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Cruise week report: Things that can get you kicked off a cruise ship, tour of an inside room on Virgin Voyages, guide to cruise loyalty programs, and more!

MSC Seashore Miami

We share lots of cruise updates and advice here, and this is a weekly roundup of everything you may have missed from this week.

1. Is a drink package worth it on MSC? I tried it to see whether it was worth the money

msc drink packag

Being able to enjoy a tropical beverage while on your cruise can come at a high cost.

Alcoholic drink packages on cruise ships are known to be expensive, even though they are one of the most common add-on purchases for cruisers. On a week-long MSC Cruises sailing, a drink package can add up to over $500. Jenna recently sailed onboard MSC Seaside and noticed a stellar deal for the drink package.

At $130 extra for the whole week, which also included internet, she immediately booked the drink package to see whether or not an MSC drink package would be worth it.

Read more: Is a drink package worth it on MSC? I tried it to see whether it was worth the money.

2. What I like least about NCL, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean


Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are three of the major cruise lines that dominate the industry. However, they’re not without their faults.

Similar to other forms of travels such as hotels and airlines, there are areas that one can appreciate and those that need improvement. No cruise line is perfect, as each have their own strengths and weaknesses. If you are trying to decide on a cruise line, it can be helpful to know what to expect from each brand.

We identify the single aspect that we find least appealing about Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International, so you can make the most informed choice when planning your cruise.

Read more: What I like least about NCL, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean

3. Carnival Cruise Line Guide & Review


Known as one of the biggest cruise lines in the world, Carnival Cruise Line boasts 25 ships in their fleet.

Carnival is known for their fun, laidback, and family-friendly ships. They also aim to offer affordable prices, with plenty of itinerary options from short weekend cruises, to European getaways, and spring break trips to the Caribbean. 

We break down everything you need to know before you sail with Carnival Cruise Line.

Read more: Carnival Cruise Line Guide & Review

4. Jenna tried MSC Seaside and here's what she liked and didn't like about it

side by side image of a cruise ship pool deck and a cruise ship

On any trip you take, you are bound to have experiences that you love and others that you wish you could forget.

Cruises are no expectation to this, as no cruise can be perfect. Jenna recently returned from a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise onboard MSC Seaside. While she loved her time onboard, there were certain things that she found lacking. From food, to destinations, entertainment, and more, this cruise was an eye-opener for her.

She shares with us 8 things she loved and hated about her MSC Seaside cruise.

Read more: 8 things I loved and hated about my MSC Seaside cruise

5. This is what you can expect when you sail on a new ship instead of an older one

Icon of the Seas

Today, there is a ship for every type of traveler, whether you are seeking a low-key vacation or one jam-packed with non-stop action.

However, cruise lines have recently been introducing new ships with never before seen features, gaining a lot of attention. In general, newer ships will have the best amenities available. For those that prioritize destinations, the ship may not matter as much. However, if you see the ship as a destination, you may be considering these newer ships.

Here are some things that you will notice when cruising on the newest cruise ship.

Read more: Things you'll notice when cruising on the newest cruise ship

6. I spent the day at Virgin Voyages' exclusive, adults-only beach club in the Bahamas. Take a look around

Virgin Beach Club

Virgin Voyages is one of the many cruise lines that offers a private destination for their guests.

While not a private island, Virgin has created a perfect private oasis: The Beach Club at Bimini, Bahamas. Located on the northern end of the island, this private beach club is an all-inclusive, retreat-like beach club for the exclusive use of Virgin Voyages cruisers, also known as sailors.

Take a look around at what it is like to spend a day here.

Read more: I spent the day at Virgin Voyages' exclusive, adults-only beach club in the Bahamas. Take a look around

7. Ever wondered what it's like to work on a cruise ship?


Have you ever wondered what it is like to work as a performer onboard a cruise ship?

Alysia Vastardis is currently contracted onboard Norwegian Viva, Norwegian Cruise Line's brand-new Prima Class ship that launched August 2023, as an ensemble performer. On her TikTok account, she posts content about her time onboard, from day in the life videos to those showing what she has to do in order to get ready for the 90-minute show.

So what is a day in the life like for a Beetlejuice cast member onboard Norwegian Viva? Read more to find out.

Read more: What It's Like to Work As a Performer on a Cruise Ship

8. "Don’t settle": Virgin Voyages calls out other cruise lines' cut-backs in bid to get cruisers to switch


Cruise lines are constantly vying for new cruisers to give them a chance.

Virgin Voyages is a relatively new adults-only cruise line, first setting sail in August 2021. They advertise "always included luxury," meaning that you get more included in your base fare than with other mainstream cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean or Carnival.

In one of their most recent marketing emails, Virgin Voyages called out other cruise lines by saying that while they might be cutting back, Virgin is giving you more.

Read more: "Don’t settle": Virgin Voyages calls out other cruise lines' cut-backs in bid to get cruisers to switch

9. We’ve narrowed down our top tips for first time cruisers to help make planning less overwhelming!


Booking a cruise can be overwhelming for first time cruisers.

The major benefit of going on a cruise vacation is that there is something for everyone, from thrills, to food, destinations, and more. There are certain cruising hacks that can help both new cruisers and seasoned cruisers enhance their vacation.

We have narrowed down the top 23 tips for first-time cruisers to help make planning seem a little less overwhelming.

Read more: 23 first time cruise tips that really work (2023)

10. We wanted to see if the posts about MSC's food had any truth to them

Woman grabbing bacon at a buffet

If there’s anything we’ve learned from the internet, it’s that people love to complain, and there is no shortage of complaints about MSC Cruises’ food online.

MSC Cruises is an Italian cruise line that is rapidly gaining popularity in the North American cruise market. When it comes to food, everyone’s opinions are subjective. However, it can be hard to ignore comments about lack of dining venues, limited food choices, and flavorless food onboard. Despite these reviews, Jenna booked an MSC cruise and remained hopeful about the experience.

Throughout over 40 meals that she has had onboard two MSC cruise ships, she has tasted everything from breakfast pizza to tiramisù. Here are her honest thoughts on MSC’s food and whether or not the stereotypes about disgusting food were true.

Read more: Is the food on MSC Cruises as bad as they say? I gave it a try

16 Bad Decisions That Could Ruin the Best Cruise

key west

When you are planning your next cruise vacation, you want to ensure that you do everything you can to have the best time.

There are certain things that will be out of your control (i.e. weather), but there are other things that you can be proactive about to ensure your vacation isn’t ruined. Wouldn't it be awful if you returned to the port after a fun day ashore only to realize that your ship departed thirty minutes prior? What about if you decided to cram your entire family of four in a stateroom to save a little extra money, just to end up tripping over each other and arguing the entire time?

Here are 16 bad decisions that can ruin your cruise vacation.

Read more: 16 Bad Decisions That Could Ruin the Best Cruise

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