Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Activities

Editor Rating
Very Good
Chris Gray Faust
Executive Editor, U.S.

Entertainment & Activities

Theater and Shows on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

The ship has one main theater, the Stars on the Water theater. Sight lines are good all over the theater. There are reserved seats for package holders down in front, but those open up if no one shows. We recommend being up in front for the Buffett show, but perhaps not for the comedians, unless you're OK being part of the act.

One of the highlights for Jimmy Buffett fans is the Tales From Margaritaville Ship Show, a jukebox musical based loosely on Buffett's best-selling book of the same title. All of the classic Buffett songs are covered in the good-hearted musical, which has a fair amount of audience participation. The same show plays both nights, unfortunately.

A comedy show is held twice nightly, once for a PG audience and another R-rated show later. These acts were well-attended, even more so than the Buffett show on our sailing. Come early or on time, as late-comers searching for their seats will get roasted.

There's also a nightly piano sing-along in the small Stars on the Water Bar just outside the main theater. It's an odd place to put such a popular show; there's not enough seating and the chairs and sofas that are in the space are rather uncomfy. That being said, our piano player did his job, playing requests from the audience and leading spirited singalongs.

Daily Things to Do on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

Because the cruise is so short, people make the most of their time onboard -- and the schedule is packed to help them do that. From the point you embark, there's something going on, to the point where you will find yourself having to make tough decisions.

Highlights include trivia, bingo and pool games such as cornhole. Both days have a sailaway party and there's also dance lessons and game shows.

There's no app for Margaritaville at Sea. Programs are left in your cabin nightly, or you can pick one up at guest services. The schedule is also posted on various TVs around the ship.

Nightlife on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

Short cruises have a reputation for being "booze cruises." And while we certainly saw people getting their drink on in the nightclub, the ship was surprisingly quiet as the evening grew later. Most people went to the shows and perhaps had a drink in the lounge before going to bed. There's nightly karaoke at the hard-to-find License to Chill bar near the pool.

The Par-a-Dice casino is reasonably sized, and again wasn't nearly as crowded as I thought it would be. The space is non-smoking, Besides slots, you'll find blackjack, roulette and Texas Hold'em.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Bars and Lounges

Suffice it to say that drink packages are a big deal on a ship that's literally named for a cocktail. For $99, you can buy a 10-drink Boat Drinks alcoholic beverage package that covers you for pours under $12. You then pay for drinks with a wristband that you wear around the ship. If a drink is over $12, you'll pay the difference.

That being said, things get more confusing if you decide to buy the "double sized" Blender cup. You'll pay an additional fee of $20 for this cup, plus taxes and gratuities (bringing it to around $23); your first drink is included. Refills after that are either $17; $7 and one drink from your package or two drinks from your package. We opted against this, but we saw plenty of people toting around the Blender cup. We also overheard one couple who said they went through two $99 drink packages in just one night. Your mileage on this may vary.

There are also soda and non-alcoholic drink wristbands, which are $59 for 10, and a separate unlimited soda package.

Our Picks

For The Center of the Action: The Euphoria Lounge is right in the center of the ship, and we found it a good default place to go when you wanted to have a drink with a reasonable crowd. There's a stage for live bands, events and game shows are held during the evening and when all else fails, there's often a Jimmy Buffett concert film being shown. Service was friendly, readily available and prompt.

For Sunset Views: The Five O'Clock Somewhere bar is on the back of the ship, and has both covered and outdoor seating for great wake views. We found it particularly fun during the sailaway out of West Palm Beach.

For Late Night Action: The Oasis Lounge is the ship's nightclub, which attracted a steady stream of cruisers ready to see and be seen.

Pools and Hot Tubs on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

There are two pools on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, but both are laughably small; don’t expect to do anything resembling a lap. The License to Chill pool on Deck 11 is open to kids, and those are the only people we saw using it, perhaps because the pool bar was around the corner from the water, rather than right next to it, as it is on most ships.

The 12 Volt Pool has a more centrally accessible bar, as well as two hot tubs. This entire area is supposed to be adults only but we saw people bringing their kids to the hot tubs. All in all, though, we preferred this space to License to Chill, simply because the layout made more sense.

Sundecks on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

Both pool decks have plenty of deck chairs for sunbathing. On Deck 12, there are also daybeds, weirdly situated on AstroTurf.

Services and Wi-Fi on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

Want Margaritaville or Jimmy Buffett merch? The well-stocked store onboard has all kinds of T-shirts, sweatshirts, towels, stuffed animals and more souvenirs to take back to your friends. You can also buy anything you forgot here, like sunscreen, although hours are limited.

It costs $25 to have WiFi on one device for the full two-day trip (or if you get a package, WiFi is included for two devices). We found that the signal worked fairly well on the short trip across the Florida Straits. We were able to do a video call home at night and also able to keep in touch with our friend on the ship who also had the package.

Spa & Fitness

Spa on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

The St. Somewhere spa is small, but busy -- if you have credit toward a treatment, make sure you get to the desk early to schedule. Morning and mid-afternoon slots go fast, so don't be surprised if you need to be creative. This is the only ship where I've gone for a 9 p.m. massage and then gone right back out to the bar to catch a show; there were simply no other times available.

Options for treatments include massages, facials, body treatments and wraps, as well as salon services such as waxing, nail and hair care. Prices are about what you'd find on land -- don't expect discounts, as so many people have credits included in their packages.

Fitness and Gym on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

There's a small fitness center with cardio equipment such as treadmills and stationary bikes, as well as weights, close to the spa. And when we say small, that better apply to you, as the ceiling was so low, it would be hard for someone over 6 foot to really use the treadmills. Given the short nature of the cruise, you're not likely to have a lot of company in the gym, should you decide you can't miss a daily workout.

The ship says that it has a jogging track on Deck 12, but it's covered in Astroturf and also has deck chairs around it during the day. You'd be hard pressed to run there.

For Kids

Is the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Cruise Ship Family Friendly?

Yes, despite the adult-oriented name, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise does allow kids, and you could see quite a few on holiday weekends and school vacations.

The Jolly Mon Kids Club has limited hours and is complimentary only between 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for children ages 3 to 12. For those coveted evening hours, packages of $49 for one day and $69 for two days are available, or you can pay $15/hour, plus an 18% service charge. All activities cease at midnight.

Don't expect things to be too complicated in the small Kids Club. The posted schedule listed activities such as arts and crafts, face painting, balloon twisting, and pirate games, as well as a pizza party with unlimited soda.

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