What is the embarkation procedure?
Embarkation begins approx three hours before the departure time indicated on your cruise e-ticket. Check-in closes one hour before the ship is due to depart, except for American ports where check in closes two hours before scheduled departure time.
MSC Yacht Club guests (on board MSC Divina, MSC Splendida & MSC Fantasia), Suite bookings and MSC Loyalty Card holders enjoy exclusive check-in areas and special staff assistance.
Upon Embarkation: Passengers should proceed as follows (in order specified):
Drop luggage to the designated area at the port and it will be delivered to your cabin door. Scanned baggage labels are provided with your e documentation before you leave Australia/New Zealand. Proceed to check in desk with e-cruise documents and passport. After document check, passengers receive a Cruise Card. To obtain your cruise card and allow purchasing with your cruise card you will be required to register a current valid credit card (Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Diners, American Express and JCB) or leave a cash sum at embarkation. A daily on board credit amount will be held in suspense on your credit card to cover expenses, this will not be released until day of departure from the cruise.
PLEASE NOTE whilst all Debit cards are accepted, in such cases the amount will actually be debited from your account in addition to top up amounts. It can take the BANK back in Australia or New Zealand up to 30 days after your final disembarkation from the ship to clear any outstanding funds. For this reason we discourage this method of card.
Cash may also be used to settle your account and a cautionary deposit will be required. Guests should arrange this at the Accounting Office on-board. Usually the requested amount is EUR 150 per passengers or EUR 250 per family (2adults and 2 children) per day must be provided. Note that we do not accept personal cheques.
Proceed through immigration prior to boarding the ship. We would like to remind you that as a safety precaution, security staff may search a passenger and/or their luggage and can confiscate any articles that the Company considers could risk the safety of the passengers, crew or ship. On-board staff reserves the right to remove any food or beverages present in passenger’s baggage. These will be returned the evening before disembarkation. Passengers are not permitted to bring unpackaged food on board.
SHORE EXCURSIONS PROGRAMME
What is an excursion program like?
Excursion programs are designed to cater to every MSC guest, satisfying their tastes and preferences. A variety of itineraries are proposed for each location including cultural attractions and sightseeing, shopping opportunities and trips to local beaches. Passengers can really get a feel for the day’s destination in just a few hours and come away with some great new vacation memories.
Where can I learn more about the excursion program so I am sure to pick something I enjoy?
When you book your cruise, you will receive detailed information regarding excursion times, prices and itineraries by selecting choices that relate to your personal tastes. Once on board, guests will also find an informative brochure in their cabin. Finally, the Tour Manager and staff are also on hand to provide information and advice.
CRUISING WITH CHILDREN
Until what age can children travel for free?
Children under the age of 18 cruise free when staying in the same cabin as two paying adults. Port charges, insurance, flights and transfer costs are not included and must be paid individually. Please contact our reservations department for more information.
Are cots and highchairs available onboard?
Yes, a limited number of cots and highchairs are available onboard, although please be prepared for more demand for these during the high season. Please be sure that the travel agency faxes your request for these items when you book your cruise.
What can babies and small children eat onboard?
All children onboard our MSC cruise ships can enjoy tasty, creative dishes as well as varied and entertaining main courses. Our vast menu selection is designed to meet children's tastes as well as their nutritional needs.
Is it possible to leave children onboard whilst parents disembark for an excursion?
Yes, provided that the activity coordinators are notified at least one day in advance.
What kind of onboard entertainment is available for the younger guests?
A highly qualified staff is responsible for entertaining younger guests to ensure that their cruise holiday is just as memorable as any adults’. There are ad-hoc programs designed for every age group, as well as sporting competitions, contests, quizzes, treasure hunts, and water games in the swimming pool. A fully-equipped games room is also available with a vast selection of toys selected according to the needs of each age group; these range from board games, draughts, chess, stencil, art, blackboards, modeling clay, coloring, group games and much more.
Are the children's activities provided at an additional cost?
No, the activities are complimentary. MSC Cruises has designed a full program of fun activities and games for children of every age, with a Mini Club for children aged from 3 to 9, the Juniors Club for children from 9 to 13 years and the Teenagers Club for those aged 13 and over.
