Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Sea on Norwegian Escape is a themed restaurant inspired by the life and lyrics of Jimmy Buffett. Located on Deck 17 aft, this open air restaurant provides a relaxing retreat from the sun. You can surely escape to Margaritaville at Sea for a bite to eat after a challenging day on the waterslides or ropes course. Or, if you are just looking for a frosty concoction to help you hold on, this is your place for a mid-day margarita without having to completely leave the outdoors.
Whether you are a parrothead or not, you should make it a point to try this one of a kind restaurant on Norwegian Escape. Open most days for lunch from 11:00am to 4:00pm, this Margaritaville at Sea serves up some great pub food and specialty margaritas and boat drinks. Note, the drink menu is different than the other Jimmy Buffett inspired location, 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar on Deck 8 on the Waterfront. If you are like us, then you will want to sample specialty cocktails from both venues. (See all the bar menus here.)
Margaritaville at Sea Restaurant Review – Al Fresco Sitting
Pricing at this Margaritaville at Sea is a la carte, or you can use a meal from your specialty dining package if desired. But, look over the menu prices carefully because it may be better holding on to your specialty dining meals and paying per item here. Are you getting hungry yet? Let’s dig in to the juicy details of this one of a kind restaurant at sea.
Margaritaville at Sea Restaurant Review
We dined at Margaritaville at Sea on Norwegian Escape on two separate occasions, once for appetizers and a second time for lunch. Our first go round at this restaurant was on Day 2 of our Norwegian Escape cruise. Being the first full sea day, we made the most of our morning tanning and enjoying Spice H20. When lunch time rolled around, neither of us were too hungry, so we headed midship to give Margaritaville at Sea a try for a few snacks. Given that it was past the prime lunch hour, we did not have to wait to be seated.
Inside Margaritaville at Sea
As the hostess escorted us over to the table, we couldn’t help but notice the heaping pile of nachos that almost every table around us had. While it was not communicated, I think we both knew those had to be ordered during this meal.
Of course, we had to start with drinks first. There is a specialty drink menu with signature cocktails at Margaritaville at Sea. You can also get these drinks at the Chill Bar located in the restaurant. The Chill Bar is a great alternative for those who don’t want to pay the a la carte prices for food but simply want to sample the drinks. I ordered a Who’s to Blame margarita and the Princess got the Watermelon margarita. Both drinks are covered in the Ultimate Drink Package, as long as you do not get them in the 20oz souvenir glass.
Who’s to Blame and Watermelon Margaritas
Once we received our margaritas, it was time to focus our attention on the food menu. Arguably, Margaritaville at Sea is not the healthiest food on the ship, but who cares, it’s vacation! We decided that we were going to order a few appetizers with the nachos at the top of the list and the pretzel sticks as more of an after thought. Service was prompt, and it seemed like our food was delivered rather quickly. Before long, we too had our own Volcano Nachos.
These nachos at Margaritaville at Sea were leaps and bounds better than the ones we tried in the main dining room and were definitely worth the small $5.99 charge. We made a solid dent in this appetizer, but despite our best efforts, we could not wipe the plate clean.
Digging in to Lunch at Margaritaville at Sea
In between devouring the nachos, we also sampled the pretzel sticks. Warm and salty, the pretzels themselves were good, but neither one of us were fans of the dipping sauces that accompanied this starter. Not sure that we would get these again, and they certainly weren’t necessary as the nachos were more than enough for us! For a light lunch, the total dining experience costed us only $10.60 (with service charge). In our opinion, it was well worth every penny.
Hot Pretzel Sticks
Taking a few days off to try some of the other venues onboard, we decided to venture back to Margaritaville at Sea on day 5 to sample more of the menu. After spending a long day at the Baths at Virgin Gorda and walking around Tortola, we were hungry.
Apparently, we were not the only ones who had this idea today. We had to wait in a small line to be seated and got one of the only remaining tables for two. The staff must have been feeling the rush of the crowds too as they were noticeably hustling around the restaurant. Having been in the sun too long, the Princess passed on a drink. I tried the Incommunicado, because why not. We both decided that since we were hungry today, we would get our own appetizers and entrees.
I tried the conch fritters as my appetizer. These reminded me of what we New Englanders call “clam cakes”. The fritters were crispy but not overly greasy and came with a decent helping of cocktail sauce. I probably shouldn’t have eaten all four of them, but by this point in the cruise, a few extra calories were not going to change anything.
The Princess went with the chicken cobb salad which was a pleasant surprise. It was fresh and a generous portion that could have easily been a meal itself. She did let me have a couple of bites, and it got two thumbs up from me too.
Cajun Chicken Cobb
Continuing on the obvious chicken theme, the Princess ordered the Quesadillas as her entree. With a solid helping of four slices, she could barely complete two. I had a bite and found them to be too cheesy for me. The Princess admittedly liked the salad better than the quesadillas also. The guacamole and chips were a nice salty addition to this platter. Portions at this restaurant were just out of control.
Hamburgers on a cruise ship are usually dry, lukewarm, and nothing to write home about, but I figured I still had to try one at Margaritaville at Sea. I decided on the Cheddar BBQ burger. Cooked medium, although I was not asked how I wanted it prepared, the burger was juicy and flavorful. Easily, it was the best hamburger that I have had on a cruise ship, and the french fries were equally as tasty. I could not finish my entire lunch either, even though I tried.
Cheddar BBQ Burger
Our lunch with 2 appetizers and 2 entrees cost $27.09 (with gratuities), which ended up being cheaper to pay a la carte instead of using a meal each from our specialty dining plan. Even though we typically don’t like to pay for food on a cruise, it was definitely worth it.
During both visits, the food at Margaritaville at Sea was outstanding. Large portions, served hot, and delivered by friendly staff. There were plenty of waiters and waitresses to accommodate the crowds. Not to mention, the drinks were also great. We definitely recommended trying Margaritaville at Sea on Norwegian Escape. Hopefully, NCL will consider adding this restaurant to other ships in the fleet.
Have you dined at the first Margaritaville at Sea on Norwegian Escape? Would you pay the a la carte prices to dine at this restaurant for lunch? Drop us an anchor below to give us your thoughts on the food choices and specialty dining available on this newest ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet.