Cruise News – Apr. 18, 2018
A classic ship sailed to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, last weekend, as the second member of the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line fleet. The Italian-designed, 1,680-passenger Grand Classica (formerly Costa neoClassica) was greeted at the Port of Palm Beach by the Bak Middle School of the Arts Jazz Band. The welcome ceremony included speeches by Oneil Khosa, chief executive of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, and President Kevin Sheehan Jr., as well as such dignitaries as Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay, Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters, and Minister for Grand Bahama J. Kwasi Thomas. Guests were also treated to a performance by the ship’s entertainment team including “Tina Turner,” with Khosa and Sheehan singing an enthusiastic rendition of “Proud Mary.”
Grand Classica made the first of what will be many 2-night Florida-to-Freeport cruises. On board, guests enjoyed eight different dining locations, including Admiral’s Steak & Seafood specialty restaurant and The Rock Grill, an alfresco eatery that has guests cook meats and seafood tableside on superheated lava-rock grills.
Décor included designer Italian furnishings with mid-century styling, portholes in the oceanview staterooms, and glass sculptures in the lobby by Luciano Vistosi.
On shore, excursions took guests to the various sights of Grand Bahama Island, including the Island Fragrances Perfume Factory, which allows one to blend one’s own signature scent; the Port Lucaya Marketplace, where local vendors sell handicrafts, art, and conch dishes; the Garden of the Groves, a tropical botanical garden with waterfalls and lush foliage; and the white-sand beaches of the Grand Lucayan Resort.
Photos: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line/Carrie Bradburn, Grant Balfour (x4)