Money, money, money. What’s interesting is that it can be both a taboo and the main topic of interest and discussion at the same time. That could be because openly talking about money can very often be seen as something negative. Nevertheless, whenever I write a post breaking down the costs of my cruises or travels in general, it always seems to be the most read one in the whole history of my blog! Since I recently sailed on board of Msc Virtuosa, I decided to share with you once again the prices of that specific cruise to show you how much money you actually need to prepare if you want to go on a cruise. Before we start, let me remind you that when booking a cruise you need to keep 10 hidden costs that are not included in your fare in mind -> READ ABOUT THEM HERE <-. If you want to have a comparison of my earlier cruises, make sure to read -> Cruise Prices Exposed <-. Now, let’s get on with the Msc Virtuosa Cruise Costs Breakdown!
My MSC Virtuosa Cruise Costs Breakdown
- Cruise Fare
- Pre & Post Cruise Costs
- Drink Package & Additionals
- Specialty Dining
- Laundry & Ironing
- On board credit
- TOTAL CRUISE COSTS BREAKDOWN
During my 10-day cruise on Msc Virtuosa, I was staying in a guaranteed Inside Fantastica double cabin. For those of you who don’t know what it means, let me summarize it shortly: guaranteed cabins means that I haven’t chosen the location of my cabin and it was randomly assigned, however, there was a possibility of having a free upgrade to a higher class of cabin (external, balcony, suite). I didn’t get the upgrade this time, however, I was very pleased with the final location of my cabin. Inside means of course internal, with no windows. You can read about different types of cabins available on cruise ships in this post -> 15 types of cabins on a cruise ship <-. Fantastica means that ordering breakfast in the cabin was free and I had a priority in choosing the time slot for my dinner. Double occupancy – I shared the cabin with a friend, but for the commodity of this post, I will be sharing the price per person.
Keep in mind that the cabin cost also includes entertainment, meals, pools, theatre.
Price of the cabin: 1974€ / 2 people = 987€ per person
What’s also included in the cruise fare are the port taxes – the ship will be docking in different ports during your cruise and each port has a price, and that’s reflected in what you’re paying in your cruise fare and highlighted separately for complete transparency.
Price of port taxes: 160€ per person
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the cruise industry had to implement a lot of security measures to keep the passengers protected. That’s why every passenger needs to get the Msc Covid-19 protection plan insurance that will keep both the company and the guests protected financially in case of necessity.
MSC COVID-19 Protection Plan: 25€ per person
There are tons of ways you can book a cruise – through agencies, clubs or directly with the cruise line and the prices in between them can slightly differ. I have chosen to use the services of CruiseTopic agency for that one and it came with a handling cost.
Booking handling cost: 46€ / 2 people = 23€ per person
TOTAL CRUISE FARE: 2390 € / 2 people = 1195€ per person
PRE & POST CRUISE COSTS
Luckily for me, my cruise on Msc Virtuosa sailed both from and to Italy and I have a family house there where I was spending my vacations both before and after the cruise. This reduced my costs significantly, because I would usually book a hotel the day before and after the cruise to make getting to the port and to the airport afterwards smoother. Instead, I arrived the morning of departure and the afternoon after disembarkation and was drove there by family, which meant I also haven’t spent anything on transportation this time. However, if you’re planning to take a cruise and it departs / ends in a different country than yours, consider that you would also need to add the costs of flights and eventually hotels to your budget. If you need guidance on other costs you need to consider before booking a cruise, check out this post: -> 7 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BOOKING A CRUISE <-.
However there was one additional cost this time around: I am not vaccinated for health reasons (I have an autoimmune disease which is a contraindication), so I had to get an antigen test within 48 hours prior to the departure. I booked and took it in a pharmacy in Italy, so keep in mind that the cost of it may also vary. However, if you’re vaccinated, you don’t need to do the test.
Antigen COVID Test: 15€
TOTAL PRE & POST CRUISE COSTS: 15€
Having to buy excursions this time around has negatively impacted my usual cruise budget this time. In pre-covid times I would hardly ever book an excursion and rather get out in port on my own (You can read more about it in the post about -> CRUISE EXCURSION ALTERNATIVES <-), however to reduce the risk of COVID contraction, MSC Cruises have made excursions obligatory to get out in port. It’s definitely a safe decision to keep both the passengers and crew safe, however I hope that will change after the pandemic is declared over. During my cruise I’ve visited 5 ports and have chosen the ones I thought were the most interesting to me personally. That means it’s possible you would have made a different decision: the prices of cruise excursions were typically ranging from 39€ to approximately 150€. Let me show you the prices of the ones I chose:
TOTAL EXCURSIONS COST: 302,98€ per person
As I mentioned before, meals on board of Msc Cruises in the main dining restaurants and buffet are included – drinks, on the other hand, are not. To make the most out of my experience I ALWAYS purchase the drink package because it’s simply convenient – I don’t have any spending limits and can feel free with my choices on drinks and – to be honest – I always exceed the daily cost of the package (count a coffee in the morning, something to drink by the pool, something with lunch, sparkling wine during dinner, cocktails during the parties), which means I end up having “free drinks”. There are 3 types of drink packages on board of Msc ships currently – I always choose the middle one, the Premium Package that includes all alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages of up to 10€ (that includes wonderful coffees, sodas of course, simple alcoholic drinks, as well as more sophisticated cocktails).
Daily cost of Premium Package: 37,8€
TOTAL COST OF PREMIUM PACKAGE: 378€ per person
ROB – FIRST ROBOT BARTENDER IN THE WORLD
Msc Virtuosa has the first ever robot bartender in the world on board. That’s so unique and special! I couldn’t let the occasion of testing it just pass by so I decided to get one drink there, even though it wasn’t included in my package. The drink comes in a STARSHIP CLUB mug which you can keep as a souvenir from your first AI prepared drink – so the price you pay is actually worth it as it serves both as a drink charge and a souvenir!
TOTAL COST OF STARSHIP CLUB EXPERIENCE: 17.25€
I usually stick to the main dining restaurants and buffet since they are complimentary and are free of charge (the food is always exquisite and I never felt the need to try anything different), but since I have found a nice Mexican restaurant I have decided to try the real tacos for lunch once. They were delicious and the price didn’t influence my budget in anyway!
TOTAL COST OF SPECIALTY DINING: 7.78€
If you have ever been on a cruise before, you will know that once you leave the port, your internet and phone connection won’t function. To stay connected with your family and friends on land, you can purchase an internet package – which I always do, considering I have to stay in touch with my loved ones. In this case me and my friend have purchased one package that could be used for 2 devices, logged into the same account, and split the price by half – which was more convenient than buying 2 1-device packages.
Internet package: 136.63€ / 2 people = 68,32€ per person
TOTAL COST OF INTERNET: 68,32€
LAUNDRY & IRONING
When gala night comes, it’s important for me to feel nicely dressed and transporting dresses in the luggage can sometimes make them wrinkly and overall – not nice. On the first day, after embarkation, I unpack everything, select the ones that are not wearable and leave them in the laundry bag for the ironing service.
TOTAL COST OF LAUNDRY: 57,47€
Generally entertainment on board is included, but casino, gambling and lotteries are extra paid – of course, since you can win real money in it. I have never played bingo before and I wanted to try so I purchased one round of it and played it by the pool on a warm afternoon – sadly I didn’t win, but what a lovely game that was!
TOTAL COST OF CASINO: 20€
Ah, souvenirs! Coming back home with physical memories from the cruise, gifting magnets to your friends and family who collect them is just a way of prolonging your vacation! I personally collect miniature ships from all my cruises, I get them at the Logo Shop, as well as buy a lot of souvenirs for my family. Since there was also a Jean Philippe Chocolat Factory on board, I have also decided to buy a ship figure made entirely from chocolate for someone important to me! Let me show you the breakout of my souvenir prices:
Logo shop: 35€
Jean Philippe Chocolat Factory: 30€
TOTAL COSTS OF SOUVENIRS: 65€
Whenever I’m able to, I try to donate at least a little of what I have with me to the MSC Foundation. This time I have also donated a sum of money, but I choose not to disclose the amount because I feel it’s important to do things out of heart’s calling and not to show off on the media. However, keep in mind while preparing your budget that a donation would be appreciated.
ON BOARD CREDIT
Before I summarize the entire cost of the cruise, it’s important to add that due to previous cancellations of my booked cruises I was also entitled to an on board credit of 100€ per person which I could use on all purchases made while cruising. This means that out of the entire cost of my cruise, 100€ were “gifted” and therefore lowered my total cost.
MSC VIRTUOSA CRUISE COSTS BREAKDOWN (PER PERSON):
CRUISE FARE: 1195€
PRE & POST CRUISE: 15€
PREMIUM PACKAGE: 378€
STARSHIP CLUB EXPERIENCE: 17.25€
SPECIALTY DINING: 7.78€
TOTAL MSC VIRTUOSA CRUISE COSTS: 2126,80€
MINUS ONBOARD CREDIT: -100€
TOTAL PAID: 2026,80€
Summing up, I consider it to be a decent price for a 10-days cruise experience on board of a 800 million € ship such as Msc Virtuosa – and it was definitely worth it! What are your experiences with cruising? If you haven’t cruised yet, were you expecting a higher or smaller amount? And if you cruised before, how would you rate my total price? Let me know! You can find me on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest and Buy Me A Coffee if you appreciated my transparency!
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