MSC World Europa Review

4.0 / 5.0
60 reviews

Better than expected - if you know what to look for and where

Review for the Western Mediterranean Cruise on MSC World Europa
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Belgian cruiser1
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Jun 2023
Cabin: Infinity Ocean View

My wife and I cruise with different companies and on ships that go from 180 to 6000 passengers. When we chose this sailing from Marseille, it had however been a while since sailing on of these huge vessels (the last was Symphony of the Seas in 2018 or 2019). We were not that confident that we had made a good choice, as we've had to some hit-and-miss experiences on other MSC ships between 2019 and 2022. It is of course important that we did book an Aurea experience and that this has played a big part in our satisfaction. The ship itself took some getting used to, as there quite a few upper (outside) decks where you cannot go from front to aft without going back inside and a few floors down and then back up again. We did found the better, more peaceful spots on the ships - or maybe I should say that we quickly discovered when those spots were quite and more enjoyable. I'm always amazed to hear from people we meet on the ship that they still haven't found half of the places after 5 days. The outside area of the buffet restaurant on deck 19 offers great aft views at breakfast and lunch time, and the small aft (outside) bar where the dry slide start is also a great place for a morning coffee (whereas it is to be avoided from 11AM onward, as it gets too crowded then). The reserved area for Aurea guests in Bubbles - one of the main restaurants - was wonderful. Good food and great service, better than on many upscale ships that have more pretentions - and better than in the speciality restaurants. No lines and long waits if you have free seating thanks to Aurea. The same is true for the Top 20 bar and sundeck for Aurea guests - and I certainly appreciated the fact that poolmen (can't call them boys) prevented a lot of non-Aurea passengers from slipping into the reserved sections on sea days. I understood the people who tried to escape the overcrowded areas accessible to everyone, but well - let's be honest, if you pay for the extra's ...

Cabin Review

Infinity Ocean View

When we booked it - and because of the words MSC used - we thought it was an ocean view with a floor to ceiling window that did not open. Turned out to be what Celebrity calls an infinity veranda, but with a much better use of space than on Edge or Apex - and with a look and feel similar to YC balcony suites on other MSC ships. We loved it. The system with the upper part of the window that slides down, worked perfectly and we had so much space. Deck 12 (called Copenhagen) also turned out to be a good choice if you like to use stairs without doing too many flights in either up or down directions AND if you don't want noise from above or below.

Port Reviews

Barcelona

We've been to Barcelona so often, but never mind going out on our own again - to do some shopping and have a coffee on a one of the many terraces. Big ships are a tad far off, but we don't mind walking and have long legs. Great to see your ship from a different angle as you cross that bridge in the harbour.

Taormina (Messina)

Let me be clear - we did Messina, and again - did it all on our own. The good aspect is that you've got marvelous views of and over the whole city when you'e docked. If you don't mind walking up and down, everything that's worth seeing is withing walking distance. The shopping streets further out are not interesting, as you get all the big chains you also find everywhere. In front of the church and the bell tower, not enough terraces and none that looked enticing - so for drinks, we went back to the comfort of the ship. Oh yes - on the terrace in front of one church, there's a live size statue of the pope - very instagrammable, if you don't mind getting in line between hundreds of very religious devotés.

Malta (Valletta)

Malta is one of those places where can do the city once, and the next time you should prepare for something else by using public transport. We simply took a bus and visited an archeological site, then took another bus to Marssaxlok and found a great place to have oysters for lunch. English is the language, so you can get help from anyone.

Genoa

I hope I'm not getting repetitive, but again - been here and seen a lot before ... so we took public transport to get up in the hills where you have this enormous monumental graveyard. I'm not kidding, statues that look alive and chapels that resembles small versions of the most ornate basilica you've ever seen - enough to keep you spellbound for half a day. It's called the Staglieno Monumental Cemetery.

Naples

Naples is great for shopping, architecture, taking a ferry to small island close by - and to go along the coast to Sorrento, which we did on this occasion. Did only this stop with an MSC excursion, and it was both good and affordable. After an unexpectedly interesting visit to a Limoncello distillery and shop, we escaped the guide and saw twice as much in Sorrento - but were on time for the bus back. Don't do a trip to Sorrento on your own, because traffic getting back is really impossible and if you're not on an excursion from the ship ... chances are you'll be waving your ship bye-bye as it departs without you.

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