The Grand Celebration with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line livery in Freeport, Bahamas in 2015
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Kockums Varv, Malmö, Sweden|
|Launched:||9 August 1986|
|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)|
|Speed:||21.7 knots (40.2 km/h; 25.0 mph)|
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 February 3, 2015.
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 March 14, 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. After the Iberocruceros brand was discontinued, the ship underwent refurbishment and was renamed the Costa Celebration. On November 21, 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. 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.
On December 23, 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 the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach, Florida starting in February 2015. Bahamas Paradise was formed by former executives from the defunct Celebration Cruise Line that operated the Bahamas Celebration.
On January 6, 2017, the Grand Celebration arrived at 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.
The Grand Celebration was scheduled to depart for its first cruise on February 1, 2015. Due to technical difficulties, the voyage was cancelled. Repairs were made and the ship set sail on February 3.
It was announced on September 19, 2017 that FEMA would charter the ship for a 90-day period through December 23, 2017 to house the National Guard in St. Thomas, which was devastated by Hurricane Irma.