MSC Seaside Christened in Miami
MSC Cruises completed the introduction of its revolutionary new cruise ship, the MSC Seaside, with a spectacular naming ceremony on December 21 in Miami. The new ship, the 12th introduced by MSC, represents the next step in their efforts to increase its presence in the North American cruise market.
The introduction started three weeks ago with the delivery of the 153,316 gross ton ship, the largest cruise ship ever built in Italy, and continued through her 21-day inaugural trans-Atlantic crossing. At PortMiami, the star-studded festivities began with a “blue carpet” arrival for invited guests, which included renowned performers and local officials, as well the press and the travel partner communities. The evening, hosted by TV personality Mario Lopez, included a ribbon-cutting and champagne naming by legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren. Topped off with fireworks that illuminated the Miami skyline, there also were musical performances by world-class tenor Andrea Bocelli, accompanied by a Haitian children’s chorus, and Latin superstar Ricky Martin.
Built by Fincantieri S.p.A at their Monfalcone shipyard, the 1,059 feet long MSC Seaside introduces a new design concept created to bring passengers closer to the sea. The indoor-outdoor spaces include large open-air promenades on Deck 8, the widest on any ship, two outdoor catwalks with glass floors and railings, and a multi-deck glass atrium. There is also a large pool area on the stern of Deck 7 and in a design feature MSC says “was inspired by the architecture and lifestyle of South Beach,” the aft facing suites above the pool include large wrap verandas. Two panorama glass elevators rise to Deck 16, where a third 98-foot glass catwalk provides spectacular ocean views, along with a second, large pool area.
The MSC Seaside has accommodations for a total of 5,179 passengers (4,140 double occupancy). 73 percent of cabins feature balconies, and range from an enlarged MSC Yacht Club suite enclave, to mid-sized suites with private whirlpool tubs on each balcony, and spa and family cabins. There is a broad range of the latest activities including full-sized bowling lanes, XD cinema, zip lines, and an interactive water park with slides and the first cruise ship Slideboarding attraction. The ship also has a variety of dining options and features the largest technology, including wearable wristbands and a mobile app, to help passengers plan their cruise.
Commencing year-round, weekly Caribbean cruises on December 23, the MSC Seaside has been tailored to the North America market with cuisine, service and amenities designed to Americans. She is joined by the MSC Divina, which is operating seasonally from Miami, and is part of MSC Cruises goal to deploy four to five ships to carry annually one million North American passengers. MSC also recently announced that the 5,741-passenger MSC Meraviglia, launched in June 2017, will reposition to North America, sailings from New York in the fall of 2019 before moving to Miami for winter Caribbean cruises.