We hear it's always 5 o'clock aboard this newly-refurbished cruise ship.
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Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Sea in a bay
Credit: Courtesy of Margaritaville at Sea

Jimmy Buffett added another feather to his well-plumed cap Thursday with the inaugural sailing of Margaritaville Paradise, the first ship in the new Margarita at Sea cruise line from the popular lifestyle brand that includes restaurants, resorts and hotels, and residential communities across the U.S. and in Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. Margaritaville at Sea sets sail for Grand Bahama Island out of the Port of Palm Beach on Florida's East Coast. The inaugural sailing was a sneak preview for VIPs, travel advisors, and media; the first official voyage sets sail May 14.

"To me, the only thing better than being on a beach by the ocean, is to be on the ocean. Now you can follow in our wake," said singer, songwriter, and best-selling author, Jimmy Buffett.

"From oceans to lakes, Margaritaville has an organic tie to the water and with Margaritaville at Sea, we're able to put our iconic lifestyle, resort experiences, and elevated service directly on the sea," John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville, said in a press release. "We look forward to seeing guests on, and in, Paradise."

The newly-refurbished 658-cabin ship is decked out in Margaritaville's signature tropical colors, including vibrant shades of greens, oranges, yellows, and blues. Guests sailing aboard Paradise will find a selection of 11 dining and cocktail spots, retail shops, the Stars on the Water Theater, Par-A-Dice Casino, a St. Somewhere Spa, the Fins Up! Fitness Center, pools, hot tubs, and plenty of places to laze the days away throughout the ship's 10 passenger decks. Staterooms range from inside cabins (148 square feet) to terrace suites (nearly 506 square feet).

Shaquem Griffin, a University of Central Florida alumnus who played in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins, was named the ship's godfather. Before setting sail, he christened the ship Margaritaville Paradise to fanfare and confetti streamers.

Afterwards, out on the pool deck, Buffett himself, accompanied by masterful musicians and Coral Reefers Mac McAnally and Eric Darken, played a selection of sail-away-worthy songs.

Jimmy Buffett singing aboard the Margaritaville Paradise cruise ship
Credit: Courtesy of Susan B. Barnes

"Welcome aboard!," Buffett greeted guests gathered under the Florida sunshine before launching into crowd favorites like "Come Monday," "Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes," "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere," "Cheeseburger In Paradise," and "Son of a Son of a Sailor," noting that he himself is in fact the son of a sailor.

At the end of the intimate show, strumming the opening refrains of "Margaritaville" on his acoustic guitar, Buffett quipped about how a three-minute song from 1977 has turned into so much. Paradise's three-day, two-night sailings depart the Port of Palm Beach for Freeport, Grand Bahama Island; pricing begins at $169. Parrot Heads looking to extend their vacations can opt for four- or six-night all-inclusive Cruise & Stay packages that include the two-night cruise aboard Paradise plus a two- or four-night stay at Viva Wyndham or Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island.