Cruise line competition is getting better for passengers as more companies offer all or semi-inclusive fares that sort of put a buffer on the nickel and diming that usually happens on ships. Crystal Cruises led the pack a year or so ago by including tips, drinks and two alternative dining venue experiences in its fares. Seabourn, Silversea and Regent Seven Seas have always provided such perks. (Regent Seven Seas actually goes a few steps further offering shore excursions and even free WiFi on some cruises).
The latest to jump on the bandwagon is MSC Cruises which according to a press release received today, September 30 has launches a new pricing structure called Inclusive Experiences where passengers get to pick perks based on personal preferences. The cruise line claims that the new pricing is valued at up to $700-plus per person. It includes a choice four different categories — Bella, Fantastica, Aurea, and MSC Yacht Club — ranging from a la carte to all-inclusive amenities.
“Consumers are increasingly seeking all-inclusive vacation experiences where all the services and activities they want can be paid for in one bundled package up front,” said Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises USA. “Our new pricing model allows guests to customize their vacation experience based on their own personal desires.”
The inclusive benefits include the following options:
- Bella Experience — Best Price– designed for value-conscious travelers looking to enjoy the wide-range of amenities and entertainment MSC Cruises offers to all its guests, while having the option to add additional onboard services, such as beverage or spa packages, a la carte. The Bella experience is available for guests booking interior, ocean view or balcony staterooms.
- Fantastica Experience — Priority Choice—offers added flexibility such as the ability to choose a premium location stateroom and priority choice of early or late dining. Additional benefits in the Fantastica experience include 50 percent off all fitness classes and personal training; free delivery of room service between 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and enhanced recreational activities for children including cooking and foreign language classes. As a special promotion, guests who book the Fantastica experience for select 7-night or longer sailings on the MSC Divina in the Caribbean or Mediterranean will also receive a beverage package. This experience is available for guests booking interior, ocean view or balcony staterooms.
- Aurea Experience — Premium Choice–bundles several amenities, including premium choice of balcony staterooms and suites and dining in the main restaurant with “My Choice Dining” flexible times. Additional benefits in the Aurea experience include priority boarding; a beverage package consisting of unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, excluding premium drinks; a spa package with a massage and private spa consultation; access to the exclusive adults only Top 18 sun deck; and all the perks associated with the Fantastica experience. The Aurea experience is available for guests booking Aurea balcony staterooms and suites.
- MSC Yacht Club – Elite Choice—an all-inclusive VIP club level experience that comes with keycard entry to a private club, priority check-in and check-out reception; signature butler service; dedicated 24-hour concierge; exclusive Top Sail lounge and pool; 24/7 complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available within the Yacht Club area; and a private MSC Yacht Club restaurant.