Photo: Joe Ciciless/Shutterstock

What It’s Like to Go on a Two-Night Cruise for $200

Cruises
by Matador Creators Mar 12, 2024

Cruises aren’t exactly known for being cheap, especially if you want any semblance of luxury included on your voyage. But it turns out you don’t actually have to drop thousands of dollars to take a little seaborne vacation – especially if you don’t mind if it only lasts a weekend. Enter Margaritaville at Sea, a cruise line offering cheap cruises out of Palm Beach and Tampa to Grand Bahama Island, Mexico, and Key West.

Billed as an offshore resort experience, the voyage has many of the trappings of a traditional cruise experience, like restaurants, a spa, live music, a casino, shows, and a pool deck. To really enjoy all the amenities you’d probably want to take a slightly longer trip than just two nights (there’s a three-night option too), but if you’re down for a quick (and cheap) cruising experience, the two-night Bahamas Getaway should be right up your alley. This three-day, two-night jaunt sails from the Port of Palm Beach to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, with a full day spent on the Island.

Lucas, a YouTuber known for his travel videos, product reviews, and food content, took the two-night Margaritaville at Sea cruise out of West Palm Beach, Florida, for just $200 (total for both himself and his friend), and posted a video about his experience. As he points out right off the bat, it has extremely low TripAdvisor reviews. “But as we all know with one-star reviews, people are dramatic,” he says. “People are just perpetually in bad moods, and they take it out on review websites – so I have to test if this ship actually deserves the low rating.”

Steal or scam?

Lucas bought the cruise with a BOGO deal, which worked out to $100 per night for himself and his friend ($50 per person), but after all the hidden fees, it ended up right back at $100 per person rate. Even so, that’s still pretty cheap. But does the reduced cost mean a severe compromise on quality? When it comes to food (perhaps the most important part of any vacation), Lucas has some tempered praise for the buffet, saying “I was pleasantly surprised with the buffet…I’ve been to some gross buffets, and this wasn’t one. It was like a mediocre buffet.”

During their tour of the cabin, some wood was peeling and the room wasn’t immaculately clean, but it didn’t significantly impact the experience and he acknowledged it might not be fair to judge the cruise line from a few barely-perceptible flaws. “That’s the thing with hotels, though,” he says. “I feel like if you look closely at any hotel you’re going to see stuff ripping off.”

At the free restaurant — a signature part of many cruise lines — the entrees were “tasty but small,” and he gave the pumpkin soup a resoundingly positive review, claiming that it did, indeed, “slap.” Overall, he seemed relatively pleased with the dining experience, and gave the onboard live entertainment similarly positive marks.

Lucas also takes some time to debunk one of the main bad TripAdvisor reviews about the ship – that there’s a sewage smell. “A lot of people complain of a sewage scent,” he says. “They say their room and the hallway smell like it, but I want to investigate this. We’re gonna walk the floors and find out which one is the poop floor.” After inspecting six floors, they come to the welcome conclusion that their particular cruise was thankfully sewage free.

So what’s the ultimate verdict? It sounds like you pretty much get what you pay for. Lucas reads one final review that says, “the best part of the cruise was getting off,” and makes it clear that while he does not agree with that review, he wasn’t exactly moved to tears by the thought of disembarking.

“To be honest I was excited to get off,” he says. “I was ready to leave Margaritaville, I think two days was perfect. But yeah, it was a good time.”

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