(7:23 p.m. EST) -- Beginning on January 21, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will provide a free buffet lunch to federal workers and their families affected by the government shutdown.
The line's two ships -- Grand Celebration and Grand Classica, which together offer daily departures to the Bahamas from Florida's Port of Palm Beach -- will welcome the workers and their families from noon to 3 p.m., with enough time to have lunch and enjoy an afternoon onboard before each ship leaves. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will offer the complimentary lunch everyday (except January 25 and 26) until January 31 or until the shutdown concludes -- whichever comes first.
Federal workers interested in taking advantage of the cruise line's offering must call its customer service department at 800-374-4363 to reserve their spot. They must provide a federal identification at the terminal; there will be a designated table for day visitors, where federal workers are verified, checked in, and issued visitors' badges.
The Port of Palm Beach is located at 1 East 11th Street in Riviera Beach, Florida.
Cruise ships so far have remained unaffected by the government shutdown, according to port authorities throughout the country. Travelers flying in for their cruises have been warned to arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration recently returned from Massachusetts, where it was chartered to support the restoration of service to communities affected by gas line explosions. In 2017, the same ship housed first responders and members of the U.S. National Guard in St. Thomas, as they helped rebuild the island following Hurricane Irma.