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A Parrothead’s paradise: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville empire is getting into cruises

Dec. 08, 2021
4 min read
A Parrothead’s paradise: Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville empire is getting into cruises
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Get ready to be nibblin' on sponge cake and watchin' the sun bake from the deck of a cruise ship.

That's right, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is getting into the cruise business.

The company behind hotels, resorts and restaurants themed around Buffett's famed 1977 song on Wednesday announced it would add Margaritaville-themed cruises to its lineup starting in 2022.

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Dubbed Margaritaville at Sea, the company's new cruise program will begin in April with sailings on the 1,680-passenger Grand Classica, a 30-year-old ship that is being rebranded as Margaritaville Paradise, the company said.

Originally built for Costa Cruises, the 10-deck-high vessel currently is operated by West Palm Beach, Florida-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which will be a partner in the new venture.

Rendering of rebranded cabin on Margaritaville Paradise (Photo courtesy of The McBride Company)

In its announcement, Margaritaville said the new Margaritaville-branded sailings would offer the same "fun, escapism and state of mind" as is found at its other venues.

"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," Buffett said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

Related: The ultimate guide to picking a cruise line

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Margaritaville said Margaritaville Paradise would sail to Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas out of Palm Beach, Florida, starting on April 30.

The ship will undergo a multimillion dollar overhaul in advance of the sailings that will bring Margaritaville's signature casual-luxe design to the ship's cabins and public areas, the company said.

Rendering of 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar on Margaritaville Paradise (Photo courtesy of The McBride Company)

The overhaul will include the addition of Margaritaville-themed venues such as a LandShark Sports Bar, a Margaritaville Coffee & Pastry Shop and a 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar.

The venture is being done in partnership with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which is known for quick, two-night getaways to the Bahamas out of the Port of Palm Beach. Grand Classica is the line's only ship.

"We're excited about this new partnership as we launch Margaritaville at Sea out of the Port of Palm Beach," Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa said in a statement. "We are incredibly proud of what we've built at Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and ... excited about this next phase of our evolution."

Rendering of rebranded suite on Margaritaville Paradise (Photo courtesy of The McBride Company)

Khosa, who will serve as CEO of Margaritaville at Sea, said the rebranding of Grand Classica as a Margaritaville-themed ship would "add a different dimension to the cruising industry, appealing to a new audience of travelers."

Margaritaville Paradise will make its debut with two-night getaways to Grand Bahamas Island from the Port of Palm Beach, the same itinerary offered by Grand Classica under its previous branding.

The new partnership isn't the first time the Margaritaville brand has appeared at sea. Norwegian Cruise Line has had Margaritaville-themed restaurants and bars on some ships in recent years.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of The McBride Company)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees