Screen legend Sophia Loren prepares to name the ship
Andrea Bocelli performs at the christening
Ricky Martin gets the crowd going
Fireworks light up the sky
“At last we are in Miami, with a ship to make heads turn,” MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago told the crowd gathered for the star-studded christening of the line’s new MSC Seaside.
Open Jaw was on hand to film and document the event, and Nina Slawek says early indications are that the ship will be a hit.
“Agents I spoke with said they found it to be a beautiful ship, very comfortable and with much improved service,” Slawek said.
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said the christening represented a new beginning.
“We're starting today a new chapter for MSC Cruises in the (North American) market. It is becoming a top priority for us to be in this market, and to be an important player in this market. Our investment will continue to grow around the world, but especially here in Miami.”
The ship was the star of the affair, but certainly not the only one.
Seaside was named in a glittering ceremony by international screen legend and Godmother for all MSC Cruises’ ships, Sophia Loren. The entertainment was headlined by Grammy-winning singer Ricky Martin and world-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli. Making a guest appearance was Dan Marino, Miami football legend and Hall of Fame quarterback.
MSC Seaside is the line’s second ship to be launched in the past six months as part of an unprecedented 12 new mega-ships that will come into service between 2017 and 2026.
“MSC Seaside’s naming embodies a pivotal moment for MSC Cruises and the industry overall,” said Vago.
“She is the first ship of the fifth new prototype that we have developed since we entered this industry only in 2003, and she introduces a wholly-innovative concept that has already set a new standard for the industry to follow,” said Vago.
“The distinctive and unique Seaside Class is designed to bring guests closer to the sea to enjoy cruising in warm weather, while pushing the boundaries of maritime and guest-centric technology – the way only a cruise line with over 300 years of maritime tradition could have done.”
MSC Cruises also announced a new partnership with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF), where guest donations will support ABF’s valuable work in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world.
MSC also announced a new partnership with award-winning restaurateur, author, and TV personality Joe Bastianich, who will become the newest addition to to the line-up of international chefs and restaurateurs partnering with MSC across its global fleet. He will create a signature dish exclusively for MSC Seaside that will feature on the Elegant Night menu.