How many ships does your favourite cruise operator have? MSC have over 500 ships. This is a family business with over 300 years experience at sea. The MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (MSC) is the world’s second-largest shipping line in terms of container vessels, which is amazing considering the MSC company was only founded in 1970. It went into the cruise side of the industry in 1989 by purchasing Lauro Lines, a small cruise company that started in 1960 with just two ships. Now MSC is the fourth largest cruise ship operator behind the multiple brand owners after Carnival Corporation & plc, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line. But they are at the moment a single brand of considerable size.  MSC CRUISES FROM SOUTHAMPTON – here

However, it appears as well as their continued increase in large cruise ships MSC are moving into the ultra luxury brand by ordering 4 new ships that will each only hold about 750 guests that will be treated as special. This will fill the void appearing as most operators build bigger ships for bulk. Now managed by Diego Aponte, son of MSC founder Gianluigi Aponte who continues to oversee and shape the group supporting his son. MSC has its headquarters in Switzerland and was founded in Naples. It is a private company of considerable size, and like Fred Olsen is a family business.

ATHENS METRO ATHENS ICE CREAM ATHENS GUIDE ATHENS HORSE+CARRIAGE ATHENS PLAKA CRETE GUIDE THE VERY SPECIAL RHODES ROME DUBROVNIK ZADAR VENICE NIGHT SAIL AWAY

MSC’s captains must have at least 11 years of navigational experience, and they come from the company’s cargo brand having undergone the most rigorous ongoing training programmes. Their crew also undergo staff training that ensures a high quality service. With over 1,000 routes around the world, their modern ships with elegantly-designed interiors featuring natural stone and marble predominantly sourced from Italy have their own style. They use superior fabrics, gold-leaf mosaics and have Swarovski crystal staircases. The ships themselves have more balcony cabins with sea views than any other cruise line on the market and are eco-friendly, with innovative energy-saving and water-recycling systems. Over 11 million travellers have already enjoyed a cruise with MSC and they are expanding fast, click here to go direct to MSC

FLY CRUISE VIDEO OF ARRIVAL IN MALTA AND TRANSFER TO SHIP – SEE HOW IT HAPPENS AND WHAT TO EXPECT 

CHAT MSC CRUISE – Kings of the Med – Click here to join

We have yet to find a written dress code for MSC, but people do get smart in the smart places and you will see in number 3 they suggest you bring a tux and the ladies an evening dress. We have the following (taken from their web site.)

DORIS VISITS WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN MENU OF PORT GUIDES

The five golden rules to follow on a cruise to have the best experience

Taking a cruise may be a holiday, but it is also a skill and those who have been on plenty know all the golden rules. If you have never taken a cruise before, but are keen to fit straight in and look and feel like a pro, there are five principles to live by, which will ensure you make the most of your time.

DORIS VISITS EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN MENU OF PORT GUIDES
 
1.      Learn the lingo
 
There is a whole new language used at sea, so learning a few words will help you look like you have done this before. Always remember that the vessel you are cruising on is referred to as a ship and never a boat and your accommodation is a cabin. Get your bearings on board and refer to the front of the ship as the bow, the back is the stern, port is to the left-hand side and starboard is the right.

DORIS VISITS CARIBBEAN MENU OF PORT GUIDES
 
2.      Keep to ship’s time
 
One of the beauties of cruising is the opportunity to visit a wide selection of destinations in one trip, but this could well mean crossing various time zones. Running on ship’s time will help you manage your day on board and not miss that all-important dinner reservation, but it is also vital for port days. Be sure your watch is in line with ship’s time before disembarking to guarantee you are back on board well before the vessel is due to set sail again.

DORIS VISITS CANARY ISLAND MENU OF PORT GUIDES
 
3.      Only pack what you need
 
It can be tempting to pack all things for all eventualities for your cruise, especially if you are travelling with young children. Experienced cruisers know that many of these items are actually readily available on board, so they leave them at home. These include a buggy, which can easily be organised in advanced, and toiletries, which are found in each cabin. Leaving these out of your luggage will give you extra space to buy souvenirs on the ship or in your favourite ports.
 
MSC SinfoniaThe items that really are a good idea to bring along though are a tux for the men or a formal dress for the women. Gala night really is one of those special cruise experiences and you will certainly want to look the part. Click the picture to go to their site.

DORIS VISITS FJORDS MENU OF PORT GUIDES
 
4.      Plan your time
 
Yes, you are on holiday, but you have booked yourself onto a cruise ship that is chock full of fantastic things to do, see, eat and explore, so you’ll want to make the most of your time. There’s nothing more frustrating than realising you could have seen Cirque du Soleil On The Seas if you’d organised it earlier.
 
Plan the experiences you really want to have in advance and get them booked to avoid disappointment. This includes reservations at the speciality restaurants and spa treatments for a good feeling of being pampered. Even better, if you book on embarkation day, you will receive a 50 per cent discount on your spa treatments. Explore ports on an organised excursion or have ideas before getting off the ship about where to go, otherwise, you could end up missing out on a destination’s best attractions.

DORIS VISITS BALTIC SEA MENU OF PORT GUIDES
 
5.      Know when to take advantage of the ship benefits
 
There are a wide number of benefits that passengers can take advantage of on board MSC Cruises simply by upgrading. For example, if you upgrade your Bella cabin experience, you’ll automatically be served breakfast in your cabin. While this may sound romantic for couples, it can also be great for families. Not having to ready all the children for breakfast at the same time makes for a less stressful trip and everyone loves the treat of eating in your pyjamas.

click the direct links above to an MSC CRUISE DEAL or click here to try a THOMAS COOK price