Can children register in the MSC Club program?
Yes, but please note that advantages and discounts begin at age 18.
ON BOARD SHOPPING
What can be purchased onboard?
MSC Cruises ships are fully equipped with shopping centers where you can find everything from alcohols and tobacco, to beauty products, clothing, lingerie, accessories, shoes, gadgets, souvenirs, MSC licensed items, and jewellery. Whether you’ve left an essential item at home, wish to indulge in a spot of onboard shopping or treat a loved one to an unexpected gift, you are sure to find everything you need in our boutiques.
What are the opening hours of the onboard shops?
Opening times are listed in the program sheet which is delivered to your cabin each day. Shops are normally open whilst cruising and during the daytime hours, offering total convenience and peace of mind for guests.
What are the payment methods onboard?
All onboard purchases are made with a dedicated cruise card so there is no need to carry cash or credit cards. Upon embarking, we advise passengers to leave a credit card imprint in order to immediately settle the bill at the end of the cruise. However, guests can also choose to leave a cash deposit of which any unused funds will be reimbursed after reviewing the statement prior to disembarking at the end of the cruise. In either case, guests will receive a detailed statement against which they can verify all charges.
Are the prices onboard more expensive than those on land?
No - in fact, due to the special operating environment that regulates the maritime sector, many products (alcohol, tobacco, etc.) can be sold duty free*, just like in airports, so you can enjoy a discount of up to 30% off usual retail prices on land.
*Depending on the itineraries and subject to applicable legislation.
ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT
What type of shows can I expect onboard?
The MSC Cruises fleet has an artistic playbill that is extremely varied. Diverse performances are programmed for each evening: international musicals, classic and modern songs, dance, mime acts, magicians and jugglers all entertain passengers. The evening performance is announced in the daily onboard program which is delivered to the cabins.
Are there any additional costs for the performances?
Performance attendance is free for passengers on all ships and for all onboard performances.
Is it necessary to make reservations?
MSC Cruises built large theatres on their ships to ensure that each spectator has a comfortable, ‘front row’ quality seat. Guests can attend one of the two nightly seating plans, which are identical to the restaurant service seating plans. The performances are repeated twice each evening between 8:30 pm and 11:00 pm, and as such, there is always a place for everyone.
In what languages are the shows performed?
Although art has a universal language, the performances are designed with the nationality and preferences of the passengers in mind. The evening entertainment is conducted by a multilingual host who introduces the upcoming numbers in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish. Passengers can share in applauding the quality onstage performances ranging from a tenor performing moving arias from Verde to an English-speaking magician or a Brazilian dancer.
WHAT TO WEAR
What should I pack in my suitcase?
We advise guests to bring everything they normally like to rr, whilst taking into account the type of cruise and the season of travel. For example, in the Mediterranean during the summer, a coat is certainly not necessary, although a light jacket will prove useful. Those travelling to the North Pole should bring wool sweaters and gloves. As travelling by cruise liner is one of the most glamorous ways to see the world, no suitcase would be complete without at least one elegant outfit!
What is the appropriate attire whilst on a cruise?
Around the pool or in the gym area, a swim suit, sarong, sandals or flip flops and sporting attire are perfectly fine. On the outdoor bridges, caps and sunglasses are extremely useful. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes for the land excursions. Additionally, when visiting museums and cultural locations, it is best to avoid short-shorts and to bring along a scarf or sweater to cover bare shoulders.
How do I select the right outfit for the evening?
The evening dress indications are clearly outlined in the daily program which is delivered to the cabin the day before. A glance at the program will help you establish whether the evening requires a dark, formal outfit or more casual attire.
What do I need for the indoor areas?
All indoor areas are air-conditioned. Therefore, when passing through the different halls, we advise that you wear a scarf or light sweater in order to avoid any sudden temperature changes.
ON BOARD DINING
What are the dining times?
Dining times are published in the daily program which will be delivered to your cabin each evening. Dining times are subject to change at anytime and may vary to suit arrivals, departures and shore excursion arrangements, below details are to be used as a guide only.
