We can't make this up: MSC Preziosa nearly had a shark tank onboard. Hannibal Gaddafi, son of the late Libyan dictator, originally commissioned the ship and based the design on MSC's Fantasia class (which includes MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and 2012's MSC Divina). Among Gaddafi's plans were a six-shark tank, marble columns and statues. When the regime was overthrown in June 2011, the contract was terminated. MSC bought the 3,502-passenger, 139,400-ton vessel, already under construction, from builder STX in March 2012 and renamed it Preziosa.
Preziosa, the fourth and final ship in the Fantasia class, will be awfully familiar to passengers who have cruised the other Fantasia-class ships. As with its sister ships, the ship offers three main restaurants, a disco, casino and a Balinese-inspired spa. It also features MSC's signature Yacht Club suite complex, which provides passengers ship-within-a-ship luxury and exclusivity -- and a personal butler.
There are, however, a handful of new features. Preziosa features the Doremi Castle Aqua Park, which includes sprays, fountains, water pistols and water valves for kids. More daring passengers can try out Vertigo, which is more than 42 feet high and 394 feet long, making it the longest waterslide in cruising. Finally, the ship introduced the Top 18 Exclusive Solarium, a for-fee adult-only space featuring spa service, bar menu and fruit skewers. (Sisters MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and MSC Divina will have the space by summer 2013.)