Everything You Need to Know About MSC Cruise Deals

by  John Roberts | Jan 25, 2017
MSC Musica in Venice
MSC Musica in Venice / MSC Cruises

Looking for a deal on this European cruise line? You’re in luck. MSC offers low prices and promotions, and it’s not uncommon to find a 7-night cruise for under $500 on the ship when you book through the line. Best of all, the line now has a ship, MSC Divina, that already sails year-round from the U.S. to the Caribbean and another on the way with MSC Seaside coming to Miami in December.

And if you're sailing with the family, we've got good news. MSC is known for is its signature "Kids Cruise Free" deal — meaning that children 11 and younger sail free on select sailings when they’re the third or fourth guest in the same stateroom as two full-fare paying adults.

Another great deal MSC offers frequently is a two for one balcony rate, when you can book a balcony stateroom on select seven to 10-night Caribbean itineraries and your guest sails free. And, if you’re a member of the military, you automatically get a 10 percent discount.

So what is a cruise with this European line like?

The line’s 15 Europe-influenced ships — a number they plan to double by 2022 — sail with an international blend of passengers, drawing cruisers from all over the globe, including more Americans each year. 

It’s not surprising that the food reflects the Mediterranean heritage of the line, with the main dining room featuring Italian dishes such as rigatoni marinara and prawns fra diavolo. And MSC's palate-pleasing partnerships bring to the fleet coffee from Segafredo, gelato from Venchi, and decadent pastries from French chef Jean-Phillipe Maury. The buffets feature some of the best buffet pizza at sea, including a delicious breakfast variety. The highlight of the line's specialty dining options, though, is easily the Eataly Steakhouse, found onboard MSC Divina. 

While the ships don't pack in all the newest attention-grabbing, top-of-ship attractions that other lines have gravitated toward — like climbing walls, ropes courses, and skydiving simulators — MSC has energetic, interactive programming for all ages, including movies on the big poolside screen and an Aqua Park.

The line is particularly popular with families, and for good reason: Kids and teens have their own clubs and play areas — including one created in partnership with Lego — to keep them happy. That's not to say grown-ups can't find fun here too: adults can try everything from aqua cycling classes to "Masters of Beer" and "Sexy Legs" competitions. The ships have casinos, too, but if you don't want to gamble at the slots, you can opt for an interactive game instead. Try your reflexes in the Formula One race car simulator, a realistic ride that lets you steer around a curvy track for four laps while reaching speeds around 200 mph, or strap in at the 4D Cinema and choose from six different programs that will have you twisting in your seat.

Nightlife is a huge part of the culture on these ships. The discos typically rage into the early hours of the morning, and MSC Cruises' late-night "White Parties" on the pool deck are not to be missed.

If rest and relaxation is your speed, you’re also in luck. You can head to the spa for Balinese-style massages, facials, and pedicures. But our favorite splurge is The MSC Yacht Club, an exclusive "ship within a ship" space that feels separate from the rest of the passengers and comes with perks that include butler service, a concierge lounge, a private pool with a daily lunch buffet, plus a private restaurant for dinners.

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