When it comes to family, distance has no miles. No matter how far we are, we always make a good effort to connect. Separated 11,000+ miles apart, our family of 17 had a grand reunion aboard on the spanking new MSC World Europa for New Year in Dubai.
The maiden voyage of the World Europa sets sail at the Persian Gulf. Our route starts at Abu Dhabi and takes us on a 7-night cruise to various destinations around the United Arab of Emirates.
Abu Dhabi – Yas Marina Island – Bahrain – Doha – Dubai – Abu Dhabi
One of the coolest perks being on a cruise is waking up to a new destination almost everyday. It’s exciting to roll out of your bed… walk onto your balcony… and discover a new skyline off the coast.
Booking + Diamond Status Match
To book the cruise, you select the stateroom that you like. For most of us, we chose the “Balcony” category, which starts at $819 USD per passenger.
Within the “Balcony” category, we chose the “Deluxe” for the location which adds $280 USD more, which makes it $1099 per passenger for the stateroom.
To save even more money, you can status match to MSC World Europa. Silver, Gold, and Diamond members save an additional 5% on the cruise fare plus a plethora of benefits depending on your elite tier.
For us, we leverage our Hilton Diamond and successfully matched with MSC Voyager Diamond Status, which is the highest elite tier for the cruise.
Benefits include welcome amenities such as a free bottle of champagne + desserts
And a VIP private meet and greet with the cruise captain, director, and loyalty team.
MSC World Europa
Simply put, this boat is MASSIVE. Just look at Miki, she looks like a tiny ant next to the 1000ft+ World Europa. That’s over three football fields long.
Not in the mood for an elevator?
No prob, there’s a slide that spirals from Deck 20 to Deck 8
In the mood to hot tub?
Go during sunrise for optimal privacy. Early bird gets the worm.
There are multiple theaters like this on the MSC World Europa.
At night, the theaters transform into life with glitzy shows that are family friendly. This one is a travel show that is a combination of comedy, acrobatics, and magic.
This one is an immersive disco dance party that makes the audience like Chloe participate in the show.
Since MSC Cruise is a huge sponsor of Formula One, they offer simulators that makes you feel like you’re a race driver in F1. It’s a multi-screen arcade where you get strapped into a hardcore Ferrari vehicle. Chloe does not seem too impressed with Paul’s driving skills…
Spoiler alert, Paul crashed numerous times. Just look at the steering wheel, took a couple of races to get used to this intimidating machinery!
Unfortunately, dining on this cruise was mediocre at best. For restaurants and buffets, they commonly rotated similar foods around. However, you can avoid this by dining at their specialty restaurants where they serve better cuisines. For Diamond members, you can have one specialty meal for free too.
It’s ok, food is secondary… it’s all about having a good laugh with good company.
Another notable meal was the formal gala night where you dress up for dinner… food here was better too
A huge advantage of cruising is that you never have to worry about flights, luggage, and accommodations. It feels like magic waking up to a new destination everyday.
It is a great opportunity to go outside your comfort zone and do things that you normally wouldn’t do. Simply step off the boat and…
Swing and pose at Yas Marina Island
Successfully getting an uber to see a small mosque in Bahrain
or a huge mosque in Abu Dhabi
Eating local foods at Souq Waqif in Doha
Shopping at the largest mall in the world at Dubai
Date night with the Chai Bros in the Palm Islands
Overall, that is what cruising is all about… an ultimate sampler of experiences without worrying about the logistics in how to get there. For large families (especially for 17 people), this is the ideal way to travel together. Everyone has their own rooms… everyone can do different activities…. everyone can get together and meet up whenever they want.
What the MSC World Europa lacks (dining accommodations, crowded at times, etc.), it makes up with its mega glitzy facilities and the beauty of its surrounding destinations.
A memorable way to cruise into 2023
Time to plan the next reunion 🙂