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MSC Cruises: MSC Lirica

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MSC Lirica Review

Launched in 2003, MSC Lirica combines cozy comfort in a traditional setting. Decorated in an opulent yet relaxed style, her design features gleaming marble, plush fabrics, and fine artwork resulting in a casual resort ambience with high end touches.

Though these four sleek, medium-sized ships are almost exactly the same dimensions and differ only slightly in basic layout, Opera holds almost 200 more passengers typically and has almost 100 extra cabins. Light and bright by day, intimate and sophisticated by night, the contemporary design may not measure up to the sizzle expected by those North American passengers who don't appreciate more understated European tastes.

Public rooms are spacious and uniformly elegant, with grand touches of marble, brass accents, and lots of wood. The refreshing lack of glitz is more than compensated for by the sparkle of glass and a mixture of primary and neutral colors. With most public areas on the lower two passenger decks, getting acclimated is a breeze. Near the elevator and stairway, lobbies make even vertical movement less challenging.

Space around the Lido pools feels particularly lavish, with two swimming pools and hot tubs.

More widely known as one of the world's largest cargo shipping companies, MSC has operated cruises with an eclectic fleet since the late 1980s. When the line introduced two graceful, medium-size ships in 2003 and 2004, it ushered in an era of new shipbuilding that has seen the fleet grow faster than any other European cruise line. This line is growing into a major player in both Europe and the Caribbean.

MSC blankets the Mediterranean nearly year-round with a dizzying selection of cruise itineraries that allow a lot of time in ports of call and include few if any sea days. In summer months, several ships sail off to northern Europe to ply the Baltic. Itineraries planned for repositioning sailings visit some intriguing, off-the-beaten-track ports of call that other cruise lines bypass.

No glitz, no clutter—just elegant simplicity—is the standard of MSC's seaworthy interior decor. Extensive use of marble, brass, and wood reflects the best of Italian styling and design; clean lines and bold colors set their modern sophisticated tone.

MSC adopts some activities that appeal to American passengers without abandoning those preferred by Europeans; however, regardless of the itinerary, be prepared for an Italian-influenced experience. Also expect to hear announcements in several languages.

What You Should Know


  • Specialty coffees and alcoholic beverages are reasonably priced
  • Extravagant midnight buffets are worth attending
  • High above the stern, the disco is a cozy place to sit until the volume and action crank up


  • Oddly, only the forward and aft elevators and stairwells reach all decks
  • There are no aft-facing cabins with balconies
  • Meal times are designed according to European tastes and begin late when ships are in the Mediterranean
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 700
  • Entered Service 2003
  • Gross Tons 59,000
  • Length 824 feet
  • Number of Cabins 780
  • Passenger Capacity 1,560
  • Width 94 feet
  • New

Mar 4, 2014

Middle East

Overall we had a great cruise on board the MSC Lirica. She was the smallest boat that we have cruised on during our 12 cruises over the last 7 years, but she had a snug, cosy feeling about her. Food was what you would expect from MSC ... lots of Italian and Mediterranean. Opportunity possibly to expand this into Greek and Spanish?? Ok cabin, nothing special. Limited activities are presented due to size of ship My only

complaint with this cruise was around the excursions. We booked excursions through the MSC website before we left to ensure that we got the ones that we wanted. The booking confirmation stated that we would be charged at check-in and that any cancellation once on board would be subject to a charge of up to 50%. We went on the excursions but were horrified to find on the last night when we received our account that they had been charged at an increased price. No-one on board the boat (Reception, Excursion Manager, Guest Relations Manager) were able to explain why. We had to pay the increased amount in order to settle our account to get off the boat. On our return I emailed MSC Customer Relations on the 14th of January. Got the standard email back from them saying that they would investigate and reply within 28 days. Today is day 49 and still no reply despite repeated emails to them. Just thought that I would post this review to ensure that no-one else gets ripped of by some very questionable practices by MSC that they are not willing to justify. Spoilt by excursion fiasco.

