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article imageGrand Celebration celebrates first anniversary

The Grand Celebration, hailed as the finest ship to ever set sail from the Port of Palm Beach, recently celebrated its first anniversary in Freeport Harbour, Bahamas at an event attended by company executives and employees and local political leaders.
The Grand Celebration, available via Holiday Cruise Line, sailed into Freeport Harbour in the early morning hours on February 3, bringing with it 1,083 excited guests, who were greeted in grand style.
Speaking at the anniversary celebration, Grand Bahama Tourism Ministry director Betty Bethel praised the partnership with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and said the ministry was very excited that The Grand Celebration has exceeded expectations.
"We have aggressively been looking for new product, and have come up with quite a few events that we believe will be a stimulator for guests to come to Grand Bahama, so our emphasis is on strengthening guest services, customer service is key, new tourism attractions and events," said Bethel.
Bethel lauded The Grand Celebration for promoting a "Cruise and Stay" program that has brought more than 220,000 tourists, including 75,000 stop-over visitors.
"It's partnerships like this that we are supporting and promoting because it is the cruise-and-stay that makes a difference in the economy," she said.
Indeed, Bahamas Tourism Development Corporation director of operations Terrance Roberts said the Grand Celebration and its increased capacity--1,800 passengers--would result in 300 new jobs.
"Not only will there be an increase in business to Grand Bahama but there will be an immediate creation of some 300 new jobs, some of which will include positions as crew members and on-board entertainers, in addition to other entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians," Roberts said at the event.
Training is a key component of attracting more premier cruise vessels to Freeport Harbour. To that end, the Ministry of Tourism will launch a series of world-class training programs in April called "My Tourism Customer Care Workshop," which will feature four workshops for front-line and supervisor staff members. The aim is improving the guest experience from first booking to final disembarkation.
The Grand Celebration boasts 10 passenger decks featuring 751 spacious and well-appointed cabins, including luxurious terrace suites, five relaxing pool decks, four restaurants, eight lounges, nightclubs and bars, a casino, gym and spa and numerous shops and kids clubs. It's fun for the whole family, and there's something for everyone to enjoy at any time of the day or night.
David Johnson, senior business consultant for Bahamas Celebration Cruise Line, said the Grand Celebration carries 50 percent more passengers than its predecessor.
"We have now delivered over 220,000 passengers, over 180 voyages to Grand Bahama and have had an impact of over $45 million spent in this economy; we are employing Bahamians on our ship," Johnson noted at the anniversary celebration.
Grand Celebration guests set sail from sun-kissed South Florida and cruise to Grand Bahama Island, the "Jewel of the Bahamas," where they can lounge on pristine white sand beaches, swim and snorkel in warm aquamarine waters among stunning tropical coral reefs teeming with colorful tropical fish and dolphins and enjoy all that the Bahamas has to offer.
Popular Bahamas activities include jet skiing, horseback riding on the beach and duty-free shopping. On South Florida's Gold Coast, visitors can experience beautiful beaches, Miami's unique attractions, including top-notch cultural institutions and shopping, some of the nation's best dining and one of the world's premier party destinations--South Beach.
A Grand Celebration cruise is truly the perfect vacation for families who will create and cherish holiday memories to treasure for a lifetime.
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