With ocean cruising continuing to be a strong choice for families traveling together, now is the time for travelers to plan a cruise with all of the glitter and pomp of the holiday season. MSC Cruises will ring in the 2019 holiday season with a new ship for those sailing from Miami to the Caribbean, a new private Island destination and themed onboard activities.
Cruising continues to be an excellent choice for families during the holidays thanks to a multitude of destinations and activities. And with MSC Cruises positioning MSC Meraviglia in Miami, guests now have four ships to choose from to celebrate the season “Italian style“.
“Sailing from Miami guests can celebrate with loved ones, explore one of the world’s most popular cruise destinations during the holidays, enjoy MSC Cruises’ enriching and immersive cruise experience, and for the first time taste the exclusive holiday menus designed by Martha Stewart.” added Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA.
New this Holiday Season
MSC Meraviglia is the newest cruise ship in MSC Cruises’ Caribbean line-up, having officially arrived to North America this October. Upon arrival to Miami on November 10, MSC Meraviglia will join the iconic MSC Seaside, sailing the Caribbean year-round from Miami, MSC Divina and MSC Armonia.
Another debut just in time for the holiday season, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve officially opens to guests November 9. The island’s natural beauty is at the center of the experience, with sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and eight white sandy beaches spanning over two miles. Activities include snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking; luxurious spa treatments; shopping areas with authentic Bahamian arts and crafts by local artisans; and one of a kind night events such as traditional Junkanoo parades, lighthouse light shows, and beachside stargazing.
Highlights of MSC Cruises’ Caribbean holiday season
To celebrate Thanksgiving, guests will enjoy a traditional Turkey dinner and, in true American style, all-day football cast on various large screen TVs on board. Martha Stewart will present her first menus of the holiday season, serving up roasted butternut squash soup, roasted turkey breast with Big Martha’s mashed potatoes and deep-dish pumpkin-meringue pie in the ship’s main dining room and Yacht Club restaurant.
Hanukkah & Christmas
With Hanukkah beginning on December 22 this year, MSC Cruises’ Caribbean ships will be buzzing with holiday celebrations for both Hanukkah and Christmas.
To celebrate the festival of lights, guests on board MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Divina and MSC Armonia can participate in a nightly Menorah lighting as well as an on board daily prayer service. Additionally, in the ships’ buffets, guests can munch on the most classic of Hanukkah treats, latkes, or fried potato pancakes. A menorah will also be on display, and special Kosher meals can be ordered in advance.
MSC Cruises’ Caribbean ships will ring in Christmas 2019 with a variety of activities and themed culinary creations. The ships and their staff will be decked out in festive holiday costumes and décor, with sparkling lights and decorations, stunning Christmas trees, and, of course, Santa hats. On board, guests can participate in activities like holiday-themed trivia, a photo opportunity with Santa himself, a Christmas parade, and a special evening Christmas show.
Santa’s arrival will also come with special gifts for the little ones, and a Christmas mass will be available on board.
In addition, cruisers can take a bite out of the holidays with Martha Stewart’s exclusive menus. For Hanukkah, the menu celebrates with traditional potato latkes with sour cream and pink applesauce, a braised brisket served with petit carrots, pearl onions, celery root and a potato purée, and, for dessert, an apple tarte tatin topped with vanilla whipped cream. The Yacht Club menu features similar items including potato latkes with Créme Fraîche and caviar, red wine-braised short ribs served with petit carrots, parsnips, celery root and a side of potato purée, and an apple tarte tatin served with buttermilk sorbet and vanilla ice cream. For Christmas, guests will start with red endive and pink radicchio salad, sage and citrus-crusted prime rib roast, and special Kris Kringle bread pudding, on top of special items on Christmas Day, including traditional roast turkey, Panettone, and a Yule Log. In the Yacht Club, guests will enjoy a similar menu with special additions including a gorgonzola dulce sauce for the appetizer salad and individual Yorkshire puddings added to the prime rib. The buffet will also offer special sweets like Christmas cookies and a “Happy Holidays” cake, as well as a special holiday brunch buffet.
Guests will bid farewell to 2019 with a number of bubbling events on board including themed activities and parties. For a special New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner, guests can enjoy Martha Stewart’s poached shrimp with cocktail sauce, homemade fettuccine with a creamy parmesan sauce, and profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and topped with a warm chocolate sauce. In the Yacht Club, the meal is elevated with a variety of poached seafood for the appetizer, truffles added to the homemade fettucine, and, for dessert, chocolate and caramel ice cream in addition to vanilla.Then, the final farewell will be at the New Year’s Eve dance party on the ship’s pool deck, with a countdown to midnight and a champagne toast. For those traveling with kids, MSC Cruises is extending the kids club hours and offering babysitting in the kids club for free so that parents can enjoy New Year’s celebrations.
Guests can choose to book a holiday family getaway on four entirely distinct ships sailing from Miami to the Caribbean, boasting their unique style and offering while staying true to MSC Cruises enriching and immersive cruise experience, inspired by its European heritage. To learn more about MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Divina and MSC Armonia’s upcoming sailings visit msccruises.com