The Best and Worst MSC Cruise Ships: Full Ranking for 2024!

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msc cruise ships best and worst

MSC Cruises, has a fleet of 21 impressive ships. A very high number that offers a wide range of choices for travelers.
However, this variety can sometimes be confusing when trying to find the ideal cruise.

To better guide potential customers, I decided to create a ranking that orders ships from the best to the worst based on customer reviews gathered from major cruise websites. After calculating the average score, it emerged that MSC Bellissima, launched in 2019 as part of the Meraviglia class, is the most liked ship. In contrast, despite being one of the newest, the MSC Seascape ranks last according to customer reviews.

Let’s see every ship in detail!

1. MSC Bellissima

Launched in 2019, Bellissima offers a sophisticated cruising experience with a focus on technology and comfort. Reviews often highlight the high quality of food at both the buffet and restaurants. However, there are mixed opinions on the adoption of overly technological solutions, such as the need to use the “MSC for me” app. Some reviews also note occasionally slow service and excessive crowding in the main venues.

From the opinions, it emerges that MSC Bellissima is the best ship in many aspects, most notably for its excellent cleanliness of the cabins and throughout the ship decks. Passengers also consider it the best ship in terms of size: not too big, not too small.

2. MSC Seaside

MSC Seaside, launched in 2017, is second in the list of the most appreciated ships. The idea of the ship is to emphasize its connection with the sea. Among its strengths is the wonderful outdoor deck that offers breathtaking and panoramic views of the sea and the ports visited. At the same time, as a downside, some customers said that the outdoor areas can’t be used in bad weather.

For this reason, cruisers consider it one of the best ships for cruises during the summer or for cruises in warm destinations.

3. MSC Sinfonia

MSC Sinfonia was lower in the ranking but climbed several positions after undergoing modernization works in 2015. The ship is loved because it has a more cozy and intimate environment, making it the preferred choice for guests who like smaller ships.

Reviews highlight the ease of moving on board and the more attentive service for the fewer passengers. However, the drawbacks include more limited entertainment options compared to larger ships.

4. MSC Seaview

Launched in 2018, Seaview offers an experience similar to Seaside, with a focus on outdoor areas. Therefore, its strengths include spacious outdoor decks, swimming pools, and numerous outdoor activities.

Some passengers found it a bit too crowded, and as with Seaside, good weather during the cruise is needed to enjoy all the best spaces.

5. MSC Meraviglia

MSC Meraviglia is a state-of-the-art ship with a spectacular LED promenade and a wide range of entertainment options. Guests have greatly enjoyed the variety of onboard activities available for all ages, from an excellent mini-club to adult entertainment. Everyone also liked the ship’s interior design, which was considered luxurious and elegant.

Like many larger ships, some negative reviews mention excessive crowding in common areas, but only during peak season.

6. MSC Divina

MSC Divina is one of those ships that is in the middle ground, neither too old nor one of the newest. Launched in 2012, it is renowned for its elegance and sophisticated design.

It has gained many points for the refined atmosphere onboard and a good selection of restaurants. In short, it is an excellent ship for those who are looking for a good ship without excesses.

7. MSC Preziosa

MSC Preziosa, launched in 2013, is the sister ship of the Divina I mentioned earlier. Being very similar ships, the customer ratings were almost identical. The only thing that changes is the interior decor in terms of colors and design. The spaces, however, remain mostly unchanged.

8. MSC Grandiosa

MSC Grandiosa was the first ship of the Meraviglia-Plus class, very similar to the Meraviglia class but with some improvements and a slightly larger gross tonnage. The ship is renowned for its imposing size and wide range of entertainment. On board, there are many restaurants and recreational activities. At the same time, the ship may seem a bit complicated, especially for inexperienced cruise passengers.

9. MSC Musica

Inaugurated in 2006, MSC Musica combines classic design with modern comforts. It is a medium-sized ship, so it has attracted positive reviews from those seeking relaxation. The atmosphere onboard is calm and relaxed, without crowds or large groups of people.

