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Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Cruise Ship: What You Need to Know

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

  • December 10, 2021

In December 2021, singer Jimmy Buffett’s lifestyle brand announced there would be a Margaritaville cruise ship.

beautiful Margaritaville resorts

Already in the hotel, casino, RV resort, restaurant, bar, retail, and retirement community business — a cruise ship might be the missing piece to Buffett’s billion-dollar empire. It’s being coined as an offshore resort experience.

The History of Jimmy Buffett’s Cruise Ship

margaritaville paradise cruise ship

Unlike billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages, which took on a lot of debt to enter the market, Buffett’s venture was done a little more economically.

Up until last month when it entered dry dock, the ship sailed under the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line brand, and before that for Costa Cruises. Costa launched the Costa Classica in 1991. It wasn’t a game-changer at 52,000 gross registered tons, but it did have two restaurants, nine bars, four hot tubs, and two swimming pools.

white cruise ship sailing

In 2012, the vessel underwent a multimillion-dollar refit to add new cabins and refreshed interior space. After the refurbishment Costa changed the name to Costa neoClassica. It sailed with Costa until 2018, when it was sold to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.

At that point, the ship was 27 years old, and it’s safe to say the Florida-based company got a great deal on the vessel. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line changed the ship’s name from Costa Classica to Grand Classica. The ship successfully sailed two-day voyages from Palm Beach, Florida to Freeport, Bahamas until March 2020.

white cruise ship sailing

After the cruise industry shutdown, the ship re-entered service in July 2021, and sailed until November, where the cruise line took the ship out of service for its dry dock transformation.

During the dry dock, it was announced that the line would partner with songwriter Jimmy Buffett to rebrand and change the name to Margaritaville Paradise . (As of early 2022, the ship appears to now be called Margaritaville at Sea Paradise. )

(Note: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has also been rebranded to become Margaritaville at Sea .)

What Will Margaritaville Paradise Include?

The ship will spend a few months in dry dock ahead of its April 30, 2022 debut.

It’ll include a complete rebranding of 658 cabins, all outfitted with Buffett’s signature Margaritaville-themed nautical look.

The ship has three types of staterooms: inside, oceanview, and Grand Terrace Suite (balcony). When it debuted in 1991, balconies were not huge on ships yet, so there are only a handful of the suites onboard).

margaritaville paradise stateroom rendering

Some of the food and beverage offerings will include a JWB Prime Steak & Seafood, Frank and Lola’s Pizzeria, Port of Indecision Buffet, LandShark Sports Bar, and Margaritaville Coffee & Pastry Shop as well as the Euphoria Lounge, Sunset Bar, and 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar.

5 o clock somewhere bar margaritaville at sea

For entertainment, you’ll find the Par-A-Dice Casino, a Stars on the Water Theater, St. Somewhere Spa, Fins Up! Fitness Center, pools, and a variety of retail shops.

fitness center at land resort

If the renderings are any indication, the ship will go from dilapidated to nearly brand new.

How Much Will a Cruise Cost?

The prices are slightly higher than the fares Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has been charging over the past decade, but they will continue to include the five free drinks deal with every stateroom like Bahamas Paradise had done.

The inaugural season has pricing from $179 for an inside room to $879 for a 525 square foot Grand Terrance Suite on deck 10.

A quick booking on the two-night inaugural April 30th voyage for two people in an inside stateroom showed a total of $674.88 (including port fees and taxes).

Where Will the Cruise Go?

The ship will continue the same two-night route that the cruise operator has already been doing over the past decade.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise will leave Palm Beach, Florida in the afternoon to arrive Freeport, Bahamas early the next morning. It will depart later that afternoon bound for Florida, arriving early the following morning.

If you want to spend a little more time in paradise, you can arrange to also do a land stay on Grand Bahama Island and take the ship back when it returns, on a date of your choice (subject to availability).

Who Can Sail on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise?

Unlike Virgin Voyages that is only designed for the 18 and up crowd, there are no age limits to sail into paradise. Like Buffett’s landside ventures, it’ll be a family-friendly atmosphere allowing all ages onboard.

Final Thoughts of the Margaritaville Cruise Ship

coffee shop concept

This is an interesting venture to bring Margaritaville to sea. Being that there are already Margaritaville resorts and bars strung throughout the Caribbean, it’s a great fit. The name change is a great opportunity for Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to clean the slate and start over with new clients and refreshed hardware.

Buffett is no stranger to the cruise industry, in 2015 he partnered with Norwegian Cruise Line to bring Margaritaville on new vessels and eventually rebranding bars on its older ships to the Five o’Clock Somewhere Bar concept. Those spaces have since been converted to in-house concepts.

Like a cruise, Buffett also provides a form of escapism through his music and venues. Now it’s just a matter of filling the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise . With a die-hard fan base and the vessel only carrying 1,680 guests at max capacity, it shouldn’t be difficult.

READ MORE: Bimini Cruise Port: Everything You Need To Know

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The 9 best Bahamas cruises for every type of traveler

Melinda Crow

The best Bahamas cru ises take you away from the daily grind, transporting you to theme park-like private islands and beach-lined paradises. Cruise choices include new and jazzed-up ships sailing an array of short and weeklong Bahamas itineraries. Cruising to the Bahamas is so easy you may even be able to go without a passport .

Family-friendly lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line, offer cruises focused on the Bahamas all year. So do newcomers Virgin Voyages, with its adults-only sailings, and Margaritaville at Sea, offering short two-night hops and longer cruise-and-stay packages. The winter and early spring seasons bring a handful of itineraries on premium lines like Celebrity Cruises and Holland America.

The only cruise lines that don't regularly offer Bahamas cruises are the luxury lines. But don't worry, luxe lovers: Many of the ships we included on our list of the best Bahamas cruises offer suites that come with concierge services, private enclaves or special spa privileges. If a luxury cruise to the Bahamas is your goal, look at the top suite options on a mainstream or premium line.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

Whether you're looking for a quick and cheap getaway or a week at the beach, here are the best Bahamas cruise itineraries to start your search, in order from shortest to longest.

2-night cruises on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise from Palm Beach, Florida

who is bahamas cruise ship

Though cruising is relatively new to the Margaritaville travel and hospitality franchise, cruise line Margaritaville at Sea is essentially a rebranding of the old Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line. Its refurbished ship, Paradise, originally debuted in the 1990s for Costa Cruises.

One Jimmy Buffett-themed makeover later, the ship is a perfect fit for the laid-back vibe of the Bahamas. Grab a drink or a bite to eat from the 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, try your luck at the Par-A-Dice Casino and enjoy plenty of entertainment, including the musical production, "Tales from Margaritaville: Jimmy's Ship Show." There's a kids club, a teen club, a spa and two pools stocked with beach balls and inflatable parrots.

The two-night cruise itinerary includes one day in Freeport, where you can shop, hit the casino, enjoy water sports or chill on the beach. The ship offers shore excursions, or you can explore independently. Margaritaville at Sea also offers cruise-and-stay itineraries of either four or six nights (including the two nights onboard the ship). These packages let you choose between two partner hotels in Freeport, where you'll stay two or four nights on land, then hop back on the ship for your return night at sea.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise carries around 1,300 passengers in an assortment of inside and ocean-view cabins, all around 176 square feet, which is larger than the average for those categories on most mainstream ships. Ten suites with balconies are also available, with 524 square feet of space.

Who should go? Obviously, Parrotheads are gonna want to try this ship, with all its Jimmy Buffett-inspired themes and decor, but it's also a good trial run for anyone on the fence about cruising. Pricing makes this a great cruise to enjoy an escape without spending a fortune. We found weekday sailings that begin at $99 per person based on double occupancy for an inside cabin.

Related: Best Bahamas cruise tips for first-timers and repeat visitors alike

3- or 4-night cruises on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas from Miami

who is bahamas cruise ship

This itinerary may be the best overall short Bahamas cruise. Both the three- and four-night cruises have stops at Nassau and Royal Caribbean 's massive private island — Perfect Day at CocoCay . Those two stops combined give cruisers the opportunity to enjoy water sports, spend some time at the beach and experience a bit of Bahamian culture.

Freedom of the Seas has plenty of onboard fun to occupy travelers of all ages on sea days. It's loaded with top-deck slides and water features, specialty restaurant choices and more entertainment options than you can take in on a short cruise. Carrying around 4,000 cruise guests, Freedom of the Seas is big enough to impress without being overwhelming.

Plus, logistics for cruising out of Miami are simple enough for even first-time cruisers. From flight choices to pre- or post-cruise hotels, it's a city that caters to tourists, especially the cruising ones.

Who should go? From first-timers to veteran cruisers, anyone looking for a short but fun-filled hop to the Bahamas should give Freedom of the Seas a look. Families looking for a quick escape will find entertainment and activities for toddlers to teens. The ship is also ideal for family reunions, bachelorette parties and birthday cruises. Couples will love the adults-only Solarium with its extra-large hot tubs looking out over the sea.

Related: Bahamas cruise packing list: What to pack for the islands

3- or 4-night cruises on Royal Caribbean's Utopia of the Seas from Port Canaveral, Florida

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When Royal Caribbean' s giant Utopia of the Seas debuts in July 2024, it will offer a bevy of short sailings, including three- and four-night sailings from Port Canaveral, Florida. The 236,860-ton, 5,669-passenger vessel will be the second-largest cruise ship in the world and offer more exciting amenities than any other cruise ship sailing short itineraries in North America.

Why? The newest, biggest ships in the world typically sail longer cruises. Offering short cruises on its humongous Oasis Class ships is new for Royal Caribbean; sister ship Allure of the Seas will test out the concept before Utopia launches.

Families with kids will definitely go bananas over the choices on board the new ship. The top deck alone will feature three separate pool areas, a surfing simulator, a kiddie splash zone, a basketball court, two rock walls, a miniature golf course and even a zip line.

The ship will also boast an extensive selection of restaurants, bars, lounges and shops. Additionally, there will be an indoor skating rink, a spa and a showroom with Broadway-style shows.

Utopia of the Seas' inaugural voyage is set for July 22, 2024, and will be a four-night cruise to Nassau and the line's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay. The second sailing will be a three-night cruise to the Bahamas that departs on July 26, 2024.

Who should go? Short sailings on this new ship will appeal to all sorts of cruisers. Historically, new ships are reserved for longer itineraries, so this is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a snack-size sampling of a brand-new ship without spending the money on a longer sailing.

Families craving a quick getaway where the entire brood is satisfied will not be disappointed. In addition to seemingly endless kid-friendly amenities and top-notch children's programming, Utopia of the Seas will feature a casino and adults-only spaces.

Related: These 2 cruise lines are building new private destinations in the Bahamas

3- or 4-night cruises on Disney Wish from Port Canaveral, Florida

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Disney waited a decade to build its next new ship, but Disney dreamers had their wish granted in 2022. Even better, the new Disney Wish cruises to the Bahamas. Designed to be the perfect complement to a visit to Orlando's Disney theme parks, these short cruises visit Nassau and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. The four-night itinerary adds a sea day to enjoy the ship.

Disney Wish is designed to immerse cruisers in the various Disney worlds through technology. An onboard augmented reality game turns the Disney Cruise Line Navigator smartphone app into a virtual spyglass that lets cruisers participate in a fantasy adventure with Disney and Pixar characters. The AquaMouse waterslide combines a splashy tube ride in a two-seater raft with a pre-adventure tale told through screens at the beginning of the ride. Diners at the Worlds of Marvel restaurant take part in an interactive Avengers-themed experience through videos and special effects.

Wish carries 4,000 passengers in cabins and suites designed to simplify cruising with kids. But never fear, adult Disney fans; you'll also find your spot on board. From the "Star Wars"-themed Hyperspace Lounge to the Quiet Cove adults-only sun deck, Disney manages to cater to grownups as well as kids.

Who should go ? This is obviously the best Bahamas cruise for lovers of all things Disney, including "Star Wars" and Marvel fans.

Related: Best shore excursions for Bahamas cruises

3- or 4-night cruises on Celebrity Reflection from Fort Lauderdale

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Beginning in April 2024, Celebrity Cruises will sail three- and four-night voyages round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, year-round.

The 3,046-passenger Celebrity Reflection will offer a consistent rotation of three-night weekend cruises (departing each Friday and returning each Monday morning) and four-night weekday sailings (departing each Monday and returning each Friday morning).

Itineraries will include stops at Key West in Florida and Nassau and Bimini in the Bahamas.

Celebrity appeals mostly to the 40-plus set sans small children. It's light on the kid-centric attractions (such as waterslides, go-karts and laser tag) that other big-ship lines include. The line offers instead lots of quiet and relaxing pool and lounge areas. (If you do have kids in tow, you can take advantage of the extensive children's program, Camp at Sea. It provides supervised activities daily for children ages 3-12 in dedicated spaces.)

Celebrity Reflection is the line's last and largest Solstice Class cruise ship. The Solstice Class ships feature some of the most stylish outdoor pool decks at sea, with indoor, adults-only pool areas that, notably, are topped with glass panels embedded with solar panels that contribute to the ship's power grid. You'll also find large spas, casinos, showrooms and a nice selection of restaurants on board.

This ship also boasts one of the most spectacular suites in the cruising world — the 1,646-square-foot Reflection Suite. It was the first two-bedroom suite on a Celebrity Cruises vessel.

Who should go? This an ideal cruise for older travelers who are new to cruising and want to sample one or frequent cruisers who might prefer a shorter time at sea. Although Celebrity doesn't draw many families with young children, the shorter Bahamas itineraries are also perfect for multigenerational family groups seeking an affordable cruise that appeals to all ages.

4-night cruises on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady from Miami

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Virgin Voyages aimed to be a disrupter in the cruise market from the beginning — creating a product designed to please even those who claim they would never set foot on a cruise ship. Yet the itinerary for this four-night Bahamas cruise on Scarlet Lady is fairly ordinary. Ports of call include Key West and a private beach club on the Bahamian island of Bimini.

It's the ship itself that sets this cruise apart from the pack. You'll find unique cabins (with balcony hammocks), brash red livery and one-of-a-kind onboard activities, such as tattoo parlors, drag shows and '80s-themed fitness classes, to keep its 2,700 sailors (as Virgin calls its passengers) entertained.

Who should go ? This is the best Bahamas cruise for the non-cruiser who is either young at heart or young and eager to party aboard this glitzy ship. If you're easily offended by loud music, round-the-clock partying or sexual innuendo, this is not your Bahamas cruise.

4-day cruises on Norwegian Jade from Miami

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Norwegian Cruise Line offers four-day sailings from Miami aboard Norwegian Jade. Ports of call include Key West and Great Stirrup Cay, the line's private island.

Port diversions consist of touring the Key West Shipwreck Treasures Museum and the Key West Aquarium, shopping along Nassau's Bay Street and exploring the white-sand beaches and pristine waters on Great Stirrup Cay.

The 2,402-passenger vessel is part of the line's Jewel class of ships. Though the ship launched in 2006, it received a substantial refurbishment in 2017 that included a cabin remodel, new and expanded dining and a design overhaul.

Norwegian Jewel might not have the extensive top-deck attractions of newer ships, like Norwegian Prima, or as many restaurants and bars. However, passengers will find plenty to occupy their time onboard with scheduled activities, a casino, spa and pool areas.

