MSC Cruises Reviews

Year Started: 1987
Ships in Fleet: 12
Category: Mainstream

Summary: A pan-European mainstream cruise line that competes with Costa. New, massive ships with decent food and entertainment, Look for bargains in Caribbean.


MSC Cruise Ships

3 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Foodies. Seniors. First-time Cruisers.

14 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Value for Money. Group. Families.

3 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Children`s Programs. Families. Foodies.

28 Reviews


Good for: Foodies. Families. Group.

21 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, Transatlantic

Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.

0 Reviews


Good for: Foodies. Children`s Programs. Families.

7 Reviews


Good for: Overall Service. Value for Money. Foodies.

4 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, South America, Transatlantic

Good for: Foodies. Children`s Programs. Families.

6 Reviews

Regions:Southern Caribbean, Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, South America

Good for: Foodies. Children`s Programs. Families.

15 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, South America, Transatlantic

Good for: Foodies. First-time Cruisers. Families.

17 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, Transatlantic

Good for: Value for Money. Foodies. Group.

6 Reviews

Regions:Africa, Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Foodies. Group. Families.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
from 124 reviews


Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms


Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities


Shore Tours


Alternative Dining

User Reviews

124 User Reviews of MSC Ships
Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: April 6, 2007

Wonderful relaxing cruise. This was our 21 cruise. I am a young 60 my wife is 53. We had second seating dining. Our cabin was an inside on deck 9

I grade my cruises as follows. “A” Is exceptional. “B” Is good. “C” Is average. I would expect my cruise to be “C” or better. “D” Is poor. “E” Is horrible.

Ship. I grade the ship a B. It was extremely clean. Laid out well. Many lounges. We never had a problem finding a seat in a lounge. Shops were very limited in size and selections. They never hardly every announce anything.

Cabin. Would be a grade of “C. They were small only 140 sq ft. Bathroom was small. Cabin was extremely clean. No towel animals or chocolates. Some of the most comfortable beds we have ever had. Normal shower soap, shampoo and etc.

Food. Would be a “B”. But I love true ITALIAN FOOD. If you like Olive Garden food you will not like Lirica food. Pasta was extremely good. Lobster wasn’t the best. Beef was good. Veal was OK. My tablemate said the fish was excellent. Ice tea was very good. Hot

Chocolate was to die for; it was made with hot milk. Breakfasts were good selection. We ate almost all of our meals in the dining room. We had table 106 in the larger dining room. Buffet was lacking. Best thing on buffet was stews and fruit. Breads were true Italian hard on the outside and soft in the middle. Pizza was very good. We found out on the last few days they will make a pizza to order for you. We order two with extra cheese. They were wonderful.

Entertainment. I grade this as a “B”. They had variety shows. The Tenor was wonderful and the magician was also a quick-change artist and he was fast and very GOOD. The dancers were OK. We never attended any of the poolside games. Here is where the lack of announcements caused problems. They were over before we remembered them. My wife won bingo one night. We didn’t go to bingo we just happened to be in the lounge where they played the game.

Service. I grade this with an “A”. The waiter and assistant waiter were extremely good. They never introduced themselves but they knew our likes in a matter of 2 days. Teas and bread was waiting and after the first night we never had to order hot chocolate again. Bar service is very good. We don’t drink anything except cokes. We always had someone near to get us a coke but didn’t have to keep saying no thank you to any offers for drinks. Our cabin steward was very good he came to introduce himself on the afternoon we board and asked if we needed anything. We saw him a few time after that and he met every need we had. By the Way there was never an added tip to my coke order. The tips are $12.00 per day. 40% goes to cabin attendants (your cabin is attended to by two people), 40% goes to wait staff and bartenders/servers and the remaining 20% goes to there managers like the headwaiter and etc.

Ports. I would grade these as “A”. We did Columbia, San Blas Island off of Panama, The Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Roatan Honduras and Jamaica. I loved all of the except Jamaica. Panama isn’t for a prude. Topless women greeted us as we got off the ship.

Would I go on MSC again? Yes I would. I had a very relaxing cruise.

