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MSC Status Match – What Is it And is it Worth Doing? A Step-by-Step Guide

I successfully used the MSC Status Match program to transfer my Norwegian Cruise Line loyalty status to MSC, and I have been enjoying the perks on MSC cruises ever since!

In this post, we look at how you can apply.

What is the MSC Status Match?

MSC Status Match is a program from MSC Cruises that allows guests to match a loyalty status from another Cruise Line, Hotel Group or Tour Operator.

It is available worldwide, free to use and guests will immediately start receiving benefits.

When you cruise with MSC you will be given the perks that the equivalent loyalty program on MSC would provide.

I matched my ‘Platinum’ status with Norwegian Cruise Line To MSC’s Diamond status – and now enjoy loads of perks each time I cruise.

I would definitely recommend you take the time to read this post and match your status. If you are considering cruising with MSC, it’s well worth doing!

It is worth remembering that If you do not cruise with MSC within three years of matching the status, you will lose your loyalty status with MSC completely. 

Which Cruise Line Statuses Can I Match With MSC Status Match?

Statuses from the following cruise lines are matched by MSC:

  • Costa Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Carnival Cruises
  • Norwegian Cruises
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Cunard Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Silversea
  • Regent Cruises
  • Holland America
  • P&O Cruises
  • Azamara Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruises
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Ponant Yacht Cruises
  • Aida Cruise Line
  • Crystal Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Star Cruises

Which Hotel Brands Match with MSC Status Match? (List from the US MSC Status Match site):

Club Med ITA, Club Med FRA, Club Med DEU, Expedia, Hilton, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Hyatt Hotels, Orbitz, Shangri-la, Accor Hotels, Melia Hotels, Fairmont, Starwood, Kampinski, Pestana, Best Western, ClubCarlson, Othon Hotels, International Hotel Group, NH, Centara Hotel Resort, Sandals, Steigenerger Hotel Group, Mosturflot, Infoflot, Vodokhod, RIU Hotels and Resorts, Mydham Hotels, MGM Resorts, GNV, Alipay, Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Jin Jaign Hotels, H, Club Med US & CAN, Mohegan Sun, C-Trip.

MSC does not do a status match more than once! Make sure you pick the membership where you have the highest loyalty level to avoid missing out.

If you later realise you have a higher level on another line, you can’t match again.

What Do You Need To Status Match With MSC?

You will need to have a scanned copy of your current loyalty card (file formats accepted include .jpg, .doc, .docx, and pdf. Max. file size: 2MB).

I didn’t have a physical card to show that I have a loyalty status with Norwegian Cruise Line so I sent them a screenshot of me logged into Norwegian Cruise Lines website, the screenshot clearly showed my status and full name.

I do know a number of people who have used a picture of their last cruise card on another cruise line as evidence of their loyalty status. If you cannot find any other evidence this may be an option.

Apply at least 14 working days before the start of your cruise – and longer if at all possible!

MSC Meraviglia Top Deck Swimming pool and sun loungers

How To Match Your Status In The USA With MSC

Matching your status in the USA is easy. Follow the steps below:

  1. Head to MSC’s USA website here.
  2. Fill in your personal data. Make sure this matches your name and the information that is on your passport.
  3. Add your address information.
  4. Add details about your loyalty scheme. If you cannot find your membership on the list email [email protected]. (If you’re not sure if a membership scheme is listed it is worth emailing to check. You’ve got nothing to lose).

How To Match Your Status In The UK With MSC

Matching your status in the UK is a little less easy. Follow the steps below:

  1. Head to MSC’s UK website here.
  2. Fill in your personal data. Make sure this matches your name and the information that is on your passport.
  3. Add your address information.
  4. Add details about your loyalty scheme. (I had a bit of trouble at this stage and was told I had to print out the form, fill it and email it back. It seems as though they have sorted this and you can upload a screenshot directly on the website
  5. If you have any problems make sure you email: [email protected].

Other countries will follow a similar process to the UK/USA make sure you are on the correct site before applying.

Matching Status from Outside of the UK or USA?

Here are some links for other countries:

Canada MSC Status Match

Spain MSC Status Match

Italy MSC Status Match

Netherlands MSC Status Match

What Perks Can You Gain From Status Matching With MSC?

There are five membership levels to progress through: WelcomeClassicSilverGold and Diamond. Each time you cruise with us, you will earn points and as your points grow, so do your privileges and status.

MSC Cruises

It is worth noting that you receive perks equivalent to the loyalty status you are given by MSC – they don’t match all the perks that you might get on another line.

For example, on Norwegian you might receive a free bag of laundry you won’t get this on MSC because this isn’t one of their perks for the loyalty status.

You can find out more about the loyalty perks for each level on MCS’s website here:

MSC Members Benefits

I was matched to the highest level of Black (now changed to Diamond) and as a result, receive the following benefits:

  • A Free Meal In A Speciality Restaurant
  • A Free Hour In The Spa
  • A Chocolate Ship or a Chocolate Bar depending on availability
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • Bottle of Spumante
  • A Free Gift (In my experience, a bag or a pen)
  • Priority Boarding and Disembarkation
  • Diamond Party Invitation
  • 5% Off future MSC Cruises

Lower loyalty statuses will provide some of these benefits but not all.

All loyalty statuses get you 5% off future MSC cruises! It’s worth joining for that alone!

A Free Meal at a Speciality Restaurant

A Diamond membership card allows you to have a meal for free in a speciality restaurant. The card entitles you to a meal for two – although I believe you can only use it once per cabin.

I have the Diamond status and took a guest along (who doesn’t have any status with MSC.) Both of our meals were free.

When eating in a speciality restaurant you may have to eat from a special menu, as we did in “The Butchers Cut.”

