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Explore the Different Classes of MSC Cruise Ships for an Unparalleled Maritime Experience

Posted: 3/15/2024

Author: Amelie de Moreau

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After reading our previous article about the history of the MSC company, you now want to learn a bit more about the various cruise ships offered by the company, their atmospheres, common features, onboard activities, and more! Follow the guide, we'll explore together the entirety of the MSC Cruises fleet, starting from the more intimate ships and ending with the larger vessels offering countless activities.

MSC Cruises currently boasts 22 ships spread across 6 different classes, with three more ships set to join the fleet by 2027. The MSC World America will embark on its inaugural cruise in spring 2025, sailing through the Caribbean waters. Additionally, two more ships from the World class are expected to arrive in 2026 and 2027.

In short, you'll discover everything there is to know about MSC cruise ships!

Common Features

In general, the atmosphere on MSC ships is very relaxed. The clientele is international, and announcements are made in 6 different languages. You'll appreciate the highly attentive and multilingual staff, with the ability to switch languages in just 3 seconds!

Who Travels with MSC?

You'll find families, couples, older individuals, groups of friends out to party - in short, the population is very diverse because MSC doesn't target a specific clientele. Moreover, the ships are large and offer numerous different activities and dedicated spaces, ensuring that both young and old will find plenty of fun without a doubt.

What Do the Ships Look Like?

The ships are often sparkling, elegant, luxurious with lots of gilding, the handrails are in brilliant aluminum, there are even stairs made of Swarovski crystal. MSC ships truly give you the impression of being in a luxury hotel. Since the company is Italian, you'll find a very European-style decoration with a little touch of Italian design.

And what Do You do on an MSC Ship?

During the day, you'll find all sorts of activities organized by the onboard staff, such as dance classes, Bingo, parades that circulate throughout the ship, cooking contests, live music, Trivial Pursuit, musical quizzes, a casino, a discotheque, etc. These activities are perfect for meeting new people and also for a chance to win prizes offered by MSC (hours of massage, bottles of champagne, or branded items).

If you're more into sports activities, all ships are equipped with at least two pools for the older classes and no less than 5 for the newer classes. You'll also find jacuzzis, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and for ships with a sports complex (meaning a large multipurpose arena), numerous sports tournaments are organized daily (tennis, 5-a-side football, volleyball, basketball).

On the Seaside, Meraviglia, and World classes, you'll find a water park with thrilling slides. The MSC Seaview and Seaside are also equipped with a zip line (for an additional fee). Furthermore, ships from the Seaside and Meraviglia classes offer a Himalayan bridge that is suspended above the sea, as well as pools and slides (activity without an additional fee).

It's also in the evening that MSC ships come to life. The company offers numerous themed parties (White Party, Country Night, Star for a Night, Gala Evening), providing ample opportunities to don your finest attire or immerse yourself in a completely whimsical universe for the evening! Depending on the theme, you'll find parades circulating throughout the ship, and the restaurant menus are also adjusted accordingly. Generally, passengers fully embrace the themed parties, so I advise you to always pack a white outfit and a gala outfit (for men, a shirt and classic trousers will suffice). Finally, after your meal, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy some wonderful shows (a different one each night), visit the casino, enjoy the bars and lounges with their unique atmospheres, or dance until the early hours in one of the nightclubs.

Moreover, aboard the MSC Seascape and MSC World Europa, MSC has an exclusive partnership with the Guinness World Records. At sea, vacationers will have the opportunity to showcase their talents, in a sort of talent show or talent spectacles, without discrimination! Any new record set will be verified by an official adjudicator, and an official certificate will be issued.


All ships feature a thermal and spa area, the Aurea Spa, which is accessible for an additional fee (except for guests in Aurea cabins). The Aurea Spa offers a wide range of treatments and services (massage, facials, etc.). The thermal area is accessible to all, but minors must be accompanied by an adult (please refer to the policy regarding minors in the thermal area). The thermal area is one of my favorite spots on the ship, where you'll always find at least one sauna, a steam room, a relaxation area, and a jacuzzi.