Who should go? Families, couples and friend groups will appreciate the unstructured nature of a Norwegian cruise. The line's "freestyle cruising" mantra — cruising without rigid dining schedules, dress codes and formal nights — is perfectly suited for short sailings. With a wide range of eateries and no assigned seating times, passengers have lots of flexibility for their limited time at sea.

Related: Best time to cruise to the Bahamas

5-night cruises on Carnival Sunshine from South Carolina

who is bahamas cruise ship

I am a huge lover of five-night sailings. They are long enough to scratch the cruise itch and short enough to account for travel time to and from the port without adding any extra vacation days. Plus, the slightly longer itineraries are less popular with hard partiers who can be disruptive on shorter Bahamas cruises.

Carnival Cruise Line offers 10 different five-night sailings from Charleston, South Carolina, aboard the 3,002-passenger Carnival Sunshine. It's currently Carnival's oldest ship (it debuted in 1996 under the name Carnival Destiny). However, in 2013, the line gave it a $200 million bow-to-stern glow-up and renamed it Carnival Sunshine. The overhaul produced a new top-deck WaterWorks water park, a comedy club and several bars, lounges and restaurants.

Depending on which itinerary you choose, you can chill out on the beaches of Bimini, shop Nassau's iconic straw market or go horseback riding by the shore of Carnival's private island, Half Moon Cay. Consider a pre- or post-cruise stay in Charleston to take in the city's historic landmarks, epic dining and charming cobblestone streets.

Who should go? These cruises are the best Bahamas sailings for those who prefer the intimacy of an older ship and don't care about flashy amenities and onboard attractions on newer vessels. Plus, they're ideal for travelers who live north of Florida and are looking for a more convenient drive-to departure port.

8-night cruises on Carnival Venezia from New York City

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The 4,090-passenger Carnival Venezia is a bit of an outlier in Carnival Cruise Line's fleet. Originally built for Italy-based Costa Cruises and launched in 2019, it joined the Carnival family in May 2023. (Carnival Corporation is the parent company of both Costa and Carnival.)

The ship was renovated to add many of Carnival's signature venues. However, many of its Costa-aligned, Italian-themed designs remain, including a real gondola "sailing" down the middle of its main dining room and a pool deck built to look like a Venetian boulevard.

Guests might feel like they've been whisked away to Italy thanks to regional touches like the handmade Italian gelato at JavaBlue Cafe and the Italian liqueur-infused concoctions found at many bars.

Two eight-night voyages out of New York City include stops at Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay.

Who should go? This Bahamas cruise is ideal for anyone looking for a different Carnival experience during a weeklong cruise. It's almost like traveling to Italy and the Bahamas in one trip.

Bottom line

The best Bahamas cruises offer something cruisers can't quite get enough of — whether it's beach time or party time. While short sailings are still the most popular Bahamas itineraries, you can find options for almost every cruising style. The key is identifying the cruise that fits your style, preferred activities and vacation budget.

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Sail south from Fort Lauderdale to Key West before heading to Nassau, a laid-back port with everything from powdery beaches to handmade crafts and couture shopping. Nap in a hammock on Blue Lagoon Island or catch thrills at Atlantis, where you can stroll through tunnels in Predator Lagoon. 

In Perfect Day at CocoCay, experience North America’s tallest water slide or the Caribbean’s biggest freshwater lagoon pool. Zipline or admire the turquoise sea from a hot air balloon. Bask on a white sand beach, or elevate your experience with an Overwater Cabana, complete with lunch at the Coco Beach Club.

Nassau & Bimini

In Nassau, you'll have opportunities for swimming and diving, and culinary experiences that include some of the world’s top seafood and rum. Bimini is a world unto itself: peaceful, pristine beaches, friendly locals, fresh seafood, and some of the best sportfishing and water sports in the world. 

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Find Your Perfect Bahamas Cruise

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Bahamas Ships

Bahamas Shore Excursions

On a Bahamas cruise with Celebrity, you’ll enjoy the best of all worlds, from sun-drenched days ashore to a haven of relaxation on our contemporary, design-led ships. Rejuvenate your spirit in The Spa, unwind by the pool, and toast the end of another perfect day at the Sunset Bar as tumbled clouds on the horizon reflect the shades of a tropical sunset.  

On Celebrity’s ships, you can enjoy a different restaurant for every meal, with menus designed by a Michelin-starred chef. Try mouth-watering seafood or flavor-packed Italian favorites. Marvel at the antics of the enchanting animated character, Le Petit Chef. Breathe in the scent of fresh grass as you relax at The Lawn Club on Solstice Series ships, or awaken your endorphins with a class in The Fitness Center. . 

Elevate your experience to the next level at The Retreat®, with suite accommodation, access to a tranquil lounge, and dining at the exclusive Luminae at The Retreat.  

Our award-winning service continues seamlessly as you venture ashore, with imaginative excursions ranging from Destination Highlights to Small Group Discoveries. There’s no better way to discover The Bahamas than with Celebrity.  

The Bahamas is the perfect short getaway, easily reached from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or Tampa on a luxurious cruise of 3, 4, or 6 fun-filled nights. With three of our award-winning ships exploring the islands, we can help you find the perfect cruise to suit your tastes. 

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Top Bahamas FAQs

When’s the best time to take a cruise to The Bahamas?

Celebrity Cruises sails to The Bahamas year-round. The peak season is from December to early spring, while May and June tend to be wetter. Rain tends to fall in the late afternoon in short, sharp showers, so this shouldn’t be a deterrent from traveling.

Hurricane season is typically from June to November although, fortunately, The Bahamas is rarely affected by hurricanes. There are many systems in place to detect any hurricane weather along your route, ensuring your ship’s captain and crew will be able to chart a path around any bad weather or make modifications to the itinerary to keep you safe. Celebrity’s state-of-the-art ships are built for stability, keeping movement in rough seas to a minimum. 

See our blog post about cruising during hurricane season for more information.

Do I need a passport?

It is the responsibility of each guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents and have them available at the pier when necessary. Before leaving home, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the required travel documents you will be asked to provide prior to boarding the ship. You’ll find more information here . 

Not all Bahamas cruises require a passport. If you are an American citizen traveling from the U.S. to The Bahamas or Mexico on a closed-loop cruise, starting and ending at the same U.S. port, a state-issued ID and an original U.S. birth certificate are sufficient. 

On Bahamas cruises that call at other Caribbean ports, you can enter with your U.S. passport book, passport card, Trusted Traveler card (Nexus, SENTRI, or FAST), or an enhanced driver’s license. See our blog post for more information.

What should I pack for a cruise to The Bahamas?

When packing for a cruise to The Bahamas, you’ll need clothing for a warm, sometimes humid climate. Bring plenty of beachwear, a sun hat, sunglasses, coverups, water shoes if you’re visiting coral beaches, and reef-friendly sunblock. 

If you book a snorkeling excursion, all gear will be provided. If there are places where you may want to snorkel independently, consider bringing your own equipment. 

Throughout the ship, casual resort wear, sundresses, shorts, polos, or button-downs are appropriate, paired with sandals, low heels, and loafers. In main and specialty dining, we ask guests to refrain from wearing swimsuits, see-through coverups or robes, bare feet, tank tops, T-shirts, and baseball caps. 

Smart Casual attire is required for entry to main dining, specialty dining, and the Celebrity Theatre. Smart Casual means you look comfortable yet tasteful in a dress, skirt, long pants, or jeans with a stylish top or button-down. Shorts and flip-flops are not considered Smart Casual.

Each itinerary features one to two more “formal” nights that we call Evening Chic. Evening Chic means you dress to impress, glamorous and sophisticated in your own way, with a cocktail dress, skirt, slacks, or designer jeans, an elegant dress top, or blazer—some guests even pack a tuxedo or gown for onboard photos. 

The daily program, delivered to your stateroom and available at the Guest Relations Desk, will be your guide to the correct attire each evening. If you do not wish to participate in Evening Chic, Smart Casual attire is acceptable for dining and attending the theater.

What are some things I can do on my cruise?

The Bahamas offers a range of activities to enjoy during your cruise. In Nassau, you could relax on beautiful beaches on Pearl Island or the Blue Lagoon. Join a watercolor painting class, snorkel over coral reefs, and even swim with friendly pigs. Learn about Nassau’s history, and sample conch fritters, the local specialty. If you’re traveling with kids, you could spend a day exploring Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis Paradise Island and its waterslides, pools, river rapids, and vast aquarium.

In Bimini, you could relax on a pristine beach in an exclusive resort and swim in the warm, crystal-clear water. If you prefer a more active day, you could hand-feed wild stingrays, swim among reef sharks, or snorkel over the wreck of the Sapona, now colonized by tropical fish.

Perfect Day at CocoCay, our award-winning private island, is the place where you can be as adventurous or as indulgent as you wish. Fly down the tallest waterslide in North America, or whizz along a zipline. Take in the views from 450 feet above the shore in a helium balloon. Enjoy swimming in the largest freshwater lagoon pool in the Caribbean. Or elevate your experience with a luxurious private cabana, either on the powdery beach at Chill Island or perched directly over the aquamarine water.

How long are Bahamas cruises?

Cruises to The Bahamas are three to six nights long. On the shortest Bahamas cruises, you will have a day to explore Nassau and a full day to enjoy the many amenities of your Celebrity Cruises ship. 

Other short cruises include Bimini and CocoCay, or a different combination of Key West and Nassau. Slightly longer voyages of five nights visit Key West, Bimini, and CocoCay. On a six-night voyage from Tampa, meanwhile, you will visit Nassau and Bimini and have three full days to enjoy the luxurious amenities of the ship.

What ports do you visit?

We visit three ports in The Bahamas: Nassau, Bimini, and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private island.

What can I do on board the ship?

Celebrity’s luxurious ships offer a wealth of activities. Bask by the shimmering pool, join a yoga or meditation class in the Fitness Center, or indulge in a blissful treatment in the Spa.

You’ll find a wide variety of places to dine, with menus crafted by our Michelin-starred chef. Enjoy BBQ specialties at the al fresco Lawn Club Grill (on Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection) and marvel at the antics of the 3D characters who “prepare” your dinner in Le Petit Chef. 

Enjoy the ship’s upscale bars and lounges, from the lively Martini Bar, where skilled mixologists entertain as they prepare your cocktail, to the beautiful Sunset Bar, a popular gathering place for pre-dinner drinks with friends, with infinite views of the blue ocean. You’ll find live music all over the ship late into the night, whether you want to dance, listen to jazz, or attend a Broadway-quality show in the Theatre.

Elevate your experience on board by choosing The Retreat , where you’ll luxuriate in a beautiful suite and have access to an exclusive lounge and the exceptional Luminae at the Retreat restaurant.

Where do Bahamas cruises depart from?

Celebrity’s Bahamas cruises sail from three ports in Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Tampa.

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Bahamas Cruises

Relax and recharge on the caribbean’s most iconic beaches.

Float through crystal-clear waters and sunbathe on palm tree-lined beaches during a Bahamas cruise with Princess®. This vibrant destination is home to Princess Cays, our private island resort that is truly relaxation defined. Spend the day relaxing beachside or snorkeling just off the shore. Find cruises to the Bahamas that fit just about any schedule with options of a short getaway or a week long Caribbean vacation with the family.

Snorkeling in the ocean on a Bahamas Cruise

Bahamas Cruise Overview

Surf, sand and sun await on a Bahamas cruise. Indulge in rest and relaxation while lounging on unspoiled beaches that offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Take a dip in the water, and ride in a paddle wheeler with your loved ones. Or revel in the laid-back atmosphere of island time while floating along the shoreline. Experience the best of the Bahamas and the Caribbean with Princess.

A princess cruise ship of the coast of Princess Cays, Princess’ Private Island Resort in the Bahamas

Princess Cays, Relaxation Defined

On a Bahamas cruise, visit the dazzling port of Princess Cays, Princess’ Private Island Resort. Relax in a beachside sanctuary bungalow, ride on a banana boat or paddle through the turquoise waters on a kayak with friends and family. Experience this quintessential Bahamas port on most of our Caribbean cruise itineraries, and indulge in the best of both worlds as you sail on to explore other nearby destinations.

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Caribbean Getaways

Relaxation and ocean exploration.

Caribbean Getaways offer short cruises to the Bahamas for a dose of relaxation on a quick weekend trip or a mid-week recharge. From kayaks and paddleboards to noodles and floats, frolic through the water and refuel with a complimentary beach barbecue. Then embark on a leisurely glass-bottom boat ride around the island, or unwind in a private bungalow and enjoy access to Princess MedallionNet® right from your beach chair.

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A sunny day near the ocean on a week-long Caribbean cruise

Week-Long Caribbean Cruises

Caribbean sun and aquatic fun.

Take a week-long vacation on a Bahamas cruise with more to love, calling on additional Caribbean ports. Visit Princess Cays for a day in the sun, sand and surf. Then have more time to explore Trunk Bay – one of the “Cruise Wonders of the World” – during a late-night stay in St. Thomas on Eastern Caribbean itineraries. From relaxation to adventure, experience cruises to the Bahamas that have more range with Princess.

Learn more about Caribbean Cruises

Flamingos in the water on a southern Caribbean cruise

Southern Caribbean Cruises

Where traditions abound.

Get a taste of traditional Caribbean culture as you sail to ports like Bonaire and Aruba. Relive Curacao's colorful past, and discover Bonaire's pristine coral reefs. Or explore Aruba’s underwater "Antilla" shipwreck, home to a variety of exotic sea life. Whether sailing to a specific region or embarking on a comprehensive cruise, cruise to the Bahamas and unwind at Princess Cays before heading to your next destination.

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Cruises to the Bahamas by Season

Caribbean cuisine to be sampled on a Bahamas cruise

Fall Bahamas Cruises

Get a taste of the Caribbean while savoring tropical delights on each of the islands. Enjoy jerk chicken in Jamaica, coconut bread pudding in St. Kitts, or a beach barbecue in Princess Cays. Or indulge in conch — the national food of The Bahamas. Cruises to the Bahamas also come complete with island-inspired cocktails and cuisine on board.

Mayan Ruins can be visited in the spring on a Bahamas cruise

Spring Bahamas Cruises

On Bahamas cruises, embark on diverse adventures no matter the destination. Explore the Mayan Ruins in the Western Caribbean, snorkel past coral reefs in the Southern Caribbean, and sail on a catamaran in the Eastern Caribbean. Find activities for the family during a spring break vacation that feels like summer.

Kayaks on the beach duuring the summer on a Bahamas cruise

Summer Bahamas Cruises

Nothing says summer quite like the Caribbean, especially when you spend the day playing in the Caribbean Sea. On cruises to the Bahamas, snorkel alongside tropical fish, and paddle through the waters in a tandem kayak with family or friends. Or float in the clear blue Caribbean Sea in an inner tube.

Snorkeling with a stringray on a winter Bahamas cruise

Winter Bahamas Cruises

Spice up your holiday season on a Bahamas cruise and immerse yourself in the best of each destination with our exclusive Local Connections Program. Sample Blue Curacao on a distillery tour, snorkel alongside friendly stingrays in Antigua or discover St. Lucia’s Creole traditions from a master craftsman.

