Cruises

Norwegian cruise ship to feature Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant

Jimmy Buffett surprises a group of Norwegian Cruise employees as he plays for them following a surprise announcement that Norwegian Escape will be the first ship at sea with a Margaritaville restaurant. The announcement was made during an annual meeting Thursday.
Jimmy Buffett surprises a group of Norwegian Cruise employees as he plays for them following a surprise announcement that Norwegian Escape will be the first ship at sea with a Margaritaville restaurant. The announcement was made during an annual meeting Thursday. Miami Herald Staff

Norwegian Cruise Line’s next ship, which will be based in Miami, will have Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar on board, the company announced Thursday.

Margaritaville will be a complimentary restaurant on the Norwegian Escape, which will debut in Europe next October and begin week-long Caribbean cruises out of Miami starting Nov. 14. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar will be an outdoor bar on the ship’s Waterfront zone and will feature live music nightly.

Norwegian’s port at Harvest Caye, Belize, will have a Margaritaville when it opens next fall, and a 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar will open next year on Norwegian’s Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

Margaritaville eventually will be expanded to the rest of the fleet, but details haven’t been set yet, said Vanessa Lane Picariello, Norwegian’s director of public relations.

Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s CEO, announced the new partnership with Buffett at the annual company-wide employee meeting in Miami and brought Buffett on stage to perform for cheering employees.

“I always wanted a navy,” Buffett said. “If you see me out on my little 26-foot sailboat, please do not run over me.”

Sheehan also said, with obvious relish, that another cruise line had been “in the throes” of negotiating with Buffett and that “one of our competitors is going to be so pissed.”

Sheehan did not elaborate, but cruise writers said there had been rumblings that Royal Caribbean had been talking to Buffett. “You can take those rumors with a lost shaker of salt,” said Rob Zeiger, VP and global chief communications officer at Royal Caribbean. “We don’t get into rumors.”

Vance Gulliksen, spokesman for Carnival, said to his knowledge, that line had not been in talks with Buffett.

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