MSC Cruises

MSC World Europa

Overall Editor Rating
Terry Ward November 14, 2023

Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

MSC Cruises
Cruise StyleMainstream
Ship SizeLarge
Prince Range$$
Sails To

Mes...a, Naples

Messina, Valletta, Naples
Sails From

Bar...Marseilles

Barcelona, Genoa, Marseilles
Duration2-17 days

One of the largest cruise ships at sea, the 6,762-passenger MSC World Europa signaled a brand new class of ships for the line (the World Ships class) when it debuted in 2022, making its first order of business to host 6,700 World Cup fans in Doha as a floating hotel during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.  Read More

Built in Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, the 22-deck behemoth has the perhaps surprising distinction of being MSC Cruises’ first vessel powered by liquified natural gas, hugely reducing emissions and making it the most environmentally advanced ship in MSC’s fleet. 

As a passenger onboard MSC World Europa, it’s easy to forget you’re even on a ship (or at sea) at all. It truly feels like a city unto itself, with various “districts” to explore and too much by way of entertainment, eating and drinking to cover over the course of a standard week (especially if you plan to spend any time in port at all). 

The 13 onboard dining venues and 20 bars and lounges include an onboard microbrewery, a specialty concept restaurant with its own garden, dedicated gin and Champagne bars, a teahouse, taco and margarita joint, American-style steakhouse and so much more. 

For entertainment, the longest dry slide at sea, which spirals down 11 decks, is the aerial jewel of an incredible 350-foot-long promenade that feels like a waterfront urban park, lined by restaurants with covered outdoor seating. Add that six swimming pools and hot tubs spread across several decks and you’ve still only scratched the surface of what you can get up to on board. 

MSC World Europa sails the same itinerary all year round in the Mediterranean Sea, with 7-night cruises visiting such lively coastal cities as Marseille, Barcelona, Valletta in Malta and Sicily’s Messina (with only one at-sea day all week). Particularly novel for cruisers who love flexibility–you can embark and disembark for your sailing aboard this ship in any of its six ports, as well as sail for as few or many days as you like.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
There’s a secret, hidden-away speakeasy (live music, craft cocktails) onboard that crew invite guests to visit      
The ship spends nearly all day in port in most cities, so you have options for exploring on a guided tour or wandering a European city casually on your own
It’s a very European crowd, which makes for hilarious karaoke nights and entertainment that might feature a band from Tirol or Latin dancing
You pay extra for sodas—only water, coffee, tea, ice tea, juices, and lemonade are included, available at the buffet or meals in the main restaurants    
The buffet lines and pool deck can feel crowded, especially during the at-sea day  
Given the diversity of passengers, you’re going to hear all of the safety briefings and other announcements repeated in upwards of 6 languages every time

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Editor Rating
Cabins
Accessibility

The ship’s 2,631 staterooms and suites, spread across 12 decks and spanning a whopping 19 different cabin types, mean you have serious options for how limited or luxe you’re looking to sail. Cabins in MSC Yacht Club, the line’s ship-within-a-ship, are the most luxurious and spacious, offering access to the Yacht Club’s private restaurants, lounges and a swimming area and other outdoor space that never feel overcrowded. Most of the MSC Yacht Club cabins have balconies, some have whirlpools, and there are a few interior MSC Yacht Club cabins, too, if you just want to get a foot in the door to this truly beautiful and leveled-up space at the ship’s bow. 

Other onboard cabin options include studios with single beds for solo cruisers, cabins with ocean, promenade and partial ocean views and new cabin designs called “cluster cabins” perfect for families and groups who want to stay close by each other on the massive ship. Cabins span the size spectrum, from 108 square foot studio interior cabins to the whopping MSC Yacht Club Owner’s Suite, with 1119 square feet to spread out in, panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor living area on a large balcony with a private whirlpool overlooking the passing sea. 

Appreciated touches in all cabins include USB charging ports under the lighting switches neat the beds, mini fridges and flat screen TVs, and showers with glass doors instead of curtains.

MCS World Europa has 65 ADA cabins accessible to wheelchair users located between decks 9 and 16. These include interior cabins, junior suites, deluxe balcony cabins and others–all located in close proximity to elevator access for ease of movement around the ship. Shower benches that fold down, wider bathroom doors, amplified phones and close caption TV are all available in all ADA cabins, too.. The ship’s gangways all accommodate wheelchair and scooter access and there are no tenders to port to contend with in the European ports of call where MSC World Europa docks. 

At the time of booking, guests with special requirements can fill out a Special Needs Form to advise MSC Cruises of their needs.

Food & Drink

Editor Rating
Dining
Bars

Passengers who book MSC’s base package are assigned a table and dining room for dinner for the length of their cruise, with varying themed menus served throughout the week. The ship’s expansive if typical buffet options–with salad stations, carved meats, seafood, charcuterie, and more–are the most popular options for breakfast and dinner and can feel a bit trough-like, considering how crowded they get. Luna Park Pizza & Burger is a brand new 24-hour dining option on the ship with classic American carnival and fast food fare ranging from hot dogs, burgers and chicken fingers to pretzels and funnel cakes. 

You’ll pay extra to dine at MSC World Europa’s six specialty restaurants, each of which has its own unique flair and include Chef’s Garden Kitchen, helmed by a Michelin chef and with its own onsite garden, as well as a seafood-centric restaurant on the World Promenade called La Pescaderia Fish Market where you can point to the fish you want in the case and enjoy a spread of Mediterranean mezze while waiting for it to be grilled to order. There’s also a fun teppanyaki spot, Kaito, that families love for the nonstop entertainment alongside the food service, and the very American-style steakhouse, Butcher’s Cut, with lots of dark woods and leather rounding out a clubhouse feel and hearty steaks and sides like you’d find in Texas.  

