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11 Things To Know About MSC’s New Ship

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For cruise lovers, there are few things more exciting than a new ship. Even if we know we might never sail on the new vessel, we find ourselves wanting to know everything about it. So as MSC Cruises takes official delivery of the MSC Meraviglia, we take a look at everything you could want to know about this major new player in the game.

1. She’s coming to America… eventually.

MSC — which has primarily focused on the European market — is currently planning to mount a major push toward becoming a force to be reckoned with in America. So while the MSC Meraviglia will initially work the western Mediterranean waters, she’s expected to sail out of Miami beginning in the fall of 2019. The currently-under-construction MSC Seaview is also slated to sail out of Miami in late 2017.

2. The “digital sky” is going to have a major wow factor.

Photo: MSC Cruises

Much like the buzzworthy LED displays featured aboard the Carnival Vista, the promenade of the Meraviglia will feature the longest digital dome at sea, offering up a constantly-changing array of images while passengers shop, meander or party beneath it. Just how big is the dome? It comes in at an impressive 5,200 square feet! (Expect a lot of folks on the promenade to bump into each other as they tilt their faces — and iPhones — upwards to take in the view!)

3. You’ll be able to shop and eat in the same space.

Among the many places to grab a bite aboard this ship will be Eataly, an Italian restaurant where you can not only have a fantastic meal, but then purchase some of those same tasty treats to take home for “friends.”. (We put that in quotes because let’s face it… odds are good you’ll wind up devouring your purchases before disembarkation day!)

4. One of the pools will undergo a nightly transformation.

While MSC brags that the Meraviglia’s main pool will feature “some of the most plentiful [space] to be found at sea” — not to mention some cool statues and loungers positioned right at the water’s edge — it’s the Horizon pool that will come alive at night as it morphs into the place to be for dancing and entertainment.

5. The buffet has amazing hours.

Photo: MSC Cruises

Believe it or not, the Marketplace Buffet will be open an astounding 20 hours a day with an emphasis on Mediterranean specialties and international dishes. There’ll be something for everyone… no matter what time they find themselves wanting to graze.

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6. Chocolate lovers will be in heaven.

Thanks to a partnership with award-winning pastry chef Jean-Phillipe Maury, Meraviglia will feature a venue called the Chocolate Bar. Not only will you be able to purchase a wide variety of melt-in-your-mouth confections, but an open kitchen will allow passengers to actually watch the treats being created. Plus, there will also be a Maury-created gourmet ice cream parlor and crepe venue on the promenade!

7. They have some pretty innovative staterooms.

The Wellness Suites within the Yacht Club — MSC’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship area — feature Technogym fitness equipment and a welcome kit that includes a t-shirt, shorts, and sports towel. For families or large groups, they have a series of interconnecting cabins which can — combined — hold up to 10 guests. But our favorite might be the duplex suite, a two-deck high stateroom featuring walk-in closets, two bathrooms, and a hot tub on the balcony.

8. There are two — yes two — Cirque Du Soleil shows.

Photo: MSC Cruises

While on some ships, it can be tough to schedule a show because it is only playing two or three times the entire week, Meraviglia’s Cirque shows will be performed twice a night, six nights a week in the specially-designed (and very cool looking) Carousel Lounge.

9. You can race a Formula 1 car… sort of.

Thanks to virtual reality, there will be two Formula 1 “cars” onboard allowing passengers to not only experience the rush, but do so while competing head-to-head with other guests. Got a family feud that needs settling? Put mom in one car, dad in the other… and may the best racer win!

10. “American-style” is a recurring theme.

As we mentioned before, MSC is preparing to make a major play for a big share of the American market, and that shows in the various venues — and how they are promoted — aboard the ship. Both the sports bar and steakhouse are marketed as “American style”, with the latter even going so far as to say that its specialty cocktails have the oh-so-very American sounding “swagger.”

11) The kids will be entertained.

Besides having the usual kids clubs, Meraviglia features a top-deck waterpark that’s pretty darn impressive thanks to three water slides, numerous play areas, and a “Himalayan Bridge” (or, as we say here in the states, a ropes course). The ship also boasts a nice sports complex that is indoors, making it both a great venue for rainy days and yet another space that is converted into party central after dark.

Are you impressed by the Meraviglia? Will you consider booking a trip on this ship, whether during her European or American sailings?

