MSC Cruises confirmed speculation that it would move the MSC
Armonia from Miami to Tampa for the 2020 winter season.
The Armonia had been sailing cruises to Cuba until June,
when the U.S. authority for cruises to Cuba was withdrawn.
Moving the Armonia will give MSC homeport operations in two
Florida cities for the first time. "We've seen increased demand for cruise
options from Tampa," said Ken Muskat, MSC Cruises USA's chief operating officer.
To introduce the ship, MSC said it will offer 20% commission
on all bookings made by travel advisors through March 12, 2020.
Starting in November 2020, the Armonia will do a variety of four-
and five-night sailings, visiting destinations such as Key West; Cozumel, Costa
Maya, and Progreso, Mexico; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve (a new private
island destination in the Bahamas).
The Armonia will stay in Tampa for the summer, extending cruise
lengths to seven days starting in May 2021. The Armonia will also offer several
7-night cruise options in December 2020, including Christmas and New Year's
In addition to Miami and Tampa, MSC is offering several
cruises on the MSC Meravigla from New York in October.
MSC said that on top of the 20% commission, it is enhancing
incentives for booking groups on the Armonia. The incentives include waiver of
initial good faith deposit for groups of 16 staterooms or less; accelerated
tour conductors (TCs) with one free TC credit for 10 full-fare guests (5
staterooms); discounted group rates, with savings of up to $50 per person over
individual (FIT) rates; and up to eight amenity points for travel advisors to
use toward the amenities of their choice (such as cocktail parties, bonus
commissions, marketing funds, etc.) for their clients or themselves.