Quick tip: Always visit the spa on the day of embarkation and book your treatments.

It's also possible to book your treatments in advance (thermal area access included and benefit from almost 40% discount) or to opt for a package that includes multiple treatments.

In short, as you've probably gathered, on an MSC ship, you'll never have a dull moment! Every opportunity will arise to meet new people or enjoy some hearty laughs with your group! However, it's important to keep in mind that the ship also offers numerous bars and lounges with cozy and calm atmospheres, so you'll also have the chance to relax by the sea while sipping on your favorite cocktail!

MSC For Me

This option is available on most ships and allows you to communicate with people onboard via the MSC For Me application without having to purchase an internet package. It's a bit like a Walkie-Talkie but with your own phone. You'll need to have a smartphone and have downloaded the MSC app beforehand, of course. This option is very convenient because in some cases, the ships are very large, and it may be useful to specify the time for gathering at the cabin for a shower or the time and place for drinks with friends!

The Ship Classes

MSC Cruises' ships are divided into 7 classes, which I will detail starting from the oldest (the Lirica class) to the newest (the World class).

Feel free to click on the links to discover the 3D tour of each ship!

1. The Lirica Class - MSC Lirica, MSC Opera, MSC Armonia, MSC Sinfonia

The Lirica Class comprises the four smallest ships in the company, with a capacity of fewer than 3,000 passengers each. The MSC Lirica (2003), MSC Opera (2004), MSC Armonia (2001), and MSC Sinfonia (2002) have all been renovated and refurbished between 2014 and 2015.

Each ship in this class has at least 2 pools (MSC Opera has 3) and 2 jacuzzis. Additionally, there is a pool reserved for children with slides and water cannons. All ships feature a mini-golf course (except for MSC Armonia). MSC Sinfonia is also equipped with a golf simulator. Each ship offers 4 restaurants, with MSC Lirica additionally featuring a sushi specialty restaurant. Ships in this class do not offer the MSC for Me option or Yacht Club class cabins.

While these ships may be a bit older, they are very well-maintained and renovated. They generally offer a more intimate atmosphere due to the reduced number of passengers compared to other ship classes. You'll experience a quieter cruise atmosphere with fewer children on board (as the children's facilities are more limited than on other ships). They embody the traditional essence of cruising, offering a timeless experience aboard a floating hotel that transports you from one destination to another.

2. The Musica Class - MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia, MSC Magnifica

The Musica Class consists of 4 ships: MSC Musica (2006), MSC Orchestra (2007), MSC Poesia (2008), and MSC Magnifica (2010). These ships, built between 2006 and 2010, can accommodate 3,223 passengers each and all feature 3 pools and at least 4 jacuzzis (MSC Magnifica has 9, while MSC Poesia and MSC Orchestra have 7 each). MSC Magnifica is the only one in this class to offer a "Magrodome," an indoor pool with a retractable roof. In addition to the pool on the upper deck, each ship has a children's pool with slides and water cannons. Regarding activities, they all have a mini-golf course and a sports hall on the upper deck for basketball, volleyball, and tennis.

They also have 4 restaurants, including one specialty restaurant. MSC Magnifica, being the newest in the class, offers some additional activities such as bowling, arcade games, and a 4D cinema.

Ships in this class do not have Yacht Club cabins, and only MSC Magnifica and MSC Poesia offer the MSC For Me option.

Ships in this class provide an excellent alternative for customers seeking both an intimate ship experience and the comfort and activities of modern ships. Young children will find plenty of fun in the pools and small slides reserved for them.

3. The Fantasia Class - MSC Fantasia, MSC Splendida, MSC Divina, MSC Preziosa

The Fantasia Class comprises 4 ships: MSC Fantasia (2008), MSC Splendida (2009), MSC Divina (2012), and MSC Preziosa (2013). With a capacity of 4,300 passengers, these ships were built between 2008 and 2013. Each ship in this class features an indoor pool with a retractable roof, an outdoor pool, and a children's pool with long outdoor slides and water cannons. They also have 12 jacuzzis and offer a variety of activities such as a theater, a discotheque, a casino, as well as basketball, football, and volleyball courts. All ships also have an arcade room, a 4D cinema, and a bowling alley (except MSC Preziosa), while MSC Fantasia and Splendida also have a squash court.

