Talking MSC Cruises

On MSC’s return amid the pandemic: “The whole industry shut down. Think about all the crew that represents, all the people who work in the terminals, all the check-in agents, all the office people—and everything it takes for this industry to operate. We went down to bare minimums because the ships weren’t operating.

“So, then it became, how do we restart? How do we focus on the safety standards? How do we make sure the ships are enhanced with technology that is going to help us get people back to cruising again? Everything shifted to that until we could start cruising again. And then we had to start building up the crews, and the office, and all the parts of the company that had lost jobs for so long.

“Luckily, MSC was the first major cruise line to restart international sailings, in August of 2020 [when Grandiosa departed from Genoa, Italy, for a seven-night voyage in the west Mediterranean]. So, we’ve been sailing for over a year-and-a-half now.”

On whether there were issues staffing up: “We pull crew from all over the world, like all cruise lines do. … Of course, you have to deal with governments and repatriation and who we can get back in time to sail. So, there were challenges. But as far as the desire of crew members to come back on board and work? It was plentiful. They couldn’t wait to get back.”

On the wisdom gleaned over the past two years: “Nobody would have ever expected a pandemic, or anything, to shut down the cruise industry for as long as it did. But we learned a lot. We learned how to deal with the governments. We learned how to have alternative plans in place.

“It’s made us better in the way that we work, in the people we hire, in the relationships that we’ve built with the ports and governments, the health and safety standards that we have, in the relationships we’ve built with medical professionals from all over the world that give us advice. And that’s not going to stop. Now, we take that to the next level, understanding that this kind of situation is a possibility, so that we’re prepared for whatever the future holds.”

On Ocean Cay, its private island: “With the return of cruising, private islands have become so important because you’re able to control the bubble environment that’s been needed during the restart. Ocean Cay is an extension of what we have on the ship.

“To be able to have that for all of our itineraries was key, especially at a moment where all other islands around the Caribbean were taking time going through protocols and figuring out when they were going to be comfortable reopening.

“Everything is controlled in our Ocean Cay environment. Even the Yacht Club guests have a dedicated Yacht Club experience on the island. It’s extremely close to Miami, so it’s very easy for us to have overnights and late-night stays at the island.”

You May Also Like

Read Visit Lauderdale’s Response to the NAACP’s Travel Advisory for the State of Florida

“We are a community that is open to all, and we welcome everyone under the sun,” says Visit Lauderdale CEO and president Stacy Ritter.

Miami to Orlando Tickets Now Available for Purchase From Brightline

Fares start at $79 for adults and $39 for kids.

Brightline Orlando
Windstar Announces Itineraries Through Summer 2025

Six yachts, five featured destinations, including Tahiti, Canary Islands and Venice. “People are spending more and traveling longer.”

What Made This Seabourn Cruise So Spectacular, the Aegean Locales or the Ovation? Yes

It hardly needs to be said that South Florida is the cruise capital of the world. PortMiami is the busiest passenger ship terminal in existence, the home port for 12 cruise lines and a port of call for 11 more. Part of the draw of sunbathing in South Pointe Park or sipping a sundowner at

Other Posts

A Unique Resort on the Baja Peninsula—Employing a Seldom-Used Architectural Style—Boasts Shapeliness and Serenity

Some suites contain gardens with concrete soaking tubs overlooking organ pipe cacti; others offer rooftop spaces outfitted with hanging nets that allow you to stretch out and stargaze.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Speeds Up Growth of Expedition Yacht Fleet

The yacht expedition cruising company is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale.  

Discover The Palm Beaches Launches Marketing Campaign to Highlight Local Community

The initiative will feature several ways for the local community to get involved.

Okeydokey, a New Food-Driven Dining and Entertainment Destination, Opens in Brickell

The three-level concept features six full-service kitchens, three bars and an outdoor terrace set within a community-oriented environment.