On 2nd March next year, MSC Bellissima will become the biggest ship ever christened in Southampton. The godmother of this 172,000 gross tons titan is likely to be Sophia Loren, who is the godmother to all MSC's ships. Italian for ‘the most beautiful’, this cruise line’s latest ship will accommodate 4,500 passengers and sail the Western Mediterranean on 7-day cruises. The new vessel will offer a stunning array of features to rival those of her sister-ship MSC Meraviglia. There will be a number of technological innovations, such as Near Field Communication Technology (NFC), that allows passengers to pay via smartwatches, wristbands or smartphones on board, open their cabin doors or locate their children.
MSC Bellissima will feature 20 bars and 10 restaurants including speciality choices such as French bistro ‘L'Atelier’ and ‘Market Street’, with most dining options located in the Galleria Bellissima, the ships buzzing central promenade.
There will be a huge two-storey indoor theme-park entertainment area, two covered promenades, leisure and Grand Canyon themed Aquapark, as well as a bowling alley and Sportsplex. A family deck will include the DOREMI Studio Lounge and DOREMI Tech Lab as well as facilities designed in partnership with family experts including the LEGO Group and Chicco. The two-deck-high glass-walled atrium will offer spectacular views out to sea. The indoor boardwalk will also span two decks and feature shops and the largest LED screen at sea - a 260-foot-long dome creating a digital sky that will provide insight into ongoing events, sunrises and sunsets as well as the nightly starry sky.
Thanks to the unique cooperation with Cirque du Soleil there will be two brand new shows in the Carousel Lounge for about 400 guests, six nights a week. The ship’s TV Studio and bar will broadcast live games and talent shows throughout the ship; while by night it will transform into a live music venue hosting comedy, karaoke and more. For after hours, the Attic Club will be a stylish venue for a nightcap or even a dance off. The MSC Aurea Spa will provide a tranquil place for ultimate relaxation with Balinese inspired signature treatments to pamper body and soul.
- 21st November 2018
Edinburgh-born Gary Buchanan has been a travel writer for over 30 years. He has been a specialist cruise writer for 25 years contributing to leading British publications including national newspapers and consumer magazines. He is the author of five books about cruising and spends over seven months every year at sea sailing the world’s oceans.