We are back from our “free” cruise. All in all it was fun to get away but as in all things it was a mix of good news and bad news.
It was free and that is always a good thing. Well, almost free anyway. We did have the travel expense, but as we drove from Ocala to West Palm Coast that was a nominal shared expense. And we did have to pay the port tax for the Bahamas. Beyond that, we opted for an upgraded room for an extra $75 each. It allowed us to have this room rather than one that was on a lower level with bunk beds and no window. So it was worth it.
The weather was great. The water was that wonderful blue. The people were friendly so we had a good time making new acquaintances. We did encounter a little rough water about an hour out that lasted for a couple hours – just enough to make my best friend get a little sea sick. ( I hope she still is my best friend after getting her sea sick!! ) But after that one episode we had smooth sailing the rest of the way. The Bahamas Celebration is an older vessel and not as grand as say the NCL or the Royal Caribbean, but nonetheless, it offered all the services and activities. There were several dining places, the RIO and THE CRYSTAL ROOM with free seating, although we did need to select a time. Several other casual eateries were also available as was the gourmet, THE COVE, for an additional $25 per person. It suited us to dine at 6 pm rather than 8 and this freed us up to go to the nightly entertainment in the club. There was a nice variety of entertainment and the evenings there were a lot of fun. They also had a duty free gift shop, a spa and a casino.
Margaret and I usually ate our breakfasts topside at the breakfast buffet which was quite extensive. It lacked the ice carvings and elaborate presentations that I found when cruising on NCL or on the smaller ship, the DOLPHIN, but the food was plentiful and good. This was also the site of ongoing dancing, contests, bingo, steel drum bands, etc. going on day and night all through the trip.
The staff was courteous and helpful in every way. Whether we needed an extra blanket to ward off the chill from the AC, a little TLC for my seasick friend, or to bring us endless items to sample at the dining tables, they provided everything with a smile. It occurred to us how hard the staff works on a cruise line.
We had only one port of call on our 2 night, 3 day cruise to Freeport but I will save that for another post.
All in all, it was a nice little getaway. I probably would not pick that cruise line again and would opt for one of the larger lines with more ports of call, and would go for one that was longer than two nights. It felt like we were coming back before I really got into it. Yet, we got more than we paid for and it was worth the two hour time share presentation I suppose.