MSC Cruises

6.9

Overall Score

61 User Reviews

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MSC originally started as an Italian cruise line, though the ships have been revamped and now only two liners offer an Italian-style cruising. The company's target market is couples, families, and single passengers. 15 ocean liners travel throughout Europe, United Arab Emirates, Caribbean, and on transatlantic voyages daily.

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#5 MSC Cruises Logo MSC Cruises

6.9

Overall
Score

61 User Reviews

The Good

  • Affordable cruises
  • Children under 11 years old travel free
  • Great amenities

Affordable Cruises

Cruises are easily affordable with a three day cruise available for less than $200 per person. Children under 11 years of age travel free. On select cruises, all inclusive drinks packages may be purchased for a of couple dollars. MSC Cruise Lines also features an exclusive ship within a ship known as the MSC Yacht Club. This club features a set of air-conditioned suites featuring marble bathrooms, butler service, LCD televisions, Nintendo Wii consoles, and Internet access.

Amenities

Enjoy outdoor pools, sports tournaments, and tennis and volleyball courts. Sign up for complimentary classes including yoga, or dance lessons. Relax at the Aurea Spa at an extra charge. Evening activities include casino gambling, live bands, and nightclubs. There is also a theater hosting nightly performances. Standard amenities found on all cruise ships include:

  • Specialty Restaurants
  • Bars and Lounges
  • Spa and Fitness Centers
  • Sports & Sports Tournaments
  • Pool Games
  • Live DJ
  • King and Queen of the Sea Contests
  • Live Music Bands
  • Theatre and Live Shows
  • Boutique Shopping
  • Casino
  • Beauty Salon

Destinations

MSC has expanded in recent years in terms of the number of destinations travelers have to choose from. With their fleet, MSC Cruises is able to service more people and introduce them to new countries all around the world. Destinations for their cruise ships include:

  • Bermuda
  • South Caribbean
  • Northern Europe
  • South America
  • Transatlantic Grand Voyages
  • Caribbean
  • Mediterranean
  • Canary Islands and Morocco
  • South Africa
  • the United Arab Emirates

Dress Code

The dress code is resort casual onboard MSC ships in the evening. No jeans, T-shirts, or shorts are permitted in the dining venues after 6 p.m. for formal evenings, women are advised to wear cocktail dresses and men should expect to dress in suits, or jackets and ties.

Insurance Protection

Valuable Insurance Protection is conveniently available with all of MSC Cruises' packages. Troubles such as illness, medical emergencies, delayed flights or lost luggage can occur when you least anticipate them and may affect your vacation. Insurance Protection safeguards you before, during and after your trip with important insurance coverage, 24-hour emergency assistance services, identity theft protection, and concierge services.

The Bad

  • Dining options
  • Limited featured cruise trips
  • Extra charges and fees

Dining Options

Cuisine consists mainly of Italian and Mediterranean flair. There are several dining options to choose from while onboard. However, seating is pre-assigned at boarding and dinner times are also scheduled based on cabin selection. Guests have reported that the meals are of standard quality and were disappointed that dinners were not more gourmet style.

Featured Cruise Trips

There are only two featured cruise trips at any given time when there are discounts on upcoming travel. With the number of cruise ships that run year-round, it is surprising that there are not more options. Also, the cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, and Europe can be rather expensive. The information is broken down below:

  • Book 2016-2017 Caribbean Cruises from $449 per person and get up to $400 shipboard credit and a free beverage package
  • Balcony Staterooms from $799 on Mediterranean Cruises if booked before May 31, 2015

Cruises to the Caribbean, and Europe

  • Caribbean: $379-$1,049 per person
  • Europe: $1049-$,2345 per person

Previous guests have complained that this charge does not give motivation for staff to assist travelers as they automatically get tipped no matter what. Many staff members are reported to not speak English.

Extra Charges

Beverages are not included in the cruise fare and dining options are fairly limited. Offshore excursions cost extra. There is an automatic 15 percent hotel service charge tacked on daily to cover service by hotel staff. Other services that cost extra include:

  • Photographer
  • Casino
  • Video games
  • 4D cinema (MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia and MSC Magnifica) and F1 simulator (only on MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia)
  • Golf simulator (only on MSC Sinfonia)
  • Bowling (only on MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica)
  • Internet stations
  • Hairdresser
  • Barber
  • Beauty salon
  • Turkish bath
  • Sauna and massages
  • Laundry and ironing.

You will be expected to arrive two hours before your scheduled departure to check-in. Announcements are made in several languages at ports, which can be a good or bad. It is nice that they announce port arrivals in several languages, but the constant overhead chatter can be an annoyance to some travelers. However, these announcements are only made at port arrivals, and the ship is generally quiet the rest of the time.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for an affordable cruise vacation that fits any budget, MSC Cruise Lines is a great choice for single passengers, families, and couples. Traveling overseas onboard MSC Cruise Lines is inexpensive, but with that comes less luxurious amenities and flexible options to choose from. If you desire luxury, you may want to consider another mainstream or premium ocean liner for your traveling needs. We recommend checking out MSC Cruises for affordable cruise options.