From 2005 to 2015, the demand for cruising has increased 62 percent – and nearly half of non-cruisers showed interest in taking an ocean cruise. This means that the industry is growing quite quickly! Looking ahead to the busy summer season, MSC Cruises has put together some helpful tips to help each type of traveler get the most out of their summer vacation.
1. The Family Traveler
Different individuals have different ideas of what makes an awesome vacation. Cruising makes it easier to choose because chances are, there will be activities and amenities that appeal to everyone in your group – from kids to grandparents. Do your research on family-friendly activities the cruise line offers ahead of time so you know what to expect. Once on the ship, be sure to check the daily program for the day’s activities.
Onboard MSC Cruises, kids sail free and have a wide range of dedicated activities to choose from, including cooking classes, language courses, themed costume parades, sports tournaments, crafts, scavenger hunts, and teen disco and karaoke. The line also offers a LEGO Experience Day when kids and their parents can compete in LEGO themed competitions and games. While the kids are enjoying the youth clubs, adults can take in a Broadway-style production show, relax in the spa, or dine in one of the many onboard restaurants.
2. The Adventurer
If mingling with the locals is how you love to travel, research and plan excursions ahead of time that maximize new cultural opportunities so that you can make the most of your time in port. Some of the excursions that MSC offers include culinary tours of Italy, experiencing the Tulum Mayan Ruins in Cozumel, jeep adventures in Iceland, and exploring the inside of the mosques in Abu Dhabi. The line offers nearly 2,000 shore excursions that were specially created to maximize every moment ashore.
3. The First-Timer
Cruise newbies: one great tip that you’ll soon understand is to make the most of your time at sea. While it’s still wise to take some time to purely relax during your vacation, also be sure to explore your ship and take advantage of any activities, amenities, or dining venues that appeal to you.
On MSC Divina, guests can try out the Virtual Winery at Sea, a unique BlendCraft experience with professional winemakers where guests learn how wines are mixed and then are able to create, bottle, and label their own blend to enjoy onboard, or take home. The line also offers 4D motion theaters, AquaCycling, race car simulators, bowling alleys, and the new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows debuting this summer on MSC Meraviglia.
4. The Foodie
Most cruise ships offer a multitude of both casual and fine dining options, so foodies will want to take advantage of many of them. Pre-purchase a dining package to venture out of your comfort zone and try new cuisines at the best prices. Specialty restaurants are popular on MSC’s ships, and on the upcoming Meraviglia for example, travelers can try sushi, sashimi, and tempura at Kaito Sushi Bar, enjoy decadent chocolate treats from French chocolatier and pastry chef Jean-Philippe Maury, and delicious Italian dishes at Eataly’s Ristorante Italiano. A similar dining experience will also be found on MSC Seaside, which is debuting this December in Miami.
5. The Smart Spender
Make sure to book your cruise far in advance; you could end up saving hundreds of dollars. Also, do your research and take advantage of various package offerings that provide a better value. With MSC’s “Inclusive Experiences” pricing, guests can choose from five vacation packages that range from best price to nearly all-inclusive. By bundling various services and activities, travelers get a great value and are able to pay for their amenities up-front.
In addition, the cruise line is currently offering a Two for One deal where guests can save 50 percent off brochure rates.
6. The Wellness Guru
Don’t let your vacation trip up your healthy lifestyle – keep it going and utilize the onboard health and wellness amenities. Choose options like the salad bar in the buffet, active shore excursions such as hiking or horseback riding, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Fleetwide, MSC offers a Wellness Experience by Technogym that includes fitness classes and activities, dedicated healthy food and beverages, exclusive shore excursions, and stateroom amenities. The experience starts before the cruise even begins with a pre-cruise questionnaire designed to understand each traveler’s specific goals. Once onboard, the guest meets with a trainer trained by Technogym, who reviews the results and helps them create a personalized wellness plan for the duration of the cruise. As part of the program, the self-service buffet includes a dedicated wellness corner and menus in the main restaurants with icons to help in healthy food selection.
7. The Luxury Lover
Our tip is simple with lovers of luxury: you earned it, so go ahead and indulge. Guests looking for a more upscale experience can choose to stay in the MSC Yacht Club, which includes 24-hour butler service, concierge reception, dedicated dining venues, a private pool, and a private elevator that takes guests to the spa. With a ‘ship within a ship’ design, the club is a self-contained area that provides the best of both words: the privacy of a smaller ship with the bountiful choices and amenities only found on a larger ship, like Cirque du Soleil, the casino, and specialty dining experiences.