MSC Cruises are set to return the UK next year by bringing MSC Magnifica to our shores between March and October. This ship is essentially MSC’s Linda Lusardi: Italian roots with a British accent.
This isn’t the first time they’ve based a ship out of Southampton, but it is the first time they will have done so with some adjustments to appeal to the British cruiser and is just one of the steps to take their brand out to the rest of the world.
That’s all lovely, but what will the Italian styled ship be offering to woo British cruisers?
Having sailed with MSC Cruises for the first time earlier this year, I can tell you they have a distinctly European feel on their ships. In a lot of ways it’s great, as you really feel like you’re abroad – but for some passengers this can present a problem.
I can tell you that the coffee is some of the best I’ve been served at sea – possibly anywhere, but although I am not a big tea drinker; what they offered isn’t the same as what you’re used to brewing at home. That’s all about to change with a raft of tweaks being made to MSC Magnifica before she ties up in Southampton next year.
Food and Drink
If we’re completely honest, its one of the main reasons we cruise. British treats are set to arrive across the ship when she steams into Southampton.
- Drinks making facilities in cabins. Although I would still order my morning coffee from room service, this is a big point for us Brits on holiday where most of us can’t string a sentence without that first morning cup.
- ‘The right brand of tea’. Brand at this moment is unknown, but likely to be a British favourite like Tetley, Yorkshire Tea or PG Tips.
- English Breakfast. Sausages and bacon are available at present, but they’re much like you’d get in a European resort. There’s nothing like decent bacon for breakfast and it seems we’ll be getting it.
- Our national dish! P&O Cruises are known for their lunchtime curries every day and it seems MSC are embracing our love for it.
- Afternoon Tea. Personally, I don’t need any encouragement to eat more, but I have been known to take afternoon tea on the odd sea day. The most British of institutions is set to arrive with the ship next year.
- Roast Dinners. Despite MSC’s gourmet course-on-course European dining, for those who need a taste of home, you’ll find it on board.
- Decent Beer & Cider. Hopefully European beers will still be available, but are set to be joined by some home-grown favourites you’d find in your local.
We’re a strange nation when it comes to our sense of humour or taste… and that’s about to be dealt with too…
- A British cruise director. Hopefully arranging some sail-away parties and other things we know and love to do (but possibly don’t like to admit).
- British Humour. Like I said, we’re a strange bunch when it comes to our humour (and probably really hard to please). We’ll be getting acts that satisfy our need for sarcasm, dry wit and observational comedy.
- British TV. You’ll find football and rugby on the box as well as channels from the BBC.
If all that wasn’t enough to tempt you, you can be enrolled into the MSC Voyager’s club using your status with another cruise line or hotel group, so you can take advantage of the benefits from your first cruise with them.
The best news is that MSC Cruises are keen to point out that the Italian flair they’re known for is still going to be there, but with some British additions.
The average age of a British MSC Cruises passenger is just 46 and the British highlights onboard mixed with the cosmopolitan glamour and European service they’re known is great news as it brings something different to our home ports.
There’s a raft of good stuff with MSC Cruises which is just for families too, stay tuned to find out what they are in the next article.
If you’re on facebook and want to ask some past passengers about sailing with MSC Cruises, there’s a dedicated group for you – MSC Cruises, Meet, Share, Chat.
All Pictures: MSC Cruises.