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Margaritaville at Sea Islander docks alongside Sparkman Wharf. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
Margaritaville at Sea Islander docks alongside Sparkman Wharf. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)

Margaritaville at Sea News: Newest Ship, Islander, Christened in Tampa

Margaritaville at Sea Islander docks alongside Sparkman Wharf. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
Margaritaville at Sea Islander docks alongside Sparkman Wharf. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
Editor
Jorge Oliver
Senior Editor, News and Features
Aaron Saunders
Editor-In-Chief
Colleen McDaniel

Last updated
Jun 11, 2024

Read time
7 min read

In typical Jimmy Buffett fashion, Margaritaville at Sea Islander was christened June 10 at Sparkman Wharf in Tampa.

Raising shots of margaritas (as opposed to the traditional Champagne), guests at an exclusive event toasted the ship and celebrated its naming, with Savanah Buffett, daughter of Jimmy Buffett, serving as godmother. Cruise Critic was in attendance, along with numerous executives from Margaritaville, shipboard crew, Tampa representatives, politicians and media.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander Godmother Savannah Buffett, center, poses in front of her newly christened ship. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
Margaritaville at Sea Islander Godmother Savannah Buffett, center, poses in front of her newly christened ship. (Photo: Colleen McDaniel)
A christening, or naming, ceremony is a typical cruise event that is said to bring good luck to the ship (and all who sail it). The Margaritaville at Sea Islander ceremony had an air of fun and nostalgia, with Savanah Buffett talking fondly of her late father and how proud he would have been of the ship. The event included lots of Buffett music, including live performances from his former bandmates.

Islander is the newest ship in the Margaritaville at Sea fleet, which also includes sister-ship Paradise. Islander will call Tampa home and offer three-, four- and five-night sailings. Cruise Critic is onboard an exclusive sailing for friends and family. The ship sails with paying guests beginning June 14.
-- Colleen McDaniel, Editor In Chief

Margaritaville at Sea Islander, to Expand Family-Friendly Entertainment

(May 30, 2024) -- Margaritaville at Sea announced Thursday it will substantially expand its family-friendly offerings aboard its newest ship, Islander, when it debuts June 14 in Tampa.

The 24-year-old ship, which was built as Costa Cruises' Costa Atlantica, recently underwent a complete stem-to-stern transformation over several months at the Harland & Wolff shipyards in Belfast, Ireland.

Chief among the updates coming to Islander include the Caribbean Amphibian Play Pad & Slide, a playground designed specifically for kids, complete with waterslide and a splash park. The new "Dis and Dat" activity zone will offer a hybrid cornhole and mini-golf course; pickleball courts; and a new Defying Gravity Experience will offer up circus-themed workshops, interactive gameshows and scavenger hunts.

The new decor above the atrium aboard Margaritaville at Sea's Islander (Photo: Margaritaville at Sea)
The new decor above the atrium aboard Margaritaville at Sea's Islander (Photo: Margaritaville at Sea)

Other family-friendly diversions include the Far Side of the World Arcade and Lounge that offers karaoke, nonalcoholic drinks, and arcade games.

The ship has also received a full refresh of decor in staterooms and public rooms to transform it into the full Margaritaville at Sea experience.

Islander will also offer a full array of complimentary kids clubs for children aged 3 to 17, separated into four distinct groups: Jolly Mon (ages 3 to 5); Parakeet's Club (ages 6 to 9), The Hang Out (ages 10 to 12) and The Far Out (ages 13-17).

Families aboard Margaritaville at Sea have plenty to look forward to (Photo: Margaritaville at Sea)
Families aboard Margaritaville at Sea have plenty to look forward to (Photo: Margaritaville at Sea)

“The new Islander is packed with an exciting variety of active and interactive ways for cruisers of all ages to enjoy their fun in the sun,” said Karen Maybury, vice president of entertainment at Margaritaville at Sea.

“The new lineup of programming and activities designed specifically for children, teens, and families will greatly enhance the cruise experience, creating unforgettable memories for all of our guests.”

When it debuts in June, Islander will be the line's second ship to enter service. Its fleetmate, Paradise, offers short cruises from West Palm Beach to Freeport, Bahamas.

-- Aaron Saunders, Senior Editor, News and Features

Jimmy Buffett's Daughter Savannah Chosen as Godmother to Margaritaville at Sea Islander

Savannah Buffett (Photo: Savannah Buffett Facebook page)
Jimmy Buffett's daughter Savannah Buffett has been chosen as godmother to Margaritaville at Sea Islander(Photo: Savannah Buffett Facebook page)

(Mary 16, 2024) -- Margaritaville at Sea's new ship will have the daughter of the son of a son of a sailor as godmother.

