Royal Caribbean Vs MSC Cruises (I cruised 3 times with each to see which is best)



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Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises are among the biggest cruise lines in the world. And yet while they offer a similar style of experience onboard, there are enough differences to make them appeal to different groups of people, too.

Comparison between Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises showing two majestic cruise ships at sea: the playful Odyssey of the Seas with its yellow lifeboats and fun activities on deck, and the elegant MSC Virtuosa with its classic design and distinct MSC logo, representing diverse cruising experiences.

I’m lucky enough to have cruised on several Royal Caribbean ships (Allure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas) along with a few MSC ships (MSC Preziosa, MSC Virtuosa twice, and MSC Euribia) so I know what each cruise line is really like.

In this guide, I’ll explain everything about both cruise lines, including factual information and my own experiences, so that you can decide which of these two cruise giants is the best fit for you.

Royal Caribbean’s fleet of ships is the biggest in the world – there are 27 ships already sailing for the cruise line, and another two are currently under construction.

MSC’s fleet is smaller but not by much – 22 ships are sailing for the brand at the moment, and three more are under construction.

Royal Caribbean Ships

Royal Caribbean has eight classes of ships:

  • Icon Class – the biggest cruise ships in the world accommodating up to 7,600 guests
  • Oasis Class – six mega ships that can accommodate around 6,800 guests
  • Quantum Ultra Class – two modern ships accommodating 5,500 guests
  • Quantum Class – three ships accommodating 4,900 guests
  • Freedom Class – three ships accommodating 4,400 to 4,900 guests
  • Radiance Class – four ships accommodating 2,500 guests
  • Voyager Class – five ships accommodating 4,000 guests
  • Vision Class – four ships accommodating 2,400 to 2,700 guests

The oldest ship still sailing for Royal Caribbean is Grandeur of the Seas. She’s part of the Vision Class and she launched in 1996.

The newest ship in the fleet launched in January 2024, and is Icon of the Seas – not only the biggest ship in the fleet but the biggest in the world.

Read more: Royal Caribbean Ships By Age

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas luxury cruise ship sailing at dusk, with its name visible on the hull and a calm sea in the background.

MSC Ships

MSC Cruises also has eight classes of ships:

  • World Class – the biggest ships in the fleet, capable of accommodating almost 6,800 passengers
  • Meraviglia Plus Class – three ships accommodating 6,300 passengers
  • Seaside EVO Class – two ships accommodating 5,900 guests
  • Meraviglia Class – two ships accommodating 5,600 guests
  • Seaside Class – two ships accommodating 5,200 guests
  • Fantasia Class – four ships accommodating 3,900 guests
  • Musica Class – four ships accommodating 3,200 guests
  • Lirica Class – four ships accommodating 2,700 guests

The oldest ship still sailing for MSC Cruises is MSC Armonia, which was first built in 2001 and joined the fleet in 2004.

The newest ship is the MSC Euribia, part of the Merviglia Plus Class, which launched at the end of 2023.

Read more: MSC Cruises Ships by Size, Age and Class

The MSC Euribia cruise ship adorned with #savethesea artwork floats on a calm blue sea under a clear sky, symbolizing maritime leisure and environmental awareness.

Which to Choose?

There’s not much between the fleets when it comes to the size of the fleets, or indeed the size of the ships.

Do you want to try a smaller, quieter cruise ship? Royal Caribbean’s Vision Class and MSC’s Lirica Class are good options.

Or do you prefer super-ships that are absolutely packed with features? MSC’s World Class isn’t quite as big as the Icon Class but both cruise lines have impressive options.

Ultimately it’s going to come down more to the food, entertainment, itinerary etc. So let’s discuss those…

Both Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises offer a wide range of cruise destinations that guests can choose from.

Royal Caribbean tends to operate more in the Caribbean, while MSC’s European base means that there are more Mediterranean cruises available, but each cruise line has a good range of options further afield too.

Here’s a breakdown of all the cruise itineraries available for each cruise line:

Royal CaribbeanMSC Cruises
Alaska960
Africa08
Australia & New Zealand290
Bermuda75
Canada & New England85
Caribbean & Bahamas47122
East Asia3619
Europe107342
Hawaii70
Mexico & Latin America80
Middle East & South Asia312
Pacific Northwest40
Panama Canal50
South America042
South Pacific140
Transatlantic220
Transpacific50
World Cruise/Grand Voyages177

Royal Caribbean Destinations

Royal Caribbean cruises sail from 35 destinations around the world, so you really aren’t short of options for beginning your sailing.

