MSC World Europa docket in Damman

Review: MSC World Europa

MSC World Europa yacht club lanai
yacht club lanai
Evening entertainment on MSC World Europa
Evening entertainment on MSC World Europa

This Cruise review is based on my own experience, during a one-week cruise on the MSC World Europa. MSC World Europa is a new ship, that was inaugurated 2022 in Qatar. It sails the Persian Gulf during winter season 2022/2023.

We decided on this cruise on MSC World Europa because I wanted to make a break within warm weather during European wintertime, but without a long-haul flight. As the American cruise lines do not cruise in the Arabian Gulf at this time, my husband and I decided to try another cruise on MSC cruises.

It was our second time on MSC, we’ve travelled on MSC Magnifica in 2010. Furthermore, I was really excited to visit a port in Saudi Arabia, because they just opened for tourism not too long ago.

On this cruise, our journey started in Dubai, we travelled to the UAE ports of call in Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, to Doha in Qatar and to the Port of Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Because we were ab it afraid of the masses of people on the ship, we decided to book a balcony cabin in the Yacht Club. Its number was 16022.

an orient cruise

Overall experience of the MSC World Europa

The ship is new – and therefore exciting to explore. There are nice, designed places such as the World Promenade, a wide-open space between the two cabin blocks on both sides. On deck 8, in the heck, there is a wonderful area, where you can walk to the heck on the ship or sit om sofas and lounges. At night there is a special illumination, and even a fife minute light show on certain times. However, in my opinion the space there is not used too well. There could have been much more places to sit down and relax, not only the spare tables that are outside of the café.

MSC World Europa boardwalk in the evening
MSC World Europa boardwalk in the evening

The ship seems to be designed to allow smaller, more intimate spaces, wherever possible. Which is a good concept. There are wonderful places such as a pub with its own micro beer brewery (!) where you feel like in an English Pub. Or a small Mexican restaurant, outdoor space on the Butchers cut etc.

The teahouse on MSC World Europa
The open space of the teahouse at night

However, because the speciality restaurants on deck 7 (Hola tacos Mexican restaurant, Butchers cut steakhouse and Kaito Teppanyaki are located on the same deck as the lifeboats, and there is a big open space in the middle over several decks, it seems a bit squeezed in. We especially experienced that during a dinner in the steakhouse where we sat in the “outside area” of the restaurant. There were endless streams of people walking by just next to the tables. There is no boundary between the restaurant and the space, where people walk.

Furthermore, it was quite noisy in that area. We wondered why that occurs, and I checked on deck plans and pictures from other ship. It seems, that other ships with big areas do not have tiles on the floor, but carpets. And some even have some plants and the like, which might absorb some of the sound. 

Dinner in Mexican Restaurant on MSC World Europa
Dinner in Mexican Restaurant
MSC World Europa yacht club suite nr. 16022
yacht club suite nr. 16022
Fruits offered in MSC World Europas yacht club suite
Fruits offered in MSC World Europas yacht club suite

How crowded is a ship with 6’700 passengers on board?

In most of the places on the ship, it did not feel too crowded. The reason might be, that there is a concept that works well on most of the places. But there were two of them, that we did not like: the pool area on sea days and the buffet restaurant.

The buffet restaurant was really bad. Having cruised on ships such as Royal Caribbeans Explorer of the seas (~5’500 passengers), we were terrified, how overcrowded it felt on MSC World Europa’s buffet restaurant. The buffet itself was not small, but the space in front of it. Where on other ships we’ve sailed the buffet was in a bigger area kind of „rounded up“, this is just in a straight line on the World Europa with not enough space to walk by. That might add to the crowded feeling. Maybe the whole place is smaller at all. Therefore, we just “fled” to the MSC Yacht Club restaurant and took our breakfast, lunch, and dinner there.

