We are in no way an expert in MSC cruises, but we did find out a little about them on our first trip. The following is our tips for MSC Cruises, especially those in the Caribbean.
If you plan to come arrive early before your boarding it might be a good idea to rent a car. We arrived at Fort Lauderdale 4:30 a.m. We decided to take an Uber to the Port of Miami which was a big mistake. The cost was $77. If you are going to be dropped off in the afternoon, then taking an Uber might be a good idea. However, if you arrive prior to your loading time then you are better off renting a car. We rented a car back to the airport for $78 and we were able to have the car for an entire day before we left that night. Not only will you have a place to store your luggage until check-in, but you will also have transportation to visit Miami.
My daughter loves Ice Cream. However, on the MSC Divina they charge for ice cream by the pool bar. You can use your beverage vouchers for the ice cream, or you can take you children and yourself to the opposite side of the pool and get a ice cream cone and either chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Now you won’t have any special flavors, but at least it is free. That way you can save your vouchers for a beverage or cocktail.
My family does not drink alcohol. I personally drink soda, but my Jolene and Johanna do not. For their meals they drink either water or the free juice they offer. Many of the cruising packages include beverage vouchers. For adults they often will give you 12 alcohol vouchers, and for the children they will give you 12 non-alcohol vouchers. For me 2 vouchers were more than enough to get through the week. Now if you drink a lot of alcohol, then you might want to buy their alcohol packages. However, they are $49 a day. That can be pretty pricey, especially if you plan to spend much of your days on shore. So plan that accordingly.
If you want to pack light, the cruise does offer laundry services. MSC will wash 20 pieces of clothing for $35. 40 pieces of clothing is $55. It is a bit much, but it is something to consider.
Almost all cruises will have a formal dinner night. So if you have room for formal wear, then make sure to check which night you can wine in dine in your black tie attire. If you don’t have enough room, or wish to concise your luggage, then you can always eat at a buffet that night.
Each day you will receive your itinerary in the evening for then next day. Rummage through it as often you will receive coupons for free items on the ship. We received a coupon for free necklace. Johanna likes wearing hers.
When you enter the boat on embarkation, you can sign your children up for the Kids Club. They will give your child a wristband to wear for the entirety of the trip. You can take your child to be baby sat while you relax on the ship. My daughter loved hanging out with the other children on the boat.
If you have a child you can check out a stroller on board your cruise ship. Lugging around a stroller can be a hassle, especially when you have to store one in your room. So if you have a child, you might consider checking out a stroller during your cruise.
Every ship requires a safety meeting. You will be required to go to your assigned location with your life vests. Do not be alarmed when the signal goes out. Just follow the direction of the crew members. If you miss the meeting you will be required to go another time. For some reason they did not have record of us visiting the meeting, but we called the reception office and they added us to their lists of attendees.
The in-room TV includes CNN, BBC, ESPN, ToonCast, TNT, a bunch of other useless channels. If you are a conservative, like me, looking for another less liberal news network then you are out of luck. On Caribbean cruises, if you wish to catch a football game that would otherwise be on CBS or other channels, of often the same football game will be televised on ESPN Caribbean Network.
On every nearly all cruise ships you are given an access card for your room. The card is also used for re-entry to the boat. It’s just as important as your passport. A employee on our last ship mentioned he finds a stack of cards every night that he takes back to the reception office. It is very easy to loose you card. Many people use a lanyard to put their access cards in.
If your bunk bed is out make sure to not bump your knees while going in and out of the balcony. We bloodied many knees on the bed.
Each day you will be charged $12.50 per adult to cover tips. $6.00 will be charged per child. This way you do not need to tip each individual person on the ship. You can request that you remove those charges and therefor pay each person yourself. I personally almost requested this myself, as there were a couple people who served us that did not do a good job. Then there were others who did an amazing job who deserved more than the others.
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