Margaritaville Paradise

Former names: Grand Classica, Costa neoClassica, Costa Classica

Margaritaville Paradise current position

Margaritaville Paradise current location is at North West Atlantic Ocean (coordinates 26.77050 N / -80.05300 W) cruising en route to WEST PALM BEACH. The AIS position was reported 22 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Margaritaville Paradise

Year built1991  /  Age: 31
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderFincantieri (Marghera, Italy)
ClassClassica
Ferry route / homeportsWest Palm Beach (Florida USA)
Building costUSD 335 million
Speed20 kn / 37 kph / 23 mph
Length (LOA)220 m / 722 ft
Beam (width)30 m / 98 ft
Gross Tonnage52926 gt
Passengers1308 - 1680
Crew650
Passengers-to-space ratio34
Decks13
Cabins658
Decks with cabins5
Last Refurbishment2022
Sister-shipsCosta neoRomantica (Celestyal Experience)
Former namesGrand Classica, Costa neoClassica, Costa Classica
Christened byEmilia Costa (for Costa Cruises), Shaquem Griffin (for Margaritaville Cruises)
OwnerParadise Cruise Line Operator Ltd
OperatorMargaritaville At Sea via Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

Margaritaville Paradise Review

Review of Margaritaville Paradise

The 1991-built (as "Costa Classica") MS Margaritaville Paradise cruise ship (fka "Grand Classica") between 2014-2018 was operated under the name "Costa neoClassica". In April 2018, neoClassica was renamed to "Grand Classica" and joined the fleet of the Florida-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line - a company run by NCL's former President Kevin Sheehan. Until 2020, the company's fleet consisted of two ships - Grand Classica and Grand Celebration (1987-built/2020-scrapped).

The vessel (IMO number 8716502) is currently Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 311000969) and registered in Nassau.

In December 2021 was announced that Margaritaville Resorts & Hotels (Florida-based hospitality group) signed a partnership deal with Bahamas Paradise to start the new cruise brand "Margaritaville at Sea". The new travel brand is currently scheduled for inauguration on May 13, 2022 (Margaritaville Paradise's Maiden Voyage). The renamed Grand Classica starts service for Margaritaville at Sea following an extensive wetdock refit at Grand Bahama Shipyard (Freeport).

  • The Margaritaville Cruise Line brand is expected to add more ships to its future fleet, with Margaritaville Paradise being the first one.
  • The long-term ship charter was signed by John Cohlan (Margaritaville's CEO) and Oneil Khosa (Bahamas Paradise's CEO, who also serves as Margaritaville Cruise Line's CEO).
  • The shipowner remains the same (Paradise Cruise Line Operator Ltd).

Margaritaville Paradise continued the regular 2-night cruise schedule from Palm Beach to Freeport, restarting operations on May 10, 2022.

History - construction and ownership

In 2018, Grand Classica joined Grand Celebration as the fleet's second ship. In 2017, the shipowner Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line signed with The Bahamas a 3-year deal (until 2020) to bring both vessels (Celebration and Classica) to Grand Bahama Island (Freeport) via 2-night roundtrip Florida-Bahamas itineraries. With both ships, the company had an annual passenger shipping capacity of over 0,5 million.

Grand Classica cruise ship (Margaritaville Paradise, Costa neoClassica)

On August 2, 2017, Costa Cruises announced that neoClassica leaves the fleet in March 2018. The ship's last Costa voyage was scheduled for March 4, 2018 (7-day "India and Maldives" from Mumbai India to Male Maldives). Last refurbished in 2014, neoClassica was Costa's oldest vessel. The decision was made following the 4 new ships order, with scheduled deliveries between 2019-2022. Costa's new boats are with GT 183,000 tons, with 2600+ cabins and max passenger capacity ~6600.

