TRAVEL
09/22/2011 04:05 pm ET | Updated Nov 20, 2011

The MSC Lirica: A Huffington Post Cruise Ship Guide

The MSC Lirica is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the MSC Lirica.

Destination

The MSC Lirica sails in the Mediterranean during summer months. Starting in October, it sails to Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.

Passenger Ship

The Lirica is a midsize cruise ship that melds Italian sophistication with a relaxed cruising style. The ship is designed for easy navigation, with most of the public areas of the ship on the bottom two decks.

Special Features

As a family-owned company, MSC offers a wide range of family amenities, including free children's fares. Parents may also purchase cards for their teens with a prepaid amount of ship credit. The card opens the stateroom door and allows teens to make small purchases at ship stores. This gives teens independence while protecting parents from "sticker-shock" at the end of the cruise. Families can also relax at either of the ship's two pools or miniature golf course. Adults can enjoy a cocktail at the Beverly Hills Bar or a glass of ale at Lord Nelson Pub.

Accommodations

Interior staterooms have twin beds that can be converted into a single double bed. The suites have balconies and up to 300 square feet of space. All rooms feature calming beige walls with bright-colored artwork and furnishings.

Cost

Cruises on the Lirica to Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates start at $649 per person for an inside suite and $1,399 per person for a balcony suite. A seven-night cruise to the same destination over the New Year's holiday costs as much as $1,149 per person for an interior stateroom and $1,899 per person for a balcony suite.

Excursions

Passengers recommended the tour of Saint Petersburg. They said the tour guide was knowledgeable and spoke English well. The group visited Catherine Palace and the Hermitage. The ship took care of all Russian visas needed to visit the city.

Dining Experience

The ship's two main restaurants are La Bussola and L'Ippocampo. The ship offers open seating for breakfast and lunch and two assigned seatings for dinner. La Pergola is the ship's outside restaurant located near the pool and serves casual meals such as sandwiches and pizza. Le Bistrot offers casual buffet dining on Deck 11.

Maiden Voyage

The Lirica was completed in March 2003. The ship made its maiden voyage on April 13, 2003.

In The News

Our research revealed no notable news stories or safety concerns regarding the Lirica.

WATCH

A passenger's video of the MSC Lirica.

What's your favorite cruise memory?

Check out more CRUISE SHIP GUIDES.

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