Margaritaville at Sea launches free cruises for military, vets, first responders, teachers
By Richard Tribou – Orlando Sentinel
The revamped Margaritaville at Sea cruise ship is sure to get a little more full as it rolls out a new “Heroes Sail Free” program to offer free trips to active military, veterans, first responders and teachers.
The Margaritaville Paradise debuted with its new Jimmy Buffett-themed offerings this past spring, a makeover of what had been Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Classica, a 53,000-gross-ton, 1,308-passenger vessel that sails from the Port of Palm Beach on two-night voyages to Grand Bahama Island, what the line refers to as a “micro-cation.”
“To show our sincere gratitude for their ongoing service, we wanted to offer these frontline heroes a chance to kick off their boots and work shoes and flip flop into a relaxing getaway,” said line president and CEO Kevin Sheehan Jr. in a press release. “We hope a little downtime to recover from the demands of their day-to-day responsibilities is just what they need.”
The promotion is run with partner GovX.com, a site that offers a membership program with discount products for active and veteran U.S. military, firefighters, law enforcement officers, other federal agents, healthcare workers and personnel from related government agencies.
Those interested will be verified through the GovX ID platform, including educators, and are eligible for a free cruise fare on an inside cabin or ocean-view stateroom with suite upgrades available.
The free sailing is based on double occupancy, so the second person sailing would need to pay the full price, but it could mean a savings of between $189 and $539 for ocean-view cabins, and $149 and $549 for inside cabins, depending on the time of sailing.
Those eligible can book the cruise at MargaritavilleatSea.com/offers/heroessailfree/.
The window to book opens at 7 a.m. today for sailings through 2023. Currently there are no limits to the number of cabins being offered per sailing, but that could chance depending on the popularity of the promotion, according to the cruise line.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line began operating from the Port of Palm Beach in 2016 with its original vessel Bahamas Celebration, since sold and scrapped. Grand Classica began service in 2018.
The ship was built in 1991 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy and originally sailed for Costa Cruises in Europe as the Costa Classica.
The Margaritaville makeover features signature Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville stylings in its cabins, suites and open spaces, calling it “casual-luxe design with subtle nautical details and colors influenced by the surrounding sea, sand and sky.”
Passengers, for instance, come on board with an option to pose in front of a giant flip-flop.
On board are brand mainstays JWB Prime Steak & Seafood, Frank and Lola’s Pizzeria, Port of Indecision Buffet, LandShark Sports Bar, Margaritaville Coffee & Pastry Shop, Euphoria Lounge, Sunset Bar, St. Somewhere Spa, Fins Up! Fitness Center and 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar.
The casino is now called the Par-A-Dice Casino while other ship amenities include the Stars on the Water Theater with its production of “Tales from Margaritaville: Jimmy’s Ship Show.”
“Welcome aboard heroes, with a big Fins Up thank you for your service,” said Buffett in the press release. “Now we feel honored to serve you — at sea.”
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Source: American Military News