If someone came up to you and said those three letters would it mean anything to you? Probably not. To be honest, before I had the pleasure of coming to work at AffordableTours.com, it would not have meant a lot to me either. MSC stands for Mediterranean Shipping Company. They are one of the largest private cruise companies in the world. They actually started out shipping goods and products around the Med and later moved into the cruising industry. Today, they are not only one of the largest shipping companies in the world but one of the premier cruise companies in the world! This November 2013 I had the opportunity to sail on their newest ship the MSC Divina out of Miami. Let me take a moment and tell you a bit about my trip.
Since AffordableTours.com is one of the largest cruise and tour companies in the world, MSC offered a number of the cruise agents a chance to sample their inaugural cruise out of Miami. It was 3 days of relaxation, fun, sun and pleasure! First off, the ship is simply beautiful. It has the capacity of over 3,500 passengers but due to the layout of the ship, it gives it much more of a smaller cruise feel. The common areas are laid out in such a way that it has a sense of community. Plus they are beautifully decorated. In the evening inside the main area there are dueling piano bars to keep you entertained and the shopping is fantastic. I say that knowing full well I spent far too much money on gifts, but hey, Christmas was coming up and what better way to shop than a gift from a fantastic cruise to make the family jealous? Right? I found my favorite spot on Deck 6. It is the Piazza Del Doge. There is an amazing coffee bar with desserts and gelato and it is surrounded by shops. So, shop a bit, have some coffee, shop a bit, have some gelato, shop a bit, have a piece of cake. Hmmm… I wonder why they say you gain weight while on a cruise? It is a mystery to me.
I would love to tell you how good the food is in the restaurant. To be honest, I never went to the main dining areas. I fell in love with the specialty dining Eatily and the Tapas Bar. I also had an amazing dinner in Sacramento, their Tex Mex restaurant. Being from Texas I was ready to be underwhelmed with a European cruise line’s idea of Tex Mex. I have to say I was wrong! Fantastic fajitas, fresh made tortillas, and well, margaritas that were obviously made by a Texan at heart. Now let me tell you a secret… don’t tell anyone… this is just between you and I. The pizza! Yes, I know. It is an Italian cruise line. They better know pizza. I can’t put into words how good it was. I could have eaten it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! With a glass of good Italian wine and a fresh baked pie I was in heaven. I am not normally a pizza eater. Too much cheese, too much sauce, or whatever, I always find something to complain about. Not this time. I would sail on MSC again and again for a chance to have just one more slice of pie! IT WAS that good.
For the first time ever I treated myself to a ‘spa’ day. Not something I would normally do to be honest. But since I was on vacation, I decided to treat myself. I also knew I would be writing a review of my trip… and well… I did the spa for you. Not for me. Not to have an amazing massage, a soak in the therapool or a hot towel rub down. Oh no. It was not for me. Let me assure you it was only for you that I found myself drifting away with a specialty made health drink as I was soaking in the sauna. Relaxing my cares away with the massage. Now, aren’t you glad I did all that for you? I know I will force myself to do it again and again just to make sure you know how good it felt…and did it EVER!
If you are an American and have not had a chance to visit Europe or sail with an internationally based cruise line there are a couple of things you might want to prepare yourself for. First, they don’t have ‘biscuits’. I know what you are saying, William does that really matter? As a Southern boy raised on biscuits and gravy in the mornings… YES. Now in saying that they still had some fantastic bread for breakfast but no biscuits. The next thing would be the service. Please don’t think you get bad or poor service. In fact I had the best room steward I have ever had. It’s just that the service standards are European based not American based. It was slightly different at first but within hours, I did not even notice it and had a wonderful time. The last thing I would say is different is that there is a multitude of languages spoken aboard the ship. English is not normally the primary language, Italian is obviously, so it was fun to hear all the different languages spoken and to know I was getting something different from the ‘norm’.
Well I hope I have given you some idea of MSC Cruises. I also hope that I have tempted your taste buds enough to want to try a fantastic cruise line with wonderful food and service. I would love to talk to you about my experience. So feel free to give me or any one of our amazing cruise agents a call. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you find that PERFECT cruise or trip!
About the Author
William Clark is a Travel Specialist at AffordableTours.com
“Travel and Dream Coordinator”
Toll Free: 800.935.2620 Ext 631