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Travel, Airfare, & Hotels: Let Princess Get You There

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Airplane to Ship Transfer

We get you where you need to go.

Let Princess pick you up from the airport and take you directly to your ship or hotel when you arrive, even if you didn't book your airfare through us. A uniformed Princess representative meets you at the airport after you've retrieved your luggage and transports you directly to your ship or hotel without you having to worry about the logistics of navigating a new city.

Learn more about transfers

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Cruise Plus Hotel Packages

Stay longer and relax.

Extend your Caribbean cruise vacation, and simplify your travel plans with a hotel stay at the beginning or end of your cruise. With a Cruise Plus Hotel Package, a Princess representative meets you at the airport and pier, transporting you to and from your hotel. The package includes the cost of your hotel stay, transportation and the services of the representative.

View Cruise Plus Hotel Packages

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  • The Bahamas

Cruises to The Bahamas

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  • Carnival Conquest
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  • Carnival Liberty
  • Carnival Paradise
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VOTED BEST PRIVATE ISLAND

20 YEARS IN A ROW *

  • Ports of Call

You know the name, the laid-back attitude and where to find them, but you’ll just have to visit The Bahamas to truly appreciate this classic cruise destination. On this 700-strong string of sun-splashed islands dotting the blue Atlantic, the living’s easy. (And it’s not bad on a Bahamas cruise either!) The central port of Nassau is the bustling capital of the country — “bustling” is a relative term, of course — while Freeport is all chill, all the time. And then there’s Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays: pure private-destination paradise, the likes of which could put a smile on the face of someone who really loves frowning. Enjoy sailing, snorkeling, strolling pearly pink-sand beaches, and swimming through crystalline turquoise seas on a Bahamas cruise.

  • Swim and splash in sparkling waters.
  • Taste the private destination life on Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.
  • Explore the expansive Atlantis resort.

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beautiful blue skies and water in nassau bahamas

Jacksonville

scenic view of the jacksonville skyline

Port Canaveral (Orlando)

enjoy the beautiful landscape in port canaveral

Celebration Key

white-sand beach and lagoons surround multiple recreational and leisure locations at celebration key

Half Moon Cay

aerial view of half moon cay and it's crystal blue waters

Princess Cays

paddleboats and wind surfing kayaks lined on a beach in princess cays

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* Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional per person.

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The 6 Best Cruises for Exploring the Bahamas

Only 110 miles off the florida coast, the bahamas is one of the easiest caribbean destinations to reach on a cruise. these are our top picks for sailings among this island paradise..

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Aerial view of a beach and the sea in the Bahamas

With hundreds of islands to visit, Bahamas cruises are filled with beautiful scenery, mesmerizing marine life, and relaxing beach escapes.

Courtesy of Fernando Jorge Unsplash

Cruises to the Bahamas are filled with sun, soft sands, and the opportunity to dip your toes in a warm and seductive crystal blue sea. The 700-island archipelago is the kind of oasis you dream of when, in my case at least, you’re indoors on a cold and dark day in Cleveland. Exploring the islands is tricky by air, but much easier via ship. Bahamas cruises to take right now include quick jaunts from easy-to-get-to Florida ports as well as one-week and longer cruises that explore more deeply. You can sail there in less than a day from Florida (cruises tend to embark in the early evening and hang out at sea until the next morning ashore), which makes it both an easy escape for a quick getaway or somewhere to linger for even more rest and relaxation.

What to expect on a Bahamas cruise

The main places cruise ships visit in the Bahamas are Nassau, the capital city, and some of the islands and beaches that are affiliated with cruise lines, such as Disney’s private family wonderland Castaway Cay, off Great Abaco Island. There are small ships that explore further, including to the southern reaches of the archipelago.

Cruise passengers will find opportunities to hike in national parks, enjoy nearly deserted beaches, and explore many small churches—the Bahamas boasts more churches per capita than anywhere else in the world.

In the Bahamian capital of Nassau on New Providence Island, visitors can get a better understanding of the nation’s British colonial and West African slave history as well as of the Junkanoo culture and festivals at wonderful museums. Most day visitors, though, are typically focused on water attractions: heading off on diving or snorkeling excursions, boarding party boats with free-flowing rum punch, experiencing the beaches, swimming pools, and waterslides at the Atlantis Bahamas resort on Paradise Island, or trying to catch the big one on fishing charters.

On small ship itineraries, you may stop at San Salvador Island, where Christopher Columbus may or may not have made his first landing in the New World. (Historians quibble on the exact landing spot.) A white cross memorializes the supposed landing spot. Long Island, which stretches some 80 miles, has both rugged and sandy coasts and the natural attraction of Dean’s Blue Hole, one of the deepest sinkholes in the world at 663 feet, a place where divers and snorkelers can mingle with turtles and tarpons. The small island of Bimini is known for its clean beaches and rich marine life—hanging out at beach clubs, seeking quiet escapes in the land, and watching for dolphins and other sea creatures are prime activities.

Other cruise destinations include Eleuthera, with its inviting pink sands and protected park areas. In addition to beaches, the 365-island chain known as the Exumas are famous for swimming pigs (though they also live elsewhere in the Bahamas).

A standard stateroom on the "Celebrity Summit" cruise ship, with a bed, balcony, small desk, and arm chair

Even a standard stateroom on the Celebrity Summit won’t disappoint thanks to chic interior design details.

Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises’ “Nassau & Bimini” itinerary

  • Best for: Upscale big ship experience
  • To book: 4-nights round-trip from Miami , from $473 per person for a veranda stateroom; from $801 per person for AquaClass; and from $2,245 per person for the Retreat
  • Islands: Nassau (New Providence), Bimini, plus Key West

Celebrity Cruises sails to Nassau and Bimini in style, and if time or money is tight, you don’t have to invest too much in your Bahamas getaway. You can book, for instance, an easy, breezy four-night trip on the 2,158-passenger Celebrity Summit from under $500 per person. That said, if you splurge on a suite in the Retreat, you’ll have your own sundeck with hot tub, enjoy private lounge access, and dine at the exclusive restaurant Luminae, where signature dishes by Celebrity’s culinary ambassador, Daniel Boulud, are featured on the rotating menu—such as creamy carrot and ginger velouté and Moroccan chicken tagine with saffron couscous. Spa lovers might want to book the AquaClass staterooms, with complimentary access to a Persian Garden with infrared sauna and sensory showers and exclusive dining at health focused Blu, where the wine list features sustainable and biodynamic wines. While in Bimini, you might try your hand at sport-fishing, a year-round pastime from the island.

A pelican-themed waterslide in the foreground on Castaway Cay, with a Disney Cruise Line ship in the background

If you’re traveling with younger cruisers, Disney has you covered.

Courtesy of Kent Phillips/Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line’s Bahamian Cruise from Fort Lauderdale

  • Best for: Families and Disney fans of all ages
  • To book: 5-night Bahamas cruise from Fort Lauderdale on the 2,700-passenger Disney Magic , from $6,299 for four guests
  • Islands: Castaway Cay, Nassau (New Providence), Eleuthera

Disney Cruise Line has ships in the Bahamas year-round, starting with quick three- and four-night sailings from Florida ports. Ever since it first opened 1998, the highlight of any Disney cruise in the Bahamas has been Castaway Cay, a picture-perfect white-sand island paradise, complete with pirate attractions and Disney character appearances. What has Disney fans all atwitter is the opening in summer 2024 of a second exclusive for Disney Bahamas destination, Lighthouse Point, on the island of Eleuthera. There, Disney promises a celebration of Bahamian culture, including Junkanoo parades, characters from Bahamas folklore, and performances by local artists. An accompanying commitment to conservation at Lighthouse Point includes a solar installation that will provide at least 90 percent of the destination’s required electricity (Castaway Cay also has a solar installation). Family-friendly attractions abound but grown-ups can also drop the kids off in a supervised activity program and head to the adults-only beach to sip cocktails while lounging in private cabanas.

Aerial view of two pools on "Evrima," with no people

For a luxurious yacht-style cruise in the Bahamas, book a suite on the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s recently launched Evrima .

Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s round-trip sailing from Fort Lauderdale

  • Best for: Top-of-the-line luxury experience
  • To book: 7-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale on the 298-passenger Evrima , from $6,100 per person
  • Islands: Nassau (New Providence), Bimini, San Salvador, Long Island, plus Key West

On the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s 298-passenger Evrima , you can head to the secluded dipping pool and pretend you are on your own private yacht, luxuriate in your resort-like suite, or join an intimate dance party on the Marina Terrace, located just above the sea. A seven-night itinerary in December 2023 gets you from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau, Bimini, San Salvador, and Long Island, Bahamas, with the bonus of some additional time built in to enjoy the Hemingway House & Museum and other attractions in Key West, Florida. Optional small group shore excursions in the Bahamas include an “Eco-Marine Safari” on Long Island, that combines small boat exploration of a mangrove channel and sandbars with a visit to see swimming pigs in a quiet cay. With both the cruise line and the Royal at Atlantis on Paradise Island affiliated with Marriott International , there’s also a hotel tie-in—you can book a daybed at the resort’s chic adults-only pool area, the Cove .

Aerial view of the island of Exuma  with a long stretch of empty beach, turquoise waters, patches of greenery and a few houses with pools

Explora the island of Exuma on a Scenic cruise in the Bahamas.

Courtesy of Pritam Pebam/Unsplash

Scenic’s “Island Odyssey: Bahamas to the Grenadines” cruise

  • Best for: Underwater and air exploration
  • To book: 12-night sailing in fall 2024 from $9,963 per person
  • Islands: Compass Cay, Great Exuma Island, San Salvador Island, Long Island, Great Inagua Island in the Bahamas. Also, Virgin Gorda, St. Bart’s, Monserrat, Iles des Saintes (Guadeloupe), Tobago Cays (St. Vincent and the Grenadines)

The luxurious 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse features some of the best exploration toys in the industry. An expedition team runs excursions including with two helicopters and a submarine, which will enhance your Bahamas views from both over and under the sea. Or borrow paddleboards and kayaks from the ship’s marina for your own solo exploration. A 12-night sailing from Nassau to Bridgetown, Barbados, starts with six days in the Bahamas, before following the yachting crowd south. Stops include Compass Cay in the Exuma Cays, where in the clear water you might see nurse sharks even from the ship. Bird lovers will enjoy a rare visit to the southernmost island in the Bahamas, Great Inagua Island, with its resident population of some 80,000 flamingos. Whiskey lovers will want to check out the ship’s collection of more than 110 varieties.

Two hot tubs on the top deck of a SeaDream Yacht Club ship surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas

SeaDream Yacht Club’s forthcoming 2025 Bahamas cruise will be worth the wait for this viewpoint from the whirlpools.

Courtesy of Greg Ceo/SeaDream Yacht Clube

SeaDream Yacht Club’s “Bountiful Bahamas” cruise

  • Best for: Low-key luxury
  • To book: 7-night cruise in April 2025 , from $4,399 per person
  • Islands: Nassau (New Providence), Staniel Cay, Great Exuma, San Salvador, Salt Cay

You’ll have to wait until 2025, but small-ship line SeaDream has an intriguing pair of upcoming round-trip cruises to the Bahamas from tony Palm Beach, Florida, on the 112-passenger SeaDream II . The “Bountiful Bahamas” itinerary lingers in the Exumas and around Long Island, with the opportunity to explore pristine beaches, hang out at beach shack bars, and snorkel in the clear sea. There’s also an unusual visit to the uninhabited Bahamas island Salt Cay (also known as Cay Sal), only accessible by boat and some 50 miles from Marathon, Florida. In between kayaking quiet bays, try the yacht’s newest attraction, an inflatable slide running from the pool deck into the water. SeaDream prides itself on cuisine and was the first cruise line with a full vegan raw food menu in addition to such indulgences as a signature l’oeuf poule au caviar (egg with caviar), grilled lobster, and filet mignon.

Woman in hanging wicker chair sitting poolside with glass of champagne at Virgin Voyages Bimini Beach Club

It wouldn’t be a Virgin Voyages Bahamas cruise without some time spent chilling at the Bimini Beach Club.

Courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages’ “Fire & Sunset Soirées” cruise

  • Best for: Fun-seeking adults
  • To book: 4-night “Fire & Sunset Soirées” on the 2,770-passenger Scarlet Lady or Valiant Lady from $1,920 for two in a Sea Terrace cabin
  • Islands: Bimini, plus Key West

For pure adult fun you can’t beat Virgin Voyages , which is limited to those age 18 and up. During a beach day at the Virgin Voyages Beach Club at Bimini, private to Virgin guests when their ships visit, enjoy cocktails at the pool or a beach bonfire. Or book an activity such as a watercolor painting class, a “Views-n-Blues Mid-Afternoon Cruise” on a pontoon, an open-air tram tour of the island, or scuba dive with hammerheads. On the ship, partake in dance parties, take advantage of complimentary yoga, meditation sessions, and intense cardio HIIT classes, peruse vinyl selections on sale at the record shop, and get a tattoo or piercing when not indulging in treats at the “Lick Me Till  . . .  Ice Cream” shop. There are also six restaurants onboard, including a highly creative “Test Kitchen” where dishes smoke and sizzle, and a super-fun Korean barbecue experience, Gunbae, complete with drinking games.

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Live updates, vacation horror as ‘drunk’ son, 20, jumps from royal caribbean cruise in front of family.

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A cruise turned into a nightmare for people aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas when a young man jumped overboard shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday.

The 18-story ship was sailing between Cuba and the Bahamas’ Grand Inagua Island when the as-yet-unidentified man jumped off one of the decks.

According to onlookers, his father and brother watched helplessly as he leaped over the side.

Some passengers said it appeared to be an impulsive, spur-of-the-moment decision. 

Liberty of the Seas

“I had hung out with him and his brother in the hot tub until 3:30,” passenger Bryan Sims tells The Post. ” It was standing room only. He sat right beside me the whole time.”

“He was pretty drunk,” Sims continues.

“As we were walking from the hot tub back to the elevators, his dad and brother were walking towards us. His dad was fussing at him for being drunk, I guess.” “When we got to them, he said to his dad, ‘I’ll fix this right now.’ And he jumped out the window in front of us all.” 

“There was a lot of yelling, and the crew was alerted immediately,” another passenger,  Deborah Morrison, told The Post.

“His family was horrified. Just beside themselves. I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through.”

“It was insane,” says Sims. “It was just surreal.” 

In a statement to The Post, Royal Caribbean said its crew immediately sprang into action following the incident.

“The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue effort alongside the US Coast Guard, who has taken over the search,” the statement reads.

“Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family during this difficult time. For the privacy of the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share.”

News of the apparent suicide attempt quickly spread among the guests — and many of them tried to help in any way they could.

Decks of Liberty of the Seas

“The early morning was definitely somber as so many people came out of their cabins to stare at the sea, hoping to be able to aid in finding the person,” said Amy Phelps Fouse, a passenger on the ship.

“Royal Caribbean has been excellent at communicating updates throughout the day,” Fouse continued. “They have asked that people act with compassion in light of the tragic situation.”

Overboard incidents on cruise ships are rare.

According to the Washington Post , about 386 people were reported to have gone overboard on the major cruise lines between 2000 to 2020.