Breakfast: Continental breakfast is available in your cabin on all mornings except departure morning and is included in your cruise fare. A request order form on your doorknob must be completed or contact Reception. Full breakfast is served in the main restaurants from 7.00 until 9.30am and buffet breakfast is from 7.00 until 10.00am.
Lunch: Lunch is served from 12.00 until 14.30pm in the restaurant and buffet.
Dinner: Dinner is served in the restaurants in two seating’s at 19.00 and 20.45pm, please check the onboard daily program guide for exact timings.
Indication on the Booking Form of preferred dinner sitting time and table size is highly recommended prior to departure from Australia or New Zealand. The Company will make all reasonable endeavours to accommodate your seating requests but requests are subject to change until embarkation on day of cruise.
Additional meals - 24-hour cabin/room service is available, surcharges apply and a price list will be found in your cabin. The times and locations for afternoon teas and midnight buffets will be advised in the onboard daily program guide.
Alternate a-la-carte or Specialty Dining: Dining at specialty restaurants or a la carte restaurants is at a surcharge paid onboard and are subject to availability. This dining requires a reservation to be made with the Maitre d’Hotel or your Dining Room Waiter on board. El Sombero (MSC Fantasia) and Sante Fe (MSC Splendida) are Tex-Mex restaurants offering “wild west cooking and atmosphere. Shanghai (MSC Orchestra), Oriental Plaza (MSC Magnifica) are Asian Fusion restaurants offering a variety of Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Indian and Thai dishes for an oriental style evening Galaxy (MSC Divina) and Kaito Sushi Bar (MSC Poesia & MSC Musica) are Japanese fusion cuisine. 4 Seasons (MSC Orchestra) Il Giardino (MSC Musica) L’Obelisco (MSC Poesia), L’Oasi (MSC Magnifica) are Italian restaurants offering an elegant atmosphere.
MSC Yacht Club Dining included in rates: All MSC Yacht Club guests (on board MSC Divina, MSC Splendia & MSC Fantasia) can enjoy a round- the-clock room service menu. Throughout the day they will be offered a vast choice of snacks served by Butlers in the VIP lounges and pool area. A fully dedicated restaurant with free choice of dining times is available as well as traditional English Tea served daily in VIP lounges or in your suite.
All food, drink and related services not included in the cruise price shall be paid at the end of the cruise. A 15% service charge will be added and detailed in the final billl. No tips are therefore required for bar and restaurant staff.
What if I have a special dietary requirement?
Any special dietary requirements/allergies or special requests must be advised in as much detail as possible on the Booking Form prior to departure from Australia or New Zealand. Descriptions such as “Vegetarian” are not sufficient. A supplementary charge may apply to these dietary or special requests including birthday cakes, anniversary cakes etc.
Kosher menus are available if requested at least two months before the departure, while Halal menus are available on itineraries in the Mediterranean, South Africa and the Red Sea.
MSC Cruises works closely with Italian Celiac Association to provide gluten-free menus in the rmain restaurants when cruising in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe onboard MSC Divina, MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Magnifica, MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra & MSC Poesia. Aboard MSC Preziosa*, MSC Lirica, MSC Opera, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Armonia guests receive pre-packaged gluten-free products such as snacks, biscuits, croissants, sponge cakes and muffins.
* Once MSC Preziosa is launched, we will initiate the ratification process that will allow us to offer gluten-free menus on this ship as well. The process is expected to take around 3 months.
Are there hairdryers available in the cabin?
Is there a fridge/mini bar in the cabin?
All cabins on board all of our ships have a mini bar, which offers a mini bar in mini suites and suites only.
Is there a safe in the cabin?
All cabins on board all of our ships have an in-room safe, which offers a mini bar in mini suites and suites only.
The company declines all responsibility for the loss or theft of valuables or precious items stored in the cabin or the passenger’s luggage, or left unattended. Passengers can use the safety deposit boxes available in the Information Office if a safe is not available in their cabin.
OTHER ON BOARD SERVICES
Is there a medical centre on board?
Yes. Medical assistance is offered by doctors and nurses exclusively when at sea. The services of the onboard doctor are paid for by cruise passengers on the basis of the tariffs published by the Medical Association of Genoa.
What other services are available on board?
The services of the photographer, hairdresser, barber, beauty salon, sauna and masseur, as well as the laundry and ironing service, are also chargeable to the passenger.
post can be handed in to the Information Office, which will stamp and forward it via the company’s local agents, charging the service to the passenger.
Radio and telecommunications:
the onboard radio station operates 24 hours a day, but closes when in port. Telephone calls can be made via the INMARSAT station (+390687120483) in Rome or directly by using the numbers that appear in the table.
What is the on board voltage?
The current onboard all MSC ships is 110V/220V 60 cycles AC. International adaptors including European and USA plugs are recommended to be taken with you as only a limited supply are available from the Information Office.
Is Wi-Fi available on board?
Wireless Internet “HOTSPOTS” service for all ships can be accessed by your laptop or PDA. Connection to ship’s network is available via a wireless connection in all common areas of the ship, or in your cabin, using the cable available from the Information Desk.
Charges apply and will be charged to your onboard account. The Daily program offers internet package price offers for great value. MSC Magnifica, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra, MSC Musica, MSC Opera, MSC Lirica, MSC Armonia and MSC Sinfonia offer Internet Cafes at a surcharge rate displayed on the board. MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia and MSC Divina offer a Cyber library at a surcharge rate displayed on the board. Please note the below charges are a guide only and are subject to change.
Internet and Phone charges.
Can I smoke while on board the ship?
MSC Cruises respects the needs and desires of all guests and have considered carefully the subject of those who smoke and those who do not. Conforming with global standards, smoking areas are generally fewer than non smoking, however smoking is freely permitted in areas specifically indicated throughout the fleet (selected mainly because of increased or modified air extraction.)
In general smoking is not permitted in any food service areas (buffets and restaurants), medical centres, child-care areas, corridors or elevator foyers, areas wehre guests are assembled in groups for safety excercises, disembarkation or tour departures, public toilets or in bars directly near areas where food is served. Smoking in all cabins is highly discouraged and because of specific and proven risk of fire, smoking on all cabin balconies is not permitted at any time.
Smoking is permitted in several designated bars on each ship and on one side (indicated by signage) of the principal outer pool deck areas, where ashtrays are provided. Guests are advised by the Cruise Director or daily program to avoid throwing ciragette butts over the side of the ship, where they could be blown back on board and start a fire.
Please note the below are a guide only and are subject to change.
Lirica Class Smoking Policy
Musica Class Smoking Policy
Fantasia Class Smoking Policy
Smoking on MSC Divina Caribbean Cruises
MSC Modifies Divina Smoking for North America In line with smoking policies in North America, MSC is designating additional non-smoking areas aboard MSC Divina when it arrives in the Caribbean.
When MSC Divina departs Venice on November 2 for Miami, its new year round home port, smoking will be limited to two areas. The single indoor area will be the Cigar Lounge, while outdoors, smoking will be limited to the port side of open decks, but away from all bars and food areas.
The Top Sail Lounge (in the ship-within-a-ship area of exclusive suites) and the Black & White Lounge will become non-smoking. The casino will also be designated as non-smoking, but smoking will occasionally be allowed in limited areas for playing passengers at the discretion of the casino manager.
As it has been, smoking is also discouraged in staterooms and on stateroom balconies, as well as in corridors, elevators, stairways, and public bathrooms.
CURRENCY ON BOARD
What is the currency used on board?
For cruises in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Red Sea, Antilles, and The United Arab Emirates, as well as southbound Grand Voyages departing from Europe or from/to The United Arab Emirates, the onboard currency is the Euro (€).
For cruises in the Caribbean, South America and South Africa and Grand Voyages (Including cruises to Australia) departing from these destinations to Europe, the onboard currency is USD ($).
When you embark and after passport, visa and travel documents have been checked; you will be issued with a “Cruise Card”. This magnetic card acts as your identity card, cabin key and is used for onboard payments for excursions, bar tabs, laundry services, in-cabin services, hairdresser, beauty and spa centers, duty-free stores, photographers and service charges (except the casino which is cash only) to a central account. To activate purchasing with the cruise card, passengers must either register a current valid credit card or leave a cash sum at time of embarkation. A cash deposit of EUR€150 per person or €250 per family (2adults and 2 children) per day must be provided. Personal cheques are not accepted. A daily onboard credit amount will be held in suspense on your credit card to cover expenses; this will not be released until day of departure from the cruise. Once the onboard expenses exceed the Cruise Card amount, a top up will be required for the Cruise Card. At the end of the cruise if the deposit is more than the purchases made, the balance will be refunded to the passenger.
Travelling with Cash: Abu Dhabi & Emirates: Cash exceeding AED 40,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency must be declared to airport customs control on arrival and departure. Europe: EC Regulation 1889/2005 states that: “any natural person entering or leaving the European Community and carrying cash of a value of EUR€ 10,000 or more shall declare that sum to the competent authorities of the Member state through which they are entering or leaving the Community in accordance with this regulation.”
Teen Card: For children aged 12 up to 17 years parents can also purchase a “Teen Card” per child which also acts as an identity card, cabin key and enables younger guests to enjoy some freedom onboard. The “Teen Card” comes in pre purchased selected amounts of EUR €50.00 or €30.00 per card. Parents just complete a form provided at check-in and hand it to the receptionist in the foyer of the cruise ship. The card will be delivered to your cabin onboard. The teen card is non-refundable; therefore any credit remaining on the card at the end of the cruise will not be reimbursed. Once card is used a new card must be purchased at reception.
Settling Accounts: All accounts are settled the day before the cruise finishes, you may settle the account with cash, travelers cheques or the following acceptable credit cards: Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Diners, American Express and JCB. The authorization is required in order to verify that the Credit Card is valid. Debit Cards in all forms are not recommended. We strongly advise against any form of debit cards as funds will be held by your bank for up to a month after payment is made. Accounts can not be settled by personal cheques. Facilities are available on board to purchase local currencies or change travellers cheques (commission charges apply) for use ashore.
HOTEL SERVICE CHARGES
Do I have to tip staff on board?
During your cruise you will meet staff throughout the ship who provide you with excellent service. They are supported by just as many staff and crew who work hard behind the scenes to ensure you enjoy every moment of your cruise.
For your convenience MSC Cruises automatically add a daily Hotel Service Charge to your shipboard account, based on your chosen itinerary and the number of days for which the services are actually provided. The Hotel Service Charge serves to ensure we maintain the highest quality standards of service to our guests.
The daily amounts below are calculated with this in mind and cannot be modified. However, should you wish to remove any of the daily Hotel Service Charge in the unlikely event that you do not receive satisfactory service, you may do so by contacting the Guest Relations Manger on board. MSC Cruises does not recommend tipping individual members of staff.
Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Abu Dhabi and Emirates cruises:
Adults (18 years and over)
9 days/8 nights or less: €EUR7.00 per adult per night
10 days/9 nights or more: €EUR 6.00 per adult per night including Ocean Voyages to/from Abu Dhabi and the Emirates
Children (Between 14 and 17years)
9 days/8 nights or less: €EUR3.5 per child per night
10 days/9 nights or more: €EUR 3.00 per child per night including Ocean Voyages to/from Abu Dhabi and the Emirates
There is no hotel service charge for children under the age of 14 years.
All Caribbean cruises and Ocean Voyages from Caribbean to Europe:
Adults (18 years and over):$USD12.00 per adult per night
Children (under 18 years): $USD6.00 per child per night
There is no hotel service charge for children under the age of 3 years for Caribbean cruises and Ocean Voyage Caribbean to Europe
Ocean Voyages from Europe to Caribbean:
Adults (18 years and over) €EUR6.00 per adult per night
Children (Between 14 and 17 years): €EUR3.00 per child per night
There is no hotel service charge for children under the age of 14 years for Ocean Voyage from Europe to Caribbean.
All South America cruises and Ocean Voyages from South America to Europe:
Adults (18 years and over): $USD9.00 per adult per night
Children (under 18 years): $USD4.50 per child per night
There is no hotel service charge for children under the age of 3 ys for South America cruises & Ocean Voyage South America to Europe
Ocean Voyage from Europe to South America:
Adults (18 years and over) €EUR6.00 per adult per night
Children (Between 14 and 17 years): €EUR3.00 per child per night
There is no hotel service charge for children under the age of 14 years for Ocean Voyage from Europe to South America.
All South African cruises and Ocean Voyage from South Africa to Europe:
Adults (18 years and over): $USD6.00 per adult per night
Children (under 18 years): $USD3.00 per child per night
There is no hotel service charge for children under the age of 3 years for South Africa cruises & Ocean Voyage South Africa to Europe
Ocean Voyage from Europe to South Africa:
Adults (18 years and over) €EUR6.00 per adult per night
Children (Between 14 and 17 years): €EUR3.00 per child per night
There is no hotel service charge for children under the age of 14 years for Ocean Voyage from Europe to South Africa.
CABINS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Requests for disabled cabins must be made at time of booking and the following details will be required by reservation before a booking can be confirmed:
1. Will you be travellling with a carer?
2. Are you bringing your own wheelchair?
3. Dimensions of your wheelchair?
4. How much moveability does the disable person have?
5. Do you require handrails in bathrooms?
6. Do you require assistance at embarkation?
Please note there are no ramps over the coaming onto to the open decks.
How does it work?
The system provides you with a prepaid code once you have registered. The debits for internet time will be made directly to your onboard account. The credit can be accumulated and can be used to your desire for the duration of your time onboard.
What does new user mean?
New user is the first step for those using the internet system for the first time. On this page it will be possible to insert all the data required for registration. At the end you will be given the credentials and will be able to purchase prepaid internet.
What does Returning user mean?
It's user who has already completed the registration and who is in possession of a username and password. The username and password will be valid for the duration of your stay onboard.
I can’t Access my account!
this is not a problem!, all you have to do is click “Forgot username and Password?” and follow the instructions listed.
Can I monitor my credits and check my sessions?
Yes! Go to your profile and click “view profile” to view your remaining credit and “check your sessions” to see the duration and number of connections done.
May I run my VPN and remote management software?
Most of the VPN and remote management applications are restricted for MSC Company Policy.
May I use my e-mail client ?
It may happen that mail clients like MS Outlook are restricted for MSC Company Policy.
May I run my videoconference applications?
Videoconference applications like Skype are not restricted, but because they require wide-band to works perfectly, the correct functioning is not guaranteed.
What shall I expect in terms of internet performance?
The internet performance of the Ship is not like a shore broadband connection, it works through the satellite links and it may result significantly slower during certain moments, and it could be interrupted due to interferences or bad weather conditions.
Do I need any specific device to surf the web?
You can surf the web by using any of your device: Iphone, Ipad, Android devices, PDA, smartphone, notebook.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
Passports and Visas
All passengers (including children and infants) must be in possession of a current full passport, valid for the entire period of the cruise holiday with the required correct number of blank pages and must be valid for at least 6 months after the return date to Australia or New Zealand. Certain countries insist on machine-readable passports in particular Russia and the USA.
All individual passengers are responsible for reviewing and obtaining any required visas. The Company will collect and hold Australian/New Zealand and Non EU passports in exchange for a receipt. Russia: Clients must book shore excursions when visiting Russia with MSC to be covered for a visa on board. If clients do not book a cruise shore excursions in conjunction with their cruise in Russia then the client or their agent must organise a visa with letter of invitation prior to departure from Australia or New Zealand.
Australians or New Zealanders visiting Turkey for tourism or business purposes will no longer be able to apply for a visa on arrival at airports or seaports from 10 April 2014. South America cruises require a Brazilian visa organized by clients or their agents before departure from Australia.
For travel to the USA, passengers are advised that new regulations apply and they should visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/ for full details before departure from Australia or New Zealand. Passengers are required to check with their travel agent or relevant country consulate for full passport and/or visa requirements and details pertaining to all ports of call in plenty of time prior to departure from Australia or New Zealand. Passengers should consult their doctor or relevant authorised medical offices prior to the cruise for all information in regards to required vaccination or health requirements of all areas the cruise is visiting. MSC Cruises will not be responsible for passengers who do not adhere to the requirements or recommendations on the prevention of infectious diseases.