MSC Cruises Changes Departure Times for Three Ships

Three MSC Cruises ships will depart an hour earlier than planned for the next several months, but why? How will this affect cruise guests?

MSC Cruises has reached out to travel advisors to alert them to departure time changes for three ships sailing from Florida homeports.

Months of sailings are impacted by the changes, and guests booked on the cruises will need to be sure they are able to arrive at the cruise terminal at the appropriate time for their check-in.

MSC Cruise Departure Time Updates

Three different MSC Cruises ships from two different Florida homeports will be setting sail earlier than expected for the next few months. The cruise line has notified travel advisors of the departure time updates, and all guests should take note of the changed times to be sure they are able to be onboard at the right time for the ship’s departure.

MSC Magnifica, MSC Seascape, and MSC Seashore are all impacted, and each ship’s departure time has been moved to 5 p.m. rather than 6 p.m. as originally planned.

MSC Magnifica and MSC Seascape are sailing from PortMiami. The 95,128-gross-ton, Musica-class MSC Magnifica is offering a diverse range of Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries, with both short and long cruise options available visiting top ports such as Key West, Nassau, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and more, depending on the sailing date and cruise length.

Similarly, the 170,400-gross-ton, Seaside-EVO-class MSC Seascape is also homeported from PortMiami, offering 7-night Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean itineraries to destinations such as Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and MSC Cruises’ private island in The Bahamas, MSC Ocean Cay Marine Reserve.

MSC Cruises Ship in Florida
MSC Cruises Ship in Florida (Photo Credit: Mia2you)

MSC Seashore, on the other hand, is sailing from Port Canaveral with a diverse schedule visiting The Bahamas and Caribbean destinations, offering guests another departure port for top cruise getaways. Like MSC Magnifica and MSC Seascape, MSC Seashore‘s departure time has been moved up to 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m.

All itineraries moving forward are impacted by the earlier departure times. For MSC Magnifica, this includes all cruises until November 4, 2024, and for MSC Seascape, all cruises until November 23, 2024 are impacted. MSC Seashore sailings are adjusted until October 27, 2024.

The notification to travel advisors notes that “all guests must arrive at the cruise terminal at the check-in time indicated in their e-ticket.”

At this time, no MSC Cruises ships sailing from other homeports – in the US or other cruise regions – have departure time adjustments.

Why the Change?

MSC Cruises has provided no explanation for the departure time change for so many sailings. It isn’t unusual for cruise lines to occasionally need to adjust departure times for individual cruises due to port operations, inclement weather, or other emergency situations, but these changes for the three MSC Cruises ship impact dozens of cruises for many months.

It is possible that there may be some connection to Daylight Saving Time, considering Florida homeports just “sprang forward” one hour earlier on Sunday, March 10. The clocks will “fall back” to standard time on November 3, which loosely coincides with when the three ships will return to their later departure times.

MSC Seaside in Port Canaveral
MSC Seaside in Port Canaveral (Photo Courtesy: Port Canaveral)

Read Also: Why Are MSC Cruises So Cheap?

This is likely just a coincidence, however, as no other MSC Cruises ships appear to be impacted from other US homeports, and many cruise homeports in other parts of the world also have similar seasonal time changes.

Port operations and sailing schedules, terminal availability, ship speeds, fuel efficiency, and other factors could also be considerations for changing ship departure times.

Guests booked on the impacted cruises will want to be sure their plans for travel to the cruise port can be adjusted to arrive on schedule. This might mean rearranging airfare or transfer service if they were already arriving later in the afternoon, but overall, the change should be minimal for most passengers.

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