Most of those ports are in North America but there are several in Europe too, including Southampton – there’s always one ship stationed in the UK for the summer months for cruises to Spain and France.

Royal Caribbean has two private island locations that are included on cruises in the Caribbean – Labadee, and Perfect Day at CocoCay. Both resorts are packed with fun things to enjoy, and are very popular with guests.

Aerial view of Perfect Day at CocoCay Island, showcasing the lush landscape, vibrant aqua park attractions, and a tethered yellow balloon, with a Royal Caribbean cruise ship anchored nearby.

MSC Destinations

MSC is one of the only cruise lines that can outshine Royal Caribbean when it comes to departure ports, and it absolutely blows Royal away with choice – there are 66 ports available for you to cruise from if you want to enjoy an MSC cruise.

The reason for that is because MSC doesn’t just run cruises that have a set embarkation and disembarkation port. Instead, ships will run longer cruises, and guests can pick most ports from that itinerary to be the start and end of their cruise.

So a ship might be running a 21-day itinerary around all of the Med, but you might opt for a 7-day segment beginning in Southampton and ending in Barcelona. Whereas someone else might decide to join the ship in Lisbon a couple of days after you, and then cruise for 10 days until the ship reaches Rome, for example.

While it’s great for choice, it does mean that the ship is constantly busy with guests arriving and disembarking, and if you have a cabin next to a crew stairwell, it can mean that you often hear suitcases being moved around each night.

MSC has a private island in the Caribbean too, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. With significant investment and expansion in 2024, the island is a rival to the best that Royal Caribbean has to offer.

Visitors enjoy a sunny day at MSC Ocean Cay Marine Reserve, with its lush palm trees, clear turquoise waters, and serene sandy beaches, embodying a tropical paradise.

Which to Choose?

If you want to cruise the Caribbean or Europe, then both MSC and Royal Caribbean are good choices, though you’ll likely find more flexibility for dates in the Caribbean with Royal, and in Europe with MSC.

There are certain destinations exclusive to each cruise line too. Choose Royal Caribbean if you want to cruise to Australia, Alaska or Mexico, while MSC is the cruise line to choose if you want to see South Africa.

MSC is also a better choice if you want your sailing to incorporate multiple regions. While Royal Caribbean has cruises that cross the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, these are minimal and they don’t include many ports on either side of the oceans.

MSC’s Grand Voyages are longer sailings which typically combine two cruises with an ocean crossing. If you have the time available, then they are a wonderful way of exploring more regions without having to commit to a full world cruise.

When deciding between two cruise lines, accommodation can factor into the decision but it’s not often a deal breaker. The cruise lines both offer some unique options, though these aren’t available across their fleets.

Most of the cabins or staterooms on both cruise lines are made up of your typical options – inside cabins when you’re on a tighter budget, outside cabins when you want to enjoy a view of the ocean, balcony cabins if you want a private space to enjoy the view and the fresh air, and suites that have more space and come with a range of additional perks.

Both cruise lines have solo cabin options, though not across their entire fleet. You may be limited in your choice of ship if you want a dedicated solo cabin, but that could be better than paying a single supplement on another ship, where you’ll essentially pay the price of two people even though you’re sailing alone.

Be careful with MSC though, as there are some solo cabins that don’t even have a proper bed, but a sofa bed only!

Read more: MSC Cabins to Avoid

Royal Caribbean Staterooms and Suites

Here’s a look at some of the more unique accommodation options you can enjoy with Royal Caribbean:

Virtual Balcony Staterooms

A modern stateroom on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas with a virtual balcony, featuring a large bed, contemporary decor, and an LED screen displaying real-time ocean views, creating an innovative cruise experience.

An inside cabin is a good choice if you want to save money, and they’re great for people who like to sleep in the dark too – having no natural light, you can get into a really deep sleep at night! But there are a lot of people who aren’t as keen, especially since it can be hard to know what time of the day it is when you first wake up.

