Margaritaville at Sea: Exploring Florida’s Newest Cruise Ship Arrival

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The new Margaritaville at Sea Islander has arrived in the Sunshine State, but hasn’t quite reached her homeport. The ship, fresh from an extensive dry dock renovation, arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, June 2, where she will take on additional supplies before moving around the Florida peninsula to her new home, Port Tampa Bay.

The ship left the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Sunday, May 19, and has been making her way across the Atlantic. No guests are currently onboard, but each day has undoubtedly been filled with ongoing finishing work to ensure the tropically-themed ship is at her best when her first passengers arrive.

“The Margaritaville at Sea Islander has officially arrived in Port Everglades, where she’ll be loading up with everything we’ll need to ensure relaxation and revelry on June 14. Next stop: Port Tampa Bay!” Margaritaville at Sea announced on social media on June 2.

The 85,619-gross-ton, Spirit-class Margaritaville at Sea Islander will significantly increase the passenger capacity of the boutique cruise line, as it joins Margaritaville at Sea Paradise.

The Margaritaville at Sea Islander can accommodate 2,114 guests at double occupancy, reaching up to 2,680 travelers when at full capacity. In comparison, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise holds 1,308 guests at double occupancy, and up to 1,680 when fully occupied.

This ship also supports nearly 900 international team members, many of whom will likely join the ship in Fort Lauderdale for final preparations and to get acquainted with new details and arrangements of the vessel.

When the ship docks in Tampa in the upcoming days, it’s expected to receive a warm welcome, building up to its official inaugural celebration. Details of the official naming ceremony are yet to be released.

The cruise company has announced that Savannah Buffett, the oldest daughter of the late musician and sailor Jimmy Buffet, will be the official godmother of the ship.

“I am thrilled to be appointed as the Godmother of the Margaritaville at Sea Islander. I aim to bless this vessel with ample love and luck to ensure she voyages through calm seas in pursuit of that one particular harbor,” expressed Savannah regarding her ceremonial role.

The inaugural voyage of the Margaritaville at Sea Islander will commence on Friday, June 14, marking the onset of a new chapter for the cruise line as it initiates sailings from Port Tampa Bay for the first time.

This ship will primarily operate 4- and 5-night journeys in the Western Caribbean, visiting places such as Cozumel, Key West, and Progreso, with the specific route varying based on the departure date and duration of the cruise.

In 2025, extended 6- and 7-night cruises will launch to include all three original ports, plus additional stops in Belize, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman.

No matter which itinerary guests choose, they will experience the vessel’s new island-inspired decor, following a comprehensive refurbishment that started in January and moved to dry dock by mid-March.

The ship now features vibrant hull art and Margaritaville-inspired elements throughout its public areas and guest rooms, creating a distinctive atmosphere that both Parrotheads and general cruise enthusiasts will enjoy.

Onboard, guests can dine at the Port of Indecision Buffet, maintain their fitness routine at the Fins Up Fitness Center, unwind at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Pool, snap photos at the Flip Flop Atrium, and more.

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