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The incidents, whether accidental or intentional, are often deadly.

In the past few years, most cruise lines have enacted onboard safety measures and surveillance systems to help reduce the risk of overboard deaths.

The Coast Guard confirmed to The Post it is still conducting a search and rescue operation in the waters off Cuba. The man has not yet been found.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org .

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'Drunk' 20-year-old man missing after jumping off a Royal Caribbean cruise ship

  • A 20-year-old man on holiday with his family jumped off a Royal Caribbean cruise. 
  • The man has been missing since jumping overboard in front of his father and brother.
  • The US Coast Guard has launched a search operation. 

Insider Today

A 20-year-old man jumped off the Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas cruise on Thursday morning while vacationing with his family.

The passenger, whose identity has not been revealed, jumped overboard at about 4 a.m. and has been missing since.

The US Coast Guard said on X on Thursday that its crews were "searching for a 20-year-old man who went overboard from the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship near The Bahamas.

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement: "Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest's family during this difficult time."

Passengers on the Liberty of the Seas ship described the tragedy as a "spur-of-the-moment decision."

Passenger Bryan Sims told the New York Post that the missing passenger was "pretty drunk" and that they had hung out in the hot tub until 3:30 a.m.

Sims said that when they left the hot tub, they encountered the drunk passenger's father while approaching the elevators.

"His dad was fussing at him for being drunk," said Sims.

The unidentified passenger reportedly told his father, "I'll fix this right now," and jumped out of the window.

Fellow passengers said his father and brother witnessed the "impulsive" leap.

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Deborah Morrison, another passenger on board the cruise, told the Post that "there was a lot of yelling and that the crew was alerted immediately."

"The ship's crew immediately launched a search and rescue effort alongside the US Coast Guard, who has taken over the search," the Royal Caribbean spokesperson said.

The US Coast Guard said USCG Cutter Seneca and Air Station Miami HC-144 crews were conducting the search.

#Breaking @USCG crews are searching for a 20-year-old man who went overboard from the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship 57 miles from Great Inagua this morning. USCG Cutter Seneca and Air Station Miami HC-144 crews are conducting the search. #USCG #SAR pic.twitter.com/zZPpKOdyCn — USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) April 4, 2024

The Liberty of the Seas departed from South Florida and was 57 miles from Great Inagua in The Bahamas when the passenger jumped overboard.

The cruise ship has 18 decks and can accommodate 3,634 passengers, served by a crew of about 1,300.

The chances of you falling overboard off a cruise ship are extremely low .

In 2023, About 31 million passengers traveled on a cruise, and about 10 people went overboard, of which two miraculously survived, Business Insider reported .

"Even one incident is one too many," CLIA told Business Insider, explaining that "the vast majority of cases are either reckless behavior or some form of intentional act. People don't just inadvertently fall over the side of a ship."

Last month, a 23-year-old man who felt seasick fell overboard from the MSC Euribia cruise ship while crossing the North Sea in Europe and was presumed dead.

In December, an MSC Cruises passenger jumped from one of its ships while sailing from Europe to South America.

According to a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) report, only 28.2% of passengers who fell overboard from 2009 to 2019 were successfully rescued.

Watch: Inside the world's biggest cruise ship that just set sail

who is bahamas cruise ship

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Coast Guard searching for man who jumped from cruise ship in front of his family

Officials say the man jumped off the 18-story Liberty of the Seas cruise ship 57 miles of Great Inagua. in front of his father and brother.

Royal Caribbean Liberty of the seas Cruise Ship FILE PHOTO: Falmouth, Jamaica - March 14 2019: Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Cruise Ship sails near the coast of Falmouth Jamaica. On April 4, 2024, a 20-year-old jumped from the ship. (Debbie Ann Powell/Getty Images)

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a 20-year-old man who jumped from the deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise in front of his father and brother Thursday morning off the Bahamas.

>> Read more trending news

Officials said the man jumped off the 18-story Liberty of the Seas cruise ship 57 miles from Great Inagua in front of his father and brother, according to United Press International.

“The ship’s crew immediately launched a search and rescue effort alongside the U.S. Coast Guard, who has taken over the search,” a spokesman for Royal Caribbean said in a statement. The Liberty of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean’s ships.

“Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest’s family during this difficult time. For the privacy of the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share.”

#Breaking @USCG crews are searching for a 20-year-old man who went overboard from the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship 57 miles from Great Inagua this morning. USCG Cutter Seneca and Air Station Miami HC-144 crews are conducting the search. #USCG #SAR pic.twitter.com/zZPpKOdyCn — USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) April 4, 2024

The Liberty of the Seas cruise ship is the 35th largest in the world, the Coast Guard said.

Witnesses said the man’s father and brother watched as he jumped, seemingly on a spur of the moment decision, over the side, according to The New York Post.

“I had hung out with him and his brother in the hot tub until 3:30,” passenger Bryan Sims told the Post. “It was standing room only. He sat right beside me the whole time.”

“He was pretty drunk,” Sims continued. “As we were walking from the hot tub back to the elevators, his dad and brother were walking towards us. His dad was fussing at him for being drunk, I guess.

“When we got to them, he said to his dad, ‘I’ll fix this right now.’ And he jumped out the window in front of us all.”

The cruise set sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Monday and is set to return on Friday, according to CruiseMapper .

Note: If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support via the Lifeline by dialing 988 . For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website .

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Coast guard crews searching for man who fell from cruise ship.

Chris Gothner , Digital Journalist

MIAMI – U.S. Coast Guard crews from Miami are aiding in the search for a man who went overboard from a South Florida-based cruise ship Thursday morning.

It happened on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, which, according to CruiseMapper , was on a four-day roundtrip voyage from Port Everglades.

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The 20-year-old fell from the ship about 57 miles off the coast of Great Inagua island in the Bahamas.

Authorities haven’t publicly identified the man or said whether he was a passenger or crew member.

Coast Guard Cutter Seneca and crews from Coast Guard Air Station Miami are leading the search, according to the agency.

#Breaking @USCG crews are searching for a 20-year-old man who went overboard from the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship 57 miles from Great Inagua this morning. USCG Cutter Seneca and Air Station Miami HC-144 crews are conducting the search. #USCG #SAR pic.twitter.com/zZPpKOdyCn — USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) April 4, 2024

Copyright 2024 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.

About the Author

Chris gothner.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.

Local 10 News @ 9AM : Apr 08, 2024

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photo of Icon of the Seas, taken on a long railed path approaching the stern of the ship, with people walking along dock

Crying Myself to Sleep on the Biggest Cruise Ship Ever

Seven agonizing nights aboard the Icon of the Seas

photo of Icon of the Seas, taken on a long railed path approaching the stern of the ship, with people walking along dock

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Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET on April 6, 2024.

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MY FIRST GLIMPSE of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, from the window of an approaching Miami cab, brings on a feeling of vertigo, nausea, amazement, and distress. I shut my eyes in defense, as my brain tells my optic nerve to try again.

The ship makes no sense, vertically or horizontally. It makes no sense on sea, or on land, or in outer space. It looks like a hodgepodge of domes and minarets, tubes and canopies, like Istanbul had it been designed by idiots. Vibrant, oversignifying colors are stacked upon other such colors, decks perched over still more decks; the only comfort is a row of lifeboats ringing its perimeter. There is no imposed order, no cogent thought, and, for those who do not harbor a totalitarian sense of gigantomania, no visual mercy. This is the biggest cruise ship ever built, and I have been tasked with witnessing its inaugural voyage.

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“Author embarks on their first cruise-ship voyage” has been a staple of American essay writing for almost three decades, beginning with David Foster Wallace’s “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again,” which was first published in 1996 under the title “Shipping Out.” Since then, many admirable writers have widened and diversified the genre. Usually the essayist commissioned to take to the sea is in their first or second flush of youth and is ready to sharpen their wit against the hull of the offending vessel. I am 51, old and tired, having seen much of the world as a former travel journalist, and mostly what I do in both life and prose is shrug while muttering to my imaginary dachshund, “This too shall pass.” But the Icon of the Seas will not countenance a shrug. The Icon of the Seas is the Linda Loman of cruise ships, exclaiming that attention must be paid. And here I am in late January with my one piece of luggage and useless gray winter jacket and passport, zipping through the Port of Miami en route to the gangway that will separate me from the bulk of North America for more than seven days, ready to pay it in full.

The aforementioned gangway opens up directly onto a thriving mall (I will soon learn it is imperiously called the “Royal Promenade”), presently filled with yapping passengers beneath a ceiling studded with balloons ready to drop. Crew members from every part of the global South, as well as a few Balkans, are shepherding us along while pressing flutes of champagne into our hands. By a humming Starbucks, I drink as many of these as I can and prepare to find my cabin. I show my blue Suite Sky SeaPass Card (more on this later, much more) to a smiling woman from the Philippines, and she tells me to go “aft.” Which is where, now? As someone who has rarely sailed on a vessel grander than the Staten Island Ferry, I am confused. It turns out that the aft is the stern of the ship, or, for those of us who don’t know what a stern or an aft are, its ass. The nose of the ship, responsible for separating the waves before it, is also called a bow, and is marked for passengers as the FWD , or forward. The part of the contemporary sailing vessel where the malls are clustered is called the midship. I trust that you have enjoyed this nautical lesson.

I ascend via elevator to my suite on Deck 11. This is where I encounter my first terrible surprise. My suite windows and balcony do not face the ocean. Instead, they look out onto another shopping mall. This mall is the one that’s called Central Park, perhaps in homage to the Olmsted-designed bit of greenery in the middle of my hometown. Although on land I would be delighted to own a suite with Central Park views, here I am deeply depressed. To sail on a ship and not wake up to a vast blue carpet of ocean? Unthinkable.

Allow me a brief preamble here. The story you are reading was commissioned at a moment when most staterooms on the Icon were sold out. In fact, so enthralled by the prospect of this voyage were hard-core mariners that the ship’s entire inventory of guest rooms (the Icon can accommodate up to 7,600 passengers, but its inaugural journey was reduced to 5,000 or so for a less crowded experience) was almost immediately sold out. Hence, this publication was faced with the shocking prospect of paying nearly $19,000 to procure for this solitary passenger an entire suite—not including drinking expenses—all for the privilege of bringing you this article. But the suite in question doesn’t even have a view of the ocean! I sit down hard on my soft bed. Nineteen thousand dollars for this .

selfie photo of man with glasses, in background is swim-up bar with two women facing away

The viewless suite does have its pluses. In addition to all the Malin+Goetz products in my dual bathrooms, I am granted use of a dedicated Suite Deck lounge; access to Coastal Kitchen, a superior restaurant for Suites passengers; complimentary VOOM SM Surf & Stream (“the fastest Internet at Sea”) “for one device per person for the whole cruise duration”; a pair of bathrobes (one of which comes prestained with what looks like a large expectoration by the greenest lizard on Earth); and use of the Grove Suite Sun, an area on Decks 18 and 19 with food and deck chairs reserved exclusively for Suite passengers. I also get reserved seating for a performance of The Wizard of Oz , an ice-skating tribute to the periodic table, and similar provocations. The very color of my Suite Sky SeaPass Card, an oceanic blue as opposed to the cloying royal purple of the standard non-Suite passenger, will soon provoke envy and admiration. But as high as my status may be, there are those on board who have much higher status still, and I will soon learn to bow before them.

In preparation for sailing, I have “priced in,” as they say on Wall Street, the possibility that I may come from a somewhat different monde than many of the other cruisers. Without falling into stereotypes or preconceptions, I prepare myself for a friendly outspokenness on the part of my fellow seafarers that may not comply with modern DEI standards. I believe in meeting people halfway, and so the day before flying down to Miami, I visited what remains of Little Italy to purchase a popular T-shirt that reads DADDY’S LITTLE MEATBALL across the breast in the colors of the Italian flag. My wife recommended that I bring one of my many T-shirts featuring Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, as all Americans love the beagle and his friends. But I naively thought that my meatball T-shirt would be more suitable for conversation-starting. “Oh, and who is your ‘daddy’?” some might ask upon seeing it. “And how long have you been his ‘little meatball’?” And so on.

I put on my meatball T-shirt and head for one of the dining rooms to get a late lunch. In the elevator, I stick out my chest for all to read the funny legend upon it, but soon I realize that despite its burnished tricolor letters, no one takes note. More to the point, no one takes note of me. Despite my attempts at bridge building, the very sight of me (small, ethnic, without a cap bearing the name of a football team) elicits no reaction from other passengers. Most often, they will small-talk over me as if I don’t exist. This brings to mind the travails of David Foster Wallace , who felt so ostracized by his fellow passengers that he retreated to his cabin for much of his voyage. And Wallace was raised primarily in the Midwest and was a much larger, more American-looking meatball than I am. If he couldn’t talk to these people, how will I? What if I leave this ship without making any friends at all, despite my T-shirt? I am a social creature, and the prospect of seven days alone and apart is saddening. Wallace’s stateroom, at least, had a view of the ocean, a kind of cheap eternity.

Worse awaits me in the dining room. This is a large, multichandeliered room where I attended my safety training (I was shown how to put on a flotation vest; it is a very simple procedure). But the maître d’ politely refuses me entry in an English that seems to verge on another language. “I’m sorry, this is only for pendejos ,” he seems to be saying. I push back politely and he repeats himself. Pendejos ? Piranhas? There’s some kind of P-word to which I am not attuned. Meanwhile elderly passengers stream right past, powered by their limbs, walkers, and electric wheelchairs. “It is only pendejo dining today, sir.” “But I have a suite!” I say, already starting to catch on to the ship’s class system. He examines my card again. “But you are not a pendejo ,” he confirms. I am wearing a DADDY’S LITTLE MEATBALL T-shirt, I want to say to him. I am the essence of pendejo .

Eventually, I give up and head to the plebeian buffet on Deck 15, which has an aquatic-styled name I have now forgotten. Before gaining entry to this endless cornucopia of reheated food, one passes a washing station of many sinks and soap dispensers, and perhaps the most intriguing character on the entire ship. He is Mr. Washy Washy—or, according to his name tag, Nielbert of the Philippines—and he is dressed as a taco (on other occasions, I’ll see him dressed as a burger). Mr. Washy Washy performs an eponymous song in spirited, indeed flamboyant English: “Washy, washy, wash your hands, WASHY WASHY!” The dangers of norovirus and COVID on a cruise ship this size (a giant fellow ship was stricken with the former right after my voyage) makes Mr. Washy Washy an essential member of the crew. The problem lies with the food at the end of Washy’s rainbow. The buffet is groaning with what sounds like sophisticated dishes—marinated octopus, boiled egg with anchovy, chorizo, lobster claws—but every animal tastes tragically the same, as if there was only one creature available at the market, a “cruisipus” bred specifically for Royal Caribbean dining. The “vegetables” are no better. I pick up a tomato slice and look right through it. It tastes like cellophane. I sit alone, apart from the couples and parents with gaggles of children, as “We Are Family” echoes across the buffet space.

