Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

1 6 6 FEATURE: ONBOARD ENTERTA INMENT MSC Cruises offers one of the most diverse entertainment programmes in the cruise industry, according to the brand’s global head of entertainment Steve Leatham. “We offer an enviable choice of cultural and magical experiences for our guests,” he says. “We have a modern fleet of ships sailing incredible itineraries to various destinations worldwide and we welcome guests of up to 190 different nationalities in multiple age groups, so we have to curate an extensive entertainment product that suits all audiences. We aim to ensure that everyone can find the perfect moment of entertainment at any time of the day or night onboard every ship in our fleet.” MSC Cruises has carefully curated its onboard entertainment offerings to ensure it can cater for both guests who want to relax and those who want to get a taste of adventure. Depending on the ship, options include everything from cultural enrichment activities to grandscale theatre productions, interactive 4D cinema experiences, MSC Formula Racer simulator races, video games, immersive virtual reality experiences, water parks, ropes courses, zip lines, bowling alleys, the opportunity to participate in interactive competitions such as MSC Factor and MSC MasterChef, and much more. Meanwhile, younger guests benefit from dedicated Kids Clubs and activity programmes, which include sports tournaments, quizzes, family discos, a one-day LEGO experience, and more. However, the enduringly popular entertainment option onboard every ship is live music. “Now that most of our daily lives take place in the digital environment, consumers are seeking something more tangible and genuine when it comes to entertainment,” says Leatham. “If you look at both the huge resurgence in sales of vinyl records and how the number of music and art festivals around the world has grown compared to 30 years ago, it’s clear that people want authentic experiences they can see, hear and feel for themselves. We are always evolving our live entertainment programme, but live music remains a timeless attraction for our guests, and they continue to revel in the choice we offer onboard our fleet of ships.” Leatham explains that MSC Cruises’ entertainment programme is filled with an eclectic mix of live bands and musicians that populate both indoor and outdoor spaces. “We offer guests the opportunity to sit, watch and listen to a wide range of fantastic classical, jazz and contemporary artists on all our ships,” says Leatham. “In a ship with a pub, for example, guests will find an earthy live musician playing modern and classic covers. Meanwhile, we often have pianists playing soothing and emotive classical music in our larger lounges, with the sounds drifting into the nearby restaurants to enhance the dining experience. The pianists are regularly joined by other musicians and artists to deliver performances that engender emotional connections with our guests. “We’re really proud that our artists don’t treat it as just another gig; they perform as if it is the most special moment of the year for our guests and produce the most beautiful voices and Steve Leatham shares how MSC Cruises develops a diverse programme of onboard activities to ensure it can delight and surprises guests of all ages and nationalities Entertainment for all