That's good news. Haven't been on MSC but have been keeping an eye on them. The most up and coming line of the top eleven majors. The world's largest privately owned cruise line, owned by family; unlike most of the rest owned solely by profit motivated shareholders. Relatively new to the cruise business though, except not new to ocean transport as Mediterranean Shipping Company is the second largest container shipping company in the world.
I like the looks of their cruise business model, perhaps I'm wrong, but it appears they are going in the opposite direction of most majors which are undergoing decimation of many of the finer aspects of cruising familiar to many of us from the days of yore, I for one hold a lot of the past practices dear. Perhaps MSC will be the only line where the MDR is a place one can look forward to each evening for a pleasant dining experience.
I recently read comments by Stan Kruse, CEO of Holland American Group. Kruse is top dog now over HAL, Princess, Seabourne, P&O Australia plus all the Princess and HAL land based facilities and operations in Alaska. 36,000 employees, 41 ships with 25 million passenger sailing days a year.
Kruse said that in a few years the smallest HAL ships will be 100,000 gross tons while Princess smallest will be 140,000 gross tons. That is a significant increase in volume and size over what both companies have provided in the past.
Large Resort ships fall in the category of 2,001-6,500 passengers which ships generally measure 50,000 to 220,000 gross tons. Mid-size ships fall in the category of 751-2,000 passengers and the ships generally measure 25,000-50,000 gross tons.
The other categories are small ships, below 25,000 tons and boutique ships; many small lines using these ships generally offer executive type accommodations, luxury and all inclusive bookings. There are a few exception here but these pretty much differ from the mainstream standards today which have a lot in common, although many will have considerable variance in small details. The average cruise in the mainstream market is around 7 days.
It appears to me that the mega-liners, with their nickel and dime game, are here to stay. That must be where the dough is. MSC may be the exception, it is my understanding that they haven't got into stuff like, art auctions, bingo, shopping talks for ports, wedding vow renewals and internet centers. Not saying all that is good but they do appear to be an outlier of sorts.