All aboard the brand new and sparkling MSC Euribia cruise ship!
Named after the Ancient Greek Goddess Eurybia, who harnessed the winds and mastered the constellations to navigate the seas. This 19 deck mega-ship is the newest in MSC’s fast-growing fleet, and it’s the most environmentally advanced running on liquefied natural gas.
With a capacity of over 6000 passengers, and a vessel length that’s longer than 3 football pitches in tandem. The MSC Euribia is currently the 12th largest cruise ship in the world, and it’s fitted with the longest LED dome at sea!
Come explore this clean and modern cruise ship with me, and let’s see why MSC has gained the acronymic nickname ‘Most Sparkly Cruise’!
In this article...
Different types of rooms available on a cruise
Like all cruise lines there are different options when it comes to selecting your room. The one you pick will largely be down to personal preference, your budget, and of course, availability!
If your ultimate goal is to make your cruising holiday as cheap as possible then an internal cabin (which have no windows) will be the gentlest on your wallet.
Next up are window cabins. Which will flood your room with natural light, whilst allowing you to take a peek at the ocean waves. It’s probably a better option over the internal cabin for anyone who can experience feeling a little claustrophobic.
Then there’s balcony cabins which are quite a jump up on price. But for paying a premium, you gain your own private balcony to relax and enjoy. Away from the other passengers on board and the busyness of the ship.
After that you have premium options like rooms with whirlpools, or impressive duplex suites which are spread across two levels. There’s also cabins for ‘Yacht club’ members who get their own exclusive part of the ship.
For the purpose of this review, I’ll be talking about a ‘deluxe balcony room with partial view’ as that’s what we booked for our holiday.
Top tip: If you’re worried about getting travel sick, ideally you want to book a room near the middle of the ship that’s on a low level. You feel the swell and rocking much less in this position on the ship.
What are the partial view rooms like on MSC Euribia?
Partial view balcony rooms are cheaper than regular balcony cabins. Making them a good route to go down if you’re happy to forgo a little bit of your sea view. It means you can bag yourself a balcony room for pretty much the same price as a window room. You won’t know exactly what’s classing your room as a partial view, and the obstruction can vary from room to room.
For reference we were aft of the ship on deck 8 and this is the view from room number: 8243. You’re basically level with the roof of the life boat, so the obstruction was minimal, and it didn’t bother us at all.
The balcony space was generous, and even on our winter cruise we enjoyed having this little bit of outdoor space. It was also handy to feel how cold it was, and to check if it was raining before getting ready to head off the ship on port of call days. I will say though, I think a balcony would be even more important on a summer cruise.
Room tour on MSC Euribia
The deluxe partial view balcony room was well appointed and felt more spacious than what I imagined. The room was neutrally decorated with lots of brown and beige textiles. Which in itself could be a perk to some and a negative for others.
The queen size bed was firm but comfortable, and you were provided with two pillows with varying density’s. MSC also had a pillow menu available so you could select your ideal pillow option and get it switched out for your perfect choice.
Our cabin had a large sofa which could magically be converted into bunk beds, perfect if you’re bringing the family. The room would still feel fine if you have young children, teenagers might be making things feel a little cramped though. There was a large vanity area which came equipped with a stool and hairdryer. Also over this side of the cabin we had a mini bar, a kettle and a selection of teas and coffees to make your own hot drink.
We never watched the TV, but you could pay to hire films on it. As for mirrors, there was one at the vanity area to do your hair and makeup. A full length mirror near the wardrobe and a ginormous mirror opposite the bed which helped make the room feel bright and airy.
Air-con and heating could be controlled inside the room, so we were always comfortable. Thankfully it wasn’t noisy either so it didn’t keep us awake at night. There was a bit of creaking in the room, but I think much of that was because we were travelling through some pretty strong storms in the North Sea over Christmas.
The en-suite was fairly compact but you could wash your hair without whacking your elbows on the shower walls. MSC’s own blend of shampoo and body wash were provided in dispensers, and there was a retractable clothes line which we didn’t use. Although it would be handy for drying your swim stuff in the summer!
As for storage, we both managed to fully unpack our bulky winter clothes using the drawers, wardrobe and cubbies. The sliding wardrobe isn’t the biggest, but there are some additional coat hooks behind the front door which helped free up a bit of space. We slid our suitcases away under the bed to keep the room clear and clutter free.
There were plenty of plugs in the room, and all of which were a mix of 2-pin EU and 2-pin US. So don’t forget to bring a travel adapter if you’re coming from outside of those areas. There were also some USB slots above the nightstands which were perfect for charging up our phones.
