Margaritaville Paradise accidents and incidents

Margaritaville Paradise cruise ship

Former names
Grand Classica, Costa neoClassica, Costa Classica

Length (LOA)
220 m / 722 ft

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CruiseMapper's Margaritaville Paradise cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1680-passenger vessel owned by Margaritaville at Sea (Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line). Our Margaritaville Paradise accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2005 (Greece), 2014 (Red Sea)
  • ship collisions - 2008 (with MSC Poesia in Dubrovnik Croatia), 2010 (with a cargo ship on Yangtze River in China)
  • propulsion/power loss - 2010
  • canceled port calls in Turkey - 2015
  • deaths - overboard (2009, 2014), 2005 (5 killed, 43 injured in a bus crash in Madeira Portugal), 2018
  • injuries/crimes - sexual (2012), 2009 (5 thefts), 2010

Previously, the vessel was operated under the names Costa Classica (1991-2014), Costa neoClassica (2014-2018), Grand Classica (April 2018-2022), and Margaritaville Paradise (since April 2022). Since 2018, the ship is owned and operated by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and homeported in Palm Beach Florida.

  13 July 2022Structural and Technical Issues

On July 13, 2022, following a routine inspection, the USCG issued a "No Sail Order" and the ship remained docked at Port Palm Beach (Florida USA) until July 14th.

As a result, one 2-night voyage to The Bahamas was canceled. All passengers were disembarked and received compensation for the inconvenience.

According to Nicole Groll (USCG's Public Affairs Officer), under federal law, all cruise vessels operating in the USA are required to have a COC/Certificate of Compliance inspection every six months. During the annual exam, Port State Control officers had identified conditions, which required Margaritaville Paradise to stay in port until rectified due to the safety of the passengers and crew.

Following minor repairs, the vessel's Certificate of Compliance (COC) was renewed and the Bahamian program resumed as scheduled.

  03 September 2021Other Incidents

(Grand Classica) On September 3, 2021, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line announced that the ship is chartered by "Entergy New Orleans" (electricity provider) to serve as a hotel ship for front-line/relief workers in New Orleans following the disastrous Hurricane Ida (highest wind speed 150 mph/240 kph, USA total deaths 66).

2021's Hurricane Ida (August 26 - September 4th, highest wind speed 150 mph/240 kph, damage cost USD 50+ billion, USA total deaths 77) was ranked Louisiana State's second-most damaging - after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (August 23-31st, highest wind speed 175 mph/280 kph, damage cost USD 125+ billion, USA total deaths 1836).

Southeastern Louisiana sustained heavy infrastructural damages including building collapses and heavy flooding in the coastal areas (New Orleans, Golden Meadow, Houma, Galliano, LaPlace, Grand Isle). Luckily, New Orleans City's levees/floodbanks survived. Hurricane Ida's damage cost was estimated at ~USD 50 billion.

  02 June 2021Other Incidents

(Grand Classica) On June 2, 2021, Bahamas Paradise received approval from the CDC to start "simulated voyages" (test cruises) in June. CDC's requirements were all passengers (volunteers cruising for free) and the crew to be COVID-vaccinated.

The liner's first test cruise was originally scheduled for June 25 (2-night/3-day roundtrip to Freeport/Grand Bahama Island from Palm Beach Florida) but later rescheduled for June 28.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line planned to officially resume its Florida-Bahamas passenger shipping operations on July 2. However, Bahamas Paradise had to postpone the CDC's simulated voyage (and eventually the previously planned restart date from July 2 to July 24) after one of the boat's vaccinated crew tested COVID-positive.

The ship's first in 16 months voyage was the 2-night Palm Beach-Freeport cruise (July 24-26) carrying ~400 passengers and 220 crew.

  01 April 2019Other Incidents

(Grand Classica) On April 1, 2019, the liner assisted the Royal Caribbean ship Oasis of the Seas by providing temporary housing and meals to the entire crew (~1200 personnel). The large cruise liner sustained damages after a construction crane fell during the vessel's scheduled drydock refurbishment at Grand Bahama Shipyard (Freeport, Bahamas).

  15 February 2019Other Incidents

(Grand Classica) On February 15, 2019, the liner was denied entry to Cuba. The incident occurred during the special 4-day roundtrip Palm Beach USA to Cuba cruise (itinerary Feb 14-18) with scheduled berthing in Havana (Feb 15, 10-hour port stay), sea day (Feb 16), back to Havana (Feb 17, 8-hour port stay) and back to Palm Beach (Feb 18).

In an official statement, the cruise company announced that "Due to the Cuban government denying entry into Havana without reason and despite advance approvals in place, Viva Travel's charter of Grand Classica is headed for Nassau to complete her four-day cruise".

  19 October 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Grand Classica) On October 19, 2018, a 29-year-old male passenger died after falling down the staircase. The ship contacted the USCG Station Lake Worth Inlet (Palm Beach) to report the incident soon after leaving West Palm Beach FL. The ship was approx 20 km (13 mi) east of Port Palm Beach and en-route to Grand Bahama Island. After the medevac, the ship continued towards Freeport (Bahamas).

The man was medevaced (airlifted) from the cruise liner and transported to West Palm Beach Florida. At St Mary’s Medical Center, he was pronounced dead.

On January 25, 2019, was reported that man's autopsy showed he was intoxicated (alcohol level 0,256 / ~3 times Florida USA's legal limit for driving). Being heavily drunk, he attempted to jump up a stair, lost his balance and fell backward 13 m (45 ft) down the stairwell. The man (Christopher McGrory) was celebrating his bachelor party.

