the lowdown on msc cruises

MSC Cruise Review

While we were living abroad, we booked a week-long Mediterranean cruise with MSC Cruises. Since we had never heard of this company prior to moving overseas, we were skeptical about their low rates and strange boarding/departure schedule, but went with them anyway and had a great experience. I’ve heard other opinions — especially when it comes to their Carribean cruises — but I liked it a lot more than past cruises with Royal Caribbean and Carnival. So, if you’re wondering about cruising in Europe, here’s the lowdown on MSC Cruises.

The Lowdown on MSC Cruises

We were scheduled to take a cruise with B’s parents during their visit in Scotland, but because our field assignment got extended an additional six months, we were required to send our passports back in for a different visa and it took forever. Since we were passport-less for a month and a half, we had to cancel a few trips including a week in Paris and our family cruise. Even though we were extremely disappointed and I may or may not have shed a single tear, MSC worked with us to cancel our spring cruise and rebook in August for our anniversary. We were worried about having to pay an insanely high rebooking fee, but they were reasonable and easy to work with. Plus one for MSC.

The Lowdown on MSC Cruises

The original cruise was with the Splendida out of Barcelona, Spain and we rescheduled to the Sinfonia out of Civitavecchia, Italy which is just outside of Rome.  Our stops included Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Tunisia, Ibiza, Palma, Marseille, and Genoa. The most convenient part of cruising with MSC is that they have a continuous board/departure schedule at every stop during the cruise — so instead of traveling all the way back to Civitavecchia at the end of our cruise, we were able to plan an early departure in Genoa, Italy to explore that area and head to Venice afterwards. This helped us plan the ultimate Mediterranean anniversary trip!

MSC Cruise Line

The entertainment was my favorite part about the ship. Instead of the usual cheesy shows you can sometimes get with other cruise lines, the shows were aimed towards adults and there was a lot of dancing and singing. Like, really, really awesome dancing. I used to teach dance in high school and was in complete awe of these people. Their outfits were also on point — although the women didn’t leave much to the imagination. I’m sure B was perfectly fine with that. ;)

While surfing the Internet for MSC reviews (because I’m a curious one), I found  a lot of complaints about the food. Honestly, I loved it. My husband and I are big fans of fresh fish, salads, and all things cooked in olive oil, so we ate a lot. And didn’t even feel disgusting afterwards which usually happens when we take a cruise. We did have problems with rude Italians cutting the buffet lines ALL THE TIME, but that will happen when you’re on a cruise ship with a ton of other people.

Best Cruise Line

Like other cruise lines, they had games like Bingo going on in some of the bigger community rooms, plenty of fruity drinks for all, and a variety of excursions. The excursions were a little pricey, but completely worth it. We booked an excursion at every stop and our favorites included the guided tour of the Amalfi Coast and a boat trip in Palma where we swam in the very chilly Mediterranean Sea. Our time at sea was also a blast because we did some shopping on the ship (they had everything), chilled by the pool, and ate a ton.

MSC Review

So, that was our experience with MSC cruises in the Mediterranean. It was relaxing and we didn’t feel like children were crawling all over us.

MSC European Cruise
MSC European Cruises

Have you ever been on an MSC Cruise?


Filed Under: Travel14 Comments
  • Amy Lynne Hayes

    I took an MSC cruise!! It was within the first couple months of living in Paris – disembarked from Venice and hit spots in Greece and Croatia. It was a really chill, really relaxing time. The ship was much smaller than the mega-ships you see in the Caribbean cruise lines. All in all it was a very pleasant experience. Looks like you guys had a great time! :)

  • Kate @ Green Fashionista

    I’ve always been skeptical of MSC as well because of the price, so we took the Norwegian Epic out of Barcelona this past spring on our first Mediterranean cruise. Thanks for such a great review! I no longer feel like I should look over MSC when doing a cruise search ;-)

    What did you think of the ship itself? Was it on point with updates like the bigger cruise lines or more outdated?

  • jackie jade

    i had never thought about doing a european cruise but it sounds like you guys had an amazing experience. great info i’ll have to remember!

  • Kelly

    I have never heard of this line but I am writing it down for the next time we go back, thanks so much for the recommendation!

  • Deepti @ Endless Postcards

    Looks like a fantastic cruise – I always associate cruises with the Caribbean and never really thought about Europe (except for Greece.) Seems super fun!

  • Rika – Cubicle Throwdown

    It’s so nice to hear about someone having a good experience on a cruise!!

  • Eva

    Looks like such a nice trip, and it seems like you all had perfect weather. I had a bad experience with my first cruise (to the Bahamas ten years ago) but this is making me give it a second thought!

  • Michaela B

    It looks great. Boat trip is a great way how to explore more countries during one holiday. Thanks for the tip :)

  • Jessica

    I’d love to go on a cruise! It seems to be an amazing experience x

  • Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    I’ve never gone on a cruise before! Seems like this would be a cool place to start :P -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Sonja Müller

    Looks like a really good experience! xxx

  • LEE @ Modern Granola

    This looks amazing! I love a good cruise! I’ve only been on one, but I was hooked from the start. Great post.

  • zaamissbowtie

    The MSC cruises are the most popular here in South Africa but I don’t think cruises are for me just yet. Something about not being able to escape the ship if anything goes wrong really scares me!

  • Oui In France

    Never been on an MSC cruise but I’d definitely cruise with them. Funny about the rude Italians cutting lines. I think line culture is different in Europe. French people don’t do the concept of one line if there are multiple cashiers. They’ll make 4 different lines at the pharmacy so someone who arrived after you will be helped before, and I always feel like I’m being cut. But glad the cruise was a blast!