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Celebration Cruise to Freeport (and fishing report)

Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,918 Admin
Has anyone tried the cruise ship out of Palm Beach to Freeport called Celebration?

With the big seas we are trying it out tomorrow as a taxi service. Our plan is to take it tomorrow night across to Freeport get off in the morning and head down to West End. Stay a few days then head back and catch the ship back to Palm Beach later in the week. First trip so I am anxious to see what is like. Price is ok, about $250 pp with all the amenities of a cruise liner. Dinner, snacks, breakfast and a cabin. Departs at 6 pm and arrives at 7:00 am.

www.celebrationship.com
Mark P. Wilson
Marine Surveyor, SAMS-SA, ABYC
Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc
Old Bahama Bay (Owner / Board of Directors) 



Replies

  • hoo's uphoo's up Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    Hey Mark. I sorry I didn't see this earlier. How did you like the Celebration? I use it a lot. That is my primary mode of transport when I have the boat in Freeport for extended time. It works out well. I have a booking agent at Celebration that I work with a lot. Since you own property in the Bahamas, he can probably get you a better rate that the $250pp. Actually close to half that. I will IM you with his details.

    Carl
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,918 Admin
    Thanks Carl, I will talk with you offline.

    Overall the cruise is a great resource as an all weather taxi service to the island and ultimately to our condo at OBB. The food was great and non stop, the rooms were clean and comfortable. The service was a tier below the big name cruise lines but not terrible. They did get nit picky while boarding with what they called non standard luggage. They do allow two bags at 50lbs each and I only had a back pack and a fly rod tube that I was carrying, not checking in, yet they wouldn't let more board with out paying a $25 fee. Since I keep fly rods in my condo at OBB, I just left this one in my truck and moved on. Overall this was way better than the high speed ferry or commercial airlines that both have hours of additional hassles to deal with.

    Once there we got picked up by some friends that were staying at OBB. The wind was blowing upto 20 knots at times and being boatless we jumped around the island wading on the leeward side of the shorelines and targeted mutton and yellowtail snappers for the grill and bonefish for catch and release. In our two night stay we caught a laundry list of species and found new spots. The highlight was catching an elusive island tarpon that before this weekend I thought was just a magical unicorn. Here are a few pics highlighting the two day boatless fishing trip of some targeted species.
    Mark P. Wilson
    Marine Surveyor, SAMS-SA, ABYC
    Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc
    Old Bahama Bay (Owner / Board of Directors) 



  • CNTDRCNTDR Great Harbor Cay, BahamasPosts: 891 Officer
    Hi Mark, thanks for the interesting and unique travel and fishing report. Looked like you had a blast with the fish, unicorn and family.
    Looking forward to my stay at your place soon.
    Jeff
    Great Harbor Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas
    pm me for rental info.
  • HootieHooHootieHoo Posts: 10 Greenhorn
    Overall this was way better than the high speed ferry or commercial airlines that both have hours of additional hassles to deal with.


    Thanks for the report. Just curious could you give some more details on the above? I've taken the fast ferry (both the smaller Baleria boat and the larger one they're using now) about 10 times and the biggest pain is always the deboarding process once you arrive in Freeport. It can take an hour from the time the boat is tied off until you've cleared. I've learned to just purchase first class tickets just so you can get off the boat first. How long did that process take on Celebration?
  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 2,918 Admin
    HootieHoo wrote: »
    Thanks for the report. Just curious could you give some more details on the above? I've taken the fast ferry (both the smaller Baleria boat and the larger one they're using now) about 10 times and the biggest pain is always the deboarding process once you arrive in Freeport. It can take an hour from the time the boat is tied off until you've cleared. I've learned to just purchase first class tickets just so you can get off the boat first. How long did that process take on Celebration?

    Great question and I will be happy to elaborate.

    The high speed ferry corrals everyone like cattle to board and deboard which results in very long lines through customs at each entry. Ironically the US customs on the return trip was the worst. Long lines in tight spaces into a hall with 7 US customs agents and only 2 working, the other 5 standing at closed counters discussing football. We got in around 10:00 pm and it took us over an hour to through with a 3 hour ride home in front of us. Hated it.


    The celebration allows passengers to board through a 6 hour window (noon till 6 pm or so) which really spaces out the crowd and eliminates the feeling of human cattle. We arrived around 3pm and quickly boarded with little to no lines.

    Waking up in the Bahamas, we didnt rush off the boat with the day travelers (7:00 am) and opted for a sit down breakfast. Grabbed out bags and walked off the ship with no lines around 8:00 am entered bahamas customs and found ourselves the 3 people deep in line. Got through in less than 5 mins.

    Return trip was the same, again the US customs is always the slowest link but even deboarding you have a larger window as some are quick to get off and others opt for breakfast. Still no hassles and very comfortable. This was better than any commercial airline or the high speed ferry but not as good as a private air charter ;-)
    Mark P. Wilson
    Marine Surveyor, SAMS-SA, ABYC
    Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc
    Old Bahama Bay (Owner / Board of Directors) 



  • HootieHooHootieHoo Posts: 10 Greenhorn
    Long lines in tight spaces into a hall with 7 US customs agents and only 2 working, the other 5 standing at closed counters discussing football.


    Truth!!

    Thanks for the additional info.
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