MSC Cruises reveals details of the private island

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Gallery: First pictures of MSC Cruises’ private island Ocean Cay revealed

MSC Cruises’ new private island in the Caribbean will give guests a “ticket to paradise”, according to chief executive Gianni Onorato.

Ocean Cay, 20 miles off the coast of the Bahamas and 65 miles from Miami, will boast eight “pristine” beaches, seven reserved for different guests, such as families, Yacht Club or Aurea Spa passengers, and one for the crew.

There will also be a sunset beach, lagoon beach and main beach where all water sports and activities will take place. Water sports will include snorkelling to a shallow sunken shipwreck through to scuba diving.

Lectures on the coral life around the island and what MSC has done to clean up and preserve it will be offered, something Onorato felt would be popular with younger guests and children.

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Every Caribbean itinerary from Miami, whether sailing to the Eastern or Western Caribbean, will call at Ocean Cay. Onorato said: “Because it’s so close to Miami, we can stay there until 1am so people can experience it at night and still be back in Miami for 6am the following morning.”

Guests will be able to watch movies under the stars with their feet in the sand.

Food will include a family buffet and a food cart going around the island, but the ship’s restaurants will remain open all day as many guests are expected to go back on board to eat. The furthest point of the island is a 17-minute walk from the ship and “completely flat”, Onorato said.

Deckchairs and some activities will be included in the cruise price, but cabanas, cocktails, island Wi-Fi, and certain sports like scuba diving will be extra. All will be bookable through package upgrades via the MSC app.

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Onorato also revealed there would be a second private island, for groups of 30-40 people, that could be booked out exclusively for the day. He said this would be a perfect upsell for travel agents. Costs for this and other extras would be added to the website at the end of the month.

The island will have three shops; one selling Bahamian goods manned by locals, one selling Ocean Cay-branded merchandise and the other selling MSC items.

Onorato said it was his “dream” to open an island in the Mediterranean but explained that the only location it would be possible to have an island open year-round, off the North African coast, was currently out of bounds.

“We will have to wait, but it is my dream to open a private island in the Mediterranean at some point,” he said.

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MSC To Be Third Biggest Luxury Player

2027 Luxury Market Breakdown

With MSC Cruises entering the luxury market with dedicated 1,000-guest ships, the family-owned company will be the third biggest luxury operator by 2027, according to Cruise Industry News estimates.

Viking Ocean will control most of the market pie, with 18 ships and an estimated market share of 35.7 per cent based on passenger capacity.

Silversea, with an aggressive newbuilding program and a new owner in Royal Caribbean Cruises, will be the second largest luxury line, with 12 ships and 13 per cent of the market come 2027, based on the existing cruise ship orderbook.

MSC Funnel

MSC Cruises is next, as the Italian brand will have four 64,000-ton luxury ships, 4,000 berths and just under 10 per cent of the luxury market, not including the company’s Yacht Club berths on its quickly-expanding fleet of megaships.

Crystal and Seabourn round out the top five, as both are expanding into the expedition market with new ships and Crystal has also committed to a new class of larger ocean-going vessels.

Six reasons why MSC Meraviglia will be this summer’s ultimate destination in the Mediterranean

MSC Meraviglia

Designed around meeting every need of its guests, MSC Meraviglia will introduce new, cutting edge ways to connect holidaymakers seamlessly with the experiences that matter to them, whether at sea or on land.

With the first cruise scheduled for 4 June 2017, MSC Meraviglia will feature the ultimate in entertainment, alongside a broad range of dining options and luxurious wellness choices. In addition to the on-board experience, the ship will spend her inaugural summer season sailing the western Mediterranean – calling at beautiful, historic destinations with a unique, highly-tailored programme of discovery excursions, to immerse guests in local culture and tastes.

  1. Exclusive, world-class entertainment from Cirque du Soleil

The highlight of on-board entertainment will be represented by the world leader in artistic performance, Cirque du Soleil, thanks to the exclusive Cirque du Soleil at Sea partnership with MSC Cruises.

Two unique Cirque du Soleil shows will be performed on-board in the evenings, 6 nights per week, at the purpose-build Carousel Lounge. An exclusive on-site dinner service for up to 100 of the 450 guests booked for the show, which elevates MSC Cruises’ exquisite dining and award-winning entertainment to yet another level. In fact, this is a unique experience that cannot be had anywhere else at sea – or in the world, for that matter.

MSC Cruises designed a custom-made entertainment venue, the Carousel Lounge, for MSC Meraviglia and its three Meraviglia and Meraviglia-Plus sister smart cruise ships. Featuring the latest technology, this ground-breaking venue, which has been designed to meet the needs of Cirque du Soleil and its performers, will be a circular performance space with a 180° circular glass wall. Kitted out with the most cutting edge equipment and special rigging, the Carousel Lounge will enable Cirque du Soleil performers to deliver their world-renowned performances for the exclusive enjoyment of MSC Cruises guests.

