MSC Grandiosa -- the first of the line's new Meraviglia Plus class -- was christened in Hamburg on November 9, 2019, by Godmother to all the line's ships, Sophia Loren.
The new flagship is 331 meters long -- 16 metres longer than MSC's Meraviglia Class vessels -- and is the largest in the 17-strong fleet with capacity for more than 6,300 passengers. It will be followed by a sister, MSC Virtuosa, in September 2020.
MSC Grandiosa has 200 more cabins; 2,421 in total including 60 for passengers with reduced mobility.
MSC Grandiosa showcases a number of firsts for the line including the160-cover Il Campo restaurant for "Aurea Experience" passengers and the largest shopping area on a cruise ship. New outlets include the MSC Foundation shop where profits from items sold go towards the marine protection organisation.
The extended 111-metre-long indoor promenade is covered by a 93-metre "digital sky" LED screen; again the largest anywhere at sea. Images are projected onto the ceiling 24 hours a day, along with special shows of changing pictures screened three times a day.
The 10 restaurants and 21 bars, snack areas and lounges include an expanded L'Atelier Bistrot speciality restaurant, with seating for 66. First debuted on MSC Bellissima, and designed to reflect the atmosphere of a traditional Parisian eatery, it has a large lounge bar area with live music and -- in another first -- the "Degas Danse Dessin" exhibition of 26 original works by French Impressionist Edgar Degas. The installation also gives passengers the opportunity to discover the history, techniques and subjects of the artist's work through interactive video commentaries.
Elsewhere, MSC Grandiosa features enhanced technology with ship-wide touch screens programmed with more information and increased capability for Zoe, the voice-enabled assistant is in every cabin. Elevators are operated by an exterior screen where passengers select a floor and immediately see which lift will arrive first.
The MSC Aurea Spa has introduced a range of new beauty brands and treatments such as the Nail Salon by OPI, making its first appearance on MSC Grandiosa. Le Grand Casino features the latest in gaming technology including 164 slot machines and live gaming tables.
Features on existing Meraviglia vessels have been given a new look, including the jungle-themed Wild Forest Aqua Park with four twisting water slides, an 82-metre-long Himalayan suspension bridge, pools and family activities.
Other features carried over from the Meraviglia Class ships include:
• Family group cluster cabins where up to three rooms can be joined so larger groups can stay together.
• Indoor VR games area including bowling and a 4D cinema.
• Large kids club featuring LEGO, a science lab and a small performance area.
• High-tech including RFID wristband technology to open cabin doors and pay for drinks; in-cabin AI digital personal assistant, Zoe; MSC for Me app.
• Exclusive key-card access only MSC Yacht Club with lounge, restaurant and sundeck.