Danielle at MSC Cruises, has some tips for your first cruise

How does the embarkation process work?

Embarkation begins at the check-in time shown on your cruise ticket. 

Check-in closes 2 hours in advance in ALL embarkation ports. Before arriving at the port, please ensure that all personal details shown on the embarkation form in your e-ticket are checked and correct. You will be required to show your embarkation form before boarding. 

Main steps for embarkation 

At the terminal: 

1. Deliver your luggage to the designated staff, who will then have it sent directly to your cabin. All bags must be labelled beforehand with your name and surname, the name of the ship, the cabin number and the date and port of departure.

2. Go to the embarkation area with all personal travel documents required for the cruise, and show staff the embarkation form on your cruise ticket or via the MSC for Me app (if available). Collect your Cruise Card and MSC wrist band (if available). 

Guests of the MSC Yacht Club will find an exclusive Check-In area and will be assisted with their luggage by the butler team at the terminal, who will escort them to the dedicated line for priority Check-In. 

On request, the butler will also unpack guests’ suitcases. 

3. Proceed to the security control. 

Please note that staff may search you and/or your luggage and confiscate any articles that could represent a safety risk. 

4. Board the ship where staff will take your security picture, if you have not already done so via the MSC for Me app or web check-in (if available). 

Then proceed to your cabin.

What is the dress code on board and what should I pack for my cruise?

Make sure you pack appropriate clothing for the various activities you will undertake during your cruise, such as parties, dinners, sports and shore excursions.
• For everyday life on board, casual wear is recommended.
• For informal evenings, we recommend summery dresses for women and a lightweight jacket for men.
• For Gala or Elegant evenings, the dress code is more formal. We suggest a dinner jacket, or dark suit and tie for men and a dressy outfit, formal gown, or cocktail dress for women.
• We organise various daytime and evening themed parties on board. 

You may wish to bring 60s and 70s floral gear for the Flower Glory Party, white clothing for
the White Party, and something green, white and red for the MSC Little Italy entertainment.
• For sports lovers, gym shoes and tracksuit are must-haves
• We also recommend you bring a pullover or shawl to help with the changes in temperature between the air-conditioned interior of the ship and the deck areas.
• For shore excursions, which may include visits to religious sites, we advise that appropriate clothing is worn (covered knees and shoulders, no low-cut tops). You can leave at home: pool towels, hairdryers (you’ll find these in your cabin); cigarettes, sun cream or beauty products (all available in the onboard shops). Keep in your hand luggage: travel documents, luggage tags (to be attached on arrival at the embarkation port), money, jewellery, electronic devices, medicines, nappies, and any other valuables or items you may need at short notice.

When and where can I dine on board?

Dinner is served in the Main Restaurants* in a two sittings Classic way.

Early dining and Late dining options are 

available on board MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Bellissima; MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa 

offering various dinner sittings, according to availability and ship’s itinerary. Guests dine in a dedicated restaurant 

enjoying service from the same waiter at the same table and time each evening.  

"My Choice" is a dining option available to Aurea Experience Guests. 

Guests can dine any time they prefer 

during the  main restaurant’s opening hours. 

On MSC Armonia, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica, Aurea and Fantastica 

Experience Guests staying in Suites and Balcony Cabins can enjoy dinner at a dedicated restaurant with "My Choice 


Bella Experience Guests will be accommodated in the main restaurants (upon availability) or in the Buffet restaurant 

enjoying the same menu and service. 

Fantastica Guests will have a priority in choice of dinner sitting

What if I need to follow a special diet?

Most special diets can be catered for on board if requested when booking your cruise. • Kosher meals (pre-packaged) and Halal products (beef, lamb and poultry) are available if requested at least two months before departure. • MSC Cruises is certified by Bureau Veritas to provide gluten-free menus worldwide (food code <20 ppm*) in the main restaurants of MSC Seaside, MSC Seaview, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina, MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, MSC Magnifica, MSC Poesia, MSC Orchestra and MSC Musica. 

We work closely with the Associazione Italiana Celiachia (Italian Celiac Association) for these ships cruising in the Mediterranean and in Northern Europe. On MSC Armonia, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica, you can find pre-packaged, gluten-free products such as snacks, biscuits, croissants, sponge cakes and muffins. Naturally our offering of top-quality, gluten-free menus will also be extended to the newest ships in our fleet: MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa and MSC Virtuosa. 

The quality certification process will be completed as soon as possible after the launch of each ship, so please check the availability of gluten-free menus on these ships when booking.  * MSC gluten-free menus are suitable for gluten intolerance, but not in case of gluten allergy.

What Drinks packages are available?

EASY PACKAGE Unlimited consumption of all drinks priced up to €6/$6!* Savour a dedicated selection of house wines by the glass, draught beer, selected spirits and cocktails, non-alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks and fruit juices by the glass, bottled mineral water, classic hot drink (espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte, hot tea) and coffee and chocolate delights. 

The package can be consumed in all on board bars, self-service buffet and restaurants, excluding speciality restaurants. 

PREMIUM PACKAGE Unlimited consumption of all drinks priced up to €10/$12!** This offer includes a wide range of cocktails, spirits, liqueurs, aperitifs, wines by the glass, draught and bottled beers, sodas, fruit juices, bottled mineral water, energy drinks, classic and special coffee drinks, hot chocolate delights and organic tea. The packages can be consumed in all onboard bars, self-service buffet and restaurants, including speciality


PREMIUM PLUS PACKAGE Unlimited consumption of all drinks by the glass, with no price limit! Enjoy a Connoisseurs' selection of spirits, champagne by the glass, all wines by the glass in all venues, all cocktails, including Champagne cocktails, minibar, drinks and food from room service menu, drinks from theme bar menus, 30% discount on bottles of wine and Champagne from our wine lists. The package can be consumed in all onboard bars, as well as the self-service buffet and restaurants, including the speciality restaurants.The price of the packages applies to each day of the cruise except for the day of disembarkation. Packages cannot be purchased on a daily basis. Once activated on board, the packages cannot be terminated and refunded. Packages must be booked by all guests occupying the same cabin, or travelling together and wishing to eat at the same table, including minors who must book the Child version of the package. The package is not obligatory for infants under 3 years old (i.e. who have not yet reached their 3rd birthday). The contents of these packages and their prices may vary and are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. For further information please contact your Travel Agent

How does the disembarkation process work?

Instructions for disembarkation procedures will be given on board. 

Don’t miss the disembarkation talk in your language on the last days of your cruises. 

Arrival and departure timings, including final disembarkation, might differ from those indicated in the ship itinerary due to operational needs. 

When planning your return home (flight or train) please consider that disembarkation might take up to 2-3 hours after the actual arrival of the ship.