Guests on MSC Cruises who have their kids in tow can now expect to enjoy a unique ship board experience. The LEGO Group has partnered with MSC to give children and their families a fun way to enjoy their leisure hours at sea with free LEGO playrooms, competitions and games. The enhancements will be introduced this month on the newly expanded MSC Armonia.
For those few who are not familiar with LEGO, a privately held company in Billund, Denmark, founded in 1949, their main product is interlocking colorful plastic bricks, gears, figures and other construction parts, designed to help children (and young-at-heart adults) build cars, trucks, buildings, robots and whatever the imagination suggests.
MSC Cruises will introduce, fleet-wide, LEGO themed competitions and games on a designated day during each sailing. Kids who participate in the fun supervised projects will receive an official LEGO Junior Master Builder diploma. And, kids and family groups will have the chance to meet and take pictures with the sea-faring LEGO mascot named “Sailor Walkabout.” (See embedded slideshow and video for a sneak-peek). www.lego.com
On November 19, the refurbished MSC Armonia will begin an inaugural cruise from Genoa, Italy with a completely new play area on board. The “LEGO DUPLO” for children under three will include fun games and challenging events. For 6-11-year-olds a ‘vertical play wall’ and ‘building happening’ themes with limited bricks will test the prowess of competitors in a fun environment.
All the LEGO features will be available free of charge to guests, and will be replicated on the two MSC ships that will be launched in 2017. Guests who want to take home a bit of LEGO fun after their MSC cruise is complete are invited to visit the LEGO corner found in shops on board all ships. In addition, the partnered companies are currently working to design a LEGO MSC Cruise Ship toy, which will soon be available on its upscale fleet.
“The LEGO Group bricks and toys are close to the hearts of millions of people who grew up playing with them, and with this partnership we hope to give our younger guests some magical memories that they’ll treasure forever….and I know our younger guests are going to love this exciting new addition,” said MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato.
MSC Cruises’ partnership with LEGO comes as the line seeks to optimize the overall on board experience for guests traveling with children by joining with top global kid’s brands and providing families with childcare equipment, a dedicated family guide and custom built child-specific areas on select ships.
LEGO’s versatility has recently been immortalized at the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut. And seems to be in step with MSC’s goal to provide a creative environment for kids at sea. It was here in Twain’s grand Victorian home that he created three of the most popular children in world literature: Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Becky Thatcher. The museum has a replica of author’s home that was built by LEGO’s own ‘Master Builders,’ as well as a colorful life-size LEGO statue of Mark Twain (Samuel Clements) himself. (click on the extensive slideshow to these colorful works of art.)
LEGO fans might get inspiration to create their own masterpieces for scheduled competitions and games aboard MSC ships if they visit the Mark Twain House before a LEGO experience on future MSC cruises. www.marktwainhouse.org
Although LEGO toys are available on all twelve MSC ships this partnership is upping the game on its Armonia bringing guests more dedicated products and areas for young travelers to enjoy the wonders of their imaginations. To see if LEGO experiences have begun on your planned or already booked cruise, go to www.msccruisesusa.com.
By Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Out and Travelin’