Welcome to our ultimate guide to the MSC Cruises fleet. Here, we'll provide you with…
Cruise ships are known as all-in-one packages for holidaymakers. When you buy a ticket for a cruise, you will get your travel, lodging, and many of your meals, drinks, and entertainment included in the price. That’s why so many families prefer to go on holiday on a cruise as it offers great value for money.
That said, not everything on the MSC Virtuosa ship will be free and included as part of your basic fare. While guests can access most venues and facilities on board for free, there are other services and sites that will cost you extra to visit and take advantage of. One example is the MSC Virtuosa kids club.
To give you a better idea of what you can expect to get access to completely for free when on board the Virtuosa, keep on reading.
Buffet and Main Dining Food
When it comes to food, you won’t have to worry about paying for it on board as five out of the ten restaurants on board are included as part of your basic fare. With that said, there are certain MSC Virtuosa restaurants such as the Kaito Teppanyaki Restaurant & Sushi Bar and the Butcher’s Cut (a steakhouse), which will cost you extra if you choose to dine there. But since we’re focusing on what’s free on the MSC Virtuosa, let’s take a look at the different free dining options that you will have access to.
About the Marketplace Buffet
If you and your family and friends prefer a buffet-style dining experience, you will be thrilled to know that one of your free dining options is the Marketplace Buffet. It’s open from early morning till late evening. And besides the standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner times, if you feel snacky and need a bite in-between, you can do so free of charge.
The large majority of items at the MSC Virtuosa buffet are freshly made. And to be quite frank, according to reviews from previous travellers on the Virtuosa, the food is very decent. Not only that, but the menu varies from day to day, giving you plenty of different food options to choose from.
About the Main Dining Room
While the Marketplace buffet is great, not everyone likes to eat in buffet-style restaurants. Fortunately, if that happens to be you, you can dine at the main dining room completely free of charge, which can hold thousands of people at any one time.
Unlike the buffet, this time you get to order single meals, just like in a restaurant. You can choose from a variety of starters, main courses, and desserts. What’s more is that the menu changes from day to day, leaving you with plenty of different foods to try out and enjoy.
As is the case with most cruises, not all the drinks are free on the Virtuosa, unless you have the right drinks package. The drinks that you will have access to completely free of charge include water, tea, coffee, and several popular juices, including apple, orange, and other. As far as free drinks are concerned, that’s about it.
You won’t be getting free cocktails (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), premium water, hot or cold beverages. That said, if you want to buy drinks on a one-off basis, that’s totally possible. The cost of the drink will vary on the type of drink and where you purchase it.
Whether you drink alcohol or not, it’s worth exploring the different drinks packages on the MSC Virtuosa as you may save quite a bit of money even if you have a few drinks a day. That is of course if you find the free drinks that come with your standard fare boring.
The 5 On-Board Swimming Pools
There are a total of five different swimming pools on the Virtuosa cruise ship, each one being slightly different. One of the most interesting and popular swimming pools on board is the one with the retractable roof. When the sun is out, the roof opens up and when the weather isn’t so great, the roof will come back up. That way, regardless of what the weather is like outside, your swimming pool experience will remain unaffected.
As you might expect, you don’t have to pay to use the swimming pools on the MSC Virtuosa. They are all included as part of your stay. That said, the swimming pools can accommodate up to 1,000 guests, which is a fraction of the total guests on board. So, if you want a good spot at your favourite pool, it’s a good idea to head to it and reserve your spot before breakfast.
Another underrated free activity that comes as part of the swimming pools are the hot tubs. There are plenty of those scattered nearby all swimming pools that you can jump in and enjoy. The water is always warm, so even if the weather isn’t great outside, you can still have a great time while sipping on your favourite drink.
The Savannah Aqua Park
The MSC Virtuosa is one of the cruise ships at sea that offer an aqua park of this magnitude. On deck 19, you’ll find the Savannah Aqua Park, which consists of three thrilling water slides that have many twists and turns. One of the slides even goes over the sea, which is definitely not for everyone, especially those who fear the ocean.
For younger children, there’s the MSC Virtuosa water park right next door. It features a smaller water slide, a water tipping bucket, water sprayers and cannons, fountains, and other water elements that the youngsters can use to have a ton of fun.
Since it’s a water park, many guests assume that you have to pay extra to go on the water slides, but that’s far from the truth. When you buy a ticket to the cruise, it includes entrance to the waterpark.
The Himalayan Bridge
If getting in the water isn’t really your thing, you should definitely give the Himalayan Bridge a go. Like the Savannah Aqua Park, the bridge is situated on deck 19 and is completely free to use.
To give you a better idea of what the bridge is, it’s a suspended rope-bridge that hangs in the air over the ship. It features several solid stations, each of which is separated by a set of challenging courses that you’ll need to complete. Don’t worry, you’ll be strapped up so even if you fall, you will be in safe hands.
That said, it isn’t for everyone. You will need to meet an eligibility criteria in order to use it. It most typically includes being a certain height, not being drunk, not being pregnant, and things of this nature.
If you’re into fitness, sports, and keeping fit in general, on board the MSC Virtuosa you’ll find the Sportsplex facility. On this part of the cruise, you’ll find the MSC Virtuosa gym, which is fully equipped and a sports hall, where you can play basketball, futsal, tennis, and a variety of other sports.
To take the fitness facility to the next level, MSC also hosts a number of sporting events and tournaments. So, if you feel competitive or want to test yourself against all the other guests, you should give it a try. It’s also completely free to use.
Le Grande Theatre
What’s a cruise holiday without some live entertainment? At the Le Grande Theatre, you and your family and friends can sit and enjoy a variety of live performances every evening. Doors open early and close right before midnight.
There are a total of three live entertainments each evening, so don’t worry if you can’t get a seat at one of them. Plus, the 1000 square metre theatre itself seats 945 guests at any one time. With that said, it’s worth booking your seats in advance to avoid disappointment. The live entertainment on the Virtuosa is quite popular and reaches maximum capacity quite quickly.
Other Things You Can Expect to Get on the Virtuosa for Free
When on board the Virtuosa cruise ship, you’ll be spoilt for choice as far as the free things that you get access to. We could go on and on, so to keep this article short, we’ll list all of the remaining things that you can expect to get for free on the Virtuosa.
- Kids Clubs
- The Attic Club
- The L’ Atelier Bar & Art
- The Top Sail Lounge
- TV Studio & Bar
- Galleria Virtuosa
As part of your basic fare, you and your family and friends will get access to many of the facilities on board the Virtuosa cruise ship. From food and drinks to swimming pools, gyms, and live entertainment, the free things you can take advantage of are truly endless.
With that said, should you find a particular paid activity or facility interesting and something you’d be willing to pay for, please make sure you do it in advance before you board the cruise. That way, you can save 15% to 40% from the total cost.