(3:45 p.m. EDT) -- MSC Cruises is offering childcare equipment and toys to families cruising with babies. On select ships, dedicated play areas for infants will be built as well. The new offerings come via a partnership with Italian baby care manufacturer Chicco.
"The well-being of babies is at the heart of the partnership and everything has been thought of in order to help parents handle the schedule of a baby's day: feeding, napping, changing and all other necessities," MSC Cruises said upon announcing the new program.
Among the new baby care items available onboard are strollers, bottle warmers and baby backpacks for shore excursions. Families also will receive a Baby Globetrotter, a printed guide covering onboard services and mini-club activities, game ideas, kid menus and other baby-related information.
Additionally, childcare employees on MSC ships will receive specialty training from Chicco Observatory, a developmental research lab focusing on children younger than 3 years old.
Infant play areas will be built on MSC Armonia and MSC Lirica, as well as the two new ships currently on order with STX France.
--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor