Margaritaville at Sea Cruise Ships by Size: Largest to Smallest

The Margaritaville at Sea cruise ships may be new to many cruisers, but the iconic brand has existed for a while.

While the operator running the Margaritaville cruise brand has a checkered operational past, the line is heading in the right direction thanks to new investments and partnerships.

Margaritaville at Sea cruise ships Paradise and Islander
(Courtesy of Margaritaville at Sea)

In late 2021, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line announced they would undergo a rebrand to Margaritaville at Sea, initially converting the Grand Classica to the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise.

ShipClassYear LaunchedTonnagePassenger Count
(* denotes entered service with Margaritaville at Sea)

And they went all-in on the branding. The staterooms have a tropical flare. The food venues are inspired by the late Jimmy Buffett and Caribbean cuisine— and the bars are essentially a Margaritaville at sea.

Margaritaville at Sea Cruise Ships by Size

margaritaville islander cruise ship
Margaritaville at Sea Islander (Rendering courtesy of Margaritaville at Sea)

Margaritaville at Sea Islander

Those familiar with Carnival Cruise Line’s Spirit-class ships will not have difficulty navigating the Margaritaville at Sea Islander. The ship was built on the same platform as Carnival Miracle, Carnival Pride, Carnival Spirit, and Carnival Legend.

The Costa Atlantic docked at the Grand Turk cruise center on a sunny day.
(Photo: Doug Parker)

Islander was operated under Costa Cruises for most of its service life; it was transferred to Carnival’s Chinese entity, where it never entered service. It was eventually sold to Paradise Cruise Lines (operator of the Margaritaville at Sea brand).

In early 2024, it entered a dry dock in Belfast, Ireland, for multimillion-dollar renovation before operating Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa, Florida, this summer.

Just The Facts
Gross Tonnage:85,619
Entered Service:2024*
Year Refurbished:NA
Passenger Count:2,114 passengers at double capacity
(* denotes entered service with Margaritaville at Sea)

Itineraries: The ship will sail from Tampa, offering four and five-night cruises to Key West, Florida; Progresso, Mexico, and Cozumel, Mexico. It will also offer some one-off seven-night sailings to the Western Caribbean in late 2025.

Features: Landshark Bar & Lookout, 5 O’Clock Somewhere Pool Deck & Live Music, The Tiki Bar & Pool, The Flip Flop Atrium, Holin’, Puttin’, Dinkin’ & Drinkin’, JWB Prime Steakhouse, The Far Side Teen Lounge, and Caribbean Amphibian Splash & Slide

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

Margaritaville Paradise cruise ship
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise (Photo courtesy of Margaritaville at Sea)

Formerly, a cruise ship that belonged to Costa Cruises, named Costa Classica, entered service with Bahamas Paradise in 2018 under the name Grand Classica. It was the only ship that survived the cruise industry shutdown.

Just The Facts
Gross Tonnage:52,926
Entered Service:2018*
Years Refurbished:2014, 2018, and 2022
Passenger Count:1,308 passengers at double capacity
(* denotes entered service with Margaritaville at Sea)

Itineraries: The ship operates two-night cruises between Palm Beach, Florida, and Freeport, Bahamas (Grand Bahama Island). Guests can also purchase extended stays on Freeport and take the overnight cruise back at a later date.

Features: Fins Dining Room, Port of Indecision Buffet, JWB Prime Steakhouse, Frank & Lola’s Pizzeria, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, pool deck, live music, casino, St. Somewhere Spa & Salon, Mixology class, and The Fins Up! Fitness Center

Former Margaritaville at Sea Cruise Ships (Bahamas Paradise)

The cruise line also sailed two ships no longer with the company: Grand Celebration and the Bahamas Celebration. Both vessels were taken out of service because of different incidents.

Grand Celebration

Grand Celebration cruise ship
Grand Celebration
Just The Facts
Gross Tonnage:47,262
Entered Service:1987 (for Carnival Cruise Line)
Year Refurbished:2014
Passenger Count:1,900 passengers at full capacity

This was the cruise ship that started it all with the brand until it was run aground in 2014. Carnival Cruise Line recently transferred their Holiday-class ship, MS Celebration, to Iberia Cruises, where it cruised until the brand was discontinued. It then was transferred to Costa Cruises for another refit.

Carnival Celebration
Carnival Celebration in Nassau, Bahamas

A day before it was scheduled to enter service with Costa, it was announced that it was sold to an unannounced buyer. That unannounced buyer was Palm Beach-based Bahamas Paradise.

It sailed with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line from 2015 until the cruise industry shutdown. It was eventually sold for scrap metal in late 2020. It met the shores of Alang, India, for scrapping on January 4, 2021.

MS Bahamas Celebration

MS Bahamas Celebration cruise ship
MS Bahamas Celebration
Just The Facts
Gross Tonnage:35,483
Entered Service:1981 (as a Norwegian ferry)
Year Refurbished:2008
Passenger Count:1,900 passengers at full capacity

This former cruise ship sailed as a ferry in Norway from 1981 to 2008. It was acquired by Celebration Cruises in 2008 and entered service as Bahamas Celebration. It sailed from Palm Beach to Freeport, Bahamas, for eight years before it was taken out of service after running aground in 2014.

Fortunately, the accident happened 200 yards from the port, and the ship returned to Freeport to debark guests, but it would never re-enter service. It sat at the cruise pier for two months with a ten-degree list. The ship was eventually sold for scrap metal in 2015 and would arrive at the scrapyard that fall.

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