Passengers staying in MSC Yacht Club have access to their own private restaurant, where multi-course dinners are served in an elegant dining room and breakfast and  lunch can be taken indoors or outdoors in sit-down settings. If MSC Yacht Club passengers choose to experience some of the specialty dining restaurants during their sailings, they get priority reservations.

If Disney’s Epcot is famous for drinking around the world, then MSC World Europa, with a whopping 20 bars and lounges, could bring similar bragging rights to the bar top. Whether you’re raising a pint in the British-inflected Masters of the Sea pub, sipping something flowery, fruity and gin-based at the dedicated Gin Project bar (with more than 70 craft gins on offer), making a break for bubbly and caviar in the dedicated Champagne Bar or puffing a Cuban cigar alongside a cognac at Malt Lounge, the ship’s bar scene does not disappoint. Drinks are not included in packages, however, so you’ll want to have an idea for how much you want to, er, party to pick the best beverage deal for your needs. To feel like you’re in a big city lounge with delicious craft cocktails–including many of the smoking kind–don’t miss Elixir–Mixology bar, a new offering just on MSC World Europa, with its edgy handcrafted concoctions and an outdoor terrace for sipping with sea views.

Entertainment

Editor Rating

You will hardly want for ways to be entertained on board MSC World Europa, whether you’re looking for a rollicking night of karaoke with multiple crooning nationalities guaranteed to be represented, a quiet evening clinking Champagne glasses in the Champagne Bar, or to take in a theater-production, concert or all-out spectacle of pyrotechnics, stunts, dancing, and acrobatics. The Masters of the Sea pub has music every night and serious British pub vibes, so much so that you might feel transported to London or Dublin, depending on the crowd and who’s crooning. 

One of the best spots to hangout on the ship later in the day is the Ocean Promenade deck overlooking the stern. It’s a particularly atmospheric spot to gather for sunset and takes on an urban park feel, with people doing the very-Euro evening flaneur thing with ice creams in hand and sitting or benches to watch the wake. There are drink carts and families dancing to the ambient tunes. Were it not for the passing waves, you might wonder if you were even on a ship at all, so park-like is the vibe.

Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating

MSC World Europa makes it easy to work out, with an excellent fitness facility on deck 20 where floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the main pool deck and passing sea–all the better inspiration for finding some motivation to workout. There are free weights, treadmills, step machines and myriad TechnoGym machines as well as onboard fitness classes to help ensure you can stay fit at sea. Exercise classes like stretching, morning yoga, aerobics and Samba Dance Classes on deck 18 at La Plage and at the World Promenade are offered for no additional charge. 

The ship’s Aurea Spa, decked in natural stones and woods, is exceptional, both for its range of treatments–you’ll never go wrong here with a Balinese massage from hands that have perfected it–to its thermal area that includes twin ocean-view saunas, a steam room, thalasso-style pools and a snow room for doing your own wellness circuit pre or post treatment.

Key cruising tips

Health & Safety

Passengers are not required to undergo a Covid test or show proof of vaccination status to travel aboard MSC Cruises. All public areas of the ship have Braille signage and all MSC Cruise ships have an onboard medical center staffed by the ship’s doctor and other medical personnel. Emergency services can be accessed 24/7 onboard by dialing the medical emergency number. Most medical services onboard will be charged to your account, with pricing available onboard. Insurance claims can be filed once ashore but you’ll be expected to pay up front for any non-emergency visits and treatments. 

To learn more about MSC Cruises health and medical protocols, please visit the website, where the most up to date information and potentially changing requirements can be found.

Dress Code

MSC World Europa’s dress code is casual. While there are themed nights, including elegant and gala nights, there is no mandate to dress up for them. That said, it’s not suggested to shop up in shorts in the evening to the onboard dining rooms.

Junior Cruisers

MSC World Europa’s included MSC Kids Club sprawls across over 8,000 square feet and is one of the largest and most comprehensive kids clubs at sea. There is so much to do here–from the virtual reality Drone Academy and Digital Dance Academy for pre-teens and teens (part of the immersive and tech-filled TEENS LAB) to a Baby Club, Lego room and outdoor sports program in a space with rollerskating, pickleball, Zorb ball, basketball, soccer and more. The MSC Dance Crew rallies everyone for dance-offs in a special theater for the kids, and there’s so much more on tap from day into night, too. Note that age requirements (7 and up) as well as height requirements apply to ride the ship’s slides, dry and wet, which might mean your kid is tall enough but not old enough to ride (queue the waterworks). That said, your kids might never want to leave the Kids Club. And with opening hours more or less from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. all day, they’ll hardly have to. The staff speak several different languages, to cater to the many passenger nationalities on board, so don’t be surprised if movies are shown in German one day and Italian the next (majority rules is the rule).

Service

Service onboard is friendly and efficient throughout–with a step up for passengers cruising in MSC Yacht Club, where cabins have their own butlers and there’s a dedicated concierge to help you get priority reservations at specialty restaurants as well as in the ship’s theaters.

Tipping

Automatic gratuity charges are added to your bill, roughly $13 to $16 dollars per person, per day. Tips are not charged for kids younger than 2 on your booking.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
2022
Number of Cabins
2,626
Passenger Capacity
6,762
Crew Members
2,138
Passengers to Crew Ratio
3.16
Gross Tons
215863
Width
154 feet
Length
1093 feet
CRUISE LINE INFO
(877) 665-4655

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