MSC Cruises USA Furloughs 128 Staff

Dawn with MSC Poesia in the background.

According to a filing with the state of Florida, MSC Cruises USA has furloughed 128 employees, citing the COVID-19 crisis.

The furloughs include 55 cruise consultants, 10 home-based cruise consultants, five contact centre supervisors, eight group advocates and various other titles.

The company has its U.S. headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and said it hopes the furloughs are temporary.

MSC has four ships based in the United States with aspirations to grow. The Seaside, Armonia, Divina and Meraviglia serve the U.S. market.

MSC Extends Cruising Halt Through May 29

MSC Seaview

MSC Cruises has decided to further extend the pause of its cruise operation through May 29, according to a statement.

This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said, extending its operations pause from April 30 for another month.

“As governments across the globe have since further strengthened ashore public health and safety measures to protect local populations and contain the further spread of the virus, today’s decision by MSC Cruises to further extend this extraordinary measure aims to mirror and further support the effectiveness of such efforts,” the company said.

“MSC Cruises is working tirelessly with all guests and their travel agents to address the impact of this necessary decision to their bookings on our ships up to May 29 and it is genuinely sorry for the inconvenience that this will cause them. By announcing this now, the Company intends to provide travel agents and guests who are booked on affected sailings with as much time as possible to move their booking to a future cruise.”

MSC Divina will return to Miami in 2016

MSC Cruises said that MSC Divina will sail from Miami during the summer of 2016, giving it a year-round presence in the Caribbean again.

MSC had said that Divina would return from the Mediterranean this fall but hadn’t announced deployment beyond April 2016.

With the announcement, MSC published itineraries for Divina through March 2017. They will rotate between eastern and western Caribbean routes and call in St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas.

As previously announced, MSC plans to deploy a new ship, the MSC Seaside, from Miami starting in November 2017. The MSC Seaside is expected to sail to the Caribbean year round.

Divina sailings from April 2016 through March 2017 will go on sale on Friday, May 1. In an introductory promotion,  MSC said it will offer consumers a shipboard credit, a beverage package and a WiFi package, depending on the category of stateroom booked.

The line will also offer 18% flat commission for group bookings, along with complimentary stateroom upgrades and shipboard credit for guests in the group.