Want to book one of the best new cruise ships out there for your next cruising adventure? Then look no further than MSC Virtuosa. This brand-new cruise ship is part of the Meraviglia Plus class and was due to be delivered in October 2020, with sailings starting over the 2020 and 2021 winter seasons.
As so much of the cruising industry was, MSC Cruises’ plans were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic virus. However, things are now back on track and we’re ready to welcome MSC Virtuoso to the line up of stellar luxury cruise ships sailing around the world, with the ship debuting May 2021.
While MSC Virtuosa was slated to begin Mediterranean cruises in 2020 for its inaugural season, a shifting of cruising itineraries means MSC Virtuosa’s inaugural season takes place in the British Isles, with Summer 2021 sailings around England and Scotland. Later on, for Fall 2021, sailings are scheduled for the Persian Gulf, with the ship making its temporary home base in Dubai.
If you’re planning to take a MSC Virtuosa cruise this year or in the very near future, what exactly can you expect? We’ve put together all the must-know details for your upcoming cruise, so you can know the ship and its experiences before you even step on board.
In This Article…
- MSC Virtuosa Stats and Facts
- What to Expect from Meraviglia Plus Class
- Environmental Features
- Entertainment Options
- Restaurants & Bars
- Children’s Amenities
- Pool Space
- Tech Features
- Ready to Book Your MSC Virtuosa Cruise?
- MSC Virtuosa FAQ
- MSC Cruises Fleet:
MSC Virtuosa Stats and Facts
The ship is the ninth-largest cruise ship in the world, as of early 2021, sharing the ranking with sister ship MSC Grandiosa. Considered a mega-ship, the size is certainly nothing to dismiss and definitely something to consider before booking a cruise (larger ships come with both their pros and their cons, after all).
- Weighs in at 181,541 GT
- Measures 1,087 feet long
- Stands at 213 feet high
- Offers 19 decks
- Carries a maximum guest capacity of 6,334 travelers (though the normal double occupancy is 4,842 passengers)
- Carries 1,704 crew members atop the total number of guests
All in all, the Meraviglia Plus-class cruise ship cost MSC Cruises 800 million euros, as of 2016, when the ship was ordered at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France.
What to Expect from Meraviglia Plus Class
A lot of what a ship offers and what you can expect from a ship is determined by the ship’s class. In the case of MSC Virtuosa, it’s a Meraviglia Plus-class ship, making it only the second of its kind in the world, following sister ship MSC Grandiosa, the class’s (and the entire cruise line’s) flagship. A third Meraviglia Plus-class ship is slated for 2022 and has been christened MSC Europa.
So what can you expect from the Meraviglia Plus class? Well, if you’ve traveled on a Meraviglia-class ship — such as MSC Meraviglia or MSC Bellissima — basically you can expect a similar experience, only on a bigger, better ship.
Meraviglia Plus-class ships outrank Meraviglia-class ships by about 10,000 GT and experiences have been improved, from entertainment to dining — so, let’s get into some of the nitty-gritty details.
MSC Virtuosa’s environmental features are impressive. Following in the footsteps of MSC Grandiosa, MSC Virtuosa is one of the hands-down most environmentally friendly ships in the entire world.
The ship has effectively reduced its air emissions by up to 98%, thanks to advanced technology. Energy-saving equipment maximizes output, everywhere from the ship’s ventilation system to its heating and air condition. New wastewater treatment systems better protect marine life from wastewater.
And all this just scratches the surface. In other words, if you care about the carbon footprint your travel leaves behind, and the amount of pollution your cruising puts out into the world, you’re going to want to book a cruise on this particular ship.
When booking a cruise aboard MSC Virtuosa, you’ll be treated to a range of staterooms and suites to choose from. Stateroom options include:
- Interior studio staterooms
- Interior staterooms
- Ocean-view staterooms
- Family cabins
- Balcony staterooms
All of these come with their own perks, including full or partial ocean views, spacious bathrooms, plenty of storage space, extra seating areas and more. If you’re traveling as a family, it’s definitely worth looking into those family cabins, as they provide you with what is essentially two connected suites or balcony cabins, to accommodate between six and 12 individual cruisers.
If you’d like to update your cruising experience just a tad, you can do so by booking a suite aboard the ship. Suite options include…
- The basic suite
- Private whirlpool suites
- Private whirlpool grand suites
To upgrade things even further, though, you can book a stay in the MSC Virtuosa Yacht Club, which gives you even more space, more luxurious accommodations and a bevy of extra amenities. The Yacht Club offers VIP accommodations that include interior staterooms, deluxe suites, duplex suites and a royal suite.
The royal suite is your top choice for luxury aboard the ship, with a ton of space across two floors, a hot tub, a living and dining room, balcony, walk-in closets, soaking tub, and more.
Plus, when you book a Yacht Club stateroom or suite, you get extra amenities like access to a Yacht Club restaurant, private pool and bar, concierge service and even unlimited alcoholic beverages no matter where you are on the entire ship.
One of the things that MSC Cruises does very well is high-end, upscale entertainment. From the adults-only to the family-friendly, the casual to the formal, you can find a little bit of every kind of fun when sailing on a MSC Virtuosa cruise.
For outdoor fun, the Savannah Aquapark delivers three different water slides and a selection of pools. For indoor fun, the large theater offers three different seatings per night and multiple live performances during each cruise.
