Meraviglia translates as ‘wonder’ and that is definitely an apt name for the latest launch by MSC Cruises. MSC Meraviglia is their largest ship to date, with a massive 4,475-passenger capacity spread over 14 decks and a displacement of 172,000 tons. It is currently the fourth largest cruise ship in the world. Part of their $9 billion expansion plans that will see a new megaship hit the water every year for the next five years, it is aimed at the burgeoning North American market and will make Miami its home port in 2019.
MSC has gone all-out in gunning for the wow factor. A gigantic 5,200 sq. feet LED screen that comes the inside dome of the promenade that brings the sky to the inside of the ship. The Aurea Spa brings traditional Balinese relaxation, touched with MSC luxury to the high seas; pamper your body and soul with its extensive range of services. An outdoor water park and two-story amusement park will entertain kids and adults alike with its twisting slides and Himalayan bride. An F1 simulator allows you to go head-to-head with friend or on the tarmac; continue the battle on polished wood in the lanes of the full-size bowling alley. Cirque du Soleil is a permanent fixture, offering two shows never performed anywhere else. Guests also have the option of a regular bar, karaoke bar and comedy club to while their time away.
A very intriguing feature that promises to be a hit is the TV studio, which will feature live broadcasts of interactive entertainment, contests, games and quizzes. Kids will love the sports complex that converts into a social area in the evenings while the very little (aged from one to three) will find their getaway in the Baby Club. Those up to the age of 11 will love the Mini and Juniors clubs with its bright, colorful decor and ocean view. Premium restaurants, duplex suites, and balcony-view and ocean-view suites combine spacious luxury with tasteful design.
Top chef Carlo Cracco developed the menu specially for the Meraviglia and renowned chocolatier Jean-Philippe Maury added his sweet touch. Apparently, MSC has paid special attention to service standards after criticism in the past over that aspect of its on-board operations. MSC cruises is known for its operations in Europe, South America and South Africa, always with a Mediterranean tag. Although it is initially (for the first two years) focusing on the European market, all signage and announcements will be in English.