Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, operated by Margaritaville at Sea – formerly Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line – has failed a surprise inspection conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A number of issues were noted during the inspection on May 1, and the ship must now correct those issues or it could be prevented from sailing.

The detailed inspections from the CDC inspect a variety of health and safety issues. Margaritaville at Sea Paradise had concerns noted in 65 different areas, including food preparation in both guest and crew facilities, cleaning procedures, food storage, pool maintenance, plumbing cleanliness, and medical facility cleanliness.

Each violation noted by the inspection team is also given a recommendation for correction as necessary.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise (Photo Credit: Grand Bahama Shipyard)

For example, the report notes “on several occasions, up to six bathers were noted in each whirlpool. Each whirlpool is designed to have a maximum bather load of 4 persons.” The associated recommendation is to “ensure the maximum passenger bather load number is not exceeded, so the proper halogen and pH values are not adversely affected.”

Potable water lines servicing the ship’s medical facility, garbage room, and engine room all received violations, as did lines servicing select guest cabin areas. These violations included blocked vents, improper marking of the lines, and excessive corrosion.

For food preparation, crew training was examined and found lacking in several areas. For example, crew members appeared unable to ensure that the proper concentration of antimicrobial solutions for cleaning fruits and vegetables was used.

Several freezers and coolers were not maintaining the proper temperatures for safe guidelines or were out of service, as were several deep fat fryers. Even if such items are not being used, it is an inspection violation that they are not in proper repair.

Poor seals on refrigerators, incorrect fasteners on bar soda guns, torn plastic covers, an empty soap dispenser at a handwashing station, dirty deck space underneath equipment, ice buildup in a freezer, decks in bad condition, and insufficient lighting in some areas were all different violations reported aboard the ship.

Read Also: MSC Cruise Ship Fails Inspection With Remarkably Low Score

In total, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise‘s score was calculated at 83. The CDC considers any score of 85 or lower to be unsatisfactory. The cruise line will implement as many corrective options as possible and submit a report on their efforts, after which a new surprise inspection will be held to verify those corrections.

Despite the intensity of the inspections, it is possible for cruise ships to receive perfect 100 scores. So far in 2024, ships from Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Viking Cruises have all received perfect stores.

This is not the first time Margaritaville at Sea Paradise has failed a CDC inspection. In July 2019, the ship scored only 81. At that time, a number of corrections were made prior to the next inspection.

More recently, the ship scored 87 in May 2023, 91 in October 2022, and 88 in October 2019 – the first inspection following her previous failure.

Photo Courtesy: Margaritaville at Sea

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise is currently the only ship sailing for Margaritaville at Sea. She is homeported from West Palm Beach, offering 2-night sailings to Freeport, Bahamas. Later this year, the ship’s offerings will expand to include 3- and 4-night itineraries. The 3-night sailings will feature a full day at sea, while the 4-night cruises will also visit Key West.

The ship debuted in 1991 as Costa Classica for Costa Cruises, before being sold into service for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line as Grand Classica in 2018. In 2022, the cruise line rebranded as Margaritaville at Sea and the ship was renovated for that new ambience.

The 52,926-gross-ton Margaritaville at Sea Paradise can host 1,308 guests at double occupancy or as many as 1,680 travelers when fully booked.

The small cruise line is growing and a second vessel – Margaritaville at Sea Islander – is scheduled to begin offering 4- and 5-night sailings from Tampa from June 14. Depending on cruise length and sailing date, the ship will be visiting Cozumel, Progreso, and Key West.

Margaritaville at Sea Islander is the former Costa Atlantica, built in 2000. The 85,619-gross-ton ship can welcome 2,114 guests at double occupancy, or up to 2,680 passengers when fully booked.

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