Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Coronavirus update
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Bahamas Paradise suspended its fleet's passenger shipping operations (both vessels) cancelling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 15 through July 9, 2020 (Grand Classica starts cruises on July 10 / initially on May 7) and through June 12, 2020 (Grand Celebration starts cruises on June 13 / initially on May 8).
All affected bookings received a full (100%) monetary refund, including on prepurchased through the cruise company packages and services. A 125% refund in FCC (future cruise credit) was given with rebooking.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line fleet
Review of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line
Bahamas Paradise suspended its fleet's passenger shipping operations (both vessels) by cancelling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 15 through July 9, 2020 (Grand Classica starts cruises on July 10 / initially on May 7) and through June 12, 2020 (Grand Celebration starts cruises on June 13 / initially on May 8). All affected bookings received a full (100%) monetary refund, including on prepurchased through the cruise company packages and services. A 125% refund in FCC (future cruise credit) was given with rebooking.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (website) is a brand owned by the Bahamas-based company "Paradise Cruise Line Operator Ltd", 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.
In August 2016, Kevin Sheehan became CEO and President of the Las Vegas-based Scientific Games Corporation (a leading developer of technology products and services for the worldwide gaming and lottery industries). The cruise company's other owner (with 50% stake) is Oneil Khosa (India-based "Blue Ocean Cruises" company's CEO and Managing Director). Until 2014, Blue Ocean operated short breaks (1-, 2- and 4-nights itineraries) leaving from Mumbai-Bombay and Mormugao-Goa.
As the only cruise shipping company operating roundtrips out of Palm Beach, Bahamas Paradise provides its customers with expedited boarding (30-min embarkation-disembarkation) and valet parking (at the cruise terminal).
- Cruise passengers are also offered Bahamas "cruise and hotel" packages in Bahamian hotels. These deals offer 2-, 4-, and 6-night Bahamas hotel stays to be combined (booked together) with Palm Beach roundtrip voyages.
- MS Grand Celebration ship is a former Carnival Cruise Lines vessel and operated under charter (leased), while the fleet-mate MS Grand Classica (former Costa neoClassica is fully-owned. Classica was purchased in December 2017 and entered service in April 2018.
- In 2017, the company had booked around 250,000 passengers, around half of whom were from South Florida.
- MS Grand Classica was opened for booking in February 2018. Company's promo deals were "Buy One - Get One Free". These free cruise deals were limited to 1 week only, and bookable on both liners.
- "Sail Away Your Way" promo deals offered free cruising for kids 12-years-old and under (when traveling with 2 full-paying guests) and free entertainment for adults. The promo offer was valid for cruises through February 12, 2019, if these deals were booked by December 12, 2018. USD 25 pp bonuses were additionally offered as either casino credit, spa credit, photo credit or onboard credit (to be used for drinks, dining or shore excursions).
The regularly scheduled Florida-Bahamas short-break cruises are very popular among both American and Bahamian citizens as they provide a cheap shopping travel alternative. Bahamas Paradise estimated that these tourists spend around USD 4.5 million per year.
From both ships, Port Palm Beach projected between USD 54-63 million in net income over a period of 10 years (2018-2028), depending on the handled passengers' number. The liners' combined passenger capacity is nearly 1.3 million per year.
In early-February 2019, the company started offering (upon request ) 6 new themed-food menus (2x Chinese, 2x Indian, 2x Vegan cuisine specialties) available for groups fleetwide and year-round. The new Chinese menus include Sichuan Eggplant, Hunan Style Crispy Whole Red Snapper, Crispy Tangerine Beef. Vegan dishes include Coconut Soup, Crispy Hearts of Palm Cakes, Caramelized Parsnip, Zucchini Lasagna, Potato-Mushroom Burgers. Indian dishes include Tandoori Chicken, Pan-seared Prawns, Paneer Tikki Masala, Kheer and Warm Gajar Halwa (pudding). The new menus are also available for individual request (must be made in advance upon booking or onboard / at ship's Reception).
