Pacific, MSC Sinfonia, Celebrity Constellation, MSC Lirica & Melody in Genova

Genova, home to MSC Cruises, and on the 11th October 2010 there were two in.  We arrived first and as I went down to the theatre to get my number for the shore excursion, I spotted MSC Lirica docking through the door.  Since I had time before leaving, I popped onto the Promenade deck to get her.  This 58,825grt ship entered service in 2003 and was the first purpose-built ship for the line, her sister being MSC Opera.

And so off we went for a boat trip to Portofino where there was Silver Spirit anchored.  Photos of her will be in a link at the end.
After getting back I noticed a couple of other vessels, one of which was another MSC.  I had expected to see Melody, since she was scheduled for 9am like Lirica, only she was little so it wasn't her.  With some help from Amy, I learned it was Sinfonia and from Pam she was in dry dock until her cruise on the 23rd.  The 58,625grt Sinfonia was the last ship built for Festival Cruises as European Stars, debuting in 2002 until being sold to MSC in 2004 after a short lay up when Festival Cruises went bankrupt.  Her sister, European Vision, became MSC Armonia.  Also laid up for I don't know how long was Pacific, the former Pacific Princess (I) and I had no idea.  I wasn't even sure what I could see from Constellation wasn't a ferry, since there were so many around.  The 19,903grt ship entered service as Sea Venture in 1971 for Flagship Cruises until 1975 when she and her sister, Island Venture, were sold to P&O and operated under their Princess brand and Pacific Princess (I) and Island Princess (I) respectively.  They were the original Love Boats from the TV series.  She was sold in 2001 but leased back to Princess for a year until she was replaced in 2002 by Renaissance Three, which became Pacific Princess (II).  She was then operated by Pullmantur as Pacific from 2003, part charted later on by CVC in Brazil during winter and latterly Quail Cruises during summer from 2008.  But in July 2009 she was seized by the Italian Coastguard over a reported repair bill owed to the San Giorgio di Porto shipyard where she remains to this day.  According to Peter Knego, she was mechanically exhausted so would probably end up on the beach once this is resolved.  And resolved it was, when on the 27th July 2013, she was towed to Aliaga, Turkey by the tug Izmir Bull, to be broken up.  She arrived just before 6pm on the 6th August, four days later than scheduled.
Peeking over Lirica was the funnel of the little beauty I wanted to see.  The baby of the MSC fleet, Melody.  She had been up for sale since at least 2009 to my knowledge.  It's such a shame the cruise lines get rid of smaller tonnage and replace with bigger.  Many like small.  They can visit places the others can't.  If they weren't popular, no one would book them so I can't see the point of selling when there's still demand.  Anyway, the cutie Melody began her life in 1982 as Atlantic (II) for Home Lines, coming in at a modest 31,143gt, and was the penultimate ship built for the once-popular company.  Holland America took Home Lines over in 1988, resulting in her being sold to Premier Cruise Lines to become StarShip Atlantic until 1997 when she went to MSC.  On the 7th January 2013, MSC announced her retirement, effective immediately, and was currently laid up in Naples.  She was bought by Sahara India Tourism in November and renamed Qing, registered in India.  She was docked in Goa to undergo conversion to a hotel ship when she partially sank when the monsoons hit at the end of June 2016, hitting the seabed.  Both she and Lirica were due to sail at 4pm but while Melody left almost on time, Lirica was still embarking passengers.
Because of the awful windscreens on Connie, I went to the other side rather than have reflections in the photos.  Not that windscreens do much good when it's windy anyway.  Since she had been 'Solsticized', I'd hoped they'd have removed the top half of those but no such luck.
I missed Lirica's departure due to food poisoning from a room service lunch but she was due to be with us in Civitavecchia and Salerno so it didn't really matter.  We sailed nearly fifteen minutes late and I managed to just about get MSC Sinfonia and Pacific.  I almost missed Pacific since she was tucked away in a corner with few lights.  I had to use the sport setting on the camera for her due to the wind.
So off we headed towards Livorno.  To see photos of that, click here.  To see Silver Spirit in Portofino, click here.  A review of the cruise is here.
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© Patricia Dempsey 11th October 2010
Not to be reproduced without permission
12th April 2017