Cruise Critic U.K. Names Fantastic MSC Fantasia Grand Prize Winner

March 11, 2009
For two weeks in January, over 600 Cruise Critic U.K. readers participated in the "Fantastic MSC Fantasia Cruise Giveaway": one part trivia-based contest (with a cruise holiday as the grand prize), one part live blogging from the Canary Islands aboard MSC Fantasia, MSC Cruises' newest and most innovative ship ever built. Contestants followed Editor in Chief Carolyn Spencer Brown's adventures onboard and onshore, and tested their knowledge of all-things MSC with eight corresponding daily quiz questions.

Well the contest has ended, and the winner is ... Laura Clements, from Essex, who was selected at random from some 130 entrants who earned perfect eight out of eights. "WOW! I can't believe I won this," Mrs. Clements writes. "Thank you so much."

Mrs. Clements has won a seven-night cruise for two aboard MSC Fantasia that will visit ports in Italy, Spain, France and Northern Africa. Highlights of the new cruise ship include a Formula One Simulator, 4D Cinema, multiple restaurants and the Yacht Club, an exclusive luxury area with its own cabins, lounge and pool -- essentially, a ship within a ship.

Runner-up prizes were awarded for the first correct respondent on each of the eight days. We shipped out eight Cruise Essential Packs filled with Cruise Critic paraphernalia (beach safe, sanitizer on a clip, poncho, insulated day pack) -- certainly not as good as a cruise holiday, but still fun to receive.

So how about those quiz questions? We discovered early on that the questions were quite easy (granted we did give you a lot of hints). Over 95 percent of the trivia responses were correct. Still, participants stumbled over two questions in particular:

MSC Cruises is a relatively new cruise line (formed in 1987), but its Geneva-based parent company is one of the world's biggest players in international shipping. What do the letters MSC stand for?

And the answer is ... Mediterranean Shipping Company. Many folks answered "Mediterranean Shipping Cruises."

Cruise Critic was on hand to celebrate a major milestone for MSC Fantasia at St. Nazaire. What was the milestone?

The choices to this multiple choice question were the float out, the steel cutting, cabin installation and the christening ceremony. The answer? The steel cutting, which Cruise Critic covered in depth in our Letter From ... MSC and Aker Yards France's Newest Productions. Despite having provided a link to the page where one could find this story, and the correct answer, several respondents believed we were on hand for the float out, another cruise ship milestone, which takes place much further along than the steel cutting.

Now, back to our winner. Mrs. Clements is a Bank Customer Service Assistant who was visiting Cruise Critic U.K. to research a cruise for her mother when she noticed the contest and entered on a whim. "I was totally amazed when I received your email to say that I had won! It still hasn't sunk in yet, but I haven't stopped smiling as it's the best news I've received for many, many months."

Mrs. Clements has been on three cruises, her favourite being a voyage on British liner Ocean Village 2 (which is actually transferring Down Under to sail with P&O Australia). She'll be bringing her husband on the cruise, which will be a joint celebration of their upcoming 40th birthdays.


--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor

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