Bahamas Paradise Announces Test Cruise; Explains Who Gets Volunteer Spots

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line – a small single-ship line that sails from Palm Beach to The Bahamas — announced that it will sail a volunteer test cruise departing June 25.

Grand Classica
Grand Classica is set to sail a test cruise in late June. Image courtesy of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

The cruise line is unique in that it sails just one ship — Grand Classica — on short two-night cruises. In fact, Bahamas Paradise is typically among the shortest and least expensive cruises you can take.

But just like larger lines that are household names, the line suspended sailings during the health crisis and now has to meet CDC requirements to cruise again. This includes health and safety measures, including test cruises.

On that front, with the upcoming simulated voyage the line looks to opt for sailing with both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers when it does return. Ships sailing fully-vaccinated cruises are allowed to skip this step.

Grand Classica will depart Palm Beach on June 25 for a two-night cruise to Grand Bahama Island. As required, the sailing will have all aspects of a typical cruise, including dining, entertainment, and shore excursions.

Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind is how do you get to volunteer for this (or other) test cruises? After all, who doesn’t want to sail on a free cruise?

While other lines have announced test cruises, Bahamas Paradise is the first to give some details on who it will select to sail.

Volunteers Selected from a “Private, Closed Group”

As Cruzely explained just days ago, your chances of sailing on a volunteer cruise by any line appear slim. Due to high demand and a low number of rooms (cruise lines only have to sail with 10% of planned occupancy on test cruises), getting a spot will almost surely be difficult.

In fact, a Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line spokesperson explained that it is “selecting a private, closed group of corporate employees along with a few other guests.” The company’s press release described these volunteers as “pre-selected, fully vaccinated passengers.”

In bold print, the cruise line also explained that “SAILING IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC OR MEDIA.”

In other words, if you aren’t already on the guest list, then don’t anticipate getting a spot on this test cruise.

Quick Return Timeline After the Test Cruise

Perhaps the best news from this announcement is not that another cruise line is moving forward in a return to sailing, but the potential timeline.

The cruise line anticipates a June 25-27 test cruise, and plans to resume sailing on July 2, 2021 — less than a week later. Whether or not the CDC gives approval so quickly has yet to be seen, but if cruises could get back to paid sailings just a few days after test trips, it bodes well for a larger return of sailing across the industry this summer.

You can book a spot on Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line via their website. Rates start as low as $249 this summer.

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