What to expect on MSC Cruises' latest ship, MSC Seashore
By Jeannine Williamson | 30 Mar 2022
MSC Cruises’ latest ﬂagship, MSC Seashore, takes its inspiration from the Big Apple and proves bigger really is better
When you step aboard a ship and come face to face with a 13-foot-high replica of the Statue of Liberty, neon-bright Times Square-style billboards and a four-deck-high LED screen with projections of the Manhattan skyline, you know you’re on a vessel that’s out to make a statement. And MSC Seashore certainly does that.
MSC Cruises’ new flagship is as big and bold as New York itself, with wow-factor features at every turn, including Danza del Mare (Dance of the Seas), a mesmerising spiral art installation with 190 shimmering glass fish that ‘swim’ up four decks. The vessel is the 19th and largest in MSC’s expanding and evolving fleet and was the first-ever ship to be christened at the cruise line’s private island, the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas.
The first MSC Evo-class ship, it’s built on the blueprint of the two Seaside-class ships, MSC Seaside and Seaview, which were designed to sail in sunny climes and bring passengers closer to the sea with large outdoor promenades for eating, drinking and lounging. On Seashore, 65% of the public spaces have been ‘reimagined’ with all-new features including an al fresco dining area outside MSC’s signature steakhouse Butcher’s Cut.
Its six swimming pools include the swashbuckling new Pirates Cove for youngsters, while grown-up passengers can head to the adult-only bar area and infinity pool wrapped around the aft of the ship. This is a standout new spot, with loungers partly immersed in the shallow waters at the edge of the pool.
Moving inside, the sweep of MSC’s trademark Swarovski crystal-studded staircases lead to new spaces. The five speciality restaurants are conveniently situated in the redesigned Chef’s Court: Butcher’s Cut; the theatrical Kaito Teppanyaki; Mexican Hola Tacos & Cantina; Kaito Sushi Bar, with a new conveyor belt of rotating dishes; and the new Ocean Cay seafood restaurant. Elsewhere, the New York vibe extends to the main dining rooms called Central Park, Manhattan, Tribeca and 5th Avenue. All in all, there are nearly 30 restaurants, lounges and bars.
There are plenty of entertainment venues, too. Le Cabaret Rouge is an atmospheric French-inspired live music venue wrapped in dark red walls, while the Uptown lounge is a lively piano bar. Meanwhile, youngsters can let off steam at the largest children’s club in the MSC fleet, which has a fun space-themed area.
Away from the dazzling public areas, Seashore’s 2,270 cabins, including 66 accessible rooms, are decorated in restful and muted tones including palettes of taupe, blue and green. There are 15 different stateroom categories to choose from and 11 of those come with balconies. More than 30 swanky suites have their own hot tubs on the veranda.
On a ship full of superlatives and bigger-than-before features, the largest cabins – a pair of owner’s suites – can be found in the exclusive MSC Yacht Club, also the largest in the fleet. The ship-within-a-ship enclave, occupying the front upper decks of Seashore, has its own panoramic lounge, dining room and pool deck, and guests are pampered with 24-hour butler service.
The 5,632-passenger Seashore sails on round-trip cruises from Miami to the eastern and western Caribbean, with destinations including the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica. All cruises feature a day or overnight stay at Ocean Cay, the island where Seashore was named by Hollywood actress Sophia Loren.
What to do on MSC Cruises’ private island Ocean Cay
Quite a few lines have private playgrounds in the Bahamas, but again MSC breaks the mould with the 95-acre Ocean Cay, 65 miles off the Miami coastline. Rather than buy a ‘ready-made’ island, in 2015 MSC took on an abandoned sand mine covered with scrap metal and a surrounding sea bed littered with harmful debris. An ambitious £134 million regeneration project has seen corals brought back to life and the island transformed into an eco-friendly chill-out spot for passengers, which spearheads the line’s commitment to protecting the marine environment.
Activities are low-key and sustainable, such as climbing up to the top of the lighthouse, kayaking, snorkelling or simply lazing on loungers and bean bags on the beach. At night there’s a lively and colourful Bahamian Junkanoo parade.
Latest developments include a marine research centre, which is being built on the island as a base for visiting scientists and to let passengers learn about conservation work.
MSC has certainly made a splash with its island hideaway and forward-thinking flagship, whose technology reduces emissions and saves energy. Seashore paves the way not only for the next in class, MSC Seascape, but also for the line’s next trailblazing vessel, MSC World Europa. Launching this December, it will be MSC’s first ship powered by the cleanest marine fuel liquefied natural gas (LNG). Watch this space.
Book a cruise on MSC Seashore
A seven-night sailing on MSC Seashore, departing on July 9, and sailing round-trip from Miami to the Caribbean, starts from £799 per person cruise-only. For details visit msccruises.co.uk