Thursday, March 19, 2009

Celebration Cruise Line inaugurates short cruises to The Bahamas

The new Celebration Cruise Line has begun sailing two- and three-night cruises this week from Port Everglades, Florida, to Nassau's Paradise Island. The line has scheduled seven departures for March and another 13 for April, as it gets into full swing. Two-night departures are on Mondays and Wednesdays, while three-night departures are on Fridays.

Celebration employs a single ship, the Bahamas Celebration, which holds 1,500 passengers. Rates range from a low of $99 per passenger for an interior bunk on the lowest deck on a two-night cruise to $639 per passenger for a deluxe suite on a three-day cruise over a holiday weekend.

The cruise line is run in large part by former executives from the now-defunct Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, which sailed to The Bahamas on the aging Regal Empress, which is apparently being retired rather than face costly safety upgrades. The Regal Empress -- if not Imperial Majesty itself, which had taken to practically giving away its cruises (amid annoying telephone promotions) the past couple of years -- will be missed. (For more on the Regal Empress, see Peter Knego's Sea Treks blog here.)

The Bahamas Celebration is itself nearly 30 years old, but has undergone extensive renovations to ready it for its new duties. It features four restaurants (one at additional cost), a casino, a nightclub with Vegas-style shows, a spa, and various bars and lounges. There are also children's facilities as well as a pool with waterslide. The ship spends a full day in Nassau, with shore excursions (such as snorkeling and glass-bottom boat trips) available for purchase.

For booking, call 800/520-2410 or a travel agent, or go to the Celebration Cruise Line website.

Photo from Celebration Cruise Line.

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