Tag-Archive for » MSC Armonia «

Making Ships Bigger: Hull Of A Job

Let’s say you own a cruise line and the smallest ships in your fleet have become, in this age of giant cruise ships, just too small. So you’re faced with a competitive choice. You sell them and hope when the euros or dollars settle, there are enough of them to help finance four bigger ships.

Or…

You cut them in half and make them bigger!

That’s what MSC Cruises is doing with four Lirica Class ships, the oldest and smallest on its fleet of 12. MSC already has four new ships on order but obviously felt the Lirica sisters Sinfonia— all built between 2001 and 2004 and all equipped to carry about 2,000 passengers — needed to be replaced…or enlarged.

So, at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Italy (the Armonia, Sinfonia, Lirica and Opera) will be cut in half and have a new section inserted in the middle — balance is, after all, important — and then put back together. The new section increases capacity by 193 cabins and costs about $55 million per ship, all of which apparently makes economic sense.

The process has already begun, with the Sinfonia. These are two of the MSC photos and there are more, plus the video, at www.dailymail.co.uk., the London newspaper’s website, Sinfonia-1along with a brief video about the process. This isn’t entirely new — you can find a YouTube video of the same thing happening to the Norwegian Crown, and there hash’t been a ship of that name for almost eight years.

Even so, it’s a fascinating procedure. It takes 10 weeks, plus another couple for sea trials, so the “new” Sinfonia isn’t expected back in service until the end of March.

It gives a whole new meaning to refurbishing a ship, doesn’t it?

Today at portsandbows.com: Change of mind about theme cruises

Carnival Glory
7 nights
June 6, 2015
Miami (return): Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman
Inside: $649
Cost per day: $92
www.carnival.com

Lego Latest Lure To Go Cruising

It was just a few years ago that we bought Lego for our eldest child for Christmas. So it’s “just a few years” later that we’re buying Lego for our granddaughter for her birthday this month (but don’t tell her).

Is there anything in life that’s more permanent and more durable than Lego?

That’s what makes it such a safe bet for MSC Cruises. And that’s why all 12 MSC ships (plus two more by 2017) are being out-fitted with Lego play areas in this cruise line’s Sailor Walkaboutrather clever attempt to attract families. The play areas are ostensibly for kids, but how many adults do you know who still enjoy building things with Lego?

The refurbished MSC Armonia will be the first ship to acquire what MSC calls its Renaissance Program when it emerges with the first Lego stations after a couple of weeks in dry dock this month. Children of ALL ages will compete in Lego-themed competitions on a designated day during each cruise. They’ll earn “junior master builder diplomas”…even if they’re seniors. They’ll meet the resident mascot, whose name — Sailor Walkabout — is sure to become better known, especially since it’s barely known right now.

There’s no charge to play Lego on MSC ships, and areas will be designated for kids under three, and for kids six to 11. No mention of where kids far into the double digits will be allowed to ply their Lego skills.

Now, MSC is an Italian cruise line that dabbles in waters all over the world, including North America. Invented 65 years ago in Denmark by Ole Kirk Christiansen, Lego is played all over the world, as testified by the 600 billion pieces of it currently in circulation. It’s been known to be passed down the generations like heirlooms and jewelry.

And yes, cruise passengers will be able to buy it at the Lego Corner at the ships’ shops.

It’s only a matter of time until there’s a Lego cruise ship toy — bearing the MSC logo, of Armoniacourse — created by a privately-owned company that has morphed its plastic blocks into movies, games and theme parks. MSC hopes the participants in this new venture will build more than toys and skyscrapers and animals.

The cruise line would like its customers, young and old, to build memories, because anybody who doesn’t already have a Lego memory should.

Today at portsandbows.com: Something new at Silversea?

Celebrity Millennium
15 nights
September 11, 2015
Vancouver, Dutch Harbor, Tokyo, Kobe, Shanghai
Inside: $849
Cost per day: $56
www.celebritycruises.com

  • Categories

  • Archives