My mind just boggles at the thought of these floating cities. The cruise ships of today just get bigger, and BIGGER. MSC Cruises continues its rapid expansion with the announcement that the company has finalized negotiations with STX France and signed a contract to take over a 140,000 ton cruise ship following the termination of the agreement with the original owner.
The new ship is named MSC Preziosa and will become the 13th addition to the MSC Cruises’ fleet, as well as the precious fourth ship in the series of fantasia- class ships, which include MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and the long-awaited MSC Divina. MSC Preziosa is in fact the sister ship of MSC Divina, which is having her final touches applied in the STX ship yard in St Nazaire, France, before her christening in May 2012. Italian movie star icon Sophia Loren will do the honours, smashing the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow. It better be a magnum, that’s all I can say.
MSC Preziosa has mega dimensions. It will boast 1,751 cabins, 26 lifts, and 18 decks, 14 of passengers. Guests will have four main restaurants, two other restaurants, 21 bars, a casino, four swimming pools, including an infinity
whirlpools, a bowling alley, a sports area with playing fields, a fitness centre, a area and the superb MSC Aurea Spa. An exclusive feature of MSC Preziosa – and of all fantasia-class ships in the MSC fleet – is the MSC Yacht Club.
Privileged passengers staying in the 69 exclusive MSC Yacht Club suites will be able to take advantage of the private bar, solarium, hydro-massage pools, and the spectacular glass-walled observation lounge with amazing ocean views. A butler service will offer assistance at check-in, transport luggage, unpack, serve traditional English afternoon tea as well as arranging cigars and beverages, booking tables at restaurants, treatments in the MSC Aurea Spa, ad hoc excursions and even arrange private parties. That’s my style.
MSC Preziosa’s total construction is 45% complete, and her mechanical zones are 70% complete. The best, however, is yet to come! MSC Cruises will soon begin the fitting and furnishing of the 333 metre long, 38 metre wide ship and work its unique Mediterranean magic on turning MSC Preziosa into a stylish masterpiece.
MSC Preziosa’s green features, including an advanced waste water treatment system (AWT) and advanced energy saving systems, with a focus on air-conditioning, will gain the same impressive industry-leading ecoship and cleanship credentials as her sister ship MSC Divina. That’s good to hear. Sometime I think about these giants on our fragile seas, wondering if they’re doing more damage.