Bahamas Celebration Cruise: What it really costs!

I am back at work from my 3-day weekend and 2-night cruise aboard the Bahamas Celebration. Overall it was a good experience and to date it is the longest amount of time I have spent on a boat. I was expecting to notice the motion of the boat but it was perfectly still almost the entire trip!

My opinions: I got pretty much what I expected from this cruise. The drinks were a little high priced, sodas cost extra, and the food somewhat on the top end of the spectrum. They were constantly pushing the excursion tours and certain shops on the island (they get a cut from them of course!) and it was borderline excessive marketing. Other than that I enjoyed the change of pace and scenery and there was some good entertainment in the evenings. The weather was perfect the entire time with sun and 80F during the day.

The costs: I spent a little more than I expected but overall not too bad. Between my girlfriend and myself we spent a total of $282.03 during the 3 days away from home. Here is a rough breakdown of what we spent it on:

  • Palm Beach Airport to Palm Beach Port and back: $41 shared van service ($10 per person each way and baggage tip)
  • Atlanta Airport Parking: $27
  • Ship Bar Tab: $142.64 (included drinks, mandatory tips, and $11.25 for sunburn spray for girlfriend)
  • Freeport meals, drinks, and incidentals: $71.39 (we had lunch there and a few drinks on the beach)
  • Freeport Share Van: $20 ($5 per person each way to and from harbour to beach)
On the surface it seems a little expensive but it is the Caribbean and prices are high there anyway.  These numbers also represent the costs for 2 travelers. It works out to around $47.00 per day per person. That is not bad at western prices! Our biggest cost was alcohol on the boat as expected. We went after the drink specials that were constantly changing so we had variety and kept the costs lower!

The all in cost of the entire vacation for 2 people was $793.63. Subtract airfare and the total is $551.13. That means the all in cost per day is $91.86 per day per person excluding flights. Having the majority of meals (except for 1) covered by the cruise made this much more affordable. We would have saved around $40 per day if we did not drink alcohol at all.  It is a good deal as most hotel rooms around would run you around $90 per day or more in The Bahamas.

I enjoyed the trip and would consider another trip like it again. For me personally I think 2-3 days on a cruise ship would be my maximum. Seeing the same surroundings and people 24 hours per day can wear on you over time. I feel I got good value for the over costs for the 2 of us to go. I wouldn't want to pay much more than we did the combined sale on the cruise and free airfare for my girlfriend made this possible.

For those looking for the cheapest way to try out the cruise scene I believe this is as good as it gets from a cost perspective. Your dollar commitment is not large compared to other cruises and you can "test the waters" before moving onto a longer cruise with a lot more dollar and time commitment. Give it a try and see for yourself!