The 1680-passenger ship Grand Classica was inaugurated in 1991. In 1999 was proposed a ship-stretching project but it was abandoned in favor of a later refit (in 2000 / budgeted USD 20 million). The ship features an impressive onboard art collection of sculptures and original paintings, murals and crafts.

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line announced the vessel's purchase from Carnival Corporation (Costa's parent company) on December 13, 2017. The ship's drydock refurbishment in 2017 (October) also included improvements required by the new shipowner Paradise Cruise Line Operator Ltd.

Decks and Cabins

Margaritaville Paradise has 13 decks (10 passenger-accessible, 5 with cabins) and total 658 staterooms. Cabins are in 5 grades/categories and include 12x Suites (Balcony and Junior), 430x Oceanviews, 216x Inside. Costa neoClassica additionally had 10x single cabins. Only the Suites have step-out balconies.

All public spaces are located on Decks 8-14. The largest accommodations are the Grand Terrace Suites (525 ft2 / 49 m2, with balcony sized 150 ft2 / 14 m2).

All main public areas are on decks 8 through 14.

Grand Classica decks were all named after famous Italian Riviera cities. Following the ship's acquisition, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line renamed all decks after Bahamian islands.

Shipboard facilities and amenities

Grand Classica has all 8 dining venues (restaurants and food bars):

  • Yellow Elder is the complimentary main dining room with 2 fixed seating times plus "My Time Dining" option).
  • Ocean View Buffet offers complimentary breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night snacks.
  • Admiral's Steak & Seafood is a dinner restaurant offering 5-course gourmet meals.
  • Rock Grill offers gourmet burgers and meats cooked on lava rock grill.
  • Crow's Nest Bar & Grill is the ship's Sports Bar / Pub serving pub fare, beers, cocktails.
  • A Slice Above is an Italian pizzeria offering traditional and build-your-own gourmet pizzas by the slice.
  • Grand Cafe is a cafeteria/patisserie for specialty coffee drinks, gourmet ice-cream (gelato) and desserts.
  • The cruise company also provides Room Service (at extra charge).

The ship has a bar lounge, a casino lounge, live entertainment (in the theater and regal room), wellness facilities (spa, gym, beauty salon), 2 swimming pools. Other amenities include a conference center seating 80, a kids' club (for children ages 3-17), retail shops, a card room, Internet Lounge.

Grand Classica cruise ship (Margaritaville Paradise, Costa neoClassica)

Follows the complete list of Grand Classica lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • Legends Grand Theater( 2-level theater offering comedy, song- and dance shows)
  • Para-A-Dice Casino (offers a range of table games and slot machines - 101 of the most famous slot games, along with 10 table games, such as blackjack, craps, roulette, three card poker, ultimate Texas hold 'em poker are offered)
  • Encore Lounge (features live music and a drink, along with a central stairway leading to The Grand Cafe and A Slice Above)
  • Regal Room (a lounge with a large bar and stage for live entertainment)
  • Main Pool (a large swimming pool surrounded by a sundeck with lounge chairs and the adjacent Plunge Bar serving beverages and specialty cocktails)
  • The Oasis (adults-only area featuring an aft pool, 2 whirlpools, and its own bar)
  • Jogging Track (one deck above the ship's main pool)
  • Indulgence Spa, Fitness Center & Salon (massages, facials, skin treatments are offered in the spa and beauty parlor, while the ocean-view fitness room has a wide range of free weights and fitness equipment)
  • Kruzers Kid's Club (offers free activities for kids aged 3-17)
  • Internet Lounge & Card Room
  • 80-person conference room
  • Retail Outlets
  • Photo Gallery

Margaritaville Paradise ship's new venues include JWB Prime Steak & Seafood (restaurant), Frank & Lola's Pizzeria, Port of Indecision Buffet (Lido restaurant), LandShark Sports Bar, Margaritaville Coffee & Pastry Shop (patisserie), Stars on the Water Theater (show lounge), Euphoria Lounge, Par-A-Dice Casino, Sunset Bar, 5 O'clock Somewhere Bar, redesigned wellness complex (St Somewhere Spa, Fins Up! Fitness Center), new leisure activities, live entertainment, more retail shopping options.