I’ve seen lots of posts about people complaining their Dyson Airwraps won’t work onboard the MSC cruises, but don’t fret – I used mine all week! Admittedly, our multi travel adapter wouldn’t power my Airwrap. But using this EU to UK adapter worked perfectly and I had no issues at all.
Overall, the deluxe room (although very espresso toned) was new and spotlessly clean throughout. It was comfortable, and we didn’t encounter any issues.
Room service & cleaning
Our cabin steward was beyond efficient. He worked tirelessly and checked in with us regularly to make sure we always had everything we needed. Our room was cleaned at such rapid speed, that it makes me wonder if he was related to The Flash! Fresh towels were switched out daily, and all teas/coffees were topped up.
The cabin steward also delivered our daily programme and daily activity sheet, which lists everything that’s happening onboard the following day. Enabling you to take a look through and plan out your day from start to finish. On port days he would leave your shuttle tickets, along with critical information on your bed for you too. These shuttle tickets would only be charged to your account if they were used.
We had free breakfast room service included in our fantastica package. Which we only ended up using once on Christmas morning; it was a sea day, so we enjoyed a chilled morning. The system was simple; fill in the breakfast card, select a delivery time and hang it on your door before the clock strikes midnight. The room service menu is quite small – but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from going for a second breakfast in the restaurant or buffet!
Spending Christmas on MSC Euribia
If you’re planning a December cruise, then you’ll see Christmas decorations throughout the ship. Although the festive decor somewhat dwindled once you moved away from the centre of the ship, which had been decorated with lovely snowmen, garlands and twinkling fairy-lights.
The main festive display was the Christmas tree and snowman which sat beside the piano, and a nut cracker near the entrance to the casino. Other than that, there was the impressive Christmas themed LED screens, plus a bit of tinsel and baubles here and there too. I also loved that all the staff were wearing their red and white Santa hats every day!
Christmas day is celebrated early onboard the MSC Euribia, as this is done on Christmas Eve. Which also means your traditional Christmas dinner is served on Christmas eve too. The dining tables were dressed with white & silver Christmas crackers for everyone to pull, the atmosphere was merry and the food was delicious. We really enjoyed spending our Christmas day somewhere in the North Sea on route to Rotterdam.
Travel sickness on a cruise
There’s no doubt in my mind, that crossing the North Sea in December is going to be a far choppier experience than taking the same route in the summer.
James suffers from travel sickness and I’ve never has the best sea-legs. So, to play it safe, we took plenty of Kwells and Stugeron travel sickness tablets with us. We used Kwells the most as they didn’t seem to cause the drowsy feeling of Sturgeron, and topped up whenever the boat felt a little rockier than usual. Thankfully, we never felt ill despite some rough north sea waves!
You can buy travel sickness tablets onboard but they are quite expensive, so I recommend bringing them with you.
Style of MSC’s newest ship
Euribia’s style is bold, modern and glitzy. Giving off somewhat of a ‘Vegas at sea’ vibe; with lots of bars, and a huge casino for you to have a little flutter. Having said that, Euribia’s casual and laid back atmosphere make this ship a top choice for families. We saw some young children onboard, but the majority of families were ones with older teenager kids. Probably because theres so much on board to keep them content and entertained!
The main reception area has MSC’s dazzling Swarovski crystal staircases, which do become a bit of a photography hotspot because they are beautiful! Without fail, you’ll see people glammed up, posing on the swooping stairs every evening.
Also expect a bit of upselling when it comes to photo opportunities. Photographers would try and get you to go for some cheesy photoshoots with some tacky backdrops (in our opinion). We just politely declined and continued walking. If this is your sort of thing though, and you would like to have a photoshoot done as a holiday memento. Then save yourself some money by buying the digital photo package before you sail, as it’s a considerable amount cheaper than once you’re on board.
The photographers also come around at dinner time, and ask to take a quick photo which we did a couple times. If you did want to look at them, or perhaps even purchase them. Then you just need to head over to the Gallery, where you can easily find any photos of yourself through some nifty facial recognition software. Same goes for the photoshoots.
If you’re looking to buy a completely unique piece of art for your home, then you should visit the onboard Iris Galerie. They use state of the art technology, which captures every detail and nuance of your iris. It’s then turned into a one of a kind pice of art for you to hang on your wall. They did look really impressive with the amount of detail that they capture!
