Geneva, Switzerland, 14 January 2021 - Since MSC Grandiosa welcomed guests back on board in mid-August, MSC Cruises has welcomed more than 30,000 guests on board, including many travel agents from across Europe and the Company has released a video testimonial from some of these agents sharing first-hand their experiences.
The feedback has been extremely positive, with agents describing their experience ‘impressive’ and saying that they felt ‘very safe,’ thanks to the protocol, which is implemented by a friendly and professional crew. But more importantly, the cruise experience has been preserved so that guests and agents alike, can enjoy life on board whether that is watching one of the productions in the theatre, dining in the many different restaurants, relaxing in the spa or simply strolling down the Promenade whilst enjoying the different shops and boutiques. One of the agents emphatically stated, ‘I recommend a cruise to everyone. Cruise, cruise, cruise on board MSC Cruises!’
MSC Cruises is offering guests a safe and stress-free holiday by creating a safe bubble on board their ships, through the implementation of an industry-leading health and safety protocol.
The health and safety measures cover every aspect of the guest experience including COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation and mid-cruise, discovering destinations with protected shore excursions, enhanced sanitation of the ships and best-practices in personal hygiene, social distancing through reduced capacity and managed guest flow, the wearing of masks in public areas, ventilation of the ship with 100% fresh air, all of which is supported by highly-trained crew to put the measures into practice.
All of these measures and more, enable MSC Cruises to create a safe bubble for guests, putting the health of guests, crew and the communities we visit as the number one priority. This gives MSC Cruises guests the confidence they need to be able to unwind, relax and enjoy and unforgettable holiday.
HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES
The overall feedback is that agents felt incredibly safe on board and they have been impressed with the high level of the health and safety measures, as well as their impeccable implementation. ‘Finally, we can start travelling again safely!’ was the feedback from one of the agents.
When describing the onboard health measures an agent said, ‘I’m really impressed,’ specifically with regards to the many health measures, such as the hand sanitising stations, the regular hand washing, the temperature taking and the use of face masks worn by guests and crew.
These measures are in addition to a set of extensive measures that start from the moment a guest books includes universal testing of all guests prior to embarkation, ventilation of the ship with HVAC, social distancing and contact tracing.
No cruise would be complete without shore excursions to discover the varied destinations to which the ship sails. As an added level of protection, all visits ashore are organised through an MSC Cruises protected excursion, in order to maintain a ship “social bubble” and deliver the same high standards of health and safety ashore as on board. In practice, this means that during an MSC Cruises shore excursion, transfers are properly sanitised and that there is adequate space to socially distance, tour guides and drivers will have undergone health screening before serving guests and will wear appropriate PPE as well as having vetted and carefully checked all of the attractions and places that the guests will visit to ensure that these also offer a safe and hygienic environment.
A POSITIVE ONBOARD EXPERIENCE
An MSC Cruises holiday has always been characterised by the richness of the guest experience underpinned by the highest quality service. ‘I’m very happy to be back on board a cruise ship. Even though there are many security measures in place, you get a bit of normality back,’ commented an agent.
The atmosphere on board, gives a welcome escape from the stress of the pandemic on land, with the agents recommending cruising with MSC Cruises and one agent described the feeling of ‘a bubble of happiness. I don’t want to leave and I’m very eager to return soon.’
MSC Cruises was the first major cruise line to return to operations in Europe, supported by the implementation of a rigorous comprehensive health and safety protocol that has been developed in collaboration with external medical experts and formally approved by the relevant national and regional authorities in Italy, Malta and Greece. The Company has strengthened its industry leading health and safety protocol in line in response to the evolving pandemic ashore. These measures include:
- Additional onboard testing for all guests, mid-way through their cruise (on top of the existing pre-boarding universal testing for all guests)
- Testing of all crew during their time on board is increased from twice-a-month to weekly (in addition to pre-boarding testing for all crew and other ongoing health monitoring measures)
- Increased frequency of onboard sanitation, in particular of public areas and high touch points
- Tightening of the definition of close contact for tracing purposes, reducing the time that individuals are in contact from 15 minutes to 10 minutes
MSC Grandiosa will continue to offer a 7-night itinerary in the Western Mediterranean until the end of March 2021, visiting many of Italy’s most famed destinations, calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, and Palermo, as well as Valetta, Malta. While MSC Magnifica offers 10-night cruises covering the West and Eastern Mediterranean from 14 February 2021 calling the Italian ports of Genoa, Livorno for Florence and Messina in Sicily, the Greek ports of Piraeus for Athens and Katakolon for Olympia, Valletta in Malta, and Civitavecchia for Rome .
The complete travel agent testimonial video can be viewed here.
More information on our health and safety protocol can be found here.