The flaws, however, are those that emerge with older ships. Being a 2006 ship, the years are showing, although it still appears well-maintained overall.

10. MSC Splendida

Splendida, the sister ship of Fantasia, offers elegance, comfort, and fun. Guests generally like the ship overall, finding it to be the right size and spacious. The entertainment on this ship has been particularly well-received, with guests reporting never feeling bored.

However, there are some criticisms regarding the food, perhaps explaining why this ship is only in the middle of the rankings.

11. MSC Virtuosa

Launched in 2021, MSC Virtuosa is one of the newest ships in the fleet. It stands out for its technological innovations and entertainment options, offering cutting-edge technology and a wide variety of fun activities.

However, like many other ships, its main drawback is overcrowding. Several customers have complained about long lines at both the buffet and reception.

12. MSC World Europa

The flagship, MSC World Europa, is at the twelfth position in the ranking of MSC Cruises’ best and worst ships. It is the newest ship, launched in 2022, and is inherently the most innovative with cutting-edge technology. The main criticism is the difficulty in moving around inside the ship, with some cruisers finding it too sprawling.

13. MSC Armonia

MSC Armonia is the oldest ship in the MSC fleet. It was launched in 2001 but renovated in 2014. Contrary to what some might think, the oldest ship is not necessarily the worst.

MSC Armonia has received good reviews for offering a more classic and intimate experience. The ship provides a welcoming and personal atmosphere that is perfect for those seeking a quieter cruise. The drawbacks are what you might expect: as the smallest ship, it has fewer restaurant and entertainment options than the larger ships.

14. MSC Seashore

MSC Seashore was the first ship of the Seaside EVO class, essentially an enhanced version of its sister ships Seaside and Seaview. Its strengths include more spacious cabins and excellent outdoor areas. However, like the other ships, the main drawbacks include overcrowded areas and sometimes a lack of good service.

15. MSC Fantasia

Launched in 2008, MSC Fantasia combines luxury and innovation. Although it was an excellent ship, several years have passed since its launch, and it’s starting to show signs of aging compared to newer ships.

However, the reviews still have a good rating and classify her as a good cruise ship.

16. MSC Magnifica

MSC Magnifica blends traditional style with modernity. Launched in 2010, it belongs to the Musica class but is slightly larger than its three sisters (Orchestra, Musica, and Poesia). Its positive points are the good mix of restaurants and entertainment activities, suitable for all ages. However, it lacks some features found in the newer fleet.

17. MSC Poesia

MSC Poesia launched just before MSC Magnifica (mentioned previously), is known for its calm environment, perfect for a stress-free cruise. The cabins are comfortable, and there’s a good variety of culinary choices onboard.

18. MSC Lirica

MSC Lirica is one of the older ships in the company’s fleet, but it was renovated in 2015. Despite the renovation, its age is pronounced, and some guests find it quite visible. It may be a good choice for travelers who are more focused on the itinerary and destinations than the ship itself.

19. MSC Orchestra

Launched in 2007, MSC Orchestra offers a good combination of relaxation and entertainment. Although not very large, it has a diverse selection of restaurants and bars and a well-structured entertainment program. However, cruisers have found the layout of the spaces sometimes confusing, and it may lack some of the attractions of newer ships.

20. MSC Opera

MSC Opera is almost at the bottom of the MSC ship rankings. Thus, cruisers consider it one of the worst ships. It’s relatively small, which might limit daytime activities or food options. It could be a good choice for experienced cruisers who know what they want and what to expect from a smaller ship.

21. MSC Seascape

Surprisingly, according to reviews, MSC Seascape, launched in 2022, is considered the worst ship of the cruise line.

Despite being a brand-new ship, passengers might have high expectations for new vessels and end up disappointed, even by minor flaws. Seascape is known for its revolutionary design; many passengers find it appealing. They also love the ship’s stunning interiors and the excellent entertainment and dining options. However, as with similar ships, criticism mainly comes from the overcrowding and the not-so-good service quality.

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