New Cruise Line Offers Short Bahamas Sailings

March 26, 2009
Celebration Cruise Line's Bahamas Celebration A new cruise line has joined the throngs in South Florida -- and this one is hoping to appeal to cash- and time-strapped travelers. Celebration Cruise Line began sailing out of Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) on March 16 and will offer two- and three-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, on Bahamas Celebration, with prices starting at $99 per person.

The cruise line is filling the void left by Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, which has recently stopped operating its short Bahamas cruises on Regal Empress, a ship slated to retire due to new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirements. Celebration Cruise Line spokesman Glenn Ryerson says the two lines have different ownership and that the only relation between the two is that booked passengers on canceled Regal Empress sailings are being accommodated on Bahamas Celebration. However, a recent article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that about half of Celebration's staff are former Imperial Majesty employees.

The 35,000-ton, 1,500-passenger Bahamas Celebration (a refurbished Norwegian ship formerly named Prinsesse Ragnhild) will offer two-night cruises to Nassau departing on Mondays and Wednesdays, and three-night weekend cruises departing on Fridays. The itineraries feature a full day in Nassau, and the longer sailings also offer a full day at sea. Prices start at $99 per person for inside cabins on two-night sailings, and $119 on three-nighters. The lowest prices are for "coach" cabins on the lowest passenger deck of the ship, many with bunk beds. Regular inside cabins start at $159 and $199, respectively.

Bahamas Celebration, like most of today's cruise ships, offers pools, bars, a spa and fitness center, kids' clubs, a casino, and a roster of onboard activities and shore excursions. The ship has four dining venues; three are free, and the fourth -- the upscale The Cove -- carries a $25 surcharge. For more information on cruise getaways, visit Celebration's Web site or call 800-520-2410.

--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor