Everyone who has ever been on a cruise with MSC, has sang their praises from here till the ends of the earth. (This being people whom I know personally, not through online reviews.) So, of course I had to go and experience it for myself. Here are seven reasons why you should book your next cruise on the MSC Musica.
- It’s affordable. We booked a 4 nights 5 days return cruise from South Africa to Namibia, and paid R16 910 (about $1 256) in total for two people. A deposit secures your place, and the best part is that you can pay off the rest in instalments.
- You get to go off the grid! This means no cell phone signal for days on end. There’s something liberating about being able to truly switch off and not having to constantly check (social media) messages. And while it was a bit unsettling to not know what was happening Musica-adjacent, this also further enhanced the feeling of relaxation. Of course you can purchase the on-board Wi-Fi packages, but I don’t recommend it.
- Tasty food in abundance. You won’t go hungry on the MSC Musica. An array of food is available from the buffet in the cafeteria for breakfast, lunch and supper (and in-between, should you feel like a snack). We opted to eat at the restaurant every night, where we could choose from various three-course dinner options – from butter chicken to butter fish, beef stew to beef wellington, and desserts galore. The apple crumble was my favourite.
- Waking up to a view like no other. I don’t remember the last time I woke up with a silly grin on my face. Usually, I’m searching for my cell phone so I can snooze its alarm for just 10 more minutes. But waking up surrounded by calming waters is truly magical. Kudos to us for choosing a balcony cabin and leaving the curtains open overnight.
- Amazing theatre shows. Performances are scheduled either before or after dinner, depending on which supper seating you chose. The performers were really spectacular and included singers, dancers, trapeze artists and more. Shows ranged from a Queen tribute (called Radio Gaga) to MasterChef at Sea and rock music from various decades. For me, the theatre was one of the highlights of the cruise.
- Music everywhere – from the deck to the lounges. This may not be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed the music on board. The anthems on the deck were played the loudest, with the lounges showcasing talented live performers from about 5pm.
- Friendly staff. The well-trained staff was a delight. The waiters and housecleaning staff were such a pleasure to encounter and I have so much respect for their work ethic.
Room for improvement
Our cruise didn’t start off on the best note, with a super-slow drinks waiter on the first night and two of the wines we ordered at dinner being out of stock (on the first night!). Perhaps this was a night-one glitch, because for the remaining days the service was much better and we even became friendly with both waiters (food and drinks) for the rest of the week.
Another hiccup was when we discovered that one of our life jackets was the size of an infant’s! This we could still laugh about, but three staff members my husband mentioned this to, told him not to worry about it. Good news is that we eventually found another adult life jacket at the back of the cupboard.
Professional photography on board was a bit of an irritation. The female photographer who came around to the tables on the first and third nights was quite rude, rolling her eyes when we didn’t move objects (like the wine bottle) out of her way fast enough, and speaking to us as if we were naughty children. The developed photos were really beautiful though, just extremely overpriced.
Overall, the MSC Musica cruise was a great experience, despite five days on board turning into seven days! I’d definitely cruise with them again. The Mediterranean Cruise in particular sounds rather inviting, but this will require some saving.