Margaritaville at Sea Islander Officially Enters Service From Tampa

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Following an extensive, three-month dry dock renovation that added the lively and colorful Margaritaville at Sea vibe, the 2,650-guest Margaritaville at Sea Islander departed on her maiden voyage from her new home port of Tampa, Florida. 

Guests aboard the June 14, 2024 departure will enjoy a 4-night cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, as the ship begins a series of 4- to 7-night sailings to Western Caribbean ports.

The ship sailed to Tampa in late May 2024 following her dry dock at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Margaritaville at Sea bought the ship, which formerly sailed as Costa Atlantica, from Costa Cruises in 2023.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander Cruise Ship
Margaritaville at Sea Islander Cruise Ship

While in dry dock, enhancements included adding the tropical Margaritaville theme to public spaces, repainting the hull with colorful trees and parrots, and updating the 24-year-old vessel’s technical aspects.

We’re thrilled to kick off the summer by giving guests the opportunity to experience the Margaritaville state of mind on the open ocean like never before,said Christopher Ivy, CEO of Margaritaville at Sea

The Islander offers an entirely new way to float into island time, providing couples, families, and friends an unforgettable journey with new spaces and experiences to explore, making the voyage just as enjoyable as the destinations,added Ivy.

Before setting sail, the ship was named by her godmother, Savannah Buffet, the eldest daughter of the late singer, songwriter, and sailor Jimmy Buffet, who wrote the famous pop song “Margaritaville” in 1977. Buffet died in 2023.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander features six dining venues and 11 bars, including a three-story LandShark Bar at Sea; Far Side of the World Sushi Bar; Mexican Cutie Cantina; Island Eats; The Flip Flop Atrium; JWB Prime Steakhouse; and Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Cruisers can dance the night away at the Hot, Hot, Hot Night Club and treat themselves to fancy cocktails and champagne at the Bubbles Up Lounge and Champagne Bar.

Entertainment options on the ship include two stage shows: Conky Tonkin’ at Sea, billed as a country music-themed extravaganza sure to get the audience on its feet, and Caribbean Heat Remix, featuring dance and acrobatics to traditional Caribbean beats.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander Cruise Ship Stateroom
Margaritaville at Sea Islander Cruise Ship Stateroom

For families, Margaritaville at Sea Islander offers the Caribbean Amphibian Play Pad & Slide, an area for youngsters with a playground, waterslide, and other water games. In the Dis and Dat Activity Zone, families can play mini-golf, corn hole, and other games. Circus-themed activities and scavenger hunts are featured in the Defying Gravity Experience area.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander offers 11 stateroom categories, including family and solo cabins, both interior and with balconies. The ship also has six luxury-level Signature Suites.

New Ship Joins Margaritaville at Sea Paradise

Through 2024, the new ship will sail 4- and 5-night cruises to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico, and Key West, depending on the departure date. In 2025, the series will expand by adding 6- and 7-night sailings that include port calls in Belize, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise (Photo Credit: Grand Bahama Shipyard)

Read Also: Tampa Cruise Port: Terminals, Transportation, What’s Nearby

Margaritaville at Sea Islander joins the cruise line’s first vessel, the 1,300-guest Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, another former Costa Cruises’ ship that operated as Costa Classica

The ship, built in 1991, sails 2- to 4-night Bahamas cruises from West Palm Beach, Florida. All sailings visit Freeport, Bahamas, with the 4-night voyage adding Key West. Its accommodations include interior and oceanview cabins, plus Junior Suites and Grand Terrace Suites.

Both vessels feature a Margaritaville Casino, the St. Somewhere Spa & Salon, plus multiple pools and hot tubs, along with quiet spaces for guests looking to relax.

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