MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside has made her inaugural call to Port Canaveral, Florida, her new homeport through November 2023. The ship was greeted with appropriate ceremony and fanfare, welcoming her as she begins offering widely varied Caribbean and Bahamas cruises from the central Florida homeport.
Port Canaveral Welcomes MSC Seaside
Port Canaveral officially welcomed MSC Seaside as a newly homeported ship on Thursday, April 27, 2023, with appropriate maritime tradition and the presentation of a commemorative plaque marking the occasion.
“We are excited to welcome the MSC Seaside to Port Canaveral, yet another beautiful ship in the MSC Cruises line up to call Port Canaveral home,” said Captain John Murray, Port Canaveral CEO. “We are proud of our relationship with MSC Cruises, and delighted to be the homeport for this new vessel class.”
The traditional welcoming ceremony was conducted by Kevin Markey, Chairman of Canaveral Port Authority, and Port officials who presented MSC Seaside‘s Captain Michele Di Mauro with a plaque commemorating the cruise ship’s first call to the port.
On many cruise ships, such plaques are displayed in a gallery, case, or other way for guests to see, and can be a fun way to discover just how many amazing ports a ship has visited over its lifetime. Often the designs of the plaques may include engravings, carvings, sculpted details, or other special accents unique to that port.
Strengthening Homeport Connections
MSC Cruises is committed to growing its presence in North America, making a partnership with Port Canaveral a natural step. The cruise line first began year-round sailings from central Florida in 2021 with MSC Divina and later with MSC Meraviglia, and now MSC Seaside brings an even newer MSC vessel to the homeport.
“The arrival of the MSC Seaside is another great milestone for Port Canaveral and the Space Coast region, further solidifying our position as the top cruise port in the world,” said Markey. “We are committed to continuing our efforts to responsibly grow our Port to promote the economic growth and prosperity of our local community and the state of Florida.”
To have MSC Seaside homeported from Port Canaveral is especially appropriate, as the ship was deliberately designed for Caribbean itineraries.
“We built MSC Seaside specifically for Caribbean cruising, with an incredible amount of outdoor space and a sweeping waterfront promenade that allows guests to truly connect with the sea during their time on board,” said Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA. “It’s a privilege for MSC Cruises to play a role in Port Canaveral’s growth with the deployment of yet another large and modern ship in our U.S. fleet.”
Port Canaveral recently overtook PortMiami as the world’s busiest passenger cruise port, and is on track to break further records with even more passenger movements and ship calls in 2023.
To support that growth, the cruise port has only this week announced plans to build a new cruise terminal to further increase capacity and welcome even more ships on a regular basis.
“Our Port is setting the standard for excellence in the industry. We’re committed to delivering a world-class experience for all cruise guests,” said Murray.
Sailing MSC Seaside From Port Canaveral
MSC Seaside has called on Port Canaveral as a day visit previously, but this is the ship’s first time homeporting from the world’s busiest cruise port.
The 153,516-gross-ton ship; debuted in 2017 and brings a wide range of amenities to as many as 4,132 guests at double occupancy, or up to 5,119 passengers when the ship is fully booked.
Onboard are 9 restaurants and 19 bars and lounges, as well as specialty venues such as the Venchi 1878 Chocolate Bar and Venchi 1878 Gelato & Creperie.
Two full-size bowling alleys, youth clubs, the Forest Aquaventure Park, and more offer something for everyone on the ship to enjoy.
From Port Canaveral MSC Seaside will be offering 3- and 4-night sailings to The Bahamas. All cruises will call on the cruise line’s private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, while many of the 4-night itineraries also include a port stop in Nassau.
MSC Seaside will also offer 7-night Western Caribbean cruises that visit not only Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, but also Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico. Select 10- and 11-night Western Caribbean sailings are also available, arranged as back-to-back sailings so guests can easily experience every port of call.
No matter what type of getaway cruisers are interested in, MSC Seaside offers great options from a top-rated homeport.