I would grade the whole cruise as a “B”. Have I had better food? Yes I think Royal Caribbean is slightly better. Better cabins? Yes Carnival’s are larger. Better service? No MSC had the best service of all my cruises. For the money spent it was wonderful.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: February 27, 2007

This review will be very short.

Embarkation: Very rapid. Arrived at approximately 12:30PM. Obtained a wheelchair for wife and was checked in and onboard within 20 minutes.

Cabin: Outside with about 140SqFt of space. Adequate storage space for hanging and drawers with shelves. Beds kept as twins since by moving them together would take up too much floor space. Large Safe easy to operate. Shower nice arranged but no enough upper shelf storage. Large under sink storage. Shower was nice except it was way too small. Door lock was easy to operate with the sign and sail card. Television was small and did NOT have an AV plug in to view digital Pictures.

Sign and Sail card had imprinted the Cabin Number on it. To me this is a security violation. If anyone lost the card anyone finding it would be able to enter your Cabin.

Food: IMO the food was NOT good. Many dishes were overcooked. The menu selections were limited and it was not prepared as I thought it should be. The lobster entre was prepared with head and tail together. I did not like it.

Service: Service was excellent. The waiters

were prompt, attentive and polite. Your continous request were honored and waiting for us as we entered the dining room. We were seated at a table for 4 but no one showed up to dine with us. We requested to have company at dinner but none was provided.

Décor of ship: The arrangement of the facilities were excellent. They were adequately decorated and very nice. There were only one deck which you could not go from bow to stern and that was deck 5 where one of the dining rooms were located.

Cleanliness of Ship: All areas were in excellent condition. Cleanest ship we have cruised on.

Entertainment: The shows were very good. The started promptly on schedule. Most programs only lasted for about 45 minutes. Since we ate at 8:15 it would give us 30 minutes before dinner. The shows could have been longer.

Daily Programs: The programs were very hard to read. If you wish to find a certain activity you would have to search all over for it. IMO activities should be listed by time of day so that could be followed.

Dress: Of the 11 day cruise there were only 3 casual days. All the rest was Informal or Formal. IMO there should have been more casual. A large percentage of passengers ignored the notices.

Languages: Since this was an Italian ship most of the activities were run in European languages. Each time and announcement was made it was made in 5 languages, French, Spanish, German, Italian and English. Very annoying to me. But this is an Italian ship and we knew it.

Vacating the Cabin on debarkation. They listed in the instructions that they wished everyone to be completely out of the cabin by 7 AM. This was entirely too early. The first to leave the ship was about 9 AM. The cabin stewarts had adequate time to clean the rooms before the next passengers came onboard by allowing us passengers to remain in the cabins longer.

The most outstanding part of our cruise: Music of your Life sponsored The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra conducted by Buddy Morrow. The entire Big Band was there. They played several times each and every day of the cruise. They brought along their lead singer Ron Gutierrez. Also we heard noted singers, Lorri Hafer, Michele Anastasio and noted singer and disc Jockey Herb Oscar Anderson. This group books on many cruises during the year. "Music of Your Life A Sea". If anyone has the opportunity to cruise along with this group be sure to take it. It was outstanding. Buddy is the only person along who was with the original Tommy Dorsey Band. He is now 88 years old.

Overall rating: Would I book another MSC Cruise? Maybe. The Opera is a very nice ship but many minuses make me think awhile.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: December 7, 2006

This was our 4th cruise all taken within 2 years. Previous cruise were all on Princess.

We booked this cruise in early July and booked an inside guarantee. We were pleasantly surprised when we were checking in and found we had been upgraded to a balcony, which they call a suite. We have been in either a balcony or suite and from what I understand no other line would have called this cabin a suite. The bathroom had a tub, which was very nice but a bit hard to get out of as it was very tall.

Our ports were: San Juan, St. Maarten, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Tortola and Cayo Levantado. We took ship excursions in San Juan, St Maarten and Grenada. They were handled very well. MSC worked at making sure that people who spoke different languages had their own tour bus and guide. We took our own tours in Barbados, St. Lucia and Tortola. We had very good drivers/guides on these.

