I am not particularly fond of hearing football or other sports blaring from a TV as I pass through a public area of a ship. If I had my druthers, these sports gatherings would be relegated to the ballast deck far from earshot of passengers. However, it seems that some people do cruise to exotic lands simply to do the same thing that they do at home. Why enjoy the beach or experience culture when you can go watch football on the ship?
As much as I dislike being subjected to sports mania, I must say that MSC seems to be doing more than just turning up the televisions to max volume to broadcast a game. They have acquired the rights to broadcast the World Cup on their ships. Admittedly, these activities seem like fun and certainly have gone a step beyond simply flicking a switch.
From June 11 and for an entire month until July 11 our guests will be able to experience the thrill of the event and enjoy football fever as if they were in South Africa”, said Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Crociere. The football games will be broadcast in the public areas; some bars, and particularly those ships with sports bars, will be specially branded for the games and will welcome supporters passionately following their own favourite teams. Dedicated areas will be decorated with football pennants, balloons and paper decorations with the teams’ colours, and activities such as sports-related trivia challenges will be organized to boost adrenaline and friendly rivalry among fans. Special cocktails for each nation will be served at the bars such as the England cocktail with Pimm’s and Ginger ale and the Italy cocktail with Campari, Martini Rosso and soda water. Hamburgers, hot dogs, crisps and beers will be available at the restaurants to create a typical stadium atmosphere. And to ensure passengers get totally involved in the competition, the on board shopping galleries will stock a wide variety of themed items including the Havaianas® flip-flops, bearing the colours of the different participating countries.
Although I much prefer football to American football, I have no interest in spending my vacation time watching the game. On the other hand, for those who can’t make it to the World Cup, this might be a good alternative. But, time is of the essence as June is just around the corner.