Virtual Balcony Staterooms solve that issue by having a screen on one wall that acts as a – you guessed it – virtual balcony. It projects a live view from the side of the ship, so it’s like you have a balcony in your room even though it’s just a flat wall.

You don’t get the fresh air of a balcony, or the benefits of actual sunlight, but it’s a nice way to enjoy a view without paying for a higher-cost balcony cabin of your own.

Interior Balcony Staterooms

View from an interior balcony stateroom on Oasis of the Seas, featuring a cozy table and chairs setup overlooking the ship's open-air central park.

Some of the biggest Royal Caribbean ships – the Oasis-class and Icon-class ships – are so wide that they have an open space running through the middle of the ship, with a boardwalk area and a park full of real, living plants.

And running up the sides of these spaces are balcony rooms that face the inside of the ship, instead of out to the ocean. They have their own private outdoor seating area, but your view is over the park or boardwalk instead.

They’re a good choice for anyone who wants a balcony but doesn’t want to pay the price for an ocean view, though you have to bear in mind that there are hundreds of cabins across from you that can see your room. Make sure you keep those curtains drawn when you’re getting dressed!

AquaTheater Suites

View of the AquaTheater suite balconies on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, highlighting the open-air amphitheater seating, a large yellow arrow indicating a specific suite, and the bustling deck activity below.

A really cool accommodation option on some of the bigger Royal Caribbean ships are the AquaTheater Suites. Available with one or two bedrooms, these are suites that have a balcony directly overlooking the ship’s AquaTheater – an outdoor performance space with high diving boards.

Essentially it’s a suite where you have a balcony theatre seat attached – giving you the best private view of the performances whenever you want them, and amazing views out to see too.

Ultimate Family Accommodations

Playful and colorful interior of a family suite on a cruise ship, featuring a bright red slide connecting two floors. The room is bathed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a view of the ocean, with fun decor including oversized candy-like wall ornaments and cozy, contemporary furnishings.

Available on selected Quantum-class, Oasis-class and Icon-class ships, the Ultimate Family Suites and Ultimate Family Townhouses truly are something else if you’re cruising with kids.

These are rooms that feel like they were designed by children themselves – but it’s more than just bright colours. Think a staircase that doubles up as a piano, so that each step plays a note. Think a slide from the upstairs to the lower floor, because why not? Games consoles, popcorn makers, board games… 

Every element offers kids (and big kids) a thrilling vacation and that’s before you even explore the rest of the ship. 

MSC Staterooms and Suites

Here are some of the accommodation considerations with MSC Cruises

Bella, Fantastica or Aurea?

Close-up of MSC cruise ship highlighting Bella Balcony and Fantastica Balcony cabins, marked by red arrows, showcasing the ship's multi-tiered accommodation options.

When you book an MSC cruise, you have the choice of three fares – Bella, Fantastica, or Aurea.

These fares will dictate which class of cabin you get – choose the cheapest Bella fares, and you’ll be assigned a cabin in one of the less desirable parts of the ship. This includes balcony cabins with metal railings, so you can only see over them when stood up.

Choosing Fantastica gives you more options, but the best cabins and suites are reserved for Aurea fares – so bear that in mind when choosing your cruise.

Read more: MSC Bella Vs Fantastica Vs Aurea

MSC Yacht Club

Inside the MSC Yacht Club Duplex Suite, showcasing a modern bedroom with a king-size bed, plush grey bedding, and floor-to-ceiling windows leading to a private balcony overlooking the ocean, offering luxury and comfort at sea.

The MSC Yacht Club is the top-tier accommodations on an MSC ship, and is called a “ship-within-a-ship” concept. That’s because only MSC Yacht Club guests can access these exclusive areas on the ship, including private lounges and restaurants.

You get a long list of perks as part of the Yacht Club, including butler service and free drinks both in your suite and in the Yacht Club venues, but you have to weigh up whether they’re worth the additional cost.

Which to Choose?

Royal Caribbean has more innovative accommodation options, particularly if you’re not looking to book an expensive suite.

MSC’s Yacht Club is a fantastic concept, but it’s similar to the suite benefits you’ll get with Royal Caribbean, and some Royal Caribbean ships have a similar Suite Neighborhood area of the ship.

Royal Caribbean’s rooms have more variety but both offer comfortable and contemporary accommodation options.

When cruising, you’re going to be eating the vast majority of your meals on the ship, so the food options are extremely important when deciding on which cruise line is right for you.