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line deals
The cruise company's deals are inclusive of onboard accommodations, roundtrip cruise shipping, all onboard meals (excluding specialty dining), select beverages, onboard entertainment (excluding the ship's adults-only comedy show in the evening), 3 kids programs (supervised fun activities for children).
- Cruise booking customers must be 18 or older. "Cruise and Resort Stay" booking customers must be 21 or older. Minor passengers (under 18 yo) must be in a cabin with an accompanying adult (parent or legal guardian).
- Not included in the cruise tickets / fares are transfers (to and from the liner), valet parking (at Port Palm Beach), shore excursions, bar drinks, soft drinks, specialty dining options, onboard Casino gaming, adults-only comedy show (at the Theater in the evening), phone calls, photos, onboard shopping.
- Additional to the cruise fares are also Government taxes (USD 67,52 pp), tipping/gratuities (USD 12,95 pp per night), plus USD 1 pp charged as "Palm Beach Cruise Terminal Infrastructure Fee".
- Onboard gratuities are charged to passenger's onboard account (card) at USD 12,95 pp per night. This charge covers all onboard food and cabin services provided by stewards, waiters, busboys, and Maitre d'. An 18% service charge is added to all onboard bar beverages, company's drink packages, specialty dining, and Spa-Beauty Salon tabs.
- For using cell phones shipboard, passengers must first activate the roaming service of their cellular provider. The network activates when the liner is at sea, and out of reach from land. When the service becomes available, cellular phones display either MCP or 901 12. Onboard cell phone service is charged via passenger's cellular provider.
- Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line currently offers 2 Internet packages (Wi-Fi access) priced USD 15 per device, per day, and USD 25 per device for the full cruise).
- Each cruise passenger can bring (complimentary) 2 pieces of luggage, but not exceeding 50 pounds (22,7 kg) per piece. Overweight luggage is charged USD 25 per bag (automatically charged to onboard accounts). All luggage must be stored in the stateroom.
- Passengers with disabilities (requiring wheelchair use) must bring their own wheelchairs.
- Since June 2018, Bahamas Paradise cruise ship crew and staff members enjoy free of charge Wi-Fi Internet in ports and at sea. High-speed connections (up to 1 gigabit per second) allow even live video streaming from any location throughout the ship, including all crew areas.
- Also in June 2018, the company dropped its single supplements on all oceanview staterooms. The decision was based on Booking.com studies on solo travel showing over 40% baby boomers booking solo cruises in 2017, and 21% planning single cruise travel in 2018. No single supplement daily cruise rates start at USD 149 per person.
- In September 2018, the company signed a partnership deal with Fit Bodies Inc, providing passengers aged 16 and older with free workout classes (Zumba, Yoga, and fitness) led by certified instructors. The new program was introduced on Grand Celebration (Sept 2018) and on Grand Classica (since January 2019).
Shore excursions and tour packages prices
The company offers a wide variety of beach activities, land tours/excursions and "cruise and resort" deals in Bamahas.
- Snorkel Adventure (duration 2 hours) plus GRAND LUCAYAN RESORT package is priced USD 59 (adult) min age 10yo.
- Dolphin Close Encounter (duration 2 hours) plus GRAND LUCAYAN RESORT package is priced USD 125 (adult), complimentary for kids under 4.
- Parasailing (duration 10 min) plus GRAND LUCAYAN RESORT package is priced USD 89 (adult).
- Swim with Dolphins (duration 2 hours) plus GRAND LUCAYAN RESORT package is priced USD 221 (adult), min-height restriction 55 inches. 140 cm.
- Freeport City Tour (duration 1 hour) plus GRAND LUCAYAN RESORT package is priced USD 39 (adult), complimentary for kids under 4.
- Glass Bottom Boat Tour (duration 1,5 hours) plus GRAND LUCAYAN RESORT package is priced USD 59 (adult), complimentary for kids under 4.
- Jeep Adventure (duration 7 hours) is priced USD 95 (adult) and USD 75 (children ages 4-12), capacity 4 persons per Jeep.
