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First time cruiser

If you’re a first time cruiser or new to MSC, we’re delighted to welcome you aboard your first cruise holiday. Many first time cruise passengers have lots of questions so we have packed this section full of useful information, including tips and hints designed to answer any queries you may have, such as what to wear to what you’ll find on board.
How to choose your cruise

How to choose your cruise


Depending on your holiday style, you can choose a cruise by destination, as in a specific part of the world you would like to visit, or by itinerary, as in the unique listing of ports and cities that we created. Perhaps your holiday preferences depend on the facilities on board? Take a look at our fleet of 11 luxury cruise liners and choose which of our super ships suits you best. From solo sailors to active families, honeymooning couples to friends looking for fun times, cruise holidays today truly cater for everyone.
Where we cruise to

Where we cruise to


MSC Cruises sail around the world, from the Mediterranean and Canary Islands to Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and Antilles, South America, Dubai, The Emirates and Oman; South Africa. We are the market leader in the Mediterranean, South Africa and Brazil. Our 11 ultra-modern ships carry an average of 1.2 million passengers each year. So, whether you fancy a taste of exotic Turkey or traditional Tromsø, gorgeous Granada or stylish Sweden, browse our Destinations for our full list of ports and holiday ideas.
Our cruise accommodation

Our cruise accommodation


Our cabins range from a standard cabin, perfect for solo travellers to a sumptuous suite for those special occasion voyages. Family suites have interconnecting rooms and those looking for true luxury will find it in the MSC Yacht Club (MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida and MSC Divina only), which boasts opulent cabins, private quarters (Top Sail Lounge), private pool and 24-hour personal concierge. We have up to six types of cabins, including Inside Ocean View Mini Suite Ocean View Suite Ocean View Balcony Cabin Balcony Suite Balcony Family Suite Aurea Suite MSC Yacht Club - Deluxe Suite MSC Yacht Club - Executive and Family Suite MSC Yacht Club - Royal suite All cabins have the following amenities as standard: spacious wardrobe, bathroom with shower (deluxe suites have bathtub ), interactive TV, telephone, internet connection (payable), mini bar, safe, air conditioning. Room sizes range from 11 metres, up to 52 square metres (MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Divina Yacht Club Royal Suite). MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia and MSC Divina are equipped with state-of-the-art cabins for passengers with reduced mobility. Once your have chosen your luxury MSC cruise liner from our fleet, simply click on the ship to view the precise details of your cabin type.

Safety on Board


All cruise ships are designed and operated in compliance with the strict requirements of the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency that mandates global standards for the safety and operation of cruise ships through adoption of treaties, regulations and resolutions, codified in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

Safety-related regulations and requirements are rigorous – and ships often go substantially above and beyond what is required, for example carrying backup mechanical, navigational and safety provisions. Ships crews undertake extensive training, certification, drills and scenarios for emergency situations, including the evacuation of a ship. All cruise ships have lifeboats, life rafts and life preservers for every person on board as well as additional capacity.

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Who’s for a cruise?

Who’s for a cruise?


Cruising today is the choice of those who wish to see the world in a relaxed and fun way, enjoying surroundings that are as gorgeous as the destinations they visit. As our lives become ever more hectic and fast-paced, holidaymakers are choosing cruising as a wonderful alternative to stressful airport travel, multiple hotel bookings and the uncertainty of not knowing exactly what you’re getting. MSC Cruises prides itself on its traditional heritage and ensures that each one of its fabulous cruise liners pays testament to the style and hospitality that Italy is renowned for. As cruising changes, travellers change. Today, MSC welcomes a diverse array of passengers on board. Honeymooning couples take advantage of all our extra services, from in-cabin chocolates to aperitifs and à la carte dining. Active families make the most of our Kids Go Free programme and our day-long schedule of children’s activities with qualified supervisors. Groups of friends can get together and relax or join in excursion packages. Solo travellers are guaranteed to make friends as they meet like-minded passengers on a themed cruise or on a friendly group day out. With all-inclusive packages and full board, a cruise holiday, surprisingly, is ideal for those seeking style on a budget.
Your daily programme

