SHIP SPOTLIGHT: MSC PREZIOSA
Gear up and then unwind through memorable moments aboard MSC Preziosa.
By Jonathan Beaumont
Picture this: You’re in a Formula 1 racecar sitting on the track with the engine running waiting for your start signal. Suddenly you’re off and you find yourself screeching around the track at speeds you never believed you’d experience behind the wheel of any car.
Slow down and you’ll risk looking like a lightweight or go faster and you’re sure you’ll come off the track. Your hands are gripping the steering wheel so hard you fear it may come off in your hands. Thankfully, you make your way around the last lap and bring the car to a stop while the crowd lets out an almighty cheer.
Was this an amazing tailor-made excursion on a European racetrack? A speed racer dream from your childhood? No, it was a Formula 1 simulator, just one of the many innovations designed to keep all ages entertained aboard MSC Cruises’ newest flagship, MSC Preziosa.
Action on Board
As the company’s fourth Fantasia-class ship and the 12th in the fleet, MSC Preziosa not only offers guests the best experiences you can expect on a large cruise ship — four main restaurants, two specialty restaurants, 21 bars, a casino, four swimming pools, a sports area with playing fields, and an extensive fitness area and spa — but it also boasts high-energy adventure like the racing simulator, a 4D cinema, a bowling alley, and Vertigo, the longest single rider body waterslide at sea that takes you through nearly 400 feet of exhilarating twists and turns.
Theme park lovers will be thrilled by the 4D cinema experience. Strapped into a seat and plunged into darkness, you’ll be tossed around in your seat as you hurtle down canyons and through dark tunnels coming off rails and gliding through air as wind and rain lash your face. It’s an amazingly realistic ride that certainly gets the adrenaline pumping. (Just don’t do it straight after lunch!)
But it’s not only adventure, but cuisine that features highly aboard MSC Preziosa. Be sure to experience Eataly, the high-end Italian food market chain that serves fine Italian cuisine in a stylish, bright space that accommodates just 80 guests. Here, you can enjoy not only a great meal, but also learn about and buy Italian food to take with you. For example, you can purchase a wide variety of high-quality Italian produce from aged balsamic vinegar and Ligurian olive oil to dried Gragnano pasta and chemical-free wines. The atmosphere is perfect for a more casual dining experience and proves to be a good value as well.
Another not-to-be-missed experience is the Aurea Spa, a whopping 18,000 square feet of Asian-inspired paradise complete with amazing ocean views. Treatments are performed using precious minerals and have been designed to combat signs of aging and purify and de-stress the body.
Let a signature Balinese massage transport you to a place even more exotic than your port of call that day. Afterward, spend a couple of hours in the spa’s Thermal Suite with its numerous saunas, steam rooms, frigidarium, and heated relaxation beds.
Join the Club
Another unique area aboard MSC Preziosa is the Yacht Club, MSC’s “ship within a ship” concept for suite guests that is located at the very top of the ship. Guests who book accommodations in this private sanctuary are met at the airport and driven to the ship by private taxi. Upon arrival at the port a butler whisks you through check-in and escorts you onto the ship and up to the inner sanctum of the Yacht Club. Here you are introduced to you own private butler who will take care of all your needs for the duration of your stay. Everything from dinner and spa reservations to excursions and private transfers to packing and unpacking your suitcase are taken care off. Your butler will even escort you to and from dinner.
Throughout the day Yacht Club guests can enjoy continental breakfast, snacks, afternoon tea, and complimentary alcohol beverages. Access to the spa from a private elevator serves all three floors of the Yacht Club, making it easy to slip into a bathrobe and slippers and go directly to the spa without walking through the ship’s public areas.
As a Yacht Club guest, you’ll also have access to the exclusive Top Sail Lounge, as well as a dedicated restaurant, La Palmeraie, where the menu is an edited version of what’s on offer in the main restaurants each day. This kind of service means that your waiter will remember small things such as what type of water you prefer and how you take your coffee.
The service, amenities, and international experience aboard MSC Cruises have proven so popular that many guests return year after year from around the world. It’s the fusion of cultures — Americans, Italians, Germans, French, Spanish, and British — that gives MSC its distinctly unique flavor of a big ship–style cruise with plenty of international flair.
MSC Cruises’ latest ship, MSC Preziosa, was launched last spring in a glittering ceremony in Genoa, Italy, by none other than screen legend Sophia Loren. According to MSC Cruises, Loren’s love for life, her generosity, spontaneity, and authentic and warm-hearted nature make her the ideal Godmother to all of the line’s ships. And, just like her godmother, MSC Preziosa has become an international sensation impressing guests from around the world with its glamorous lines and sparking personality.
MSC is a cruise line that put the glamour back into cruising, but in a way only the Italians could with their unique sense of style. Preziosa means “precious” in Italian. Each deck is named after a precious stone and the ship pays homage to all that’s precious to Italy: good food, style, and a love for life.
Take for example the interiors. Precious stones and marble adorn the public areas; expensive silks and fabrics are used for soft furnishings; fabulous art work line the walls; and hundreds of Swarovski crystals are embedded into sweeping staircases that make everyone who descends them feel like royalty.
MSC Preziosa is glamorous, attracts an international following, and is adorned with beautiful gems. In fact, she has a lot in common with her famous godmother.