The Dec. 21 Christmas cruise will be the first sailing.
The eastern route includes St. Thomas, Nassau and Puerto Rico, while the western itinerary has Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. A port labeled 'Best of the Bahamas' is listed, too—which seems to give credence to reports the line is planning its own private island. (According to The Nassau Guardian, Prime Minister Perry Christie recently told the House of Assembly MSC is looking to invest $100m to $200m to develop a spot that's been known as Ocean Cay, between Bimini and Freeport.)
MSC Voyager Club members are getting the first crack at booking MSC Seaside, through Dec. 29. Those who reserve by Jan. 31 will receive the standard 5% future cruise discount for loyalty club members plus a bonus All-Inclusive Classic drink package applicable to the first and second passenger in a stateroom. Sales open to the general public on Dec. 29, with the All-Inclusive Classic drink package bonus available to those who reserve by Jan. 31.
'We’ve seen tremendous enthusiasm and strong demand from travelers around the world interested in experiencing MSC Seaside and are thrilled to be able to open sales for this revolutionary ship two years ahead of its debut,' MSC Cruises ceo Gianni Onorato said.
MSC Seaside will sail from a newly renovated and expanded dedicated berth and terminal at PortMiami, joining MSC Divina in serving the North American market.
Under construction at Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard, the 154,000gt newbuild is a new design with a novel profile. One key feature is a 360-degree promenade on Deck 8 that's lined with indoor/outdoor shops and restaurants, as well as a full buffet area and a pool—features typically located on higher decks. In addition, the public spaces will offer big views from a two-deck, glass-walled atrium and panoramic exterior elevators.
Accommodations have an open, 'modular' design that can connect to sleep up to 10 people. The suites offer hot tubs and hanging gardens. The exclusive MSC Yacht Club will be enhanced and provide a private solarium, lounge and pool.
Entertainment options include a full-sized bowling alley, a kids-only restaurant and a multi-story water with five types of water slides, an AquaPlay area for tots and an adventure trail. MSC Seaside will have dedicated LEGO- and Chicco-designed play areas.
A sister ship is scheduled to enter service in 2018. There is an option for a third vessel that would be delivered in 2021.
In total MSC aims to introduce seven new ships by 2022. So far, orders for four—including two of a different, 167,600gt MSC Meraviglia style—are firm.