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What’s included on an MSC Cruise?

MSC Seaside

Cruising has become less of an all-inclusive vacation over the years, with cruise companies selling lots of add-ons to increase onboard spending.

So what is included in the basic cruise fare with MSC Cruises? For the most part, it is similar to other cruise lines. A stateroom, food, entertainment, activities and sports, are among the major inclusions. Their modern ships do offer lots for those cruisers who don’t want to spend a lot on extras but still have a good vacation.

However, there are a few differences from some of the other major players like Carnival Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. Most significantly, MSC offers three different experiences (as they call them), which affects the base fare, and is separate from the cabin selection.

Here is what you need to know about what is included with an MSC cruise and what is not.


MSC buffet

MSC Cruise ships have numerous food venues to satisfy a wide range of palettes and preferences.

Buffets and the main dining rooms provide meals all day long, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. The buffets are popular on MSC cruises, operating 20 hours a day. They include a wide variety of food options:

  • Meat Carvery
  • Pasta
  • Daily Specials
  • Healthy options
  • Special diets
  • Mediterranean Dining
  • International cuisine
  • Kids Area
  • Takeout
  • Desserts
Dining room on MSC Cruises


  • Tea and coffee
  • Iced Tea
  • Milk
  • Juice (breakfast only)
  • Water

In addition to the buffets, guests enjoy complimentary meals at the main dining rooms, which offer early and late sittings.

Activities onboard

Zip Line MSC

Once guests have finished enjoying meals, there are lots of amenities and activities to keep them busy.

Activities include:

  • State of the art gym  
  • Walking track
  • Mini golf
  • Basketball, volleyball, tennis, squash and soccer
  • Waterpark
  • Pools and hot tubs
  • Himalayan Bridge suspension walk

*Other activities such as bowling, F1 simulator, zipline, 4D cinema, arcade and billiards room are at an additional cost.

MSC Kids club

Entertainment onboard includes live music, shows, games, and classes. There are six different shows every week at the theatre, as well as the MSC Factor talent contest.

Kids clubs are lots of fun at all ages. MSC’s partnership with Lego adds for some great activities along with sports, videogames and much more based on age and interest of kids:

  • Baby Club 3 and under
  • Mini Club 3-6
  • Junior Club 7-11
  • Young Club 12-14
  • Teen Club 15-17


MSC for Me

MSC for Me is available on newer ships in the fleet, such as the Meraviglia and Seaside classes. The app is available on Android or Apple devices and assists passengers with planning and communication both pre-cruise and while onboard. One great feature is MSC for Me Chat, which allows for messaging onboard without an internet package.

Another free app is PressReader, which allows guests to enjoy popular newspapers and magazines for free while cruising.

Access to private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

Ocean Cay

One major benefit of sailing with MSC Cruises is having access to their private island in the Bahamas. Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve (Ocean Cay) was once an industrial site but has been redeveloped into a serene paradise for its cruise guests.

Guests can enjoy free loungers on one of its eight different beaches. Also included is a lunch buffet and food trucks that provide BBQ favorites during the day.

A great perk to visiting Ocean Cay is that many of the cruises stay late, even overnight, providing guests with the opportunity to stargaze and experience the island from a different perspective.

MSC Cruise Experiences

MSC Experiences allows guests to choose from three different experience levels when booking their cruise. Each level has varying levels of perks and prices.

Bella Experience

Bella Experience

Marketed for those cruisers who want good value and a pleasant stay. This tier is available for balcony, oceanview, and interior staterooms. It includes:

  • Comfortable staterooms
  • Cruise change for a fee
  • MSC Voyagers Club Points

Fantastica Experience

Fantastica Experience

Suited to those passengers looking for comfort and flexibility, this tier is available for suites, balcony, oceanview and inside rooms. It includes:

  • Perks of Bella level
  • 1 free cruise change
  • Opportunity to select cabin and superior locations
  • 24-hour room service (delivery fee)
  • Free breakfast delivery
  • Discount on specialty restaurants (prepaid)

Aurea Experience

Aurea Experience

For suites and balcony guests who desire a more all-inclusive vacation, this is the most deluxe tier. Benefits include:

  • Bella and Fantastica perks
  • 1 free cruise change
  • Opportunity to select cabin and its location
  • Suites and balconies in best locations
  • Prosecco and chocolate welcome package
  • Flexible dining time
  • 20% off specialty dining package (prepaid) 
  • Access to the private solarium
  • 10 discount on spa treatments
  • Priority boarding and luggage drop-off

MSC Yacht Club

Yacht Club suite

MSC’s most luxurious option, it offers a wide range of benefits for the ultimate cruise experience:

  • Dedicated priority check-in and check-out, along with priority departure and return on port days
  • 24-hour butler and room service, and a dedicated concierge
  • Memory foam mattresses, a selection of pillows, bathrobe and slippers  
  • Luggage packing/unpacking service, and newspaper upon request
  • MSC for Me wristband (where available)
  • 1 free cruise change
  • Welcome package (Prosecco + chocolate)
  • Dedicated restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Complimentary access to Thermal Suites at MSC Aurea Spa
  • Premium Extra Drink Package 
  • Browse Internet package 
  • Dedicated, private area of the ship accessible only to MSC Yacht Club guests
  • Panoramic Top Sail Lounge with bar, afternoon tea service, snacks and live entertainment 
  • Private pool deck, whirlpool baths, sunbathing area and outdoor bar
  • Gourmet restaurant with a la carte dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Custom experiences, including shopping and excursions
  • Private area and amenities at Ocean Cay, MSC’s private island 

What’s not included on MSC

MSC specialty restaurant

As with most cruise lines, there are a number of add-on packages and activities that can be purchased. Cruisers will pay extra for:

  • Hotel Service Charge (gratuities)
  • Excursions in ports (except beach in Ocean Cay)
  • Beverage packages – MSC has five different types of drink packages to choose from
  • Dining packages for specialty restaurants
  • Some specialty shows
  • Spa and wellness – a variety of spa and wellness treatments, beauty salon and barbershop  
  • Internet packages
  • Select onboard activities
  • Photos
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