For the First time Cruiser, or theseasoned ethusiast . . .

From the first time cruising or trying out MSC Cruises, we’re delighted to welcome you aboard . . . Many first time cruise passengers have a lot of questions, so we have packed this section full of useful information, including tips and hints designed to answer most queries you may have


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Southern African



  Nightclubs and disco
(there is no entrance charge for any of the nightclubs or discos on board our ships) 



5 Questions every first time cruiser have . . .

I remember when we went on our first cruise we had no idea what to do and to expect. We'd traveled before, flown before, stayed in hotels before, but never cruised before. It seemed like a whole different world. We had a miriad of questions. Fortunatly we had some help to aswer the majority of the questions and for those not answered we had to experience it first hand . . .

Q: Do I really need a passport?
A: It depends.  If your cruise departs outside of South Africa you definitely need a passport.  For those departing out of SA ports, cruising on a closed-loop cruise ( "Cruise to Nowhere" - where it starts and ends in the same SA port) only requires a valid ID and birth certificate.  Would I cruise without a passport?  No. For that reason alone, I recommend making the investment in getting a passport. Always check with the cruise line as requirements can be different based on the itinerary.
Q: What Should I Pack?

A: You should pack for the destination.  If you are going to the Caribbean, pack for summer weather.  If you're going to Alaska, pack for cooler weather.  we'd recommend you check the weather for the time you're aboard. Some formal wear might be required as a Cruise generally have at least one formal night where everyone puts on their best for dinner.  You can take some really nice photos.  Formal night is optional so you can opt out if dressing up is not your thing.  Be sure to check with your cruise line for dining attire as some have specific guidelines.  Below are a few of the photos my family and I have taken on formal night. You'll also need a good pair of walking shoes. For me, that's a brand new pair of sneakers. Whatever allows you to explore in comfort is what you should bring.

Q: My boarding documents advise me to arrive at 09:30PM. Do I have to wait until 09:30PM to show up at the port?

A: Maybe.  On my first cruise, I followed the instructions on my documents and had no problems getting on.  There were not a lot of people there and I didn't have to wait in any long lines.  But, your first day on the ship is also part of your vacation and most people would like to get on early to enjoy more time exploring the ship.  I recommend checking with the cruise line to see if they are strict about their boarding time. Cruise lines offer it merely as a suggestion in order to manage the congestion at the port.

Q: How do you pay for things onboard? 

A: Cruise ships operate on a cashless system.  You will get a room card that will also serve as your payment card for anything you purchase onboard.  This includes gift shop items, drinks at the bar, room service, and shore excursions.  Also, at the end of the cruise, gratuities will be added to your account.  You can either add a credit card to your account that will be charged at the end of your cruise for your account total or you can pay cash before you get off the ship.  You'll want to use your cash for extra tips to bar staff and things you buy while in port.  You can also use cash in the casino, or, if your account has a credit card attached, you can pull money from your account to play.

Q: What kind of cabin should I get?

A: It depends on how you cruise.  We would generally recommend everyone start out with an inside cabin.  Inside cabins are located on the interior of the ship and don't have a window.  They are generally the cheapest cabins available on the ship.  If you plan to spend a lot of time participating in the activities on the ship and off the ship when in port, then this cabin is for you.  If you need a little natural light but don't want to pay for a balcony, you might be an ocean view cruiser.  If you like being outdoors and love seeing and hearing the ocean, you might be a balcony cruiser.

Please do take note charges do apply for additional activities onboard, these include:

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