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MSC Cruises - Cruise Line Profile

Italian Line Caters to Both Europeans and North American Market

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MSC Divina enters St Mark's basin on June 2, 2012 in Venice, Italy.
Marco Secchi/Getty Images News/Getty Images
MSC Splendida in Genoa, Italy

MSC Splendida in Genoa, Italy

MSC Splendida (c) Linda Garrison
MSC Fantasia - MSC Yacht Club Swarovski Staircase

MSC Fantasia - MSC Yacht Club Swarovski Staircase

MSC Fantasia Photo Courtesy of MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises Lifestyle:

MSC Cruises is an Italian cruise line that primarily attracts Europeans, but also markets extensively to mainstream North American cruise travelers. MSC features large resort-style ships that sail 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 Cruise Ships:

MSC Cruises seems to have almost "come out of nowhere", and currently has 12 ships, most added in the past six years. The cruise line aims to have the world's youngest fleet and to have over one million berths available for bookings each year. Given MSC's phenomenal growth, these goals seems attainable since only one of its ships was built prior to 2000.

This young MSC fleet is modern and sophisticated, with a reputation as 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.

MSC Cruises Passenger Profile:

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, so 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.

MSC Cruises Cabins:

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 are connected with a crystal glass Swarovski staircase. Don't they sound like a great place for a memorable getaway cruise?

MSC Cruises 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.

MSC Cruises 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 ship is large and has modern facilities and equipment equal to almost any theater venue found ashore.

MSC Cruises Common Areas :

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.

MSC Cruises Spa, Gym, and Fitness :

The MSC spas offer all of the interesting 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
Fax: 908-605-2600
Web: http://www.msccruisesusa.com

More on MSC Cruises:

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 world-wide, 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 and has grown rapidly since then, spending over 5.5 billion Euros to expand the fleet.

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