I may have failed to mention that all this time, the Icon of the Seas has not left port. As the fiery mango of the subtropical setting sun makes Miami’s condo skyline even more apocalyptic, the ship shoves off beneath a perfunctory display of fireworks. After the sun sets, in the far, dark distance, another circus-lit cruise ship ruptures the waves before us. We glance at it with pity, because it is by definition a smaller ship than our own. I am on Deck 15, outside the buffet and overlooking a bunch of pools (the Icon has seven of them), drinking a frilly drink that I got from one of the bars (the Icon has 15 of them), still too shy to speak to anyone, despite Sister Sledge’s assertion that all on the ship are somehow related.

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The ship’s passage away from Ron DeSantis’s Florida provides no frisson, no sense of developing “sea legs,” as the ship is too large to register the presence of waves unless a mighty wind adds significant chop. It is time for me to register the presence of the 5,000 passengers around me, even if they refuse to register mine. My fellow travelers have prepared for this trip with personally decorated T-shirts celebrating the importance of this voyage. The simplest ones say ICON INAUGURAL ’24 on the back and the family name on the front. Others attest to an over-the-top love of cruise ships: WARNING! MAY START TALKING ABOUT CRUISING . Still others are artisanally designed and celebrate lifetimes spent married while cruising (on ships, of course). A couple possibly in their 90s are wearing shirts whose backs feature a drawing of a cruise liner, two flamingos with ostensibly male and female characteristics, and the legend “ HUSBAND AND WIFE Cruising Partners FOR LIFE WE MAY NOT HAVE IT All Together BUT TOGETHER WE HAVE IT ALL .” (The words not in all caps have been written in cursive.) A real journalist or a more intrepid conversationalist would have gone up to the couple and asked them to explain the longevity of their marriage vis-à-vis their love of cruising. But instead I head to my mall suite, take off my meatball T-shirt, and allow the first tears of the cruise to roll down my cheeks slowly enough that I briefly fall asleep amid the moisture and salt.

photo of elaborate twisting multicolored waterslides with long stairwell to platform

I WAKE UP with a hangover. Oh God. Right. I cannot believe all of that happened last night. A name floats into my cobwebbed, nauseated brain: “Ayn Rand.” Jesus Christ.

I breakfast alone at the Coastal Kitchen. The coffee tastes fine and the eggs came out of a bird. The ship rolls slightly this morning; I can feel it in my thighs and my schlong, the parts of me that are most receptive to danger.

I had a dangerous conversation last night. After the sun set and we were at least 50 miles from shore (most modern cruise ships sail at about 23 miles an hour), I lay in bed softly hiccupping, my arms stretched out exactly like Jesus on the cross, the sound of the distant waves missing from my mall-facing suite, replaced by the hum of air-conditioning and children shouting in Spanish through the vents of my two bathrooms. I decided this passivity was unacceptable. As an immigrant, I feel duty-bound to complete the tasks I am paid for, which means reaching out and trying to understand my fellow cruisers. So I put on a normal James Perse T-shirt and headed for one of the bars on the Royal Promenade—the Schooner Bar, it was called, if memory serves correctly.

I sat at the bar for a martini and two Negronis. An old man with thick, hairy forearms drank next to me, very silent and Hemingwaylike, while a dreadlocked piano player tinkled out a series of excellent Elton John covers. To my right, a young white couple—he in floral shorts, she in a light, summery miniskirt with a fearsome diamond ring, neither of them in football regalia—chatted with an elderly couple. Do it , I commanded myself. Open your mouth. Speak! Speak without being spoken to. Initiate. A sentence fragment caught my ear from the young woman, “Cherry Hill.” This is a suburb of Philadelphia in New Jersey, and I had once been there for a reading at a synagogue. “Excuse me,” I said gently to her. “Did you just mention Cherry Hill? It’s a lovely place.”

As it turned out, the couple now lived in Fort Lauderdale (the number of Floridians on the cruise surprised me, given that Southern Florida is itself a kind of cruise ship, albeit one slowly sinking), but soon they were talking with me exclusively—the man potbellied, with a chin like a hard-boiled egg; the woman as svelte as if she were one of the many Ukrainian members of the crew—the elderly couple next to them forgotten. This felt as groundbreaking as the first time I dared to address an American in his native tongue, as a child on a bus in Queens (“On my foot you are standing, Mister”).

“I don’t want to talk politics,” the man said. “But they’re going to eighty-six Biden and put Michelle in.”

I considered the contradictions of his opening conversational gambit, but decided to play along. “People like Michelle,” I said, testing the waters. The husband sneered, but the wife charitably put forward that the former first lady was “more personable” than Joe Biden. “They’re gonna eighty-six Biden,” the husband repeated. “He can’t put a sentence together.”

After I mentioned that I was a writer—though I presented myself as a writer of teleplays instead of novels and articles such as this one—the husband told me his favorite writer was Ayn Rand. “Ayn Rand, she came here with nothing,” the husband said. “I work with a lot of Cubans, so …” I wondered if I should mention what I usually do to ingratiate myself with Republicans or libertarians: the fact that my finances improved after pass-through corporations were taxed differently under Donald Trump. Instead, I ordered another drink and the couple did the same, and I told him that Rand and I were born in the same city, St. Petersburg/Leningrad, and that my family also came here with nothing. Now the bonding and drinking began in earnest, and several more rounds appeared. Until it all fell apart.

Read: Gary Shteyngart on watching Russian television for five days straight

My new friend, whom I will refer to as Ayn, called out to a buddy of his across the bar, and suddenly a young couple, both covered in tattoos, appeared next to us. “He fucking punked me,” Ayn’s frat-boy-like friend called out as he put his arm around Ayn, while his sizable partner sizzled up to Mrs. Rand. Both of them had a look I have never seen on land—their eyes projecting absence and enmity in equal measure. In the ’90s, I drank with Russian soldiers fresh from Chechnya and wandered the streets of wartime Zagreb, but I have never seen such undisguised hostility toward both me and perhaps the universe at large. I was briefly introduced to this psychopathic pair, but neither of them wanted to have anything to do with me, and the tattooed woman would not even reveal her Christian name to me (she pretended to have the same first name as Mrs. Rand). To impress his tattooed friends, Ayn made fun of the fact that as a television writer, I’d worked on the series Succession (which, it would turn out, practically nobody on the ship had watched), instead of the far more palatable, in his eyes, zombie drama of last year. And then my new friends drifted away from me into an angry private conversation—“He punked me!”—as I ordered another drink for myself, scared of the dead-eyed arrivals whose gaze never registered in the dim wattage of the Schooner Bar, whose terrifying voices and hollow laughs grated like unoiled gears against the crooning of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

But today is a new day for me and my hangover. After breakfast, I explore the ship’s so-called neighborhoods . There’s the AquaDome, where one can find a food hall and an acrobatic sound-and-light aquatic show. Central Park has a premium steak house, a sushi joint, and a used Rolex that can be bought for $8,000 on land here proudly offered at $17,000. There’s the aforementioned Royal Promenade, where I had drunk with the Rands, and where a pair of dueling pianos duel well into the night. There’s Surfside, a kids’ neighborhood full of sugary garbage, which looks out onto the frothy trail that the behemoth leaves behind itself. Thrill Island refers to the collection of tubes that clutter the ass of the ship and offer passengers six waterslides and a surfing simulation. There’s the Hideaway, an adult zone that plays music from a vomit-slathered, Brit-filled Alicante nightclub circa 1996 and proves a big favorite with groups of young Latin American customers. And, most hurtfully, there’s the Suite Neighborhood.

2 photos: a ship's foamy white wake stretches to the horizon; a man at reailing with water and two large ships docked behind

I say hurtfully because as a Suite passenger I should be here, though my particular suite is far from the others. Whereas I am stuck amid the riffraff of Deck 11, this section is on the highborn Decks 16 and 17, and in passing, I peek into the spacious, tall-ceilinged staterooms from the hallway, dazzled by the glint of the waves and sun. For $75,000, one multifloor suite even comes with its own slide between floors, so that a family may enjoy this particular terror in private. There is a quiet splendor to the Suite Neighborhood. I see fewer stickers and signs and drawings than in my own neighborhood—for example, MIKE AND DIANA PROUDLY SERVED U.S. MARINE CORPS RETIRED . No one here needs to announce their branch of service or rank; they are simply Suites, and this is where they belong. Once again, despite my hard work and perseverance, I have been disallowed from the true American elite. Once again, I am “Not our class, dear.” I am reminded of watching The Love Boat on my grandmother’s Zenith, which either was given to her or we found in the trash (I get our many malfunctioning Zeniths confused) and whose tube got so hot, I would put little chunks of government cheese on a thin tissue atop it to give our welfare treat a pleasant, Reagan-era gooeyness. I could not understand English well enough then to catch the nuances of that seafaring program, but I knew that there were differences in the status of the passengers, and that sometimes those differences made them sad. Still, this ship, this plenty—every few steps, there are complimentary nachos or milkshakes or gyros on offer—was the fatty fuel of my childhood dreams. If only I had remained a child.

I walk around the outdoor decks looking for company. There is a middle-aged African American couple who always seem to be asleep in each other’s arms, probably exhausted from the late capitalism they regularly encounter on land. There is far more diversity on this ship than I expected. Many couples are a testament to Loving v. Virginia , and there is a large group of folks whose T-shirts read MELANIN AT SEA / IT’S THE MELANIN FOR ME . I smile when I see them, but then some young kids from the group makes Mr. Washy Washy do a cruel, caricatured “Burger Dance” (today he is in his burger getup), and I think, Well, so much for intersectionality .

At the infinity pool on Deck 17, I spot some elderly women who could be ethnic and from my part of the world, and so I jump in. I am proved correct! Many of them seem to be originally from Queens (“Corona was still great when it was all Italian”), though they are now spread across the tristate area. We bond over the way “Ron-kon-koma” sounds when announced in Penn Station.

“Everyone is here for a different reason,” one of them tells me. She and her ex-husband last sailed together four years ago to prove to themselves that their marriage was truly over. Her 15-year-old son lost his virginity to “an Irish young lady” while their ship was moored in Ravenna, Italy. The gaggle of old-timers competes to tell me their favorite cruising stories and tips. “A guy proposed in Central Park a couple of years ago”—many Royal Caribbean ships apparently have this ridiculous communal area—“and she ran away screaming!” “If you’re diamond-class, you get four drinks for free.” “A different kind of passenger sails out of Bayonne.” (This, perhaps, is racially coded.) “Sometimes, if you tip the bartender $5, your next drink will be free.”

“Everyone’s here for a different reason,” the woman whose marriage ended on a cruise tells me again. “Some people are here for bad reasons—the drinkers and the gamblers. Some people are here for medical reasons.” I have seen more than a few oxygen tanks and at least one woman clearly undergoing very serious chemo. Some T-shirts celebrate good news about a cancer diagnosis. This might be someone’s last cruise or week on Earth. For these women, who have spent months, if not years, at sea, cruising is a ritual as well as a life cycle: first love, last love, marriage, divorce, death.

Read: The last place on Earth any tourist should go

I have talked with these women for so long, tonight I promise myself that after a sad solitary dinner I will not try to seek out company at the bars in the mall or the adult-themed Hideaway. I have enough material to fulfill my duties to this publication. As I approach my orphaned suite, I run into the aggro young people who stole Mr. and Mrs. Rand away from me the night before. The tattooed apparitions pass me without a glance. She is singing something violent about “Stuttering Stanley” (a character in a popular horror movie, as I discover with my complimentary VOOM SM Surf & Stream Internet at Sea) and he’s loudly shouting about “all the money I’ve lost,” presumably at the casino in the bowels of the ship.

So these bent psychos out of a Cormac McCarthy novel are angrily inhabiting my deck. As I mewl myself to sleep, I envision a limited series for HBO or some other streamer, a kind of low-rent White Lotus , where several aggressive couples conspire to throw a shy intellectual interloper overboard. I type the scenario into my phone. As I fall asleep, I think of what the woman who recently divorced her husband and whose son became a man through the good offices of the Irish Republic told me while I was hoisting myself out of the infinity pool. “I’m here because I’m an explorer. I’m here because I’m trying something new.” What if I allowed myself to believe in her fantasy?

2 photos: 2 slices of pizza on plate; man in "Daddy's Little Meatball" shirt and shorts standing in outdoor dining area with ship's exhaust stacks in background

“YOU REALLY STARTED AT THE TOP,” they tell me. I’m at the Coastal Kitchen for my eggs and corned-beef hash, and the maître d’ has slotted me in between two couples. Fueled by coffee or perhaps intrigued by my relative youth, they strike up a conversation with me. As always, people are shocked that this is my first cruise. They contrast the Icon favorably with all the preceding liners in the Royal Caribbean fleet, usually commenting on the efficiency of the elevators that hurl us from deck to deck (as in many large corporate buildings, the elevators ask you to choose a floor and then direct you to one of many lifts). The couple to my right, from Palo Alto—he refers to his “porn mustache” and calls his wife “my cougar” because she is two years older—tell me they are “Pandemic Pinnacles.”

This is the day that my eyes will be opened. Pinnacles , it is explained to me over translucent cantaloupe, have sailed with Royal Caribbean for 700 ungodly nights. Pandemic Pinnacles took advantage of the two-for-one accrual rate of Pinnacle points during the pandemic, when sailing on a cruise ship was even more ill-advised, to catapult themselves into Pinnacle status.

Because of the importance of the inaugural voyage of the world’s largest cruise liner, more than 200 Pinnacles are on this ship, a startling number, it seems. Mrs. Palo Alto takes out a golden badge that I have seen affixed over many a breast, which reads CROWN AND ANCHOR SOCIETY along with her name. This is the coveted badge of the Pinnacle. “You should hear all the whining in Guest Services,” her husband tells me. Apparently, the Pinnacles who are not also Suites like us are all trying to use their status to get into Coastal Kitchen, our elite restaurant. Even a Pinnacle needs to be a Suite to access this level of corned-beef hash.

“We’re just baby Pinnacles,” Mrs. Palo Alto tells me, describing a kind of internal class struggle among the Pinnacle elite for ever higher status.

And now I understand what the maître d’ was saying to me on the first day of my cruise. He wasn’t saying “ pendejo .” He was saying “Pinnacle.” The dining room was for Pinnacles only, all those older people rolling in like the tide on their motorized scooters.

And now I understand something else: This whole thing is a cult. And like most cults, it can’t help but mirror the endless American fight for status. Like Keith Raniere’s NXIVM, where different-colored sashes were given out to connote rank among Raniere’s branded acolytes, this is an endless competition among Pinnacles, Suites, Diamond-Plusers, and facing-the-mall, no-balcony purple SeaPass Card peasants, not to mention the many distinctions within each category. The more you cruise, the higher your status. No wonder a section of the Royal Promenade is devoted to getting passengers to book their next cruise during the one they should be enjoying now. No wonder desperate Royal Caribbean offers (“FINAL HOURS”) crowded my email account weeks before I set sail. No wonder the ship’s jewelry store, the Royal Bling, is selling a $100,000 golden chalice that will entitle its owner to drink free on Royal Caribbean cruises for life. (One passenger was already gaming out whether her 28-year-old son was young enough to “just about earn out” on the chalice or if that ship had sailed.) No wonder this ship was sold out months before departure , and we had to pay $19,000 for a horrid suite away from the Suite Neighborhood. No wonder the most mythical hero of Royal Caribbean lore is someone named Super Mario, who has cruised so often, he now has his own working desk on many ships. This whole experience is part cult, part nautical pyramid scheme.