- Inland Blue Hole Snorkel Adventure (duration 5,5 hours) is USD 79 (adult) and USD 75 (children ages 10-12).
- Bottom Reef Fishing Tour (duration 3 hours) is priced USD 94 (adult) and USD 73 (children ages 4-12), capacity 4 persons per Jeep.
- Deep-Sea Fishing Tour (duration 3,5 hours) is priced USD 151 (adult) and USD 83 (spectator).
- Luxury Day Sailing Tour (duration 2,5 hours) is priced USD 79 (adult).
- Pelican Lake Kayaking Tour (duration 6 hours) is priced USD 79 (adult) and USD 77 (children ages 10-12).
- Garden of the Groves / Freeport City Sightseeing and Shopping Tour (duration 4 hours) is priced USD 50 (adult) and USD 41 (children ages 4-12).
- Best of Grand Bahama Island Tour (duration 4 hours) is priced USD 49 (adult) and USD 39 (children ages 4-12).
- Viva Wyndham Resort (All-Inclusive) package is priced USD 79 (adult) and USD 65 (children ages 4-12).
- Grand Lucayan Resort package is priced USD 42 (adult) and USD 35 (children ages 4-12). Lunch is not included.
- Beach Getaway package is priced USD 37 (adult) and USD 30 (children ages 4-12). Open Bar and Lunch are not included but can be purchased separately at USD 69 (adult) and USD 59 (children ages 4-12).
- For June 2018, the company offered a "kids sail free" promo deals for families with children up to 16 years of age. Kids cruise for free in staterooms with 2 paying parents. Onboard are available complimentary age-specific clubs for kids activities supervised by certified youth counselors. These exclusive lounges are for kids 3-6 yo and 7-12 yo and teens. Activities include gaming consoles, watching movies, mini rock climbing wall, jungle gyms, ball pit, outdoor pool with mini-slides, interactive games.
Bahamas resort and hotel deals
The company partners with some of Bahamas' most popular resorts fitting with any budget and vacation style.
|Resort||Price-inclusive Dining||Price-inclusive Entertainment||Sports|
|Wyndham Viva Fortuna (All-Inclusive Resort)|
|Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan (All-Inclusive Resort)|
|Marlin at Taino Beach Resort (hotel only)|
|Pelican Bay Resort (hotel only)||-|
In October 2019, the company announced its "Nassau Cruise and Stay" program. Besides Grand Bahama Island, now cruisers can extend Bahamian resort vacations with premium all-inclusive leisure properties like Melia Nassau Beach Resort, SLS Baha Mar Hotel, Comfort Suites Paradise Island. The cruise line offers as travel option from Florida to Nassau the 2-night cruise (Grand Classica) combined with "Nassau Cruise and Stay" (max 6-night hotel package extension).
Shipboard Casino gaming
The cruise ship's Casino lounge offers 13 table games, including Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold Em, Roulette, Craps. Free gambling lessons are available to players. Slot machine choices include Wheel of Fortune, Back to the Future, Jenga, Breeders Cup, Cash Spin, Quick Hits.
Passengers can sign up for FREE "Par-A-Dice Casino Players Card", which allows collecting and redeeming gaming points. Points can be used toward slots, as well as for onboard dining, shopping, spa treatments, also on shore excursions.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line currently offers as beverage packages the following deals:
- "Unlimited Soda Package (cost USD 21 pp) includes souvenir cup.
- "Alcoholic Drink Coupons" (10 coupons for USD 70), which retail value is USD 120.
- "Non-Alcoholic Drink Coupons" 10 coupons for USD 30), which retail value is USD 50.
- Additional 18% service charge is automatically added upon purchasing the beverage package.
By the company's alcohol policy, passengers are not allowed to bring their own alcohol on the ship upon embarkation. Such beverages will be confiscated. The ship's legal drinking age is 21 (in US waters) and 18 at sea and on Grand Bahama Island. Serving alcohol onboard requires valid photo IDs.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line weddings are package deals requiring at least 8 booked staterooms (at double occupancy) accommodating 16 full-paying passengers. Fresh flowers and photo packages cost extra. For detailed information, and package prices follow the above link.
