Celebration Cruise Line officially began operations out of Port Everglades with the inaugural cruise of the MS Bahamas Celebration on March 16. The new cruise line does two and three-night cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, departing from and returning to Port Everglades every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. With limited advertising, cabin bookings for March are at 96-percent capacity and April is trending similarly.

Celebration Cruise Line is creating its niche in the crowded South Florida cruise market by trying to offer the best value in the industry. According to Glenn Ryerson, the cruise line’s marketing vice president, passengers will get a top-notch cruise experience at prices starting at $199 per person for a three-night weekend cruise. If on a tight budget, there are three-night cruise options as low as $119.

Understanding that money is tight in the current economy and schedules are hectic, Celebration Cruise Line offers lower priced two-night cruises with sailings every Monday and Wednesday. Celebration is the only cruise line in South Florida with two-night cruises to Nassau.

At nearly 700 feet and over 35,000 gross tonnage, the MS Bahamas Celebration can hold up to 1,500 passengers, making it both spacious and intimate at the same time. With its classic European style, the ship was ready to begin sailing out of South Florida after being purchased in 2008, but Celebration Cruise Holdings wanted to first add many cruise ship amenities to the former Norwegian beauty MS Prinsesse Ragnhild.

The MS Bahamas Celebration has four restaurants, a 630-seat nightclub, multiple lounges, a spacious casino, a complete spa, a fitness room, three children’s clubs with age-appropriate electronic games and activities, a pool for adults and a pirate-themed pool with a 180-foot slide for children. The cruise also offers a variety of live music and shows, as well as snorkeling, sightseeing tours and beach resort excursions.

The four dining options include a classic American restaurant, serving five-course meals from a broad menu, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian-style steakhouse and buffet and a casual Italian restaurant, all as part of the cruise price. For individuals looking for more upscale dining, the elegant and romantic Cove Restaurant is available at an additional cost.