Grand Celebration is a throwback to old-school cruising without over-the-top amenities such as ice skating rinks, high diving acts or zip lines, but it does give passengers a sense of what ocean cruising is all about. Live nightly entertainment, several pools and hot tubs, a casino and children's clubs are enough to keep passengers entertained for two nights (though it's a good thing longer cruises are not on offer).
There is a constant reminder that yes, you are on vacation and the tropical cocktails are flowing. The easygoing staff keeps it real: They will crack lighthearted jokes and even tease cruisers a little - without being offensive. Cocktail waiters repeatedly make their rounds at the buffet tables touting Bahama Mamas, while pool parties, steel drum bands and drink specials set the tone for a two-night getaway to Grand Bahama Island. Everyone - kids and adults - are simply hanging out and having a good time.
There are a few surprises on such a casual ship, such as the knowledgeable sommeliers in the dining rooms, an elaborate spa menu and the spacious (but otherwise unexciting) accommodations. Overall, Grand Celebration lacks that wow-factor that many passengers look for these days, but that's not what this ship is about. Instead, it is a comfortable and easy getaway to the Bahamas, and is a great choice for both families and couples.
Another setback is that the design of ship doesn't flow, and there are areas of underutilized space with too many dead ends. There are no promenades or walking areas around the exterior of the ship, and the theater and lounges are on the upper decks - taking up prime real estate that could be used for balcony cabins or more outdoor public areas. Despite having all the main gathering spots on the top decks, Grand Celebration doesn't feel overly crowded. Plus, all passengers can access the same areas of the ship, so no one is privy to a special lounge simply because they booked a more expensive cabin.