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A Quick Guide to MSC Cruises

11 April 2024

MSC World Europa

Boasting world class entertainment, fantastic dining options and family-friendly activities throughout their fleet, MSC Cruises has everything you need for an unforgettable cruise getaway.

Popular with families, couples and solo travellers, MSC Cruises is constantly evolving their cruise offering, to feature an array of innovative facilities onboard, along with exciting itineraries visiting a myriad of international destinations.

In this guide, we’ll take you through a brief history of the cruise line, dining highlights and other useful information to help you to decide whether MSC Cruises is the perfect cruise line for your next getaway. 

Keep reading to find out more!

Contents:

  1. Who are MSC Cruises For?
  2. Dining and Bar Highlights on MSC Cruises
  3. MSC Cruises' Drinks Packages
  4. Accommodation on MSC Cruises
  5. A Brief Overview of Bella, Fantastica and Aurea Experience Packages
  6. MSC Yacht Club
  7. Entertainment Highlights on MSC Cruises
  8. MSC Cruises FAQs

Who are MSC Cruises For?

MSC Cruises is one of the most popular cruise lines in the industry due to the amount of activities and amenities that will appeal to guests of all ages. 

Offering getaways throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and beyond, it’s also one of the most budget-friendly cruise lines, with 2-night cruises starting as low as £269pp (for an inside cabin), making it a great choice for those looking for a bargain. However, it’s important to consider that these low cruise fares do not include drinks, Wi-Fi and certain activities onboard in the base fare. 

Doremi Characters
Doremi Characters

The winner of several awards over the years, it currently has 23 ships within its fleet that range from mid-sized ships to larger vessels, meaning you can choose the most suitable ship for you whether you want to experience a smaller ship with a more relaxed vibe or a large, bustling ship. 

Dining and Bar Highlights on MSC Cruises

Another big draw to MSC Cruises is the food and drink they have on offer throughout their fleet.

No matter what type of cuisine you’re looking for, MSC Cruises has a myriad of options for you to choose from. The main dining restaurants onboard offer a range of cuisine, from international delights to delicious Mediterranean food. Alternatively, the buffet is always an easy option throughout the day with so many fantastic options available; so even the pickiest of eaters will be catered for! 

Guests at HOLA Tacos bar 
Guests at HOLA Tacos bar 

MSC Cruises also offers a wide selection of speciality dining options aboard their fleet. So whether you’re craving a mouth-watering steak at the Butcher’s Cut Steakhouse, tantalising seafood at Ocean Cay or freshly-prepared sushi at the Kaito Sushi Bar, across the fleet you’ll find a huge variety of restaurants available at an additional price. 

Alongside speciality restaurants, there’s also sweet treats available at an additional cost, such as at Jean Phillipe Maury’s Chocolate Bar (that’s available on MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Meraviglia and MSC Virtuosa) with a range of chocolate offerings created by the French master-patissier and Venchi Gelati serving generous portions of authentic Italian gelato (starting at £3.56/ $4.50 a scoop) onboard MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview.

And when it comes to bars, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you’re looking for an al fresco drink in the evening or a cocktail throughout the day, the selection of bars throughout the fleet are bound to impress. 

Masters of the Sea Pub
Masters of the Sea Pub

Top highlights include the Masters of the Sea pub (MSC Virtuosa, MSC World Europa, MSC Euribia and MSC World America), the cutting-edge MSC Starship Club on MSC Virtuosa where you can enjoy cocktails served by Rob the robot and the Sky Lounge (available on a variety of MSC ships, including MSC Virtuosa and MSC Euribia).

MSC Cruises' Drinks Packages

Drinks packages are available onboard at an additional cost, with 5 different packages to choose from, including a Minors Package offering a variety of soft drinks starting at £13 per person per day, up to the Premium Extra Package offering a selection of cocktails, wines and more with prices starting at £66 per person per day, depending on the itinerary you’re sailing on. 

However, you’ll be able to get water, coffee, tea, iced tea and other essential drinks within the buffet.

For more information, see our blog - A Guide to MSC Cruises Drinks Packages.

Accommodation on MSC Cruises

The cabins onboard MSC Cruises’ fleet range from cosy interior cabins up to spacious suites. Whilst cabin types can vary depending on the ship, the main accommodation options include:

Interior Cabins - with a double bed or two single beds, this is the most budget-friendly option available, but it still comes with all the amenities you require, including an en-suite bathroom, TV and vanity area. 

Interior Cabin on MSC Meraviglia
Interior Cabin on MSC Meraviglia

There’s also Deluxe Interior Cabins that offer more space, and a Studio Interior option designed for solo passengers available on select ships. 

Ocean View Cabins - whilst this still doesn’t have a balcony, it offers beautiful sea views out of a porthole-style window, a spacious double bed, an en-suite, a sofa/armchair and more. 

Ocean View Cabin on MSC World Europa
Ocean View Cabin on MSC World Europa

Alongside standard Ocean View cabins, there’s also Junior Ocean View cabins, Deluxe Ocean View Cabins and Premium Ocean View cabins available across select ships, with even more space available. In particular, the Premium Ocean View cabins are a great option for families, as on certain ships (such as MSC Virtuosa) they can sleep up to 6 people. 

Balcony Cabins - not only will you have all the amenities previously listed, but a spacious outside balcony, perfect for relaxing on after a day of exploring. 

