Some of the coolest things out there are a secret, and we’ll let you in on one: MSC Cruises, a cruise line with a 12-ship fleet that’s popular in Europe but isn’t as well-known in the United States, is launching 11 more over the next decade. The best part? Two of those new vessels – the MSC Meraviglia and the MSC Seaside – are almost ready to set sail. Here are some reasons to hop onboard.
Every Day Feels Like a Sunny Day
While other cruise lines maximize indoor space on their ships, the MSC Seaside is designed to bring the indoors out. Imagine walking down a street in South Beach: buzzing promenades, the overhanging balconies of luxury condos, and plenty of space where you can soak in the sunshine. You’ll see this everywhere, from the catwalk-style walkways that extend over the sides of the ship, to the al fresco areas in the gym and the spa. Even when you’re indoors, you’ll feel as if you’re outside. For example, an atrium lounge lets natural light flood through double-height glass walls.
The Shows Deserve an Encore
You can’t see Cirque du Soleil’s shows anywhere at sea – except on MSC Meraviglia, which will be home to two entirely new Cirque du Soleil shows. Even better? They’ll be presented in a high-tech circular theater that’s custom built for that purpose. On the line's other ships, you'll find top-notch entertainment that includes six different productions for seven-night voyages.
Even the Food Has Star Power
A celebrity chef restaurant? How about an icon of Italian slow food? MSC Cruises is home to both. Start at Eataly, which brings aboard artisanal products from Italy like sourdough pizzas, steak Florentine, and vino. You’ll also find the soon-to-launch Asian Market Kitchen helmed by chef Roy Yamaguchi on MSC Seaside. Look out for a space that includes a sushi counter, teppanyaki grill, and a sit-down restaurant serving Yamaguchi’s signature dishes such as chilean sea bass with black mushrooms; and pork, shrimp, and crab wontons.
There’s Always Room for Dessert
Even the sweets go the extra mile on an MSC cruise. Venchi gelateria, the 180-year old chocolatier, makes all of MSC Cruises’ gelato, which comes in flavors such as chocolate and hazelnut, and marscapone and caramelized figs. Elsewhere onboard, in an open atelier, the pastry chef Jean Philippe Maury (famed for his Vegas-style chocolate fountains and make-your-own-dessert shop) concocts indulgent treats for curious – and hungry travelers.
Even Exercise is Fun
Running on a treadmill feels great after a few days of lazing by the pool, but how about an exercise session that gets you into the pool itself? On an MSC cruise, you can spin your way through an aqua cycling session. You’ll welcome the waves, wafts of salty air, and endless sea-blue vistas while you get moving. Who knew that peddling away those calories was as easy and breezy as packing them on?
They Have the Tech Touch
Thanks to MSC Cruises' new digital platform, MSC for Me, passengers can book restaurants and shows in real-time; preview excursions using virtual reality technology; and even track their kids’ whereabouts through touch screens and connection points throughout the ship, and their own personal devices. Through facial-recognition technology, the crew can even personalize recommendations for guests, and smart bracelets trigger geo-located suggestions.
Family Time is Fun Time
While imported Italian ingredients and out-of-the-box fitness classes speak to a grown up aesthetic, there’s plenty for kids to enjoy onboard. MSC Cruises caters to every age group, from toddlers to teens. Your child can build a castle in a Lego playroom, attend pasta-making classes with DOREMI, the MSC Cruises mascot, or speed down a race course in an F1 simulator. The cutting-edge waterpark on MSC Seaside even has transparent racing slides and the first ever Slideboarding technology -- an interactive tube with lights and music that combines a waterslide with an interactive game. Plus, interconnecting staterooms, which sleep up to 10, will keep your family together.