Just got back. This is a report on the Bahamas Paradise Grand Celebration. This was our 27th cruise (maybe 28th, I’m starting to lose track). We just moved to Florida so my goal is to sail from every cruise line 😊. Our usual cruises are the Norwegian and Royal Caribbean megaships.
So....on with the review....
Overall it was nice for a teen two day weekend.
We cruised on the Bahamas Paradise Grand Celebration from Port of Palm Beach from 6/9-6/11.
Starts with Valet parking ($20/day) - not bad considering we pay $40/day in Manhattan for self park.
But the check in process was god awful. We waited an hour and a half to check in and there were literally no more than 30 people ahead of us. They said that the staff that handles debarkation handles check in. So they had to “come upstairs from helping debarking passengers”. So there were two people - total - doing check in. Didn’t realize express check in would be that important - NOW I know.
We got onboard and we knew to lower our expectations from the new mega ships we have been going on.
It’s an older/smaller ship. We knew that going in.
They tried to hide serious defects by slapping fake green indoor/outdoor carpet over it. You could feel serious holes and bumps in the upper deck but they slapped green grass carpet over it to hide it with signs warning of “uneven surfaces”.
The teen club (actually it was the arcade) - had water dripping from the ceiling when it rained (and it was under an outside deck). No teens went in there - only adults. So my youngest teen stayed away from it. We asked the “teen club crew member” if any teens every come there - she said “Only with their families to play at the arcade” - so we kept peaking in throughout the cruise - no teens.
The dining room food - menu was divided into two pages. One page was complimentary and the other was “added up charge”. Things like steak, lobster and escargot were added to the upcharge menu.
Buffet was only open for breakfast and then lunch. Closed for dinner.
Entertainment - they charged $9 for the comedy show. The regular “nightly show at 9pm” - we got there at 8:45pm, they kept announcing that the show would “start momentarily - but get your drinks now” - by 9:45pm we left.
The cabin - big enough for what we needed.
The crew - generally very friendly and attentive everywhere we went. Even the cabin attendant knew our names.
They had poolside buffets during the day - which is something missing from the mega ships (generally). So hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, pulled pork, chicken and iced cream was available poolside.
They also had welcome back cookies and drinks at the gangway when we got back from our shore excursion. Awesome!
From 11pm - 1am, they had tacos and pizza at the buffet.
The casino was not friendly - eh - I wasn’t there for the casino. But it was rather large for those that like casinos.
The guests - they were actually pretty tame. I was worried after reading some reviews but we had no problems with other guests.
The pools. There was a young children’s pool with two small slides for them (aft). Then there were three other pools plus hot tubs. AND an adult only deck with hot tub. No problem at all finding chairs poolside - ever.
The port - it’s Freeport - what can I say? We got off the ship, grabbed a taxi for $7 each and headed to Taino Beach (aka Pirates Cove). For a $5.75 entrance free we had access to free non motorized water sports (kayaks), free WiFi, free inflatable water park and beach access. They had two chairs and an umbrella for $20 rental. You could also zip line and jet ski (for added charges).
Added packages -
WiFi was $25 for entire cruise.
Drink package was $75.99 per person (plus 18%)
Soda was $21 (plus 18%) (but they had juices for free at the buffet)
VIP express package for getting onboard faster - $49 (would use that for next time)
Getting off the ship - we did express walk off at 7:30am. We were the first ones off.
It was a fun weekend with the teens. I would probably go back just to try their other ship. Cause frankly, I just love being on the water.