Vago: Guest Ratings High; Testing Key

Pierfrancesco Vago

With the MSC Grandiosa back in service, passenger satisfaction ratings are extremely high, said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises.

“People feel safe,” said Vago, speaking on a Tuesday morning panel discussion. “Why do they feel safe? It’s because of testing. They know everyone (onboard) has been tested.”

Vago said he remained optimistic about further ships coming back into service. However, he explained that vaccines won’t be the magic wand but instead part of the solution.

“Testing will be the solution,” he said.

The Grandiosa is sailing weeklong cruises from Genoa, calling at Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo and Valletta

Next, MSC hopes to have the Magnifica back in service in the Mediterranean in October, offering 10-night voyages to Livorno, Civitavecchia, Messina, Valletta, Piraeus and Katakolon

Onboard, capacity is reduced, and entertainment and food and beverage services have been adjusted, as MSC has quickly adapted its product, Vago said.

“Instead of having two shows, maybe we have three to guarantee social distancing,” Vago noted.

Leading the restart in Southern Europe, Vago said the biggest issue has been to engage with authorities at all levels as various countries in Europe are moving in different directions on health standards.

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