From the June 2014 issue: Ship of wonks

“The toilets are amazing,” the Palo Altos are telling me. “One flush and you’re done.” “They don’t understand how energy-efficient these ships are,” the husband of the other couple is telling me. “They got the LNG”—liquefied natural gas, which is supposed to make the Icon a boon to the environment (a concept widely disputed and sometimes ridiculed by environmentalists).

But I’m thinking along a different line of attack as I spear my last pallid slice of melon. For my streaming limited series, a Pinnacle would have to get killed by either an outright peasant or a Suite without an ocean view. I tell my breakfast companions my idea.

“Oh, for sure a Pinnacle would have to be killed,” Mr. Palo Alto, the Pandemic Pinnacle, says, touching his porn mustache thoughtfully as his wife nods.

“THAT’S RIGHT, IT’S your time, buddy!” Hubert, my fun-loving Panamanian cabin attendant, shouts as I step out of my suite in a robe. “Take it easy, buddy!”

I have come up with a new dressing strategy. Instead of trying to impress with my choice of T-shirts, I have decided to start wearing a robe, as one does at a resort property on land, with a proper spa and hammam. The response among my fellow cruisers has been ecstatic. “Look at you in the robe!” Mr. Rand cries out as we pass each other by the Thrill Island aqua park. “You’re living the cruise life! You know, you really drank me under the table that night.” I laugh as we part ways, but my soul cries out, Please spend more time with me, Mr. and Mrs. Rand; I so need the company .

In my white robe, I am a stately presence, a refugee from a better limited series, a one-man crossover episode. (Only Suites are granted these robes to begin with.) Today, I will try many of the activities these ships have on offer to provide their clientele with a sense of never-ceasing motion. Because I am already at Thrill Island, I decide to climb the staircase to what looks like a mast on an old-fashioned ship (terrified, because I am afraid of heights) to try a ride called “Storm Chasers,” which is part of the “Category 6” water park, named in honor of one of the storms that may someday do away with the Port of Miami entirely. Storm Chasers consists of falling from the “mast” down a long, twisting neon tube filled with water, like being the camera inside your own colonoscopy, as you hold on to the handles of a mat, hoping not to die. The tube then flops you down headfirst into a trough of water, a Royal Caribbean baptism. It both knocks my breath out and makes me sad.

In keeping with the aquatic theme, I attend a show at the AquaDome. To the sound of “Live and Let Die,” a man in a harness gyrates to and fro in the sultry air. I saw something very similar in the back rooms of the famed Berghain club in early-aughts Berlin. Soon another harnessed man is gyrating next to the first. Ja , I think to myself, I know how this ends. Now will come the fisting , natürlich . But the show soon devolves into the usual Marvel-film-grade nonsense, with too much light and sound signifying nichts . If any fisting is happening, it is probably in the Suite Neighborhood, inside a cabin marked with an upside-down pineapple, which I understand means a couple are ready to swing, and I will see none of it.

I go to the ice show, which is a kind of homage—if that’s possible—to the periodic table, done with the style and pomp and masterful precision that would please the likes of Kim Jong Un, if only he could afford Royal Caribbean talent. At one point, the dancers skate to the theme song of Succession . “See that!” I want to say to my fellow Suites—at “cultural” events, we have a special section reserved for us away from the commoners—“ Succession ! It’s even better than the zombie show! Open your minds!”

Finally, I visit a comedy revue in an enormous and too brightly lit version of an “intimate,” per Royal Caribbean literature, “Manhattan comedy club.” Many of the jokes are about the cruising life. “I’ve lived on ships for 20 years,” one of the middle-aged comedians says. “I can only see so many Filipino homosexuals dressed as a taco.” He pauses while the audience laughs. “I am so fired tonight,” he says. He segues into a Trump impression and then Biden falling asleep at the microphone, which gets the most laughs. “Anyone here from Fort Leonard Wood?” another comedian asks. Half the crowd seems to cheer. As I fall asleep that night, I realize another connection I have failed to make, and one that may explain some of the diversity on this vessel—many of its passengers have served in the military.

As a coddled passenger with a suite, I feel like I am starting to understand what it means to have a rank and be constantly reminded of it. There are many espresso makers , I think as I look across the expanse of my officer-grade quarters before closing my eyes, but this one is mine .

photo of sheltered sandy beach with palms, umbrellas, and chairs with two large docked cruise ships in background

A shocking sight greets me beyond the pools of Deck 17 as I saunter over to the Coastal Kitchen for my morning intake of slightly sour Americanos. A tiny city beneath a series of perfectly pressed green mountains. Land! We have docked for a brief respite in Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts and Nevis. I wolf down my egg scramble to be one of the first passengers off the ship. Once past the gangway, I barely refrain from kissing the ground. I rush into the sights and sounds of this scruffy island city, sampling incredible conch curry and buckets of non-Starbucks coffee. How wonderful it is to be where God intended humans to be: on land. After all, I am neither a fish nor a mall rat. This is my natural environment. Basseterre may not be Havana, but there are signs of human ingenuity and desire everywhere you look. The Black Table Grill Has been Relocated to Soho Village, Market Street, Directly Behind of, Gary’s Fruits and Flower Shop. Signed. THE PORK MAN reads a sign stuck to a wall. Now, that is how you write a sign. A real sign, not the come-ons for overpriced Rolexes that blink across the screens of the Royal Promenade.

“Hey, tie your shoestring!” a pair of laughing ladies shout to me across the street.

“Thank you!” I shout back. Shoestring! “Thank you very much.”

A man in Independence Square Park comes by and asks if I want to play with his monkey. I haven’t heard that pickup line since the Penn Station of the 1980s. But then he pulls a real monkey out of a bag. The monkey is wearing a diaper and looks insane. Wonderful , I think, just wonderful! There is so much life here. I email my editor asking if I can remain on St. Kitts and allow the Icon to sail off into the horizon without me. I have even priced a flight home at less than $300, and I have enough material from the first four days on the cruise to write the entire story. “It would be funny …” my editor replies. “Now get on the boat.”

As I slink back to the ship after my brief jailbreak, the locals stand under umbrellas to gaze at and photograph the boat that towers over their small capital city. The limousines of the prime minister and his lackeys are parked beside the gangway. St. Kitts, I’ve been told, is one of the few islands that would allow a ship of this size to dock.

“We hear about all the waterslides,” a sweet young server in one of the cafés told me. “We wish we could go on the ship, but we have to work.”

“I want to stay on your island,” I replied. “I love it here.”

But she didn’t understand how I could possibly mean that.

“WASHY, WASHY, so you don’t get stinky, stinky!” kids are singing outside the AquaDome, while their adult minders look on in disapproval, perhaps worried that Mr. Washy Washy is grooming them into a life of gayness. I heard a southern couple skip the buffet entirely out of fear of Mr. Washy Washy.

Meanwhile, I have found a new watering hole for myself, the Swim & Tonic, the biggest swim-up bar on any cruise ship in the world. Drinking next to full-size, nearly naked Americans takes away one’s own self-consciousness. The men have curvaceous mom bodies. The women are equally un-shy about their sprawling physiques.

Today I’ve befriended a bald man with many children who tells me that all of the little trinkets that Royal Caribbean has left us in our staterooms and suites are worth a fortune on eBay. “Eighty dollars for the water bottle, 60 for the lanyard,” the man says. “This is a cult.”

“Tell me about it,” I say. There is, however, a clientele for whom this cruise makes perfect sense. For a large middle-class family (he works in “supply chains”), seven days in a lower-tier cabin—which starts at $1,800 a person—allow the parents to drop off their children in Surfside, where I imagine many young Filipina crew members will take care of them, while the parents are free to get drunk at a swim-up bar and maybe even get intimate in their cabin. Cruise ships have become, for a certain kind of hardworking family, a form of subsidized child care.

There is another man I would like to befriend at the Swim & Tonic, a tall, bald fellow who is perpetually inebriated and who wears a necklace studded with little rubber duckies in sunglasses, which, I am told, is a sort of secret handshake for cruise aficionados. Tomorrow, I will spend more time with him, but first the ship docks at St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Charlotte Amalie, the capital, is more charming in name than in presence, but I still all but jump off the ship to score a juicy oxtail and plantains at the well-known Petite Pump Room, overlooking the harbor. From one of the highest points in the small city, the Icon of the Seas appears bigger than the surrounding hills.

I usually tan very evenly, but something about the discombobulation of life at sea makes me forget the regular application of sunscreen. As I walk down the streets of Charlotte Amalie in my fluorescent Icon of the Seas cap, an old Rastafarian stares me down. “Redneck,” he hisses.

“No,” I want to tell him, as I bring a hand up to my red neck, “that’s not who I am at all. On my island, Mannahatta, as Whitman would have it, I am an interesting person living within an engaging artistic milieu. I do not wish to use the Caribbean as a dumping ground for the cruise-ship industry. I love the work of Derek Walcott. You don’t understand. I am not a redneck. And if I am, they did this to me.” They meaning Royal Caribbean? Its passengers? The Rands?

“They did this to me!”

Back on the Icon, some older matrons are muttering about a run-in with passengers from the Celebrity cruise ship docked next to us, the Celebrity Apex. Although Celebrity Cruises is also owned by Royal Caribbean, I am made to understand that there is a deep fratricidal beef between passengers of the two lines. “We met a woman from the Apex,” one matron says, “and she says it was a small ship and there was nothing to do. Her face was as tight as a 19-year-old’s, she had so much surgery.” With those words, and beneath a cloudy sky, humidity shrouding our weathered faces and red necks, we set sail once again, hopefully in the direction of home.

photo from inside of spacious geodesic-style glass dome facing ocean, with stairwells and seating areas

THERE ARE BARELY 48 HOURS LEFT to the cruise, and the Icon of the Seas’ passengers are salty. They know how to work the elevators. They know the Washy Washy song by heart. They understand that the chicken gyro at “Feta Mediterranean,” in the AquaDome Market, is the least problematic form of chicken on the ship.

The passengers have shed their INAUGURAL CRUISE T-shirts and are now starting to evince political opinions. There are caps pledging to make America great again and T-shirts that celebrate words sometimes attributed to Patrick Henry: “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” With their preponderance of FAMILY FLAG FAITH FRIENDS FIREARMS T-shirts, the tables by the crepe station sometimes resemble the Capitol Rotunda on January 6. The Real Anthony Fauci , by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., appears to be a popular form of literature, especially among young men with very complicated versions of the American flag on their T-shirts. Other opinions blend the personal and the political. “Someone needs to kill Washy guy, right?” a well-dressed man in the elevator tells me, his gray eyes radiating nothing. “Just beat him to death. Am I right?” I overhear the male member of a young couple whisper, “There goes that freak” as I saunter by in my white spa robe, and I decide to retire it for the rest of the cruise.

I visit the Royal Bling to see up close the $100,000 golden chalice that entitles you to free drinks on Royal Caribbean forever. The pleasant Serbian saleslady explains that the chalice is actually gold-plated and covered in white zirconia instead of diamonds, as it would otherwise cost $1 million. “If you already have everything,” she explains, “this is one more thing you can get.”

I believe that anyone who works for Royal Caribbean should be entitled to immediate American citizenship. They already speak English better than most of the passengers and, per the Serbian lady’s sales pitch above, better understand what America is as well. Crew members like my Panamanian cabin attendant seem to work 24 hours a day. A waiter from New Delhi tells me that his contract is six months and three weeks long. After a cruise ends, he says, “in a few hours, we start again for the next cruise.” At the end of the half a year at sea, he is allowed a two-to-three-month stay at home with his family. As of 2019, the median income for crew members was somewhere in the vicinity of $20,000, according to a major business publication. Royal Caribbean would not share the current median salary for its crew members, but I am certain that it amounts to a fraction of the cost of a Royal Bling gold-plated, zirconia-studded chalice.

And because most of the Icon’s hyper-sanitized spaces are just a frittata away from being a Delta lounge, one forgets that there are actual sailors on this ship, charged with the herculean task of docking it in port. “Having driven 100,000-ton aircraft carriers throughout my career,” retired Admiral James G. Stavridis, the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, writes to me, “I’m not sure I would even know where to begin with trying to control a sea monster like this one nearly three times the size.” (I first met Stavridis while touring Army bases in Germany more than a decade ago.)

Today, I decide to head to the hot tub near Swim & Tonic, where some of the ship’s drunkest reprobates seem to gather (the other tubs are filled with families and couples). The talk here, like everywhere else on the ship, concerns football, a sport about which I know nothing. It is apparent that four teams have recently competed in some kind of finals for the year, and that two of them will now face off in the championship. Often when people on the Icon speak, I will try to repeat the last thing they said with a laugh or a nod of disbelief. “Yes, 20-yard line! Ha!” “Oh my God, of course, scrimmage.”

Soon we are joined in the hot tub by the late-middle-age drunk guy with the duck necklace. He is wearing a bucket hat with the legend HAWKEYES , which, I soon gather, is yet another football team. “All right, who turned me in?” Duck Necklace says as he plops into the tub beside us. “I get a call in the morning,” he says. “It’s security. Can you come down to the dining room by 10 a.m.? You need to stay away from the members of this religious family.” Apparently, the gregarious Duck Necklace had photobombed the wrong people. There are several families who present as evangelical Christians or practicing Muslims on the ship. One man, evidently, was not happy that Duck Necklace had made contact with his relatives. “It’s because of religious stuff; he was offended. I put my arm around 20 people a day.”

Everyone laughs. “They asked me three times if I needed medication,” he says of the security people who apparently interrogated him in full view of others having breakfast.

Another hot-tub denizen suggests that he should have asked for fentanyl. After a few more drinks, Duck Necklace begins to muse about what it would be like to fall off the ship. “I’m 62 and I’m ready to go,” he says. “I just don’t want a shark to eat me. I’m a huge God guy. I’m a Bible guy. There’s some Mayan theory squaring science stuff with religion. There is so much more to life on Earth.” We all nod into our Red Stripes.

“I never get off the ship when we dock,” he says. He tells us he lost $6,000 in the casino the other day. Later, I look him up, and it appears that on land, he’s a financial adviser in a crisp gray suit, probably a pillar of his North Chicago community.

photo of author smiling and holding soft-serve ice-cream cone with outdoor seating area in background

THE OCEAN IS TEEMING with fascinating life, but on the surface it has little to teach us. The waves come and go. The horizon remains ever far away.

I am constantly told by my fellow passengers that “everybody here has a story.” Yes, I want to reply, but everybody everywhere has a story. You, the reader of this essay, have a story, and yet you’re not inclined to jump on a cruise ship and, like Duck Necklace, tell your story to others at great pitch and volume. Maybe what they’re saying is that everybody on this ship wants to have a bigger, more coherent, more interesting story than the one they’ve been given. Maybe that’s why there’s so much signage on the doors around me attesting to marriages spent on the sea. Maybe that’s why the Royal Caribbean newsletter slipped under my door tells me that “this isn’t a vacation day spent—it’s bragging rights earned.” Maybe that’s why I’m so lonely.

