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69 User Reviews

5.7

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: March 22nd, 2021
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.
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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.
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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.
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Star Rating

3.2

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69 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

29%

4 grade

23%

3 grade

10%

2 grade

10%

1 grade

28%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Trustworthiness

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Frankie Hendrich Tacoma, WA

My family enjoyed a 7 night eastern european cruise in July 2014. 2 adults and our then 8 year old son. The cruise it self was wonderful. The food was mediocre, we lived in Europe for several years, so it was not the I am American and do not like it, it was just a low quality that they tried their best to work with. Not bad at all, my wife is a travel agent and had a wonderful time, she agreed on the food, but there is so much you will find something you like.Kids sail free, so that is a huge bonus! Our little guy loved the deep salt water pool. I recommend the drink packages, the mix drinks are great, mixed well and not watered down. Overall great experience, well traveled, seasoned cruiser, it is a european cruise line and is a different experience, but different is a good thing.

6 years ago

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Jim Manchester, MI

The Cost was good we Traveled Last Christmas The ship was clean and the rooms were pretty large compared to other ships I have been on. The food was OK in the main dining room and the Food at the Steak House that was additional and expensive was not good at all we were disappointed. The service on deck was not good the waitress would walk by our table of empty drinks and not even look our way we would have to call her over and this was a regular issue. Overall it was OK but a few adjustments and it would be great.

6 years ago

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iamau11 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.

6 years ago

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Wendy Liu Bethesda, MD

We boarded the MSC Armonia, MSC's smallest cruise ship, the entertainers on board were wonderful, funny, and very nice however there wasn't much to do on the ship other than going into a small pool or going to a small casino. It is to be expected because the cruise ship is small, however it gets boring after a little bit. The food is also okay, my friend had a cricket in her salad but the manager handled it professionally. Definitely a cruise for those of low budget.

1 year ago

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jabbbie Palm Harbor, FL

Went to spain,rome etc. It was nice. But we just went on a boat that everything is forgien talking. All shows, etc. So next time it will be with the america version.

6 years ago

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Kathryn Robinson Riverton, UT

My husband and I went on a Bahama cruise with MSC Cruises. The food and nighttime entertainment were mediocre compared to other cruise lines. The customer service was exceptional, but our over all experience was 3-star.

1 year ago

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Michelle Schow Saratoga Springs, UT

MSC cruises is fine, but you don’t get the same experience as other cruise lines. The nighttime entertainment was mediocre and my husband got sick eating the food.

1 year ago

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