Since my brother and I have grown up and flown the nest, my parents have tried every few years to organise a family holiday for us all. They’re big fans of cruises, so we boarded the MSC Fantasia and took in the sights of the Mediterranean.
The MSC ships are enormous things, filled with thousands of people – nothing like the Thomson Dream I reviewed a few months ago. With passengers from all across Europe, the diverse on board population is one of the huge assets of MSC cruises. You will hear almost any European language whilst sailing (do cruise ships refer to themselves as sailing?) around the Med, and this all adds to the excitement of being on board an MSC ship.
Of course food is an important factor on board a cruise, as your options are fairly limited whilst at sea, so knowing that your breakfast and dinner will be delicious is important. Especially given how pricey cruise holidays can be! MSC do not disappoint, and the Italian influence on their menus means there is always plenty on offer ranging from the more exotic fish dishes to a standard spaghetti. There are seemingly hundreds of courses on the dinner menu but don’t let that overwhelm you, the staff are more than happy to let you pick and choose exactly which courses you fancy that night.
Entertainment on board is always spectacular and the MSC ships have some of the largest theatres I have ever seen at sea. As the guests on board are not just Italian, the shows are mainly music and dance based to have universal appeal. The guest performers (contortionists, magicians, shadow puppeteers) are all stunningly talented and even if you don’t think going to an after dinner show is your thing, I urge you to pop along to at least one on board an MSC ship!
A huge part of being on a cruise is making the most of the various ports of call along your voyage. MSC offer a huge variety of trips for various levels of athleticism, and budget! The trips are run in various languages so you’ll always have a guide who speaks your language and can teach you everything they know about your latest location.
Whilst MSC Cruises are a little more intimidating than the smaller Thomson ships, they’re still packed with brilliant nights (the Italian gala night is a particularly great one) and the staff are always happy to help whenever they can. The trips offered are excellent value compared to some other cruise ships and it’s a great way to experience Europe!