Euribia’s Galleria area
Home to the longest LED dome at sea, the two-storey galleria is an impressive mediterranean styled promenade and shopping area onboard the MSC Euribia. The 80 meter LED dome continuously changes its display, and can also match a theme of an event that is happening. For example, they held a space theme silent disco in the galleria one night, and the LED dome became a galaxy. Throughout the week we saw many different christmasy displays as we wandered through this area, including Santa flying over on his sleigh!
The galleria on the Euribia is also where you need to head if you want to do a spot of retail therapy whilst at sea. There is a great selection of stores, especially for those in the market for designer sunglasses, watches or handbags. Not forgetting the impressive chocolate shop here too, and you’ll see some incredible chocolate displays in store. There is also a type of convenience shop; selling beauty products, food and medicines.
They liked to hold different games and events throughout the day here, which could cause a bit of congestion through this area at times. However, the worst was always when everyone flooded out of the Delphi theatre after a show finished. To avoid wiggling your way through the slow moving crowd, we headed straight up a level and walked along the speciality restaurants instead.
Perhaps during the summer months these events would be carried out up on deck out of the way?
Entertainment onboard the MSC Euribia
The main theatre on the MSC Euribia is called The Delphi Theatre. It’s a large theatre which seats 945 people in comfortable grey cushioned chairs. It’s worth noting that there’s no bar in here, but you’re allowed to bring drinks in with you. Depending on the shape of glass you have, they may not fit inside the cup holders as they aren’t overly wide!
The singing was sometimes undesirable, but we enjoyed the cheesy shows and vibrant costumes to begin with. Sadly we found the shows on the MSC Euribia to become increasingly repetitive as the week progressed. 5 out of the 7 days we had the same group of performers singing and dancing each night which became monotonous. Thankfully the guest magic show near the end of the week brought new talent to the stage, and provided excellent entertainment. It also introduced some much needed variety, which was certainly lacking onboard the MSC Euribia.
The Delphi theatre shows need to be pre booked (you cant attend without a booking) which can be done on he MSC for me app. If you haven’t downloaded the app, it can be done on the large touch screens which are dotted throughout the ship. The performances are shown 3 times per day at 5:30pm, 7:30pm and 9:30pm, and are available to book from 10pm the night before.
We preferred the Carousel lounge which had live music in the form of The Big Band. A spectacular nineteen-piece group who covered different genres from jazz to disco. They also had incredibly talented singers perform in here who were fantastic. A lady called Christina Rodgers did some brilliant Adele covers and the Carousel Lounge quickly became our favourite place to spend our evenings.
The carousel lounge was a popular venue, which meant getting a chair wasn’t always possible. You either had to arrive super early, or it was pot luck that you managed to jump into someone’s seat once they left. We were cruising at full capacity, so this could be totally different if the ship isn’t full.
Day time entertainment on Euribia:
As for the events that happen throughout the day, like napkin folding & dance classes for example. We personally found some of the daily events a little repetitive, and some just beyond random! There were less options of things to do mid to late afternoon. Which gave us a chance to sometimes return to our room for an afternoon power nap (because we’re in our 30’s) ready for the evening.
The Marketplace Buffet
If you want to taste the best pizza at sea, then head straight to the Marketplace buffet for a slice of cheesy goodness! The Marketplace buffet is almost open around the clock. Switching from breakfast, lunch and dinner. To snacks, deserts and a mouth-watering pizzeria! Different dishes were being cooked up daily (along with the regulars) so we never got bored of the offerings here, and found everything really tasty!
The Buffet is located near top of ship on deck 15. Which got rocky at times on the rough North Sea, and you feel the movement more the higher you go. It became our routine to make the buffet our last stop every evening. Not only for a cheeky midnight snack; but it was also ideal for grabbing a bottle of water (on drinks package) to take back to our room. Plus we filled a little glass of milk from the buffet for our cup of teas. You are provided with UHT sachets in your room, but we preferred to take a little milk and keep it in our mini bar!
We found the buffet to be it’s busiest at breakfast time. It was heaving! Getting around it all could be quite unpleasant with people everywhere, and take a while too (but again we were cruising at full capacity) Your best option for breakfast is; either go really early, or just before it switches to the lunch offerings.
Alternatively, you can head to one of the free restaurants to have breakfast served to you. We only ended up doing this twice, as it closes quite early and there were many tasty options in the Marketplace buffet. Although the banana pancakes in the restaurant were truly delicious!