  18 August 2015Other Incidents

(Costa neoClassica) On August 18, 2015, Costa Cruises officially canceled its ship visits to the Turkish ports Istanbul and Izmir for the remainder of 2015. These 2 call ports in Turkey were replaced by alternative ports in Greece and Italy, and on some itineraries – with Valletta Malta. These itinerary changes affected 3 Costa ships – neoClassica (August through December), Costa Deliziosa (October and November) and Costa Pacifica (September, October, and November). The decision was made in response to the terrorist attack on the US consulate (Istanbul, Aug 10).

  23 December 2014Fire Accident

(Costa neoClassica) On December 23, 2014, during 25-day Asia and Africa cruise itinerary from Europe (Savona to Mauritius), the ship experienced a fire incident (no data on its location). The fire broke out at ~9:30 pm, while the vessel was en-route to Aqaba Jordan (Red Sea) after the Suez Canal transit.

  07 March 2014Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Costa Classica / overboard) On March 7, 2014, a 70-year-old male passenger (of German origin) fell overboard soon after the ship left call port Casablanca Morocco, and was en-route to call port Funchal Madeira (Portugal). The ship turned around and conducted a search operation for ~2 hours, but the body was not found.

  19 February 2012Crew / Passenger Crimes

(Costa Classica / sexual) On February 19, 2012, a 32-year-old female crew (of Filipino origin, working on the ship as a security guard) was sexually abused by 2 male crew (both of Indian origin) who were employed on the ship as security officers.

The woman was on duty and patrolling the crew area when at ~11 pm she was told to report to the security office. There she found the 2 suspects drinking. One of them started to make indecent advances, but she managed to escape the room. Around midnight, she was summoned again, just to find both men still drinking. As soon as one of them left the room, the other one raped her.

She reported the incident to the Captain and also filed a complaint to the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong China. Unfortunately, the culprits managed to disembark the ship in Hong Kong and escaped before the local police started an investigation.

  24 January 2012Other Incidents

(Costa Classica) On January 24, 2012, over 300 passengers were not allowed to disembark the ship in call port Sanya China. All the banned passengers had their passports checked by the ship’s staff, but all of them had no visas for China. The incident caused numerous conflicts when all passengers lined up for disembarkation, causing a serious delay. Most passengers had to shorten or even cancel their Sanya tours.

  18 October 2010Ship Collision / Allision

(Costa Classica) On October 18, 2010, at ~4:45 am, upon returning to homeport Shanghai China, the ship experienced a power failure, which led to a collision with a cargo vessel (named “Lowlands Longevity”) near the Yangtze River channel.

Of all passengers, 12 were reported suffering minor injuries, 3 of them were transported by an ambulance for further medical treatment ashore. In the collision incident, the Costa ship sustained a starboard hull damage (~60 ft / 18 m long gash above the waterline) affecting Pisa Deck 5 (cabin deck) midships.

At ~10 am, the ship was docked to offload all passengers (current itinerary was canceled), then continued to Port Changxing for drydock repairs. Repair works took ~4 days, and the vessel resumed service on Oct 22, with a revised itinerary (including only call port Hong Kong, while Manila Philippines was dropped).

  24 August 2009Crew / Passenger Crimes

(Costa Classica) On August 24, 2009, four passengers (of Chinese origin) suffered cash thefts from their cabins. The money was stolen either from the cabin’s safe or from left behind wallets. The affected passengers suspected the cabin steward (of Filipino origin) who was responsible for cleaning the 4 staterooms. The search of his cabin didn’t find the missing money.

  07 July 2009Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Costa Classica / overboard) On July 7, 2009, a female passenger and her son (both of Hong Kong origin) were reported missing and presumed fell overboard. The incident occurred on a roundtrip cruise from homeport Tianjin China to Japan, while the ship was en-route to Fukuoka from Hong Kong. The investigation suggested a suicide attempt after they found in the victims’ cabin 3 letters outlining the distribution of the family’s assets in the event of their deaths.

  06 June 2008Ship Collision / Allision

(Costa Classica) On June 6, 2008, two cruise vessels – the Classica ship and MSC Poesia – collided in the harbor of call port Dubrovnik Croatia (Dalmatian coast, Adriatic Sea / Mediterranean). The accident occurred after the MSC ship’s anchor line loosened and the ship drifted towards Classica.

No injuries were reported. Both vessels continued on their scheduled itineraries without any delays.

  23 December 2005Crew / Passenger Deaths

(Costa Classica) On December 23, 2005, the ship was docked in call port Funchal (Madeira Portugal), when on a Costa Cruises sponsored shore excursion 5 passengers (all of the Italian nationality) died in a bus crash incident. The tour bus overturned on the road leading to Sao Vicente. Another 43 passengers were injured, among those a 9-month-old baby boy.

The investigation indicated that the bus was speeding and the driver was tested positive for alcohol.

  24 August 2005Fire Accident

(Costa Classica) On August 24, 2005, while navigating in Aegean Sea (Mediterranean), the vessel experienced a fire accident off the Poros Island (35 ml / 60 km south of Piraeus-Athens (mainland Greece). The incident occurred at ~9:30 am. The fire affected the aft starboard side and was extinguished after ~30 min.

No injuries were reported, but the ship suffered major interior damages (in the galley/kitchen area) and Costa Crociere had to cancel the voyage. As compensation, all passengers received a full refund, plus 25% future Costa cruise booking discount. The ship entered service again on Aug 21, leaving from Venice Italy.

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