Expert review of MSC Cruises
MSC is best for families and couples looking for a change from the typical American cruise experience without a step up in price. The line has multiple "experiences," which are packages that determine your cabin as well as additional perks during the cruise. This allows travelers to customize their vacation not only based on budget, but also their preferences.
People looking for a raucous party atmosphere, those who want a flexible dinner schedule, and those who prefer sailing with just Americans.
- Kids ages 3-11 cruise free, maing it an attractive option for families with younger children. Older children ages 12-17 are also free, but only during low and mid-season. The kids' clubs are complimentary, and there are additional babysitting services, too.
- MSC’s modern fleet is the youngest in the industry, and the ships in the Fantasia class have a sleeker, more nautical profile than their competitors. MSC Seaside also has a notable profile, thanks to its design inspiration taken from Miami's South Beach.
- It’s becoming even easier to experience MSC in North America: MSC Divina and the line's new flagship MSC Seaside both sail year-round from Miami.
- North American sailings have greatly limited the amount of smoking areas onboard, which is more common on European cruises.
- MSC Divina and MSC Seaside both represents the line’s laudable efforts to appeal to the tastes of American cruisers, and the onboard entertainment is a huge hit.
The MSC Yacht Club is a serious upgrade: This VIP section features its own private pool, restaurant and lounge, 24-hour personal butler and concierge service, and complimentary wine and spirits. Yacht Club guests also enjoy priority embarkation in ports and reserved seating in the ship's main theater.
We Could Do Without:
- The food across the ship can be somewhat hit-or-miss.
- Onboard announcements are usually made in three or four languages to accommodate MSC's international passengers, which gets old quickly.
- Because MSC is a European line, the language barrier can cause some difficulties when communicating with crew members, particularly on European itineraries.