Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts is becoming the latest travel and leisure brand to expand its operations to cruise ships. The company inspired by famed singer Jimmy Buffett has formed a new partnership with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to rebrand the operation and cruise ship with the distinctive Margaritaville brand.
Departing on her first passenger sailing on April 30, 2022, from the Port of Palm Beach Florida to Grand Bahama Island, the cruise ship currently sailing as the Grand Classica will be renamed the Margaritaville Paradise, continuing to offer 2-night/3-day cruises to the Bahamas. The 52,900 gross ton cruise ship will be the first in the new Margaritaville at Sea brand.
Margaritaville Paradise will have 10 passenger decks and 658 cabins in various stateroom categories. Following a multimillion investment and refurbishment, the ship’s cabins and common spaces will sport Margaritaville’s signature “casual-luxe” design with nautical details and colours.
Dining options onboard will include JWB Prime Steak & Seafood, Frank and Lola’s Pizzeria, Port of Indecision Buffet, LandShark Sports Bar and Margaritaville Coffee & Pastry Shop, as well as the Euphoria Lounge, Sunset Bar and 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar.
Additionally, the ship will offer onboard leisure activities and entertainment like the Par-A-Dice Casino, a Stars on the Water Theater, St. Somewhere Spa, Fins Up! Fitness Center, pools, a retail shop and more. The ship was built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard and entered service as a pioneer ship.
“Margaritaville at Sea will be a new, exciting, and fun way for guests to escape and vacation in Margaritaville,” said John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville. “From oceans to lakes, Margaritaville has an organic tie to the water and with Margaritaville at Sea, we’re able to put our iconic lifestyle, resort experiences, and elevated service directly on the sea. We look forward to seeing guests on, and in, Paradise.”
Cohlan expects some of the initial itinerary expansion may include cruises to Nassau and Key West, where Margaritaville has resorts.
“To me, the only thing better than being on a beach by the ocean is to be on the ocean. Now you can follow in our wake,” said singer, songwriter, and best-selling author, Jimmy Buffett, the voice, lyricist, musician, and personality behind the 1977 hit song, “Margaritaville.”
Cruise passengers are already familiar with the Margaritaville brand, which includes over 25 hotels and resorts, two gaming properties, RV resorts, and over 60 food and beverage venues, along with real estate communities and vacation clubs.
“We’re excited about this new partnership as we launch Margaritaville at Sea out of the Port of Palm Beach. We’re excited about this next phase of our evolution, rebranding as Margaritaville at Sea,” said Oneil Khosa, CEO of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, who will serve as CEO of Margaritaville at Sea. “The collaborative concept will add a different dimension to the cruising industry, appealing to a new audience of travellers.”
The flagship of Margaritaville at Sea, Margaritaville Paradise has a long history of cruise service. The ship was originally built in 1991 as Costa Classica for Costa Cruise Line. In 2018, the ship was sold to the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and set sail as Grand Classica. The ship underwent a major renovation in 2020, just as the pandemic shutdown began, and returned to service on July 24, 2021.