In a 5-0 vote, port commissioners for the port of Palm Beach have approved plans for Kevin Sheehan’s Bahamas Paradise Cruises to add a second ship to the port’s roster. It was originally hoped to begin the operation in June of 2018, but some sources are now saying that it could realistically begin as early as April.
The ship in question is the current Costa NeoClassica, a 50,000 ton vessel originally built for the Italian operator back in 1991. The plan as it stands is to pair the ship with current flagship, Grand Celebration, on two night cruises from the Florida port to Freeport and back. With the ships sailing on consecutive days, the line aims to offer a daily service. It is also possible to tie in land based stays with the two day cruise schedule.
Sheehan is the former CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, and comes to the project with a reputation as a proven innovator. For all that, it seems that this new line is going to be taking baby steps for the foreseeable future. Expect a fine tuning and tweaking of the on board product rather than any empirical attempt to go head to head with the big boys such as RCCL and Carnival.
All the same, this could be an appealing little short haul option to those holidaying in Florida. As ever, stay tuned for updates.