The rebranding of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line into the upbeat, tropically-vibed Margaritaville at Sea has been delayed, with multiple cruises canceled as the line has pushed back the inaugural sailing of its rebranded flagship, Margaritaville Paradise. The new line is now scheduled to debut on May 14, 2022.
The anticipated launch of Margaritaville at Sea has been pushed back two weeks, with multiple sailings canceled because of the delay.
The new cruise line was scheduled to debut on April 30, 2022, but the first voyage of the updated and renovated Margaritaville Paradise will now be May 14, according to the cruise line’s booking website and postings on social media.
Guests booked on the impacted sailings received an email with the news, citing that the delay is a result of supply chain issues.
As the ship is being completely renovated, with new décor, theming, and onboard features, it is entirely possible that materials have not arrived in time to complete the work in order to deliver the signature Margaritaville experience adequately.
“We need to make sure the first cruise is perfect,” a company representative said in responding to Facebook comments.
Impacted guests have reached out to the cruise line’s customer service about the canceled sailings, and have reported that refunds will be offered or cabins can be rebooked to later sailings.
Details of those options were not immediately available, and guests should contact the cruise line’s customer service or their travel agent, if they used one, to confirm and make appropriate arrangements.
Cruise Line Transformation
The Florida-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which offers 2-night sailings from the Port of Palm Beach to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, announced in December 2021 that the cruise line was to be rebranded to Margaritaville at Sea.
That rebranding is including a complete update to the line’s single cruise ship, transforming from Grand Classica of Bahamas Paradise to Margaritaville Paradise of Margaritaville at Sea.
Updates to the ship will include new onboard features familiar to the Margaritaville brand, such as JWB Prime Steak & Seafood, Frank and Lola’s Pizzeria, Port of Indecision Buffet, LandShark Sports Bar, and Margaritaville Coffee & Pastry Shop as well as the Euphoria Lounge, Sunset Bar, and 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar.
Additional decorative elements and stateroom details are sure to be updated to reflect the ship’s new brand as well.
The rebranding timeline, however, is a tight one indeed. The last sailing of Grand Classica under the Bahamas Paradise name and brand is departing the Port of Palm Beach on Saturday, April 16. The cruise will return and debark its last passengers on April 18.
The initial April 30 debut of Margaritaville Paradise meant the ship’s renovation and rebranding would take place in just 12 days, a very short period for such intensive work, even if most of the work may be decoration and styling details.
With a further two weeks now available because of the inaugural sailing pushback, the cruise line can ensure more attention to detail and thorough completion of the work. This will permit more time to update the ship in order to truly deliver the quality of the Margaritaville experience to passengers once the ship sets sail.
Delays Not Uncommon
While the news of the delay comes just three weeks before the ship’s initially planned debut, delays of new or renovated cruise ships are not uncommon.
This has been especially true in the past two years as pandemic-related staffing shortages and supply chain issues have had strong impacts throughout the cruise industry.
Carnival Cruise Line’s new flagship, Mardi Gras, was delayed multiple times from her initial expected debut in August 2020, until she finally set sail in July 2021.
The world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas, was delayed from spring of 2021 to March 2022 because of pandemic issues.
Disney Wish, the first new ship for Disney Cruise Line in over 10 years, was initially planned to debut in June 2022, but had 12 sailings canceled when the ship was delayed, and will now debut in July instead.