Posts Tagged ‘MSC (Mediterranean Shipping company)’

Meraviglia: What Jane Did NOT tell you!

September 9, 2017

(Courtesy Channel 5)

UK singer/personality Jane McDonald, has her second ‘Cursing’ series currently on UK TV.

Episode two featured Jane in the Mediterranean cruising on MSC’s new ‘Meraviglia’.

Now although I love Jane and enjoy her programme, it never gives proper reviews of the chosen ships. The show is a great piece of entertainment, rather than being a well balanced appraisal.

Some early passenger reviews of Meraviglia’, which have appeared on-line, have been quite negative about the experience on-board the ship. In fact I also read a very recent review (September, 2017) which highlighted the same issues as many June reviews did.

Not surprisingly, these issues were never mentioned or shown on Jane’s TV show.

(MSC )

MSC’s Meraviglia (‘Wonder’ in English) is their most exciting and biggest class of ship to date. She entered service in June 2017.

Meraviglia is 171,598 gross tonnes and carries up to 5,714 passengers. She is part of a rapid expansion of MSC’s fleet comprising of three new classes of ship: ‘Meraviglia’, ‘Seaside’ and ‘The Word Class’.  Meraviglia was the first of these ships to be delivered.

MSC’s origins are Italian, but they strive to offer a multi-national product.

Some commentators have been critical of the MSC experience on-board their smaller ships, in the past.  This poses two questions: Do MSC need to  raise their game to deliver a higher quality experience?  Can they achieve this on their biggest ship yet?

In short is Meraviglia really ‘Wonderful’?

Guest contributor, Tony Barraclough (UK), took  Meraviglia’s maiden voyage.

In fact Tony did a back-to-back itinerary: Le Havre to Genoa, then Genoa to Barcelona. He occupied two different grades of cabin and has written two reviews.

Tony has done ten MSC cruises, as well as ten cruises with other cruise lines, so he knows what he is talking about.

He has kindly given me permission to share his reviews with you.

MSC Meraviglia reviews: HERE

Advertisements

MSC Seaview Floated Out

August 24, 2017

 

Seaview (Courtesy MSC)

MSC Cruises has celebrated the float out of MSC Seaview.

The ceremony, held at the Fincantieri shipyard on 23/8/17,  in Italy, officially marked the first time that the vessel has been waterborne since beginning construction.

At 323 metres long with a GRT of 154,000 tonnes, MSC Seaview will feature a maximum capacity of 5,179 guests. She will be the second of two sister ships in the MSC Cruises’ Seaside generation to be built by FINCANTIERI. Her sister ship MSC Seaside is set to enter service later this year in December 2017 and is scheduled to be christened in Miami, where she will homeport.

MSC Seaview will sail her inaugural 2018 summer season in the Mediterranean, followed by a winter in Brazil for 2018-2019.

(MSC)

Mega-Ship Copycat Syndrome

July 25, 2017

I  call it  ‘Megaship Copycat Syndrome’ (or MCS), which ironically is a mnemonic with the same letters as MSC  (The Mediterranean Shipping Company), but in a different order. This is pure coincidence!

In 1998  Royal Caribbean’s ‘Voyager of the Seas’ entered service, at 138,194 gross tonnes, she was the world’s biggest cruise ship at the time.

Voyager was more like a floating theme park than any ship before her.

Voyager Royal Promenade (RCI)

Although external promenade decks and ‘sheltered’ (internal) promenade decks date back to the great ocean liners, Voyager was the first cruise ship to have an internal ‘street’ down the middle, called the ‘Royal Promenade’. It even had cabins overlooking it.

promenade-deck-queen-mary-ocean-liner-02-thomas-woolworth

Internal Prom, Queen Mary, 1936 (Source unknown)

However the internal promenade concept, with cabins, was originally featured on-board the ‘Sllja Serenade’. This was a ferry operating between Sweden and Finland, in the early 1990’s.

Royal Caribbean obviously borrowed their internal promenade design from Silja.

