This summer, the largest cruise ship ever constructed for MSC Cruises will set out on her maiden voyage. MSC Meraviglia is the first of a brand-new class of ship for MSC, and the line is already billing her as the “ultimate summer destination in the Mediterranean” – a claim that may not be far off the mark.
When she sets sail on June 4, 2017, MSC Meraviglia will have more options, diversions, and enhancements than any other MSC cruise ship. A veritable floating palace, MSC Meraviglia will feature a dozen different dining venues, 20 bars and lounges, a 985-seat Broadway style theatre, seven kids areas, four swimming pools, three waterslides, a full-size Balinese Spa, and a bowling alley into her design. At 315 metres (1033 feet) in length, she will be able to comfortably hold 5,714 guests who will stay in 2,244 staterooms – a full 75 percent of which will have their own private balconies.
In many ways, MSC Meraviglia combines the best of the cruise line’s previous design efforts and rolls them into one. While the ship will feature all the standard stateroom choices cruisers have come to expect, MSC has placed great emphasis on designing new cabins for families. To that end, MSC Meraviglia will have more “modular” cabins than other ships, with plenty of connecting staterooms that will allow for up to 10 guests to be accommodated together in three connecting rooms. The line has also rolled out cabins that can accommodate up to four guests by using the sofa as a retractable bed.
Of course, the most lavish (and likely to be talked-about) cabins onboard MSC Meraviglia will be found in the ship’s enhanced MSC Yacht Club, MSC’s exclusive ship-within-a-ship concept.
Aboard MSC Meraviglia, the MSC Yacht Club will span three decks. It will offer up 78 luxurious suites, 15 inside staterooms and two luxury apartments at sea. These two “apartment suites” have been designed with an oversized living room and two balconies, one of which is equipped with a dining table and a private whirlpool tub.
The Yacht Club aboard MSC Meraviglia will also offer an expanded Top Sail Lounge, the line’s private panoramic observation lounge that is reserved exclusively for the use of Yacht Club guests. Also on-tap: a private pool deck featuring a dedicated swimming pool, jacuzzi tubs, and a solarium. For the ultimate in luxury, MSC Yacht Club guests will be able to use a private elevator that will whisk guests to the MSC Aurea Spa, where they will be able to indulge in treatments in an exclusive massage and treatment room.
If these enhancements sound intriguing, so too does the entertainment lineup. The highlight of the ship’s onboard entertainment options will be its Cirque du Soleil at Sea performances, which will run six times per week, with two shows per evening. Up to 50 of the 450 guests who can book nightly for the show will be able to enjoy an on-site dinner service for the ultimate entertainment dining experience. These performances have been made possible in conjunction with an exclusive agreement between MSC and Cirque du Soleil, and MSC even went so far as to design a unique theatre – the Carousel Lounge – in order to meet the needs of performers.
The ship will also have a secondary show lounge with up to three daily performances showcasing six different shows per cruise. That’s in addition to the pre-dinner parades that will be held nightly along the ship’s spectacular indoor promenade, which will also feature LED “mini-light shows,” according to the company.
MSC was also mindful of the need to keep entertainment suitable for all ages. For the first time, the line has clustered the facilities for kids of all ages in a single area in order to allow for better socialization between families. This area includes the DOREMI Studio Lounge, a dedicated lounge for all family activities, DOREMI Tech Lab, a must visit destination for kids who love technology, along with facilities designed in partnership with the LEGO Group and Italian children’s manufacturer Chicco.
Families, of course, will love that the ship has four pools, nine whirlpools and an abundance of waterslides. The ship will also feature a ropes course position 60 metres (196 feet) above the ocean, and a Mediterranean-style indoor promenade that features a LED sky with visual effects and ice cream and crepes from French chocolatier and pastry chef, Jean Philippe Maury.
When MSC Meraviglia debuts, guests will also have their choice of embarkation ports, creating multiple roundtrip options for holidaymakers around Europe. Sailings are available starting from Barcelona, Marseille, Naples, Messina and Genoa for added flexibility. MSC Meraviglia will primarily sail weeklong itineraries exploring France, Italy, Spain and Malta.
She will be followed later this year by another new ship of an entirely different class: MSC Seaside. That ship will set sail in December, homeporting in Miami and offering cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
A few fun facts:
- Meraviglia means ‘a wonder’ in Italian
- At full capacity, the ship can accommodate 5,714 guests
- The ship offers 12 distinct dining venues, serving a range of international dining options including five speciality restaurants
- There will be will be exclusive world-class entertainment with 12 Cirque du Soleil at Sea performances each week
- 75% of all staterooms have a balcony and family modular connected staterooms can be joined together to accommodate up to 10 guests
- The ship will be the 5th ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet to feature a Swarovski staircase
- The ship will feature a Mediterranean-style promenade featuring multiple bars, restaurants and shops, as well as the longest LED Sky Screen at sea which will broadcast atmospheric images and entertainment 24-hours a day