ABOUT MSC: MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) is the largest ocean shipping company in the world. You see containers all over the world with the MSC logo on them. In 1989, MSC went into the cruise ship business, and they now operate dozens of cruise ships around the world, including many based in Florida and traveling to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
DATES OF CRUISE/MEETING: December 1-4, 2023
DEPARTURE LOCATION AND TIME: Port Miami, near downtown Miami, easily reachable in taxi or Uber or Lyft from Miami International Airport for about $25 or so. Departure is at 6:00 pm on Friday, December 1. However, you can board at around 12 noon that day and enjoy lunch and other activities on board.
DESTINATION (IN BAHAMAS): Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. This is a 95-acre private island developed by MSC. It is located near Bimini in the Bahamas.
DOCUMENTATION NEEDED FOR CRUISE: A passport or passport card is highly recommended, although it is possible to use an Enhanced Driver License and an original birth certificate.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE: $229 per person double occupancy (plus $75 government and port taxes) includes an inside cabin (oceanview and balcony cabins are available for an additional cost), cruise transportation, all meals and most activities onboard during the cruise. Our $229 price also includes Internet access throughout the cruise and a drink package (see below). We thought it was very important for our members to have Internet access, which with this package will also be available on Ocean Cay. Note that the cruise fare is per person double occupancy, which means it is highly advantageous to travel with your spouse or family member or friend or colleague. If you travel alone, it is considered single occupancy, and in that case the rate is $412 (which is still only $139 per night), plus the $75 government and port taxes.
DRINK PACKAGE: Normally on cruises, only water, tea and coffee are included, as well as juice for breakfast. With the drink package that is included in your cruise price, you can also enjoy soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits and cocktails (with or without alcohol), as well as espresso and cappuccino.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE: Gratuities for the ship crew (cabin stewards, restaurant workers, etc.) of $14 per passenger per day. Also not included are any optional personal expenses such as souvenirs, photos taken by ship photographers, spa services, etc.
KEY CARD: When you check in to board, you should provide a credit card guarantee for the gratuities and any personal (optional) charges that you may want to make on the ship or on Ocean Cay. These will be charged to your onboard account which will be charged automatically at the end of the cruise. Your key card will also serve as the key to your cabin.
DEADLINE FOR RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENTS: 90 days before the cruise, so September 1. We highly encourage you to make your reservation with a $100 deposit per person by June 1 to ensure that cabins are available. You can always cancel without penalty until just before September 1.
RESERVATION PROCEDURE: Below you will find a link that you can use to submit your reservation form online. This will ask for the information that the cruise company requires, such as name (as on your passport or driver license), address and date of birth. The form will also ask for your credit card details for payment of the deposit of $100 per person. This form will go to Radio Miami, and we will make the cabin reservation as part of our block of cabins. If you prefer to send credit card details via an email message or a scan, you can email: email@example.com. Here is the link for the online reservation form:
DO YOU NEED TO BE A U.S. CITIZEN?: No, but you do need to use a U.S. address for the reservation. You are welcome to use the WRMI address if you want.
MEETINGS: There is a very nice soundproofed meeting room on the MSC Magnifica with comfortable theatre-style seating and a large TV screen in front for presentations. Our plan is to have at least two hours of meetings on Friday afternoon/evening and five hours on Saturday (the ship is at sea all that day) for a total of seven hours of meetings.
MEETING CONTENT: This will depend on who comes on the cruise. As usual, we will have several talks and presentations about subjects of interest to shortwave broadcasters and shortwave in general. We will also have a brief NASB business meeting to conduct elections and decide about the 2024 annual meeting. If you plan to take part in the cruise, please let us know if you would like to give a talk on any subject. Of course we will also have updates from our member stations and organizations.
MEALS: Everyone will be on their own for breakfast daily. Most people go to the buffet restaurant for breakfast, but there is also a main dining room for an a la carte meal (both are included in the cruise fare). We will try to arrange for a group lunch on Saturday (on the ship) and Sunday (on Ocean Cay – also included in the price). And we will arrange for group dinners on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
WILL THIS MEETING BE OPEN TO SHORTWAVE LISTENERS AND OTHERS AS WELL?: Yes, as usual, we will invite shortwave listeners and anyone with an interest in shortwave radio to join us. The more the merrier!
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE ON OCEAN CAY?: Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve has over 2 miles of white-sand beaches with crystal-blue waters. You can explore the landscape, take part in snorkeling and other watersports, climb the lighthouse, or simply take in ocean views. No tender is necessary; the ship docks right at the island. You can find more information about the island, and a video, here: https://www.msccruisesusa.com/cruise/destinations/caribbean/bahamas/ocean-cay-msc-marine-reserve
BASIC STATISTICS ABOUT THE MSC MAGNIFICA:
Year launched: 2009
Gross tonnage: 95,128
Maximum number of passengers: 3,223
Number of staterooms (cabins): 1279
Number of decks: 13
Length: 964 feet
Beam: 106 feet
Height: 196 feet
Maximum speed: 22.9 knots
FACILITIES, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE ON THE MSC MAGNIFICA:
Royal Theatre with 1200 seats and nightly shows
Live music in 11 themed bars and lounges
MSC Aurea Spa (extra charge)
Open-air pool complex
Indoor pool with retractable roof
Kids clubs with daytime activities for juniors and teens
Underwater World children’s play area
Arts and crafts classes
MSC Travel Agency
Magnifica Meeting Room (where we will have the NASB meetings)
Atlantic City Casino
Cyber Cafe (but you will have an Internet package to use with your own phone or laptop in your cabin or anywhere on the ship)
Sahara Buffet restaurant and 5 gourmet restaurants (cruise fare includes main dining room and buffet)
More information on the MSC Magnifica can be found here:
NASB 2023 ANNUAL MEETING TENTATIVE AGENDA
Friday, December 1, 2023
Boarding ship around 12:00 noon. Lunch on your own. NASB meeting late afternoon/early evening for approximately two hours. Group dinner. Evening show in ship theatre.
Saturday, December 2, 2023
At sea all day. NASB meeting two hours in the morning. Group lunch. NASB meeting three hours in afternoon. Group dinner. Evening show in ship theatre.
Sunday, December 3, 2023
Arrive at Ocean Cay 9:00 am. Activities on your own in the morning. Group lunch on the island. Activities on your own in the afternoon. Group dinner. Evening activities on the island. Departure from Ocean Cay at 10:30 pm.
Monday, December 4, 2023
Arrival in Miami at 7:00 am.