Switzerland-based cruise line MSC Cruises has just floated out its next megaship, MSC Seaside — one of two new groundbreaking vessels it's debuting between June and December 2017 (the other is MSC Meraviglia in June) — in a gala ceremony that took place Thanksgiving weekend at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where the ship is being built. (See Cruiseable's preview of MSC Seaside.)
The float-out is an important milestone in the construction of a cruise ship as it is the moment where the ship first floats on water when the dry dock is flooded and the ship is moved to a wet dock for the final phase of her construction. The exterior of the ship is complete and work moves to complete interiors, fixtures and fittings.
MSC Seaside will home-port in PortMiami, where she will sail to the Caribbean year round, increasing the company's number of ships sailing in that area to five, each bringing MSC's distinctive Mediterranean flair and elegance to the Caribbean vacation experience.
Here's a 2½-minute tour of the upcoming MSC Seaside.
MSC Seaside reflects a completely new and innovative generation of cruise ships being built by leading Italian shipyard Fincantieri. With this new prototype inspired by an elegant beach condo, MSC Cruises is pushing the boundaries with a bold design concept. Designed to bring guests closer to the sea, the ship will feature a unique 360-degree ocean level promenade, panoramic glass elevators and a breathtaking 98-foot bridge on the top deck. A whopping 73 percent of the staterooms will have balconies.
The ship will also take the MSC Yacht Club — a unique ship-within-a-ship concept first introduced by MSC Cruises — to the next level. Located on the prestigious foredecks of the ship and offering a private sun deck, a private lounge and private restaurant, the MSC Yacht Club has been expanded on MSC Seaside to more than five decks. MSC Yacht Club will also feature two coveted apartment suites that include a living room and a large balcony with a dining area and private whirlpool.
Even dining is taking on a new twist with a huge choice of Mediterranean and international cuisines served in 11 different venues, including five specialty restaurants. The ship will introduce a partnership with world famous Hawaii chef Roy Yamaguchi, who will create a Pan-Asian specialty restaurant. There will also be buffets serving food 20 hours a day, with one designed specifically for families.
A stunning 934-seat theater will set the stage for four performances every night while an interactive aqua park with its four slides will provide hours of fun for the entire family, a 394-foot-long zipline will appeal to thrill-seekers and the aft pool will be the perfect spot for those looking for complete relaxation.
According to a company spokesperson, "MSC Seaside will enable guests to experience the Caribbean Sea like never before." She will stop at ports such as George Town in the Cayman Islands, Cozumel in Mexico and Nassau in the Bahamas. From October 2018, MSC Seaside will also call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the stunning marine reserve private island in the Bahamas, exclusively available for MSC Cruises guests.
The 5,179-passsenger MSC Seaside will measure 1,059 feet long and with a volume of 160,000 gross registered tons. She is the first of two identical ships in the Seaside generation. Her sister ship, MSC Seaview, is set to enter service in spring 2018 and will be based in the Western Mediterranean, while a third one — reflecting an existing option for one additional Seaside generation ship — will be delivered by 2021.