Your daily programme


The daily onboard programme is both relaxed and structured. Passengers can choose to do as little or as much as they like. It is quite possible to spend a full day on ship relaxing onboard, with a swim and a sunbathe, a book, a dinner and a show. Others will be up with the dawn, ready to take on the day with an action-packed itinerary of activities. Cruise… your way.
Start the day

Start the day


Breakfast is served from 7am – 10am, or you can call on room service to deliver a continental breakfast to your cabin.
Excursions – full day, half day, short visits

Excursions – full day, half day, short visits


To take full advantage of your cruise holiday, we heartily recommend you join us on an MSC shore excursion. These take the form of full- or half-day visits or shorter trips of a couple of hours. Join us in a discovery of art and architecture, archaeology and adventure, shopping or sightseeing. As well as guided tours and city visits we have a huge array of exciting activities such as diving, snorkelling, 4x4 jeep safaris, desert treks, glacier hikes, camel rides, visits to artist ateliers and botanical gardens, foundations, museums and galleries, local villages and global landmarks. These are not to be missed! Please consult our dedicated Excursions section for more details.
Morning activities

Morning activities


Choose to spend your morning in one of the many onboard facilities, such as (depending on your ship) swimming (adults-only and kids-only pools available), aqua park, gym, bowling, mini-golf, the games arcade, 4D cinema, browsing in the library, catching up in the Internet café, a moment in the MSC Aurea Spa, or joining in one of our general activities which are free and open to all.
Midday meal

Midday meal


Lunch is served in one of four onboard restaurants; please note that serving times vary depending on ship and geographic location, but all offer broad timetables for relaxed dining. You can choose the full-board options or to dine in our specialty or à la carte restaurants.
Afternoon activities

Afternoon activities


Why not relax in the beauty salon, or take a class. Stroll the decks or enjoy a game of tennis or badminton. Participate in an art auction or try your luck in the casino. Take tea in one of our many delightful onboard cafés, catch up with new friends, and treat yourself to a holiday gift in one of our Italian boutiques or artisan stalls.
Children and Teenagers

Children


Our kids’ clubs occupy children all day, with dedicated activities from tots (aged 3) to teens (aged 17). Find out more.
Evening meal

Evening meal


Enjoy a gourmet supper prepared by our master chefs; whether you choose Italian cuisine, French bistro gastronomy, old time American favourites, TexMex all we can say is buon appetito!
Into the night

Into the night


Evenings are given over to cabaret and dance, theatre, music and spectacular shows. Dance the night away in our glamorous nightclubs and join the crowds on the disco dance-floor. Open until late.
How do I book a cruise?

Q. How do I book a cruise?


A: You can browse all the details of your cruise holiday online (ship, type of cabin etc) and make the final booking through your local Travel Agent.
Do you offer different types of cruises?

Q. Do you offer different types of cruises?


A: A cruise can be tailored to your preferences by the type of excursion of activity you choose to join in. Whether you’re a couple seeking relaxation and exploration, a family after activities, newlyweds making memories, or a group of friends looking for good times, a cruise has everyone covered.
Will I get bored?

Q. Will I get bored?


A: Each MSC cruise liner is like a wonderful floating village – and each cruise ship displays our hallmark of chic Italian style. There are smart shopping piazzas and a shop for ‘essentials’. There are games areas and state-of-the-art consoles. There are lively casinos and tranquil spas. There are fine bistros and multi-screen sports bars. There is a library and internet café for connecting back home or curling up with a book. Swim and gym or drinks until dawn… we are confident that you will find everything you want from a holiday, onboard.
Feel confined?

Q. Feel confined?


A. All of our luxury MSC liners are spacious and pleasantly designed. Even our larger-capacity liners have plenty of room – up to 16 decks of cabins, public spaces and entertainment facilities. It is always possible to reach the exterior decks and spend time outdoors – you can even take an outdoor evening stroll around the decks. Being at sea with the expanse of the ocean often brings a sense of calm and tranquillity, and the open space all around means that travellers rarely feel confined. It is always possible to find a quiet spot in our library or public space, and cabins are situated on quiet decks below the main entertainment areas.
What should I pack?

Q: What should I pack?


