The 4,500-passenger ship, slated for delivery May 2017, will be second only to Royal Caribbean's Oasis Class in terms of passenger capacity and will be the biggest ship ever built by a European-based cruise line. Meraviglia -- the name means "wonder" in Italian -- will spend its first summer sailing the western Mediterranean with three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.
Features planned for the ship include interlinked "cluster cabins" for family groups, which allow up to three cabins to be opened up. Special wristband technology will be used to make payments, book spa treatments and specialty restaurants, and even allow parents to geo-locate their children.
Meraviglia will have a large outdoor water park connected to a double-deck indoor amusement park; a double-deck aft lounge and entertainment space; and a two-deck interior promenade styled like a Mediterranean village. This area, which will house shops, bars and specialty restaurants, will be covered by an LED dome ceiling that will serve as a "digital sky" showing images and visual shows.
The ship will also have an MSC Yacht Club -- a "ship with in a ship" -- with duplex suites, its own solarium, lounge and restaurants.
Bookings for the ship will open in June 2016.
An identical sister ship to MSC Meraviglia, also on order from STX France, is scheduled for delivery by 2019.
In addition, the Vista project ships will be designed for efficiency, with scrubber technology to neutralize carbon dioxide emissions; the ships will also be water emission free
--By Jasmine Shaddock, Cruise Critic contributor