A repositioned cruise ship is about to change the mindset from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
When the MSC Divina repositions from Europe to Miami this fall, she will be the only one of the fleet's 12 Italian-style ships to be home-ported in the United States year-round.
This change in latitude demands a very specific change of attitude.
"European cruising is different than North American cruising," notes Richard Sasso, President and CEO of MSC Cruises.
For starters, Americans are more experienced cruisers, if not a bit demanding. They like to be pampered a lot more, they like to feel special.
As a guest of MSC on a Med cruise recently, I enjoyed meals with a decidedly Italian flavor. When she sails out of Miami though, the ship will have to adapt to American tastes.
"So someone can have a steak and a baked potato every evening if they choose," says Sasso.
The main dining room hours will be adjusted for Americans who don't eat as late as Europeans, while the beverage selection will also be tailored to westerners.
"Europeans don't consume that much iced tea, don't drink American coffee per se," adds Sasso.
The Divina will visit several remote tropical ports of call on its Caribbean itineraries, but some American passengers might be happy surfing the TV remote.
"The amount of TV channels that will be available in the staterooms will be the broadest array of channels that anyone can expect no matter where in the world they travel," says Sasso.
From now until the ship crosses the Atlantic on its 17-day voyage from Venice to Miami, the international staff will be diving into an ocean of American culture.
"The training that the crew will go through will also be very comprehensive, everything from how to say no to someone, and to make sure we understand the guests needs and then respond to that," says Sasso.
For more information, visit www.msccruisesusa.com.