2018 – My MSC YEAR

The end of January is that time of the year when, looking at the last year’s photos, reviews and memories, the “cruise fever” starts to be unbearable and armed with all my credit cards I design my cruising schedule for the new year. Today is the 22nd and already I am excited with my 5 cruises booked: one with Cunard, one with Regent and 3 with MSC.

Is not a secret anymore for anyone, that I am a big fan of MSC Yacht Club and I told you already 1001 reasons for that. Despite the fact that the cruise line in general and Yacht Club, as a product, in particular, still have couple of steps away from the promised perfection (at the end of the day every cloud has a silver lining), MSC is the first choice when I decide my cruising schedule for 2018.

2018 is a MSC year in UK too! A logical extension of 2017 success when MSC reported a sales surge of 32% year-on-year with best-selling products including sailings around the eastern Mediterranean and ex-UK cruising onboard MSC Magnifica (which arrives in Southampton in April) making 23 turnaround calls in Southampton and another 25 calls in British and Irish ports from other ships as well.

And that’s just the beginning because MSC Cruises is to increase capacity out of Southampton in summer 2019 by replacing MSC Magnifica with the larger and newer, my favourite MSC ship –  MSC Prezioza‎. The 139,072-tonne Prezioza entered service in March 2013 and is the last of the line’s four Fantasia-class ships. It carries 4,345 passengers, 740 more than the 95,128-tonne Magnifica which began operations in 2010. Both ships will have tweaks made to the on-board entertainment and food to ensure it fully caters for the UK market, so more reasons to get excited!

MSC wants and can be one of the big players in the UK market. MSC Cruises chief executive Gianni Onorato revealed recently the ambition to become “the leading international player in the UK market” within five years. He said: “MSC represents 10% of the cruise market worldwide and we need to reach 10% in the UK. We are currently just under 5%” but with Magnifica this summer and Prezioza the summer after, MSC will do it.

One of my New Year resolution was to make 2018 an MSC year and try to “fit” as many MSC YC experiences as possible in 12 months. Easy to say, difficult to make it reality…sometimes I need to go to work, you know! But, at the moment, I already have 3 dream trips booked:

– a birthday celebration on MSC Divina on the 31 of March

– hoping to catch the last days of the Indian summer on MSC Fantasia at the end of September from Genoa

– and trying to move the title “Best New Year cruise ever” from Meraviglia (2017/2018) to MSC Splendida, sailing out from Dubai on the 29th of December.

By no panic…is just January!

I was checking today couple of trips on the new MSC Seaview, due to enter service in the Mediterranean in June before being deployed in the winter from Brazil. The 5,179-passenger vessel will follow 154,000 tonne MSC Seaside which already sail from its homeport in Miami. MSC Seaview will be the latest next-generation mega cruise ship to come into service under MSC Cruises’ ten-year investment plan through to 2026. MSC promise with Seaview to rewrite the rule book of cruise ship design, blending indoor and outdoor areas to connect you with the sea like never before. Circling the entire ship as low as Deck 8 is a unique seafront promenade lined with places to eat, drink, shop, swim and sunbathe. As a passenger you can enjoy more superb views from the two-deck glass-walled atrium and panoramic elevators. And, of course, the epitome of elegance and luxury at sea, the MSC Yacht Club  sounds more promising more promising than ever. I do hope that the sorted out the storage space issue from MSC Meraviglia! Definitely I need to book a cruise on Seaview before the ship cross the Atlantic and the usual Western Mediterranean itinerary sounds great to me.  And by the way, just between you and me, if you book your MSC Seaview cruise directly online (https://www.msccruises.co.uk), by calling +44 203 856 3023, or by visiting your local travel agent you will get a 5% DISCOUNT, an offer available for a limited time only. Capital!


Can’t’ wait to use again “MSC for Me” – a digital multi-channel experience available through mobile apps, interactive cabin TV screens, public interactive on-board screens and wearable will provide guests with over 130 smart features geared towards a fully optimised holiday experience. The app is waiting on my phone to be used again, like on my New Year cruise on MSC Meraviglia when 16,000 points of connectivity, 700 digital access points, 358 informative and interactive screens, and 2,244 cabins with RFID/NFC access technology made my dream to customising my holiday experience both before and during the cruise come true! The company envisions a fleet-wide roll-out of the programme to its existing 14 ships, and the addition 8 next-generation mega ships planned to be delivered between 2018 and 2024. How exciting!

MSC doesn’t stop to surprise me. For good and sometimes, not so good reason. But for sure the Status Match programme was a big WOW. Any potential passengers with valid loyalty club memberships from other cruise lines, or hotel groups and tour operators, will be able to join the line’s Voyagers Club loyalty scheme and automatically match their existing level of benefits. The Status Match programme (which does not apply to airline frequent flyer programmes), has already been introduced in the UK, US, Italy, Germany and France. The tier level (Classic, Silver, Gold or Black) to which passengers are assigned will correspond with the level of benefits they are receiving from their existing scheme. Membership of the Voyagers Club guarantees a five percent discount on cruise prices, on-board privileges and access to a range of sailings affording additional discounts of up to 15 per cent. The revised points-earning system, which has no age limit and is based on the type of cruise booked – including pre-booked shore excursions and spa treatments – rather than the number of nights sailed, comes with more favourable benefits and on-board promotions. These include a “Welcome Level” that kicks in as soon as a booking is confirmed. The only thing that you need is to find 5 minutes to send an e-mail to MSC…

That’s enough talking, let’s do some work, some research… I am sure that I will not honor my new year resolution about the weekly gym visit, stop smoking or drinking only in weekends, but for sure 2018 will be my MSC YEAR.

Keep sailing folks!

~ by leonard69 on January 22, 2018.

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