From CruiseCritic.com: “Cruise Away to Margaritaville: First Impressions of Margaritaville at Sea Paradise“
Barefoot, grinning and tongue firmly in cheek, Jimmy Buffett paused momentarily while performing his 1977 smash hit, ‘Margaritaville.’
“This turned out to be a pretty good 3-minute song,” the singer/songwriter/businessman wisecracked. And his comment turned out to be quite the understatement, considering that he happened to be playing his signature song on the pool deck of a 1,680-passenger cruise ship named Margaritaville at Sea Paradise.
Buffett’s impromptu 10-song setlist capped the May 12 debut of the ship, which less than an hour earlier had been officially christened by godfather and NFL linebacker Shaquem Griffin. Envisioned as a logical progression of Margaritaville’s brand of Flor-ibbean fun in the sun, Margaritaville at Sea offers 3-day, 2-night sailings from West Palm Beach to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
Buffett’s Music is Front and Center (And Even in A New Jimmy Buffett-Penned Show)
It’s no surprise that Buffett’s extensive musical catalogue is at the root of the Margaritaville brand, and the ship is no exception. Venues throughout the vessel pay tribute to song titles and lyrics, including Fins Dining Room, 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, License to Chill Bar & Pool, Port of Indecision Buffet and Euphoria Lounge, to name just a few. Quotes are prominently placed throughout the ship in strategic locations.
But, aside from the unscheduled appearance from the man himself (which, understandably, won’t be an ongoing feature of the cruise), the best way to enjoy Jimmy’s music onboard is on Deck 9, at Stars on the Water Theater. This is where the highlight of the Margaritaville at Sea experience takes place with the unique-to-the-cruise Tales from Margaritaville: Jimmy’s Ship Show.
Penned and produced by Buffett and Hollywood heavyweight Frank Marshall (whose long list of productions includes Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Sixth Sense and Jurassic World), the 45-minute Broadway-style show is brought to life by a cast of six performers backed by a live five-man band. From ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ and ‘Volcano’ to ‘Fins’ and the iconic ‘Margaritaville’, a dozen of Buffett’s hits is woven into a loosely-threaded narrative of tropical themes and beach-bum lifestyle.
Who is Margaritaville at Sea For?
As would be expected, Parrotheads and fans of the Margaritaville brand stand to gain the most enjoyment from Margaritaville at Sea, instantly picking up all the nods and inside references to Buffett’s life and career.
But there is an undeniably universal appeal to the product; from the catchy and easy-on-the-ears songs to the laissez-faire attitude and cocktails-in-paradise emphasis, especially considering the length of the voyages.
Buffett himself perhaps summed it up best during his unscheduled concert on the inaugural voyage by stating: “Lately there’s not enough fun in the world, so let’s have some fun.”
From Cruise Industry News: “Margaritaville at Sea Sets Sail“
Margaritaville at Sea has made its debut, welcoming several hundred VIPs, partners, community members and travel advisors for the official christening of its flagship vessel, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise last week.
The exciting one-night sailing included a traditional christening ceremony and a surprise live concert with singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett.
The christening ceremony for Margaritaville at Sea Paradise was held at the Stars on the Water Theater, where John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville, Oneil Khosa, CEO of Margaritaville at Sea and Kevin Sheehan Jr, President of Margaritaville at Sea spoke about their partnership and participated in a traditional bottle-breaking ceremony to officially christen the ship, the company said, in a press release.
The Nightlife Onboard Delivers
The second showing of the musical hardly spelled the end of Margaritaville at Sea Paradise’s night entertainment. On our cruise, the fun was just getting started on Deck 8’s spacious Euphoria Lounge with trivia and adult-themed games gaining steam as midnight approached. Revelers reached a frenzied crescendo on the dance floor, moved by a soundtrack that steered decidedly to non-Buffett waters.
A two-night cruise itinerary is usually the perfect amount of time for people to let loose and blow off steam. You don’t expect a ship named Margaritaville at Sea to be quiet and staid; if you’re looking for a party, you’ll find it here, going late into the night.
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Maiden Voyage | Day 1 | Boarding, A Ship Show & More