Why We Love MSC Cruises!
Cruising is our preferred way of traveling together as a family, as I truly think that it is the best vacation value, or in other words, the best bang for your buck, if researched well, and I love to research cruise options. It was through researching cruise options that I initially came to admire MSC. MSC stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company, as it began as a shipping company, but MSC has, at present, become the world’s fourth largest cruise line. The basic information the cruise line provides on its website and in its literature is already impressive. Add to that, we have now cruised with MSC and are booked to cruise with them again after enjoying a wonderful first MSC experience earlier in 2017. Here are a few of the reasons we love MSC.
Status Match Program: MSC allows guests who belong to a loyalty program of other cruise lines or hotels to join MSC’s loyalty program, MSC Voyagers Club, for FREE and receive the matching status with MSC, guaranteeing those guests a 5% discount on any booking PLUS the benefits of whatever tier the guest has qualified for. For more information, visit https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/MSC-Voyagers-Club/Loyalty-Match-Program.aspx.
Kids Sail FREE: Children who are 11 years old and younger, at time of sailing, sail for free on select MSC sailings, so long as they are sailing as 3rd/4th guests when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare paying adults. It should be noted that children 12 to 17 years old can also sail free on select MSC low and mid-season sailings, so long as they are sailing as 3rd/4th guests when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare paying adults. Although no cruise fare is applied to children sailing free, some charges such as taxes and port fees are charged for each guest, including children who are sailing free. Other charges that may be incurred for children who are sailing free, include flights and transfer fees, and add-ons. For more information, visit https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Cruise-Deals/Kids-Cruise-Free.aspx. Additionally, my older son, who first sailed MSC at 6 years old, enjoyed the kids’ club, and especially enjoyed the ship’s 4-D theater and the Sports Bar's Miniature Bowling Alley. Some newer MSC ships will feature a full-size bowling alley. I already think that cruising is the best family vacation option around, and MSC makes cruising even more family-friendly.
Gorgeous Ships: Impeccably clean ships, some of which feature Swarovski crystal staircases are like no other ship we’ve seen before, and that’s having sailed 4 other cruise lines other than MSC cruise. There are many gorgeous photographs of MSC’s ships online, and while those photographs are beautiful, the ships are even more breathtaking in person. For more information, visit https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Discover-MSC/Cruise-Ships.aspx.
Diversity: While all cruise lines with which we’ve sailed thus far have a very diverse crew and staff, the guests tend to be mostly American. With MSC, the guests reflect a number of different cultures as well. You’ll encounter travelers from all over the world. As I stated in my online review of my very first MSC cruise, “As someone with a B.A. in International Studies, and a love for languages and cultures, I loved sailing through the Caribbean, being greeted by fellow cruisers and greeting fellow cruisers, saying, ‘Bonjour,’ ‘Bonne Soirée,’ ‘Buona Sera,’ and ‘Buenos Dias.’ We definitely experienced that more on the MSC Divina than on any of our previous cruises.”
Amazing Itineraries: While MSC is not yet as well known in the United States as some other cruise lines are, it is very well known in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Africa, and the United Arab Emirates, and sails to over 150 destinations in those locations, as well as in South America, and the Caribbean/Antilles. I am in love with MSC’s itineraries! I think that, at present, the MSC Opera has the best Cuban itinerary; however, that ship is not yet open to being booked directly by United States citizens. This goes to show that MSC has been making strides all along, whether or not United States travelers are aware. MSC also offers a World Cruise, which is one sailing, across most continents, over 119 days: https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Cruise-Destinations/MSC-World-Cruise.aspx. MSC’s port offerings are enticing!
Drink Vouchers: As with other major cruise lines, there’s the option to purchase drink packages, which can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink packages; however, on MSC, there is also the option to purchase drink vouchers, which are more affordable than all-inclusive drink packages. Depending on how much time you intend to spend in port vs. on the ship, vouchers may be the better option. For example, on a port-intensive cruise, with one or no sea days, we will generally be in port each day, and will likely have lunch and drinks in port. At breakfast, certain teas, coffee, and juices are available without drink vouchers, so we will likely use drink vouchers right before, during, and/or right after dinner on the ship. We also love that MSC’s room categories allow for guests to choose from various experiences, a number of which, like the Fantastica experience, include drink vouchers.
Professional Portraits: Simply put, MSC’s portraits are the best quality portraits that I’ve seen from a cruise line. Portrait packages can be ordered in advance through MSC’s website or your travel agent, and of course, portraits can also be purchased onboard MSC’s ships.
Have you sailed with MSC before? What did you like about MSC? When cruising with family, what do you look for in a cruise line?