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  • New

Jan 3, 2012

Middle east

We went on msc lirica anyone thinking of this don't bother cabins clean so is pool deck and entertainment areas food is absolutely awful and served cold most of the times. Cabin staff very friendly but staff serving tables in food restaurant couldn't be bothered guest relations manager got no manners at all. Sailing date December 25th 2011. Food wouldn't give it to pigs. Served cold most times only cruise I have been on and lost weight.

Stateroom very small with small bathroom but cabin staff very friendly. Ok if you could talk Italian if you,re English don't bother. Dubai Abu dhabi and muscat lovely nothing to see at Kasab watch out for taxi drivers who rip you off in al fujariah.

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  • New

Sep 9, 2009

Dover to Genoa

For our first experience of a cruise together, we were very impressed with every aspect, but would particularly like to comment on the superb standard of cleanliness on board ship. The staff were both friendly and efficient. We thought the food was excellent. There was plenty of variety and choice at each mealtime. The buffets and Gala Nights looked spectacular, even though we were too full to even try any, having eaten a 4-course meal for

dinner at 9 o clock. It is amazing just how many people manage to STUFF themselves to the limit. The Stateroom was both pleasant, welcoming and comfortable. We would choose a balcony next time though. The shows were very good, although they did not last that long. We found that on some evenings it was very difficult to find a seat, especially after the second sitting dinner. We did not participate with the activities, but enjoyed watching some of them. We did not experience the excursions offered, but heard they were quite good. Our overall experience was very good and we would not hesitate in recommending an MSC cruise to anyone.

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  • New

Jul 9, 2009


The ship was on par with other cruise lines and the staff was friendly. The cabin was good. The food was terrible, most of the time served cold and in small portions. The buffet was the same menu all week long. Everyone was complaining about it. Other than room service, food was not available after 9:00PM for the most part. Shipboard activities were practically non-existent, but the shore excursions were good. There was no TV other than

pay per-view. I would not recommend this cruise to anyone. The rooms were good but the entertainment was poor. Do not take MSC Cruises! The trip included other activities besides the cruise so overall we enjoyed ourselves.

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  • New

Apr 25, 2009


Our overall experience was very good except for the excessive smoke in the hallways from the casino, pub and staterooms on our floor. We had looked forward to practicing our Italian and would have loved to be seated with Italian speaking people, but were with French Canadians who were very nice, but didn't speak English comfortably so spoke mostly French. Also, too much smoke in the pool area - the policy of no smoking on one side was not enforced.

We are involved with the Italian centre here so we were prepared for the difference from American cruise ships as we attend dinners at the centre. We loved the food in particular the nice light desserts. Had a window for the first time and loved it. I am spoiled for the inside cabins now. The window makes the room seem much larger. The shower was small but it worked fine. Lots of storage. Very clean. Fruit in the room was a nice touch. The shows were wonderful the singers and dancers the best we have seen. They were a little short, about 40 minutes. I chose to stay away from the magician show which had a python which was apparently brought out into the audience. I was thankful for the warning in the daily activities letter and required reassurance from staff that the snake would not be seen anywhere else on the ship. I fail to understand what that adds to a show. I heard complaints from other passengers about that. The ship had several fairly large dance floors and great music for ballroom dancing and those lounges were completely smoke free so we spent time every evening dancing our kind of dancing. There is also a disco with two dance floors one large and one smaller for the younger crowd that goes late in the night. Lots of latin music also at all lounges. This was the best music and opportunity for dancing we have had on any cruise. We are beach lovers so we checked with the staff to know where we could go to the beach on our own and one was within walking distance from the ship so we spent the day there.$20 for 2 chairs and an umbrella and four drinks (St. Maartins) For the other islands we took beach tours and of course at Cayo Levantado the tenders take you to the beach) We loved the beaches and the tours were interesting on the way to whatever beach we chose. We loved the Lirica in almost all respects, the cleanliness, the staff were cordial, the resturant staff were excellent, the food was great , the entertainment was wonderful. We were disappointed in the excessive smoke in the hallways and we did not get the italian classes that were promised. I would want to know that the clean air policy is more in place before sailing on an MSC ship again ie: non smoking staterooms does not mean 'strongly discouraging' smoking. What smoker cares if it is discouraged? Certainly not the ones on our floor.

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