How would compare MSC to other major players

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 07:16 PM.
#1
4,157 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I noticed that MSC has very family friendly pricing with free kids and $99 juniors.

How do you think they compare to some of the other lines that are family friendly like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL.

Some the the MSC ships are very large but I am not at all familiar with the amenities and how they would compare with the other big US market lines.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Suzanne-CruiseOne

Bahamas Cruise Bon Vivant -76
Costa World Renaissance Southern Caribbean - 78
Commodore Boheme Eastern Caribbean - 79
Holland America Stattendam Extended Caribbean- 80
Sitmar Fairsea Mexican Riviera- 81
HAL Rotterdam Alaska - 93
Celebrity Mercury Mexican Riviera from San Diego- 03
Celebrity Infinity San Diego to Hawaii RT 11/20/05
Celebrity Mercury Mexican Riviera 11/20/06
Celebrity Mercury 6/15/07 Alaska
Celebrity Summit 11/29/08 Transatlantic from Barcelona
Celebrity Solstice 11/2009 Rome to Ft. Lauderdale!
Celebrity Equinox 2010 Ultimate Caribbean
Celebrity Silhouette March BTB East/West Caribbean 2013
Celebrity Silhouette Feb 2014 - East. Carib. Wine Maker's Cruise
Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas Dec 2014 -Western Caribbean
Grand Princess Feb 2015 LA to HI RT
Celebrity Solstice June 19th, 2015 Wine Maker's Cruise to Alaska
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Western Carib. Xmas 2015
Celebrity Infinity 9/18/2016 Pacific Coastal
Reflection Western Caribbean Thanksgiving Temples and Tempranillo Cruise, Nov 19,2016
Celebrity Eclipse Norwegian Fjords 4/29/2017
Celebrity Infinity Pacific Coastal 9/17/2017
Celebrity Panama Canal to Valparaiso 11/23/2017
Celebrity Silhouette 12 Night Extended Caribbean Wilhelm Family Vineyards Wine Lover's Cruise 01/14/2018
Celebrity Solstice Trans Pacific 4/11/2018
#2
Sydney, Australia
13,312 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
I'd say amenities are broadly similar, though each line has differences.

In terms of experience onboard, there are other recent threads about this with differing viewpoints.

Note also that there are differences depending on region and ship, so you would need to be more specific to give a more specific answer.
#3
Scotland
710 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Looking at your previous cruises list, I think the main difference you will notice is that English isn't usually the most widely-spoken language on board.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
SS Uganda: Eastern Med February 1972
MV Discovery: Antarctica February 2006
MSC Melody: Genoa-Suez Canal transit-Seychelles-Durban November 2006
Marco Polo: Western Med June 2007
Queen Mary 2: Westbound TA July 2007
MSC Orchestra: Genoa-Rio de Janiero December 2009
MSC Sinfonia: Genoa-Morocco-Senegal-Namibia-Cape Town October 2010
Queen Victoria: Fort Lauderdale-Panama Canal transit-Los Angeles December 2011
MSC Poesia: Fort Lauderdale-Genoa March 2012
Costa Mediterannea: Eastern Med & Black Sea June 2012
MSC Fantasia: Genoa-Santos November 2012
Queen Mary 2: Westbound TA December 2012
P&O Azura: Eastern Caribbean December 2013
Azamara Quest: Black Sea Sept 2014

Costa Serena: Dubai-Oman-Abu Dhabi February 2015
MSC Fantasia: West Med July 2015
NCL Star: Dover-Azores-Miami-Tampa Oct 2015
#5
289 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Food quality on MSC can vary more than some other lines but given the price point it is a small inconvenience. MSC ships also tend to be cleaner and their security better.
#6
4,157 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
They are not in any of the top listed family ships, so maybe that is why they are offering the special pricing for jr.s and kids. I was just wondering if they are still a great time. I tend to like cruises with great food and service and not so many bells and whistles, which is why I've cruised Celebrity over RC with my family.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Suzanne-CruiseOne

