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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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.

User Reviews

Star Rating

3.2
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69 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 star
29%
4 star
23%
3 star
10%
2 star
10%
1 star
28%

Sentiment Criteria

Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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gina zalewski

July 18th, 2015 Centereach, NY

I would think twice before i ever book with them again! food was ok Not what i expected for an Italian cruise line Entertainment was great when they had it There wasnt anything going on by the pool Staff was friendly and helpful ship was kept clean But overall nothing over the top with the choices of food especially on the dinner menu.

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Jennifer Pete Desrochers

July 18th, 2015 Thayne, WY

Last August my family and I went on an eight day Mediterranean cruise on the MSC Preziosa. It was our first time on a cruise and I am so very glad we choose this cruise line as our first. My son in law is military and they gave us a military discount when we purchased the cruise. From the time that we boarded the ship until we debarked, we had the time of our lives. The entertainment staff were the best. The food was outstanding. We met so many wonderful people and made friends that will last a lifetime. Oh and not to mention the memories that were made along the way. We will definitely do another cruise with MSC. I was thinking the Carribean next time.

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Elissa

July 18th, 2015 Overland Park, KS

We enjoyed our cruise on Divina last year. We got a great price. We would do it again if we got that price again. This was our 26 th cruise. It wasn't our best cruise or our worst. We thought the food, shows, pools were great. The staff tried hard to please everyone.

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Lazaro Diaz

July 17th, 2015 Collierville, TN

Staff not very helpful, Smoking area near children's. No good area designated for children. Kids in the adult club with no supervision. Price is good but I will think 4 times before going on another MSC Cruise.

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Marta

July 16th, 2015 Hollywood, FL

Last year we went 3 times on MSC Divina...The luxury of the cruise ship is awesome and the ambience..We loved they had a place for Spanish people to dance their music..The shows were excellent as well as the food..We would likely go again...

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Karen Kasten

July 15th, 2015 Ocala, FL

Absolutely loved my MSC Divina cruise, what a beautiful ship and smooth sailing and did I mention that beautiful crystal staircase?! Had a balcony room, a little on the smaller side, but how much time did we spend there other than to sleep. Sliding balcony doors, which glided with perfection, so no listening to a door slamming shut. Bed was awesome, comfortable, clean and we had several great nights of sleep. Service awesome, no pushy wait staff like on Carnival cruise lines. In fact if I had to complain it would be for not having enough wait staff. I loved the drink ticket concept and if you purchase ahead of time, you save tax and gratuities. All the wait staff we had, aimed to please, not hard to take when you are on vacation. Dinner menus, awesome - had some excellent meals and compliments to the chefs because some of the food we ate was to die for. No problems with any excursions as well. All in all, we rated MSC a number 10 and we actually cannot wait to get back on one of their ships to do another Caribbean cruise with them. I am very surprised that the average is only a 6 - maybe the Mediterranian cruises are not as good as the Caribbean??

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Jeanne Neuman

July 15th, 2015 Bowling Green, OH

Nickle & dimed the whole cruise!!! Had to pay for water at dinner table!!!! Even shuttles cost extra at ports! Buffet area was so congested all the time - no one directing flow. Never again!!!

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Mukund Mohan

July 15th, 2015 Las Vegas, NV

I have been on the MSC Divina and MSC Poesia. Amazing ships and fantastic service! MSC always gives the best cruise experiences!

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Warren Curling

July 14th, 2015 Charlotte, NC

As a Gold Member we have cruised the Divina in both the Caribbean and the Med. We have also cruised aboard the Norwegian Jewel. There are things we like about both. The open seatings at dinner aboard the Jewel was preferred but enjoy sailing with the Divina out of Miami. I thought the overall service was much better on the Divina cruising the Caribbean rather than the Med. We will cruise MSC again.

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Dianna Davis

July 14th, 2015 Tampa, FL

We had a wonderful time. The service and all the crew members went overboard to see that we had everything we needed for a memorable cruise. Would I go again...yes with no hesitation.

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William Griffith

July 13th, 2015 Monroeville, PA

Great time and beautiful ship. One of the best deals for a cruise you can find. Our cruise was in the Fall along the Eastern Seaboard. We traveled to Nova Scotia and Quebec City. Beauty along with hospitality is all that I can say. We would cruise with MSC again.

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Aurora

July 13th, 2015 Miami, FL

I've been on the MSC Divina twice, Last year Caribbean cruise and this year Mediterranean Cruise with Airfare. It was a great value. Overall fantastic cruise. Excursions were fairly priced and I never went to bed hungry. Will sail MSC again!

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JAN

July 13th, 2015 Philadelphia, PA

As a travel agent, I can report that I will NEVER book MSC again! They were miserable to deal with, and no one seemed to know what they were doing. In addition, they cheated me out of all of my commissions. They are the very worst cruise line in the world!

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phyllis jones

July 11th, 2015 Saint Petersburg, FL

It was great ! My grandson and my self take a cruise every year. We are taking one in Sept. with another cruise line.W e tried you but for some reason could not. We did enjoy our cruise with you. Hope to cruise again with you. Thanks Phyllis Jones

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Judy

July 11th, 2015 Saint Petersburg, FL

Food was just so-so. Hard to find the selections you wanted. Cruisers on ship were rude. Ship is way too big. Room was very nice, no complaints there. The room steward was excellent. Overall, would never go on MSC again.

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Marta L Reyes

July 11th, 2015 Cumming, GA

Good shows , but the service very bad, they didi not have courtesy at all.

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Carlos Noda

July 9th, 2015 Miami, FL

Seating issues in the main dining room first night. Dirty glasses and silver wear. did not like the Idea of Co-ed saunas not enough adults only areas unless you reserved and paid for it extra. The Jacuzzis' area we being used as a water park for the kids. totally unacceptable. Food was average. I expected more from an Italian cruise line. We paid for an upgraded brunch to be served some of the same food being served in the buffet line. Just presented differently. also a language issue with the staff very difficult to under stand

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David Taylor

July 9th, 2015 Orlando, FL

I cruise regularly. MSC is horrible. Enough said. Horrible

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iamau11

July 8th, 2015 Jacksonville, FL

Cruised on MSC twice, both cruises were great! Planning on cruising again this year. The food was excellent, entertainment was good, need to add more American options since the home base is now Miami. The service was also great. My only complaint is on a 7 day cruise, the ship leaves Miami @ 7PM and returns @ 7AM , this is actually a 6 day cruise not a full 7. Would it be possible for the ship to leave Miami @4 or 5MP? This way passengers would feel like the are getting the full 7 days.