On a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea with MSC Grandiosa during Covid-19 times

Vacation on a cruise ship has been an exciting experience, even during Covid times. The cruise offers a vacation organized down to the tiniest details: spa, gym, bars, restaurants, theater, shopping, kids club, animators, themed restaurants, and organized excursions. Of course, everyone has their attitude toward the upcoming vacation. Whether it will be unforgettable depends significantly on the expectations and the mood you will put before your departure.

Cruises during Covid are not like the cruises of yesteryear; crowds and tailgates at buffets, crowded bars, and Jacuzzis. Nowadays, crowds and queues are absent, and there is plenty of privacy and social distancing.

Here, I will talk to you about a vacation on an MSC Grandiosa in the Mediterranean bound at the moment; the cruises are like traveling in a safe bubble ” safety bubble cruise,” thanks to the strict safety and health protocols that the company has mastered with the approval of the Ministry of Health.

All guests need to follow specific travel requirements.

To be allowed onboard the ship, all sailings in the upcoming months till March 31st, 2022, in addition to the cruise ticket, each passenger must comply with at least one of the following requirements:

Schengen countries:

  • Be fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated is when you have completed the vaccination cycle more than 14 days before the cruise with an approved Covis-19 vaccine, such as Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and J&J. A “mix-and-match” combination of the above list of vaccines is accepted.

  • Have recovered from Covid-19 within the last six (6) months.

Due to the latest evolution of the pandemic, starting from November 27th, 2021, all Guests above two years old, vaccinated, unvaccinated that have recovered need to provide a certificate of a negative RT-PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before the ship’s departure. For example, if you are leaving on a cruise on Sunday around 2 pm, you must have your Covid-19 test on Friday no earlier than 2 pm.

For references, visit the company’s official website, which will provide detailed and constantly updated information.

During the cruise

By boarding the ship, you will receive an MSC For me bracelet. This bracelet will work only and exclusively during your cruise on this ship. It is a tracking bracelet that identifies contacts with a passenger infected with Covid-19.

Masks – You must wear masks on the ship (adequately placed over the nose) during your entire stay. You will find several in your cabin, always available at the ship’s front desk. You can only remove the masks on the outside decks if you can distance yourself from other passengers. Also, you can remove them during consumption; while you are seated at a table in a bar, restaurant, or buffet. Children under six do not need to wear masks.

Daily contactless temperature checks –  at every restaurant and buffet entrance during mealtimes, staff are armed with a contactless thermometer and electronic device to register and measure your temperature. If you miss it, they will remember by a call to the cabin or an invitation to visit the front desk to have your temperature checked.

Before Covid-19, buffet, and drinks dispensers were self-serve; nowadays, the ship staff helps to serve the food and beverages. The food is behind partitions, and in front of each tray, a staff person will put everything you ask for on your plate and ensure you will not refuse the encore.

In the Casino- lovers of table games or machines are at least one seat away from the other players, and spectators are kept safe from the players.

With the Shops onboard the ship, you can enjoy shopping by wearing your mask correctly, keeping a social distance, and waiting for space to become available in the shop.

On the excursions- before Covid -19, each passenger had the opportunity to go ashore individually when the ship docked in port. Now, landing at the port is only possible exclusively with an excursion purchased from the company to ensure your and other passengers’ health safety. During the trip, you are not allowed to leave or go out of the group to keep you and others from eventual Covid transmission. In addition, the bus drivers, tour guides, and the staff of the places and shops you will visit during the excursion are tested for Covid 19 daily. To the attention of the hitchhikers, not following the rules can cost you dearly, including not being allowed on board the ship.

Testing for Covid-19 during the cruise- once on the ship, all required testing is at the MSC company’s cost. Currently, each country we visit has its own rules for testing passengers leaving the boat on their territory. For more information, here is the official MSC website, and in case you are on board, you can always get accurate and updated information from the front desk.

In addition to the daily temperature check for all guests, guests should immediately notify the onboard medical center, which will provide free treatment for any flu-like symptoms. The ship’s medical center is fully equipped, opened up 24/7, with highly qualified multilingual staff, fully trained to treat Covid-19, and supported by a 24/7 ashore medical team. In addition, each member of the ship’s crew is tested for Covid 19 twice during the cruise. Finally, in close contact with infected Covid-19, people are immediately isolated in a dedicated ship area.


I am wishing you a most memorable vacation on board and happy upcoming holidays.


Svetlana Hristova

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