MSC Cruises Announces Free Family And Friends Group Cruise Contest To Celebrate Arrival Of MSC Orchestra

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (SEPTEMBER 26, 2008) – With the countdown to the arrival of MSC Orchestra in Florida at less than 100 days, MSC Cruises is making it possible for one lucky guest to take up to 15 family and friends on a free Caribbean cruise this winter.

MSC Cruises, the fastest growing cruise line with the youngest fleet, is kicking off a new Family and Friends Group Contest as part of its year-long celebration leading up to the arrival of the elegant MSC Orchestra in North America.

The winner will receive up to four staterooms (each capable of hosting as many as four people) on a 7-night Caribbean sailing onboard MSC Orchestra during the 2008-09 season.

By logging onto, entrants can submit a maximum 150-word essay describing what they envision a fantasy cruise for them and their family onboard MSC Orchestra would be like. Essays will be judged on four criteria:

  • Demonstration of knowledge of MSC Orchestra’s features, area names, Caribbean destinations,
  • Creativity,
  • Enthusiasm, and
  • Fit with the theme of “The Orchestra is Coming to Town.”

Each week for four weeks, the top five essays will be selected by a panel of judges and posted on, where voters will be able to cast votes for the best essay of the week. Prizes such as logowear will be awarded weekly. The final weekly winner will be announced Oct. 31.

All entries received for the contest will then be evaluated by a panel of judges to determine the top five finalists to be posted on the website and voted on; those votes will account for 25 percent of the final determination. The remaining 75 percent of the final determination will be made by a panel of judges for the selection of the grand prize winner, which will be announced Dec. 5.

“MSC Orchestra is the perfect vacation for a group of family and friends. It offers something for everyone. The onboard luxury and pampering are great for adults and there are kids’ activities and menus that are perfect for the younger set. Plus, with the variety of destinations and excursions available, there is sure to be something to match the interests of everyone in the group,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA).

The winner and their guests will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale this winter onboard one of the MSC Orchestra’s 7-night Caribbean itineraries. The ship will be sailing alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries:

  • Eastern Caribbean, calling at Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John’s, Antigua; and Nassau, Bahamas, and two days at sea.
  • Western Caribbean, calling at Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic, and two days at sea.

For complete contest rules and more information about the arrival of MSC Orchestra, visit