Most restaurants are located on Deck 4 (conveniently called Restaurant Deck). The ship's two specialty restaurants, the Cove and The Rock Grill, require advanced reservations, which can be made pre-cruise or after boarding.
Of the restaurants included in the cruise fares, breakfast, which begins at 7 a.m. and is served buffet style, is perhaps the best meal of the day. A decent selection of fruit, scrambled eggs, yogurt, bacon, sausage, pastries, cereal, coffee and orange juice is available on Deck 9, and Rio's also has an omelet and waffle station. Trattoria Di Gerry offers breakfast pastries with specialty coffees and blended beverages for an additional charge. Deck 9 is definitely the way to go for alfresco meals. It offers plenty of seats for open-air dining. The staff frequently passes by tables suggesting mimosas or bloody Marys to jump-start the day.
Trattoria Di Gerry is the grab-and-go pizzeria and pasta joint, open until 2 a.m. and located in front of Rio's. During lunch, the cuisine at both of these casual eateries is a step above cafeteria meals: think burgers, fries, unimpressive pastas and freezer-aisle pizza. However, there is a pleasant selection of flavorful desserts.
Two casual venues located on Deck 9 offer menu-priced items: DJ's Ice Cream (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and The Bull (1 p.m. to around midnight). While DJ's is limited to frozen treats, The Bull primarily serves burgers and sandwiches and also offers 24-hour room service.
Bahamas Celebration passengers have two options for dinner that are included in the cruise fare: Rio's and the Crystal Dining Room with reserved dining times of 6:15 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., chosen prior to boarding. On the first day, lunch is served from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Rio's and noon to 3 p.m. on the second day (although most people will be on the island). Trattoria Di Gerry is a second option for those arriving to Palm Beach later than 3 p.m.
During dinner at Rio's, passengers get their own appetizers and salads, and waiters deliver their entrees of choice, featuring items like honey ginger-glazed mahi mahi or roast prime rib with twice-baked potatoes. Service is focused on selling tropical drinks, wine and beer, so expect cocktail waiters to come by several times. Servers assigned to tables aren't as attentive with nonalcoholic drink refills and order taking.
In 2013, the Crystal Dining Room (also included in the price) saw significant cosmetic changes, giving it a sophisticated feel. The dining area has a small wine cellar, artistic lighting fixtures that resemble inverted glass bottles, white table clothes and an enforced dress code for a more traditional dining experience. Despite a more upscale dining room, the dinner menu is almost identical to the selections at Rio's (except for a few entree additions). It's not open for lunch.
Tucked away in a corner near the casino, The Cove serves significantly higher quality meals for a $30 per-person charge (plus 15 percent gratuity). This is ideal for a romantic evening or simply a change from the buffet scene and requires slightly more formal attire (long pants and collared shirts for men and evening gowns for women). There, passengers will find appetizers like escargot or warm goat cheese crepes and mains like Black Angus filet mignon or Chilean sea bass. Those seeking a well-rounded dining experience should consider booking reservations at this venue.
In keeping up with some of the latest dining trends, Bahamas Celebration unveiled the Rock Grill ($30 plus gratuity), a small venue that includes beef, ahi tuna, chicken medallions and shrimp that passengers cook right at their tables on heated black rocks. They can also choose from appetizers like Dim Sum, sushi and Miso soup. Desserts include Mandarin cheesecake or rice pudding. The Rock Grill is located on Deck 9.
Bahamas Celebration Ship Stats
- Crew: 300
- Launched: 1981/2009
- Decks: 6
- Passengers: 1,200
- Registry: Bahamas
- CDC Score: 98