Grand Celebration Review and Specifications
Specifications of Grand Celebration
|Builder||Kockums Mekaniska Verkstads AB (Malmo, Sweden)|
|Owner||Paradise Cruise Line Operator Ltd|
|Speed||19 kn / 35 kph / 22 mph|
|Length (LOA)||223 m / 732 ft|
|Beam (width)||28 m / 92 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||47263 gt|
|Passengers||1502 - 1896|
|Decks with cabins||9|
|Former names||MS Celebration, Costa Celebration|
Review of Grand Celebration
The Holiday class cruise ship Grand Celebration was constructed in 1987 by Kockums Varv in Malmö, Sweden for Carnival Cruise Lines, under the name Celebration.
History - construction & ownership
The 47,263-ton, 1,896-passenger cruise ship Grand Celebration was operated by Iberocruceros until November 2014, when it was due to be transferred to Costa Cruises. However, on 21 November 2014, the day before the vessel was scheduled to depart on her inaugural voyage, it was announced that the ship had been purchased by an unnamed buyer. On 23 December the name of the new owner was revealed – Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
The Grand Celebration has two sister ships, ms Magellan (operated by Cruise and Maritime Voyages), and Henna (known in the past with the names Jubilee, Pacific Sun), which at the moment is operated by HNA Tourism. Until 2008, the vessel was sailing under the name Celebration and was in the fleet of Carnival before retiring. Iberocruceros took control of the vessel in the summer of 2008.
On February 10, 1989 the Cuban freighter Captain San Luis was hit by Carnival Celebration (Grand Celebration was sailing under this name at the time of the collision) and sank in just 13 minutes. Carnival Celebration broke the Cuban vessel in half. The captain of San Luis and two crew members were not found and presumed dead. The Cuban ship was sailing without lights, navigational equipment, and steering due to electrical problems. Carnival Celebration rescued 42 people. The Cuban freighter was sailing with cement on board at time of the incident. The rescued crew members were transferred to a Cuban Navy ship.
Grand Celebration was renovated in 2008 in order to meet the expectations of the Spanish cruise market. The vessel was transferred to Iberocruceros but still remained under the control of Carnival Cruises (with 75% share).
- MS Grand Celebration was launched in January 2015, replacing MS Bahamas Celebration, which ran aground in Freeport (Bahamas) on the 2014's Halloween weekend was later sold for scrap. Bahamas Celebration was homeported in Freeport since 2010.
- Grand Celebration cruise ship is operated under charter (leased). Its curretn operator is the Bahamas-based company "Paradise Cruise Line Operator Ltd" (formely "Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line"), that changed ownership on December 22, 2016. Among the new company's owners is Kevin Sheehan, former CEO and president of NCLH ("Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings"), who resigned NCL in January 2015.
Cruise itinerary program
Grand Celebration itinerary program is based on 2-night / 3-day Bahamas cruises leaving from Palm Beach (Riviera Beach) Florida. The 1800-passenger cruise ship cruises to The Bahamas 3 or 4 times a week. The vessel is currently the only one at the Riviera Beach port, and also the largest ever homeported there.
In the period October 2015 - September 2016, a total of 482,211 passengers booked Grand Celebration cruises. The peak month was July 2016, with a total of 54,036 passengers.
The Palm Beach port receives around USD 4 million a year from the ship in port fees and cruise parking.
All 751 cabins on Grand Celebration are accessed with plastic, hotel-style punch cards. Room service is complimentary, soaps and towels are provided in ensuite bathrooms. Grand Celebration does not offer family or adjoining cabins, but has 18 accessible cabins, 2 of which are suites. Only 12 staterooms on the vessel feature balconies, and these are in the suite categories; 4 of the balconies offer obstructed by lifeboats views.
Dining options - Food & Drinks
- Stellar Prime on Deck 8 is the main dining room, where passengers can choose between early (6:15 p.m.) or late (8:30 p.m.) dinner seating, and will be paired with other passengers. A violinist rotates between the Stellar Prime and Admiralty Club. Sommeliers are also available at both venues, but the wine list has a limited number of options for wine by-the-glass. The restaurant is one level, with big round tables and some smaller 2-seat tables, all with white tablecloths.
- Plunge Grill is a small, open-air buffet, situated close to the main pool area La Piscina. It serves hot dogs, burgers, and fries at lunch and transforms into an omelet station for breakfast. The venue serves a late breakfast (10:00-11:00 a.m.), and lunch items all afternoon.
- Ocean View Buffet is a bright and airy buffet restaurant with window seating and contemporary, pastel-colored furniture. It feels more like a cafeteria. The buffet is centrally located and does not have additional food stations.
- Admiralty Club Restaurant is a specialty restaurant that has no distinguishing characteristics to set it apart from Stellar Prime. The main difference is that the menu consists of 5 courses instead of 3 and guests do not have to share a table with others.
- Lattetude features a la carte pricing. This counter-style cafe is located in the corner of Ocean View Buffet and serves an array of specialty coffees, as well as complimentary pastries.
Entertainment options - Fun & Sport
Grand Celebration's Legends Theater impresses with its 850-seat capacity and with the size of its stage. The majority of Legends is set up with rotating cocktail chairs with tables for drinks. The theatre spreads across 2 decks and has large porthole windows covered by curtains. The signature production shows change every 8 weeks, but include performances of American hits with many costume changes, plus variety acts that feature acrobats, comedians, magicians. In addition to live performances, the theater is also used for movies.
Wine tastings kicks off in the afternoon, as do steel drum band performances and pool parties. Welcome aboard orientations, ship tours, martini tastings and casino gaming lessons keep travelers occupied until the sun goes down.
Grand Celebration related cruise news
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