The new Margaritaville at Sea cruise line has chosen the ceremonial godfather for its flagship, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise. National Football League star and philanthropist Shaquem Griffin will have the honor of christening the new vessel and opening the new cruise line during the VIP inaugural sailing on May 12, 2022.
Godfather for Margaritaville at Sea Paradise
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, formerly Grand Classica for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, will debut in her new glory with an official naming ceremony on Thursday, May 12.
Florida native and ceremonial ship godfather Shaquem Alphonso Griffin will attend the ceremony and the inaugural VIP sailing from the Port of Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island, a celebratory cruise sure to be filled with memorable firsts for the reimagined ship and cruise line. Speeches, music, toasts, blessings, and other special events are often part of these traditional ceremonies.
Griffin has an extensive background in community service, having earned the United States Achievement Academy Student of Excellence Award in high school. He has been a zealous advocate for physically challenged individuals, himself having had his left hand amputated at age 4 due to amniotic band syndrome.
Griffin sees children with birth defects as their ‘own little nation’ who support each other in the fight against those who tell them they’re unworthy.
“We’re proud to have Shaquem join the Margaritaville at Sea family as godfather of Margaritaville at Sea Paradise,” said Oneil Khosa, chief executive officer of Margaritaville at Sea.
“As a passionate philanthropist, Shaquem’s efforts within our local community align with our own commitment to giving back, and he is a true inspiration on every front. We are honored to have him serve in this very special role as our first-ever godfather.”
Griffin has also served as Grand Marshal of the Special Olympics USA Games and as ambassador for iconic brands that support and encourage his messages of never doubting yourself and not allowing negativity to dictate who you become.
Furthermore, Griffin has an impressive football career. He was undefeated in his senior year at the University of Central Florida and chosen as a fifth round draft pick for the Seattle Seahawks in 2018.
Griffin was named the 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP, as well as the winner of the NFL Game Changer Award and the 2019 NCAA Inspiration Award.
Griffin, along with his twin brother and former NFL teammate Shaquill, started the St. Petersburg Nitro Track Club, a charity in their hometown with which they are both still intimately involved to this day. Margaritaville at Sea will be making a donation to the organization as part of the brand’s relationship with Griffin.
Margaritaville at Sea to Set Sail
Margaritaville at Sea is a newly rebranded, reimagined, and reenergized cruise line, featuring the iconic imagery and casual-luxe vibe of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.
While Margaritaville at Sea Paradise is currently the line’s only ship, it showcases the brand’s iconic hospitality and resort experiences with nautical flair and tropical fun.
The Classica-class cruise ship was originally built in 1991 for Costa Cruises, then was purchased for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in 2018, and will now sail under her new name and branding. The inaugural voyage was initially scheduled for April 30, 2022, but was delayed two weeks to ensure the renovation work was completed to high quality standards expected for the Margaritaville brand.
After the inaugural VIP sailing, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise (initially announced as Margaritaville Paradise) will begin offering 2-night sailings from Palm Beach to The Bahamas on May 14, 2022. The ship weighs in in 52,926 gross tons, with a guest capacity of 1,308 at double occupancy.