Comparing MSC vs Royal Caribbean Cruises

Comparing MSC and Royal Caribbean: Choosing the Right Cruise Line for You.
January 17, 2024

Comparing MSC and Royal Caribbean: Choosing the Right Cruise Line for You.

msc vs royal caribbean save the sea Courtesy of MSC Cruises

Overview of MSC and Royal Caribbean

MSC and Royal Caribbean are two prominent cruise lines with unique characteristics and offerings. Understanding their background and reputations is essential for travelers looking to make an informed choice.

MSC has positioned itself as a cruise line committed to providing a diverse range of experiences. In addition to offering traditional cruise amenities, MSC has made significant strides in enhancing its onboard offerings by partnering with lifestyle expert Martha Stewart. This partnership has led to the introduction of curated dining experiences, enriching activities, and thoughtful design elements across their fleet. For travelers who value variety and an elevated onboard experience, MSC’s collaboration with Martha Stewart enhances the overall ambiance and amenities available throughout their ships.

Conversely, Royal Caribbean has built a reputation for its innovative approach to cruising. The cruise line is known for pushing the boundaries of traditional cruise activities, offering adventurous experiences such as skydiving simulators, surfing experiences, and other adrenaline-pumping activities. These offerings cater to travelers seeking an active and thrilling vacation experience, setting Royal Caribbean apart in the cruise industry. For those who prioritize excitement and unique onboard activities, Royal Caribbean’s innovative approach creates an appealing option for their cruise vacations.

Understanding these distinct characteristics allows travelers to align their preferences with the cruise line that best suits their vacation expectations and desires. Whether it’s an emphasis on diverse experiences and partnerships or innovative, adventure-driven activities, MSC and Royal Caribbean offer unique appeals for different types of travelers.

msc vs caribbean icon of the seas Courtesy of Royal Carribbean International

Ship Features and Amenities

When comparing Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises, one of the key differences lies in their approach to specialty restaurants and dining options. MSC emphasizes a wide range of specialty restaurants, each featuring diverse cuisines to cater to various palates. For example, on MSC’s ships, guests can indulge in authentic Italian cuisine at Eataly, savor fresh seafood at Ocean Cay, or enjoy a casual meal at the Butcher’s Cut steakhouse. This variety allows passengers to explore different flavors and culinary experiences throughout their cruise.

On the other hand, Royal Caribbean is renowned for its Oasis Class ships, which are among the largest cruise ships in the world and known for their distinct entertainment and dining options. These ships offer a plethora of specialty restaurants, including the popular Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, where guests can enjoy a unique dining experience with skilled chefs preparing Japanese cuisine right in front of them.

In terms of family-friendly options, both MSC and Royal Caribbean excel in providing dedicated kids’ clubs and activities for all ages. MSC’s focus on family-friendly experiences is evident through their partnership with Martha Stewart, which includes specially curated kids’ cooking classes and family-oriented shore excursions.

Similarly, Royal Caribbean offers an array of family-friendly amenities, such as the Adventure Ocean youth program, which provides age-appropriate activities and entertainment for children of all ages. These offerings ensure that both cruise lines cater to the needs of families, making them ideal choices for multi-generational vacations.

msc vs royal caribbean tea Courtesy of MSC Cruises

Onboard Entertainment and Activities

When comparing MSC and Royal Caribbean in terms of onboard entertainment and activities, it’s clear that both cruise lines offer unique and exciting experiences for their passengers. MSC has made waves with the introduction of the first at-sea Cirque du Soleil shows, elevating the entertainment options to a world-class level. This collaboration with Cirque du Soleil provides passengers with the opportunity to witness breathtaking performances while cruising, adding a touch of sophistication and artistry to the onboard experience.

