MSC Cruises is one of the leading cruise lines in the world, offering a wide range of itineraries to destinations across the globe. While there are many reasons to choose an MSC Cruise, one of the standout features of the experience is the food. From world-class restaurants to casual eateries, MSC Cruise ships offer a variety of dining options including pre-booked dining packages to suit every taste and budget.
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The Best Time to Dine: Scheduling Your Meals on an MSC Cruise
When it comes to dining on an MSC cruise, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the best experience possible. One of the most important factors to consider is the timing of your meals. Scheduling your meals strategically can help you avoid long lines and overcrowded restaurants, while also allowing you to take advantage of all the onboard dining options.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you like to eat early or late? Whatever your preference, it’s important to choose the right dining time for you on your cruise vacation.
When you board the ship, you’ll see your assigned dining time printed on your room card. But don’t worry – if the assigned time doesn’t work for you, you can always request a change. Some cruise lines offer both early and late dining options, so you can choose the one that suits your schedule and your appetite. Tip – Early is harder to get and should be requested when you book if you know you want that time.
If you’re an early bird, you might prefer the early dining option. This way, you can enjoy a leisurely dinner and still have time to catch a later show or snack before the late night dining ends. On the other hand, if you like to stay up late and watch the early shows, the late dining option might be a better fit for you. You can dine after the show and then head to the nightclub or casino for a night of fun.
Don’t wait too long to make your specialty dining reservations. Depending on the length of your cruise, you may need to book on the day you board to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the specialty dining options. And if you’re on a budget, don’t worry – you can still enjoy delicious meals without paying any extra fees. Take advantage of the main dining room and the buffet options, which offer a wide variety of tasty dishes to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Timing your meals around onboard activities and entertainment is crucial to ensuring that you get the most out of your cruise vacation. Whether it’s a show, excursion, or other exciting event, you don’t want to miss out on any of the fun because you were stuck at the dinner table.
That’s why it’s essential to plan your meals ahead of time. Check the ship’s schedule and make sure to schedule your meals around any activities you have planned. If you have a show scheduled, make sure to allow enough time to enjoy your meal without feeling rushed. On the other hand, if you have a busy day of excursions planned, you may want to opt for a lighter, quicker meal so you don’t have to worry about feeling too full or sluggish.
By taking the time to plan your meals around your onboard activities, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in all the amazing experiences your cruise has to offer.
The MSC Cruise Food Experience: What to Expect
One of the great things about dining on an MSC Cruise ship is the range of options available. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual bite or a multi-course meal, there’s something for everyone. Some of the dining options available on MSC Cruise ships include:
Inside the Main Dining Rooms:
The MSC main dining menu offers something for everyone and is usually available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The main dining room offers a formal dining experience with a rotating menu of classic and contemporary dishes. You will always see at least one ethnic item plus specialty diet specialties including vegetarian. If you need Kosher meals, Halal, or Gluten-free menus, be sure to request before boarding ( 3 to 8 weeks before) and you may need to remind your server if necessary.
Below are sample MSC cruise menus from the November 26, 2022 MSC Seascape Transatlantic Cruise.
Many MSC cruise ships offer themed menus that change nightly, showcasing local cuisine and flavors from the ports of call on your itinerary. From savory Italian dishes to spicy Caribbean flavors, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in a variety of delicious and authentic meals during your cruise.
But that’s not all – some ships and itineraries also offer specialty menus that tie in with the theme of the night. For example, on formal nights, you might find a menu featuring elegant and sophisticated dishes, while on casual nights, you might find a menu with more relaxed and casual fare.
And if you have dietary restrictions or preferences, don’t worry – many MSC ships also offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, as well as low-sodium and low-fat options.
So be sure to check out the specialty menus in the main dining room during your cruise. You never know what delicious culinary creations you might discover, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine of your destinations.
MSC Cruises’ buffet is a culinary adventure that will take your taste buds on a trip around the world.
Featuring a diverse array of international dishes, you’ll have the opportunity to sample everything from classic American comfort food to traditional Mediterranean and Asian fare. And with specialty stations serving up freshly made pizza, sushi, and more, you can indulge in your favorite foods or try something new.
But the buffet isn’t just about the food – it’s also about the experience. Imagine enjoying a delicious meal while taking in stunning ocean views or mingling with fellow passengers from around the world. With its casual and laid-back atmosphere, the buffet is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a meal on your own schedule.
When you’re craving a late-night snack or a lazy breakfast in bed, look no further than MSC Cruises’ 24-hour room service! This convenient dining option allows you to indulge in delicious food and drinks from the comfort of your cabin. Remember, you have to book the Fantastica or Aurea experience for room service. It DOES NOT come with the lowest cost – Bella experience.
Whether you’re in the mood for a simple sandwich or a gourmet meal, the room service menu has something to satisfy your appetite. From fresh fruit and pastries to hearty soups and salads, you can choose from a variety of snacks and meals to suit your tastes and cravings.
