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The 'Bahamas Celebration' (commissioned in 2009) is a relatively new venture in short cruises. You've likely seen spokes models Carmen Electra and/or Daisy Fuentes pitching this cruise on the tube. Carmen's image is so prevalent around the ship she's like a new member of the family!
The Viking Serenade (RCL) was my very first ship, and the oldest up until I signed on board the 'Bahamas Celebration'. The 'Celebration' is a moderately sized vessel first commissioned in 1981 and has been extensively renovated. The cavernous maw that is this ships center was originally designed to ferry trucks and cars. Even now guests are exited through the enormous cloacae that is the ships stern.
The 'Celebration' sails every other afternoon from the port of West Palm Beach (Riviera Beach) arriving at Freeport on Grand Bahamas Island the next morning. It then returns to West Palm in the morning of the following day. It's a little hectic to sign on and off since no one stays on board more than 48 hours. All guests must appear before US Customs and Immigration just as any longer voyage. Indeed, the entertainers are considered guests as well and dutifully bound to exit the ship as guests only to turn around and sign back on board.
The last time I visited Freeport it was basically a dry dock offering ship modifications. There was very little in the port area apart from rusted hulks and freight containers. I'm happy to report that there is now at least an attractive shopping village. Its been labeled the 'Straw Market'. Perhaps that's true when you consider that each vendor offers mostly the same items for sale. If you prefer there is always a shuttle bus that will ride you some 15 miles to Port Lucaya. Below I present a few slideshow images from in and around the ship as it is docked in Freeport, Bahamas
My job is to perform in the '437 Pub'; an attractive use of space that also serves as the sole conduit extending between the main showrooms ('The View' and 'The Ocean Breese Lounge'), to the 'Wynmore Casino' and the elegant 'Crystal Dining Room'. I perform early hours ending at 8:30 pm. This stage is shared with the piano single who takes over the lounge at 9 pm. It's a very mixed crowd and more than a little unpredictable; anyone from repeat guests to the weekend getaway and plenty of first time cruisers.
I notice the crew is primarily East Indian and Indonesian. They have a great deal of work to do each voyage. The ship holds 1200 guests and there is generally no vacancy. Plus, any ship of an older design requires specific care. In this case the bathroom floor and the shower floor are the same!
For an entertainer it can be challenging. The ship features Day One food and Day Two food... then repeats. For those who stay on board longer that's a good deal of repetition. The main showroom and the dance club are the same room. All the guest entertainers perform on the dance floor replete with surrounding brass rail.
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