Itineraries

Grand Classica itinerary program offers exclusively Bahamas cruises leaving roundtrip from Florida. At the end of August 2017, Port Palm Beach District Commission signed a 10-year agreement for the former Costa neoClassica to service the Florida-Bahamas route West Palm Beach-Freeport. The ship has a regularly scheduled itinerary program of 3-day / 2-night Bahamas cruises to Freeport and back to Palm Beach FL.

Costa neoClassica itinerary program was based on cruises from Dubai and Mediterranean voyages leaving roundtrip from homeports Barcelona Spain, Savona Italy, and Tenerife Canaries.

Departing August 17, 2019, from Port Palm Beach, the ship offered Bahamas Paradise's first-ever Panama Canal transition cruise. The 9-night itinerary included as call ports Key West FL, Grand Cayman Island and Panama Canal (transit), ending in Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas, Costa Rica). Liner's South American charter season was scheduled to end in October. Repositioning cruise prices started from USD 500 per person (double occupancy inside cabin). Early-booking discount deals (bookings made before May 31, 2019) offered 3rd and 4th passengers in the stateroom pricing of USD 300 pp.

Grand Classica cruise ship (Margaritaville Paradise, Costa neoClassica)

Following the Coronavirus crisis (2020-2021), Grand Classica had to be the first large cruise liner to resume voyages out of the USA, with her first departure (Palm Beach to Freeport) scheduled for July 2, 2021. However, the first voyage was later rescheduled for July 8. In August, the boat was chartered by "Entergy New Orleans" (electricity provider) to house relief workers (in Port NOLA-New Orleans) after Hurricane Ida.

The renamed Margaritaville Paradise marked the Margaritaville at Sea brand's inauguration with the Maiden Voyage departing out of Palm Beach on May 13, 2022 (rescheduled from April 30th).

Margaritaville Paradise - user reviews and comments

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Margaritaville Paradise Wiki

When serving Costa Cruises, the ship (Costa Classica) was christened by godmother Emilia Costa (1967-born Italian actress). For the Margaritaville cruise line, Margaritaville Paradise was christened by Shaquem Alphonso Griffin (1995-born American, NFL football player/linebacker).

Margaritaville's naming ceremony was held on May 13, 2022, in Port Palm Beach, and was attended by Margaritaville at Sea's executives (John Cohlan/CEO, Oneil Khosa/COO, Kevin Sheehan Jr/President) and numerous VIP guests (including company partners and travel agents). The Maiden Voyage for Margaritaville departed Palm Beach on May 14th. The special sailing to Freeport featured a live concert by Jimmy Buffett/James William Buffett (1946-born American musician, singer, songwriter, author, actor, businessman).

Grand Classica joined Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line on April 13 (Friday) 2018, when the vessel docked at Port Palm Beach. The drydock refurbishment in 2017 resulted in improved systems and onboard infrastructure. All wetdocks and drydocks (including in 2021/November-December, and 2022/April-May) are conducted at Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport.

During cruise October 12-14 (2018), the liner hosted PalmCon - Palm Beach's 8th annual Comic-Con convention. The annual event is themed after superheroes, anime and sci-fi movies, games (video, role-playing, fantasy cards). The themed cruise was the first Comic-Con at sea and had numerous pre-planned onboard activities (celebrity guests, workshops, original art, comics, toys, contests, live entertainment).

On January 21, 2019, Bahamas Paradise announced a partnership with Viva Travel resulting in a cruise to Cuba roundtrip from Palm Beach Florida. The 4-night Cuban itinerary on Grand Classica was scheduled to depart on February 14, with booked 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). The special voyage featured Cuban cuisine and entertainment, and open-deck concerts (on Feb 16) with live performances by Los Cuatro, Laritza Bacallao and La Pantoja.