And if you’re celebrating a special occasion or just in the mood for a treat, why not order a bottle of champagne or a decadent dessert to share with your travel companion? With room service, you can enjoy a luxurious dining experience without ever leaving your cabin. You can pre-order many special occasion offerings to be delivered to your room before you even board.
MSC Cruise ships offer a variety of specialty restaurants, including Italian, steakhouse, and sushi options. Some of MSC Cruises’ newer and larger ships, such as the MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia, and MSC Seascape, have garnered praise for their extensive dining options. These ships feature multiple specialty restaurants serving everything from Italian to Asian cuisine, as well as a variety of casual dining options such as pizzerias and burger joints.
MSC Yacht Club:
When you book a Yacht Club experience, you have access to an exclusive area on select MSC ships which features a private restaurant serving gourmet cuisine, as well as a dedicated butler service to cater to guests’ dining needs.
Dining Delights: Understanding MSC Cruises’ Dining Packages
Are you looking to elevate your dining experience on your next MSC Cruise? Consider booking a Specialty Dining Package before you board, and save up to 40% on multiple meals at the ship’s top-rated restaurants that are not included in your cruise fare.
But before you take the plunge, it’s important to understand the caveats of these packages. While they offer a more intimate and upscale dining experience, there may be limits to what’s included in your package. This means you won’t be able to order whatever you like from the regular menu – instead, you’ll have access to a more limited sampler menu without additional costs.
This can sometimes lead to confusion or disappointment for diners, so it’s important to read the fine print and understand what you’re getting before you buy. However, for those who are willing to be flexible with their choices, the Specialty Dining Packages can be a great way to enjoy some of the ship’s most delicious and exclusive dining options at a discounted price.
Hola! Tacos & Cantina
Get ready to spice up your taste buds with a visit to MSC Cruise’s Hola! Tacos & Cantina. This lively and colorful restaurant will transport you straight to the heart of Mexico with its mouth-watering array of tacos, burritos, and other traditional Mexican favorites.
But the real star of the show? The guacamole and chips that you can make fresh right at your table. Picture this – the vibrant green of the avocados, the sharp smell of cilantro, the tangy squeeze of lime – all blended together to create the perfect dipping sauce for the warm and crispy tortilla chips.
It’s no wonder why Hola! Tacos & Cantina is a favorite among many MSC Cruise travelers, including myself. With its lively atmosphere, friendly staff, and delicious food, this restaurant is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal with family and friends.
I have the perfect dining spot for you carnivore’s on your next MSC Cruise – Butcher’s Cut. This upscale steakhouse is every meat lover’s dream come true, with only the finest cuts of meat gracing its menu.
Picture this – perfectly cooked ribeye, juicy filet mignon, and succulent New York strip steak – all served up with your choice of delicious sides and sauces. And if seafood is more your style, Butcher’s Cut also offers a variety of fresh and flavorful seafood dishes.
But it’s not just the food that makes Butcher’s Cut stand out – the elegant decor and impeccable service will make you feel like royalty. This is the perfect spot for a special occasion, whether it’s a romantic anniversary dinner or a celebratory meal with family and friends.
This Japanese restaurant is more than just a place to grab a bite to eat – it’s an interactive experience that will leave you mesmerized.
At Kaito Teppanyaki, your chef will prepare your meal right in front of you using the Teppanyaki-style of cooking. You’ll watch in amazement as they chop, flip, and sizzle your food on a hot grill, creating a spectacle that’s as entertaining as it is delicious.
But the food itself is just as impressive as the show. The menu features a variety of Japanese favorites, from fresh sushi and sashimi to hearty noodles and rice dishes. And if you’re feeling adventurous, make sure to try the lotus root – a rare and delicious treat that’s only available at Kaito Teppanyaki on board.
If you’re a seafood lover, you won’t want to miss Ocean Cay. This upscale restaurant is the perfect place to indulge in some of the tastiest seafood dishes you’ll find on board.
From succulent lobster to juicy shrimp and tender crab, the menu at Ocean Cay offers a wide variety of seafood dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. And if you’re not a seafood fan, don’t worry – the menu also includes a selection of delicious vegetarian options that are sure to satisfy.
Drinks and Desserts: Perfect Companions to Your MSC Cruise Food Journey
Food is definitely one of the highlights of any MSC Cruise, but what’s a great meal without a delicious drink and dessert to round it out? Luckily, MSC Cruises offers a variety of options to quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Let’s start with drinks.
MSC Cruises offers a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to suit all tastes. Whether you’re in the mood for a fruity cocktail, a glass of wine, or a cold beer, you’ll find plenty of options at the various bars and lounges throughout the ship.
Imagine that you’ve just stepped into one of the many bars on board your MSC cruise ship, looking for a refreshing drink to complement your meal. As you approach the bar, you are greeted by a friendly bartender who engages you in conversation, making you feel instantly at home. As you peruse the cocktail menu, you notice that there are several signature drinks that are exclusive to this particular bar. You decide to try one, and it turns out to be the best cocktail you’ve ever had. From that moment on, you find yourself returning to this bar every night, not just for the amazing drinks, but also for the lively atmosphere and the fun conversations with the bartenders and fellow cruisers. The Loft Cafe on MSC Seascape was that place for us, it might be the one for you too.
