Florida-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has sold the 1,800-passenger cruise ship Grand Celebration, one of its two vessels, citing a desire to focus its resources. The move leaves Bahamas Paradise with one smaller, newer vessel, the Grand Classica.
“The decision to focus on one ship will make it easier for us to implement all necessary safety protocols and ensure that our business is sustainable long-term, so that we can continue providing a safe and enjoyable vacation to our guests well into the future," the company told cruise media outlets in a statement.
The ship's ultimate fate is not certain, and the buyer was not disclosed. Other owners have scrapped multiple vessels in the 1987-built Grand Celebration's age bracket due to the ongoing cruise shutdown and the economic pressures of the pandemic. https://www.maritime-executive.com/index.php/article/fate-of-vintage-cruise-ships-uncertain-as-more-are-scrapped
Bahamas Paradise also faces an ongoing class action lawsuit brought by a crewmember of the Grand Celebration, who alleges that the crew was kept on board without pay for months. Most cruise operators experienced extreme difficulty in repatriating crewmembers during the start of the pandemic due to travel restrictions and lockdowns, and crew pay policies varied.
The lead plaintiff alleges that crewmembers were coerced into signing a statement indicating that they voluntarily requested "to stay onboard instead of choosing to fly home." If they did not, the suit contends, managers told them that they would be barred from returning to work once cruising resumes or would be the last to be rehired. The plaintiffs allege false imprisonment, negligent misrepresentation, forced labor, breach of contract, nonpayment of wages and failure to repatriate seafarers.
A federal judge recently decided not to approve a settlement agreement between Bahamas Paradise and the crew, finding that an $875,000 deal for back pay was "wholly inadequate," according to the Miami Herald.