Our annual summer break is probably one of the biggest expenditures we make so it’s vital to get it right – not least because we look forward to it so much.
But what do you choose? A beach holiday for lazing around in the sun, activity-packed with lots of destinations to visit, somewhere that’s kid-friendly, a casual holiday, a couples’ retreat, a girls’ break or one where you get dressed up for dinner every night ?
There’s a solution. A cruise experience. With a cruise, you really can have a tailor-made holiday just for you, fitting all of your family’s needs. Want to know more? Read on…
A cruise experience is great value. Depending on your package, you can have everything included from food and drinks, entertainment, and even your transport. So once you’ve paid, there’s no worry about how much spending money you’ll need, you can just relax, sit back and enjoy the holiday. And with MSC Cruises you can take in the beauty of Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from just £949 per person, Norway from £549 per person or France and the Netherlands from just £309 onboard MSC Virtuosa, sailing from Southampton.
2. See lots of places without having to pack and unpack
Do you have wanderlust to see as many places you can in your fortnight away but the prospect of packing and unpacking several times puts you off? With a cruise experience, you unpack once, your cabin is your home, but you can drink in the sights and sounds of many different places in a stress-free way. You could explore the beauty of the Mediterranean, enjoying seven amazing destinations in just 14 days including Cadiz, Monaco and Barcelona or explore the Norwegian Fjords visiting some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Whether you’re enjoying a break away now your children have flown the nest, you’re taking the kids on an experience of a lifetime or you’re a single person looking to travel the world in a safe and luxurious way, there’s something for you.
3.Choose your own adventure
With a cruise experience, there’s no pressure on you – you really can holiday your way. So if you want to go off the ship and visit romantic coastal towns with your loved one, shop til you drop in the hustle and bustle of the markets, eat in a local restaurant or see historic churches or buildings, the excursions are all there for you. Equally, if you fancy a day just lazing around by the pool, watching a film, reading a book, enjoying a theater show or watching the little ones at kids’ club, that’s all there for you too.
4. It’s family-friendly
On board the ship, there’s a whole host of activities for your children to take part in. An MSC Cruises holiday is designed for parents and children to enjoy fun times together and quality time separately, promising something for children, tweens, teens and their parents. You’ll find sports tournaments and quizzes, the special Doremi family disco and some ships even offer the extra adrenaline rush of sliding down a zip-line, driving a full-size MSC Formula Racer or enjoying a fully immersive VR experience, not to mention the multi-sensory experience of interactive XD cinema and the amazing video games room. And best of all with the family-friendly cruises – if your child decides to be the one that plays up (because it happens to us all!) you know nobody will be disapproving… they’re all used to it!
5. Dress up or dress down, choice is yours
Old-fashioned cruises used to be the home of the spangled frock, of dinners with the captain and dressing up to the nines every night. And although that’s absolutely an option with an MSC Cruise, if you’ve got a night where you just fancy a pizza in your jeans, you know that’s available too. The specialty offer a mouth-watering variety of international cuisines from authentic Asian dishes to chef’s restaurants table experiences. MSC Virtuosa ticks all these boxes and more as it has five main dining restaurants, 21 bars and a variety of specialty restaurants that will transport diners all over the world. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge at Butchers’ Cut, a steakhouse with mouthwatering meats and scrumptious starters, as this is a great way to treat your other half. If you want to try something a bit different, visit Indochine, which has made its debut onboard MSC Virtuosa. This is a Vietnamese restaurant with a French twist and its menu has a variety of tasty options that will be hard to resist. However, after dining in these exotic restaurants it might be time for something closer to home, and MSC Virtuosa is happy to oblige with its very own British pub!
6. Ships have everything you need
Imagine a situation where everything you need for a perfect holiday is at your fingertips. Well, that’s what you’ll find on board an MSC Cruise. It may be hard to believe a cruise ship is capable of containing restaurants, bars, swimming pools, shops, theatres, aquaparks, casinos, spas and even a full-sized bowling alley – but this is cruising beyond your wildest dreams. There’s so much choice that it is hard to experience everything on board, which means that you’ll find something exciting to do around every corner. Once you’ve encountered the cruise experience, you’ll wonder why you ever considered a summer holiday on land.
7. You don’t need to fly to get that much-needed sunshine
Leaving home in the middle of the night, arriving at the airport with hours to spare, spending money out of boredom in the airport shops… all of that is a thing of the past with the cruise experience. MSC Virtuosa sails out of Southampton and takes in the beauty of European destinations including Norway, France, the Netherlands and Spain, without the need for flights – also ideal if you’re a nervous flyer.
And if those ideas have whetted your appetite for a cruise experience this summer, MSC has announced that all 19 of its fleet will be at sea for summer 2022. This number will increase to 21 ships by the end of the year as the line adds MSC Seascape, sailing the Caribbean and MSC World Europa which will initially be deployed in the Middle East.
To find out more about MSC Cruises and to book a holiday, visit its website.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.