Deckplan changes/ship refurbishments review

Margaritaville Paradise ship's first drydock refurbishment was in 2022 (April-May) conducted at Grand Bahama Shipyard (Freeport Bahamas). The project resulted in all staterooms being modernized and all public spaces renovated with new soft furnishing and carpets.

The list of changes and renovations after drydock refit 2014 refurbishment (Nov 8 - Dec 18, done in Genoa Italy) included:

  • The vessel's hull was repainted. Engine rooms were updated. All hotel areas were renovated.
  • Public areas and all passenger cabins were renovated (including new furniture in all balcony Suites).
  • New cabin amenities were added, including Illy coffee machines and Elemis bath products.
  • Tivoli Restaurant was upgraded - more 2-4 seats tables were added, as well as the sea days Brunch option.
  • On deck 11, new TRX (classes area) was added to the SPA.
  • The menu of Dolce Amore Bar (deck 9) was upgraded with a new pizza dinner option.
  • During the ship's 2013 drydock in Genoa (Nov 12 - Dec 21) were done routine maintenance (hull, engine, hotel), public areas and passenger cabins renovation, new Suite furniture, Tivoli restaurant upgrade, SPA refurbishment (new TRX classes/sports area was added).

The refurb project cost Costa Cruises around USD 28 million.

neoClassica's last drydock (by Costa Cruises) was in October 2017.

Costa neoClassica ship review

  • Total number of cabins: 654 (of which 10 Suite, no Balcony, 210 Inside rooms) in 5 grades
  • Dining Rooms: Tivoli
  • Restaurants and food bars: La Trattoria (buffet), La Tavernetta (pizzeria).
  • Lounges & Bars: Colosseo (theater), Galileo (nightclub), Colosseo (lobby), Piazza Navona, Dolce Amore (patisserie), Puccini (ballroom), Squok Club (kids), poolside (Positano, Tiveri pizza).
  • Amenities: complimentary 24-Hour Room-Service & Babysitting, Supervised Children Program, Internet, Laundry, Onboard Weddings.
  • San Remo (casino), Promenade (Deck 8), Caracalla Spa, 4 jacuzzis, 2 pools (Fountain, Capri), Jogging Track, Mondo Virtuale (arcade).

Costa neoClassica was Costa's first Classica-class liner, with sistership Costa neoRomantica (1993-built/2021-scrapped).

In 2000, Costa Crociere made an extensive renovation of the Classica liner. During the drydock, the sound problems in the dining room were also solved, new leather chairs and wood paneling were added. The lobby's interior was changed by removing the old nude figures.

After a major refurbishment in 2014, the liner was renamed from "Costa Classica" to "Costa neoClassica". Among its most popular amenities are 2 swimming pools and 4 big hot tubs, 9 bars, 2 large restaurants.

Most Costa neoClassica staterooms were 175 f2 Oceanview rooms (428). There were a total of 654 staterooms in 5 main categories, The ship had 6 wheelchair-accessible cabins. The largest staterooms were the Balcony Suites (505 ft2).

The Tivoli Dining Room offered basic continental cuisine. The Trattoria was the ship's self-service buffet. Casual dining was offered at the Alfresco Cafe. International cuisine and Italian specialties were often presented at all onboard restaurants. Follows the complete list of Costa neoClassica restaurants and food bars.

  • Ristorante Tivoli (aft Dining Room, complimentary; serves open-seating breakfast and lunch, 2 fixed dinner seatings - at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.)
  • La Tavernetta Pizzeria (Italian pizzeria restaurant & bar)
  • Ristorante Buffet La Trattoria (self-service buffet restaurant, complimentary; offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea at 4-5:00 p.m., and dinner)
  • Piazza Tiveri (complimentary pizza by the slice, poolside).

