MSC Orders 4 New Ships for Ultra-Luxury Market
MSC Yacht Club extends into dedicated fleet
MSC Cruises have announced they are ordering four brand new ships worth a total investment in excess of EUR 2 billion today.
Of the news Antonio Paradiso, MD of MSC Cruises UK & Ireland said “Entering into the ultra-luxury segment, is yet another exciting development in our offering. In addition to our Yacht Club experience, which is very popular amongst our UK & Irish guests, from 2023 onwards guests will enjoy an even wider choice of five-star cruise experiences in the highest segment of the market. Accessible luxury is something that from our research we know there is significant demand for from the UK market, and our new offering will allow guests to visit some of the most beautiful destinations in the world whilst holidaying in luxury. Our future ultra-luxury ships will come as close as it comes to a private yacht experience.”
The ships, the first of which will be delivered in Spring 2023, will have a gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 GT and will feature 500 cabins. The remaining three ships will come into service one per year over the following three years.
The ships will feature, amongst other, the best and latest environmental technology and other cutting-edge maritime solutions at sea. They will also showcase highly-innovative design as well as introduce ground-breaking options for guest comfort and relaxation.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “It is off the back of the great success of our ship-within-a-ship luxury concept that our guests asked us to enter into the ultra-luxury segment, as a natural evolution of the MSC Yacht Club. These ships will be able to offer unique itineraries, thanks to their size, and the guest services will be taken to another level, including our personalised MSC Yacht Club butler service, available 24/7.”
Mr Vago continued, “I am especially pleased to be able to further extend our partnership with Fincantieri through this new order. The award-winning Seaside and Seaside-Evo class have already been recognised as ground-breaking and innovative designs. We are now introducing another new class, which will establish a new standard of ultra-luxury at sea with ships that will showcase the quality and highest standards that are associated with Made in Italy.”
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “It is with pride that two great brands – an Italian one and one with a strong Italian DNA -, well-known all over the world, today announce an important construction program. We are extremely satisfied that, to launch a new class of ships in the luxury segment, MSC Cruises has recognized that our design will help them create a new generation of ships that will be cutting edge both in terms of safety and technological content, and with particular attention paid to passenger comfort. With this project Fincantieri can count on 53 cruise ships in its order book, confirming its position as absolute market leader”.
Will they be charging double what YC sells for now? If so we won’t even be able to try it!
I am retired and take three or more cruises a year. I have sailed several times on MSC in the Mediterranean and enjoyed the cruises. I found the staff helpful but overworked. The food was very good but not exceptional. The entertainment was some of the best I have seen on a cruise ship. So when I saw a MSC Meriviglia October 2019 cruise to see the Canadian fall colors as a round trip from Manhattan I was excited. The timing of the cruise for the colors were perfect and gave me some of the most beautiful pictures I’ve taken in a long time. The food was not good, staff were still helpful but overworked, and the entertainment was terrible except for two wonderful shows that reminded me why I enjoyed MSC entertainment on the other cruises.
But the beginning of the cruise was the worst experience I’ve ever had on any cruise ship. Earlier in the morning, there was a power outage at the Manhattan port so boarding was delayed. Instead of allowing anyone into the building, staff just had everyone line up outside. After more than an hour, they brought everyone into the building and had us line up down the upper level walkway outside the terminal. They had an area roped off and when I approached to ask a question the staff member yelled “Go outside and line up!” before I could get my question out. It was with horror that I later found out that there were chairs and water stations inside the roped off area that staff were not allowing people to use. After the hours of standing paramedics were called and carried people off on stretchers. Inside it was utter chaos with lines set up to handle the different levels of membership. I have Black so should have priority boarding. But staff were telling people, just get in a line, they are all the same. This utter incompetence, lack of compassion for the passengers who had been kept standing for hours, and the rude attitudes toward passengers is something I hope I never see again. The worst aspect was keeping passengers away from chairs and water when they were available.
But the lack of competence did not end there. Prior to boarding the MSC website claimed we would save 20% if we booked services prior to boarding. So we booked the Spa Package. We paid $390 USD ($195 USD per person) for the spa package. 08 October 2019, when we arrived on-board, we found the cost of the package was $255.00 USD for a couple (see the attached price sheet from the Aurea Spa). So we paid $135 USD MORE than if we had waited and booked on-board. Staff on-board claimed they could not help us. They gave me an email address for corporate offices and said I would need to send the request there. The email was no longer used and my email bounced with an auto-reply. Within the reply for my request was a new email address where I sent the request. I heard nothing. On 12 October 2019 I sent another request to MSC corporate office requesting reimbursement. I did not get a reply from MSC until 26 November 2019 when Ashley, a MSC Cruises Customer Service representative, replied in part: “You will not be receiving a refund for the payment on the spa package.” No explanation was given why we were overcharged and no further remedy was offered. I replied,
“We are looking for reimbursement. A 20% savings over the price of booking on-board would be $51 dollars below the price offered on-board, $255. We would be OK not paying MORE for pre-booking the spa. So reimbursing the difference of $135 would be satisfactory. Living up to their advertisement and offering us 20% saving would mean reimbursing us $186.”
The reply back was simply that the price on-board was a special and they would not be reimbursing the amount they overcharged saying they don’t guarantee the savings if a special is offered. This however is not what they advertised saying that we would save up to 20% by pre-booking. The advertisement did not give the caveat “unless there is a special offered on-board.” So I don’t think MSC is any different than any other cruise line that cares about money more than they care about people and in some significant ways, they don’t really care about people.
Comments are closed.