2023 the year we begin our retirement and the year we return to cruising. I cannot tell you how excited I am for both new adventures. Honestly I am not sure if I am more excited about my retirement or cruising lol. Today though I am focusing on the cruise and in particular MSC. Yep we finally have a cruised booked on the MSC Divina and we leave in 6 days. Shocker I know MSC Cruise vs Carnival Cruise for this couple!
If you have been around you know that we have been avid cruisers and vactioners but had focused on Carnival. So why MSC you ask? Let’s break down the why I chose the Divina.
Why MSC Cruise vs Carnival Cruise
Fall of 2022 we decided it was time, the lock down was moving behind us and it was time to start cruising again. Both of us were retiring in early 2023 so we were looking for something a bit more. Seven day cruises are great but we wanted a longer trip at sea. The shopping aka research spree began.
There are so many cruise lines out there but truth be told we were focused on three this time. Carnival has been our choice in the past but the deals on MSC and NCL did catch my eye and attention. While I do know all the ins and outs of Carnival, it seemed time to try something new.
For our first trip it came down to MSC Cruise vs Carnival Cruise.
MSC had a great deal on this fall, free drink package and internet. I always have to check is free really free and what are the alternatives. For this package the price of the cruise was still less than what i would have received on the other two but is that enough?? Nope, they also offered a 12 day cruise and an option for upgrades.
Benefits on MSC in 2023
MSC unlike many of the other cruise lines offers a few options regarding Drinks and Rooms. Well y’all know me room upgrades and drinks are my jam.
The MSC package we saw included drink package was Easy-Plus. Now that piece of information is key, if it was just the Easy package that would not have been an added benefit to us. Easy Plus includes all drinks up to a value of 9.00. Well a quick search showed us a pretty comprehensive list of included beer, wine and cocktails and made the inclusion tryuly beneficial. From the “Pre” view the option seems comparable to our Carnival Cheers so we thought why not.
The internet freebie is one device for browsing ( not streaming). I am hoping that will cover my Instagram browsing but we shall see).
The other added benefit on MSC with drinks and internet, both additions are also included on Ocean Cay, their private island.
What about the Cabins
Alright enough about drinks and internet, what about the Cabins? We checked it out and all lines offered a great Balcony for an equivelent price but MSC had a bonus. Yep bonus for the rooms there are three classes Bella, Fantastica and Aurea which all provided additional perks and pluses. We selected a Balcony Aurea and are quite excited. We were able our cabin and with Aurea it is a premium location.
BELLA EXPERIENCE – Cruise change for a fee,Guaranteed cabin*(MSC will assign you the cabin before the cruise departure)
FANTASTICA EXPERIENCE All BELLA BENEFITS + -1 free cruise change,Select from the best available stateroom locations,Breakfast in stateroom (free delivery) and a 20% discount on a dedicated speciality restaurant prepaid package
AUREA EXPERIENCE all FANTASTICA BENEFITS +-24-hour room service (free delivery),Welcome package, Dine any time you choose, Free access to the Top Exclusive Solarium, 40% discount on a dedicated Spa prepaid package, 10% discount on all spa treatments purchased on board and Priority boarding.
Was it worth it
Well I havent left yet, but to date the experience has been totally worthwhile. I am thinking Aurea is a Carnival with a great room and a faster to the sun free pass.
Oh yea and before I forget, MSC also offers a matching program. Meaning you can apply with your current cruise or hotel loyalty program and they will give you matching status. We were Carnival Gold and are now Voyeager Silver, great start I think.
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