MSC Meraviglia has completed a three-day “test cruise” from PortMiami to both Nassau and its private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, in the Bahamas.
Conducted under the watchful eye of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MSC Cruises is seeking a CDC Conditional Sailing Order (COS) as it plans to begin revenue cruises from PortMiami on August 2. Completion of that simulated voyage marks a key milestone toward the company’s resumption of cruises from the U.S. In addition, MSC Cruises says it’s part of a global plan to put more than half of MSC Cruises’ fleet back at sea by the end of summer 2021.
“We are getting closer to bringing our guests back to sea from the U.S.,” said Ruben Rodríguez, president of MSC Cruises USA. He thanked the line’s volunteer guests who helped the line complete the test cruise and said the voyage demonstrated “the strength of our protocol to protect our guests, crew and the communities we visit.”
Guests participating in the test cruise experience by adhering to MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol. That included mask-wearing indoors, social distancing, enhanced sanitization and more.
What was the experience like? Cruisers dined in the main dining room and specialty restaurants, participated in activities and entertainment throughout the ship and visited ashore in Nassau and Ocean Cay with a number of protected shore excursions.
With MSC Cruises’ test sailing successfully completed, MSC Meraviglia plans to resume cruising from the U.S. on August 2, 2021, beginning with three- and four-night cruises to The Bahamas, featuring Ocean Cay. The ship then expects to add seven-night cruises on September 18 to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
MSC Divina will be MSC Cruises’ second ship to return to cruising from the U.S. with three-, four- and seven-night itineraries beginning September 16 from Port Canaveral, FL (for Orlando). That east central Florida home port is new for MSC Cruises.
All cruises from both Port Canaveral and PortMiami will feature Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, the line’s private Bahamian island experience. Ships will dock from early in the morning into the evening—and, in some cases, overnight—at the reserve. The island offers two miles of white sand beaches and shore activities include stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, wave runner rides and more.
MSC Cruises’ ships cruising from the U.S. will sail under the protection of the line’s health and safety protocol which includes universal COVID-19 testing at embarkation for all guests, weekly testing of crew, physical distancing, mask-wearing, protected shore excursions for guests who are not fully vaccinated, enhanced sanitation measures and personal hygiene recommendations (including increased hand-washing and sanitizing stations). Plus, there are additional requirements and restrictions for guests who are not fully vaccinated.
For more information, visit www.msccruisesusa.com.