Posted by Gerry Barker
Geneva, Switzerland (July 1, 2019) — MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line — celebrated this past weekend a key global milestone in the company’s history, welcoming its 20 millionth cruiser on board the Miami-based MSC Seaside.
This significant achievement is a testament to MSC Cruises’ expansion since its establishment only in 2003, quickly becoming a global player with one of the highest growth rates in the industry and the introduction of 16 cruise ships over the span of 16 years. In 2019 alone, the company will have launched two new ships — MSC Bellissima in March and MSC Grandiosa in November — and will introduce its new island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, debuting in November.
“Reaching our 20 millionth cruiser is truly a milestone achievement for MSC Cruises, and a representation of how far we’ve come while building a global brand that serves guests from over 170 nationalities across five continents,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “With our capacity set to triple by 2027, we will continue to raise the bar in two main areas, on board and ashore, offering our guests a unique experience each time they sail with us. MSC Seaside is the perfect example of this: she is one of the most innovative ships at sea in terms of design as well as onboard experience. She also features the latest and some of the most innovative environmental technology at sea.”
MSC Seaside not only complies with the highest international standards, she also received from international classification society RINA – in addition to the main class notations – its “Green Star 3 Design” certificate. RINA’s Green Star 3 – the latest and most comprehensive edition of the RINA’s Green STAR class notations – specifically recognizes that MSC Seaside reaches the greatest levels of eco-compatibility thanks to the relevance of the various innovative measures put in place which help reducing the environmental footprint during operations. These include, amongst others, the exhaust gas cleaning system, the advanced waste water treatment, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, the ballast water treatment system, and the ship’s Environmental Management Plan.
Fleet wide, MSC Cruises’ offers guests an enriching cruise vacation inspired by the Company’s European heritage. On board, guests are able to meet people from all over the world, while enjoying fine dining options from world-renowned chefs, exclusive world-class entertainment, award-winning activities and facilities for families and children of all ages, luxurious wellness and comfortable accommodations to meet every need. On land, MSC Cruises’ guests are then able to discover the hidden treasures of each destination they visit through specially curated tours and one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences designed for each itinerary.
MSC Cruises maintains a foothold as the world’s fastest growing cruise line with an ambitious €13.6 billion EUR (≈15.6 billion USD) investment plan in place, which will introduce a total of 17 ships between 2017 and 2027, bringing the fleet total to 29 cruise ships. In addition to continued global expansion, MSC Cruises has placed a priority on increasing its presence in North America. To this end, by the close of 2019 MSC Cruises will have, for the first time, four ships sailing from Miami — MSC Seaside,
MSC Meraviglia (arriving to North America for the first time in October 2019), MSC Divina and MSC Armonia.
“As MSC Cruises expands its presence in the North American market, the support of and collaboration with our travel advisors is paramount to our success,” said Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA. “We were extremely pleased to learn that Mr. Bonachea and his family were booked by one of the largest travel agency networks in the U.S., Dream Vacations, a long time dedicated partner of MSC Cruises. We look forward to celebrating this occasion with them.”
Raul Bonachea, MSC Cruises’ 20 millionth cruiser, his wife and daughter, from Winter Haven, Fla., are currently sailing on board MSC Seaside for a 7-night cruise that departed from Miami on June 29, booked by Dream Vacations. To honor Raul and celebrate this exciting milestone, MSC Cruises upgraded the family to a luxurious MSC Yacht Club suite, offering the family an elevated ship-within-a-ship experience complete with a private restaurant, pool and lounge as well as 24-hour butler and concierge service. And, to toast the occasion with all of the guests on board, MSC Seaside hosted a 20 Millionth Guest Party on Sunday, June 30 in the ship’s atrium, the social hub of the ship. The celebration was bubbling with complimentary champagne for all guests, a special officers’ parade, an artisan cake and a special performance from one of the ship’s most popular shows. The Captain joined the celebrations and toast, offering congratulations and a special gift for MSC Cruises’ 20 millionth cruiser.
“MSC Cruises is one of our valued partners and we couldn’t be more pleased to learn that our Dream Vacations Travel Agent Myrna Reyes was the booking agent who sold the 20 millionth MSC Cruises customer,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. “We are excited to be part of the celebrations of this historic milestone.”
“We are thrilled to have sold the cruise voyage to MSC Cruises’ 20 millionth customer,” said Myrna Reyes, travel agent with Dream Vacations – Santisteban and Associates in Miami. “Our agency has long been a believer in the MSC Cruises’ product. We remain convinced that the MSC Cruises’ brand is a spectacular vacation product which offers consumers the most modern and beautiful ships at sea. Our Dream Vacations travel advisors are delighted to be part of this celebration. We remain loyal to the MSC Cruises’ brand and look forward to being part of the MSC Cruises’ story for the next 20 million consumers and beyond.”
To learn more about MSC Cruises and to book a cruise, travelers can contact their preferred travel advisor or visit www.msccruises.com.
(Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)