Normally if you dine here, there is a charge for each item you choose, so getting a free meal was a real bonus. We always make sure we make use of this loyalty perk!

When will You Get Your Loyalty Perks and Gifts with MSC?

If you are cruising for a week with MSC, you will find details of perks and gifts appearing in your cabin throughout the week! You may return to find an invitation to the loyalty member’s party or a plate of Chocolate strawberries! It’s always a lovely surprise!

As I know that I am entitled to a free speciality meal, I always go and ask about it and book it as soon as I get on board! I don’t wait to be told – I don’t want to risk missing out!

I recently took a cruise on MSC Seaview, find out more about the food I ate whilst onboard the cruise in the article below:

Everything I Ate on my MSC Cruise (Photos and Menus) – Food Review

Free Hour in the Spa

Spas on Cruise ships are lovely – but it’s not something that I would normally spend my own money on!

I spent an hour in the spa on the MSC Meraviglia as one of my loyalty perks with MSC.

There were a number of steam rooms, saunas and big bubbly pools. I basically spent the hour running around making sure that I got to have a go at EVERYTHING! It was a great experience!

Find out more about my visit to the spa on MSC Meraviglia here:

MSC Meraviglia Spa Review (Aurea spa 2019)

Bottle of Spumante

It is always nice to find a free bottle of bubbly in your cabin!

When we sailed on the MSC Meraviglia we disembarked on New Year’s Eve. I actually took my bottle off the ship to enjoy it at midnight!

We stayed in Nice for the night, and I enjoyed drinking it in my Elf pyjamas! Spumante is an Italian sparkling wine, similar to Prosecco.

Free Gift

We were given a free bag which I now use to take to the gym. I love cruise souvenirs and free ones are even better! This showed up towards the end of our cruise.

Chocolate Ship!

A chocolate ship showed up midway through our Christmas cruise. It was very clever and really does look like the MSC Meraviglia!

We actually saw these ships being in the onboard chocolate shop. There were a number of other chocolate things dotted around which looked really impressive.

msc meraviglia chocolate ship

On other ships that don’t have a chocolate shop onboard, you may find that the chocolate ship is substituted with a bar of chocolate. Free chocolate of any description is good in my book…

Chocolate Strawberries

Who doesn’t love chocolate strawberries?

msc meraviglia chocolate strawberries on balcony jeans

Priority Boarding

We were given priority boarding when we went to embark in Genoa. However, the priority boarding line was longer than the regular line so it didn’t really make much difference. I appreciate the gesture though!

Other Perks:

Below are a few more perks of my Diamond status that I haven’t yet used:

  • Complimentary Birthday Cake
  • A Dance Class
  • Complimentary photo from the ‘welcome back’ cocktail
  • Invitation to the Diamond Members’ party. I haven’t used this, but my parents regularly do! There is free-flowing Prosecco, Wine and Aperol Spritz along with canapes and snacks. If you haven’t got a drinks package it is a great opportunity to get free drinks!

How Long Does it Take To Have Your Status Matched With MSC?

This one varies. I would say you probably want to give it a few weeks or maybe even a month to be safe. MSC says that you should apply at least 14 days before the start of your cruise.

A lot of time MSC will match the status within a couple of days but in order to make sure you don’t miss out, I would leave it longer.

I doubt that MSC actually gets confirmation from other cruise lines. It seems unlikely that other cruiselines would want to help out MSC when they are trying to steal their customers!

How To Use The 5% Discount

All statuses will allow you to get 5% off future MSC cruise bookings. The website states that these are only for future cruises – although I have heard about a couple of travel agents being able to backdate this on occasion.

Other Terms and Conditions of the 5% Future Cruises Discount

  • MSC Voyagers Club members’ cruise discount is extendable to all stateroom occupants.
  • It is valid year-round.
  • The discount can be combined with all promotions and offers unless otherwise stated.
  • Does not apply to Voyagers club members under 18 years of age.

If you are planning a cruise with MSC it definitely is worth looking into the status match before you book your cruise. 

If you are even considering an MSC cruise I would suggest you apply. The status does disappear after three years but that gives you plenty of time to find an MSC cruise that suits you.

In order to keep the status, you must cruise with MSC at least once every three years.

To use the 5% discount you simply need to give the travel agent your voyager’s number which you will get when you match your status.

Alternatively, if you book directly MSC will already have your Voyagers number.

It is worth keeping an eye on the MSC website for other offers. At time of writing MSC are offering:

Book more than 12 months before departure for an extra 5+5% discount + double points
Book more than 6 months before departure for an extra 5+5% discount

And that’s not all: if you’re a Silver, Gold or Diamond member, receive additional €50 onboard credit per person when you book more than 9 months in advance

MSC (July2023)
MSC Meraviglia in Valletta Malta

Learn More About MSC Cruises

I’ve been on many MSC cruises over the years, and always find them to be very good value for money – particularly if you are booking from the UK, where all service charges are included!

Find out all about the amazingly cheap Caribbean cruise I took on MSC Seaview just after the Covid pandemic. It cost just £580 ($750) per person – and that included flights from the UK to Barbados!

Another wonderful trip I took was on the MSC Preziosa, sailing from the UK. I took my friends along, and the six-night trip cost £320 each ($410) for 6 nights. That works out at £53 ($68) per night! You would be lucky to get a hotel room with no food for that price in the UK.

Before You Go!

If you’ve cruised with an American or British line before, you may find the Italian cruise line MSC a little different! Find out the crucial differences here:

10 differences between MSC and NCL/Royal Caribbean

I took a Cruise to Norway on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. At the same time, my parents took the same, but much cheaper trip on MSC Virtuosa. Find out what the differences were, and whether MSC offered good value for money here:

We Took The Same Cruise With MSC and Royal Caribbean: Differences and Comparison

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