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Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Take Annual Photos on Cruise Ship

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The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have officially wrapped up their 2018 annual photo shoot, and this year a Miami-based cruise ship was the backdrop.

Over 20 of the cheerleaders sailed to the sunny Caribbean this month aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside, donning a number of clothing styles for the photos while capturing the ship’s iconic design. The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Annual is set to be released at the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Fashion Show this fall.

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The cheerleaders also took part in photo shoot in ports along the way, including St. Maarten, San Juan, and Nassau. During the voyage, the cheerleaders engaged with guests throughout the cruise during a variety of activities, including at the sail away party, hosting youth cheer clinics, posing for photo ops, and doing special performances to entertain guests. To kick off the cruise, they provided a warm Miami Dolphins welcome by taking over the terminal with mascot “TD” to cheer guests into their vacation.

The annual photoshoot onboard MSC Seaside came on the heels of the Dolphins’ first ever Fan Cruise onboard the same ship in March. The voyage included football legend guests of honor including Kim Bokamper, Terry Kirby, Sam Madison, Nat Moore, Joe Rose and Patrick Surtain, for a week of themed activities. The team will be hosting their second cruise in 2019.

The Miami Dolphins and MSC Cruises are in the midst of a three-year partnership, which resulted in the Fan Cruise. It will be hosted annually over the next three years.

Photos: Miami Dolphins

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MSC Cruises Has Donated Nearly $10 Million to UNICEF

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MSC Cruises has announced that to date, they’ve raised over 8 million EUR (~$9.5 million USD) for UNICEF thanks to guest contributions.

The funds raised are used to provide malnourished kids with ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). To date, over 6.5 million sachets of RUTF have been delivered to children in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Malawi. MSC and UNICEF have been partners since 2009, and in 2013 established together a global initiative to help kids in need from developing countries and those affected by crises.

Between 2013 and 2017, contributions from guests across the fleet have provided treatment to over 20,500 kids in Somalia, over 15,700 in South Sudan, over 9,400 in Ethiopia, and over 35,000 in Malawi. Until the end of 2019, in Malawi specifically, MSC Cruises will be the only corporate partner working to support the area, helping UNICEF reach 45 percent of the severely malnourished children in all 28 districts.

To date, the lives of nearly 81,000 children and their families have been impacted. photo: MSC

The focus on providing aid in Malawi was a conscious decision, as Hans Künzle, Chairman of the Board of UNICEF Switzerland explains, “Over half of the 18.2 million Malawians are under the age of 18 years. About 63 percent of children suffer from multidimensional poverty. Nevertheless, Malawi has made remarkable progress towards child well-being, also thanks to the valuable support of MSC Cruises. It is therefore extremely important that we continue our work in this country. The vision is for all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, to realize their rights.”

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Onboard each of their ships, MSC organizes “edutainment” activities for kids and their parents. Each week, the program onboard includes a dedicated UNICEF Day with games, a children’s parade, and a leaflet for each little one, educating them about malnutrition in the world.

Click here for additional details on MSC Cruises’ partnership with UNICEF.

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MSC Meraviglia Makes Maiden Call at German Port

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MSC Meraviglia officially made per maiden call in Hamburg, Germany on Sunday, April 29, marking the start of her new season in northern Europe. The line also announced that MSC Grandiosa will be christened in Hamburg on November 2, 2019.

This summer, Meraviglia will be sailing in northern Europe, making a total of four MSC ships sailing in the region this year. They feature 36 different itineraries and six possible embarkation ports across Germany, the UK, France, and Denmark. These itineraries have been developed to offer travelers more time ashore to explore all of the sights, with extended and overnight stays in some cities.

Photo: MSC Cruises

Designed for all seasons, MSC Meraviglia will spend her first northern Europe season offering world-class entertainment with Cirque du Soleil at Sea, a wide choice of dining options, and a Mediterranean-style promenade featuring multiple bars, restaurants, and shops. Homeporting in Hamburg, the ship offers 10, 11, and 14-night cruises that include the British Isles and Iceland, or the breathtaking North Cape and the Norwegian archipelago, Spitzbergen.

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In September, an 11-night itinerary takes guests through the Baltic capitals of Oslo, Stockholm, Tallinn, and Helsinki with an overnight in St. Petersburg.

MSC Preziosa will also offer seven-night cruises from Kiel and Copenhagen, and MSC Orchestra will offer seven and eleven-night cruises from Warnemunde.

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