MSC Grandiosa -- the first of the line's new Meraviglia Plus class -- was christened in Hamburg on November 9, 2019, by Godmother to all the line's ships, Sophia Loren.
The new flagship is 331 meters long -- 16 metres longer than MSC's Meraviglia Class vessels -- and is the largest in the 17-strong fleet with capacity for more than 6,300 passengers. It will be followed by a sister, MSC Virtuosa, in September 2020.
MSC Grandiosa has 200 more cabins; 2,421 in total including 60 for passengers with reduced mobility.
MSC Grandiosa showcases a number of firsts for the line including the 160-cover Il Campo restaurant for "Aurea Experience" passengers, two all-new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows -- "Cosmos - Journey to the Unbelievable" and "Exentricks" -- and the largest shopping area on a cruise ship. New outlets include the MSC Foundation shop where profits from items sold go towards the marine protection organisation.
The extended 111-metre-long indoor promenade is covered by a 93-metre "digital sky" LED screen; again the largest anywhere at sea. Images are projected onto the ceiling 24 hours a day, along with special shows of changing pictures screened three times a day.
The 10 restaurants and 21 bars, snack areas and lounges include an expanded L'Atelier Bistrot speciality restaurant, with seating for 66. First debuted on MSC Bellissima, and designed to reflect the atmosphere of a traditional Parisian eatery, it has a large lounge bar area with live music and -- in another first -- the "Degas Danse Dessin" exhibition of 26 original works by French Impressionist Edgar Degas. The installation also gives passengers the opportunity to discover the history, techniques and subjects of the artist's work through interactive video commentaries.
Elsewhere, MSC Grandiosa features enhanced technology with ship-wide touch screens programmed with more information and increased capability for Zoe, the voice-enabled assistant is in every cabin. Lifts are operated by an exterior screen where passengers select a floor and immediately see which lift will arrive first.
The MSC Aurea Spa has introduced a range of new beauty brands and treatments such as the Nail Salon by OPI, making its first appearance on MSC Grandiosa. Le Grand Casino features the latest in gaming technology including 164 slot machines and live gaming tables.
Features on existing Meraviglia vessels have been given a new look, including the jungle-themed Wild Forest Aqua Park with four twisting water slides, an 82-metre-long Himalayan suspension bridge, pools and family activities.
Other features carried over from the Meraviglia Class ships include:
• Family group cluster cabins where up to three rooms can be joined so larger groups can stay together.
• Indoor VR games area including bowling and a 4D cinema.
• Large kids club featuring LEGO, a science lab and a small performance area.
• High-tech including RFID wristband technology to open cabin doors and pay for drinks; in-cabin AI digital personal assistant, Zoe; MSC for Me app.
• Exclusive key-card access only MSC Yacht Club with lounge, restaurant and sundeck.
Described by the line as one of the most environmentally advanced ships at sea, the vessel features Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) systems to minimise its environmental impact. It is also fitted with shore-to-ship power which connects to a port's local power grid to further reduce air emissions while docked.
Enjoy exclusive world-class shows performed in innovative venues like the Carousel Lounge and the multi-purpose karaoke bar, comedy club, TV studio & Bar. Younger guests can take advantage of the super-amusement park and sports centre to play sports and games during the daytime and party and dance in the evening. And the whole family can enjoy hours of fun in one of the most intricate and exciting water parks at sea.
Twice every night, six nights a week, guests on MSC Grandiosa have the unique opportunity to see two original shows by Cirque du Soleil, the world leader in live artistic entertainment, and savour a superb culinary experience in the same glamorous venue. The Carousel Lounge is a technology-packed, entertainment and dining venue designed especially to meet the needs of Cirque du Soleil. This custom-built lounge can accommodate up to 450 guests, including more than 100 enjoying the full show-and-dining experience.
The top deck features the Polar Aquapark, one of the most intricate and exciting water parks at sea, with three twisting slides, a ‘Himalayan Bridge’ and a range of pools, features and activities for all ages.
The TV Studio and Bar is a high-tech, multi-purpose space that houses a radio broadcast suite and a TV studio broadcasting live games, quizzes, talent contests and other fun content across the ship. It also serves as an atmospheric comedy club, karaoke bar and live music venue.
MSC Grandiosa also offers two teenagers’ clubs, one for 12-14 year olds and another for 15-17 year olds. In addition, a teens-only area serves as cinema, gaming room and disco, depending on the time of day, ensuring teenagers are always entertained.
Full details to be confirmed
MSC Grandiosa features a wide variety of elegant accommodation, including family options, duplex suites with a private whirlpool bath, and the highest ratio of sea-view balcony cabins of any cruise ship.
The MSC Yacht Club offers a real "ship within a ship" experience; a place where you can savour exclusivity and privacy in a world of choice. Where you can indulge in the luxury of a private club, while enjoying access to the myriad recreation and entertainment possibilities that the rest of the ship affords.