Jeannine Williamson explores the line's first World-class ship
Key selling points for agents:
- It's the biggest ship in the MSC fleet
- Venom Drop, the longest dry slide at sea
- Yacht Club luxury ship-within-a-ship concept
- Luxury suites with hot tubs
- 13 dining venues, including six speciality restaurants
Overview: MSC World Europa, the first of MSC Cruises’ World-class ships, was christened in Doha, Qatar in November 2022 before the Fifa World Cup. With capacity for up to 6,762 passengers, it’s the biggest in the fleet and also the first to be powered by liquefied natural gas, making it the most environmentally advanced MSC cruise ship.
Cabins: The 2,626 cabins come in 19 categories – 65% with balconies – and seven of them are new to MSC World Europa. These staterooms include 172-square-feet balcony suites overlooking the lively promenade.
There are also Aurea Suites, with large balconies and hot tubs, and Infinite Ocean View Cabins with panoramic sliding windows that turn into a glass balustrade when open.
For luxe-loving customers, MSC World Europa boasts the fleet’s largest ship-within-a-ship concept called the Yacht Club, which has 24-hour butler service. For the first time this features 495-square-feet two-floor Duplex Suites. The largest Yacht Club stateroom is the expansive 1,119 square feet Owner’s Suite.
Food and drink: The 13 dining venues, with six speciality restaurants, include the new and innovative Chef’s Garden Kitchen, which features a hydroponic garden where herbs and greens are grown without soil. Out on the promenade, La Pescaderia fish market focuses on Mediterranean catch-of-the-day dishes.
The Masters of the Sea pub now has its own microbrewery and the tranquil Raj Polo Tea House serves a tea blend that’s exclusive to MSC World Europa alongside elevenses and afternoon tea.
Facilities: Notable firsts include a spiralling slide, the line’s largest water park and biggest children’s club, all-new dining and drinking venues and the standout alfresco promenade.
Familiar features include MSC’s trademark Swarovski crystal-studded staircase (now found in the Yacht Club) and the dazzling LED dome with its ever-changing backdrop, such as a giant aquarium. There are some hidden surprises too, as some lucky passengers might find themselves invited to a secret speakeasy accessed through a hidden doorway.
USP: The ship’s distinctive Y-shaped aft has created a 104-metre-long open-air promenade with restaurants, bars and impromptu 'street' performances. Despite its size, many venues throughout the ship feel intimate, with distinctive characteristics of their own, such as the new Gin Project serving 70 craft gins. This may help attract new-to-cruise clients who might normally book land resorts. Wow factor thrills are provided by the 11-storey Venom Drop – the longest dry slide at sea.