MSC Seascape: Unexpected Treasures on New Ship

Snow is gently falling. Since I am so happy to escape winter weather in my Hoosier hometown, why am I so excited to see this snow?

Because it is in the Caribbean. Aboard a cruise ship, for goodness sake.

The new MSC Seascape’s Aurea Spa offers a sensory steam room, heated tile, soaking tubs, rain shower rooms, gorgeous Himalayan salt room, water cave and Vertical Kneipp (a type of sensory shower with an alternation of hot and cold water showers.)

The spa also has that wonderful snow room. The snow is part of a hot-cold therapy said to have health benefits. It’s not a new phenomenon. Roman bathing was based on the practice of moving through heated rooms then plunging into cold water at the end.

The practice is said to exercise blood vessels, nourish skin and get blood flowing better throughout the body. I was the only one sitting on a bench in the snow room so it was quite peaceful and pleasant.

Himalayan Salt Room

Himalayan Salt Room in Aurea Spa

Although I didn’t think I had any breathing difficulties, I walked out of the Himalayan salt room in Aurea Spa sure that my breathing was refreshed and my skin glowing with energy.

Salt room therapy, also called halotherapy, involves sitting in a room filled with rock salt and inhaling salty air, usually being pumped in by a contraption that crushes and grinds salt, then releases it in the air.

With a history rooted in Europe, the natural healing practice had some of the earliest known salt caves in Poland. Proponents say salt room therapy can cure the common cold, alleviate some skin conditions, decrease allergy symptoms and detoxify the lymphatic systems.

The Himalayan rock salt in the caves is rich in important minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and more. The benefit is said to be that the body absorbs these necessary minerals by breathing the salty air.

The Aurea Spa salt room has lovely light. Himalayan salt seems to glow in varying hues of orange, brown and cream. No one else was in the room so I took a photo, easier to show than to describe how lovely it is.

Along with that Himalayan salt room and snow room, I’ve discovered some other interesting aspects of the MSC Seascape. Like her sister ship, MSC Seashore, the MSC Seascape has little treasures scattered around the vessel.

I’ve tried to walk every bit of MSC Seascape to discover these unusual gems. To me, they are sort of like encountering a surprise when you think you already know what the MSC Seascape and MSC Seashore feature.

Bridge of Sighs

Taking a deep breath, I slowly strolled across the “Bridge of Sighs.” I’m not one for heights, so I certainly did breathe a big sigh of relief when I reached the other side.

Projecting out of MSC Seascape on Deck 16, the glass-floored Bridge of Sighs is 72 feet above the Infinity Pool on Deck 8. With the sea breeze wafting around you, it feels like walking on air.

I was told that a young man got down on his knees and proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of the Bridge of Sighs. Sure hope she quickly said yes, maybe just so they could finish crossing that amazingly high structure.

Selfie Spots

The master architects and interior designers who created the new MSC Seascape are certainly a smart bunch. I have seen more selfies taken on this ship which has places that seem meant for selfies and videos.

One of the most popular photo spots is on Deck 7, a passageway that looks like an outer space tunnel. Adorned with chrome and mirrors, the tunnel changes colors. Every time I’ve been there, someone was taking photos or videos.

Not far from the tunnel is another selfie spot. It looks like a hot-air balloon with a huge LED screen behind it that changes to show famous sites, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Grand Canyon.

Passengers can climb in the balloon basket and it appears they are actually floating over those beautiful sites.

Across from the balloon basket is a messenger bike. Must bring back memories for some people because I’ve seen many posing beside or behind the bike for a photo.

Of course, one of the most popular sites for selfies or professional photos is on one of the ship’s Swarovski crystal staircases. Each stair step features thousands of dollars’ worth of crystals and is the perfect spot for a photo.

I have no idea how many selfies from our cruise are still making their way around cyberspace posted by happy MSC Seascape passengers. Free publicity. As I said, some smart ship designers.

Smart Elevators

When I boarded MSC Seascape, my Yacht Club butler Mary Sanz explained that the smart elevators are digital. Each elevator bay is outfitted with electronic keypads outside the elevator. Instead of hitting “up” or “down” on the elevator display, you use a screen to select the deck you want before the elevator arrives.

When you do that, the elevator announces out loud which elevator you will be taking and how long it will take to arrive. When you step inside, you don’t have to push any more buttons because you had already told the elevator your deck choice.

That means you can’t change your mind about where you want to go after you’ve entered the car. Might as well just enjoy the ride until you can get off the elevator at a stop and touch in the deck you really want.

No Deck 17

Checked it once. Checked it twice. Elevators on MSC Seascape have no Deck 17. That’s because the ship has no Deck 17.

I’m on Deck 7 at elevator bay with no Deck 17

A crew member explained that mystery to me. In Italy, he said, the number 17 is an unlucky number. Like the number 13 in the United States is thought to bring bad luck.

That belief probably dates back to ancient Roman times. In Roman numerals, 17 is XVII. An anagram for XVII is VIXI. In Latin, vixi means “I have lived.” The implication, therefore, is that “Now I am dead.”

In Italy, it is rare to find very tall buildings. But if you do, you might notice that the elevator goes straight from the 16th to the 18th floor. And if you happen to fly on an Italian airline, keep an eye out for row 17. Often not there.

So no Deck 17 on the new MSC Seascape.

Founded in Italy in 1989, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. So, although the MSC Seascape was built to attract American cruisers, the ship still has some Italian and European touches and, in my opinion, is a mighty fine vessel.

Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch

See sailings here: All MSC Cruises (


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