A Clas­sic, Re­born

Grand Clas­sica gives Palm Beach­ers party cruis­ing … with a Mi­lanese flair!

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - What’s Inside - BY PETER KNEGO

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.

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