Royal Caribbean Food

With Royal Caribbean, you’re guaranteed a huge range of options even on the smaller ships – though the biggest ships will truly blow you away with the variety on offer, with 20 or more dining venues alone – enough to try somewhere different for every meal of your holiday!

Trying sushi for the first time at Izumi

You’ll have the main dining room, of course, offering a changing menu of classic formal favourites, and the Windjammer buffet has an extensive range of casual items for snacks or for more relaxed meals.

There are complimentary options through the ship such as the popular Sorrentos pizzeria, which is open late. There are also a wealth of speciality options you can try, such as the relaxed Johnny Rockets burger restaurant that serves excellent milkshakes, and more formal restaurants like the Chops Grille steakhouse, the Izumi sushi restaurant, and Wonderland – a unique venue serving creative dishes that look as good as they taste.

Elegant dining at Chops Grille on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas, featuring a sophisticated setup with polished wood tables, leather chairs, fine china, and mood lighting, inviting guests to a premium steakhouse experience at sea.

With Royal Caribbean, the whole idea of dining is about choice – choosing when and where to dine, so that everyone has an amazing time and never feels limited in their options.

MSC Food

MSC offers a similar level of variety to Royal Caribbean, though not with quite as much choice – the bigger ships do have a lot of restaurant options but not quite as many as Royal’s fleet.

Cruise Mummy raises a glass of amber-colored beverage in the Main Dining Room on an MSC cruise ship, with elegant décor and attentive staff in the background, capturing a moment of joy and fine dining on a luxury voyage.

You’ll still have a main dining room, although depending on where you’re sailing the menu might be more Mediterranean-themed than it would be on a typical Royal Caribbean ship.

There’s a buffet for casual dining too, and a selection of speciality venues for steak or seafood. Casual burger and pizza options are available, though with less theming than you’d find on Royal Caribbean.

Buffet on MSC Euribia

One cool feature is the option to have your kids taken to their own buffet area by the crew, if they’re in the kids’ clubs, so they can enjoy a bit of independence while you have a more formal dining experience.

Which to Choose?

If you want the best variety, then Royal Caribbean is definitely the way to go, especially on the biggest ships in the fleet. It’s not like MSC is boring, but there are just more options to choose from, and a lot more that have a fun theme too.

MSC has a reputation for its food not being as good quality as Royal Caribbean’s, too, and based on some of my past cruises (especially as a vegan) I would have agreed, but my most recent cruise on MSC Euribia had excellent options and fantastic quality – so perhaps the quality overall is improving.

Both Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises offer a range of activities for guests of all ages to enjoy onboard.

Royal Caribbean Activities

Royal Caribbean ships always have a wealth of things you can enjoy on the ship. The older ships tend to stick to more classical activities, such as dance lessons, bingo, quizzes and more but even the mid-size ships are packed with exciting activities, many of which you won’t find on other cruise lines.

An adventurous guest scales the climbing wall on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas, poised against a backdrop of exhilarating water slides and the expansive ocean. Below, passengers enjoy a game of basketball on the ship's sports court, offering a snapshot of the diverse and active entertainment options available onboard.

Some of the activities you can try, depending on your ship, include:

  • Ice skating
  • Escape rooms
  • FlowRider surfing simulators
  • Skydiving simulators
  • Rock climbing walls
  • Epic dry slides across multiple decks
  • Dodgems at sea
  • Thrill-seeking water slides
  • Zip lines
  • Bungee trampolines

Royal Caribbean’s fleet is aimed at all ages, and so there’s always something fun happening onboard. A Royal Caribbean cruise is as much about the ship as it is the destinations.

MSC Activities

MSC’s list of activities isn’t a million miles away from Royal Caribbean’s. It has the same traditional activities including sports, arcades, quizzes etc. But there are a few other unique options to enjoy too:

A high-tech Formula One simulator on an MSC cruise ship, featuring racing car replicas in MSC livery against a backdrop of large screens simulating a thrilling racetrack experience, offering an adventurous activity at sea.
  • 4D Cinemas 
  • Formula One simulator (with full-size car to sit in)
  • Flight simulators
  • Robotic arm coaster ride
  • MasterChef competitions (for adults and kids)
  • The longest dry-slide at sea on MSC World Europa

Which to Choose?

