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By The Way
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Margaritaville cruise line cancels first sailings as launch is delayed

The company claims that the global supply chain is to blame

A rendering of the Margaritaville Paradise, the refurbished cruise ship for the Margaritaville At Sea brand. (McBride Company /McBride Company)

Parrotheads will have to wait a little longer to have their cheeseburgers in paradise — if their version of paradise is a Jimmy Buffett-blessed Bahamas cruise.

Margaritaville at Sea, the rebrand of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, was supposed to start its three-day, two-night trips to Grand Bahama Island from Palm Beach, Fla., on April 30. But the operator canceled its first seven trips on the 658-cabin Margaritaville At Sea Paradise and moved the official launch to mid-May.

“There are currently many challenges in the global supply chain, which have impacted the upcoming launch of Margaritaville at Sea,” the line wrote to passengers whose trips were canceled. “To ensure the best possible experience for you and all of our guests, we are moving our first official passenger sailing to May 14th.”

Tamara Baldanza-Dekker, a Margaritaville spokesperson, said in a statement that affected passengers will get a refund if they choose not to rebook. Those who rebook will get a complimentary cabin, aside from taxes and fees, and will get any money they already paid for the cruise as onboard credit.

Attention, Parrotheads: The first Margaritaville cruise ships out this spring

“We are committed to giving you an unforgettable vacation experience and apologize for the inconvenience this may cause,” the letter to passengers said.

The 31-year-old ship, formerly known as Grand Classica, got a “multi-million” dollar makeover to fit the Margaritaville theme. The onboard experience includes themed restaurants such as Port of Indecision Buffett, JWB Prime Steak & Seafood, Frank and Lola’s Pizzeria, LandShark Sports Bar and 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar.

Leaders of the cruise line have said they intend to appeal to a new audience with the cultural, entertainment and culinary DNA that runs through Margaritaville’s other endeavors.

“To me, the only thing better than being on a beach by the ocean, is to be on the ocean,” Buffett said in a statement announcing the cruise line in December. “Now you can follow in our wake.”

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