Sweet and Refreshing: Desserts
But drinks aren’t the only way to end your meal on a high note. There’s also a range of delicious desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. From classic favorites like tiramisu and cheesecake to more unique options like macarons and gelato, you’re sure to find something to indulge in.
While some may find that the European-style desserts are not as sweet as their American counterparts, they are still plenty tasty and satisfying. In fact, the slight difference in sweetness can be a refreshing change of pace and a chance to experience a different culinary culture.
For an extra special treat, make sure to stop by Venchi – the Chocolate Bar on MSC Seascape. Here, you can sample a variety of chocolate treats and pair them with wines and spirits for a truly indulgent experience.
Sip Your Way Through Your Cruise: Beverage Packages Explained
You’re offered a choice of five different drink packages, each with its own unique features, perks, and price.
But there’s a catch: if you decide to purchase one of these drink packages, you’ll have to buy it for your entire cabin, which includes your spouse, your kids, or whoever you’re traveling with! You’ll need to think carefully about the cost, the value, and the potential benefits of these packages.
For example, if you’re traveling with two children, you’ll automatically have to purchase the Minors package for them, which includes unlimited soft drinks, juices, and mocktails. But what about the adults? Do you go for the Premium package, which offers premium liquor, wine, and beer, or the Alcohol-Free package, which includes all the non-alcoholic drinks you could want?
And there are additional rules to consider, too. Some packages cannot be used in specialty restaurants or signature venues, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. You’ll have to get the Easy Plus package or the Premium package if you want to enjoy it while at a specialty restaurant.
All of these factors make the decision about which drink package to choose a complex and important one. But with a little careful consideration, you’re sure to find the perfect package to suit your family’s needs and budget, and ensure that your cruise vacation is one to remember.
Remember, you don’t have to decide when booking. You can always add it on later but we recommend you do it before boarding if you choose to add a drink package. Pricing will depend on your cruise itinerary and length.
- The Easy package includes select classic cocktails, non-alcoholic cocktails, spirits, house wines, draft beers, soft drinks, fruit juice, mineral water, classic hot drinks and beverage gratuities.
- The Easy Plus package includes drinks up to $10 on the menu plus a 10% discount on bottles of wine.
- The Premium Extra package includes all drinks priced up to $16 including premium and international cocktails and a 25% discount on bottles of wine.
- All-Inclusive Beverage Package: This package includes unlimited drinks (including alcohol) in all bars, lounges, and restaurants on the ship.
- Alcohol Free Package: This package includes unlimited soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the cruise.
- Minors Package
Disembarkation breakfast makes a perfect sendoff.
We’ve taken 20 cruises and we have one tradition that continues. Our last breakfast on board is always in the dining room. We take our last moment to enjoy and reflect on the trip before we head home. This is such a great way to end this wonderful time together, I really recommend adding it to your cruise routine also.
Ah, the joy of cruising! There’s nothing quite like setting sail on the open seas, exploring new destinations, and making unforgettable memories with loved ones. And after 20 cruises,we have some amazing stories to tell!
But despite all the excitement and adventure, there’s one tradition that we hold dear: the last breakfast on board, in the dining room. It’s a bittersweet moment, as you savor your final meal on the ship and reflect on all the fun and excitement you’ve had over the past week or so.
This final breakfast is a special moment of connection and reflection, a chance to appreciate the journey and the company you’ve shared. And we’re not alone – many seasoned cruisers swear by this tradition, saying that it’s the perfect way to cap off a wonderful voyage.
So if you’re planning your next cruise, why not add this tradition to your own routine?
Maybe you’ll reminisce about the delicious meals you’ve enjoyed, the fascinating people you’ve met, or the breathtaking sights you’ve seen. Or maybe you’ll just sit quietly, taking in the soothing hum of the ship and the gentle sway of the waves, knowing that you’re about to return to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Who knows, it may become one of your own cherished memories, and a reminder of the joy of cruising for years to come.
Takeaway: Good company, beautiful weather, and fine food are an unbeatable combination for cruising!
Do you consider yourself a foodie? Or maybe you just love the idea of indulging in delicious meals and unforgettable dining experiences on your next vacation? Either way, MSC Cruise ships have got you covered with their incredible array of culinary offerings.
From gourmet restaurants to casual cafes, you’ll find something to suit every taste and budget on board. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not explore the world of culinary arts and learn more about the food and drink traditions of the regions visited by MSC Cruise ships? You might discover new ingredients, flavors, and techniques that will surprise and delight your taste buds.
But if you prefer to stick to your tried-and-true favorites, that’s okay too! Whether you’re craving a classic burger and fries, a decadent chocolate dessert, or a refreshing cocktail, you’ll find plenty of options on board.
And the best part? You don’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning, or even deciding where to eat – just relax, indulge, and let the talented chefs and servers take care of everything for you.
So why wait? Book your next MSC Cruise today and embark on a journey to deliciousness! Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or with your family, you’re sure to find plenty of culinary delights to savor and enjoy on board. Bon appétit!