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Seatrade 2007: Sasso Announces MSC Caribbean Move at Seatrade

Catch all the dispatches from Seatrade 2007!

The fact that numerous media from all over the world converge on Seatrade makes it a logical place to announce news (whether it has anything or not to do with the conference). In this case, Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises' U.S. arm, told the assembled throng that the line will spotlight one of its newest and most contemporary Musica-class vessels in the Caribbean for 2008 - 2009.

Oddly, Sasso declined to identify a specific vessel. MSC Musica itself is the newest ship in the fleet (have you seen our brand new review?) and will be followed by Orchestra, which debuts this year, and Poesia, which launches in 2008. The latter two ships were featured recently in our Letter From ... MSC and Aker Yards France's Newest Productions.

The deployment of one these ships, which feature the most distinctive designs in MSC's history, is significant because MSC, despite hiring the well-regarded Sasso a few years ago (he formerly was president of Celebrity Cruises) to introduce North Americans to its Italian-influenced cruises, has vacillated back and forth about making that commitment. Though it's had a presence in the Caribbean during the winter, it's typically not showcased the newer ships -- and those vessels are really beginning to give MSC a fresh identity.

MSC's 89,600-ton, 2,500-passenger Musica-class ships have more than 242,000 square ft. of public area. In addition, 85 percent of the staterooms are outside accommodations and 65 percent of the total number of staterooms have balconies, giving MSC Cruises' Musica-class ships the highest percentage of balconies of any Panamax-class ships in service.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown

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