A new Caribbean cruise based in Miami aims to bring more than a taste of Italy to passengers seeking a flavorful journey. Valarie D'Elia has more.
The Italian-flavored cruise line, MSC, arrived at the port of Miami in style, making quite a first impression with a floating escort of four Fiat 500s.
The Fiats aren't the only Italian export lending some dolce vita to the MSC Divina, the first of the brand's ships positioned in North America year round, in this case, sailing from Miami to the tropics.
"We are Italian and we know that these kind of little treats and little extra that things we can put aboard this ship will make someone really realize there is a difference in the Caribbean," said Richard Sasso, President and CEO of MSC Cruises.
Divina is the second ship in the MSC fleet with an Eataly restaurant at sea, a brand familiar to New Yorkers with its Flatiron district location.
"For those who have been there in New York it's a great experience, it's a lot of fun, the tastings, the pizzas, the steaks," said Ross Spalding of Crown Cruise Vacations.
Debuting on a recent a press cruise, Eataly features two specialty restaurants on Divina: Italia, an intimate space with a prixe fixe menu, as well as a larger, a la carte steakhouse.
"I can say in English, welcome to our restaurant and in Italian, 'Bon Apetito,'" said Enrico Borniotto, Eataly's Food and Beverage Director.
But will passengers want to ante up the extra dough for a meal on a ship that already has an abundance of food factored into the cost of the cruise?
"Gives you a nice atmosphere, different from a dining room with 800, a thousand people in there at any one time," Spalding said.
With Divina, Eataly offers its first Italian market at sea. So now, outside of the casino, the biggest gamble might be packing a jar of thick red spaghetti sauce in your checked luggage for the flight home.