Each ship has 4 main restaurants and two specialty restaurants. They all offer Yacht Club cabins as well as the MSC For Me option (except MSC Preziosa).

The ships in this class are perfect for customers looking for a bit of everything without opting for a ship that is too large. Both children and adults will find plenty of activities to enjoy. This class of ship represents an excellent compromise between large ships filled with various activities, while keeping in mind that the main purpose of the cruise is to discover new destinations.

4. The Seaside Class - MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Seashore

The Seaside Class, consisting of 4 ships: MSC Seaside (2017), MSC Seaview (2018), MSC Seashore (2022), and its sister ship, MSC Seascape (2021).

These larger and more recent ships have a capacity ranging from 5,300 to 5,800 passengers. In addition to the three pools (two outdoor and one indoor), these ships are the first to have a water park with numerous slides (for both adults and children) located on a separate deck and a suspended bridge that passes over the pools and the sea. They also all have numerous jacuzzis (13 for MSC Seaside and Seaview, 2 large-capacity ones for MSC Seascape and MSC Seashore). In addition to the activities already present on ships of other classes (discotheque, fitness center, sports court, casino, theater, arcade room), you will also find a bowling alley on MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview.

The MSC Seashore and MSC Seascape are newer and 16 meters longer, and I would say even more high-tech than the other two because even though they don't have a bowling alley, they have a Formula 1 simulator and offer virtual reality experiences as well as an interactive-immersive cinema (with the help of 3D glasses, you will combat zombies, among other things).

Inside the ship, there is an impressive 8.5-meter-high LED wall covering 4 decks and constantly projecting images of Manhattan. The MSC Seascape also offers an unforgettable immersive experience - the Robotron - a thrilling ride on the upper deck with a view of the sea and personalized musical animation.


Each ship has at least 4 main restaurants (including a family restaurant on the MSC Seaside and Seaview) and 4 specialty restaurants. The ships of this class are much more modern and feature glass panoramic elevators at the back of the ship, outdoor promenade decks, and glass walkways to offer the most beautiful views of the ocean.

These ships offer Yacht Club cabins as well as the MSC For Me app.

From this class of ship, MSC aims to opt for large ships with a wide range of different activities to do on board. We move away a bit from the traditional side of cruising because you can easily stay on board for the entirety of your cruise without getting bored! Young children, teenagers, and adults alike will find a multitude of activities to do from morning until late at night. Moreover, these ships are true technological gems.

5. The Meraviglia Class - MSC Meraviglia, MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Virtuosa, MSC Euribia

The Meraviglia class consists of 5 ships: MSC Meraviglia (2017) and its twin ship MSC Bellissima (2019), MSC Grandiosa (2019), its twin ship MSC Virtuosa (2021), and MSC Euribia (2023).

These modern and futuristic ships have a capacity of 5,600 to 6,300 passengers. The latest addition to the class, MSC Euribia, is a true technological and luxury gem. It is powered by LNG, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, eliminates all sulfur oxides, and reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 85%. Finally, it boasts a unique design thanks to the hull design by artist Alex Flämig and the numerous artworks present on the ship.

All ships in this class have two outdoor pools, a pool with a retractable roof, and a water park with numerous thrilling slides. They also feature a suspended bridge above the sea and 9 jacuzzis.

In addition to the activities already present on ships from other classes (nightclub, fitness center, sports court, jogging track, casino, theater, arcade), you'll find a Formula 1 and flight simulator, a bowling alley, and an interactive cinema.

The ships have between 4 and 6 main restaurants and at least 5 specialty restaurants. They also feature around twenty bars. Yacht Club cabins are available, as well as the MSC For Me option.

