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ocean cay MSC marine reserve
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will offer sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters PHOTO: MSC Cruises

Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve’s opening is delayed

MSC Meraviglia had been scheduled to make the first call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve on Saturday. But MSC Cruises said evaluation with its onsite team and ‘learning about last-minute operational issues that could impact the guest experience’ led it to cancel that visit and three more.

The dropped calls are for MSC Seaside on Nov. 15, MSC Meraviglia on Nov. 16 and MSC Armonia on Nov. 17.

Port substitutions and compensation

For each impacted sailing Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve has been replaced with a new port, and passengers will get an on-board credit of $100 per stateroom plus a discount on a future cruise, equal to 20% of what they paid for the impacted voyage (cruise fare only).

‘The development of Ocean Cay has been a multiyear project in which MSC Cruises is working to transform what was once an industrial sand excavation site into a stunning tropical destination, including designating the surrounding waters as a flourishing marine reserve,’ a company spokeswoman said.

Extremely complex project

‘This has been an extremely complex project as MSC Cruises has been fully committed to developing the destination in the most eco-friendly and sustainable way.’

The work on island is an ongoing process involving a multi-phase effort, the spokeswoman added.

In the coming months, MSC Cruises plans to introduce a Conservation Center and coral nursery on the island, which will serve as an active base for coral education and research.

‘When guests start arriving at Ocean Cay they will be greeted by endless sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and some of the most pristine white sand beaches,' the spokeswoman said. 'From early morning until late evening, they’ll have plenty of time to soak up the spirit of the Bahamas and enjoy the day as they wish, with no disruptions to shore excursions or beach and ocean discovery activities, as well as bars and complimentary dining options available.'