The 2-deck high Colosseo Show Lounge (ship's amphitheater) provided cabaret shows, dancers and specialty acts. The ship had a large range of bars and lounges, including the 360-degree Galileo Disco and Puccini Ballroom. After the 2014 refit, Costa neoClassica offered the Stargazer experience, which is an original activity on all Costa neoCollection ships. It gives cruisers the use of high-quality telescopes on board, being assisted by experts. On Deck 11 there are 2 swimming pools and 2 large jacuzzis (by the aft pool), plus 2 more jacuzzis at the Spa & Fitness Center. The Fitness is fitted with top-line Technogym equipment. The Spa complex has an authentic Roman bath and offered a full range of Steiner-managed spa treatments.

Follows the complete list of Costa neoClassica lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • Teatro Colosseo (2-level theatre and main show lounge; hosts grand scale show productions, musicals, classical concerts, ballet performances, circus shows)
  • Bar Colosseo (foyer bar with a seating area; serves Ferrari sparkling wines)
  • Piazza Navona Grand Bar (lounge & bar area with stage and dance floor; offers various entertainment programs, dancing lessons, daily trivia games)
  • Il Dolce Amore Pasticeria (coffee bar & patisserie selling specialty coffee and tea, pastries, shakes; doubles as Pizzeria in the evenings)
  • Sala Carte (cards room)
  • Casino San Remo (served by the San Remo bar)
  • Sala da Ballo Puccini (grand lounge & bar “Ballroom Puccini”; with dance floor, stage, ample seating)
  • Biblioteca & Internet Point (Library & Internet computers room)
  • Ponte Vecchio; Negozi Shops; Boutique Shops (duty & tax-free shops for brand watches, jewelry, perfumes, fashion clothes, Costa-logo merchandise, sportswear, gifts, tobacco, and liquor)
  • Galleria Foto (Photo Gallery & Shop)
  • Mondo Virtuale (Video Games Arcade)
  • Cappella (Wedding Chapel, also used for religious services)
  • Alfresco Cafe (outdoor canopied seating area with live trees)
  • Squok Club (kids lounge with Mini Club (3-6 yo) and Maxi Club (7-11 yo) playing rooms; with complimentary kids program and supervised activities; complimentary babysitting)
  • Caracalla Spa & Fitness (neoClassica Wellness Centre with Beauty Salon, Gymnasium, Aerobics Room, Turkish Bath, Massages-Treatment Rooms, Spa products shop, Caracalla Cafe /juice bar)
  • Fountain Pool area (pool with cascading water)
  • Capri Pool area (with two Whirlpools)
  • Bar Positano (serves the pool areas)
  • Galileo Disco (Nightclub & Observatory located at the top of Costa neoClassica)
  • Pista da Jogging (Power Walking/Jogging Track).

Costa neoClassica India cruises 2016-2017

Costa Cruises deployed the neoClassica ship in India, offering regular departures from Mumbai.

Costa's new India cruise itinerary program (winter 2016-2017 season) offered 7-day (one-way Mumbai to Male, and the reverse Male to Mumbai) and 14-day (roundtrip Mumbai) itineraries to ports in the Maldives (Male), Sri Lanka (Colombo) and India (Cochin, Mangalore, Mormugao-Goa).

Itineraries were bookable through the company's Italian website (costacrociere.it).

The neoClassica ship had previously scheduled 7-day roundtrip itineraries leaving from Dubai UAE.

Margaritaville Paradise User Reviews

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4 star then by the end it was 2 star who knows now

by Craigscruises4u
38 Reviews written
8 days, round-trip from Savona, Italy
Departure date: 02 Oct 1998
Cruise number 6 . Invited by Costa Cruises UK on the Costa Classica Departure date : 2nd October 1998 Cabin number : 6092 - mid ships Amalfi deck Total pax : 1308 , Crew :620 : Decks : 14 Cruise - Italy - 7 nights Savona / Naples / Messina / Cagliari / Civitavecchia /Savona Travel agents...

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