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MSC Seascape Christened in New York City

MSC Cruises—which touts itself as the world’s fastest growing cruise brand—welcomed MSC Seascape to its fleet. The ship’s naming ceremony took place at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City in recognition of the city becoming the line’s newest U.S. homeport in April 2023.

What’s New and Notable

MSC Seascape has 2,270 cabins with 12 different stateroom and suite categories, along with 11 dining venues and 19 bars and lounges, six swimming pools, a waterfront promenade, and the largest Yacht Club in the entire fleet. Guests sailing on MSC Seascape can enjoy 98 hours of live entertainment per sailing and such amusement options as Robotron.

One of the highlights is the Yacht Club onboard, which is the largest of any MSC ship (along with its Seaside EVO-class sister ship, MSC Seashore). There are 131 suites in the Yacht Club across five categories—with the MSC Yacht Club Owner’s Suite being the top accommodation onboard. The 1,055-square-foot suite has a large balcony with a whirlpool bath and outdoor living area, a separate interior living area and dining room, walk-in closet and more. Guests, however, receive curbside assistance at the terminal, a private lounge check-in, 24-hour butler and concierge service, the Premium Extra Drink Package and Premium Internet, among other perks. There is also a private restaurant, lounge, pool and solarium, as well as personal shoppers and the opportunity to book private onshore experiences.

The Deck 8 Infinity Promenade is also a standout—wrapping fully around the ship. At the aft, there is an adults-only Infinity Pool. Heading up to Deck 16, brave guests can walk across the Bridge of Sighs, a glass-floored bridge that’s cantilevered over the back of the ship, above the infinity deck. Also new to this ship, located on Deck 18, is the Robotron, a robotic arm with three chairs that’s designed to mimic the feeling of being on a roller coaster. The thrill ride is nearly 175 feet above the sea and spins and flips guests according to their chosen level—easy, medium, intense—all synced to music. Along the same lines, guests can also enjoy enhanced Immersive XD Cinema, VR 360° Flight Simulator, VR motorbikes and the Formula Racer virtual simulator.

Dining and Entertainment

In addition to the main restaurants, buffet, and the Aurea and Yacht Club restaurants, there will be five specialty concepts onboard MSC Seascape.

Guests can expect the line’s signature steakhouse, Butcher’s Cut, with al fresco dining, as well as HOLA! Tacos & Cantina, offering a selection of Mexican-inspired dishes with a twist. Kaito Sushi Bar—which was home to some of our favorite bites that we sampled on board (and we tried a lot—for “research”)—provides an interactive dinner thanks to a conveyor belt that constantly moves fresh sushi in front of guests. Kaito Teppanyaki—another of our favorites—serves Japanese dishes to tables of eight. At Ocean Cay Restaurant, guests can expect fresh seafood complemented by an impressive wine list.

After dinner, guests head to Venchi 1878 for some gelato—which was some of the best we’ve ever had—or sample from its chocolate and coffee bar. The Wine Cave allows guests to explore the ship’s wine cellar and indulge in a tastings paired with a cheese selection. Other bars include the revamped Sports Bar, which offers individual TV booths to watch the action with your friends, the rooftop Sky Bar cocktail lounge, a Champagne Bar that offers a variety of champagne, prosecco and other bubblies from around the world accompanied by an array of caviar, and The Cocktail Bar, located in the Chef’s Court (home to several of the specialty dining venues).

Among its 98 hours of onboard entertainment, MSC Seascape will offer six new productions. For the kids, there is the impressive Pirates Cove Aquapark, which made us wish we weren’t in New York in December (and that we were a bit younger), as well at the LEGO Experience On Board, where kids have free range to build as they please. There’s a Mini Club for three- to six-years-olds and the Juniors Club, for those aged seven to 11. Again, wish we were a bit younger.

At the casino, guests can see the inspiration MSC Seascape took from New York City, which includes a metal Statue of Liberty sculpture above the bar. The redesigned retail and entertainment area (named Times Square) houses a nearly 30-foot LED wall spanning four decks with a projection of the Times Square skyline, which changes from day to night.

Pools and Spa

In addition to the Infinity Pool, MSC Seascape also houses a Marina Pool and the Jungle Pool. The former—located on Deck 18—has a new design that included a water fountain island, lounge space and an adjacent screen for movie nights. The latter—located on Deck 16—has a magrodome, making it suitable for warm weather or colder/rainy days. This area has been enlarged and includes an additional deck over and around the space, providing new areas for guests to sit and relax. It’s also located next to the buffet.

The MSC Aurea Spa was impressive, offering 15 treatment rooms, including couples rooms, as well as a hydro circuit, sauna, snow room, salt room, and sensory steam bath. The MSC Gym Powered by Technogym has plenty of cardio equipment and exercise machines, along with some free weights. There are also yoga and spin rooms.

Guestrooms and Onboard Experiences

We stayed in a Deluxe Balcony stateroom, which can house a king or two single beds, a sitting area with a sofa and desk that doubles as a vanity, a large TV and a balcony with a couple chairs and small table. Beyond the Yacht Club rooms, Koreen McNutt, SVP of sales and trade engagement and commercial sales officer, said her favorite room category is the Premium Suite Aurea with Whirlpool. These options, totaling about 300 square feet (up from about 180 from our room), has a balcony with its own hot tub. Additionally, being part of the Aurea “experience,” guests additionally receive access to the solarium, 10 percent off all spa treatments, priority boarding, a welcome package and more.

Note: The Yacht Club experience is the top option onboard; it’s followed by Aurea, Fantastica and Bella (the basic package).

Good to know: Many rooms connect, which is perfect for families. There are also a large number of accessible rooms across a variety of stateroom categories. These rooms have walk-in showers, lots of space between furniture for wheelchairs, a different material deck, emergency buttons by the bed, and closets that have drop-down rods for hanging clothes.

Sustainability and Itineraries

MSC Seascape is equipped with the latest-generation of sustainable technology, offering improvements to energy-efficiency, “best in-class” wastewater treatment systems and selective catalytic reduction systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 percent. As a company, MSC—according to Achille Staiano, VP of global sales—is planning to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. It's intermediate goal, however, is to be down 40 percent from a 2019 baseline by 2030. Staiano reported that the company is already down 35 percent—well ahead of the pace required.

MSC Seascape departed New York to its homeport of Miami, where it has begun sailing to the Caribbean and the Bahamas—where it’s expected to remain year-round. The new flagship for the U.S will offer two itineraries:

  • Eastern Caribbean: Calling at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve and Nassau in the Bahamas, San Juan in Puerto Rico, and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.

  • Western Caribbean: Calling at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Cozumel in Mexico, George Town in the Cayman Islands, and Ocho Rios in Jamaica

As for Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, it in itself is a sustainability triumph. Debuted right before the COVID-19 pandemic, to make the space fit for cruise guests, MSC removed 1,500 tons of scrap metal and waste; it also planted 75,000 trees and shrubs and replants 400 coral colonies. Now, 64 square miles around the cay are protected as a marine reserve. In addition, it's entirely self-sufficient thanks to its water treatment plant, lack of single-use plastic and solar panels that generate energy. (Good to know: There is a private beach for Yacht Club guests, as well as one dedicated for families.)

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