The new Margaritaville at Sea Islander has arrived in the Sunshine State, but hasn’t quite reached her homeport. The ship, fresh from an extensive dry dock renovation, arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, June 2, where she will take on additional supplies before moving around the Florida peninsula to her new home, Port Tampa Bay.

The ship left the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Sunday, May 19, and has been making her way across the Atlantic. No guests are currently onboard, but each day has undoubtedly been filled with ongoing finishing work to ensure the tropically-themed ship is at her best when her first passengers arrive.

“The Margaritaville at Sea Islander has officially arrived in Port Everglades, where she’ll be loading up with everything we’ll need to ensure relaxation and revelry on June 14. Next stop: Port Tampa Bay!” Margaritaville at Sea announced on social media on June 2.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander

The 85,619-gross-ton, Spirit-class Margaritaville at Sea Islander will more than double the passenger capacity of the boutique cruise line, joining Margaritaville at Sea Paradise.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander can welcome 2,114 guests at double occupancy or up to 2,680 travelers when fully booked, compared to Margaritaville at Sea Paradise‘s 1,308 guests (double occupancy) or 1,680 travelers at full capacity.

The ship is also home to nearly 900 international team members, many of whom are likely to board the ship in Fort Lauderdale to help with final preparations and to familiarize themselves with the vessel’s layout and details.

Undoubtedly, similar enthusiastic reactions will greet the ship when she arrives in Tampa in the coming days, ahead of her official debut. Up next will be her official naming ceremony, which has not yet been announced.

The cruise line did reveal that Savannah Buffett, eldest daughter of the late singer, songwriter, and sailor Jimmy Buffet, will be the ship’s official godmother.

“I’m beyond excited to be named Godmother of Margaritaville at Sea Islander and look forward to rendering the right concoction of love and luck so she may plow the seas amidst smooth, untroubled waters in search of that one particular harbor,” said Savannah of her symbolic role.

When Margaritaville at Sea Islander sets sail with her first guests on Friday, June 14, the ship will also begin a new era for the cruise line as the first of their ships to offer departures from Port Tampa Bay.

She will feature mostly 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean itineraries to Cozumel, Key West, and Progreso, depending on the exact departure date and cruise length.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander Departs for Florida (Photo Credit: Margaritaville at Sea)

In 2025, even longer 6- and 7-night sailings will begin to all three ports, as well as extra destinations such as Belize, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman.

Regardless of the sailing, guests onboard will be able to enjoy the new ship’s tropical theming following her extensive refit and rebranding, which began in January and progressed to dry dock in mid-March.

From the new colorful hull artwork to themed Margaritaville touches throughout the public spaces and guest cabins, the refreshed ship has a unique vibe Parrotheads and cruise lovers of all types will be able to appreciate.

Guests will be able to fuel up at the Port of Indecision Buffet, stay in shape at the Fins Up Fitness Center, relax at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Pool, take a selfie at the Flip Flop Atrium, and much more.

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