A brand new, super glitzy cruise ship has hit the Caribbean and the numerous over-the-top features are almost too much to handle for fans of cruise life. The MSC Seaside sailed its maiden Caribbean voyage in December to Miami and made things official with a star-studded naming ceremony at Port Miami on December 21. The massive boat will now call Miami home between weeklong trips that will make stops in places like Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, and the Bahamas. It’s a high-tech construction designed to stand out from other cruise vessels — and we'd say it does. For instance, it has...
1. A celebrity godmother
So let’s just get this part out of the way before we even talk about the physical boat: Cruise ships (and other sea vessels) often have what’s referred to as a “godmother.” It’s a longstanding tradition — a way to bring a new boat good fortune. The MSC Seaside’s godmother is none other than Sophia Loren. Solid pedigree!
2. The widest boardwalk at sea
The goal of the MSC Seaside was to bring passengers closer to the sea — to make the cruising experience one that emphasizes the open water architecturally, and feels barely removed from the waves. To this end, the ship’s see-through boardwalk is the widest one on any cruise ship to date.
Photo: Elizabeth Seward
3. A 131-foot-high glass-floored bridge
Indeed, the "Bridge of Sighs” allows passengers who dare to walk along a glass-floored bridge that’s just over 131 feet high.
Photo by: Elizabeth Seward
4. Roy Yamaguchi’s culinary touchCelebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi (who was on the first season of Bravo’sTop Chef Masters) heads up the on-site restaurant Asian Market Kitchen. It’s one thing to have top-notch food on board. It’s a whole other thing to have a celebrity chef at the helm of a restaurant on a cruise.
5. The longest ziplines at seaYes, you read that right. This ship has a pair of ziplines extending across the top of the boat’s open-air deck and they currently stand as the longest ziplines on any boat.
6. A crazy water park right on the ship
Photo: Ben Britz
It’s not uncommon for a cruise ship to have various water play options, but the MSC Seaside has built a straight-up water amusement park on board. Some features include the first “slide-boarding” on a cruise ship, 525 foot long dueling water slide tubes, a jungle-themed water area, and even an impressive water park area designed especially for small children.
7. Exhaustive family-friendly options
Sometimes as a parent, just finding places that are fun for you where your children can have fun as well is a challenge in itself. But on the MSC Seaside, the family-friendly options are actually far beyond the call of duty. This ship has the largest kid’s area on any cruise boat, which includes an entire LEGO room, VR gaming, and 3D printing. Also: all children under age 12 on the boat wear a wristband that provides tracking info should a child go missing.
8. Cutting-edge entertainment options
This cruise ship has a lot of the regular forms of cruise entertainment — like a theater and a casino — but plenty of more cutting-edge options, too. These include a full size two-lane bowling alley, a Formula One car simulator, and a 5D cinema which allows users to really feel like they’re in the games they’re playing — right down to feeling cold winds on their faces.
9. All the digital bells and whistles
The MSC Seaside eliminates paper use at just about every possible turn, and instead leans hard on high-tech innovations to keep things sailing smoothly. There are screens throughout the ship guests can use to book themselves a seat at a show or treatment in the spa. There are walls guests can swipe through to check out photos. Housekeeping is even alerted when guests exit their rooms so that the room-freshening process can be as seamless as possible. Future digital innovations in the works include robots for entertainment and hologram performances.
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