  1. Enriched family offering and cutting-edge entertainment for all ages

With MSC Meraviglia, MSC Cruises continues to evolve and enrich the family options that have historically been at the core of its offering. The facilities and services for families on every MSC Cruises holiday, are designed to ensure that it is engaging for all members of the family, both together and individually.

For the first time on any MSC Cruises ship, all of the facilities for families, kids and teens are all together in a super amusement park and children’s area. This means families have a dedicated area specially designed for their needs, providing a safe place for children, and an opportunity to also meet and get to know other families. This area includes the DOREMI Studio Lounge, a dedicated lounge for all family activities, DOREMI Tech Lab, a must visit destination for kids who love technology, as well as facilities designed in partnership with family experts including the LEGO Group and Chicco.

Amongst other features, the on-board Aqua Park will include four action-packed water slides, a splash pool and champagne bowl. And the Himalayan Bridge will thrill adventure seekers, who can attach themselves to a rope and cross the ship, 60 metres above the water.

  1. Comfortable accommodations to meet every need

With 10 different types of cabin to choose from, there really is something for everyone.

The Yacht Club

MSC Meraviglia features an enhanced Yacht Club with luxurious accommodation, now spanning three decks with 78 suites, 15 inside cabins and two apartments. The two coveted apartment suites are designed with a large living room and two balconies, one of which is a large outdoor space that has a dining table for eating al fresco and a private whirlpool.

This unique “ship within a ship” concept is specially designed for guests seeking exclusivity and privacy in a world full of choice. MSC Yacht Club guests can thus enjoy the world-class entertainment, speciality restaurants and boutiques before returning to their own private, luxurious haven.

With unparalleled luxury comparable to that of a private yacht, it also provides key benefits including the Top Sail Lounge, an entirely self-contained private club, offering panoramic sea views, and the One Pool Deck, featuring a private pool, whirlpool baths and solarium. A private lift will transport guests discreetly to the MSC Aurea Spa to experience the delights of an authentic Balinese spa, with an exclusive MSC Yacht Club massage and treatment room.

Modular cabins designed with the needs of families in mind

The trend for multi-generational holidays is further met on this ship with a clever modular cabins system, which is unique to MSC Cruises. Up to three cabins can be combined together to accommodate up to 10 guests.

In addition to the modular cabins, quadruple cabins can accommodate a family of up to four people each, with a living space in the daytime, and a sofa that turns into a comfortable bed by night – making the most effective use of space in the cabin.

  1. A truly unprecedented choice of both fine and casual dining options

MSC Meraviglia makes available to her guests a choice of both fine and casual options through 12 venues – in true MSC Cruises fashion – serving always fresh, authentic food. This starts with the buffet, open 20-hours a day, which will serve a delicious array of Mediterranean specialities and international cuisines – including ethnic, “itinerary” and wellness corners plus a multitude of other tastes and dietary needs catered for round-the-clock.

In addition, fine dining options examples include the award-winning Kaito Sushi Bar, the new Kaito Teppanyaki Restaurant and an American-style steakhouse with specialty meats from around the world (details of additional fine dining options will be revealed over time).

  1. The 96 metre-long Mediterranean-style promenade

Another feature of MSC Meraviglia is her Mediterranean-style indoor promenade, featuring an 80 metre LED sky that creates an awe-inspiring atmosphere 24 hours a day. With stunning visuals and effects, the Promenade will be the social centre of the ship and a focal point for a broad range of leisure activities. Amongst others, guests can stroll up and down, sit back and take in the atmosphere, shop until their hearts’ content, snack on delicious ice cream or crepes from Jean Philippe Maury, the award-winning French chocolatier and pastry chef.

  1. Elegant pools for daytime relaxation and night-time entertainment

MSC Meraviglia offers all her guests a choice of three elegantly designed pools:

* The main pool, located on deck 15 is inspired by the cool vibes of Miami’s South Beach. At approximately 25 metres long, it has the most generous poolside space at sea. By night, the pool becomes a visual spectacle, illuminated with special lighting. There is also a buffet nearby with inside and outdoor dining options, providing guests with more convenience and optimal relaxation time.

* As MSC Meraviglia is the ship for all seasons, there is a 10 metres indoor pool with a magrodome that can be opened when the ship is in port or the weather simply allows for it.

* Finally, the Aft Pool on deck 16 offers spectacular views from the front of the ship, while by night is transformed into a space where guests can dance the night away under the stars.

Additionally, the private One Deck Pool, exclusively for the use of Yacht Club guests, is in a coveted position at the top of the ship on deck 19 providing a quiet haven for relaxation.