Seating in the buffet:
Even though the buffet could get mega busy, we never once struggled to find a table. There would be entire sections (quite a distance from the food) with heaps of empty tables available. Which is where we always seemed to end up, as it was peaceful too. The spacing between the tables was also vastly different from the tightly packed restaurant arrangements.
Service call buttons could be found on the tables, in order to save you queuing up at the buffet bar. Although they only seemed to be present and correct on approximately half of the tables. Not sure why? We found wait times for drink orders in here varied from a couple minutes to around 15 minutes.
Restaurants onboard the Euribia
In total there are 10 restaurants onboard the Euribia, half of which are speciality restaurants (which means they are a chargeable extra, and not included in your ticket) We didn’t end up going to any speciality restaurants, as we felt we had enough choice with all the free/included food!
Hola! has some vibrant theming and it looked a top choice for some tasty tapas. We considered booking a meal at Le Grill – a brasserie style restaurant. Which cooked up some juicy & delicious looking steaks! They also had a sushi bar which looked fun and a chocolate cafe too for all the sweet-toothed passengers on board.
MDR (Main Dining Room)
Your designated MDR gets assigned to you at check in, and the restaurant details get printed onto your cruise card. Your cruise card also shows your table number, and your allocated seating time. Ours was in Colarado River right at the back of the ship, and we got lucky with a 7:30pm slot. They also have a 5:30pm and 9:30pm seating.
Whilst we expected to be seated at a table of two. We actually ended up on a table with three other couples, which was a little daunting to begin with! But we really enjoyed being in their company and catching up on each others travel adventures every evening over a 3-course dinner and unlimited wine.
You can head straight to the restaurant on the day of embarkation to check your seating arrangement – if it’s not what you want, you can put a request in to change. It’s also worth mentioning that tables of 2 are spaced only a few inches apart from one another – we’re talking the width of a credit card. Whereas the big round tables of 8 are nicely spaced apart.
Bars on the Euribia
As for drinks, theres a total of 21 bars on Euribia; 5 outdoors and 19 indoors. We didn’t get to experience all of them during our holiday as we ran out of time, and the outdoor ones were just too cold. The Infinity bar on deck 5 was a nice place to enjoy an afternoon coffee, or grab a cocktail to take to dinner. Masters of the Sea was a fun British-style pub, where we discovered you could also buy some battered fish and chips. If you’re after a scenic view, then the sky lounge was the place to go for a spot of ocean wave eye-candy. As mentioned earlier, Carousel lounge was our firm favourite. It was where we enjoyed listening and singing along to the live music.
Drink & Wi-fi packages
We’re not big alcohol drinkers. Yet we still purchased the premium drinks package as it was on a cracking deal when we booked our cruise. The premium drinks package includes all drinks up to 14 euros. Which allowed us to work our way through an extensive cocktail menu. Trying new drinks that perhaps we wouldn’t have otherwise tried. It was also nice to try mocktails, speciality coffees, teas and hot chocolates too. We certainly got our moneys worth!
As for the Wi-Fi. Go with the standard browsing package (which is much cheaper than the streaming package) and use a VPN to stream. You can even tether your iPad or Laptop to your enabled device (phone) to allow additional devices. This may change, and MSC might lock this down. But this is what we did whilst on the cruise and it worked a treat. We could facetime family on Christmas day and YouTube videos played perfectly.
Choice of swimming pools on Euribia
MSC Eruibia has a total of 5 swimming pools, including one indoor pool with a retractable roof. We didn’t use any of them as it was absolutely baltic outside in December. As a result, the only indoor pool was inevitably jam-packed with lots of excitable children, and because the roof was closed it was super noisy inside.
I can imagine the outdoor pools being a refreshing delight during the summer. There was heaps of deck space for pulling out the sun-loungers and doing a spot of sun worshiping. However during the winter this area was more like a ghost town.
There are crescent-shaped hot tubs plus one of the largest aqua parks at sea. Only a few brave souls were making use of the aquapark in December. But mainly just the one water slide that was heated! That icy cold wind was painful though! During the summer I would have spent hours in here with my children playing. There were waterslides, splash pools, and buckets of water getting chucked over your head. It really is a fabulous water park!
Getting about the ship
Even though the MSC Euribia has a whopping 19 decks. Its well laid out and quite easy to navigate your way around. Plus there are big touch screens dotted about the ship, with deck plans on if you need to take a look or double check where you’re going.
