New MSC Cruise Ship Suffers Unforeseen Technical Issue

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The MSC Seascape, a newly constructed cruise ship based out of Miami, has been forced to change its scheduled itinerary due to problems with one of its engines. 

Captain Francesco Di Palma sent out a letter to guests explaining the situation, stating that the ship had been experiencing a technical issue with one engine, which had resulted in a power reduction and is affecting its speed.

As the problems could not be resolved, the vessel was forced to cancel its call to Ocho Rios in Jamaica and will be sailing at reduced speed for the remainder of the cruise.

MSC Seascape Limps Back to Ocean Cay

Despite the efforts of the technical team and specialized personnel brought on in Grand Cayman, an engine software issue has not been resolved onboard MSC Seascape, and the scheduled call to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, today, January 20, has been cancelled.

Although there were no issues with the vessel until the stop in Cozumel, Mexico, the problem started after departure from Mexico. The cruise ship arrived 4.5 hours late to Grand Cayman, where it was announced that the call to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, would be cancelled.

MSC Seascape Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: MSC Cruises

The Captain announced in his letter to guests that MSC would give a 50% refund on the cruise fare after the sailing and reimburse guests for any pre-booked shore excursions in Ocho Rios:

Captain Francesco Di Palma, in a letter delivered to guests onboard MSC Seascape on January 19: “As you are aware, MSC Seascape has been experiencing a technical issue with one of our engines, which has resulted in a power reduction and consequently is affecting our speed.” 

“Despite the continuous efforts of our technical team combined with the expertise of the specialized technician who embarked today in Grand Cayman, I regretfully have to inform you that the issue has not been resolved, and we will be forced to cancel our scheduled call into Ocho Rios, Jamaica tomorrow.” 

The plan is now to proceed with the vessel’s available speed to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve for an afternoon stop on Saturday, January 21, followed by the scheduled arrival into Miami on Sunday, January 22.

During an announcement on board, the Captain stated that the issue was an engine software problem that compromised one engine. However, several crew members supposedly stated that 3 out of four engines were not working due to the problem.

The Brand New MSC Seascape

The 170,412 gross-ton MSC Seascape was completed in 2022 and arrived in Miami in December of last year after the naming ceremony in New York City on December 7. The MSC Seascape sails seven-night Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises, which can be combined into 14-day cruises with an additional stop in Miami halfway through.

MSC Seascape Sea Trials
Photo Courtesy: MSc Cruises

Ports of call include Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and, typically, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on the Western Caribbean itineraries. In the eastern Caribbean, the vessel calls on San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nassau in the Bahamas, and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. Every voyage includes a stop at MSC’s private island resort Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

MSC’s gesture of offering a 50% refund on the cruise fare and reimbursement for pre-booked shore excursions in Ocho Rios is an excellent way to compensate for the inconvenience caused to the thousands of disappointed guests onboard. 

The cruise line will investigate the cause of the engine problem and take necessary steps to prevent a similar incident. However, incidents such as these are not uncommon on new cruise ships. So far, the following cruise for MSC Seascape on January 22 is not affected. If this changes, Cruise Hive will keep you informed.

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