All aboard! The all-new Margaritaville at Sea has officially launched after a slight delay due to supply change and shipping issues. But now, the Margaritaville Paradise is sailing and we were one of the first passengers on board! Here’s what you can expect.
It was a quick trip, but every sailing on Margaritaville at Sea is. Departing every two days, the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise heads toward Grand Bahama Island as the only 3-day / 2-night (really it’s about 2 days) cruise from the Port of West Palm Beach.
Formally known as Bahamas Paradise, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise has been partially renovated to coincide with the Margaritaville brand. The staterooms are very, very comfortable.. and brand new. The bedding and mattresses are new, shipped in from Spain, and the decor has been updated to a nautical and resort-like look and feel. The bathrooms haven’t yet received an upgrade. One thing to note, there is only one electrical outlet in your room. Yes, just one. So it would be smart to pack a power strip to charge multiple phones and maybe a computer.
The buffet area received all new decor, tables, and chairs. The aft deck off of the buffet has been rebranded the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar and offers outdoor buffet seating. From 4pm till midnight each night the outdoor spot serves finger foods for those who get hungry.
Inside, all of the venues have had their names changed to align with Margaritaville, but they didn’t necessarily receive a full renovation yet. Some venues still house some older chairs and decor whereas the main dining room, Fin’s, has been wholly refurbished. The menu at Fin’s was more elaborate than I was expecting offering a four-course dinner with everything from escargot to braised short ribs.
The pool areas are the one part of the vessel where, although comfortable, you can still see the ship’s true age (over 30!). Surrounding the main pool you’ll find tables and chairs, and one deck above is where you’ll find nothing but deck chairs. Unlike other cruise lines there should never be a fight for a deck chair, they were everywhere!
I was very impressed with the cruise entertainment staff. The cruise director and the staff knew how to entertain the guests and unlike other cruises, actually get folks involved and engaged. On other cruise lines, you see a lot of hesitant passengers debating if they should join in or you sometimes see the cruise ship staff begging people to get involved, here, the entertainment team had the right balance of encouragement and distance, therefore, there were more guests involved than I had seen elsewhere. The sail away party was packed, and the scavenger hunt the second night was hilarious.
Everything on board is included in your fare except for alcohol which is a la carte, and the specialty restaurant JWB Steakhouse. It’s also best to ask if your sailing will incur a fuel surcharge as that charge took a lot of us by surprise. All in, Margaritaville at Sea is a great value for a quick micro-vacation.
THINGS TO DO ON GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND