A ceremony held on board MSC Fantasia on April 2 at the port of Palma de Mallorca (Spain) officially recognized the bravery of four crew members who rushed to the aid of an overboard passenger. The ceremony, involving the port authorities, the island’s council and MSC Cruises’ CEO, took place on the MSC Fantasia, the most beautiful ship in the world.

On March 5, while the new ship was moored at the port and passengers were disembarking, three mooring bitts become detached simultaneously in strong winds, resulting in the ship moving away from the dock and causing a disembarking guest to fall into the water.

The four crew members immediately jumped in to help the man, who was rapidly brought to shore and taken to a local hospital. He was subsequently transferred to his home town of Milan (Italy), where he was discharged from hospital on March 22.

The four crew members commended for their bravery are:

Salvatore Caso – Chief Crew Steward, from Italy, age 52
Lalopua Faamoe – Able Sailor, from Samoa, age 29
Naim Samsuddin – Able Fireman, from Indonesia, age 37
Andrian Williams – Housekeeping Cleaner, from Madagascar, age 37

Attending the ceremony were Francina Armengol, president of the Mallorca Council, and Francesc Triay, chairman of the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands; as well as MSC Cruises’ CEO Pierfrancesco Vago, Captain Giuliano Bossi, and the company’s country manager for Spain, Emiliano Gonzalez.

Following the traditional exchange of crests between the Port Authority and the ship, on behalf of MSC Cruises, Vago presented each of the four crew members with a plaque honoring their bravery. Thanking the four crew members, Triay then presented each one with another commemorative plaque.

Vago said, “I am delighted that our guest has made a rapid recovery and is now back in his own home. I would once again like to offer my heartfelt thanks to these four courageous members of MSC Fantasia’s crew. By diving into the sea without hesitation to help our guest, not only did they show great bravery but they also demonstrated the selfless team spirit that makes MSC Cruises such a special organization. A special thanks also to Captain Bossi, who took immediate control of the ship. The incident was lving evidence of the guidance to our crew by our captain to be selfless, courageous and to react without a second thought.”

MSC Fantasia is the latest addition to the most modern fleet in the world. She is the largest ship ever made for a European cruise operator, carrying 3,274 guests in unprecedented comfort thanks to features such as the exclusive MSC Yacht Club area and the extensive MSC Aurea Spa wellness center. MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia’s sistership will be christened in a spectacular ceremony in Barcelona in July 2009.