Today is a big day for Icon passengers. Today the ship docks at Royal Caribbean’s own Bahamian island, the Perfect Day at CocoCay. (This appears to be the actual name of the island.) A comedian at the nightclub opined on what his perfect day at CocoCay would look like—receiving oral sex while learning that his ex-wife had been killed in a car crash (big laughter). But the reality of the island is far less humorous than that.

One of the ethnic tristate ladies in the infinity pool told me that she loved CocoCay because it had exactly the same things that could be found on the ship itself. This proves to be correct. It is like the Icon, but with sand. The same tired burgers, the same colorful tubes conveying children and water from Point A to B. The same swim-up bar at its Hideaway ($140 for admittance, no children allowed; Royal Caribbean must be printing money off its clientele). “There was almost a fight at The Wizard of Oz ,” I overhear an elderly woman tell her companion on a chaise lounge. Apparently one of the passengers began recording Royal Caribbean’s intellectual property and “three guys came after him.”

I walk down a pathway to the center of the island, where a sign reads DO NOT ENTER: YOU HAVE REACHED THE BOUNDARY OF ADVENTURE . I hear an animal scampering in the bushes. A Royal Caribbean worker in an enormous golf cart soon chases me down and takes me back to the Hideaway, where I run into Mrs. Rand in a bikini. She becomes livid telling me about an altercation she had the other day with a woman over a towel and a deck chair. We Suites have special towel privileges; we do not have to hand over our SeaPass Card to score a towel. But the Rands are not Suites. “People are so entitled here,” Mrs. Rand says. “It’s like the airport with all its classes.” “You see,” I want to say, “this is where your husband’s love of Ayn Rand runs into the cruelties and arbitrary indignities of unbridled capitalism.” Instead we make plans to meet for a final drink in the Schooner Bar tonight (the Rands will stand me up).

Back on the ship, I try to do laps, but the pool (the largest on any cruise ship, naturally) is fully trashed with the detritus of American life: candy wrappers, a slowly dissolving tortilla chip, napkins. I take an extra-long shower in my suite, then walk around the perimeter of the ship on a kind of exercise track, past all the alluring lifeboats in their yellow-and-white livery. Maybe there is a dystopian angle to the HBO series that I will surely end up pitching, one with shades of WALL-E or Snowpiercer . In a collapsed world, a Royal Caribbean–like cruise liner sails from port to port, collecting new shipmates and supplies in exchange for the precious energy it has on board. (The actual Icon features a new technology that converts passengers’ poop into enough energy to power the waterslides . In the series, this shitty technology would be greatly expanded.) A very young woman (18? 19?), smart and lonely, who has only known life on the ship, walks along the same track as I do now, contemplating jumping off into the surf left by its wake. I picture reusing Duck Necklace’s words in the opening shot of the pilot. The girl is walking around the track, her eyes on the horizon; maybe she’s highborn—a Suite—and we hear the voice-over: “I’m 19 and I’m ready to go. I just don’t want a shark to eat me.”

Before the cruise is finished, I talk to Mr. Washy Washy, or Nielbert of the Philippines. He is a sweet, gentle man, and I thank him for the earworm of a song he has given me and for keeping us safe from the dreaded norovirus. “This is very important to me, getting people to wash their hands,” he tells me in his burger getup. He has dreams, as an artist and a performer, but they are limited in scope. One day he wants to dress up as a piece of bacon for the morning shift.

THE MAIDEN VOYAGE OF THE TITANIC (the Icon of the Seas is five times as large as that doomed vessel) at least offered its passengers an exciting ending to their cruise, but when I wake up on the eighth day, all I see are the gray ghosts that populate Miami’s condo skyline. Throughout my voyage, my writer friends wrote in to commiserate with me. Sloane Crosley, who once covered a three-day spa mini-cruise for Vogue , tells me she felt “so very alone … I found it very untethering.” Gideon Lewis-Kraus writes in an Instagram comment: “When Gary is done I think it’s time this genre was taken out back and shot.” And he is right. To badly paraphrase Adorno: After this, no more cruise stories. It is unfair to put a thinking person on a cruise ship. Writers typically have difficult childhoods, and it is cruel to remind them of the inherent loneliness that drove them to writing in the first place. It is also unseemly to write about the kind of people who go on cruises. Our country does not provide the education and upbringing that allow its citizens an interior life. For the creative class to point fingers at the large, breasty gentlemen adrift in tortilla-chip-laden pools of water is to gather a sour harvest of low-hanging fruit.

A day or two before I got off the ship, I decided to make use of my balcony, which I had avoided because I thought the view would only depress me further. What I found shocked me. My suite did not look out on Central Park after all. This entire time, I had been living in the ship’s Disneyland, Surfside, the neighborhood full of screaming toddlers consuming milkshakes and candy. And as I leaned out over my balcony, I beheld a slight vista of the sea and surf that I thought I had been missing. It had been there all along. The sea was frothy and infinite and blue-green beneath the span of a seagull’s wing. And though it had been trod hard by the world’s largest cruise ship, it remained.

This article appears in the May 2024 print edition with the headline “A Meatball at Sea.” When you buy a book using a link on this page, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting The Atlantic.

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

  • Travel Destinations

What Is The Newest Cruise Ship With A 3-Day Trip To The Bahamas

Published: November 14, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Suzanne Griffen

what-is-the-newest-cruise-ship-with-a-3-day-trip-to-the-bahamas

Introduction

Welcome aboard the newest cruise ship with a 3-day trip to the Bahamas! Get ready to set sail on an unforgettable adventure through the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. This state-of-the-art vessel offers a luxurious and immersive experience, combining the excitement of cruising with the beauty of the Caribbean islands.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first cruise, this newest ship is designed to cater to all your needs and desires. From thrilling activities and world-class entertainment to gourmet dining and relaxation in paradise, this cruise ship has it all.

Embark on a journey filled with breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and endless opportunities for fun and relaxation. Discover the unique charm of the Bahamas as you explore stunning beaches, dive into colorful coral reefs, and indulge in the rich flavors of the Caribbean cuisine.

With its modern amenities and impeccable service, this newest cruise ship promises to make your trip an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and get ready for a cruise vacation like no other.

Overview of the newest cruise ship

The newest cruise ship is a true marvel of engineering and design. With its sleek and elegant exterior, it stands out as a symbol of luxury and sophistication. The ship is equipped with the latest technology and offers a range of amenities to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of all passengers.

One of the main highlights of the newest cruise ship is its spacious and well-appointed cabins. From cozy interior staterooms to luxurious suites with private balconies, there are accommodation options to suit every taste and budget. Each cabin is thoughtfully designed with modern furnishings, plush bedding, and ample storage space.

Onboard, you’ll find a variety of dining options to satisfy every palate. From elegant fine dining restaurants serving gourmet cuisine to casual eateries offering a wide range of international dishes, there’s something for everyone. Indulge in delectable meals prepared by world-class chefs and savor the flavors of the Caribbean.

The newest cruise ship also boasts an impressive array of activities and entertainment options. Take a dip in the sparkling swimming pools, ride the thrilling waterslides, or challenge yourself on the sports courts. For those seeking relaxation, unwind in the spa and enjoy rejuvenating treatments or find serenity in the tranquil adult-only areas.

When it comes to entertainment, the ship offers a diverse lineup of shows, concerts, and live performances. From Broadway-style productions to comedy clubs and live music venues, there’s no shortage of entertainment onboard. You can dance the night away at the vibrant nightclubs or try your luck at the casino.

For families, the newest cruise ship has a dedicated kids’ club where youngsters can engage in supervised activities and make new friends. Teens also have their own dedicated space with exciting activities and games to keep them entertained throughout the journey.

With its state-of-the-art facilities, attentive staff, and an unwavering commitment to guest satisfaction, the newest cruise ship promises to deliver an exceptional vacation experience. So, get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime and create lasting memories in paradise.

Itinerary details

The itinerary of the newest cruise ship with a 3-day trip to the Bahamas is carefully curated to provide passengers with a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration. Here’s a breakdown of the itinerary:

Day 1: Departure – The adventure begins as you board the ship at the designated port. Get settled into your cozy cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship’s amenities. Enjoy a welcome cocktail as the ship sets sail towards the beautiful Bahamas.

Day 2: Nassau – Wake up to the breathtaking views of Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas. Explore the vibrant and colorful streets, visit historical sites like the Queen’s Staircase and Fort Fincastle, or simply relax on the picture-perfect beaches. Don’t forget to indulge in delicious local cuisine and shop for unique souvenirs.

Day 3: Private island – The ship docks at a stunning private island, offering an exclusive and serene escape. Bask in the sun, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or take part in exciting water sports activities like snorkeling and kayaking. Enjoy a delicious beachside barbecue and sip on refreshing tropical drinks as you soak up the tropical vibes.

Day 4: Return – Relish your final morning on board the ship, enjoying a leisurely breakfast and taking advantage of the ship’s amenities. As the ship makes its way back to the port of departure, take time to reflect on the incredible experiences and memories made during your journey.

This itinerary is subject to change based on weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances, but rest assured that every effort will be made to ensure a seamless and enjoyable journey.

Whether you prefer to relax by the pool, explore new destinations, or engage in thrilling activities, the itinerary of the newest cruise ship offers something for everyone. Prepare to embark on a memorable voyage of discovery and relaxation in the stunning backdrop of the Bahamas.

Activities and amenities on board

The newest cruise ship offers an array of activities and amenities to keep passengers entertained and pampered throughout their journey. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Swimming pools and water slides – Take a refreshing dip in the sparkling pools or zoom down thrilling water slides. Whether you want to relax under the sun or make a splash, the ship’s water amenities cater to all ages and preferences.

2. Fitness center and sports courts – Stay active and energized with a well-equipped fitness center featuring state-of-the-art workout equipment. Engage in a game of basketball or tennis on the sports courts and challenge your friends and family.

3. Spa and wellness facilities – Indulge in ultimate relaxation at the ship’s spa and wellness facilities. Unwind with a soothing massage, rejuvenating facial, or pampering body treatment. Take advantage of the sauna and steam rooms for a truly blissful experience.

4. Kids’ and teens’ clubs – The newest cruise ship ensures that younger passengers have a blast on board. The kids’ club offers supervised activities, games, and entertainment for children of all ages. Teens have their own dedicated space with activities tailored to their interests and age group.

5. Casino – Try your luck at the casino and experience the thrill of gaming. From slot machines to poker tables, the ship’s casino offers a variety of options for those who enjoy a little excitement and entertainment.

6. Live entertainment – Prepare to be wowed by the ship’s live entertainment options. Enjoy Broadway-style shows, comedy acts, live music performances, and more. From family-friendly shows to late-night adult entertainment, there’s something for everyone.

7. Shopping and boutiques – Explore the ship’s onboard shops and boutiques, offering a range of merchandise from luxury brands to souvenirs. Take advantage of duty-free shopping and find the perfect memento to remember your cruise experience.

8. Culinary delights – Dining options abound on the newest cruise ship. Indulge in a variety of cuisines from around the world at the ship’s specialty restaurants, buffets, and cafes. Savor gourmet dishes prepared by world-class chefs and enjoy the finest ingredients and flavors.

These are just a few of the many activities and amenities available on the newest cruise ship. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or entertainment, you’ll find everything you need to make your cruise experience truly unforgettable.

Dining options

The newest cruise ship offers a wide range of dining options to satisfy every palate and culinary preference. From elegant fine dining restaurants to casual eateries, there’s something to please everyone’s taste buds. Here are some of the dining options available on board:

1. Fine dining restaurants – Indulge in gourmet cuisine at the ship’s upscale restaurants. Experience exceptional service and exquisite dishes crafted by world-class chefs. From succulent steaks to fresh seafood and international specialties, these restaurants offer a sophisticated dining experience.

2. Buffets – For a more relaxed and informal dining experience, head to the ship’s buffet restaurants. Enjoy a wide selection of dishes from around the world, including fresh salads, hearty mains, and delectable desserts. The buffet allows you to customize your meal and sample a variety of flavors.

3. Specialty restaurants – The ship boasts a variety of specialty restaurants offering unique culinary experiences. From Italian trattorias to Asian fusion, these restaurants allow you to indulge in a specific cuisine with carefully curated menus and authentic flavors.

4. Casual eateries – Grab a quick bite or enjoy a casual meal at the ship’s casual eateries. From gourmet burgers and pizza to deli sandwiches and street food, these venues offer convenient options for those looking for a more relaxed dining experience.

5. Room service – If you prefer to dine in the privacy of your cabin, room service is available 24/7. Enjoy a delicious meal or snack delivered right to your door, allowing you to dine at your own pace and convenience.

6. Specialty coffee shops – Quench your caffeine cravings or treat yourself to a specialty coffee at the ship’s coffee shops. Enjoy freshly brewed coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, and a selection of decadent pastries and desserts.

Whether you desire an elegant dining experience or a casual meal on the go, the newest cruise ship has dining options to suit every preference. With a variety of cuisines, flavors, and atmospheres to choose from, you’ll embark on a culinary journey that satisfies even the most discerning appetites.

Entertainment and nightlife options

The newest cruise ship offers an exciting and diverse range of entertainment and nightlife options to keep passengers entertained well into the night. From Broadway-style shows to vibrant nightclubs, there’s never a dull moment on board. Here are some of the entertainment and nightlife options available:

1. Broadway-style shows – Prepare to be dazzled by the ship’s Broadway-style productions. Enjoy high-energy performances featuring talented singers, dancers, and actors. From musical hits to captivating dramas, these shows will transport you to a world of awe and wonder.

2. Comedy clubs – Get ready to laugh out loud at the ship’s comedy clubs. Sit back and enjoy stand-up performances by talented comedians who will have you in stitches with their hilarious routines. It’s the perfect way to unwind and have a night full of laughter.

3. Live music venues – Immerse yourself in the vibrant sounds of live music. From solo acoustic sets to full bands, the ship offers a variety of musical genres to suit every taste. Dance the night away to the rhythms of jazz, rock, pop, or Caribbean beats.

4. Nightclubs – Experience the vibrant nightlife on board at the ship’s nightclubs. Dance to the latest hits spun by talented DJs, mingle with fellow passengers, and enjoy a lively and energetic atmosphere. The nightclubs provide a perfect setting for those who want to let loose and have a great time.

5. Casino – Test your luck at the ship’s casino and try your hand at a variety of games. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or a beginner, the casino offers an exciting and thrilling experience. Play slot machines, try your hand at poker, or challenge the roulette wheel.

6. Outdoor movies and poolside parties – Enjoy movie nights under the stars as the ship screens the latest films on outdoor screens. Grab some popcorn and cozy up in a lounge chair for a memorable movie experience. Additionally, the ship hosts poolside parties with live music and entertainment, allowing you to dance and socialize while enjoying the tropical breeze.

These are just a few of the entertainment and nightlife options available on the newest cruise ship. Whether you prefer a lively night of dancing, a relaxed evening of live music, or some laughter-filled comedy, the ship has something for everyone to enjoy and create unforgettable memories.

Accommodation options

The newest cruise ship offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. From cozy cabins to luxurious suites, there’s a perfect space for everyone on board. Here are some of the accommodation options available:

1. Interior Staterooms – These comfortable and well-appointed cabins are perfect for those seeking a cozy and affordable option. Although they don’t have windows, they provide all the essential amenities for a comfortable stay, including a comfortable bed, private bathroom, and ample storage space.

