MSC Cruises’ growth continues, and this includes bringing its newest ships to the U.S. market. The third ship in the Seaside class, the MSC Seashore, was just christened on November 18. Her christening and naming ceremony events were held at MSC Cruises’ private island in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
This was the first ever naming ceremony MSC Cruises had on the island, providing guests with wonderful experiences both onboard and ashore. On November 20, the MSC Seashore began her inaugural season sailing on Caribbean and Bahamas cruises that include stops at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
More about the MSC Seashore
Described as giving guests an enhanced version of the MSC Seaside, the MSC Seashore features some new venues, more massive outdoor spaces and the largest MSC Yacht Club. The MSC Seashore is 1,112 feet long and 169,400 gross register tons. Her innovative, glamorous features have been designed to connect guests with the sea.
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
MSC Cruises’ eco-friendly private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, is located 30 miles south of Bimini, Bahamas. In December 2015, MSC Cruises signed a 100-year lease agreement with the Bahamas prime minister to occupy the island and develop it exclusively for MSC guests. The island for decades had been the location of mining operations before it was abandoned in 2015.
MSC Cruises decided to take on the challenge of transforming this industrial wasteland into a flourishing marine reserve for guests to enjoy. The line has spent $400 million in nature restoration, which has included conservation efforts. Discarded debris and over 1,500 tons of scrap metal were removed and transported by barges to a dedicated U.S.-based licensed waste contractor. Then natural flora was reintroduced. Over 4,600 trees and palms were planted across the island. The number of plants and shrubs installed totals more than 75,000.
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, a protected marine area covering 64 square miles, is spread over two miles of pristine white sand beaches. The coral reef has been restored, resulting in an increase in marine life.
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve features eight world-class beaches where guests can enjoy water activities and sunbathing, and drinks at the Lighthouse Bar. They can also explore the authentic Bahamian village with shops and dining. Junkanoo festivities run late into the evening there. A special show around the lighthouse, with colorful graphics and set to music, takes place in the evening and is not to be missed.
The island, with 44 acres of exquisite white sand, is perfect for adventure seekers as well as beachgoers. Guests can go snorkeling, paddleboarding or kayaking. MSC ships dock right at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, so guests simply walk ashore from the ship.
Marine Conservation Center at Ocean Cay
On the afternoon of November 18, MSC Cruises did a special groundbreaking ceremony for the Marine Conservation Center at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. The Hon. Philip Edward Davis, prime minister and minister of finance, The Bahamas, and Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, who is chair of the executive committee and board member, MSC Foundation, participated, along with other Bahamian leaders and MSC officials. The center’s marine research laboratory, coral nursery tanks and pump room, all part of Phase I, will be located there. The opening of Phase 1 facilities isscheduled for spring of 2022.
Christening of the MSC Seashore by Sophia Loren
On the evening of November 18, actress Sophia Loren, who has served as godmother to the other MSC Cruises ships, helped christen the MSC Seashore. The christening and naming event, held in the Madison Theatre, included welcoming remarks and videos, plus a special Social Responsibility Moment in collaboration with the MSC Foundation. A performance by Nile Rodgers and CHIC was followed by an MSC officers’ parade. Loren then did the ribbon cutting, christening the ship.
The MSC Seashore lets guests enjoy eating and drinking “closer to the sea.” There are 11 distinct dining venues. These include three main restaurants and five specialty restaurants, including Butcher’s Court, which are located in Chef’s Court. Also, there are a dedicated Aurea Spa Restaurant, the MSC Yacht Club Restaurant (available to guests who stay in the MSC Yacht Club) and Marketplace Buffet. The MSC Seashore has 19 bars.
MSC Cruises continues its efforts to connect guests with the sea. On the MSC Seashore, the glass-floor Bridge of Sighs on Deck 16 hangs more than 70 feet above the infinity pool, located on Deck 8. The infinity pool extends right up to the end of the ship and includes sun beds sunken in the water. It is one of the largest infinity pools at sea. Infinity whirlpools on either side of the outdoor promenade on Deck 8 have 20 seats that face out to sea.
The Long Island Pool, the ship’s main pool, features two different depths. One is for standing, the other for swimming. A water fountain island is located in the center. The Jungle Pool sits underneath a magrodome that can be closed off if needed.
The main theater and high-tech disco, along with sports bars and entertainment in the Atrium, provide plenty of entertainment options on the MSC Seashore. Also, there is the larger than ever 12,215-square-foot casino.
MSC Yacht Club
Continuing with MSC Cruises’ “ship within a ship” area, the MSC Yacht Club on the MSC Seashore is larger than those on its other ships. Guests staying in this premium, all-inclusive private enclave enjoy elegant suite accommodations, 24-hour butler and concierge services, a gourmet restaurant, the Top Sail Lounge, and private pool and sun deck areas. Complimentary cocktails, wines, beers, soft drinks and mineral water throughout the ship are also included.
On the MSC Seashore, the space in the MSC Yacht Club includes more than 32,000 square feet on four decks and features 131 suites across five categories. The brand-new Owner’s Suites, measuring over 1,000 square feet, feature a private balcony and outdoor living area with a whirlpool. And the space in the MSC Yacht Club now includes an extended pool area with a new panoramic whirlpool.
More about MSC Cruises
As the world’s fastest-growing cruise line, MSC Cruises sails to more than 200 destinations around the world. The MSC Seashore is the 19th ship in the fleet. For the summer of 2022, she will remain in Miami.
MSC Cruises continues being focused on preserving and protecting the oceans and seas. MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line with carbon-neutral marine operations as of January 2020. MSC Cruises also continues to look to the future when it comes to guest experiences, as the line is always seeking ways to employ the latest technologies and develop new innovations. In addition, MSC Cruises has successfully implemented safety and health protocols.
The MSC Seascape is slated for delivery in November 2022. She will be MSC Cruises’ fourth Seaside-class ship and the second in its Seaside EVO subclass.
With diverse itineraries throughout the world and wonderful onboard experiences, MSC Cruises is definitely one to consider for a future group cruise.
—By Cindy Bertram
Cindy Bertram has 15+ years of cruise industry expertise in marketing, content creation, sales and training as well as social media. Her MBA from Loyola University Chicago complements her high creative edge and liberal arts BA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.