To cruise or not to cruise?

After reading all about MSC Cruises, you’ll be packing a bag and heading straight to sea

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What is there to do on-board an MSC Cruises ship?

It might be easier to ask: what isn’t there to do? MSC Cruises have 17 ships, all of which have different food, entertainment and amenities. From cookery classes to fitness sessions, theatre shows to water parks, clubbing to spa treatments… the bigger question is how do you fit everything in in just a week?

What are the cabins like?

You’ll find comfort and style at the heart of the cabins and suites, which come in a wide range of sizes. Depending on budget, you could be enjoying a suite with its own hot tub, or a connected set of family cabins, each with a balcony. In cabins on-board MSC Bellissima and Grandiosa (and new ships to follow), you can take advantage of Zoe, the very first virtual cruise assistant, who can answer (almost) any question you have about life on board, in seven different languages.

MSC cruises cabin

How sustainable and eco-friendly is a cruise?

Cruise lines are constantly working to limit their impact on the environment, and MSC Cruises are definitely leading the charge. They use energy-saving technology on board – such as LED lighting and smart heating, ventilation and air-conditioning – and virtually all the water used on board is self-produced from seawater, so it’s not coming from ports or coastal communities. In addition, from January 2020 all holidays with MSC Cruises will be carbon-neutral by offsetting all the C02 emissions from the fleet. They have pledged to offset using ‘blue credits’, which means all their offsetting will be done through schemes that benefit marine life and coastal communities.

What is the food like?

Cruise ships have always been famous for great food, but does that mean you have to sit in a tuxedo every night and eat three courses? These days cruise ships have so much more choice. From a buffet operating 20 hours a day and offering everything from your favourite curry to award-winning pizza, to restaurants by world famous chefs, including Ramon Freixa and Roy Yamaguchi. If it’s more traditional dining you’re after then the main dining room offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with different menus every night. It’s definitely a feast for foodies onboard.

MSC cruises food

What’s included in the price?

On-board activities, kids and teens’ clubs, access to the fitness centre, Broadway-style shows, and all meals at the main dining room and buffet. A daily service charge is also included. They also do a great promotion during the first few months of the year known as ‘Wave’, which also sees a drinks package included as part of the price when you book a ‘fantastica’ grade cabin. Extras include shore excursions, spa treatments, drinks and Wi-Fi.

Do you have to get off the ship when it stops or can you stay on board?

Just like any other type of holiday, it’s your holiday – you’ve earned it and so you can do whatever you want. If you want to go ashore then you can either venture ashore on your own, taking in the local sights, or book a shore excursion through the ship. Or if you prefer you can stay on board, and enjoy the facilities at a time when they might be less busy. As most cruises visit a different port every day it might be nice to spend the day onboard and enjoy everything the ship has to offer.

Is it good for kids?

Cruises are great for kids as there are a range of clubs and activities for different age groups, so they can play with others their age. Depending on the ship, they can also take a LEGO Master Builder diploma, compete in MasterChef Juniors at Sea, explore the DOREMI School of Magic, or experience a Formula 1 racing car simulator. There are also water parks to splash around in, activities to take part in, and shows to enjoy if you’d rather do things as a family.

MSC cruises for kids

How many places will I visit?

That entirely depends on the itinerary for the cruise you have booked, and the number of days. You could be visiting as many as seven destinations during a seven-night cruise around the Mediterranean taking in ports including Cannes, Pisa and Genoa, or take in four different islands during a seven-night Caribbean cruise including MSC Cruises’ new private island Ocean Cay.

Do I have to dress up every night?

That’s totally up to you. Most people wear smart causal clothes in the evening, and there are also theme nights like the famous white party. The only exception is for a formal evening or ‘gala dinner’ when the main dining room requires men to wear suits or jackets and ties, and women to wear cocktail attire. And if you don’t want to dress up at all on gala night, you are welcome to dine in the buffet where the dress code is more relaxed, so no need to worry about packing your tiara – unless you want to.

To book a holiday with MSC Cruises, go to msccruises.co.uk or call 0203 429 4056.

And get ready for a big adventure…