2. Ocean View Staterooms – Offering stunning ocean views, these staterooms are perfect for those who want to wake up to breathtaking vistas. Enjoy the natural light streaming through the large windows as you relax in your cozy cabin. These staterooms also provide the same amenities as the interior staterooms.

3. Balcony Staterooms – Experience the ultimate in relaxation and privacy with a balcony stateroom. Step out onto your private balcony and take in the fresh ocean breeze or enjoy your morning coffee with panoramic views of the sea. These staterooms provide additional outdoor space to unwind and soak up the beauty of the surroundings.

4. Suites – For those who seek the utmost luxury and space, the ship’s suites offer a lavish and indulgent experience. These spacious accommodations feature separate living areas, stunning views, and upgraded amenities. Guests staying in suites also enjoy additional perks, such as priority boarding, dedicated concierge service, and access to exclusive areas on the ship.

No matter which accommodation option you choose, you can expect comfortable furnishings, modern amenities, and impeccable service. Each cabin is thoughtfully designed to provide a relaxing and inviting retreat after a day of exploration and entertainment.

Additionally, all cabins on the newest cruise ship are equipped with modern conveniences such as flat-screen TVs, minibars, and Wi-Fi access, allowing guests to stay connected and entertained throughout their journey.

Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, the newest cruise ship has accommodation options to suit your needs and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Ports of call in the Bahamas

The newest cruise ship with a 3-day trip to the Bahamas visits several stunning ports of call that offer a glimpse into the beauty and culture of this tropical paradise. Here are some of the ports of call you can expect to visit:

1. Nassau – The capital city of the Bahamas, Nassau is a vibrant destination filled with rich history and breathtaking scenery. Explore the colorful streets of downtown, visit historic landmarks like the Queen’s Staircase and Fort Fincastle, or simply relax and soak up the sun on the world-famous Junkanoo Beach. Don’t forget to explore the vibrant Straw Market for souvenirs and local crafts.

2. Freeport – Located on the island of Grand Bahama, Freeport is known for its stunning beaches and outdoor recreational activities. Spend the day enjoying water sports, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, or venturing into Lucayan National Park to explore its fascinating underground caves and blue holes. For shopping enthusiasts, the Port Lucaya Marketplace offers a vibrant mix of local artisans and international brands.

3. Great Stirrup Cay – This privately owned island is a tropical paradise offering pristine beaches and turquoise waters. The ship’s passengers have exclusive access to this picturesque island, where they can relax on the sandy shores, swim in the crystal-clear waters, or enjoy a variety of water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Indulge in a delicious beachside barbecue and sip on tropical cocktails as you take in the beauty of this private island.

Each port of call in the Bahamas offers its unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re seeking beach relaxation, cultural exploration, or thrilling adventures, the ports of call provide a diverse range of experiences that showcase the natural beauty and vibrant culture of the Bahamas.

It’s important to note that the itinerary may vary depending on the cruise line and specific sailing dates. However, no matter which ports of call you visit, you’re sure to be captivated by the beauty and warmth of the Bahamas.

Excursions and activities in the Bahamas

The Bahamas offers a wealth of exciting excursions and activities that allow passengers of the newest cruise ship to truly immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of this tropical paradise. Here are some of the top excursions and activities you can enjoy during your visit:

1. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving – Explore the vibrant underwater world that surrounds the Bahamas. Swim among colorful coral reefs, encounter exotic marine life, and discover hidden treasures beneath the waves. There are numerous snorkeling and scuba diving excursions available for all skill levels.

2. Island Tours – Embark on guided tours that take you through the history, culture, and natural wonders of the Bahamas. Visit charming towns, learn about the local way of life, and explore landmarks such as ancient forts and captivating museums. Discover the rich heritage and diversity of each island.

3. Dolphin Encounters – Experience the thrill of interacting with these intelligent and playful creatures. Enjoy the opportunity to swim with dolphins, learn about their behaviors, and even give them a friendly hug or a kiss. It’s an unforgettable experience for animal lovers of all ages.

4. Watersports – From kayaking and paddleboarding to jet skiing and parasailing, the Bahamas offers an array of watersports activities for adrenaline junkies. Get your heart pumping as you explore the crystal-clear waters and enjoy the thrill of various water-based adventures.

5. Beach Relaxation – The Bahamas is known for its stunning beaches with powdery white sand and sparkling turquoise waters. Spend a day basking in the sun, lounging on a beach chair, or taking a leisurely stroll along the shore. Enjoy the tranquility and serenity of these idyllic beaches.

6. Fishing Excursions – For those who enjoy sport fishing, the Bahamas offers excellent opportunities to catch a variety of fish species, including marlin, tuna, and bonefish. Join a fishing excursion and test your skills as you try to reel in the big one.

7. Culinary Experiences – The Bahamas is renowned for its delicious cuisine. Participate in cooking classes or food tours to learn about traditional Bahamian dishes and flavors. Sample fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and other local specialties that will tantalize your taste buds.

These are just a few examples of the many excursions and activities available in the Bahamas. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, the options are endless. Each excursion provides a unique opportunity to create unforgettable memories and deepen your connection with the beauty and allure of the Bahamas.

The newest cruise ship with a 3-day trip to the Bahamas promises an extraordinary vacation experience filled with adventure, relaxation, and the exploration of stunning islands. With its luxurious amenities, diverse dining options, exciting entertainment, and the opportunity to visit enchanting ports of call, this cruise is a dream come true for travelers seeking an unforgettable getaway.

From the moment you step on board, you’ll be immersed in a world of comfort and elegance. The spacious and well-appointed cabins offer a tranquil retreat, while the ship’s wide range of activities and amenities cater to every interest and age group. Whether you’re relaxing by the pool, enjoying a world-class show, or indulging in gourmet cuisine, there’s never a dull moment on board.

The itinerary takes you to iconic destinations in the Bahamas, such as Nassau, Freeport, and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay. Each port of call offers unique experiences, from exploring historical landmarks to savoring the beauty of pristine beaches and engaging in thrilling water sports.

With a variety of excursions and activities available, you can customize your experience to create unforgettable memories. Whether you choose to snorkel among vibrant coral reefs, swim with dolphins, or simply unwind on a beautiful beach, the Bahamas offers something for every traveler.

As your cruise comes to an end, you’ll leave with cherished memories, new friendships, and a newfound appreciation for the beauty of the Caribbean. The newest cruise ship with a 3-day trip to the Bahamas combines luxury, adventure, and relaxation into an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after the journey ends.

So, grab your sunscreen, pack your bags, and get ready to set sail on an extraordinary journey through the crystal-clear waters of the Bahamas. The newest cruise ship is waiting to take you on a remarkable adventure filled with breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and endless opportunities for fun and relaxation. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create lifelong memories in the Caribbean paradise.

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who is bahamas cruise ship

Nassau, Bahamas

Port schedule.

Nassau, Bahamas cruise ship port calendar shows all scheduled arrival and departure dates in a timetable format. The cruise calendar displays the ship’s estimated time of arrival including related information such as how crowded is the port, as well as the ship’s next port-of-call.

The following timetable provides valuable information and keeps track of the future cruise ship arrivals from all major cruise lines. In order to find out more about the cruise ship itineraries such as ports, dates, and arrival/departure times just follow the ship’s link.

who is bahamas cruise ship

Nassau Cruise Port Guide Info

Located on the island of New Providence, Nassau is the capital and economic, administrative, and cultural center of The Bahamas.

  • Independence Of The Seas 4.356 passengers 09 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • Norwegian Pearl 2.873 passengers 09 Apr 2024 - 09:00
  • Disney Wish 3.466 passengers 09 Apr 2024 - 09:30
  • Carnival Liberty 3.574 passengers 09 Apr 2024 - 10:00
  • MSC Seashore 5.877 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 07:00
  • Freedom Of The Seas 4.541 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • Allure Of The Seas 6.314 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • Carnival Sunshine 3.765 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • Disney Dream 3.500 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 08:30
  • MSC Meraviglia 5.386 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 13:00
  • Carnival Dream 4.533 passengers 11 Apr 2024 - 07:00
  • Liberty Of The Seas 4.356 passengers 11 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • Anthem of the Seas 4.825 passengers 11 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • MSC Magnifica 3.017 passengers 11 Apr 2024 - 09:00
  • Norwegian Pearl 2.873 passengers 12 Apr 2024 - 00:00
  • Carnival Legend 2.549 passengers 12 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • MSC Seashore 5.877 passengers 12 Apr 2024 - 12:00
  • Liberty Of The Seas 4.356 passengers 13 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • Carnival Elation 2.554 passengers 13 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • Allure Of The Seas 6.314 passengers 13 Apr 2024 - 08:00
  • Carnival Venezia 5.145 passengers 08 Apr 2024 - 16:00
  • Carnival Elation 2.554 passengers 08 Apr 2024 - 17:00
  • Vision Of The Seas 2.443 passengers 08 Apr 2024 - 19:00
  • Norwegian Pearl 2.873 passengers 09 Apr 2024 - 17:00
  • Independence Of The Seas 4.356 passengers 09 Apr 2024 - 17:00
  • Disney Wish 3.466 passengers 09 Apr 2024 - 17:15
  • Carnival Liberty 3.574 passengers 09 Apr 2024 - 18:00
  • MSC Seashore 5.877 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 15:00
  • Disney Dream 3.500 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 16:45
  • Carnival Sunshine 3.765 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 17:00
  • Allure Of The Seas 6.314 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 17:00
  • Freedom Of The Seas 4.541 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 17:00
  • MSC Meraviglia 5.386 passengers 10 Apr 2024 - 21:00
  • Carnival Dream 4.533 passengers 11 Apr 2024 - 16:00
  • Liberty Of The Seas 4.356 passengers 11 Apr 2024 - 17:00
  • Anthem of the Seas 4.825 passengers 11 Apr 2024 - 17:00
  • MSC Magnifica 3.017 passengers 11 Apr 2024 - 18:00
  • Carnival Legend 2.549 passengers 12 Apr 2024 - 16:00
  • MSC Seashore 5.877 passengers 12 Apr 2024 - 19:00

NBC New York

Coast Guard searching for man who went overboard from Royal Caribbean cruise off the Bahamas

Officials said the man went overboard from the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship 57 miles off Great Inagua.

By NBC6 • Published April 4, 2024 • Updated on April 4, 2024 at 5:26 pm

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a 20-year-old man who went overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise Thursday morning off the Bahamas.

"The ship's crew immediately launched a search and rescue effort alongside the U.S. Coast Guard, who has taken over the search," a Royal Caribbean spokesperson said in a statement. "Our Care Team is providing support and assistance to the guest's family during this difficult time. For the privacy of the guest and their family, we have no additional details to share."

#Breaking @USCG crews are searching for a 20-year-old man who went overboard from the Liberty of the Seas cruise ship 57 miles from Great Inagua this morning. USCG Cutter Seneca and Air Station Miami HC-144 crews are conducting the search. #USCG #SAR pic.twitter.com/zZPpKOdyCn — USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) April 4, 2024
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who is bahamas cruise ship

Eight passengers stranded on African island after Norwegian cruise ship left without them

A dream cruise vacation has turned into a nightmare for eight passengers left stranded on the African island of São Tomé and Príncipe after their ship left without them because they were late to return from a private tour.

The tourists — six from the U.S. and two from Australia — were aboard the Norwegian Dawn, a Norwegian cruise line ship , which departed from Cape Town, South Africa, on March 20 for a 21-day voyage up the coast of Africa set to end in Barcelona, Spain, on April 10.

But on Wednesday, the group of eight tourists was late to return to the ship by more than an hour for the all-aboard time of 3 p.m. from a private excursion on the island, which was not organized by the cruise line.

Jay and Jill Campbell of South Carolina were part of the group that was left behind.

They said that their tour’s operator notified the cruise captain that they were going to be late to rejoin the ship and that the local Coast Guard tried to get them on the vessel but that they weren’t allowed to board.

As a result, the couple and the rest of the group have been stranded for days on the island off Nigeria, grappling with language, currency issues and complicated travel to catch up with the ship.

“The lovely people of São Tomé were very gracious, very hospitable. They had reached out as much as they could to help us find hotels,” Jay Campbell said on NBC's "TODAY" show Tuesday morning.

“We were able to get to a tour agency there to arrange flights to the next port of call. ... Very difficult process — you’re dealing with multiple languages, language barriers, you’re dealing with different currencies ... finding someone that even has dollars ... trying to get an agent to understand where we need to get to.

"It’s one of those ‘You can’t get there from here,’" he added.

A Norwegian spokesperson called the incident a “very unfortunate situation” and said, “Guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time.”

The cruise line said that after the guests failed to return, their passports were delivered to local port agents, in line with protocol. The company said it was working with local authorities to understand “the requirements and visas needed for the guests to reboard the ship at the next available port of call.”

On Monday, the guests had made arrangements to rejoin the ship in Banjul, Gambia, but the ship was unable to safely dock there because of “adverse weather conditions” and “tidal restrictions,” Norwegian said. The guests were then contacted and provided with information to rejoin the ship at Dakar, Senegal, on Tuesday. 

Jill Campbell said they traveled through seven countries in 48 hours to arrive in Senegal on Monday night.

But the couple was reconsidering whether they even wanted to return to the cruise.

"We are considering whether or not we are going to board the ship. It is in dock here in Senegal," she said. "We believe there was a basic duty of care that they had forgotten about, so it does concern us."

"After what we witnessed, we truly believe that although there’s a set of rules or policies that the ship may have followed, they followed those rules too rigidly. I believe that they really forgot that they are people working in the hospitality industry and really the safety and well-being of the customers should be their first priority," she added.

Ultimately, the eight passengers did rejoin the cruise before 8:30 a.m. ET Tuesday in Dakar, Senegal, Norwegian told NBC News in an e-mail Tuesday evening, after this story originally published.

Norwegian said the passengers were responsible for making their own travel arrangements to rejoin the ship.

"Despite the series of unfortunate events outside of our control, we will be reimbursing these eight guests for their travel costs from Banjur, Gambia to Dakar, Senegal," a cruise line spokesperson said in a statement. "We remain in communication with the guests and are providing additional information as it becomes available."

A silver lining of the catastrophe was that the Campbells were able to connect with another Norwegian Dawn passenger — Julia Lenkoff, 80 — who was also left on the island, but for a medical reason.

Lenkoff was on a different day tour Wednesday. She had "medically disembarked" from the cruise to seek local treatment on that day, Norwegian said.

Norwegian said that its care team tried to call Lenkoff several times and was unable to reach her and that it worked with its port agent in São Tomé and Príncipe for updates on her health.

The Campbells met Lenkoff and were able to put her in contact with her family in California, who flew her home — a move Lenkoff's daughter said "saved her life."

"She's a world traveler. She travels all the time. So this was going to be one of her bucket list trips, because she's been to 120 countries so far, and she wanted to get to 130," her daughter, Lana Lenkoff Geis, said in an interview that aired Tuesday on "TODAY."

Norwegian said Lenkoff was escorted on a flight to Lisbon, Portugal, then put in the care of airport staff members to continue her journey back to the U.S., where she has safely returned.

Breaking News Reporter

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