(5:30 p.m. EDT) -- Ocean Cay, MSC Cruises' private island in the Bahamas, will be closed for a period of 46 days between April and May, 2024, the cruise line announced recently.
In a communication sent to booked guests and shared in Cruise Critic's community boards, MSC Cruises indicated that the private island would remain closed between April 7 and May 22 "in order to make necessary guest experience enhancements and support the island's future growth plans."
The cruise line did not provide additional information about the guest experience enhancements and future growth plans for Ocean Cay. But community board members reported recently seeing some construction-related movement on the island. Some members speculated that MSC is preparing Ocean Cay for the arrival of the cruise line's newbuild MSC World America, which is set to debut in 2025.
Ocean Cay is prominently featured in MSC's Bahamas and Caribbean sailings out of Bayonne (Cape Liberty), PortMiami and Port Canaveral aboard MSC Seascape, MSC Seashore, MSC Meraviglia and MSC Divina. The 6-week closure of the private island will impact more than 30 voyages or segments.
Cruisers sailing on the affected itineraries have been given the choice to stay on their current itineraries, which replace Ocean Cay with Freeport or Nassau on shorter sailings, and with Roatan on longer itineraries.
Travelers can also opt to reschedule their cruise to an alternative Summer 2024 Caribbean sailing with a departure date between April 1 through Oct. 31, 2024. No change fees apply to this option and MSC will honor the best rate as long as the new cruise is of the same length and accommodation as the original sailing.
Alternatively, cruisers also have the option to cancel their reservation and request a full refund for any amount paid to MSC.