The 4,500-passenger ship is currently being built at the STX Shipyard in France. It will be the second Meraviglia-class ship to launch, and will debut in Southampton, England on March 2, 2019. MSC Bellissima will have the same features as its older sister, MSC Meraviglia, which launched in June 2017.
Bellissima will feature Cirque du Soleil at Sea, which will create shows exclusively for the ship. Bellissima will also feature cutting-edge technology which passengers can use make payments, book spa treatments and specialty restaurants, as well as allow parents to geo-locate their children. It will also debut a cruise first -- a voice enabled, artificial intelligence digital cruise "assistant" called Zoe, which will be placed in every cabin and is pre-programmed to answer 800 cruise-related questions. The device will be rolled out to all subsequent new builds.
Another stand-out feature is an indoor promenade that will have an 80-meter LED ceiling that projects different scenes throughout the day. It is the social center of the ship, featuring shops, restaurants and bars. It is also home to the nightly parades, featuring the ship's onboard performers.
All the Meraviglia Class ships will be designed for efficiency, with scrubber technology to neutralize carbon dioxide emissions; the ships will also be water emission free.
Here's what we know:
The ship will have interlinked "cluster cabins" for family groups, which allow up to three cabins to be opened up to accommodate as many as 10 passengers. These feature two balcony cabins (one with a tub), with a tiny cabin sandwiched in between, complete with a virtual window. Bellissima will also include a number of solo cabins, which debuted on Meraviglia.
The ship will also have the fleet's joint-largest MSC Yacht Club -- a luxury "ship-within-a-ship" triple-deck area with key card access for high-paying passengers. It will include 78 suites, 15 inside cabins and two apartments. Each of the two apartment suites includes a large living room and two balconies, one of which is a large outdoor space that has a dining table for eating al fresco and a private whirlpool. The Yacht Club also features duplex suites, its own solarium, a small swimming pool, a large lounge and a restaurant.
MSC has forged a relationship with a number of big-name chefs, including renowned French chocolatier, Jean-Philippe Maury, who will have his own chocolate shop along the Promenade, or Galleria Bellissima. The line also has a long-term partnership with Eataly, which also has a prime spot along the promenade. It serves various Italian goodies like Parma ham, cheese and pasta, which you can also buy.
Spanish Michelin-starred chef Ramon Freixa, who has his own restaurant on sister ship Seaview, will also have a restaurant onboard Bellissima, Ocean Cay.
Specialty dining options include Kaito Sushi Bar and the Kaito Teppanyaki Restaurant; and an American-style steakhouse Butcher's Cut, which has specialty meats from around the world.
The main dining room is divided in two by a corridor which features a stunning mirror and glass-encased wine cellar.
The Marketplace Buffet is open 20 hours a day and will serve Mediterranean specialties and international cuisines -- including world food, cuisine based on where the ship is and healthy options.
Cirque de Soleil, which made its at sea debut on Meraviglia, which will perform two exclusive shows six nights a week in a dedicated lounge, called The Carousel Lounge. The circular performance space with a 180-degree circular glass wall will feature cutting-edge technology and special rigging, and capacity for up to 413 passengers.
Another big wow is the indoor promenade, Galleria Bellissima, which will feature an 80-meter LED ceiling that changes throughout the day, projecting different skies, patterns and even mini-movies. It is the social hub of the ship, featuring a double deck of shops, restaurants and bars. It is also home to the nightly parades, featuring the ship's onboard performers.
The ship will also have a double-deck indoor amusement park which includes a basketball court and doubles as a nightclub; and a double-deck aft lounge and entertainment space.
Pools & Recreation
The main Pool Deck will feature a 25-meter pool and will have one of the most generous poolside spaces at sea (along with its sister). At night, the pool will be illuminated with special lighting. There will be a 10-meter indoor pool with a dome that can be opened when the ship is in port or when the sun is out. The Aft Pool on Deck 16 will be an amphitheater-type space with tiered seating surrounding it in a semi-circle; at night it is transformed into a dance space. The ship will also have a large outdoor water splash park for kids.
The kids' area will be the joint-biggest on an MSC Cruises ship, with separate rooms for different age groups, and including a baby room and a teen area. All the facilities for families, children and teens are in one place and include the Doremi Studio Lounge, a dedicated lounge for all family activities; and the Doremi Tech Lab, which includes a 3D printer. The baby room was designed in partnership with Italian babywear and manufacturer Chicco; the main kids' rooms are all LEGO-themed.
The ship will spend its first summer sailing the Western Mediterranean with three homeports: Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.