Alongside the standard balcony cabins, you might also have the option of a Deluxe Balcony cabin and a Studio Balcony cabin depending on the ship you opt for. 

A Brief Overview of Bella, Fantastica and Aurea Experience Packages

Onboard MSC Cruises there are three types of ‘experiences’ you can opt for; these include the Bella Experience, Fantastica Experience and the Aurea Experience. With all types of experience, you’ll earn MSC Voyagers Club points which give you discounts towards future booking and other benefits. 

The Bella Experience is the first option available. The most wallet-friendly option that’s available with guaranteed cabins, you can benefit from discount drinks packages at time of booking.

The Fantastica Experience is the second option available, alongside discount drinks packages, you’ll get to choose your cabin's location, can enjoy breakfast in your cabin for free, 24-hour room service and other tempting benefits.

Both the Bella and Fantastica Experience are available on interior, ocean view and balcony cabins.

The Aurea Experience, which is available on suite, ocean view and balcony bookings gives you the same benefits as Bella and Fantastica, plus My Choice dining, welcome prosecco and chocolate, access to the Top Exclusive Solarium and other exclusive perks. 

MSC Yacht Club

A special tier of cruise booking, the MSC Yacht Club is often referred to as a “ship within a ship”. With this tier, you’ll not only have more spacious and luxurious accommodation and food offerings, but perks such as priority embarkation and disembarkation, 24-hour butler service, dedicated spaces onboard, and tailormade experiences, including excursions and shopping trips.

MSC Yacht Club
MSC Yacht Club

Suite-only, the MSC Yacht Club which is available on the majority of MSC Cruises’ ships, include: the MSC Yacht Club Interior Suite, MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite, MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Grand Suite, MSC Yacht Club Executive & Family Suite, MSC Yacht Club Duplex Suite, MSC Yacht Club Royal Suite and MSC Yacht Club Owner’s Suite.

For more information about MSC's Yacht Club, see our blog - Is MSC Cruises’ Yacht Club Worth it?

Entertainment Highlights on MSC Cruises

When it comes to entertainment, MSC Cruises doesn’t disappoint. From Broadway-style theatre shows in venues like the World Theatre and London Theatre, to the Carousel Productions at Sea that uses awe-inspiring aerobatics to bring extraordinary stories to life and live music to enjoy throughout the ship, you’re guaranteed a fantastic cruise experience. There’s also themed parties such as the Sailaway Party, White Party and Sunshine Party to enjoy!

Theatre Show on MSC Cruises
Theatre Show on MSC Cruises

Family Activities on MSC Cruises

Whether it’s the day or night there’s something for the whole family aboard a MSC cruise. From family game shows and discos, to 4D cinemas, the Robotron rollercoaster, bowling alleys, exhilarating waterslides, the thrilling MSC Formula Racer and the new Venom Drop @ The Spiral - the longest dry slide at sea onboard MSC World Europa, both kids and adults will find something onboard to keep them entertained throughout their cruise. 

There are also kids clubs, for children aged 3-11, a young club for 12-14 year olds and a teen club for 15-17 year olds. For babies, there’s a dedicated baby club where you can leave your toddler with MSC's 'Babycare' staff. 

Fun Pass Package - “the more you play, the less you pay”

By purchasing a MSC’s Fun Pass Package, you’ll have an all-access pass to the Amusement Area onboard. Included in your fun pass will be access to the likes of the 4D cinema, MSC Formula Racer, bowling, the Robotron, bumper cars and more; which all cost different amounts, that will be deducted from your pass once you’ve used them. When booked ahead of your cruise, you can save up to 20%.

Whilst the price of the Fun Pass varies ship to ship, you can expect to pay anywhere over £70 per person. 

MSC Cruises FAQs

What currency can be used on MSC Cruises?

The type of currency used onboard will depend on where you are sailing. For example, on Caribbean, South African, South American and World Cruises sailings, the US Dollar is used. However, some ships departing from the UK will use pound sterling. It’s important to double check which currency you’ll require ahead of your cruise. 

Do you have to pay gratuities on MSC Cruises?

Whilst gratuities are included in your cruise fare, any onboard bar purchases will incur gratuities that will be automatically added to your bill. 

Is there a dress code on MSC Cruises?

During the day, there is a casual dress code onboard the ship, and shorts and t-shirts are permitted. In the evening, a more formal dress code is required in the main dining rooms, speciality restaurants, in the theatre and bars. Collared shirts, tailored trousers or shorts, skirts, and dresses are recommended. Gala Night is where you dress to impress, with a tuxedo, suit and tie, evening gown, cocktail dress or formal trousers with a shirt. 

No swimwear is allowed in any of the formal dining venues. Shorts, flip flops, and tank tops are not allowed for Evening Wear or Gala Night in the Main Dining Rooms, Specialty Restaurants, or MSC Yacht Club. T-shirts are not allowed to be worn for Gala Night. 

For more information about MSC Cruises' dress code, see our blog - What to Wear on a Cruise.

Book Your MSC Cruises Getaway with Iglu Cruise Today

So, there you have it! There’s a quick 2024 guide to MSC Cruises, including the top highlights onboard, the dining, what’s included and more. 

A truly extraordinary cruise line that guarantees a voyage unlike any other, whether you opt for a weekend break or a longer getaway, you’ll have a holiday of a lifetime.  Discover our range of MSC Cruises' cruise deals and book your MSC Cruises sailing with us today!

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