MSC Cruises has some exciting activities to try, although the Robotron ride and the Venom Drop dry slide are exclusive to one ship each.

Royal Caribbean’s best activities tend to appear on multiple ships, so you’ve got more options to enjoy on each sailing.

Royal Caribbean edges it here, but if you don’t need your entire day to be packed with activities then an MSC cruise still offers plenty to enjoy.

Your cruise activities extend into the evening with both Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises, with a wide selection of entertainment options to choose from.

Royal Caribbean Entertainment

Royal Caribbean has a range of live entertainment across the venues on the fleet. The main theatre is where you’ll find Broadway shows – not just Broadway-style, but many ships feature actual renowned productions that you may already love, such as:

  • Grease
  • Cats
  • Hairspray
  • Mamma Mia!
  • We Will Rock You
Spotlight Karaoke bar on Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas, featuring a vibrant and colorful stage set for performances, surrounded by cozy seating areas with a funky and eclectic décor, ready for guests to sing their hearts out.

These complement the in-house productions that you’ll enjoy both in the main theatres, the AquaTheaters, the ice-skating rinks and more. Some ships have karaoke bars, most have live comedians, and there are always bands performing songs in different bars around the ship.

MSC Entertainment

MSC’s entertainment doesn’t include licensed Broadway shows but the theatres do have Broadway-style entertainment, including some shows which may include big musical numbers you know and love. 

Passengers are seated in the contemporary theater on MSC Virtuosa, waiting for a performance to begin. The theater features modern lighting and a muted color palette, creating an inviting atmosphere for entertainment.

There’s plenty of variety too – it’s not just singing and dancing, but there are a lot of circus-style acts too, and magic. The entertainment is very family-friendly and I really enjoyed it on my latest cruise.

Which to Choose?

Both Royal Caribbean and MSC have great live entertainment around the ship, and it’s hard to pick one that’s better.

If you really enjoy live comedy, then Royal Caribbean will be a better fit – most MSC cruises don’t have a comedian on board because of the multilingual nature of the demographic. It’d take a long time for each joke to be translated!

Royal’s also better if you want to see a licensed Broadway show although check before you book, as shows can change and not every ship has one, it may have its own in-house productions instead.

If you’re travelling with kids, then you’ll also want to factor in the facilities and entertainment aimed specifically at them.

Royal Caribbean Kids’ Facilities

Royal Caribbean has the Adventure Ocean kids’ clubs for younger ages, starting from 3 years old. There are different age groups, so that kids are kept together with similar ages and can enjoy suitable activities. There’s a lot of educational fun to enjoy, with the Adventure Ocean Science Lab for experiments and the Imagination Studio for creativity.

The kids even get their own Adventure Theatre for movies and TV shows.

Teens have their own spaces, with activities including video game tournaments, pizza parties and more.

The Living Room on Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas presents a trendy teen lounge with circular overhead lighting, funky purple and orange chairs, and abstract art, creating a cool and inviting space for young cruisers to hang out and relax.

MSC Kids’ Facilities

MSC also has various kids club groups to entertain younger ones, and the cruise line has developed many of the activities in partnership with famous brands Lego and Chicco, so there are some great toys and games that young guests can take part in.

Teens get their own club too, with the latest VR games and cool hangout spots. MSC also has a Baby Club for guests under 3 years old, with dedicated facilities including music and rhythm games.

The Baby Club on MSC World Europa, a playful and secure area for toddlers, with bright colors, a large red octopus slide, interactive toys, and an ocean view, providing a fun and engaging environment for the youngest guests on board.

Which to Choose?

Both cruise lines are great for kids, but bear in mind that MSC’s kids’ clubs will be multilingual. I didn’t find that to be a problem, but if your kids are shy and may struggle to make friends anyway, just think about how they’ll do in a scenario where other children can’t understand them. Maybe they’ll be fine!

MSC also has better facilities for babies, so if you’re a younger family then I’d suggest MSC could be the cruise line to go for.

While the experience on both Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises is not too dissimilar, the demographics are where you’ll find some of the biggest differences.

Royal Caribbean Demographics

Royal Caribbean attracts guests who are “adventure-seeking” and who are typically in their 30s to 50s. Many guests travelling with Royal Caribbean will be families, although younger families with parents in their 20s are less common as the cruises aren’t super-cheap.

