We had cruised on the Grand Celebration before the hurricane hit Freeport, having had a great time on that ship, so the next time in Florida we thought to check out the Grand Classica going to Nassau. The first time I took the Celebration, I was pleasantly surprised because truthfully, I had very low expectations to start but was very impressed by the experience. This time, however, my expectations were higher and so I ended up a bit disappointed as it did not live up to that original cruise.
Embarkation was swift and painless and we were on the ship quickly. I found our ship to have very few passengers on board- which I thought would be awesome because I had servers everywhere being helpful. It turned out to be really disappointing because there was no action- there were bars and lounges completely empty in many parts of the ship, the huge dining rooms were very empty as well which was kind of creepy. Every cruise I've been before this one was packed and the crowds get annoying at times, but I think I prefer that to a relatively empty ship.
Once on board, I found I was not a fan of the ship's layout. The sun deck had no live entertainment and only 2 bars, one quietly tucked into the side and the other in the back of the ship which was annoying to access. Servers were all over the place presumably to make up for the lack of bar areas to hang out. The main lounge was in the middle of the ship, with some neat looking lounges tucked into some fairly hard to reach areas elsewhere. I suspect a number of people missed these places entirely for that reason, some better signage would help.