This Week in Cruise: Four New Ships Pass Big Milestones (VIDEO)

MSC Seaside steel-cutting ceremony
MSC Seaside steel-cutting ceremony

This week the cruise industry saw four big new ships scheduled for 2016 and beyond pass some major milestones.

MSC Cruises has opened sales on the upcoming Vista-class MSC Meraviglia, set to debut in summer 2017. 

The new ship is now on sale for MSC Club members, and sales will open to the rest of the public on July 5. 

The ship, which is due to be delivered in May 2017, will spend its first summer sailing the western Mediterranean, and will have three major ports of embarkation: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.

At the same time, another upcoming MSC ship passed a big construction milestone when the company cut the first steel for the MSC Seaside, set to arrive in Miami in December 2017. 

MSC Seaside will spearhead our campaign to expand our presence in North America,” said MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer Gianni Onorato.

The ship will have a 360° seafront promenade and an interactive aqua park at sea with five water slides and attractions for all ages, open modular connected staterooms – convertible staterooms that can accommodate up to 10 people – for families and groups, as well as luxury suites with private Jacuzzis and hanging gardens. MSC Seaside will also include an enhanced MSC Yacht Club with private solarium, lounge and pool. The public spaces of the ship will provide ocean views with a two-deck glass-walled atrium and panoramic exterior elevators. 

Royal Caribbean International is moving forward with construction of the line's newest Oasis-class ship, the Harmony of the Seas. This week that ship completed exterior construction and was floated out of drydock to begin interior construction. 

The ship, which is under construction at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, will be one of the world's largest cruise ships upon completion and will sail the Western Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain, during her inaugural season. After that, the ship will homeport at Fort Lauderdale starting November 2016, sailing Caribbean itineraries. 

New amenities onboard the ship will include three multi-story water slides, the Bionic Bar with robot bartenders (first introduced aboard Quantum of the Seas), and Voom, a fast oceangoing Internet connection.

Finally, Carnival Cruise Lines has launched a new video series showcasing the construction of its newest "Fun Ship," the Carnival Vista.

Host Peter Gonzalez – who has traveled to 30 countries to create videos showcasing the “Fun Ship” fleet – takes viewers to Monfalcone, Italy, to document Carnival Vista’s 26-month construction.

In the first video, “Birds’ Eye View,” Gonzalez dons a hard hat and ventures high above the Fincantieri shipyard to demonstrate the size of Carnival Vista while highlighting the process for cutting and assembling the 150,000 tons of steel needed to build the 1,055-foot-long vessel – the largest in the Carnival fleet.

Carnival Vista is scheduled to enter service from Europe on May 1, 2016, and then reposition to New York for a series of voyages in November 2016 followed by the launch of year-round Caribbean service from Miami later that month.

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