More than half a dozen cruise lines that market to North Americans are rolling out new oceangoing ships in 2019. Here, USA TODAY profiles one of the newcomers: MSC Cruises’ MSC Grandiosa. For information on the others, return to the main page of our Guide to the New Ships of 2019.
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Line: MSC Cruises
Maiden voyage: Nov. 10
Home ports: Various
Size (in gross tons): 181,000
The buzz: Less than two years after unveiling one of the biggest cruise ships in the world, MSC Meraviglia, fast-growing MSC Cruises is going even bigger with MSC Grandiosa.
With a length of 1,086 feet, Grandiosa will be a stretched version of Meraviglia – the first of what MSC is calling its Meraviglia Plus class of ships.
As is the case with Meraviglia, a highlight of Grandiosa will be a grand interior promenade that’s home to restaurants, bars and shops. As on Meraviglia, it’ll be covered in an innovative “digital sky” made with LED screens. But Grandiosa’s version will be significantly longer at more than 360 feet. The extra space will allow for two additional restaurants.
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The ship’s bigger size also will allow for a new bar and lounge called L’Atelier Bistrot that will offer lounge seating with a stage and a dance floor. Featuring Impressionist art on display, the space will have Parisian bistrot tables and chairs along the ship’s promenade and also a dedicated restaurant for passengers who sign on for the ship’s spa-focused Aurea Experience.
Like Meraviglia, Grandiosa will have a giant pool deck, a water park and a sprawling amusement area with race car simulators, a flight simulator and an XD cinema. It’ll also feature shows created in partnership with Canada’s famed Cirque du Soleil that will take place in purpose-built dining and entertainment venues.
Grandiosa will be the first of three Meraviglia Plus vessels scheduled to debut over the next few years. A second ship in the series is due in 2020 with a third coming by 2023.
At the time of its debut, Grandiosa will be the seventh-biggest cruise ship in the world.
Itineraries: Grandiosa will operate seven-night sailings in the Western Mediterranean that feature calls at Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France; Genoa, Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) and Palermo, Italy; and Valletta, Malta. Passengers can embark and disembark at several of the ports. Fares start at $449 per person.
Information: 844-311-6465; msccruisesusa.com.
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