Expert says this is the one cruise line you should never travel

@professormelissa/TikTok Stock (Licensed)

‘They scored an 83 and needed an 86 to pass’: Expert says this is the one cruise line you should never travel

‘This is the one cruise line I’ve literally heard nothing good about.’


Jack Alban


Jimmy Buffet’s done a pretty good job selling the dream of Margaritaville—you don’t get your own line of branded alcoholic beverage appliances dedicated to the salted rim lifestyle for nothing. There’s even a housing development retirement community called Margaritaville that promises folks they’ll get to sail off into the sunset of life properly sloshed on cups full of sweetened, crushed ice and tequila, which could be a good way to distract from the STDs that tend to run rampant in these types of living environments.

But it’s not all reposado and chlamydia in Margaritavilla, that is, according to a Cincinnati-based professor and cruise-line enthusiast named Melissa (@professormelissa).

Melissa cautioned users in a viral TikTok that’s accrued over 881,000 views against boarding one cruise line in particular and it’s named after the tropical rock track that’s become a household name.

“The one cruise line I will *never* sail!” she writes in a text overlay of her video.

“I love cruising but there is one cruise line I will absolutely refuse to sail. This cruise line just failed miserably a CDC inspection. This is just one of the reasons why,” she says. “Personally, I never sailed them. Inspection reported highlighted a whopping 38 areas of concern. Issues with water safety, food handling, maintenance issues, poor sanitation, you name it. This is the one cruise line I’ve literally heard nothing good about and that cruise line—you’ve probably already guessed it: Margaritaville at Sea.”

Margaritaville at Sea’s CDC inspection

Melissa’s claims are correct, and details on each of the CDC’s 38 areas of concern can be found here. The Daily Dot has previously reported on Margaritaville at Sea; one passenger posted about their less-than-stellar experience with the company, stating that they were charged $500 for a makeup stain.

That’s not to say there aren’t conflicting reviews posted online about Margaritaville at Sea, but let’s start with those that support Melissa’s negative assessment of the cruise liner.

A Washington Post review of the vacation package called it “basic economy at sea.” Anyone who’s flown basic economy knows what that means: cramped accommodations, being charged for any and every additional thing. The author, who traveled on one of the cheaper options, said they tragically and hilariously ran out of margaritas.

194 Yelp reviews also haven’t culminated in a very positive estimation of Margaritaville at Sea either. It’s currently enjoying a 2.3 out of 5-star rating. When asked, “What is the best package to purchase? chill ? faster chill? ultimate?” one user replied, “None cruise is awful.”

Trip Advisor’s ranking from 126 different reviews of the vacation service was similarly scored. Someone called it their “Worst Cruise Experience Ever,” which contained 441 words of evisceration directed right to Margaritaville at Sea. Their first gripe? Terrible food: “This is the first cruise I’ve ever been on and probably lost weight – because the food at the port of indecision was inedible. It smelled awful, and tasted even worse,” the reviewer penned.

Fans of the Margaritaville at Sea experience

There was another Trip Advisor user, however, who stated that folks who sign up for Margaritaville at Sea can have a good time…just as long as they know what they’re getting themselves into. “Manage your expectations and you’ll have fun,” they wrote. “All in all for the price deal good little weekend away if you maintain your expectations and not trapped in their up selling tactics. Staff do try to be friendly so if you go make the best of it, it’s cheap for a reason.”

One Redditor, however, seemed to have a good time despite the issues others mentioned—it is an older ship and you’re effectively getting what you pay for, they said. “Is it luxurious? No. Is it modern? Not really. Was it better than I expected? Yes. Would I do it again? Definitely,” they wrote. “It is a great option if you are group looking to have fun with each other for cheaper than almost any other cruise. You’ll real lots of comments about how it’s old and sucks but those people are looking for something you won’t get with this price and convenience. Just go for it and have a good time.”

Cruise Critic also featured a slew of positive reviews for Margaritaville at Sea: out of 173 folks who said that they boarded the liner, the ocean-bound vacation experience managed to score a 3.9 out of 5 stars, and Executive Editor for the site, Chris Gay Faust, gave the company a 4/5 star rating as well, stating that Margaritaville at Sea was probably best for short stays.

Viewers weigh in

TikTokers who commented on Melissa’s video, however, seemed to agree with her estimation of the cruise line.

“The rooms just look filthy and give me the heebie-jeebies,” one user wrote.

Another replied, “lol I knew it had to be Margaritaville !!”

Some viewers were surprised to hear her mention the liner, like this one individual who never even knew the cruise company existed: “1….2….3…CARNIV-…..what? Margaritaville? Never heard of it.”

Another cruise vacation company seemed to get a bunch of hate as well.

“And Carnival,” one user wrote, while someone else argued, “carnival is rachet.”

@professormelissa Are there any cruise lines you absolutely refuse to sail? #Cruise #cruiseship #cruisetok #cruiselife #cruiser #travel #traveltiktok #cruisewithme #cruisetips #cruisetipsandtricks #cruisehacks #vacation #cruiseships #cruisecontent #cruisingcontent #cruisevacation #cruiselover #cruiseblogger #firsttimecruiser #cruisequestions #cruisefacts #goingonacruise #crusingtok #cruiseessentials #traveler #royalcaribbean #carnivalcruiseline #choosefun #virginvoyages #norwegiancruise #hollandcruise #hollandamericaline #disneycruiseline #msccruise #princesscruises #carnivalcruise ♬ You Don't Ignore (Too Late) – Petit Biscuit

However, some said that their time on the Margaritaville pleasure cruise was money well spent. “We had a great time, I don’t understand the hate,” one user wrote.

Another replied that the business could definitely get its act together as long as they shored up a few issues: “They scored an 83 and needed an 86 to pass. I’m sure they will fix any issues. Trying them out for the first time in July on their newer larger ship.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Margaritaville at Sea and Melissa via email for further comment.

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