The U.S. Coast Guard found significant issues onboard the Margaritaville Paradise cruise ship during a routine inspection of the vessel carried out on Wednesday. A no-sail order came after guests had already embarked on the vessel ready for a cruise to the Bahamas.
The Margaritaville Paradise cruise ship has only been operational since March of this year and was previously operating as Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Classica. The cruise line announced the vessel had been cleared for operations on July 15.
US Coast Guard Stops Margaritaville at Sea from operating
During a routine inspection of the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise cruise ship, the U.S. Coast Guard found several issues that put the safety of passengers and crew in danger, a spokesperson said in a statement published by the Orlando Sentinel.
U.S. Coast Guard Public Affairs Officer Nicole Groll: “Cruise ships operating in the U.S. are required under federal law to have a Certificate of Compliance exam every six months. During this ship’s annual exam, Port State Control officers identified conditions which required the ship to stay in port until rectified due to the safety of the crew and passengers. The ship will not sail until the conditions are rectified.”
Passengers boarded the cruise ship on Wednesday afternoon, expecting to set sail towards the Bahamas that evening. However, on Thursday morning, the vessel was still in port.
After the Coast Guard made the announcement of the findings, Margaritaville at Sea CEO Oneil Khosa said: “Margaritaville at Sea Paradise was not able to move forward with its planned departure on July 13. During a routine inspection, the United States Coast Guard identified some corrective actions that the cruise line is expeditiously undertaking and managing to ensure the safety of all crew members and guests.”
U.S. Coast Guard’s inspections typically do not call for a no-sail order unless there are serious findings that genuinely affect the safety of those onboard.
Those issues have since been rectified according to a statement posted on the cruise line’s Facebook page: “Our departure yesterday was delayed due to a Coast Guard inspection. We identified and corrected routine maintenance and are grateful for their continued partnership. The vessel has been inspected, cleared, and returns to normal service from the Port of Palm Beach at 5 pm today.“
Ship Only Recently Refurbished
Although there is no saying what the findings from the US Coast Guard were, it is notable that the vessel was only recently refurbished and would have received a clean bill of health at the time from the Coast Guard.
After operating two-night sailings as the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Classica, the 53,000 gross tons, 1,308-passenger ship recently underwent a Jimmy Buffet-themed makeover. Built in 1991 at Fincantieri in Marghera, Italy, the Costa Classica originally served as a cruise ship for Costa Cruises in Europe.
The Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line launched in 2016 with its first vessel, Grand Celebration. This ship was beached at the shipbreaking yard at Alang, India, on January 14, 2021. In 2018, Grand Classica began operations for the cruise line from Palm Beach, Florida.
Margaritaville Paradise is scheduled to sail today, Friday, July 15, on a 2-night cruise from the Port of Palm Beach to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.