Bahamas Cruise Bon Vivant -76
Costa World Renaissance Southern Caribbean - 78
Commodore Boheme Eastern Caribbean - 79
Holland America Stattendam Extended Caribbean- 80
Sitmar Fairsea Mexican Riviera- 81
HAL Rotterdam Alaska - 93
Celebrity Mercury Mexican Riviera from San Diego- 03
Celebrity Infinity San Diego to Hawaii RT 11/20/05
Celebrity Mercury Mexican Riviera 11/20/06
Celebrity Mercury 6/15/07 Alaska
Celebrity Summit 11/29/08 Transatlantic from Barcelona
Celebrity Solstice 11/2009 Rome to Ft. Lauderdale!
Celebrity Equinox 2010 Ultimate Caribbean
Celebrity Silhouette March BTB East/West Caribbean 2013
Celebrity Silhouette Feb 2014 - East. Carib. Wine Maker's Cruise
Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas Dec 2014 -Western Caribbean
Grand Princess Feb 2015 LA to HI RT
Celebrity Solstice June 19th, 2015 Wine Maker's Cruise to Alaska
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Western Carib. Xmas 2015
Celebrity Infinity 9/18/2016 Pacific Coastal
Reflection Western Caribbean Thanksgiving Temples and Tempranillo Cruise, Nov 19,2016
Celebrity Eclipse Norwegian Fjords 4/29/2017
Celebrity Infinity Pacific Coastal 9/17/2017
Celebrity Panama Canal to Valparaiso 11/23/2017
Celebrity Silhouette 12 Night Extended Caribbean Wilhelm Family Vineyards Wine Lover's Cruise 01/14/2018
Celebrity Solstice Trans Pacific 4/11/2018
#7
Sydney, Australia
13,312 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Ship wise, they are beautiful, but for food and service Celebrity is definitely better.

They are more comparable to RCL (though still different) as you've mentioned you're familiar with.
#8
Perth
862 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by Cruise Arizona
They are not in any of the top listed family ships, so maybe that is why they are offering the special pricing for jr.s and kids. I was just wondering if they are still a great time. I tend to like cruises with great food and service and not so many bells and whistles, which is why I've cruised Celebrity over RC with my family.
I see you have been to Europe.....if you were adventurous and alll you had was a map and an idea then MSC is for you. If you used guide book or set excursions then I believe it may not be.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Cruises Completed:

MSC Fantasia - Yacht Club (2)
MSC Opera (1)
HAL Nieuw Amsterdam (2)
MSC Sinfonia (7)
MSC Melody (2)
MSC Symphony (1)
MV Aegean Dolphin (1)

96 nights at sea; visiting 3 continents, 11 countries and too many cities to remember
#9
Ohio
1,225 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by Cruise Arizona
They are not in any of the top listed family ships, so maybe that is why they are offering the special pricing for jr.s and kids. I was just wondering if they are still a great time. I tend to like cruises with great food and service and not so many bells and whistles, which is why I've cruised Celebrity over RC with my family.
In terms of atmosphere, tablemates on MSC who liked Celebrity said that the general ambience was similar: quiet, cosmopolitan, not pushy as far as telling you when to drink or how much or reminding you every three seconds that you're on a "fun cruise". In other words MSC gives you room to be an adult. But with a little work you can carve out such a niche on Royal or even Carnival.

I don't know if food and service were "great"; if they were it would probably be over my head. Staff didn't go out of their way to be fake-friends with you; you could call it standoffish, or you could call it professional. Personally I would as soon let them run the ship and try to avoid slamming into islands.

Food I can't say much about. They dish it out and I eat. There is more variety on the bigger ship and it's available more times. The Celebrity tablemates on MSC thought the food was decent. Presentation was definitely lackluster, but I have not found that presentation contains any actual caloric content.

In entertainment MSC cuts corners by using canned music in the shows. The live entertainers were good, sometimes memorable. Leans more towards classical and less towards Vegas than Royal, but it's only a lean. Both lines have a variety of entertainment, more so on the bigger ship.

Family-type stuff I can't speak to.

Ambience on MSC markedly different from Carnival, but I can't summon the effort to complain about either one.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Lard Greystoke

Carnival Triumph 2015 02 E Carib
RC Jewel OTS 2014 01 S Carib
Jan 13 S Carib
MSC Lirica Jan 08 E/S Carib
Carnival Glory Feb 07 W Carib
RC Voyager of the Seas Feb 06 E Carib
#10
4,157 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I have a friend who loves Royal, but was intrigued by the kids sailing free and teens to $99. I can't imagine that the amenities would compare, but do they do a good job with kids like the do on Celebrity even with-out all the bells and whistles?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Suzanne-CruiseOne