As for Cayo Levantado there was supposed to be a $19 pp charge for the tender to the island but MSC did drop this, most likely because very few

had signed up. There was still a charge for the buffet on Cayo Levantado but I believe this was due to the ship not doing the buffet but having the hotel on the island providing it. We only saw one couple actually eating.

The passengers were a mix of Americans, Canadians, Britons, Germans, French and Italians. And while it is true that announcements are made in 5 languages the announcement are few and far between.

MSC has instituted the Art auction and the Inch of Gold but neither intruded on the impact of the cruise. They only have one deck that has the shops and the sales people are not pushing you to buy.

The one thing that really stood out for as being different on MSC was the entertainment and animation group.

While MSC is trying to bring in Americans the entertainment was very Italian, not even European (according to the British friends we made). I think they need to make some changes there. They could also do with turning down the volume on the music.

Also the animation group was all Italian and most times it was very hard to understand what they were saying in English. It would not hurt if they had a couple of these people whom English is their first language.

We heard many people complain about the food but really the only complaint we had about the food was that in a lot of items did not have much taste, very bland. It seems that the only items with a lot of flavor were the seafood salads and the soups. But we definitely did not starve.

The ship was very pretty and the Christmas decoration they put up were very nice and not over done. Most lounges and the dining rooms all had a Christmas tree and each was decorated a bit different from the next.

There were a few children on board and did not see any problems with any even though the hours of the children’s club were very short.

The dress code for the cruise was 3 formal nights and the rest casual. Most passengers followed but of course some did not. This definitely did not detour for from our enjoyment.

Over all we enjoyed the cruise and most likely would cruise with MSC again.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: October 13, 2006

We were very disappointed. The majority of the staff were borderline-rude and there seemed to be a bias against Americans. We would never use, nor recommend, MSC to anyone.

The food was limited and the quality hit-or-miss. The only way we got any satisfaction was to bring our complaints to the managers.

It all started the first day when we entered our room. It was filled with paint fumes. The woman at the reception desk was not receptive to our concerns and told us there were no fumes, even though she did not go there to see for herself. The safe would not open so they sent someone, who did notice the fumes. When we returned to the reception desk, the same woman was still unreceptive to our concerns and had a take-it-or-leave it attitude. Very similar to the young man in the Four Eyes commercial. After we talked to her manager, the room was ventillated so that the fumes disappeared and the same woman could not be nice enough to us.

A similar situation concerned the dining room. The waiter was indifferent to our requests. Although we had notified the cruiseline that

I was a vegetarian, we had problems. The vegetarian meals that were available were ladened with creams -- something I try to avoid because of high cholesterol. When I asked for a salad with the dressing on the side, I got a soup bowl half-full of lettuce with oil-and-vinegar dressing (actually my favorite). It was an interesting evening. Even our table mates -- all four from Norway -- commented at how mediocre (at best) the food was. So it wasn't just our tastebuds.

When my husband requested that spaghetti be served with his eggplant parmisan, the waiter didn't want to do it. Eventually the waiter got his way.

We spent a lot of money and were very disappointed. Never again! We will only go Royal Caribbean in the future. I didn't want to go to Europe in the first place and plan to never to return again.

Save yourself a lot of money and disappointment by avoiding MSC cruise lines -- especially if you are an American. The only time the staff will act friendly is the day before you disembark. It made no difference -- we only tipped our cabin crew because they kept it clean -- even though they never brought any ice, was was noted in the cruise line materials.

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Transatlantic Crossing
Publication Date: June 3, 2006

This was the first cruise that I went on, and I couldn't have asked for anything more.

The service was impeccable, the cleanliness excellent and the food was, being Italian Canadian, sometimes as good as our home cooking. Never better though:) One reviewer was complaining that they had to buy ice cream. We found that if we went to the sit down restaurant for lunch, ice cream came with the meal, and therefore was free. We also found the prices at the stores on the ship to be exceptionally reasonable, sometimes much less than the price at a duty free store on land.

There were a few complaints that we had which we also mentioned to the cruise company and which hopefully, if other readers notice, will also tell the cruise ship company.

