The Aponte family of Italy privately owns MSC Cruises. The cruise line primarily attracts Europeans but also markets extensively to mainstream North American cruise travelers. The MSC Divina sails to the Caribbean year-round from Miami and most of the passengers are from North America. In December 2017, the new MSC Seaside arrived in Miami from the shipyard and joins the Divina in sailing from Miami year-round.
MSC features large resort-style ships that sail over 1,000 routes around the world -- the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, South Africa, and South America.
The days and nights on the ships are filled with excitement and non-stop action. Due to the many nationalities (and many languages) represented onboard, the ships usually do not have enrichment lecturers and focus more on family and adult entertainment and activities.
MSC Cruises is one of the world's youngest cruise lines. MSC Cruises currently has 13 ships, most added in the past decade. The company is adding three new ships over the next two years--MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, and MSC Bellissima. The cruise line aims to have the world's youngest fleet and to have over one million berths available for bookings each year.
This young MSC fleet is modern and sophisticated, with a reputation for having some of the cleanest ships at sea.
Innovations on the newest MSC ships include the MSC Yacht Club, a marvelous "ship within a ship" area for those passengers in the Yacht Club cabins.
History and Background of MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises is the largest privately-owned cruise line in Europe. Its main office is in Geneva, Switzerland and the cruise line has many more offices worldwide, including its North American marketing office in Fort Lauderdale.
The parent company of MSC Cruises is Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world's second-largest container shipping company. I'm sure anyone who sails often has seen those ubiquitous contains with MSC on them. Mediterranean Shipping Company got into the cruise line business in 1987 and adopted the name Mediterranean Shipping Cruises in 2001. In 2004, the line officially became MSC Cruises and has grown rapidly since then, spending over 5.5 billion Euros to expand the fleet.
MSC cruise ships have a decidedly European, cosmopolitan feel, and are best suited for couples and families with children. Kids under 17 sharing a cabin with two adults sail free on all MSC sailings, so expect to see a lot of children during school holidays.
MSC markets to numerous nationalities and many cultures and languages are represented onboard. This diverse group of passengers can be exciting and interesting for some, but turn others off who are more accustomed to North American ships. For example, more items (such as room service) are a la carte on MSC ships, and more passengers smoke.
The MSC ships have most of their cabins on the outside, and many of those have balconies. MSC introduced a new concept on the MSC Fantasia class ships -- MSC Yacht Club Suites. These suites are concentrated in a private area on two decks and feature full butler service, a pool, an observation lounge, and other amenities. The two private deck areas in the MSC Yacht Club are connected with a crystal glass Swarovski staircase. Don't they sound like an excellent place for a memorable getaway cruise?
Cuisine and Dining
The MSC ships have either one or two main dining rooms with two seatings for dinner. Passengers can also have open seating breakfast and lunch in the dining rooms, which could be interesting (or awkward), depending on which languages your table mates speak. All the ships also have a nice Italian-theme specialty restaurant, and some of the newer ships have other specialty restaurants for an extra fee. Like most ships, MSC guests can also dine in a buffet-style restaurant for casual fare.
Onboard Activities and Entertainment
Like other large ship cruise lines, MSC Cruises features large production shows, with lots of colorful music and dancers. The ships also have small combos that provide live music in some of the lounges. The main theater on each vessel is large and has modern facilities and equipment equal to almost any theater venue found ashore.
Since MSC Cruises' ships are relatively new, they are modern in decor, with a European look -- understated elegance and quality furnishings. As would be expected, the ships have Italian influences in their interior design. All in all, the ships' decor works well and should be pleasing to most cruisers.
Spa, Gym, and Fitness
The MSC spas offer all of the exciting treatments found on other large cruise ships, ranging from massages to well-being body treatments to aromatherapy and thalassotherapy. The fitness centers are well equipped with all the latest equipment and classes such as Pilates, Tae-boo, aerobics, and Latin dancing.
Contact information for MSC Cruises
MSC Cruises - USA Headquarters
6750 North Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Phone: 954-772-6262; 800-666-9333