Spot the difference!

After a few people asked about the different classes of ship in the MSC Cruises fleet, and being in the really lucky position to have sailed on at least one ship in each class I thought it would be a good idea to write a bit about what each class has to offer, and the main features and benefits of ships in that class.

I hope you enjoy reading this and find the blog useful! If you do, please like our Facebook page Travelling with Tim & Andy, join our Facebook group MSC Cruises UK Passenger Forum, follow us on Twitter @tim_travelling and share this blog with your friends!


Lirica Class

  • The Lirica class are the smallest and oldest ships in the current MSC fleet
  • Ships in this class are Lirica, Armonia, Sinfonia and Opera.
  • Built between 2001 and 2004, passenger capacity of around 2000
  • ‘Stretched’ as part of the Renaissance programme which saw more balcony cabins and public areas added
  • Features outdoor pools and hot tubs. Themed pub, coffee bar, several lounges, casino and late night disco
  • 2 Main Dining Rooms; guests allocated a table in one of the dining rooms. Buffet with wide choice of food, open 20 hours a day with outdoor seating
  • Cold sandwiches available in the pub, and delicate pastries in the coffee lounge area
  • Aurea Spa with somewhat limited facilities compared to the newest ships

Read our review of MSC Sinfonia here

MSC Sinfonia, Palma Mallorca, 2018

Musica Class

  • Musica class are mid-sized ships with a more modern feel
  • Ships in this class are Musica, Orchestra, Poesia and Magnifica
  • Built between 2006 and 2010, passenger capacity of around 2500
  • Features a stunning central atrium, a focal point of the ships
  • MSC Magnifica was the first in the fleet to host an indoor swimming pool. Magnifica also has a speciality dining restaurant, the Oriental Plaza Asian restaurant and a sports bar
  • 2 Main Dining Rooms; guests allocated a table in one of the dining rooms. Buffet with wide choice of food, open 20 hours a day with outdoor seating
  • Multiple bars hosting live music and entertainment
  • All ships in the class have outdoor pools and whirlpools
  • Aurea spa

Read our review of MSC Magnifica here

MSC Magnifica, Southampton, 2018

Fantasia Class

  • Large ships with a sleek, modern edge – MSC’s signature Swarovski crystal staircases around the central atrium
  • Ships in the class are Fantasia, Splendida, Divina and Preziosa
  • Built between 2008 and 2013, passenger capacity of around 3900
  • Feature the MSC Yacht Club, a ship within a ship concept where guests who elect to pay for a high end suite are catered to in a private enclave with exclusive restaurant, lounge and sun deck
  • Aurea spa
  • 2 Main Dining Rooms; guests allocated a table in one of the dining rooms. Buffet with wide choice of food
  • Various bars and lounges, including wine bar, sports bar, live music lounges and disco
  • Indoor pool and solarium with hot tubs
  • Our favourite spots include the Piazza area on deck 6 and the aft pool bar on deck 15!
  • Speciality dining – may include steak house (Tex Mex / Butcher’s Cut) Eataly and Galaxy (varies depending on ship)

Read our review of MSC Fantasia’s Yacht Club here

Our review of MSC Splendida can be found here

MSC Fantasia docked in Katakolon, Greece

Meraviglia Class

  • Meraviglia is the 5th largest cruise ship in the world at the time of writing
  • Ships in this class are MSC Meraviglia in 2018 and the imminent arrival of MSC Bellissima in March 2019 which promises to be ‘Beauty at Sea’!
  • Mega ships featuring an indoor promenade, the ship for all seasons
  • Passenger capacity of 4500
  • Indoor promenade with iconic LED domed ceiling (the first at sea) which displays stunning scenes and is the focus for entertainment
  • Multiple speciality dining restaurants including steak houses, teppan yaki, sushi and Eataly
  • Don’t miss the panoramic lifts or the infinity atrium with Swarovski crystal stairs
  • Laurent Perrier Champagne bar
  • Extended MSC Yacht Club and Aurea spa
  • Exciting Polar Aqua Park with water slides and a ropes course ‘Himalayan Bridge’ high up on the 19th deck so you feel truly on top of the world
  • Sportsplex

Read our review of MSC Meravigla here

Party on the Prom – MSC Meraviglia, 2017

Seaside Class

  • A game changer in the cruise industry, ships that bring guests closer to the sea and designed to follow the sun
  • Launched in 2017 and 2018 respectively, MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview feature more outdoor spaces than any other ship in the fleet
  • Speciality dining centred around the luxurious wine bar on deck 16, featuring Butcher’s Cut steak house, Asian fusion and Ocean Cay seafood restaurant, French bistro  L’Atelier on deck 8
  • 2 buffets, largest on deck 8 with extensive seating on the boardwalk promenade
  • Laurent Perrier Champagne bar
  • Multi deck atrium with Swarovski crystal staircases is the home to party nights
  • MSC Yacht Club and Aurea spa featuring a snow room!
  • The longest zipwire at sea!
  • Aqua park with multiple water slides and Forest Adventure park with rope bridges

Read our review of MSC Seaview’s maiden voyage here

You can also read about the Yacht Club on MSC Seaview (and particularly the food!) here

Above: MSC Seaview’s maiden voyage, 2018

Ships on their way…

MSC has a record number of ships on the order books, with MSC Grandiosa, a Meravigla plus class ship to be launched in November this year. We’ll be on the maiden voyage so be sure to come back to read more about her!

Also still to come are MSC Virtuosa, Seashore, new luxury class ships, more Meraviglia plus class ships, and the World Class which will be powered by LNG – it’s an exciting time to be a cruise traveller with a thirst for trying new things!

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