WHEN MSC DIVINA ARRIVED IN PORT MIAMI ON NOVEMBER 19, 2013 TO BEGIN CARIBBEAN SAILINGS, SHE BECAME MSC CRUISES’ FIRST FANTASIA CLASS SHIP DEDICATED TO NORTH AMERICAN TRAVELERS. MAKING A GRAND ARRIVAL LED BY AN ESCORT OF FIAT 500 WATERCRAFTS, MSC CRUISES SOLIDIFIED ITS COMMITMENT TO, AND EXPANSION WITHIN, THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKET. JW TAKES A DETAILED LOOK INTO THIS CRUISING SUPERSTAR.
By Liz Carty
Embodying MSC Cruises’ signature “Mediterranean Way of Life,” MSC Divina brings a new flavor to sailing the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Departing roundtrip Miami, the elegantly designed ship visits an array of popular destinations including the Bahamas, St. Maarten, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and more.
An expanded roster of onboard performances, activities and enrichment programs round-out daily, round-the-clock experiences for guests, from singing comedy impressionists and dueling pianos to wine-blending and Mediterranean cooking classes. A large outdoor screen on the pool deck broadcasts first-run films and nail-biting sporting events.
Additionally, MSC Divina provides a variety of dining and culinary experiences intended to appeal to every palate. Utilizing the finest and freshest ingredients in each dish, menus reflect regional flavors, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, wines and olive oil. Delicious Kosher food is also available by request.
An expanded roster of onboard performances, activities and enrichment programs round-out daily, round-the-clock experiences for guests…
Divinely inspired by Sophia Loren, the godmother of the MSC fleet, MSC Divina offers stunning features, such as two Eataly restaurants—the upscale Ristorante Italia and regional Eataly Steakhouse fashioned after the famed restaurant in Eataly’s Manhattan location—and artisanal marketplace, and is the first ship to offer Aqua Cycling at sea. The 1,751-cabin ship boasts 18 bars and lounges, five swimming pools, a bowling alley, gym and exotic Aurea Spa, 4D Theater, a Formula 1 racecar simulator, and a new Segafredo Zanetti gourmet coffee bar.
MSC Divina also features the MSC Yacht Club, an innovative “ship-within-a-ship” concept with 69 suites on board. MSC Yacht Club guests can indulge in comfort and convenience, from their own personal butler and 24-hour concierge service to complimentary wines and spirits available any time of the day throughout MSC Yacht Club’s exclusive lounges and pool area.
MSC Divina will bring its signature service and onboard experiences to the most sought-after Mediterranean seven-night itineraries beginning May 16 through October 3, 2015. On April 26, 2015, the ship will depart on her Grand Voyage from Miami with stops in New York and King’s Wharf, Bermuda, to then continue onto Ponta Delgada, Lisbon, Cadiz, Barcelona, Naples and Civitavecchia. From May 16, 2015 through September 26, 2015, the ship will sail seven-night Mediterranean cruises departing from Civitavecchia and visiting the ports of La Spezia, Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Naples and returning to Civitavecchia.
Highlights of MSC Divina’s Mediterranean season include the ability to embark two marquee ports, Civitavecchia on Saturdays and Barcelona on Wednesdays, allowing for a customized vacation experience with outstanding pre and post-cruise opportunities; late night stays in La Spezia enabling guests to visit nearby cities of Pisa, Florence, Portofino and Cinque Terre; and, ample time in Naples to visit Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast.
An array of shore excursions will provide a full immersion into the region with experiences such as an architectural tour of the famed work of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii, and much more. On September 26, 2015, MSC Divina will end her Mediterranean season with a 10-night sailing featuring additional calls in Tunisia, Malta, and Sicily.
MSC Cruises was founded in 1990 by its owner and chairman, Gianluigi Aponte. The family-run line has grown 800% over the last nine years, employing 15,500 staff in 45 offices worldwide. In 2014, the line announced an unprecedented growth plan for the construction of a number of new additions to its current fleet of 12 ships.
In March 2014, the line announced the construction of two new cruise ships with STX France due for delivery respectively in 2017 and 2019, with an option for two more. At 1033 feet long and 141 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of about 167,600 tons, they boast 2,250 cabins for guests, nearly 820 crew cabins, to accommodate 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crew members.
Among the new features of the ships will be specially designed cabins for families and an extended MSC Yacht Club, now featuring a vast solarium, a private lounge and restaurant and duplex suites.
In May 2014, MSC Cruises announced the construction of two more new ships, with an option for a third. The prototype will be named “Seaside” and it will be the largest cruise ship ever built by Fincantieri. Its innovative features will lead the way for a new generation of cruise ships that will be completely different from an architectural point of view, with the ability to dock in any port around the world.
The first ship will be delivered in November 2017, the second in May 2018. With a length of 1060 feet, a width of 135 feet and a height of 230 feet, the new ships will have a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and accommodate up to 5,300 passengers plus 1,413 crew members, boasting 2,070 guest cabins, 759 for crew members, and 468,230 square feet of public areas.
The Seaside prototype features a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the sides of the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants; a spacious theatre, terraced balcony and panoramic lifts with sea views.
With all these innovations, MSC is one of the quality players at sea contributing to make the world of elegant cruising get better and better, and with more destinations than ever before.
For more informationContact House of Travel at 305-931-3002