A: We advise travellers to pack a range of garments, from casual wear for relaxing onboard to occasion wear appropriate for the Gala Dinners that feature on every MSC cruise. (Please note that a 7-night cruise has two Gala Nights). Depending on your itinerary, modest clothing may be required to enter some sights, particularly those of a religious or holy nature. Appropriate garments would include long trousers (not shorts) for men, longer skirts or trousers, covered arms and a scarf for women. Sporty passengers will wish to bring swimwear, gym clothes and sports shoes to use in the gym, flip flops for the spa. Active passengers likely to join one of our more challenging excursions (such as hiking, in the Nordic itineraries) will want to bring sturdy walking shoes. Other useful items include a camera and binoculars.
What about meal times?

Q. What about meal times?


A. Meal times vary depending on ship and location. Meals are often – but not always included on our daily excursions, so please be sure to read the excursion programme carefully. For meals on board please visit our dedicated ‘Dining’ page  for further details.
Do you cater to special diets?

Q. Do you cater to special diets?


A. Special diets such as vegetarian or gluten free diets are well catered for on board. We also provide nutritionally appropriate meals for children. Please consult out “Dining” page for full details on how we can cater to your special dietary requirements.
What can I do in port?

Q. What can I do in port?


A. One of the highlights of a cruise holiday is being able to discover new cities and sights. Our carefully-planned excursion packages offer a range of full or half day visits as well as short trips that will show you the sights, take you further afield (for example by coach to a capital city), enable you to join an activity, (from hiking Norway’s glaciers to visiting England’s stately homes) or the thrill of an adventure (4 x4 jeep safari, diving, a night under the stars in a Bedouin village etc).
Is cruising affordable and a good-value holiday?

Q. Is cruising affordable and a good-value holiday?


A. An MSC cruise can be tailored to suit all budgets whether you prefer a simple standard cabin or a luxury Yacht Club Deluxe Suite. All our cruises include full board, so you can choose to eat in the main restaurants or splash out on à la carte dining. Treat yourself or loved ones to all the little extras such as in-cabin services or simply use your cruise to see the sights, make new friends and enjoy our warm hospitality. There are a huge number of activities on board that are free of charge (evening shows, casino, kid’s club activities, 24 hour room service, fitness, library and general activities organized on board (quizzes, games, etc).
The price of your cruise includes stateroom accommodation with all home comforts.

The price of your cruise includes stateroom accommodation with all home comforts.


 Opulent Casino
Enjoy free access to the casino, slot machines and gaming areas.

• Onboard Activities 
Fun activities may be organized throughout the day, from quizzes to hobbies. These are open to everyone.

• Kids Club programs 
Kids under 18 travel free with MSC. We have an exceptional programme of activities for children, which run from early morning to early evening. These are free of charge.

• 24-hour Room Service 
All passengers can use our Room Service facility to order extra snacks and drinks or to request information or assistance.

• Fitness Facility 
Most of our luxurious cruise liners are equipped with a fitness facility. Access to the gym is free of charge.,

• Library and Card Room 
Enjoy a quiet game with friends or sit in our tranquil onboard library with its porthole ocean views and collection of books.

 Nightclubs and disco
(there is no entrance charge for any of the nightclubs or discos on board our ships) 

• Broadway Style Shows
All our evening shows, from musical medleys to dramatic theatre productions are open to everyone, at no extra cost.

Some charges apply to additional activities onboard

Some charges apply to additional activities onboard, these include:


 Access to Aurea Spa and Spa treatments
Please consult the Spa brochure for a list of treatments and prices.

• Internet Café 
There is a small charge to use the facilities in the internet café.

• Beauty Salon
A comprehensive list of hair and beauty treatments at attractive prices.

• Shopping 
All MSC liners have a range of fantastic boutiques on board as well as a small shop for ‘essentials’.

• Art Auctions 
It is possible to bid or purchase works of art in our sales, and these must be transacted on board.

• Shore Excursions 
Our shore excursions and activities offer the best way to view the top sights and attractions in our ports.  Please contact your travel agent for more details or request full excursion details including pricing and programmes, once on board. 

• Bar Drinks 
Drinks are not included in the full board package. 
 
• Personal Fitness Trainer
Passengers can choose to have a one-to-one session with a personal trainer, for a small fee.

• Exercise Classes
Special exercise classes, such as aerobics, pilates, yoga etc are payable on a class-by-class basis.