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RSVP charters MSC Divina for a cruise to prove that 'size matters'

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The big-bigger-biggest cruise ever in the 29 year history of RSVP vacations, a company known for creating exceptional gay and lesbian holidays, will sail out of Miami on the spectacular MSC Divina on February 15 of 2014.

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RSVP calls this “the biggest, boldest, and most beautiful cruise ship we’ve ever chartered. We’re the first group to call the brand new MSC Divina ‘home.’" A whopping 3500 guests will be onboard for an unforgettable cruise from Miami to three incredible islands during seven fun-filled nights.

The newest and most fabulous ship in the MSC fleet, the Divina is also the largest – chock full of exceptional features and a welcoming environment. Guests will be surrounded by stunning and sophisticated Italian design, from the Divina’s real stone piazza to her Broadway-size theater. Graceful Swarovski crystal staircases and a calm Infinity Pool will dazzle guests with the sheer scale, beauty and remarkable attention to detail on this fantastic 21st-century vessel.

Divina's outdoor spaces feature teak decks, sparkling pools, inviting hot tubs, and a unique aqua park. It’s the perfect place for LGBT passengers to soak up the Caribbean sunshine, find a quiet spot with friends, watch an RSVP pool game, or enjoy those colorful T-dances.

Seven tantalizing restaurants offer a seemingly endless variety of culinary delights, while eighteen inviting bars offer everything from live music to bowling. Divina's soaring two-story theater and intimate showrooms provide the perfect setting for RSVP's signature entertainment. (On a previous MSC cruise, these journalists enjoyed wonderful shows with opera stars and European specialty acts – a different fully mounted theater experience each night.)

The MSC Aurea Spa and wellness center is the perfect place to relax or work out after a day in the sun. Pampering is the key word in the Balinese-inspired spa, and for those guests for whom partying is not the reason for cruising, the spa option is the perfect way to relax on board.

Leaving Miami on February 15, the RSVP MSC Divina cruise will then spend a day at sea – the perfect time for revelers to recover from the previous night’s embarkation party time, and to hit the gym, spa and pools for rejuvenation. Then, a second day at sea will give RSVP passengers a chance to just chill, make new friends and explore the ship. On February 18, the ship arrives at 9 am in Philipsburg, St. Maarten (the Dutch side of the island) so passengers can experience fine beaches and diverse shopping until 5 pm.

The next day the Divina arrives in the fabulous gay port of San Juan, Puerto Rico at 7 am. It will be docked right in the Old City – a wonderfully restored and still vibrant Spanish colonial port. That day, it’s important to have gotten a good night’s sleep , because the Divina needs to sail at 3 pm, so in order to get a full day in San Juan, it’s early to bed and early to rise the night before.

Another sea day follows Puerto Rico before it arrives at Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas on the 21st for a full day of beach time on this glorious ‘private’ island.

RSVP cruises always feature the biggest and most original LGBT entertainment. Although at this writing the lineup has not yet been announced, RSVP is certain to keep you entertained day and night -featuring the finest gay and lesbian singers, comics, drag acts, and more entertainment from around the world. For all the latest details, visit www.rsvpvacations.com.

The MSC Divina offers breathtaking venues to showcase RSVP stars in the breathtaking 1600-seat theater. For something more intimate, check out the Black & White lounge where top RSVP cabaret stars will perform into the night. Cozy up at La Luna Piano Bar for a night of classic RSVP piano – and sing-along entertainment. Or try your hand in the Monte Carlo inspired casino on board.

It wouldn’t be RSVP without a party or two, and they’ve created even more original ways to get you dancing. The famous retro and color-themed T-dances brighten the afternoon around the sparking pool. At night, there’s dancing under the stars with music from your favorite DJs and the most popular party events. Check out the Galaxy disco – it’s simply the most decadent nightclub on a ship today, with wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows high above the ocean.

And don’t forget the famous RSVP Costume Contest, with new ways to experience it all as a contestant or spectator. RSVP invites you to let your imagination run wild – and it usually does – check out photos from previous cruises at RSVP Vacations on Facebook.

There are two main dining rooms - the two-level Black Crab and the Villa Rossa at the back of the ship which has a panoramic view. Both have menu options which change daily to satisfy the most discriminating tastes. Be sure to have the fresh pasta (we sometimes had it twice a day), prepared by a maitre d’ in each dining room at both lunch and dinner.

The partnering of MSC Cruises with New York’s fabulous EATALY market has created a specialty restaurant on board the Divina – the modern and minimalistic Eataly Steakhouse, in which the motto “Life is too short not to eat well” is reflected in its fantastic food. For elegant dining, the Ristorante Italia will help passengers celebrate their anniversaries, marriage gala dinners and birthdays with that special ‘bella cucina Italia’ style.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing week in the sun or a whirlwind blur of fun and friends, RSVP takes care of all the details. Over 100,000 guests have made RSVP the leader in gay and lesbian vacations since 1985.

But this year is different as the company heads into the future with the newest, biggest and boldest ship yet – the spectacular MSC Divina, named for its famous godmother, cinema icon Sophia Loren.

Best of all, the fares are simply the lowest RSVP has ever offered for a Caribbean cruise – from $899 per person for this unique winter vacation on the MSC Divina. The word means ‘divine’ and RSVP hopes to see you on board this divine luxury ship for the biggest cruise ever.

By Don Church and Tony Schillaci, Out and Travelin’

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