Internal prom. on-board  Sllja Serenade (Source unknown)

Another milestone in ship design was the introduction of the world’s biggest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class at 225,282 gross tonnes.

Oasis has a unique split-superstructure design accommodating a Boardwalk, a Carousel and a Park.  There were even cabins with balconies overlooking ‘Central Park’ and the’Boardwalk’.

Oasis (Courtesy RCI)

Norwegian Cruise Lines’s impressive ‘Norwegian Breakaway’, which entered service in 2013. NCL took the Promenade concept further than ever before.
Breakaway has a large external promenade running around the the port and starboard sides of the ship and around the bow, called ‘The Waterfront’.  It contains bars and resultants offering sea views.

The Waterfront (NCL)

RCI’s Royal Promenade and the split-superstructure and NCL’s Waterfront were exclusive features to their particular brands for a number of years.

However The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) are undergoing a rapid period of expansion. They are building a series of new mega-ships and have borrowed some ideas from RCI and NCL.

Seaside Prom. Deck (Courtesy MSC)

MSC’s new mega-ship ‘Seaside’ features a wide promenade deck, which I assume will features dining options etc. There are some similarities to NCL’s ‘Waterfront’ feature.

Another MSC’s  newbuild, Meraviglia, features an internal street, not unlike RCI’s ‘Royal Promenade’. The main difference is MSC’s one will have a digital sky.  Meraviglia also has a ‘sports court’ not unlike RCI’s ‘Seaplex’ on-board RCI’s ‘Anthem’ class ships.

Internal prom. deck, MSC Meraviglia (MSC)

MSC, third new class of ship,  the ‘World Class’  will have a split superstructure design rather like that of RCI’s ‘ Oasis’ class. We have yet to find out if the ”World Class’ will also have an internal promenade too.

MSC’s ‘World Class’ (MSC)

However as we have already seen with RCI’s  ‘Royal Promenade’, that they are not beyond a bit of design copying themselves.  Their ‘Quantum class’ ships internal design is very similar to NCL’s Epic/Breakaway/Breakaway+ ships. They had multiple dining and entertainment venues, coupled with a new flexible dining system.  NCL call it ‘Freestyle’, RCI copied it and called it ‘Dynamic Dining’. (Although RCI  have not copied NCL’s  excellent ‘Waterfront’ feature.)

RCI have since revised Dynamic Dining, as it did not impress their passengers.

In conclusion, companies copying other companies ideas and designs is nothing new. However it does seem more commonplace with mega-ships of late.

I hope that this trend does not result in cruise ships becoming more similar to each other – that would be very boring!

“Viva la difference.”

Malcolm

MSC Want To Build Barcelona Terminal

May 26, 2017

82-5644a5fd8ea67

MSC Cruises wants to invest in a massive state-of-the-art cruise terminal at the port of Barcelona, according to Pierfrancesco Vago, the executive chairman.

There are no further details or a timescale as yet.

(MSC)

Fincantieri Lays Keel for Seaview

February 2, 2017

Feb. 02, 2017:

Today MSC Cruises and Fincantieri marked a key milestone in the building of MSC Seaview with the celebration of the coin ceremony for the MSC Seaview.

MSC Seaview will come into service in June 2018, sailing the Western Mediterranean in her inaugural summer season. She will then continue her deployment in Brazil.

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer added: “MSC Seaview will bring guests and the sea closer to each other, with a pioneering beach condo concept and other unique design and product elements that allow to make the most of the warmer weather. With one of the highest ratios of outdoor spaces at sea, guests will also enjoy an increased number of balcony cabins, sea views and outdoor public areas, with every element carefully planned to allow to make the most of the sea and the sunshine.”

(MSC)

Sister ship:

MSC Spends €2.1bn on the Seaside

May 22, 2014
(MSC Image)

(MSC)

London, May 22, 2014 – MSC Cruises has today signed a contract with Italian shipyard Fincantieri confirming the construction of two more new cruise ships, with an option for one more vessel.

