Sarah Sets Sail: Grand Classica

If you live in South Florida and fancy a quick cruise, your ship has come in! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)


Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is the only line to offer daily departures from the Port of Palm Beach on two-night cruises to Freeport in Grand Bahama. The line has two ships, Grand Celebration and the new Grand Classica (a former Costa Cruises vessel), which I sailed recently as a guest of the line.


I've done several cruises over the course of my career, most on huge, brand-new vessels with all the bells and whistles. But I have to say, I was really impressed with Grand Classica, which, although its 27 years old, has been fully refurbed and is in great shape, and delivers service that's just as good as you'll receive on larger lines.


Classica's 658 cabins are modern and spacious, and the casino, evening shows in the Legends theater, daytime poolside entertainment, a kids' club and spa keep everyone entertained. And dining options (some included, some at an additional charge) will please most palates.


My take: A two-night getaway on Grand Classica is an ideal option if you're new to cruising and (literally!) want to test the waters. It's also a great deal if you're short on time or money or both! See for yourself in this six-minute preview.