Here’s How You Could Sail for Free on Margaritaville at Sea


Jimmy Buffett is known for songs like “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” But he’s got a new cruise line, and it’s offering a free cruise to the Bahamas for all active and veteran military members, law enforcement, first responders and teachers.

The “Heroes Sail Free” offer involves a three-day, two-night cruise to Grand Bahama Island. Buffett’s new Margaritaville at Sea cruise line sails twice a week out of the Port of Palm Beach, which is just north of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, so you’ll have to make your way there to catch the boat.

The offer is good through Dec. 29, 2023, although free ocean-view upgrades are also available through Oct. 4, 2022. People who qualify can take one free cruise per year.

You can find the promotion on the cruise line’s website. “You will see the Heroes Sail Free fare discount applied during checkout after entering in all guests’ information and clicking ‘View pricing by guests,’ ” the website states.

To claim your free cruise, you must be a verified member through the GovX ID platform.

Are There Two of You?

Additional guests who are traveling on the same reservation as the veteran, military service member, law enforcement officer or teacher will have to pay the going rate. However, two qualified people can go together for free.

The offer covers up to two qualified people per stateroom. To book two free cruises in the same stateroom, you have to call the reservation center.

This is important: Since it announced the offer last week, the cruise line has been getting a lot of calls for reservations, so it’s asking for patience as it works through all the booking inquiries.

Port taxes and fees aren’t included.

Let’s get real: If you’re active-duty military, a veteran, a law enforcement officer, a first responder or a teacher, you deserve a break.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who Qualifies for Free Cruises?

The cruise line’s website says, “Active and veteran military, first responders, law enforcement officers and educators sail free.” So that’s a pretty broad brush.

Is There a Deadline to Apply?

You’ve got time. The offer is good through Dec. 29, 2023, although free ocean-view upgrades are also available through Oct. 4, 2022. 

What Is This Cruise Line? Is It Legit?

Margaritaville at Sea, owned by Jimmy Buffett, launched its first cruise ship, The Paradise, in May in a partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and the former Bahamas Cruise Paradise Line. It appears to be a professional operation. 

What Is Jimmy Buffett’s Best Song?

It’s either “Come Monday” or “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.” Your mileage may vary. 

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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