On the other hand, while cruising with Royal Caribbean takes a different approach by focusing on thrilling and adventurous activities. The cruise line is renowned for its innovative entertainment offerings, including bumper cars, simulated skydiving, and surfing experiences. These adrenaline-pumping activities cater to passengers seeking excitement and adventure during their cruise vacation. Royal Caribbean’s commitment to providing such dynamic experiences sets it apart as a top choice for thrill-seekers and those looking for non-stop action and fun at sea.

Moreover, the ocean view balcony accommodations on both MSC and Royal Caribbean cruises present passengers with distinct experiences. MSC’s balcony cabins are designed to reflect elegance and modern comfort, with carefully curated amenities and stunning views of the ocean.

In contrast, Royal Caribbean’s balcony accommodations offer a blend of relaxation and luxury, often featuring spacious layouts and private outdoor spaces for passengers to unwind and enjoy the sea breeze. These differences allow passengers to select the cruise line that best aligns with their preferences and desired onboard experience, whether it’s a focus on sophistication and artistry with MSC or thrilling adventures with Royal Caribbean.

Cruise Experience and Itineraries

When considering the cruise experience and itineraries offered by MSC and Royal Caribbean, it’s essential to delve into the distinctive features of their flagship ships. For instance, MSC’s MSC Divina stands out with its elegant design and a wide range of amenities, catering to travelers who appreciate a touch of luxury and sophistication during their voyage.

On the other hand, Royal Caribbean’s Voyager Class ships are celebrated for their diverse itineraries and immersive onboard offerings. These ships are designed to provide a dynamic and multifaceted cruise experience, appealing to travelers who are eager to explore a variety of destinations while enjoying a plethora of onboard activities and entertainment. For example, the Voyager Class ships often feature innovative amenities such as rock climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, and expansive shopping promenades, ensuring that passengers have a diverse and engaging experience throughout their journey.

Furthermore, when comparing the Freedom Class ships of MSC and Royal Caribbean, it becomes evident that each cruise line offers a distinctive array of amenities and activities to cater to the preferences of their passengers. MSC’s Freedom Class ships are designed to reflect the company’s commitment to providing a diverse and enriching cruise experience, with a focus on cultural immersion and culinary exploration.

In contrast, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class ships are synonymous with their groundbreaking entertainment options, which may include features like Broadway musicals, ice shows, and the signature FlowRider surf simulator, appealing to passengers seeking an exhilarating and unforgettable vacation at sea. This comparison underscores the importance of considering individual preferences and priorities when selecting a cruise line, as both MSC and Royal Caribbean ships offer unique and compelling experiences tailored to different tastes and interests.

msc vs royal caribbean dining Courtesy of MSC Cruises


When it comes to choosing between MSC and Royal Caribbean, it’s crucial to consider individual preferences and priorities. Each cruise line provides a unique set of offerings, catering to diverse interests and needs. By examining the distinctions and resemblances between MSC and Royal Caribbean, passengers can make an informed decision that aligns with their desired cruise experience.

For instance, if specialty dining is a priority, MSC’s commitment to providing a wide range of specialty restaurants featuring diverse cuisines might be a deciding factor for food enthusiasts. On the other hand, Royal Caribbean’s renowned largest ship class known as the Oasis Class are known for their distinct entertainment and dining options, which may appeal to those seeking a vibrant and innovative onboard experience.

Moreover, families with children may want to explore the family-friendly offerings on both cruise lines, such as dedicated kids’ clubs and activities for all ages. Understanding the specific amenities and programs tailored for families can be pivotal in choosing the most suitable cruise line for a memorable family vacation.

In essence, the decision between MSC and Royal Caribbean should be based on a thorough consideration of the unique features, amenities, and overall atmosphere that each cruise line offers, ensuring that the chosen cruise aligns with individual preferences and expectations for an unforgettable voyage at sea.

Rectangle (2)

Send us a message

Start your journey by completing the form below and one of our luxury travel designers will be in contact within 24 hours.

Send us a message

Start your journey by completing the form below and one of our luxury travel designers will be in contact within 24 hours.

©2023 Scott & Thomas | Powered By Iris Marketing Team