MSC Cruises’ newest ship called at Funchal.
It is described as a ship that follows the sun. More than a slogan, this is the idea that defines the MSC Seaside, MSC Cruises’ most recent investment. There are plenty of open spaces, sunlight and an elegant design that incorporates the largest cruise ship promenade ever, including two glass bridges at forty meters high.
The firm has no shortage of catchphrases with which to describe their ship and one of them is next generation Mega Cruise. The second in a series of 12 vessels which will double the company’s fleet and practically triple the number of places available until 2026. Funchal was the first Portuguese harbour the vessel called at on its way to Miami. It will cruise the Caribbean over winter, having been designed to navigate warm waters.
The Seaside’s intimate relation to sunlight is embodied by its accommodations seeing as to how 76 per cent of cabins sport a balcony or view of the sea. Besides its innovations, the MSC Seaside also boasts the line’s staple corner suites, flexible and modular cabins for families and groups as well as cabins with a terrace or balcony. Not to mention the MSC Yacht Club, which occupies three upper decks and includes a 1,600 square feet private solarium, restaurant and lounge.
The vessel follows the trend of investing in an ever higher level of differentiation through gastronomy. There are a total dining 11 spaces but the devil lies in the detail. Five are themed restaurants, including the Pan-Asian Asian Market Kitchen, created through a partnership with world renowned chef Roy Yamaguchi. More than a restaurant, it is a concept, or better yet, three: teppanyaki, Asian fusion and sushi.
In terms of themed offer, there is also a seafood signature restaurant, a steakhouse in the American style, and a French bistro. Even the buffet is special as in this ship it is held on two spaces, one of which in the outdoor promenade. Both are open 20 hours a day.
And there is also a chocolate factory, right at the heart of a commercial area. It is the result of a partnership with Venchi, who are also responsible for the crepes and ice creams.
The Seaside’s gastronomic offer also differentiates itself for its beverages. There is the usual cocktails and also space for a champagne bar and a varied selection of wines. There was the concern to let sunlight in the more than 20 lounges and bars, which brings out the soft tones that adorn their interior design.
Entertainment goes as far as a theatre with 934 seats might seem small for a vessel carrying up to 5 thousand passengers. But the nuance here has to do with the offer: there are four shows every night.
On another note, there is an interactive water park with four slides and a 120 meter long aerial runway. But families can find more than just accommodation in this ship. There is a baby lounge and clubs for toddlers, children and young people with their own activity programmes as well as a babysitting service.
At 323 meters long, and with a tonnage of 153.516 GT and a capacity for 5,179 passengers, the MSC Seaside is the fleet’s second next generation mega cruise and the first to have been delivered by Fincantieri. The MSC Seaside is the first of two identical Seaside Class vessels. Its sibling, the MSC Seaview, is scheduled to start sailing in June 2018 and is to cruise the Mediterranean while a third and fourth ships, belonging to the next stage, the Seaside-Evo (standing for evolution) class, are to be delivered in 2012 and 2023, respectively.