For the first time, MSC Cruises will have a ship based in Miami for both winter and summer seasons. The MSC Divina is offering seven-night cruises in the Caribbean on different itineraries – and 16 Irish travel agents are currently onboard checking out new facilities and visiting Dubrovnik and Venice prior to the ship’s transatlantic repositioning.
Following their successful introduction onboard the new MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina now has two new Eataly restaurants and, for spinning enthusiasts, innovative Aqua Cycling by Hydrorider facilities, the latest fitness craze across the USA. Prices for a seven-night Caribbean cruise start from €389 per person cruise-only, while an 11-night cruise starts from €439 per person cruise-only. A 14-night cruise from €879pp (cruise only) departs from Miami on 10th December 2013 and ports of call include Miami, Falmouth, Georgetown, Cozumel in Mexico, Great Stirrup Cay, Miami, Philipsburg, Road Town Virgin Islands, and Great Stirrup cay before sailing back to Miami.
The new Eataly dining venues are the upscale Ristorante Italia and regional steakhouse, Manzo, fashioned after the famed restaurant in Eataly’s Manhattan location. A boutique Eataly marketplace is also available for guests to purchase authentic Italian products, including olive oils, dried pastas, artisanal sweets and aged balsamics. ITTN enjoyed a perfectly al dente pasta and a beautifully cooked 300gm steak in Eataly.
The menus have also been tweeked to suit American tastes and new US and Caribbean crew members have joined the onboard team.
Outlining the MSC Divina’s facilities to the fam trip agents, Rebecca Kelly, Business Development Manager – Ireland, also highlighted the Top 18 exclusive solarium, the ship’s 22 bars, the newly designed buffet with 11 ‘corners’ offering a wide variety of food types, and the new gluten-free menu.
The agents are particularly impressed by the Allegrissimo all-inclusive drinks package that they can prebook online for the clients and that are priced at just €23 per adult per day and €12.00 per child – and thus offering substantial savings even if clients take soft drinks only.
The dining options onboard are many and varied. ITTN was impressed by the variety offered in the Buffet, and those sampled were very good, and dined in the Black Crab restaurant where the menus, food and service were excellent.
The MSC Aurea Spa offers an exceptional wide range of treatments, Balinese, Thai and Shiatsu massages, facial treatments, manicure, pedicure, hairdresser, fitness studio, and yoga. ITTN can highly recommend the manicure, pedicure, the Bali massage – and particularly the 60-minute Black Volcano facial for men!
The MSC Divina is a Fantasia-class ship with a passenger capacity of 4,363 in 1,751 cabins and has 18 decks, including 14 for guests. Most of the cabins (1,097) have balconies and there are 28 Aurea suites. Interconnecting balcony cabins are available, or two adjoining cabins can be linked by opening the door between their balconies. ITTN’s balcony cabin was roomy, well designed with attention to detail, and the most important item, the bed, was very comfortable.
The Yacht Club is a ship-within-a-ship that provides 69 suites and a quieter setting along with butler service, its own restaurant and swimming pool, and afternoon tea in a lounge that provides great views over the brow of the ship.