It’s not everyday we’re invited to experience the journey of a cruise ship from construction through to first cruise. As I’m sure you can imagine there were lots of excited messages flying around between our team when MSC got in touch offering us the unique opportunity to be ambassadors for MSC Bellissima. The excitement levels were particularly high as two other major ship building milestones for MSC, the steel cutting of the brand new ship and the traditional coin ceremony for the Grandiosa were taking place on the same day.
Lisa was the lucky one available and flew out to France for a few days last week to visit the STX ship yard in Saint Nazaire. This is how she got on…
Follow the journey of MSC Bellissima from ship yard to first cruise!
Three years working at sea and yet this was my first time in a ship yard. I was travelling with the Managing Director of MSC, Antonio Paradiso, his PR and marketing team and a small group of cruise writers, all passionate about the industry and all eager to get a first glimpse of the mega ship we would be following the progress of for the next nine months.
Over dinner on our first night we excitedly spoke about what we expected to see the next day, how it would feel to see the Bellissima unfurnished and sitting in a dry dock and how exciting it would be to get up close to her huge propellers before they were submersed under water for the first time in preparation for floating out of the dry dock for her sea trials.
I’ve spoken before about the incredible feeling when embarking a cruise ship. I honestly don’t think there is a feeling quite like a cruise ship towering over you as you walk up the gangway, particularly one as big as the Bellissima which when finished will accommodate over 5,700 passengers and 1,700 crew.