For adults-only fun, the casino is the place to go, where you can find a range of slot options, as well as table games. For some active fun, the Sportplex is the place to be, with its basketball court, tennis court, soccer area and even a volleyball court; the innovative space transforms into a social area after dark.
You likewise can’t miss the Galleria Virtuosa, with its LED dome (the longest at sea!) and its lines of shops and restaurants on either side of the promenade-like space. Lastly, simulators seem to be all the rage on cruise ships these days, and MSC Virtuosa offers in that area as well, with Formula 1 racing simulators for all ages.
Restaurants & Bars
With all that fun, you’re bound to work up an appetite and there are plenteous options to feed the family aboard MSC Virtuosa. The ship offers 10 dining venues and 21 different bars and lounges, ranging from long-standing MSC Cruises favorites to new offerings that you may not have experienced before, even if you’re a long-time MSC Cruises fan.
MSC Virtuosa Dining Options
- Five main dining rooms, where you can expect the typical, sit-down, cruise dining room experience, with a small menu and semi-formal experiences
- A 1,336-seat buffet
- Indochine Restaurant, a new French-Vietnamese fusion eatery with a great wine list and signature cocktails, as well as many vegetarian and vegan options
- Hola Tacos & Cantina, for fast-casual Latin American and Mexican cuisine
- Kaito Teppanyaki Restaurant & Sushi Bar, for two different Japanese dining experiences in one space
- Butcher’s Cut, for American-style steakhouse dining
- Jean-Philippe Maury Chocolaterie, for pastry creations
Bars on MSC Virtuosa
Beyond the restaurants aboard MSC Virtuosa, you’ll find nearly double the number of bars and lounges. Some of the must-try options include:
- MSC Starship Club, a futuristic bar where the first humanoid robot bartender at sea serves guests in eight different languages
- L’Atelier Bar & Art, for a mix of wine, cocktails, jazz and artwork
- Champagne Bar, for bubbly concoctions served alongside seafood-centric small bites
- Edge Cocktail Bar, for people watching in the middle of one of the busiest spots on the ship
MSC Virtuosa offers a wealth of children’s programming, whatever age child you’re traveling with. You’ll find:
- The Chicco Baby Club (for ages 1 to 3)
- The Mini Club (for ages 3 to 6)
- The Junior Club (for ages 7 to 11)
- The Young Teen Club (for ages 12 to 14)
- The Teen Club (for ages 15 to 17)
In addition to each of these “clubs” and their age-appropriate programming and spaces where children are welcomed to hang out on their own.
The ship also offers experiences that families can enjoy together, beyond the overall entertainment experiences listed above, such as the LEGO Experience On Board, which is an entire day dedicated to LEGO activities, as well as special family excursions made possible via the MSC Cruises’ Family Explorer Club.
There’s also a babysitting service that parents can take advantage of when the children’s areas are closed.
MSC Virtuosa offers five different pools, and that’s on top of its waterpark with its three different water slides. Altogether, these pools can give more than a thousand cruisers at one time the opportunity to take a dip, no crowding required.
The Atmosphere Pool is one of the best on the ship, as it offers about 10 square meters of space per guest. And, of course, if you don’t fancy a dip, you can enjoy just lounging about the pool decks and soaking up the sunshine, in one of the comfy, plentiful loungers.
But beyond this stellar ship’s plentiful ways to keep busy, it also offers you a pretty handy way to keep organized, too.
The MSC for Me app is available in the Apple App Store, as well as in the Android Google Play store, and it allows you to better plan your cruising experience, connect with your fellow cruisers, and ultimately spend your vacation time the way you want.
The app is only available on certain “smart” ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet, and MSC Virtuosa is one of those ships.
What all can you do on the app? Special features include the ability to:
- Check in for your cruise, all on your phone
- Register a credit card, for easy payments throughout the ship
- Take a look at an interactive map to make your way around the ship more easily
- Plan and book daily activities
- Receive notifications of events and offers
- Book cruise activities in advance, before your cruise even starts
Other tech features include MSC for Me wristbands, which allow you to pay for purchases around the ship with no card or anything else required. Your wristband can even unlock your stateroom.
Ready to Book Your MSC Virtuosa Cruise?
This is one ship that’s sure to please, whether you’re seeking a relaxing and luxurious getaway with just your spouse or partner, or you want a high-end ship that appeals to families and cruisers of all ages.
MSC Virtuosa FAQ
MSC Virtuosa is the ninth-largest cruise ship in the world, as of early 2021, sharing the ranking with sister ship MSC Grandiosa.
Considered a mega-ship, MSC Virtuosa weighs in at 181,541 GT; measures 1,087 feet long; stands at 213 feet high; offers 19 decks; carries a maximum guest capacity of 6,334 travelers (though the normal double occupancy is 4,842 passengers); and carries 1,704 crew members atop the total number of guests.
MSC Cruises is a popular cruise line with European travelers, offering cruises primarily in Europe, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia. Growing in popularity in the North American market, MSC Cruises is a good line for those seeking an experience that’s less kids-oriented, but still budget-friendly, with European-style dining.
MSC Virtuosa is a Meraviglia Plus-class ship, making it only the second of its kind in the world, following sister ship MSC Grandiosa, the class’s (and the entire cruise line’s) flagship. A third Meraviglia Plus-class ship is slated for 2022 and has been christened MSC Europa.