruise but it really was a shame as the ship is otherwise quite Glitzy and classy.

On day one we attended a wine tasting that was $12 and we really enjoyed this. We tried lots of wines that were also available for purchase (obviously) but we also met some great people who we ended up spending a lot of time with. We probably wouldn't have had the time to connect with people otherwise, it being such a short cruise.

Our room was ready right on time and our luggage was delivered late afternoon in time to change before dinner. The room itself was standard for an inside room on an older ship. The bathroom was small, and the TV wobbled a lot. But the bed was comfortable, the room was clean, and the steward was attentive. And let's face it, for 2 days, we weren't really there to be in the room.

The service on-board was great. Every bar we went to had a friendly bar server, and the lounges and restaurants had attentive waiters. We were offered souvenir cups with discounted refills several times, or the drink coupons, but not hounded like some people said. A polite "no thank you" is all it took to move on. Drink Coupons we found to be a good deal, about $75 got you 10 drinks. Cocktails, wine, and mixed drinks were probably best value. If you only drink beer you probably don't need them. I was happy to see that we paid a gratuity relative to the value of each drink when we ordered. I care about servers and know that this is how they make a living, so that protected them from being "stiffed" by stingy passengers!

The food on board was standard for cruise ships. I wouldn't offer them a Michelin star any time soon but it was mostly good. That said, the buffet was less than great, but with so many options from the grill, to the main dining room, that didn't effect us.

PRO TIP 1: Listen when the servers suggest a dish, that means its good and fresh. On the first night we didn't follow the recommendation and our dish was not as good as our table mate's.

PRO TIP 2: If you are dissatisfied with your dish at any of the meals, simply ask to have something else, the servers were so accommodating, and in the event above we switched to the recommended dish and it was wonderful.

The on board entertainment was fun and high energy and we enjoyed every single one. The lounge artists were wonderful, and so professional. The theater group were awesome and both shows were very enjoyable. We did pay to see the late night comedian and we are glad we did. Seriously good entertainment!

We did not do any shore excursion as we had been to Grand Bahama Island before and were really just looking to relax on the ship, however we did go for a walk around the port area. We sailed before Hurricane Dorian devastated the island, and when we go back we will make sure to go off the ship and spend some money top help them recover. We also donated to the Relief Cruise fund and the Grand Celebration has already sailed on two missions with supplies and volunteers. It is great to see the cruise line is dedicated to helping the island recover!

Overall, I would say to approach the cruise with an open mind. Don't expect miracles and you will be pleasantly surprised. We placed a deposit down while on board for another cruise and hope to sail in February.
BPSocialTeam, Social Media Team @Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has responded
Firstly we would like to thank you for choosing our Ship for your holidays/Cruise with BPCL and for the review you shared on Cruise Critic, all of your kind words about your stay with us are great to hear. We are thrilled you enjoyed the varied leisure program organized by our professional team and enhanced by their genuine friendliness and enthusiasm to make sure all guests joining into the daily activities are having a memorable moment among us and we will certainly not fail to share your congratulations with the entire team. We are thrilled to read your praising comments about our staff as we strive to provide our guests with a caring and personalized service and we lay high value on our personnel being guest orientated and welcoming at all times. Regarding the size of the rooms we regret your disappointment however we would like to point out that we have different room categories at disposal and all accommodations are thoroughly described on our website, for coming occasions, we would like to offer you a personalized booking guidance through our call center, to make sure you make a reservation for the accommodation that best meets your needs and wishes. We are thrilled you enjoyed your recent stay with us. Thank you for making us your choice Cruise Line when visiting the area. We look forward to welcoming you back again very soon.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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Cabin Review

Cabin
We chose an inside cabin to keep the costs down, and have a little extra to spend on board.
The room was clean and the attendant was great. We had read about the lack of power outlets, and came prepared with a converter so we were able to use the European outlet.
The bathroom while small was very clean, and aside from wrestling the shower curtain each morning, was not an unpleasant experience.