NEW "Cruise and Stay" packages
In September 2018, the company introduced 4- and 6-night cruise and resort packages allowing its customers to book one-way voyage from Palm Beach to Grand Bahama, stay on the island for 2 or 4 nights at one of its partner resorts, then cruise back to Palm Beach.
Resort options include several premium all-inclusive properties, like Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach and Lighthouse Pointe (Grand Lucayan). The new packages are inclusive of food and beverages, 2-nights oceanview cabin and 2-night all-inclusive resort room. Optional are hotel only packages at Pelican Bay Hotel or Marlin (Taino Beach Resort).
Prices of 4-night packages start from just USD 469 pp (fares based on double occupancy). Package prices also include bus transfers (ship-resort-ship).
The US to Bahamas cruise travel documents (Visas, Passports)
US Citizens must have valid proof of citizenship. Passport is highly recommended, but not mandatory as US passengers can travel with original birth certificates. However, these certificates must be issued by a government agency (not hospital) and with valid (government issued) photo IDs in place of passports.
Passport cards and driver's licenses are also acceptable as documentation.
Children aged 15 and under need birth certificates. Children aged 16 and over need a government-issued photo ID (state ID or driver's license) and original birth certificate (issued by a government agency).
Puerto Rico citizens must have US passports or government-issued photo IDs, along with original birth certificates. Birth certificates issued prior July 1, 2010, are not accepted by US Customs and Border Protection.
US Citizens born outside the USA require valid US passports or original naturalization certificate, along with a valid government-issued photo IDs.
US Permanent Residents require valid Green Cards, with valid government-issued photo IDs or valid passports from their country of citizenship.
Non-US Citizens or Residents require valid Passports, Multiple Entry Visas or Resident Alien Card for re-entry to the USA. Passengers from other countries must have a valid passport.
Port Palm Beach cruise terminal parking
Palm Beach port's cruise terminal is an exclusive facility for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line ships only. It offers valet parking priced lower in comparison to other Florida cruise ports. Company's parking attendants meet passengers upon arrival at the terminal.
Parking prices are USD 19 per vehicle per night. Payments can be made in cash or via bank cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) and traveler's checks.
- Cruise terminal's address is "Port of Palm Beach, 1 East 11th Street, Riviera Beach, FL 33404".
- Driving directions to Palm Beach Cruise Terminal from north: from Interstate-95 South take Exit 76, Blue Heron Boulevard, proceed east to Highway 1 (Broadway), turn right onto Highway 1, proceed approx 1 ml / 1,5 km south, make a left on East 11th Street (at Skypass Bridge's north end).
- Driving directions to Palm Beach Cruise Terminal from south: from Interstate-95 North take Exit 74, 45th Street, proceed east to Highway 1 (Broadway), turn left onto Highway 1, proceed approx a ml / 1,5 km north over Skypass Bridge to East 11th Street (at the bridge's north end) and turn right.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Menus (food and beverages) prices
Latitude Bar is an a la carte priced specialty coffee bar (counter-style cafe/patisserie) with opening hours 6:30 am to 12noon (Cruise Day 1) and 6:30 am to 1 am (Cruise Day 2). Along with gourmet coffees, the bar's menu also offers smoothies, hot chocolate, snacks, and other popular treats. Specialty coffees are served with complimentary, fresh-made pastries and gelato ice-creams.
Stellar Prime Restaurant (MAIN DINING ROOM) menu
"Stellar Prime" restaurant is the ship's Main Dining Room (complimentary), also serving steakhouse and seafood specialties. Here are waiter-served freshly-prepared entrees and chef-crafted main dishes, including Slow Roasted Prime Rib and Honey Glazed Salmon. Stellar Prime also serves buffet breakfast (with a breakfast bar). Different menus are offered for each day of the voyage.
