Middle East Cruise News

MSC’s new Dubai-bound mega cruise ship Bellissima will have Siri/Alexa-like digital assistant

MSC Cruises new vessel MSC Bellissima, which will be homeporting in the Middle East during next year’s cruise season, will debut a new Alexa-like digital assistant in every cabin that passengers can use to optimise their cruise experience.

The assistant, developed with Harman and Samsung, is unique to MSC Cruises and will be unique to Bellissima when she is first launched. In the coming years, MSC plans to roll the feature out to the rest of the fleet.

The digital assistant will be called Zoe, named after a grand-daughter of the line’s founder.


MSC Bellissima is a sister-ship to MSC Meraviglia, the largest cruise ship in the MSC fleet.

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Zoe will help passengers make enquiries and book dinner and show reservations or shore excursions.

Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, says the feature will help answer questions the guests may have in seven languages. For example, they can ask about shore excursions and the digital assistant, which is connected to the TV, will turn on the TV and present the tours being inquired about.

“This is just one example of how we are becoming more customer-centric,” he says.

The cruise line describes Zoe as a “conversational, voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence innovation” and says it will be able to communicate, learn and intelligently predict guests’ needs to make relevant suggestions.

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Unfortunately, Arabic is not one of the supported languages it will debut with, but reflecting MSC Cruises’ passenger make up in the Arabian Gulf, it will feature English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Mandarin.

Zoe is part of a broader initiative undertaken by the cruise line called MSC for Me, a multi-channel digital experience designed to better-connect guests to their cruise. It includes the MSC for Me App, in-cabin connected television, and interactive information screens around the ship.

MSC for Me debuted on MSC Bellissima’s sister ship, MSC Meraviglia. Bellissima will be the second ship in the class and will spend her inaugural season in the Western Mediterranean in mid-2019 before moving to the United Arab Emirates in November.

From November, 2019 through March, 2020, MSC Bellissima will cruise roundtrip from Dubai, calling at Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Muscat and Khasab on a regular weekly itinerary.

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