Bahamas Paradise: Ship Upgrades and New Vessel Named Grand Classica

Grand Celebration

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line announced today that Grand Celebration will set sail with several new guest-focused enhancements later this month, including a new adult-only area, a revitalized casino, and speciality coffee and juice bar.

The ship will return to its regularly scheduled two-night sailings on December 23, 2017, from its homeport in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The company also announced that its new vessel, set to arrive in April, will be named Grand Classica and will also sail two-night cruises to Grand Bahama Island. The ship is currently sailing as the Costa neoClassica.

The company has recently signed a three-year agreement with the Bahamas to bring both of its ships to Grand Bahama Island for two-night cruises.

“We are pleased to have been able to assist those in need in the Caribbean. Now we are ready to return to offering memorable cruises to our guests. We are excited to welcome an even better Grand Celebration back to Palm Beach, just in time for the holidays, with several new spaces for our guests to enjoy,” said Oneil Khosa, chief executive officer of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. “We are also looking forward to the arrival of our new ship, Grand Classica, in April, and have strengthened our relationship with The Bahamas by signing a three-year agreement to bring both ships to Grand Bahama Island, thus offering daily arrivals to Grand Bahama Island and giving our guests added convenience to fit their schedules.

“Grand Classica will be a wonderful addition and complement to Grand Celebration,” said Khosa. “Having two ships sailing to Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will be the largest provider of tourism to the island, carrying more than 500,000 passengers annually. It will also give our guests more flexibility and choice.”



Carnival Fascination chartered to FEMA, San Juan departures canceled

Carnival Cruise Line said its ship operating out of San Juan, the Carnival Fascination, will be chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), wiping out four months of cruises.

The move came at FEMA’s request, Carnival said. The cruise line had been set to resume its normal seven-day cruise schedule from San Juan on the Carnival Fascination on Oct. 15.

Instead, Carnival said departures from Oct. 15 through Jan. 28 have been canceled. The Fascination will resume regular year-round cruising from San Juan on Feb. 18.

“We recognize how important vacations are, and we sincerely apologize for the disruption this late change in plans has caused our guests and travel partners,” a Carnival advisory said. “We value your trust in us and hope you understand that this decision was made after careful consideration of the great need to support the recovery efforts in the region.”

Carnival also modified Caribbean itineraries on a variety of ships through Dec. 31 that substitute new ports of call for visits that had been scheduled for St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

Carnival joins Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in chartering a ship to FEMA for hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 2005, Carnival chartered three of its ships to FEMA for six months for emergency housing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Cruise ship chartered for relief mission in St. Thomas

Grand Celebration.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line said its ship has been chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to assist hurricane-recovery efforts in St. Thomas.

The Grand Celebration will head for the storm-stricken destination in the U.S. Virgin Islands with arrival anticipated on Sept. 23. The mission is expected to continue into the later part of December, with Grand Celebration resuming its two-day cruises to Freeport from the Port of Palm Beach on Dec. 23.

St. Thomas was devastated by Hurricane Irma and is in line for more hurricane-force winds from Hurricane Maria. While in St. Thomas, the ship will be used to house National Guard first responders.

Image result for St. Thomas hurricane damage

“We will be reaching out to all of our guests and travel partners this week,” said Bahamas Paradise CEO Oneil Khosa. “We feel badly about this 90-day disruption but believe the extensive needs of the St. Thomas people to be of greater importance at this time.”

Guests who have already booked cruises during the next few months through travel partners should contact their agents about rebooking or refunds. Those who booked direct can call the customer service department at (800) 374-4363.

The Grand Celebration, originally the Carnival Celebration, has 750 cabins and space for up to 1,900 guests.