The new prototype project, named ‘Seaside’, will be the largest cruise ships ever built by Fincantieri and will feature a revolutionary architectural style leading the way for a new generation of cruise ships.

(MSC Click to enlarge)

(MSC Click to enlarge)

The two new ships will cost €700 million each, with the first scheduled for delivery in November 2017 and the second arriving in May 2018. The deal follows MSC Cruises’ letter of intent with STX France, signed in March this year for another two ships (and two optioned).

From the moment we started talking with Fincantieri, we had in mind to design and build two completely new ships, revolutionary in their structure, unlike anything that exists on the market today” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises.

Seaside is a futuristic prototype because of its structure, shape and versatility. We are getting ready for the new and compelling challenge that the construction of these ships represents. It will be a real revolution in the world’s cruise market, an excellent product for its unique and innovative architectural features and cutting-edge technology.

(MSC)

(MSC)

With a length of 323 metres, a width of 41 metres and a height of 70 metres, the new ships will have a gross tonnage of 154,000 tons and will accommodate up to 5,300 passengers plus 1,413 crew members. The ships will boast 2,070 guest cabins, 759 for crew members, and 43,500 square metres of public areas available. Innovative in design and versatility, the new ships will be able to dock in any port around the world.

(MSC click to enlarge)

(MSC click to enlarge)

The contract was signed between Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises chief executive Gianni Onorato, and Fincantieri chief executive Giuseppe Bono.

Today, MSC Cruises adds the last piece to its new industrial plan that will allow us to double the capacity of our fleet by 2022. With the arrival of the new ships we will reach a capacity of about 80,000 passengers a day” said MSC Cruises chief executive Gianni Onorato.

(MSC image)

(MSC image)

The ‘Seaside’ prototype presents unique features such as a sea-level promenade that circumnavigates the ship with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants. In addition, Seaside will also feature a spacious theatre, a terraced balcony and panoramic lifts with sea views.

Furthermore, the ship will boast numerous technological innovations that will, among other things, further reduce fuel consumption by 25%.

The total value of MSC Cruises’ new orders with Fincantieri and STX France total almost €5 billion.

 (Source: MSC)

Giles Hawke Comments

Speaking to TTG Digital following the announcement that a €2.1 billion deal has been signed to build two new ships with the option of a third, Giles Hawke, MSC Cruises executive director for UK, Ireland and Australia, said the new ships will feature a number of innovations.

He added these will include wind deflectors to stop customers from being troubled by strong winds while the ship is cruising while a promenade deck skirting the ship and almost at sea level will further improve the quality of the cruise.

Meanwhile the fact that the ships are shorter and wider, they will be 323 metres long and 41 metres wide, will allow them to visit smaller ports.

(MSC Image)

(MSC Image)

With 2,070 cabins spread over 43,500 square metres of public space the ships will have space for 5,300 passengers.

Hawke said: “It’s substantially different to what anyone else has got. Pier Franchesco has talked about creating the iPhone of the cruise industry, this is it.

“It’s all based around an outdoor living experience called Project Seaside. It (then promenade deck) is almost at sea level and there will be outdoor shopping and bars

“We’re working on creating the right wind deflectors so they (customers) can sit outside while the ship is moving.

“It puts us up there as a substantial major player against any other cruise line in the world.

Hawke said: “By 2020 we will have double our fleet versus what we have today.”

(Source: TTG Digital)

msc big

(Click to Enlarge)

Malcolm Says: Wow, this IS exciting news for big ship fans (but a nightmare for small ship lovers.)

MSC have now announced four big newbuilds, two called ‘Vista’ (STX) and the two above, ‘Seaside’ (Fincantieri). MSC are set to become the third biggest cruise line by capacity.  I like the sound of Seaside’s NCL type ‘Waterfront’ feature and Vista’s RCL style ‘Royal Promenade’.

I note that Seaside has her funnel (and probably much associated machinery)  in the middle, which reminds me of the great ocean liners of the past.

MSC Seaside Interiors slide-shows HERE