EUROPE. MSC Cruises has unveiled its new flagship vessel MSC Grandiosa featuring one of the “largest and most dynamic in-store retail areas” onboard any cruise ship.

The Meraviglia-Plus generation vessel will sail the western Mediterranean from November 2019.

An open-plan multi-category shopping gallery spanning around 1,000sq m sits at the heart of a 111m promenade. The shops, offering nearly 200 popular brands across beauty, gifts and other core categories, will hold daily shopping events and brand entertainment.

“With innovative and beautiful new shopping areas, MSC Grandiosa will elevate our guests’ shopping experience to a new level for MSC,” Head of Corporate Retail Adrian Pittaway told The Moodie Davitt Report.

Grand design: The MSC Grandiosa is aimed at a new generation of cruise guests, featuring personalised digital experiences

“We will bring onboard a four-shop luxury piazza with watches, jewellery and accessories; a new, expanded MSC-brand family store; a fashion watches, jewellery and sunglasses gallery; and a spacious and stylish multi-brand fashion and accessories boutique,” said Pittaway.

Shops have been designed to appeal to a new generation of cruise guests. Onboard retail will leverage MSC’s pioneering Smart Ship Technology which creates personalised retail experiences for guests. The digital innovation programme, MSC for Me, allows guests to connect with the ship’s range of personalised services.

Social hub

The vessel showcases MSC’s largest Mediterranean-style promenade, which features onboard MSC’s Meraviglia and Meraviglia-plus prototype vessels.

MSC Grandiosa represents the next evolution of the MSC Meraviglia class of ship, says MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer Gianni Onorato

The promenade serves as the social hub of the ship, housing shops and restaurants. Bar and lounge L’Atelier Bistrot features Parisian Bistrot seating lining the promenade, Impressionist art, a stage and a dance floor.

Performances will include flash mobs, themed parties and projections on a 323ft LED screen. Two shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea have been created exclusively for MSC Grandiosa guests.

The ship hosts more than 12 dining venues from specialty restaurants to a buffet. A new restaurant concept, exclusively for MSC Aurea experience guests, will be introduced in the promenade.

Bookings are open to MSC Cruises’ loyalty programme MSC Voyagers Club members for two weeks from 5 March. Bookings for all other guests will open on 19 March.

MSC Grandiosa will be the fifth brand-new MSC Cruises ship to have joined our fleet in two and a half years,” said MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer Gianni Onorato.

“She represents the further evolution of the already highly-successful Meraviglia prototype, first introduced nine months ago.

“As such, she will also bring even more choices to MSC Cruises’ guests and other vacationers wanting to experience the popular Mediterranean region onboard one of the most highly-innovative MSC Cruises classes of ships.”