The cruise line announced that Savannah Buffett, daughter of the late Jimmy Buffett, will serve as godmother to Margaritaville at Sea Islander and bless the vessel during the naming ceremony in June.

“I’m beyond excited to be named Godmother of Margaritaville at Sea Islander and look forward to rendering the right concoction of love and luck so she may plow the seas amidst smooth, untroubled waters in search of that one particular harbor,” exclaimed Savannah Buffett. “As a descendent of captains and boat builders, I accept this honor in tribute to the legacy of my seafaring ancestors. Cheers to many a lovely cruise!”

Drawing inspiration from her famous father, the 44-year-old Buffett has delved in many disciplines including acting, literature, music history and photography. She hosts her own radio show on SiriusXM's Radio Margaritaville and co-authored two children's books with her father: "Jolly Mon" and "Trouble Dolls."

“We are honored to have Savannah as the Godmother of the Islander as she embodies the lifestyle Jimmy was passionate about: life on the water, great food, entertainment, and everything our guests have come to enjoy while vacationing with Margaritaville at Sea,” shared Christopher Ivy, CEO of Margaritaville at Sea.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander will embark on its inaugural sailing on June 14; a four-night roundtrip itinerary from Tampa that visits Cozumel and spends two days at sea. The 2,605-passenger ship will offer four- to seven-night voyages, calling in ports like Cozumel, Key West, and Progreso.

-- Jorge Oliver, Editor

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise to Offer New 4-Night Itineraries to Key West

Pool on Margaritaville at Sea (Photo/Chris Gray Faust)
Pool on Margaritaville at Sea (Photo/Chris Gray Faust)

(April 30, 2024) -- For the first time since launching in 2022, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise will offer a four-night itinerary with two ports of call.

Between September and December 2024, the 1680-passenger ship will embark on six roundtrip sailings from its Palm Beach homeport to Key West and Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Since Margaritaville at Sea Paradise's debut in May 2023, the cruise has offered two- and three-night voyages to Grand Bahama, so the new itineraries will effectively double the ship's destinations.

The southernmost Florida port will also feature in the itineraries of the cruise line's second ship -- Margaritaville at Sea Islander -- which is scheduled to debut in June 2024. The 2,650-passenger ship will sail out of Tampa on four- to seven-night voyages to a number of Western Caribbean ports, including Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Puerto Progreso, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

-- Jorge Oliver, Editor

Margaritaville at Sea Islander Expands List of Ports of Call

Rendering of Margaritaville at Sea Islander (Photo: Margaritaville at Sea)
Margaritaville at Sea Islander, the cruise line's second ship, will debut in June 2024 (Photo: Margaritaville at Sea)

(March 21, 2024) -- More islands are on the horizon for Margaritaville at Sea Islander.

Margaritaville at Sea shared today that its upcoming ship -- scheduled to debut this summer -- will visit more destinations and offer more itineraries in 2025 than initially revealed when the ship was announced.

In addition to four- and five-night itineraries, the soon-to-be Tampa-based ship will also offer six- and seven-night trips in 2025. The expanded itineraries will feature calls in Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Belize, as well as previously announced ports like Key West, Puerto Progreso, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

“These longer sails and captivating new ports of call will deliver entirely new experiences for our guests seeking the ultimate in adventure and relaxation,” said Christopher Ivy, CEO of Margaritaville at Sea. “More days at sea also means plenty of time to explore all the Islander has to offer, from brand new entertainment and food and beverage options to exciting amenities and venues.”

The expanded 7-night itineraries, however, will only offered on a handful of dates in September and October of 2025 and are considered "limited-edition sailings". The cruise line's website shows four dates for the 7-Night Jamaica, Cayman and Mexico itinerary (visiting Cozumel, Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman), and two dates for the 7-Night Keys, Mexico and Belize itinerary (with calls in Key West, Costa Maya, Belize and Cozumel). Variations of the Belize itinerary are offered twice more with the destinations features in a different order.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander is scheduled to embark on June 14, 2024 on its maiden voyage: a four-night trip with a stop in Cozumel and two days at sea

Margaritaville at Sea debuted in 2022 with the launch of its flagship, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise. While Islander will focus on Western Caribbean sailings, Paradise only offers two- and three-night sailings to Freeport, Grand Bahama.

-- Jorge Oliver, Editor


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