FORT LAUDERDALE — MSC Cruises unveiled several marketing initiatives under a new “Serving You” theme.

Rick Sasso, CEO of MSC Cruises USA, said at the Cruise3sixty conference that the line intends to emphasize the human connection in its dealings with travel agents. It is in the process of filling 22 new sales positions to extend outreach to agents.

RickSasso"There will be more people on the ground face to face to be the partners with the travel seller, so together we can create new business,” Sasso said.

He announced that marketing and sales vice president Ken Muscat had been promoted to executive vice president of sales, marketing, public relations and guest services, and that several other executives had been promoted to strengthen oversight.

MSC will hold a joint promotion with Fiat to give away a $21,000 Fiat convertible to a consumer and a travel agent. An entry for the drawing will be made for each booking on MSC Divina from April 4 to May 18, good on departures from Aug. 2 to Dec. 27. Winners will be announced around the year-end holidays.

Muscat said a new bus wrap advertisement has been installed for April on 14 buses running a freeway route between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The wrap includes a travel agent call to action.

Under the "Serving You" banner, MSC will launch a 20-city road show in May to talk to travel agents on their home ground. There is a tentative list of cities to be visited, but it could change, Muscat said.

He also said MSC will offer a new wedding program on MSC Divina that for the first time will enable legal weddings to be performed onboard or in a number of ports, including Miami, Cozumel, St. Maarten and Falmouth, Jamaica.

Muscat said details of the program, which launches Aug. 2, will be available in the next several weeks.


Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.

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