Bahamas Cruise Bon Vivant -76
Costa World Renaissance Southern Caribbean - 78
Commodore Boheme Eastern Caribbean - 79
Holland America Stattendam Extended Caribbean- 80
Sitmar Fairsea Mexican Riviera- 81
HAL Rotterdam Alaska - 93
Celebrity Mercury Mexican Riviera from San Diego- 03
Celebrity Infinity San Diego to Hawaii RT 11/20/05
Celebrity Mercury Mexican Riviera 11/20/06
Celebrity Mercury 6/15/07 Alaska
Celebrity Summit 11/29/08 Transatlantic from Barcelona
Celebrity Solstice 11/2009 Rome to Ft. Lauderdale!
Celebrity Equinox 2010 Ultimate Caribbean
Celebrity Silhouette March BTB East/West Caribbean 2013
Celebrity Silhouette Feb 2014 - East. Carib. Wine Maker's Cruise
Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas Dec 2014 -Western Caribbean
Grand Princess Feb 2015 LA to HI RT
Celebrity Solstice June 19th, 2015 Wine Maker's Cruise to Alaska
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Western Carib. Xmas 2015
Celebrity Infinity 9/18/2016 Pacific Coastal
Reflection Western Caribbean Thanksgiving Temples and Tempranillo Cruise, Nov 19,2016
Celebrity Eclipse Norwegian Fjords 4/29/2017
Celebrity Infinity Pacific Coastal 9/17/2017
Celebrity Panama Canal to Valparaiso 11/23/2017
Celebrity Silhouette 12 Night Extended Caribbean Wilhelm Family Vineyards Wine Lover's Cruise 01/14/2018
Celebrity Solstice Trans Pacific 4/11/2018
#11
Sydney, Australia
13,312 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
For kids, it's more problematic than adults (the same reason cartoons are translated in countries where the rest of tv shows are subtitled). With so many different languages against the smaller subset of children, it's harder for them to group up as friends. Also, in their older groups, things are more independant than otherwise.

It's not that they do a bad job, but the situation is more difficult due to the multiple languages in smaller groups. There are still many activities for kids, but kids club may not be as enjoyable as with other lines.
#12
Edinburgh UK
8,117 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by The_Big_M
For kids, it's more problematic than adults (the same reason cartoons are translated in countries where the rest of tv shows are subtitled). With so many different languages against the smaller subset of children, it's harder for them to group up as friends. Also, in their older groups, things are more independant than otherwise.

It's not that they do a bad job, but the situation is more difficult due to the multiple languages in smaller groups. There are still many activities for kids, but kids club may not be as enjoyable as with other lines.
Very true, but if you are considering a US cruise out of FLL, probably less of an issue as English speakers will not be in the minority.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


MSC Orchestra - Eastern Med - Jun 16
MSC Orchestra - Barbados to Genoa - Apr 16
Costa Serena -Arabian Gulf - Mar 15
MSC Armonia - Las palmas to Venice - Mar 14
Costa Fortuna - Arabian Gulf - Jan 14
MSC Musica - Eastern Med & Black Sea - Oct 13
MSC Orchestra - Western Med - Aug 13
MSC Sinfonia - Western Med - May 13
Costa Atlantica - Arabian Gulf - Mar 13
MSC Musica - Greek Isles - Sept 12
MSC Opera - Buenos Aires to Southampton Apr 12
Costa Favolosa - Arabian Gulf - Jan 12
MSC Orchestra - Western Med - Oct 11
Costa Romantica - Indian Ocean - Jan 11
MSC Musica - Venice to Rio - Nov 10
MSC Melody - Med & Black Sea - Jul 10
MSC Sinfonia - Livorno to Durban - Oct-Nov 09
MSC Fantasia - Western Med - Apr 09
MSC Lirica - Dover to Genoa - Sept 08
MSC Lirica - Transatlantic (Fort Lauderdale - Dover) - Mar-Apr 08
MSC Opera - Eastern Med - Sep 07
MSC Opera - - Jul 07
MSC Opera - Eastern & Southern Caribbean - Jan 07
MSC Opera - Western Med - May 06
MSC Opera - Transatlantic (Genoa - Fort Lauderdale) Dec 05-Jan 06
MSC Opera - Eastern Med - Jun 05
#13
New Jersey
13 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
We were disappointed with the food. C'mon they're Italian!
It caters to European, non-English speaking passengers. There were many smokers. We are very happy with Celebrity.

Encoreencore