It’s been five or six years since my sit down with MSC Cruise USA Chairman Rick Sasso, where we discussed the future of the rapidly-expanding, privately-owned cruise line.
It was obvious to me that MSC had designs on becoming a major player in the cruise market in the United States. Sasso mentioned a year-round presence, and the possibility of ships on the West Coast as well.
Fast forward to 2017. MSC Divina has a year-round presence in Miami, and the brand new MSC Seaside is set to debut from South Florida in December. MSC Seaside was designed specifically for warm-weather sailing – perfect for the Caribbean. By 2019 another ship debuting this year – MSC Meraviglia – will homeport somewhere on American shores … perhaps on the West Coast where it could become the first MSC ship to cruise Alaska. At that point MSC will have three ships here.
You probably don’t know much about this cruise line. Americans can be a bit arrogant at times, believing that if they haven’t heard of something then it must not be any good.
Well, let me introduce you to MSC Cruises. It’s the fourth largest cruise line in the world, and the No. 1 line in Europe, South America and South Africa.
They are the cleanest ships I’ve ever sailed on … and the entertainment is stellar.
Need more? This is not a startup company with old ships. MSC has the youngest fleet in the industry and continues to build … with 10 more coming into service over the next nine years. Included amongst those new builds are four that are more than 200,000 tons each. Only Royal Caribbean has ships that large.
Just like anything else, MSC isn’t for everyone. However, MSC Seaside is working to address some American concerns such as smaller dinner portions designed for Europeans.
MSC Cruises are priced amazingly well as they look to get the word out about their product. Beautiful ship + great pricing = a solid cruise experience.
Allure Quest Travel Experience has a series of cruises booked for 2018 to get the ball rolling. The most popular so far is a seven-night Spring Break cruise set for March 31-April 7, with balcony cabins selling for $974 per person.