As MSC Cruises’ newest vessel to sail the high seas, MSC World Europa aims to dazzle guests with her state-of-the-art design and modern technology. From her sleek ship features, to delicious dining venues and jaw-dropping entertainment, World Europa has been making waves since her highly anticipated debut in 2022.
But just what is it that makes this futuristic ship so enticing?
We heard from first-time cruiser, Dean, about his seven-night Mediterranean voyage onboard MSC World Europa. Read on to discover more about his experience of dining, staterooms, entertainment, service and more…
This was our first cruise and, as a couple in our late 30s on holiday for the first time without the children, we were excited to get onboard and start the adventure. Having tried many different styles of getaways, from short city trips to all-inclusive family breaks, we were keen to see how cruising compared.
Our first impressions of the ship were how huge it seemed; even after seven days, we were still discovering new areas and finding even more things to do. We embarked in Barcelona, where the port is fairly close to the city and easily accessible by local transport services.
The check-in process was very straightforward, with all documentation sent in advance, such as health questionnaires and app download information. Embarkation was easy and efficient, and we were immediately greeted by someone who could sense that we were new onboard the ship.
At roughly 1 pm, we were ushered towards the main indoor promenade, as we couldn’t access our room until around 2:30 pm. As a result, we spent a bit of time exploring the main areas and then grabbing a couple of slices of pizza from the dedicated pizza and burger bar – which was delicious!
Our premium cabin with ocean view was comfortable and well laid out: including a sofa that converted to bunk beds; a tv with itineraries and information prompts; movie rentals and account information. The bed was very comfortable and a notice informing us of the pillow menu available for the duration of our stay was a nice touch.
We had a drinks package so our room also included refillable soda cups, which could be used in buffets and restaurants. Our cabin was a comfortable and quiet space, plus being able to wake up and watch the sunrise over the sea was a real treat.
We decided to try the main dining restaurant for dinner, where we were looked after by a hard-working team who made a daily effort to remember our drink preferences and suggest new things that might suit our tastes.
The food in the restaurant was perfectly adequate- not fine dining, but of the expected standard. That being said, on balance, most of the food fell on the good side of the scale. MSC do certain dishes really well: such as pizza, desserts, pasta and seafood. The focaccia deserves a special mention as we really looked forward to our daily portion in the bread basket.
We continued to eat in the dining room most evenings, although the buffet would have been perfectly sufficient. We enjoyed the service and relative calm of the dining room over the hustle and bustle of the buffet. However, on the occasions that we did use the buffet, the quality and variety of the food were arguably better and it had an excellent array of fresh foods, particularly when we tried it out on the sea day.
We tried a variety of different places to eat for breakfast, including room service. We decided to try out the dining restaurant one morning, where you could order items such as freshly baked pancakes or eggs benedict. The food was good, accompanied by only standard plain coffee or juice.
We preferred to visit the buffet for breakfast which served such a huge range of foods; there was something for whatever you fancied. We were also able to order drinks from the servers here and get fresh orange juice and a cappuccino.
The entertainment is where we felt MSC shone. My partner is a lover of musicals and theatre, so with three show areas onboard, there was plenty to keep us entertained throughout our break.
We watched a couple of shows each night and the quality of performances shone through: with west-end quality stage productions in the World Theatre; themed performances in the Panorama Lounge; and crazy interactive parties in The Arena.
You do have to book each show up to 24 hours in advance, but it worked out well for us in the end. The seating in Panorama Lounge does have quite a lot of seats with restricted viewing, so you need to get settled early to enjoy the show with a full view.
For our seven-night trip, we stopped at six different ports taking in an array of cultural sights. The ports were all near major towns and cities, but we personally like to explore and did find the time constraint in port to be a slight limiting factor for us.
We are quite adventurous and confident travellers, but if you want the piece of mind and a relaxed approach then there are lots of options put on by MSC: such as bike tours, local experiences and standard coach trips to key sights. Our highlights were exploring the ancient city of Pompeii in Naples, as well as wandering through the beautiful town of Taormina in Messina.
While onboard the ship, we found that there was a space for us whatever our mood. If we fancied a quiet sit down and a nice brew, or a dance and some light entertainment, there was always something happening.
We often found ourselves in “Master of the Seas”, a British pub-style venue which had its own brewery. At certain times in the evening, there was also live music, which transformed the pub into feeling more like an Irish bar- with people singing along to the songs.
There was a small bar away from prying eyes, which seemed to be the place for anyone wishing to show off their voices during nightly karaoke, and another that had live music- often visited by those that enjoyed Latin dancing.
We spent a short time in “Elixor”, a cocktail bar that has a lovely quiet seating area outside. Not being fans of fizz, we didn’t visit the champagne bar, but this looked very fancy and well-suited for those that enjoy it. We preferred the main drinks and cocktail menu available at most bars around the ship; it’s a vast list, so there is something to take everyone’s fancy.
In the mornings we found ourselves visiting the coffee shop, which as well as serving decent coffee, was also a nice relaxed area away from the bustle of the morning buffet. We sadly didn’t find the tea room until our final hour on the ship, which also seemed like a very relaxed area.
At the back of the ship, below the “venom drop” slide, there was an ice cream parlour which also served delicious crepes, waffles and frozen yoghurt. Opposite, there was a tobacco lounge for those that wanted to smoke on board, however, as there was also an outside area, we found quite a few people chose to sit outside the ice cream parlour smoking too.
Pools and slides
We spent one day at sea towards the end of our visit, so took this opportunity to check out the pool and waterparks. The saltwater pools are plentiful so there is space for most. As we were travelling without the children, we took the opportunity to chill out on the adult-only top deck, which was a quiet space to enjoy a dip.
The slides were great fun and we had a go on all three waterslides onboard – the drop slide being my personal favourite. We also tried out the ‘world’s longest dry slide at sea’, the Venom Drop. It was delightful seeing people of all ages enjoying this feature, even a few couples in their late 70s/early 80s!
Overall, we found all the staff to be very helpful, particularly if you were to become a familiar face. They were more than happy to get you anything you wanted, including drinks not available on the menu.
Special thanks should be given to the housekeepers, who worked incredibly hard at keeping rooms clean and would visit at least twice a day to tidy the cabin and turn down the beds.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay onboard MSC World Europa. The staff were helpful and worked hard to make our stay enjoyable and comfortable, the entertainment was excellent and facilities were catered to all tastes.
MSC do a good job of providing an all-around entertaining stay in a relaxed environment for a wide variety of guests.// END - About the Author ?>