Cruise Line Enhances Heroes Sail Free Program

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It’s a tough job day after day working in the military, schools, and first-responders field. Margaritaville at Sea wants to make life a little easier through a revamped “Heroes Sail Free, Heroes Sail First” that offers free sailings to those on the front lines.

The program includes sailings on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise and the new ship Margaritaville at Sea Islander.

‘Heroes’ Package Lets Honored Guests Travel Free with Paying Guest

A newly enhanced program by Margaritaville at Sea is offering free fares for U.S. military service members, police, firefighters, EMS personnel, nurses, and educators. 

These special guests can travel free on Margaritaville at Sea’s two vessels with a paying guest as many times as they like during 2024. The “Heroes Sail Free, Heroes Sail First” package also includes an express pass for embarkation and disembarkation and expedited luggage delivery, among other benefits.

This newly expanded package, announced February 6, 2024, includes voyages on Margaritaville at Sea Islander, which sails her maiden voyage in June 2024 from Port Tampa Bay.

New Margaritaville at Sea Package Now Available on Both Ships

The “Heroes Sail Free” program was first launched by Margaritaville at Sea in 2022 in partnership with, an exclusive e-commerce site that offers discounts to military, government, and first responders. 

Prospective guests need to verify their eligibility through the GovX website to reserve a stateroom for the Margaritaville at Sea package on either ship. The package is open to current military service members as well as veterans.

Margaritaville at Sea Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Margaritaville at Sea

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise sails a 2-night voyage to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. The Jimmy Buffett-themed vessel is homeported in Palm Beach, which recently repeated a 183% surge in cruise ship traffic thanks to the ship.

The 10-deck, 52,926-ton Margaritaville at Sea Paradise was built in 1991 for Costa Cruises and branded Costa Classica. In 2018, she was purchased by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which itself rebranded as Margaritaville at Sea in 2022.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise can accommodate as many as 1,608 guests when fully booked. The ship, which features a tropical, Jimmy Buffett-accented theme, was renovated in May 2023 to add a pickleball court, outdoor lounge area, a dueling piano bar, and a new burger restaurant.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander Begins Sailing This Summer

In December 2023, Margaritaville at Sea announced it was adding a second vessel to its fleet – Margaritaville at Sea Islander. The ship is the former Costa Atlantica, which debuted in 2000. 

Margaritaville at Sea Islander is larger than Margaritaville at Sea Paradise with 85,619 gross tons and room for 2,650 guests. When she sets sail this summer, she’ll feature a 3-story poolside bar along with a Margaritaville-inspired cornhole set and a mini-golf course.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander
Margaritaville at Sea Islander

The maiden cruise onboard Margaritaville at Sea Islander is scheduled for June 14, 2024. She’ll sail Western Caribbean itineraries alternating between four and five nights. Ports of call include between Cozumel and Progreso in Mexico as well as Key West.

Unlike Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, she’ll be homeported across the state at Port Tampa Bay, a much larger facility that is also host to other vessels including Carnival Paradise, Enchantment Of The Seas, Carnival Pride, Norwegian Jade, Carnival Spirit, and Carnival Legend.

Port Tampa Bay is nestled alongside downtown Tampa near the city’s historic Latin district of Ybor City. In 2023, it hosted 1.1 million cruise passengers, making it the fourth most popular cruise port in Florida.

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