- Fixed / Assigned dining (dinner hours) - early seating (6:15 pm) or late seating (8:30 pm)
- Your Choice Dining is until 9 pm. Online-made reservations must be confirmed on board.
- Reservations are required for dinner, but not for breakfast.
- Dining is complimentary (ticket price inclusive).
|Food Groups||Cruise Night 1 Dinner Menu Items||Cruise Night 2 Dinner Menu Items|
|Premium Steaks and Seafood (from Admiral's Restaurant / at extra charge)|
Free choice of 2 sides and sauces:
|Desserts ("Sweet Endings")|
|Sommelier Wine Pairing|
Ocean View Buffet Restaurant
"Ocean View Buffet" is the ship's complimentary casual dining restaurant/cafeteria with panoramic window seating and centrally-located buffet station. The buffet restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Late-night buffet options include Mediterranean mezze (on Night 1) and Mexican dishes (on Night 2), as well as made-to-order pizzas. Besides classic breakfast foods can be ordered made-to-order omelets. Food selections include salad bar, pasta, carving stations.
Plunge Grill (pool bar)
Plunge Grill is a complimentary alfresco dining venue (outdoor food and drinks bar) located poolside midship on Lido Deck. The food menu includes hamburgers, fries, hot dogs, sausages and other grilled favorites. Late breakfast buffet (10-11 am) and an omelet station for breakfast are also offered. The Plunge Grill serves lunch menu items all afternoon. The Plunge Bar serves beer and refreshment drinks.
Admiralty Club Restaurant (STEAKHOUSE and SEAFOOD) menu
Admiralty Club (formerly "Admiral's Steak and Seafood") is a specialty restaurant (at a surcharge) also serving Champagne Breakfast.
|Food Groups||Menu Items|
|Soups and Salads|
|Seafood Entrees and Chef's Specialties|
|Steaks, Chops, and Cuts|
|Sommelier Food and Wine Pairing|
Admiral's Restaurant "CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST" menu
Note: Admiralty Club Restaurant is open for Breakfast between 7 - 9:30 am.
|Food Groups||Menu Items|
|Fresh-Squeezed Juices||Orange, Pink Grapefruit, Carrot|
|Juices||Tomato, V8, Cranberry, Apple, Prune|
|Drinks||Coffee, Assorted Teas, Milk (regular-skim-chocolate), Hot Chocolate|
|Onboard Bakery / (fresh-baked food)||Assorted Danishes, Croissants, Pain Au Chocolat, White or Wheat Toast, English Muffins, Bagels, Muffins, Banana-Nut Bread, Cinnamon Buns|
|Seasonal Fresh Fruits||Melon and Papaya (with Mint and Honey Yogurt), Grapefruit Half, Orange Slices|
|Low-fat Smoothies||Banana Honey, Berry Blast|
|Light and Healthy Food||Lowfat Greek Yogurt with Granola, Seasonal Fruits, Berries, Agave Syrup, Toasted Almonds, Cinnamon|
|Cereals and Lowfat Yogurts||Daily Selection|
|Hot Cereals||Steel Cut Oatmeal, Honeyed Pears, Glazed Pecans, Wheat Cream, New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp and Grits|
|Pantry Food||Assorted Cold Cuts and Cheeses, Genoa Salami, Smoked Turkey, Danish Ham, Gouda, and Swiss Cheeses, Smoked Salmon with Capers, Red Onions, Chopped Eggs|
|Fresh-Baked Griddle Food||Buttermilk Pancakes, Belgian Waffles, Maple Syrup, Blueberry-Pecan Pancakes, Vanilla Chantilly, Brioche French Toast (with Orange Marmalade), Orange Sauce, Vanilla Sugar|
|Cracked Egg||2 Farm Eggs (made-to-order), Freshly Scrambled Eggs with Chives, Soft Boiled Eggs|
|Made-to-Order Omelets||Whole Eggs, Egg Whites or Egg Beaters, Toppings (Danish Ham, Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Smoked Salmon, Cheddar Cheese, Provolone Cheese, Bell Peppers, Red Onions, Scallions, Mushrooms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Asparagus Tips, Fresh Spinach, Chopped Chives)|
|Eggs Benedict||Traditional and Scottish|
|Breakfast Specialty||Huevos Rancheros Skillet, Breakfast Skillet, Steak and Eggs (4 oz Sirloin Steak, 2 Eggs)|
|Breakfast Sides||Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Pork Sausage, Sausage Patties, Corned Beef Hash, Turkey Bacon, Country Roasted Potatoes, Grilled Tomato, Sauteed Mushrooms, Grits|
The Bull (burger bar) food and drinks menu prices
In the evenings, Plunge Grill transforms into "Rock Grill" - interactive cooking, alfresco dining experience with full bar service available for dinner on Lido Deck. Passengers can cook their meats tableside on lava rock natural gas mobile grills. They can also order "The Bull" specialty burgers (chef-created pairings) and a variety of drinks.
