A Classic, Reborn
Grand Classica gives Palm Beachers party cruising … with a Milanese flair!
THE LARGEST PASSENGER SHIP TO EVER HOMEPORT in West Palm Beach, Bahamas Paradise Cruises’ Grand Classica joined the smaller Grand Celebration this past March in providing a convenient daily cruise service to Freeport, Bahamas. The 52,926-grt, 1,680-guest vessel is impressive enough for her basic features: two pool and lido areas (one for families and one for adults); vast, open sun decks; a large gym and spa; a double-deck showroom; a variety of meeting rooms and shops; a sprawling casino; numerous bars; a teen center and a children’s playroom; a huge dining room; a recently remodeled buffet; a combination gelateria and pizzeria; a coffee and espresso bar; the Admiral’s Steakhouse and the Rock Grill specialty dining venues; a soaring atrium; four overall categories of accommodations; and, thanks to her Italian origins, even a chapel!
Perhaps more important than the ship’s myriad features, of course, is that everything runs and functions well, the entertainment dazzles, and the food is tasty. Even on her maiden cruise, fresh from the shipyard and still sporting the yellow-funneled livery of former owners, Costa Cruises, the Classica delivered on these key points. Of course, all shakedown cruises come with hiccups, and this one was not without the occasional glitch — crewmembers were still learning the ropes, the new Junior Suites (comprised of two combined outside staterooms) were not quite finished and the adults-only pool area was still being refurbished. But all things considered, Grand Classica made an excellent first impression, especially considering that fares begin at a mind-boggling $119 per person for a 2-night cruise. How can anyone afford not to take a cruise at those rates?
LIKE AN I TALIAN SPORTS CAR, HER LINES WERE SLEEK AND MEANT TO IMPRESS.