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About MSC Cruises

Cruisers looking for a more European experience at an affordable price gather on this Italy-based line. On European sailings, 85 percent of MSC passengers are European, giving the ships a local feel. (The numbers closer to 50/50 on North American sailings.) Bringing the whole family won't break the bank: Kids ages 3-11 sail for free on MSC, and ages 12-17 at a reduced rate. Plus, the kids' club is complimentary.

MSC Cruises Rankings

Expert Review of MSC Cruises

Best For:

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. 

Not For:

People looking for a raucous party atmosphere, those who want a flexible dinner schedule, and those who prefer sailing with just Americans.

We Love:

  • 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.

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What Cruisers Say

  • codfishing says ...

    MSC Seaside is very unique and magnificent, the most beautiful cruise ship I've been on. All areas of the ship were very clean and well maintained. Read Full Review
  • AndyL1 says ...

    great view of the ocean ...glad we got the oceanview room Read Full Review
  • mec9emb says ...

    Weather affected Genoa but we will go back. Docking at Marseilles was miles away from the old town - quite disappointed. Barcelona and Malaga were beautiful and accessible. Lisbon was astounding and docked right in the old town - superb sail... Read Full Review

17 MSC Cruises Ships

MSC Armonia

Price: $    Ship Size: M
MSC Armonia, Photo">

Majestic in stature yet intimate and inviting, the newly remodeled MSC Armonia reflects the hallmark...

Sails to:
Europe - Western Mediterranean Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Europe

MSC Bellissima

Price: $    Ship Size: L
MSC Bellissima, Photo">

With a stunning variety of features rivaling those of her sister ship MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima...

Sails to:
Europe Europe - Western Mediterranean
Sails from:
Barcelona, Spain Genoa, Italy

MSC Divina

Price: $    Ship Size: XL
MSC Divina, Photo">

With enhanced entertainment, tweaked menus designed for the American palate and a crew hand-picked t...

Sails to:
Europe Transatlantic Europe - Western Mediterranean Caribbean Caribbean - Western
Sails from:
Miami, Florida Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy Genoa, Italy Palermo, Sicily Marseille (Provence), France

Ship Size:

  • XL: 4,000 + passengers
  • L: 2,000 to 4,000 passengers
  • M: 500 to 2,000 passengers
  • S: Less than 500 passengers


  • $$$$: $1500 and up
  • $$$: Up to $1500
  • $$: Up to $1000
  • $: Up to $500

View All 17 Ships

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