Handcrafted Premium Burgers (10 oz) are with Angus Beef, Turkey, Tuna, Salmon or Veggie (meatless). All burgers are served with coleslaw and special-recipe house dressings. An 18% service charge is automatically applied to each order.
|Food and Drinks Types||Menu Items / Ingredients||Price|
|Arizona Flavored Iced Teas||$3,75 each|
|Energy Drinks||$4,75 each|
|Tropical Lemonade||$2 each|
|The All American Burger (10 oz)||$8,95|
|The Cajun Burger (10 oz)||$8,95|
|A Day at the Spa Burger (8 oz)||$8,95|
|The Veggie Burger||$8,95|
|The Signature Black and Blue Bull Burger (10 oz)||$8,95|
|The Godfather Burger (10 oz)||$8,95|
|South of the Border Burger (10 oz)||$8,95|
|The Pacific Burger (8 oz)||$9,95|
|Fried Chicken Wing Basket Burger||$9,95|
|Fried Shrimp Basket Burger||Sriracha Mayo or Cocktail Sauce||$10,95|
|The Yellow Fin Burger (8 oz)||$10,95|
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Spa menu prices
The ship's Spa & Salon complex provides professional services by well-trained staff skilled in the latest massage techniques and spa treatments.
Itinerary of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line
In May 2018, Grand Classica (former Costa neoClassica) joined MS Grand Celebration as the 2nd ship in the fleet of the Florida-based company "Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line". At the end of August 2017, Port Palm Beach District Commission signed a 10-year agreement for the former Costa cruise ship, to service the Florida-Bahamas route West Palm Beach-Freeport.
Both ships have a regularly scheduled itinerary program of 3-day / 2-night Bahamas cruises to Freeport and back to Palm Beach FL.
In 2017, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line signed with The Bahamas a 3-year deal (until 2020) to bring both vessels (Celebration and Classica) to Grand Bahama Island on 2-night itineraries. With both ships, the company now has an annual passenger shipping capacity of over 0,5 million.
Since Hurricane Matthew (September-October 2016) damaged Freeport, the Grand Celebration ship was diverted to Bimini Islands but resumed calling on Freeport on January 3, 2017.
Port Palm Beach receives around USD 4 million a year from the ship in port fees and cruise parking. Port commissioners signed the agreement with the new shipowner (Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line) on December 15, 2016. With LOA length 223 m (733 ft), MS Grand Celebration is the max size the Palm Beach port can handle. The fleet-mate MS Grand Classica's length is 220 m (722 ft).
2-night / 3-day Bahamas cruise itinerary
- Day 1 (embarkation at Port Palm Beach FL) - check-in at 11 a.m., ship boarding at 12-noon. Passengers must be on the ship by 4 pm. Departure is at 5:30 pm.
- Day 2 (Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas) - arrival in Freeport is at 8 am. Departure from Freeport is at 5 pm. Passengers must be back on the ship by 4:30 pm.
- Day 3 (disembarkation in Port Palm Beach FL) - arrival back to port is at 7 am. Disembarkation of passengers is between 8 - 10:30 am.
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