MS Grand Celebration

The Grand Celebration is a Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line cruise ship, originally built for Carnival Cruise Line. The ship was the last out of three ships to be built for their Holiday Class of cruise ships. It currently operates for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. It has been operating for them since 3 February 2015.

The Grand Celebration with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line livery in Freeport, Bahamas in 2016
  • 1987–2008: Celebration
  • 2008–2014: Grand Celebration
  • November 2014: Costa Celebration
  • 2014–present: Grand Celebration
Port of registry:
Builder: Kockums Varv, Malmö, Sweden
Cost: US$130 million
Yard number: 597
Launched: 9 August 1986
Acquired: February 1987
Maiden voyage:
  • 14 March 1987 (as Celebration)
  • June 2008 (as Grand Celebration) (When with Ibero Cruises)
  • 3 February 2015 (with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line)
Status: In Service
General characteristics
Class and type: Holiday Class
Length: 223.37 m (733 ft)
Beam: 28.20 m (93 ft)
Draught: 7.75 m (25 ft 5 in)
Decks: 10 (passenger accessible)
Installed power:
  • 2 × 7-cylinder Sulzer diesels
  • combined 23510 kW
Propulsion: 2 propellers
Speed: 21.7 knots (40.2 km/h; 25.0 mph)
Capacity: 1,496 passengers
Crew: 670

The Grand Celebration only has one active sister ship, the Magellan, which is operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages. A second sister ship named Henna was last operated by HNA Tourism. It has since been retired and was broken up for scrap in 2017.


The ship was built as the Celebration in 1986 by Kockums Varv in Malmö, Sweden for Carnival Cruise Lines. The Celebration began operating for Carnival on 14 March 1987. It remained in the fleet for over 20 years until it was retired from the Carnival fleet in April 2008. After leaving the fleet, it underwent an extensive refit and re-entered service with Carnival's subsidiary Iberocruceros as the Grand Celebration in the summer. The refit included new hull artwork and updated interiors.

In May 2014, it was announced that the ship would be renamed Costa Celebration and transferred to Costa Cruises in November 2014.[1] After the Iberocruceros brand was discontinued, the ship underwent refurbishment and was renamed the Costa Celebration. On 21 November 2014, on the day before the ship was scheduled to depart on its inaugural voyage, it was announced that the vessel had been sold to an unnamed buyer.[2] The next day, the Costa Celebration was removed from Costa's fleet and all bookings were cancelled. Passengers who had booked on Costa Celebration's future cruises were either refunded or rebooked on other ships.[3]

On 23 December 2014, it was revealed that the ship had been purchased by the newly formed Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, who would use the name Grand Celebration and sail out of the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach, Florida starting in February 2015.[4][5] Bahamas Paradise was formed by former executives from the defunct Celebration Cruise Line that operated the Bahamas Celebration.[6]

On 6 January 2015, the Grand Celebration arrived at the Port of Palm Beach for refit into Bahamas Paradise livery. During arrival, it was noticed that her Costa Celebration name was painted over with the Grand Celebration name, but the funnel retained the Costa livery.[7]

The Grand Celebration was scheduled to depart for its first cruise on 1 February 2015, however, due to technical difficulties, the voyage was cancelled. Repairs were made and the ship set sail on 3 February.[8]


  • On the morning of 10 February 1989, the Celebration collided with the Cuban freighter Captain San Luis, breaking the freighter in half and causing it to sink in 13 minutes. Three crew members of the Captain San Luis, including its captain, were missing and presumed dead. The freighter was hauling cement at the time of the collision and had been experiencing electrical problems which left it without lights, navigational equipment, or steering. The Celebration remained on-site, rescuing the 42 survivors from the water and transferring them to a Cuban navy ship and tugboat before continuing on to Miami.[9]


  1. "Grand Celebration to become Costa Celebration Later This Year". Cruise News. Cruise Industry News. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  2. "Costa Celebration Moves Elsewhere - Cruise Industry News | Cruise News". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  3. "Costa Cruises sells the ship and cancels the trip - The Medi Telegraph". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  4. "UPDATE: Celebration ship will launch Sunday | Protecting Your Pocket". Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  5. "New Cruise Line Postpones First Cruise; Sets Sail Two Days Late". Cruise Critic. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  6. South Florida Sun-Sentinel (24 December 2014). "Port of Palm Beach to get new cruise ship in February".
  7. Satchell, Arlene. "Port of Palm Beach welcomes Grand Celebration cruise ship".
  8. "Grand Celebration to set sail Tuesday, cruise line says". WPTV. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  9. "Cruise Ship, Freighter Collide". Sun Sentinel. 11 February 1989. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
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