This class of ships is suitable for everyone without anyone having to compromise. The ships offer various spaces and activities, whether you prefer peace and relaxation, attractions, water parks, or evening entertainment, everyone will return from their cruise with unforgettable memories!

6. The World Class - MSC World Europa, MSC World America

The World class, currently comprised of the MSC World Europa (2022), the first LNG-powered ship in the MSC fleet, and its twin ship, the MSC World America (2025), which will make its inaugural cruise in the Caribbean in spring 2025. The MSC World Europa is the largest in the company (capacity of 6,700 passengers) and holds the record for the longest dry slide on a ship, 104 meters long!

It is also the first MSC ship to offer cabins with views of both the indoor promenade and the ocean at the same time.

The promenade is truly expansive and features a LED dome, giving the ship a Las Vegas-like ambiance. Along this promenade, there are also numerous restaurants and various shops. Several theaters are also found along the way. These ships are impressive both in design and in the activities they offer.

The water park is the largest in the entire MSC fleet, boasting 5 pools, one with a retractable roof, and no less than 13 Jacuzzis. One of the pools, the Zen Pool, is exclusively for adults, providing a peaceful haven away from the noise of the slides.

This ship is the largest in the group, yet it offers many hidden spaces, away from the crowds and main pools, allowing everyone to find a space that suits them!

For families, the MSC World Europa offers the most elaborate Kids Club in the company, with state-of-the-art spaces dedicated exclusively to children (there's even a disco for teens!), and cutting-edge activities (such as a drone school).

The ships in this class offer Yacht Club cabins as well as the MSC For Me app.

Each ship in this class has 13 restaurants, including 6 specialty restaurants. The ships also have numerous bars, which are one of their main highlights. Each bar has its own identity, and some even have a menu that you won't find anywhere else on the ship. You can even discover the Speakeasy, a secret bar inspired by the 1940s, with access remaining very mysterious. To enter, you must have an access code that you'll find in your cabin (apparently distributed randomly) or that a crew member will give you. You'll also find bars dedicated to gin - The Gin Project, the Malt Lounge dedicated to cigars and liqueurs, the Fizz Champagne Bar serving only bubbles with a superb outdoor terrace. As you can see, there's something for every taste!

The onboard activities are nearly limitless, and the sports center transforms into a roller skating rink or bumper car arena. There is also a Luna Park Arena with interactive shows, DJ sets, disco in the evening, etc.

The water park is the largest in the entire MSC fleet, boasting 5 pools, one with a retractable roof, and no less than 13 Jacuzzis. One of the pools, the Zen Pool, is exclusively for adults, providing a peaceful haven away from the noise of the slides.

This ship is the largest in the group, yet it offers many hidden spaces, away from the crowds and main pools, allowing everyone to find a space that suits them!

For families, the MSC World Europa offers the most elaborate Kids Club in the company, with state-of-the-art spaces dedicated exclusively to children (there's even a disco for teens!), and cutting-edge activities (such as a drone school).

The ships in this class offer Yacht Club cabins as well as the MSC For Me app.

Each ship in this class has 13 restaurants, including 6 specialty restaurants. The ships also have numerous bars, which are one of their main highlights. Each bar has its own identity, and some even have a menu that you won't find anywhere else on the ship. You can even discover the Speakeasy, a secret bar inspired by the 1940s, with access remaining very mysterious. To enter, you must have an access code that you'll find in your cabin (apparently distributed randomly) or that a crew member will give you. You'll also find bars dedicated to gin - The Gin Project, the Malt Lounge dedicated to cigars and liqueurs, the Fizz Champagne Bar serving only bubbles with a superb outdoor terrace. As you can see, there's something for every taste!


Do you think MSC cruises are right for you? Feel free to contact us via email directly at theteam@ifyoucruise.com, or fill out the following form. You can also reach us by phone at 020 4576 2793. If you're unsure about which ship, company, or itinerary suits you best, don't hesitate to get in touch. As independent agents, we're here to provide personalized advice based on your preferences!

Article Tags: Msc Cruises, ships, description,

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