Later this month we’ll be taking our first cruise on MSC Cruises. In the past, we’ve only cruised on upper premium and luxury lines. We prefer a more mature clientele without the noise and activities that little ones bring. In addition, we enjoy a higher quality of cuisine and service that tends to be found on upscale cruise lines.
However, this year we are going to explore two mass-market large-ship cruise lines and travel on the MSC Meraviglia (4,500 passengers) and the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas (5,494 passengers). We’ve reset our expectations, we think, so they are more aligned with what is typical on the mass market cruise ship experience.
When MSC initially entered the US market, they didn’t receive very good reviews. The problem was pretty clear, the ships were built and operated for a European clientele, but it is well known in the industry that the US cruiser has much higher expectations and demands. Over the years, MSC took these criticisms to heart. They overhauled their staff training, cuisine, and interiors. New ships were built with the US cruise customer in mind.
So we are excited to experience the MSC ships firsthand. Many US cruisers are not familiar with the MSC brand and might be surprised to learn about MSC’s history and the size of the company’s cruise presence.
MSC Cruise Line is the third largest cruise company in the world, with a fleet of 20 ships and over 500 destinations across the globe. They have the largest market share in Europe, South America, the Gulf region, and Southern Africa. Founded in Naples, Italy in 1960, MSC Cruises has grown from a small family-owned business to one of the largest and most successful cruise lines in the world.
In the early days, MSC Cruises was focused on providing an affordable and enjoyable cruising experience to the people of Italy. The company soon expanded its reach to other European countries, as well as North and South America. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, MSC Cruises began to focus on creating a more luxurious cruise experience and added more ships to its fleet. This included the introduction of the first MSC Grandiosa in 1995, which was the first cruise ship to feature two–story suites.
In 2000, MSC Cruises acquired the world’s largest cruise ship, the MSC Fantasia. This ship was the first to feature amenities such as a casino, theatre, and spa. It was also the first to offer the “Family Choice” program, which offered activities tailored specifically for families.
In the 21st century, MSC Cruises continued to expand its offerings and features. In 2004, the company introduced the “MSC Yacht Club”, which allowed passengers to enjoy exclusive amenities and services. The company also launched the “MSC Divina” in 2012, which was the first MSC cruise ship to feature cabins with balconies, an important requirement for many Americans.
Since its founding in 1960, MSC Cruises has grown from a small family–owned business to one of the largest and most successful cruise lines in the world.
We can’t wait to share our experience with you.