Visiting a ship under construction is always a moment of professional joy. On February 1, I was offered the opportunity to embark on MSC SEASIDE, the first of (at least) two nice-weather cruiseships for MSC Cruises.
The group of media relations and travel agents from Belgium, Luxemburg and France, ready for the visit.
MSC SEAVIEW will be ready at the end of November 2017. That is 300 days after the visit!
She will then sail from Venice to Miami, which will become her year round homeport for Caribbean cruises. MSC Cruises have even acquired an island on the Bahamas, where a dedicated berth is under construction.
The concept of the ship design to bring back the sea to the ship. Lately several cruise companies have created big ships where the sea was almost like a detail. The ship was the destination, not the sea.
MSC is a family-owned business, with seafaring written in their DNA. I can only applaud this initiative to offer more sea vista by having large outside decks. The feeling of travelling over the ocean, to enjoy the endless horizon is of paramount importance for a real cruise, I believe.
It will also be possible to dine outside, on several locations, and even to have wellness treatments in outside cabanas. There will be an outdoor fitness too.
The sunshine element became very obvious during the onboard visit, in spite of the heavy rain.
Patrick Pourbaix (MD MSC Cruises BeLux and France) and Vinciane Jacquiez (Marketing manager MSC Cruises BeLux)
Lots of rain and no sunshine, but the very wide decks were pretty obvious.
A walking bridge on the stern will give spectacular views.
The bridge seen from below.
Rendering of MSC SEASIDE.
Rendering of how it will look like. And see next picture how it was 300 days before delivery.
The hole in the middle will be a pool.
Or here, during our visit…
…and how it will be like.
These will be the massage rooms.
Impressive to see the kilometres of different cables.
Some renderings helped us to understand where we were.
Time to leave the ship (still in heavy rain) and move on to see the mockup cabins.
The first mockup cabin is one with a porthole. I loved the idea to create a cosy corner in the window area. (see next photo)
MSC has a huge tradition of seafaring. It is nice to see real maritime black & white pictures, instead of these one-painting-for-one-dollar frames.
The MSC Yachtclub suite. Less is more.
The balcony of a yachtclub suite.
Looking into a balcony cabin.
The day after we were invited for the coin ceremony of the MSC SEAVIEW, the sistership.
The coin ceremony takes place when a ship’s keel is laid, at the early stages of its construction. Tradition dictates that two long-standing employees representing the shipyard and the ship owner act as godmothers for the ceremony, placing two coins under the new ship’s keel block as a sign of blessing and good fortune. Michela Bullo, from Fincantieri and Loredana Giammusso, from MSC Cruises had the honour of performing this task.
On a large screen we could see how the coins were placed in the block.
Mr Vago (Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises), Mr Onorato (CEO of MSC Cruises) and Mr Bono (CEO of Fincantieri) push the button to begin the movement of the block into the dry dock.
There goes the block with the coins, direction dry dock.
The block is carefully positioned, and in the summer of 2018 a new ship, the MSC SEAVIEW, will set sail.
Report by Mike Louagie
Thank you MSC Cruises for this opportunity.