MSC to Stretch Magnifica, Add 215 New Staterooms

MSC Magnifica

The MSC Magnifica will be stretched by 23 meters, adding 215 new cabins ahead of her 2021 summer season from Southampton, the company announced today.

The stretch project is valued at $140 million, according to company officials; the 215 new rooms will include 92 balcony cabins.

Other additions will include a new water park, a new shopping area, two new restaurants and a redesigned kids area.

When work is completed, the MSC Magnifica will feature two new onboard environmental advances to complement a wide range of existing environmental technologies across the company’s entire fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system. The ship will also get a shorepower system.

MSC Stretch Image

The UK summer season will run from May to October with cruises ranging from two to 14 nights, sailing to the Canary Islands and Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic. Sales are set to open on Sept. 12.

The Magnifica is one of four ships in MSC’s Musica class of vessels, built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique and launched in 2010. She has a capacity for 2,550 guests at double occupancy.

Other Musica class vessels include the Musica, Orchestra and Poesia.

MSC previously stretched its four Lirica-class ships as more cruise operators turn to stretching vessels to add capacity.

Carnival’s Cuba ship getting upgrade

T0226CarnivalParadiseHavana_HRThe Carnival Paradise in Havana.The Carnival Paradise, a ship that sails Cuba cruises from Tampa, is undergoing an extensive month-long refurbishment in Freeport, Bahamas.

When the 20-year-old ship returns to service on March 26, it will have a water park, 38 new cabins, 98 balconies added to existing staterooms, and new bars and restaurants.

Among the new accommodations are two Grand Vista suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, 22 junior suites, two oceanview cabins and 12 interior accommodations. All staterooms will have new island-inspired interiors with bright colours.

The new dining and drinking options are establishments that are on many other Carnival ships:

The complimentary Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina, and the RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

The BlueIguana Cantina is a complimentary restaurant on the pool deck.
The BlueIguana Cantina is a complimentary restaurant on the pool deck.

The WaterWorks Aqua Park on the Verandah Deck features the enclosed 300-foot-long Twister water slide, two 82-foot-long racing slides, and a splash zone for kids.

A nine-hole miniature golf course has been relocated to Deck 14.

The Camp Ocean play area for kids ages 2-11 showcases the wonders of the sea and offers ocean-themed activities, including arts and crafts and science-oriented programming.

The Carnival Paradise’s retail shops are being redesigned and will include Pandora and Guess.  The Cherry on Top sweets shop is also being added. The printed photo gallery is being replaced with a digital Pixels-branded platform that allows guests to identify and purchase images via their smartphones or at a nearby kiosk.

The Carnival Paradise’s schedule includes four-day cruises to Cozumel and five-day cruises to Cozumel or Roatan, Grand Cayman or Key West. The ship also sails to Cuba with four-day cruises visiting Havana, five-day cruises calling at Havana and Cozumel or Key West, and eight-day voyages to Havana, Key West and Grand Cayman.

Construction starts on Star Cruises megaship

Star Cruises has cut the first steel for a 4,500-passenger ship scheduled for delivery in the fall of 2016.

The unnamed ship, and a similar one due to enter service in fall 2017, will sail in Asia.

The Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, is building the vessels, which will be the largest by far in the Star Cruises fleet at 151,000 gross tons. Today, the line’s largest ship is the SuperStar Virgo, at 75,000 gross tons and capacity for about 2,000 passengers.

“The delivery of these two newly commissioned mega cruise ships will enable us to continue to strengthen and further enhance our competitiveness across our key source markets,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, CEO  of Genting Hong Kong, the company that owns Star Cruises.

One of ship’s unique features will be a “street night market” with hawker stalls serving delicacies from various Asian countries. The megaship also will have a theater and a water park with slides.