“a bit squeezed in buffet restaurant”

During sea days, pool areas tend to be always overcrowded in warm weather, that is a common issue. But on MSC world Europa, it was a bit more, than on other ships, we’ve travelled so far. The beach chairs were just lined up, with no space – and e.g. small tables – or anything in between. Even in the yacht club, there was not enough space – and not enough shadow…

A positive thing were the large pools on the Aurea Spa sun deck, just below the Yacht club. The pools are located on both sides of the ship, overlooking the ocean. I often went down there for a quick dip in one of that pools, because the pool in the Yacht club was just nothing special (in the middle of the pool deck…).

The yacht club on MSC World Europa

The cabins in the yacht club are really nice. We just booked the smallest one, a balcony suite (nr. 16022). There is enough space for a small sitting area with a sofa. The bathroom is very well designed with a large shower, with tiles on the floor and even a rain shower!

There are lots of cabinets in the room to stow away clothes and other things. And the bed was big and comfortable. However, in my opinion, the balcony is too small for such a Yacht Club suite. In addition, the chairs on the balcony just were the smallest, minimal one, where one would rather not sit the whole afternoon…

The additional features of yacht club are:

  • Concierge service
  • The Yacht Club restaurant and bar
  • An exclusive sun deck “the lanai”
  • And a priority check-in area and even a priority boarding area on most of the ports.

Those are nice features, and we were glad, to have booked the Yacht club. However, compared to e.g. Celebrity Cruises area on the new Celebrity Edge – the so-called Retreat – the Yacht Club is definitely on a lover level of service in our opinion. That is based on the following experience:

  • Yacht club restaurant has too many tables on a small space
  • Service is a bit too unpersonal for a supposed to be “luxury area”
  • The sun deck has just squeezed in too many beach chairs
  • Concierge Service is ok, but nothing special (e.g. we had to cancel an excursion and had difficulty to find out, if we get a refund or not, they promised to call us in our room and did not do it etc. )

I am not a person who complains easily, but I think, the small details make the difference between a good service and an exceptional one. And the prices for MSC Yacht Club and e.g. the Suite Area on Celebrity are much the same for a one week cruise…

Entertainment on MSC World Europa

Evening entertainment on MSC World Europa
Evening entertainment on MSC World Europa

The ship offers a wide range of entertainment, including live music, shows, a cinema and a casino. The shows we visited were really great fun. They were entertaining and beautifully designed. During one show there was a spherical steel cage, where electric motorbikes rode inside. Something we’ve never seen on a ship show before! Just great.

One thing, one has to know: because the passengers on MSC ships are from countries, which speak different languages, all announcements will be made in several languages. E.g., English, Spanish, Italian and German. Therefore, the announcements are rather long and can be a bit disturbing sometimes. The language fact has an impact on the entertainment too: In the pool area the entertainment was in Italian during the day, and there are no shows with comedians or such on language based themes.

Sport and Wellness on the cruise ship

The MSC Word Europa has a fitness centre and several sports areas, including a basketball court, a mini-golf course, and a running track. We went to the gym nearly every day. It was ok, but a bit small, especially if you want to do gymnastics on your own or similar.

In the booking of a Yacht club suite, visiting the Aurea Spas thermal suite was included. Therefore, I went there one afternoon to find out how it feels. There is a nice sauna with a window, a steam bath, various small baths and a main pool. Except of the sauna, it was a bit too dark everywhere, and there were towels lying around from people, that had already left. It was not so well kept and too dark for my liking. (I cruised on Norwegian Jade in December 2022, and the old ship had a wonderful thermal area overlooking the bow of the ship – and the area was illuminated with light). Maybe, my expectations were too high…

The cleaner fuel: LNG

MSC World Europa has a modern, cleaner, and more efficient fuel than most other ships, the LNG (Liquified Natural Gas). According to MSC website, MSC World Europa is equipped with five LNG-powered engines and can generate electricity with the help of LNG-powered generators. This technology reduces emissions massively. That is clearly a good point to start with – as the cruising industry does actually have too many emissions.

That is my review. Have you cruised with MSC World Europa too? What do you think?

Greetings, Yve

Read more about my experiences in Dubai

I visited Dubai several times. You will find photos, tipps and my stories here:

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Or find out more about me: about Yve

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