The tours organized by the ship tended to be very expensive and we found that many times, it was easier and cheaper to hire a taxi or walk in the various ports of call. The price of alcohol on the ship was also prohibitive, although many guests appeared to have somehow procured their own drinks (nudge nudge, wink wink).

This may only be with our table, but we found the snobbishness of the Maitre'D and the table manager to be quite offensive, although the rest of the restaurant staff went out of their way to make our meals enjoyable.

In addition, if you are a younger traveller (under 30), you may find that, atleast on our cruise, there are not a lot of young people, although a lot of the staff are young and fun to talk with.

Finally, if you are like us and like to enjoy peace and quiet, head to the back of the ship to the Blue Lounge and the deck behind there. Although there are activities going on constantly near the pool, the back of the ship is quiet and you can enjoy the beautiful view and take in the rays of the sun. The fact that the rooms were a little small was actually nice, as we were forced to leave the rooms and meet many of our fellow passengers


We did hear some of the other passengers complaining, but they, as the stereotype goes, appeared to be consistently cut of a certain stripe, and I am sure they would probably never be fully satisfied with anything.

I would definitelty recommend this cruise to anyone especially if you enjoy a more meditteranean atmosphere.

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: April 18, 2007

we got escorted off the ship in St. Lucia after my husband got ill, which the ship dr should of been able to handle. They are rude people,only care about keeping their schedule. we were left alone with no help from the cruise line at all. No entertainment on the ship to speak of. Food so-so. will never go on this cruise line again

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: January 21, 2007

Ship Lirica was extremely clean, food was good, entertainment was good, service excellent. Would definitely cruise this line again.

Outside Deck doors did not have functioning "anti-slam" closures and unfortunately I crushed my finger and had the top joint surgically removed in Jamaica. I continued the cruise. The cruise doctors were helpful, but didn't follow up with me after the operation. I guess they figured I survived and that was all that mattered???

BE CAREFUL when entering the ship's outside deck doors from outside under windy conditions as they are apt to slam.

I did write the cruise line and suggested they check and/or install anti-slam equipment, and it would be interesting to know if anything has transpired. If anyone has info about that, please post.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: December 18, 2006

This cruise was only adequete. Lirica was spotlessly clean. Food was poor, esspecially in the resteraunt, which was hit and miss. Our waiters were were very nice but spoke only Indonesian so not one night did they get out order correct, steak instead of fish etc, only 3 choices for main coarse. Our head waiter was a total idiot, he pretended he spoke no english but we heard him speaking perfect english to Americans, kept bringing a silly Plastic Chicken & a pen that gave an electric shock (if you have a pacemaker, watch out).

Food on the deck grill was often cold and the lunchtime buffet was always the same, not a potatoe in sight. Salads were good. Entertainment sometimes was only OK but Italian classical singers were first class. Cabins and staff, can't fault also reception couldn't have been more helpful inspite of very rude & ignorant passengers, they did all they could for us, as Briish Airways had failed to deliver our bags to Miami, they arrived home 7 days after cruise (avoid BA at any cost, they have refused to give us any compensation) Can't pass opinion on

Ports, we could not go ashore with unsuitable clothing, retail shop poorly stocked, OK if you are a lady below size 10 and men under 34 waist. Prices over the top.

Bars were good with plenty of choice of Beers and spirits, wines were pricey.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: September 9, 2006

The ship was beautiful, the rooms and the balconies are the smallest I have ever sailed on. The announcements are in about 5 languages before English. There were lots of noisy kids on our cruise (kids sail free) and out of 3000 pasgeners, only 50 of us spoke English. The food was horrible. We finally found out that the pastas come in frozen (which would explain why they were not any good) THe ports were great, the entertainment was good. I would not take another cruise on MSC cruise line. THere was no food after 10:00, the coffee machine was shut down after that also. You could not get iced tea all day.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: July 8, 2006

We just came back of our first cruise expirence on msc musica. It was crowdy but allright for younger people. Food was plenty and allright. (At dinner you can ask free drinking water at the table.) Waiters and housekeeping were very good but they had to work up to 18 hours a day. This was not acceptable to me.

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