30-year-old cruise ship rebranded Margaritaville at Sea Paradise is set to launch the latest adaptation of a well-known consumer brand in the cruise industry. Featuring a performance by famed singer Jimmy Buffet, the new cruise operation completed an industry preview at the end of the week and will begin its maiden voyage on May 14 to the Bahamas.
The cruise ship returned to the Port of Palm Beach, Florida on May 10 after undergoing a major refit and rebrand during an overhaul at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport. Iconic Margaritaville brand symbols have been added to the ship with the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar, 12 Bolt bar, LandShark Sports Bar, JWB Prime Steak & Seafood, and Par-a-Dice Casino, among others. Passengers are greeted by a large “Landshark” surrounded by a life vest in the atrium.
The cruise operation is a rebrand of the former Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which has been operating out of the Port of Palm Beach since 2016. The cruise line will continue to provide marine operations while marketing will be handled by the cruise company. Margaritaville resort. Margaritaville Hotel & Resort Development currently operates 20 lodging sites with over 20 additional projects underway, Camp Margaritaville RV Resorts, two gaming properties and over 60 food and beverage venues all leveraging the brand developed from the music of Jimmy Buffet.
The first cruises will operate two nights from Florida to Freeport in the Bahamas, where the company offers an option to stay ashore or return to Florida for a three-day mini cruise. Prior to the pandemic, Bahamas Paradise reports that it carried four million passengers a year on short Bahamas cruises. The company, however, sold one of its cruise ships for scrap while the cruise industry was on hiatus.
Built by Fincantieri and presented by Costa Cruises in December 1991 as the Classic, the 52,900 gross ton cruise ship was one of the first modern cruise ships built by the Italian shipyard. Along with her sister ship, she was part of an expansion effort by Costa that traced its origins to the immigrant trade after World War II. The company pioneered cruising in both the Caribbean and the Mediterranean in the 1960s. The Costa family sold the business to Carnival Corporation in 1997, which continued to operate and grow the business as a Italian cruise brand.
Docked at the Port of Palm Beach for commercial preview this week
Bahamas Paradise acquired the Classic in 2018 and renamed it great classic for its short cruises in the Bahamas. The operation resumed in 2021 after the pandemic and continued until this spring. The relaunch as Margaritaville, however, was postponed for two weeks due to delays in the global supply chain and obtaining materials for the cruise ship renovation.
In addition to the refurbishments, service on board the cruise ship has been adapted and new entertainment launched to reflect the rebranded operations and the brand’s lifestyle image. The cruise ship features 658 cabins, eight restaurants, five bars and lounges, and amenities including a spa and fitness center.
Oneil Khosa, CEO of Margaritaville at Sea, said during the preview that the plan is to grow the cruise operation with the addition of more ships, but first they will focus on launching the brand. .