Margaritaville Cruises, the Jimmy Buffett-inspired brand, offered 500 unlimited cruise packages for $899 and it’s a great value for some but not for all.
Margaritaville At Sea
Jimmy Buffett’s brand has expanded to restaurants and resorts and now the Margaritaville At Sea paradise cruise line. The product brings the elements of his famed brand within the elements of a cruise ship. His Bahamas paradise cruise line offers 3-day, 2-night cruises to the Bahamas from the Port of Palm Beach to Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
Like Margaritaville Resorts, the ship features the Port of Indecision Buffet, Fins Up! Fitness Center, St. Somewhere Spa, and 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar.
What makes the product unique, aside from its Parrothead approach, is that the short cruises can be combined with all-inclusive land packages for four or six-day trips to the Bahamas, with just two days spent cruising back and forth.
Here’s an incredibly long video review of the product:
Unlimited Cruises For $899+
The brand has introduced its version of the all-you-can-travel pass:
“Titled the “Ultimate Paradise Pass,” the package starts at $899 and allows travelers to cruise as many times as they want — on board the Margaritaville At Sea Paradise — on non-consecutive two-night stays throughout 2023. The pass expires on December 31.”
“Margaritaville at Sea’s President and CEO Kevin Sheehan, Jr. said in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. “Thanks to our unique two-night itinerary, the groundbreaking ‘Ultimate Paradise Pass’ will give avid cruisers a new way to experience unlimited getaways to The Bahamas.” – Travel + Leisure
The pass provides for one passenger and a guest to join them on as many sailings as they like, but can only be secured 24-72 hours in advance. This last-minute restriction is common with similar all-you-can-travel season passes. Like others offered in the flight space, port expenses, taxes, and fees are extra but unlike flights in which it’s just a few dollars in taxes and fees, port fees can be higher. Ultimate Paradise Pass includes both interior and ocean view staterooms with upgrades available on given sailings for an additional cost as available.
Just 500 were put on sale (as of writing 387 are still available.) If they sell out, it’s likely the promotion will be repeated both by Margaritaville and as a model for other cruise lines.
Who Should Buy It
Florida and Georgia residents (or those who frequently find themselves in south Florida) should carefully consider this offer. While others could make use of the pass given the limitations and limited required planning, local residents will be most flexible and least committed in the event of limited availability.
Doing the quick math, this pass really does pay for itself rather quickly especially for those likely to imbibe during the short journeys. Retirees could get a ton of value from the program even if they are only able to take a handful of cruises annually.
Will Others Follow Suit?
Margaritaville ships have just 658 guestrooms, but offering a limited pass for larger ships on larger cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, or Celebrity could fill vessels and become more useful for cruisers. With an expanded cruise itinerary options, these cruise lines could drive higher price points. They could also draw on bigger markets departing from Port Everglades and Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) and PortMiami.
For some, the Ultimate Paradise Pass could be a great deal. For the best value, retirees in the Palm Beach area might considerthe deal while others should consider their flexibility. However, if successful, other cruise lines might make all-you-can-cruise packages more appealing to a wider audience.
What do you think? Are you going to book the Ultimate Paradise Pass?