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Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian Face Aggressive Rival

An upstart (at least in the U.S.) cruise line wants to take a piece of market share from the big three cruise lines (and that's really great for consumers).
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MSC wants to force its way into the top tier of the family-friendly cruise lines alongside Royal Caribbean (RCL) , Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) , and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH)

At the moment, the cruise line has been operating out of both Miami and Port Canaveral using low prices as a way to get consumers onto its ships.

At least part of the problem is that MSC's current U.S. fleet does not compare favorably with the newer Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian ships. 

It's not that its offerings are that far behind; it's just that MSC Divina compares with older ships from its rivals and MSC Meraviglia does not quite equal the other line's top offerings.

MSC's two ships currently sailing from Florida have lots of positives, but nothing that specifically equals Royal Caribbean's latest Oasis and Quantum-class ships or Carnival's Mardi Gras and (upcoming) Celebration flagships.

This all may soon change, however, as MSC plans to launch Europa, its newest. flagship, later this year.

MSC Europa Doubles Down on Entertainment

MSC Europa is the cruise line's attempt at a flagship that equals the best of what Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian have to offer. 

The cruise line has already said that the ship will have a unique roller-coaster-type attraction, Robotron, which mixes real movement and virtual reality.

In addition, MSC Europa will have a massive lineup of entertainment in a variety of venues. This will include "three new concert-style shows in the multipurpose Luna Park Arena; five new full-scale theater productions in the World Theater; four themed experiences in the Panorama Lounge; and surprise pop-up entertainment throughout the ship," the cruise line said in a news release.

The brand-new interactive entertainment featured on board MSC World Europa will be unlike anything that our guests have ever experienced, combining futuristic technology and unique specially designed venues," said MSC Global Entertainment Head Steve Leatham. 

"From surprise moments that will take place during the entirety of the cruise to spectacular shows and state-of the-art venues, our guests will be blown away by the abundance of fantastic entertainment options on board as they find themselves at the heart of productions and immerse themselves in incredible performances and activities.”

A Deep Dive Into MSC Europa's Entertainment

MSC wants Europa to be an immersive, party-never-stops experience, so its entertainment offerings will be diverse and spread out throughout the ship. 

The Luna Park area, a newly-created 300-seat multifunctional entertainment venue, will host movies, game shows, kids’ activities and themed parties.

During the day offerings will include a VR Drone Academy, two new interactive game shows, Digital Dance Academy offering three Dance with Flavia classes featuring Strictly Come Dancing champion Flavia Cacace-Mistry, and Doremi’s Wake Up Rave for the ship’s youngest guests.

"Guests will also be able to participate in challenges aimed at breaking Guinness World Record titles during daytime events and a large-scale evening show in the arena," the cruise line said.

At night Luna will host three interactive concerts:

  • Symphonic Ibiza: A night of music and mystique with a big screen orchestra, modern Euro dance music, three specialty artists, dancers, a DJ, two vocalists, and a club-style atmosphere.
  • Supershow: A K-Pop party will enable guests to let loose as they learn dance routines and sing along with hits, accompanied by street dancers, acrobats and vocalists. 
  • Crimson Club: An action adventure for the whole family features a movie-themed stunt show. The audience will pick sides, interact via spy cams, and encounter a few surprises as actors mingle with the crowd.

Europa will also host five all-new shows created for the ship.

  • Eko, with costumes made from recycled material
  • The original Amelia Earhart show, with an E-Bike Stunt Wheel symbolizing the complexity of her aircraft
  • ANight on Broadway, featuring classic theater show tunes that the audience will know and love
  • Cadmo The Landwalker, focusing on exploration
  • Yellow Submarine, featuring circus elements based on Beatles songs

The ship also has the Panorama Lounge, which will host four different immersive, music-based shows.

  • Let’s Get Loud, with popular music like “Despacito” and “Bailamos”
  • Ultimate Disco, featuring bright colors and classics including “Boogie Wonderland” and “Turn the Beat Around”
  • Bandstand Boogie, taking guests back with old-school tunes
  • Rock Evolution, a rock and roll dance party featuring iconic hits like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” that will get guests up and out of their seats

In addition, Europa will offer pop-up performances across the ship. And, of course, the cruise line will host its famed "White Party" and other signature night-time events.