You’ve got to feel for MSC Meraviglia. The largest ship ever built for MSC Cruises will be christened in June of this year in the Mediterranean, but she’s been overshadowed by the forthcoming MSC Seaside, which will make her debut in Miami this December. Hard to spell and difficult to pronounce, there’s good reason to get acquainted with MSC Meraviglia (mer-a-vee-ya): she’s coming to North America in 2019.

Due to be christened this June, MSC Meraviglia is coming to Miami in the fall of 2019. Rendering courtesy of MSC Cruises.

At the Seatrade Global Cruise Conference in Fort Lauderdale, MSC announced that the 5,174-guest MSC Meraviglia will arrive in Miami in the winter of 2019. She’ll join MSC Seaside and MSC Divina in operating cruises to the Caribbean and the Bahamas from Miami, freeing up MSC Divina to offer longer, more port-intensive itineraries while her newer fleetmates run weeklong trips.

MSC Meraviglia is a ship for the digital age. She’ll feature 114 interactive screens throughout the ship; 31 inside staterooms with virtual views, and the longest LED sky display at sea, measuring some 5,167 square feet and forming the backbone of The Promenade, the ship’s social hub.

The ship will also have – get ready – three swimming pools, an onboard aqua park, exclusive Cirque du Soleil performances, cutting-edge facilities for children and teenagers, 12 different dining options that range from casual buffets to American steakhouses and Japanese Teppanyaki, two F1 racing simulators, a 5D cinema, and a Karaoke bar that will allow you to purchase a copy of your performance.

Onboard, guests will also be able to use MSC’s new MSC for Me app that can assist with navigation or be used to make dining and shore excursion reservations, check the daily onboard cruise program, and even see where kids and family members are throughout the ship. Guests will have NCF bracelets that can be used to open stateroom doors, make payments onboard for bar or other purchases, and get directions accurate to within 16 feet.

MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago remarked that after years of growing its cruise business successfully in “our own backyard”, the company was ready to make a bold move into North America. When MSC Meraviglia arrives, MSC will have its three newest classes of ships represented in North America.

“Our intention was to grow in Europe, strategically. We are a global company and we are ready to make the step into North America,” said Vago. “A couple of years ago, when the market was down and no one was ordering [new ships], we placed the order. We have 11 ships on order now, coming online quickly.”

Not that MSC is new to North America. The line has offered seasonal Caribbean cruises from Florida ports for over a decade, and has based MSC Divina in Miami year-round since 2013. Over the next decade, MSC’s fleet worldwide will double. It’s capacity overall will triple.

“We are the fastest-growing cruise line in history,” said industry veteran and MSC’s Chairman, Rick Sasso. “North America is a priority. We added the management teams and personnel to be able to [expand.] We are a company that lives up to its promises.”

 

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