Newly-minted Celebration Cruise Line will begin sailing year-round from Port Everglades this Monday with the 1981-built, 1,500-passenger Bahamas Celebration (ex-Prinsesse Ragnhild), on two- and three-night sailings, three times per week.

The ship will have capacity to accommodate 180,000 passengers through December of this year, and nearly 220,000 from January through December 2010.

While rumored to be a rebirth of Imperial Majesty Cruise Line, Celebration has a different ownership group than Imperial Majesty, said Glenn Ryerson, vice president of marketing for Celebration, however, both companies share some of the same senior personnel.

The 35,000-ton Celebration has four restaurants, including a classic American restaurant, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian-style steakhouse and buffet, a casual Italian restaurant, and the Cove restaurant, for an additional charge.

The Celebration also has a 630-seat nightclub, multiple lounges, a casino, spa, 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.

According to its Website, “Celebration Cruise Line will create its niche in the crowded south Florida cruise market by trying to offer the best value in the industry. Passengers will get a top-notch cruise experience at prices starting at $199 per person for a three-night weekend cruise. But if really on a tight budget, there will be options as low as $119. While the cruise line is new, the office and ship staff is one of the most experienced in the industry.”

As of this past Tuesday, the Regal Empress is no longer sailing, “due to SOLAS issues,” Cruise Industry News has learned.

But while the fate of the 1953-built, 1,180-passenger vessel has yet to be decided, “Imperial Majesty is still in business,” Ryerson insisted. “Technically, the Empress could sail until 2010.”

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