MSC Preziosa

MSC Cruises

Ship information

MSC Preziosa

About MSC Preziosa

The 2013 debut of MSC Preziosa moved the family-owned Italian company MSC Cruises up another notch to become the world's third-largest cruise company. That's no mean achievement, given its modest entry into the cruise industry with a second-hand vessel in the late 1980's. The 12th ship in the fleet -- and the fourth in MSC's flagship Fantasia Class -- Preziosa is making its mark with all-new facilities that include the longest single-rider body waterslide on the waves, a children's aqua park, an expanded shopping mall and the first two Eataly restaurants at sea. And, it's all coupled with the company's distinctive Mediterranean atmosphere.

The decks, named after precious jewels and gemstones, provide a clue about what to expect. Crystal-studded stairs, opulent public rooms decorated with animal prints, and lavish amounts of shimmering glass mosaics, white marble and Murano glass may overwhelm traditional cruisers who prefer classic, understated decor.

However, for families, younger couples and the young-at-heart, the ship provides a fun, relaxed and affordable way to cruise the Med. With 1,751 cabins and a total capacity for 4,345 passengers -- a figure that's more than double occupancy if parents bunk up with their children -- Preziosa offers a good choice of accommodation options for everyone from budget-conscious families to couples who want to splurge with a stay in the exclusive Yacht Club.

It's important to note that, while English is the main onboard language, MSC predominantly attracts passengers from mainland Europe. This means announcements are made in five languages, and entertainment is geared to appeal to multinational audiences, so you will find dancers, bilingual singers and acrobats instead of comedians and similar acts that require a lot of speaking.

Cabins

MSC Preziosa has 25 cabin types available

Inside Cabins

5 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

5 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

5 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

5 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

5 Inside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

4 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

4 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

4 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

4 Outside types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

8 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

8 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

8 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

8 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

8 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

8 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

8 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

8 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

13 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

During the day, there are shore excursions and onboard activities. During our stay, these included dance classes, a ten-pin bowling tournament and an ice-carving class. Don't expect any in-depth cultural lectures, as the accent is more on fun than on information.

By night, party animals have many choices. This is not a ship where the majority of passengers are tucked up in bed well before midnight. The main entertainment venue is the 1,600-seat two-story Platinum Theatre on Decks 6 and 7. The emphasis is on visual shows that will appeal to an international audience, and we watched a colorful take on "Alice in Wonderland" with fantastic Cirque du Soleil-style acrobats.

There are 20 bars, including the new Diamond Bar that's one of the quieter venues and two outside pool bars. Others include the Green Sax jazz bar, chic El Dorado piano bar and the large Safari Lounge that hosts smaller shows and has a dance floor. Night owls can dance into the wee hours in the Galaxy Lounge disco or see if lady luck smiles in the large casino, with slots and gaming tables. The casino is one of the areas on the ship where smoking is allowed, which can come as a bit of an unpleasant surprise to nonsmokers used to ships where smoking is banned in public areas.

Dining

With nine dining venues, including a buffet that's open nonstop for 20 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., passengers won't go hungry. The main restaurants are the two-deck Golden Lobster on Decks 5 and 6, with seating for 1,155, and the panoramic 766-seat L'Arabesque, aft on Deck 6. Both operate two dinner seatings and offer identical menus.

Breakfast and lunch are served in the ship's main restaurants and self-serve buffet restaurants, the adjoining Inca and Maya on Deck 14, which offer all-day dining and the option of a more casual setting for dinner. Continental breakfast from room service is delivered free to cabins on request, but there is a charge of €3 ($4) for one dish and €5 ($6.50) for two from the main room-service menu that's available around the clock. In-cabin pizza delivery is also on offer for €7 ($9), which includes a drink.

We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet, which offers a good spread of mainly Mediterranean and fast-food fare, such as pasta, pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches, with a salad bar and smaller stations for ethnic dishes, including curries. Dinner in L'Arabesque, which can be a five- or six-course affair, depending on how many dishes you choose, was rather disappointing. While adequate, the food was not particularly fancy in terms of presentation. Courses seemed rushed, and the wine service was rather haphazard, with waitstaff acknowledging empty glasses but not returning to replenish for some time, if at all. In fairness, this could have been down to teething problems on a new ship with new staff at the start of the season, but there was definitely room for improvement.

Similarly, in the buffet restaurant, there was a feeling the team hadn't really gelled. Some staff couldn't have been more helpful, while others barely made eye contact, let alone smiled.

We didn't get to sample Eataly, an alternative venue that debuted on Preziosa. MSC has teamed up with the Turin-based chain that champions gourmet Italian food and the leisurely "slow food" movement, which encourages leisurely dining, to open the first two Eataly restaurants at sea. Situated on Deck 7, the minimalist 115-seat Eataly and sophisticated evening-only Ristorante Italia offer a la carte dining, where you pay for every item you order, as opposed to the alternative dining surcharge levied by other cruise lines.