Since my previous post answering your FAQ’s on MSC Cruises, which you can read here, a great number of UK passengers have enjoyed cruises on the beautiful MSC Magnifica from Southampton and some of our forum members have come back with some queries about MSC’s cruises on other ships or elsewhere in the world, so, here’s your questions answered!
Jean asked “How does the MSC Preziosa compare to Magnifica?”
We’ve not yet cruised on Preziosa, we’re booked on her next April, however we have taken eight cruises on her sisters Fantasia and Splendida and loved each one of them. Magnifica is the largest of the Musica class of ship, weighing in at 95,128GT, whilst Preziosa, the last of the glitzy Fantasia class comes in at a significantly larger 139,400GT.
Preziosa has a capacity for 3959 passengers based on double occupancy and Magnifica 2550 passengers.
Expect on Preziosa some different features to Magnifica, such as the Swarovski crystal staircases adorning the atrium, an infinity pool located on Deck 15 Aft and speciality dining in Galaxy and Eataly (at an extra cost).
The MSC Yacht Club experience is also available on this ship and gives a ‘ship within a ship’ experience with suite grade cabins, butler service and premium drinks included in your cruise fare.
Elaine asked “Is it hassle to fly to Miami and join a ship for the Caribbean? Is the flight included?”
This one is difficult to answer, and will depend on your own circumstances in relation to how much you like flying, convenience of airports etc.
MSC generally offer both fly cruise and cruise only options. The best advice I can give is to speak with MSC directly to discuss the options, or, engage with a reputable, reliable travel agent. You should always check that your agent is ATOL/ABTA registered, and take out appropriate insurance.
Brian asked “What are immigration and disembarkation procedures?”
Immigration procedures vary depending on the country. Some destinations may require a face to face where you show your passport to immigration officials. Other countries may require a ‘landing card’. Either way you will be advised of any such requirement in your Daily Programme that’s delivered to your cabin each evening. We’ve experienced this when travelling to Israel, Jordan and coming back in to Southampton. This is out of the control of the cruise line.
In terms of disembarkation at the end of your cruise, there is always a meeting you can attend if you’re unsure, look out for this in the Daily Programme if you’d like to go.
You’ll be provided with colour-coded luggage tags towards the end of the cruise. The Daily Programme will explain where your disembarkation group should meet and when. Your luggage will be waiting for you and arranged by your colour-coded group.
This is the saddest part of any cruise!
Nigel asked “What is the cuisine like, in terms of choice and quality?”
Let’s be honest here, food is subjective, and it all boils down to personal taste. MSC is steeped in Italian heritage, but that doesn’t mean that all of the food is Italian, but do expect a European / Med influence, compared to some of the mainstream American cruise lines.
The dinner menu offers, in my opinion an excellent choice, and like all cruises order as many items as you like… We may often have an appetiser, salad, risotto / pasta course and a main course.
The Gala and Elegant night menus are curated by Michelin starred chefs Carlo Cracco and Ramon Freixa – here’s some pictures of their menus, just to give you an idea. Don’t miss the chef’s signature dish, described under their picture!
You’ll also find a myriad of speciality dining restaurants across the fleet – this does vary by ship, but you can savour the entertainment of a Teppan Yaki which is a great dining experience and entertainment as the food is cooked in front of you, indulge in steak or the best seafood you can get!
Francesca asked “Is the evening entertainment all Opera?”
No! The evening entertainment is as varied as other cruise lines. I’ll be brutally honest – my husband and I really enjoy opera and classical music and make sure we go to see what appeals to us, but on what other cruise line can you see genuine Cirque Du Soleil productions like on MSC Meraviglia?
You’ll also find some tribute acts, condensed versions of some of the most popular musicals and shows inspired by great works such as Alice in Wonderland! Did you know the theatre on MSC Splendida has 1,604 seats?
Music in the bars is again varied, from classical trios, pianists playing the old favourites to party bands with the animation team engaging with the crowd to ensure everyone has a great night!
Some of the entertainment team: