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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
Have you ever been on an MSC Cruise?
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