You do get multigenerational families with grandparents too, as well as a number of couples and solo passengers.

Royal Caribbean ships are all primarily English-speaking although there are several ships based out of the US that will have a lot of Spanish-speaking guests too.

A family enjoying their vacation together, standing inside the glass-enclosed viewing area on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship with a panoramic view of the port and city in the background.

MSC Demographics

MSC’s cruises tend to be cheaper than Royal Caribbean’s, which means you can get a wider demographic onboard including younger families.

Guests are typically cruising more for the destinations too, seeking their adventures ashore, so while MSC ships have great attractions they are more of a bonus to the ports of call – guests are more interested in seeing the world.

MSC ships are multilingual, especially with so many ships and itineraries in Europe, so while the crew will understand English fine, there may be a lot of guests who don’t.

This tends to make for fun experiences in the kids clubs though, as children often work out ways of communicating even if they can’t speak each others’ language.

Two joyful children hold colorful paper crafts and a 'Captain' certificate in the MSC Cruises Kids Club, with a backdrop of a LEGO-style pirate captain, capturing the fun and creative spirit of the ship's youth activities.

Understandably, budget will play a huge factor in deciding your cruise line, and there is a clear difference between the lines here too.

Royal Caribbean Prices

Royal Caribbean is not a luxury cruise line, but nor is it cheap either. Some of the smaller ships do have some good value itineraries, but if you want to cruise on a newer and bigger ship, you should expect to pay a premium for that.

As a guide, a 7-night cruise on Wonder of the Seas – which is one of the biggest ships in the fleet, but not the absolute biggest and newest – will typically cost you somewhere between £100/$130 and £130/$165 per person, per night for an Inside Stateroom.

NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!

Don’t miss the latest Royal Caribbean offers…

MSC Prices

MSC has a reputation for being a cheaper cruise line and that’s typically earned – most cruise fares are lower than they would be on Royal Caribbean, but the biggest ships could have equivalent fares.

Consider that many people feel that the MSC standard of service and food is a little below Royal Caribbean, though my most recent cruise dispelled that as a myth for me.

A typical 7-night cruise on one of the Seaside EVO Class ships in the Caribbean will cost between £80/$100 and £120/$153 per person, per night for an Inside Stateroom. But you can often find cruises as low as £30/$40 per night, if you’re flexible on dates and destination.

Suggested read: Why Are MSC Cruises So Cheap?

NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!

Don’t miss the latest MSC Cruises offers…

Bear in mind that, on cruises in Europe, you don’t have to pay gratuities on an MSC cruise, while you do with Royal Caribbean.

The Verdict

Royal Caribbean has long been viewed as a more premium cruise line than MSC and that’s broadly true – you’ll get more variety in your accommodation and dining options, there are more innovative facilities for daytime entertainment, and the evening shows are officially licensed productions that you may already know and love.

But MSC is definitely improving, and I certainly wouldn’t say it’s a lot worse than a Royal Caribbean cruise experience. If you get a good deal on an MSC ship then I’d definitely consider it, and even at comparable prices, I think MSC still has a lot to offer.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

Read more about me



1 thought on “Royal Caribbean Vs MSC Cruises (I cruised 3 times with each to see which is best)”

  1. There are a couple of things you have missed:

    Customer service –

    I’ve sailed with both MSC (3 times) and Royal Caribbean 7 times since the 1990s.

    Royal Caribbean has fantastic responsive, customer service.

    MSC customer services has a dreadful, unresponsive customer service, taking 3 months and longer to respond to even a minor query.

    I’ve had 3 complaints with MSC (cancellation of all Brazillian ports on a TA, overcharging which took 3 months to get my money back, and the wrong deck plans on the MSC website meaning my solo cabin which I paid extra to choose was remote from all other solos).

    Solo offering –

    Royal Caribbean have solo meetings every evening in the same bar, so all solos know there will be someone to have a drink with or join for dinner.

    MSC have one mid-morning solo meeting per 7-day cruise. As MSC pick up passengers at most ports if a solo is unfortunate to board on the day of the meeting they will have little chance of meeting other solos.

    IMHO, for solos Royal Caribbean (and all the other cruise lines I’ve sailed with) are far superior to MSC.

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