To save yourself getting dizzy from winding down multiple flights of stairs, or working up a sweat going up them. We frequently used the lifts. Especially when travelling from a high deck down to the lower bars and restaurants, or vice versa. Due to the amount of the lifts available, this was 9/10 times a short wait. They also had some clever technology for calculating which lift will give you the most direct route. You simply press the deck level you want, and it will ping up on the screen which letter of lift to wait by. Avoiding any chance of heading in the wrong direction.
We personally didn’t think MSC had many exciting excursion options available. However, I would take that with a pinch of salt. As this could be down to fact we were cruising over Christmas. They might put on better excursions during the warmer summer months. They had some walking tours available but they all seemed a bit steeply priced for what they were. As a result, we opted to use the shuttles (which are charged) instead of booking any excursions. This gave us free-reign to head off and explore towns and cities by ourselves. Which was actually a lot of fun! Read about our time in Rotterdam & Bruges here.
If you’ve seen an excursion that you would like to do, I’d advise booking it in advance before you’re onboard. 1 – because they sell out. 2 – because they are cheaper if you book before you step foot on the cruise.
Top tip: Double check your shuttle drop off point. Sometimes the shuttle will drop you off to a nearby town, where you will need to organise the next mode of public transport (usually train) to reach the centre.
Health & Wellness
The MSC Euribia has an impressive gym where you can work up a sweat. Burning off some calories whilst enjoying a beautiful panoramic view. Or swerve the treadmill, and breathe in some fresh sea air. By heading out on deck to use the walking and running track instead. If ball games are more up your fitness street, then the impressive sportsplex will be the place for you.
After all that exhaustion, you could unwind with a visit to the MSC Aurea spa. Book yourself in for a relaxing massage, or enjoy the thermal area with a sauna, steam bath and whirlpool. The Aurea spa is chargeable, and you can get some good deals if you book it before you cruise.
Is MSC good value for money?
MSC is incredible value for money with Mediterranean cruises starting from £549 per person with a basic internal cabin. Prices can undoubtably jump up once you’ve added on things like excursions, Wi-fi and drink packages though. Make sure your gratuities are included in your price, otherwise these these will soon tally up.
We would book another cruise with MSC, although we would do a warmer destination one next time so we could make use of the outdoor space and pools.
Embarkation and disembarkation
I can’t fault the embarkation with MSC, it was silky smooth and ran like clockwork. A completely stress free process in comparison to getting through an airport. From dropping off our suitcases, to going through security, everything was quick and painless. From start to finish, the whole process took less than 30 minutes. With MSC staff on every turn if you needed them. We were both blown away with how seamless it was. We embarked around 3pm, which meant our room was ready and waiting for us. So we headed straight there to drop off our hand luggage. Then our suitcases arrived and were waiting outside out cabin door for us by 6pm.
Disembarkation was just as simple too. We chose to carry our suitcases off the ship ourselves so we could head out first thing in the morning. We left our room at 8am and we were back in our car driving home by 8:30am.
Top tip: When heading back on the ship after a day of sightseeing on port days, remember you can go straight to security and skip check-in as thats just for new arrivals only.
Euribia packs plenty of fun for the kids
There are loads of activities onboard MSC’s Euribia for kids and teens. The indoor basket ball court was always popular, and we watched people play football in there too. Although I have no idea how they controlled the ball, as the ship was swaying a considerable amount that day!
There is an entire arcade thats full of games too. I highly recommend giving the interactive 3D cinema a go. We had to shoot monsters on our one and it was such a laugh. There’s also a two-lane bowling alley, and of course the swimming pools. Not forgetting the Himalayan rope bridge course thats suspended above the water park.
If they are wanting to spend some time with other children, or perhaps away from the parents! Theres the option of dropping them off at kids club, which is split in to different age groups.
Final thoughts about MSC’s Euribia cruise ship
With five fabulous swimming pools, an epic aqua-park at sea, live music, VR-experiences, bowling, Formula 1 race car simulation, shows (some better than others), silent disco, casino and a spa. There is more than enough to keep your itinerary busy on sea days.
I think MSC’s Euribia is laid back, and perfect for couples, trips with friends or family holidays. It’s got something for all ages, which is why you’ll see a mix of all generations onboard.
Cruising holidays are polar opposite to our usual type of trip, especially compared to our Iceland ring road adventure! This trip has made me realise how cruising holidays can take the stress away from travel. Switching it for comfort and fun whilst still getting to explore some amazing countries and cities. Even if just for a brief whirlwind visit.
Although I wouldn’t book a cold Christmas cruise again (or at least not for a while) we will certainly be booking another cruise in the future. Somewhere hot and sunny!
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